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What's your dogs name?????

Whats in a name? This the question I often ask myself as one dog after another pass through my home and life.  I do not give the dogs there name but ofter will change the dogs name to something I like. As time has passed I have learned with my kids that giving my dogs a name I like does not mean that they will know how to pronounce it and say it with out killing it. My dogs came by their names in many ways but to cut down on all the bla bla bla I will stick to the ones that often get slaughtered, Cabot was picked up from the shelter an hour or so before he was to be put down. As I road home with this scared little guy in my lap his grey crest, black ears and these two evenly match streaks of tan on either side of his mouth, giving him the look of side burns, reminded me of an old actor named Sebastian Cabot.  The more I looked at him the more he reminded me of the actor. Two hours in the car and I thought, Cabot, was a fitting name for him and that was his new name.  Now the kids think they hear me say cabbage. So the girls call him Cabbage. In times of hyper drama that teenage girls often experience and express the name then become Cab Bitch, They can slaughter most words and I never know what the hell they are talking about fart, f u c k, often one and the same. Taxes, Texas and so on. These mix ups can cause total chaos depending on the mood, conversation or question at that time.  So as every dog comes here the girls often have problems with names.  Buster is called Bastard. Gideon is idiot, and the worst part is the dogs come to these names. What the hell they can understand slaughtered English better than me. The new dog Blade came and they were having the worst time, so I looked at the first girl and said "can you say Oscar"?  She pronounce it fairly well and I looked at the second girl and said "can you say Oscar"?  Not bad, then the third girl was ask to do the same. Good! I now pronounce you Oscar for no other reason than every one in the house can say itI don't necessarily even like the name.


How do we know about death?

This week my 85 year old Uncle passed away. The girls went to the funeral, can we all say new experience, I did not think they could ask so many questions. The first question that started the trip out to the funeral parlor "Mom who do we call if you die"?  911  "What do I say"? My mom died and the address. "What do I do with you"?  Plant me in the back yard with the dogs, but I am sure the EMT will take me." How do we take you to the big house"?  You don't they do. "How do they know"?  Those were before we left the drive way. By the time we got there I had to tell them who everyone was and how they were related to me.  The girls have met many of the extended family but they only remember one. My Aunt Bonnie who has to stand tall to measure 4'9. My youngest is just taken by the fact she is old and shorter than her. She says she is the only one in America that is shorter than her. Now by the time I explain every relative and how they are related then connect the dots to make them see the whole picture, I am ready for a nap. Now the question of why the body does not stink? Do they burn or bury? It was a military funeral because he fought in the Koren war. So I had to explain all the traditional ceremonial things involved in a military funeral and the guns being shot into the air. One girl was shocked that we shot rifles at funeral and will they shoot people. What was inside the flag? One of them thought the body's ashes where in it. NO it is folded that way and given to the family. The body will go into the ground. Now I am not sure how I should talk about these kinds of things as I have never had to explain the ceremony surrounding the death of a human in America. I don't even remember it being explained to me. I just know it. But at some point I lean toward humor and sarcasm to get through it. But at the Wake one of the relatives has a seizure and the room erupts into a structured chaos. Phones are pulled out and others are yanking tables and chairs out of the way a nurse amongst us  goes into action. As the EMT are taking her to the hospital my girls are stunned as they have never witnessed this sort of thing and I am having a hard time explaining that it is not life threatening and it just looks bad to see someone have one. Now we are all worried about my Mom as she is the oldest Matriarch in the family and it was her brother that passed. It was a very long day and I have not recovered completely from it. Now I have to plan Easter, and then write down every family member and phone number so my kids can know who they should call when I die. It sort of feels like I am planning my own long sleep. The things we never think of but must.        


Are you committed?

My Archie who is 17 and is not sick just extremely old. I thought he would pass by Christmas and here it is almost April and he is still going. I am happy that I have had such an unimaginable length of time with him.  He was a rescue dog and my first Chinese Crested. He was sent to rescue as his owner did not want him anymore. The family was moving and did not want to take him, he was a marker but I see old age took that out of him. Archie looks ghastly his body is racked with arthritis and yet he is not sick. His body is deteriorating and he cannot move his tail it is permanently cured under him and he pee’s and poo’s on it. He does still have control of his body function as he will get up and go into the corner or away from his bed and relieve himself.  Then when he goes back to bed it is then smeared all over his bed and cloths. He loves to eat but never puts on any weight. He has no muscle tone his skin is just stretched over bones.  I have to watch him eat as the other dogs will take his food.  He eats slowly now, he still has teeth but I don’t think he uses them because I can actually see the kibble moving down his throat. It’s one kibble at a time moving along with another right behind it.  It does bother me to see it because it is so strange to watch food moving through the dog’s neck. I feel so blessed that I have been given all this time with him.  He is making messes all over the living room and cleanup is all day long. I feel as if this must be what it is like to take care of a bed ridden person, except he can still get around and does.  He has one eye and it is now blind and his hearing is pretty much gone.  He wakes up and barks now because he does not know if anyone is at home.  All it takes is one of us to go touch him and he stops and goes back to sleep or gets up and walks around. He still wants human contact and I try not to pick him up too much as I don’t want to cause any undo pain. Everything I see in him tells me he wants to live. He stinks and I cannot keep him clean enough because the baths are getting more stressful for him.  Baby wipes can only do so much.  I am beside myself with the work that comes with having an aging dog, but this dog wants to live. He is a blessing and I want to use his life to show folks what it means to take the responsibility of a dog to the very end and that is the end the dog chooses, not us. Weekly I get the call or e-mail asking me to take the dog or dogs that are no long wanted, and young and old.  I have no idea what folks are thinking when they ask rescue to take there 13 year old dog because they don’t want it any more.  I am sure they are clearing there conscience because they dumped there problem on someone else and they do not have to deal with the dog anymore and putting it to sleep would somehow make them a horrid individual. I hope those folks do not have family members that feel the same. Because unlike a dog humans can linger for a very long time in a state of constant needs.  I do not point fingers but I will bring this out to light. To all those who think of dog as disposable, I am here to say they are not. You may think of me a sappy old dog lady but the only thing I can control in my life is my words and my commitments, I believe that when you take on a responsibility you must follow through to the end, I am using Archie to show that what may seem like the end is not always. He is not sick, does not take meds and has not seen the vet in over two years; he still does all the things he used to do just slower. He still has many teeth just chooses to swallow his food. He has always enjoyed licking his legs and the other dogs he still does this. He has always circled many times before he lays down he still does this. He loves food and gets fed any time he goes to the kitchen which just upset the other dogs to no end.  He knows this and makes many trips to the kitchen looking for a hand out.  He eats whatever he wants and because he can no longer can open the cupboards he cannot get to the garbage that he so enjoyed.  His counter surfing days are behind him and he still chases off any dog, except the puppy Gideon, which gets in front of the heat duck. Gideon and Archie have bonded and Gideon shows real concern for Archie; when Gideon is not at play he cuddles with Archie in front of the heat vent. I have no unrealistic control because I want my dog to live longer. I am a firm believer in not letting an animal suffer. If he showed signs of pain and unhappiness I would do the right thing by him. But he wants to live and shows me every day in every way that he is not ready for a long sleep. So be horrified by his looks and clumsiness but know this dog will live till he tells me otherwise.  I committed to take care of him till the end his end not the one I choose for him.  He is truly my blessing.


We can do it if we try.

Being in Rescue for a long time I have come to realize how many folks it takes to save one dog.  I think so many people just don't understand what is involved and the folks that do this work tirelessly. We all have a passion to do some thing and we all can get so involved with it  that we make each other nuts. But at the end of the day when we all pull together and save dogs it is worth all the stuff I deal with.  The front lines is a hard place to be. Bless the folks that go into these places and get the dogs and get them to safety. I personally find front line work to hard to do I can not sleep, it is one thing to know the bad stuff in the world but to witness it first hand and see the things these folks see is more than my soul can take. I have my strengths and weaknesses and front line I avoid so I am able to keep going. No one is a Saint. We all just need to look into our hearts and ask ourselves how we can give back to the world that we take from.  We will not all do the same things no one person can do it all and the smallest things done are just as important, it is all needed to bring humanity back. I personally speak from my work in dog rescue and fostering children. I can not sit on a phone and call hundreds of folks and paper work well I suck at that.  I am not organized and tend to procrastinate.  I have a potty mouth and I am sarcastic.  But what I am good at is I can drive across this country like I am going to the corner market. I can drop everything and jump in a car and go.  Now I do not do well with the sick dogs I have a very hard time nursing dogs. But I do well with the behavior issues. I know how to socialize a dog and work with fear issues. Not to say I can fix all of them but this is the area I am best at. All of this means that if I did not have the folks that can sit and monitor websites and work on them, organize and keep paper work straight, talk on the phone all day, working on getting dogs and coordinating foster homes getting dogs into rescue getting them vetted and to the homes that can help the dogs I could not do what I do. We need to be  marketing majors, pilots,drivers,nurses, vets, managers, photographers ,have people skills, politicians,phone work, working with other rescues and organization and coordinating it all, And most of all it is all volunteer. No one gets paid to do any of this. We do it to see dogs get a better way of life. Animals may not be everyone's passion but there is a big world out there and we all can do something. No matter how small it seems we need all of us to come together  to make humanity a  good thing and being human is a responsibility and not just a place in the food chain. It is not a birth right that we can take for granted. It a responsibility to make this world a better place. We need to leave the world a better place than when we entered it. Even if it is one animal,one child, one lost soul, or blade of grass.  Plant a tree, clear the snow for a neighbor, everything counts. But most of all we must all get a thick skin and realize that passion drives us in different directions and we need all of us to work together to get the job done. One missing piece and it brings it all to a screeching halt, Put your differences aside we are not all the same and personally what a boring place this would be if everyone was like me. Try to realize a better place we can have, for a few moments of biting our tongue learning how to work with others of different beliefs and passions. I encourage all to take a look inside themselves and find something good and do it. It is all needed.  I want to thank all the folks who have helped work together and make a difference in a few dogs lives and kids lives. You have put up with me and my faults worked tirelessly and may not here thank you's enough but know in your heart I need and appreciate all you do, To the friends around the world who support me and my endeavors you keep me going. To everyone who has touched my life Thank you because you have made me the person I am today.  My goal is to help and educate to make a dogs and child's life important and worth fighting for.