THE PATRICK MIRACLE. I wanted this post to be a happy one and basically it is. But I'm starting with an account of horrendous dog cruelty. Patrick's story is on the internet, Care2, and Facebook.
Most of us can look into the face of an animal and see reflected love and kindness. The woman who owned Patrick obviously was bereft of any such feelings of love and compassion for her dog - a fellow living being. Patrick was now skins and bones, so this woman decided to get rid of her dying dog. She put him in a garbage bag and sent him down the garbage chute provided for each of the 22 floors of her building where she lived. Why did she ever have a dog in the first place?
A maintenance worker found Patrick on March 16 in the apartment complex trash bin. He heard a moan coming from the garbage bag. I would imagine that he was crestfallen when he opened it and discovered Patrick who was within hours of death when found. In fact, the first photos taken of him looked like those of a corpse. The alleged owner, according to Fox News, is Kisha Curtis, 28, of Newark. She was charged Friday with two counts of abandonment and two counts of failure to provide sustenance to the animal. In my opinion, these should be felony counts, but don't bet on it. In America we have not yet learned that animal cruelty is a serious offense and needs more than a misdemeanor penalty.
Patrick has been treated by Garden State Veterinary Specialists and is doing amazingly well. He is getting stronger each day. My first prayer for you, Patrick, is that you will be well and healthy. My second prayer is that you will find a home where you will be able to forget the abject cruelty of your former owner who made life for you a virtual hell. May your new owner make it a heavenly experience - one which will allow you to completely erase from your psyche your painful and suffering past. Is this possible? I don't know, but I do know that there are a lot more people like me out there hoping so.
MOKO THE DOLPHIN. Moko, the cheeky bottlenose dolphin who associated with humans on the east coast of the North Island of New Zealand was named one of the the top 10 heroic animals on Time magazine's website. He earned this honor by preventing a mother pygmy sperm whale and calf from beaching themselves on Mahia Beach, south of Gisborne.
In March 2008 two pygmy sperm whales were trapped betwen a sandbar and Mahia Beach. Malcolm Smith, a Department of Conservation worker, was notified. He and other rescuers tried for an hour and a half to re-float the whales, but with no success. Finally, it seemed to them that perhaps the humane thing to do would be to kill them. But then Moko appeared and approached the pair of distressed whales. He was able to lead them through a narrow channel to the safety of the sea.
When people tell us that animals are not intelligent; when people tell us that animals don't have compassion - I can only think that they are wrong. Arrogant man from time immemorial has failed to recognize -until recent times that indeed animals are intelligent, and perhaps who knows - may have degrees of compassion for their fellow animals as with the case of Moko. Was it compassion or instinct? I want to believe that it was compassion. Sometimes I think animals have more compassion than humans.
There is more about Moko who at one time during his short life was lonely and bored. A swimmer engaged him in play late in the evening. After tiring she wanted to swim away but he wanted her to continue to play. So, he unwittingly stranded her. She began to panic and scream and people rowed out to rescue her. She realized later that it was really not Moko's fault but hers for swimming so late in the evening. I agree.
Scientists were worried about Moko's welfare because a study conducted on him revealed that he had been scarred by boats and a fish hook. He was last seen following a fishing boat to Tauranga on June 3, 2010. Sadly, Moko was only four years old when he was found dead on a beach at Matakana Island near Tauranga on July 7, 2010. The world was less, Moko, because you no longer occupy a place in it.
UPDATE ON PATRICK. I wanted to write about some of the other wonderful animals who inspire, but today Care2 carried another article on Patrick. If you love dogs, you'll just have to click the internet and see this beautiful, innocent dog with sad eyes being held so tenderly and lovingly by someone in the hospital.
Now the very, very good news coming from Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn Murray who upgraded the animal cruelty charges against Kisha Curtis to a fourth-degree criminal charge which carries a stiffer sentence - 18 months in jail and/or a $3,000 fine if she is convicted. I don't think that any of the 207 commentors on this post would feel anything but joy should the book be thrown at her. One even hoped that should she be convicted, her inmates would view dog cruelty like they do child cruelty and make her stay in prison a pure hell.
Re the announcement of harsher charges, Col.Frank Rizzo of the new Jersey SPCA left this statement on Patrick's page found on the Associated Humane Societies of the New Jersey website:
"Please let this serve as an update on the Patrick the Pitbull case against Kisha Curtis. After careful consideration, we have decided to upgrade the charges against Ms.Curtis from disorderly persons offenses to indictable offense 4:22-17 (b) - torment and torture. The public must know that we will not tolerate this kind of behaviour towards animals in the State of N.J. and we will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law."
There is also good news re Patrick's improvement. On March 29th he began wagging his tail when he saw staff members at Garden State Veterinary Specialists where he is if being cared for. The manager there said that he is truly becoming a real dog again.
On March 30th he gave kisses to his rescuers from the Associated Humane Societies of New Jersey when they came for a visit. He has also gained 2 1/4 pounds.
On March 31st, he was eating enough for the 50 pound dog he should have been had Curtis fed him.