Saturday, January 12, 2013

Looking back, last year and a little before

So much has happened the past year and a half or so and I haven't stopped long enough to log in the changes. Yesterday, one of my all time favorite songs came on the radio, 'Dimming of the Day,' by Richard Thompson. So many people have covered the song, but my favorite version is a heartbreaking duet by Richard and Linda Thompson. You can hear the ragged pain and loss in the notes. I let myself think about Rebel and I cried.

I haven't been able to write about Rebel even though he died September 29, 2012. He was a big part of what I am. He was my sidekick, my best friend, my confidante and soul mate. We went everywhere together.

Rebel saw the rescue come into being and rode the storm with me high and dry. When times would get too tough, and they did, Rebel could stick his cold little snout under my arm and let me know it wasn't so bad. We could make it through anything.

When Rebel died, something in me died, too. I remember during his loss, I had five dogs boarded at Spindletop. I'd scramble every month to put the money together to send, but it was always a huge struggle. People understandably don't want to contribute toward dogs that are safe....or so we thought.

During those dark days, Cubby, one of our longtime lifers passed away. Cubby died on Thanksgiving day. Then I lost my mom at New Year, one year ago. I would get a 'sympathy' call from Leah always asking for money. Later, I would learn that she took earmarked money for the dogs and bought fireworks and rum.

Rebel protesting fur sales at Neiman's
I lost two beloved companions to old age and my mother, but still managed to raise that money to send to Spindletop every month. I was also sending tons to the California dogs boarded in Lodi.

It was a huge struggle, but like Rebel promised, we made it. Little did I dream I would make it to this point by myself. I could never give up as I had those depending on me and the so many others I try and write American Pit Bull Examiner stories about.

So this year's looking back is somewhat bittersweet. I know that Rebel is up in heaven with Cubby and the others we have lost over the years. They are waiting for me and I am not afraid of dying because of that. They are with Stella, the beautiful girl who was killed at Spindletop in the Morgan Building and the oh so many others missing and dead from that horrible place.

I am strong because of them and know I must continue to fight so they will be remembered and justice will be served.

I am grateful today to rise and play with BeBe who used to be Batgirl, Vincent who was Spuds, Guido, Nolan, Peanut who was Feo and Amber who came to us with Stella and William who's enjoying the active life in foster care here in Austin.

I lost three birds due to some bad seed from Tomlinson's Pet Store and we lost Buddy, our 23 year old cat and Martha who'd suffered for years from over-vaccination which we just couldn't completely detox. 

It was a year of great loss and sadness, but also a year of happiness. Pip was adopted to a loving and wonderful couple after four years of being at Reunion from Bakersfield. Bruce Willis was adopted to a good family and goes to baseball games with his black lab sister. Angel made it out of Spindletop to travel all the way to Minnesota with Murmur and Barbara. His name is now Hub. Pearlie Girl is now Delta and loves the two young daughters of the family who adopted her. Diesel is now Buster and was adopted by a longtime Reunion Rescue couple. Hazel was adopted by an ex-Travis County sheriff's department retiree who relocated to California to be with her family.

We have tried to help many others this year with much of the work delegated toward showing folks how they too can 'have the world's friendliest pit bulls' by using the simply protocol Reunion Rescue uses. If everyone followed the simple tenets of our program, there would never be another dog bite, mauling, animal taken to a shelter, euthanasia or abusive treatment and that's a fact.

With that message to share, there are many miles to go before the dimming of the day. I can stop, though, ever so often, and see Rebel's little face shining above in his quirky fashion and knowing someday we'll be together again.