Cited as possibly the greatest crime wave to befall Poteau, Oklahoma since Bonnie & Clyde (well, Clyde, anyway—Bonnie's leg was too rotted from burns and gangrene by then to come along), the two juvenile scofflaws discovered in an attempt to disrupt traffic last week have been successfully liberated from the captors threatening their lives.

Thanks to the generosity of so many of you, those two sweet strays I picked up last week have been spared the guillotine and are off to begin their new lives. I just received this message from 3 Girls Animal Rescue in Poteau, Oklahoma:

"We just pulled them out of the pound! They are both covered in some of the biggest ticks I've ever seen! We're headed to the vet to get heartworm tests and rabies and then we'll get the ticks off of them. Thanks so much for making sure that they are saved."

Those thanks go to all of you who donated to 3 Girls Animal Rescue for the bail. That rescue is doing an enormous amount of daunting work around here, and your money will be well spent. Even better news is that you donated something over $440 (I don’t know the exact amount because some of you may have sent donations directly to 3 Girls that I don’t know about). Hopefully those two haven’t got heartworm, which God seems to have put on Earth to torture dogs AND make rescues go broke, but if they do, at least there will be a head start on their treatment.

But let’s not worry about that—they’re out of jail on sentences they never deserved, for just trying to do what dogs do: relentlessly trying to make the world a better place for all. Which, as anyone knows who tries that, is generally considered revolutionary by half the population.  These two, at least, will be able to shed their disguises (they probably covered themselves in ticks the way I might wear a fake mustache into a bank), and retire from the front lines to be healthy and start their journey to the kind of homes they, and all dogs, deserve.

Over the weekend, I found myself a bit conflicted about their rescue.

On the one hand, they were healthy and groomed. On the other, they were running in traffic without collars (fat chance that they had chips), the little one looked like she had been pregnant, and they weren't claimed immediately. Who lets their loved dogs languish in a pound? Strikes against previous owners.

But, and admittedly this is pure speculation, but if true would make it a bit of a tragedy,  they might have belonged to one of the many migrant families working the farms and ranches around here, and they could have been scared to be deported if they contacted the police. That would be sad for the dogs, because someone did love them, even if they didn't take proper care of them. In Mexico, as Roo will tell you, no self-respecting dog doesn’t spend much of the day lying around in the street. When Roo visited Mexico, she considered that a civilized and proper thing that she herself joined the other dogs on her street to do frequently. To this day, she likes to do it, though her street-lounging options are limited in America. So, we are not too quick to judge just because not every custom doesn’t travel well.

But, then again, if the border collie’s limping was something that needs medical care...

Then again, again, sometimes dogs manage escapes, no matter how much security they’re under. I know some people are absolute in their belief that anyone who ever allows a dog to get out doesn't deserve a dog, but I don't believe that's true when someone has tried in earnest and a dog is determined to defeat every measure. Dogs are smart, and a dedicated dog not only enjoys confounding authority, they are also capable of going to great lengths to do it. I had a dog who shut down Frankfurt International Airport in Germany. He got out of his crate in the belly of the 747 we landed in and when they opened the cargo door, he jumped the 18 feet to the ground and started running around on the runway, enjoying the cool evening and open spaces. Flights had to be diverted for half an hour before half a dozen police vehicles with bubblegum lights finally caught him. 

When they did, the German authorities provided him with a dinner of fresh raw steak, eggs, and all sorts of toys. Naturally, you use soft methods first when you want to get someone to speak. I’m sure he was ready to spill the beans, but luckily I got him before he opened his mouth. Later, I learned how he did it. He was able to escape from a standard airline crate by placing his rear legs on the back wall, stretching himself out like a rubber band and pressing his nose on the steel door until he got it open an inch. Then, with the sharp steel pinching his nose, he just kept twisting his head and pushing until he made it through. He had the capacity to squish himself like a rat. Nothing could hold him. And, eventually, nothing did, but that's a sad story and not one I like to think about, have ever discussed and maybe never will. 

But it did teach me not to be too absolute about any beliefs that all dogs can always be contained. Most of them don't watch the Weather Channel or documentaries about Mongolian funerals, like Enzo in The Art of Racing in the Rain. Your usual suspect dog tends to be an aficionado of The Great Escape, and there are dogs who have seen it one too many times. It gives them ideas. And a dog with that kind of idea tries to break out of the cooler on principle alone. You can't really blame them for trying. Most dogs are terrific believers in themselves. It’s natural for them to think that anything Steve McQueen could do, they can do better. This is why you must never give a dog the keys to your motorcycle. Teach them to fly, if you must (as I have, and for which I received a lot of criticism, though most of it was for starting the dog too young), but never let a dog ride a motorcycle unsupervised, no matter how good they are at it. 

Anyway, enough digressing. These strays have been saved. And even if someone lost them, they’re off to good lives. 3 Girls has earned a great reputation for seeing to that.

HUGE thanks to Carol Levin, Tammy Laub, Debra Young, Mary Vineyard, Nina Keneally, Cristina Liriano, Sherri Cleek, Susan Greer, and anyone else who donated. Even if I don’t know who you are, I love you for it.

[I think I got them all, but if you sent a PayPal donation to me and I somehow neglected to send you the receipt for passing it on to 3 Girls, please let me know and I'll send it to you. But I forwarded all the PayPal donations as soon as I was notified, so don't worry-all of them have gone to 3 Girls.]

NOTE ON THE PATREON CAMPAIGN: Please remember that you can always go to the Patreon page and edit your campaign pledges downwards. Though the day will never come when I post here daily, assume that if I do, you won't get a bill for more than you wanted to spend. At Patreon, you can limit the monthly amount of your pledge down to as little as a buck per month. If this is something that any of you meant to do, or found yourselves being billed more than you wanted to be, just let me know how much to refund you, and it shall be done gladly. And thanks again!]