Dogliness is next to Godliness

February 17, 2009 at 5:38 pm (Charitable Organizations) (, , , , , )

Beauregard

Dogliness is Next to Godliness

After almost 20 years of touring, teaching, and sound tech work, my husband and I decided to “settle down” and get a DOG!

We had both had dogs while growing up, and enjoyed dog sitting for friends and family.

We liked the unconditional love that dogs can bring, the companionship, the exercise, and we both felt strongly about adopting a dog from a shelter.

After work one day, I drove over to the PG County Animal Shelter, and was instantly drawn to a dog that resembled an underweight albino Muppet. His fur was patchy – revealing bright pink skin underneath, but he had intelligent eyes, a joyful spirit, and a sweet nature.

Adopting Beauregard was one of the best things we have ever done.

On August 17th,2007, he woke me up from a nap by jumping on me and barking. He saved both of our lives that day from a fire that was rapidly consuming the back of the house.

Those stories that you hear about dogs saving lives are true.

If you are thinking about adding a pet to your family, I urge you to visit your local animal shelter and to support The Humane Society and the SPCA.

The life you save could end up being your own.

P.S. Beauregard is now a healthy 72-pound mutt. We think he is a Spinone/Pit mix.

He still looks like a Muppet.

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Why I Want To Marry the Red Cross

February 10, 2009 at 11:59 pm (Charitable Organizations) (, , , , , )

Why I Want To Marry the Red Cross

I used to think that The Red Cross only showed up if there was a disaster of biblical proportion to be dealt with and throngs of people in crisis to soothe, shelter, and feed.
Well, they also show up when your house burns down.
They not only show up, but they VOLUNTEER to show up.
If I could marry an organization, (and polygamy was legal in my state), I would marry The Red Cross.

As the firefighters fought fiercely to subdue the blaze consuming our house and now also the neighbors’ roof, my husband and I lay on the carpeted floor of a neighbors’ house across the street.
We were trying to stay calm as various police, fire inspectors, EMTs, and friends came in and out.
In the midst of all the chaos, a soft-spoken diminutive old man entered the room. He said he was from The Red Cross and showed us his credentials. He sat with us for over an hour through almost constant interruptions. Somehow, he managed to get all of the vital information he needed. We were in such shock, that it was almost a comfort to answer his questions.
After he had ascertained that we’d be staying with friends as opposed to going to a hotel, he announced that he was done.
He handed us a debit card from the Red Cross worth $500.
Before I could thank him properly or even get his name, he had vanished.
Talk about your everyday heroes! Who was that unmasked man?

That debit card was a life saver. When you have lost 98% of all your material possessions, it is a remarkable thing to be able to buy food for your pets, a pen, a notebook , shoes, (I had left the house barefoot), and much more.
When you have lost all of your stuff, it is a great gift of dignity to be able to buy your own underwear.
I urge you to make a donation to The Red Cross. You never know when you will be on the receiving end of their amazing services.

P.S. Here is a way to directly help a fellow-blogger who recently lost her home to fire.

* Thanks Liz for sending this my way !

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Everyday Heroes

February 5, 2009 at 11:03 pm (Inspiration) (, , , , )

Everyday Heroes

Before the fire department

Before the police

Before Fox 5 landed with lights on my lawn

The heroes showed up

I ran out of a burning house with my dog, a birdcage, and my keys.

The heroes were already there waiting to help.

Somebody moved the car out of the driveway, got me some water, called my husband, took my animals to their house, and held my hand.

I am filled with awe and eternal gratitude by the simple kind acts of these folks.

I’m pretty sure that these amazing people were not sitting around at home thinking, “How can I be a hero today?”

Some of these people I know and some I will never know.

I am filled with awe and eternal gratitude for their actions.

I know for sure that there is part of each and every one of us that is heroic.

A heroic act can be very small. You don’t have to leap tall buildings in a single bound or stop a moving train in order to be a hero.

You are probably a hero every day without even realizing it.

When you encourage a child to learn, smile at a stranger, adopt a pet from a shelter, recycle, buy locally-grown produce, or take an elderly neighbor to the super market, you are a hero.

John Lennon sang, “A working class hero is something to be.”

I sing, “An everyday hero is something to be”.

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Sparks

February 5, 2009 at 3:39 pm (Memoirs) (, , )

Heart on Fire

Heart on Fire

Sparks
Yeah – if you live in my neighborhood, you know me or at least have heard about me in line at the co-op, or Sunday morning at the farmers’ market. I’m the one whose house burned down. It has now been 18 months since it happened, so people are starting to forget. That is a good thing. The nosy questions from people I hardly know are fizzling out. The freaked-out phone calls from estranged friends who have belatedly heard the news, have all but ceased. No more conversations quickly stopping when I am spotted at the dog park. For the most part, I am being treated normally again.
However, I am not as I once was.
I am stronger and more fragile.
I am more compassionate and less tolerant.
I am more outspoken and quieter.
I am profoundly changed.

It is time to write it down.

They say that everything you need to know, you learn in kindergarten.

Everything I know for sure, I have learned since walking out of a burning house 18 months ago.The rest, I’m still trying to figure out.
Welcome to Kindlingarden!
It is an honor to share my thoughts with you on this blog.

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