Monthly Archives: August 2012
I just published a new Examiner article about dogfighting and a recent victim. Please take a moment to check it out and to share it with your friends. I know it’s difficult but as long as we are numb to the sadness depicted, the longer these dogs will suffer. You can view the story at http://www.examiner.com/article/victim-of-dogfighting-south-carolina-loses-his-nose-but-finds-his-courage.
16 years ago today, I was sitting in a room at Liberty Hospital and in my arms was the very first child I ever held. Holding babies is pretty common for most and it’s rather unusual to go 17 years without ever holding one but that is exactly what happened to me. Babies scared the hell out of me and I always refused to hold them because I was so scared of how fragile they were. So, for 17 years I avoided them and then he came along. In my arms that day was the most beautiful baby boy I had ever seen and for the first time in my life, I fell in love. This wasn’t a type of love I had ever known; this was the most pure and never-ending love imaginable. This was the love between a mother and her child.
My life was never easy and becoming a mom at 17 years old isn’t what any teenager really wants to go through. While I was scared to death, this new little person made everything in my own life seem insignificant and unworthy. It was almost like I had never done anything at all. From the moment I met him on August 27th, 1996, my world changed. Adoption or abortion never crossed my mind and I prepared my life for the series of changes that were soon to come about.
16 years later, I reflect back on every sickness, every tear, the first crush and the first “break-up”. I think about when he was 1 1/2 and I always teased him and I would wave his diaper around after I took it off and I would shake his butt like he were dancing. Then I remember the repercussions in doing that and I can clearly see the day that he took the diaper off of himself and he went to shake it around and around, twirling it about while poop flew from it. Potty training him was a disaster and any time he had to go he would run and hide under a table. He’d sit there under the table right in front of me, red-faced and grunting one out. There was 1st grade when I was only allowed to refer to him as “Pokemon” and he wouldn’t let me call him by his name. For one whole year his name was Pokemon.
Oh, how my life changed. Now my little Pokemon is becoming a man. In a few years, he will be 18 and he will be setting off on his own. I sit and I wonder if I did right by him and if I always raised him the best way I could. When I see him and the person he has become, I can’t deny that there is something special in the boy. I know, I could not be more proud of him.
So, on your 16th birthday, Son, I want to tell you just how much I love you. You are the reason I wake up every day and the reason why I can’t wait for the next dawn to break. When you came along, my heart was fragile with bits and broken pieces but you were the glue that put it all back together. And you didn’t stop there, for the past 16 years you have filled my heart with love, hope and promise. I know that there are many mistakes that I have made as a mom and I can’t promise to always get it right. What I can promise you is that you will forever be my first true love. Thank you for giving me and my life purpose, joy and a special kind of love that only a parent can feel. I love you. Happy birthday.
Over the past few months, I have heard the words “You are so nice” so many times that now they are meaningless. Why? Because they have been linked to nothing but disappointment. It seems those words are the communication condom that’s put on just before someone screws you over. Me, I am gullible and so far this year I have fallen for those words more times than I can count and now I am walking around with a sore ass (if you catch my drift). Just how many times can someone be screwed?
For my entire life, I’ve felt like I owed everything to someone else. I’m not quite sure when this all came about and I’ve tried to psycho-analyze myself over and over again but I never can get the answer. I give and I give and then I break a little but then give more. How is it even possible? And why in the hell can’t I say “no” to anyone besides my kids when they ask for a toy or my boyfriend when he wants to make naughty-time?
I am a “people pleaser”. I will do just about anything to make someone happy, to get them to smile when they are sad or to help someone when they need it. What’s really dumb is the fact that I will sacrifice everything I have to make someone else happy but when it comes to what I need, I don’t listen and really don’t care. ” Oh, you forgot your lunch? I’ll share mine with you.”. Ask Larry (the boyfriend) and he will tell you that I am not into sharing anything, let alone my food. But with that being said, why would I do something that I know won’t make me happy, just to help someone else? Someone answer this!! Does this make me “fake”? I can hear Larry answering already.
I’ve gotten REALLY good at pissing off the boyfriend, all in my constant attempts to “do the right thing” or to save the world. I’ve had countless dogs stay over which is not tolerated by the Bowser (my crochety old mutt) and therefore, is not tolerated by the boyfriend. These dogs have deuced on top of running humidifiers, they have eaten the carpet off of our stairs, they’ve scratched up doors and that’s only the things that Larry actually KNOWS happened (I hope this is a blog he doesn’t read). Any time that a dog is in need and I bring them home, Bowser has to go on “lockdown” and he can never come in contact with the stranger. Do you know how difficult it is to quarantine and coordinate the wee schedules of 2 dogs, all while trying to maintain control over 3 children so they don’t let the dogs see or hear each other? So yes, our house has been on edge and I have had to buy my teenager lots of pillows because that always seems to be the first thing a new dog wants to eat. Again, I am placing something else above myself.
More recently, I was made aware of a homeless family who was going in to transitional housing and they were worried about what would happen to their dogs because they had no one to take them and the housing situation wouldn’t allow for them to stay with their family. They had contacted rescue groups and “no-kill” shelters for help and got nowhere. After making contact with someone who knows me, I found out about the situation and I tried for a week to find a temporary home so these dogs could be saved from the shelter and they could be returned back to their owner when the 90-day transition was up. When I couldn’t find anything, I offered to help cover the costs of boarding the dogs for the 90 days. The family promised to help pay and said that they would go see the dogs frequently and help with their care. I found a facility that would take the 2 senior dogs at a discounted rate and I made the arrangements for the homeless family. A few days from today, the 90 days is up… the family hasn’t contacted me one time since a day or so after the dogs were dropped off. Even worse than that, the family hasn’t paid a dime. I have covered it thus far and still am paying it. The family was at the facility earlier this month to visit the dogs and when the subject of the 90 days ending was brought up, the family looked stressed and they haven’t been seen since. So now what? What do I do? What does the boarding facility do? Again, my heart jumped before I could think things through and AGAIN I got myself into another pickle and another situation where I could be taken advantage of. And why would I do that for a family that I have never met and probably will never know? I wish I knew the answer to that one.
I’m sad and frustrated that the world is full of untrustworthy souls. I want so badly to be able to think that I can save the world… and maybe if people weren’t such asshats, there could be a chance of salvation. Maybe the world is as bad as it is because it’s easier to say “You are so nice” than to actually show someone that you care for them and appreciate them.
Okay, my ranting is done. It’s time to bend over and get ready for the next person that comes along. Does anyone have any Preparation-H or at the very least, lube?
This past week, I was again, reminded of how fragile my 12-year-old pooch is. While on vacation, we put Bowser in boarding at the vets. While we were gone, he threw a fit and destroyed his kennel. I really wonder if he even knows that I am coming back for him. It bothers me to think about that but really, do we honestly know what a dog thinks? After we got home, Bowser was completely exhausted and had spent the past 3 days just lying around. On Tuesday morning when I left for work, I went to give him a kiss “goodbye” and walked in to the living room and found him laying on the couch on a pile of pillows and a blanket with his head resting on the arm of the couch. I bent over to gently kiss the bridge of his nose and he never woke up. I walked out of the house thinking of my cuddle bug laying there on the couch and I longed to be beside him, choking on the 30 pounds of hair that he has flying around at any given time.
Yesterday, Bowser was asleep on the couch when I went to leave. Again, I leaned in to kiss him, I whispered words of love and then I left. When I got home that evening, Bowser was still quiet. To see if he would perk up, I drug out one of his fancy carrot cake dog bones and I handed it to him. He carried it away, waited until he thought I wasn’t looking and then he laid it down and covered it up with his foot. Now if you know Bowser, you know that he doesn’t miss any meals and that food is his tasty, tasty friend. He’s at least 30 pounds overweight and totally abused with food. When Bowser turned down a treat, I got worried. I reached in to the candy jar and dug out a vanilla Tootsie Roll and handed it to him. Again, he took the treat, looked at me and then tried to hide the candy. I got really worried and he must have sensed it because then he looked back up at me and he started to try to eat the Tootsie Roll. Immediately, I could see that he was struggling and was in obvious pain. I lifted his gums and opened his mouth and found that while he was gone in boarding, he broke one of his canines in half. To think of the pain he was in, well it just about killed me. Later that night, Bowser was laying on the floor with his mouth in between is paws, like he was putting pressure on his mouth because it hurt.
Times like this, I think of how more and more things with Bowser are difficult. He walks slower, his periods of play are shorter and his naps, longer. As much as I don’t want to come to terms with it, I know that we don’t have much time left. To think of my life without him in it is nearly impossible. As I write this, tears are filling my eyes and beginning to spill onto my cheeks at the thought that we only have a few years left, if we are fortunate. He’s 12 now and has lived a long and hopefully full and happy life. While I am not ready to give him up, I will know that he has experienced it all. He’s lived in different states, he’s raised my 3 kids, helped me through a divorce and nursed me through 3 miscarriages. Bowser knows more secrets about me than even I know. He is and always has been, my best friend. He survived a horrific car accident with me, lived through jumping through a closed window and has known what it’s like to be drugged for sanity purposes. Bowser has protected and watched over my home and my family but of all of the things that he has done, the one thing that stands out the most is that he has always been there for me. He’s always sensed just when I needed him and he has always been there to lend a paw to wipe a tear or he’s known when to make me laugh by scooting his ass across the carpet (we lovingly refer to this as him riding his scooter). He is better than any person I have ever known and has brought me as much joy as my children have.
I’m not quite sure how I will deal with this… the ending of such a great story of love, admiration, devotion and friendship. I know that we still have pages left to write but knowing I am nearing the final chapter leaves me lonely inside. I wish dogs could live forever. It’s too bad that they are so damn perfect that God has to call them home early.