February 2, 2011

White Dog, Nuka and I were pondering the deep freeze that gave us a high of only 9 degrees F today when Quinn and Puff came galloping in to join us. They had just come from outdoors and radiated cold and their paws were icy. They tried to hunker in between us for warmth. They had only been out for a few minutes.

We had been discussing two incidents of the morning: a neighbor acquaintance sharing on FB his story of a homeless man knocking on his door this morning shivering and coatless. Neal made him come inside but the man would not stay. Finally the homeless man agreed to take an old hat and bath towel...and let Neal drive him to the University ER, where homeless are allowed to sit in the lobby during bad weather. Second was the discovery of a small wren that had frozen to death and was lying in our yard. The White Dogs did not bother the corpse but were agitated when one of the neighborhood outdoor cats came in and carried it off.

"Where do those without homes go when it is so bitterly cold that their lives are in danger?" White Dog asked. Quinn responded; "Street people and pets huddle in doorways or under cars or in empty buildings. They never really get warm and they usually don't have enough to eat to generate much body heat and they are ill clothed as well. When I was a street dog, I met a lot of homeless ones who lived subject the elements even in LA. It was horrible and made them old and sick and took a terrible toll on the length of their life cycle."

"In this weather we should remember our good fortune," Puff (who had lived as an outdoor dog in the bitter Kansas winters) added. We should also understand that frostbite, sickness, and even death are real concerns for thousands without warmth or shelter or a safe home. Even in the natural world, temperatures and winds as extreme as we are facing in most of the country mean water sources are frozen and access to seeds and shoots is buried.

It is our most fervent hope that someday no creature will be left out in the cold; hungry and freezing, unsafe and fearful, alone and unloved. But until that day comes, please leave out a bowl of kibble or hang a birdfeeder, give a pair of socks to a street person and her dog (can be used as mittens, socks, booties, ear protectors), donate blankets to shelters...even the tiniest action makes a big difference. And ask the Universe to wrap those in need with its protective warmth.


Teddy Bear said...

We hope you all are staying warm. And we also paw for the same thing...that one day all human and furry ones will have shelter and food.:)

Teddy Bear

Kari in WeHo said...

We sure hope you all stay warm and well fed!


Amy and The House of Cats said...

We hate to think of everyone who is out in the awful cold right now - it makes us all so sad. We always purr and pray that they will be safe and find shelter.

Suka said...

hey White Dog Army,

What a sad sad post. My human and I always think of the animals and humans when it becomes bitterly cold outside. Poor little wren. I hope he/she did not suffer. And perhaps the kitty was homeless and the wren is providing the kitty with a meal? Perhaps?

What a very kind neighbor you have to help the homeless man. It is an unacceptable tragedy that in 2011 there are people with no homes, and cities and towns with no shelters to help. It just should not be. I hope he, and all the other homeless, can find assistance during this blizzard and very cold weather.


Mack said...

We can't even imagine what it would be like to be homeless. Our prayers are always with those with no homes, or no heat in the winter or cool in the summer.

Happy Gotcha Day plus one to Michael!


Remington said...

We certainly are blessed to have a warm place to be....and we should never forget and always try and help those less fortunate....

♥♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥♥ said...

Wow, that is really cold for your area, isn't it? We were at -8 when we made our first potty trip this morning. The Momster said it was very painful to even touch the metal door handle to open the storm door for us. We do wonder and worry about all the homeless, human and animal, out there. Great suggestions you have made.

Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

Sally Ann and Andy said...

Y'all are a very lucky family. Please tell your sisters, they are very pretty.

Brian said...

We are right there with you! I just hope to improve the lives of some, if we can all do that then we're on to something big.

nancyturtle said...

Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog. As you may have noticed I don't blog much! I live with my two white dogs and my neighbor's two black dogs East of the highway between Albuquerque and Santa Fe. My thermometer read -16F this morning!
(I read your last couple posts and I'm want to know the name of the Moroccan restaurant! I love lamb shanks!)

ra husky said...

such wisdom mates, such wisdom, someday the world will listen & understand, we are sure of it. peace to you & yours,

RA & Isis

Sagira said...

We always think of the homeless during times like this as well. It is so darn cold out there. We had an ice storm this week and a lot of people lost power. I am just thankful we didn't. I wouldn't even know where to go with us and our 8 animals.