Sunday, March 15, 2015

I am changed...



For the last few months I've thrown myself into something new.  I have started volunteering every Sunday morning as a small group leader at Ginghamsburg Church.  (Think Sunday school teacher, but modern...)  Anyways, I volunteer in the first grade room with all sorts of fresh faces and young minds that are like little sponges.

Now, I won't lie, I only volunteered to do this because I was hoping I could give up one hour a week, and that would be what got me into Heaven.  I mean seriously, what else could make God happier than me volunteering with His youngest fans?!

I pictured me standing at the pearly gates talking to God and it going something like this:  "Yo God, what's up?!  I know I sinned a few times in the years I was down there on earth.  As you probably know, I got that speeding ticket in a school zone last year, I lost my patience with a slow driver and kinda sorta yelled obscenities at her several days ago, and I lost my cool with my dog today, but you know what?!  I volunteer for one hour every Sunday with 15 little 7 year-old kids, and THAT should guarantee me a place in Heaven!"

As sure as the sky is blue, I know God is still laughing at me and my stupid thought process....

Anyways, I want you to know I volunteered in this place for 1 day and realized two things.  If I was going to do this correctly, I had to devote more than one hour a week to this cause.  I also realized I was in WAY over my head!  It was so overwhelming at first.  There were children running everywhere, I had no idea what a "zone buck" was, and the worst part?  There was DANCING involved!  Yes, dancing....  If you know me, you know I don't dance, but you only know that because you have NEVER seen me dance!  (Well, most of you haven't, and for those of you that have seen me dance, well that was from a life a long time ago.  Let's just keep that on the down low...)  I was so out of my comfort zone, even worse than that time I volunteered to work in the coffee shop at church and nearly steamed my eyebrows off with the espresso machine, that I wanted to quit.

BUT, I didn't....  I just kept hearing this voice in the back of my head telling me to keep going back.

And guess what?!  Those little monsters woo'd me with their smiling faces and adolescent cuteness, and you know what?  My life has been changed because of those kids!

This experience has allowed me to meet some awesome new people, has held me accountable in terms of going to church, has forced me to delve deeper into my Bible so I can answer all the tough questions that cross a 7 yr-old's mind, has allowed me to lovingly tie 400 pairs of shoes, and has taught me to dance.  (It's church folks, my new friends can't judge my dance skills, it isn't allowed!)

And the pay for this volunteer position?!  It's AMAZING!  That's evident in the hugs, thank-you's, and refrigerator art I get every week.....  I am one grateful girl right here!  


Monday, March 2, 2015

Identity Theft and Herpes....



So, tonight I had 400 things to get done on my "to-do" list.  You know, important things like anything BUT what I am about to share....

I was sitting at my desk when a text message came across my phone stating:  "We have found suspected fraudulent activity on your credit card in the amount of $45.00 for CL Media.  Category: Dating Services.  Did you complete this transaction?"

Immediately my heart fell, because I know I did NOT spend $45.00 on an Internet dating website, and that left me with 2 options....


1)  The Reluctant Farmer had finally gotten sick of my crap, and decided to replace me with a younger, kinder, and saner woman who doesn't have 7 dogs....

OR

2)  Someone stole my credit card number and was using it to find their cyber soul mate!


Like the logical woman I am, I called The Reluctant Farmer at work to see which of these scenarios was the correct one.

Me (Very nonchalant):  "Hi honey!  There happens to be a charge for an Internet dating site on our credit card in the amount of $45.00.  Would you like to tell me anything?  Is there something I need to worry about?"

Her (Not amused...):  "Um, no....  I have not used our credit card lately."

Me:  "Oh good, because remember whoever cheats first has to take all of the dogs, including our obnoxious chihuahuas, with them...."

On that note, I promised I would call her back once I sorted things out.


I then promptly logged into Citicard's website, and low and behold, whoever stole my credit card number had been VERY busy this week...  I hope the perpetrator reads my blog, or maybe someone will share it on Facebook and it will get back to him, because I have a few things to say this person.  Here it goes....


Dearest Thief,

Today it was brought to my attention that you stole my credit card number and charged $186.71 to my Mastercard.

Your first transaction for $45, was to an Internet dating site, where I can only assume you attempted to find a cyber-sweetie.  Most likely because you are a slime bag who doesn't have a J.O.B and you must resort to the Internet because all the women in your town are already wise to your shenanigans....

Your second transaction was for a background check.  Now, buddy I actually commend you for this transaction.  It always a good idea when dating online, even at someone else's expense, to make sure that your new girlfriend's ex-husband is not missing with her as the primary suspect.  You just can't be too safe nowadays, and being that you are a lousy, low life thief, who karma is going to come back and eventually bite, I can see why you need to make sure your date does not have any skeletons in her closet!

Your third transaction was to a florist for $60.00 worth of flowers that you purchased for what I assume is your new lover.  I hope if you are using my name, you are at least sending nice flowers!  You may be tarnish my credit, but do NOT tarnish my flower reputation amongst the ladies!

Your fourth transaction was to Things Remembered, for $90.00.  These fine folks specialize in monogrammed gifts, and I am assuming that you found something real special to give to your new lady friend.

Oh, but wait!
I canceled your order!

That's right, I told them to stop the shipment and sale of the items ordered immediately, so if your plan was to get that present to your girlfriend before Wednesday via the priority shipping you had me pay for, you are screwed.

Lastly, I can forgive you for all of the grief that you have caused me tonight, but you know what I can't forgive you for?!

My girlfriend laughing, and making the remark:  "Wow, honey!  Whoever stole your credit card is more romantic than you!"

AND this is the reason, I hope you get herpes....

Much love and no antibiotics for you,
Emily









Monday, February 23, 2015

Grateful Cat


A few weeks ago my daughter was visiting a friend who lives one street over, and she called me in a panic telling me she had found a stray cat and wanted to know if she could bring it home.  She brought home this cat who resembled a walking skeleton on 4 legs, and I caved.

It was -2 degrees out, and where we didn't need a third cat, I couldn't stand the fact the poor girl was going to stay outside.  I explained to my daughter that she could bring the cat inside, but it had to stay in her room, and we had to find a home for it.  Found a home for it we found...

Ours.

That is unless someone stumbles across this blog post and needs a cat named Nancy...

Sunday, February 22, 2015

All about perspective...


Mother Nature blessed us with 6 inches of snow this weekend, and in the middle of the storm our car broke down, so I was forced to try and either buy a new car or repair our old car, neither of which were convenient with snow on the ground.  

I found myself in a bad mood, stressed, worried, and the fact I was on call for the hospital only made things worse.  I just kept thinking:  "Doesn't Mother Nature know I have stuff to do this weekend?!"  After The Reluctant Farmer and I got home, I went outside with the dogs and it was then that I took a moment to look at the beauty surrounding me.  I realized it's all about perspective.  I was upset by all of the things that I couldn't do, yet when I looked over at my dachshund I realized things could be much worse.  I could have been an 8 inch tall wiener dog that was expected to pee in 6 inches of snow!  And, if Happy Wiener wasn't going to complain, I figured I couldn't either.  He wasn't bitter or angry, he just kept trudging along wagging his tail.  

I needed a reminder that soon enough spring will be here and then the hot days of August, and at that point I will miss the silence and solstice that the snow brought me.  I will miss the excuse it gave me to slow down.  

I hope you were able to enjoy the beauty of the weekend as well folks...

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Mail Order Bride



Today as I was playing with Lilly in the backyard it dawned on me, that adopting a rescue dog is a lot like ordering a "mail order bride."  You don't know what sort of baggage they come with, how they have been treated, what they are thinking, and exactly what their expectations are.  In spite of all this, you have to live together, share common spaces, and be committed to making "life" work with a being that doesn't even speak your same language!

Several months ago, I took a journey to Michigan to look at a Border Collie that was in rescue.  She had an agility title, her CGC and CGC-A titles, and honestly she appeared to be everything that I was looking for in a dog.   I wanted a dog that I could compete with, and that would worship the ground I walked on.

Instead I brought home a dog that was a neurotic mess.  She had a huge amount of drive, boundless energy, suffered from misplaced aggression, and had no respect for people.  She had no house manners, had no idea how to act, and was a total brat.  In fact for a minute I wondered what I had gotten myself into, mainly because this dog flipped me off at every chance she got, and looked at me as if to say, " I don't need you.".

I was determined to make our "marriage" work though, and today as we were outside, with the snow raining down on us, Lilly looked up at me and for a fleeting second I saw the essence of her soul through her big brown eyes.  It was in that moment that I realized she was meant to be mine, and where people may have given up on her in the past, failure for her and I is not an option.  In fact we have taken that off the table.  I have learned that all great relationships, human or animal,  take work but are worth the time put into them.  My relationship with Lilly is no exception.

For better or for worse, Lilly and I are doing this life together.  There is no other alternative....

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Bored Border Collies....


So the best kepy secret around our urban farm right now comes in the form of a little black and white beast who has completely rocked my world.  

This 37 lb. ball of moxy has humbled me as a trainer, has caused me to cuss, laugh, and cry all in mere minutes, and more aften than not she has left me wondering "What in the hell did I get my self into?".  I couldn't love her more though.  I will introduce her to you all a little later.  

I just wanted to show you what we do around here when it's raining, you have a bored Border Collie, and a few empty tables and chairs!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Rescue Shames Me Sometimes



Right around the time we lost Addie, my dear friend/rescue partner Julie mentioned that she had another friend that lost his dog too.  When she was telling me about this gentleman and how much he loved his dog, my heart went out to him.  He was the type of owner that any dog would be lucky to have, and secretly in my mind I kept thinking:  “Damn, if he gets another rescue dog, I hope he picks one of ours.”   

Now, if you do rescue, you know the type of owner I am talking about….  The type of owner that views his dog as a member of his family, it's never “just a dog”.  He is the kind of owner that is super responsible, has his dog groomed regularly, follows all of the veterinarian’s recommendations, is truly looking for a companion to share his life with, and would rope the moon if his dog needed it.  This gentleman is the epitome of a great dog owner! 

After following his story through my friend Julie, I was excited to hear this man had decided he wanted another dog in his life.  Life was too lonely, and not the same without a friend.  Julie told me he had found a breed rescue that had a dog he was in love with, he had filled out his application and was waiting to hear back from the rescue.  Well, he did hear back from the rescue.  In a curt email, telling him that he would not be considered for a dog because he didn’t have a fenced yard.  Julie was outraged about this rescue, and how they treated her friend.  I won’t lie, it ruffled my feather too, for a few reasons.

        ~ This guy applied to adopt a 6 year old Schnauzer.  It’s not as if he applied to adopt a 6 month old super active Border Collie.  It is a breed of dog that very easily can adapt to living in a condominium, being leash walked by an owner who works from home. 

     ~ This is a senior dog.  Do you know lucky you are as a rescue, if you are able put a senior dog into a household where it will be loved unconditionally as a person’s sole companion for the rest of it’s life?!  (A life that would likely be longer due to the exceptional vet care this guy's dogs receive!)      

~ The foster home that the dog was in did NOT have a fence.  Ruminate that one!  They will allow their foster home to not have a fence, but their adoptive home must have a fence?!  Pot, kettle, black much?!

 After his veterinarian called to give him a stellar reference, they conducted an hour long home check yesterday, told him he passed the home check and that he was an exceptional home, only to adopt the dog out to another family today.  That is just inhumane!

The part that upsets me the most?   

This radical rescue gives the rest of us in rescue a bad name.  I cleaned up the heartache and bad taste this so called “rescue” left in this man’s mouth.  Why?  Because it was the compassionate thing to do.  When you rescue dogs you aren’t dealing with just a canine heart, you are dealing with a human heart too, and I can assure you that 99% of the people in charge of these “radical” rescues would NOT pass their own application process if the tables were turned.  

I think in the world of rescue we often are jaded and we have lost sight of the end goal, to find amazing homes for homeless or neglected pets.  Instead it seems rescue has become a self-serving institution where control freaks with God complexes are allowed to act like dictators, because they can.  Where is the grace folks?!  We shouldn't judge folks as if we are the only ones who know how to take care of a dog, and by doing so we run the risk of alienating spectaular dog owners!

The good news in this otherwise troublesome story is that I was able to help this man find a reputable breeder tonight.  Someone who was looking to re-home one of her show dogs.  He is going to get an amazing dog that will be loved for the rest of it’s life.  Shame on the rescue who failed to see the potential of this great adopter, but congratulations to the lucky dog who will now live a life of absolute adoration.  I couldn’t be happier for the two of them!