Saturday, December 17, 2011

On Christmas, homeless pets, and the last gleaming ember of my spirituality

Christmas: That time of year when otherwise nearly normal people spend hundreds of dollars on giant, inflatable fat guys for their front yards, and dress up the dog in felt antlers. Charlie Brown thought Christmas had become too commercial 40 years ago, and look at us now.

I'm no Christian--sorry, mom--but I have to admit that there is one part of the Christmas story that always kind of made me emotional. That's the part about the family without a place to stay who has to sleep in the barn among the lowly animals. I totally got it when I was 7 that all the very best things were born in a barn, or so it seemed to this horse crazy girl. I also totally got it that there might have been no baby Jesus if no one had offered Mary and Joseph a place to stay. It made me sad to think that the innkeeper had no idea who these poor looking people were, or who their baby would grow up to be.
Thank god Kathie made room for Bea.    

So, fast forward about 30 years, and here I am, a non-believer and a blogging animal rescuer with a heart of mush. What I take from the Christmas story is this: When I look into the eyes of a creature in need I remind myself that we never know who this downtrodden soul might become. Ok, so, no. That dog you rescue from the pound is probably not Jesus. Not what I mean. But I could make you a list a mile long of rescued animals who have gone on to save us humans--to mend our hearts and give us hope, to remind us of our own capacity for compassion.

The holiday season is, hands down, the worst time to be a homeless animal. Rescues are stuffed, and adopters are few and far between. People are broke after buying all that blow-up crap for the front yard. What homeless pets need now, more than at any other time of the year, is for someone to say, yes, I'll make some room at the inn. Are you at home for the holidays? Would you consider opening your home to a foster dog or cat? If so, contact me or visit my friends at Hyde Park Cats or Chicagoland Bully Breed Rescue. They can match you with a pet in desperate need of some compassion this winter.

Merry Christmas to you and your critters.

Eevie, Bea, Sushi K, and St. Falcon

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Happily Ever After--A Clover Update

A changed dog.

Anyone remember Clover, the teeny, miserable pittie mix that CBBR pulled from Anti-Cruelty Society late last summer? (Click here if you don't remember.) Well, Clover is now Latke, and it's hard to describe just how much this little guy's life has changed for the better since Ruth brought his catatinic little self home a few months ago. Latke has been adopted by an awesome family with lots of kitties and two very adorable little girls who like to play dress up and LOVE their teeny pit bull.

Latke has proven himself to be a top-notch citizen. He loves his humans, his kitties, and all of his dog friends from the park. He is playful, obedient, snuggly, and an all-around awesome little dog. As I understand it, he even enjoys playing dress up with the princesses in his house.

Latke with his girls.

If you want to know the truth, when I first met Clover I thought he might be a lost cause. I wasn't sure there was much of a soul left in there after all he had been through. But, boy, was I wrong. Never underestimate the power of patient care and attention or the heart of a pit bull. Good dog, Latke. And good people.