Archive for Thursday, March 3, 2005

Letters to the Editor

March 3, 2005

To the editor:

Someone shot one of my Chihuahuas, in my little dog pen in my yard, with a pellet gun in the area of 14th and High streets. Please watch your pets carefully, as they, too, may be in danger.

This has been very painful for the dog and expensive, too, for the pet owner. I consider this painful animal abuse.

If this happens to you, your child or a pet, please report it to the police.

Charlene Coates

Baldwin City

To the editor:

I support the closing of Fremont between First and Second streets for two reasons. 1) People are constantly crossing this street from the parking lot to the north and the stadium to the south. Sometimes they run across the street without watching for oncoming cars. An accident is bound to happen here sooner or later. 2) When it snows, a coat of ice forms on Fremont. The ice melts elsewhere in town before it melts along this block, since the stadium blocks out the sunshine for several hours a day. This makes for slippery driving.

Fremont between First and Second streets is dangerous. It should be closed, in the interest of public safety.

John English

Baldwin City

To the editor:

I would like to express my appreciation for the nice article about quilts for soldiers recently printed in the Signal. Although the need is at Fort Riley, I learned that the injured soldiers are also admitted to V.A. Medical Center, Topeka. Three quilts (50 inches x 60 inches) were delivered to the V.A. Voluntary Services this week.

Thank you for printing the article on "Project Linus National Make A Blanket Day." This is also a project I support.

Antonette Brecheisen


To the editor:

I was heading to Lawrence with my 14-year-old daughter on 1055 Sunday afternoon (Feb. 27) for a youth sports meeting and at roughly 5:45 p.m., just past the bottom of Palmyra hill, a dog leapt out of the brush on the east side of the road and right in front of my vehicle. It was raining and dusky or maybe I would've had a moment more to react. But there was no time. He was hit squarely and hard.

I turned around and went back. He was dead, as I had already been certain, and I copied down his name, "Woody," and the phone number -- that was the only information on that tag. He also had a rabies tag from Baldwin Junction Vet Clinic but I didn't write down the number, as I didn't think I'd need it. The houses on the highway are widely spaced and it seemed pointless to start driving up random driveways. And -- as the dog was gone -- and the meeting was pressing -- I went on to Lawrence. My daughter asked me several times along the way if I were OK.

When I got to the meeting venue, my daughter went to save me a seat while I made what I thought was going to be a painful phone call. But it turned out that the number was not that of the dog's owners. I had tried to copy down the worn number (Woody appeared to be an older dog) carefully -- and the understanding lady who answered confirmed that the number I thought I had

dialed was the number I reached. But ... Woody wasn't her dog -- maybe I was too rattled ... maybe the number had changed over the years and the tag hadn't been updated. Who knows? So I sat miserably through the meeting, intending to go back in the morning when it was light (and safer to stop) to get the rabies tag number so that the vet's office could help locate the people.

When I drove by Monday morning, the dog's body was gone. Without the rabies tag ID number, I doubt the vet's office could trace it to the owners. So instead of calling them, I'm writing this in hope that Woody's people will read it. There are a few things I want to share with them:

First, please accept my sincere apology and condolences. I would have avoided hitting him if it had been humanly possible. Above all, I don't want you to think that he was hit by some reckless, uncaring driver who just kept going.

I want you to know that someone did stop and that, if he had been clinging to life, I would have dropped everything and taken him for emergency treatment.

I want you to know that someone petted him, held his face in her hands, shed some tears over him, apologized, and spoke some words to him, even if he couldn't hear them.

I want you to know that I tried to contact you that night, so you wouldn't come unprepared to the scene of his death. I am sorry that that didn't work out.

I want you to know that you should not feel any blame for his running loose or let anyone make you feel guilty if you tell them how your dog died. The older I get, the less judgmental I get. I realize that country dogs run free much of the time -- it is simply a fact of life. And if you live in town, I know from my own experience that dogs will steal away if they can, despite your best efforts to keep them confined. If he had been capable of knowing the consequences of his choices, I suspect he would have still taken his chances to die as he did in return for the pleasure he surely got in stretching his legs in a good run, following scents, combing the woods for rabbit, or just enjoying the feel of earth (rather than carpet) under his feet and the breeze in his face as he explored his world. From what I

could tell, that afternoon was probably spent exploring the woods and countryside -- not a shabby way to spend one's last day on earth.

Finally, and most importantly, I want you to know that he did not suffer. If you came upon him in the morning, or even later that night, and agonized over the possibility that he might have lain there for hours, suffering and wondering where you were, please lay those fears aside. He was gone instantly -- I am sure he never felt a thing. I am sure that he died in the knowledge that you loved him and will always, in some sense, be with him and he with you.

Mary Lee Norris


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