Editorial: The Gumbo from the Heart of a Community

He has a broad dog smile and a constant urge to play or cuddle. His name is Gumbo, and he’s a spunky bully breed mix who is currently waiting for a home at the Yolo County Animal Shelter. According to reports, Gumbo wants what we all want – affection, stability, companionship. In fact, he wants it so badly that he has become depressed inside his kennel, according to the staff, enough to worry about him. Gumbo couldn’t have known it, but a field trip with a volunteer and a social media push from the area’s army of dog lovers unexpectedly plunged his fate – and his dazzling smile – into the middle. of a much more important question about the commons. connections and community. The question is: Who are we in 2022?

From what the shelter said, Gumbo, who is estimated to be around four years old, almost certainly had a human family until recently. He can sit on command, lie down and behave extremely well in busy social environments. This includes under tables in restaurants and cafes. The shelter has video of him happily taking a ride, letting kids pet him and eagerly playing with toys at a pet store. But keepers have also noticed that the isolation he finds himself in takes a heavy toll on an otherwise happy dog.

“Gumbo began to deteriorate in the shelter environment, exhibiting behaviors like endless rotation in his kennel and dog responsiveness,” the shelter said on Instagram. “So a volunteer took him on a day trip to foster care to give him a break from shelter life and to better learn what kind of amazing dog Gumbo really is. Gumbo is an insect of love that wants his big head and belly scratching endlessly… This friendly boy wanted to say “hi” to every dog ​​he met, and even though some were intimidated by his big head, he was gentle and not Even the lively crowds for Davis Pride didn’t faze this cold boy.

Much of those sightings came from shelter volunteer Eunah Cho, who had Gumbo for the afternoon and took some flattering photos of him, to boot. Not only did the Yolo shelter use the footage, but so did NorCal Bully Breed Rescue, which posted it on its popular Facebook page to report the four-legged orphan’s ordeal.

“His Instagram reel has reached so many people, but to this day he is still waiting for someone to adopt him,” NorCal Bully Breed wrote. “If you’re looking for a cuddly meatball, Gumbo is the one for you. Help us spread the word so we can find her a forever home!

That’s when the trouble started.

One of Gumbo’s portraits was of him posing, model-like, in front of a rainbow flag at Davis Pride. He had a huge smile on his face. Nearly 150 people liked the post; but one person absolutely did not like it. This man left what for many would be an offensive comment and then sent a direct message to the admins of the page using hateful and anti-gay slurs. NorCal Bully Breed took a screenshot of his profile and messages, then created this new message:

“We’ve seen all kinds of silly comments on our page over the years. All kinds of nasty messages. And all kinds of intimidation over different political beliefs. We try not to engage most of the time…We will not tolerate any form of racism…And we will not tolerate any form of homophobia. Obviously a photo of a dog in front of a rainbow flag went off [*the culprit] here to the point of needing to be repulsive on a post about a dog in need… Listen, if a picture like this bothers you, you are DEFINITELY following the wrong rescue.

Soon Eunah Cho also weighed in, writing, “I was the one who took this photo of Gumbo when we visited the Pride celebration in Davis and everything about this memory with this sweet dog is precious to me. Thank you very much for calling [the offender’s] homophobia and bigotry – shame on him.

Many NorCal Bully Breed Rescue fans were quick to leave comments about their stance.

“What a sad human being,” one wrote.

“Not someone I trusted to take care of an animal,” observed another.

Summarizing the topic quite succinctly, one said, “What an effing shower canoe!”

But the comment that SN&R would draw readers’ attention to is this: “Everyone, let the homophobes rot and adopt Gumbo!” »

The fact is, the innocence of a very loving, currently ownerless dog who had his best day in a long, long time at Davis Pride – simply because of the constant interactions and warm connection that surrounded him there. – could be a perfect symbol of where many of us want to move forward: in other words, we want to get to a place where our true support for each other and our instinctive hope to see our neighbors grow. fulfilment are what always prevail in our society.

At first glance, it might seem like some kind of poetic justice if someone from the LGBTQ community went to Woodland today and adopted Gumbo. But the truth is, if you believe in the real concept of community, then you know everyone has a stake in the brightly colored flag Gumbo was photographed in front of; and any loving person who believes in the foundation of community adopting this heartbroken pet would be a great victory not only for him, but a victory against the ugliness we will be put behind us.