Creative Cruelty To Animals: Thomas Neil Rodriguez And The Dog’s “Bucket List”

Like all dogs, Poh has several amusement parks on his bucket list...

Like all dogs, Poh has several amusement parks on his bucket list…

I don’t know about you, but this story ticks me off.

Thomas Neil Rodriguez’s got a terminal diagnosis of his 15-year-old  dog Poh when he had his pet examined by the vet.. His response was to embark with Poh on a 12,000 mile automobile odyssey to 35 cities, taking seven weeks, which he described to ABC News as  fulfilling “their” bucket list.  “It was a great trip,” Rodriguez told ABC.  “I got to spend seven weeks with Poh. At first, I did not think he’d make it two weeks, but he did.”

Dogs don’t have bucket lists. They are always happy to be with their loved ones, but traveling is stressful, and what an old dog, a dying dog, or any dog wants most is rest, love, familiar routines and surroundings. If Rodriguez had no choice but to travel, taking poor Poh along was arguably kinder than leaving him in a kennel or with a stranger (or putting him down), but to proudly proclaim that this journey was in any way for the dog’s pleasure is outrageous. Rodriguez is irresponsible, and celebrating it. Po was made to suffer for his master’s enjoyment and convenience, and the rest is nothing but spin, or perhaps a guilty fantasy.

( Best comment on Althouse’s blog: “Same reason a man would buy his wife a power tool set for her birthday. He wants it.” Right. Except that buying her the power tools isn’t as likely to kill her.)


Spark and Pointer: Ann Althouse

Source: ABC

13 thoughts on “Creative Cruelty To Animals: Thomas Neil Rodriguez And The Dog’s “Bucket List”

  1. I couldn’t agree more – my beloved zsazsa Bon boomie in February was at the end of her lifespan and I so desperately wanted to soothe myself with taking her to the beach (an 800 mile trek) to run one last time but I knew that wasn’t noble sensitive or kind to do that to her – she was in my arms in the kitchen floor where she wanted to be when she was given a shot. I knew to make her as comfortable as possible in her own home & be surrounded by my love & gratefulness. True love is putting one another’s needs over ur own. I hate to insinuate this but that pet owner was not thinking of POH’s needs first & foremost. I’m sure he loved poh –

  2. That’s awful, he looks so tired. I just lost my beloved dog two weeks ago, I know that look. The poor pup wants relief.

  3. Just because this is not how you would handle the situation does not make it wrong or “unethical”. This dog is far from mistreated or miserable. Have you even gone on Instagram and read the whole story, or are you relying on sound bites from a televised story? This pup is well cared for. I’m sure they consulted with their vet; every day they give him an iv to make sure he is hydrated. They spoon feed him food that is freshly prepared twice a day. And he slept in a nice hotel bed every night of the trip (which is now completed). They have a cart so that Poh can ride along in when he needs to, or he is carried. The dog still has energy, hasn’t lost control of his bowels, and is much cared for. His owner is very dedicated to Poh’s well being, and makes sure to take a few hours everyday to do things Poh loves: being around other dogs, playing in dog parks, and visiting the beach. The rest of the time is easy going and Poh rests and is around family.

    • It has nothing to do with what I would do. This is not something any caring and responsible dog owner would do. “This dog is far from mistreated or miserable.” Wrong. Taking a sick dog on a 35 city trip is per se mistreatment. Who knows if the dog is miserable? Many dogs are stoic.

      The pup ISN’T well cared for by definition. Well cared for would be to keep him comfortable at home and not haul him around in a car all day. You’re sure they consulted with their vet? Are you sure the vet didn’t advise against this? I am sure he did, or that he’s a lousy vet.

      I’m sure everything you say is true, but travel is still stressful on pets of all kinds, and this was a terrible thing to put any dog through, especially a sick one. And using the “bucket list” excuse is beyond forgiving.

      • It would be cheaper for me to travel with my dog instead of boarding her when on vacation, but I know how badly she stresses on car trips, and for that reason alone would never subject her to a plane flight. I could easily excuse it as “she’s part of the family” (and the kids do miss her). I talked to the vet once about it and he said pretty much that she would not enjoy traveling, while sending her to dog camp would keep her distracted. I though about the recommendation and decided that was the right thing to do.

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