Good news; I’m going to Florida for a week with my sister to visit my dad.  Bad news; I have to take the dogs to a kennel.  I hate that!  I don’t imagine they’re too happy about it either, but I’ve researched all the local kennels and the one I chose seems to be a good one, so maybe it won’t traumatize them too much.  In the flurry of packing and trying to find the best temporary home for them, I received the following action alert from aolfriends@earth and wanted to post it here before I leave:

Army Spc. Gwen Beberg rescued a homeless puppy from a burning pile of trash while on active duty in Iraq last May, and named her new friend Ratchet. She says she couldn’t have made it through her 13-month deployment without Ratchet. But Ratchet needed to be rescued a second time – this time from the United States military.

Please tell the military to let soldiers keep their pets»

The U.S. military has a set of regulations called General Order 1A (GO-1A), which prohibits conduct that compromises character and morale. Yet GO-1A includes a strict prohibition on soldiers keeping pets, even though soldiers’ pets provide immeasurable comfort and clearly would enhance, not compromise, morale.

Because of these regulations, the military has a policy of confiscating and killing animals rescued by our troops in Iraq, rather than allowing those who have sacrificed so much to adopt and take home the animals that have seen them through the horrors of war.

Our troops and their pets should not suffer any more – urge the military to rescind GO-1A’s prohibition on keeping pets»

Ratchet was lucky. Tens of thousands of citizens like you signed a petition urging clemency for him, and after several tries the wonderful people at the SPCA International’s Operation Baghdad Pups were able to secure his release and fly him back to Minnesota so that he would be waiting for Spc. Beberg when she arrives home.

But many cats and dogs, and the brave service men and women who have rescued them, still need our help. Every one of us, no matter what our opinion of the current war is, can support our troops by asking the Department of Defense to immediately end their policy of confiscating and killing soldiers’ rescued pets.

Please stand up for all of the other Ratchets still in Iraq:

I can’t say it any better than the above, but I encourage everyone who sees this to click on the link and sign the petition!  Being a soldier in the middle of a war zone has to be hard enough without having your best friend taken away from you.