I was going to start off this post with the obligatory Wayside Waifs CD update. Then I saw that this is actually my 100th post, and I thought I should make it something just a little extra special. So, for the little something extra, I thought I would offer a coupon code for the Wayside Waifs CD!
If you order the CD (the physical copy only) you can save $3.00 by entering the code ChristmasPup when checking out. Shipping and handling rates will still be calculated, and the offer remains for the bonus disc of outtakes to be added to your order if you donate an extra $5.00 for the cause.
The coupon code Christmas Pup EXPIRES 12-31-08.
And I realize the economy is in the ditch right now. I get that money is tight, and all of us have trimmed our wish lists and we're cutting back as best we can. But please consider making a donation to Wayside Waifs by ordering this CD. The economy is hitting the animal shelters hard, and I know there are a lot of shelters out there to donate to and you are wondering, "Why should I donate to this one?" I can't say this shelter is better than any other shelter out there, or more worthy of your donation over another shelter, but you do get a CD of pretty darn good music in exchange for your donation. I've checked around to some other places...places like public radio fund drives that would want you to donate a hundred dollars or more to get the "premium" gift of a CD. Here all you have to do is donate the amount of money it takes an average person to eat out once. And your donation at the shelter will go further than money you could spend on elsewhere, and you get that CD on top of it. Sounds like a win/win situation to me.
Friday night I was driving home from work and I saw something that just devastated me. I was driving through this park and I thought I saw a deer at first in the middle of the road. It turned out it was a German Shepherd. It looked like a pure bred dog. No collar, and I think it was a girl. Her belly was all dirty and look liked she got wet and muddy, and she was just barely moving. Standing, but really not in a hurry to move. I stopped my car because she was right in the middle of the street. She looked at me with the saddest eyes and all I could do was race through my mind what it might mean if I picked the dog up. I have a one bedroom apartment, and a lease that allows me only one pet, and even the shelter I know of will only take in surrendered animals a couple times a week on a by appointment basis only. Like the priest and levite that walked by the robbed man in the Biblical parable, I felt at the time my only choice was to honk my horn to scare the dog off the street, and hope that the dog would be spared the fate of being struck dead.
I wanted to help...I wanted to live up to the words of my own CD and help those who cannot help themselves, and if I had a house and the freedom to have more than one dog, absolutely, I would have picked the dog up.
She just ambled to the side and walked along side my car. I was going to see if she was by my door wanting in. She just kept on walking to the side of the road then walked in front of the car behind me and was in the middle of the road again.
My heart just broke for this dog. I am sure you can imagine. But despite all my impulses to open the door and get the dog in my car, there is nothing I could really do for the dog once I had her. Take her home, sure, but I can't have another dog here and there's no collar so it's not like I could call a number on the rabies tag to help track down the owner. So I had to just drive away, wanting to turn around with each passing revolution of my tires as I distanced myself from the park.
And all I could think of was that dog was probably dropped off there and probably waiting in the street for their owners to come back and pick them up. Surely this was a mistake. The people she loved all her life and devoted herself to couldn't just leave her out here in the middle of nowhere, could they? Not on what's going to be the coldest weekend of the season so far. If she stands there her owners will come back, and take her home, give her a bath, feed her and love her all the more. They will realize their mistake and that they forgot their beloved dog there. Right?
Except that people are assholes and this is the thanks a dog gets for a life time of devotion.
I did go back, figuring if I could just get the dog I could hope doors would open up for me to help the dog. Or, if this was a case where the dog was too far gone health wise and the decision had to be made to put the dog down, then at the very least I could provide the dog with a warm and loving home for the last days of her life, something her previous owners could not see themselves to do.
I was frightened and anxious as I drove back to the park, expecting to see the dog's dead body in the road or off to the side because somebody didn't even have the patience to stop and honk their horn. But the dog was nowhere to be found. And I looked and looked, even driving down some other side streets in the event the dog wandered down one of those roads. The dog was not to be found.
So I can only hope and pray that the dog was picked up by somebody with a house and the means to help them. I can only hope that dog is going to have a warm home with love for the holiday.
As for what I wish for the owner(s) that dumped the dog off...well, we have to turn the other cheek, I suppose, but that's easier said than done when you see something like this.
So is your donation for this CD going to give that dog a home? No. There will always be assholes dumping their dogs off in the middle of winter, leaving for them done when all the crime the dog could have committed is being a dog. No, your donation won't stop any of that. Nor would it help if I could sell a thousand copies of the CD. But it WILL help the dogs already in the shelter, so perhaps the shelter can be more free to open their doors to dogs like that and people like me won't have to contemplate the measure of help I can find for them when the economy is tight.
So, please, use the coupon code and order your CD today. And remember that you can adjust the total of the amount you wish to donate if you wish to donate more than the suggested amount.
I will leave you with this:
CHRISTMAS AT THE SHELTER
'Tis the night before Christmas and all through the town,
every shelter is full - we are lost but not found,
Our numbers are hung on our kennels so bare,
we hope every minute that someone will care.
They'll come to adopt us and give us the call,
Come here, Max and Sparkie - come fetch your new ball!
But now we sit here and think of the days..
we were treated so fondly - we had cute, baby ways.
Once we were little, then we grew and we grew -
now we're no longer young and we're no longer new.
So out the back door we were thrown like the trash,
they reacted so quickly - why were they so rash?
We jump on the children, don't come when they call,
we bark when they leave us, climb over the wall.
We should have been neutered, we should have been spayed,
now we suffer the consequence of the errors THEY made.
If only they'd trained us, if only we knew...
we'd have done what they asked us and worshiped them too.
We were left in the backyard, or worse -left to roam-
now we're tired and lonely and out of a home
They dropped us off here and they kissed us good-bye...
"Maybe someone else will give you a try."
So now here we are, all confused and alone...
in a shelter with others who long for a home.
The kind workers come through with a meal and a pat,
with so many to care for, they can't stay to chat,
They move to the next kennel, giving each of us cheer...
we know that they wonder how long we'll be here.
We lay down to sleep and sweet dreams fill our heads..
of a home filled with love and our own cozy beds.
Then we wake to see sad eyes, brimming with tears --
our friends filled with emptiness, worry, and fear.
If you can't adopt us and there's no room at the Inn --
could you help with the bills and fill our food bin?
We count on your kindness each day of the year --
can you give more than hope to everyone here?
Please make a donation to pay for the heat...
and help get us something special to eat.
The shelter that cares for us wants us to live,
and more of us will, if more people will give