I see in the "famous/infamous people" headlines today that Leona Helmsley left her Maltese "Trouble" a cool $12 million in her will to ensure that the pampered pooch continues to lead the life of excess to which she's accustomed. Poor little rich dog. Helmsley's brother was named Trouble's caretaker and recipient of his own millions (wonder if he got at least $12M?). Trouble is to join Leona and her late husband Harry in the Helmsley mausoleum when she dies. A couple of sick, but funny, comments on this story dealt with Trouble's shortened life expectancy with the stakes this high!
There's a lot that's wrong about this story. Those of us who have pets, or just love animals in general, think about what will happen to our four-legged friends when we die. I'm sure some of my friends have made provisions in their wills for the care of their pets. In my circle, there's a running joke about who will get Willie the Pit Bull or his sister Hallie who's owned and loved by my good friends. We joke, but it's understood that we will do all we can to see that each others pets will be taken care of and placed in loving homes if we sign out first.
It makes me sad to think about the good that could be accomplished for so many animals for just a small portion of $12 million. I think about the daily pleas for help that we all receive for animals that are sick and abandoned. And, just last week I saw the "Nature" documentary on PBS about the heroic efforts of agencies like the Humane Society and private citizens who searched the filthy, storm-ravaged streets and homes of New Orleans after Katrina rescuing people's much loved pets. Over 1,500 pets were saved and re-united with their people or re-homed. Think about it. How much more could have been done if people responded with a spirit of generosity instead of meanness?
- Recent retiree--35 year's experience teaching reading, English, adult basic education and volunteer leadership skills. Started this blog to exchange ideas and commentary with friends and others having an interest in joining the discussions. Greatest life accomplishments include: 1.organized my 3rd grade class to check out library books for me to get around librarian's weekly limit--Amazon.com, the Mullins Elementary 3rd Grade Class of 1956 is still waiting for "thank you" notes; 2. volunteered in the Peace Corps, island of St. Kitts, West Indies; 3.taught adults to read, earn their GEDs., and speak English as a second language; 4. bought a border collie puppy for $6, got evicted rather than give him up, and began a life-long love affair with all things "Dog"; 5. joined a physical fitness boot camp in my mid-50s--don't mess with someone who's been doing regulation pushups in wet grass at 5:30 a.m.; 6. walked across Northern England with best friend Sally--over 80 miles from the Irish to North Seas; and 7. travelled to many foreign countries for pleasure and work.