It's no secret that animals are a big part of my life, and that I'm an adamant about animal rights. I've been working in the veterinary field for over 7 years now. I started as a Receptionist, then moved up to Assistant, and now I'm an Office Manager. If you want a job that shows you the absolute best and worst of humanity, the veterinary field is for you.
I've seen a dog get left out in the yard with wounds that became infested with maggots. I've seen many dogs with collars that have become embedded in their skin. I've seen a snake so neglected that it's skull softened and reabsorbed into it's body. I've seen neglect, abuse, and people who just think animals are disposable. I've heard "it's only a cat/dog" and "it's just a bird."
I've had clients cuss me out on the phone for not agreeing to make a euthanasia appointment for their dog because it's "blind and old." I've had client's husbands come down to the clinic and cuss me out in person because when his wife didn't want to buy insulin for their cat, I said "Well, if grandma got sick you wouldn't just tell her no." I've had clients say they hoped I died (not even kidding here) when I refused to let them come into the clinic and just buy some random wormer for their pet that we hadn't seen in over three years.
On the flip side of that, I've seen a client spend thousands of dollars and make hundreds of trips to Cornell University, 45 minutes away, for his guinea pig who had mammary tumors. I've seen a client have his goldfish individually cremated so he could spread the ashes at sea. I've seen a woman put herself between her small dog and an attacking German Shepherd, get viciously attacked herself, and take the time to come in to our office, bleeding, to bring her dog to the vet before seeking her own medical care. I've seen doctors work for hours trying to save lives. I've seen those same doctors hysterical with tears when they can't.
Anyone who says "it's just an animal" to me goes right to the top of my shit list, quite frankly. :-)
I've got a little zoo of my own around here, and all but one are rescues.
It all started with Sassy. She was born in 2001 as one of a litter of kittens that a co-worker of my husband had. We picked out her and her brother, Sparky. Sparky has since gone to live on a farm. Not euphemistically speaking - he actually does live on a farm in Pennsylvania!
Then came Duncan. I desperately wanted a dog. Growing up, my parents had never taken care of our pets, so our dogs either ended up being seized by the SPCA (that was a horrific day) or dying. So I wanted a dog of my own. Duncan was free in the paper. He was owned by a little old lady who said she couldn't take care of him. When I went to pick him up he was scruffy and dirty and he smelled horrible. That was in the summer of 2001. Now, as you can see, he's fat and happy. This is him enjoying some peanut butter! (Edit: I wrote and scheduled this early in 2012. On December 11, 2012, Duncan made his way across the Rainbow Bridge. He was already failing and had begun having seizures. He enjoyed a final night of sleeping in our bed, and a final meal of filet mignon smeared with peanut butter. We miss him terribly - he left a hole we'll never be able to fill.)
Next came Higgins, in the fall of 2005, because Duncan really needed a pal! We got Higgins from the local shelter. Seems his family had brought him home, their landlord found out, and instead of doing the responsible thing and finding him a home, they dumped him on the street. He was out there for several weeks before the neighbor managed to snag him and bring him to the shelter. He was a neurotic mess at first, terrified of everyone - including his own shadow. When we went to get him, the shelter worker warned us that he might bite. But my husband opened the cage, said, "Hey buddy!" and got an immediate tail wag and an armful of happy dog!
That was it, we thought. Two dogs. Two cats (at the time). That was plenty! And then a shelter worker brought an emaciated little dog to our clinic. She had been beaten and left for dead. Long story short, I ended up adopting her. We had her from 2005 to 2009, when she passed away in her sleep from heart failure. Her name was Ginger, and she was my baby girl.
We briefly "fostered" a cute little calico named Muffin. I say "fostered" because she was my mother's cat, but my mother couldn't take care of her. She was with us for a few years, and now lives with my youngest son. There was also, along the way, a badly abused turtle named Chip. Chip had been in a too-small aquarium with another, larger, turtle, who the owners allowed to attack Chip. He was named Crash at the time, because the other turtle liked to crash into him. I renamed him Chip because of all the chips in his shell from the other turtle. The owner brought him in for euthanasia because of a "tumor" on his head. The "tumor" was just an abscess, but she didn't want to pay for treatment. So...yep. LOL We had him for a couple years, nursing him back to health, before we let him go in a local pond. He's still there and he's as big as a dinner plate! (We can recognize him because of some unique shell damage.) There were also some random fish and a few hermit crabs along the way, and a pug/poodle mix named Skippy who ended up living with a very nice lady in Corning. LOL
Just before Ginger passed, Lollypop came to live with us. Lollypop's owners went to jail, and she was left homeless with her three kittens. The neighbors waited until one of the kittens died to do anything. Then they brought her to the clinic. One of the remaining two kittens died, and the other one went to live with Dr. H. I hadn't intended to bring Lollypop home. At the time, we had Sassy, Sparky, *and* Muffin. Four cats seemed a little too much. But everyone who came to the clinic to adopt her said she was too ugly. I thought she was the most beautiful thing in the world. Don't you???
After Ginger passed, Muffin left, and Sparky left, we were down to two cats and two dogs. Completely manageable. No more pets. Period. Definitely no more dogs.
And then...it happened. A little over a year ago, the local shelter brought in a 6 month old pug mix to have him put to sleep because he had a broken leg. Our doctors refused, of course, because - he's not a horse. So the shelter person said they'd just go to another vet and have him killed. ::sigh:: He required $4,500 worth of medical care at Colonial Animal Hospital in Ithaca to fix his leg. Dr. D split the bill with me, and Hubby and I scraped by until I could pay her back my half. He required 8 months of complete cage rest, meaning I carted him to and from work everyday, and he hung out by my desk in a playpen we bought from Toys R Us. Now he's fat, sassy, and happy.
So, three dogs. Two cats. Not bad. A little hectic, but not bad. Hubby called me at work one day, about a month after Wallace had gone off cage rest. He sighed and said, "I think we need another dog." Our two old guys just couldn't keep up with a puppy, and Wallace was B.O.R.E.D. We talked about it for a couple days. Four dogs? We'd never had four dogs. They're all small, but wow... *four* dogs??? Could we even do that??
I started calling around to the local shelters. (I refuse to buy a "purebred" dog from a "breeder.") The first one didn't have anything like what we were looking for. The second one I called - I gave her the story of how we'd gotten Wallace and how he was a pug and needed someone to play with - she started laughing and said "I've got just the dog!" We threw Wallace in the car, raced off to the shelter and adopted a ball of fire whom Hubby named Mindy. She's a Parson Terrier (kinda like a Jack Russel with fuzzy hair) who had been found wandering at large and brought to the shelter almost 8 months prior. No one wanted her because she was "too high strung." (DUH?!?!) It wasn't quite love at first sight for them, but within days they were buddies and are still pretty much inseparable. Even though they sleep in different kennels, they usually lay by the walls closest to each other.
So. Four dogs. Two cats. Surely we're done now, right? ::facepalm::
Hubby showed up at my office several months ago, with a cat in his arms. Seems she'd been living in our neighbor's shed, and finally come out. Hubby coaxed her over, and she came right to him. She was thin and scruffy, and he looked at her and said, "You're going to the clinic!" He "nicknamed" her Tina Jean. Which of course stuck...and of course she came to live with us because once you've named it....
I'm no longer foolish enough to think we're done. LOL Though we're not actively seeking, I know that if some critter comes up needing a home, we'll take it in. I get e-mails and phone calls all the time asking if I can foster or adopt. I say no, because I know I'm not the last option. But I'm a softie for an animal in need, especially the ones who are about to be thrown away. A couple months ago, I agreed to adopt a corn snake if our doctor could save it. Sadly, the jackass owner had let it get too sick (that's the skull reabsorption one) and it had to be put to sleep. But yeah, if we could've fixed him, I'd have a photo of a snake to include here. Cause I'm just a crazy guy like that.
So in any event, here's the contest info (I know, I know. Finally!)
Leave a comment below, with your e-mail, and you'll be entered to win my contest. What am I giving away?
A signed copy of my print book, "Two of a Kind" (m/m/m/m, BDSM) and a swag pack including magnets, pens, mints, and more!
Here is the blurb for "Two of a Kind" -
Vincent and his childhood friend Eric became a couple after Eric initiated him into the pleasures of the Playhouse, a refuge for men to act out their Domination/submission fantasies. Their relationship is warm and loving, but not exclusive. Eric is a “switch,” and since Vincent is a submissive, Eric sometimes looks to his own “Dom,” Anton, for satisfaction—causing Vincent to feel jealous and insecure. Then Anton’s uncle dies and Dimitri—Anton’s twin brother and a troubled, surly, irresistibly sexy version of his brother—comes for a visit. When Anton sets his sights on Vincent, ridiculing his supposed sexual passivity, Vincent begins to wonder: is he really a sub, or a switch, like Eric? In the first blush of their relationship, Vincent and Eric reveled in their connection, calling themselves “two of a kind.” Perhaps they are also alike in ways that challenge their current power dynamic.
And here's some info from our organizers:
Hello Everyone! We have a total of 59 blogs that have gotten together to help raise money for a great cause. There are going to be some awesome prizes up for grabs for people that donate money to the cause. Here is a little about the company that we are raising the money for:
Paws With A Cause® enhances the independence and quality of life for people with disabilities nationally through custom-trained Assistance Dogs.
PAWS® increases awareness of the rights and roles of Assistance Dog teams through education and advocacy. Founded in 1979, Paws With A Cause is dedicated to helping its clients who are challenged by many disabilities, such as Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy, Seizure Disorders, and Hearing Disorders to name just some. Each of our dogs are trained to meet the specific needs of our clients. Tasks may include opening and closing doors, picking up objects, pulling a wheelchair, turning lights on and off, and alerting a person to particular sounds like a telephone, doorbell, smoke detector and many others. Our dogs change lives by enhancing the independence of our clients. By just opening a door, a dog opens up the world for a person with a disability and your donations will go to making that happen. PAWS thanks you so much for your donation and allowing us to open more doors.
Paws With A Cause
4646 South Division
Wayland, MI 49348
How to donate:
1. Go to https://www.everribbon.com/PawswithaCause2. Click on "Make a Donation"
3. Enter a amount you wish to donate. Everibbon will add a small fee to your donation for processing. My fee for donating $5.00 was .49 cents. So keep this in mind when deciding your donation amount. You will receive 1 entry into the giveaway for every $1 you donate.
4. In the box that says "on the behalf of" please put your name. This is the name that will be listed on the everibbon website so put a name you do not mind being visible to everyone. Do not check the box to make a anonymous donation because I will not be able to track your donation to enter you into the giveaways.
5. Next it will ask you for your credit or debit card information.
6. Then it will ask for your email address to send you a receipt. This is so that you can submit it for tax purposes.
7. Ta Da! Your all done making your donation. Now you need to contact Danielle to enter the giveaway.
8. Please e-mail Danielle at RomanceBookJunkiesDanielle@Yahoo.com with the name you used to donate your money. For example the name I used to donate on behalf of was Romance Book Junkies. Do not send me your name off your credit or debit card because I will not be able to see this. Along with the name you used please tell me how much you donated and if you live in the US or are International.
9. Your all done. Thank you for donating!
Warning: Do not try to e-mail Danielle the name and donation amount of another person that is not yourself. If Danielle receives more than one e-mail with the same persons name and donation amount she will have to ask for your copy of the receipt from everibbon to verify that you are the correct winner. Thank you.
We will have 4 winners for the main giveaway.
We have 2 $65 gift certificates to any online book store.
Also we have 2 huge boxes of books and swag from Romance Book Junkies and Bitten by Paranormal Romance for US residents only.
Good luck to all and thank you for helping make this fundraiser a success.
****PLEASE BE AWARE: I write GLBTQ romance. GLBTQ stands for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer. This means my works feature same sex relationships AND same sex sexual acts. If being associated with that kind of blog isn't your cup of tea, kindly pass on to the next blog in the hop and leave the spot open for someone else. Thank you.****