"Doggie Jog- Running For A Humane Solution"
part II

The focus of this year's Doggie Jog is not only to bring attention to man's best friend but to the plight of all homeless animals everywhere. Almost everyday on national or local programming we are exposed to both the cruelty of humans towards animals and the almost unbreakable spirits of the animals we abuse. Why do so many people abuse animals when those same animals so unconditionally put their faith is us? A dog or a horse will blindly obey and serve their human master even to the point of putting their lives in danger for us. If this is not true unconditional love, what is?

Kathy & Erin both have both heartwarming and heart-wrenching stories of homeless throwaway animals­­ from dogs to monkeys to cats. Many of us, including myself, have saved several homeless animals. My particular love is dogs. I remember the year I saved Tucker, a severally abused Cocker Spaniel. He lived outside in a very small wire fenced area. His house was an air conditioner housing that did not keep him dry in the rain or warm in the winter. He cried a good deal of the time and was starved for human affection. After many days of pleading, his owners finally agreed to let him go and I quickly scooped him up. Tucker's front legs had so much mud packed in his fine Cocker Spaniel fur that he could not bend his knees. Removing the mud-matted fur was like removing plaster casts. Underneath all this, weed seeds had begun to burrow into his skin causing open sores. Despite his fright, he allowed us to work slowly with clippers and a sharp knife to cut away the muddy fur. It took two full evenings to complete the task at hand and relieve him of his problem.

In the days following, Tucker blossomed. I never intended on keeping this dog. I only wanted to clean him up and find him a new home. What we didn't know was that Tucker had chosen us. He moved into our home and heart; we gained a gentle and loyal friend for life.

This is only one of many stories right here in Knox County. I'm sure many of you have other tales of a heart-warming rescue. I know there are those of you that will call us bleeding hearts. That's okay. I assure you I've been called worse! I would only say if I can endure the smallness and petty name calling of a tyrant mistreating a helpless animal, stay true to my cause and not become embittered, then I am well served by that experience.

Please, come out to the shelter at Hawthorne Centre on August 29th and meet Kathy White and Erin Buckmaster. Have some fun whether you're a dog lover or not. There are several prizes and giveaways that may just make it even more fun. Take a stand for the homeless animals of Knox County. Without you they won't make it. Put the Greenpeace slogan to work, "Think globally, be involved locally."

On another note I would like to thank an old friend, Pat Miller, who took the time to pour her heart into a lengthy editorial in last week's Zephyr regarding the baby animals that were displayed at the Knox County Fair. These animals, according to Patty, were not treated fairly or humanely and their future is uncertain. Some education is needed here. Parents, please teach your children that the animals of this world are here for a reason and not simply to entertain us stupid humans. I ask you, what better place to start that education than at a not-for-profit fundraising event supporting homeless animals!

See you there, Rebecca.

Posted to Zephyr Online August 20, 1998
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