Tuesday, April 10, 2007

New York Times Magazine piece...

Mom and I were reading Wally’s blog and it referenced an article in the New York Times Magazine this past Sunday – New Tricks. We didn’t read the article on Sunday, but we had heard the author and the animal behaviorist featured on NPR Friday night. (I know what you’re thinking and yes, my Mom is a complete NERD!) Since Wally had mentioned the article and provided a link – Mom read the NYT article today and of course – she has something to say!!!

Love, Dory

Hi, Liza here.

When Dory and I were listening to On Point the other night I was really struck by the great work that this graduate student was doing on behalf of shelter animals – using behavioral diagnostics to help match dogs and people; the ultimate goal being to help decrease the number of dogs euthanized in the US. I thought it was an interesting interview, but I have to say it pales in comparison to the actual article that appeared in the New York Times Magazine this Sunday.

First of all, I was amazed that the shelter featured in the article had off-hour “drop-boxes” for dogs or cats to be left in. As I read through the article it was hard for me to wrap my head around all the information, but to things really jumped out at me. The first is that we have become a disposable nation, apparently when surveyed people who were surrendering dogs in some instances they actually responded by saying the dog didn’t match the furniture or the family was going on vacation. The second thing was the vivid image of the euthanized dogs being piled up in garbage bags.

I realize I tend to be a little hypersensitive when it comes to animals, but that description had me blubbering as if someone had sucker punched me in the face. I grew up on a farm surrounded by cows, dogs, a pony and village of barn cats and even a donkey. From the time I was old enough to toddle along on tippy toes my mother swears I’ve been offering up my hand to every dog that crossed my path. All I could think of was my experience last spring when Emily died. Emily was my first close up experience with having a dog put to sleep, prior to her passing either my pets had slipped away quietly in their sleep or my mother had handled the final arrangements.

All I could think of is if these people who so easily surrendered these dogs could just be shown a video of someone having to say good bye to a beloved pet – then surely they would think twice before discarding a dog. Of course that is when my rational self kicks in and I realize that no video, tears or protests will change society; however what I can do is work hard to educate people one person at a time on dog rescue and responsible pet ownership.

So, all I can say is to all of Dory's loyal readers - please take just a moment, buy a bag of feed to donate, buy a raffle ticket, drop a dollar in a collection box, volunteer at a shelter or with a rescue group, nothing that you do or give is too little in the lives of animals that have been abandoned. Our favorite pet charity is Labs4Rescue based in Connecticut, but really any organization or group, big or small can use your help.

Thanks to Dory for letting me get up on my soapbox and thanks to all my friends and my mom who have all been taking an interest in and supporting Lab Rescue!


Ferndoggle said...

Very well said Liza!! I couldn't agree more.

"Saving one dog won't change the world, but for that one dog, the world is forever changed." It doesn't take a lot to make a difference.

Ever read One at a Time? Grab a box of kleenex if you do. I try to make everyone I know read that book.


Peanut said...

4 paws up. Very good

Marvin The Dog said...

oh you have my Jeannie weeping now! What makes her so unhappy is that people go paying huge amounts for pedigree dogs (over here in the UK! that is) when there are rescue homes filled to ovrflowing with boys and girls just like me! Just wanting a home - like I have - to be kept warm, fed and adored.

It is indeed a sad world. We are good to all rescue homes 'cos I came from there. The Dogs Trust in the UK is an excellent place. There is a link on my Blog and we are very fond of the kind people who run it.

Lovely post. Kind wishes, Marvin and Jeannie xxxxx

Marvin The Dog said...

ps sorry didn't mean to be bad to pedigree dogs, some of them are my best pals!

hope my comments don't get read the wrong way, just saying there are so many dogs out there needing some love. And black dogs notoriously fare badly when being picked for re-homing.

All Dogs are Precious whether Pedigree or Rescue!

Hope I have covered my tracks there, did not want to come over as rude! love and licks Marv xxxxx

Maggie said...

Well said Liza!

Love ya lots,

Charlie said...

Good post, Liza!! Considering how horrible an experience it was to have my beloved pre-Charlie dog die in my arms, I can't believe the callousness of people whose dogs don't match their furniture! No, I take it back, I can believe it, and I'm sure their lives befit their prejudices.
- Charlie's mom

Opy - the Original GruffPuppy said...

Well said Liza - I am always disappointed at the way humans behave :-(

BTW, I just was reading some of your older posts - your post about Emily really struck a note with me. It bought a tear to my eye, and a lump to my throat - I dread having to make such decisions :-( Thank you for sharing your love of Emily with us - and she really looked alot like Opy :-)


(Opy's mum)

wally said...

Hi--bit late to post here but thanks for standing up for us dogs. I don't understand people either. We're living things and not pieces of furniture. And, if you treat us right, we can be the best friends you'll ever have. We'd never leave people in a box with strangers, even though many of them deserve it.