Thursday, April 17, 2008

Gays Love Dogs

The blog today is brought to you by the fact that I love my dog.  

I also just saw a very disturbing episode of OPRAH about puppy farms, shelters and the plight of our little buddies in America (the most upsetting scene was a dog being euthanized then stuffed into a black sack followed by a shot of about 50 small black garbage bags being dumped in a garbage truck, to be sent with the rest of the garbage to the dump.) Oprah cried. I cried. Oprah went on to say that during that shoot, 3 of her crew members rescued dogs that otherwise would have been killed. That is how deeply moved they were.

Oprah's people actually went to the same Los Angeles pound where I got my dog Charlie!  I remember that place very well, since I was there for four hours a day for three days before picking my little housemate.  The entire time I was there, only two people came in to adopt dogs. Meanwhile, a lot of dogs disappeared from their cages, including Charlie's cell mate, a rottie. 

The ASPCA estimates 2 million dogs get put to sleep a year in the US.  It averages out to 5,000 a day and that's one every 16 seconds.

When I look down at Charlie's big brown eyes, I really can't say I saved her as much as she saved me.  Here is this lovely, sensitive, playful creature bringing good energy and love every day to my life.  This same sentient soul who brings me such pure joy was just - essentially - a throwaway of our society.

I'm an atheist, but I have a really hard time understanding how anyone can stand for this blatant disregard for one of "god's creatures".  

The only reason there are any domestic dogs and cats in this country is just for us - for our companionship and for work.  

That's it.  That's why they're here.  So why can't we take responsibility for this instead of having such a reckless disregard for life.  It's really just shockingly selfish and it hurts the soul of our nation.  I'm ashamed of us.

I'm so grateful for all the wonderful rescue organizations, and I'm hoping we can have stronger laws requiring spay/neutering.  Puppy mills should be outlawed. Currently, they fall under the jurisdiction of the USDA, under livestock. 

I hope if you're reading this, you'll chose to go to a rescue organization to get your best friend. Do not EVER buy from a pet store. You can even get pure breds from rescue orgs, if that's the way you roll. Let me just say this about mutts, though - they live longer and you have a lesser chance of any pesky health issues associated with inbreeding. I've had Charlie 6 years and she has not been sick once. No skin conditions, no eye conditions, no breathing problems. Also, mutts live longer! The average age of a pure bred is 12, while mutts can live to be 20.

I got my dog full grown, dirty and scared in a cage in South LA.  It took about 5 baths to get the filth off, and about 3 months for her fear of people to wane. Today, she is profoundly sweet, healthy, happy, loves swimming and playing with dogs as well as little kids (I live next door to an elementary school, and she loves walking when the kids are getting dropped off so she can get tiny free pets).  It never ceases to amaze me how smart she is and how sensitive she is to people. She even starred in a movie (SHELTER - she had an "in' with the producer)!

I know many of my gay brothers and sisters also love the pooch.  So I'm dedicated this blog to them.

The following pooches belong to the following stars.  See if you can guess who belongs to whom.

Charlie and Hank

Here's the trailer for the show Oprah did on Puppy Mills and Shelters.

5 pithy remarks. Click here to Comment:

Minnie-sota said...

I love dogs but it is difficult for to me to care for one so I have a cat. I deliberately adopted an older cat from a local shelter (La Abeja Kitty) because so many people want kittens and older cats are left wanting homes. Your dog sounds very sweet. :-)

Michelle said...

I'm really glad you wrote this - and I do love my pup! I don't think I could have watched the Oprah show...but it's all stuff I know and preach and live, now that I know what these little creatures mean to me, and all of us.

The thing I really worry about is all the young "starlets" in Hollywood who don't know about puppy mills, etc - and who buy their puppies online or from pet stores -- young people read about this and think it's OK - puppy mills raise the prices of their so-called "purebred" pups and ignorant folks buy them. There really should be a good campaign in Hollywood to raise awareness - I think there is some, but there can always be more.
Anyway - my 2cents (adjusted for inflation!)

JD said...

Although I didn't cover cats in shelters, they are and have always been killed at a higher rate.

JD said...

Yeah, you don't know how much it really disgusts me when someone shows me their new dog on an iphone and it's a pure bred. I realize it's just because they don't know.

On the other hand, I've seen tons of real stars at the park with mutts. You can always tell the cool people because they have adorable mixed breed shelter dogs.

Anonymous said...

Dogs keep people grounded. You learn to care for another and adjust to the fact that it's not all about you. It's about caring for others, as well.