HelenSometimesHolly

As you congratulate yourselves on the overturning of Roe V. Wade, it’s important to point out that the language you use to justify your celebration makes you duplicitous, self-serving, and ignorant of God’s will.

I quit reading the bible when I realized I don’t want to be like people who read the bible. But you do, so maybe you can help me find support for your arguments in the book you claim to love.

God gave man free will. Not Jason’s will. Not Amanda’s will. Free will. Show me an instance in the bible where Jesus forced his will on someone else. Maybe he did. I’d like to see an example. Until then, it’s not God’s will, it’s your will.

The supreme court justices that overturned Roe V. Wade lied to gain their positions of power. Your children are watching and you just told them it’s OK to lie if it gets you what you want. Show me a time in the bible when Jesus used the end to justify the means.

Christians like to apologize for the trauma you’ve experienced when you push back against their double-standards. Look in the mirror. That’s where you’ll see my trauma. When you don’t study history alongside the “good” book, we are doomed to repeat it. Overturning Roe V. Wade has nothing to do with abortion. They’re coming for anyone who isn’t a CIS-gendered white man. And we know from history, you won’t lift a finger to stop them.

When you picket fertility clinics as vehemently as you do Planned Parenthood, I might stop believing you’ve made god in your own image instead of the other way around. If every christian who’s utilized invitro fertilization, or other fertility treatments, had instead adopted one of the babies they claim to care about . . . I might feel differently.

If christians had used their collective voice to change the health outcomes for pregnant women, especially those of color and from indigenous communities . . . I might feel differently.

Had you collectively shown up for anyone ever . . . I might feel differently.

Now that church is no longer separated from state, will christians finally step up and demand a government that upholds it’s own doctrines? No. No, you won’t. I read history and I have no faith.

Love is a Rugged Melody One that doesn’t always Quite hit the high notes Embraces the low And the harmony The harmony is pitch perfect.

Look at the scars, stretch marks, fat-rolls, and sun spots.

Your body is a petroglyph parchment, your autobiography, your life-map. Look closely at The last-minute Story board of Blessings.

Memory is a burning curse Inescapable, unbreakable It smolders, then infiltrates.

Which is to say You are your own prison Neither Distant travels Nor times passage Can temper the damning.

Memory is a burning curse It pursues to the grave And lies alongside For eternity.

Anyone who knows me well, knows I don’t really celebrate my birthday. I smile and accept your condolences (ha! Your Happy Birthdays, rather) but try to fly under the radar. It never ceases to amaze me how many people acknowledge my special day on FB, and I actually enjoy being reminded that my friend pool runs wide and deep.

Rather than pretend it doesn’t exist, this year, I’m actually going to ask for a present.

A number of months ago, I met someone. Her name is Daisy and she’s lovely. Like all us lovely people, she’s having a hard time fitting in. Daisy, you see, loves running amok.

I love Daisy and had told the rescue she belongs to that I would adopt her when I got settled in my house, provided I could keep Daisy in the yard. Instead of focusing on teaching Daisy fence manners, I unwisely took in a second foster puppy, Miles. I adore Miles. When Daisy breached the perimeter, I was extremely frustrated. Everything was ruined. 

If you’ve known me for a long time, you remember I once had a dog that controlled every aspect of my life. That was Sha Sha. I loved Sha Sha more than anything . . . and I can’t do that again. So I rescinded my offer to adopt Daisy (even though I know I eventually will). The problem is, I can’t afford regular training with a trainer and Daisy’s just beyond my training skills. So the burden falls to the already cash-strapped rescue.

I am confident that Daisy will learn to be happy living with me. I’ve already committed to getting her out for long walks and WOGs (½ walk/ ½ jog). We’ve already taken 2 WOGs and it’s unclear whether Daisy is killing me, or saving my life (I’ve become a woman of unusual size with the BP to match). We’ve met with the trainer once and I work our exercises every day. And I continue to reinforce the fence as she finds new and exciting ways to spring herself.

My dream for Daisy is that she can bask in the sun, under the watchful eye of no one other than birds and clouds. My wish is that she never be chained or confined to a tiny yard with a tall fence; she’s so curious . . . she watches everything. My hope is that she’ll learn her home and family are all she really needs

Here’s where you come in. This year, instead of donuts or cake, I’m asking for donations to Lucky 13 Rescue. $4. $5. Anything. Even prayers for me and Daisy are appreciated. Follow them on FB and shop at their auctions or go to Hamburger Mary’s on their night. Buy a t-shirt for your stocking-stuffers! Whichever you choose, I thank you. Daisy thanks you. All the dogs in their care thank you. 

Thank you.  I can’t wait for you to meet her :–)

It was a dark and stormy night. No really, it was dark and raining so hard I couldn’t see the roads my GPS was telling me to turn on.

Lucky 13 Rescue had asked me to write a profile on Cooper, a dog that has been in his foster home for a year. One year. 365 plus days. It’s a long time for a dog to languish in a shelter, but Cooper hit the jackpot when he wound his way through the streets of Drexel, Missouri, leaving a trail of spent people, and found himself in the care of Sheryl and her son, Alex. This last has undoubtedly been the best of his five years.

While Cooper would be perfectly happy to never leave the Greene’s, Sheryl longs to see him in an active home with lots of active people to keep Cooper busy. Because Cooper is very, very busy. At the time of our interview Sheryl had ten dogs; seven personal dogs and three long-term fosters.

When I arrived, the dogs were all kenneled, or in Alex’ room. She let Cooper out and he hit the kitchen like a cyclone. He sprang (Sheryl says he can leap a 4 foot fence, and I believe her) at me, at the treats on the table, his body vibrating with unbridled energy. I’ve never seen strength like his; Sheryl keeps a harness on him at all times so she has something to grab on to.

Like so many dogs with boundless energy, he’s not bad. He’s looking for that special someone who has the time, knowledge (or willingness to learn), and ability to meet Cooper where he is. Where he is . . . he’s crazy. Crazy-good. But still crazy. He also loves to snuggle and wants to be right with you.

Sheryl slowly let the other nine dogs out so I could meet her personal dogs, as well as Ziggy and Rylan, her other fosters. Cooper’s energy faded and was absorbed by the initial chaos; squirming bodies everywhere, all ready to sit for treats. While there’s no time for individual training, all sit calmly on command, looking to Sheryl for affirmation.

When Alex’ Dad passed away about five years ago, Sheryl fostered to adopt a puppy with Lucky 13 Rescue. Since then she’s fostered many dogs. Like most folks who foster, the most rewarding thing for Sheryl is seeing the dogs heal. “Every one has a story.” She’s seen a lot of healing, as she takes on hard cases. Gus was thrown out of a moving car; Ziggy’s mom was a junkyard dog. For those who’ve never opened their hearts and homes, you really can’t imagine the joy of seeing a dog relax for the first time, or run for the first time, or initiate play as an adult.

I asked Sheryl if she has any regrets. “Look at my house.” I did and don’t see what she does. The kitchen is clean and tidy. How does it not smell like dog in her house? Granted, when I peeked around the corner, the living room is blocked with a gate and the dining room is full of kennels, but had I not seen the ten dogs for myself I wouldn’t have believed there were any dogs living there.

The only dog not rescued was purchased as a gift from an ex-boyfriend. (Dudes, know your audience. Seriously.) When asked about the ex, Sheryl froze, clearly not her favorite topic. I gently poked and she said, “He said, no you can’t. And I said, Oh, yes I can!” Then we both laughed maniacally in mutual understanding.

“Are you going to be able to let him go?”, I asked. “Oh yea.” Sheryl will be picky about who adopts him, but with her own personal dogs and the constant flow of pets in need of a stepping stone to the next soft spot, Sheryl wants to see Cooper settled with his own family.

“It’s a lot, isn’t it?” Sheryl says. I ask if she’s reached her limit . . . “not in an emergency. To keep one from being euthanized.”

I’m finally home and Sheryl sends me a message . . . “I have a not so fun part of Fostering so many..... Having to leash walk them in the rain and freezing cold Lol That part is little miserable. But once they're adopted it was of course worth it

Cooper loves to chase cats, jump fences, and excitedly throw his body around. He snuggles, kennels very well, and wants to please. He is unbridled potential. Want to meet him? Fill out an application at Lucky13Rescue.org.

When your loved ones can’t, please help them care for their companion animals.

Dogs, for those who love them, are an important, integral part of our lives. I know I can’t live without them. When I’m old, I’ll need them more than ever and it is my hope that my son, or whoever becomes my care-taker in my old age, will help me keep the dog that’s right for me. And by “keep the dog that’s right for me”, I mean keep the dog that’s right for me safe and healthy.

My current foster is Luke.

He’s pretty cute, right? I’m his vacation foster because he’s bitten one of his caretakers, and the one he’s most bonded with needs to leave town for a few days. So Luke, Max, and I will hang out for a few days getting to know one another.

After just 24 hours, here’s what I know about Luke:

He has a collapsed trachea. A common problem for chihuahuas and similar small breeds. Well done, Selective Breeding! Well done! A collapsed trachea means that Luke leads a fairly miserable life, pacing around chuffing and horking up the water he’s just drunk. He sounds like a seal.

He’s missing his person. I feel it in my bones. He doesn’t trust me enough to let me massage him under his collar, but he does nestle next to my feet when I’m still. And he sleeps in whichever room Max is in.

He needs five different medications that I can’t convince him to take. I don’t know what they’re for. We didn’t talk about it when his real foster dropped him off. But how many of his issues could have been avoided if Luke had enjoyed regular vet care? If someone was paying attention to whether or not he was receiving adequate nutrition and exercise?

Luke bites. He’s getting better, but this tells us that he was not well-socialized. And now the person he was devoted to is gone. Luke misses his person and knows no one else. His trust is hard-earned and tenuous thus far.

After his person passed, with no plan for Luke’s care, he went to animal control where he languished for four months. Until Lucky 13 Rescue pulled him into their foster program.

I know Luke will recover. I’m already seeing glimmers of his personality beyond the fear, distrust, and physical challenges. He loves walks (strolls to Max and me). He’s gaining confidence and has just curled up in a bed, rather than his crate. He loves meatballs, and other snacks he’s never discovered a pill in (he’s discovered a pill in everything). He’s bitey, so I’m not yet ready to lift him on the sofa to snuggle, but he craves closeness. When I sit on the floor he nestles and nudges when I stop petting.

If you, or someone you love, can open your heart and home to a lonely little guy, you know what to do. Apply at www.lucky13rescue.org. With time, Luke will be a little love sponge.

Can’t take Luke on? We get it. Instead, check in with your family who may need a reminder about their faithful companions next checkup.

Species: Mostly Dog Breed: Muttalicious Name: Hondo Nickname: Hondi Hondo

Please rate the following on a scale of 1 – 10, with 1 being the absolute worst, and 10 being absolutely perfect.

WFHomie Companion – 10 Potty trained – 8 . . . so close. Handsome – 11

Cute – 10 . . . I can’t explain it. He’s both cute and handsome. Fun – 9.5 Snuggly – 11 Barky – 9.5 Talky – 10 . . . so expressive. Playful – 10

Leash walker – 8; who doesn’t aspire to catching that squirrel? Cat Cohabitation – 11 . . . they’re so scary. Dog Cohabitation – 10 . . . yes, please. Softness – 10 Sleeps in bed – 10 . . . he’s a perfect gentleman. Crate trained – 6; only if there’s already another dog in it.

Chewer – 10; he loves hooves, antlers, bull sticks, beef bones, and squeeky toys. Rides in car: 8

Total score: Perfect 10

Please. Everyone. Please stop trying to adopt Daisy. Yes, I know she’s pretty. In fact, she’s beautiful; inside and out. But she’s so much more than just a pretty face, and You Can’t Handle Her.

Got a fenced yard? Daisy don’t care; she’s not staying in it. Daisy is a long distance sprinter, so your yard isn’t going to satisfy her exercise needs. If you’re counting on your yard, you can’t handle Daisy.

Is your job flexible? Good! Because if you oversleep, Daisy don’t care. She needs a long, long walk. A run would be better. Hungover? Daisy don’t care. Get up and take her on a long, long walk. If you can’t be late, or walk (run is better) when you feel puny, you can’t handle Daisy.

Got lots of money? Good! Daisy actually does care about that. She loves doggie daycare.

Got a dog already? Good! Daisy needs companionship and a playmate. Is your dog confident enough to tell Daisy when he doesn’t want to play? No? Your dog can’t handle Daisy. Do you have the leadership skills to tell her for your dog? No? You can’t handle Daisy.

Got cats? Good! Daisy loves cats. They’re so fun to talk to and run amok with. Are your cats super-chill? Daisy don’t care. Unless your cat loves being chased and joyfully yelled at, your cat can’t handle Daisy.

You know the tiredness in your bones after a grueling day at the office? Daisy don’t care! She’s ready for another walk. A run would be better.

Don’t like dogs on the furniture? Daisy don’t care. Neither do I. Don’t like dogs in your bed? Daisy don’t care. She’s a full-body snuggler and we think you’re weird. You can’t handle Daisy!

Are you an active and engaged human looking for an active and engaged dog? A dog that can be included in all your daily activities? Do you have a solid plan for when she can’t be? Are you not threatened by girls who are smarter than you? Will you take Daisy to a trainer and learn her love language? Are you a confident leader for Daisy and the other pets in your home?

If you answered yes to this last set of questions, I’m giving you the side-eye and wondering if you might just be able to handle Daisy.

Daisy currently resides at a boarding facility in Cleveland, Missouri. Request to meet her at www.lucky13rescue.com.

After her social media debut on Thursday morning, just four short days ago, I’m pleased to report that Nancy has an application. Lucky 13 Rescue is in the process of checking references and doing a home check. If all goes well Nancy will soon rest well in her forever home.

So many people have asked about Nancy, shared her, and want to adopt her that I thought a little explanation as to how Nancy came to me might be helpful. Especially since I obviously love her and actually want her for myself. Seems counterintuitive to tell everyone to adopt the dog you want, right?

I am actually Nancy’s vacation foster. Which means there was a foster before me who wanted to take a vacation. But she had this broken dog. Loretta, the first foster, got Nancy from a boarding facility that received Nancy, along with several others, from a breeder release. This means that a breeder has used up the dog and is benevolently giving it to a cash-strapped rescue to rehabilitate and find a home for. * insert eyeroll *

The boarding facility held onto Nancy until Loretta came looking for a small dog to foster and potentially adopt. Loretta is a sucker and when she saw Nancy, just had to take her home. We’re not laughing at you, Loretta! We’re laughing with you. Seriously. My dog Max ruined my life for eight solid weeks before I gave in and just adopted him. Best poor decision I ever made.

Loretta did the hard work. When she brought Nancy home Nancy was unresponsive and would just lay there with her eyes closed. Loretta pampered and loved her and Nancy slowly started to come out of her shell; just a teensy bit. When Loretta dropped Nancy off at my house, she had to full-body wrestle Nancy up the three stairs into my apartment. Loretta is tiny and I will forever regret not recording that.

At this point, Nancy wasn’t listed on the website, as she was too shut down to consider adopting out. But she did so well learning from Max, observing my cats, and being with the neighbor dogs coming to liven things up . . . Nancy is a total love. And I knew she would be ready for the right family.

There’s only one Nancy to go around. She’s getting adopted, and it’s probably not by you. But listen. There are enough Nancy’s to go around. You can find your Nancy the same way I found Nancy. And Max. And Herschel Holstein and Molly and Jake and Serenity and Arnold and Daisy and Schmidt and those puppies that almost killed me.

Become a Foster.

If you can’t commit to a long-term foster be a vacation foster! Fostering is so rewarding . . . until you need to travel for work or to save your marriage (no, not because you’ve got too many dogs) or for a reunion or a funeral. You’ll be helping saving two lives; a dog and another human. Vacation fostering offers a short-term commitment way to help.

Walk shelter dogs.

OK, so maybe you have legit reasons for not fostering. I get it. * insert thought bubble that says whatever * You can still help by volunteering to walk dogs at the closest shelter to you. Or, help transport dogs from foster homes to adoption events. This is where we take foster dogs to meet random strangers in the hopes of making a love connection. Not because we’re desperate! OK, fine. We’re desperate and need a little help.

Volunteer

Work. It gets in the way of everything, right? If you can’t volunteer your time outside your home, volunteer from home. Manage databases and the website, handle social media, write content, perform home checks, or process applications.

Procure Supplies

Leashes, peanut butter, ropes, toys. Beds! Host a toy drive at work, church, or book club. Look for bargains, and pounce!

Donate

You know what I hate more than giving money? Asking for money. Lots of people have thanked me for helping Nancy. Called me an angel and good human and such. But I couldn’t foster without the rescue. And the rescue couldn’t rescue without volunteers. And funds. When making up your budget (yes, please budget so you don’t end up needing to surrender your own furry) please consider your favorite pet rescue amongst your giving.

Represent

Buy a cool t-shirt! Who doesn’t need more t-shirts?

If you’re still with me, I hope you find your Nancy and that you’re wearing a Lucky 13 shirt when you do.

~ Peace All

PS We’ll know more after our morning walk, but I think Nancy ate half a sponge today.

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