Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely baby daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.
THE WEEKEND DOG-WALKING FORECAST: We grade the weather outlook for taking your pet outdoors.
TODAY: Warmer with some early morning sun will give way to clouds, then freezing rain later in the day (around 6 p.m.) that could change to a mix of rain and snow late tonight. The National Weather Service says, "PAVEMENT TEMPERATURES WILL BE SLOWER TO WARM AND ARE LIKELY TO ICE UP. ICE ACCUMULATIONS OF .10 OF AN INCH ARE NOT EXPECTED TO CAUSE PROBLEMS WITH RESPECT TO TREES AND POWER LINES... BUT SHOULD CAUSE WIDESPREAD ICY CONDITIONS ON AREA ROADS AND SIDEWALKS." Not good, but better than Sunday, because you'll have dry dog-walking opportunities most of the day before the precipitation falls. "D"
SUNDAY: A wintry mix. You'll wake up to rain, sleet, and snow. "F"
Ask any pet owner and they will tell you of course the toughest part of it all is “the end.” When it is time to say goodbye to a furry part of the family that has made you laugh, greeted you at the door, and more than likely shared a table scrap or two with you.
I was in fifth grade when my pet rabbit died, and fortunately for me, Mother Nature took Thumper on her own. There was no need for vet-assisted euthanasia. I didn’t need to deal with those issues until I was in college, with my two dogs and cat. Needless to say no one in our family wanted to have to make the final decision as to when they should be taken to the vet to be “put to sleep.” But in all three cases it was very obvious when the time came. They certainly can’t tell you in words what they want but when you look in their eyes, you know.
The most-debated topic Kevin and I have about getting a dog is that they are with you for such a relatively short time and the good-bye is so painful that it makes him think twice about the whole thing. I, of course, feel that the last days of heartbreak are outweighed by the many years of love and joy. (I feel that if you applied this same theory to the rest of your life you would never love another human for the chance of heartbreak and loss years later.)
Recently a dear lady I know had to have the family Golden Retriever put down after a long battle with cancer. He was a very special dog to the family, deeply loved by all, especially her children. I don’t know how she and her husband handled the situation with them. I am guessing that she was kind and gentle in her explanations and let each child deal with it in the way they needed to, whether that was saying goodbye privately or being at the vet’s side when the dog was put down.
As we are getting ready to bring a new, precious life into this world, Kevin and I talk about lots of hopes, dreams, and plans for our baby. While he’s talking about a happy healthy baby that will someday earn a full scholarship to the University of Hawaii, I’m dreaming about the day we bring a fat, fuzzy puppy home and say, “She’s all yours!” But I do wonder how parents deal with the situation of young children learning about the death of a family pet.
Perhaps this article can offer some insight and helpful ideas when you are faced with a similar situation as a parent. Another resource offers thoughts on how you will know it is “time” and coping with pet loss.
To date, one of the most difficult things I have ever done is to be with each of my pets during their final moments. I held each one of them in my arms as the vet administered the shot that would bring them peace. When I got home I could still hear the echoes of their paws on the floor, the clanking of their tags on their collars. I would dream about them. It would take me a long time to get over the experience. Yet when the time came again, there I was. I felt it was the very least I could do for a companion that had given me so much. I wish I would have had this poem when I still owned Sugar, Skippy, and Tommy. But now that I know about it, it will have a prominent place in our future dog’s life… perhaps hanging above her own special doggy bed. I think it is a lovely tribute to our four-legged friends.
Thank you once again, Jennifer. For newcomers to this blog, we always open with the dog-walking forecast, followed by Jennifer's main blog. Then it's my turn, with DOGS IN THE NEWS, canines that made headlines the previous week.
In Florida, Coco digs up dead baby.
White House dogs get wary, driver arrested.
Here's a picture of Murphy who was beaten.
Happy ending: Murphy is getting better and had a special honor this week.
We've blogged quite often about dogs in the movies. In "Marley and Me," as many as 22 dogs are used to portray the lead character. It begs the question: Should dog actors be allowed to go out on strike?
And here's a leftover from 2008, an article that made the news before Jennifer and I started our dog blog, the story of Yeppa and Harriet.
That's it for our inaugural installment of The Barking Lot for 2009. Last week, we featured a piece from the Wisconsin Division of Tourism about traveling with your pooch. We close this week with news that will have you shaking your head, wondering if certain pet travel is worth it.