Thursday, April 14, 2011

Vagabond Cuccioli

Halcyon Days at Rainshadow Farm--Vince and his cat, Buzby
All of our pets used to be vagabonds. Vince and his cat "Buzby" started life homeless and ended up with us. Vince is still with us here in Italy at the ripe old age of 15. I wanted to start this post reminding you that the homeless are everywhere because I notice that Americans and Brits are very critical of the animal situation in Italy. I tend to think that the difference is only one of visibility. Americans round up the vagabonds and give them so many days to be saved or die. We still have problems with people neutering their pets, especially cats. What is so different here? I haven't run into anyone who could explain it to me exactly. I can only give you my impressions.
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In Santa Domenica Talao, I have met a few vagabond dogs. I got attached to one or two of them, looked for them, fed them when they came by--then they were gone. It was a hard lesson. I have no pictures of them, nor do I know for sure what happened to them. There are periodic "sweeps" when these dogs are picked up. I assume by the city. I have heard too many stories of what happens next to be able to tell you. I have heard people pick them up to sell to research facilities, that they live out their lives in a terrible "shelter". I don't think I have the strength to know for sure. I do know that the difference here is that we get to know the souls of the creatures before they meet their fate. Animal lovers here don't have the cushion of a hidden reality. It's all out here to see. I'm not wise enough to tell who is being saved by "humane" shelters. I have to say that I suspect we are saving our sensibilities, not the animals themselves. They are killed so we don't have to worry about them.
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An old survivor on the streets of Scalea

Here some dogs are saved from getting picked up but these are not necessarily taken in to homes as would happen in America. They simply have found a way to survive and some minimal level of human protection. I also hope that a few get taken in for real. 

A dog we knew well enough to photograph but never saw again
We haven't humanely solved the problem of human homelessness as yet, so I guess it's not a surprise that animal vagabonds are still out there breaking our hearts and also bringing us joy. You can read what some others think about this issue on the Scalea Forum.

This is Dino, he was rescued in Calabria and brought to California!
Vince contemplating his long and lucky life

8 comments:

  1. The first black dog is really big. Looks top.

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  2. Saw some pictures of Dino in CA. He really looked happy! It is really sad that pets are treated so poorly by humans. Where I live the big problem is feral cats.

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  3. A sad subject to talk about but it is reality and needs to be dealt with. So glad to see Dino, Vince, and Buzby as a few of the lucky ones!

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  4. Dennis, Gil, and Filip,
    Really appreciate that you took the time to comment.
    Gil, we have the cats here too, I feed one every day. No mice around tho.

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  5. This post touched my animal loving heart...not too many months ago our chocolate lab beau died, he was brought to us by my brother, who got him off the streets as a puppy...he was a vagabond, but with a home...everyone in the neighborhood knew and feed him. we also had a cat adopt us, as we don't know where she came from, but is now happy at home here. she and beau were very close, we sometimes see her laying in the same grassy spots that beau used to lay in while sunning in the backyard. we think, she thinks, she is a dog...

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  6. it is so touching and also sad to think about dogs who had not been lucky to meet people like you,

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  7. Liz, yuliya,
    It's touching to know that there are sensitive folks like you reading our blog!

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  8. So appreciate your blog and extra happy to see Vince!! I LOVE him, he's adorable. Dino is so cute too. It's May 11 and in Colorado it's snowing. I love to be able to escape with your blog..it's been 2 long years since we were in Calabria..
    Thank You!

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