Monday, September 23, 2013

The Story of Milo

It seems to be my fate to encounter little white dogs.  A few weeks ago Bizz and I were out and about and we saw a little white dog running loose.  He saw us and took off for his nearby owner and I never thought anything about it.  It does seem to me that dogs spend their whole lives scheming on how to escape, until they get into the outside world and all they want to do is get back to their owners.

On Sunday morning, Bizz and I were out for our usual stroll and a woman came down her driveway to intercept me.  "I just have to ask if I can pat your dog, I see you out with him all the time and he's just so cute."  I immediately agreed and we commenced chatting. 

I learned a few important things - one is that there are coyotes roaming my neighborhood. Two of the neighbors cats had been killed in a very dreadful fashion and coyotes had been spotted. They come out at night and little domestic animals are very vulnerable. Bizz' reluctance to walk down that street several evenings became clear - he may have smelled a threat and was protecting not just himself but me as well.

We also discussed her neighbors and that was when she told me the story of Milo.  Milo is the little white dog I mentioned earlier.  The story broke my heart.  An elderly woman had lived across the street and had a little dog named Milo.  He was her constant companion.  A few months ago she became ill and her daughter came to stay with her from Sacramento.  Eventually Milo's owner had to go into a nursing home.  The daughter did not like Milo, was constantly letting him run loose but he always came home.  After the woman went into the nursing home her daughter took Milo on a ride and tossed him from her car.  She sold her mother's house and moved back to her home in Sacramento.

This story was so horrifying on so many levels. Here is a little dog who's owner loved him and yet once she became unable to care for him he was thrown away by a callous family member.  Even worse, she didn't even try to get him adopted.  The neighbor I was speaking with told me she loved dogs and loved little Milo and would have adopted him herself if given the opportunity.  I would have taken Milo in (you can never have too many little white dogs running around the house).  And worst of all she didn't even give Milo a chance at a happier life - she literally threw him away.  She could have dropped him off at any shelter, any veterinary office or even a pet store - any of those would have found a way to get him fostered.

What sickens me most is that she told people what she did. This woman had so little regard for a dog's life that she didn't even realize how other people would perceive this heinous act.  What a terrible person, I can only be happy she no longer lives in our neighborhood. I feel sorry for the people she encounters in Sacramento.

So why am I writing this?  As Bizz lies sleeping at my feet all I can think is was this what happened to him?  How did he end up on the streets of LA with no microchip, no license and no one to take care of him?  He got so lucky and I can only hope that somewhere out there Milo got as lucky.

But I also think of this as a wake up call to all responsible pet owners.  Make sure that your pets are taken care of in case anything happens to you.  And if you don't want a pet there are a ton of resources for rehoming pets - call the Humane Society; Animal Control; a rescue group for the breed, anything to make sure the animal doesn't end up alone and friendless like poor Milo.  And if you see an animal running loose don't assume there is a caring owner nearby.  As with Pelucci last week, help him get home or at least get someplace safe.

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