Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A Rage to Kill

A Rage to Kill  by Ann Rule
Weight: 12 oz
Method of Disposal: Recycling the remains

Does she choose them by title? 

 Leda went home on Sunday, and it was a beautiful thing.  The woman that adopted her is perfect for her and will love her so much.  I will never have to worry and Leda will never have to want for anything.  If only it could be this way every time.

That being said, I miss that little dog a lot.  I think about her before I go to bed at night AND when I wake up in the morning AND about a hundred times in between.  She is an adorable little spitfire.  I am now caring for Strelka, a pit bull puppy that showed up in my driveway a month and a half ago, until she can find a loving home.  She is the complete opposite of Leda.  She likes to sit or curl up in a ball to nap beside me while I do other things.  She is playful, but also very gentle and mellow.  Instead of peeing in ten places all over the yard, it takes me at least 30 minutes to convince her that it is time to go to the bathroom (though the time gets shorter and shorter each day).  She is only a few months younger than Leda, but their energy levels and attitude on life could not be more different.  Strelka is excited but cautious.  Sweet despite being a little scared.  Leda is fearless and her excitement knows no boundaries.  I am filled with so much love for them both.  I miss Leda’s eager little face, but I love Strelka’s loving gaze as she rests her head on my chest.  I cannot wait for the day when she too finds a permanent home and a loving family.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

DragonCon and Ed Kramer

Antibodies by kevin J. Anderson,1998

Ruins by Kevin j. Anderson, 1996

Weight: 7.1 oz

Method of Disposal: Leaving somewhere. I found these two books today. I keep thinking I am getting rid of all my X-Files books and then more appear.

Anyone that knows me well is aware of my love of Gillian Anderson and is also, unfortunately, aware of my nerdy decade-long dream that I would one day get to meet her or even see her speak in person. The opportunity finally came to Atlanta this year. I was excited, which is the understatement of the year. I was babbling on about it to all of my long-term friends and some of them were even excited about it themselves, though they were less excited about her and more excited about seeing me make an ass of myself/be super happy/act goofy/fall all over myself/gush/faint/whatever. I was going to DragonCon. Nothing could hold me back.

Then a week or two before the glorious day I took my Atlanta Magazine out of my backpack to read a little on a break from work. I read the following article:

I was horrified to learn that Ed Kramer, a DragonCon Cofounder, had been accused of child molestation on more than one occasion. I know about “innocent until proven guilty,” but there was so much that just did not add up to anything good. Why would a man who knows he is facing molestation charges live in an apartment with a teenage boy? Wouldn't you just avoid that situation? Why would you have boys come to your house for sleepovers when you are clearly too old for that shit?

Kramer lives in my hometown.

There was something that could hold me back. I wrote DragonCon to let them know I would not be attending. I understood that the other founders/owners of DragonCon were trying to rectify the situation to no avail and my e-mail was not accusatory. I wrote Gillian Anderson's PR people to see if she was speaking somewhere else and to explain why I could not go. I wrote Atlanta Magazine to thank them for their courage. Only Gillian Anderson's people wrote back with a curt message saying she would not be speaking anywhere else and would head back to London immediately following the event.

My wonderful friends did their own research and came to their own conclusions. The people I was closest to chose not to go, and I was so proud of all of them and so happy to know them. To call them my friends.  Another dear friend and her husband took the time to bid on an autographed Scully action figure.  The money went to charity, and the doll was delivered to me, as a suprise, for no other reason than they were just being loving and wonderful.

 I know that many people cannot resist DragonCon, no matter what. I understand the desire to rationalize and enjoy something you have looked forward to for a long long time. However, some things are just not important enough. Some things are so terrible that they cannot be overlooked.  Then, there are some people who are so amazing and the little stands they take and the incredibly kind things they do cannot be overlooked either.

Something Wicked This Way Comes By Ray Bradbury


Weight: 4 oz

Method of Disposal: The foster puppy, Leda, ate it and the remnants are in the recycling bin

The joys of puppyhood and of fosterdom. I always tell people, confidently and smartly, that I only adopt dogs 4 years and older. It is not exactly true, but I want it to be. In a world where I did not adopt dogs so that they would not be euthanized, I would only adopt adults and seniors. I know this is counter-intuitive since adults and seniors are put down more often than the younger ones, but in the case of pit bulls—all bets are off, all pits are at risk, and if you meet the right one at the right moment you take it home whether it is 10 months old or 12 years old. Hell, I took the wrong one at the wrong time, when she was 10 months old, and she reaffirmed every reason I ever gave for not adopting a puppy, and now she is the perfect 4.5 year old girl for me. All of this is to say, that I am still adamant that adults and seniors are the way to go. They need you and you need them.

So, why do I torment myself with fostering kittens and puppies?! I foster adult animals too, but I do not have a foster age limit or maxim. I guess that it is true, on some level, that babies (particularly animal babies) are made super cute for a reason and that most people are susceptible. When I walked into the clinic over 8 months ago and saw a little baby girl that looked like my Sergei, licking the vet techs' faces, despite the fact that they were removing an embedded collar, I just had to take her home to heal. I knew it would be a short-term commitment, and I knew I could give that puppy some of the things she needed until someone else could do better.

I took her home. I cleaned, medicated, and re-bandaged her oozing neck wound. I treated her for mange, and then I took her in to be spayed. I thought she would go on the adoption floor days later, but that was not what was in store for us. As it were, Leda had a failing kidney that had to be removed. I took her to the emergency vet and then to the specialist. There was a terrible and sickening chance she would die. But she didn't. The relief was overwhelming. We just had to make sure her other kidney was functioning properly.

Once that was in order, it was time for her to find a loving home. Wrong. She had ringworm. We went through quarantines, lyme dips, and oral medications. It took a Long. Damn. Time. I am getting excited/nervous ahead of time, and I know I shouldn't do that lest I test the universe, but she may go into a forever home this weekend or next week.

One of my many heartbreaking trophies from my relationship with this beautiful, intense, hellion I loved for so long is this copy of Something Wicked This Way Comes. It was one of many books to be shredded when I was not paying attention (it only takes a few moments). It is the only one that remains recognizable, though not readable. I was frustrated when I found it in the living room, the kitchen, her bedroom. I had wanted to read it, but I never had. Why was this dog still here?!

It is true that I am about to put it in the recycling bin now, but as I hold it in my hands I think about all the wonderful attributes Leda contains in that tiny little tank of a body and that always-rearin'-to-go mind. I think about all the goofy things that have made me laugh out loud and all of the sweet kisses she gave me when I rubbed her belly. The way she so eagerly and rapidly sits, shakes, and lays down (seemingly all at the same time) when she sees a treat. Sure, I also think about all the times I complained about her (SO MANY times) and all the aggravation, but it takes on a whole new light. I also, miserably, recall her crying in pain after her surgeries, waking her up during nightmares, and falling asleep with her many nights on a pallet on the floor since she could not sleep with my dogs. I think of her exuberance when she gets to play with other dogs and new people. I love that wicked little dog. I love her so much.

 And I worry, now that the time is finally here, that she will never know how much, that she will never know why I had to give her up, and that her new family will not fully realize her wonder. But I also know that I cannot offer her the things she needs. I cannot afford her the life she deserves, the life she will soon have. I cannot do these things with my current work hours and with my own special needs dogs. For 8 months, I have known this, fretted over it, mourned it, stressed about it. It is time, for me and her, but I hope that I can continue to get updates from her new life and know that what we did, while imperfect, was incredible and that it has bonded us for life. Even if I never see her again. That I gave her the chance she needed to survive and that she gave me the experience of witnessing and partaking in her embodiment of all-encompassing joy, despite all of the hurdles she had to overcome.

Monday, September 3, 2012

War Dances

War Dances by Sherman Alexie
Weight: 7.2 oz
Method of Disposal: Leaving at Joe's in East Atlanta Village

Alexie never disappoints.  I was so relieved to pick this one off my shelf.  I knew it would be an easy read in that I would be hooked on each word, would chuckle regularly, and would also find activism in the form of short stories and poetry.  It was an easy read in that the voices of the characters were so well done that I never had to come out of the story for air or to think about what I had just read.  I just lived in the book each moment I got to pick it up.  I am not saying it is the best book by the author, but it was another fine collection by him.  I intend to leave it at the coffee shop unless you let me know that you need some of this in your life.