For “Lucy” R.I.P. (and others like her) by Anyaa McAndrew

Posted on Saturday 30 April 2016

Best Lucy and Winston

In the past several months I have been feeling more deeply than usual about animals.  Sweet dear innocent animals, those that have been companions to my friends, have been leaving. Every time it happens, I drop into grief. I grieve for my friend and his or her loss, and then I remember the loss of my closest friend in the world, Miss Lily, an extraordinary Westie dog, who left me at 15 years old, about 7 years ago.  That loss was the hardest I have ever experienced, because I gave her the gift of euthanizing her when it was her time to go, and it was an excruciatingly painful act. I miss her terribly, and I often think about seeing her again in another world. Now I have 2 cats rescued from shelters, and 3 dogs, one rescued by a rescue group, one we rescued from an ad on freecycle.com, and one inherited by my stepfather who died. My ex-partner has the last one.

Once I tap into that grief, it blends into the losses of life in general, the disintegration of our planet, and loss of countless animal and human lives each and every day, including 200 species a day going away. After all of that, it becomes easier to also grieve the recent loss of my relationship, a marriage of 5 and a half years, and a relationship of 9+ years.

Clearly, I have a strong empathic relationship with the animal world, especially the plight and circumstances of companion animals. Once a few years ago, I spent several months volunteering at a cat shelter, brushing and talking to 70-80 cats once a month or so, just to move beyond my over-sensitivity to their plight of being abandoned or dumped or abused by the people in their lives. I never made it to volunteer at the local animal shelter (which is a kill shelter) because I did not have the courage. I still don’t.

About 10 days ago, 2 sweet small elderly dogs were dumped near the entrance to our community. Three of us took responsibility for them and they stayed in a wood shed for several days. We got them bathed, and fed them, and spent some time with them. I named the girl-dog Lucy, because she looked like my sister’s family dog from the past. The boy-dog we named Winston. We had concern for their health because Winston has some tumors on his body, and Lucy was shaky, weak and possibly vomiting with diarrhea. We all tried desperately to find a rescue group to take them or a family to adopt them or foster them, but the shelters were all full, or we were asking from the wrong county, or the rescue groups were in overwhelm. Finally a compassionate animal activist called in a favor and we got them into a shelter in the next county. I picked them up at our sister-friend’s woodshed a few days ago, and noticed that Lucy was weaker than ever and shaking badly. When I left them at the shelter, I asked the staff to please get her examined quickly.  I left them a good amount of food, a check for $200 for the rescue group, and a bottle of Rescue Remedy (to my astonishment they had no idea what it was), asking them to keep it in their water, explaining that it clears trauma in people and animals. I called the rescue group that was going to pick them up and asked them to please tend to her medically as soon as possible. I was assured that it would happen ASAP.

Today I called the shelter to see how they were doing, and was told that Lucy had been found dead this morning.  She was not taken by the rescue group yesterday because they found lots of ticks on both dogs so they were “treated”. “Treated” means chemicals, and I am pretty clear that in the condition Lucy was in, the last thing she needed was a big dose of chemicals. What she needed was an emergency vet to examine and treat her for whatever was ailing her.  I regret not taking her the vet 4 days earlier myself. I hoped she would be “rescued “ by someone else so I would not have to put out the funds to pay for emergency treatment. If I had not been so busy, so pre-occupied, so unwilling to stretch myself further, she might still be alive and be on the way to recovery. She was clearly suffering and I just did not have the time to more fully tend to her. There are lots of ways this could have worked out and she still might have died. I will never know.

I am grieving for Lucy tonight. She was a sweet being who did not deserve to be left alone in her pain. She deserved to be treated with love and respect.  She was probably a family dog at one time who lived in service to her people, who brought love and joy to those around her. She was a good dog.

The people who dumped their dogs in our community and left them to fend for themselves created bad karma for themselves. They created a ripple effect that has affected many beings over the past several days. One of the effects is that hearts have been stretched open, prayers have gone out. That’s not so bad. Another effect is that service agencies, volunteers and people like us have been taxed and strained and stressed. The biggest effect is that a presious life has been lost. Another effect is that Lucy’s brother, the one we call Winston, is now alone, and probably grieving as well.  his grief will likely be ignored in the throng of other needs. He has lost his lifelong companion. Maybe the people who did this have been feeling regret and wondering what happened to their dogs. Maybe they will wake up a bit, and eventually pay back their debt to the animals. I can only hope.

Here is the south we have more homeless animals and mistreated animals than anywhere in the US. In our mountains dogs are left in cages in the heat and the cold, only to be left out at hunting time. Yesterday I heard from a friend in Minneapolis that their city just received 150 homeless dogs from Texas. A plea was broadcast on the evening news encouraging people to adopt one of these animals! Thank Goddess for the rescue agencies in Texas and thank Goddess for the companssionate people of Minneapolis.

So, I am writing this for Lucy, in hopes that even one person who has ever abandoned, abused, ignored, or betrayed a companion animal or an animal in trouble will read it, and think twice about their choice to abdicate responsibility or the choice to assist.  I am writing it in hopes that even one person who never steps up when they are given the opportunity, will decide to step up and help, to foster, to host, to make a phone call, to donate some money, to assist with a fundraiser, to carry food in your car for hungry animals, to adopt a homeless animal, to take a chance on a dog or a cat and make this being a part of their life. Maybe you do it all the time, because those who do it tend to take on more than their share. Maybe you have never done it, and maybe it is your turn to do it. Maybe it is time for you to speak up or to stand up when you witness the way an animal is mistreated.

I personally will make a choice next time that will be more heroic, more caring, more daring. And, I really hope I don’t have too many opportunities because I am pretty raw from this one.

P.S. 5-16-16

Lucy’s necropsy found that she had an overgrowth of whipworms, and that is what killed her. If she had been wormed earlier, her death may have been prevented. Sarge’s said it is very easy to treat. Winston is at Sarge’s rescue shelter in Waynesville NC and is doing well. He was de-wormed, had his shots and is headed to the vets to be neutered soon, as well as to have two growths removed. We will see what the say about these growths…hopefully they are benign. Check back as I will post it here next week.

Anyaa McAndrew @ 11:10 pm
Filed under: Animal Lovers! andArticles by Anyaa

Advocating for the Animals: 11 Things that Humans do that Dogs Hate!

Posted on Tuesday 29 July 2014

Going for walks without opportunity to explore and smell
There are walks, and there are walks. It’s definitely important to have a dog that knows how to walk obediently on a leash. However, it’s also important to allow a dog to have some time to explore her surroundings while walking obediently on a leash. Dogs see with their noses, and they place as much importance on their sense of smell as we humans place on our sense of vision for interpreting the world around us. It’s probably safe to say that dogs appreciate the smell of a tree trunk the way we appreciate a beautiful sunset. Dogs loathe not being able to take in their world for at least a few minutes a day, and too often we humans are focused on going on walks for the sole purpose of exercise or potty breaks. We trudge along the same old route, often without any variety or sense of leisure, and in too much of a hurry to get back home again.
dog smelling grass
The sense of smell is how a dog takes in the world, and sometimes they’re simply desperate for a chance to take a good sniff. (Photo:Csehak Szabolcs /Shutterstock)
Do your dog a favor and dedicate one of your daily walks to having a “smell walk” — going slow and letting your dog take in the world with her nose. Go somewhere entirely new, explore a different neighborhood or trail, let your dog sniff at a spot until she gets her fill, even if it’s for minutes at a time before moving forward. For helping your dog know the difference between a walk where she should be obedient and stay beside you, and a walk where she is free to explore, you can have a special backpack or harness that you use only for smell walks. Just make sure it is something very different from your usual collar and leash set-up so the different purpose for the walk is obvious to your dog. These walks are a wonderful opportunity for your dog to get some of the mental and sensory stimulation that keeps life interesting for her.

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Anyaa McAndrew @ 1:29 pm
Filed under: Animal Lovers!

Healing Animals with Energy Therapy by Tammy Billups

Posted on Thursday 16 February 2006

Have you ever wondered about some of the alternative healing modalities and if they can be used to enhance the well being of our furry, finned and winged friends? I believe they want you to learn more about Energy Healing and how it is indeed the cats meow….or at the least dog gone great!

Many people in our society today are aware that Energy Healing can transform lives by releasing emotional wounds behind our physical manifestations and give not only relief of pain but in many cases complete and total healing of the physical body. The pain relief benefits of Energy Healing have been well documented. At the minimum it releases endorphins in the body, which are natures own painkillers. Everyone is energy of course. Everyone has the ability to influence anyone else’s energy system and of course, they do! People and animals have effects on us—some feel more comfortable than others, some energize us and some depress us, some disturb us; this is just one of the realities of life.
The difference between “everyone” and an Energy Healer is that a healer influences energy systems deliberately and with intention, and that is regardless of whether the intention is to use one’s own energy system to make the required adjustments, or to channel universal energy through one’s own system instead. Energy flows where attention goes.
The goal of Energy Healing is to kick-start the body into regulating itself and to smooth out all physical, mental, emotional and of course spiritual disturbances. The words ‘energy’ and ‘energy medicine’ have become buzzwords of the new millennium, but there is really nothing new. The healing works by connecting with energy fields.

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Anyaa McAndrew @ 7:36 pm
Filed under: Animal Lovers!