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Blaze's Page




A Great Friend and Companion

You will surely be missed.

August 8, 2005 - June 22, 2010

Tuesday, June 22, our daughter had to make the very unselfish decision to euthanize her dog, Blaze. For those of you that have been our friends for some time, you know that she was an extremely talented, intelligent dog who had quite an independent spirit. A ninety plus pound Lab / Belgian Shepherd mix that only had one level of a voice. And she always believed she was the alpha.

You might be wondering why I am writing about this on a website for Lafayette. Well, if you lived here two years ago, this story might impact you.

In April, 2008, the City of Lafayette failed to manage to control the chemical system that feeds the chlorine into our water supply. Most of you realize that as we head into testing days, you are drinking from the swimming pool. But, during the first week of April, 2008, these levels were out of control. Citizens contacted city hall, because they knew something was not right. But, our public works foreman waited to investigate until regular inspections came up. It turned out that the amount of chlorine being dumped into the system was extremely high. So high, in fact, it violated the threshold before the state requires citizen notification.

We didn't know this until we went to the council meeting in April. No one from the city notified us. No door hangers were hung. No calls were made. There was a flyer at the council meeting. We asked, after reading it, when was the city going to notify people? Diane Rinks advised the state just said it had to be done within 30 days, so we would receive a note on the back of our water bill. We took the notice and posted it on this website and emailed to anyone we could think of. And, as promised, it was on the back of the water bill weeks after the initial period of poisoning.

The week before the council meeting, we had to take Blaze to the vet. She was not well. Bowel issues, dehydration, vomiting, no appetite. All classic signs of many illnesses, including chlorine poisoning. That was quite a chunk of change, with no idea what was causing the issue. It wasn't like we knew to say to the vet, she has chlorine poisoning. Now what. Then began a period of bladder stones. There has been a series of problems that can be attributed to the initial poisoning event.

During that same week, our neighbor's dog, who already was older and had kidney issues, had to be put down. A week later, a friend here in Lafayette who was diabetic experienced horrendous kidney stones. A situation that is still ongoing now and requires additional treatment. Darrell had kidney stones in June 2008.

Now, while I have heard from a number of people that we should sue the city, we just don't work that way. Our daughter is out thousands of dollars even with all the ways that Carlton Vet contributed to her care. They have been awesome in the entire process and I would recommend them to anyone. But, we are not litigious people.

At the time, Councilor Matt Smith extended his apologies upon finding out about Blaze's condition. Councilor Bob Cullen, also, was very sympathetic. In fact, he was more helpful, explaining that he doesn't give his animals drinking water from the tap. He fills bottles and then lets them sit, in hopes the chlorine will dissipate. We have installed water filtration throughout our home, which helps some.

What I want you to take out of this: Don't drink the water straight from the tap. Even city hall has that figured out they pay for a rented filter system because they know the water can be harmful. If you turn on your faucet and it smells like a pool, let the water sit. You can boil it too.

If you think back and you have had issues with skin burning, or health problems or you had an animal that became very ill, we do want to hear from you. And you should probably let your doctor know what happened to you then. Eventually, we will post the stories. I have thought about this for a very long time and feel for those that have experienced loss because of their decision to live here.

So, for those that think this is about politics or personalities, it isn't. It's about basic consideration. And a lack of communication. Because if the city had told us as soon as it had happened, Blaze would probably be with us today. But, between the original poisoning, and all the medication since, her quality of life just wasn't there anymore. So, we had to say goodbye before she was even five years old.

And that's a problem with living here. The city takes away ones quality of life in so many ways.






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