Dogs Save Tigers
The breaking dawn flashed hues of pale pink and light blue across the ocean. The air smelled of low tide as the sea gulls gathered to catch their first bite of the day. Everything was pointing towards a perfect Indian Summer day when, in every direction as far as the eyes could see, dogs were pulling their humans towards the tents that were being erected by the water at a frenzied pace.
Everyone was excited to attend the SPCA’s 18th Annual Pet Walk in St. Petersburg. At first it was difficult to tell if the dogs were barking and howling because of the Halloween costumes they were wearing or because they were anxious to meet and greet each other. One thing was certain, there was no shortage of enthusiasm or treats as the dogs began their mile long walk.
As the walk proceeded, Susan Thixton and I watched with curiosity as some of the dogs would stray towards the Big Cat Rescue booth we were manning. Approaching as quickly as they could, the dogs never hesitated until they reached the end of our table at which point they would sit down. Puzzled looks from their humans conveyed they had no idea why they were there until they saw IT. Spread out on the table was a huge, stuffed tiger wearing a Big Cat Rescue ribbon.
Whether the dogs thought this was the best stuffed toy animal they had ever encountered or the tiger was communicating with them, we will never know, but Susan and I took the opportunity to ask the people if they would help save a tiger. When we explained to them the plight of the tiger being farmed in China, they asked what they could do to help. Signing a petition that was crafted specifically to address this issue was an effective way to help facilitate change that would be needed to give the tigers a voice and save their lives we replied. It didn’t take long to get additional signatures.
Once again, the Big Cats had a presence that could not be ignored. They have been with us since recorded history. They are endangered and on the brink of extinction, but with the help of dogs saving them and petitions being signed and delivered, their future looks brighter. After all, it is the way of the tiger.
by: Laura Lluellyn-Lassiter
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