Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Write On...and on and on

I've been writing and writing, and the words are piling up. Thousands of them so far. So many that I'm dreaming in words now. I'm on 20 or 30 times a day tracking down the words with the exact nuance to express my thought.

Even though all this writing isn't for the blog, that doesn't mean I've abandoned it. I think about Carreen's Rescue Blog every day, especially when some juicy story comes across my desk that I'd love to cover, which happens frequently.

I still get my fix thanks to your emails -- story ideas, comments on old posts, words of encouragement. It's all fuel that feeds my creative fire.

Today, for the purpose of posterity, I've decided to post links here to some of the best-read stories on this blog. The ones that received the most responses. Those that pulled heartstrings and inspired change.

I have a big fat file filled with story ideas ready to go for when I get back to blogging, so please don't stop emailing me your thoughts and story ideas. I'm listening, and I love getting your mail.

I promise this isn't the last you've seen of Carreen's Rescue Blog.

Kids are fascinating to write about, because they all love animals, and they are motivated to rescue them with very little encouragement. When I go into a neighborhood and try to match up a stray animal with a family, the kids always know where a particular pet belongs. The self-starter kids in this story built an unsolicited mock animal shelter after crawling around inside my rescue vehicle.

When a nine-year-old girl living in a drug-addled area of a Prairie town saved a scorched puppy from a dumpster, her act of kindness motivated many others to give. They sent gifts, money and well wishes to a bullied little girl who had asked for nothing for Christmas, but got everything she had ever dreamed of in return. A Christmas miracle for a girl and her dog.

Last year, I wrote ten articles on the Canadian seal hunt, an atrocious event of animal cruelty that has 80 percent of Canadians recoiling in horror at the facts of it. Celebrities, regular citizens, even children have protested the cruel slaughter. Only Canadian politicians have missed the boat. Get the facts on the hunt and see some of the celebrities who have tried to end this bloodbath on ice once and for all. Special thanks to Nigel Barker, who stars in America's Next Top Model. He's a fashion photographer with a heart, and generously allowed me to use his stunning photographs of the seal nursery.

Katrina struck New Orleans and the floodwaters washed the levees away. The city was underwater. Residents tried to save their animals. But when they were shuttled to safety, government officials didn't let them take their pets.

Animal rescuers watched the footage on television in horror, knowing what was coming next. Dogs and cats clinging to trees, baking to death on rooftops in the excruciating summer heat, trapped at the end of chains, in attics. Swimming for their lives.

We had to get in. We risked our lives to penetrate a city locked down. Intruders were threatened with being shot, and we weren't excluded from those orders. Hundreds of us deployed separately from each other, but we joined together in the field to save 20,000 animals from certain, torturous death.

In 2006, the laws changed across the land to allow people to take their pets when they evacuate. And on Katrina's three-year anniversary, a monument was erected at New Orleans' City Hall of a dog and a cat. To honor the animals who died in the storm, and the rescuers who came to save them. I was on the scene, and made it back to document the mission.

As a rescuer, finding the perfect home for an animal is always a challenge. So when an animal uses his eyes to find his own home, it's a relief. Meet Wally, whose picture went from a rescue group in Tennessee all the way to a woman at a photo processing lab in Minnesota.