Time Well Spent (got jacked up on rage)

They knew us as the ones who checked the day’s euth list for the names of the dogs scheduled to be killed the next morning, who came to take the death-row dogs…for a last long walk, brought them good dinners, cleaned out their kennels, and made their beds with beach towels and bath mats and Scooby-Doo fleece blankets still warm from industrial dryers…They knew us as the ones who worked for free, who felt that an hour stroking a blanket-wrapped dog whose head never left your lap and who was killed the next morning was time well spent…The knew me as one who love in them…the patent need, the clinging, the appetite. They knew me as one who saw their souls in their faces, who had never seen eyes more expressive than theirs in colors of clover honey, root beer, riverbed… We would do anything for them – their heads and bodies crossed with scars like unlucky life lines in a human hand, yet whose tails still wagged when we reached to pet them…They knew me as one who got jacked up on rage and didn’t know what to do with it, until a dog dug a ball from the corner of his kennel and brought it to my side, as though to ask, “Have you thought of this.” …They knew me as one who saw through the windowed panel…a dog lift first one front paw and then the other, offering a paw to shake though there was no one there, doing a trick he had once been taught and praised for…They knew me as one who decoded the civic boast of a “full-service” shelter, that it means the place kills animals, that the “full service” offered is death…They knew me as one who asked another volunteer if she would mind holding Creamsicle, a young vanilla and orange pup, while I cleaned his soiled kennel and made his bed at the end of the night…We were both tired, and took turns holding the pup against our hearts. They saw this; they knew this. The ward went quiet. We took our time.

~ Amy Hempel, from “A Full-Service Shelter” in “Sing to It: New Stories” (Scribner, March 26, 2019)

 


Image Source

Big Baby

A rare black rhinoceros calf, born on Dec. 9, is seen with his mother Maisha at a zoo in the Czech city of Dvur Kralove nad Labem. (David Tanecek, wsj.com January 4, 2018). More on the story here.

Soul Crushing

@whs_worldheritagespecies: Soul crushing image of a rhino fetus whose mother had been poached the evening before. Poachers, those who benefit from selling a rhino’s horn, those who believe the horn is a “miracle” drug, and the courts that let poachers walk free are cancers of the planet!😡😡 It’s not very often that I post a photo of myself, but I thought I would share my experience at a rhino poaching incident I was working at in South Africa this year. I’ve been working closely with wildlife vets, particularly for my rhino photojournalism story. A few weeks ago we were called to a rhino who had been killed by poachers during the night. The vets performed an autopsy on her to find the bullet; a vital piece of evidence in the investigation. In this case the cow was shot badly by the poachers, she was hit in the stomach causing her to die a slow and extremely painful death during night. I was taking photos and helping the vets where I could as they cut through her to search for the bullets when I overheard one of the vets mention that she was pregnant. I ran to the back of the rhino just as they were slicing open the amniotic sack, exposing this foetus, which was close to being born. Conservation, particularly of rhino, is something I’ve been involved in for a long time. I’ve been to poaching incidents before, I’ve seen some gruesome things, but this is something that will haunt me for a very long time. His fragile skin was soft to the touch, and tore easily with the most gentle of brushes. His feet were underdeveloped, his lifeless eyes glazed behind the thick eyelashes that had started to grow. There in the grass he lay, next to his mother, who must have died slowly, agonisingly, and full of fear in the dark night. His opportunity to live torn away at the pull of a trigger, and at the greed of mankind. I’ll be revealing some of my work from this incident over the next few weeks. Photo credit: @lisa_vet_graham IG My Instagram: @benswildlife

T.G.I.F.: It’s been a long week


Photo by Michael Lane: Hippo butt bite from The hilarious winners of the 2018 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards (Telegraph.com Nov 15, 2018)

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call: Heart beat. (Nose Twitch)


Notes:

  • Gif Photo of Patagonian Mara by Head Like an Orange
  • Inspired by: This moment. This breath between us. The space between your heartbeats. The moment before you blink. The instant a thought flashes through your mind. It is everything that is around us. Life. Energy. Flowing, endlessly flowing, carrying you from then…to now…to tomorrow. Listen: you can hear the music of it. Of the passage of time. ― Lisa Mangum, Hourglass Door

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call


Photo: Debosavold – Lemure (via Cheetah Camp)

TGIF: 5:00 P.M. Bell!


A farmer in China’s Hebei province rides his 1,300-lb. pet pig. (Chen Xiaodong, wsj.com August 31, 2018)

Saturday Morning

Make some room for yourself, human animal.
Even a dog jostles about on his master’s lap to
improve his position. And when he needs space he
runs forward, without paying attention to commands
or calls.
If you didn’t manage to receive freedom as a gift,
demand it as courageously as bread and meat.
Make some room for yourself, human pride and
dignity.
The Czech writer Hrabal said:
I have as much freedom as I take.

~ Julia Hartwig, Demand It Courageously, from In Praise of the Unfinished


Notes:

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call


Photo: Matt Cowell (via Cheetah Camp). “Got into this mass/pod/gathering of hippo in the southern Serengeti – as the river was drying up, so these animals amassed together in a soup of old water and faeces. It was interesting to note that despite there being over a hundred grouped together, there was little friction and there seemed to be a quiet patience and understanding, all were waiting for the rains, not just for the river to rise, but also the grasses to flush again on the plains so they didn’t have to wander so far at night for food. Until then each was forced to wait, and while waiting so use their neighbour as a leaning post as they lazed through the hot hours of the day…”

Monday Morning


Photo: A lion yawns at the Wilhema Zoo in Stuttgart, Germany. Photo by Christoph Schmidt, Zuma Press (wsj.com December 26, 2017)

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