Thursday, February 24, 2011

Second home study and a visit from the SPCA!

Today started off with a call from a local petstore. I had previously left 2 complaints with the store employee regarding the care of their turtles. Poor little lifeless turtles... heads hung on the ground, eyes closed and unresponsive to the touch. The turtles were kept in a frog terrarium... a little amount of water and no dry basking area and no heat lamp.

The owner and I had it out on the phone... his defense was that had been visited by the SPCA a year ago about his turtles (he assumed it was me that called them. - wrong.)and his turtles were found to be in great health and his store got great grades. So, we went toe to toe on almost every care issue, the water, the lights, the temperature, the frogs. (I have 2 Red eared sliders, and I am well educated on their habitat requirements.) We resolved it with his agreement to add a basking lamp and that he would read an email that I had previously made with information and informative links.

Shortly after this phone call, our Social worker showed up for our second visit. First question was how do you describe yourself? My answer - "Passionate".
Dan and I agree that we just love these visits. They are amazingly therapeutic! Questions asked of you that you would never think about. Questions that invoke thought and reflection... About yourself, your relationship with your spouse, your parenting skills etc. It's an incredible experience and unfortunate that not all parents can experience this. There are some things that we have realized could be improved or done differently... just by simply reflecting back on these questions!

20 minutes later, the door bell rings. A man introduces himself as a SPCA officer - as he flashes the badge on his belt. I'm thinking to myself... WOW... how does he know I have a bone to pick with someone!? LOL... Only to find out that someone made a report about a dog with an injured leg that has no shelter. I chuckled, invited him inside and introduced him to Mikha and Koda. Mikha is 10 years old and has bad arthritis in his rear leg. Arthritis that set in a leg that he had badly strained as a younger dog. He does limp after laying for too long or when the weather is colder. We juggle his pain meds... only giving it to him when we feel necessary as it harmful for his kidneys.
We live in a small town, and on the edge of town. We have a very large treed lot and a walking path right behind our property. Our neighbourhood and town are very dog friendly. Dogs are off leash... etc. Our dogs are permitted to hang outside "free". They don't run away... they mainly stay on our property, and our younger dog will accompany other dog walkers on the trail. In fact, many people come walking by to pick Koda up because he plays so well with their dog.
However, our dogs are indoor dogs. They are members of the family and they live with us. Dan and I can't help but chuckle about the silliness of it all. Yes... he can limp, but most dogs owner can tell it is arthritis in the hip.. it's quite obvious... and yes, we do let our dogs outside - but it doesn't mean we don't let them in! I try to think of what circumstances would have prompted this individual to make a report. Perhaps they walked by on a colder day, and both vehicles were not in the driveway and Mikha limped up to greet them? And so what... did they ring our door bell to see if someone was home, did they go into our backyard and look for a dog house, or a shed? We also shake our head at the fact that Mikha's long, thick coat makes him cold weather worthy for a much colder climate than here! Our average winter temp is 3 degrees above freezing! LOL... BUT... all chuckling aside, I am very happy that there are people out there that do care and do advocate for others and animals... We need to be the voice of the voiceless.

However, as the SPCA officer told my children.. "Those people should have done exactly what your Mom did with the owner of the turtles and spoke with her directly." All ended well... he was a very nice fellow, and said the situation was obvious when he walked up the driveway and met Mikha.

Hopefully, I will not have to resort to making a report. I really hope that my "voiced" concern will motivate the pet store owner to make some changes for those little turtles.

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