Thursday, September 09, 2004

Dog Day


My dog Emma is very good at finding other animals on her daily runs. She has found snakes, turkeys, deer, mice, squirrels, badgers, fish, frogs, turtles, and lizards. Yesterday, she found an abandoned puppy. My husband said she was barking at a yucca bush and he, worried that she had found a snake, rushed over to keep her from being bit. When he got about two steps away from the bush he saw a black and white terrier puppy laying on the ground under the bush. The second the dog saw him it ran over to him with its tail wagging. My husband put the puppy and our dogs in the truck and drove around, stopping at all the farmhouses he could see from the spot where he found the dog. He asked anyone he met if the dog belonged to them. No. One of the farmers did say a lot of dogs were abandoned where my husband found the puppy.

We took the puppy to an animal shelter run by a woman who lives in the town 30 miles south of us. We had heard good things about her. She told us she would find the puppy a nice home and that she was very careful about who she gave dogs too. But first she would deworm him and give him the shots she was sure he hadn't had yet. We estimated his age at 11 weeks. I felt good about leaving the puppy with her.

On the way back home we stopped to look at a newly built adobe-style house just outside our town. When we turned into the driveway we saw someone spraying the ground with a garden hose at some outbuildings about 50 yards from the house and drove over to him. As we got closer I was dismayed to see the buildings housed dogs, lots and lots of dogs. It was a puppy mill. The woman who lived in the house told us she bred the puppies to sell in Denver.

On the evening news they ran a story about a company in California that is going to clone cats and dogs. Starting at $50,000 for cats (more for dogs) you can have your pet copied. The company is calling itself Pet Savings and Clone.

These stories tell us disturbing things about both our society and our views on animals. Right now I cannot face this. I just wanted to write these stories down and get them out of my head.

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