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  • Writer's pictureCindy Marabito

Big white Bob the yodeling dog

Updated: May 1, 2023

From Chapter 6 in the memoir Pit Bull Nation

The saddest part of rescue work is when the animals end up in Room 132, the end of

the line. This is where euthanasia is performed It happens at CCACC every afternoon

around 3:00 p.m., the same time hundreds of thousands of children are getting out of

school. The techs performing euthanasia started out wanting to help animals and

somehow ended up pulling duty in Room 132. As volunteers, we signed a document in

orientation waiving our opinion regarding euthanasia and stating that we believed

everything possible had been done to save the animal before destruction. Both groups had

been swept into a tide beyond their control.

One night, I had walked all six pit bulls in Room 116, the pit bull room. I had tucked

each dog into his kennel with a clean blankie and a toy. I began to sing a goodnight song

to them. By the last note, each dog was singing along with me. I remember one dog in

particular that night, Bob. Bob was a yodeling along like the best of Slim Whitman. Bob

was all white, a gorgeous boy and a bit on the clown side. Who ever knew dogs could

sing? And on cue? They finished all together like a glee club. I went home that night with

my heart full. It was a good kind of feeling that I get only from animals. Sometimes, a

bird or a dog or a cat will give me a certain look and something zings from their eyes

straight to my heart. I know it's a love note from God to me. I feel blessed and I felt

blessed that night. Even though all of those dogs were sitting at the city pound, we all

shared something extraordinary that night. It was a moment I will never ever forget. In

another time and place, it would have qualified for "America's Funniest Home Videos".

There is not anything funny, though, about dogs no one wants sitting in a shelter with

nowhere to go.

I went back for my volunteer shift the next day. I had a skip in my step and couldn't

wait to see the doggies in Room 116. I was ready for a repeat performance like a research

monkey. I wanted to re-experience the happiness I'd shared with the dogs the night

before. I hurried through the check-in ritual and ran over to Room 116. The six dogs in

the kennels were dogs I'd never seen before. It was like a Twilight Zone segment where

someone is running down familiar streets and no one recognizes him. I found out that

every dog in Room 116 from the night before had been destroyed. It was absolutely

devastating. They were not even euthanized at the regular 3:00 p.m. time. Someone had

been ordered to put them to sleep that morning.

These were not bad dogs. I felt their loss on a deeply personal note. I remember Bob

yowling and how loud and happy he'd been. I remember his big white head up in the air

yelping out the notes as if he were trying to eat the air as he sang. There is something

terribly wrong with a world that allows one of God's creatures to be killed for no reason.

This is a very wealthy town with a very endowed shelter. This shelter was sitting right

next door to another affluent organization and in the position to make a huge difference.

They were turning their backs on these animals. It seemed like everyone was turning their

backs on these dogs. Something had to be done. It was time to do something. It was time

for me to do something. What was it Lily Tomlin said? “I always wondered why somebody doesn’t do something about that. Then I realized I was somebody.”

Read Pit Bull Nation the terrible truth about San Francisco Animal Control available on Amazon and other premium booksellers @ https://books2read.com/pitbullnation.

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