Picture of the month

Picture of the month
Life is circular

Saturday, February 10, 2007

"May I always strive to be the person my dogs think I am"

Brenda Crawford is a woman on a mission.She is one in a small but growing circle of animal rescuers.Every year thousands of perfectly healthy dogs are euthanized because their owners were either to lazy to research and inform themselves about the traits of the bred of their new cute puppy before buying it.Worst some just plain mistreat innocent animals.This is her story of love.

My name is Brenda Crawford and I turned sixty on Christmas Eve. I am looking forward to as one of the women at a local senior center in Oakland describes it as "the Second Spring" of my life. About a year ago I started working with a Terrier group.I am now a volunteer with Ratbone Rescue which is an organization that rescues Rat Terrier. This organization is made up of people who are dedicated to the breed and work to provide loving homes for dogs who have been neglected and abused.
I love the breed and I have rescued two.I recently got into agility training for my two adorable Rat Terriers.You get a physical workout designed to keep you healthy as you age..You can't beat it..best deal in town!!!
They are a source of unconditional love and Joy and in the top ten breeds in terms of their intellect. They are incredible smart and easy to train. They make wonderful fly ball, agility or just chasing a ball in the back yard or park dogs. Please think about adopting or fostering one of these wonderful little creatures.
Dogs are the greatest source of unconditional love known to human kind...If I had my way I would have people licensed, which means you would have to prove your worthiness in order to have one of these magnificent creatures in your life.
In my forty years of being an activists I have never done work that brings me the kind of joy that working with dogs does. There is nothing to compare with nursing a sick, abuse or abandon dog back to health and watching him/her become carefree as they run and play.
I ran across this poem recently which describes why I do this work and how important it is to get others involved. There are not a lot of black women or black folks in general who do this. In fact when I go to my rescue meeting I am often times the only black person in the room. However, the thrill and joy of giving an abandon and often abuse dog a second chance at happiness is one of the greatest joys that the universe provides for all of us.It's a shame that more people do not take advantage of it.Please consider adoptions or becoming a foster parent. These dogs are incredibly loving and intelligent creatures.I know some of you sisters have a lot of love to offer one of these magnificent little dogs (average weight is eighteen pounds).

My Foster Dog

My foster dog stinks to high heaven.
I don't know for sure what breed he is.
His eyes are blank and hard.
He won't let me pet him and growls when I reach for him.

He has ragged scars and crusty sores on his skin.
His nails are long and his teeth, which he showed me, are stained.
I sigh. I drove two hours for this.

I carefully maneuver him so that I can stuff him in the crate.
Then I heft the crate and put it in the car.
I am going home with my new foster dog.

At home I leave him in the crate till all the other dogs are in the yard.
I get him out of the crate and ask him if he wants "outside."
As I lead him to the door he hikes his leg on the wall and shows me his stained teeth again.

When we come in, he goes to the crate because that's the only safe place he sees.
I offer him food but he won't eat it if I look at him, so I turn my back.
When I come back, the food is gone.

I ask again about "outside."
When we come back, I pat him before I let him in the crate,The joy of not being in the tub and the joy of being clean.

I, the bath giver, am allowed to share the joy.
He comes to me and lets me pet him.

One week later I have a vet bill.
His skin is healing. He likes for me to pet him. I think.
I know what color he will be when his hair grows in.

I have found out he is terrified of other dogs.
So I carefully introduce him to my mildest four-legged brat.
It doesn't go well.

Two weeks later a new vet bill for an infection that was missed on the first visit.
He plays with the other dogs.

Three weeks later his coat shines, he has gained weight.
He shows his clean teeth when his tongue lolls out
after he plays chase in the yard with the gang.

His eyes are soft and filled with life.
He loves hugs and likes to show off his tricks, if you have the cheese.

Someone called today and asked about him,
they saw the picture I took the first week.
They asked about his personality, his history, his breed.
They asked if he was pretty. I asked them lots of questions.

I checked up on them.
I prayed.
I said yes.

When they saw him the first time they said
he was the most beautiful dog they had ever seen.

Six months later, I got a call from his new family.
He is wonderful, smart, well behaved, and very loving.

How could someone not want him?
I told them I didn't know.
He is beautiful.
They all are.

Take care.