July 16, 2010

White Dog and I just finished watching the documentary MINE about the dogs and cats that were rescued during Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. It was a tearjerker from the opening titles and White Dog came and laid on the pillow pressed against me for comfort. The Other White Dog was at the foot of the bed and it was him that made watching the movie very complicated emotionally.

Everyone agrees that the families forced to leave pets behind during the evacuation did not do so willingly; often the humans were forcibly separated from furfamily. Animals rescuers worked diligently in extreme conditions to rescue thousands of animals that would have otherwise perished. People were sent one place and pets somewhere else--to different states often. There was no efficient data base to rematch dislocated people with their pets. The people had lost everything and did not know how to even begin finding lost loves. Rescues all over the country were inundated by scared animals, many in need of medical attention.

The question was this: What happens when the humans finally regain their footing and stability, go looking for their beloved family member and discover that their precious fur one has been adopted into another family? Months and months had passed, agreed. But the original family did not choose to give up their companion and had lost everything else as well. The new adopted family had opened its heart and taken in a rescue and made it a part of their family. The law is really no help as it treats animals as property and this is clearly an issue that goes way beyond courts and lawyers. Ultimately, whose heart is broken? What about the dog or cat? I could clearly see both sides and no easy verdict.

I know if some disaster separated White Dog from me that I would hunt for the rest of my life to find her. My life would be empty. But what if I found her and she had been re-homed to another loving family? Could I leave her in her new life? Or would my heart leap for joy at being reunited?

We rescued Quinn who was on death row and have made him a part of our hearts and lives. What would we do if some stranger called on the phone and explained that he had been lost when his elderly owner had a heart attack while playing with him at the Park (hypothetically). And now was well and wanted his only companion of 10 years back? I certainly would not just let him go; he is now a part of me and I am not sure I could even consider the possibility of his living with anyone else.

The filmmaker details painful and thought provoking real life situations that arose out of Katirina to represent each point of view and I must say the debate haunts me (as do the scenes of the actual disaster). But for now I gather White Dog and The Other White Dog to me and just breathe in their closeness.


Khyra And Sometimes Her Mom said...

Mom says the trailer fur the movie was enough to make her khry -

It does raise some interesting points -

I think the tail would be the one to tell -


Keisha said...

I am very sorry for all the displaced pets and their families.

Sagira said...

I am just glad I am not in that situation. I can see both sides. If I lost one of mine I would want them back but on the other hand if I adopted an animal and they were now part of my family I wouldn't want to give them up either. Tough call. :(

Jacqueline said...

I was born in NO and Katrina affected my family tremendously through finances, but my family was lucky enough to get out with their cats, going back months later to rebuild...This is a heartbreaking situation on both sides, although personally, I just could never leave my cats to begin with, they are the babies I could not have and like you, if we were ever separated, I would never stop looking for them...Katrina has been such a tragedy in so many ways=very, very sad...Hope you all have a fun weekend together, stay cool sweet friends...kisses...Calle, Halle, Sukki

Teddy Bear said...

We have not heard of this movie but Mommy is all teary eyed just thinking about it. I hope we are never displaced from our wonderful pawrents.

Teddy Bear

Brian said...

I will be it really is a tear jerker fur sure. Good friends of mine helped out a lot and they actually started their rescue because of Katrina...they are Kat5Rescue and they do wonderful rescue work.

Maxie said...

Mom heard about this documentary but have not seen it yet. I think she will cry buckets of tears if ever she watches it.

P.S. Its so cool that Michael thought of me when naming the rescued dog.

♥♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥♥ said...

We haven't seen that but it sure does raise a very big question. Mom and Dad say they would really be torn with a decision on this one. In the end as long as the dog or cat is happy and well cared for, that should be the guiding factor. Of course, if it were a real life situation for them, it would very hard.

Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

Hansel said...

mom can't watch anything like that it makes her way too sad!

Kari in WeHo said...

its such a difficult thing to contemplate. You also can't blame the rescues who opened their doors to care for these animals even though most were over capacity. In their eyes these animals needed a home and they needed to open space for more deserving pups.

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Amy and The House of Cats said...

I can't even imagine watching that because I am sure it was just heartbreaking. I have to admit it is very tough for me to watch anything with animals if there is even a chance of it being sad. And then to think about that kind of situation - I don't even know what I would do in either case. My cats are like my children - I can't imagine loosing them.