My friend, Sharon, heads up the RSU 26 special education
program. My chum, Christine, is her second-in-command. What makes
them most suited to this challenging profession is attitude. Where
many would see a problem running around in a child's body, they would
perceive a unique young person with potential and the need of some
help. Not surprisingly, their size extra large hearts have room for
canine companions. I'm sure they would be able to see the potential
not only in picture perfect pooches, but in thise critters who may
need a little, or more than a little, help...
...which is the premise behind Stefan Bechtel's Dogtown: tales
of rescue, rehabilitation, and redemption. It tells the stories of
wonderful dogs saved from horrendous situations. They would have been
euthanized if not for Best Friends Animal Society because of physical
defects and psychological scars incurred under conditions of neglect,
abuse, or heartbreaking loss. With patience, training, love, and
safe, clean quarters they were finally able to flourish and be happy.
You'll meet Georgia, a pit bull who was rescued in a raid on a
dog fighting operation. The Humane Society and People for the Ethical
Treatment of Animals felt that the critters caught up in the sweep
were so damaged they should be put down. Selective breeding and
sadistic training reinforce fighting qualities one doesn't want in a
family pet. Lack of even the most basic human-dog or dog-dog
socializing can leave a canine far behind.
Then there's Rush, a shell shocked dog from Lebanon. One of his
legs was so badly damaged it had to be amputated. The terrifying
experiences he had endured had left him understandably fearful of
stimuli that wouldn't faze an untraumatized dog. In a war zone such
alertness inducing fears would be useful. In the American survival-of-
the-cuddliest millieu it would have the exact opposite effect.
Georgia, Rush, and their many canine companions have poignant
and uplifting stories. They will capture your heart. Do not try to
read Dogtown without a hankie on hand. If you love dogs or enjoy
stories that make you feel really good to be alive, don't deprive
yourself of this truly heartwarming book.
On a personal note, dear Joey Cat will start this year off with
surgery. He will be fine and I'll find the money. Somehow.
A great big shout out goes out to the Veazie Vet crew who go all out
to give their clients a knowledgeable and kind medical home and their
colleagues around the nation and world.
Julia Emily Hathaway
Sent from my iPod