The Barking Lot – America’s Finest Dog Blog (12/10/22)

The Barking Lot is a regular weekly feature of This Just In…Originally written by both my lovely wife, Jennifer and me, this blog brings you the latest news about our furry friends including articles, columns, photos and videos. Enjoy!

THE WEEKEND DOG-WALKING FORECAST: We grade the weather outlook for taking your pet outdoors.

TODAY: UPDATED. Cloudy. Temps nearly steady in the mid to upper 30s. “D”

SUNDAY:  Cloudy skies. High of 38. “D”

Time now for DOGS IN THE NEWS, canines that made headlines the past week.

Iowa K-9 officer Bear died after spending nearly 24 hours in patrol vehicle, warrant says.

Man who shot Lady Gaga’s dog walker gets 21 years in prison.

Mountain lion barges into California home, drags dog outside: video

Olive Garden manager fired after time-off tirade: ‘If your dog died … prove it to us.’

A day off when your dog dies? Jennifer blogged on the subject in August of 2011:

I have mentioned in past Barking Lot blogs that I was with my two dogs and cat when it was time for us to have each of them euthanized due to extreme, devastating illness.  Holding a pet while it is “put to sleep” is, in my mind, one of the most traumatizing things its owner can go through.  I had troublesome dreams, and could still hear the echoes of their paws walking down the hallway for weeks after they were gone. 

Since I was still living at home with my parents for all three of these events, I really didn’t have a lot of responsibilities other than school and a part-time job.  I took those things seriously, of course.  But I didn’t have a “real job” nor did I have a family of my own to take care of.  So it might have been easy for me to blow off my classes or a day at work, citing some sort of emotional distress or just needing personal time.  While I don’t have a clear memory of what I did, I highly doubt I missed my obligations to school or my employers.  After all, it wasn’t a human family member that passed away.

But it was a family member, wasn’t it?  Shouldn’t I have been protected to take time off for bereavement?  Wasn’t I grieving the loss of a companion that, admittedly, I thought more of than a distant cousin I see once every couple of years?

I recall a get-together when I was talking to the neighbor of my best friend.  Our conversation lead to pets, and she began tearfully telling me about her beloved cat who had died.  She was distraught and I did my best to console her.  I’d been there myself, I had compassion and empathy.  I thought her pain was fresh.

A short while later, my friend told me that the neighbor had lost aforementioned cat about three years before.  I was stunned.  My friend had recently, unexpectedly and all-too-suddenly lost her father to a massive heart attack.  That was fresh.  That was pain.  And as my friend said to me, “Lady, when your dad dies in his early 50’s, that’s loss.” 

If her neighbor was that anguished after three years, I can’t begin to imagine what she was like when it first happened.  I’m not making fun of her but she probably needed some sort of counseling.  (She is married with children so it’s not like this cat was literally her family.)  Certainly she would have felt entitled to some sort of bereavement leave.  I don’t know what her employment situation was, so I can’t say what happened.

Now that I am a wife and mother I have a different perspective on the importance, value and hierarchy of the family dog.  When we get a dog for our family it will be a wonderful addition to our lives.  And when the dog dies, it will be a loss that we will all grieve.  But I don’t think that we will want paid time off of our jobs to deal with it. Bless Mark Tillinger and his philanthropic efforts and achievements.  I’m sure that many lives are richer because of his dedication.  I’m just not sure I agree with his perspective.

—Jennifer Fischer

BACK TO DOGS IN THE NEWS, and a local story that got global attention:

Doggy bag! Helpless canine is zapped by X-ray scanner at Wisconsin airport.

VIDEO: Could man’s best friend ultimately help find a cure for cancer? Researchers at UC Davis think so….

Dogs Are Impacted by an Intense Flu Season, Too.

Can People Predict Aggressive Behavior in Dogs?

Why do some dogs chase squirrels? Study finds genetic links to canine quirks.

VIDEO: When a dog is friendly, it’s in the genes…

A puppy escaped from his collar in New York City. He swam across the Hudson River and ended up in New Jersey.

The Top 50 U.S. Cities To Be a Dog Owner.

VIDEO & ARTICLE: A three-legged rescue dog inspires others with his story.

Dolly Parton to Release Children’s Book About Her God-Dog Billy the Kid: ‘He’s a Big Star.’

This popular food truck for dogs is Milwaukee native, BIPOC and veteran-owned.

That’s it for this week. Thanks for stopping by.

We’d really appreciate it if you forward this on to other dog lovers you know. Let them have some fun!

See ya, BARK, next Saturday!

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