Sunday, May 08, 2016
Rescuing the Abandoned Pets of Fort McMurray
When I saw all those people trying to escape the fire they're now calling The Beast, I tried to imagine how they must have been feeling.
Not only having to flee their homes, and worry whether they'd still be there when they returned.
But also in many cases having to leave their pets behind.
And wonder whether they would survive the flames or the smoke, or whether they would ever see them again.
So I'm glad to see that a major pet rescue effort is underway.
With the human evacuation complete, a high-tech animal exodus is now in full swing. A band of volunteers, both authorized and unauthorized, have swept into the restricted area to remove a menagerie of pets by any means necessary.
Because I can imagine the pain of their owners at having to leave what in many cases are members of their families behind. And how happy they will be to get them back.
At 7 a.m. Friday, Louise woke up in her hotel bed to a blinking phone. “My phone was blowing up,” she said. “I had messages from all kinds of friends of family and I saw this picture of a lady.”
It was one of the rescue volunteers holding Atlas. By Friday afternoon, Atlas was in Edmonton waiting for the family to pick him up.
“I was finally able to breathe. I was like ‘Okay, he’s not hurt,’ ” Louise said. “We all cried tears of joy.”
And I can understand that reaction, especially since this week end is the third anniversary of the day my beloved pet left me...
And I still miss that gentle, incredibly friendly dog, I think I'll miss him forever.
So I don't know what I might have done if I had been ordered to leave him behind. I doubt I could have obeyed it, because we went everywhere together.
I stuffed him into a haversack when he was a puppy, or into a hockey bag when he was a little older.
He travelled beside me in cars, buses, trains, and even helicopters.
And although he loved that, he hated having to be stuffed into a crate to travel doggy class on a plane. And would be led away, half zonked on an animal tranquilizer, looking like he was being led to his death, quietly whimpering as if to say "Simon how could you do this to me?"
So I was glad to see that some of the pets of Fort McMurray got to travel cabin class.
Like most airlines, Canadian North has stringent guidelines when it comes to travelling with pets, but in light of the recent Fort McMurray wildfire, they've made some exceptions.
The small northern airline is one of several servicing Fort McMurray to evacuate residents, and they've made accommodations to have several cats and dogs travel in the main cabins, with no need for a carrier or kennel.
What an amazing sight it was, how it must have comforted their owners, who have so many other things to worry about, to know that their beloved pets would be safe.
And would help cheer them up...
For who could resist a smile like that one?
Good for Canadian North for helping keep families together.
Just one more heartwarming story, in the midst of this nightmarish Canadian catastrophe.
That is bringing out the best in us.
How happy and proud I am to see that.
But oh boy do I miss him...
Please vote here to recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers.