Why do we transport dogs to Adelaide for adoption? Why not adopt locally? Ok. Only this week a little Maltese Cross was tied up outside a local supermarket in a shopping area. It was a very warm day and it was only when the little thing started going into distress that people realised something was very wrong. Dog owners frequently take their dog with them when they go to the supermarket, tie the dog up outside, get their milk or whatever, leave, pick up the dog and go home. It’s common practice – but this character (whoever he may be), tied the dog up and vanished. Because it is a common enough sight, no one really paid much attention for several hours. Once it was discovered that there was a problem and the owner was nowhere in sight, the RSPCA (ASPCA??) were called. Not so very long ago two puppies were tied up to a tree 10 miles from town and left there. They were spotted by a passing motorist who called the RSPCA and the dogs were taken to the pound. To paraphrase the words of the late President Reagan ” locally is not the solution to the problem – locally is the problem.” Backyard breeders are a problem and dogs – and kittens – get dumped on the doorstep of the local vet. The staff have frequently come to open up in the morning and found a box on the doorstep with two, or more puppies in it. The other problem is that this is a kill pound. Two weeks is all they can stay, then they are euthanised. I cannot foster because of my own dogs but I do what I can and help out with my frequent trips to Adelaide, but we do have a good number of people who cae enough to foster until a new home is found. Oh but we are not uncivilised and the council no longer uses a gas chamber, but uses a lethal injection. The gas chamber was taken out of service in 2009.
Queensland and Northern New South Wales are recovering from major flooding whilst parts of Victoria and Tasmania are again having serious fire problems. I have a friend in Tasmania who sent me some photographs of the fire in the hills above her property. They look quite disturbing and orders are out for evacuations. I said before, in this little corner of the commonwealth we are relatively free from real extremes of weather, fires and floods.
I find it interesting how attitudes change over time – well mine has. I once looked on my trips to town as a bonus, because the early start to the Saturday Conference meant I had to travel down on the Friday. However as the participants have become, over the years, more and more metro centric ( if it’s good for Adelaide it MUST be good for the whole of the State) and have this belief that nothing of any importance happens beyond the Adelaide boundaries, I have come to look on the Conferences as the price I have to pay for my frequent trips to the city. Sad, really. Still, the dogs that I help to rehome benefit and that can’t be a bad thing.
The State of South Australia covers some 983,482 sq.klm. It’s bigger than Texas but with a total population only marginally greater than Phoenix, I suppose we do have a lot of environment. To the west of me – the town of Cowell some 115 klms away -the photograph is in the general direction of Cowell and there is nothing in between except the general assortment of Australian wildlife. Like many places in the USA South Australia punishes people who do not take the environment seriously – they die in the harsh, hot conditions of outback SA. There was three travellers died only a few weeks ago when the car they were driving in broke down and they decided that it was only twenty miles to the nearest settlement, so they could walk there for help in a 45c temperature. They became lost and didn’t make it and their bodies were recovered only after a massive police and ranger search. If you treat it with disrespect and are unprepared for the worst that could happen, the far north of South Australia can be very unforgiving. Even driving between here and Adelaide, I carry 2 x 3 litre water containers in the boot (trunk) and I always have drinking water with me in the car. When I take the dogs out during the summer months – in the morning before the heat and in the evening when it’s little cooler,, I generally have a small backpack with a bottle of water and a bowl.
The South Australian Dog Rescue ended the year fairly well and 400 dogs have been saved from the pound and have gone to new furever homes. I have been involved in ten of those, which I have taken from here the 400 klms to the State Capital and their new owners. I hope to be heading that way sometime next week, once this heatwave breaks. At the moment it is 35c but this is expected to rise and to mid 40+c over the next few days and into the start of next week with a cool change coming mid-week.
In the garden it has generally been a tidy up and keep up the watering to what plants have survived the heat of the other week. I have not been able to replace them because it is New Year and most places are closed until today, so I will probably get over to the Garden shop during the course of the day and have a look at what I think might survive. As I said before I have doubts about labels that say “Full Sun”
Last week of winter. Next week is the official beginning of Spring. Ok, so the split system A/C was installed at the very end of winter but it will be ok and well run in by the time we start to experience some hot weather – always provided we get some. It would be nice to think that after this wet weather we will get some heat and warmth, then I can have the fun of complaining that it’s too hot. I have to say that I have not had to say that for a while. Years ago the average temperature was around 42c in mid-summer and climbing up to a hottish 45c, but we have not had weather like that for a while now. We have bursts but not the long hot heat-waves that we used to have when the temperature went above 37c and forgot to come back down. Global warming – cooler temperatures – cold with lots of rain -doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.
I head off to Adelaide in the morning for a funeral. Adelaide is some 475 Klms from here so it’s about 800 klm round trip for a funeral – but that’s South Australia. However it is not a wasted trip and in the morning I pick up two little Maltese girls and take them to their new homes in Adelaide. I do this for the South Australia Dog Rescue. I think of the poor dogs that are dumped, like these two little girls were and I feel very sad because it’s quite common in this place. It’s a sad thing when people just dump their dogs at the nearest Vet. Most of them end up in the pound and the not to lucky ones have to be put to sleep. Sometimes dogs are picked up off the street and although the pounds advertises for the owners – mostly they never come forward because they just wont pay the $50 fine to get the animal back. They are kept for about ten days then put to sleep, unless the Dog Rescue steps in and takes them out, but for that we need more foster carers and we don’t have them. If we had a) more responsible owners or b) more carers (whilst the SADR finds new homes) we would be a lot better able to cope with the problems.
I have also spent a good part of the week organising a group to participate in a fundraising event for the Local Royal Flying Doctors Support Group. Only to find that the event is not now going to take place. Nice to know these things. Oh well – these things happen I suppose.