Sunday, August 3, 2014

Rainbow Bridge


I started thinking about Rainbow Bridge.  I’ve not really done that.

I know many of mine have gone to bridge.  Often before I was ready for a goodbye.

Through Facebook, I know so very many more who have gone.

I figure The Bridge must be 300 million gazillion times the size of Montana.

And somehow, when we finally go there, through that vast expanse and the crowd of loved ones they find US.
 
Bridge angels, without you in our lives, without your love in our lives, we would be 1/10 of who we are.
 
Look for us when we come.  I will search high and low for you.
 
Shine through the stars.  We see you there,.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Another Buehrle Golf Classic - Another Classic Day

A bit of a long story to get to my point, but a reason for it.

Every year, I play golf in a charity tournament.  Buehrle Golf Classic to raise money for cancer research through John Wayne Cancer Institute, Siteman Center and The Rypien Foundation.

Best recalculated guess is 14 years now.  Even after all those foot surgeries.

It's a 4-person golf scramble and we were 3.

We arrived and had a 4th paired with us.  Dr. Nick Davidson.  Uh oh…  A doctor…  with us???

He arrived not knowing he was playing.  He was there to speak, meet and greet, about cancer research.

And he was stuck with us…  Oh gad…

Utterly wonderful man!  We certainly did not intimidate him with our tremendous play….  I told him I was only there for comedic relief. 

Ok, that was the background of this post.

Lunch after golf, my usual topic (such a great conversationalist) comes down to the dogs.  I was fretting over them home alone so long.

The good doctor and I had a great conversation about the greyhounds.  He asked many questions.  About mine, about them in general.

I brought up the problem with osteo (he’s in cancer research after all) and the breeding of bloodlines that perpetrate the disease.

He asked about their disposition, interaction with kids, adults.  Potty training.  I mentioned the stairs training.  He was filled with questions about the rescues and asked where there were rescue groups around here. 

So wonderful to have a talk with someone so interested in these glorious kids. 

My friend, Angelo, just looked on indulgently.  He’s used to me babbling about my dogs.

My friend, Bruce, piped right in for the greys and he has lab-mix rescues.

Dr. Nick has a 12 year old mutt – little bit of lab.  Maybe he will consider a greyhound someday.

I left, after playing crappy golf, with a big smile. 

Thanks Dr. Nick!!  It was a pleasure!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Thinking About Luck And Choices


Life is strange.  Don’t get me wrong.  I prefer it over the alternative at the moment.  And yes, rather early to be contemplative for me.  Just thinking about how things turn out.

If I hadn’t taken a leap of faith and taken a job as a contractor at WFA, I would not have met some very important people to me. 

Had it not ended after the mandatory 18 months, I would not have been able to spend the last quality months with the love of my life, Schemie.
 
 

Had I not done a good job at WFA, both my project managers there would not have wanted to bring me back.

Had I not accepted Shelly’s offer at Xerox to work with her and Lee again, I would have been hesitant to bring in a fresh off the track rescue, Dee, and help her acclimate to home life with the best teacher, Schemie. 
 
 

I would have missed the final days of my boy’s life, being able to be near him whenever.

I would not have adopted another fresh off the track dork, Craigie, and help him learn inside vs. outside.  We still need to work on the no digging holes thing, though...

I would never have been able to adopt one darling little flowerpot galga, Neska and help her learn and become spoiled.  Who takes after her brother in digging holes...
 


I would never have been able to spend a year, caring for my Smokey Bear, taking him twice a week for fluids and holding him as we said our farewells.



All those “if I had hadn'ts” and “what ifs” led to the newest leap of faith.  Which came at a fortuitous time, I guess.

One of my brothers used to say someone “stepped in shit”.  Meaning they got lucky.

(I do all the time on poop patrol and don’t find that remotely lucky.  Maybe it’s like  the “even a blind squirrel..”?  He has lots of odd sayings...)

Whatever.

Huh, guess I “stepped in shit” again.
 
 

 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Schemie, Till We Meet Again


Hey, little manser.  It’s been 3 years now since I held you last.  It seems like yesterday that I lay on the floor and sobbed over your suddenly lifeless body.  A light went out that day.

I won’t post another tribute to best boy.  I’ve done that once.  Or twice or…  But I thank you.  For what you gave me.  (ok, became another tribute...)
 
You, with your unflagging love and loyalty to each rescued little girl I brought home. 

You taught Britty there was far more to life than being tied to a tree and neglected.  You taught her to trust.

 
 

When Britty left, you seemed lonely to me.  An "only dog-child" for years, you really loved your guardian role.  So, after a search, I found you a timid sister.  One to protect. 

Sweet precious Berry.  Bounce-back rescued greyhound.  Life dealt her a shitty hand.  Yet you stayed with her, protected her, guided her, loved her until she went to the Bridge, hurried along by DM and undetermined causes.
 

 
 

So at 15, for your birthday, 6 months after Berry went to the bridge, I adopted another black greyhound.  Little DeeDee. 

Macho man now took in stride she was taller than he.  And, like a champ, you did what you did with your other girls.  Protected her on small walks, at that point, showed her how wonderful home life is.  She is the princess now, because of you.
 

 
 

Yet 1 ½ months later, you left us.  Perhaps your heart said “I’m just tired now.  I’ve done my job.”  Perhaps you were content that Dee was here and you taught her what you knew, mama would not be alone and it was time to retire to the Bridge.
 


I’ll never know.  All I know is I was blessed to spend over 15 years with the most incredible little man ever!
 
I’ll see you one day.  Of that, I am convinced. 

Please give my loving to Cyrus, Sheba, Sasha, Britty, BerBer and Smokey Bear.

And more to my friends who are new to the bridge.  Show them around and make them smile.
 
Love you,
mama
 
p.s.  Stop chasing Smokey!!  Oh, wait till mama gets there, mister!
 
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
We suffer heartaches over the years.  Sometimes the holes left by those we've loved and lost are enormous.  But our hearts, when filled with love and giving, can patch those holes, slowly and with time.  Perhaps with thin lace, where holes still exist.

But we can heal the hurt by saving another from hurt.

Who knew one little black, flea-ridden, backyard-born and unwanted pup could become this incredible little man and teach this message.

Thanks, Bember!!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Radar The Paintar


As we travel on this journey of life we live, our paths cross the souls of many others.

Some depart, on their own paths, leaving a vague, fading memory. 

Some depart, leaving nothing at all.

But some, the greatest souls, depart, often too soon, leaving such an indelible print on our hearts and in our minds, as to never be forgotten.

Today, we lost one such friend. 

Radar the Paintar, you, with the paint-splattered booties and jaunty beret, the saucy little smile and the gentle soul touched more lives than you can imagine.

 

As paintar extraordinaire, as therapy dog, as friend and as beloved child.

Today, Independence Day, marks your independence from pain, sweet boy.

Today, you reunite with your friends.

Today, you are welcomed by the loving group at the bridge.

 
 

 
Forever, you are remembered.

Shine bright, beautiful star.


Perhaps they are not stars in the sky, but rather openings...


 
Rest in Peace, sweet Radar
 

 
 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Greyhound Racing, Facebook and What the Heck?

My constant amusement in the world of Facebook.  Don’t get me wrong, please.  I have met some incredibly wonderful people there, some I have met in person, some not yet and look forward to meeting.

I’ve learned some great recipes, home tips (love that weed killer!) and gathered pertinent health information about our canine kids.

It’s the moronic high school mentality I refer to.

A friend requested positive reviews on their Facebook page so I left one, as did many others.  Unholy hell ensued, though that was not a surprise.  From the pro-racing contingent that must patrol pages to leave dissenting comments.  Or, in this case, inflammatory comments.  Terrorist? 

Dudes, put down those wine margaritas and back away! Sloooowly...

Now, it should not come as a big surprise, a super big secret that I oppose greyhound racing.  I think I’ve been relatively clear in that respect.

And I applaud the efforts of others to ensure more safeguards, mandated injury reporting (like tracks actually comply...), curtail racing and end racing.

If that comes as a surprise to you, you’ve not paid attention. 

Facebook banality:

I received a “private message” from someone I honestly don’t recall being in my Friends list.  As a result of my review on a page working to end racing.

(She wasn’t paying attention, I guess…)

“I must unfriend you…”

Cheerio!

I will be honest, I didn’t read her entire discourse.  Rather lengthy.  The gist of it was, my opinion is wrong. 
 
‘k…

She did end with a comment (I had to skip to the end), that I should be supporting "XYZ Group".

I chose not to get into an exchange with this “friend” I did not realize was one.

So, I say this once because it is no one’s business.

You have no idea what I donate to galgo rescue, to GCNM, to USA DOG, to MI REGAP, to Stray Rescue throughout the years.  And yes, I have donated to "XYZ Group" in the past. 
 
End "none of your business" topic. And no, not a good Nan, pat.  Just facts.

I respect that you have your own opinions.  I may not agree or like, but you are free to those. 
 
As am I to mine.
 
Now, that done and said, I support these groups, I speak up often and always will.

For them.  Always for them…




 

~the end~

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Are They What They Seem? Lexus


May I remind everyone, this is my blog, my post and therefore my opinion…  Park it.

The Lexus Project.  For animal legal defense, they claim.

Sure, without a doubt, they have done that.  But how much do they really truly care?  For the dogs…

I believe they turned down a local Missouri group trying to save their pet from a kill-happy mayor.  Apparently the “face time” was not there for them.

Don’t get me wrong.  I take nothing away from what they have done.  What concerns me is what they have NOT done.

For one, in their magnanimous nature, offered to help a Greyhound rescue in New Mexico with galgo rescue and graciously sent funds to them to help save greyhounds.

Then…

They discovered that greyhound group was <gasp> ANTI-RACING!  And sent a follow up message they will never help them again.

What?  I missed something.  Wasn’t this TLP-thingy about rescue and helping?

I guess it’s about where their perspective is.   

Let’s see, what is that perspective?

When challenged by their about their stance it came out like this:

 

What?  You don’t support racing anywhere except in the US??  As if the industry in the US is any cleaner, honest and above board than elsewhere. 

Isn’t that a tad contradictory?  Either you do support or you don’t support.  No “except”.

Wait, did I see the glory of the NGA sung too by this group?

3 more notches off the “Impressed With Your Work” score sheet.

But they have greyhounds!  Doesn’t that count?

 

Right.  Group formed to help greyhounds?

I think they forgot that point… 

As a "do-gooder" organization that picks and chooses whom to help based on the glory they receive and, of course, the total support of the racing industry, I find them vile.

I have nothing but utter disgust for this group.  Another in the hip-pocket racing industry group.  May do some good things, but the soul is still dark.


Thursday, June 5, 2014

Early Happy Birthday to DeeDee!!


My glorious “little” rescue arrived home on May 28, 2011. 

 
 
No, the door was never closed!  This was night #1.
Huh, a never closed cage door??

Little because she was not, really… 
 


 
Friday, June 13, 2014 is her 7th birthday. 

See, Dee-bug was a Dubuque-raced dog.

Well, actually, Dee was schlepped back and forth, over and over, in haulers, from Dubuque to Sarasota (despise that track) year after year. No wonder she hates trucks!

But back to Dubuque…

Early birthday present, little princess!  Governor Branstad signed into law “a measure that allows Mystique Casino to cease greyhound racing operations at the end of 2014 but allows an industry group to continue races at the track.”

But an industry can continue to race?  Like, on their very own?  Perhaps for a bit longer, but…  I’m thinking they don’t have the wherewithal to sustain their cupcake life without subsides.  Wonder if they are pumped about the change? 

Personally, I do not think they have the business knowledge to sustain a so-called “industry” without government substance.  But that is just me.

As a mere analyst, any industry that relies on handouts for an extended time becomes reliant on that, and will find itself wondering where the umbilical cord went.
 
But back to the new law, they just got a big sweetheart deal in their lap.  Funds for retirement.  Will they invest their windfall, that most of us won't see?  Nah, most likely not.  You'll just keep trying with some make believe "industry" fewer and fewer really have an interest in.
 
Might want to check out net night's proceeds next time...
 
Quit bitching,   You got a big pillow to fall on the rest of us who work don't get. 
 
And those who "love" dog racing, another addiction is waiting around the corner. 
 
Make your next "addiction" rescuing and saving strays, abandoned and abused dogs, giving them a chance at a life they deserve.

Signing off with my favorite blogger, Ironicus Maximus!

Happy birthday, Princess!!
 


Happy dance, baby!!

 

Friday, May 16, 2014

The Racing Industry and Boycotting Rescues

To listen to the racing industry’s mantra of woe to the dogs if racing ends, it is catastrophic!  Oh my GOD!  All those dogs and nowhere to place them.

You know, all those dogs they’ve continued to overbreed.  The overbreeding of just select dogs with genetic makeups that grow worse over generations of them.  Those dogs…

And yet, there are many rescue groups in the U.S. willing to take the dogs.  But the industry has decreed a boycott of rescue groups. 
 
You must “retire” your dog to an industry-sponsored program or a “neutral” program, they say from the comfort of their homes and offices.

For the record, to me, “neutral” means you support the industry for their constant supply of dogs.  And therefore, pro-racing.

The problem with that mentality is you are over-taxing your “approved” groups.  To the point that one group (industry-sponsored) sent out a plea for help a few years ago.  They were putting down healthy dogs to make room for more the industry dumps.

(Bet she’s sorry she ever posted that in an open group…)

In the meantime, RESCUES have waiting lists for the greyhounds.

Did you catch that, industry??  WAITING LISTS.  People wanting to home your non-winning and injured castoffs.  The ones you don't want.  The ones the owners don't want back.  The ones the breeders have no use for.

I thank God every day one trainer refused to send Dee to the shithole Ebro and turned into a RESCUE.

So, to the industry, I say YOU are the ones causing undue trauma to the dogs you keep in kennels rather than turn them over to rescues and loving homes.  YOU are the ones causing anti-social behavior because of your misguided edicts.
 
YOU are the ones denying them a future outside of a kennel.
 
YOU will be the number one cause of their health problems and their early deaths.
 
This is a greyhound.  A homed greyhound.  From a rescue.
 
Isn't the ultimate goal, industry, to get them into their first ever home?  You fail by your actions.
 
 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

27 Years


 
27 years ago today, April 13, 1987, the machines were turned off.  With only a spark of brain activity, that was no way to live. 

Certainly not for a vibrant, happy, smiling soul with a heart the size of the world.

April 12, the day I was supposed to return to Ohio from Minneapolis after a week visit with Mom and Dad after her surgery.

I woke to a note on the kitchen table from my dad stating he had to take Mom to ER, she was having problems with her arms.  To get my bags packed and he’d run me to the airport.

The return back to Ohio did not happen for quite some time.

And so the nightmare from hell began.

A massive stroke.  On a Sunday with skeleton staff at the hospital.

Burned into my brain are those 2 days. 

Every minute detail I can recall.  Every devastating moment. 

And April 13, 1987, with just a spark of brain activity, the machines were turned off.

Yet, she continued to give after she left.  2 recipients received corneal transplants and 1 was finally off dialysis.

Mama, my biggest supporter, my voice of reason, my shoulder to cry on and my role model to be half of what you are.

I will miss you always and love you forever.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Greyhound Racing


I don’t know that I’ve said this before or not.  Right…

But I despise greyhound racing.

I’m sure the dogs run very pretty.  My rescues do in the yard beautifully.
 
They are certainly beautiful to look at. And my rescues are utterly magnificent, said with a mother's pride.

And I’m sure they earn money for those whose scruples are a bit "tarnished".

But as I mentioned in my Rescue post, the disgust I feel for this industry is rival to that of dog fighters.  They cast off the tired, the worn, the has-beens, the ailing and the unwanted.

Either to an industry-sponsored “adoption” group (who have been known to euthanize healthy ones to make room for more "retired" racers) or a few lucky ones to a true rescue.

Out of sight.  Out of mind.  Once they hit the road in the haulers, bottom line is “win me money”.

Many friends have those unwanted ones.  Unwanted except by their family.

And a sweet girl in in kidney failure now.  Some will say it is not racing’s fault.

I’m sure her story will show it is. 
 
We pick up the pieces, make a life and home for them.  And are left to nurse them back or ease their suffering.
 
Thanks, industry.  You truly are heartless and suck.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

I Love Rescues


My pups have all been rescues.  Every last one of them.

It’s becoming comical how a certain demographic on a social media drama site called FaceBook gets its panties in a wad over that term.

RESCUES.  Yes, they have all been just that.

Cyrus, I sprung from the pound.  Is that not considered a rescued pup?

Schemie, born to moronic “guardians” who failed to neuter their dogs had pups pound-bound.  Is that not considered a rescued pup?

What about Britty, a spaniel mix I took from a neglectful and abusive owner in the neighborhood…

Oh!  Wait!  Neska, the galga, was not a rescue, right?  I mean she had a grand future in Spain, right?  Waiting at the perrara (affectionately known as a “killing station”?)  Yeah…

But the bunching of panties comes when using the term in relation to greyhounds.

Well, here are a few stories about my rescued greyhounds.

Berry, 6 years old, never raced, turned into a rescue group, adopted out and after a divorce, found herself facing the pound.  The farm didn’t want her, the owners didn’t remember her name.

Dee, 4 years old, scheduled to race some of her last ones at Ebro when the trainer said not a chance in hell and turned her over to a RESCUE group.  The farm was not taking her back.  The owners lost interest.

Craigie, 7 years old, never a very fast dog unless you’re a human.  He didn’t make much money, raced at has-been tracks in has-been races.  I don’t know his whole story, but I know for a fact this clumsy, playful 90 pound pup was never going back to the farm and I could promise the owner didn’t give a rat’s ass about him.  And he was turned over to a RESCUE group.

My pups have all been rescues.  Not one of them was wanted by anyone but me.  My formerly raced greyhounds were not welcome back. 

My greys were not “pre-adopted”, races I’ve followed, gambled on, cheered over.

My greyhounds are the ones the industry that churns them out turned its back on.

I proudly support rescues.  Because all of mine have been rescues.  And I say it with pride in how far they have come since they'd been forgotten and have lived with me.
 
RESCUES ROCK!