Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Maple is back w/us. Her adoption fell through b/c she & her new dog brother had a personality clash. :( She's here w/my dogs awaiting a second 2nd chance.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

In time, people forget.

"And, as they always do, in time people forgot, though forgetting is an elective process." -Josephine Hart, 'The Truth About Love'

I am struck by the meaning of this sentence. "In - time - people - forgot." The weight behind these words is especially apparent when I think about loss and grief. No matter how earth-shattering, how cataclysmic an event in one's life, eventually, and quite often too soon, everyone surrounding us seems to forget. People move on, go about their normal lives, while we - the afflicted (and, we all are the afflicted at some point in our lives) - are stopped in time.

"Cataclysm" is defined as "a momentous and violent event marked by overwhelming upheaval and demolition," or more broadly, "an event that brings great changes." Overwhelming upheaval and demolition...I'm left feeling like we ("the afflicted") are razed buildings, torn down and forced to attempt to rebuild ourselves from the ground up. This is exhausting. Sometimes, we don't have the right tools. Sometimes, we don't have enough workers for the job. So, we are left broken down, half constructed, insulation poking through the cracks.

Sometimes, it's tempting to think that maybe forgetting IS an elective process, though I'm not sure I agree with this. I try to distract myself from certain things, go on living my life, occupy myself with other thoughts, activities, concerns, but still, underneath, I can't forget. There is a raw part that rises up, sometimes when I least expect it...a sneak attack of longing and grief. Things should have been so different. That's the part I wish I could electively forget.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Going Home

In the morning, my son & I will take Maple for what will hopefully be her last transport to anywhere. This time, I want to assure her, you are going to your forever home. This time, your family will love you, treat you well, never leave you shivering and crying in the cold rain, never abandon you to hunger, fleas, and misery. This time, Maple, humans will not let you down.

It stings to know that tomorrow, I will let Maple go, no longer her caretaker. I'll miss her. She has a wonderful new family waiting for her, which brings joy to my heart, though still, the bittersweet pang remains. I hope I have touched Maple's life half as much as she has touched mine.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Tomorrow, I'll take Maple on a 3-hour car ride to meet her potential adoptive family. I think they'll love her. I hope she won't feel abandoned when we leave.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Taking Root

As promised, an update on Maple... :)

Maple is doing wonderfully! She is great with kids, other dogs, and doesn't pay much attention to our cat. I've been feeding her Organix puppy food, even though she's approximately 2.5 years old, to help her recover from being malnourished and overbred at too young an age. Her fur is growing in nicely and her coat is shiny and gleaming! She has also put on some weight, so her ribs are no longer as pronounced. Her spay site has healed perfectly, and her ear (the site of hematoma surgery) is slowly, but surely, getting there.

Two prospective families have sent in adoption applications to the rescue agency. Both families sound great, so we'll see where the meet-and-greets take us. Maple is a playful, affectionate, sweet girl who would make a great addition to any lucky family. :) I am glad she's doing so well. She has been a joy to foster.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

I've been busy fostering Miss Maple, who is doing great & has an adoption interview coming up. A longer entry & updated pics to follow soon...

Friday, October 2, 2009

I wonder if she knows.

Not my words, but those of Maple's initial rescuer:

"So, it's pouring/thundering/lightning outside, and right now, Maple is sleeping on my bed, snoring loudly.

If we had never intervened, she'd be outside in a mud puddle right now with no shelter, with the rain seeping into her open sores.

I wonder if she knows."

So much said in those few sentences, I felt compelled to share. The e-mail made my eyes fill with tears, not only for Maple - who has finally been saved from a hellish existence - but for the multitudes of other neglected and abused dogs that are out there tonight, shivering in the rain, scared, cold, lonely, bodies and hearts aching. I wish each and every one of them could know warmth, security, safety, and love.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Our time on stage is so brief

"Our time on stage is so brief." -Ruth Kirk, writer.

Just watched an elderly Kirk say this on a Channel 11 special on frontierspeople of the American west. She seemed close to tears. It made me wonder who she was addressing: the young or herself.

Our time *is* so brief. There are some people in particular in my life who I wish would realize this. They treat time like it's everlasting, but as I see it, so many memories are passing us by.

Phoenix, rising

Take a look at this photo and consider this: this is the best this dog has ever known. Despite being post-surgery, wrapped in thick bandages, and stuck in a recovery cage at the vet's office, this day is far preferable than almost any day in Midnight's past.

The hematoma in Midnight's ear was so severe that she required surgery. The ear you see poking out from the bandages is her good ear. In addition to ear surgery, she was also spayed on Monday. Midnight can't tell us if her hematoma was caused by repeated head shaking due to ear infections, or physical trauma. As far as I have heard, her ears aren't infected, leaving one to surmise that the people who tied her to a jump rope are responsible for more than animal neglect. :(

On a happier note, Catherine (the animal rescue queen :)) and I have given Midnight a new name: Maple. Maple trees are strong and beautiful and especially noticeable in the Fall. Thankfully, so was Midnight/Maple. :)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Hope Springs Eternal

Midnight has been rescued! The animal rescuer reports that she is a sweet, affectionate dog (despite what she's been through!) who is starved for attention, and is basking in the joys of being petted and cared for. She is skinny and starving and has a severe case of fleas (being treated with medication). The rescuer noted that her hands were almost black after petting Midnight, she was so filthy and neglected. :( So, today begins Midnight's new life, already leagues better than the one she left. I wish her a happy future of walks, a full tummy, scratches behind the ears, favorite toys, and kind caretakers.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Midnight, alone.

Tonight, like who knows how many nights before this one, there is a hungry, neglected dog in an Indiana backyard, tied up with a child's jump rope, without food, or water, without a warm bed, a friendly pat on the head, without love. A smallish black pit mix, the rescue group trying to save her is calling her "Midnight." I'm guessing her "family" hasn't even given her the honor of a name themselves.

As the rescue group wrestles with the legalities of how to rescue Midnight, I wonder - how do the people in that house sleep at night? There is a dog suffering only feet from their beds. She has fleas, gnats swarming, fur falling out...a hematoma in one ear...broken teeth from chewing on who knows what (a fence to try to escape? rocks because she was starving?). The people in the house "want her gone by this weekend." The rescuer said the family has several small children.

I look at my dogs curled up warm and snug, tummies full of water and kibble, and cry to think that any dog suffers like Midnight. I look at my 4-year old son curled up warm and snug, tummy full of last night's dinner, and cringe to think that any family could teach their children to disrespect animals in such a profoundly cruel way.

I can't get Midnight out of my thoughts. I hope she knows there are souls out there caring about her tonight.


Welcome to my blog, "Nothing Less Than Everything." My title was inspired by lyrics to a Sugarland song, which has been stuck in my head (in a good way!) for days now. I've had enough so-so for the rest of my life...and, I, too, don't want to settle for anything less than everything.

"Settlin'" lyrics by Sugarland

Fifteen minutes left to throw me together
For mister right now, not mister forever
Don't know why I even try when I know how it ends
Looking like another "maybe we could be friends"
I've been leaving it up to fate
It's my life so it's mine to make

I ain't settling for just getting by
I've had enough so so for the rest of my life
Tired of shooting too low, so raise the bar high
Just enough ain't enough this time
I ain't settling for anything less than everything, yeah

With some good red wine and my brand new shoes
Gonna dance a blue streak around my living room
Take a chance on love and try how it feels
With my heart wide open yeah you know I will
Find what it means to be the girl
Change her mind and change her world

I ain't settling for just getting by
I've had enough so so for the rest of my life
Tired of shooting too low, so raise the bar high
Just enough ain't enough this time
I ain't settling for anything less than everything

I ain't settling for just getting by
I've had enough so so for the rest of my life
Tired of shooting too low, so raise the bar high
Just enough ain't enough this time

I ain't settling for just getting by
I've had enough so so for the rest of my life
Tired of shooting too low, so raise the bar high
I ain't settling no, no, no, no, no, no, ohhh

So raise the bar high