Having lost our precious Angel almost one year ago, I cannot begin to stress how important it is to know how the 4th of July is the worst day for pet owners everywhere.
Please read these tips to help keep your fur babies safe and prevent tragedies like what happened to our Angel. Please share this with as many pet owners as possible and let’s keep them safe.
It’s been months since our beloved Angel passed away and we made the difficult decision to add another family member to our already crowded home of little monsters. After careful research of the breed and weighing all the pros and cons, we decided to add another boy to the brood.
Meet our new Siberian Husky, Miles Jacob.
He has adapted to the tugs, pulls, pokes and the hands-on personalities of my little ones quite well. He is definitely a family dog as he enjoys spending time with ALL of the family members although the only alpha [fe]male in his life would be moi.
It wasn’t until Miles, that I realized that dogs truly make people happy. Let me clarify that statement a bit more. Previously, I was a bit of a skeptic about people absolutely needing a dog in their life to function. I still am a skeptic as I’ve seen people first hand try and work the system and claim that they need an emotional support animal, knowing that they are NOT in definite need. I’d like to simply leave that whole topic alone because that’s not where this post was heading.
What I noticed with Miles, and I’m not sure if it has anything to do with him being a husky, is that he gets a LOT of attention. With that attention comes strangers wanting to chat with us about him, wanting to take photos of and with him, and wanting to share their life stories about their own huskies or dog. True story. While we don’t mind all the attention he gets, what stands out the most is the way he can simply change someone’s demeanor from “leave me alone” to “oh my goodness you are adorable” while they smile from ear to ear.
I am the type of person that believes that a little bit of happiness can go a long way. By Miles’ fun loving personality making people smile, it in turn warms our hearts to know that he has created a brief moment of happiness for others as well.
Now here goes my shameless plug to follow him on Instagram just because he is adorable. @iheartmiles
1. Why do I have such a strong desire to want to own one of these furry oddities even though they look like monster gerbils?
2. Why does the name Richard Gere pop into my mind. Well I actually know the answer to number 2.
Either way. This over-sized rodent is super adorable.
…I’d like to know why time goes by slower than freakin’ molasses?!
Let’s just say that the last two days have been dragging arse kinda like walking behind seniors on senior night at Hometown Buffet. No offense to seniors or Hometown because I love them both (well not-so-much Hometown but the kids love it).
It seems that the various stages of grief like to visit me randomly throughout the day. According to several online self-help grief websites, the numbers vary from 5 to 7, but nevertheless, they have been ever present. A not-so-welcome hello! to Denial, Anger, Disbelief, Bargaining and Acceptance. Well actually I don’t mind the visit from acceptance but I feel like a bouncing ball. Going back and forth with my emotions while at the drop of a hat (like when a memory of Angel pops in my mind) my smile fades and I become an inconsolable waterfall. Even driving around town makes my face turn sour just thinking about where he may have been running for hours and hours. I have decided that I need to focus on the good times, fun memories and most of all be positive. Rather than be sad that he’s gone, I am doing my best (though easier said than done) to be happy that he was a part of our lives and brought so much happiness these past three and a half years.
C’mon hourglass, run your course. Until then, positive thoughts and maybe a few woosahs here and there.
In previous years, I had known that the 4th of July was a terrible day for pets in general. At around 7:30 pm, we closed the front door, leaving our two boys at home while we headed to watch the fireworks at the beach. Little did we know that our lab/catahoula mix, Angel, would not be found when we returned home at 11:00 pm. Our other dog ran out to greet us as we opened the door, but no Angel. Immediately, I drove around the area while my eldest brought the little ones inside and got them ready for bed. Our boys had wandered before, but they always found their way back and never ventured too far from home. After 1:30 am, I called it quits and went to bed praying to hear some good news in the morning. I look back and wish that I would have kept driving around, but he had two contact numbers on his collar and he was micro-chipped.
The next morning, we received a call that no pet owner ever wants to receive. Angel’s body was found in the middle of the 101 freeway northbound and he was gone. I was at work when I received the news and the tears began to flow. My poor Angel baby was so scared and probably just wanted to make it home, but got lost along the way. My heart sank. I called Cal-trans and they told me that they received a phone call regarding a dog on the side of the freeway and then contacted us after finding our numbers on his collar. Having never experienced such a tragedy, I had no idea what to do. They asked if I wanted them to bring him to me and if they should bag him. I broke down crying and explained that I did not know what I was supposed to do. I had no clue whatsoever. They came and brought him to my daughter and I and we simply tried to comprehend what was happening. It was so surreal and unbelievable to see his body. The rigor mortis had already begun to set in and we could see the blood around his head where the blunt force trauma took place. We brought him to the pet hospital in order to say our goodbyes at the end of the day.
As I was driving back to work in order to wrap some things up before taking the day off, I saw a dog crossing the middle of the street without an owner. With tears already streaming down my face, I slowed down and put on my hazards while pulling over to the side where the dog was. While looking around, I tried to find where the owner was. I honestly chuckled to myself and thought, “Is this really happening?” The dog began to walk into the middle of the street and I then jumped out and began to go after her with traffic slowing down on all three sides. Someone shouted to me and asked if that was my dog and I replied, “No, but my dog didn’t make it today, so I’m making sure this one does.”
There are many unanswered questions surrounding what happened, such as how did he get out? Why didn’t my other dog follow him as he usually does? Could someone have opened our door by accident considering we live in an apartment complex? Why did we not see him on any of the complex cameras? How long was he lost for? If someone had reported a stray dog, would that have changed the outcome?
Nothing can change what happened last night, but I know that one person’s actions of simply reporting seeing him would have given me some kind of lead. I had contacted the police department in order to report him lost and provided a description and my phone number. They said if any sightings were made with his description that they would call. Our family said our good-byes and my little ones grieved in different ways. My six-year-old was extremely emotional while the two younger ones were more quiet. They said that he was sleeping and simply stroked his head and said good-bye to him. When I first broke the news to my six-year-old while driving to pick up the other ones, he seemed okay. He simply said that it was okay because all we needed was some lightning and he would be fine (like Frankenweenie). With all the tears that had been shed, the innocence that children possess can make a grim situation shine just a little bit brighter.
While we may not be able to prevent dogs from getting lost in general, there should be something that we can do to promote awareness of animals that are seen wandering. The 4th of July has to be hands down the worst holiday for pet owners as many pets are extremely frightened of the loud noises and sounds going off randomly. In a conversation with my sister, I explained how I wished someone would have called it in that there was a dog wandering. I could tell by his paws that he had been running for quite sometime before his untimely death. Her response was, “I wouldn’t even know who to call.” That is exactly what needs to change. Awareness of what to do and a little kindness can go a long way. I’ve always believed that one person has more power than you would think to believe, but it’s true. Reporting sightings of wandering dogs may not save them all, but perhaps it may save just one and prevent the heartbreak that our family now has to endure. He was not just a pet, but rather a member of our family. The children shared many special times with him and he meant the world to us. Angel’s memory will live on and we will remember him everyday that we raise awareness to others in knowing what to do when they see a wandering pet. Today we lost a family member, but I also saved another family’s “Angel.”
You are always in our hearts my baby boy Angel. We love you.