When I first decided to blog, I was sure that I would write something in it everyday. After all, with the kids gone and lots of free time on my hands, I was hoping to fulfill a secret desire of mine to write a book. What better way then to start with a blog. Friends who know me well (and love me alot) accept that I always have an opinion about something, a useful tidbit of information to impart or some piece of perfect mom-wisdom when they need it. In short – I admit it – I love to express myself and with such an open platform as the entire world wide web, how could I not take advantage of this opportunity to have my own soapbox, let alone my own little piece of the blogosphere. Pretty heady stuff!
So it was totally my intention was to write in my blog everyday, after all I bragged about having lots to say, but unfortunately like most New Year’s resolutions, I failed to keep this promise but with good reason – actually four good reasons! Enter four spunky little boys named of Pax, Seamus, Marcus & Leo who were rescued off the streets of South L.A. by my dear friend Sheilah. Sheilah is a true angel who has dedicated her life to rescuing endangered dogs and is the founder of the organization, MuttMatchLA (http://www.muttmatchla.com) and when she needs a foster home for her latest rescues, she knows that a call to me is rarely turned down. Why? Because I have become a sucker for puppy love.
It wasn’t always like that for me. In fact, I was terrified of dogs until my teens. When I was about five years old, I was badly bitten by my babysitter’s dog as she bent down to tie my shoelaces. They told me her poodle apparently thought I was attacking her. The scar on my thigh healed but the one on my psyche took much longer. I used to say that I would rather have had my teeth pulled without novocaine than go anywhere near even the tiniest of pups.
At the age of thirteen, my best friend’s mother got fed up locking their dog away every time I slept over, which was pretty often, so she told me it was either befriend their dog or no more sleepovers. Well, the thought of losing sleepover privileges forced “my hand.” The next time I showed up at their door, I stood behind it in sheer horror of the fate that lie behind it…Cujo incarnate except her name was Cocoa. The door would open and all I could see were teeth chomping – surrounded by fur. Cocoa’s bark was deafening and somehow I was pulled inside the house while their beloved pooch continued to bark and jump on me. Miraculously, once safely ensconced in my girlfriend’s room, the barking stopped and I knew I was safe. After a few more times, this became routine, my terror abated as did my fear of all dogs.
And today, family and friends who know about this childhood episode are amazed by my newfound passion and devotion to these four legged creatures as well as my growing expertise in handling them. For that I have to thank Sheilah Aragon who came into my life just over a year ago. Who knew that a chance email encounter would change my life forever.
The timing couldn’t be more perfect. One son was totally out of my house as he is a senior at UC San Diego and the other son, a teenager who’d rather be anywhere but at mom’s. My “empty nest” was silent and empty and shouting out to be filled with the pitter-patter of little feet. Little did I know that soon my house would be filled with the thump-thump of four footed furry ones. As serendipity and timing would have it, Sheilah was desperately seeking a foster home for a litter of pups and had put out an e-mail blast which made it’s way to me. It was truly love at first sight when I saw the photos of these five new babies and their mama, and without a second thought, I immediately made the call to open my heart and my home to these homeless and potentially doomed creatures. (City and county shelters are way overcrowded and dogs are put down if they cannot be adopted after a certain time period)
As they say ignorance is bliss and I didn’t really know what I was getting into that first time I became a foster of a litter of five plus their mom, plus my two. It was, indeed, an awful lot of dog to handle for a newbie, but perhaps it was the not knowing how difficult a task it would be allowed me to face each day and conquer any fears or challenges my big brood presented me. The two months those babies stayed with me were a magical time, watching them grow and develop, just as I watched my two sons grow and develop, gave me a tremendous sense of purpose and accomplishment. Most of all, I was so proud to have a part in saving these babies from possible extinction.
With that first experience under my belt, the next time Sheilah asked me to be a foster, I only had to take in one dog – boy was that easy but no less fulfilling. So, over the past year, several more dogs have come to live with me and all have gone on to wonderful forever homes, except for a cute older dude by the name of Billy Jack. He’s kind of a loner who tolerates all the puppyness around him. He’s content to take a walk, eat & sleep, and is really an easy to take care of and most times I hardly know he’s around. I am hoping to find an older couple who want a carefree kinda guy – he would be perfect in that situation and I know his perfect home is out there too!
So my home is filled with Pax, Seamus, Marcus and Leo – my little Sharpei/Pitbull/Beagles-wannabes- who knows exactly what their parentage is but it doesn’t matter, they have amazing personalities, are truly adorable, ar full of spunk and are four really good reasons why I haven’t written in my blog until now…well, then again that’s not entirely true. A few days ago, Sheilah called me and by the tone of her voice I knew it was another call to muster up some room at my home and my heart for puppy love and two more babies have joined my brood.
So now there are my foster babies Bella, Bailey, Pax, Seamus, Marcus and Leo and Billy Jack, and my forever babies Roxy, Mimi and Lulu, ten excellent reasons why I may not be writing as often as I would like, but ten very special reasons why my heart is overflowing with a whole lotta puppy love.
(If you are interested in learning more about the great work of MuttMatchLA, or if you know anyone who wants to adopt one of our rescues, or make a donation toward their care, please email Sheilah at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website: http://www.muttmatchla.com.)