The Starfish

I want to thank everyone’s kind and comforting words yesterday for me, and for little Gratzy who died yesterday. I slept okay last night, only dreamed a little bit of the situation. And not horribly, thank the gods. I hate having awful dreams and I was afraid I would and I would feel worse today. But I feel a little bit better today. And I realize that my feeling bad now isn’t going to help him at all. Hopefully over the next days and weeks the memories will fade and I won’t think about it so much anymore.

I have been snuggling my own dogs quite a bit and finding their whole, healthy bodies a great comfort. We are all so fragile. And I’ve also been waxing philosophical too. I feel obligated to do rescue. Right now, I would love a new rescue dog to nurture and help. And while I can’t save them all, I always think of the starfish story.

The Starfish Story

A young man is walking along the ocean and sees a
beach on which thousands and thousands of starfish
have washed ashore. Further along he sees an old
man, walking slowly and stooping often, picking up one
starfish after another and tossing each one gently
into the ocean.

“Why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?,” he
asks.

“Because the sun is up and the tide is going out and
if I don’t throw them further in they will die.”

“But, old man, don’t you realize there are miles and
miles of beach and starfish all along it! You can’t
possibly save them all, you can’t even save one-tenth
of them. In fact, even if you work all day, your
efforts won’t make any difference at all.”

The old man listened calmly and then bent down to pick
up another starfish and throw it into the sea. “It
made a difference to that one.”

UPDATE: Yup, he was one of the Iggy’s from the local rescue up north, and I know the girl who does it. She is pretty upset, expectedly. His name was spelled Gratzi and he was 11 years old.

Talking Dog

Got this from a friend. 🙂

In Blessing, Texas, a man sees a sign in front of a house: “Talking Dog for Sale.” He rings the bell and the owner tells him the dog is in the backyard. The man goes into the backyard and sees a black Lab just sitting there.

“You talk?” he asks.
“Yep,” the Lab replies.

“So, what’s your story?”

The Lab looks up and says, “Well, I discovered this gift pretty young and I wanted to help the government, so I told the CIA about my gift, and in no time they had me jetting from country to country, sitting in rooms with spies and world leaders, because no one figured a dog would be eavesdropping. I was one of their most valuable spies eight years running. The jetting around really tired me out, and I knew I wasn’t getting any younger and I wanted to settle down. So I signed up for a job at the airport to do some undercover security work, mostly wandering near suspicious characters and listening in. I uncovered some incredible dealings there and was awarded a batch of medals. Had a wife, a mess of puppies, and now I’m just retired.”

The guy is amazed. He goes back in and asks the owner what he wants for the dog.

The owner says, “Ten dollars.”

The guy says, “This dog is amazing. Why on earth are you selling him so cheap?”

The owner replies, “He’s a liar. He didn’t do any of that shit.”

I wonder if this dog can also get around the house, open the fridge, turn on the delta faucets, and go out the door when he wants!

A Fairy Tale

I did not write this, it was sent to me by my amazing obedience instructor.

Joe and the power of confused social status

Joe accepts a job at a new office. He¹s pretty nervous because no one told him exactly what his job would be.

When he arrives, everyone treats him like a celebrity! They are SO anxious to make him comfortable. They give him his choice of offices, make sure he is comfortable, and they give him extra bonus checks just for sitting at his desk. Everyone seems to really like him and they compliment him on his looks, and laugh at all his jokes. No one ever tells him what to do and no one seems to expect anything from him, so he doesn’t really do anything but play Solitaire on his computer, shop online, and chat with friends on the phone.

They even bring Joe tasty lunches every day and never ask to be reimbursed. If he doesn¹t like what they bring, they offer him some of their own lunches.

If Joe wants to leave early, he just says so and someone even rushes off to open the door for him.

Joe is happy with this situation and feels very important. He figures any day they will put a sign on his door that says ‘COMPANY PRESIDENT’. He even has business cards made up with that title and leaves one or two on everyone¹s work stations. No one says anything because they love Joe so much and he is so handsome after all…

As the weeks go by, Joe begins to feel anxious…He realizes that he really IS the Company President and he had better start paying attention to details and making sure all the others in the office are doing what he thinks they should be doing and when.

Joe begins to assume the role of ‘The Boss’ but does so gradually and the other workers don¹t really notice it, but the pressure of being unprepared for management is giving him a daily headache that makes him irritable.

One day, Mary sees Joe counting a fat wad of cash and asks Joe to pay for his own lunch. Joe is taken aback and says in a loud, gruff voice, ‘NO WAY! This is MY money! Go AWAY!’

Mary is shocked! Her feelings are so hurt. She tells the others in the office, ‘Joe was rude to me! Haven’t we all been so nice to him? WHY would he do that?’

Upon hearing this, a large man named Rex stands up and says, ‘That is just unacceptable. I am going to show him he can¹t be doing that!’ So he strides confidently into Joe’s office, slaps him across the face and snatches Joe¹s money out of his hand.

As he returns to the group, he says, ‘That will teach him not to be so rude!’

Understandably, Joe is completely perplexed! HOW DARE THEY???? All this time, they have done everything for me whenever I wanted and never asked for anything in return and now one of them has attacked me for NO REASON!

Joe comes rushing out of his office, confronts Rex and demands his money back. Rex says ‘NO. Mary told me you were rude to her and this is your punishment.’

Joe is beside himself! This just doesn¹t make sense! Rex must have lost his mind and has become dangerous! Doesn¹t he remember that I am the Boss???

Rex approaches Joe again and points a finger at him. Joe is still in shock from being slapped and having his property stolen from right under his nose and feels that this is the start of another attack!

Joe is not about to be pushed around by the guy that empties his garbage and shines his shoes! So, Joe slams his fist into Rex’s mid-section and Rex falls to the floor in agony.

Everyone in the office runs to the conference room and locks the door behind them. There is much lamenting of ‘OH MY! Joe has turned on us! Joe is EVIL! We have to get him out of here!’

They call the Police and Joe is soon taken away in handcuffs, claiming he was only acting in self defense. Everyone in the office is in tears. They can’t understand why all their hard work in getting Joe to like them failed. Maybe Joe was just a bad guy from the start and things will be different if they hire someone else….

If this story sounds ridiculous to you…and it SHOULD, consider the way we treat our dogs…

Many Canines spend their lives wondering what their ‘job’ is and never really know. We give them everything for free and don¹t allow them to feel pride in a job well done or the sense of security they get from knowing their place in our pack . We have systematically shown them from day one that we are their doormats that can be bossed and manipulated into doing their bidding. Then we blame the dog when it all goes wrong.

Most dogs are extremely BORED! They come up with behaviors to burn the excess energy mother nature gave them to survive as a species since they haven¹t had servants until the fairly recent history of canids…

Most of the activities dogs come up with will be found unacceptable to humans, like excessive barking, digging, escaping, destroying our property by inappropriate urination/marking and/or chewing, showing aggression toward humans or other animals, and even biting the hand that feeds them.

For these transgressions, most dogs are physically punished in the name of ³discipline², given away, abandoned, chained to a tree, or even euthanized. It’s sad, but many people feel that pets are expendable and easily replaced.

The number one reason for owners relinquishing their pets to animal shelters is ³Behavior Problems².

I wish just once the reason on the cage card at the pound would read, ‘We let our dog down and we never taught him what was expected of him.’

I am the Bridge

Lora from It’s a Dog’s Life posted this as a comment, and I thought it was so good it really should be a main post.

It is true. I am a bridge for these rescue dogs. I love having them in my life, if even for a short time.

I am the bridge
Between what was and what can be.
I am the pathway to a new life
I am made of mush,
Because my heart melted when I saw you, Matted and sore, limping, depressed, Lonely, unwanted, afraid to love.
For one little time you are mine.
I will feed you with my own hand
I will love you with my whole heart.
I will make you whole.
I am made of steel.
Because when the time comes,
When you are well, and sleek
When your eyes shine
And your tail wags with joy
Then comes the hard part.
I will let you go – not without a tear,
But without a regret.
For you are safe forever – A new dog needs me now.

~ Diane Morgan