Thursday, May 30, 2013

Sprocket - The Wonder Dog

Sprocket is 14 years old. Not too bad for a sweet girl that was given three days when her. I admit I am not above stepping over the line when an animal is being abused.

When we discovered Sprocket she was 18 pounds and nursing seven puppies...with teeth! Seven puppies that should have been weened but there was no food other than momma's milk. Sprocket was literally a skeleton doing all she could to keep her babies alive.

When my husband I and I first saw her we reported her to the very short-staffed humane society. After a day of no results we decided to take matters into our own hands. 

I dressed in all black...because that is what you are supposed to wear to a dog-napping right? My husband and I drove to the property after the owners had left for work. We swiftly began loading puppies into my car as Sprocket diligently took count. 

While in the process of puppy theft another car drove into the drive. It was the Humane Society. We explained to the officer that we where not the offenders but where the ones that called.

"Well, these puppies will get adopted easily enough, but that momma dog will need to be put down. She is in bad shape," he told us.

Then we told him our plan. We had a vet waiting to see all the dogs including the momma dog. If he would let us take all the dogs we would assume responsibility.

He looked at us for a moment and then a grin broke out across his face, "I didn't see anything. When I came here today the dogs were on the property. Now, let's get these dogs loaded up so I can cite this guy and get you off to the vet!"

When we took Sprocket to the vet we learned she had a tick-borne disease and a gimpy leg. The vet didn't seem too hopeful and said, at best, she might have three more days left. The puppies however were thriving thanks to Sprocket's care.

My husband and I took the whole brood home and an amazing thing happened. We loved on Sprocket and fed her and gave her shelter. She fought a gallant fight and won. She became the picture of health - gimpy leg and all! We found homes for all of her puppies but found we could not let Sprocket go. She was a part of our tribe. 

When we took Sprocket it we had three other dogs and Sprocket fit right into the mix...

Sprocket is now the last member of the original pack. We lost our three other sweet pups to age and illness. And, I know when we lose Sprocket my heart will break for the whole pack.

Sprocket is aging but her spirit is so bright. She toddles out the door each morning barking with purpose. She can't see very well, but her barks mean business...though she may not know what business!

She still loves to go for walks...though not as far. And, she still watches over our whole family...though usually from a reclining position.

Sprocket is the wonder dog. The dog who had a desire to live and the gumption to fight. I know her years since the great dog-napping have been joy-filled. I just pray that she can exit this Earth easier than she arrived. She holds my heart in hers and she has blessed my life tremendously. Dogs are treasures and Sprocket is a truly a shining gem!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Homelss Zombies

My children are afraid of homeless people and robbers. They are afraid of monsters in their closets and the bogey man outside. I understand the fear of the unknown. I understand why I must chase monsters out of closets and repeatedly remind the bogey man to behave. I also understand the mystery that surrounds homeless people in my children's minds. And, I understand that the concept of a thief is unsettling to them.

On Christmas Eve when Ellie was about four she looked up at me as I tucked her snug in her bed. She whispered, "Momma? Is tonight the night that big fat man is going to break into our house while we are sleeping?"

So, the fear of thievery is not a new concept in these woods.

Part of it may be that we live away from the hustle and bustle of town. My kids are not used to neighborhood noises and busyness. To them, the sounds of screech owls in the evening and roosters in the morning are normal – unless said rooster is blind and crows all night. 

My brother calls my kids country bumpkins. He isn’t entirely off-base.When my kids spent the night at his home in town he thought they might enjoy a walk through the neighborhood. At the end of their street my son spied a neighborhood watch sign. Apparently his eyes grew big as he asked, "Does that mean that bad people live here?" My brother laughed as he tried to explain it actually meant the neighborhood was safe. Not buying it, my daughter stomped her foot and demanded to go back to his home where it was safe. No doubt she double-checked the locks once they were safe inside.

Recently, my friend invited me to run a Zombie Run with her. I know myself well enough to know that being chased by zombies would freak me out. Who's to prevent some stray zombie from getting in the game, right? I mean, how do you tell the good zombies from that bad? Is there some sort of screening process? I had to decline the offer. It was a tough moment for my ego. Shortly after I declined the first invitation my sister-in-law invited me to yet another Zombie Run! Apparently these are all the rage. What happened to Color Runs? Bursts of happiness in colorful packages of cornstarch? 

My sister-in-law was sure my son would like to run it also. Thinking maybe I was just a random weenie I asked my son if he would like to run a Zombie run. 

"What is that?" he asked.

"Well, is is a three-mile run through mud and stuff," I replied.

"That sounds so cool!" 

"Yeah, it sounds like it would be right? But, there are zombies that chase you while you run."

"Zombies? Are zombies homeless?" I kid you not. Those were his words.

"Ah, I don't actually know? Maybe they have homes?"

"Why would anyone want to be chased by zombies? That is crazy! I don't want to do that! You didn't sign us up did you?"

I admit that I was happy to find out I was not alone in my fear of zombie chases through the woods. Had we run this together, I might shame myself by leaving my 9-year-old to fend for himself. I can see his face among the Zombie-fied asking "Where's my mom?" as he looks at a trail of fire marking my tracks.

The fears of childhood it would seem often follow us into adulthood. Though I truly hope some of my children's fears dissipate with time. As much as I can, I try to educate them so their fears will wane. For now, I am defender of the closets and disciplinarian of the the bogey man. To defend my children, I know without a doubt I would go toe-to-toe with anyone threatening them...probably even a zombie (but I promise to provide a terrible case of indigestion!).

Friday, May 24, 2013

Let Yourself Go!

I recently took my kids to a local park with a BMX bike complex in the back. Mitchell was off and flying over hills large and small. Ellie was white-knuckled. The determination on her face told me she wanted to fly down the steep hill she had pushed her bike to the top of. The claw-like grip on her handle bars told me she also wanted to barf. With words that flew up from my soul I encouraged Ellie and told her to let herself go. 

She looked at me with those big brown eyes and said, "Let myself go?" 

I said, "Yes! Let yourself go and experience this hill. Once you conquer it you will be so proud of you and I will be proud of you too!"

Who was this talking? Let yourself go? When was the last time I let myself go? When was the last time I let myself experience something that made my belly tumble?

As Ellie listened a bright smile crossed her face and the next thing I knew she was sailing down the hill with squeals of delight! She showed her grit. 

I clapped and waved and cheered her on! I was so proud that she took the plunge!
Safely at the bottom she beamed! She was amazed at herself. She looked at me up at the top of the hill and shouted, "I did it, Momma! Now it is your turn!"

Say what? I was the encourager not the doer. But she had me. I had to gather my gumption and eek my bike to the edge of the slope. That daunting slope. The slope of fear. I braced myself and told myself to let myself go. And I did. I experienced that moment when your fear gets squashed by joy. The exhilaration of conquering something you could have easily walked away from. It was a rush of speed and wind. And yes, I may have squealed a bit. Fine! I squealed a lot. I found I still have some grit in these aging bones and my kids thought I was cool...for a moment at least!

That simple moment reminded me I need to let myself go once in a while. It is refreshing to step outside the zones of comfort. There is joy and awesomeness in conquering the hills in life. And, it is important to remember to enjoy the ride down and to squeal when appropriate!



Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Grumpy Cat

I think that Grumpy Cat is awesome! 

Back to Blogging

It is definitely time to jumpstart my blog activity. It has been far too long since I last posted. I have let my work stress me to the point where I find myself paralyzed and unable to take on another  task. That is NONSENSE! I need to do what I enjoy to keep the stress away - not let stress keep me away from what I enjoy. So I am back at the keyboard attempting to think of something profound to write since I have been gone for so long. Since nothing comes to mind I will simply let this post serve as my re-entry into the blogging world (with profound posts to come!).