TODAY's QUOTEThe worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them; that's the essence of inhumanity.
~ George Bernard ShawGod requires that we assist the animals, when they need our help. Each being (human or creature) has the same right of protection.
~ St. Francis of Assisi
TODAY on the TELE
The premier episode of Showtime's new drama series: The L Word.
Dunno. I've been at the computer all day and never bothered to look outside.
18 January 2004
Today its about animals. Several animals. First, remember Scout, the dog I was checking out at the SPCA? I decided against her. The main reason was that when I went to see her, there was a ruckus among all the animals there and Scout started yapping. They covered her cage so she couldnt see the other dogs and she still continued yapping. I walked to the far side of the mall, to go to another store, and I could still hear Scout yapping. Then, when the SPCA rep called me about her, she cautioned that "she does have that yappy Sheltie personality...." That kind of did it for me. I decided that I wasnt ready to take on a yappy dog.
Instead, I decided to learn to appreciate what I have, Kimba. Kimba works hard for this family. Its a 24 hour job being on guard when you are so little. She doesnt ask for anything but food (constantly) and a nice warm bed, which she leaves whenever I move, since she needs to be near me at all times, even though Ive never given her any encouragement in the form of affection. Even as I type this, she is where she always is, sleeping at my feet, keeping guard in case something terrible should happen. At night she guards the stairs so nobody can get up to attack us in our sleep. She works hard for an old girl.
But yesterday I heard from my friend David. David, years ago, gave us a lovely dog named Benjy. Benjy was a Lhasa Apso/Tibetan Terrier mix, so he was a big-ish dog who thought he was a lap dog. He worshipped me, and I loved that dog. He would sleep on my feet when I typed, and sleep in my lap when I watched television (even though he barely fit). He came with me in the car when I went on errands, I'd sit on the floor and brush his fur at night, and he was the first real companion dog Id ever had that was mine alone. (Our sheltie Jeff, years ago, was "mine" technically, since he adopted me as his goddess, much as Kimba has, but I also had babies in those years and didn't give him the attention he deserved.)
Unfortunately, Benjy developed cancer and, after a long treatment that only prolonged his life by about six months, we finally had to let him go. It was a difficult time all around. His cancer was diagnosed by Pauls wife, a veterinarian, just two weeks before Paul died. She started treatment on him and, in the daze that I was after Pauls death, I just continued taking him to weekly treatments, not realizing that they werent really doing anything except racking up a big bill at the University vet hospital.
Now David is offering me Binky, a 5 year old German Shepard mix. Our last German Shepard mix, Seymour, was a wonderful family dog and gave us long years of companionship. The kids grew up with her. David, who has four dogs at present, says "Binky is so damned affectionate you wouldnt believe it. She aspires to be a housedog, she wants to lay next to someones computer. Weve been talking about finding a more attentive owner for her." (David should know better than to say she wants to "lay" next to someones computer hes a well known, prolific author!) Anyway, he offers to bring Binky up here if we are willing to give her a home and says he will only ask for chocolate in return. Ive promised to lay in a supply of chocolate for him. So it may be that we are acquiring a dog after all. It kind of all depends on when David can get himself up here. Im not holding my breath at the moment.
The last animal under discussion today is exactly "an" animal, its a flock of animals. Sheep, to be exact. Im not an expert on farming, or on rural farming policies in Southwestern Australia, but Im hurting for Penny, who has been told she must destroy her herd of sheep. There is a problem with foot rot in sheep herds in Australia at present. Im not sure what foot rot does exactly, but its a fungus caused by the moist ground that the sheep live on.
The way it was told to me was that they are making all the sheepherders in the area destroy their sheep and that they could begin rebuilding the herds in a matter of weeks. Seems to me that this doesnt exactly solve the problem.
My anger for Penny is that she doesnt sell her sheep, either for breeding or for meat. They are essentially pets. They are also what she has left of the large flock her father left when he died and she has an emotional attachment to them. (Several of them really are pets, having been hand-raised, having names, coming when she enters the paddock, etc). Since they dont come into contact with other sheep, I really dont see why she is going to be forced to destroy them, but the government is adamant. They are letting her keep the "pets" but she must get rid of the rest of them. It is breaking her heart.
Sometimes sweeping government regulations dont take into consideration individual situations and its a shame when innocent people are hurt needlessly, as seems to be the case in this instance. Its at times like this that you realize how truly helpless people can be when government issues dictums.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
David's son with binky
Weight Lost to date: 46.6 lbs