space
space
Peshtigo Times
space
space
space
Perspectives
* Country Cousin
space
space
Sports Shorts
* Wolverine Baseball Team Sweeps Weekend Tourney
* MHSAA Approves Phased-In Competition for Fall Sports
* Masters Walleye Circuit Visits Marinette Aug. 7-8
* Menominee Takes U.P. Baseball Championship
* Mondeik Rules Late Model Action at Norway Speedway

space
Peshtigo Fire
space
e-Edition
Now Available
For more information
click here
dot
THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
space
dot
space

From My Window

Issue Date: July 29, 2020

Godspeed Fee!

By Jane Thibodeau Martin,

There are so many upsetting and chaotic things happening right now I find myself making a real effort to focus on the good news that is all around me, if I only choose to look for it. Our minds and bodies are not designed to handle constant stress, and exercising the discipline to unplug from the frustrating torrent occasionally makes us healthier, allows us to re-build the strength we must have to support others who may be in need of our care, and helps to reassure those who worry about us that we are coping.

I volunteer several times weekly at a small animal shelter I have been working at for almost two years and chose to continue volunteering when the pandemic began. Because I, like millions of other people, am older and have a "pre-existing" health condition that puts me at higher risk, and because even regardless of that, I have great respect for the virus, I only work hours where I will be the only person in the building. I could work with other volunteers and our visitors and wear a mask, but I only get maximum protection out of that if everyone by me wears one as well. Some are not willing to do so. So while I miss working with others, I am doing what I can control, and what is safe for me.

One of the "shelter guests," a female German shepherd with a German name, had been there since I started working. So this dog had been living in a small shelter kennel for more than two years. We shelter volunteers called her by her nickname " "Fee."

Fee was beautiful, and about seven years old when I met her. My first meeting with her, like that of most other new dog volunteers, did not go well. She was extremely reactive in her kennel, and her size and unfriendly demeanor were most intimidating. I was determined to be one of "her people," and slowly and patiently started my campaign to win her trust. Every time I came to the shelter, I brought one or two small cubes of boiled chicken with me. I approached her kennel, ignored her hostile behavior, fed her the treat and left, without attempting to make friends beyond that. After about six visits, she started to wag her tail when she saw me, and within another week, I was confidently able to walk her.

Outside the kennel it was a revelation. She was very well trained, obedient and eye-catching. In addition, she was exceptionally smart, as many of her breed are. I always felt safe when walking her after dark on the back road the shelter is on. She radiated quiet confidence and it was clear she was not to be trifled with, although she was certainly not looking for trouble. I came to see her behavior as completely predictable, not unpredictable. If approached in her kennel by someone she didn't know, she was going to react.

There were a few dog volunteers who were never able to see that good part of Fee, because they were afraid of her. (No one should handle a dog they are afraid of, because it is unsafe to do so.) And that was usually the reaction of people who came to look at the dogs to find their new pet. One look at her normal kennel demeanor and they had seen enough. As Fee and I got closer, I came to understand her reaction as fear, not aggression, and I will always wonder what happened to her and where to make her that way.

A few people looking to adopt saw her as a challenge, and believed the volunteers who knew that in the right home setting, Fee could be a wonderful companion. There are lots of German shepherd lovers. A couple had to withdraw their application to adopt her when their homeowner's insurance refused to cover them if they owned a German Shephard. A woman who devoted many weeks to building her relationship with Fee finally decided that the dog's obvious attachment to some of her shelter volunteers was so great and so strong that it wouldn't be fair to remove her from the shelter. (This was a very sad thing for me. We all do everything we can for the animals in our care, but we will never replace a real home with people who commit fully and lovingly to a pet.) One person who seemed quite serious about her changed his mind when he found out she was no longer seven, but nearly nine years old. Nine is senior status for big dogs like Shepherds, and he feared his time with her would be too short.

We volunteers began to talk about Fee as one of the few unlucky animals who lives at our no-kill shelter until natural death.

And then one day this summer, a woman came to look at her. She got the usual unfriendly greeting, but was not deterred. She saw past the kennel behavior to a dog she felt she could build a connection with, and she patiently set about doing so.

She came to the shelter many times to visit, building the trust Fee needed to accept new people. Fee met the woman's sister, and the sister's small dog, and meetings went well. I marveled at the time the woman was committing to this project, and her tenacity.

Two weeks ago, while I was away from the shelter for a few days, I got a picture on my phone from the shelter volunteers-only Facebook page. It was Fee in her kennel, which was decorated with balloons and a sign "Farewell Fee! We will miss you!" I was so shocked, and so happy, I looked at it carefully several times, to be sure I was really seeing what I thought I was.

Fee has a home again. The owner reports she's adjusting well and sends pictures of Fee and her "little sister" dog in their house. Fee's ears and tail are relaxed in the pictures, and it is obvious she is happy and content.

I can't think of anything sadder than a dog who once had a home languishing in a kennel for more than two years, and the fact we volunteers nearly gave up hope she'd spend her golden years in a real home. But there are special "animal angels" among us, and sometimes one of them finds their way to our shelter. Godspeed Fee!

This morning I worked at the shelter on cat duty. I walked through the dog room to say hello to my canine friends and paused to greet newcomer "Indie" who now occupies Fee's old kennel. Appropriate, since she is also somewhat defensive at first, and as a part Rottweiler, intimidating. I glanced at the office adoption clipboards and saw that Freddie, the massively overweight pug is "going home" later today, (with a copy of the strict diet our vet has that rotund little guy on) and that both "Sundae" and "Benny" the kittens are in the midst of adoption processing. These two are our last remaining spring kittens and I am very attached to both of them. I cleaned a lot of litter boxes today, washed a lot of bedding and scrubbed dozens of food and water dishes. But I did it with re-energizing, invigorating joy in my heart. Three more deserving animals going to a real home soon.

It is very ironic that I resisted volunteering at an animal shelter for years, fearing I would find it too depressing. Instead, it is a source of happiness and satisfaction for me in these difficult times.

You can reach me for commentary, alternative viewpoints or ideas at this e-mail address: JanieTMartin@gmail.com.


Recent stories, opinions and photos

Issue Date Department Headline
08-05-2020Front Page
Large Turnout Republican Party New Headquarters

08-05-2020Front Page
By Split Vote Coleman Board Rules Blended Leaning For Grades 6-12

08-05-2020Front Page
Few Contests On Aug. 11 Primary Election Ballots

08-05-2020Front Page
Peshtigo School District List Plans for Reopening

08-05-2020Front Page
Marinette Council Hears Menekaunee Water Issues

08-05-2020Community - Coleman
"Voice of the Green Bay Packers" Wayne Larrivee part of PDPW Dairy Fest Line-up

08-05-2020Community - Coleman
Coleman Utility To Meet Aug. 10

08-05-2020Community - Coleman
Lena Lions Dairy Fest is Cancelled

08-05-2020Community - Crivitz
CAWC Back to School Supply Giveaway Aug. 19-20

08-05-2020Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Business Association Persons of the Year for 2019

08-05-2020Community - Crivitz
Homeschooler Group Formed in Crivitz

08-05-2020Community - Crivitz
Twin Bridge Rescue Receives $7000 Grant

08-05-2020Community - Wausaukee
Old Fashioned Farmers Market in Wausaukee

08-05-2020Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Blood Drive New Location

08-05-2020Obituaries
Russell John Breitenbach Jr.

08-05-2020Obituaries
Douglas R. Dahl 

08-05-2020Obituaries
Roland B. De Rosier

08-05-2020Obituaries
Arline A. Ditch

08-05-2020Obituaries
Robert A. Filler

08-05-2020Obituaries
Stephen K. Gustafson

08-05-2020Obituaries
Gary A. Holzbauer

08-05-2020Obituaries
Herman J. Homan

08-05-2020Obituaries
Gerald F. Jandt

08-05-2020Obituaries
Karan M. Johnston

08-05-2020Obituaries
Linda L. Lazarski

08-05-2020Obituaries
Dr. Hilding L. Linderoth

08-05-2020Obituaries
James M. Lukas

08-05-2020Obituaries
Terri L. McVane

08-05-2020Obituaries
James Mondloch

08-05-2020Obituaries
Donald A. Phillips 

08-05-2020Obituaries
Gary A. Pabelick

08-05-2020Obituaries
Roseann Roberts

08-05-2020Obituaries
Harry Tomaszewski

08-05-2020Obituaries
Patricia A. Walker

08-05-2020Perspectives
Country Cousin

08-05-2020Perspectives
From My Window

08-05-2020Perspectives
From our readers

08-05-2020Sports
Wolverine Baseball Team Sweeps Weekend Tourney

08-05-2020Sports
MHSAA Approves Phased-In Competition for Fall Sports

08-05-2020Sports
Masters Walleye Circuit Visits Marinette Aug. 7-8

07-29-2020Front Page
Jane Kopish Sequin Sworn In As New Circuit Court Judge

07-29-2020Front Page
Supervisors May Consider County Mask Ordinance

07-29-2020Front Page
Peshtigo Council to Meet Aug. 4 At Drees Center

07-29-2020Front Page
JCI/Tyco Issues Response to DNR

07-29-2020Front Page
JCI/Tyco Issues Response to DNR

07-29-2020Front Page
Judge David Miron Will End 37-Year Legal Career July 31

07-29-2020Community - Coleman
Coleman Board To Meet Aug. 3

07-29-2020Community - Coleman
Coleman Fire Dept. Raffle Winners Listed

07-29-2020Community - Coleman
Library Board To Meet Aug. 10

07-29-2020Community - Coleman
Postpone Pound Woman's Club 100 Year Celebration

07-29-2020Community - Crivitz
American Legion Member Open House Cookout

07-29-2020Community - Crivitz
CAWC Back to School Give Away Aug. 19, 20

07-29-2020Community - Crivitz
Crivitz School Board Sets Reopening Plan

07-29-2020Community - Crivitz
Legion Post 476 Cancels Meeting

07-29-2020Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Enterprises Receives $6,000 Grant

07-29-2020Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Garbage Hauler Wants Trash Out By 6 a.m.

07-29-2020Community - Wausaukee
Old Fashioned Farmers Market in Wausaukee

07-29-2020Community - Wausaukee
Silver Cliff Fire Department Hosts Booyah Sale Aug. 8

07-29-2020Obituaries
Mary B. Anderson

07-29-2020Obituaries
Katherine Beyer

07-29-2020Obituaries
Clayton B. Cassidy

07-29-2020Obituaries
Johnathon D. Chilcote

07-29-2020Obituaries
Marie C. Dirtzu

07-29-2020Obituaries
Allen W. Durow Sr.

07-29-2020Obituaries
Marlene A. Krejcarek

07-29-2020Obituaries
Elaine R. Kostreva

07-29-2020Obituaries
Corinne G. Linsmeyer

07-29-2020Obituaries
Bonnie McCoy

07-29-2020Obituaries
Darrien M. Mechalson

07-29-2020Obituaries
Ronald D. Mott

07-29-2020Obituaries
Robert F. Newell

07-29-2020Obituaries
Sandra A. Saunier

07-29-2020Obituaries
Sandra A. Steiner

07-29-2020Obituaries
Peggy G. Weber

07-29-2020
Country Cousin

07-29-2020Perspectives
From My Window

07-29-2020Perspectives
From our readers

07-29-2020Sports
Menominee Takes U.P. Baseball Championship

07-29-2020Sports
Mondeik Rules Late Model Action at Norway Speedway

07-29-2020Sports
Masters Walleye Circuit Visits Marinette Aug. 7-8

07-22-2020Front Page
Storm Damage

07-22-2020Front Page
Marinette School Board Okays $30.9 Referendum In November

07-22-2020Front Page
Peshtigo City Hall Now Closed Due to COVID-19

07-22-2020Front Page
BPM, City Near Agreement On River Crossing Issues

07-22-2020Front Page
County Board To Meet July 28th

07-22-2020Community - Coleman
Coleman 50th Reunion Nov. 7th Is Canceled

07-22-2020Community - Crivitz
LNRB Meet July 29th

07-22-2020Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Class of 2020 Graduation July 25th

07-22-2020Community - Crivitz
ALA In the Know Committee Cancelled Due to Covid-19

07-22-2020Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee 60th Reunion Aug. 7th

07-22-2020Community - Wausaukee
WCA Cancels 12th Annual Fall Festival

07-22-2020Community - Wausaukee
Town Athelstane Takes Down Hills for Safety

07-22-2020Community - Wausaukee
SC Fire & Rescue Booyah Sale Aug. 8

07-22-2020Obituaries
Irene L. Anderson

07-22-2020Obituaries
Constance G. Armbrust

07-22-2020Obituaries
Douglas R. Bablitch

07-22-2020Obituaries
Donna M. Baldwin

07-22-2020Obituaries
Marion E. Bergstrom

07-22-2020Obituaries
Rudolph Burie

07-22-2020Obituaries
Rachelle L. Carlson

07-22-2020Obituaries
Clyde Chiesa

07-22-2020Obituaries
William H. Draeger, Jr.

07-22-2020Obituaries
Kenneth W. Fischer

07-22-2020Obituaries
Roger L. Gratto

07-22-2020Obituaries
Bernice M. Harper 

07-22-2020Obituaries
Susan L. Huhn

07-22-2020Obituaries
Amber N. Ikkala

07-22-2020Obituaries
Gerald F. Johnson

07-22-2020Obituaries
Linda A. Martch

07-22-2020Obituaries
John R. Menza

07-22-2020Obituaries
Avis A. Nelson

07-22-2020Obituaries
Pauline E. Nelson

07-22-2020Obituaries
Brett M. Pearson

07-22-2020Obituaries
Arlene R. Stankevich

07-22-2020Obituaries
Rev. Joseph Stanley

07-22-2020Obituaries
Scott A. Selby

07-22-2020Obituaries
Clyde J. Thoune

07-22-2020Obituaries
Marie A. Tuschy

07-22-2020Obituaries
Gunsten K. Versland

07-22-2020Perspectives
Country Cousin

07-22-2020Perspectives
From My Window

07-22-2020Perspectives
From our readers

07-22-2020Sports
UW Study Shows Impact of Shut Down on High School Athletes

07-22-2020
Michigan High Schools Set to Play Fall Sports

07-22-2020Sports
Vulcan's Kelly Wins Norway Speedway Late Model Main

07-22-2020Sports
Wolverines Face Off With Rangers For Baseball Win

07-15-2020Front Page
Battle Fire

07-15-2020Front Page
Rob Wenzel Will Be New Middle Inlet Fire Chief

07-15-2020Front Page
Pound Village Board Hears Audit Update

07-15-2020Front Page
Peshtigo School Board Hears Plans For New School Year

07-15-2020Front Page
Coleman School To Air Plans For Re-Opening

07-15-2020Community - Coleman
Coleman High School Graduation held July 11

07-15-2020Community - Coleman
Fire In Pound Destroys Homontowski Home

07-15-2020Community - Coleman
Lena Classes Cancel Reunion

07-15-2020Community - Crivitz
Crivitz "Art in the Park" on Aug. 8th

07-15-2020Community - Crivitz
CBA Rummage Sale is Aug. 6-8

07-15-2020Community - Wausaukee
Senior Scholarships Off To Good Start

07-15-2020Community - Wausaukee
Cancel Fundraiser for Fire Dept. and Rescue Squad

07-15-2020Obituaries
Linda L. Anderson

07-15-2020Obituaries
Joseph R. Bauer

07-15-2020Obituaries
Donna M. Bunnel

07-15-2020Obituaries
Alice D. Combe

07-15-2020Obituaries
Lloyd R. Cook

07-15-2020Obituaries
Daphne Denby

07-15-2020Obituaries
William C. Ebert

07-15-2020Obituaries
James England

07-15-2020Obituaries
Elaine M. Klatt

07-15-2020Obituaries
Douglas A. Kurek

07-15-2020Obituaries
Helen L. Lauer

07-15-2020Obituaries
Robert Liberty


space
Peshtigo Times
WEB Poll!
Do you think schools should allow all students to return 5 days a week?
space Yes
No
Undecided
space
TO VOTE CLICK
YES, NO or UNDECIDED

Suggest a Question
space .
space
FRONT
space
.
space
CLASSIFIEDS
space
.
space
COMMUNITY
space
.
space
GUEST BOOK
space
.
space
NEWS
space
.
space
OBITS
space
.
space
PERSPECTIVES
space
.
space
SPORTS
space
.
space
SUBSCRIBE
space
.
space
.
space
PESHTIGO FIRE
space
.
space
CUSTOM PRINTING
space
.
space
TIMES' SAVER
space
.
space
Click for Peshtigo, Wisconsin Forecast
FORECAST
space
Quick...
News or Ad Search
Enter News key words.
Enter Ad key words.



Peshtigo Times
841 Maple St
PO Box 187
Peshtigo, WI 54157
Phone: 715-582-4541
Email:
News@
PeshtigoTimes.com

space
Fax: 715-582-4662
© 2000-2020
All right reserved
space
Powered by
WEB Media
Interactive
COMMUNITY
WEB sites