This week has been many things so far - triumphant, terribly sad and exhausting.
We found out last weekend that one of our dear friends had just been diagnosed with cancer. He was immediately sent to hospice at his home and unfortunately died this week. He was the Mister's best friend, mentor and in my mind, his second Dad. It seemed like he was here one day and then gone overnight. He learned he had cancer and then....was just gone. We're reeling here at the ranch. I'm still trying to put it all into words - to find the adequate way to honor him. He was an active reader of Ranch Dressing and such a cheerleader for my writing and always so encouraging to not only me, but to everyone that knew him.
Sometimes he'd send emails to me about what I'd just written here and would include funny photos or drawings that he thought might interest me. When the Mister and some friends were going through his emails after he passed, I learned that he had joined the email notification system so that he could read my new posts. I know that he had a million things going on each day so it especially touched me that he'd want my new posts junking up his email in-box.
He was always gifting us with things that he thought that we'd like from his magical mystery barn. Most recently he gave us some space age vintage vacuum cleaners, parkas from the now-defunct Opryland theme park and some old ray guns. I'll never forget him saying to me, "Miss Kitsch! I have something that you have GOT TO have" before giving me a beautiful old color wheel for a Christmas tree - and his childhood boy scout mementos. He loved encouraging people to love what they love and as an avid collector, he was quite excited to make sure that we all were collectors! We're going to miss him so much and I will honor him with a full post when I can get my thoughts together.
In other news, earlier this week another lady and I went undercover to buy a pair of puppy mill breeding dogs from a horrible family who was selling them. I'll never forget it as long as I live. We had to pretend that we completely agreed with the way that they were breeding these poor dogs into the ground. It went against every fiber of my being but we HAD to get those dogs to safety. I don't think that my childhood Southern Baptist Sunday school teachers would agree but I don't think that God would mind white lies told to save innocent creatures. I hope that's the case at least because I lied enough that day to put me in Heaven's penalty box for sure!
I'm still pretty rattled by that whole experience and even though I was a huge proponent of people adopting and not buying pets before, I'm going to be a true force of nature now to help people realize that when you see a cute clean pup or kitten in a pet shop (or in an ad in the paper or online) there is a large chance that behind the scenes, there are the parents of the dog suffering in horrible hellish conditions in tiny cages, being forced to constantly produce offspring until they are dumped to die. Trust me on this, folks. Even if you have your heart set on a purebred dog or cat, you CAN find these breeds - any breed - in a shelter or rescue just waiting to be taken to a great new home. There is no need to buy from a breeder...EVER. Do not help perpetuate this cycle of abuse. Let me put it to you this way: Even if kept in the nicest conditions, how would YOU like to be forced to have scads and scads of babies one bunch at a time for your entire life...one birth after another with each birth getting more and more dangerous, risking your life and those of your babies until your entire system shuts down? Not so much.
In good news, Metro Nashville has finally voted to stop breed specific legislation against bully breed dogs. As it was before, if a pitbull made it into the shelter, odds were that the dog would never make it out again. If an owner didn't come to prove that it was theirs, it would be swiftly killed. Nobody could adopt them even if they were the most gentle, loving dogs on the planet. Even little puppies were killed just because they were bully breeds. Even dogs that were bully mixes were killed because of their partial lineage. We have a long way to go here in Tennessee and have fully antiquated animal abuse laws but this was a HUGE day for those of us who work towards making sure that each animal is looked at on it's own accord and not killed simply because of it's breed. Starting on June 1st, our Metro shelter will allow puppies to be adopted and as soon as the staff is trained to do temperance testing on the adults, they'll be able to be adopted too. It's never okay for any group of people or animals to be judged under one swift blanket of thought. We all deserve to be judged on our own accord and given the chance to live a good, full life.
In other good news, Lucky the Chow that I told y'all about us finding a few posts back went to his foster home and reports say that he is now playing so much that they can't keep him off of his injured foot! Three cheers! I mean, not for his foot but because of the fact that he was so neglected and broken down that we thought it might be months before he'd ever know what "play" was again. Go Lucky...it's your birthday....
I know that I have some readers who aren't really into animals so I know that you are sighing like crazy at this post but helping the animals is a large part of who I am. If I have a great week, it's more than likely because I helped an animal have a great week. If I'm in a foul mood, it's more than likely because I couldn't do so as I'd wanted. I hope that you all are having a fantastic week and following your own passions no matter what they might be. Don't let anyone EVER talk you out of them. Even if you look around and it seems like you're the only one in the pursuit (or who understands the pursuit), go for it...no matter what. If we were put on this planet to be unfeeling robots that all do the same things, then trust me: we would come from factories and have much better knee joints.
I'll talk to you soon, sugar spoon.
Until next time,
x's and o's,