December 12, 2008

Warning: No happy ending here

Tuck the little ones in, sit back and relax, I'm going to tell you a story.

It all began about 7 months ago, in South Korea. We had a cat there, Kimchi. You remember Kimchi, don't you? If you've been with me since my MySpace blogging days, you are well aware of the Kimchi saga.

Poor Kimchi was a sickly kitten. He was a scrawny, bug eyed, floor-peeing little rascal, but he was my companion. After many vet visits, both Korean and American, much debate and many tears (on my part, SGT T must have a heart of stone), it was decided that he probably wouldn't handle the 18 hour flight (and oh, like 30 hours of travel) involved in getting us from the hotel at the base to my parents house in Oregon very well and we "surrendered" him to the nearest base vet. I don't know why they use that word, but it's like that here too if you are giving up a cared for animal.

Fast forward about 2 months.

Remember Big Mama? She was one of two or three strays that were hanging around our house last summer. Big Mama kept coming back, sleeping on our porch, when the others left. We decided she was looking for a safe place to have her babies and so took her in. She chilled in our basement, only coming upstairs on delivery day and on occasion after that to try to lay a claim to Axle's territory. I say Axle's territory because Axle is clearly the dominant party in the four-legged crew of this house.

Big Mama had her babies, 8 of them at first. While we had them, 3 died, or more likely, were sacrificed by Big Mama, since she was so sickly and didn't have enough in her to keep everybody going. When she started having frequent diarrhea we accepted the fact that we couldn't do enough to keep everybody alive. We figured that everybody was probably well enough to be moved, so we called animal control and they came and got them. More tears.

Then I got out of bed this morning. It was a gorgeous sunny morning, so I went outside to chat with SGT T while he smoked. I saw movement a couple lawns over and finally recognized it as a dog. A puppy - black lab. The dog went up on the porch of our neighbor and I saw a side view of it. I nearly died then, it is possible to have a broken heart over an animal, and to die from it. This dog, no, this puppy, was incredibly emaciated, all bones with a bloated belly, and a limp just in case she wasn't miserable enough. She had a collar on, and if she hadn't been so obviously starving, I probably wouldn't have done a thing, figuring that she just got out of her yard and would make her way back home when she got hungry.

As it is, our morning began with a drive to the county shelter to drop off the dog. When we got there, I went in to make sure we were at the right place, and get a leash. They asked me all the questions they have to ask, my name, address, etc. When I brought her inside, the first thing they said was "Oh, you poor thing". The second thing they said was "How long have you had her?" in a borderline accusatory tone. I hope nobody goes through all the paperwork I've created in my animal rescuing endeavors, I'll come out looking awfully suspicious, don't you think? If we weren't limited to two pets by post housing, we would have Big Mama and her babies, our two cats, and a puppy by now! Thank goodness for strict pet rules, is all I can say.

That is the story. The end. Why do we get all the strays at our house and do other people rescue animals as frequently as we do? I've seen SO many strays on this base and it makes me sad. Sorry for the sad them of this post, it's rather depressing to think about. I'll try to bring something lighter soon, I promise!


Lisa and Josh said...

I never would have pegged you as the animal rescue lady but that's a good thing to be. I'm definitely not. I sprinkle cayenne pepper in my dirt to keep the cats out! I totally believe in animals in heaven and think of all the ones who will be so happy to see you again! (Not trying to say they've all died or anything but you know what I mean)

Scenic Pit Stops said...

Lisa&Josh - I know, right? I get mad when I see strays because I know I'm going to get attached and have to do something about it. SGT T said he was proud of me that we don't have a new dog right now!