Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Wednesday Want

I sent the fiance a text earlier: "I can't wait to have a house with gutters to clean so they don't leak all over our steps making them icky (and icy tonight) - And we can be starting seeds now for the garden where we'll have fruits/veggies to can for next winter - And I can go pet {the sheep} in the morning."

Ugh, so much to look forward to! Shame I haven't really got that thing called patience :)

Monday, February 10, 2014


I just woke up from a dream where I was vacationing somewhere and walking back along a crowded boardwalk, passing some random people I've known through out my life (people from high school, people from work, etc - all mixed in with a lot of strangers). Among the crowds I passed was a group of Wenonah guyss - Mr. Shepherd, Mr. Danner & Mr. Montemore.

After a moment's hesitation, I turned around to go join them - (one of those dream things - I just knew where they were going).

Again, it was very crowded with weird random people I've known through my life mixed in, so I ended up running into a group of friends including a very old high school friend. I said some hello's, but it was brief so I could find the guys and I did, a few moments later, at some outside bar sitting around a table with Mr. Locastro, my uncle Dick and my dad who was his usual goofy self and had a big grin on. Kev (Ali's brother) and Nick (Mr. Locastro's son) joined us too. The friends I had run into stopped by, saying their hello's and I introduced all the Wenonah dads, saying my dad last. He stood up to greet the old high school friend and cracked some joke about still being a good lookin old man. He did look old too, not old old, but like I imagined he'd look now if he were healthy (and alive) - whiter beard, some white in his dark brown hair.

I don't remember his voice in the dream, but it was good to see his smile... That didn't stop me from crying though when I woke up with the slow realization that the gathering didn't happen and that it wouldn't happen because he's dead.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

soap box

My cousin made a comment the other night about narrowing down a date and how we really had to because they were getting booked up with weddings, especially around the time I have in mind (more than 9 months away). I laughed it off, said something light (to ease the hurt I was feeling and avoid a confrontation) along the lines of she was my cousin and of course she'd make herself free for mine if that's when I chose to do it... and she seemed pissed I said that.

This is my cousin, someone I've known forever, someone I was a bride's maid for, someone I planned on asking to be mine. I was upset. First, it was just "well, I guess I can't ask her to be a bride's maid since she might not be free."

Then, the more I thought about what she said, her attitude, the whole thing, well, I got really upset! Ummm, I think I had about a month to buy the dress she picked out and get ready for the wedding she randomly announced (after years of being engaged) in less than 6 months? Oh and she bought a dress (without us - prob the most fun part). I did it though because I said I'd be your bride's maid, I did it because I'm her family and I love her ... but I guess all that's not reciprocated? Good to know.

Let's not even get into the fact I wasn't expecting to get engaged (only a few months ago). Let's not get into what this past year has been and all that's happened or the fact we have like no money or that looking at wedding stuff = thinking about my wedding = thoughts of our wedding without my dad.

Oh, and then there's people like Bucks Meghan, one of the busiest bees I know who I asked for dates when she knew she already had plans. Her response? "It's your wedding. You plan it and I'll be there with the biggest smile on my face." <3 her

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Dogs on Thursday: Annie

"Annie and Molly had lived with their caregiver in Florida since they were pups. But these two red and white dogs -sister Cavalier King Charles Spaniels— saw their lives change suddenly when they were five years old. That’s when their owner passed away. Taken in by a rescue agency, the pair was placed together in a new home in Virginia. They were barely settled in when they lost that home as well, due to no fault on their part. A home willing to take both sisters was proving difficult to find (after some time in foster care). It was beginning to look like these girls, who had been together their whole lives, might need to be separated for them to ever find a new home.

Meanwhile, in New Jersey, sisters Sadie and Diana were grieving over the losses of two of their beloved dogs. Tara, a liver and white Brittany, lost her courageous battle against cancer. Then, just a week after losing Tara, the sisters found themselves back at the animal hospital with their boy Cooper, a red and white Brittany, who was in advanced lung failure. Both deaths, so close together, were heartbreaking to Sadie, Diana and their remaining dog, Emma.

Although not nearly ready emotionally, Sadie and Diana considered adopting another dog because Emma was in a severe depression, having lost her best friends. Their now lone Brittany refused to leave the living room even at night when she would normally be tucked into bed with Diana. It was the room that all three dogs had played in together their whole lives. When left alone now, even if only for a moment, Emma would sit in the living room and let out the most sorrowful howl. Sadie and Diana’s hearts were broken. Emma’s seemed to be broken too. Perhaps a companion for Emma would help?"

That's the way the story I wrote, "They Find You", starts and though some details are changed (like names and places), it's the story of how Annie & Molly and my aunts Sally & Dianne would come to find each another - both pairs in need, both exactly when they needed each other the most.

As you know, I do special needs rescue. I love it and talk about the special animals in my life all the time, so I guess it's bound to rub off on those who love me. Well, when my aunts found themselves looking for a new dog to add to their family, it was proving difficult - after looking at a few dogs, they were getting a little dis-hearted about the whole thing. One dog's foster didn't seem like they were actually going to give the dog up and the other dog they met with didn't get along with Emma, my aunts' now lone dog and their main reason for looking for a new dog so soon.

Just when they were thinking maybe this wasn't the right time, maybe there wasn't a dog out there for them now, my aunts found out about a pair of pups - they were smaller than my aunts were looking for (they were used to Brittanys and this was a pair of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels) and a pair of pups rather than one dog, but something pulled them to the little dogs ... even when they found out the one sister in the pair of dogs, Annie, was also deaf and born with a heart condition.

These ladies (related to me, remember) had no hesitation even with Annie's "special-ness," which is and of its self is commendable, I think.

Deaf and a heart defect? We're up for that! Love them!!

My aunt drove several hours, picked up the pair of girls and the sisters fit in perfectly (Emma slowly accepting them)! Fate had found my aunts the perfect fit for their home and the girls had finally found their forever family. My aunts, being good new owners, quickly set up appointments to have Annie's heart evaluated, even when they had her previous medical information, and, when necessary, they started her on medication.

Over the past year and a half, Annie could often be found in a corner napping. A time or two she also quietly slipped in behind my aunt as she walked into the bathroom and was left in there. Did Annie bark? Panic? Tear things apart? No, my aunts would find Annie a few minutes later just napping in the bathroom. When not in a corner or quietly padding around, Annie could be found on top of a pillow ... or two or three pillows, if she could find that many - the more, the better in Annie's opinion! She even had a pillow in the car she could prop herself up on. Oh! And there was often the frequent joke that Annie's deafness was caused perhaps by her far from quiet sister, Molly, who is pretty much always barking - the opposite of her quiet sister, Annie.

As with special animals though, they are sometimes not with us long enough. Unfortunately, and very unexpectedly, Annie passed away last week after having a heart attack in the middle of the night and passing on the way to the vet. There's no denying that there is simply nothing that could have been done for Annie - she was happily romping around in the yard with her sister, Molly, and Emma just a few hours before passing. However, as we all know, the pain is not easily soothed even with facts like that.

Thank you, Aunt Sally & Aunt Dianne, for taking this sweet, special girl in and loving her as much as you did for as long as you could. She was loved right until the end and her fate could have been so different, her time with her sister so much shorter if you had not found them and adopted them together.

Though Annie's time with my aunts was far too short, she was deeply loved, spoiled and will forever be in our hearts.

Rest in Peace, sweet Annie

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Caturday: Sneakers pt 2

I know I went into some details about Sneakers last week, but let me add on some more. They'll seem random, but they do piece together, I promise - My great uncle John (my mom's uncle) has not had a pet since he was a small child and it was a dog. My great uncle (Unk) has also lived in the same house, the first home he bought with his wife (my great Aunt Anne), since the 1950's. Unk and Aunt Anne had no children and no plans other than to travel when they were older - unfortunately my great Aunt Anne got cancer and passed before they could do that. She has been gone for a dozen+ years now (I just remember being young) and yet my uncle still has all the poster boards with her photos from her viewing set up in his bedroom, has never dated since, still sleeps on "his" side of the bed and often made the trip to her grave site on a weekly basis even if that required walking the mile or so to the cemetery.

Then came Sneakers ... Sneakers who Unk referred to as "the boss". Sneakers who Unk said was his "best bud", his "reason for getting up in the morning". Sneakers who ate whatever he wanted (for example, Sneakers liked gravy, so not only did he get gravy cat food, Unk would often add gravy to it). Sneakers who got his name in holiday cards ("Love, Unk & Sneakers, the boss"). Sneakers who slept on my aunt's side of the bed. Sneakers and my great Uncle John have been the most important thing in each others lives for years now... but now they can no longer be together.

Sneakers, who can no longer be cared for by my great uncle due to Unk's dementia, went to the "Disney World" for cats, as my Aunt Sally referred to it: Tabby's Place.

Friday morning, my aunt and I loaded up her SUV with donations, leaving enough room for Sneaker's crate. We picked him up from West Deptford Animal Hospital, who has done wonders for Sneakers - feeding him, brushing him, loving on him. They've just been so kind! We thanked everyone there and then headed up to Tabby's Place where Sneakers was warmly welcomed with pets, snuggles and kind words. After a couple weeks in quarantine (with the entertainment of several kitties saved from Hunterdon Humane), Sneakers will be out, living the life in the cage-free sanctuary with his every need taken care of. If we could all be so lucky...

Today I am thankful - I am thankful there is a place like Tabby's Place and I am thankful to be a part of that family - it is overwhelming to be a part of a circle of people like that. Truly, I don't know of kinder, more loving people and knowing Sneakers will forever have the best of care thanks to Tabby's Place is just about the only bright spot in this very sad situation for the bond broken between my great uncle and his cat.