Saturday, August 15, 2009

Dogopolis event

Well, on Wednesday I picked up Captain from daycare after not seeing him for almost 2 weeks. Let's just say there was a lot of wiggliness going on. We were very excited to see each other again!!

We started off the weekend with the Dogopolis event "Hollywoof: Movie night with your dog." The night started out with lots of fun! Dogs entered the room on the "green carpet" and there were a number of doggie vendors- from dog massage to organic food. Captain quickly located the treat section of the room and became best friends with the girl handing out raw food cups. Many dogs came dressed in their best attire for the special event:

The official pictures from the event are posted here (Gallery: HollyWoof, password: woof09)-Captain is in #21-24.

The room quickly filled up with lots of friendly dogs and people.

The event showcased a documentary called "Mine" about pets left behind after hurricane Katrina and the struggles owners went through to be reunited with their furry little loved ones. We got to speak with the filmaker, Geralyn Pezanoski, whose inspiration for the film came after she adopted a hurricane Katrina rescue dog (a boxer mix she named Nola). The movie was, to say the least, extremely moving and powerful. I think I began crying within the first 2 minutes of the film.

When I remember hurricane Katrina, I think about the superdome, the devastation to the area's homes and families, and spending time with my friend whose family lived near New Orleans (they were all fine, though the house was largely ruined and they now live in Seattle). Not once in any of the news coverage did I recall anything mentioned about pets. It outraged me that people were not allowed to bring their animals with them. Initially, I said to myself (and my friend sitting next to me), "Well, I'd just never leave without Captain." But it quickly became apparent that people were forceably removed from New Orleans and made to leave their animals behind. I can only image how awful that would feel. Many people spent years searching for their animals, some to find that they were adopted away into other homes that would not allow them back, some to never locate their animals, and of course some to realize the worst outcome- that they had lost their pet in the storm. Luckily some percent of the 150,000 people that were searching for their lost animals were later reunited. But the images of the animals being rescued from the abandoned homes after the storm (some were not rescued until 4 weeks after Katrina), and the powerful stories of the owners searching for their dogs, really made an impression on me.

I don't usually use this site for anything other than posting pictures of my wonderful dog, but this film really moved me and I would encourage any dog-lover to check out the "Mine" website and consider making a donation either there or to your local animal protection or rescue agency. I wish at this time animals had more rights than they do, and I'm still thinking about what we can do to move things forward for these essential parts of our families and prevent any dog or pet from ever having to be left behind...

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