The Tale of M.L. Ricecake

If anyone is interested in adopting M.L. Ricecake, please contact Campus Cats. Photo by Lizziey Terrell

By Mac Pomeroy

It was the weekend after the election. My sister, her partner and I had just gone to Boardman and done some light shopping and were heading back home. Then, suddenly, we saw a dog on the side of the road.

Of course, there are tons of dogs in that particular neighborhood, and it isn’t unusual for a pet to walk away from home. However, this dog looked lost and confused. We drove by, but debated on what to do. We are all huge animal lovers, and while we wanted to help, we were unsure. We didn’t know what the dog’s temper was, plus my sister has a severe dog allergy.

Finally, we decided to loop around; we wanted to see if he was okay. He had walked away from where we saw him originally, and when we found him again, it was clear something was very wrong. 

He was part pitbull, so skinny you could see his ribs and his head was bigger than his body. There was a rope buried deep in his neck. My sister’s partner got out of the car, and the dog approached with caution. The scent coming from the dog was the worst thing I have ever smelled, and despite nearly a month had passed since this happened, my stomach is still turning at the memory. 

Thoughts began to fill my head.

“What happened? Who did this? How long has it been since someone last took care of you?”

Then, we all wondered the same thing: what do we do next? It was a Saturday night, all the animal shelters would be closed.  He needed help now. So I called my friend, Lizziey, who is part of an animal rescue organization.

Well, technically a cat rescue, Campus Cats, but … close enough. He had short ears; if you squinted the right way, he was just a big cat. Lizziey answered on the first ring.

“Lizziey, we need your help. Where do we take him? What do we do?” I said, hoping she would have an answer.

“Take him to my home,” she said.

We spent the next hour trying to lure him into the car, doing whatever we could. We tried to get him to follow using rice cakes we found in the backseat. Eventually, we gained his trust enough to pick him up and put him in the back.

We drove him as fast as we could to Boardman, a 15 minute drive. The smell was so horrible we wore our face masks and rolled down the window. Even  then, I nearly threw up.

The dog was such a good boy during this ride. He sat down and didn’t even bark; he just seemed happy someone was being nice to him. The rope in his neck had caused an awful wound, and he was bleeding. 

We got him to Lizziey’s home, and she immediately took him. Lizziey and fellow Campus Cats rescuer, Briana, got the rope from his neck, and reassured us he would be okay. The two of them then took him to the emergency vet hospital, where he had surgery.

That was nearly a month ago.

He is much better now. The dog, now known as M.L. Ricecake, is being fostered by a member of Campus Cats. He has gained so much weight and is such a big boy now, but still a very loving boy. I will forever be grateful to them for helping save him.

This is not a story I am telling to boast about a good action I did. Really, my effort was minimal in terms of everyone who worked to help him.

All around us are those who need help: people who are struggling, animals who are hurt. Too often do we just look aside and keep driving forward, never stopping to see what is actually happening. 

During the pandemic, we cannot pull over for any wandering stranger and ask if they are okay, but that is no excuse to not display kindness. There are ways you can help from six feet apart.

Donate to local animal charities, or call friends and loved ones to make sure they are okay. See if any local organizations need volunteers. Keep an eye out for any way to make the lives of those around you brighter.

Please be safe this holiday season, Penguins. This has been a very hard semester, and sadly I believe next semester will be just as rough. I miss seeing you all on campus. I will see you all next semester, in my next article. This is Mac Pomeroy, signing off from another strange semester.