Tag: put down
It’s easy to ignore statistics. They’re cold and dry and lack soulful eyes. And when the numbers are overwhelming — like the 5,500 unwanted dogs who are put to death daily in U.S. shelters — we tend, as a rule, to find life is more comfortable and less depressing when we don’t do the math.
Louisville artist Mark Barone is an exception to that rule. Rather than ignore the problem, he decided to put a face on it — 5,500 of them, in fact.
For two years now, he has been painting portraits of dogs who have been put down at shelters across the country, and he’s more than halfway to his goal: 5,500 portraits that he hopes will someday — unlike their subjects — find a forever home.
Their hope is the works will someday be displayed in a permanent memorial museum, which — between its emotional impact and the funds it would help raise for no-kill rescues and shelters – could help lead to their larger goal, a no-kill nation.
Mark, a well-established artist, had moved to Santa Fe when, about three years ago, he lost his dog of 21 years, Santina.
“It was kind of a sad time, and I thought it would be therapeutic for Mark to go to the dog park,” Marina recalled. “I thought it would be helpful for him to get some dog love, and it was. It was really great. It got me in the mood to think about adopting another dog. Mark wasn’t at that stage, but it didn’t stop me from looking.”
Looking for adoptable dogs online and at local shelters, she quickly learned the sad reality that she says neither she nor Mark, up to then, were aware of — that millions of dogs in need of homes are put down at shelters every year.
“Instead of finding a dog, I found out all these horrifying statistics,” she said. She shared them with Mark, along with images and videos of dogs who had been, or were on the verge of, being put down.
He asked her to stop sharing, but she kept up.
“If we don’t look at it, nothing will change,” she said. “So he looked at it, as painful as it was, and day or two later, we were standing in the kitchen and he asked me the number of dogs killed everyday in the country … I gave him the number 5,500, based on statistics from Best Friends.”
It was then that the idea of honoring shelter dogs by painting 5,500 portraits of those who had been killed was born, and along with it, the longer term plan of a memorial museum, along the lines of the Vietnam Memorial and the Holocaust Museum.
Santa Fe wasn’t interested. Louisville was among about 30 places that were.
That’s where the couple lives now, and where Mark has completed about 3,200 of the portraits — some of them life- sized, some of them larger.
“It’s the big ones, 8 feet by 8 feet, that slow things down,” Mark said.
Only one of the 8×8-foot paintings depicts a dog who died a natural death — Mark’s dog, Santina. According to Marina, Santina will serve as the gatekeeper of the exhibit. Other large portraits feature Batman, a 10-year-old pit bull who was left outside in 21 degree weather, and was found dead at a shelter the next morning, and Grant, who was deemed unadoptable due food bowl aggression and put down.
The large paintings — there will be 10 of them — will include the individual stories of those dogs, representing the most common reasons shelters give to put animals down.
Mark and Marina are still looking for a permanent place to house the works, and for sponsors and benefactors for the museum, and they have some promising leads, both in Louisville and around the country. In addition to being an educational center, the museum would also be an outlet for selling merchandise that features the images – shirts, cards, and other products. An Act of Dog, which is a nonprofit organization, would pass on all profits to no-kill facilities and rescue groups.
The dogs in the paintings come from shelters all around the country. Their photos are submitted by rescue groups, volunteers and shelter employees. They have all been put down.
Mark and Marina object to the use of the term “euthanized” when it’s applied to healthy animals. “Deliberately ending the life of a healthy and treatable pet is killing. Deliberately ending the life of a medically hopeless and suffering pet is euthanasia,” Marina said. They don’t much like “put to sleep,” either.
“Semantics are a powerful way to keep people from the truth and our mission is to show reality without the candy wrapping,” she added.
Mark paints everyday, from sunrise to sunset. At night, he and Marina work on the An Act of Dog website. They’re both foregoing salaries at this point.
Mark has served as a consultant to cities interested in using the arts to revitalize blighted areas, among them Paducah, Kentucky, and its Paducah Artist Re-locaton Program. Marina worked 20 years coaching corporate executives.
“We could turn away and pretend like we didn’t see what we saw, or we could do something about it,” she added. “If that means we have to live poor, we’re OK with that, because we know we did something.”
They’re working now in studio space provided by the Mellwood Art Center in Louisville, where they did end up adopting a new dog, named Gigi, from a local shelter.
What drives the couple, though, are all the dogs who don’t get out alive — the thousands put down each day.
“The no-kill movement is making strides, but not fast enough,” said Mark who, on those days he doesn’t feel like painting, reminds himself of the bleak numbers, and the 5,500 reasons — every day — he must continue.
(Photos and video courtesy of An Act of Dog: At top, a collage of Mark’s paintings; Mark and Marina in their studio; some of the larger paintings, with Mark’s former dog, Santina, at left; and three shelter dogs dogs Breeze, Freckles and Sky)
Posted by jwoestendiek May 10th, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: act of dog, an act of dog, animal welfare, animals, art, artist, death, dogs, euthanasia, faces, holocaust museum, kentucky, killed, killing, louisville, marina dervan, mark barone, mellwood art center, memorial, museum, no kill nation, no-kill, painting, paintings, pets, portraits, project, put down, put to sleep, rescues, santa fe, shelter, shelter dogs, shelters, statistics, vietnam memorial
Grey, creaky and 18 – pretty darned old for a black Lab mix of his size — Bear Dog is hanging around a little longer.
But then he’s always been a persistent sort.
Bear Dog is pretty well known around Castle Rock, Washington, at the western base of Mount St. Helens. For almost two decades, he has hung out at the town’s riverfront, the ball park — just about anywhere his owner, Don Caulfield, went, and a few places he didn’t.
At the North County Recreation Sports Complex, near Caulfield’s mobile home, there are signs, posted by the city, that read, ”No pets allowed inside baseball complex or on soccer fields, except Bear Dog.”
Since 1996, the highly social dog has been befriending workers — including those who built the sports complex — as well as tourists, hikers, students and fishermen.
Whenever anyone walked by Caulfield’s mobile home with a fishing pole, Bear Dog wanted to join them. He’d also swim out to fishing boats, leading anglers to drop what they were doing, haul him aboard and bring him ashore.
At the ball fields, Bear Dog would meet Janice Vinton, the concession stand manager, in the parking lot, walk her to the concession stand and then sit and wait for a hot dog. He’d always get one, at least until he had a heart attack and Vinton decided he should avoid them. When Vinton would close the concession stand at night, Bear would wait for her and walk her to her car.
At Caulfield’s home, visitors would frequently drop by to take Bear Dog for a hike on the trails, or drop off treats and presents. A Seattle man brought short ribs to him every weekend.
“How he got so popular, I don’t know,” Caulfield, a 62-year-old retired trucker, told the Daily News in Washington. “He done that himself.”
About two months ago, though, sightings of Bear Dog became more rare. His back legs had stopped working, and the only way he could walk was by Caulfield using a towel as a sling to lug him in and out of the house. Even as an invalid, Bear Dog still wanted to go out and meet any visitors that stopped by.
Given the dog’s age and condition, Caulfield’s veterinarian advised him it was time to put Bear down, but Caulfield didn’t have enough money to cover the $150 euthanization fee.
He went home and cried, and then he started digging a hole in the yard.
“I knew what had to be done,” he told the the Daily News, which published an article Sunday about Bear Dog.
But Caulfield couldn’t bring himself to shoot Bear, and when he called friends to ask they do the deed for him, they all declined.
Bear Dog was living out what appeared to be his final days until one day he dragged himself outside and promptly fell down the porch steps. Caulfield heard a pop and feared his dog had broken his back. Instead, Bear Dog got up, walked, and even tried to chase a rabbit.
“Every time I think it’s time, he bounces back somehow,” said Caulfield. “I don’t know how he does it.”
We have a theory: Maybe it’s because so many people are pulling for him — and even more since the newspaper story.
Since the article on Bear Dog appeared, he has received a slew of visitors, gifts and phone calls, the Daily News reported in a follow-up article.
Caulfield returned from church Sunday to find people parked in front of his trailer. One offered a new fishing pole. Another man brought over a top sirloin steak, a roast and a tub of dog bones for Bear. And one woman promised to pay for any medical treatment Bear needs, as well as – if and when it becomes necessary — the cost of putting him down.
“He’s quite the legend out there,” Castle Rock Mayor Paul Helenberg said last week of Bear Dog, who became the sports complex’s unofficial mascot by virtue of hanging ot there so much when it was being built.
Some dog-owning residents don’t understand why Bear Dog gets special privileges at the complex, and their dogs don’t, but Helenberg said Bear Dog is something of an institution. He even spoke of building a monument to the dog once he passes away.
“It’s going to be real sad,” the mayor said. “We’ll do something special.”
From the looks of things, Castle Rock, and the friends of Bear Dog, already have.
If you’re going to honor a dog, that’s really the best time to do it, before he’s a memory – not by building a sculpture when he’s dead and gone, but by pitching in and helping out and making him happy while he’s still alive.
Which is not to say a statue of Bear Dog isn’t appropriate — only that one honoring the friends of Bear Dog might be, too.
(Photo: Bill Wagner / The Daily News)
Posted by jwoestendiek February 28th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 18, animals, ball park, bear, bear dog, black lab, castle rock, concessions, daily news, dog, dogs, don caulfield, euthanasia, euthanize, everybodys dog, fishermen, friends, grey, help, helping, hikers, honor, honoring, institution, labrador, lame, mayor, memorial, money, north country recreation sports complex, old, paul helenberg, pets, put down, retriever, sick, statue, support, trucker, washington
For the second time in a year, a mix-up at Hernando County Animal Services in Florida has resulted in the wrong dog being euthanized.
The surrendered dog was scheduled for euthanasia Sept. 7, but the stray was put down instead — two days after arriving at the shelter.
Both dogs were reddish brown females, thought to be lab or shepherd mixes, WTSP reported.
According to a county memorandum regarding the incident, “There appears to be no uniform procedure or checklist in place for administering euthanasia, which does not allow for consistent application.”
In addition to the lack of standard operating procedures for euthanasia at the shelter, the dogs are also moved around frequently, causing confusion.
The dog scheduled for euthanasia was moved from kennel B09 to A23, and the dog brought in as a stray was placed in B09. That wasn’t recorded, though, on the shelter’s “Master List for Dogs,” WTSP reported.
Animal Services staff alerted Public Safety Director Mike Nickerson the day of the incident, prompting an investigation by that office.
Once it was completed, Hernando County Administrator Len Sossamon temporarily placed Nickerson in charge of implementing all of the recommendations.
In April, at the same shelter, another dog was euthanized less than an hour after being dropped off.
An investigation blamed the earlier incident on understaffing and overcrowding.
Posted by jwoestendiek September 26th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal control, animal services, animals, county, dog, dogs, euthanasia, euthanize, euthanized, hernando, investigation, mix up, operations, overcrowding, pets, procedure, put down, put to sleep, recommendations, shelter, shelters, staff, staffing, standards, stray, surrendered, wrong
The dog whose only crime was resembling a pit bull was euthanized today, after a deadline for legal appeals expired.
His execution – despite 200,000 signatures supporting a reprieve — brings an end to an international effort to save him.
The BBC reports that the city council issued a statement that read:
“Whilst there is an exemption scheme to which dogs of this type (pit-bull terrier type) may be admitted as an alternative to destruction, there were no such measures that could be applied in this case that would address the concerns relating to public safety.”
“The council’s expert described the dog as one of the most unpredictable and dangerous dogs he had come across.”
In June, after two lower courts had already ruled that the dog should be put down, Northern Ireland’s highest court rejected Caroline Barnes’ legal bid to overturn an order calling for the destruction of her pet.
Ms. Barnes insisted that Lennox was not dangerous, and her battle to save Lennox snowballed into an often-heated international campaign to save his life.
One Belfast councillor has received a death threat over Lennox’s proposed destruction, the BBC reported, and workers in Belfast City Council have become the target of a fresh series of intimidating messages.
Lennox was impounded by Belfast City Council’s dog wardens in May of 2010, when a new breed specific law went into effect, banning pit bull types in the UK.
Among those calling for Lennox to be spared were boxer Lennox Lewis, Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson, and television dog training expert Victoria Stillwell, who had offered to have Lennox re-homed in America where he would not be in contact with the public.
Stillwell said she was “absolutely devastated” that Lennox had been put down. “I hoped Belfast City Council would realize that there were alternatives that provided a sanctuary for Lennox in the USA where he would be safe but they did not listen,” she said.
Stillwell said requests that the family be allowed to visit the dog one last time before he was put down were declined — as were requests to allow the family see the dog after he was euthanized.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 11th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: belfast, belfast city council, breed bans, breed-specific, breeds, campaign, dangerous, denied, dog, dogs, euthanized, executed, global, international, ireland, killed, laws, lennox, news, pit bull, pit bull type, put down, put to sleep, resemblance, uk, victoria stillwell, visits
Austin Rhoades met Delilah, a Lab mix, Friday at the Cleveland Animal Shelter and filled out paperwork to adopt the dog.
He paid the adoption fee and agreed to come back Monday to pick up the dog after she received the necessary vaccinations.
But by Monday morning, Delilah had been euthanized.
When he arrived at the shelter, staff brought out another dog instead, Rhoades said. “We asked them had they put our dog down and they said yes.”
Animal Control Director Gene Smith told WRCB in Chattanooga that it was ”an honest mistake.”
He said Delilah was mistaken for a similar dog, and that that disciplinary action was being taken against the kennel worker responsible.
Animal rescuer Beth Foster said it wasn’t the first time that has happened: “There have been several occasions where we have said we are coming to get that animal in the morning. We went and it was dead.” Foster is part of a group called Cleveland For A No Kill City, which organized last month and is calling for a change in the shelter’s euthanization and adoption policies.
“We need to change this culture of our local animal control to one about saving lives and facilitating adoption, instead of kill and dispose, which is where we are now,” Foster said. She and others are pushing for a policy change that would increase the three-day holding period before strays could be put down.
Smith says the shelter complies with all state guidelines, and that any change in policy would have to be approved by the police department.
In other bad news for dogs, the Cleveland City Council announced this week that a special fund that has been used to reduce the cost of adoptions has run out of money, meaning the $50 fee will probably go back to as much as $100.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 28th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopted, adoption, animal shelter, animals, austin rhoades, cleveland, delilah, dog, dogs, euthanized, fee, gene smith, holding, lab, mistake, mix, paid, period, pets, put down, rescue, shelter, tennessee
Lennox, locked up as he has been, hasn’t been running for two years now, but his story has, around the world.
Now it appears, despite a massive online campaign to save him, his time has run out.
After three court hearings, orders to execute him — because of his resemblance to a pit bull — have come down from the Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland. (Now there’s a scary title.)
The seven-year-old dog was seized in May 2010 from his owner, Caroline Barnes, after amendments to the Dangerous Dogs Act were extended to Northern Ireland in 2011.
Two lower courts have already ruled that he should be put down because he poses a risk to the public under that legislation, which declares all pit bull types dangerous.
During his year on death row, lawyers presented evidence that Lennox has never bitten anyone and has behaved well since being impounded, according to the Belfast Telegraph.
In the latest, and final, court decision, judges said dog wardens who tried to examine Lennox in May 2010 were told by a man that the dog would “rip their head off.”
An expert dog handler retained by the City Council concluded that the dog had a severe personality defect.
Experts presented in Lennox’s defense, meanwhile, described him as well-handled and a wonderful family dog, who served to comfort the Barnes special needs children before the city took him away.
“Lennox will essentially be killed for looking like a pit bull not actually acting like one,” Patrick Roberts opined in Irish Central.
“It is like saying every Catholic in Northern Ireland should be jailed because some in the past were violent.”
While a date hasn’t been specified, officials say his euthanization is imminent.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 14th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bans, belfast, breed specific legislation, campaign, caroline barnes, dangerous, dangerous dogs act, dogs, euthanasia, euthanize, execute, execution, internet, ireland, lennox, lord chief justice, online, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbulls, put down, save, save lennox
Onion, the dog that killed a one-year-old boy in Nevada, has gotten another reprieve — this time from the state Supreme Court.
The Nevada Supreme Court on Friday approved an emergency petition filed by the Lexus Project, a non-profit group representing the dog, prohibiting the city of Henderson from euthanizing the dog today.
The Lexus Project asked the court Friday to give it time to file a full-scale appeal or to allow at least two weeks to study a 24-page decision of Clark County District Court Judge Joanna Kishner, who refused Thursday to further delay the euthanizing of Onion.
The Supreme Court’s order stated: “We conclude that a temporary stay is warranted pending receipt and consideration of any opposition to the stay motion.” The order, according to the Las Vegas Sun, enjoins ”respondents (City of Henderson) from taking any action against the dog at issue until further order of this court.”
Favoring the stay were Chief Justice Michael Cherry and Justice Mark Gibbons. Justice Nancy Saitta dissented, saying the Lexus Project had not met the criteria for granting a stay.
The victim, Jeremiah Eskew-Skahan, was celebrating his first birthday on April 27 at the home of his grandmother Elizabeth Keller when Onion, a 130-pound Mastiff-Rhodesian ridgeback mix, grabbed the boy by the head and started to shake him. The boy died in the hospital, and the family surrendered Onion to the city.
The Lexus Project initially filed suit and sought a stay to prevent the dog from being euthanized. Judge Kishner ruled against the organization, which then first appealed to the Nevada Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court issued a stay at that time and ordered Kishner to take another look at the case, which resulted in her ruling Thursday that the city be allowed to go ahead with plans to destroy the dog.
Kathy McCarthy, an attorney representing the Lexus Project, said Kishner never notified the Lexus Project of that decision.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 4th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, appeal, boy, clark county, court, destroy, district court, dogs, euthanasia, euthanize, henderson, jeremiah, Jeremiah Eskew-Skahan, joanna kishner, judge, killed, mastiff, mix, nevada, onion, order, pets, put down, spare, stay, supreme court, the lexus project
For almost two years now, the Belfast dog has been sitting in limbo, as courts in Ireland decide whether to euthanize him.
Seized by Belfast City Council dog wardens in May 2010, due to his likeness to the banned pit-bull breed, Lennox recently celebrated a second birthday on death row, and supporters marked the occasion by sending birthday cards to him — in care of the Lord Mayor of Belfast
His owner Caroline Barnes, who is appealing a court ruling to put him down, says Lennox is a American bull dog-Labrador mix who, in addition to never having bitten anyone, is a best friend of her disabled daughter.
Last October, in the latest development in the long-running case, a judge upheld a court decision that Lennox should be put to sleep.
The decision to terminate the family pet prompted an online Save Lennox campaign, which has generated almost 60,0000 Facebook supporters and almost 127,000 signatures of support. Barnes started the birthday card campaign as well.
Belfast City Council confirmed to the Belfast Telegraph that it had received a number of cards for Lennox wishing him a happy birthday. (It was April 1.)
“Just wanted to say a huge thank you for all the wonderful, beautiful, supportive and very creative messages and artwork received over the past few days,” Barnes said on the “Save Lennox” Facebook page. “Really means a lot and it has touched our family very much. Thank you all.”
The next hearing in the case is scheduled for May 24.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 11th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, belfast, birthday, birthday cards, breed bans, breed-specific, breeds, campaign, death row, dogs, euthanasia, facebook, ireland, lennox, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, put down, put to sleep, save, save lennox
Santino blamed oppressive rules instituted by his condo board for his decision to put his pit bull, Rocco, to sleep; and before taking an overdose of pills he left a note saying he had “betrayed his best friend,” according to the New York Post.
“Rocco trusted me and I failed him,” he wrote. “He didn’t deserve this.”
Pit bulls were banned from the building Santino lived in, One Lincoln Plaza, but he was allowed to keep Rocco through a grandfather clause. Since 2010, the condo board has also forbidden dogs from riding in the main elevator or being left alone in apartments for more than nine hours.
Santino had adopted Rocco, about five years old, from a shelter. Rocco was put to sleep on Santino’s 47th birthday. A few hours later, he killed himself in an apparent pill overdose, the Post reported.
A condo board member said the board feels no responsibility for the tragedy.
“I’m sorry the man is dead,” board member Marilyn Fireman told the Post, “but it has nothing to do with the pet policy.”
Relatives of Santino, who had roles on “All My Children” and “Guiding Light,” plan to place Rocco’s ashes beside Santino’s body when he is laid to rest.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 30th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: actor, all my children, animals, ban, breed, condo, condo board, dogs, euthanasia, euthanized, guiding light, manhattan, new york, nick santino, one lincoln plaza, pets, pit bull, pitbull, policy, put down, rocco, rules, soap, soap opera, suicide
I don’t do it often, but every now and then, when a dog I’ve had the fortune to connect with passes on, I post a little memorial, like this one for Butch, a pug who lived down the road.
Butch’s human, Martha, had to have him put down last week.
Ace and I would run into Butch pretty regularly on our walks around the block since we moved into the neighborhood a few months back.
Usually, we’d see them not far from their front yard, because Butch, at 15, stayed pretty close to home. In addition to possibly having had some strokes and other health problems, he was also blind. And deaf.
He still had life in him, though. A few times, I saw him get playful, with Ace and once with another dog. Even though he couldn’t see them, he’d do a slow spin and do his best to get into a play stance.
But he’d always stop, wagging his tail even before I reached down to scratch him, as if he somehow knew it was coming.
A while back, when she was having back problems, Martha let me take him for a walk along with Ace. She explained the basics to me: Pull up on his leash to support when when he’s going up or down a curb. Try not to let him walk into a telephone pole. But if he does, don’t worry. He’s a resilient little fellow who has gotten good at absorbing the bumps life brings our way.
That resiliency came to an end last week. Seeing her dog constantly panting, losing control of his bowels, getting right up into her face and staring at her as if to send a message, she knew the time had come.
Martha told me the news on Friday night.
I said the words we say at times like those — always inadequate, but even moreso in her case, for I’d seen the strong bond between them, the joy he brought her, and the fine home she provided for Butch.
Feeling not the least bit helpful, I went home and got a copy of my book, “DOG, INC.,” which, while it relates to dog death, is definitely not feel-good, Rainbow-Bridge, chicken-soup type reading.
Instead, it looks at the ever-strengthening bond between people and their dogs, and the extremes humans sometimes go to after they lose a pet — focusing on the newest and most technologically dazzling of those: cloning.
Martha, I know, would never clone her dog, and, if you’ve read the book, you know I would never suggest it. Martha, pained as she was by Butch’s death, didn’t seem to be going over the edge, and I guess I wanted to give her the book because I admired that.
From our short talk Friday night, she seemed to be handling it, probably better than I would. She seemed to have the right approach — focusing not on the loss, not on herself, but on the happy times the two shared. Happy memories beat a stuffed version of your dog, jewelry made from his ashes, or a laboratory-created genetic replica any day, at least as I see it.
It doesn’t make it easy, but I think that having experienced all you can with your dog, having fully appreciated your dog during his or her life, can somewhat blunt the pain of his or her death — knowing the two of you, and that bond, became all it could be. That seemed to be the case with Martha.
I signed the book, “In memory of Butch, a dog savored in life and lovingly remembered in death — as it should be.”
I rang her doorbell and yelled at Ace to sit down — for he tries to enter any door that opens — and when Martha saw him she said, “Oh perfect!”
When your dog dies, decisions have to be made about what to keep and what to jettison. A favorite toy might be comforting to hang on to, but there are some things painful to look at, like the lingering treats that he or she will never be served. It hurts to see it. It hurts to throw it away.
“I’ve got some bacon I was saving for Butch,” she said. “I’d really appreciate it if Ace would eat it.”
I accepted the package, neatly wrapped in tin foil, and carried it down the sidewalk as Ace jumped up and down next to me, acting anything but mournful. I don’t think he paused for a millisecond to appreciate the significance of the bacon. To him, bacon needs no added significance. He gobbled all three strips down, barely chewing, and kept bouncing up and down beside me even when I told him it was gone.
From a dog who had dispensed much of it in his 15 years, it was like one final dose of joy, courtesy of Butch.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 20th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, blind, bond, butch, connection, deaf, death, dogs, euthanized, grieving, health, ill, in memory, losing a pet, love, memorial, mourning, neighbor, north carolina, old dogs, pets, pug, put down, sick dogs, strokes, winston-salem