Wednesday, June 17, 2009

We're on vacation!

John and I are out in Ocean City for a few days...and we're not near a computer. So no pics yet...but hopefully there will be some to post when we get back. We're having a great time...though we've had some accessibility issues with the campground. (who doesn't put in a ramp in this day and age?)

See ya soon!
~SDS (rolling on the sandy beaches!)

Friday, June 12, 2009

The end of the fight?

We finally heard back from the Social Security office this past week. The supervisor called and apologized to John (no formal written apology), and said he'd take John's advice about using the ADA definition of Service Dogs from now on in the office. Everything sounded good and he seemed to be getting a clue about Service Dogs...but then he had to go and ruin it by saying, "Yeah, and next time you come in, just give us a call firs, so we know you're coming." Um...why? *eye roll*

But we did hear from the main SSA office...who were extremely apologetic, and also said that they'd use the ADA description from now on also. The office of the Inspector General had called them after getting John's complaint. So the wheels are turning slowly, but they are turning...and the parties involved are calling to apologize.

Things are looking up. Now we just have to "lose" John's Social Security card so he has an excuse for going back into that office...with no phone call in advance of course.


Thursday, June 4, 2009

Why people, animal lovers, simply cannot move on from what Vick did...

I'll be back this weekend with more Service Dog stuff...but for today...a post from the BADRAP blog about *Why people, animal lovers, simply cannot move on from what Vick did...*


The following quotes are directly from the BADRAP blog.

A blog reader writes into the BADRAP blog with this question:

"Hello. I have been following the Michael Vick story and am wondering where BADRAP stands. I didn't see anything on the web site. I read in the news that the HSUS has met with him. Since BADRAP took in so many of his beautiful dogs, I thought you guys would be worth listening to on the topic. Is there any indication that he is sincere and recognizes how bad his actions were? Has he actually done anything to show remorse for his cruelty to the dogs you took in? My gut-reaction is to be very dubious. There's just too much money at stake for him if no NFL team will take him on because of this. I think that any public-service ad he does for the HSUS is too little ... too easy. But, I'm just an observer in the whole mess. You guys saw it up-close and I would trust your judgment on the current situation."

This is Donna's, co-founder of BADRAP, an organization that took a good number of the Vick dogs, response:

"From me (Donna) - I admit I'm stuck on this one because I just can't get myself away from the swimming pool in Vick's yard. I first learned about it while riding in the back seat of a federal agent's car that sweltering Tuesday back in Sept 07. The agent was assigned with escorting us to the various Virginia shelters so we could evaluate "the evidence" otherwise known as 49 pit bulls - now known as cherished family pets: Hector, Uba, Jhumpa, Georgia, Sweet Jasmine and the rest. I'm not sure if sharing insider information with us was kosher, but you know how driving down long country roads can get you talking. I imagine she just needed to get some things off her chest. She said she was having trouble sleeping since the day they exhumed the bodies on the Moonlight Road property. She said that when she watched the investigators uncover the shallow graves, she was compelled to want to climb in and pick up the decomposing dogs and comfort and cradle them. She knew that was crazy talk, and she was grappling with trying to understand such a surprising impulse.

Her candor set the tone for this entire saga. Everyone we worked with was deeply affected by the case. The details that got to me then and stay with me today involve the swimming pool that was used to kill some of the dogs. Jumper cables were clipped onto the ears of underperforming dogs, then, just like with a car, the cables were connected to the terminals of car batteries before lifting and tossing the shamed dogs into the water. Most of Vick's dogs were small - 40lbs or so - so tossing them in would've been fast and easy work for thick athlete arms. We don't know how many suffered this premeditated murder, but the damage to the pool walls tells a story. It seems that while they were scrambling to escape, they scratched and clawed at the pool liner and bit at the dented aluminum sides like a hungry dog on a tin can.

I wear some pretty thick skin during our work with dogs, but I can't shake my minds-eye image of a little black dog splashing frantically in bloody water ... screaming in pain and terror ... brown eyes saucer wide and tiny black white-toed feet clawing at anything, desperate to get ahold. This death did not come quickly. The rescuer in me keeps trying to think of a way to go back in time and somehow stop this torture and pull the little dog to safety. I think I'll be looking for ways to pull that dog out for the rest of my life.

So that's where I'm at. A second chance for Vick?

An HSUS sponsored spokesman for ending torture? In my mind's eye Vick is still in the shadows at the side of that pool. As many times as this scene plays out my head, he hasn't yet moved towards that dog to pull him out. Not there yet."

So for all of you who can move on and support Vick, good for you. I won't take that away from you. BUT don't you dare, for one f**king second, judge any of us who CANNOT and WILL NOT forgive and forget so easily.