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« Goodbye, Rebel | Main | Dear San Francisco, please kiss my ass. »

08 August 2009


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There is little in the way of facts known about this case, but the volumes of hysteria in the blogosphere do more to reveal the various biases of the writers. Patrick Burns (terrierman) has slammed this woman as a nut job, others claim she is a lovely retired school teacher who works to support this pack of bassets and that she is devastated. Who's right? I have no idea, but I want to know the facts before I form an opinion, particularly before I go public with one.

I do know that the PSPCA is no collection of sweet little ladies and that PA is full of corrupt or incompetent animal law enforcement personnel. I know because I live in PA.


I have somewhat unusual views on this one.

I think that what she did was illegal, and she was asking for some fines. It was her responsibility to stay within the law.

However, working pack hounds are kept very differently from normal dogs, which one reason why they aren't kept in cities. She shouldn't have kept the dogs in the city. Okay, that was wrong.

My problem is that instead of working through this with her, they broke up the pack.

Now, there's another problem here. Packs of hounds aren't kept by one person. Packs are kept by "hunts." Hunts are clubs. Those dogs are not just the responsibility of one person, and as the reports point out, these dogs belonged to multiple people. Again, I don't know why a hunt would agree to keep a pack illegally in a city like that, but they did.

If what she did was cruelty, then I'm seeing tons of it where I live, where scenthound packs are kept in pens that aren't cleaned every five minutes.

Scenthounds have to be very independent of people. They just need to be socialized to people and other dogs, as well as livestock and farm equipment. The last thing you want is a dog that wants to listen to people all the time. And for that reason, they are kept outside with their packmates.

But this is a bad situation all around.

BTW, do not assume that I'm a libertarian, a Michelle Malkin lover, a conservative, or anything else on the right. I just think that there were alternatives to breaking up that pack.

Gina Spadafori

I'm very glad you pointed to Terrierman's piece on the SPCA action in PA and the black helicopter crowd's reaction to it. I continue to be saddened that people who love THEIR animals will actually sell out thousands of other animals defending people with a problem (like the basset hound owner) or those who are just plain ol' puppy-milling scum.

Reasonable people on all sides should be able to agree that ethical breeders should be protected, preserved and encouraged, and that people who are over the line (such as the basset hound woman, who apparently once was a good breeder who just lost it personally) or greed-head miller scum need to be shut down.

But paranoia rules the day. The black helicopter folks are also likely "Birthers" and folks who believe the insurance industry's fear campaign about health care reform being set up to kill old people.

People really check their common sense and brains at the door when they buy in to an ideology, whether it's extreme animal rights on one side or extreme property rights on the other.


Speaking of co-blogger Liz Palika, my family and I had a wonderful time with her at the Del Mar race track here in the San Diego area.

Turns out Liz is not only an expert dog-trainer, but she also has an eye for horses: She was the only winner on the day in our party. She is a wonderful handicapper.

She's also wonderful company, at any time or in any place. My big regret on this trip is that I don't have time to go to her Kindred Spirits training facility, watch her teach and visit with her dogs.

Interesting horse-dog trivia: One of her past students in her dog-training classes: Hall of Fame trainer and Kentucky Derby winner D. Wayne Lukas.

Liz said he was a pretty good dog trainer, too. What a surprise, huh?


I wonder if there are portable dollies that owners of large-breed dogs could use? Not the spidery fold-up metal ones, but ... I saw some in passing awhile back that were flat platforms with wheels that could snap together to form a larger surface. Not ideal, but broken apart they would've fit in a backpack.


I am very sorry for your loss, Christie.

The lifting dilemma has been in the back of my mind for a number of years. My last dog was outside the limit of what I was capable of lifting as a "dead lift" from the ground. Since then, I've gotten older and weaker, so my current two dogs are probably ALSO outside the limit of what I can lift from the ground.


It's an issue I actually bring up to owners of large and giant breed dogs. The very first dog I rescued under our own rescue group went to a woman who had two golden retriever sisters. Each were 80-90lbs, and she was barely physically able to lift even 40lbs.

One day she was out walking them and one had a stroke. She still sends a christmas card to the man who picked her up on the side of the road to drive her the ten or twelve blocks back to her house.

The dog passed away later that day, but at least they were able to do so in a more dignified way than simply losing her on the street. Poor her, the dog was only 7. She adopted the Golden we had rescued as a companion for her remaining girl.

We lost our male retriever much the same way. So terribly sudden - but thankfully my husband was there and it happened in our hallway. I don't know what I would have done away from home or on my own. He was only 10, it was awful. My heart will always ache when I think of him... I don't think you ever stop missing them.


we don’t always ask ourselves what we’ll do when we’re alone, far from home, with a dog who can’t walk and we can’t lift.

My Murfee girl suffered from severe HD. We kept her going for as long as she was comfortable - mainly because I couldn't bear to lose her.

One mid January day, I let her outside, and she went down on the ice. I was home, alone, with a 240+ pound dog that couldn't get up, and blizzard setting in. It took me an hour of frantic phone calls to get someone to come and help me. With their (reluctant) help, I was able to get her into the car, and to our vet for her final visit.

I've had one Mastiff since then, Skye Girl, who died of bloat on New Years Eve - something I'll never forgive myself for.

I haven't had a Mastiff since. I don't know if I can bear it.


I think the HSUS/Vick non-event in Atlanta deserved the entire article coverage. Ugh. I just keep holding out hope that no NFL team is desperate or depraved enough to sign this sick piece of sh*T excuse for a human being. And Wayne Pacelle, he is the absolute bottom feeder that a catfish wouldn't share the same garbage field with. Ugh! Just ugh!


I'm sorry for your loss of Rebel. No one can know exactly how you feel, but I would bet that all your readers can sympathize with the pain of losing a loyal friend.

Now, on another note . . . I think you ought to reread #4 on Terrierman's list of lessons learned. There are crazies on both ends of the spectrum. it is not something unique to the far right wingers. I can think of conspiracies that far left wingers have been responsible for. And Gina, you ought to read all 1017 pages of the health care reform bill facing the house before you pass judgement on the stupidity of the elderly for being concerned about health care rationing.


Terrierman thinks she's guilty because well, she acted guilty. She MUST be guilty since she gave up some dogs. Act guilty, be guilty: There's never been a case in the history of animal control of innocent people being coerced into giving up some dogs. No, never.

Well, hardly ever. I seem to remember a "fighting dog" bust or two (or two or three, or... ) where the dogs ended up dead under similar circumstances (lucky Bassetts, in this case, that won't happen to them)

There's no doubt some nuts leaped on this story and cast it in their preferred black helicopter light. But the so-called rationalists have done exactly the same, completely exonerating AC with little more information than the BH crowd.

None of us knows the "truth" of this story.


This was recently posted on our dane rescue list, be sure to check out the other products they offer


Our 70-pound basset collapsed on one of his walks. Fortunately, my husband and I team walk - he has the basset on his lead and I have the mini schnauzer on mine. So he was able to stay with the basset while I ran home with the schnauzer and brought the truck and the dog's bed. His bed is an old sofa cushion. We're able to get him on the cushion and then carry it like a stretcher to lift him into the truck and carry from the truck to the vet's office. We've done it twice now. Both times he was carried into the office - both times thankfully he's walked out on his own power.

Colorado Transplant

What a helpless feeling--seeing a loved dog suffering yet unable to lift the dog up so that you can get to the vet!

Martha M.

Who is that lovely liver and white tri-colored English Springer Spaniel in the photo?

And thanks, Lori, for the dog stretcher website. Our club could keep one on hand for emergencies at agility trials.

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