Saturday, June 16, 2012

They Killed a Bunch of Dogs this Week at the Pound. It is Already FULL Again

These guys are ready to go!

Interview from an Animal Shelter

I did not write this. It came off the internet. I do not know who wrote it.

Interview from an Animal Shelter

As a journalist, I decided to go to the animal, and interview some of the "inmates". I wanted to know what it was like in there from their perspective. What follows is not for the faint of heart.

I entered the building, and one of the workers accompanied me to the holding area. This is where dogs are kept before they are allowed up for adoption. IF they are allowed up for adoption. If the dogs are found to be aggressive in any way, euthanasia is employed. Fortunately, if "fortunately" is the word to be used here. In this establishment, and they use lethal injection, not a gas chamber.

The shelter worker led me past a big steel door that says "Employees Only". "What is in there?" I asked. From the look he gave me, I knew that this is where dogs go in, and never return.

We moved on to a row of kennels. The dogs were barking loudly, there was the acrid smell of urine and feces, and a feeling of despair seemed to permeate the room.

"Go ahead," the worker said. "They're all yours."


I looked into the first kennel, and saw only the back of a medium sized dog who was curled up in the corner of his kennel, shivering. He was mostly white, with some black spots.

"Hello?" I said. "May I come in?" He lifted his head, as though it weighed more than he could bear. When he looked at me, I could see he was a Pitbull. His eyes were gentle, but filled with grief.

"Enter," was all he said.

I stepped in, closing the gate behind me. He put his head back down, facing away from me. I crouched down a few feet away.

"My name is Pete. Petey my Master called me," he said, still not looking at me.

"Why are you here Pete?" I asked.

"I am here because Master cannot afford to move. I am here because someone with power said I am vicious, and a killer. Someone who never met me. Master took me for a walk one day, and some lady started to scream when she saw me. I got frightened, and barked at her. The dog police came, and they took me away. I have been with Master for 10 years. The last time I saw him, he just held me and cried. He kept telling me he was sorry. I worry for him. Whatever will he do without me?" Pete shivered even more.
A tear slid down my face. I am supposed to remain objective, but this was wrong. So wrong.

"Thank you Pete." I said. He said nothing as I got up and left his kennel.


The kennel next to Pete's held a very young looking dog. Pure Border Collie by my guess. He stood on his hind legs, looking at me through the gate.

"Hello. My name's Popper. He tilted his head. "Are you here to take me home?"

"No, I'm sorry," I replied. "But I would like to talk with you."

"Sure. What would you like to talk about?"

"Popper, how did you come to be in this place?" I asked.

Popper dropped down from the gate, with a perplexed look on his face. He walked to the back of the kennel, then back to the front. I noticed he had one blue eye, and one brown. He was quite beautiful. His black and white coat was shiny and thick.

"I am not certain WHY I am here. I think maybe my family will come back for me. They bought me when I was only 6 weeks old. I remember they said how smart Border Collies are, and how it would be so easy to train me. They were very excited at first. The little ones played with me all the time. But the trouble with little Masters is, they refuse to stay in a group. I constantly had to nip their heels to keep them together." He looked confused. "Why won't they stay in a group?" he sighed. "So I did what I thought I should do. I am not quite sure why the little ones screamed when I did my job, but they did, and the Masters got very angry at me. They also got angry when I had to relieve myself, and did so in the house. I am not sure where they expected me to go. All they said was that I was the smartest breed in the world, and I should just KNOW better. Then they left me in the yard for a month or so. I got bored a lot, and I dug holes in the grass. The next thing I knew, the Masters brought me here."

Popper jumped back up on the gate, his white paws protruding through the links. He looked at me with his lovely eyes, and asked "Will you please let them know I want to come home? Please tell them I promise I will be good?"

"I will Popper," I said.


My heart was breaking. I was beginning to regret coming here, but their stories had to be told. I moved along. The next dog I saw looked to be easily 100 lbs., a Rottweiler . He was handsome indeed, except for the scars on his face and back. He tilted his head, and looked me right in the eyes.

"Hello. Who are you?" he asked.

"I am a reporter," I replied. "May I speak with you for a little while?"

"Most certainly. My name is Spartan. You ca n come in, I won't bite," he said.

"Thank you Spartan. I will."

I entered his kennel, reached out and stroked his giant head. He made a loud grumbling noise, and closed his eyes.

"Spartan, why are you here?"

Before he could answer my question, he was suddenly in the grip of a nasty coughing spasm. It sounded painful.

"Please excuse me," he said when it passed. "Kennel cough. It seems all of us who come in here get it. "Why am I here? Well, about two years ago, I was born in the backyard of some person I can't even recall. I had 11 brothers and sisters. I recall a day when a big man came and gave that person some money, and took me away from my mother. They had to chain her up, as she was very angry that he took me. They chained her and beat her. I came to know the man by the name of Jim. I overheard him telling his friends that I would grow up to be big and mean like my mother. But as I grew older, all I wanted to do was play and be friends wit h everyone. Jim said I needed to be taught how to be mean, so he chained me up in the yard. No more house for me, he said, I was too spoiled.

When people came by to visit, I was so happy to see them. I wanted them to come and play. But that made Jim angry, so he beat me with sticks and chains. When he came near, I would roll onto my back so he would know I wasn't a bad dog. That made him beat me more." Spartan's eyes clouded with grief. "Then he brought me here."

I reached out and stroked Spartan's massive gentle head once more. "I am so sorry Spartan. Some people are just plain evil." I gave him a kiss and left his kennel.

As I walked away, Spartan called out, "What will happen to me, nice lady?"

I shook my head. "I can't say Spartan. Maybe someone kind will come and get you. We can only hope."


I walked a little further down. I could see a shape moving at the back of the next kennel. "Hello?" I called out. Suddenly the shape lunged at the gate in a fury, barking and gnashing its teeth. I stumbled backwards, and crashed into an adjacent kennel. The other dogs began barking loudly and jumping at their gates.

"Don't go near her," a small female voice came from behind me. "She's mad."

I gathered myself back together, and saw a little Jack Russell Terrier behind me.

"Thanks for the warning," I was still trembling. Across the way, the other dog, apparently a Husky and German Shepherd cross, was glaring at me, lips curled back revealing brown stained teeth. Her ribs and hips showed through her dull, matted grey coat. The little dog invited me into her kennel, and I gladly went in.

"Who are you?"

"My name is Patsy." The little brown and white dog held a paw up to the gate in greeting.

"My owner surrendered me. She said she wanted a cute little dog like the one on the TV show, Frasier. She didn't bother to look into the type of dog I am." Patsy heaved a sigh.

"I suppose she expected me to just lie about and only need a short walk each day, just like Eddie , but my energy was so high that I needed to run and play." She glanced at her surroundings. "Now I am here. I suppose it could be worse. I could be like her." Patsy looked towards the still growling dog across the way.

"What happened to make her so vicious?" I asked.

"From what we could gather," she replied. "she was found tied in a back yard. She only had a three foot chain. Some days there was no water. Rarely was there any food. One day a nice neighbor came by and brought her some meat. By then it was too late. She was already mad. She broke off her chain, and bit the poor man badly. We know she will be going behind the steel door. I am sad to say, I think it will be best. Perhaps then she will know some peace."

Just then, the door at the end of the building opened, and a woman stepped inside. All the dogs began to bark wildly, then one by one, they went quiet.

I whispered to Patsy, "Who is that? Why have all the dogs gone quiet?"

Patsy breathed deeply through her little nose, and closed her eyes. "SHE is a Rescuer. Can't you smell it?" she asked.

"Smell what?" I was confused.

"Compassion. Love. Sorrow. It emanates from her pores. She is here for one of us, but nobody knows who just yet." Patsy looked hopeful.

The Rescuer moved from kennel to kennel, looking at each dog. I sat quietly watching. I could see tears in her eyes as she made eye contact with each one. She stopped at Spartan's cage and spoke quietly to him.

"No more beatings my man. No more. You are coming with me. From here on in, it's all going to get better."

The Rescuer produced a leash, opened the kennel door, and took Spartan away. As he walked beside her, his little stubby tail wagged with delight.

Patsy sighed again. I could see the disappointment in her eyes, and it grieved me. They all had the same look, as they watched The Rescuer depart.

"I am so sorry Patsy," I said in a whisper. "But you are a little dog, and everyone loves little dogs. I am convinced you will be rescued soon." Patsy's brown eyes twinkled at me, a little bit of hope returning.

I had heard and seen enough. I needed to tell people how it was for these unfortunate creatures. They were all here through no fault of their own. I stood to leave. I passed by many other dogs I did not interview, looking at each one, wishing I could take them all home with me and give them the love they deserved. I stood by the door taking one last glance back, when it opened, and one of the pound workers came in. His face was drawn and sad. He walked by without a word, and stopped at Pete's kennel. I heard him take a deep breath, then he paused, and opened the kennel door.

The words were muffled, but I am sure I heard him say "I'm sorry old boy."

He came out, with Petey in tow. The old dog's head hung down in resignation, and they both disappeared behind the big steel door.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Things to Know BEFORE You Board Your Dog

One summer I worked in a boarding kennel. Here are some of the things they used to do to deceive the public. (yes, it was a reputable kennel. I was quite surprised by some of this stuff!)

1. They offered food that was not available. they would offer Iams, Purina and Pedigree. No matter what food the dog owner requested they fed Pedigree. (the cheapest brand)

2. Some dog owners supply their pets with food from home. Instead of feeding it to the dogs the workers would take it home to their own pets and feed the kennel dogs Pedigree.

3. They would feed too little food. They would feed big dogs in cat food bowls. Little dogs would get about 10 to 20 morsels of food a day. this was done to cut down on "waste" (pooper scooping). when dogs would lose a lot of weight the owners would be told the dog grieved for them and refused to eat!

4. Overcrowding was a common problem, even when owners called for a reservation. After the owner would leave the door would be closed to the runs and dogs would be housed on both sides of the gate. Even when dog owners would pay for multiple runs, their dogs would be housed together and each side of both kennels would be filled with dogs.

5. Dog owners would pay extra for special walks for their pets. The dogs were not walked.

6. There were special runs so dogs could go out and play in pens. The dogs were not put in the pens, instead the big dogs would be kept outside at all times.

7. Some kennels were air conditioned and others weren't. More would be charged for the air conditioned kennels. As soon as the owners left the dogs would be moved to the nonairconditioned kennels.

8. I never saw a dog hit or mistreated.

9. They always had plenty of water

10. It was common for medications not to be given

11. Bedding would be promised for all dogs. It would not be given because they didn't want to clean the bed up when it was messed. Even when the owner brought the dogs beds with them.

If you want to know what is actually going on with your dog when it is boarded go to pick it up early. Do not call first. Insist on accompanying the kennel worker to your dogs pen.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Back in Court again yesterday

nothing happened. I have a public defender now. she told me to call her before the next hearing on July 25. Apparently it is a three step process. No wonder it costs so much to run the courts. I would have been happy to say my piece and abide by the judges' decision the first trip but they wouldn't let me do that.

Because there was jail time involved (for supplying alcohol to a minor) I had to request a public defender the first trip. I spoke to her once on the phone. After explaining what happened to her she told me she would have to check the statute to see what it said about "knowingly" selling alcohol to a minor. She also said she could probably get me a pretrial deferment if I signed a paper saying it wouldn't happen again for 6 months. (which is certainly not a problem)

If that happens I would have to pay court costs of about 60 dollars which is acceptable. It is much better than the minimum fine of $152 up to $500 and jail time. I understand I dropped the ball so to speak so some punishment is warranted.

Anyway the 2nd. visit was just to plead "not guilty" which sucks because technically I am guilty. They FORCE you to actually lie. Anyway it should all be resolved the next trip, she said it was a three trip process.

Eddie went with me to help since I had such trouble the first time. I was having a good day so I didn't need oxygen going in like I did last time. He also carried the cans of beer and energy drink because me lawyer wanted to see them and "I thought" show them to the judge but that didn't happen.

I thought because I parked closer that I might be able to negotiate the stairs but by the time I walked from the parking garage I told Eddie I needed to use the elevator so he went off to find a policeman. There was one other lady there in a wheelchair. When the policeman came to take us on the elevator he started not to let me on it. After I explained I was on oxygen though there was no problem.

Much better than last time but it is a shame that a handicapped person has to wait in a waiting room after hunting down a policeman just to get to a court room. I guess they have their reasons for this. I guess it's a security risk to have an elevator just go to the floor where the court is but other courthouses don't seem to have this problem.

Anyway with Eddie's help everything came out fine. Then we went to his house and he grilled some melt in your mouth ribs...mmm mmm good.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Lost In the Woods

When I was a senior in high school, my friend Jessica and I decided to go hiking at our local park after school one day. The trails are clearly marked so we didn't see a problem. We met after school and started up the "backbone trail", which just happens to be the longest and most backbreaking trail in the park.

We were actually doing fine. It was hard, but we climbed up the mountain and over logs and whatever obstacles were in our way. We even saw a whole herd of deer running through the valley. Unfortunately it got dark - something we didn't factor in.

When dusk fell we realized we should get back. The problem was we didn't know which way was shorter - to finish the trail or to go back. We knew to go back that it would take at least an hour, so we decided to finish the trail. WRONG! It finally got so dark that we couldn't see the path in front of us - or behind us for that matter.

To make matters worse Jessica started whining and crying. So I had to take charge and lead the way out. We had to turn around and she kept saying she couldn't see the trail and we were going to die. I couldn't see it either but I wasn't about to let her know that. I kept telling her that I had really good eyesight and I could see just fine! She was panicked enough to believe me but that didn't shut her up. The whole way back down the path (and I really had no idea if we were on the path or not until we came to a massive tree that we had climbed over earlier) she was squalling like a two year old. I just kept walking and talking the whole way because I knew if I let her know that I didn't know what to do then she would be uncontrollable.

Finally we came out next to the ranger's cabin. We had to walk about 1/2 mile back to the car. It was dark but the road was paved, so it was alright. When we got back to the car the ranger had locked the gate right next to it - so we had to walk the 1/2 mile BACK to the ranger's house. We got him to go unlock the gate, but he made us walk back to it again. We finally made it back home and collapsed in our beds.

What sucks is that we were lost in the woods and the ranger locked our car in the park without making any effort to find us. We could have died. Oh well, we didn't.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Pepaw and his sister, Ida

Farley Family Gathering?

Edna Mitchem The dk haired lady in the center is Dad's sister Sallie (Farley) Williamson.

I remember Aunt Sallie and her sister, Aunt Carrie. They lived in Sydney, Kentucky. Aunt Sallie had 3 kitchens. One from the turn of the century with a well in it. (would have been top of the line to have a well in the house in those days) Then there was a kitchen built around the 20's or 30's with all the appliances of the day. Then there was a modern kitchen. (circa 1970)I

Parlee Farley holding my mom

Edna Mitchem Dad's sister Parlee (Farley) Chambers that was married to Floyd Chambers. They lived in West Gafton, Ohio. She is in the dark colored dress on the right, & that looks like Jo in her arms. I remember the other lady's face, but nothing else.

My Aunt Edna and Mystery Boy

He Shaved his head on a dare

That is my Pepaw Farley up front. He shaved his head on a dare. I don't know who the other man is but he probably did the same thing.

My Aunt Edna's Baby Picture

I found out who this mystery lady is

It is Dixie Blevins. My Pepaw Farley's sister. She lived in Kentucky.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

My Hatfield/McCoy Blog by Edna Ruth Mitchem with commentary from Pixie (Edna is my aunt)

Since it is Hatfield & McCoy Mania recently in the southern part of WV & all over the country. I thought I'd jump on the band wagon & share my thoughts. Well it's really my Hatfield story. I have several McCoy friends, but I feel I have a bond with the Hatfields. Here's my story, enjoy.

As you know my BFF is Pixie, since the age of 12 when we 1st met. As you already know I was raised on a farm up on Main Island Creek from the age of 10. Margaret Jane Browning, better known as Pixie, moved from Logan up to the farm across the road from me. She was the youngest child of a family of 8 & I was the oldest child of a family of 4. Her Dad was a Trailways Bus Driver. They used to have hourly routes from Logan, (the bus terminal was where Wendy's is in Logan now). to the top of Mt. View Inn. My Dad was a Police Officer & also worked part-time as a Electrician @ # 15 shop @ Stirrat for Omar Mining. Our Mother's were both housewives. Our Mother's were both short, but Pixie's was shorter then mine. Her Mom "Ocie" sat on a cushion to drive. My Mom Ann was 5'2" but didn't drive. Mom did get her operators when I got mine, @ the age of 16, just to prove she could, but very seldom drove. Pixie got hers before I got mine. She is 26 days older then me. Pixie comes by her nick-name honestly. She is tiny & petite, I'm not sure, but I'd say she's near 5ft tall. Mom always said, "She looks like a Cupie Doll." I was tall 5ft 7&1/2in & of average wt, (but I always thought I was fat). Pixie & I had a agreement when we went out, the tall guys were mine, & the shorter guys were hers. Guess what? She married a tall guy. Don was taller than me by abt 3in.

Pixie's Grandmother lived with her. She was her maternal Grandmother, & just so happened to be Anderson (Devil Anse) Hatfield's Daughter. Her name is Elizabeth (Betty) Hatfield Caldwell. She was the "only" Grandma I have ever known. Both my Grandmothers died before I was born. Pixie & I spent most of our teenage life together @ each others homes. I went to church with her, her Mother, & Grandma. The best I remember Pixie called her Grandmother, & her Mom Mother. My family called them, "Mrs Browning & Grandma." Pixie always called my Mom Mrs Farley.

I never thought of it @ the time, but it was nice of Pixie & her family to share Grandma with me & my family. My whole family called her Grandma.

Grandma shared a bedroom with Pixie right off from the living room. There wasn't a door to the room, but there was plastic curtains up @ the doorway to allow for visual privacy. There was 2 beds in the room side by side. At the foot of the bed, Grandma had her homemade trunk with a lock & key. She had a wardrobe to hang her clothes in @ the foot of her bed along the side of the wall. There was a corner fireplace, & I mean a real fire place that burned wood & coal, with a hearth that you had to shovel out the ashes daily. We used to stand in front of the fireplace & it would burn our legs, then turn & burn the other side. Back then we wore dresses & skirts to school. The girls never ever got to wear dungaree's to school when I was in school. We very seldom wore dungaree's as they were called back then, & now of course it's jeans.. They came in style later. Eddie Fisher became popular with a song called, "Dungaree Doll." He became a heart-throb & ended up marrying Debbie Reynolds. In later years Elizabeth Taylor split them up & married Eddie. Back to my story. When I would spend the night @ Pixie's, we would sleep in the bed with Grandma. We'd cuddle up on each side of her on her feather bed. She had one of those feather pillows that went across the whole head of the bed called a boaster pillow. She would tell us stories we believed to be true, in a low voice that made us get closer to her. I remember her saying, "loong looong time ago, you could hear the churn tops rattling in the kitchen.......".

Grandma would always tell us, "Girls don't ever let anybody say bad things abt my Daddy, he was a good business man."

She was a very intelligent Lady. She out-smarted Pixie & I several times. You know how girls are giggling & talking especially @ bedtime? Well we did our share of it too. Grandma wanted to go to sleep. She once ask us, "Girls do you want to know who you are going to marry? Of course we did. Up outta bed we got, & off to the kitchen we go. Grandma boiled 1 egg. We could not figure out what she was gonna do with that egg. She peeled it, then cut it in half. She removed the yolk out of each half, & handed 1 yolk to each of us. Then she filled the empty space where the yolk was with salt. She then said, "eat the egg white with the salt in it, & then the yolk. You can not speak a word. Go to sleep, & who ever brings you a drink of water in your sleep, will be the person you will marry." Let me tell you, that is a lot of salt for 1/2 a egg white. We tried hand signaling, but we couldn't hardly see each other in the dim fire light from the fire place. The fires got banked @ night so they wouldn't go out, with what we called slack. That was the little fine pieces of coal, sorta like the crumbs of the lumps of coal. In the mornings you would take the poker & punch around the fireplace, & the grate, then put your lumps of coal on the fire to throw out more heat. We would sleep under quilts @ night. Well I guess you want to know the results of Grandma's plot. Pixie & I both awakened anxious to find out if the other was given a drink of water. I tried my best to remember & I couldn't remember anything, nor could Pixie. Grandma was standing there, as we gave it everything we had, with no success, trying to remember. Grandma said, " Well we'll just have to try again girls, & the next time you got to remember." I don't remember how many times she pulled that on us, before we got wise.

I went to church with them every Sunday morning & other times, when ever Pixie went. We would go to the Nazerene Church up on High St back then. Mrs Browning & Grandma wore hats to church. Pixie & I only wore them on Easter Sunday with our gloves. We would stop, & pick-up Pete Hatfield & take him to church with us. Pete was Pixie's cousin. Once as he was sitting in church, his stomach was doing some big time growling. Pete would shuffle himself around, while squirming around in the pew, & clear his throat loudly, trying to cover up the sound of his stomach. Can you just picture Pixie & I trying to squelch our giggles. That is the hardest thing for me to ever do, is to stiffle a laugh @ an inappropriate times. It really hurts me. I do suffer. I feel like I am going to erupt.

I was Pixie's Maid-Of-Honor @ her wedding. She had a big church wedding. They looked like the dolls a top a wedding cake.She married Boyd James Trump known by many as "Pig." The wedding party was lined up @ the entrace of the church. There was several steps leading up to the entrance. The photographer was taking pictures. Pixie's brother Grant Browning officiated the wedding ceremony. Grant extended his hand, to shake hands with Pete Hatfield coming up the steps. Pete stumbled & fell as the photographer snapped the picture, & caught me, Pixie, & Pig cracking up. Grandma was @ the wedding with her corsage & her hat on, looking pretty.

Grandma was a beautiful Lady, with a stately stature. Grandma was a kind soft spoken woman. I loved her. She had the love & respect of all her family & many friends. Grandma lived with Pixie's parents till she died in 1962. We all lived right above the cemetery where her Daddy was laid to rest @ the Hatfield Cemetery. May the only Grandma I have ever known R.I.P. I do believe Grandma would be proud that Kevin Costner played the part of her Daddy, Anderson (Devil Anse) Hatfield, in the 3part story of the Hatfields & McCoys.

I hope my thoughts did Grandma justice Pixie. I know Pixie reads my blogs. We are still BFF after 60+ yrs. When we get together, we always pick-up where we left off. Pixie & Pig are more then friends, they are family . I loved Pigs family Mr & Mrs Trump also.

the following is commentary by my aunt and Pixie

Edna Mitchem � Top Commenter � Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College

That's what I was waiting to see was your response. That meant more to me then any am't of money. If anyone likes it & wants to read it, feel free to do so, but like you, there's no price tag on our memories. We do go back a long ways. As they say, we've come a long way. Glad you liked it BFF.
Margaret J. TrumpLogan High School
BFF that was a very special blog, thank you! Right now you could probably sell it to The Logan Banner! I will have to print it so Joe & Grant can see it. Thanks again!!

Come Hell or High Water I'm Going Fishing Today

It is free fishing weekend in West Virginia. You don't need a license. I went yesterday and caught a fish. I had to throw it back because it was too small but at least I caught one. Nobody else did.

So I'm going again this evening.

I also had a wonderful dinner yesterday. I've been wanting it for years. When my uncle and aunt cleaned out their freezer the other day they found a squirrel. I can't remember the last time I had squirrel. So yesterday I fixed squirrel, gravy, dumplings, mashed potatoes and I also had some shuck beans. Haven't had shuck beans since I was a kid either. For those of you who don't know what shuck beans are they are also called "leather britches." They are dried green beans. You take fresh half runners or pole beans and you string them with a needle and thread and hang them to dry on the back porch or somewhere. You can leave them for months. When you are ready to cook them you fix them with bacon grease and new potatoes. They are wonderful. They have a whole new flavor and texture to them that you don't get with fresh or canned green beans.

If you look up leather britches on the internet you will see articles on how to make them and it also tells you that you can't find them anymore. I am here to tell you that they are alive and well in West Virginia and people like my aunt can make them like it's nobody's business!

Also yesterday morning my friend, Sherry, had a yard sale. I got some lovely treasures at her house including a teddy bear collection that I am going to mail to my great niece in Florida for her 7th. birthday. We had a great visit as well. Then I went to her neighbor who was having a yardsale as well and bought the bedspread, dust ruffle and pillow shams of my dreams for a mere $3. I couldn't believe my good fortune.

I am waiting on Eddie to come over so he can put the dust ruffle on for me because I'll have to lift the mattress to do it. Can't wait to see my new bedroom...may have to find some curtains to match!