Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Ticking Clock

Imagine there’s a clock on the number of days every human being had to live. Makes you think, doesn’t it? That’s what Arlie Rufus and millions of others have learned about over the past few days as news spread about Dogs In Danger ( As a former “dog in danger” I have some strong feelings about the site and the methods to bring attention to all those dogs longing for a home.

You see, Arlie Rufus was lucky enough to find a home – one where there is much love. The dogs on are not as lucky – not yet. As the site began making news this week, there have been articles and stories written debating if this is a good or bad thing – showing the countdown in a dog’s life. Many, including animal shelters have complained that the tactics are a bit much and should not be used. I say we take the argument in another direction – and that is why such a site is even needed.

For too many years we have turned our heads to those who lack the responsibility or the humanity to care for dogs and other animals. They do not give us our shots, have us spayed or neutered, feed us or give us water. Many simply let us run wild – many to end up in a short-time shelter or worse – killed by a motorist. Are you getting what the Arlie Rufus is saying? Well what can you expect of some; you do not need a license or certificate or any real training to have a dog – but then again do you need this to have a baby? Now that’s food for thought.

So let’s look at this clock countdown. Is it dramatic? Of course. Is it extreme? Absolutely. Does it make us think and keep the conversation going? You bet your wagging tail. And for that much, it is worth it. Arlie Rufus is an advocate for the rights of all those who do not have a voice to speak. And in this instance, he says “keep the clocks ticking”. It makes an impression. It sends a message. And maybe, just maybe, it will make those who mistreat dogs and those with the capacity to give dogs a loving home think about what it would be like to have a web site with a countdown on their lives.

Arlie Rufus