Goodbye, Old Friend

Posted by – Dale Mathes, Code Enforcement Officer

Kenobe, a 17 year old (!?) American Eskimo dog was adopted 12 years ago by my partner, Sue. Kenobe (not named by Sue) was stoic, but energetic, playful, but a solid guardian.

Unfortunately, within the last year or so, he began to show his extended age.  He became deaf, then blind, but was still able to negotiate the house and the yard.  Recently, though, he became increasingly incontinent and was having problems maneuvering Sue’s hardwood floors.  Finally, last week, he developed a very deep cough indicating some sort of infection.  Sue decided it was time to let him go.

knobe 2
This is Kenobe (with his tiny sombrero)

Originally, an appointment was made at our regular vet’s office and we were set to take him in. Sue decided that she needed to contact the Michigan Anti-Cruelty Society (M.A.C.S.) from whom she originally adopted him.  They insisted that we bring him there, “back home.”

When we arrived at the shelter (a blockhouse of a building at 13569 Joseph Campau, south of McNichols, in Detroit) we were greeted by Sue’s old friends, Teresa and Debbie, the manager and director, respectively. Sue was understandably upset and they calmly and caringly assured her she was doing the right thing.

Kenobe was set up on a blanket covered bed (not a sterile steel table) and fed a meal of hot dogs and Spam. Debbie continued talking to us while Teresa was busy with another dog.  It seems a sharp-eyed Postal Worker had brought in a Chow mix whose “owner” had left him chained up in the yard.  The chain was wrapped around his neck without care that the dog’s neck might grow.  Indeed it did and the chain was imbedded in the dog’s neck.  Teresa was working to remove the chain, link by link.  These are the kinds of things M.A.C.S. does.  Finally, Debbie administered the drugs and Kenobe went painlessly and peacefully to sleep.

Since 1935, M.A.C.S. has been dedicated to providing refuge for stray, injured and forgotten animals. Each year, they investigate from1,200 to 1,500 animal cruelty complaints and provide shelter and adoptions to the 13,000 animals who pass through their doors.  They do not charge for services and their expenses are paid completely though donations.  They will never turn away an animal in need.

As we left the shelter that day, I made it a point to personally thank each worker and volunteer. They are truly doing God’s work on Earth – taking care of his most vulnerable.

We believe spreading the word of this special organization will be of value to our residents.