Saturday, December 28, 2013

A Dream for Puerto Rican Island Dogs

Picture low cost veterinarians servicing the needs of pets across the island in trailers, purchase subsidized by participation in an island wide sterilization plan with only forty participants being accepted.
40 vets sterilizing 120 dogs a week will have neutered 249,600 animals in a year. People on the island who buy dog food for their dogs will pay for example $20 for neutering, which should cover the costs, plus vaccinations and the three way test for an equally reasonable fee.  
With a majority of pets being neutered, attention can be turned to the truly feral, while worrying less about more being thrown out.
Island Vet Tech students volunteering for neuter events will have opportunity to shine before prospective employers, animal control officers or rescuers will have opportunity to coordinate local events of lasting value while strengthening the bond of animal caring people.
A segment of the market in today’s veterinary care geared towards the economically challenged part of the market place will find aid from the plethora of animal activists on the island. Veterinary trailers seem like a low cost way to open up an untapped segment of the market. Perhaps the department of tourism would offer low or no interest loans to dedicated vet who would neuter a documented number of dogs a year, my heavens, the details can be negotiated, just get a plan in place, we can get behind. They’re a lot of us here; we’ll all do our part.
Every rescuer I know is overrun with dogs, the lucky ones ship to the states, where every year an unbelievable number are euthanized annually.   
Mass murder of mutts for which, I believe, the government does pay, isn’t the answer. Spay is the way to control dog population, please. This could be a career opportunity for vets who will service this community. Surely there’s a leader in the government, who will champion the cause with a reasonable plan.
Tourist internet sites teem with comments of visitors shocked by starving dogs, a sad, disturbing sight. The Department of Tourism might support a plan to improve Puerto Rico’s image abroad.
40 vets, neuter 40 dogs, 3 days a week (or 120 a week) = 249,600 neutered a year.  

Friday, December 27, 2013

Thoughts on Puerto Rico's Dog Problem

On Puerto Rico discarded pets masquerade as island dogs, cowering among the strays. If not hit by a car, they have a chance to learn the rules of the road for survival. Ripped from all they know, where they’re home, the wheels come to brief stop and out they’re shoved out, or tossed in a bucket.
Can you imagine how scared it would be to be suddenly lost and alone, torn from your home, however bad it may be? Dogs shaking, shivering with fear lie down on the side of the road not feet from where they were dumped out because they don’t know what to do; would you?  Confused some step into traffic.
Many people, if not most, given a decent alternative, will do the right thing. It’ll be $60 to spray your dog, well, you think that’s a lot of money, but she’s a nice dog, no puppies, no heat cycles with males hanging around; still, the kids need shoes, but the family loves the dog, so we’re going to do it. The next thing you know they’re telling you about shots $35 and then there’s a three way test the dog needs so she can take these pills each month for heart worm. On $900 a month for a family of four; what do you think they do?
All the puppies a kid can want hang around, until little by little the number dwindles, nature’s profusion drives natural or unnatural demise or as others call it, God’s will. God gives and God takes away, call it what it is, easy come, easy go. In Spanish they say, “Paga nada, es mierda,” pay nothing, it’s shit. In this cauldron of life, unhappy and undervalued humans find it easy to be cruel. Some seem little acquainted with the merits of compassion to species deemed inferior. Even those genuinely wishing to take care of the dogs make hard choices with limited resources.
For all the years my husband and I came and went, my neighbors fed the street dogs living outside their gates, encouraged some to stay, to alert and protect, but never to be their dog in any way that would obligate them. For dogs she really liked one neighbor bought kibble, lucky dog! When Stormy, the pride of the neighborhood was hit by a truck, he languished on the side of the road for two days before a neighbor called me in Illinois to tell his son lovingly put a tarp over him, while underneath he was eaten by ants, flies and maggots. Two days before my friend scooped him out of the road to take him to the veterinarian’s clinic, where it was too late, they put him to sleep.
His body wasn’t cold before another dog slept in his spot. The neighbors fed him the leftovers; all was the same. When I returned I mentioned his name, oh, what a shame, sad, but in God’s hands is all anybody said.
Forty vets neutering forty dogs a day, three days a week will neuter 249, 600 dogs a year. This isn’t nature’s abundance compensating for natural die back, an overwhelming number of dogs on the street have been discarded by people, who may not have tossed them if they didn’t have new puppies at home.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Puppy Found in Bucket Update

Darla, aka puppy in the bucket, my happy little girl still can’t manage that single step. The white of her eye is now visible, the eye color no longer blue. After a whimper she, all on her own, runs around to the carport ramp, running fast as she can, wagging her tail all the way.
Darla found in 5 gallon bucket 2 weeks ago

Lucky, all of seven months, plays big brother, allowing her to snuggle up to his belly at night. Love energy emits, when he nuzzles her neck; a tiny growl, a playful nip Darla gives from her upturned head.
Named for my late friend, Darlene, Cajun queen from New Orleans and Saints fan extraordinaire, Darla at about seven weeks of age is thriving at the moment. I say at the moment because skin issues need to be addressed, worming and vaccination; neutering can wait. In two weeks her size more than doubled; she starting to be socially conscious. What do I mean by a quizzical remark like that about a dog?
Darla looks to see what the other dogs are doing when I’m giving them treats. Jumping around, barking, behaving like a baby brat didn’t get rewarded; sitting gets the treat. Darla just gave her first sit for a treat; I’d say that’s rather smart; wouldn’t you? 
I understand pack behavior as it presents in wolves, but the behavior of free ranging dogs here reminds me more of coyotes where I lived in Illinois. These dogs here hang together, buddy up because they live with me. If I were out of the picture, I believe Blondie and Chi would stay together, but Robert Redford and Lucky would go separate ways after hanging together long enough to mature.
Darla just took her first towards being a good human companion, a tail wagging big step. From the other dogs she’s learning to look for signs of provocation. She no longer bounds into another dog’s meal. She will carefully advance to snatch a nugget on the floor. The older dogs growl and snap just as fast, so my smart tiny girl learned stealth, which only works to a point. Dear Darla learned to stay close to mom, jump at her feet, she’ll make certain dear Darla has enough to eat. The others back off, they know the rule to stay away from the cat’s food and when mom’s around, Darla’s too.
Lately, it seems the norm that puppies are found with skin conditions. I’m going to take the time to learn more about the mites or mold or whatever the dogs get. When we treated Lucky and Lola for mange my head was elsewhere, I don’t remember much about that time. I don’t think this is mange. This looks like something Lucky had after the mange. It seems like it wasn’t difficult to treat or I might remember it better.
Think about puppies discarded like Darla.
Think about this. 40 veterinary teams with trailers neutering 40 dogs three days a week for a year would have neutered 249,600 dogs.
Can a veterinarian make a down payment on a trailer, work of the balance due by neutering a documented 120 dogs a week for a year for a nominal fee to cover expenses?    Is there a way to work that out?

40 teams, 40 trailers almost a quarter of a million dogs neutered in a year. Isn’t this doable?     

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve on Sato Hill

Beautiful boys bound through the grass, this spring’s puppies grown into active adolescents live like this is their neighborhood; it isn’t. It belongs to the humans who live in the houses. They have the power to snuff out a life at their will. Generations of dogs have suffered this plight.
My neighbor boy just sixteen, a human child shows off his motorcycle to cousins’ delight burning rubber, oh what a sight with smoke billowing up from the road. His mommy is calling with impatient voice; he ignores her until the call softens to a plea. “What,” he calls in Spanish, of course. A child on a short leash, the adolescent stretches his bonds. He kept his bike running, enjoying cousins’ approval. Oh, did mommy get mad, but it did her no good. She stormed in her casa doing whatever loud things you can do in a house to communicate anger.
From the garage, the toys came out, the best, a trike, cousin tried tearing ass down the road. Girl cousin in a pretty dress bounced up and down on the balls of her toes. Mommy forgotten; acceptance, approval passed around. Here come the dogs from Sato Hill, Lucky, Robert Redford, led by Chi-Ping, the terrier. Blondie barked fiercely from inside the in the house.
Ruff, ruff, the sound of defense, Robert Redford, Lucky, and Chi barked, slowing down at the bottom of the drive to assess the situation before plowing across; Chi stopped, the boys held ground behind her, or as guys in the states say, backed her up. Lucky held tight watching Chi’s every move, but Robert Redford, the handsome golden boy trotted directly to the center of the group despite having been knocked in the snoot. He walked right up to the girl, of course, looked her in the eye, surprised her, she looked back didn’t seem to know what to do, her brother, a young man walked to her with a dominant stride. Red cowered, unsure; my neighbor’s cousin walked past him without much notice.
From the porch I cooed, “Chi-Ping, there’s a good girl, come on, good girl.” She looked over her shoulder. I knew she was mine, if I could bring her in. “Goooood girl, what a good girl,” I wooed. She looked at the activity in the street. “Where’s my good girl?” The look on her face said, oh, what the heck. Her head in a neutral posture she trotted up to the house. The wooing continued with spaced praise.
Robert Redford trotted up to Lucky, who held fast, barking to build up his courage. Ruff, ruff is the sound of the bark; I’ve heard it so often in the dark. Chi came and wanted her petting, which I gladly gave, and then quickly put her in the house. Lucky, now in the lead, Robert Redford had his back. “Lucky, good boy, where’s my good boy,” that’s all it took, lucky for me. I praised him all the way back until he gave me a sit, so proud of himself. I’ve worked with him since he was a pup. I’m not ambitious these days so we do what we do when I think about doing it; it’s a shame, but Lucky came back with Robert Redford trailing. They came in the house for treats all around Smoki, the cat never questioned his participation.
Mommy next door called in a loud piteous voice, the cousins got in a car, burning rubber up the hill waving out windows a friendly goodbye. Neighbor boy’s shoulders slumped, as he walked in the house where mommy spoke to him in very controlled tones, her voice faltering, somehow she managed.
Lucky and Red went back out on the porch, found a spot, rolled on their backs to snooze. Geri, another neighbor came out with a huge piece of fried dough, at least that’s what it looked like from the porch. I got a bad feeling, so I called the boys, who jumped up ready. We walked towards the front door, me talking and squeaking. Geri whistled the tune he plays for the dogs when he wants them to come. I squeaked louder and told how good they were. They wagged their tails following to the door, when I opened it out pounced Blondie and Chi, who I hadn’t really thought about, so they all took off for Geri and his fried whatever.
Chi-Ping stopped, gave it a sniff, but trotted off to another neighbor’s yard. Blondie loves this guy, she’s known him longer than me, so she allowed herself to be pet, but wouldn’t accept his offering. Robert Redford, rarely shy, held his tail and head low, walked over to Geri, who pet him with one hand and fed him with the other. With gift in his mouth Red scurried away. Blondie, ho had stepped aside, came back to Geri for petting. He’s very affectionate with the dogs. I wonder why he calls Adri to scream and yell about the dogs being lose, when he calls them coaxing them down to the killing ground, where dogs get hit in the road or other hellish things. I’ve asked him not to so many times.

My husband died six months ago and it’s Christmas eve, a weird time for me. Enjoy each other, and of course the critters. 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Learned Something

People never cease to confound, a man with a walking stick stood at my neighbor’s gate. The dogs charged down our driveway barking, cautiously they barked from our side of the road, when Robert Redford with head submissively low and humble tail wagging crossed the road. The man seemed to ignore him, so he sniffed his leg gently. The man whacked him in the nose so fast.
Blondie doesn’t like men messing with her friends, so she waited for an opening. He kept an eye on her while gabbing away, and when he turned to go she went in for a nip. He thankfully was quick, but she circled him barking all the way up the hill, when he left, with Lucky bouncing and barking without a clue of what it was all about.
Chi-Ping barked in the house, a blessing because the fast little bitch will circle around for a nip when a man is facing off with Blondie. She can be a handful of trouble. I should really find these boys a home before jerks like this ruin my lovely guys’ attitudes. 
All this man had to do was say, “Hey, Boy,” Robert Redford would have wagged his tail some more and walked away. He just wanted to say, “Hi.” The man didn’t need to crack him so hard. The sad part is that if he had talked to “Red,” Blondie would have stood down, ending the alert.
Sweet red boy ran right home to mama. I told him what a good boy he was to come to his mom, some petting for reward. I may be lazy about training lately, but I’m not one to miss an opportunity. “What a good dog,” as Barbara Woodhouse used to say.
Just when I thought it’s time to go in, teenagers , who not more than a week ago, stopped their car at the bottom of my drive long enough to yell, “Mother fucker,” to the boy, who lives across the street from me, are standing at his gate, calling his name. The three dogs on the porch with me growl as one. From inside Chi growls like she’s crazy out of her mind to get out. Our readers know what a drama queen she is. The boys must have made up; they went in the house to the relief of all.
We all learned something this weekend before Christmas. Robert Redford learned that coming to mom is good. Blondie learned how intimidate this man. Blondie scares this guy; it’s so much fun, Lucky learned; let’s bark and bounce. I learned what Baby Hueys my boys are. The man learned that he’s a heartless, stupid idiot, if he understands English. The asshole part I do think he got. My neighbor boy doesn't speak any English, but his friends swear at him in English; doesn't that strike you as funny?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Puppy In a Bucket

Welcome to week six of your life, Darla. You still look to suckle and cuddle like a younger puppy with your still blue eyes. You’ve grown almost two inches in a week’s time. Your black and tan coat shines, except for the skin condition. Lucky had the same thing, little bald circles. I don’t remember what we did for it, but he has a shiny black coat today.  
Sorry, I won’t be getting you to the vet anytime soon; being broke until the end of the month when I can buy groceries again.
The bowed rear legs you came with, now move efficiently straight. I love a pretty trot. Those first few nights you howled and screamed and cried; how mournful.  You learned to comfort yourself, to calm down, but confinement panics you. Crate training will have to come later. Frustrated, too short to get up a single step, you screamed bloody murder. The first time I thought one of the boys hurt you, but no, you wanted back on the carport, so we walked to the ramp, you scampered back on the carport. We did that three times that morning. The fourth time I stayed on the carport, you looked at me, when I took a step towards the ramp you ran around all by yourself. I’d say that makes you very smart.
You bounce at Smoki, inviting him to play. He hisses at you to tell you old cats don’t play, but clearly you don’t get it. He’s trained many a dog in his day, I’ve no doubt you’ll learn to see things his way.
My little Darla, I’m so sorry I can’t do more for you, curious girl, sniffing my rooms, learning every inch. I’ll give you another bath; see what I can do about your skin condition. Your coat has a little luster. The kidney and liver veggie blends are nourishing you well. We’ll have to wait until next month for more; I burned out the blender motor on the kidney or maybe it was the carrot.
If you see and apparition on the porch or in the house for I believe dogs are especially tuned in to spirits, if it’s my Kirt, you’ll know him as a loving spirit; wag your tail really hard for me. He knows I miss him and I love him; you don’t have to tell him a thing, but he’ll love your little tail flying.

Darla, you grow into the best puppy you know how to be; with God’s help we’ll find you a good forever home.  

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Welcome to the Sato Zone

In my car I carry dog food, water and a few cups. Puerto Rico abounds with dogs, wherever I go there’s a dog on the side of the road in need of a meal.
My little country road is unaccustomed to the number of abandoned dogs we’re seeing this year. The road has given me four dogs. My life plan for retirement was to have no dogs, so I could travel. I don’t have forever, my plan’s important, but God gave me four dogs to love. Blondie and Chi are my girls, love them mucho! Lucky and Robert Redford are for adoption if the right family comes along. They would be so much better off. Never forget Smoki, who will be seventeen if he isn't already. That cat shared our lives in Illinois and will wherever I go.
If I see a creature in need I respond like all animal lovers do. Darla, the little puppy in the bucket from just last week doubled in size, with a flea and tick bath and Betadine scrub she’s comfortable. Now, according to rescuing rules of the island I’m expected to pay for vet check, sterilization, vaccinations and treatments required. She’s my dog. She was dehydrating in a bucket. She would have died. I believe in not making creatures; not killing them. To be born to die without a chance; that’s cruelty, so she’s my dog.
I've paid to have animals sterilized and treated. I've taken dogs to wonderful rescuers, who have gotten the dogs great homes in the states. How long can this go on? I have a puppy here I sure as heck don’t want. She needs vaccinations and treatment for some skin condition that seems to be responding fairly.
Maintenance had to be done on my house. I have NO money to pay for animals others create, but somehow I’m getting sucked into this vortex, going down the sato hole.
Since I know I’ll always do what I can, what that is needs to be established.
All get food and water.
If I pick them up or they’re hanging by my house, I get them neutered and vaccinated when I can. Being old and broke sucks, but there you have it. I am grieving my husband, which requires my active participation. Dog stuff breaks my concentration.
How much do those veterinarian trailers cost? I’m tired of this; let’s neuter the neighborhood.  Maybe the government could offer incentive to veterinarians who purchase these trailers and do a required number of neuters a year.  Why is there only one in Puerto Rico?
I still think tourism would benefit by ads of volunteer visiting veterinarians loving the island, the people and donating time to neuter our beloved Puerto Rican Island Dogs. People do love them when they’re not overwhelmed with them. The world knows about the problem, telling the world about the solution would be good for business; don’t you think?
Nah, an ad with snapping fingers telling Puerto Rico does it better without specifying what it is; that’d be better. Maybe, I’m having a bad day. 


Monday, December 16, 2013

My Home Is Not a Dog Shelter, This is Not a Rescue

This is beginning to feel like Canine Grand Central Station, puppies, Labrador, German Sheppard, English Bull Terrier, Golden Retriever, plus assorted mixed breed or sato dogs have visited my house this year. I live on a tiny road in the middle of the country.
If people are dropping off dogs near my home because they’ve heard that I take in dogs, they’re making a big mistake because I don’t. I have no fence, no gate. The dogs that live with me were street dogs here.
Blondie will shag the bitches on down the road, as she did to the Bull terrier bitch just a couple of days ago. A handsome tri color, looked like an Australian Kelpie Dog makes this house part of his rounds, but moves along when he sees me. It is no kindness to dump a dog near my home.

It’s impossible to rescue all the strays on this island. Massive sterilization campaigns and education, perhaps coupled with license required for breeding and or selling puppies, might make a difference.  

Sunday, December 15, 2013

No Dog Wants to Die This Way by Chi-Ping

The white bull terrier showed sense, leaving while Blondie and I were locked in the house, but not before she stood rock steady and Robert Redford sampled her goods. He mounted her, she’s not even in heat. You should have seen her promise him what’s to come, wagging her tail and snorting in his face.
That’s the way it is on Sato Hill, dogs coming and going. People put out leftovers some times and then other times dogs get dowsed with water and told to move along. Humans are a confounding lot. If you wait long enough they’ll do something to hurt a defenseless dog, even mom.
She took us to get fixed, which I now know meant to fix us so we can’t make puppies. That’s no easy procedure; let me tell you. You won’t believe what mom did to me and Blondie just yesterday. It was horrible.
With Snoopy pissing all over the porch and Hattie running around the yard playing tag with Lucky, and needle teeth puppy, Darla trying to suckle everything breathing or not, Blondie and I were glad to hop in the car to ride down to the gas station to guide more visitors up to the house. Since dad died we rarely get visitors, unless it’s some of mom’s friends, who we call auntie because they’re good to us and we like them, so we’re anxious to meet the people mom’s been so excited about coming. Blondie barked down the road to dogs and people alike, she blabbed everything.
A woman who looked like Jessica Rabbit with black hair, smiled as we pulled into the gas station. Before long we led them back to our house, where mom hopped out of the car to direct them where to park, since Jaime’s truck got stuck on the side of the house making mud tracks for Robert Redford to roll in, getting himself banned from the house.
The car door closed in my face. Mom hugged the Jessica Rabbit lady and a man wearing a uniform like hers, which said ACO/ACI, Animal Control Officer/Animal Cruelty Investigator. Everybody’s arms were waiving, talking,  smiles all around; they turned to look at the lake. Blondie and I waited with our tails wagging. They walked around the yard looking at the mountains in the distance. Mom pointed to Utuado, a famous mountain town. We want to get out and visit, too. The windows were closed. Mom showed the people into the house.
The people in uniforms come out looking relieved. I’d like to get out and relieve myself; now, they’re taking pictures. It’s a bright, sunny day the lake is spectacular. They sit down on the porch talking and eating. Blondie is so hot she hid under the steering wheel thinking it was cooler there. These people were not paying any attention to us in here; I had it, I barked. My tongue hung out, with my paw on the glass I gave mom a pathetic look.
“Oh my God, Dios mio,” the women screamed. They came running. Mom opened the door, pulled Blondie out. She ran for water. Mom grabbed me and carried me to the carport where she offered me water to drink and put cold water on our tummies.
Everybody came around, the people asking us if we’re okay and the other dogs sniffed us and gave a quick lick on the lip to console. Mom kept hugging me, petting Blondie and telling us how sorry she was. That was scary. It was hot in there, we could have died; mom needs to be sorry.
Later that evening, after everyone went home mom pulled out chicken and cheese; we had a feast. Mom kept telling us how sorry she was and feeding us. When it came time to go to bed, Blondie sighed with contentment her head on mom’s ankle, while I felt her love curled up in a ball at her side, under her arm.

So people; what’s the moral to the story? Yes, so many good ones, but I’ll go with PAY ATTENTION TO THE DOG. Love, Chi  

Friday, December 13, 2013

I'm Officially Upset by Chi-Ping

Officially upset, depressed, really put out, curled up in a ball at mom’s side, desperate for relief; I sighed. The puppy we found in the middle of the road follows me everywhere wanting to suckle. Blondie put a stop to her action, but mom raised her voice to Blondie, who has been skulking around ever since. Robert Redford and Lucky tired of her quickly; they can’t get away fast enough from the puppy, mom now calls Darla. Being suckled by a small critter with needle teeth didn't turn out to be as much fun as the boys thought it would. If a bitch could smirk, you’d enjoy my face as I remember them learning just this; aside from small satisfaction, I've had nothing but aggravation.
Mom’s friend Marcie, brought Snoopy and Hattie the day after Darla showed up in a bucket. Snoopy is my size and likes to chase me, I get so tired of it. Hattie, the Salinderas Beach puppy won the lottery, when mom and Marcie took a walk on the beach without a single dog, and there she was. A stray dog prays for someone to love, who will love me, too. Blondie and I know we’re lottery winners; mom is one crazy prize, especially when she brings home puppies. She promised there would be no more than, well, five, but Lola’s gone and I don’t want to replace her with this whining, complaining rat, who can tumble down a stair, but not up, so she screams bloody murder, until mom walks around to the carport ramp with her. This is not a dog; this is a baby and a brat, at that.
Defending our turf is job enough, without having company, even if Snoopy thinks I’m wonderful. If you have something good, somebody else wants it. There’s only so much room in a bed; Smoki takes my spots, we don’t need competition. Earlier this week we fought off an interloper for hours. I've never seen anything fight Blondie so hard, the boys and I nipped the behind of the fierce devil to give Blondie better advantage.
Mom called, the boys came leaving me and Blondie in the woods battling the beast. With Robert Redford and Lucky in the house mom worked her way through the weeds, calling as she came. We didn't want her to get hurt so we ran to her. Our adversary would not pursue.
You’d think that my life was an adventure, but its pure challenge, I tell you. Late this morning I was on the easy chair listening to bachata, really into the music when the scent of the vagrant who fought us to a standoff wafted in the window. My hair stood on end, me, I froze to the spot.
This ugly white bitch with her big egg head stood in our yard looking in through my front door. Her tail stood mid way between straight out and straight up, she wasn't spoiling for a fight, but with these bull breeds you never know. Snoopy’s nose was glued to her behind, well, easy come; easy go.
Asleep on the front porch, Blondie must have been dreaming about the bitch, who didn't seem ready to go anywhere. Mom woke Blondie and guided her into the house before she completely woke up. The Bull Terrier wandered about and then laid down under our SUV, while Blondie fumed with her head shaking and bubbles frothing from her mouth.

Who can blame me for being upset? 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Puppy in the Road by ChiPing

Returning home from the U.S. Post Office on this fine December morn, mom stopped on the scenic route over the hill, where she sits looking at the lake and the mountains, but today she got out of the car; mom never gets out of the car on this narrow road, there isn’t enough room. If a car came in the other direction, we’d have to back down to a safe place to pull over.
Blondie and I try to jump out the window to see what’s going on, if it was open a just a wee bit more. Mom bent over in front of the car; what’s wrong mom? She wobbled around, going from side to side of the car. I heard a puppy squeak; open that window I’m coming out. Blondie and I got so excited, we started barking. Mom got back in with a big white bucket that smelled of puppy. Puppy, what are you doing with that puppy in the car? Let’s see it! Blondie and I jostled to get into the front, but mom ordered us back; she doesn’t yell, she doesn’t have to, she does the tone that goes with the look that says, “You don’t want to see the look that froze Medusa,” so we settled in the back until we got home.
Robert Redford and Lucky raced up the driveway before us. We barked the news of the puppy. When mom opened the door the boys tried to pile in the car. She slid out with the bucket before the boys could figure out what happened, mom and the puppy in the bucket were in the house.
We ran from window to window hoping to hear what mom was doing to the puppy. We don’t need another mangy puppy; take it back now. Later, the damp puppy placed in the grass smelled of the wonderful liver veggy pate we had on our kibble last night. You didn’t give that little cur our liver pate, oh, no! How could you!
The puppy tried to suckle Blondie, who acted like somebody gave her a jolt of maternal hormones. She was on her side; this little rat was going to suckle her. When teeth touched the tit, she came to her senses. The crazy pup tried to suckle Robert Redford. That naughty boy laid on his back, like suckle all you want. He flew upright when the five week old introduced him to puppy teeth.  She reminds Lucky of his sister, who died, so he’s in love with this critter.
Not being so enamored I kept my distance, when this idiot pup checked me for milk. My snapping teeth found their mark, the puppy shrieked and, now, you know, so did mom. Banished for brutality, me; can you believe it!

Wait, tonight we’ll be getting less liver veggy pate; you’ll see.  

Friday, December 6, 2013

Touching Dogs by Chi Ping

Some hands feel marvelous stroking my head and ears, sweet rapture, but I still find it difficult to trust human hands that hurt me so often. My body yearns for a gentle caress, but poking my sides is no fun for me. I gently nipped for fear of reprisal as a “bad” dog; some folks thought bitey mouth was a game I liked to play, so they’d laugh and poke like it was funny. Big whoop for them, all I wanted is for you to pet me and make me feel good.
Grabbing me around my ribs behind my front legs hurts, yet people picked me up like that all the time. They wondered why I don’t like to be picked up and run from their grasp. As mom’s friend, Marcie says, “Duh!”
Dogs have their aches and pains, just like people, even Smoki, the cat aches, poor guy has a little kitty limp. I have arthritis from being hit by a car. My hips hurt and my tail is kinked. Mom tries to help me, in spite of her making it feel better later; I can stand only so much touch before I must get away.  
Mom tries to fix me too much, I know she wants to help, but what I like the best is the twilight time when we’re in bed with her hand gently resting on my back, not doing a thing. She does, thank heaven, know how to pick me up with a hand under my front and the other supporting my rear end. I do trust her to pick me up.

It is a late fall day in Puerto Rico, the wind is roaring through the grass and it looks like rain; mom and Marcie are going to a Paso Fino Horse Show. I heard them planning on the phone, so after frantic tail wagging and big sad eyes, Blondie and I will retire to the bed for serious napping. Chi-Ping

Thursday, December 5, 2013

A Day In the Life of Animal Activist Adri Galler Lastra

“Co-kee,” little frogs sing, roosters crow, “Get up, dawn is coming,” Adri Galler quietly checks her email. The sound of surf rushing the shore washes in the window. The dogs bark when eager volunteer Camille pulls in behind the Amigos de Los Animales’ van. Marcie, a volunteer from Hatillo with a drive of over an hour, sips coffee in her car while watching waves clamoring ashore.
The ugliness of dogs comatose and dying in the streets is set in the splendor of God’s creation, lush green vegetation; yellow, orange and pink happy colors behind which poverty breeds cruelty most foul. Focus on God’s goodness while saving the lepers of the dog community is a challenge.  
Pets and street dogs of the tsunami zone breed twice yearly, but for intervention led by Adri Galler Lastra. Today dogs will be sterilized in a well organized trailer owned by Dr. Cruz, traveling veterinarian and his talented team.

Adri worked with the Department of Sports and Activities to get the basketball court, where a group of volunteers fill out necessary paperwork, while people file past the tables with pets on leashes or in their arms. In this poor neighborhood people have money for few frills for family, so sterilizing pets fell into no way, no how; until today. The community leaders assisting Adri and Dr. Cruz have an educational opportunity to make the next sterilization day an even bigger success by passing out fliers in the community and asking the people who come today to give the fliers to their friends and neighbors.

“Sing, Hallelujah,” for the core of folks who cared enough about their animals to do what is good for them. God made them that way; God will take care of them, seems to be what people say, so to see folks waiting anxiously for pets speaks of love in a way we can trust the most, action.
People of Pinones came together for our fellow creatures, led by Adri Galler Lastra, Animal Activist. Good job, everyone.