(I’m taking off next week to do some Christmas shopping. I’ll be back here with a new blog on Monday, Dec. 17. /Gary)
** After you finish reading this Primal Rant, check out the Primal Rant below it on: “Are cats causing the ‘Silence of the Songbirds?’” What do you think?
Gary: Along the Highway 4 daily commute from Antioch, Calif., to Stockton, there is the gorgeous expanse of open country through Byron, past Discovery Bay trundling toward the Old River, Middle River and San Joaquin Bridges. Herons, coyotes, raccoons, skunks, rabbits, feral cats and furry brown critters that I can only guess are otters abound in numbers both alive in the fields and dead by car on the road. On a sunlit spring morning the view of open sky and growing corn can rejuvenate any tired soul.
But there is another creature that does not belong out there, and for over nine years I have watched a tragedy repeat itself in a cycle that belies our better nature. So this is a letter born of simmering rage after seeing so much suffering caused by the careless, thoughtless beings who believe that the only thing of value is their own comfort.
Today, that once beautiful boxer met his match when, after trying to gnaw off a piece of smashed bird from the road to stave off utter starvation, he was hit by a semi that had nowhere to veer away to on the two-lane levy road.
Dumped by his owners, the boxer’s days were numbered anyway. Two months back the crippled shepherd running along, back and forth, day after day seemed to be searching frantically for his family. Maybe they had moved and decided he was expendable like an end table, or cost too much to feed, or was too big, or needed more attention than the family could spend, or maybe they just didn’t care. He was, after all, only a dog. Rex was smart, knew all of his commands and was really good with kids. They just knew he would, of course, acclimate to living in the wild in sub-degree weather, make pals with the coyotes, learn to hunt and live happily ever. Sure he would.
The two Chihuahuas had been great for making puppies for some back-yard breeder but now one was going blind and the other was becoming neurotic after years spent in a muck-infested wire cage. Out of uninspired laziness their human chose to toss them out on the highway. Literally, on the highway. In disbelief, a witness scooped up the pair and took them to a local rescue group.
It is a rare day when someone happens to arrive on-scene when a once-loved family member is tossed to the fates, left to linger alone and frightened. Dispensed like dirty water these creatures often die a horrific and wrongful death. Losing trust, they run from potential rescuers. Rex, who wagged his tail when his humans came home, now huddles in dismay wondering what he did wrong.
So, to all of you morons who choose to own man’s best friend for only the duration of convenience or monetary value, who just tossed out Rex on Highway 4 — let it be known that I utterly despise you.
There is no excuse that you could proffer that could ever convince me that a domesticated dog deserves such a dismissal.
With that said, here is a little girl who was sitting on the side of the road (way out in San Joaquin County Country on Highway 4 of course) just watching the traffic. Furless, crusty with mange, she smelled of dead fish. She walked right over as I bent down and rode in the car like a pro. A H.A.L.O foster volunteer bathed and medicated her daily, falling hopelessly in love with her.
Meet Lilly, dumped to die, she lives to love again.
Thank-you for letting me spill my guts about this.
Terri Courtney, Antioch
** You can find out more about Homeless Animals Lifeline Organization (H.A.L.O.) at http://www.eccchalo.org/
I’ll see you all when I get back on Dec. 17. /Gary