This week, a Massachusetts State Police trooper did just that — coming to the aid of a helpless young coyote pup who’d been found stranded all alone along a busy roadway.
Seeing that the pup’s mother was nowhere in sight, trooper Carlo Mastromattei contacted Lisa Cutting, owner of Ocean View Kennels, for help in safely removing the animal from that perilous spot.
The pup was now out of immediate danger, but Mastromattei’s kindhearted actions didn’t end there.
At that late hour, all nearby wildlife rehab facilities were apparently closed. So, the trooper then decided to go above and beyond his call of duty in order to keep the little coyote safe until morning.
Mastromattei brought the pup home, where he and his girlfriend kept him cozy and fed through the night.
The next day, Mastromattei brought the coyote to the Tufts Wildlife Clinic for a checkup. Fortunately, he was found to be in good health — thanks in no small part to the trooper having rescued him in time.
According to the Massachusetts State Police, the young coyote has since been placed under the care of a wildlife rehabilitator. With any luck, he’ll continue gaining his strength until he’s old enough to be released back into the wild to live life as nature intended.
For their efforts, those involved in the pup’s rescue are getting some much-deserved praise from police officials, who wrote in a post:
“The Department offers its sincere thanks to Trooper Mastromattei, his girlfriend, Ocean View Kennels, and Tufts for their compassionate care for this beautiful little creature.”
I would like to bet that Carlo Mastromattei has a dog at home. For this compassion shown by Carlo Mastromattei is surely brought about by having a dog or two in his life.
This is no conundrum: a direct contrast to yesterday.
The benefits of having a dog or two (or nine) are boundless and have been documented for thousands of years. Indeed, a quick web search revealed that Alexander Pope, the 18th-century English poet, is the attributed author of the quote, “Histories are more full of examples of the fidelity of dogs than of friends.”
Filmed in a Massachusetts prison, DOGS ON THE INSIDE follows the birth of a relationship between abandoned rescue dogs and prison inmates as they work together toward a second chance at a better life. Giving a voice to a forgotten dog and a forgotten man, the film is a life-affirming testament to the power of second chances.
The film was released in February 2014, and here is the trailer.
In general, it seems to have gathered good reviews with this one from Amazon being typical of what I have seen.
I had tears in my eyes during several segments of this film. Such a lovely connection between the rescue workers and the dogs. Then, the inmates and the dogs. And, finally, the photos of their forever homes and families. Bravo to all at Don’t Throw Us Away. People like you, who work to save and rehab these animals, are amazing.
You are also recommended to read the review that is on the Ecorazzi website. Here’s a flavour of that review:
Two parties neglected and forgotten become the powerful emotional center of an uplifting new documentary, Dogs on the Inside.
We’re taken to Massachusetts, where there exists a unique, mutually-beneficial rehabilitation program that finds rescue dogs paired with prison inmates.
This documentary, from directors Brean Cunningham and Douglas Seirup, follows a handful of inmates at a correctional facility involved in Don’t Throw Us Away, a program that partners them with neglected dogs. For the animal, benefits include exercise, attention, and care while shelters remain crowded. For the prisoners, they have a chance to form connections and work towards parole.
It’s fascinating throughout watching both sides – scared dogs and (emotionally) guarded inmates – warm to one another, seemingly leaving their past behind.
That’s at the heart of this illuminating, heartwarming film: second chances. Early on, it’s easy to see the parallels between these two groups – with the comparisons handled tactfully throughout a film that never strays from its simple, honest goal. Dogs never preaches or calls for political or social change; it more so asks the viewer to be willing to forgive and welcome in those which have been cast aside. When an inmate says, ‘they come from a bad life, they haven’t seen love in while,’ he isn’t necessarily talking just about the dog.
Let me close with this heart-stirring photograph that was included in the above review.
So much to learn from our precious, gorgeous dogs!
It’s hard to believe, but some vets actually cut the vocal cords of dogs AND cats just to suppress their voices. We know because it happened to our dogs before we adopted them. They’re two very different breeds—a Newfoundland and a Chihuahua—and we live in two different states.
We joined with Coalition to Protect and Rescue Pets, which led the successful campaign to ban devocalization in Massachusetts, to make sure no other dog or cat anywhere suffers as ours have.
But until the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) changes its position on devocalization, countless other dogs AND cats will be subjected to this inhumane, unnecessary surgery.
Though devocalization is so cruel it is illegal in many countries, the AVMA continues to condone it as a “final alternative” to manage barking.
That leaves animals vulnerable to and legitimizes devocalization.Here’s why:
No vet can possibly know if devocalization is a “final alternative,” and some won’t ask. Even receipts from a trainer or behaviorist don’t mean the advice was followed consistently or at all; devocalization is easier for lazy or impatient owners.
And just as devocalization didn’t keep our dogs from becoming homeless, it hasn’t prevented the abandonment and euthanasia of countless other dogs and cats.
We wish veterinary associations had supported legislation that truly protects animals by prohibiting vocal cord surgery except to treat a physical illness, injury or birth defect.
Instead, these associations have opposed enforceable humane laws, using the AVMA’s “final alternative” position to justify cutting an animal’s vocal cords just to deal with barking or meowing.
Why would any vet condone such cruelty?It’s obvious that some devocalize dogs and cats because it’s profitable. Others won’t devocalizebut oppose banning it anyway. It could be they fear these laws would lead to prohibition of other unnecessary, mutilating surgeries like declawing, cropping ears and docking tails.
HOW DEVOCALIZATION HURT OUR DOGS
Please meet our dogs in the video on this page.
Though an experienced vet devocalized our gentle giant, Porter, in the least invasive way, scar tissue formed in his throat, making it hard for him to breathe and swallow; he rasps, coughs and gags throughout the day like a chain smoker. Because devocalization permanently damaged his larynx too, he’s at great risk for inhaling food, liquids, even vomit into his lungs.
Tiny Lola struggles to force out a bark and doesn’t always succeed. Like other devocalized animals, she coughs and gags a lot. One day, she may have to face the same $2,000 surgery Porter needed to save his life after he was devocalized.
That’s brutal punishment for the “crime” of communicating!
Please don’t let this brutality continue. Tell the AVMA: There is no ethical reason to cut vocal cords just to stifle an animal’s voice—ever. Devocalization is an act of cruelty that no animal deserves, no vet should perform, no veterinary association should sanction, and no civilized society should allow.
Author Sue Miller perfectly articulates our relationship with dogs and cats.
As a rest to the number of non-fiction books that I have been reading over the past few months, Jean recommended a novel she recently finished, While I Was Gone, by Sue Miller. It’s featured on Oprah’s Book Club, from which I quote,
About the Book
A decade ago she put a face on every mother’s worst nightmare with her phenomenal best-seller The Good Mother. Now, Sue Miller delivers a spellbinding novel of love and betrayal that explores what it means to be a good wife.
In the summer of 1968, Jo Becker ran out on the marriage and the life her parents wanted for her, and escaped–for one beautiful, idyllic year–into a life that was bohemian and romantic, living under an assumed name in a rambling group house in Cambridge. It was a time of limitless possibility, but it ended in a single instant when Jo returned home one night to find her best friend lying dead in a pool of blood on the living room floor.
Now Jo has everything she’s ever wanted: a veterinary practice she loves, a devoted husband, three grown daughters, a beautiful Massachusetts farmhouse. And if occasionally she feels a stranger to herself and wonders what happened to the freedom she once felt, or how she came to be the wife, mother, and doctor her neighbors know and trust–if at times she feels as if her whole life is vanishing behind her as she’s living it–she need only look at her daughters or her husband, Daniel, to recall the satisfactions of family and community and marriage.
But when an old housemate settles in her small town, the fabric of Jo’s life begins to unravel: seduced again by the enticing possibility of another self and another life, she begins a dangerous flirtation that returns her to the darkest moment of her past and imperils all she loves.
While I Was Gone is an exquisitely suspenseful novel about how quickly and casually a marriage can be destroyed, how a good wife can find herself placing all she holds dear at risk. In expert strokes, Sue Miller captures the precariousness of even the strongest ties, the ease with which we abandon each other, and our need to be forgiven. An extraordinary book, her best, from a beloved American writer.
Have to say that even though there’s an obvious gender difference between me, the heroine and the author, I found the book tough reading , as in emotional, from time to time. Especially, the euthanasia of Arthur the dog towards the end of Chapter 7 – Jo is a vet. A few paragraphs I just couldn’t read . But then on page 137 in Chapter 8, comes this,
I stood in the center of the yard for a moment and tilted my head back to let the soft snow touch my face. The dogs pranced and rolled for pure joy in the pale, gray-brown light. They chased each other wildly. I made snowballs and threw them; the dogs leapt and bit at where they’d disappeared. As they played, their muzzles whitened, their paws pilled up.
I left them reluctantly and came back in. Watson trailed me around as I did my chores, watching me soberly. I shut him out of the cat room, where we had only two boarders. I let one of them out to roam and use the litter pan while I checked its cage. I put more food down. Then I went back out and worked my way through the dogs’ cages. Two of them had had accidents, so I cleaned up and changed their bedding. Several of them had their own food, in cans – those dishes needed to be washed. Water refreshed, kibbles set out for the others.
I went to the cat room, put the first cat back and let the other one out. Then I called the reluctant dogs in. Watson greeted each one like a tiny worried mother, licking at their snow, fussing about how they smelled. Slowly I recaged them. I released Lucky and let him go outside for his solitary run while I refilled his food and water dishes. Three dogs needed medications. I put the last cat back in, called Lucky inside, locked up.
And while I did all this, I thought only of them, of the dogs and cats, of their requests for affection, of their comical or passionate relationships to one another, of the performance of their bodily functions. I was taken up by them and their life and energy, by what they needed and asked of me. I let go of everything difficult or complex in my life.
It reminded me of my days at Dr. Moran’s, caring for the dogs and cats he boarded and treated. It reminded me of what a comfort it had been to me, even just physical escape into the lives of animals. As I was driving home, I thought of all this, and it seemed to me that I’d chosen work which offered me daily the presence of pure innocence, a forgiveness for all my human flaws.
the presence of pure innocence, a forgiveness for all my human flaws Impossible to add anything; so I won’t!