Monday, January 19, 2009

I Need a Moment.....

At the risk of stating the obvious, please remember to keep pets indoors during these frigid temperatures. And don't be afraid to report to the proper authorities (police, animal control officer, cruelty hotline, etc.) any situation that you might witness where an animal is in potential danger or is being neglected or abused. We MUST speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.

I heard last week about a case where a Toy Poodle had been left in someone's car at the airport while they were away on an extended trip. I hadn't seen or read anything about it on the news so I googled the story and here is what I found.

"Michou -- a 12-year old poodle -- had been left in a car for 19 days in the frigid cold at Burlington International Airport without food or water. He had lost more than half of his body weight. A passerby noticed Michou and called police."

If you read the whole story, Michou's owner claims he "forgot that the dog was in the car" when he left on his trip. HUUULLLLOOOO, Michou's owner! REALLY?

The guy drove two hours to the airport and would be gone for almost three weeks. How in the world does someone leave on an extended trip, not make arrangements for their dog to be cared for while they are away and then forget that he is in the car with them while they gather their bags?

Personally, I can't make heads or tails of it. So in order to maintain my sanity, I have to look toward using this careless act to help save other animals. I have wondered ever since I heard the story, how many people must have passed by the car with poor, helpless Michou starving inside and didn't give him a second thought. He was in an airport parking garage afterall. Someone was surely just picking up an arriving passenger and would be back shortly. The circumstances, however, were most unfortunate for little Michou.

Michou was extremely lucky as one passerby finally noticed him 19 days after he was left by his owner and she called the police. Due to the caring act of this stranger, Michou was rescued by police, given proper medical attention and survived. The next fur-baby might not be so lucky.

So please take a moment. If you see an animal locked in a car when it is too hot or too cold call the authorities. It is better to risk being wrong about the situation than to risk the dog's or cat's life if you do nothing. It only takes a moment. You can make a difference. And isn't that exactly why we are here?

"Saving one animal will not change the world, but surely the world will change for that one animal."

Saturday, January 17, 2009

My Own Amazing Journey

Here it is….almost a year since I helped welcome home Charlie, the first Operation Baghdad Pup military mascot to reach US soil. Charlie landed at Dulles International Airport on February 14, 2008. Mark, Cinnamon, and I were there to see him take his first steps in the good ol' US of A. I had hoped from that moment to be able to make a trip to the Middle East with OBP and help bring mascots home for our soldiers serving. And now my dream is about to become a reality. I am headed to Baghdad for Mission # 19. I am scheduled to leave on Monday, Feb 9, make a few layovers on the way and land in Baghdad on Wed Feb 11.

It's sort of hard to believe. I almost bailed on going….not that I am afraid or anything like that. (Although I have yet to break the news to Mom just yet!). It's just that my world was recenlty turned upside down. My Dad passed away unexpectedly just over a month ago. Losing him has been really hard. But he knew that I wanted to join one of these missions to help bring these pups and kitties home, to help give them a better life than the one that they might otherwise live out if they are left behind. He knew I would go sooner or later. And so, just as my Dad would not sit around doing nothing, I too am getting back in motion. Yes, Mom, I am going to Baghdad.

It was also my vision from the start…that somehow Saving Cinnamon (which is a whole other story ) would lead us -- Mark, Cinnamon, and myself -- to be able to help save other mascots. I didn't know exactly how that would happen, but that is indeed exactly what is happening. Cinnamon's amazing journey, in part, led to the creation of SPCA International's program Operation Baghdad Pups. A program I support wholeheartedly. And, now, to see my vision of saving other mascot dogs and cats become a reality is truly a privilege. So here I am, almost 2 years from the time we saved Cinnamon, going over to Baghdad with Operation Baghdad Pups to help give a few soldiers a coming home present ...their mascots delivered safe and sound to US soil. Feels just a little patriotic….unexpectedly so. Pretty cool huh?