Monday, July 11, 2011

Damn caring disease

Wasting time on Facebook tonight, I came across this status update from a friend

Today I got a message from Sue Bell of HT that their shelter partners are overflowing. More than a dozen puppies that HT had hoped to rescue were euthanized because they could not get to them quickly enough. If anyone is willing to become a dog/cat foster--or better yet, if you or anyone you know is interested in adopting a pet or donating--please contact HT (!

And boom, my night was ruined. (I'm not blaming you Meg!)

Sue had emailed me recently to ask if I was up for fostering soon, and between being out of town over the July 4th weekend and returning just to be socked with a crappy cold, I haven't gotten back to her.

Just about five months after the great flood of oh eleven, my new kitchen is in.

Sadly, i've fostered only one or two dogs since--not because of a fear of lightning striking twice, but because my once super mild asthma has amped up.

"Now I'm not going to talk to you about rehoming your dog," my allergist said (there's no way I would), "but I am going to tell you to hold off for now."

No Dogs Allowed.

How's that for a prescription?

It's terrifically hard for me not to foster, to sit in my cozy home with my cozy rescue girl and not worry about all the other sweet boys and girls out there in cold or heat or rain.

Or about to be put down.

So I ignored Dr. Rohatgi, despite the fact that she's literally one of the smartest people I have ever met and she has not been wrong yet.

Bella and I took in Tekla, the sweet girl pictured above, as temp fosters (when a sweet girl or boy's foster has to go out of town these shorter gigs fill the gap) and, despite my collection of inhalers, I found myself constantly short of breath.

A wise friend of mine said, 'I wonder what sign the universe is going to show you next...'

In other words, 'What's it going to take for you to Take. A. Break?'

I'm pretty keen on keeping the universe happy, but why? Why would the universe want me to hold off--to not help??

That's the thing about the universe: She's big on requests but not too forthcoming with her reasoning.

So, literally, because I didn't get back to Sue (and when I do it will be to say that I can't foster now), a dog was put down.

Yeah, I feel great.

Any words of wisdom for me? I clearly have to find some other ways to give back (and sitting here on the couch telling my sweet girl Bella that the thunder is *great fun* doesn't count; that's just par for motherhood). But I also have to find some ways to not take it so hard.

Sometimes I feel like Andie MacDowell in the opening scene of Sex Lies and Videotape:

Garbage. All I've been thinking about all week is garbage. And I just can't stop thinking about it. I just... I've gotten real concerned about what's going to happen with all the garbage. We've just got so much of it.

The line elicits laughter from the audience, but I get what she's saying: How can we go on when something really terrible is happening?

Someone recently told me some cute story or another about animals. To which, rather than responding, "Aww," or "So cute, those critters!" like I was supposed to, I said (because I cannot help myself):

That's why I became a vegetarian. Animals have souls.

So she said--because she can watch a barge with garbage float on by and still buy lunch in a styrofoam container, you know, like a normal person:

I just try not to think about it.

Yeah, I said (because I don't wish to be shunned by all two-legged creatures), That's one way to do it.

What I wanted to say was:

Yeah, that stopped working for me when I was 16. I mean, I struggled with it before then but by 16 there was no way I was going to put that chicken--who just a little while ago was knocking around in the dust with his buddies--in my mouth.

But, you know, boundaries.

I'm not perfect, btw. I strive not to harm, but I do harm. I've never successfully gone vegan, for one.

And I *try* not to be obnoxious. Although when someone says to me (always with an affected little giggle)

I'd be vegetarian if meat weren't so DELICIOUS!

I'd like to toss 'em on the nearest garbage barge and wave goodbye.