Saving a life

I’ve been meaning to blog about this since it happened. I mean, it’s not every day you save a life…

I’ll stop being vague and tell you that it was a dog’s life that was saved. So, no, it wasn’t a human life, but for most, pets are just as important and meaningful as their human counterparts.

So how did it all happen? Well, my boyfriend and I had gone to see the 11:15 p.m. showing of “Lawless.” [The movie was really well done, if you’re wondering. Tom Hardy can be in every movie from now on as far as I’m concerned. Shia LaBeouf did a really great job as well.]

Anyway, we were driving home from the movie theatre when we came to a stop at a red light. And out of the corner of my eye I see this little dog scurrying around the street.

It was after two in the morning at this point, so the traffic wasn’t too heavy, but there were enough cars going by to make me hold my breath. The idea of watching an animal get run over is about as devastating as any and sitting by and letting it happen was not an option for us. To make the situation at least a little comedic, the dog was following around an armadillo. He didn’t really look scared of anything.

We pulled over to the side of the road and I motioned to the furry guy to come over to me. And what were the chances that a cop car was coming around the corner at the same exact moment…

“Is that your dog?” the female cop asked.

Do people normally chase their dogs around main roads at two in the morning? I’ve never seen that happen, but I’m guessing this cop has seen lots of things I haven’t.

I thought it was a great stroke of luck having a police officer show up right when we needed one, as I thought she would take him off of our hands, but she quickly told us she had just ended a 12-hour shift and wouldn’t be able to take the dog anywhere.

Great. What now?

***

It was obvious that the doggy had been groomed recently, so I knew he wasn’t a stray. Someone loved this dog.

Oh. But I forgot to mention the worst part of the situation. This poor little guy smelled like DEATH. Who knows how long he had been running around. Tropical Storm Isaac had just left us, so perhaps he’d been lost since then. But the smell was  HORRIFIC. But what were we to do? Catch him only to release him back into the night?

The officer said there was a 24-hour emergency vet not too far down the road, so we resolved ourselves to at least try that option. My 2006 Toyota Corolla is by no means spotless, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little anxious to let him roam all over it.

I Googled the nearest vet, only to be told that it’s ‘against their policy to hold any animals overnight.’ But, bringing him to my house was not an option, so we decided to take him to the emergency vet anyway.

To our surprise, the dog was very well-behaved on the drive over. He walked around from the backseat to my lap quite a few times, sniffing the air out of the rolled down windows. He was a white dog, but that was hard to see with all of the dirt and muck on his fur.

The emergency vet office was empty except for one distraught couple sitting with their pet, which was pretty difficult to see. However, it reminded me that perhaps we were saving another couple from the same predicament.

We pushed the front desk button and a young woman in scrubs, probably in her late 20’s, came out to greet us. She did a quick once over of the dog, checking his overall well-being and his teeth to guesstimate his age. She put a leash on him and took him behind the door to check for a microchip.

I paced around the office thinking of what to do if no one would take him. I’ve always wanted a dog but just don’t have the money or time a dog deserves. Plus, I wanted the potential owner to have a chance to have their family member back.

The woman returned to tell us that the dog we had was named “Cody.” So he DID have a microchip, after all! They did try to get in touch with the owner, but no one was answering. They left the owner a message, but who knows when he or she would return the call.

If my kitty, Kali, were missing, I would keep my phone next to me at all hours of the night, but who knows what their situation was. So, at this moment, the lady reminded us that they couldn’t keep him. So it was on to the next option.

I contacted another 24-hour emergency vet that was about a 15 minute drive away. The woman who answered sounded very tired and hesitant to even entertain my call, reminding me that it was Labor Day weekend and they needed to keep as much room as possible in their facility for pets who needed medical attention.

But, when I assured her that this dog was small and under 10 pounds, she told me to “bring him over.” Success.

The weirdest thing about the dog? He did not bark ONE TIME the entire time we had him.

By this point, I’m reminding myself to not get attached to this animal. I have that problem. I see any animal and I instantly want to bring them home. However, I was keeping the owner in mind and I knew deep down that I couldn’t keep him anyway.

We dropped him off at the other vet. Two women were on duty and both seemed so emotionally detached in comparison to how we felt in that moment. But, they see that kind of thing all the time, so I guess they’re used to it. One of the women took Cody behind the doors to give him a bath. YAY. Just what he needed.

We signed some papers, leaving our contact information. It was clear that we could leave by this point, but we felt the need to stay and make sure he was taken care of. It felt silly to ask, but I asked if we could see him one last time. We couldn’t pass up the chance to see him clean.

We went into the back, where all of the caged animals are kept and there sat little Cody. He was shivering from his bath, and this was the first time he actually looked scared. But, his fur was white again, so that made me happy. He sat up, looked at us with his big, dark eyes and we said goodbye.

“Thanks for the adventure, Cody,” I said. “Now you’re safe and you won’t get run over by a car.”

We slowly but surely left the building and got back into the car.

*Sniff* “Yup, there’s Cody.” He was gone, but his smell was still left behind. So we rolled the windows down and started to drive home.

Not quite what I expected for Friday date night.

***

The saddest part about the entire thing? We never heard anything after the whole ordeal. We had been told we would get a call when the owner picked Cody up, but we never did.

I ended up calling the next day, only to be told that, ‘he wasn’t in his cage when I got here this morning, so I guess he was picked up.’

No phone call. No message from the owner. Not even a thank you.

I realize that isn’t why you do good deeds. You don’t save an animal from being run over in hopes of a reward. But if some young couple had gone out of their way at THREE IN THE MORNING to save my pet, I would personally write a letter thanking them. I’d probably bake them cookies. And then send them a follow-up note. I guess I’m just weird like that.

***

So, Cody, I hope you’re snuggled up somewhere warm right now. It stormed last night and I wondered how many animals were lost out there in the rain. Hopefully Cody wasn’t one of them.

Exciting things on the horizon!

Hello there, world!

It’s truly amazing how quickly life changes. I have learned a lot about the media industry, and people, in a very short span of time. The saying is true: when one door closes, another opens. I’m feeling very happy and excited about the many opportunities out there and I don’t intend on wasting any of them!

The fall semester starts on Monday and I’m actually excited for it. I’m very near to graduation, so that might have something to do with it, ha ha. I’ll be taking Public Affairs Reporting, which I’m sure will only strengthen my fact-checking super powers. I also signed up to take Mandarin Chinese. The language has always fascinated me and it’s only spoken by like a billion people, so I figure it can’t hurt to try it out.

This will also be my first semester as vice president of SPJ (Society of Professional Journalists, for those not up to speed.) The executive board has come up with several ideas for the semester and I’m amped about our potential. Next month, we’ll be attending the Excellence in Journalism conference in Fort Lauderdale, which should also be a wonderful networking opportunity.

Another opportunity (I notice a theme going on in this blog post) I’m going to try for is a Disney Professional Internship. If you’ve read my “About Me” section, or taken a glance at my résumé, you already know that I’m a Disney College Program alumni (Fall 2007 represent!) Well, this internship is a step beyond that and is a very competitive position. So if the Mouse offers me a spot, I’ll be moving back to Orlando coming January 2013. Zip-ah-dee-doo-dah, indeed.

Other than that, I’m still tweeting, Pinning and Instagram-ing up a storm, watching copious amounts of The Newsroom, Storage Wars and True Blood, counting down the days until season 3 of The Walking Dead, missing Ireland, bracing for Hurricane Isaac (and the RNC), working on my fitness and…pretty much enjoying what life has to offer…which is a lot. Hope you’re doing the same.

P.S. I’ve finally posted a few photos under the Photography tab…so go check ’em out!

P.S.S. (lol) As I type this, I have 1,137 views on this here WordPress. So I know I’m getting some traffic…why not leave me a comment?

30 days in jail, probation for former Rutgers student Dharun Ravi

Have you been following this case? Are you feeling a little outraged at the outcome? I’m pretty shocked… and also conflicted.

For those not familiar: Back in 2010, Dharun Ravi  used his webcam to spy on his roommate, Tyler Clementi. Ravi set up the webcam to capture Clementi’s sexual encounters, which happened to be with another male. Then, Ravi used Twitter to encourage other students to watch said encounters. Tyler Clementi killed himself shortly after. He jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge on September 22, 2010.

A couple months ago a jury convicted Ravi on 15 criminal counts including invasion of privacy, bias intimidation, and witness and evidence tampering.

The jail sentence is set to begin May 31. Ravi was also sentenced to three years of probation, 300 hours of community service, and counseling regarding cyber bullying and alternative lifestyles. Ravi must also pay a $10,000 fine, which will go to a facility dedicated to victims of bias crimes, The Star-Ledger reports.

I took a media law class this past semester and we talked about this case. It enraged me then and it enrages me still. Bullying isn’t limited to the playground and if anything I’m glad this case has forced people to pay attention to just how severe it can be.

Do you really think 30 days of jail is justice? I’m not sure it is. I mean, Ravi did not even speak in court when given the chance. Why not say sorry to the family? Why not take the stand and show how much the experience has taught you? Why not express interest in speaking to other young people about what happened and use it as a teaching tool?

Instead his crying mother took the stand and asked the judge to give her son a chance to live a normal life. But what about Tyler and his life?

It’s hard for me to feel for Ravi when he hasn’t expressed any remorse. However, the optimist in me wants to believe that the whole thing went way beyond his comprehension.

He’s still only 20 years old and would have been an impressionable 18-year-old when he committed the crimes.

And yes, crimes. Invading someone’s privacy is just that. But the Internet has blurred the lines of privacy. Facebook and Twitter make people, especially young people, feel entitled to know the intimate details of other people’s lives. Hell, people share nitty gritty details about themselves all the time – and willingly.

However, I knew better when I was 18. But I knew better before the webcam even existed. So should age even be an excuse?

I’ve never been to jail, so I’m not sure what those 30 days will be like for Ravi. He needs to be punished and live the consequences of his actions. But it’s the counseling that I think he really needs. Or a wake up call… some time to mature.

Is this type of thing preventable?

I really think we should have a class in middle school dedicated to embracing diversity. We need a class or seminar on bullying and how to use the Internet and teach how to respect someone’s privacy.

What do YOU think? Have you been bullied on the Internet? Does the sentence match the crimes?

Check out a recent story I did on a USF student who will soon embark on his first mission trip!

JOU 2100 Reporting

It’s a hot and sticky afternoon at USF’s Bull Market. David Guetta’s “Turn Me On” plays on loudly, while table representatives eagerly tout their goods and services. Farther down the line, two young men wearing white, button-down shirts, ties and dark slacks stand on the sidewalk, smiling at passers-by. Their nametags reveal they are elders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who are serving their mission in Florida.

The display table is for the USF Latter Day Saints Student Association and is covered with religious literature. Copies of The Book of Mormon, For the Strength of Youth – Fulfilling Our Duty to God and The Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ are ready for distribution.

Behind the table sits a young man wearing a black T-shirt and khaki shorts, and although he may not be dressed the part, he, too, will soon begin a mission…

View original post 709 more words

The 13 Most Useless Majors – My response

I have so many other things I need/should be doing, but I just HAD to get this off my chest. AHEM…

The Daily Beast recently posted an article about the 13 most useless majors. I’ve actually seen several articles lately on this very subject and I think these lists are just as USELESS.

Not to my surprise, most of these majors have a lot to do with my own field of study: Mass communications. Journalism actually placed number 8 on the list.

8. Journalism

Unemployment, recent grad: 7.7 percent
Unemployment, experienced grad: 
6.0 percent
Earnings, recent grad: 
$32,000
Earnings, experienced grad: 
$58,000
Projected growth, 2010–2020: 
-6 percent
Related occupations: 
Reporter, correspondent, broadcast news analyst

Obviously I do not care about these statistics or I would not have chosen this major when I entered college. What enrages me most is how much these skills of study are taken for granted.

There is so much focus lately on STEM majors (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and so much of the [little] funding universities have is going to them. Meanwhile, everything else is suffering.

My wish is for these majors to suspend what they do for ONE day. For example, ALL journalists would take a holiday. I wonder how much of what they do would be noticed then? Think about it. No newspapers. No stories. No photos to look at. No information obtained, none distributed.

What would it be like to be in the DARK for just one whole day? Maybe then people would take back just how ‘useless’ it is.

Thankfully, I’m not the only one severely annoyed by this. Here’s a follow-up article The Daily Beast posted today with responses.

Will the CDC’s $54-million anti-smoking campaign work?

Today the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention launched a campaign to encourage smokers to quit.

A new CDC national tobacco education campaign called “Tips From Former Smokers” features real people who are living with the complications of smoking-related diseases. This campaign encourages smokers to quit.

They anticipate the 12-week campaign will get 50,000 people to quit.

Here’s one of the graphic videos they’ve released as part of the effort:

You can find the other videos here.

But will it work?

I’ve never smoked a cigarette and I’m confident that I never will. I HATE smoking with a fiery passion. I loathe secondhand smoke. I think it’s the most unattractive habit a person can have and I’ve never understood the appeal. Nothing bothers me more than parents who smoke in the presence of their children.

Now, I’m not one to preach to others to quit. It’s your life and if you want to end it prematurely, that is your prerogative.  But I imagine people who smoke know how bad it is for them, right? Is it necessary to spend $54 million to show them just how detrimental it can be?

Do you smoke? What made you start smoking? Have you ever tried to quit? Would something like this campaign make you think twice about it? I’m curious…

The Bachelor finale: who did Ben Flajnik choose? *UPDATE*

Well, well, well… tonight is the big night. Bachelor Ben finally gets to conclude this nightmare he’s been living for the past year or so.

If you’re reading this, then you actually care about this show. And by care I mean you:

  • love to make fun of it & attempt to outwit & outTweet other shameless viewers
  • get ridiculously and dangerously drunk every Monday with the many versions of The Bachelor drinking game
  • are emotionally invested in every season and genuinely care for the well-being of these women (c’mon, really?)

I will admit, I have watched previous seasons & it’s one of my *very guilty* pleasures. It’s so obviously a hot mess, but for some reason so many of us keep going back for more.

The reason I wanted to ramble on about it in this blog is because I still cannot figure out for the life of me WHY ON EARTH Ben even signed up to be the Bachelor in the first place? I would LOVE to hear some of your theories.

I watched Ben get his heart broken on Ashley’s season & it appeared he could not get away from that situation fast enough. He was crushed. Embarrassed. PISSED. And then, BAM. He’s the next Bachelor.

What’s interesting is how he’s gone from being one of the most loved men in the show’s history to one of the most disliked and made fun of dudes yet. Nearly every comment I see as of late is negative.

I mean, I liked Ben during Ashley’s season and I still do. IMHO he’s the most real, down-to-earth bachelors yet. I just think he signed up for more than he bargained for. Ben strikes me as a guy who doesn’t have patience for drama and this show IS drama. So, what did those producers do to get him to say yes?

I’ve mulled it over in my head & I think he did it for the benefit of his company. See, Ben is a winemaker. Since I do like the guy, I’ll link to the website now. I imagine the sales & overall exposure of his company has quintupled since the season premiere. Would I blame the guy if this was his motivation for going on the show? No. Absolutely not. Do I think that was his main motivation? Also, no.

I feel like Ben did want to find love because he found something in himself in his first experience that made him respect the process. I think he was smart enough to know that it wouldn’t be the end of the world if it did not all work out.

So. Courtney or Lindzi? I actually do not have a preference either way. I actually do not hate Courtney with a fiery passion like everyone else does. Sure, she said and did tons of mean and terrible things throughout the season. The way she scrunches up her face was extremely painful to watch at times. But I know how editing can be in the world of reality TV.

Also, she’s a model who has been part of the Hollywood scene before. I’m by no means excusing her actions, but I think she’s formed her hard exterior because women can be so awful to each other. Plus, women are different with their significant others than they are with girls – especially with ones they are competing against.

Lindzi on the other hand seems like an overall easy choice. And since I view her as an easy choice, I don’t think she and Ben could ever work. I don’t think Ben likes that Lindzi had only had one previous relationship. I don’t think Ben likes sitting on the super  high pedestal she placed him on.

Not sure how I will manage through all 3 hours of the finale tonight, but it will be interesting to see if he and the woman he chose are still engaged. Heck, I’m still sad about Ali & Roberdddo breaking up…

*UPDATE* I had already read the spoilers & I think it was obvious who he was going to choose…but now we have seen the proposal between Ben & Courtney.

The After the Final Rose was pretty intense – lots of tears from both sides. It turns out they have already broken up, but are now back together. Time for the final test – to see if things work when the show has ended.

OH! And then there’s US Magazine with pictures of Ben kissing other women… Curious…