Thursday, September 22, 2011

Bad Times and Good Times

My summer was a time of polar opposites. I had some achievements and some tear jerking moments.

I will start with the achievements, and end with the sad moments, that still haunt me.

I started a gardening program at the Edmonton Institute for Women(prison). I spent most of my summer helping the ladies grow a vegetable garden and now we are harvesting it. I got an award from them for starting the program and got to shake the Mayor's hand....while I was asking him for compost so our garden would be better next year.

I have never received an award for anything before, so it was a real highlight. The ones who should have received the award were the inmates who worked really hard weeding the gardens for $5 a day. I thought the money wouldn't matter to them, but it did. Some of them had no family to send them money, so the $5 a day bought them toothpaste, shampoo and other necessary items.

To all those lefties who yell about how crime is down and no new jails are need to get off your high (union induced delusions) and visit a prison near you to see how crowded they really are. You are such hypocrites, supposed champions of the poor, you fail to actually DO anything to actually help them. Most of the volunteers in the prisons are from non-profit organizations, usually Churches of some kind. They do not push religion, but their religion inspires them to volunteer.

I will continue to volunteer at the Institute because the ladies I meet there need to know that  someone cares.
Another good thing has come into our lives....her name is ASH!

She is a 60 lbs. spitball greyhound. The best thing is that she is ours, she won't be leaving us in a year to go to another family like the Dogs With Wings dogs. She is ours, to love and care for, to keep. She is also trying to get the squirrels to play with her, but they are too smart to come near her.

That leads me into the bad times. I am still sick at heart at what someone in our neighbourhood did to our poor little innocent squirrels.
Here we have two of the many squirrels that visited our yard this summer. They would come quite close to me to get peanuts. I enjoyed sitting out on the patio and watching them play.

We took this picture thinking the baby squirrel was really tired, but it is actually a picture of a poisoned and dying squirrel. I am still crying for that baby. People at work laughed because it was only a rodent. Well, I was able to scoop that baby squirrel up into a towel....I rocked it like you would any baby, and then we took it to all night emergency clinic where they put it down. When we got home, another squirrel was sick, but we couldn't catch it.

The next day, I was on the patio reading a book, and another baby squirrel came and curled up in the sun not even a foot from me, it had also been poisoned. I was going to let it just die peacefully beside me, but it was obviously in pain, so we made another trip to the vet, and another baby squirrel was put down.

We called the SPCA, Alberta Wildlife, anyone we could think of because if squirrels were dying from poison, next it would be cats and dogs, but we got no help from anyone.

Today the greyhound watched the one surviving squirrel, and wanted to play. The squirrel stayed out of her way and chattered at her, understanding that playing with a greyhound was not an option.

Someone in our area is setting out poison, but the city is more interested in a hockey arena then dead poisoned animals.


Southern Quebec said...

People that poison animals are sick f*cks! And yes you are right about them going after the cats and dogs next. I would try filing a police report. Then there is a permanent official record. Any chance your local Vet School would do a postmortem on the squirrel? (We once had a very sick goldfish and called the Montreal Aquarium for advice. They said the fish was going to die, but they would be happy to do an autopsy. February is quite at the Aquarium!)

Your dog is cool. How old is she?

Roy Eappen said...

I was in prison and you visited me.... You have taken the words of Our Lord to heart. God Bless!

Anne said...


I read your posts all the time but have never posted.

I just wanted to say that although I am as sick as you are about poisening any animals I do want to point out that squirrels can be a hazard to home owners.

Having had the same experiences as you with them a number of years ago, it was only later that my husband and I discovered they had gotten into the roof and ruined the insulation which we had to repair, very costly.

So, are you okay with a quick kill trap? Are you prepared to send out a flyer throughout your neighbourhood advising of the cruelty of poisoning but offering an alternative and being understanding of the fact that they can also be a hazardous pest. Live trapping is hard, I have done that too.

Another couple we knew had their wiring chewed which caused a fire, thankfully no one was hurt but the damage was extensive and it was a result of squirells chewing, lots of stories like that.

Bec said...

Anne makes some good observations but before reading her post, I was pondering the notion that perhaps the Squirrels are getting into a yard that is attempting to kill voles or mice?

It can be a real challenge to control those vermin but a careless homeowner may not realize that other wildlife are getting into their poison.

I hope it's innocent because if it's done this cruelly, that's just not okay.