PUPPIES AND COMPASSION AND WRITING
Follow your heart. See where it leads you. And start right there, wherever that may be. Set your compassion ablaze. Christi Camblor, DVM
I met Christi almost two years ago, when I accidentally adopted a puppy from Mexico through her rescue, Compassion without Borders. I didn’t want to raise a puppy and I really didn’t want a dog with issues, but life happened and our home that was filled with grief because of the loss of our AndyPandy suddenly knew moments of joy and laughter again.
I hoped that since Charlie was only weeks old when brought to the shelter, that she would have escaped the harshness of life on the streets in Mexico; that the warm supportive environment I would raise her in would result in an emotionally stable dog. I was wrong.
Charlie came out of the womb—literally out of the womb—terrified of the world. I learned from an animal behaviorist that a pregnant dog who lives in fear of human beings and other animals and has to scrounge for food and water and shelter will pass her stress on to her puppies in utero in varying degrees.
Compassion Without Borders brings dogs from poorer communities—Mexico and California’s central valley—to places where they have a better chance of being adopted. They even ship small dogs east where they are desired and in short supply. In 2017, they rescued nearly 500 animals in the U.S. and provided access to veterinary care and spay/neuter to over 2,000 more.
Even so, the rescue has been criticized for going to Mexico to save dogs when there are so many dogs here that need help. Christi explains:
“The homeless dog here in the U.S. will, at the very least, have the chance of a humane death if there is no chance of rescue or adoption. In turn, the animal south of the border does not have that same guaranteed fate. He or she will either languish, starve, or suffer on the streets or, if they are rounded up and captured by animal control, they will be electrocuted—the most common method of killing unwanted animals in Mexico. The need is so great. The resources so few. The animals so precious. Why wouldn’t we help? The life of every dog is every bit as valuable as the life of any other. Plain and simple.”
And that brings me to the writing part. My stories are set against real issues of racial, ethnic, and gender inequality. I care about the stories of the people who lived during the war and suffered its social injustice. To care about what happens to others, one must first accept that, to paraphrase Christi, “The life of every human being is every bit as valuable as the life of any other. Plain and simple.”
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Mary Adler was an attorney and dean at CWRU School of Medicine. She escaped the ivory tower for the much gentler world of World War II and the adventures of homicide detective Oliver Wright and his German shepherd, Harley. She lives with her family in Sebastopol, California, where she creates garden habitats for birds and bees and butterflies. She is active in dog rescue and does canine scent work with her brilliant dogs — the brains of the team — and loves all things Italian.