Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Plan According to the Underpants Gnomes

I am not a professional communicator. K is, but aside from the bursts of inspiration and pleasant aesthetic she offers to this blogging project, she does not engineer most of the communication found within this forum.

I have a B.A. in English from a fine institution of higher education. I know what makes a good story. I know the requisite component parts and pieces. Which would lead one to wonder why characters appear within this forum, disappear and perhaps re-appear, all without any exposition. Periodically I come to the realization that I have abandoned the use of fundamental storytelling mechanisms, and for no readily identifiable reason. The only reasonable explanation is that I have adopted storytelling in the tradition of the Underpants Gnomes: something happens in the middle here ?????, and then – make profit!

As we left things last, The-dog-formerly-known-as-Princess and Merrick were traded off in a cross-state transaction. The-Dog-Formerly-Known-as-Princess had a potential home on the east side of the state; Merrick was in need of some veterinary care following his miraculous recovery from a brutal case of demodectic mange, and there was a family living close to our island in the GDRO universe who were very interested in adopting him after all health issues were resolved.

Aside from the gore factor, Merrick ’s veterinary care was completed without incident. He was neutered (a must in rescue) and Doc corrected a strange situation with his eyelids that I do not completely understand even to this day. For those with a morbid sense of curiosity, the condition is called Entropion, where the eyelids turn in so hair aggravates the inner eyelids and creates a potential for irritation, infection, etc. . . For about 4 hours – 4 days post-surgery, one would wonder if the cure is worse than the disease. Because this is a rated-PG blog, I will not include the pictures I took of Merrick's bloody dripping eyes. After full recovery, Merrick found his way to a family who wanted a baby boy, and who love him with a fierceness that in other situations may require therapeutic intervention. Another happy ending.

While we were happily cutting-and-pasting Merrick into his final adoptable version, The-Dog-Formerly-Known-as-Princess (hereinafter referred to as Presley) was in the process of alienating her potential adoptive family. Not a week after we left Merrick happily ensconced with his forever family, Presley made her way to catch a Dane-train back across the state of Missouri, and into northeast Kansas to return to MisFit Farm, where she looks likely to spend the rest of her days. Her reputed transgressions have been easily corrected, she seems to be content -- even happy, and her health is fine. We could do worse in inheriting her as our latest perma-fost. She has laid claim to any dog bed closest to where I am presently located, has enlisted the alliance of Mercy to star in the role as her co-Diva, plays a great game of Senior Olympic chase, and dispenses kisses tainted with breath that can only belong to a septuagenarian dog or someone who routinely ingests dirty gym socks soaked in fish-flavored, outdated milk. So, we have another happy ending of sorts, although our census puts us out of the foster business for a while.

Which explains why the pretty little baby with a hunched back, infected mouth and intestinal worm collection, Emma-Smudge, could not remain at MisFit Farm. She was immediately dispatched to GDRO headquarters for follow up x-rays, follow-up care and no small amount of petting, cuddling, playing, and general wonderful living. She has gained five pounds in the ensuing week, has determined that her back is going to be a permanent feature, and otherwise looks to be a perfectly fine little bundle of puppy-joy, ready to be snatched up by some loving family with an aesthetic taste in large dogs that runs toward the burnt-and-bent.

So, rest assured that despite the big question mark in the middle of our comings-and-goings, we have once again managed to muddle through another month of blessings, angst, laughter, tears, ups, downs and in-betweens, to reap the profit of satisfaction in a job well-done, and an abiding sense that every one of us is right where we belong.

Sunday, October 04, 2009


Most folks don’t have to spend much time with me to figure out that I have a large appetite. I generally snack my way through most days; even at that I am able to consume large amounts of food at any given mealtime. I am told this is a longstanding characteristic – my childhood is replete with stories of consumption conquests – entire steaks at age 5, an entire large pizza at age 10, all-you-can buffets munched right into financial ruin. There are also the myriad stories of the variety of foodstuffs of which I would partake – as a toddler in a high chair happily munching down a raw green onion or pushing through my first dill pickle, or cow tongue as an appetizer, a taco filling, or a main course.

Folks in the nutrition business or diet industry will readily distinguish the difference between appetite and hunger. Make no mistake, I appreciate the difference and am thankful every day that, notwithstanding my healthy appetite, I do not go hungry.

When you are the littlest puppy in the litter and something terrible has happened to cause your spine to grow into a hump, you are experiencing great discomfort from the foreign object lodged up into your upper gum, you are being nibbled away at by hoards of fleas, and you are teeming with whipworms, hookworms and roundworms, you know hunger. With that wonderful combination, you probably couldn’t eat enough to assuage the hunger, even if you wolfed down canned food in seconds flat, and then stood for another ten minutes licking the smell out of the dog dish.

And you would be a magnificent creature indeed if even though your little belly was concave, and each and every rib could be counted, you still could enjoy the comfort of a soft bed, and had love to share with anyone willing to offer up a lap.

Mostly, we appreciate the work of the dedicated folks who keep a shoestring rescue going notwithstanding the driving, the expense, the late nights and early mornings, and the repeated heartbreak, so we know this baby will never have to know hunger again.