When there are stars out at night that are distinctly bright, I know one of my dogs is watching over me. Trillium has her own light tree just outside the front door that burns constantly in her memory. A small tree, just off to the side of our road, holds bells and crystals that represent the dogs we have loved and lost. Trumpet, Will and Mabel lend their strength and support always. Still, at this moment in time, none of the tender tributes, memories of other lives saved or warm noses nudging me gently will help right now. The anger, disbelief and horror I feel will not be quelled easily this time. Sixteen hundred dogs have not prepared me for the casual cruelty and complete disregard shown to this young dog I named Birch.
Birch was flown out of Attawapiskat just hours before he would have been found dead amongst some rubbish piled behind a garage. All his ten months of life gave him was the misery of a shrunken stomach and shrivelled intestine. This pup knew only the suffering of starvation. He was not abandoned, he lived amongst a family and shared their home. He watched teenagers’ snack often and parents eat well. The family was not impoverished, they could have fed him, they just didn’t care to. Birch is a pretty boy so maybe he was kept simply as a trophy or a pleasing distraction. His protruding spine and exposed ribs did not diminish his appeal as he has a sweet disposition. The infection in both his eyes caused a squint that to most, would make him look needy. Not to the family that lived with him though, they were still able to ignore him. His sinus infection caused an unpleasant nasal drip so that may have given them reason to turn away from him. Birch would have tried to reach for food himself I am sure but when he rises to place his paws on a table or counter he simply slumps to the ground because he has no muscle mass in any part of his body.
The most disgusting neglect did not dishearten this dog though. Read More