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Archive for July, 2011

Going to the Dogs

       Until recently, I did not consider myself a DOG person. I’m a CAT person. I’m a CRITTER person (ferrets, guinea pigs, hamsters). Dogs are time-consuming, dependent, and needy. Ironically, two big beautiful German Shepherds named Sophie and Sonic live at our residence; however, my husband takes care of them.  

Comet

     Then an amazing thing happened in September of 2010. On the way to school one morning, Andrew and I stopped to rescue a little black dog who was dodging traffic. My intention was to get him out of harm’s way. I had just proclaimed to my family the week before that we would not be getting any more pets. Our ferret was terminally ill, and the vet bills were wreaking havoc on our budget. I explained to Andrew that we would not be keeping this little mutt. So, we drove back home and set him up in one of the big dog’s kennel with food and water and went off to school for the day. Barry went home during lunch to check on him. Of course, Barry thought he was cute. Barry is a DOG person. We had a family meeting later that evening to decide our course of action. Needless to say, my proclamation was ignored by all family members (including myself), and we kept him. Thus, my slow but steady conversion toward the canine race. Andrew named him Comet, and he is my furry sidekick. Yes, he is needy, time-consuming, dependent, and can be quite loud when he barks; however, he makes me happy. He is always happy to see me and showers me with lots of love and affection. Score points for the DOG!

     Two weeks ago, my husband found a female dog at a construction site. She was injured, and had recently given birth. My husband did not find any puppies, so the consensus is she was dumped when the puppies were old enough to be given away. The extent of the injuries indicated she had been hit by a car. Regardless, my husband could not leave her injured and all alone. Of course, I had to find a place to take her because we could not have another pet, especially one that would require extensive vet care. I soon made the heartbreaking discovery that our local shelter is a HIGH KILL shelter, and many animals are euthanized the same day they are brought to the shelter. Other shelters or humane societies would only accept strays if you lived in their parish, or their organization had a three month waiting list. I literally had no idea the plight for homeless dogs was this extensive. And, I wasn’t really given any solutions by the organizations I had contacted. It was frustrating.

Crystal

 My affirmation for that day was about “guidance.” I prayed for some guidance because I knew keeping this dog was not the answer.  Then, I had a thought. I called a local company that allowed a dog rescue group to visit once a month to hold a dog adoption. I called the company and they put me in touch with Vickie at Swampy Paws. I called her immediately and explained the situation. Vickie agreed to take her if we could foster her for two weeks. I agreed without hesitation. Andrew and I met Vickie at a vet’s office where she brings her rescue dogs. Vickie asked Andrew to name the dog, and he chose Crystal. Crystal had a shattered kneecap. Besides regular dog care, I would also be administering pain medication and antiobiotics. Our two weeks with Crystal went by very quickly. She is the sweetest dog and deserves a loving forever family. We brought Crystal to Vickie on Monday. Even though I know Vickie is a wonderful person and her rescue organization works hard to place dogs in a loving forever home, it was hard to walk away.

     Vickie called me today to let me know Crystal’s kneecap was shattered beyond repair, and she was having surgery to remove the leg. I know this expense will put a strain on Swampy Paws’ budget. I’m including a link for the Swampy Paws Rescue Organization for anyone who may want to make a donation to go towards Crystal’s surgery. I know this experience has opened my eyes to a big problem concerning the treatment of dogs. I’m not sure what role I will be playing in the future concerning solutions for this growing problem; however, I feel as if I will have a role. If anything, it has given me a new appreciation for the DOG and my heart has opened wider for them.

Andrew and Crystal

Andrew with our foster dog, Crystal.

 
 Here is some information about Swampy Paws. Vickie also writes a blog.
 
http://www.petfinder.com/shelters/LA266.html  (General information about Swampy Paws)
 
http://swampypaws.blogspot.com/  (Blog for Swampy Paws)
 
 
“To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring – it was peace.”  ~Milan Kundera
 

“Gratitude: that quality which the Canine Mongrel seldom lacks; which the Human Mongrel seldom possesses!”

~Lion P.S. Rees

 

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     Hola, my friends! Yesterday, I decided to learn how to make “easy” chicken enchiladas for my family’s dinner. Since I do NOT cook very often, this was going to be a feat of magnificent proportions. Clarification is necessary before I continue with my tale. I am NOT a terrible cook, I just choose NOT to cook. As a child, I spent little time in the kitchen with my mother. I never had a strong desire to learn how to cook. Before marrying Barry, I did forewarn him I would not be cooking on a regular basis. He enjoys cooking, so it has worked out quite nicely. Besides, when I do cook, Barry tends to offer some tidbit of criticism instead of just saying “thanks.” I admit, I take it personally. It irks me. Therefore, he is in charge of the spatula.

     Currently,  I am reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. As part of my happiness project, I want to learn new things. Learning new things helps you to grow. And, growth makes you happy.  Tuesday evening I read her section on marriage. One of her resolutions was “give proofs of love.” My inner lightbulb began glowing with what I thought was a brilliant idea. I could increase my happiness in two ways by completing ONE task. Efficient, right! By making enchiladas, I learn something new, and I give proof of love toward Barry. He had the evening off from kitchen duty.

     The recipe was easy, and did not require many ingredients. The chicken was boiled earlier in the day and shredded. The meal was put together in about 15 minutes, and baked for another 20 minutes. Barry arrived home a few minutes after the chicken enchiladas were removed from the oven. He didn’t say it; however, I think he was impressed. He enjoyed it. He did say he would have added more cheese on top…only because he likes lots of cheese. I smirked knowing he had to add a tidbit, but amazingly, I did not take it personally (trying to practice my Four Agreements). I was happy. I accomplished my task with satisfaction. Now, I confess my meal was not enjoyed by all in the family. Andrew ( aka picky eater) told me the enchiladas were not horrible, but they weren’t great either. He ate half of one, which surpassed my expectations.

     For those of you out there interested in recipes, I’ve included the link below. My tale is done, and I’m going to eat some leftover chicken enchiladas for lunch. Adiós!

http://www.kraftrecipes.com/recipes/easy-chicken-enchiladas-121713.aspx

 

“Get over the idea that only children should spend their time in study.  Be a student so long as you still have something to learn, and this will mean all your life.”  ~Henry L. Doherty

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