This Just In ...

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 young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.

The Barking Lot (08/06/11)

The Barking Lot


The Barking Lot is a regular weekly feature of this just inWritten by my lovely wife, Jennifer and me.  It opens with the weekend dog walking forecast followed by the main blog from dog lover, Jennifer. Then its DOGS IN THE NEWS and our close. Enjoy!

THE WEEKEND DOG-WALKING FORECAST: We grade the weather outlook for taking your pet outdoors. 

TODAY:  Isolated thunderstorms. High of 84.  "B"

SUNDAY:  Isolated thunderstorms. High of 85. "B"

Here’s my lovely wife, Jennifer with this week’s main blog:

I have mentioned in past Barking Lot blogs that I was with my two dogs and cat when it was time for us to have each of them euthanized due to extreme, devastating illness.  Holding a pet while it is “put to sleep” is, in my mind, one of the most traumatizing things its owner can go through.  I had troublesome dreams, and could still hear the echoes of their paws walking down the hallway for weeks after they were gone.  

Since I was still living at home with my parents for all three of these events, I really didn’t have a lot of responsibilities other than school and a part-time job.  I took those things seriously, of course.  But I didn’t have a “real job” nor did I have a family of my own to take care of.  So it might have been easy for me to blow off my classes or a day at work, citing some sort of emotional distress or just needing personal time.  While I don’t have a clear memory of what I did, I highly doubt I missed my obligations to school or my employers.  After all, it wasn’t a human family member that passed away.

But it was a family member, wasn’t it?  Shouldn’t I have been protected to take time off for bereavement?  Wasn’t I grieving the loss of a companion that, admittedly, I thought more of than a distant cousin I see once every couple of years?

I recall a get-together when I was talking to the neighbor of my best friend.  Our conversation lead to pets, and she began tearfully telling me about her beloved cat who had died.  She was distraught and I did my best to console her.  I’d been there myself, I had compassion and empathy.  I thought her pain was fresh.

A short while later, my friend told me that the neighbor had lost aforementioned cat about three years before.  I was stunned.  My friend had recently, unexpectedly and all-too-suddenly lost her father to a massive heart attack.  That was fresh.  That was pain.  And as my friend said to me, “Lady, when your dad dies in his early 50’s, that’s loss.”  

If her neighbor was that anguished after three years, I can’t begin to imagine what she was like when it first happened.  I’m not making fun of her but she probably needed some sort of counseling.  (She is married with children so it’s not like this cat was literally her family.)  Certainly she would have felt entitled to some sort of bereavement leave.  I don’t know what her employment situation was, so I can’t say what happened.

Now that I am a wife and mother I have a different perspective on the importance, value and hierarchy of the family dog.  When we get a dog for our family it will be a wonderful addition to our lives.  And when the dog dies, it will be a loss that we will all grieve.  But I don’t think that we will want paid time off of our jobs to deal with it.

Bless Mark Tillinger and his philanthropic efforts and achievements.  I’m sure that many lives are richer because of his dedication.  I’m just not sure I agree with his perspective. 
---Jennifer Fischer

Thanks, Jennifer!

Time now for DOGS IN THE NEWS, canines that made headlines the past week, and we've got a bunch.

While DC debated the debt, one writer focused on the  economics of his dog.

Chinese city
relents on dog ban.

Military dogs enjoy brighter future after service.

Vanity Fair: The dog that killed Bin laden would make a great GOP candidate.

Dog adopted after biting incident euthanzied.

Woman mistakenly bit by police dog over her outfit.

Dog dispute means two months without mail delivery.

These collars hurt dogs.

Finding a dog-friendly place in NYC should be easy, right?

One reason why Bellingham is cooler than where I live, Franklin.

Chaser is brilliant.

Howling success on Milwaukee's south side.

Calculating the real age of your dog.

Here at This Just In..., we just love a happy ending.  And another. OK, one more.

Dog paradise.

Red Dog: Heartwarming movie.

When Baxter got too tired...

WI dog eats diamonds.



Peter Spitz and his seven-year-old son Asher walk with Peter's guide dog Jersey near their home in Aurora, Colo. , on Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2011. Spitz left blind after his now ex-wife shot him in the face three times regained custody of Asher after a contentious court battle.

Peter Spitz and his seven-year-old son Asher walk with Peter's guide dog Jersey near their home in Aurora, Colo. , on Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2011. Spitz left blind after his now ex-wife shot him in the face three times regained custody of Asher after a contentious court battle. AP photo. Related story

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to tell a fellow dog lover about The Barking Lot.

And we close as we always do with our closing video, this one from Jim Axelrod at CBS. Pets are truly family.



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