You’re AXED

I got a cruelty case today that made me question my belief in humanity. It made me question my constitution as someone who witnesses cruelty to animals every single day.

It made me want to ask all humans these basic questions;

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If someone came at you with an axe, what would you do?

If someone did this to your face? What would you do?

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If you were a dog, would you love humans still?

Would you respond kindly to their touch?

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…and give kisses to the human cleaning your wounds?

What will it take for us humans to be more like animals?

To love completely?

To trust completely?

Will we always remain like this guy?

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Or will we become….their voice?

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So that the bad guy doesn’t win…

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Dogs are Cowards.

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“What is your first name?” The motel owner pointed to my name tag while playing with her dark yellow gold ear-ring.

“Inder. How long have the dogs been in the room, madam?” I jotted the details on my note-pad.

“I recognised your Kada. You’re a sikh.” She pointed at my iron bangle representing one of the 5 symbols of my religion.

I raised my eyebrows.

“5 days- he abandoned them 5 days ago.”

“Have you given them any water? Food?” I took down information of the renter.

“No sir, I’ve always been very scared of dogs. They bite.”

I thought to myself- so do most of us humans. They bite when they are scared or hurt. We bite because we like to play games.

“Our workers are very scared to even open the door.” She did the indian nod.

Gosh. Not a drop of water for 5 days and no food. I slid the card in the slot and entered the room. The brindle pitiful charged at me and then stopped.

Dogs are cowards.

Yes. Dogs are the biggest cowards in the world. They will achieve their goal using the minimum required force. They fake you out with their aggression and test its effect and then they wait. If you don’t flinch- they back off.

Always.

It never fails.

He recedes back on the bed where he has shredded newspapers, peed and pooped and made a royal mess. But its we, the humans who messed up their lives.

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I sit on the chair and turn on the TV.

The dog stops barking. Thats when I see the other black dog cowering under a sink. He’s protecting her. He comes toward me, unsure but calm now.

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The motel owner and his wife are staring wide-eyed through the window of the room.

I put some water in front of the dog. His tail starts wagging but he is unsure of drinking. I put water in front of the dog under the sink and she drinks right away. I caress her face. The brindle male starts drinking too.

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In less than 5 minutes, I’m their new best friend. They are licking my face.

In the next ten minutes they are on my truck and when I take his picture he makes this absolutely angelic face which says. I didn’t do anything back there. It wasn’t me.

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They are now at the shelter- in the same kennel. That’s the least I could do for them- to ensure they don’t feel even more abandoned; separated from each other.

So starts another vigil to find them a home- and this time hopefully together. The dogs don’t stop coming. The cruelty and abandonment and callousness never ceases to hurt my heart.

We humans are cowards too.

I was a coward for the longest time. Shutting my eyes to the plight of these animals.

I’m just trying my best to face up to the cruelty this world has inflicted on these animals now.

Just trying to NOT be a coward anymore.

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The Grandiose Hopes of a Road-Side Romeo

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As an A.C.O you get called out to some calls that make your head scratch and leave you in a desperate attempt to hold back your laughter.

A stray male Shih Tzu is reportedly digging under the fence of a homeowner and getting into the yard  in the hopes of impressing their dog.

This is the face of the Hapless Shit-Zhu

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And this is the pretty face of a fully grown female…

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This is the two of them together.

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Some GUYS JUST DON’T GET IT… She has barked at him and turned him down several times. Homeowner has blocked every dug-up pit with wood/stones and returned the dog to the street.

Doesn’t prevent this bugger from making new holes.

She is clearly wayyyyyyyyyyyyyy out of his league.

He’s a 1.5, she’s a 9 (at-least)

But he doesn’t get it.

As an A.C.O- I can’t laugh- but I really really really want to–

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Another one licks the dust … Pound for Pound

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Have you seen a big un’ go down? That’s what I did today.

NO, I didn’t kill any dog. It was a black and white coloured pit-bull that I tranquilized because he was being aggressive when I cornered him.

NO, I didn’t tranquilize him because he was aggressive but because he is a stray and not neutered. He must’ve been used to produce more pit-bull puppies to be sold for profit. These are the puppies that finally show-up back at the shelters as abused dogs and do end up on euthanasia lists.

So had him pegged with my catch-pole when he gave up the chase and I had to shoot 1cc Tranquilizer into his dense hind-leg-muscle.

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He stood there; defiant. The effect of the Curariform skeletal muscle relaxer was winning the battle. In a few minutes his anal gland released and urine dribbled down his leg, involuntarily. His front paw bent inward as he struggled to keep his eyes open.

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Then the drug started affecting his muscles and his trembling legs could no longer hold up his massive body and down he went like The Titanic.

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His big snout was on the ground and his heavy breath blew away blades of loose grass, he struggled to keep his eyes open. Five minutes later I realized my predicament of taking him to the truck by myself. The anesthetic would wear off in 15 minutes and I needed to secure the big-guy in the truck.

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At this point I had an audience of around 20 people. I wrapped my arms around his back, lacing my fingers around his chest and heaved him up in my arms and–, and…

–My eyes welled up. His body weight was about 80 pounds. It wasn’t the weight that hurt me but the fact that several years ago I used to lift another dog of the exact same weight.

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Speed. My Speedy; the big Doberman who was on the last stages of his joyful life. He suffered from Laryngeal Paralysis and on walks around the block he would have breathing episodes. I would carry him back to the house cradled like a baby and he would rest his muzzle on my shoulder. A part of me used to think he did it on purpose because he enjoyed those rides back. The wily old ba*****d.

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Here I was today carrying this dog to my truck 30 meters away, to the cheer of the audience. Some were concerned about the dog, some thanked me a few were angry.

But the giant pit-bull is safe. He’s at the shelter and is well-fed. I’ve taken him on several walks now and I can safely say we are friends from the way he wags his merry tail every time he sees me.

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Today my own Speedy would be smiling at me from somewhere behind the clouds for having picked another eighty pounder and given him a ride in my arms.

My chiropractor be happy too sending me bills- If I keep on doing this stuff.

Sophie’s Choice

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“Capture their spirit with your camera, Inder.” My Grandfather had a standard answer for why my pictures didn’t look as good as his, as he peered through his top drawer lens on his Rollie flex camera.

Thirty years later, here I am; prostrate in the grass of a Clear Lake, Texas home- waiting for the dog to show me her spirit. How do I capture her spirit , Grandpapa? The ten month old tan and white pit-bull lies on her back, limbs akimbo; silly as a tart, goofy as a ball of yarn. Her mud brown iris that encompasses her black pupil enlarges as she locks her gaze through the camera lens into my eyes.

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Wait a minute; that is her spirit; a goofball.

A few months ago Sophie lived by the railroad tracks and a church in the Wayside area of Houston, Texas. A shattered front leg caused her to limp up and down the tracks but when Joel: a local factory worker showed her some love –she warmed up to him right away.

Joel and his colleague Danny brought her food and water and one day they took Sophie to a local Vet’s office. Such is the level of Sophie’s trust for humans that she willingly jumped into their car. Struggling to make ends meet themselves, Joel and Danny did what they could to get Sophie the help she needed.

The Vet was certain that Sophie would’ve been raised to breed bait dogs or a puppy mill mama when she was old enough, so he spayed her right away. He thought, when she had broke her leg (abuse or accident), she was promptly abandoned; discarded like garbage. Now she needed surgery to be a 100% healthy again.

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But she already is a 100% dog and 200% a puppy. She’s playful, careless, energetic and often forgets that her leg hurts. After being rescued by S.A.V.E  rescue coalition, Angela placed her with a charming family of fosters. Here she thrives amongst two other dogs, two energetic young ladies and a loving couple. They frolic and play in the lawn all day- and when they are tired; they frolic some more. In a few short weeks she will get her surgery and fully recover from it.

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That is Sophie’s spirit. Despite having to endure pain and cruelty, abandonment and starvation- she hasn’t forgotten how to remain a silly-goofy-puppy.

She’s a hand-me-down dog. A Sophie who wasn’t given a choice but her choice is very clear. She chooses love over hatred, a string of a sweatshirt over a dog-fight.

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Anyone who allow themselves to be touched by Sophie’s soul will be a part of her loving choice. The question is – Do you choose Sophie to give you a chance at her life?

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