Nowhere along the tour have chained dogs been more talked about than Boston, Massachusetts, where the tour hits Day 8.
The biggest city by far of any we’ve played, Boston is a vibrant and very much alive city, putting us in mind of New York as we navigated the streets in search of the Capitol.
We had no permit for Boston, because it seems that the police can’t decide whose job it is to issue the permit, so as long as we didn’t cause a public nuisance, we were good to go.
It was recommended to us that we chain at the General Hooker entrance, (no lie, see the pic) which engendered no end of hooker and senator jokes from Joe. But that entrance didn’t have near the exposure that the front of the Capitol did, where there was just a ton of pedestrian and vehicle street traffic; plus, our location was a stop on the tour bus route, so we hit all those tourists as well!
Boston was the first city to find the Senate and House still in Session, which made it even more crazy and busy out there. I was alone until about 10:00 a.m. when Massachusetts Rep Robin Budin arrived, a bit frazzled from the rush hour traffic and circling the block in search of parking. Around noon one of Robin’s volunteers, MaryBeth McCluskey arrived, and then the party really got started.
I’m a fairly introverted person, so when I’m out on the chain, I speak to those who seem interested, but don’t actively seek out the attention of those who seem uncomfortable with interacting. There are times I lament my level of introversion, but while I can push my limits to get out there and fight for chained dogs, I cannot totally change my basic nature, so I just do my best and realize that’s got to be enough.
Robyn is more extroverted than I am, and will speak more quickly to others, but MaryBeth was right out front with her sign, getting people to honk, dancing to people’s music, and definitely making sure the cause was noticed.
We were interviewed by three tv stations, and literally reached thousands of people who drove or walked in front of us. Many of them stared from their car windows, or from across the street corner, and would look and then turn away if they walked right in front of us. A great number of people stopped and talked, and many honked or gave us the thumbs up from their vehicles while stopped at the red light.
Here’s a link to one of the articles we found online: http://www.wcvb.com/news/local/metro/Animal-activist-chains-herself-outside-State-House/-/11971628/15475360/-/pb500vz/-/index.html
Because it was a session day, we were lucky enough to meet up with some other animal advocates who were attending a hearing at the Capitol on mandatory training for AC officers. Apparently at this time, there is no mandatory training for officers, and so most have no idea when they start their jobs how to assess cruelty and what to do about it. Not a good situation, especially for chained dogs who need people who are willing to go to bat to get them better living conditions!
We met dog advocates from MSPCA, HSUS, and animal control officers who were really excited about our efforts and couldn’t have agreed more that better laws were needed for chained dogs. We also met the sponsor of the Massachusetts bill (which, contrary to information we received, is not technically dead yet…it’s still hanging by a thread), House bill 2809, Cheryl A. Coakley-Rivera. She’s even going to nominate Robin for an award, congrats, Robin!
If you live in Massachusetts, please, please, please pick up the phone and call your State Rep to ask them to support the chaining legislation currently in committee. Your input is crucial for gaining better lives for Massachusetts chained dogs.
The weather was gorgeous, except where we were located got not an ounce of shade all day. The breeze came and went, and the sidewalk, which consisted of red brick, became very hot to the touch, as did the steps behind us. There was literally no place to sit all day, so I was forced to spend the entire day pacing. I can only imagine the torture of a chained dog on asphalt in the heat, and my heart just breaks for these dogs who have to endure so much just to survive.
Just when we were packing up to leave, my precious boy Cowboy’s new family came for a visit. They live up north, and adopted him from us at the Good Newz Rehab Center. The boys had even made their own Cowboy sign, and love him dearly. When I see the before photo of how he lived, and the after photos of him with his new family, my heart expands about 50 times over. This is why I do what I do, so that all dogs get a chance to know this kind of love, all dogs get a chance to be real dogs and not abused lawn ornaments.
Please join me in continuing to fight for their rights. Without us, they have no voice!
Will you sponsor Chain Off? This is our largest fundraising campaign of the year, and we’ve raised SO much awareness between the events hosted nationwide and the Capitol Doghouse Tour, but we haven’t yet reached 1/3 of our goal of $30,000 for this year’s event. Between money raised through sponsor pledges and money sponsored online, we’ve raised $9, 300. Can you donated even $5 or $10 to help us continue this most important work for chained dogs? Thank you, thank you, thank you! Make a donation to the cause here: http://www.dogsdeservebetter.org/chainoff2012.html