Saturday, April 27, 2013

Life Trailed by 20 Hounds

There are plenty of people who are more than willing to lovingly look after your dogs if you should be sentenced to any amount of incarceration. 

No Kill Nation spokesperson Teri Dyer   

The arrogance that a spokesperson could even make such a statement astounds me.  Obviously No Kill Nation hasn't considered how this would effect the hounds she is suggesting are in need of a "loving home".

Many of you reading this many not know exactly WHO the hounds are that have become an iconic treasure in our community.

Over the years I have shared the antics and stories of my beloved hounds for the world to see.  I have also shared the heartbreak as many have peacefully left this world.  I can say without a doubt losing my hounds would be life altering.

Meet the hounds known as "Trailed by 20 Hounds"

I found Cleo chained in a backyard in south Florida on December 28th 2000.  She was being used to tease a pit bull who's chain reached close enough to touch nose to nose.  I advised the Spanish speaking owner I wasn't leaving without her even if I had to call INS.  He "sold" her to me for $60.  Cleo recently was diagnosed with a huge tumor on her hind leg.  Surgery was not successful in saving her life - she is now in hospice care while I treasure each day we have left.

Abbie was surrendered with a euthanasia order for being aggressive after taking a bite out of a two years olds ice cream cone.  She got all cone - what one year old puppy doesn't like ice cream?  She's been here since August 2001.  For the last three years she has struggled with an open wound tumor on her front leg that would not heal.  A year ago her leg was removed and she has had a full recovery.  She still enjoys an occasional cone.

Beagle Annie found herself at the Spalding gassing shelter in November 2001 with only hours to live.  I "rescued" her with the idea of finding her a home.  Not wanting to get attached I started calling her beagle - she's been here ever since.

Agnes was rescued from Miami Dade Animal Services on January 16th 2002.  She was picked up as a stray with a huge gash on her forehead New Years Eve.  Agnes was near death from all the disease in the shelter with whip worms, an infected head would and general poor health.  Probably the sweetest of hounds we call her the "Mad Kisser" around here.  Who wouldn't love that face?

I found Casey Jones at the Spalding Shelter waiting to be gassed on May 9th 2002.  He was not available for adoption since he had a crushed left eye.  The shelter manager told me you don't want a "one eyed" beagle we have another.  I looked at him and said "how do you know what I want?" and grabbed a leashed walking him out.  The eye was removed the next morning.  Casey's been a wonderful friend ever since.  

I found Marley after answering a "free to a good home ad on crackliest on August 5th  2002.  He was located in Hernando County Fl.  We drove 450 miles to snatch this handsome boy up.  A gorgeous hound with super long ears.  His owner claimed he couldn't house train him so he was living in their backyard.  I'm not sure what he was talking about as we didn't have any issues.  Maybe Marley couldn't figure out how to open the door?

Poe Poe's owner dropped him off at a local vets office in May of 2003 and never came back. He was two years old.  Not wanting to take him to the local high kill shelter a receptionist had him neutered, paid his bill and called me.  A sweeter hound does not exist.  Poe Poe and Bam Bam (RIP) were best friends.  Like Bam Bam, Poe has been my 24/7 companion ever since.

What were you thinking?
Beep Beep was a foster failure.  She's been with us since October 2003 - still waiting for one of those 23,000,000 people looking for a great house trained beagle.  Adopted out twice Beep Beep came back twice for acting up.  One adoptee was a personal friend who adopted another beagle named Einstein in 2006.  I've always thought Beep Beep acted out so she could come back and join all her houndie friends.  I officially adopted Beep Beep upon retiring from rescue in the summer of 2010.

Belle Belle was dumped at the Gwinnett Animal Shelter in November 2005.  She was eight years old.  Her owner had her since she was a puppy and dumped her when she started peeing on the floor. A VERY KIND animal control Officer Sandy Towler hid Belle in the back to avoid following up on the order.  She begged me to come rescue Belle before someone found her in a back part of the shelter.  Belle had bladder stones which were removed and I put her up for adoption.  She's still waiting.  I adopted Belle in the summer of 2010 as well.

Meet Sherlock. I bought Sherlock in a "batch" of basset and beagles that were being auctioned at a puppy mills breeders auction for $25 in May of 2007.  He was just a puppy. A truly handsome boy I selfishly decided to just keep him.  Everyone who meets Sherlock just melts at his sweetness.  The only issue I have with him is he definitely CANTHUNT.

Abigail was part of a second shipment of puppy mill breeder rejects in August 2007 just months before the infamous dog barking case in Gwinnett..  She was terrified with people including me.  I held on to her to try and work with her only to decide like Sherlock she would just stay.   While it's been a slow process initially Abigail has blossomed into a truly wonderful hound.  Sherlock still thinks of Abigail represent a next wave of hounds for after many of the older hounds have passed on to the bridge 

Many of the other "original" by20hounds Maggie Dawg, Zoe Monster, Toby, Sydney Barret, Scarlett, Mulligan, Flash, Samantha and my dear sweet Bam Bam have passed on taking with them huge chunks of my heart but leaving behind memories I will cherish till we meet again.

I am blessed to have been given the gift of their loyal friendship and the priceless memories that remain close to my heart. 

This blog is dedicated to the stories and memorials of the iconic hounds known as Trailed by 20 Hounds.

Friend of the Devil

I lit out from Reno, I was trailed by twenty hounds
Didn't get to sleep last night 'till the morning came around.

Set out runnin' but I take my time
A friend of the devil is a friend of mine
If I get home before daylight, I just might get some sleep tonight.

Ran into the devil, babe, he loaned me twenty bills
I spent the night in Utah in a cave up in the hills.

Set out runnin' but I take my time, a friend of the devil is a friend of mine,
If I get home before daylight, I just might get some sleep tonight.

I ran down to the levee but the devil caught me there
He took my twenty dollar bill and vanished in the air.

Set out runnin' but I take my time
A friend of the devil is a friend of mine
If I get home before daylight, I just might get some sleep tonight.

Got two reasons why I cry away each lonely night,
The first one's named Sweet Anne Marie, and she's my hearts delight.
The second one is prison, babe, the sheriff's on my trail,
And if he catches up with me, I'll spend my life in jail.

Got a wife in Chino, babe, and one in Cherokee
The first one says she's got my child, but it don't look like me.

Set out runnin' but I take my time,
A friend of the devil is a friend of mine,
If I get home before daylight, I just might get some sleep tonight.

-RIP Jerry

Peace and Love


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Lovers Cross

Jim had a tremendous skill in starting and ending truly emotional songs. His insight, spirit
and verbage are sorely to this day.

I love Jim Croce, what an inspiring truly amazing musician. Pure poetry and such a sad haunting melody. Jim is truly missed. Such a shame more folks don't give him a listen.

Over the past few years the hounds and I have been truly blessed with the kindness and friendship of hundreds of Face Book friends. Your passion and love for companion friends has been an inspiration and left us with memories we will forever cherish. We are proud to have inspired a discussion that helped change a culture of thinking on our relationships with our three and four legged friends.

Social media has lead a revolution of thinking that in time will bridge a gap that allows far too much suffering and senseless death for God’s creatures that could never be part of any spiritual plan.

The world can be a dangerous place. As much as we cherish the good we can not overlook the evil that has become all to part of the fabric with which we live. There is far too much hate in this world that seems to negate all the good.

Over the last few months some of very small-minded cold hearted voices of evil have decided to target not only my safety but more importantly the safety of my beloved hounds. I can not overlook these threats.

I like to think we share a vision of a kinder, gentler world were peace, love and understanding of our differences drowns out the hatred that has taken over the social media world. As important as that vision is for our companion friends it carries with it dangers I can not risk. For the last twelve years I have used my advocacy voice to speak for those who can’t. I have paid a huge price participating in the discussions needed to bring about this change, including the loss of my beloved Bam Bam a few years back.

I have never recovered from nor gotten over her loss. Bam Bam’s death was collateral in a war of opposing views. To this day I blame myself for not protecting her and recognizing the risk that came with what I do, I will carry the nightmares of her loss with the shattered parts of my broken heart. To this day Bam Bam’s image remains everywhere I look.

Now I face a much greater danger as small minded self absorbed cold hearted animal haters target the rest of my hounds. No matter how huge the vision of a kinder world is for our companion friends I could not survive losing even one of the hounds in order to capture that dream.

There has always been an exit plan for my beloved hounds. I have made the decision to close down all Face Book operations and execute that plan. We will cease participating in sharing the antics, stories and pictures of the hounds. I do so out of concern for their safety.

Instead, I will be returning to writing stories on my blogs and hopefully the lord will move on to other methods and commination in formats where the hounds will be secure. It saddens me to have to make this decision but I trust our true friends will understand.

We are but here on this earth for a few fleeting moments in time. No one can change yesterday’s approaching dawn nor are we assured a vision of tomorrow sun as it rises in the east. All our faith assures us of is our today, this minute, this hour, right now.

Over the last forty plus years I have tested that resolve more times than I care to discuss. I have learned to cherish every moment, every breathe that the lord offers. In some strange way I have questioned why a number of times he didn’t cash in my chips. I’m left with the hope that my work remains undone. I am no hero, nor a saint in any way. I am merely one person in a huge world trying to make amends for my sins of the past. It is my hope, my dream that when the time comes to knock on heaven’s door I will be judged on the kindness in my heart and my respect for the lord’s cherished ones. All the money in the world won’t buy a ticket to the lord’s kingdom – it just doesn’t work that way.

To all our dear friends – as much as we love you all I can not hang on no lovers cross for you. I leave you a tear and these emotional words.

Lover’s Cross

Guess that it was bound to happen
Was just a matter of time
But now I've come to my decision
And it's one of the painful kind
'Cause now it seems that you wanted a martyr
Just a regular guy wouldn't do
But baby I can't hang upon no lover's cross for you

I really got to hand it to ya
'Cause girl you really tried
But for every time that we spent laughin'
There were two times that I cried
And you were tryin' to make me your martyr
And that's the one thing I just couldn't do
'Cause baby, I can't hang upon no lover's cross for you

'Cause tables are meant for turnin'
And people are bound to change
And bridges are meant for burnin'
When the people and memories they join aren't the same

Still I hope that you can find
Another who can take what I could not
He'll have to be a super guy
Or maybe a super god
'Cause I never was much of a martyr before
And I ain't bout to start nothin' new
And baby, I can't hang upon no lover's cross for you

Jim Croce

Peace and much love - Drats