Monthly Archives: January 2011

Faith Restored and Wishes Granted

Today, I had a wish granted.  Today, numerous friends joined with me to see that it was.  Today, I hope that a group of us was able to make a difference in many lives.  Sadly, today may have been the last day that a life could be made better, if only for 10 minutes.

I sit here in my robe, covered in Gates Bar-b-que sauce and still shivering from the cold.  While my body thinks that it should be cold, my heart is warm.  I’m not sure that I could be any happier at this moment.  Happy, content and with faith restored.  Not faith in a higher force like you may be thinking, but faith in the human race.  Today I was shown that I have surrounded myself with great people with huge hearts.  People that care about me, themselves and the world.  I am so lucky and quite sad that I sometimes forget that.

You see, today I challenged my friends to join me in a birthday celebration.  I say challenge, because it was one completely!  Most birthday’s I could wave food and booze in anyone’s direction and they came in swarms.  My house or where ever I was would be completely overflowing with people.  Today was different.  Today I asked my friends to brave spitting snow, a 16 degree morning, the stench of dogs and their cages and an overwhelming feeling of despair.  Today, I asked my friends to join me in volunteering at a shelter.  Not just any shelter, but a shelter that is high capacity and unfortunately, loses lives to euthanasia.

Despite the fact that I arrived 15 minutes late for my own party, I was welcomed with smiles.  When I entered the conference room, I wasn’t sure if I would find a single soul in there but when I rounded that corner I was met with a full table and people standing!  Faith began to restore at that exact moment.  It was such a high because I knew what that many people meant.  It meant that every single dog would get out today.  It meant that all of those treats I stayed up all night having epic failures at making, would get eaten up and enjoyed.

Training went pretty well and soon everyone was on their way to meeting their first dogs at Halfway Home.  And it all went flawlessly.  Throughout the day, I saw a range of emotions on faces.  One moment I would see a regular volunteer that works so hard, so often.  They didn’t have the usual look of exhaustion because there were only 2 or three of them walking all of the dogs.  They looked excited to see so many people there to help them.  One of my volunteers and her mother met my gaze with teary eyes and summoned me to a cage and asked me to please keep them informed on that pup because they fell in love with them.  A trip to the cat housing found me watching the laughter of 3 of my friends as kittens and full grown cats climbed on their heads and would fill their arms with furry little bodies.  The shrieks of surprise when a kitty would suddenly climb their leg and they were not expecting it…

Today my wish was granted with the help of Sam Gooch, our fearless leader.  Taylor McGeeney, the beautiful teen with the heart of gold and a mother with the same.  Michael and Christine Seeley, not afraid to love on the dogs and the cats and willing to take silly pictures with arm loads of cats and kittens on their heads.  Joleen Seeley, my very best friend who took treats to all of the kitties and gave them lots of love.  Jeremy High, the guy I would never have expected to fall in love with a little pit bull named Mason.  Jamie Brown, the gorgeous and always smiling Adoption Counselor at HWH.  Allie Johnson, all bundled up and walking and loving as many dogs as she could.  Roger McCauley, who always had his hands full with a leash with a furry body at the end of it and who was one of the last to leave.  Emily Mace, the loving friend that brought me presents to give to the shelter and who was my last volunteer standing and who walked countless dogs and made a point of going back for the ones who had already been out but still looked sad.  Sharon Gartin, a lovely soul who makes such a huge difference in these pets lives every day.  Laurie Menendez, the girl with the kind heart who braves the cold just to spend time with the dogs.  To Larry, the love of my life who puts up with my constant sleepless nights and worry over every animal I see and who still loves me despite the fact that I am crazy.  And to Marlan and Bethany and all of the HWH staff for opening the doors to me and my friends and welcoming us.

Thank you to all of you.  Today I had the most rewarding birthday party ever.  I was covered in blood, vomit, urine and dookie and I didn’t have to have a $500 bar tab to achieve it.  I don’t have to wake up to a terrible mess to clean up and I won’t have some experience I will regret for the rest of my life.  I received a gift today that I will always have and will never lose.  That gift was knowing that for one day, I could do anything.  I could save the world, I could make a difference and I had people on my side to help me.

Here are some of my friends from today.  I make a point of not learning names so I don’t grow too attached but sometimes, it’s unavoidable.

Mason is a sweet, playful puppy and a big tail wagger. He likes to stand on his back legs and hug you around the waist. He’s good with other dogs, but we haven't tested him with cats yet. He pulls pretty hard on leash, but Mason just needs some training - he’s a smart little guy who is very teachable, and he'd definitely love to be your new running partner! Mason is unfortunately one of the shelters long timers and is running out of time.


Hayden is an amazing boy who obviously was someone's loved pet. He's eager to please and walks great right along your side. He loves to get your attention and wants to play with you. He's a beautiful black German Shepherd.

Ember was brought to the shelter by Animal Control for cruelty, but she hasn't let her past affect her - she is a very sweet and affectionate girl. Ember is house trained, walks well on leash, and is good with other dogs and with cats, but might be too high energy for some other pooches and felines. Ember can be a jumping bean on leash, but she also loves to give hugs and to sit in your lap. Ember loves children too - she would make a great family dog. Poor Ember is running out of time and needs adopted or fostered before it's too late.


Red is a lover and wants out of that cage! He will do basically anything to make you laugh and would rather have you take him out of the cage than to take a treat.


Jetta is a pretty, sweet and playful girl. She love attention and seems okay with other dogs. She thinks cats are a food group though so she won't be a good fit if you have felines in your family. Come meet this great gal today to see if she's the one for you.


Sherman looks so sad in that cage and with a little interest shown in his direction, that little stubby tail begins to wag from side to side. He loves to run and would make someone a great dog.


Raleigh is sweet but still very shy. He is pretty overwhelmed by life here at the shelter so we aren't pushing him to find out what he thinks about other pets. Come meet Mr Raleigh today to see if he's the one for you. Raleigh seems so sad and wants out of the shelter so badly.


This sweet boy is Navy. He is new to our shelter and will be available for a standard adoption on 1/9 or an early bird adoption (add $50 but get first pick) one day prior. We haven't gotten to spend much time with him yet and don't know much about him. Once we've had time to get to know him, we will update this information in this posting. In the meantime, feel free to email us at for more information about adopting this pooch. Be sure to include the information in the Name field so we know who you're asking about. He is quite the lover and will give you so many hugs and cuddles!


This pet is one of the longest term residents at our shelter and qualifies for a reduced adoption fee of $50. Come meet this deserving dog today before they run out of time. This handsome boy is energetic and strong - Kringle needs some leash training to learn how to walk at your side. He is friendly, and affectionate - Kringle is a big leg hugger, and he'll give kisses in exchange for a good scratch behind the ears. He knows how to sit and loves to play with tennis balls. Come meet this adorable boy today and take him home to your family!


There are so many other animals at the shelter that need a loving forever home.  Please check out the website and save a life.

If you have any questions about any of the pets listed, contact Halfway Home Pet Adoptions at (816) 921-0201.  Also, the pets listed on this page have links that will send you to their Petfinder page if you click on their picture.


What Parents Really Teach Their Kids

I’ve been pondering whether I should post this blog or not, given the fact that it’s pretty personal when it comes to my boys.  The more I thought about it and with some encouragement from a Facebook post I read today, I have decided to share.

My middle munchkin is probably going to be gay, or at least I think so and he has also self-proclaimed it.  People that see him and/or interact with him also have the same response.  Paris told me nearly a year ago at 5 that he was gay. I previously posted a blog about it and I will have to track it down and I will repost it here.    Paris has suffered countless ridicule because of how he acts, the clothes he chooses to wear or because of his actions.  Add to that the fact that I named him Paris and you have a kid with problems.  These problems aren’t caused by his actions or his name.  They are caused by countless bullies and idiots.  One of those idiots showed himself at Christmas in the form of Paris’s own father.

Paris’s dad and I have had the discussions.  I’ve been told and I don’t know how many times, that I am letting Paris be gay.  That I am not being “firm” enough with him.  The last time his dad and I had the talk was when my youngest was in the hospital.  We were sitting in the room waiting for the doctors when the subject came up.  I can’t remember what brought it up, but it came up nonetheless.  Paris’s dad (who I will further refer to as “Buttmunch”) told me that no son of his will be gay and that I needed to change how I was raising him.  I kind of chuckled to myself and told him that Paris could be anything he wants to be (short of being a drug addict or a killer) and that I am doing by job by letting that happen.  Buttmunch and his wife said that I was who was forming his mind and by me not doing anything, I was encouraging him to do wrong and accept wrong things.  He then informed me that as soon as Paris is old enough that he would take him to the “titty bar” and make him get dances until he wasn’t gay.  Really, he said it.  I was shocked and appalled and ended the conversation immediately.  I guess I figured I would cross that bridge when I came to it.

For Christmas, I added to Paris’s gay and bought him the new Justin Bieber cd.  He was thrilled and bragged to everyone that would listen.  Apparently, Buttmunch also was listening when Paris explained his list of  “gifts from Santa”.  He proceeded to forbid Paris from speaking of Justin Bieber, Spongebob and the Jonas Brothers (specifically).  I found this out yesterday morning when I was getting ready in the bathroom and Paris was standing there critiquing my hair and make-up like he usually does.  He just blurted out “Dad says everyone is gay and that Justin Bieber, Spongebob and the Jonas Brothers are faggots and I can’t listen to them, watch them or talk about them because I’m not a faggot.”  I about fell over.  My six year old son was told by his own father how he should act and treat someone that may or may not be different than what is “normal” in his fucked up mind.  I sat my makeup sponge down and asked him to explain.  After a detailed conversation, Paris told me that it was ok.  He knew that I loved him and wouldn’t care.  Paris then told me something even worse.

For Christmas, Paris got a journal.  His father made him open the journal and write in it a list of who is gay.  Seriously, a list of people that he could not associate with or enjoy because they were “fags”.  I asked Paris if he did it and he said that he had to because dad was mad and told him about them being gay and that Paris needed reminded of it.  I almost started to cry until Paris put his hand on mine and said,  “It’s okay mom.  I wrote it down and after dad saw it, I scribbled it out and hid my key.”

Why in the hell do kids have to live this way?  The only answer that I can come up with is because of parents.  We think other kids bully them but it all starts with parents.  If you can teach your child acceptance, this world wouldn’t be so damn cruel.  Why can’t more parents be worried about their kids health or grades then about who they are supposed to hate?

As much as I like to tell myself that Paris will end up okay because his family (Larry, me, Levi and Bristol) accept and love him, I worry about those others that may not accept him.  I worry every day that people like Buttmunch could force my son into doing something terrible to himself.

And, I don’t know that it will ever change.