Help Wanted – Animal rescuers needed for feedback

I have a problem and I’m hoping there are a few animal rescuers out there that can help me.

As you know, I’m writing a novel called The Patron Saint of Dogs. It’s about an animal rescuer named Grace who is obsessed with saving as many dogs and cats as she can.

It’s my way of helping abandoned pets because I’m too sensitive to work in shelters. Like Grace, I’d want to adopt them all, would grieve over every one euthanized, and go ballistic on their abusers.

I have done a lot of research about the pet crisis and animal rescuers. I’m trying hard to accurately portray their world while still creating a fictional character suffering for her cause.

But I need their help and feedback on the novel to ensure I’ve got it right.

Now keep in mind that Grace is not meant to represent every animal rescuer. Bullied as a child, she shies away from people and prefer pets instead. They’re kinder, love her unconditionally and she relates to them more.

Grace suffers from depression and anxiety, as well as compassion fatigue – which you can read more about here on my website.

The first half of the novel is currently being revised. I’ve just uploaded new drafts of the first five chapters, and hope to have updates on the remaining nine chapters over the next week.

So if you are an animal rescuer or advocate, and think you might enjoy this novel, please help me portray these brave, unsung heroes of the pet crisis properly.

You can read the novel free of charge here on my website and leave comments below each chapter or email them to me.

You’ll also be helping the cause. When the novel is published, a portion of each sale will be donated to pet shelters and animal rescue groups around the world. See my webpage — A Promise — for details.

It’s a win-win situation I hope you’ll love being a part of.

Thanks and have a great day,

Colleen 🙂

Contact me at thepatronsaintofdogs@gmail.com

Advertisements

Dog Cull Casts Shame on The Games at the Sochi Olympics

Biological trash

I always put my life on hold to watch the Olympics. It is the greatest show on earth, one that has moved me, inspired me, and made me proud to be a Canadian — and a citizen of the world.

The Olympics represent so much of our global hopes: peace, brotherhood, cooperation, tolerance, honour and dedication. I cheer on every athlete, especially the underdogs, and am electrified by seeing their dreams coming true before my eyes.

Do you remember the minute of silence we had at the opening ceremonies in Lillehammer for the citizens of Sarajevo during the Bosnian war? I’ve never forgotten it. Spiritually, it was one of the most electrifying moments of my life. When Juan Antonia Samaranch asked a live, global audience to rise and bow our heads in their honour for one minute I rose – and felt one billion people standing up with me.

The Olympics makes me feel like a citizen of the world – but this year they are making me feel ashamed of the Games.

You see, they’re killing stray dogs in Sochi in preparation for the Olympics.

Amidst the cries of inconvenience by journalists and tourists that their rooms aren’t ready, pest control firms are creeping around at night, poisoning and shooting the thousands of dogs the city of Sochi has neglected to date.

At this time of world peace — when nations come together and lay down their petty squabbles and trade disputes, when countries struggling under brutal rulers and oppressive economic policies send a young, hopeful athlete to represent their country — they’re killing man’s best friend to spruce up for the occasion.

I’m not an animal rights activist or a member of an advocacy group, but I do speak up for those who can’t. And there is something so wrong about this dog cull that it’s searing me inside.

Mankind domesticated dogs to help us – and now we’ve turned our back on many of them. They’ve helped us survive and evolve and hunt and track and protect ourselves for tens of thousands of years. Now their function in society ranges from being a luxury in rich nations to a food source in poor ones. No matter which nation they live in, millions of dogs there are homeless and hungry and abandoned and abused.

When they become a subject of mass extermination to prepare for the greatest show on earth, it’s time for this citizen of the world to stand up and say:

This Is Wrong. Stop killing dogs – you are bring shame to the Games.

Please, stand up and speak out as a citizen of the world and tell Sochi to stop the cull. Tell Sochi this is wrong. Dead wrong.

Man’s best friend deserves at least that much from us. Sign a petition. Tweet. Post your feelings on social media. Don’t just sit there and swallow your sentiments.

I know we can’t save every dog in the world, but there are times when people of good conscience can’t stand idly by and watch a grave injustice done. Won’t you help?

*gets down off soapbox*

I’m writing a novel called The Patron Saint of Dogs — and if I don’t speak up for the dogs of Sochi, I’m not worthy of that noble cause.

Colleen MacDougall
Brampton, Ontario, Canada
@PatronSaintDogs
#SochiDogs #Sochi2014 #Olympics #Sochi #Dogs

NOTE: petitions are posted on change.org and thepetitionsite.com and there is an email campaign at the link on the photo above

The Adventures of an Author writing about Rescuing Dogs

During my years as a dog walker, I rescued many animals that crossed my path when they were in need of help. Some incidents have made it into the novel. This past Tuesday, I encountered another dog in need.

I was working on The Patron Saint of Dogs when I heard a woman outside calling for help. She was yelling, “Get this dog away from me!”

I looked out the window and saw a stray black dog beside our busy road. He was only trying to say hello to her dog, but she was trying to kick him away. I grabbed my leash, a quick-lock choke chain, and a handful of dog biscuits, then ran down three flights of stairs.

One of the county’s trucks had stopped to assist her but had scared the dog away. He ran farther when he saw me approaching, then was about to cross the street…

I almost panicked but knew I had to calm down so he would calm down. Then I bent over — a half downward-dog — and talked to him sweetly. Once he gave his tail a tentative wag I tossed a cookie near him and kept cooing. He came to me on his own and I put the leash on him – victory!

He gobbled his treat but had no collar or tags.

I brought him up to my apartment, grabbed my phone and coat, then we headed back outside. Was on hold for Animal Services when his owner drove by, looking for the runaway.

They were thrilled to see each other. Once I got Molson into his Dad’s car he covered my face in puppy kisses. It is one of the most rewarding things an animal lover can do — help reunite a lost pet with his owner.

The man told me that Molson, a young Black Lab/Husky cross, had dug his way out of the back yard. I explained that once a dog has successfully escaped, he’ll be eager to do it again because his adventures were a great reward for boredom.

I took the opportunity to give his Dad a lecture about ensuring Molson was wearing a collar and tag at all times. I also explained the importance of getting him microchipped, so he can phone home when lost.

It is vital that when a pet goes astray the Animal Shelter is immediately notified. That way, if he gets sighted, the shelter can provide people calling to report seeing him with his parent’s phone number. Then they’ll get the call to search the last area where he was seen, and hopefully pick up the dog themselves when he’s found. That can save a dog a traumatizing trip to the shelter and its parents the hefty fine.

Molson was a sweet dog who was no harm to the woman screaming for help. Had he been a white fluffy dog, she probably wouldn’t have been as alarmed. But because he was big and black and had no identification, he was treated as a threat.

People are not the only ones who suffer discrimination – dogs do too.

Compassion Fatigue, Yes It’s Real

Heartfelt and moving article about the personal costs of working with doomed shelter animals

mymegaedog

Author’s Note: All of the dogs featured in this blog have been adopted, with the exception of Lizzy, the first photograph.

I read an article awhile ago about compassion fatigue in animal welfare, and though the article was geared toward shelter workers, it struck a chord with me as well.

I often find ways to discount my feelings. I’m an expert at building emotional barriers to distance myself from traumas in my life, of which I’ve had an unfortunate number, but recently, the distance that I thought I was building is starting to cave in on me. As Joe put it, “You’ve been putting all that in the back of your mind and now the back of your mind is full and it’s got nowhere to go.”

Lizzy face

The nightmares started about three months ago. I’ve suffered with night terrors all my life and I go through phases when they are…

View original post 997 more words

%d bloggers like this: