Today is the Fifth Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. “The Thing”; “The K-word”, and other not-so-polite names have come to be used to describe the event; the event that changed so many lives forever. In our case, we were fortunate, more so than many people here in NOLA. We did not lose our home, we did not lose relatives, we did not lose our jobs. But everything else changed in a very surreal way.
I have not listened to the news this past week, I don’t feel I need to relive the event over and over again, like ripping off the scab of a wound “just because”. It is what it is, it did what it did; let’s learn from it and move on. But can we? Have we?
When we evacuated, as always, we took our Shibas with us. They are accustomed to traveling, hotels and long rides in the car. Many people did not take their pets. Some thought that we would be gone for a short time; others had pets that were not used to traveling and their people thought they would be better off at home than in a car or hotel room. Many others had no where to go with their pets. What followed was one of the largest, if not THE largest animal rescue deployments in our Nation’s history.
I can remember the questions from co-workers: “What do you with your dogs?”. “You take them ALL?”. “Where do you go with your dogs?”. All of these questions I always found surprising; we have never had a problem finding a place to go with our Shibas, and it is NEVER an option to not take them with us. If *I* go...they go...period.
The events that followed, the rescues, the attempts to devise evacuation plans that INCLUDED pets, were all inspiration for me to write Take Turbeaux Too! It was few years in the making, but finally, it is here. Although, to me, it is dedicated to the animals that “K” took, and the Rescuers that helped save so many, I did not want to just concentrate on Hurricanes. I believe that if you own a pet, no matter where you live, you need to be prepared in case of an emergency.
Earthquakes. Tornadoes. Flood. Fire. Oil Spill (oh yea that was us again!)
As Turbeaux says in the book : “Emergencies come in all shapes and sizes, be prepared so there are no surprises!”
It is not a pretty thought, it is not a happy thought, but something that should be considered: What do you TAKE? What will your pets NEED? Are you PREPARED? Have a plan ready. Just in case.
Take Turbeaux Too is a childrens book, and not a big scary one that relives that “K-thing” over and over. But I do know that children here in NOLA have recognized their situation in the book. We are more attuned to evacuating with pets, although that term is never used - we KNOW it, we FEEL it. It is what it is. It was my hope that by aiming the “tail” towards the Children, they can help educate their parents. No more pets left behind.
TAKE TURBEAUX TOO!