Monday, September 2, 2013

All Creatures Great and Small

This morning I participated in the Labor Day Dog Walk at the Pima Animal Care Center outside Tucson; they've been having these walks on recent holidays as a way to recruit new volunteers and also just to get more of the dogs out for some much-needed exercise and socialization (those who didn't want to or couldn't walk dogs could also spend some quality time cuddling cats).
Fred here was my companion for a pretty vigorous hour-plus walk. He gave me quite a workout and I'm sure we both benefited from it. He's a sweet dog who behaved himself pretty well, though I think if I'd been more of a runner he'd have been a little happier. Fred's an old-timer at PACC; he's been adopted a couple of times and brought back, as he needs a forever home with high walls and no small animals he might see as prey. We have two cats and therefore our home is not the place for him, but I do hope the right people find him, as I think he'd be a wonderful pet.
     Our walk took us once around Silverbell Lake
 and twice around the smaller lake to the west of it, where people run their remote-controlled boats (there was just one out there this morning, and Fred and I both found it fascinating as well as noisy and rather annoying - but at least those boats have their own place and don't disturb the folks fishing from the banks of Silverbell Lake itself).
 In a quiet corner of the smaller lake I saw this heron - an hour later he was still in the same spot.

 It's a lovely, peaceful place, even with so many people walking dogs there, and the dogs were all quite well-behaved - better, really, than some we meet on our neighborhood walks! Of course, we walkers were all careful to keep them a safe distance apart, but I didn't see any aggressive lunging or barking at all!

     I was only briefly surprised to see a large number of pit bulls - probably half at least half of the dogs out walking; they weren't causing any trouble. I know a lot of people are afraid of them, and that's probably why so many have been surrendered to shelters, but I can't help wondering if it's really fair to demonize an entire breed, when so much depends on the way the individual animal is raised and treated. Some years back I read that (at least for one particular year) cocker spaniels were responsible for more reported bites than any other breed of dog! The only dog that ever bit me was a particularly unpleasant toy poodle, though my mother nearly lost a finger to a rottweiler a few years ago. But that rottweiler belonged to someone who apparently thought an aggressive dog made his owner appear more macho.
      Anyway, there was nothing to disturb the beauty of the morning. This egret, like the heron above, had established his fishing territory in an out of the way corner - I love to watch them, so still, so patient, and then so quick to go in for the kill.
 I hope Fred enjoyed the morning as much as I did, and that he and the other animals won't have to wait too much longer before they're claimed by people who will give them plenty of love and care and long walks. Information on adoptable animals is available at
I was also reminded what a beautiful place Christopher Columbus Park is, with its lakes stocked with fish and its other wildlife - I even saw a pelican paddling around on the lake but didn't think to get a picture till it was out of sight. And since CCP is so close to home, just a couple of miles north on Silverbell, there's no reason not to go there more often.

No comments:

Post a Comment