July 12, 2010

White Dog Ranch. Day 5. White Dog, The Other White Dog, and the WannaBe White Dog sat in row in front of me this morning and demanded my attention. I looked up. White Dog cleared her throat and began, "We are all wondering what we should do about yesterday's 'incident'." I must of looked puzzled because Dragon jumped in with, "you know, that mean person who hurt Michael's feelings." I nodded now understanding that they were upset about Michael's time spent volunteering (as he does every Sunday) at the animal adoption center.

Michael has been volunteering twice a week for about a month now. He enjoys his time caring for the animals and has been given more and more responsibility as he has proven himself. Yesterday, however, the woman who is usually there to run things and who has had nothing but good things to say about Michael's efforts was not there. In her place was a stranger who apparently was having a bad day and who seemed to have a problem with Michael's disability.

She refused to let him handle the dogs or complete any watering tasks because she "wasn't sure he could handle it." She made him stay in the backroom, out of sight of "potential adopters because she didn't want to upset anyone." Other volunteers (who have worked with Michael asked him to help them but they were told that he was not allowed to assist.

We were very proud of Michael for not losing his cool (because we sure wanted to) and for sticking with his commitment in case they might need help with the dogs but all of us at White Dog Ranch are outraged at his treatment.

Quinn addressed the plan that he and White Dog and Dragon had concocted to storm the Center and let all of the dogs out creating havoc. Not a good idea, I suggested, because hopefully that lady was only there for yesterday and beside their plan would put the other pups in danger.

We humans are not sure how best to handle the situation, either. While it would be VERY easy to go through channels and make complaints and intervene, we also think that maybe it is important for Michael to realize that he will encounter mean narrow-minded little people throughout his life and that he must advocate for himself and not allow others to make him a victim.

White Dog growls in disagreement, "If we don't protect Michael, then his feeling are hurt and he didn't even do anything wrong...he was volunteering to help homeless dogs. for dog's sake!" A chorus of "That woman was WRONG!" and "She should be punished" rose up from the Ranchers.

Michael volunteers again on Friday, and has indicated that he is planning on going. So the question echoing around White Dog Ranch today is, "How do you fight bigotry?" Sometimes I think I prefer the easier ones like, "What's for Dinner?"


The Thundering Herd said...

We don't have an easy answer (mainly because the hu-dad is exactly the type to storm the gates at a moment like this), but we are proud of Michael for handling it well AND wanting to go back. That makes us really proud.

Cappy the Eskie said...

Wow – Mom is absolutely fuming and she isn’t even involved. She’s pretty easygoing, but despises a few things: being late, running out of food for a party (so far, it’s never happened) and the most important one – unfair and cruel treatment of people and animals. She has zero tolerance for that. We all agree with the Ranchers. We think that the matter should be brought to the attention of a person in authority ~~ we wouldn’t let this one slide. Mom said if she were in your situation she’d probably write a few letters, including one to the editor of the local paper about the incident.

If that woman was having a bad day, it’s no excuse for her contemptible behavior. She shouldn't even be working with animals and she definitely owes Michael an apology.

Go get 'em Siku !!!

Hugs and yips,
Cappy and Ollie

Prinnie,Digby and Atka said...

My BFF and fellow ranchers.....we are a family well versed in bigotry and how hurtful and narrow-minded some people are. How we fight it is to keep being who we are - heads held high, and true to ourselves. If Michael can go back there again and again, head held high, there will be a time when "SHE" will look the fool that she is and the others around will see his inner beauty and commitment to those precious babies.

We are SOOOOOO proud of him - we can't even put in to words how proud we are - ANGRY at the cruel, obviously uneducated woman, but mostly proud of how far one family has come in such a short time.

We love you all,
Prinnie, Digby, Atka and the moms

Cappy the Eskie said...

Mom said that Prinnie's comment was beautifully put and very compassionate, but she would "still storm the gates*.

Khyra And Sometimes Her Mom said...

Some humans aren't human -

Mom says John Prine pawed that one in a song -

We are sorry Michael had to deal with that but sadly, it won't be the last time -

I do think the NM Khanine Paw Brigrade ROKHKS!


Teddy Bear said...

We are so sorry to hear that Michael was treated so rudely. Some people can be ignorant. We're so glad that Michael is being the bigger person and not letting the she-devil keep him from doing something he loves. Go team Michael! We are so proud of you.:)

Teddy Bear

Jacqueline said...

We are so sorry that Michael had to deal with this ignorant, mean spirited woman; could you guys talk to the regular boss and find out what's going on with this new woman?...The world can be a hard place, life is difficult and we believe people should try to spread joy and kindness where ever they can...We are so proud of Michael for doing his job and being there for the animals that need him; we are very impressed he is ready to go back to work on Friday despite the adversity he encountered...Michael has shown courage and strength of character in this situation=GO MICHAEL!!!...sending love and hugs sweet friends...J, Calle, Halle, Sukki

Rebecca and Daisy Mae said...

We are so happy you want to play paw it forward with us! Can you e-mail mom your snail mail address so we can get your presents out to you? cabeachgogirl21@yahoo.com

Remington said...

Michael did well! Sometimes people are just rude....

♥♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥♥ said...

Sorry we have missed so many posts but we were away at camp while the humans took off to sunny California.

Mom thinks that this one time it is a good idea to let Michael handle the situation. Perhaps you could suggest to him that he nicely ask to talk to the person who is usually there and tell her that he was very disappointed in not being to help in the usual way the other day but that he appreciated the opportunity to be there. That is a nice way of his letting her know what happened without ruffling any feathers.

So sorry about the internet and the propane - we have had those things happen here and it doesn't make for happy humans at all.

Woos - Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

Sagira said...

Great job keeping your cool Michael. Do you think you could mention something to the lady who is nice to him and maybe have her let the "mean" person know that Michael can and should be trusted? So sorry he had to deal with that when he is out there doing good work.

Kari in WeHo said...

How terribly rude. He is a much bigger person for having handled the situation with such grace

Amy and The House of Cats said...

We are sad that that woman was mean to Michael and yet we are so impressed and well, proud to be honest, that he was so good at handling the situation. And that he is still going back after that, well, that just shows how he is a much better person that that woman (we can't bring ourselves to say lady on this one) can ever hope to be. Michael seems like such a good, caring soul - the way he is with Quinn, the way he wants to keep volunteering, they show that he is just going to be such a good example for people - and I mean all people. Please be sure to let him know that we all feel that the lady was very wrong, and we think he was truly honorable to rise above the situation and stay in case he was needed. We aren't sure exactly what should be done, but we do think that something needs to be said about this woman - if she is treating a person that poorly she doesn't sound like the right person to work with animals either. And if nothing else works, we are all for storming the place!