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Thursday, October 16, 2008

A Beloved Pet Suffers Because of Rove & Co.

When we think of those who have suffered because of the corrupt Bush Justice Department, we probably tend to think of people.

But I know of at least one much-loved pet who suffered because of the "Bush bastards." And I hope there is a particularly warm corner in hell for the people who are responsible.

Abby Teel was a 12-year-old Scottish terrier who had a happy life in Mississippi. One of her "humans" was my friend Wes Teel, the former state judge who is serving a sentence in an Atlanta federal prison for crimes he did not commit. Teel and his codefendants, Paul Minor and John Whitfield, are in prison only because Minor was a major contributor to Democratic candidates, and that caused him to become a target of the Bush Justice Department.

Teel and Whitfield (also a former state judge) were caught in the crossfire--collateral damage, if you will.

I learned in a recent letter from "No. 07708-043" (that's Wes' prison ID number) that the Teels' beloved Abby died recently.

"After I was sent to prison," Wes writes, "my wife tells me Abby lost her luster--her desire to live. She pined away for me, she looked for me each morning, and laid in my chair to pick up what remained of my scent. Her bright eyes dimmed, and she no longer looked forward to going outside. Chasing the local squirrels was no longer fun. Eating did not give her any joy.

"Abby eventually got sick and was taken to our vet who is a good friend and a great guy. There just wasn't much he could do to save her, and so she slipped out of this world and, I hope, into the next."

What was Abby like? You can check out a picture of her at the Gulf Coast Realist, a blog Wes started before he reported to prison in December 2007.
Scroll down a little ways, and you will see a picture of Abby and other family members on the right-hand side.

By the way, a Teel family friend is keeping the blog going, and she is a staunch Republican while Wes is a Democrat. I think it says a lot about Wes, and his friend, that their friendship flourishes across the political divide.

Wes' letter about Abby left me sad, stunned, and angry. I knew that Wes' wife, children, extended family members, and friends were struggling in his absence. But it had not occurred to me how much the family pets might be suffering. Considering the title of my blog, you would think that I--of all people--would have thought of that.

Given the extraordinary senses that dogs possess, I wonder if Abby not only missed Wes but somehow understood that he was the victim of a gross injustice.

We call our organization that is devoted to the well being of animals the American Humane Society. Wes' letter drove home for me just how inhumane Karl Rove and his ilk truly are. The death of Abby Teel should be laid at their doorstep.

"I sure will miss her soft eyes and gentle personality," Wes wrote. "I'll miss our walks and how loyally she would lay her head on my lap. She died, I believe, of a broken heart. And, now, as I write this with the tears of a 58-year-old man in my eyes, I miss my little dog and wish I could have patted her just one more time.

"Perhaps she died of a broken heart--for my heart is broken, too."

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