Pennsylvania, Day One of the Tour Finds us Cheering for a Cloud

I've spent over 700 hours chained on behalf of chained dogs

I’ve spent over 700 hours chained on behalf of chained dogs

[Make sure you read the About the Capitol Doghouse Tour first, so perchance this blog actually makes sense to you.]

I stayed over my mom’s last night near Flinton, PA, in order to spend yesterday with my son Rayne for his 19th birthday. {Happy Birthday, Rayne!}

Unfortunately for me, this meant a three hour trip to the Pennsylvania state Capitol in Harrisburg this morning for the start of my Ten Day Capitol Doghouse Tour.

Which meant getting up at 3:30 to shower, pack, and hit the road.

Which meant it was a bad idea to combine that mega strawberry margarita with mexican food yesterday because the indigestion that had me up at 12:30 was not conducive to feeling refreshed before the BIG DAY.

Which meant I had to pull over and sleep for ten minutes along the way in a Sheetz parking lot.

Which meant I arrived feeling less than eager to spend eight hours on a chain in the blazing sun.

But then I saw THEM. Gordon and Mike. Waiting to help me unload the doghouses and supplies on the PA Capitol steps, and suddenly the “can’t I just go back to bed and start over again tomorrow” feeling left me, and I sprang into action to get this party started.

Gordon at this year's Chain Off

Gordon at this year’s Chain Off

Gordon and Mike were both big supporters of my PA Capitol chaining where I spent 52 days at the end of a chain trying to get the dog’s law passed before it died in committee two years ago. I failed.

Seeing them this morning reminded me that I’m not all alone in my pursuit of better laws for chained dogs, and I wouldn’t be all alone out there today. Seeing them inspired me to get on with the business of chaining myself to a doghouse, which was after all what I got up at 3:30 this morning to do.

Seeing them made me so happy I was starting with Pennsylvania where I could rely on seeing a few friendly faces to jump start my tour and help me realize that what we’re doing for them here matters.

Mike Chained at PA Capitol

Mike Chained at PA Capitol

There ended up being 11 of us on those Capitol steps today sweating bullets in the 93 degree heat for the dogs. Although there was talk of how hot it was, no one complained, no one said they couldn’t take it anymore, and most all the 11 made it all the way until 4:00 p.m. because they KNEW THE DOGS HAD NO CHOICE IN THE MATTER.

A dog named Buddy the Beagle died just three days ago in the Pittsburgh area of heatstroke, because THERE WAS NO LAW to protect him. When the neighbor tried to get him help, she was threatened with theft by the police, which is unconscionable.

Justin holds the sign we made for Buddy

Justin holds the sign we made for Buddy

I felt like a proud mamma hen out there. The ones who showed up came despite their fears. It takes courage to come out there to the grandest building in the state—full of stuffed shirts and suits—and pull up a doghouse, then don a thick logging chain while people stare at you like you’re nuts.

But we must remember that each and every movement in history started because people were willing to be perceived as nuts in doing something different to make a change. And eventually with enough time and effort on the part of those who knew the passion, things did change for the better. This will too.

Don’t our dogs deserve for us to be a little nuts about them and for them? I think so.

We got this great e-mail later from a gal who came to give us a donation: “Hey guys, I follow your fb posts and share stories all the time. I stopped by the Harrisburg capitol today to make a donation with my baby, Tonka. If I could have had off work today, I would have loved to sit out with you all, as much as it’s great that there are any people willing to do so, it blows my mind that those steps aren’t full of people standing up for the dogs who have no voice. It literally breaks my heart to see the pictures and articles of the chained dogs whose whole lives are just completely wasted, lonely, hopeless, when all they are dying to do is love someone. I admire you all so much for doing what you do, everyday, and I’m sure most days get no appreciation for any of it. I hope you know that there are people out there, like myself, who are very thankful for you.” – Rachel Kupp

I enjoyed watching the ‘newbies’ watch things they normally wouldn’t due to being so extremely bored on the chain. Across the street there was a big truck full of renovation supplies which they were removing with a crane. Every single chainee was transfixed and watching something we normally wouldn’t give more than two seconds of our attention to.

And when a single little puffy cloud obscured the sun for about 2 minutes? We literally all CHEERED for joy, because that speck of shade meant the world to us.

Take a moment and think about the way a chained dog lives today. It’s not right, it’s not humane, and it has to end.

PA still has two bills languishing in the Senate and House committees. If you live in PA, please contact your rep and ask him/her to support HB826 and SB972.

See you tomorrow in Trenton, where I’ll be all alone out there! That’s when you really get a taste of how these dogs live. Try it for even an hour, and you will grow wise beyond your years. Maybe.

Here are some photos by one of our Capitol supporters from today, as well as more posted at the bottom of the page.

Amy shades her head in her cool, handmade cardboard doghouse

Amy shades her head in her cool, handmade cardboard doghouse

Becki's a real trooper out there for the dogs!

Becki’s a real trooper out there for the dogs!

Jan holds the sign asking to pass the laws in committee

Jan holds the sign asking to pass the laws in committee

Justin and Mom Cherie came out to help



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5 responses to “Pennsylvania, Day One of the Tour Finds us Cheering for a Cloud

  1. Josie P

    Your courage is awe-inspiring for all the dogs out there who cannot speak for themselves. You’re right…every moment in history starting with people thinking what someone was doing was “nuts” but like MLK Jr. said: “Never, never be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well being of a person or animal is at stake. Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.”

  2. sue hardecki

    Amazing, and I’ll be here in Michigan cheering you all on every second of every day. You are all angels, and if these animals could talk, they would, too. This has to change, and these animals are worth fighting for. Thank you…..all of you!

  3. Becke Ammons

    Wow! I applaud you for your courage to do this!!ALL animals are worth it, they are God’s creatures. PLEASE know that I am behind you 110% because you (we) are the voice for these animals. NEVER give up on any cause you feel needs changed! YOU are inspiring & pray the right thing is done..THANK YOU for all you are doing!!

  4. V

    “I, I, I” Someone really is a narcissist, and obviously losing supporters! DOGS DESERVE BETTER THAN TAMI!!!!

    • I approved your comment just so everyone can see how low you are, and to tell you that your IP address shows up in your comment…so it’s a bit hard to be incognito. Won’t be hard to find out who it is. Pray tell us what you’ve done for dogs, what are you doing for dogs while I’m out doing this for them? If you really WERE doing anything for dogs, you wouldn’t be on here bashing other people, because you would respect them for whatever way they are helping.

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