Dennis was a manatee. You know, a big sea-cow-looking critter. That's what Mr. S called him: a sea cow. How rude! That's almost as bad as the male cattle in Barnyard having those ridiculous udders. But if Dennis was here today, I think he would forgive Mr. S the slight, because, well, if he was here today, that would mean Dennis was still alive! Technically, the actual 'sea cow' is extinct, but some people, like Mr. S, use the term interchangeably with manatee. Here's a website that tells all about these creatures. Did you know that the term 'sea cow' came about because these aquatic mammals taste like beef? Me neither. I read that somewhere else. I can't verify its truth. It makes me question where Mrs. S shops for meat.
But getting back to dear, departed Dennis...he was at the wrong place at the wrong time. Cape Cod is the wrong place for a manatee. Not only is it too cold, but there are too many save-the-whaley folks on the east coast. Let Dennis show up in Missouri, and there would be no expensive rescue effort. Dennis would be ground up between two buns quicker than you could say, "Grilled manatee burger, anyone?"
This article explains the basics, but I'll tell you my take on the whole debacle anyway. Because aside from criticizing my former compatriots, the Democratic Party, nothing pleases me more than sticking it to those animal rights people. Picture poor Dennis, swimming around feeding near Cape Cod. Dennis did not know he was cold. He's an animal, by cracky. They just are. They eat and poop and eat some more. That's their life, animals. Eating and pooping, with a little hanky-panky to make more of the same if they can find a member of their opposite sex. Except for earthworms, but let's not go there tonight. So here's our Dennis, not even knowing that his name is 'Dennis', swimming around, eating and pooping. Then the crybaby we-demand-Ben-and-Jerry-make-their-ice-cream-with-breast-milk folks spot Dennis, and hereby commences the beginning of the end.
Touhey said the manatee was first spotted Sept. 24 near Fall River, but when the animal lingered in Sesuit Harbor, volunteers and workers from the animal welfare fund began working to capture and remove it to safer environs for treatment and release.
Um...Dennis had been there since September 24. He was OK. WTF did he need treatment for, alcoholism? He was already 'released'. I know! Those people are racists against the manatee species. That makes them 'specists', I suppose. Sure, Dennis was fine with them if he was just there for a visit. But once he lingered, and it looked like he was moving in, they had to ship him out.
"When Dennis was pulled from the water, his body temperature was 73 degrees, 24 degrees below normal, Cutter said. During transport, crews were able to raise his temperature to 89 degrees."
Puhlease! Dennis wasn't broke. Why'd they have go and try to fix him? So what if his normal body temp was supposed to be in the low 90s? He was still kickin' before they tried to SAVE him. Maybe the stress of being out of the water, trucking down the highway with a needle stabbed in him for IV nourishment, all the while wrapped in warming blankets, was a bit much for that 27-hour ride. Heck's bells, people! If somebody came into my dark basement office and lured me into a net with a bait of sweet, sweet Histinex, you can bet that I would be suffering by the end of a 27-hour ride. A ride where I was held captive and fed through a needle, immobilized so that I could not kick off the covers if I got too hot.
"The animal suffered from cold stress from being in the cold water and an environment it was not accustomed to," said Lauren Skowyra, spokesperson for SeaWorld. "The animal was headed to the rescue and rehabilitation facility for treatment and care until it would have been released into nature."
Whoa, Nelly! Dennis was suffering from stress due to an environment he was not accustomed to? Unlike being out of the water for 27 hours, strapped to a truck bed in warming blankets with a needle in him, unable to feed on tasty aquatic plants, listening to the roar of passing traffic, fighting gravity without the sweet, sweet buoyancy of water that had surrounded him for his entire life.
Cutter said he did not know the expenses for caring for the manatee and transporting it to Florida, but believes it cost tens of thousands of dollars.
"Most of our costs were manpower, but we had a lot of support from local Cape businesses that donated to the net we used to catch the manatee," Cutter said. "Besides the truck and gas to get down there, we had everything we needed here."Seems there were not enough of those save-the-whaley-people to donate their efforts without pay. Gosh darn it! They had everything they needed right there...but decided to truck My Manatee Dennis to Florida.
"They definitely did the right thing moving him," Burnham said. "Everyone knew he wasn't going to survive in the New England waters and they did all that they could to save him."
Too bad that saving Dennis killed Dennis. If only that one little thing hadn't happened, it would have been a great rescue! "Everyone knew that Dennis wasn't going to survive in New England waters." Wow! Everybody up there near Cape Cod must be psychic, or have a direct hotline to God.
Poor Dennis. Let's sing a little Dylan for him:
How many roads must a manatee ride down,
Before we know that's certain death?