Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Petfinder Post: Thursday Is Pet Day

First the NaPoWriMo poem, then, in celebration of National Pet Day and of all the pets you readers have helped to liberate from shelters, the adoptable pets...


In Marxist schemes the powers that be
Make of elections idle show.
They can't choose A who can't choose B;
They can't say Yes who can't say No.
The candidates one party has selected
Cannot in truth be said to be elected.

One thing is not another thing.
The contrast highlights each thing's features.
Humanity's the kind of thing
We learn from life with other creatures.
Part of the dog's role in the cosmic plan
Is teaching his boy how to be a man.

We're not the only kind that feel,
Nor yet the only kind that reason;
God's image in us, if it's real
(Although this sounds like species treason),
Seems more a matter of degree than kind.
Ours is the larger, not the only mind.

Some thing is missing from a man
Who doesn't claim some kind of pet;
He thinks too much of his own plan;
Others' perspectives he can't get;
He may say he likes human company best,
Projecting his own thoughts on all the rest.

God's image in us is a constant duty
To cultivate the garden God has given,
Perfecting harmony, enhancing beauty,
Preparing in this world to live in Heaven;
Responsibility for other creatures
Is part integral of our human natures.

And Now, About the Actual Pets... 

Most weeks we feature either cat or dog photos, but this week, since we've been reviewing last year's pets' pages for so long, why not one of each? The category for each species is "new web pages, featured on the front page of the Petfinder search for the species and zipcode." 

Zipcode 10101: Safira from St Thomas by Way of New Jersey 

Guess whose picture leaped out in the very first place on page one, and really came close to winning all over again? Our old friend Pippen, discussed last winter and again last week. We must move forward with these awards. The cutest cat photo on the front page for zipcode 10101, apart from Pippen and apart from an adorable long-haired FIV-positive fluffball, is Safira, who was found as a stray, begging on the street, on St Thomas island and brought to the mainland by someone who couldn't keep her. She and her daughter have had veterinary care, for which adopters will undoubtedly be paying. The shelter staff sound a bit control-freaky, demanding answers to questions about you before they answer your questions about the cat. I recommend never typing accurate personal information onto a computer. The technical name for trying to get information about you, online, before you've even agreed to pay for anything, is phishing. It should be reported if shelter staff can't be dissuaded from it by a simple reminder of how harmful it is. 

Suga from Korea via New York City  

On its face this sounds like a deal that can't be beaten. Some people in Korea eat dogs. Others argue that dogs are more valuable as pets. So they rescued this dog from a dog-meat farm and are looking for proof that he was eagerly snapped up as a pet. Maybe that's the only reason why they're in such a hurry to get him adopted. Suga's adoption fee has been sponsored and, if he likes you (they say he is, unreasonably, cautiously friendly to humans) enough that you adopt him, he comes with supplies and the first couple of lessons with a professional dog trainer. There are adoption events where you can meet this dog. He's a Spitz, not an oversized Pomeranian, and not the most popular breed in America, but Spitzen can be great pets too. Suga is recommended to people who like daily exercise and spending time outdoors. He is thought to have reached his full size, but is still young and full of energy. He's learned to walk at heel in town, though.

Zipcode 20202: Lux from D.C.

She sounds a bit like Serena--a companionable, friendly cat who'd rather bounce and pounce than be snuggled. Long before she was a leggy almost-one-year-old like the kitten shown here, Serena was a lively cat who really needed another bouncy-pouncy kitten to play with. Trying to keep up with a playful half-grown cat is like trying to keep up with a five-year-old child. Maybe her foster family have a companion in mind for her. Maybe you have. Lux looks as if she might be a bit more whimsical, less imperious, than Serena. Appearances can deceive. I wouldn't be too surprised if she wanted her cat buddy to be her friend not yours...control of the human is how some cats assert their status as ruling queen.

Iris from Texas via D.C.  

These German Shepherd types are too valuable to grow up in a shelter. The right person could train them to be police or service dogs. So their photo's been posted on Petfinder pages all over the US and Canada. Each little girl dog weighed a little over 40 pounds when photographed; Mama is obviously bigger. They had been pets but were abandoned with the house, in a hostile neighborhood where they learned to hide from people. Apparently it was a family bonding experience. They need a firm and friendly human leader. My feeling is that the $700 adoption fee should cover the whole pack, but this is the breed most often chosen to guide and rescue humans--Iris, the one in the middle, or her pale-colored sister Ines, or even their mother April, might be worth $700 or more per dog before their stories are over. Their foster humans describe Iris as "perfect." All cats and dogs do a perfect job of being themselves, but Iris has quite an impressive resume for a puppy. A Texan could probably cut the adoption fee considerably by driving out to meet her near her foster home.

Zipcode 30303: Hermes from Atlanta   

That's Hermes with an accent mark, as in French designer label, not merely in Greek mythology. He comes with a rather high price tag because he's thought to be a Russian Blue. (Reminding me of a long-ago shelter cat I thrust upon a friend who decided to keep her after another friend said "Is she what they call a Russian Blue?") 

Genetically Russian Blue cats are very similar to Siamese-American crossbreeds, so it's hard to be sure. The breed was developed by mixing Siamese and ordinary short-haired tabbies, originally at a monastery in Russia. They are slim, graceful cats, sometimes small, sometimes long and lean, often remembered by their humans as unusually clever and loyal pets. As they mature, especially if they spend time out in the sunshine, they tend to look like ordinary, skinny American grey tabbies, not much thinner or bluer-toned to the casual eye. But they're special. You know it, and they know it. They often have high squeaky voices, tend to squeak a lot when they're only "talking," and may cry like a human baby if they're unhappy. 

Hermes comes with quite the story about his early life, and is said to be friendly and "talky." They insist that he be adopted either by or with another cat. He's a bouncy-pouncy adolescent cat and needs a friend of his own kind to bounce with.

I should add that the Atlanta cat photo page is looking much better than it often did last year, with several appealing cat pictures. On the downside...the appealing pictures still include not only the Weird Sisters, whom I categorically refuse to feature again before July but somebody Out There has to want a social cat family, but also Mama Flo...whom we featured two years ago. Someone needs to adopt that Mama Flo. 

Briar from Atlanta 

Some guys like to joke about "breeding male" being the ideal job, and why is it not available to humans? Actually there were slavemasters in these United States who wanted to keep breed registries for slaves, who did advertise men and women as breeding stock. The less we think about that, probably, the better. Anyway this photogenic old dog was kept as breeding stock at a puppy mill, and though he probably enjoyed his job, he was neither petted nor adequately fed. He's said to soak up affection as if starved for it. His photo gallery shows how he's been mopping up food, too. He has some old puppy mill buddies who are looking for homes, too. Veterinary care has made sure that they won't have to produce any more puppies. They're not quite geriatric, for foxhounds, but they're not young dogs and have had enough puppies for this lifetime. They are for companionship only. Still, you can brag about their papers and pedigrees if you want to.

They had a photo for his pal Harper, but it's in a different format, probably taken with a phone camera; it loaded slowly on the Petfinder page and refused to upload here. If you visit the shelter's Petfinder page, by the time you get there they may have a photo for the hounds' other friend Camila. These dogs were not apparently allowed to hang out together, but probably recognize one another's scents and voices.

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