Thursday, July 30, 2009

No "Feel Good" Stories Here....(News)

The Humane Society of Missouri has issued an urgent call for help from rescue groups; animal behavior experts will soon begin assessing the more than 500 dogs seized from dogfighting operations across seven states.

So far, the humane society has heard from just over a dozen rescue groups willing to find homes for one or two dogs, but said more are needed. Animal groups say they haven’t had a crisis response of this magnitude since thousands of pets were dislocated in Hurricane Katrina.

“We’re going to need a whole lot of new friends to help the animals in this case,” said Debbie Hill, the Humane Society of Missouri’s vice president. “There are so many more in this unprecedented raid.”

The pit bulls’ seizure comes as U.S. shelters are inundated with abandoned dogs and cats, 3.7 million of which are euthanized each year because they can’t find homes.
The teams will analyze the dogs’ demeanor and spirit — are they aggressive, traumatized, shy or confident? Can they be socialized and trained, or are they too broken to repair? The Humane Society of Missouri will report the findings to the federal courts, which have the final say. Until then, the Missouri and Illinois dogs are being sheltered in St. Louis.

Few U.S. rescue groups are educated, committed and resourceful enough to take more than a handful of dogs, said Hill, who wants the best possible rescue groups, not the hobbyist who likes the pit bull breed, or a group inexperienced with fighting dogs.

Personal Comment: The above article from Times Union provides a tiny glimpse into the impact of dog fighting on our nation's animal shelters.

While most fighting pitbulls never make it to shelters (They either die in the fight rings or are maliciously killed by their owners) those confiscated in raids do end up in shelters, often to be "held" for periods of weeks or even months.

This results in countless other more "adoptable" dogs being killed for simple lack of cage space.

Moreover, even for those rare and "happy" stories of fighting pit bulls being rehabilitated and later adopted out, they too occur at the cost of other dogs lives.

For example, most of Michael Vick's dogs were rescued by Best Friends Animal Sanctuary with Vick forced to pick up the tab for their care and rehabilitation.

The 30 or so dogs required many months of work with special animal behaviorists, trainers and veterinery experts. One can only imagine the final costs for this venture.

While it sends an important message that fighting dogs CAN be rehabilitated and go on to make wonderful, loving pets (and in one case, even a therapy dog!) one has to wonder how many "regular" (non-fighting) dogs such monies and effort could have otherwise saved? Certainly, many more than 30.

The bottom line is that there are truly no "feel good stories" when the issue is dog fighting and its victims.

You see, the true victims of dog fighting are not just the pitbulls in the rings, but the communities where these atrocities occur, local animal shelters, overburdened rescues, overtaxed taxpayers (who pay for animal control) and quite literally, millions of other dogs -- like the one pictured above. -- PCA

Cotton Candy Press Conferances and Media/Organizational Sellouts (Reply)

AMBY111 Writes: Not only has the animal community failed to adequately address and confront this disgrace, but one major "animal welfare" organization is, in fact, embracing Vick. He is now an HSUS spokesman. Outrageous! Nathan Winograd posted a strong essay on his blog pointing out the hypocrisy and absurdity of such an association, likening it to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network having rapist Josef Fritzl as a spokesman. What kind of message does HSUS' endorsement of Vick send to the general public? If the country's largest animal welfare organization places such little value on the lives of the dogs Vick abused and killed, why should anyone else place any more value on them?

Reply: That is the salient question that gets to the heart of this issue.

Apparently, Politics -- and Animal Work sometimes makes strange bedfellows, doesn't it?

While it sometimes occurs that the greatest advocates for animals are those who have (on their own) reformed from histories of past abuse, this does not seem to be the case with Vick.

First of all, Vick did not experience some "epiphany" moment of enlightenment on his own, as sometimes occurs with ex-trappers, hunters, slaughterhouse workers or even the occasional vivisector.

Rather, Vick was unfortunate to get "caught" in the dirty deeds of dog fighting and all the attendant horrors that go along with it.

Therefore, when Vick speaks of "regret" it is not clear whether he regrets the abuse and killing of dogs or just getting caught. One unfortunately suspects the latter, as after all, Vick did have to pay dearly (mostly in the wallet) for his dastardly actions.

I have never seen or heard Vick utter a word of any true awareness, empathy or understanding for what he actually put countless dogs through and for others that he had killed.

Rather, Vick speaks in vague, mostly politically correct abstracts that no doubtedly came from the mouths of lawyers, advisors, agents or PR representatives.

His assurances of having "matured" bear no discernable evidence.

Where is the book recounting all Vicks past crimes or explaining to the public the true societal costs of dog fighting? Where is a video directed towards the estimated 40,000 dog fighters across the US?

If anyone has proof of any of these things actually existing, please share.

In the meantime, it seems you are absolutely correct in your assessment of this debacle. It is comparable to a rapist being hired as "spokeperson" for a women's protection organization.

What's more, with HSUS giving a stamp of approval to Vick, why wouldn't the NFL hire him back? Why wouldn't the rest of society say, "He's done his time so now we can invite him on The View or the Tonight Show!"

We should mostly be distraught with media. Media coverage of events molds the way people think on an issue. When this story first broke two years ago, there was extensive coverage of Vick's property, many of the scarred dogs confiscated and reports of the dead dogs dug up. As a result, thousands of letters were generated to NFL President, Roger Goodell, as well as protests against those companies then sponsoring Vick. None of that occurred this time.

The main reason it didn't occur now is because the "coverage" was only of Goodell's smaltzy press conference reinstating Vick to the NFL. There was little mention of dog fighting specifically or the number of dogs abused and/or killed by Vick. There has certainly been ZERO coverage of the horrendous impacts of dog fighting on our culture in general, nor the costs to taxpayers nor the abuse, overbreeding and daily killings of these mostly magnificent dogs.

When the media (and organizations like HSUS) present a false and saccharine picture (via PR "press releases") to the public then that is what the people believe. Unfortunately, there is an ocean's worth of difference between what's in a press release or (spoken at a press conference) and hard, brutal FACTS. The reporters didn't ask any hard questions of NFL President, Roger Goodell. They were like a bunch of pansies.

This issue is thus, once again wrapped up in cotton candy and swept under the rug. Most of Vick's dogs were rescued and rehabilitated, while incalculable numbers continue to be abused, killed in fight rings or by gunshot, electrocution, hangings, beatings or gassings or lethal injection in pounds. Most of the abusers go free. And the public is led to falsely believe (once again) that all problems have been "solved" because Vick did a little time and now says he's "sorry." (Man, put some whipped cream and a cherry on top of all that!)

The reason this is so distressing is because it is so symptomatic of the larger problems we face in animal work and quite frankly, many other important areas in our modern world.

Our efforts to bring truth and fact to the public once again get swept up in a tidal wave of "PR bullshit" and media and/or organizational sellouts.

We should all take time to write our local newspapers to express our disdane with their anemic coverage of this event and total lack of coverage to the overall issue.

Dog fighting is not something to be glossed over and "forgiven" with lollipop press conferences and "Welcome Back!" signs -- PCA


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

For Shame -- Reply -- (New York City)

In a message dated 7/28/2009 9:58:11 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, xxxxxxx writes:
Goodell seems to have this "he paid his debt to society" idea of redemption

You're right. Everyone seems to think this, including major media and the dead brains on "The View."
No one of course is talking specifically of what Vick did. ABC News referred to the "few dogs" confiscated from Vicks property (it was more than 30) and no one talked about the 8 dead dogs dug up, all of whom had been violently tortured and killed.

Most people when they are released from jail leave with nothing. No money. No job. No counseling. No prospects. Usually, it is very difficult for them to find any job -- let alone one where they can serve as role models for kids and potentially make millions of dollars.

I think it is generally felt that ex-cons have to earn their way back to a respectable place in society -- "prove" that they in fact have found redemption (if indeed, that is true.)

So, why aren't these things true for Vick?

What does Vick have to show or prove? That he can still throw a football? Why should we believe he feels any remorse for his despicable acts or has found any kind of redemption? Because his PR representative or lawyer advises him to say he's sorry or has "matured?"

You and I both know this is pure bullshit.

The other day you talked about another football player who accidentally killed someone while driving drunk. While it seems only right such person should serve some jail time, it is also true that such act was not intentionally malicious, violent or premeditated. It can be presumed that this individual would feel deep remorse after such unintended tragedy and thus would not
represent further threat to society.

Why should we think the same about Vick?

His actions were cruel, sadistic, violent and intentionally malicious. They were fully intended to cause harm, injury and even death to other living beings.

Now, of course some will argue that dogs aren't humans and therefore, "don't count."

But, such argument totally ignores the fact that dog fighting is almost always linked with other crimes that do in fact, threaten and HARM PEOPLE (drug dealing, weapons possession and gang activities). Dog fighting, when present in a neighborhood, brings down the neighborhood and brings violence to it. That is fact.

Moreover, as said yesterday, our entire society, most notably taxpayers PAYS for the scourge of dog-fighting as represented by the millions of dollars it requires to bust up fighting rings, confiscate and impound the dogs and eventually kill them. That doesn't even take into the account the millions of "excess pitbull offspring" filling up our animal shelters and "Euth lists."

I understand the shallowness of modern media and its seeming unwillingness to investigate and actually report ALL THE FACTS. But, what exactly is Goodell's excuse? Should it not have been HIS responsibility to look into the facts of this horror and make a wise decision that takes into account all of the things in this letter, as well as maintaining the so-called "standards" of his sport -- football?

I will tell you this: While not an avid football fan, I have, over the years watched numerous games, enjoyed the sport and even attended a live football game.

But, I have now lost ALL respect for the sport. Any "sport" that welcomes back the likes of Michael Vick has lost me forever. (What and who else is college or professional football nurturing and protecting?)

If I have to think of any sport harboring and rewarding thugs, criminals and psychopaths, it is not something I would ever enjoy, partake in or respect.

Shame on Goodell. Shame on the major media. Shame on the animal community that so far is failing to adequately address and confront this disgrace. And shame on all those "football lovers" who continue to support a sport that has demonstrated its total lack of "standards," as well as human decency.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Michael Vick and the Scourge of Dog Fighting (New York City)

Reported yesterday (7-27) is that Michael Vick has been reinstated to the NFL.

The head of the NFL, Roger Goodell talked about the "high standards" of the NFL.

What "standards?"

In welcoming back Vick, the NFL demonstrates it has NO standards at all.

Michael Vick is a man who, with full knowledge and INTENT willfully broke local and federal laws, abused and brutally killed multiple dogs.

More than 30 "fighting" Pitbulls were confiscated from Vick's property. Numerous dead dogs were dug up, including at least one who was beaten to death and others killed by gun shot or hanging.

Vick was convicted of multiple counts of animal cruelty.

The slap on the wrist for these violent crimes as represented by less than two years in jail and now "reinstatement" to the NFL where Vick can again make millions of dollars if signed by one of the teams is a spit in the face to both the laws supposedly governing this country as well as all values and ethics of human decency.

Any NFL football team callous and ignorant enough to sign Michael Vick needs to be boycotted and letters should be sent to the President of the NFL, Roger Goodell asking exactly what "high standards" he refers to when talking of the NFL on one hand while announcing the league "reinstating" a convicted and violent criminal on the other.

What next for the "high standard" NFL? Reinstatement of convicted rapists or even murderers? Why not put out a "Welcome" mat for OJ Simpson?

What most people don't realize is that the scourge of dog fighting has permeated almost all areas of the country and results each year in the confiscation, impoundment, "holding" (for legal purposes) and (usually) eventual euthanasia of thousands of pitbulls. Moreover, this overproduction of a particular breed of dog for purely abusive purposes costs taxpayers millions of dollars annually -- not only for those dogs actually abused and confiscated in the fight rings, but ALSO for the excess (non-fighting) offspring usually cast off into the communities.

More than 80% for example, of all dogs entering New York City shelters are either purebred Pitbulls or Pitbull mixes.

As long as dog fighting continues to flourish in our country, unabated, there is not ONE city, town or community that can hope to ever become "no kill" of shelter animals while ignoring what appears to be the main source for most shelter dogs.

Obviously, the term, "high standards" means NOTHING to the NFL, other than empty, totally meaningless words.

What a pity for the kids growing up in this country and looking up to so-called, "sports heros" as role models.

-- PCA

Friday, July 24, 2009

Doing the Right Thing -- (Reply) - New York City

(Picture Left: --Napoleon...Just another Pittie on the shelter Euth list. But, what was Napoleon's ticket out? "Loves, men, women, kids, dogs and CATS!" That, and someone willing to Napoleon him a second chance!)

Amby111 Writes: I hope Yani finds her way out of the shelter. As Patty alluded to, I bet the Yorkie is already with a rescue group. Personally, I don't place anymore value on the life of a purebred Yorkie than a "throwaway" like Yani, and it is distressing that people get so worked up over one little dog (not that she doesn't deserve rescue), when so many other nameless, faceless animals die without any acknowledgement whatsoever. Imagine a world where humans valued all animals--cats, dogs, purebred or not--such that finding ANY loving animal in a municipal shelter would be like "winning the lottery." Reply: Wonderfully said and 100% true.

REPLY: Although I am probably one of the biggest critics of the "general public," we have to acknowledge how many in the animal community inadvertantly contribute to people's seeming "pickiness" these days. We are forever advising members of the public on choosing the "right" cat or dog for the home. We promote various "breeds" (for example, "Labradoodles are good for people with allergies!" which happens to be mostly untrue). We advise people to get kittens and puppies over adult animals. We tell people the "signs" to look for in a potentially adoptable pet.

When I use the term, "we" I am referring mostly to so-called experts who are, in many cases, no more "expert" than you or me.

But, as anyone who really knows animals and people is aware, the success or failure of any animal placement depends more on the energy and vibe of the people and how well they relate to the animal and vice versa, than it does on any particular breed or even age of the animal.

While it is true that age of dog or cat can be important if we are talking about early socialization of animals, the fact is that most dogs and cats in shelters have previously been in homes and have known early socialization and handling with humans.

As far as those animals who have been neglected or abused in previous homes, while it may take them a while to adjust to new and different situations and people, they don't live in the past, as some people might do.

Animals live for and respond to the moment. They don't worry over the future and they don't lament the past.

Therefore, any person can walk into any shelter and (putting aside considerations for certain breeds of dogs exercise needs) take home almost any dog or cat and depending on the patience, awareness and state of mind of the human, have the adoption succeed or fail accordingly.

"Happy" animal placements have far more to do with the people acquiring the animals than it does the individual pets. Animals are remarkable in their abilities to adapt to many different situations and people. Unfortunately, I don't think we can quite say the same for our own species.

Finally, I don't often have good news recently, but there is good news for both, Yani and June. Both dogs have gone to rescue.

How ironic that a bullet was actually instrumental in helping to save Yani's life!

Meanwhile, I got another very lucky (Euth List) Pitbull out to a foster home yesterday. "Napoleon" is a fantastically loving, 4-year-old, Pittie who was given up by his family due to the new and harsh rules in NYC housing pertaining to dogs over 30 lbs. His former owners claimed Napoleon even loves cats!

So, yes there are still the miracles out there.

But, as you point out, there could be so many more if only people just leave their pre-conceived notions at home and simply open their eyes to the dog or cat who truly needs them.

Those are the ones who most deeply appreciate and reciprocate loving care and treatment -- or, to put it another way:

"Its not a matter of finding the 'right' cat or dog as much as simply doing the right thing!" -- PCA

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Welcome to the Wild, Wild West of New York City! (Reply)

(Picture Left: Yani. 6-year-old "Throwaway Mama Pitbull" arriving at city pound after being shot in the leg. Can a bullet ironically be the thing to save Yani from the usual fate for Pitbulls? -- Unlikely, but possible)

In a message dated 7/21/2009 6:05:32 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, Ulysses writes:
The man is a fool. Finding a dog like June in a municipal shelter is like winning the lottery. She is too good for him and deserves a better home. It shouldn't be hard to find someone to love a cutie like her.

REPLY: I imagine another rescue took June. As you point out, dogs like June are a rarity in municipal shelters. Most rescues scramble to seek them out. The only reason I jumped on June's case, was I thought I had a great potential home for her. It would have been nice for her to go directly into a home following immediate medical treatment, as opposed to sitting in a cage at a vet, boarding facility or shelter. But, I guess June wasn't "perfect" enough due to the cruel treatment of her former human owner.

I love the way people tend to hold the animals responsible for the rotten actions and behavior of our own species.

Speaking of rotten -- or, more accurately, criminal human behavior, the shelter sent out a whole bunch of "Alerts" yesterday.

One of them is for "Yani," a 6-year-old Pitbull who arrived at the shelter as a "stray" after being shot in the front leg.

Welcome to the Wild, Wild West of New York City!

But, its unlikely the rescues will be scrambling to rescue this "Throwaway Mama" Pitbull.

Yani is just one of hundreds of Pitties that routinely come into this shelter on a weekly basis.

"Use, abuse and lose" seems to be the human attitude displayed towards these people-loving dogs.

"Breed 'em, breed 'em, breed 'em." Or, "Fight em, fight em, fight em."

But, in some cases, the people shoot the Pitties, too.

Like Yani.

But, this is something no one likes to talk about.

Below is the write up that just went out on Yani.

The shelter is at least making an effort for her.

But, with all the healthy and loving Pitbulls going down everyday without rescue being able to take or place them, this particular "Alert" is more like a Hail Mary pass.

Will a bullet ironically be the thing that actually saves Yani from the usual fate for Pitbulls?

Who knows?

I just know that as we are scrambling to save two healthy Pitbulls from the shelter right now and still have three in boarding, it is not an option for us to call on her.

But, at least to share her "story" here (emphasis supplied):

Yani # 821203
6 yr old female
Weight: 39lbs

Was brought into facility with wound/gun shot to right paw, was not tranquilized;
Alert,responsive and hydrated
Right paw injured due to gun shot wound, bleeding profusely and swollen ,possibly broken.
Was given:5cc of Buprenorphine
Wound was cleaned and bandage by Dvm
All nipples are very enlarged

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Seeking Prince (or Princess) Charming! (New York City)

(Picture Left: "June" -- A sweet, little Yorkie who thus far seems to know only cruelty and callousness from humans. -- Not "perfect" enough.)

In case anyone is wondering why I haven't been posting in this journal lately, the below email exchanges might hold some clues.

These came directly on the heels of a rather unpleasant experience with a "great" potential home for a dog, that in fact turned into something else.

A man in his 50's called last week saying he and his wife had just lost their Maltese dog of 16 years and were seeking either a Maltese or Yorkshire Terrier. The dog would have to be sweet and loving, under ten pounds and no more than five years of age.

Although telling this gentleman that such dogs don't arrive at shelters every day of the week, I promised nevertheless to keep my eyes open for him and his wife and call them if such dog came into our city shelter.

The following day, the Animal Control shelter in Manhattan sent out an "ALERT" on a tiny, 4 lb Yorkie named, "June" (only about two years of age) that arrived at the shelter with a broken leg after being thrown out of a car. (Picture above.)

I called the Yorkie-seeking gentleman and told him about the dog. I informed him I was willing to go half with him and his wife on veterinary costs for the dog if the couple were willing to take in and foster the sweet and beautiful looking purebred dog.

The man conferred with his wife for a few minutes and then returned to me on the phone.

"I don't think we want to take on a dog with a medical issue."

"Medical issue?" I questioned incredulously. "The dog doesn't have a medical issue! She was cruelly thrown out of a car and sustained an injury. An injury that is TREATABLE. You called and requested a young, affectionate and tiny Yorkie. Then, when I call you back when your dream dog comes into a shelter, you say you don't want to take her on because she might need a cast for a few weeks? Unbelievable! You have no empathy or mercy -- even for a dog you say you wanted! -- HAVE A NICE DAY!"

A few hours following this unpleasant exchange, I engaged over two days time with someone on an animal email list about seeking "dream" dogs (below)

"Fiddling While Rome Burns" indeed!

In a message dated 7/18/2009 9:20:43 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, xxxxx writes:
If you know any therapy dog whose human guardian has to give him/her up, let me know. I have a great home for one.

LOL!!! No, but I sure know of almost all "pet seeking" people these days demanding either "therapy" or in all other ways, perfect dogs.

Unfortunately, all of the dogs we have -- like people known -- have flaws.


In a message dated 7/19/2009 1:10:14 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, xxxxxx writes:
The person seeking this "pet therapy" dog is a former fundraiser for MSPCA and worked with Cleveland Amory. She now volunteers for the Berkshire Humane Society and got excellent reference from them and the vet we called.

All the more outrageous, in that case!
I presumed the seeker was just another naive and mislead member of the public.
If this individual works in the animal field, then why couldn't S/HE be capable of training a dog for "therapy work?" S/he expects shelters or rescuers to do this for her/him??
Moreover, anyone familiar with shelters or rescues KNOWS that these agencies are not being flooded with former "therapy dogs." Any person who puts the time, energy and money into training a dog for special work and getting the animal certified is NOT dumping the dog in a pound or "looking to give him/her up!"
Quite the contrary!
Most animals arriving at shelters are abandoned because former owners aren't willing (or able) to do ANYTHING with them, such as neutering, grooming, vetting, training or even in some cases, changing a collar!
You say this person "volunteers" for a Humane Society?
How many dogs does this individual see coming through the shelter every week? Dozens? Hundreds? If a kill shelter, how many dogs does s/he see getting "euthanized" every week?
And yet, NONE are "good enough" for her?
Oh, I am so glad this person didn't call me. I would be fit to be tied!
Tell this person the real world doesn't operate like, "From Underdog to Wonderdog."
No, we don't program dogs and turn them into breathing, stuffed toys. Nor, do we send "carpenters" to adopters homes to fix up their yards and NO, we don't turn neglected dogs into "therapy dogs."
This person wants a "therapy dog?" Let her take home one of the dogs from HER SHELTER and WORK with him/her (OR HIRE A TRAINER) to make that happen. -- Just like a few of my past adopters have done with THEIR adopted dogs.

Smoke comin' out of my ears on this one!


In a message dated 7/20/2009 9:11:30 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, xxxxxxx writes:
But good homes, as you know are very rare, and I beg to differ with you on this one point -- this is a good home.

Actually, I disagree. "Homes" like the one you posted here are a dime a dozen. I get calls like these everyday. Sure, the people might represent great homes -- but ONLY IF the "right" dog is there for them.
What is the "right" dog?
Well, were we talking of humans, the "right" one would be Prince Charming, the knight on the white horse or the Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover model.
And just like humans who seek these archetypes as their "dream mates" and usually end up grumpy old bachelors, old maids or multi-divorced.
I bet if you question this "great home" you will find s/he has been seeking the perfect "therapy" dog (i.e. Prince Charming) a very long time.
Meanwhile, thousands of loving, but flawed dogs die in shelters (nationwide) everyday and hundreds more wallow in boarding facilities.
What's wrong with this picture?
How about calling it, "Fiddling While Rome Burns" which is exactly what I think you should say to this person.
Wave a magic wand and tell her to click her heels three times.


Sunday, July 12, 2009

"Dumb Blondes" -- Both, Canine and Human

(Picture Left -- Chance -- marking territory and Tina, forever, "checking out.")

Early yesterday morning, I took my two worthless dogs to Central Park and this time, they truly earned the title of "worthless!"

It was "off leash" hours. I made the mistake of letting both Tina and Chance off leash and at one point, the "perfect storm" seemed to occur.

There were many people and dogs in the park. Chance (my Pomeranian) was running ahead of me and apparently lost me. He then took off in one direction "looking" for me.

Meanwhile, my scatterbrained, Cogie mix, Tina took off in the opposite direction.

Okay. Picture this:

Dumb blonde standing in the middle of the path that goes around the Great Lawn calling to two ( dumb blonde) dogs, both running in opposite directions (sort of like one watching a tennis match.)

A couple of people tried to help.

"Which way did your dog go?"

"Well, one went this way and the other one went that way."

The people shook their heads and carried on. Who wants to get involved with nut jobs (or dumb blondes, both canine and human) before 9AM on a Saturday morning?

Yelling at the top of my lungs, I was able to finally call Chance back to me.

But, by then I had lost sight of Tina!

I took Puppy Boy (Chance's alternate, pet name) running to where I had last seen Tina.....heading towards the little deck by Turtle pond.

I was hoping a couple of ducks might keep her interest.

But, when we got to the deck, Tina was nowhere to be seen!

Oh, God, what an awful feeling!

A crowded park....many dogs off leash, many small winding paths leading away from the Great Lawn. And my crazy 13-year-old dog nowhere to be found!

Trying not to panic, I rushed with Chance trotting by my side around the main path calling and looking for any signs of Tina. I asked passers-by if they saw a "Corgie Mix" but with so many dogs off leash, no one had noticed Tina.

This went on for more than 20 minutes with all kinds of horrible images invading my brain.

Tina getting out of the park and running into an oncoming bus. Tina panicking and having a heart attack. (Of course Tina has never "panicked" at anything, but in that situation one doesn't think rationally.) Tina ending back in the pound.

Chance was struggling to keep up with me as we had already been in the park almost two hours. He was obviously tired, but we had to keep going.......

And then, finally in the far distance, I could make out Tina casually sauntering around the Delacourt outdoor theatre. She did not appear the least bit "panicked."

I ran, screaming out her name.

But, only when getting within 40 yards or so, did Tina finally look up and catch my eye.

"Oh, its you.....OK....whatever."

"TINA!!!!! COME!!!" "NOW!"

But, alas, Tina was in no hurry.

Nope. She just continued to sniff the ground and curiously check out her new surroundings. She casually greeted a couple of people.

I wanted to kill her!!!

Poor Puppy Boy was out of breath and panting heavily by the time we finally reached Tina.

I clipped her leash on and said.

"Well, gal, I hope you enjoyed that little adventure. Because its the last time you are ever going off leash again!"

It was after 9AM by the time I finally made it home with the two "worthless" dogs.

I felt as though I had just ran a marathon.

The stress of thinking I had lost my dog and all the horrible possibilities that might have ensued -- along of course, with all the running and yelling left me feeling as though I'd been run over by a truck.

But, Tina was no worse for the wear.

In fact, I had to practically drag her into my apartment building!

She was all set for a new adventure!

Well, not anytime soon. -- PCA