• Hands Across the Ocean

    by Jane Roland

    This month is an anniversary for me. Seven years ago I left the SPCA Benefit Shop on Forest Avenue after twenty years; I started writhing for Lee Yarborough at the Pacific Grove Hometown Bulletin and was asked to consider opening a benefit shop for Animal Friends Rescue Project.   I am still a scribe, now weekly for Marge Jameson and her Cedar Street Times. The Treasure Shop has expanded year after year until we were ensconced in our current location on Fountain Avenue.   I am heavily involved in the Pacific Grove Rotary Club and enjoy my involvement with the newspaper.  Above all, I love my job, the cause and the people with whom I work, the volunteers, the staff, the donors and customers.  It is a win, win situation.   Over the years I have had the pleasure to meet wonderful people and their spectacular animals and, over those same years, have penned tales about them.  Here is another. I met Jerome a few weeks ago, when his parents, George and Mary Bergman, from San Francisco stopped by the shop for the first time..  I was quite taken with this cheerful fellow. I asked his age and his background and was treated to a heart warming story:

    “Jerome is a wonderful, former Taiwanese street dog, with a chequered past, who is enjoying a serene and good life in San Francisco. Almost eight years ago, the five month old dog was found in a cardboard box with a broken leg.  He had been left starving and thirsty to die alone, probably a casualty of dog hunters who did not return for their captured prey.  Fortunately, he was seen, rescued and taken to a shelter where a veterinarian successfully mended his damaged limb.

    Another, unknown, kind soul made arrangements for Jerome’s passage to San Francisco and placement with Wonder Dog Rescue in the Mission District.  Although he had, amazingly, become a happy, smart and house trained seven month young dog, no one would adopt him because he was no longer considered a puppy.  Then George and Mary saw him, fell in love at their first meeting and have nurtured and protected him ever since.  He became a devoted brother to a feral Maine Coon Cat, Kittner.

    Jerome suffered a set back when he was between two and three years old.  He was playing with another dog and received a small bite on the previously broken limb.  It manifested into a severe infection that was resistant to antibiotics.  After reaching the end of the line with a series of local vets, George and Mary took Jerome to U.C. Davis, where a team of professors and students undertook a multiple step strategy to conquer the problem and save Jerome’s leg.  He survived yet again and has been completely healthy, romping on all four legs.”

    They told me that Jerome is extremely sensitive, intelligent, highly spirited and loyal.  He adores his “parents” but is very cautious and wary of strangers (he allowed me to pet him graciously and made friends with one of our doggie volunteers, Bootsie) Boots, if you recall, is a local pup who was found on a road with two broken legs, she was a few months old. AFRP had the legs repaired, Dave Winter walked her, the rest is history, and she became his forever friend and one of our dog greeters. If Jerome is shy and hesitant, he cannot be blamed, somewhere in the back of his mind lingers the memory of the broken limb and being alone with no sustenance.   Little did he know that there was hope in sight and his remaining days would be spent in a country across the sea in San Francisco with Mary, George and Kittner.

    There are many stories of animal rescues and committed nurturers, we see and hear about them all of the time.  Even on a much smaller scale those involved with AFRP give their all to save and protect those in need, those that cannot help themselves.  We all wish that abusers would be smote with an iron fist or burned for eternity, that being out of our control we do what is possible to repair the damage and bring peace to the beasts that have been abused.  There are groups around the world whose mission is to save animals, all animals, all sizes, domestic and wild.  They do it with no wish for acclaim but simply success.

    Taiwan was known for its abuse of street dogs.  The rescue group in the area has gone to all ends to end the practice and offer succor to those whom they are able to save.  When Jerome was rescued it was determined that he should be “put down” as his leg was so badly broken.  A foster mom took him in; although her house already exploded with cats and dogs.  She made certain he received treatment for the limb.   He didn’t seem to remember the terrible experience of being hurt and left alone with no sustenance.

    There are many stories such as this and those of us who are able should do all we can to help.  Animals feel the same pain as humans.  We don’t know how they think, it is said that dogs, have no sense of time.  That may be true, but I am sure that the hours suffering in a box seemed like eternity to Jerome.  If you have room in your home, ability to transport animals, volunteer at a facility, goods or pennies to give search your heart and do what you can. We want to save as many Jeromes and Bootsies as possible.

    posted to Cedar Street Times on July 26, 2013

    Topics: Animal Tales and Other Random Thoughts

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