Chris Baldus: Harry the terrier swallowed a booby trap

Published 7:31 am Thursday, September 7, 2017

Apparently, Harry’s owners did not stop him in time from eating a chunk of meat that had a fish hook in it. The Cairn terrier had already swallowed a hook.

The potential internal injuries can be fatal when a dog swallows something like that.

This 3-year-old pup, however, got lucky and threw up the hook later that night while sleeping in the bed with one of its owners. She didn’t get hooked.

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The Iowa woman and her father, who lives in southwest Austin, share the dog. Sometimes he’s here, other times he’s down south. The father stopped in at the Daily Herald on Wednesday to pick up a paper. He told us the tale about what happened after the booby-trapped meat was tossed in his yard.

After the expulsion of the hook and other digested matter at 4 a.m., the pair took Harry to a veterinarian. An x-ray revealed no other hooks, he said. The vet bill was $150.

Harry is now in Iowa, he said.

Left in the wake of all this is suspicion, which easily ensnares the innocent. Whoever put the hooks in the meat didn’t hurt the dog, but did wound the neighborhood.

DACA: Our country has been here before

The ocean liner Saint Louis left Europe in 1939 loaded with people fleeing for their lives. Most were Jewish and they were they were targets of the Nazis. Most had made arrangements to legally land in Cuba and then get to the United States. But as it turned out any promises they had received were worthless in the face of American isolationism and fear that greased the power struggle between Democrats and Republicans.

Letting the St. Louis and it’s passengers take refuge here was too big of a political risk for even President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who was seeking his third term. This was a boatload of about 900 people who believed in America and her greatness — our bravery, compassion, ingenuity and dedication to justice.

We turned them away.

They returned to Europe and were split up among different countries. As Germany conquered more of Europe, 235 of these St. Louis passengers died at Nazi hands.

That was a lifetime ago. Few Americans who were old enough to witness and understand what was happening are still with us. It is a story collecting dust on the Internet, behind the cat videos and click bait. It’s there, however. You can read more details at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum website.

The St. Louis was one of the first things that came to my mind this week when the Trump administration announced it’s scheduled rescinding of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy. It was put in place by President Barack Obama after power struggles in the Congress sunk legislation that addressed the issue of undocumented immigrants’ children who have grown up in this county.  Their parents believed in America’s greatness. So do they, and they contribute to it.

These people are victims of the ongoing power struggle. If we live up to the American values, we would solve this and move on. As we succumb to the same old power struggle that turned away the St. Louis, we are poised to fail, again.

Contact Austin Daily Herald Managing Editor Chris Baldus at