Honestly I don’t like it when I feel like I have to blog because I’m so angry I don’t know what else to do. I wish I had some wonderful adoption or sweet story to share. But having fumed all day I knew that I’d need to write to get a little of the pressure released off my anger…sort of like my compression sprayer that’s been pumped so many times the handle is frozen and will snap in half if I try to push it down one more time. Someone or something need to lift up that little valve on the side to release some of the pressure before it explodes. Before I explode. And yet even as I sit down at my computer to try and write something that not only permits that release but also finds some lesson, some silver lining, I’m at a loss.
I started the day with the news of a puppy being rushed to MedVet in Columbus during the night by our Director Michelle Earl and Humane Officer Jeff McLain after being called by the local emergency vet. A puppy had been brought in by his owner with a huge section of skin torn away from his abdomen and his penis. This is where ordinarily I’d share some picture of the injury or the dog to give the reader an opportunity to gain greater understanding of what we are dealing with. However, this time there will be NO SUCH PICTURES. Even I cannot bear to see them. The picture in my head as Michelle explained to me the state of the puppy are enough to make me sick. I’ll only share this one.
Somehow the tall tale of how the puppy had injured himself didn’t last for long under scrutiny and was replaced by violence and abuse at the hands of a drunk boyfriend. In the process of being beaten, he had ripped the skin of his abdomen virtually tearing all the supportive tissue around his penis away. Leaving a large gaping wound as he tried to maneuver around the kitchen to escape his abuser. How scared would a puppy have to be to put himself in such an agonizing position?
Lacerations on his lips were the result of his abusers punches.
Most of the day was spent waiting for word and options from the specialist at MedVet as to whether or not the damage could be repaired or if he would need to have his penis actually removed.
As if that wasn’t more than enough, further investigation and a visit to the home uncovered another injured animal – weeks have passed since his leg was broken and left untreated. Another story, another lie, another suffering animal at the hands of idiots!
And I’m sorry whoever I’m offending by using that term, you’ll have to allow my seething fury to unleash at least a little before criticizing me for not being more sensitive. I do not have it in me today.
Funny how I went to bed last night angry because of an incident earlier in the evening when someone had asked for my help and lied to get it. One of those Facebook friends who is no friend at all. He got help but used dishonesty to get it and I was stewing over that trivial crime. How silly.
Maybe that’s the lesson – don’t sweat the small stuff when you know there will be big stuff worthy of worry.
So Michelle, who planned to be up all night but thought she’d be doing so from the comfort of her home while campaigning for the Shelter during the 24 hour GIVE LOCAL MOV event, found herself and Jeff dealing with animal abusers and driving the injured puppy to MedVet in Columbus, when the local emergency vet referred them there. Thank God to the both of them for their fortitude, commitment and ability to survive on very little sleep. Thank God for MedVet being only 100 miles away. And thank God we do not have to decide whether or not we can afford to help this little guy.
We have a puppy that needs $4000 to $5000 worth of medical care and surgery because some numbskull (there it is again but I can’t help it) needed to beat the crap out of a defenseless puppy because he committed the crime of getting into the trash. The owner is responsible for his medical treatment bills but I have no real hope we’ll ever see a dime from him and no decision about this pup will be reliant upon that.
I suppose in many shelters there would be no choice. They would just euthanize him because they could not afford to help him. And I’d understand that. Understand it too well, as there was a time not so long ago that would have been our shelter and I’d be agreeing with that decision. Hell, $5000 is our food bill for a year! What are we to do, NOT feed our animals for the year so that we can help this one dog? Nope.
Granted I’m tired of asking people for money. Honestly I am. But what am I to do? Seems like all I’ve done for the last few months is sell 300 tickets, wrangle donations, work on future fundraisers, help with existing ones, collect items for a rummage sale, plead for Walk pledges, Facebook post daily for whatever event is coming up, write letters to local businesses for sponsorships, etc. Seems endless. But the needs seem endless too.
But we won’t have to make the decision. And no, we don’t use the County contract monies for this sort of thing either. Not its purpose. But we will figure out a way to raise the money this puppy needs. If you see me at the end of the Memorial Bridge with a little sign that says “Will work for Vet bill donations” you’ll know I’ve reached my wits end. I suspect I’m not far from it. (See, I still have a little of my sense of humor left.)
But none of us are willing to give up on this little guy. Not like it would ever occur to me to give up but after Michelle told me that as they drove in the middle of the night 100 miles to Columbus, the puppy somehow managed to find it within himself to wag his tail as they spoke soothingly to him. Granted he was on some pretty heavy painkillers but he wagged his tail! And for that attitude Jeff bestowed him with a new name – Trooper, for being just that – such a good little trooper.
Michelle had to warn me not to cry before she told me that part, as she knows too well that Trooper means something pretty special to me. That is the name of the dog that opened my life up to the shelter world many years ago and I tell his story through tears at every new volunteer training class I give. I tell it because THAT Trooper demonstrated both the resilience to prevail and ability to forgive that I could never have imagined after he was found chained, abandoned and starving. Despite how he was treated, he was SO happy in our shelter that it changed my entire perspective of what animals in shelters would be like. I thought they’d be so sad. But his spirit was so strong, that he couldn’t help but be happy!
And as I write these words I’m reminded that the first Trooper held no grudge nor showed no grievance against mankind despite his ordeal. And it sounds like our new Trooper has demonstrated much the same. Word from the vet this afternoon is that everyone there loves him!
So I suppose that is the lesson I was hoping to find. That we can’t let evil blind us to the good simply because we see so much of the bad stuff. We have to keep doing everything possible to provide these animals the chance at a better life. We can’t ignore the evil, the careless or the ignorant, but we also shouldn’t let them so damage our spirits that we can’t continue. Trooper apparently is not.
And if a little dog that has gone through Lord knows what in his life and the torture of last night and is still wagging his tail at kind strangers, then it seems the least I can do.
I am happy to report that the news from the vet this evening is that Trooper did really well in surgery and they are very optimistic that he will be okay. He’ll spend a few days there but hopefully can come “home” to us at the end of the week. We’ll find him a foster home (no, my inn is full) where he will be cared for in a LOVING home setting and given the best that life can offer him. That’s the least we can do. AND ensure that his abuser does not!