Our Weekly Falmouth Enterprise Column
By Pamela Alden Kokmeyer
Friday, May 22, 2015
Raymond Chandler once wrote, "The streets were dark with something more than night," a theme he said was the inspiration for his early crime stories. We, through the prism of animal advocacy, know that such a darkness exists. That "something more than night" could well be the sad, and hidden, stories of abandoned, frightened, neglected and abused companion animals. Living on the street. Or tied up in yards. Or kept in cages. Or discarded in fields and highways. That is a darkness more than night. And it's up to all of us to notice and act.
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On a sunnier note, we learned something very interesting about our little gal Gracie, a cocker spaniel. Her records say she is about 11 years old. Well, we recently discovered that the human/canine age progression is not the seven-people-years-to-one-dog year formula. No siree. And that's good news. Contemporary charts show that for dogs Gracie's size, 11 years is about the equivalent of 65 in people years. And you know what they say: 65 is the new 45! So actually, then, Gracie is in her prime. And she sort of proves that daily. She has lost weight, gained energy, increased her interest in the world around her and just generally gets better and better. Gracie is great with people, somewhat indifferent to other dogs, completely housebroken and content to just be in the same room with you. Or in a car. Or on a walk. "With you" is the operative word here. So, if you're looking for an easy-going, low-maintenance pal, Gracie is your gal.
There is much speculation about the enigmatic Edgar Allan Poe but he's nothing compared to the enigmatic Max, the miniature pinscher in our group. This 12-year-old fella offers a variety of qualities. On the one hand, he has the typical temperament of the min pin: sharp, crisp, full of fire and spice. On the other hand, he is joyful and exuberant and wiggly all over when his foster family returns from work. Hey, it's like getting two dogs for the price of one. Max enjoys the company of other dogs, too.
There is absolutely nothing enigmatic about Bowser, a large, young Lab mix. He's in your face. He's in your lap. He's in your line of sight. He's in the pool. He's in it for the fun. Bowser just generally lives life out loud. He is beginning to respond to basic training, which includes sitting when asked and walking nicely on leash. We're still evaluating his socialization skills with other dogs, but so far, he seems to be fine. Bowser will need a strong owner and lots and lots of exercise.
Last week we introduced you to Betty, the little dog with mobility problems. She struggles mightily when she walks, often listing to one side or the other. But her will and her heart make her determined to get about. However, she needs to rest after a walk. And there's no better place to rest than snuggled up against you. She is content to chew a bone or take a nap or just commune as long as you are nearby. The veterinary specialist has assured us that she is not in pain. (Oh, and she is housebroken!) We are hoping someone will come forward to take her into foster care. We will assume all expenses for her care for as long as she lives. What we cannot do at the shelter is provide her with the comforts of a home. Please understand that we don't want anyone to pity Betty. This brave dog truly enjoys life and loves people. A home without other pets is what she needs and deserves. Betty is extremely slender and has a very short coat and needs protection from sunburn.
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Remember, there is still a week left in May for our heartworm clinic. You can pick up a voucher from us for a free heartworm screening blood test at South Cape Veterinary Clinic in Waquoit. Screenings are by appointment and will be conducted on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2 to 4 PM. You will need to purchase the heartworm preventive from your vet or at South Cape.
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Our friends at Uptown Dog Cape Cod (Route 28A in West Falmouth) are holding sidewalk sales on Sunday, May 24, from noon to 5 PM and Monday, May 25, from 9:30 AM to 5 PM. Portions of the proceeds from all sales will benefit Friends of Falmouth Dogs and People for Cats. We'll have a table there on Sunday from noon to 3 PM. So stop by, say hi and maybe pick up a treasure or two. Lots of great deals and free samples will be available and there will be free tastings of frozen yogurt for dogs on Sunday from noon to 3.
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We can use volunteers who can handle large dogs on some of the afternoon shifts, especially the 4 to 5 PM shifts. If you can give us an hour, we'll give you more fun than you thought possible!
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We are at the shelter Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to noon; Sunday from 3 to 5 PM; and Monday and Thursday afternoons from 4 to 6.