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Bartleby the Scrivener vegan27
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dog rescue
On Sunday afternoon Sarah and I were going to drive to Ann Arbor to buy a new aquarium for Frieda the box turtle. We got on I-96 west toward I-94 west when we passed two dogs walking on the shoulder of the interchange between the two freeways. When we stopped and got out, we met another woman who was already trying to help them. Of course the dogs were skiddish and ran away. Two more cars stopped and people tried to help, but one left after not too long.

It was a pretty nerve-wracking experience. Dogs don't understand how traffic works. At one point they crossed the westbound lanes of I-96 to the median, and some of the people followed them. When the dogs crossed back over I was convinced they would be hit by oncoming trucks, but the drivers were fortunately paying attention and the dogs made it back without being turned into a cloud of pink mist. An ambulance came by at one point to make sure no one was hurt, but had to leave for another call immediately. The police would not help.

After a long and confusing attempt to corral the dogs onto the grassy side of the freeway near the service drive, a young woman was somehow able to get one of the dogs (the blue Australian cattle dog) under a tree at the edge of the service drive. While Sarah and I were walking around looking for his companion (a pitbull), he somehow ended up on the other side of the fence, on the service drive side, but came back to be by his friend. There was on dog on each side of the fence. The pitbull had a choke chain on, but no tags, and the Australian cattle dog had no collar on at all. Neither was neutered, but they seemed relatively clean, well-fed, and uninjured.


Where we spent Sunday afternoon!


One of the two women called a friend of theirs who volunteers for a dog rescue. While waiting for her, I drove back home to get water, treats, and leashes. Around the time I got back, the animal rescue friend arrived, wearing a "Million Pibble March" tshirt, or something like that. They eventually got a leash on the cattle dog. The dogs would drink water and eat treats thrown on the ground, but were still very skiddish and would try to bite if touched.

This was the situation for a very long time: we had the cattle dog leashed on the freeway side of the chain link fence, but the tricky pitbull could not be approached. He would run across the service drive into a field. Then the cattle dog would bark for his companion, who would faithfully come back to check up on his friend, but then run away because he was afraid of us. The younger woman's mother joined the party, making six of us. Then a Prius with a bunch of bumper stickers stopped, and another woman with an animal-rescue-related tshirt came out, bringing the number up to seven. Just me and six white girls hanging out on a freeway ramp on the west side, no big deal.



At one point, an SUV with four men in it peeled around the corner and down the freeway ramp sociopathically fast, but didn't hit the pitbull. Four police cars with their lights on and sirens blaring followed quickly afterward. So our dogs almost got run over by a high-speed police chase. Of course.

One of women there called a Detroit cop friend who was able to stop by. She said this officer is involved in animal rescues. When a DPD van pulled up that said "Crime Scene Investigation" (or something like that) on it, I fully expected Angela from Facebook to walk out, but she was not one of the two women in the vehicle. [The ratio of animal helpers was then eight ladies to one dude.] But one of the officers *did* had the bright idea for us to lift the bottom of the fence and pass the leashed dog under. It was a strong fence and it took four of us to lift part of it enough to do this.

We spent an hour trying to walk the leashed dog around the field to get the pitbull close enough to be leashed, but we were not successful. The officers, Prius driver, and the animal rescue woman eventually had to leave. When the pitbull somehow became very interested in following one of the remaining women's cars, we just opened a door and tried to get the cattle dog in, and he willingly got in with a little push. The pitbull followed him. Sarah called around and got a Southfield vet to agree to hold onto the dogs overnight until animal control could take them. The lucky driver of the car graciously delivered them. In all, the experience lasted about three hours.



The residents of the side street where the action ended were amused by the sudden influx of bleeding heart animal rescuers. One neighbor was going to let us use his yard to trap the dogs, but that plan ended up not working. There were only three houses left on this street, but they were all well maintained. It seemed like a nice, quiet enclave.

* * * * *


The other exciting event of the weekend happened on the previous day, when we attended the Crash Festival of Street Bands in Roosevelt Park. I guess it was a sort of conference of what you might call small hipster marching bands? We tried taking the dogs, but they were just over-stimulated. We walked back later in the evening and saw Mucca Pazza's performance. It was *perfect*. I am so glad that this kind of music exists. If I get my wish then instrumental, un-amplified, acoustic instruments playing original compositions inspired by eastern European folk music will overtake the tried, old three-chord formula rock groups. (There was an accordion and electric guitar that were amplified, but only by a small speaker taped to the performers' helmets.) The players were constantly moving around, which changed the music as they played. The pieces were very well-written and very well-performed. It was exactly the thing that there needs to be more of.

Please go to Mucca Pazza's website and listen to their music. You will not be disappointed!

[Edit: The dogs have evidently since been reunited with their owner, but I don't know any of the details.]

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