The Real Time Canine II

After spending 2 years writing the Real Time Canine, the adventure continues with The Real Time Canine II. Read along as I look for just the right puppy to continue the experience. After false starts with Tim and Jed, I am currently training young Tam, and Spot, which are both off to a strong start. Please visit the RTC II to read about training sessions as they occur.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Southern Comfort

Emmylou Harris has been one of my favorite performers for as long as I have appreciated music. I had the great pleasure of seeing her live once around 1980 in a tiny 250 seat bar-theatre called the Crazy Horse Saloon in Orange County, California, with her then "Hot Band." As an encore that night, she stood with just her guitar on that tiny stage in, by far, the coolest little red cowboy boots I've ever seen, and sang Dolly Parton's "To Daddy." My favorite Emmylou song of all time, she knew, and was singing just for me. You'll never convince me otherwise.

I knew she could sing. What I didn't know is that she has a huge soft spot for death-row dogs, and a strong motivation to help them. Good on you, Emmy. Ever heard of Bonaparte's Retreat? It's a classic fiddle tune and also the name of her rescue organization founded to stop unadoptable dogs in the metro Nashville area from being killed. Instead Emmylou and her volunteers find loving, forever homes for them.

Emmylou and Holly

Oh, if I only had the resources...If I only had the money...if I only had the celebrity to make these ordinary looking dogs attractive. I don't. Never will, but I have this blog, and I have you, and maybe you'll click over and make a donation. Maybe you'll visit a shelter and adopt a death-row dog. Maybe, just maybe you will tell a friend or talk someone out of breeding their dog and opting for spay/neuter instead.
These things I can do, have done, and you can too.

Emmylou and Suki

Emmylou's dogs are representative of over 3 million dogs reportedly killed in our country each and every year. There's nothing special about them. They're not cute, significant or special in any way. They're just dogs with a heart and soul, and a life that is redeemable when we allow it.

Emmylou's dogs were simply at death's door. In a rank, frightening, industrialized environment someone completely strange to them was about to insert an IV catheter into a vein in their leg, administer lethal chemicals and stop their heart. Humane? OK, but also needless, tragic, and completely preventable.

Please don't breed while shelter pets die. Please don't support organizations like the American Kennel Club with selfish and greedy business models that underwrite commercial breeders, (puppy mills,) and untold suffering in dogs. Please don't encourage backyard, hump and dump breeders by buying their puppies. When you see the meaningless roadside sign that screams "AKC puppies available," drive right on by in route to the nearest shelter, and save a life.


  1. Thanks for the support of shelter dogs. I worked for an SPCA shelter for two years, performing every duty involved in caring for the animals as well as that final walk to the dreaded needle room. All of us who worked there took home numerous dogs and cats to try and find homes. I lasted two years in that job before total burnout. Great changes have occurred in raising people's awareness since my SPCA experience. Yet as you have pointed out, there is still so much more to be done. I keep one or two rescue dogs along with the border collies that come specifically from high kill Animal Control facilities. A statistic was expressed in the LA City AC blog that every household would have to take in 24 dogs to get all dogs adopted. I don't know how accurate that is, but it does indicate the number of homeless dogs.
    Great Blog!

  2. Thanks so much for your comment Jane. And thanks for all you do and have done to help shelter dogs. I read that same statistic that you cite, yet people still breed, but pet store puppies and support the AKC. I'll never understand it. Cheers to you