I just read a post about another blogger, a man with cancer who gains much from being around children. His words really moved me, cellularly. I’ve also been in touch with a middle age hippie living in Tasmania, who at first I misunderstood, later to discover her heart and love of nature/animals is akin to mine. Another blogger’s cartoons show so much wisdom about health, cruelty to animals, etc. There are more I’ve read of late, more I think of through the day, photos, poems, pleas, travels, letting others in, in such a wonderful open accepting way, and all the comments back equally as wise, supportive, accepting. Some of my favorite ones have been sites from fury family members, equally wise & entertaining, and as I’m writing this I’m reminded of why I’ve reached out and connected with strangers, across cyber continents.
I’m a Nurse Practitioner, specializing in Women’s Health in a rural clinic where I work. In my spare time I do pro-bono work with women with cancer, and some men (if I have experience with their situation). I have worked and was the preceptor in an Emergency Room for clinical rotations for the Nurse Practitioner programs at UCLA & USC , in the second busiest ER in Los Angeles County with the highest census of child abuse. I’ve seen a lot.
I have also been involved in dog rescue (Rottweiler’s in particular) with my husband for the past 28 years.
While working in the ER my husband & I rescued a dog, who came to us with ticks. One latched on to me and within a few days I had the typical bulls-eye rash. Antibiotics failed me and in six months an orthopedic surgeon, trying to diagnose a crippling arthritis, told me my Lyme blood work was positive. I was down for the count. There was not much I could do but read & write and so I wrote. That was the upside of the time I had, years. In that time I wrote a book, The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap. I poured a lot of what I’d seen in people over the years into the characters and centered the theme around a photo I’d seen of two women standing very close together, dressed in circa turn of the twentieth century garb, it screamed out lesbian couple afraid to be found out. It also seemed around the time Oscar Wilde was imprisoned for “indecency” in Britain, so I tied the two together, and out came the story.
As I became better, the book was reaching conclusion, as was our dog’s life. Tazzie died in my arms at home at the age of 15 years 2 weeks. She came to me and brought me Lyme disease. She also brought me to the seat of everything in my life I never wanted to face, and with no escape I sat at the seat of “me” (all of me) for years, which turned out to be liberating in a way I’d never experienced before. I suppose the old adage about you don’t appreciate something until you almost lose it came to fruition for me. I have written tomes about Tazzie and my love for her, which is the one thing in my life I fail to find adequate words for.
When she was gone, we did what we do; we went to the shelter to rescue more dogs. This time I was too raw, too heartbroken and it was near impossible to see all those sad faces in cages, on death row, at no fault of their own, waiting for a chance at life. I wanted to take them all home and once home with Eli, the chocolate 12-year-old lab we rescued that day (I had to get him off the hard cold slab, at his age), I couldn’t stop thinking of the others. It was around that time the first and only no-kill shelter opened in Ventura County, CA, where I live. It seemed a no-brainer to donate the profits from my now published book to help them and so we contacted them and worked out an agreement (my husband is a retired NASA attorney, a contract expert who now volunteers and does pro-bono in the Ventura County Courthouse and oversees this commitment). This in Tazzie’s memory.
It’s true that you can’t buy the feeling you get helping where there is a need. My passion is dogs, rescuing and helping as many as I can find their forever homes. Some of you write and say I’m an angel and compassionate, etc. I’m an ordinary human being like everyone else, who has been blessed with a passion, that motivates me to do and makes me feel good to be alive. And, as long as a dog lives on this earth, I will always be happy.
Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to read this. I’m always happy to meet you people, make new friends, fury included, of course. Please feel free to join the conversation.
Wishing you all a very Happy New Year
Tazzie just shy of 15 years old, nearing the end of her life. She was with us since she was 10 months old, when she was thrown into a kill shelter because of a broken femur. She came from a puppy mill and was bought from a pet shop (this from her paperwork in the shelter folder on her). Her collar still hangs in our entrance hall. Eli, the chocolate lab we rescued from a kill shelter after Tazzie died. He was 12 years old and lived for another 10 months on a warm soft comfy doggie bed, always at our side.
Our kids now: Max & Bella. Max is a purebred rottie born missing a hind paw, thrown into a kill shelter cause the breeder couldn’t sell him. Bella a rottie-sharpei was found roaming the streets and brought to a kill shelter. We’re the lucky ones to have them, the two sweetest fury kids ever.