Thursday, May 24, 2012

There's a pup in our house.

And he is damn adorable.

We are unamused by your lack of animal rescue involvement.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Yes, he is this awesome.

Seriously, Olivia? Seriously?!

This little darling is available for adoption.  Kia and I will drive her to an exceptional family, you don't have to live in Lima.  Here she is playing with our friend and fellow dog walker Kate Bindel. LOOK AT HER FACE:

New book arrived today. I squealed.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Somebody That I Used To Know

"This print's rare."

When you write lines like, "Please don't go. I'll eat you up, I love you so."-- you live forever. RIP Maurice Sendak.

"I have nothing now but praise for my life. I'm not unhappy. I cry a lot because I miss people. They die and I can't stop them. They leave me and I love them more. ... What I dread is the isolation. ... There are so many beautiful things in the world which I will have to leave when I die, but I'm ready, I'm ready, I'm ready."

Sendak dismissed the notion that children were simple creatures who were easy to please and believed that most children's literature was crap. He would occasionally respond to letters from fans with original illustrations, and was famously delighted by a letter he received from the mother of a child who had received such a letter; according to Sendak, the child loved his drawing so much that he ate it, and that was the best compliment that he possibly could have gotten.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Photos from the home of one of Michael Vick's rescue dogs

One of the pups before

One of the pups after

How Bruce Wayne defeated evil, triumphed over his villans and is now residing in my heart (and home)

My boyfriend and I have been volunteering at the Humane Society of Allen County for the past few months-- walking dogs and petting kitties is obviously the best way to spend an afternoon-- and inadvertently acquired a passion for rescued Pit Bulls.  We walk all the pups, but Olivia (below) has become a favorite.  She is exceedingly smart, always happy and obedient, tends to think she is a cat (perching on your lap and whatnot) and is just an all around perfectly tempered dog.  She would make an exceptional companion to a home that can get past the unfortunate stigma of her breed.  Wise up, folks.  Olivia is the best dog you'll probably ever have.

 This is her happy face.  She is so marvelously serious.

Ready to attack with insane dexterity her favorite toy, a tennis ball.

Look at that stride!

Olivia is a wonder and I could talk about her all day, but the reason for this post is a certain little boy named Bruce Wayne.

I first met Bruce Wayne only a few days after he arrived at the shelter.   Initially attracted to him because of his name, I was excited to see the newest shelter addition.  As I approached the stall, I didn't meet the spirited and anxious to get the heck outside dog I was expecting.   Huddled in a corner, terrified and shivering, Bruce Wayne was curled as tight as possible in his blanket, head hung low.  Tears immediately sprung to my eyes-- I could feel the  unimaginable pain he had endured before I even knew his story.   Bending down, I cautiously and slowly extended my hand to him.  He shrank into himself at my slightest movement.  As I carefully got closer to him, we made eye contact and I was struck by the most gentle and direct stare I've ever received from a dog.  I softly touched the side of his face and started to stroke him under his chin (I was told this builds confidence in abused dogs).  I looked into his eyes once more and saw a dog utterly broken, yet so very tender.  With no reason whatsoever to be affectionate to any human, his eyes are kind and trusting, hopeful even.  As I continued to pet him and tell him how good and beautiful he was, he gingerly leaned into my hand.  I continued talking to him and gradually, after several minutes of soft tones and just sitting with him in the stall, he allowed me to put a collar around his neck and start the equally long process of getting him  outside to take a walk.

On the way out I was informed by another volunteer that Bruce Wayne had been a bait dog for his entire life.  Specifically selected for his docile and gentle nature, for five years he was thrown into a ring between two other vicious dogs and used, quite literally, as fight bait.  His tenderness was exploited and from puppy hood his mouth was taped shut and he was utilized as "training" to make other dogs more brutal.  It's a miracle Bruce Wayne made it to his fifth birthday since the life expectancy of most bait dogs rarely exceeds two years.  We don't know all the details of Bruce's incredible story of survival, but we can easily assume it wasn't much different than most bait dogs, like Noah:

Once we made it outside, he was confused, anxious and stayed very low to the ground for our entire walk-- scared and afraid of any and everything.  The long walk became a little too much for him to handle so we stopped at a bench and I sat in the grass beside him, determined to spend as much time loving on him as I could.  While petting him I felt the scars all across his back, felt the scabs that covered his entire body and saw the tears in his ears-- his big, hilariously out of place ears that rendered him his name-- ears that were undoubtedly an unlucky large target for attacks all of his life.  As the petting continued, he started to inch just a little closer to me, relaxing into my hands and arms.  I told Kiarash as we left that day, "Oh baby, this is really bad.  This is why I was afraid to volunteer in the first place-- I think I fell in love today.  We have to do something for Bruce."  I continued to talk about Bruce Wayne incessantly all weekend and look at his picture on my iPhone with what could be dubbed compulsion.

About a month later, I saw Bruce again and the difference was incredible.  He met me at the gate with his tongue out, ears perked up and with eyes still timid, yet bright.  It still takes a lot of patience to get him out of the stall, as he will probably always cower at the sight of metal (on the collar and leash tip), but this time our walk was full of wagging tails and happy sprints.  He no longer walks close to the ground, but upright and tall.  His burgeoning confidence left me happily surprised to find him a much bigger dog than I had initially thought!  About half way through our time together, he stopped mid-walk and looked back at me, his eyes direct as always, and I swear he kinda smiled.  As I came closer to bend down and give him the biggest hug I could without scaring him, my eyes once again filled with tears-- so proud of his progress and amazed by his resilience. Bruce Wayne still has a very long way to go, but if he can make this dramatic of change in only a month, I have exceedingly high hopes for his progress.

Kia and I decided to foster him a few days ago.  As soon as finals are over and we have the proper time to devote to him, we are bringing this handsome boy home in hopes to render him more adoptable and acclimate him to domestic living-- a luxury he has never experienced.

Bruce Wayne may never fully recover.  He may never have the "normal" life a dog.  He may never learn how to play and he may always be skittish and timid-- but I'll be damned if I don't at least try to show him how to wrestle with a toy, run around a back yard and enjoy days of comfort and stability.  For all his pain, he will at least have me-- for as long as I can, until some lucky person decides to adopt him-- to kiss his face, pet his ridged back, tell him how awesome he is, and smooth down his torn ears.

Brucey, baby, I've already got a collar picked out for you, and it's Tiffany blue.

I should note that nearly all of Bruce's progress is due to Alicia, one of the few tireless and incredible workers at the Humane Society.  When Bruce sees her, the world melts away and he becomes so joyful.  I cannot speak highly enough of this woman who has dedicated her life to helping/rescuing all animals that come to the shelter (specifically Pits).

New York City said, "Imma make you love you."

NYC public library

Like a boss

In Brooklyn

Friday, May 4, 2012

I need this chair. You know, for a throne.

“I have been loved,' she said, 'by something strange, and it has forgotten me.”

Djuna Barnes

“We are adhering to life now with our last muscle - the heart.” 

“There's something evil in me that loves evil and degradation--purity's black backside! That loves honesty with a horrid love; or why have I always gone seeking it at the liar's door?” 

“God, children know something they can't tell; they like Red Riding Hood and the wolf in bed!” 

“Let us put it the other way, the Lutheran or Protestant church versus the Catholic. The Catholic is the girl that you love so much that she can lie to you, and the Protestant is the girl that loves you so much that you can lie to her, and pretend a lot that you do not feel.” 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Entrance to the main reading room at the New York City public library

The Giaour

A turban carved in coarsest stone,
A pillar with rank weeds o'ergrown,
Whereon can now be scarcely read
The Koran verse that mourns the dead,
Point out the spot where Hassan fell
A victim in that lonely dell.
There sleeps as true an Osmanlie
As e'er at Mecca bent the knee;
As ever scorn'd forbidden wine,
Or pray'd with face towards the shrine,
In orisons resumed anew
At solemn sound of "Alla Hu!"
Yet died he by a stranger's hand,
And stranger in his native land;
Yet died he as in arms he stood,
And unavenged, at least in blood.
But him the maids of Paradise
Impatient to their halls invite,
And the dark Heaven of Houris' eyes
On him shall glance for ever bright;
They come---their kerchiefs green they wave,
And welcome with a kiss the brave!
Who falls in battle 'gainst a Giaour
Is worthiest an immortal bower.

But thou, false Infidel! shall writhe
Beneath avenging Monkir's scythe;
And from its torments 'scape alone
To wander round lost Eblis' throne;
And fire unquench'd, unquenchable,
Around, within, thy heart shall dwell;
Nor ear can hear nor tongue can tell
The tortures of that inward hell!
But first, on earth as Vampire sent,
Thy corse shall from its tomb be rent:
Then ghastly haunt thy native place,
And suck the blood of all thy race;
There from thy daughter, sister, wife,
At midnight drain the stream of life;
Yet loathe the banquet which perforce
Must feed thy livid living corse:
Thy victims ere they yet expire
Shall know the demon for their sir
e,As cursing thee, thou cursing them,
Thy flowers are withered on the stem.
But one that for thy crime must fall,
The youngest, most beloved of all,
Shall bless thee with a father's name--
That word shall wrap thy heart in flame!
Yet must thou end thy task, and mark
Her cheek's last tinge, her eye's last spark,
And the last glassy glance must view
Which freezes o'er its lifeless blue;
Then with unhallow'd hand shalt tear
The tresses of her yellow hair,
Of which in life a lock when shorn
Affection's fondest pledge was worn,
But now is borne away by thee,
Memorial of thine agony!
Wet with thine own best blood shall drip
Thy gnashing tooth and haggard lip;
Then stalking to thy sullen grave,
Go---and with Gouls and Afrits rave;
Till these in horror shrink away
From Spectre more accursed than they!

-Lord Byron