Cain, an answer to my critics

Published 10:18 pm Thursday, August 20, 2015

COLUMNSpecialCases8.21 CAIN

By Leonard Rizzo

I received a call from Ashley (“Cutie”) at Foothills Humane Society about an 11-year-old Pit bull that had been struck by a car and the owners couldn’t afford the extensive bills to help him. I was more than just intrigued by this old boy. I not only wanted to help him, I desperately wanted to meet him.

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I had recently taken care of two Molly’s, which I intended to be this week’s story but I’ll save that for another day. Cain’s tale is much more important.

“Have them take Cain down to Landrum Vet, Ashley,” I said. “I will call them and see he gets whatever he needs as one of Lennie’s kids.

The next day after my dialysis I went to check on one of the Molly’s and learn about the old Pit that was struck by a car.  His left front leg had been broken down in the bend near the paw. I don’t know what it is called but in a human it would be the wrist.

Dr. Donna Raines informed me that Cain’s operation went well and he should heal just fine.

“He’s a lovely boy,” she added.

“Thanks doc,” I replied. “To me they’re all lovely.”

I went over to visit Cain who was in his cage recuperating. As I approached Cain he lifted his huge head and I witnessed a kind pair of eyes that were full of love.

“I love you too,” I tearfully whispered back to him. Cain reminded me of Cagney, a Pit mix that was shot in the paw many years ago. Cagney was one of my kids a few years ago ad now resides with Dr. Raines as one of her own. I smiled to myself and thought, “Though Cain is a larger version and much older, Donna must have seen it too.”

The next day Cain was brought back to Landrum Vet because he was experiencing some pain. I jumped at the chance to be there with him again outside his cage. Every single doctor and staff member made it their business to tell me how sweet and beautiful Cain was. Dr Lara and Dr. Shawn were both on the ground rewrapping his bandage with an entourage of staff members around to assist.

“Did you give him a tranquilizer to keep him calm?” I asked.

“Not this sweet boy,” came the reply. “All he needs is love.”

Outside I met Thomas and Dana, Cain’s parents and their little boy who was playing by the fishpond.

“Thank you so much Mr. Rizzo. Cain means the world to us, he was with us before our son was born.”

“You haven’t any idea what an honor it is to meet and help a boy like him,” I replied. “I’m between jobs and we just didn’t have the money to help him right now, another vet told us it might be best to put him to sleep.”

“Well, I’m glad you reached me then, my world is a better place knowing that Cain is still in it.”

“What can I do for you, Mr. Rizzo, is there anything you need that I can do?”

“Your love and devotion to that beautiful boy is all I need from you,” I said. “I’ll tell you like I’ve told so many other people, if you hit the lottery don’t forget to think of me and the rest of my kids.”

Over the past two weeks nearly $2,000 has been spent to help Lennie’s kids. For reasons related to another matter I needed to tally up how much was spent year to date and I’m here to inform you, we’ve passed $30,000. I’m relating this for two reasons. The support of this community is awesome, please don’t stop, my kids need you.

The sale of my book “A Voice in the Hills” is also doing well and I have placed all proceeds after expenses directly into my 501c3 account. There will be another book signing at the Drake House on Sunday, but my book is available on Amazon and now on Kindle, plus at the Book Shelf.  Spread the word! It’s a good read, and it helps my kids.


Finally many years ago when I began this crusade, animals such as Cain did not have a chance. Choices were made about how money should be spent and Cain would have been on the bottom of the totem pole, and sad to say, there were many such as Cain. To this day I still have critics who wish to control the decisions I make, but so long as I live and I can, with your help, I will follow my heart.

Kayla was right when she told me, “Lennie, you cannot save them all,” but I hit my knees and thank the good Lord above that I could save Cain.

Thanks for listening.