Yesterday morning the breeder of my adorable Rat Terrier Gus had a tragic kennel fire. Two dogs were lost in the blaze and three dogs, including Gus’s father Bruce, were badly burned. The kennel structure and everything in it was lost.
I’ve started a fire relief fund for Carmetta and her family to help them pay for long-term veterinary care for the surviving dogs and to help offset the cost of rebuilding their kennel. Meta and her husband have three daughters who not only witnessed the fire, but were nearly injured trying to help save their dogs. All of these dogs were deeply loved and a big part of this family. Like many breeders, their dogs are constantly rotated between house and kennel, insuring all get plenty of family time. These dogs took frequent turns sharing family beds, surf boards and road trips and were a regular part of their everyday life. Witnessing this accident will have a long and lasting effect on these young girls and their family.
In the few years since I’ve met Carmetta I’ve come to know her as the kind of person who always goes out of her way to help others. She’s a gentle lady with a soft-spoken demeanor who works tirelessly behind the scenes to get things done and always refuses to take any credit for her efforts. She has volunteered countless hours to her local and regional breed clubs and associations and has been very instrumental in promoting awareness of our breed. Meta has also been a willing mentor to many and an exemplary role model to others for ethical, responsible breeding.
A devastating kennel fire is not a good way for a family with limited resources to start the New Year, nor is it a great way to kick off a long winter in northern Vermont. Over the years I’ve used social media and WordPress to donate to several causes. One fall it was a picture of an emaciated horse that pushed me to help with a winter hay fund. Another time it was a story about a newborn baby with an uphill battle against a life-threatening, rare disease. And there have been numerous stories about dogs that, due to no fault of their own, have fallen into some sort of complicated situation with owners that need help.
I don’t ask much of my friends here, but today I’m managing this fundraiser and I can promise that if you can see it in your heart to give a little something, it will be greatly appreciated and used to help this family with their loss.
I thank you from the bottom of my heart. And Gus thanks you too.