Dogs have a hard life in the rural areas of the Delta. They seem to be the first objects jettisoned when times get hard or when the authorities start to close in on activities that could lead to incarceration.
Luckily for the dogs, they have friends in Lonoke County. Working with a network of compassionate folks, a group has established a rescue system that extends all the way to the extreme northeast corner of the country. Strict “spay or neuter” laws there have reduced the number of stray animals to the point where animal lovers will “adopt” strays from our part of the world. Foster parents keep them temporarily and a group of volunteers transport them later.
The result has been a drastic reduction in the number of dogs (and cats) that face euthanasia in the county. It is a tribute to both the cities and kind-hearted folks who work tirelessly in the effort.
Of course not all strays get to travel north. Take the photo below for example. Here, “The Lady Hazel” returns to her childhood home place after a morning walk, accompanied by her “Posse.” Listen and you may hear the theme from “Bonanza” playing in your head.
Let’s see … the first in line is “Judi Kate.” She’s the dog who wants to go to Law School. She lived at an abandoned church in the south of the county before Brenda rescued her. She’s a nervous little thing, absolutely devoid of any social graces, but treasured nonetheless.
Next is Suzi The Evangelist. She lived at the same church until a couple of years ago. The place seems to be a favorite dropping off place. She claims to have had a congregation there but has adapted well to a secular life. She did, however, once attack a rotary mower while it was running, apparently thinking that it contained The Dark One. The vet bill would have run the government of Somalia for a year.
Then there is Bob. He actually did make the trip north after spending a couple of weeks in foster care at the farm. Brenda received word yesterday that he was adopted by a family in New Hampshire and is safe in the harbor at last.
Bringing up the rear is Betty Lou who was to be a “foster dog” but somehow never left. I’m still trying to figure that one out.
Off to the side trying to find something to pee on is Isaac. He once called some redneck dogs a bad name in Spanish and has been living here since his broken leg healed. Not pictured are Calvin and Spanky, both former strays, who had better things to do that day. I shudder at the thought of what it may have been.
So, while rich folks are paying “puppy breeders” large sums for designer dogs, these—what I call “least among us”—dogs enjoy a rescue from the executioner’s needle. Anyone wanting to help their comrades could contact The Friends of the Lonoke Animal Shelter.
It will certainly make you feel good to see that more of these blessed creatures are safe in the harbor.
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