Friday, September 09, 2005

Not Without My Pets!

I just haven't had the energy to post this week. I've been emotionally and physically wiped out!

Good news from New Orleans yesterday. My co-worker was able to locate her aunt and uncle who were stuck in the attic of their home for several days until her elderly uncle was able break thru the roof and wait for help. The were evacuated to Baton Rouge and were flown to Tampa last nite to be reunited with Cindy and her family.

Sometimes. when I see charities soliciting funds, I wonder exactly how much of my donation goes directly to the cause for which it was intended and what percentage goes for "operating expenses". I still give, but the question remains.

Today, while at Pet Smart purchasing treats for my dogs, an elderly lady came up to the register and asked the clerk where the donation station was so that she could make a cash donation. This lady wanted to be certain her donation would go to help the animal survivors of Hurricane Katrina. I pointed to a notice on the donation jar stating that all donations from August 30 thru September 30 would go to the Hurricane Katrina animal fund. The lady took two bills from her pocket and placed them in the clear glass jar and I realized that they were 50 dollar bills....... I said to her, "God how I wish I could afford to do that" and she replied, "I can't afford it either, but someone has to help the animals".

I could only think to thank her on behalf of those who can't speak, and took the last five dollars I had in my pocket and deposited the bills in the jar. It was a feel good moment.

People who don't own pets, have never owned pets, or just don't particularly care for animals somehow cannot understand. Pets to some, are the only family they have. Many people who refused to evacuate did so because of their pets. I understand.

I'm owned by two PUGS. Daisy entered my life when she was only 6 weeks, she's now going on ten years old. During those ten years, she's been the keeper of all my secrets. She's been there during the best of times, and also during the worst of times.... most significantly, six years ago.

I had found a small lump on my left arm. My physician told me it was nothing, just a small cyst that he would allow to get a a little bigger and then remove it. I was concerned and not at all comfortable with that diagnosis choosing instead to go to a dermatologist to have it inspected.
My dermatologist felt that it might be wise to remove it immediately and have a biopsy done. The small cyst ended up being a malignant tumor (contained). He was able to remove the entire tumor, but wanted to do further exploratory to determine that all had been removed.
I allowed this procedure, but during the next three weeks, while waiting for results, I was a basket case. What if they hadn't removed the entire tumor, what if it was spreading? I didn't want my family to know, I didn't want my friends and co-workers to know. I only told Daisy;
And in fear, I cried, I drank, I was living hell on earth, and cried some more.
Daisy was always there to listen, to sit quietly non-judgemental, to lick away a flood of tears.

Six years later, when my foster son, my best friend was killed in an auto accident on March 21, 2005.... Daisy was there again. She didn't mind if I held her a little too tight, she didn't mind that I was unable to sleep for days on end; and each time I'd get up, she would get up and walk the floor with me. And again, the tears........
During this entire period, neither Daisy or Muggs left my sight. Muggs would even follow me into the bathroom and not allow me to close the door. There are also hundreds of crazy, fun loving memories.

There is no way, I would evacuate without my dogs........ I understand the turmoil people were going thru about leaving their animals.

I think we in Florida are better prepared for a hurricane. At the beginning of each hurricane season, I follow a hurricane planning guide. I purchase non perishable foods, water, batteries, candles, etc. Everything is stored and ready to go. I also have a plan. I will not wait for an evacuation notice (although I'm on the Gulf of Mexico in a non-evacuation zone), any notice of a category 3 and higher and the dogs and I are outta here.

In the meantime, continue to contribute to the American Red Cross and don't forget the animals. A few dollars contributed to the United Animal Nations or Noah's Wish will be welcomed.


ConnieJane said...

Amen DonDon.

A few dollars more for the animals will be most appreciated. Ears, Noah's Wish and the Human Society are worthy causes.

Those who lost their pets will be grateful.

Qivan said...

those pics are heart breaking, very moving post

sttropezbutler said...

The most important thing to do when donating, if you are doing so by check or by credit card is to be sure to specify exactly how you want the donated money to be used!

A charity by law (and yes I know laws are broken everyday) must do exactly what you tell them to do with the money.

That said, that was a lovely post.



Nemeria said...

That was a wonderful post. I've been worried about the animals since Katrina first hit. I'm owned by two cats (no dogs allowed at my apt, otherwise I would have PUGS PUGS and more PUGS!) and I'd never leave them either. I just found out there was a gas leak right outside the apt. while I was on vacation and we were lucky there wasn't an explosion. My first thought was "My poor cats, they would have died without me!" I completely understand where those people are coming from and it is utterly heartbreaking to think that so many surviviors have been separated from their beloved pets and that so many pets have died as well. I'd adopt everyone of those creatures if I could!