Thursday, December 18, 2008

Political animals

I'm up early this morning, which isn't unusual, but in this case, I have to be functional. So at 4:50am, I'm not just typing a blog post. I've already walked and fed the dogs, and soon I'll be in the shower so that I can head out to Metairie for a 5:50am call to appear on the Hot Topics segment of the morning news on ABC 26. We'll be discussing the mayor's recent budget veto, and his insistence on slashing the budgets for the DA, the public defenders office, the school district's after school programs, the city's recreation office, and so on. Oh, and he wants to reduce the size of the police force, too. We'll also be discussing plans for a citywide "Strike Against Crime" on January 9th, to coincide with the two year anniversary of our march to city hall. You can read more about the "strike" at the SilenceIsViolence.org website.

Then, later tonight, I'll be at Canine Culture for a winetasting and art sale, from 5-8pm. This is what the week has been like, alternating back and forth between the political and the animal. For example, Monday night I went to a 10:10 show of Milk (way past my bedtime, and actually not that great a film) and then, on my way home, found a beautiful female pit bull who had been struck by a hit and run driver. I sat with her, uncertain if she was dead, and then petted her head a few times before closing her eyes.

The next morning, I got a call from WWL-TV requesting an interview about the strike idea. So I jumped into the shower, got dressed, and grabbed a few garbage bags on the way out the door because I knew I'd be passing the dead dog again. I wrapped her up, lifted her carefully into the car and got to my interview just a few minutes late. When the journalist went to shake my hand I said, "You probably don't want to do that." They all thought I was joking, so I explained that I had just lifted a dead pit bull from the side of the road. "Someone had to do it," I explained as I went to wash my hands. Yes, they thought I was crazy.

That interview can be found here.


Then it was back to the car, to drop the poor unnamed dog off at a vet uptown. She was in heat, it was clear, and that obviously had something to do with why she was running in the street.

And then it was on to work.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Another dog without a name


This is the only photo I have her.

A little over a week ago, this miniature pincher appeared in my neighborhood. I was on my way to work, and I spotted her on the sidewalk on Forstall Street. The appearance of my car set her running, and she ran faster when slowed down and rolled down the window. Over the next few days, I spotted her, sitting in front of various houses where I knew she didn't live, running in terror from people and cars. I had the horrible sense that she had never been outdoors before. She was frantic.

Once, I spotted her sitting patiently at the door of a gutted house that hadn't been occupied in over three years. She wanted to go inside, and this empty house was perfect, since there would be no strangers to frighten her.

I called animal control, not that they would be able to catch her.

On Wednesday morning, I could hear her frantic barks circling the area as the giant garbage trucks drove through. Later, when I put a tin of food out, she carried it away, very carefully, and I never saw her alive again.

The next day it snowed all morning. I was hoping she had stayed under a house somewhere, even though I knew she would be too cold.

The next day a friend told me she had seen the body, on St. Claude, across from the gas station. Later I drove back and looked for her. She was laying, still and quiet, seeming unharmed, at the bus stop. She seemed much bigger than I remembered.

The SPCA told me to put her in a black plastic bag and call sanitation.

I took her to one of my vets and arranged for her cremation.

She weighed twelve pounds.

Sometime later this week, they will call to tell me that I can take her home.