ITT: Fel Fire goes to the dogs! (And promotes Brajana’s contest!)

July 7, 2009 at 2:53 pm 11 comments

ReesesMeet Reeses.

This adorable little puppy — most likely a Plott hound mix of some kind, although she was initially billed as a pit bull — was abandoned by her owners in the desert outside of Maricopa, Arizona.  The local animal control officer fell in love with her and snapped a few photos on his camera phone, which he sent to the city’s self-proclaimed Pet Social Worker

The Pet Social Worker (who just so happens to own the pet sitting company I moonlight for) posted Reeses’s picture in the Pets section of the community forum — encouraging anyone who might be interested in her to contact the county pound.

At about the same time, a friend of mine was looking for a new dog, so — incorrigible matchmaker that I am! — I called the shelter to ask a few questions about the pound puppy that the Pet Social Worker was promoting online.  As a part of a routine “pre-adoption” interview, my name and phone number were added to her file.

My friend eventually decided not to adopt a dog, so I marked the forum thread “read” and resolved simply to hope for the best. 

About three weeks later, I received an unexpected phone call from a 520 area code:

“Hi, is this Michelle?  This is Pinal County Animal Care & Control.  We’re about to put this puppy to sleep, but I have a Post-In note in her file with your name and number.  Were you interested in adopting her?  If so, I can stop the euthanasia…”

That, ladies and gentle-tauren, is emotional blackmail at its finest.

I left work early that day and drove the 40 or so miles from Phoenix to Casa Grande to pick up the terrified, tick-infested, oh-so pathetic little mutt who very nearly broke my heart.


It took a long time for Reeses to warm up to people, but she took an immediate liking to my dogs.  As you can see, Nala, my German Shepherd, became a special friend:

Reeses and Nala

Like many rescues, Reeses was definitely a “project.”  She was intimidated by the doggie door and absolutely terrified of the leash, so house training was difficult… to say the least.  She didn’t like to be touched, was deathly afraid of men, and inevitably fled in terror at loud noises or sudden movements (and believe me, there are a lot of those in a house with five dogs, two cats and a 13 year-old). 

She also thought the coffee table was a chew toy and ate half the couch. 

Eventually — with time, love and a small fortune in milkbones — Reeses came around.  I eventually found a permanent home for her, with a family who adores her and sends me Christmas cards every year with her picture on them.

Reeses - all grown up!

*  *  *

Why am I sharing this story on an ostensibly WoW blog?

Because — as I’m sure you know by now — Brajana of Mend Pet is celebrating her one-year anniversary and 250th post by hosting a “Need More Stable Slots” SPCA Charity Drive & Giveaway

In Brajana’s words:

The SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) is constantly working to provide health care and shelters for pets and animals that have been abandoned and abused.  All the pets I’ve ever had have come from local shelters, which would not exist without the help of charities and their doughty volunteers.

Needless to say, this is a cause I feel passionately about. 

Unfortunately, most people don’t realize how large the pet overpopulation problem is, or even that there is pet overpopulation problem.  To put things in perspective: the American Humane Society estimates that the United States euthanizes 9 million unwanted dogs and cats each year.  Given the current state of the economy, and the distressing number of “foreclosure pets” being abandoned along with their homes, this number can only go up.

The SPCA strives to alleviate the problem by providing financial support to rescue organizations by “awarding multiple cash grants to needy shelters every month. This money goes a long way toward helping the shelters improve their physical conditions, enhance their spay and neuter programs, and ultimately reduce euthanasia rates.”  To anyone who loves animals, it is a very worthy cause.

To donate to the SPCA (and to enter Brajana’s giveaway in the process!), or to contribute prizes — such as loot cards, game time, or some special talent or service — please visit Mend Pet before July 31.

And to adopt a new pet, visit your local shelter. 

Unconditional love has a face.  For me, it looks a lot like this:

Three out of four are rescues!


Entry filed under: WoW. Tags: .

Fish creep me out, IRL. Exploit or creative use of game mechanics?

11 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Syrana  |  July 7, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    Awww, they are all adorable… and yeah, that kind of phone call is tough. Who wants to say “no thanks, go ahead”? 😦

  • 2. Sean  |  July 7, 2009 at 10:16 pm

    Thanks for the story. You did an honorable thing in helping to spare Reeses life.

    The cognitive dissonance, though, that stories like this reveal among most people continues to confuse me. Almost everyone will empathize with Reese and applaud you for your effort to secure him a loving home. Yet the dog that couldn’t be allowed to die is thought to be worlds away from the pig, a creature demonstrably more intelligent, that made up one’s morning bacon. If you’re willing to protect the interests of one animal, you should also not exploit others that are similar in kind. The SPCA is great, but the tens of millions of domesticated animals that are euthanized each year is paltry compared to the over 10 billion farm animals that are killed annually.

    Also, never knew you lived in Phoenix. I lived in (northeast) Mesa for some 12 years before moving out for college and now grad school.

  • 3. Uaha  |  July 8, 2009 at 7:38 am

    Hey, the last picture there… the dog in the lower right… what breed/mix? I have a dog that looks EXACTLY like that…

    • 4. Elleiras  |  July 9, 2009 at 12:52 pm

      I don’t actually know. I’m guessing Boxer mixed with Lab and perhaps some kind of sighthound (since he bays like one and has amazing eyesight).

      • 5. Uaha  |  July 9, 2009 at 12:54 pm

        Interesting… Our little girl doesn’t bark unless a rabbit or some other animal (like a bobcat [I’m serious]) comes into our yard. However, she doesn’t like to bark, so it sounds more like a forced whisper. Sighthound, though… I’ll have to look that up.

      • 6. Uaha  |  July 9, 2009 at 12:59 pm

        Boxer + ?

        • 7. Elleiras  |  July 9, 2009 at 1:02 pm


          Maybe. Mine definitely has those little mismatched ears that look two sizes two small for his head.

          • 8. Uaha  |  July 9, 2009 at 1:03 pm

            And rotate forward to let you know they’re paying attention?

            • 9. Elleiras  |  July 9, 2009 at 1:04 pm

              lol, yes!

    • 10. Elleiras  |  July 9, 2009 at 12:54 pm

      I’m half-tempted to do this:

      • 11. Uaha  |  July 9, 2009 at 12:56 pm

        A friend of mine did it and was satisfied with the results. I’m interested to know, but I’m glad that they won’t have any of the fun breed specific mess to look forward to.


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