Helping Those in Need

Have you ever lost everything in a disaster? Fire? Or maybe you lost your job and what little assistance you could find didn’t cover your poor fury family members.

When you were hardest hit with nowhere to turn, down on your luck and by the grace of kindness from strangers, helped pick you up.

Would you like to return the favor but do not know of a group that helps?  Against Cruelty a 501C3 Organization that tries to help local communities in the New England area by keeping families together. They would rather help buy your animals food or help pay a vet bill than see your family torn apart because of a hardship.

Help us help others! Donate, volunteer or come join in one of our fundraisers.

http://www.againstcruelty.org

If your interested in joining our Bowl-a-thon contact Christine at office@againstcruelty.org or call 603-809-5116.

Thank You from the bottom of our hearts,

Against Cruelty

P.O. Box 1341

Merrimack, NH 03054

603-809-5116

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Compassion or Not, an Internal Debate

HS staff kennel euthinize wait

 

 

 

I have an internal debate that I hope all of you good people can help me resolve. I have had this internal debate going on for as long as I have worked with rescues and in the pet care field. A couple of recent events have stirred the turmoil into overdrive.

I have always tried not to judge the position of the people who have to euthanize animals to harshly because having worked with many of these people over the years I know that it is a very difficult job to do. Let me give a little background on what provoked this round of my internal debate so you can understand where I am coming from.

I have started taking a training course as a volunteer for Hospice, yes for people. As I already do Hospice care for animals taking care of people seems like it would be an easy transition but not the case. Actually I am partly doing this for those families that have animals that when they are caring for their loved one sometimes the furry family member gets forgotten. With the understanding I am leaving a lot of detail out about the reasons and purpose for me training to do this type of volunteer work, it is more the training exercise combined with the view of the people who has caused this turmoil. vet Don’t get me wrong the people are all wonderful and exceptional for doing this and I respect each and every one of them and their opinions. My problem remains to be my internal debate on whether or not there is a level of compassion for animals that are being euthanized in shelters or in vet offices and the level of “family” status they are given.

As I sat in training, we got into small groups and were asked to imagine we had a life threatening illness and talk about how we would want others to interact with us. Somehow my groups conversation went toward certain professions and how people perceive animals. Someone mentioned that a relative cries over the death of a pet but they cannot understand this because they are around it all the time and it is “JUST” an animal. I tried to explain that not everyone feels that way and most people see their furry four-legged pet as one of their children, a true part of their family and they become connected in a special way. This was met with a very dismissive response.

By the time I left training I was still trying to understand how anyone can be so uncaring even if they are trying to keep themselves removed from their job of euthanizing animals. By the time I came home for the day, I had a message from a representative for a rescue league. Without getting into the details of this situation (my apologies but I value the privacy of others), after speaking with the representative and hearing his compassion for the animals that he helps to rescue, the people he must take them from, the decision of which ones must be euthanized, and the choices he must make regarding the owners, I found myself reeling again due to my inner turmoil of how different individuals, but with similar positions have a different approach to their job and level of compassion.

animal control officerofficer rep for dog call If anyone can give me their insight and help me understand how ANYONE can say they like or love animals but euthanize them and say “it’s just an animal”? How can there be so little compassion in these professions? Don’t people take these positions to give compassion to the ones that need it most? Or do they REALLY take these jobs just to have a job?

Crazy Questions a Pet Sitter Needs To Ask

There are your standard questions that every pet sitter needs to ask before caring for your pet like do they have any allergies? or is your pet other pet friendly? However because of situations that may arise in our day to day adventures we may consider for the safety of you and the pet asking a few crazy and maybe bizarre questions.

1) Has your pet ever jumped out a window? Yes this may seem very odd but have you ever seen a dog like this Bermese Mountain Dog jump out of one of these Cabin Window better

2) Another question may be; does your pet swim? Now this is very important especially if the dog is elderly or just in the habit of darting straight for every body of water known to man.

3) Is your pet in the habit of eating even the smallest of road kill and what actions should you take?

4) Does your pet know or listen to ANY commands? This is very important to clarify especially when you are told they do know simple commands because when the pet is darting off to the body of water completely ignoring your every stay, sit, stop NOOOOOOO command and they are swimming out to where the boats go and you are fully clothed with no means of getting to them if there should be a problem.

5) Does your pet have any problems with a particular gender, color, type of clothing, hat or vehicle or other type of animal?

6) Does your pet experience any kind of anxiety when you leave?

7) Does your pet have an off button? This is essential especially if the pet likes to bark non stop when you arrive even in the middle of the night and the neighbor starts yelling to shut that thing up!

8) Does your pet like to use their paws and mouth for anything other than the obvious? When a large or small animal wraps themselves around one of your limbs and just hangs on and nibbles on you as you try to remove the dangling animal it is important to know how to detach them.

9) Is your pet in the habit of eating acorns? And if they make a meal of this despite your every effort of giving tasty foods what should you do so they do not become sick?

10) Does your pet know their name? Truly? This is important for both recall and locating the pet.

11) This one relates to the last question but in the event your pet likes to play hide and seek…. where would they hide? And yes will they come when called?

12) Does your VERY large pet have small dog syndrome? Do they believe that your lap will hold their entire body and ask what’s wrong with you when they don’t quite fit?

13) Is your pet into sneak attacks? This is very important so that we as pet sitters can be prepared for any leaps and bounds out of no where. It helps us stay on our feet not on our butts.

14) Is your pet in the habit of making chase at the site of anything in particular? Again this keeps us on our feet not being dragged up a hill like a rag doll.

15) Is it normal for your dog to climb things like a cat?

16) Does your pet know how to open doors?

17) Is there a particular ring tone for a phone that freaks your pet out? I do not recommend having the theme song for Nightmare Before Christmas……

18) Does your pet like to roll on their back even when up on a bed, sofa or sofa top where they forget that YES they will roll off and blame you for shoving them instead?

19) Does your pet know how to take a treat gently? And if they need reminding what is the catch phrase other than “g– D@#$ son *& a b*^#@!” ?

20) Does your pet have a habit of pouncing on your child’s ball and popping it freaking them out beyond consoling?

These may seem silly but put them in perspective, the basis of these questions may just save the pet you are watching or at the very least keep you from having heart failure.

A Life Beyond

A life beyond what? When I decided to write this particular article I wanted to write about Life Beyond Cushing’s. Instead as I started to think about the words I was about to write and re-write for the  fiftieth time I could only be angry and devastated because my whole life and my business is built on helping those in sickness and health and when it came to it, die with dignity.

But PLEASE explain to me HOW? How do you help one die with dignity when you are fighting a sickness that is so evil and vile that you have to look into your loved one’s eyes and tell her “I’m sorry baby I don’t know how to help you, please forgive me.”

As those of you who know for the last year I have been helping my poor baby girl Spirit fight a loosing battle against one of the worst diseases, Cushing’s. The brand in which my strong loving sweet little girl has been kicking the butt of, until this last week, is of the pituitary Gland at the base of her brain brand. We have fought weight gain, weight loss, hair loss, lesions, stomach upsets, lethargy and dementia. To watch my baby go from a happy loving dog to a lethargic, circle walking, senile basket case literally over night because this good for nothing disease decided that it was ok to let the tumor grow and put pressure where it does not belong.

We  and I mean myself, my children and Spirit’s daddy have sat back and each step of the way I worked at trying to be not only the buffer but the brick wall trying to keep everyone from feeling the heart wrenching pain of what Miss Spirit has been going through but also trying to be honest like when she was first diagnosed. Over and over I warned that what Spirit was going through was inoperable, we can not fix it because of where her tumor was. All we can do is make sure she does not suffer.

With each vet visit and each new blood test and each medicine adjustment and change I have watched not only what this cruel disease has done to my baby but I have watched what it has done to my family as well. When it comes down to a hospice care it becomes difficult for the loved ones not to be selfish.

When is the right time to say good-bye? You never ever want your loved one to suffer but you always question “will I have the strength to make the decision of whether my loved one has had enough?” and “when has my loved one had enough?” I am sitting in that very position now. Just when my baby stopped eating and I called the Dr. yet again for advice that I already knew the answer to but needed to confirm what I knew. Spirit again had an up, right from the lowest low I have seen. I looked into her face and asked her and myself “HOW? HOW can I make this decision when you play your London Bridge game? Your favorite game?” This is telling me Spirit has not given up yet. She bounced back like I have never expected. To see her eat like she did, act like she did, I wept for joy, but how many times is this enough, when does this become suffering?

After having been through this with many animals I let faith guide my decision and just hope and pray I never make the wrong one and if I do please, please let that little baby forgive me for being human and loving so much that for a brief moment I let my humanity get in the way of a difficult decision.

In conclusion let me say, always and I mean always be informed let your vet guide you and do not be afraid to have a second opinion but always keep your decision balanced between your head and your heart because your loved one maybe trying to be strong to make you happy but please do not let this keep you from making the hardest decision you have ever made by letting go. Hold in your heart their memory and remember each and every time they stopped and made you smell the roses.

For my SPIRIT and everyone else’s SPIRIT we love you!

Smelling the Roses

Loss of a Loved One

My family just lost a loved one suddenly and as anyone knows it is a difficult thing for many. Whether it is sudden or a long illness always take comfort in your family and friends.
Our loss was a beloved Aunt, Sister, Grandmother and friend. She was a kind and wonderful human being that was also an animal lover. Her cat did not out live her but there are times that your pets would out live you and I just want to place this thought to all of you.
Do you have something in place or someone who will care for your animals if you pass as sudden as my aunt? 
Please take a moment to look into the many options such as your will or a specific person or organization to care for the furry family that may lose you.

In loving memory to my dear Aunt Maureen forever in our hearts.