You are currently browsing the monthly archive for August 2012.

From the archives of my grandfather:

Earl Wilson and Robert David, brothers. “At 724 North Range Line in Joplin (now part of a Baptist parking lot).” Circa 1935.

Earl Wilson:

This was our first dog, “La.” We raised him from a puppy, which did away with my phobia about dogs. Some kind soul had lent us a cow so we could care for it and thus avoid the ruinous prices for milk (9 cents for a quart delivered) and butter (10 cents a pound, I think).

La was later hit by a car but survived. For a year or two afterwards, he was terrified by cars, but eventually perished from trying to sleep on the road in front of our house on a hot summer’s night. (There must be an important lesson for us here somewhere.)

Apparently La the Border Collie was not as bright as should be expected from his breed. When I was a child my mother had a tiny Yorkshire Terrier named Poochie that enjoyed sleeping on the warm asphalt road in front of the house. One day an elderly driver mistakenly took her to be a paper bag and that was the end of Poochie.

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A loony old lady brought in a sick kitten that couldn’t have been but five weeks of age.

It was infested with maggots–its internal organs exposed.

The veterinarian strongly advised the woman to have the animal euthanized. She refused.

I tearfully rinsed the maggots from its abdomen as it howled in pain. I told the vet that if I had more courage I would strangle it or break its neck. There was nothing the vet could do…legally anyway. The psycho woman took the kitten home. I called animal control and told them about the situation and gave them her home address. I don’t know what happened after that. I am sure it died, but I don’t know how long it lingered in torment before the end.

Yup, you read that right. Half. 50%. One out of two.

KMOV.com reports (Aug 9):

On Thursday, Randy Grim with Stray Rescue told News 4 that 50 percent of all animals at his shelter have sustained gunshot wounds.  Earlier on Thursday, Grim tweeted “Another city dog shot by owner last night.” [excerpt]

 

Yes, really. Speciesism. It’s hard enough to keep up with all the sexism and racism and ageism and classism and heterosexism and capitalism and imperialism and narcissim and collectivism… And now we’ve got speciesism.

Let’s use it in a sentence:

“We live in a world where we’re confronting speciesism.” ~ Pattrice Jones, auther, educator, and activist

What does it mean?

“…a prejudice or bias in favour of the interests of members of one’s own species and against those of members of other species.” ~ Peter Singer, Animal Liberation, 1975

This deserves a big fat facepalm.

Every time we eat we commit speciesism: favoring our temporary desire to quell our hunger while denying the member of another species (whether that be plant or animal or fungus) its entire life. Just die already you stupid anti-speciesists.

This was an aging, ailing medium-sized mixed breed.  The oddball-white-woman-of-suburbia owner would drag Scarlett into the other vet clinic where I worked on Saturdays, this one in Yuppyville. She’d be brought in on a blanket because she could not walk. Her condition was irreversible. She continuously soiled herself because she could not control anything beyond the middle of her spine. She looked miserable and in pain. And her loving, devoted owner would bring her in regularly for acupuncture.

Yes, acupuncture.

The pitiful thing should have been euthanized. I expressed my opinion to the other technicians, but this dog was like this crazy woman’s child and so…well..you know…her life dragged on until the bitter end.

Lady was a German Shepherd Dog.

This one was so bad that her owners had to give her a sedative before her veterinary visits. And they didn’t care.

I had to toss the owners a muzzle as they waited in the parking lot so they could muzzle her before she entered the clinic. And her owners didn’t care.

She particularly hated me. If I even looked at her, she barked viciously and lunged. Once restrained for veterinary care, she’d growl and foam at the mouth and thrash about. And her owners didn’t care.

She had a history of aggression and biting.

And her owners didn’t care.

Well, one day they brought the old bitch to be euthanized for health-related reasons. And I certainly did care. I volunteered to assist the veterinarian. How could I not?

There was a sense of satisfaction in knowing that this nasty animal could no longer terrorize any other living creature.

I worked at a veterinary clinic for a few years. It was a good experience.

But I remember some awful dogs by name. One that comes to mind every once in a while was “Dave.” I hated Dave. He was a medium-sized black Lab mix who had been adopted from the shelter. He was an asshole. Any time you had to do anything, like cut his nails or examine him, he had to wear a muzzle.

Well, his owner was helping me lift him on the examining table one day, and he wasn’t wearing a muzzle (owners generally don’t like them). And the damn thing snapped around and chomped on his owner’s hand. And I don’t mean a little warning nip or an automatic reaction to pain. I mean he aggressively sunk his tooth in so hard that she had a hole in her hand and it started gushing blood.

As I scrambled around gathering medical supplies, she proceeded to excuse Dave’s behavior. Would she have done the same if he had bitten me? I think so.

Had he been my dog I would have euthanized him on the spot. “Sorry, Sparky, but I would have thrown my husband out of the house for less.”

Got to thinking about something the other night. You know how kids are always told that “Just because Mommy and Daddy are getting a divorce, it doesn’t mean we don’t love you”?

EVERYONE is always telling the kids that it’s not their fault and that the parents will always love them, yadda yadda.

Now, while I get that 99.9% of divorces are never the kids’ fault, I can’t stand it when people push that love lie.

What the hell is love anyway? People love their pets but they still take them to the shelter when life throws them a curve ball. People love their spouses until they don’t. And people love their kids while ripping apart the one earthly thing that has the greatest impact on their lives–their married parents.

Now, don’t get me wrong–I get that there are sadistic abusers out there who are dangerous. I have met some. If you love your kids, you would protect them from an abusive parent. (And don’t get me started on those co-dependent twit women who stay in abusive relationships, subjecting themselves and their children to the violent whims of an abusive asshole. That is for another day.)

But, generally divorces do not come about because Daddy hits Mommy. Most divorces are over finances. Don’t believe me? Look it up.

The other top reason is infidelity.

And don’t give me that crap that you still love your kids as you cheat on their mother or father. You owe those kids a decent and stable life, and if your kids aren’t worth the sacrifice of not getting your rocks off in someone else’s bed, well, then you’re a selfish jackass.

Is this a judgmental post? You betcha. But by God, if you are going to be selfish and destroy your marriage, at least own up to it, and be honest about the fact that you love yourself more than you love your kids.

It is about priorities. What does your life priority list look like?

Where does your emotional comfort fit in there? How about the emotional well- being of your kids? Where does your career, your hobbies, your spouse, your pets, and all that good and decent stuff rank on your list? What is at the very top?

And then there is that other lie–the one that says you can’t love others if you aren’t loving yourself. Says who? Define love. You can have the worst self-esteem in the world and still do right by your children. You can hate yourself and still make sacrifices that benefit your children. Thankfully, not everyone buys into that touchy-feely pro-narcissism crap.

The point of this post is…well, maybe I just needed to vent, but maybe part of it is because so many people in society today (activists, politicians, teachers’ unions, psychologists, etc.) are always whining, “But what about the children?!” as they continue to push ideas and rhetoric and policies that only serve to phuk kids up even more.

If the Hastings Center is reporting this accurately, one in five children and adolescents has a psychological disorder. ONE IN FIVE! That means 20% of kids in this country are mentally/emotionally screwed up for one reason or another. How many are screwed up by their environment, the society they live in and their own families? Wherever we’re headed, it’s not in the right direction!

How many times do we hear about teenagers doing something so wicked and deranged that we couldn’t possibly fathom how or why they would do such a thing? And how many times do we hear these reasons for it:

“It’s because of bullying!”
“It’s because of a lack of economic resources!” (Yup, the less money you have, the more likely you will be a violent kid. WTF is that crap?)
“It’s because of institutional _______!” (insert your bigotry of choice)
“It’s because of a lack of quality education!”
“It’s because there aren’t enough activities for them!”
“It’s because they are bored.”

Have you noticed that it is never because of stupid, shitty, self-absorbed, irresponsible parents?

Or how about maybe that kid was just a bad apple like Jeffery Dahmer? They pop up in nature every once in a while…or maybe more often than we’d like to think.

Lord knows there are enough psycho dogs out there. Check out this letter to a sister’s dogs.

And psycho dogs is my next post. I think. (I am rather fickle.)

This is my abortion kitty. He would have died on March 31, 2010 of asphyxiation alongside his two brothers within his mother’s discarded uterus at the bottom of a surgery room trash can.

I removed him and his brothers, revived them, bottle fed them, and chose to keep one–his name is Bagheera.

My last kitty’s name was Bagheera and he was all black too.

He died at the age of nine in a flower bed on my mother’s farm. So I suppose I wanted a new one.

I probably contributed to the overpopulation of cats that day. But my conscience would not let me let those kittens die. Contrary to the impression some of my earlier posts may have given, I don’t believe in culling healthy baby animals. If they must die, it should be for a good reason such as to feed hungry children.

When the kittens were 3 months old, a young woman adopted one. The other brother ran off/died/was stolen.

Bagheera is a smart cat. He also has all of his kitty instincts and then some. The only clue to his odd infancy is when he sometimes kneads my son’s fluffy blanket while suckling on a corner of it. And he pees like a girl (probably because he was neutered at 6 months of age).

He climbs trees. He hunts. He avoids cars. He knows how to manage dogs and abusive children. He once took a pellet to the shoulder for sitting on the roof of a neighbor’s car. It is still floating around subcutaneously and is now located on the left side of his rib cage.

Although I refuse to adopt mixed breed dogs, I will only adopt mongrel cats. I have no desire to spend gobs of money on an animal I have to keep locked in the house for fears that it will jump the fence and die/be injured/contract a disease/be stolen/etc.

Besides, I hate litter boxes. By 4 months of age Bagheera was going to the bathroom outside, so I tossed the litter box in the garbage.

He plays games with the dogs, tormenting and teasing them as he sits on top of the fence, twitching his tail. Although my brother’s useless pain-in-the-ass Pug will jump up and down barking endlessly, my Boxer bitch will lie crouched in the grass, pretending not to pay attention.

The cat also pretends to ignore the dogs. And when the Pug gives up to go hyperventilate on the deck, that is when Bagheera leaps off to race across the yard. And the Boxer gives chase.

If the cat senses that the dog will catch him, and she usually does, he stops and sits and stares at her. And she sniffs him, gives a goading bark, and then goes off to do her own thing…like digging pits in front of the shed.