Monthly Archives: March 2011

Christmas Syndrome

Christmas Syndrome

March 24, 2011 Urban Word of the Day
When you are looking forward to something constantly, to the point of obsession, causing the actual event to seem short and dull in comparison.
“Oh, he’s been counting down the days since July, and has came down with a bad case of Christmas Syndrome.”

Christmas Syndrome… Do I have it?  I mean, I catch everything (or at least think I do).  What do I have it about?  Marriage.

To clear the air, no, I have not received a proposal from the tall, hairy one.  (How many apostrophe’s can I use in one sentence?)  Much to my chagrin, I am not forever owned by the man of my dreams.  After 5 years of living together, I am still no further ahead in this relationship.  My awesomeness is not as awesome as I once thought.  I constantly picture myself as the 80 year old woman with 25 cats who dies Elvis style, eating a banana and peanut butter samich’ while stooling.  Why oh why, can I not get this boy to ask me to be his forever?

Larry was my boyfriend for a very short period of time in high school.  I remember him mostly as the one boy that ever broke up with me.  I didn’t remember why he did it, when I was a grade A prime piece of ass.  I was totally rad, ask anyone.  Okay, don’t ask that person…  Anyway, when he broke up with me I moved on to the next boy and just so happened to get knocked up and married soon after.  Yes, I was a tad promiscuous and I have a teenager now.  I was young, dumb and about 15 years ago, full of (insert rhyming provocative word here).

That marriage lasted all of 3 years and I was off to marriage number two which made it about 6 years.  I’ve been married for 9 years of my life and I guess I am really not sure how to live otherwise.  I sit here and try to ponder why I am so worried about marriage and I can’t exactly put my finger on it.  Do I want it for the right reasons?  Does marriage really make a good difference?  I’ve made a list in my head of a few things that come to mind.  It bothers me that I am 30-somethingish and I have three kids with 2 different last names and I am shacked up with a boy.  I hate being the girl watching friends make terrible mistakes and propose to the wrong people while I sit here with who I think is my soul mate, waiting and wishing.  I have craptastic health and it would be nice to have a man in my life with good insurance who can help me out with some of my medical expenses because budget cuts at my office leave me with doodie for health coverage.  I don’t like the thought that this boy could just dump me and I can’t stop it.  Wait, does marriage really make a difference?  Did it matter the 2 previous times?  Did it stop one husband from cheating and the other from refusing to support his family?  No, it didn’t.

The tall, hairy one is most definitely my one and only.  He just had to keep me waiting for a long time.  I guess I had a lot of growing to change from the teenager that once gave him a bag of scabs at school.  (okay, I guess I haven’t grown up at all).  Yes, I did give him a bag of scabs but ONLY for comedic effect.  The tall, hairy one learned a tough lesson that day about people who take things literally for comedy.  I don’t think he will ever ask me what I am doing if he knows I am picking scabs.  If he forgets, I’m pretty positive that he will never again say, “Ooh, bring me some!”.  I’m getting side tracked…

I thank grilled cheesus (that’s for you, Jo) every day that I was blessed with the tall, hairy one.  He completes me.  When the world is caving in around me, I can lay my head on his chest and forget all of the demons that chase me.  I feel love, the most complete one I’ve ever felt.  When I see him, I still get butterflies.  Well, I hope they are butterflies.  I guess it could be my stomach rolling and me being about to vomit.  Maybe I should rethink this.

I can’t pull a fast one over on him because he knows me too well.  He finishes my sentences.  He can still laugh when it’s 10:30 at night and I have a huge ADHD attack and I jump crazily on our bed while he is trying to go to sleep.  He can still smile at me after being pissed off moments earlier because I “fudge sticked” him. (If you don’t know what this is, it’s great on unsuspecting victims.  You just walk up to the back of someone and force your hand in their crack.  Fully clothed of course)  He lets my tears soak into his chest.  He plays with my hair when he is preoccupied and not paying attention.  He can piss me off ROYALLY and I have to avoid him because no matter what he just did, I still can’t look at him without a smile coming to my lips.

I love this boy so much that I can’t think straight.  I know he loves me, there is no question.  At this point, all I can hope for is that he will continue to love me and be the great dad and provider to other men’s love children.  I don’t have his last name, does it matter?  Not if I can wake up at 1:00 am to his snoring, not if I have a furry chest to lay my head on.  He is completely amazing and I will wait a lifetime for the one moment where he finally will say those four little words that I long to hear.

*Disclaimer- You have read this blog with the intentions of being nosy about someone else’s life.  Remember that it’s someone else’s life and DO NOT repeat this to any tall, hairy ones.  They tend to be dangerous creatures when confronted.  I will not be held responsible for any tall, hairy one attacks.*

The Boob Smoosher

Yesterday, I had the joy of having what I think was my first mammogram.  I think, because I really am not sure.  Through my lifetime I have had so many medical conditions and tests that it has become utterly ridiculous.  Can you give yourself  Münchausen syndrome? So many things have happened that I really am starting to think that I’m crazy.  Okay, yes they typically always find something but I still always have that crazy feeling when I have to call the doctor for the umpteenth time in a month.

About a month ago, I started having some pain in my right headlight.  A few days after it started, I had this weird discharge that reminded me of a popped zit (TMI, I know but frankly don’t care).  Instead of calling the doctor I decided against it since I knew that my favorite Aunt Flow would be visiting soon and bringing with her the typical guests that I don’t want.  Cousin’s Bloating and Cramping and Uncle Badtouch (aka Psychotic Mood Swings) always visit with Aunt Flow and after them being around for an hour, I get totally stressed and freaked out.  Hell, I dread the week up until they come because I know that soon they will arrive and throw my life in chaos during their visit. Anyway, my point was that when Aunt Flow comes the Hooter’s hate me.  So, I waited and Googled “breast discharge”.

Aunt Flow packed up and left a few days early and I noticed that the boob was still hating on me.  Again, I reached for Google, my own imaginary doctor that listens to all my diagnosis of myself and agrees with me.  I had cancer, I just knew it.  It’s funny how I didn’t picture cancer and all the fear that comes with it.  Instead, I pictured the huge breasts that insurance would pay for after I would force a mastectomy.  Yeah, I am that shallow.

Days later, the pain got so intense that I started missing work and would spend most of the day crying in pain.  I tried to call my doctor finally but she was out of town and the office told me to go to the local urgency room.  I did that and was informed after 5 seconds of boob prodding that I had mastitis, an infection of the breast.  Larry would later refer to it as “Titt Rot”.  I was prescribed Percocet for the pain and Bactrim and Chlindamycin for the infection.  I took the meds for a week before my doc made it back this past Monday.

On Monday I went in to my doctor and she said that she did not feel that I had an infection because I was minus some of the symptoms.  She ordered blood work and more tests after she found that I had a lot of swelling in the lymph nodes of my arm pit.  The blood work was first to come back and it showed that my white blood count was normal and so they thought that I could have the “C” word.

Yesterday, I went in for a mammogram and breast ultrasound.  The main purpose of this is to tell you girls what a mammogram is really like.  I had always heard terrible things, so I thought I would share my side.

When I arrived I was taken back to a dressing room and was asked to remove my shirt and bra.  Boys, if you are reading this… put your penis away.  Trust me when I say that this is NOT a sexy story.  Anywho, I was handed what I like to think of as the Batman cape, if it were made for a midget (vertically challenged individual).  I’m a VERY modest girl so I asked the tech if I could have some type of cover-up and she refused and said that I wouldn’t need it.  About ten minutes later she came back for me and told me to pick up my purse and carry it with me but to leave my clothes.  I freaked out again and she told me that I would be fine.  She then proceeded to tell me that my breasts wouldn’t be memorable for her.  The bitch insulted me and she hadn’t even seen them yet.  How did she know that my boobies weren’t something your mind couldn’t ever erase?  I walked un-quickly behind her down the hall, trying to prevent the jiggling of my back boobs and love handles and the view of my lower back tattoo.  Don’t say it, I already know.

I make it to the room and she tells me to put my purse down on the chair and to step up to the machine and remove my cape.  I was having fun pretending to be midget Batman and was not prepared for her to reach up and remove the cape on her own.  Okay boys, if you have made it this far… “And the cape gently caressed my shoulders as it fell to the floor in a heap.”  That’s for you.

My hands instantly jump up in an attempt to cover my boobs.  The tech shook her head and threw some more insults about how insignificant my breasts would be at the end of the day.  Like that is supposed to make me feel better!  I want to see jealousy in your eyes, Witch!  No jealousy from her.  She man-handled and manipulated me into that  damn machine and that is when the boob smooshing commenced.

I’ve heard people talk of the pain of a mammogram and I must say that if my tittlet (what I call my small boobs) wasn’t hurting like hell already, I may have liked the experience.  It’s like a man that knows what he is doing.  Lol.  The machine starts gentle at first and by the end of it, you feel like your boob is going to explode like a can of Cheese Wiz that’s thrown in a fire.  I really don’t think it would have been that bad if I hadn’t already been broken.  I vomited.  I wish the tech would have called me first.  I was boob raped.

I have my sense of humor about me because after the mammogram and ultrasound I was told that there was no cancer found and no “gross abnormalities”.  When I asked what “gross abnormalities” were she just told me that something was found but my doctor would discuss it with me.  I haven’t heard yet so don’t ask.  I was also told that I have Fibrocystic Breast Disease.  It amazes me that my non-existent hooters could pose such a problem.  The way my mind works, Rush Limbaugh would have a greater chance of boob disease than me.

So, I’m cancer free and curious why I am more inclined to cover my boobs when a female technician does a mammogram but when a male does a cooter check, I am ready and willing.  Humm.  I guess my boobs don’t have the built end defense mechanism of resembling the Predator so I am more willing to protect them.

I’m a Terrible Mother

This morning my middle child was a holy terror.  When I went to wake him up he was already laying in his bed awake but he pretended to be sleeping.  Sign #1- Paris is not up and asking for food or terrorizing the pets, he is trying to ignore me.

I went and got socks from the laundry room and trotted back to the boys’ room and held out two pair of socks.  One was plain black and the other was a pair of print covered Sketchers.  Paris reached out and grabbed the black ones to my surprise.  Sign #2- Paris didn’t pick the socks that were the “better” of the socks so he could rub it in Bristol’s face.

I walked out and went to do my make-up and it was only a few moments before I heard some shuffling around and Bristol was crying.  I waited and when he didn’t stop, I walked into their room to see what was happening.  Bristol was laying on the floor against the wall crying, “Paris took my socks.”  I told Paris that he couldn’t take the socks after he had already chose the black pair.  Paris got throughly pissed and then started crying after a “Daddy” plea.  Sign #3- Paris only calls for “Daddy” when he’s really mad at me.

Paris throws himself in a heap on the living room couch in complete darkness and continues to cry for 15 minutes.  I am at my wits end from the constant crying all morning and to try and make light of the situation, I jokingly tell Paris that he is being a “Crybaby”.  Water works get worse and while choking back sobs he says, “My counselor says it’s not right to call someone names.”  I say, “Paris, I was just playing with you.  Wait, when did you get a counselor?”  More crying.  Sign #4- My kid threatens me with a counselor.  He’s 6!!

I take the boys to daycare and they walk into the room, remove their coats and shoes just like normal.  I yell back at them, “Love you guys.” and Paris completely ignores me.  Sign #5- Paris is THE most loving child you could ever imagine.  When he doesn’t hug and kiss me and tell me good-bye, there is a HUGE issue.

I drive to work, basically already forgetting the hell that was my morning when an email arrives from Paris’s teacher.

” Hi.  I am sure Paris told you what happened at school yesterday. Another student in our room has been picking on him and harassing him about kissing and having sex with first grade girls. Yesterday, he told Paris he was gay and that Paris wanted to make out with me. I had someone cover my room and took the other student to the office. He is in big trouble and in ISS today. I will not allow him in my room treating my students this way. Paris is not the only one he is picking on. I wanted to touch base with you so that you know that I know and that I am doing something about it. Poor Paris said “I only kiss my mom and that is just to say hi and goodnight and I love you”. He talked with me about what has been going on and I told him to ALWAYS tell me when people say stuff like this and that it is not tattling.”

Here’s your sign dummy.

My child was in terrible pain and mentally exhausted and I was a complete and total asshat to him.  As I read that email, tears streamed down my face and I felt ashamed.  Paris has dealt with this whole “gay” issue since Kindergarten, so much so that I have written previous blogs about it (you can find them on here somewhere).  What’s so scary is the fact that this happened and Paris didn’t tell me.  The kid tells me everything.  I know when he takes a big poop, when my butt looks big, when I am looking too sexy and when his dad takes a poop.  I’ve known about every tear he shed while hiding it by looking out the bus window and about every terrible thing his dad has told him about “gays”.  I’ve been in on the secret when he pulls a page of Justin Beiber out of a magazine and wads it up in his pocket so he has it.  Why was I left out of this?

I’ve fought an incredible need to go to the school and ride in on a white horse and rescue him.  Problem is, I don’t know that I can lift my chubby leg high enough to get it in the stirrups, let alone swing my body up and over.  I picture myself galloping towards him with my arm flaps flying and my gelatinous belly bouncing into my face.  I refrain from using the white horse images and try and convince myself that I can talk to him tonight.

Just exactly what do I say?  I’ve told him a million times that people are cruel, that he has to turn his head and ignore it.  I’ve encouraged him that I would love him no matter how he is.  I’ve tried to make it clear that I am always behind him.  Is this the sign that my baby is growing up or that I am a huge f-up.

To be determined.

 

51 and Counting

March 10th, 1969 a historical verdict was decided in the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King.  Yesterday something happened that made me come up with my own verdict for March 10th, 2011 and that is…

Guilty.  Kansas City is guilty.  This includes and is not limited to: county and city officials, Dr. Steckelberg, past and present Halfway Home staff and volunteers and the citizens of Kansas City.  Why does it take a year and one VERY brave person to start a process of change when we all saw the wrong doings?  If things were so terrible, why did it take this long for us to do something?  Did you notice the dates on some of the documents and complaints?  These aren’t “isolated” events.

Today, The Pitch revised the PDF document and changed it from 11 pages to 82 pages so it contains what I assume is all of the documentation received in regards to this case.  You can find the documents here http://media.pitch.com/6074175.0.PDF .  It’s not light reading but it’s something that you must read if you think you can voice opinions on the matter.  Yes, a change is finally happening but why does it take that many complaints and a final straw to break the camel’s back?  Shouldn’t someone have been watching over that camel before it stumbled and finally toppled over?

While I do not agree with how Halfway Home was operated, I can and will not place the blame on any single person.  Dr. Steckelberg made huge and terrible mistakes on how HWH was operated but do you think one person can screw up that hugely all on their own?  No.  You want to talk about ethics?  You want to call Steck our on “ethics” violations?  What about moral code that we all should answer to?  Are we overlooking that?

You know what you don’t see on the list of exhibits and emails on that 82 page document?  You don’t see my name.  Me, Darath Smith, who was what I would consider to be a pretty active volunteer.  I wasn’t always visible to the eye but I was around behind the scenes, doing all I could to help.  Coordinating, rescuing, adopting, begging and pleading along with countless other volunteers that most of you wouldn’t even recognize if they were standing there in your face.  I know because it happened to me a million times.  Do you have any idea how many people, how many volunteers were out there for Halfway Home?  Do you know how many of us spent sleepless nights worrying over a “Critical List” which isn’t a damn “Critical List”, it’s a “You are F**KED” list?  Do you stop and think about how many of us experienced relationship problems because we would spend an entire dinner on our cell phone or skip nights out because we were trying to not let pets lose their lives?  Volunteers would spend hundreds, even thousands of dollars on saving just one dog.  That is how much dedication and love went into every single dog there.  We consoled the dying, we made those last walks, we shed those tears.  We, the volunteers… the now banned.

A monkey could take over Halfway Home or whatever in the hell it will be called now.  It’s won’t change with one person.  It will take all of us to make sure that Kansas City’s animals are cared for in the proper manner.  It will take KC’s media giving us segments showing animals in need.  We shouldn’t have to scream to be heard over the Top Story of a tornado in Oklahoma.  We shouldn’t have to wave our arms to flag down our media and notify them of problems that aren’t being resolved.  Don’t they have investigative reporters for that?  We shouldn’t have to flag down staff at the shelter and continuously remind them of a dog that is laying in a pool of blood in their cage.  Do you think one vet can handle the needs of hundreds of animals a day?  As a resident of Kansas City, shouldn’t you know what happens with your tax dollars and donations?

So, in closing for today I want to say a “thank you” and give a pat on the back to those STAFF and VOLUNTEERS and every day people that have done right.  We all make mistakes and the reason we do is so that we can learn from them.  Not everyone involved in this is bad, maybe no one really is.  Who really knows?  We can all do good things and we all have the capability of making an impact, a LASTING and GOOD impact in those lives around us.  For those staff that were made to resign or have lost their jobs for using their voice, I salute you soldier.  You’ve made us proud and you’ve fought the good fight.

To Halfway Home Pet Adoptions and Dr. Steckelberg:  Let the volunteers back in.  We shouldn’t have to fill out new applications and wait for what could be an eternity for a call back.  Some of us have been there even longer than you, so shouldn’t we have seniority or something like that?

To Kansas City’s City Council:  Enforce the rights of the volunteers.  Show us the courtesy that we have so faithfully shown Halfway Home’s current and past residents.  Let us back in.

To Kansas City:  Hear our pleas, listen to us for we will no longer be bound and gagged.  Contact the city council and let them know you have our back.  We’ve had yours and we’ve cleaned up your messes.  You can reach members via email at:

Deletta Dean: deletta_dean@kcmo.org
David Park: david_park@kcmo.org
Cindy Circo: cindy_circo@kcmo.org
Troy Shulte: acting city manager manager@kcmo.org
Mayor Mark Funkhouser: mark_funkhouser@kcmo.org

Help us, help those with no voices.  Some of us made promises to lonely, little creatures that we would be there to stroke their fur and hold their paw.  Some of us want to keep those promises while we have a chance.  Time is never on our side.

52 Days… What Will Happen?

52 days…  I keep telling myself that we just really have to worry for 52 more days.  Can the 53rd day be a new beginning?  Do we get to wipe the slate clean and start anew?  Can we forget the past years and will we be forgiven our trespasses and our mistakes?  The real answer is no.  There is no forgiveness for what has occurred and we can’t get back the time and the countless lives we have lost.  This story is still developing but here is what I do know.

Today while I was at work, I received an instant message from a fellow volunteer for Halfway Home Pet Adoptions (further referred to as HWH).  Her message was distraught and said that a volunteer showed up to walk the dogs today and she was turned away and advised that HWH would no longer be utilizing volunteers for walking the dogs and she needed to return home.  I couldn’t believe what she was saying but moments later, my email, Facebook account and cell phone were inundated with frantic messages.  Us volunteers, we were being turned away from donating our time to make a difference?  Our help that we offer so freely was being rejected?  Soon, there was an “official statement” from HWH which states:

 

Then what followed was an article that the Kansas City Star published today.  You can read that article at http://www.kansascity.com/2011/03/09/2711223/kc-seeks-change-at-animal-shelter.html and I definitely recommend that you do so you know what the hell I am talking about.  Once that article hit, it was on Facebook posts everywhere with messages such as ” Ding, dong, the witch is dead. Woo hoo! Finally!”, “I am loving this news :o)”, “Steck has always been the “nightmare” vet.”, “EXCITING NEWS! The future looks positive for Halfway Home!” and countless other posts.  You know what we didn’t hear?  “Steckelberg is being wrongfully accused.” or “Halfway Home is a wonderful place that gives dogs respectable treatment.” or even a “This is terrible news.”  No one is willing to step in and defend Dr. Richard Wayne Stekelberg or how he has run Halfway Home Pet Adoptions.

Later in the day an article by The Pitch was uploaded and started circulating Facebook and another frenzy began.  You can read this article at http://blogs.pitch.com/plog/2011/03/animal_shelter.php#more.  This was very well written and gave many details that were left out of the Kansas City Star’s article.  What’s more, The Pitch gave a link to the actual complaint filed by James C. Bowers, Attorney at Law on January 18th, 2011 which was addressed to Councilwoman Cindy Circo.  I will warn you that this report is very disturbing and can be difficult to read and will be impossible to forget.  The document can be found at http://media.pitch.com/6074180.0.pdf .

After reading (and you better have) the information provided on those three web pages I hope that you can better understand the situation that all of Kansas City, Missouri finds themselves involved in.  It’s your responsibility to know what is happening in your city and what happens with your tax money.  Learn the demise of great animals that just weren’t cared for in the capacity that should be available to them, especially from a veterinarian.  Especially from a veterinarian that RUNS a facility where a cruel death happens.  You need to know what could possibly happen to your precious “Bingo” or cuddly “Lucky” if left in the hands of a high-kill shelter with management that acts as if they could care less about the welfare of your family (because we all know that’s what pets really are).  It’s went on this long because KANSAS CITY did nothing.  Thankfully, a handful of people risked it all to attempt to make a difference and I hope to hell that they can.  A battle has been won, some troops have retreated but the General on the other side has yet to wave his white flag and admit defeat.  There is still a long war ahead of us and it will take many men to win it.  Unfortunately, lives will still be lost in the process.

52 days… do you think we can unsee what has been seen?  I know that I personally can not forget.  I started in this late in the game and have only been actively volunteering at Halfway Home since January of 2010.  It all started with a little pitbull named “Ginseng”.  A dog that I saw posted as “Out of Time” on a radio personalities Facebook page.  The same dog that made me lose my sanity in this world of animal rescue.  See, I took little Ginseng home that day and saved her life.  I nursed her through terrible kennel cough that made me think at times that I would lose her.  Days turned into weeks of listening to coughing all night and numerous trips to CVS to buy Sugar-free Robitussin  to help ease her through.  Have you ever cleaned up weeks and weeks of snot from your floors, clothes, furniture and children’s faces?  While I know that kennel cough can’t fully be prevented, I do know that she should have been treated before she was so ill.

When I first tried to volunteer at HWH, it was completely overwhelming.  It was really hard to convince myself that I could step foot in the shelter when I knew what my response was to the death of animals in cartoons was.  You cried when Harry died in Armageddon?  Well, I just about die when I watch Balto.  A freaking Disney movie.  That first day at the shelter was rough.  No one was really around to show me the ropes and a few people tried to help me but basically I roamed around like a hippie at Woodstock.  Dazed and confused and with a major high from all the fumes I’d been taking in all day.  The smell was atrocious, the thing that nightmares are made on.  If I were to describe it, I would have to say it’s urine, feces, wet dog, blood, death and despair without the slightest hint of cleaning solvents.  Just from standing in the doorway, I begged to be bathed in hand sanitizer but all of my attempts at using the little dispensers were epic fails because they were all empty.  How can you prevent disease if you don’t have readily available sanitizer?  Why do you have to hunt down a little bottle haphazardly balanced on a counter when there are dispensers mounted all around?  In over a year, I never once found anything in those dispensers and like an idiot, I still tried.

The dogs were kept in cages, sometimes 2 to a cage, their own personal hell.  Cages void of necessities like food and water or a comforting blanket or dog bed but most cages all had an overabundance of feces, urine, vomit or blood.  Isn’t that a little backwards?  A walk down the aisles would find dogs so sick they couldn’t even get up and out of their own stool, cages that clearly had a furry little creature in it but no sign of a water bowl and heads that would slowly raise just a few inches, waiting to see if food might come from me.

Over that year, I watched how staff dealt with people turning over dogs or with potential adopters.  People were treated like idiots or even worse, ignored.  I would watch someone struggling with signing over their dog, people that would just take a little encouragement and education to keep their pets.  People needed resources that they were not provided with, ever.  The front desk was a nightmare with lines through the office and slow service.  Why were there not separate places for specific issues?  Licensing, here.  Adoptions, here.  Vet assistance, here.

Here are excerpts from some emails or messages that I received in regards to HWH:

“They did. I adopted a black lab. Would have taken two but they wouldnt let me. Honestly, I will never deal with that facility again. Noone had any idea who I was when I came in( I had spoken with Natasha, and you, as well as another lady on the phone). I really felt it to be very disorganized, and quite frankly the coordinator was rude as all get out. She at one point told me I couldnt adopt without a fenced in yard..I informed her that is ridiculous on 22 acres. Although our acreage is fenced, they could get out if they wanted to. I had to make 2 different trips down there, for a total of 240 miles for me to spend 135 to get a dog that other people on craigslist were begging me to take in.And deliver to me free of charge. For a place that spent time on the news channels the day before, they sure are a pain to deal with. THey made me promise they yard would be fenced, and purchase a microchip. I honestly would not have adopted if my two young kids were not with me. I adopted another dog from a lady in Brookside, she delivered her to me, and strangely enough, this dog came from Halfway Home as well a couple years ago. She had a bad experience as well and said she wouldnt go back either. Well enough is enough, time to bury the hatchet, just frustrated because I thought I was helping out and was basically talked down to, and was made quite clear they didnt care if I was there or not. On the flipside, the neutering and meds and such I felt to be very economical and wish that more people would participate instead of charging astronomical amounts of money to do the same service. That would probably help with more people spaying and neutering their pets. My brother paid over 300 bucks for the same service I just got 135 for. I dont believe his were even microchipped. THanks alot for all your help, and sorry I cannot give you positive feedback.”

“I have been watching the HH from afar for about six months but the other day I had an issue with a found dog that pushed me over the edge. I hope it will bring some light to the problems and start some change.”

“he got a dog from HHPA some time ago and the dog had parvo and a lot of other medical problems that he was not told about at HHPA and it almost died as a result. He said that now his dog has existing medical problems because of the diseases that were not properly treated at HHPA.”

There are so many “stories” out there and it’s your responsibility to decipher what is provided to you and determine what your response will be.  Will you even do anything?  Can you sit back like I did and hold secrets close to your heart for fear that you could be prevented from helping?  Will you turn your head and shield your eyes from the pain that countless volunteers have witnessed every single day spent with Kansas City’s forgotten “Death Row”?  These dogs are here because of us, we breed them, abuse and neglect them.  We are at fault, not them.

I’ve learned a bunch this past year.  I’ve met amazing people, found every day heroes hiding in poop covered clothes,  wept tears for all those that we have lost and found out who I am in the process.  I know that I get attached too easily, I do not fear those that I am told to,  I don’t believe in breed legislation, I will never buy an animal from a pet store, I won’t give up until it’s over, I fight to the very end and that I can not wait until certain people have to cross that Rainbow Bridge to get into heaven.  I love to sit on a big rock at the end of a long driveway with a pooch in my lap, watching cars go by.  My dog looks at me very weird when I come home smelling like I had an affair and I strip my clothes off in the hall and throw them in the washer before he even realizes what I did.  My heart hurts and I cry most of the way home after every single trip to the shelter.

I also learned that R. Wayne Steckelberg is a mythical creature that doesn’t exist, for in over a year I only saw him one time so it could have been an apparition.  Maybe for St. Patrick’s Day we should all hunt the Steckelberg instead of the little green guy that has gold.  You’d think that someone that manages a facility would be seen more than one time in a year.  Just sayin’.  Maybe Steck should stick with his bar venture.  I hear The End Zone (name drop) is a happening place.  I wish I had friends that got me liquor licenses.  (http://www.gladstone.mo.us/City_Government/minutes/2008/032408.htm)

52 days?  Well, some great volunteers and a few good HWH staff taught me that in 52 days it will take a ton of work and deliberation but on that 53rd day, we can rejoice and revel in victory because while we may be small in numbers we are big in heart.