For those who don’t know, the amazing Gracie pup was a rescue dog. She was found with her brothers and sisters, abandoned underneath an old house. They were cuddled up together under the porch, drowning in fleas and ticks. You couldn’t even tell what color they were because of the filth and attached parasites. Two of her siblings (are animals called siblings?) died after the rescue. Gracie was a runty little thing, much much smaller than the others, but somehow she managed to survive. We found her at an adoption at a pet store and I feel in love instantly. She was feisty, pacing her cage and letting out what she thought was a bark at passersby. I asked to hold her and she curled up in my lap and went to sleep.
I was smitten and she came home the next day after some persuasive arguing with the placement people who required home visits and a two week “pre-adoption” period (um, yeah, I’m not that patient…I wanted her right then!). She’s been a part of our family ever since and she really is the most amazing dog I’ve ever met (please note her pudgy puppy belly that grew so quickly once she arrived at home)
My son (the future vet one) has been under extreme pressure the last few weeks after attending a career orientation meeting at school. He’s heading into the high school honors program and for the last two weeks has been drilled about how important his record is from here on out. We were discussing Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans one evening and he caught sight of some photos that just broke his heart.
With Gracie in his lap, he began to wonder what happened to all the lost and misplaced animals from Katrina and other disasters. For those not aware, prior to Katrina there was no national response organized to help animals in disasters. Since Katrina the US government is now requiring standards at local, state and national levels for animal disaster response. After a bit of research, he learned that neither our county or our state have yet complied with the new regulations. Budding little vet that he is, he decided it was time to do something about it.
So, this summer he’ll be spending a great amount of his “free” time working through the disaster training classes available online. I’ve taken most of them already so he already knows these are college level, hurt your head sometimes, courses. But he’s determined. And besides, he told me, “how great will a disastrous summer look on a college application?”
I told him he might want to reconsider the title but I’ve got to commend him for the effort and commitment he’s made. Sometimes, I realize that I might be doing something right with this parenting thing after all.
Then he decides to try his new martial arts move out on his brother and I remember…I’ve still got a long way to go.