Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Day 14: Saving the Gator

Day 14 miles to/from work: 26.8
Total miles for S4S: 357.1

When the alarm went off at 4:15 this morning, it was not laziness that made me turn it off and decide to bag swim class, so much as the certain knowledge that getting through the day on less than 4 hours sleep was not a good idea. As fully documented in yesterday's post, Scott and I had a lovely anniversary dinner. But after we got home, the wheels fell one by one off the proverbial cart.

First the air conditioner threw the breaker switch, so Scott turned it back on; which resulted in flickering lights and the switch flipping back off. Then our next-door-neighbor came to the door to report that he had just witnessed some Roman candle-equivalent issuing forth from our a/c unit. The good news is that it is not mid-July, and we have a good friend who is a genius HVAC guy.
I started work on yesterday's Day 13 blog post, and just as I had it almost finished, it evaporated into a blank blog screen. That, of course, was when Blogger chose to auto-save the nothingness. I tried every trick I could think of. Nothing would bring it back. I had no choice but to start over. Arrrrrgggghhhh! I consulted with the liquor cabinet before proceeding.

It was also Last-Chance Tuesday. Wednesday mornings are when Carrollton (Texas) Animal Services typically euthanize animals that were not privately adopted or pulled by a rescue over the previous week. Because of Joe, a shelter employee, and the network he has developed, the euthanasia rate has dropped to close to zero for adoptable pets. (This article about him from the Dallas Morning News will be the best thing you read all day. Read it now! Even if it means never finishing this post. You could be thanking Joe for that.)  
"So what does this heart-warming Joe and his shelter 1200 miles away have to do with you?" some might ask. I have roots, friends, and family in Texas; and all of those conspired to suck me into the Facebook page, Joe's Animal House (JAH) and its community.

All week we network the "urgents list" like crazy. My location limits my networking connections a bit, but I do pester those Texans I know and maintain the pledge-tracking sheet showing what financial support is available for vetting, spay/neuter, etc. to the rescues who pull these babies. Tuesday nights become completely frenzied in getting the last ones out the front door. Begging and pleading with rescues that are full to the gills, seeking transport if one is found far away, fielding last minute pledges. Last night we still had one big dog (Gator, the handsome boy pictured) and four cats. No takers. I was messaging back and forth with three of my Texas JAH buddies (while multi-tasking and reconstructing my blog post), and they asked why I didn't call Phyllis.

Ironically, it seems that I'm the only one besides Joe who has a direct line to Phyllis Allison of Sunflower Hill Rescue in Terrell, Texas. I got to know her by phone when I was doing a blog on Bonnie and Ranger, two homeless dogs in Texas. Phyllis had rescued Bonnie, a heartworm-positive, blue-eyed, Dumbo-eared darling,  and I would call to get updates. Now I call just to talk to Phyllis and get a big dose of her wit and wisdom. I love Phyllis. She's got the biggest heart, and she's funny as hell. I have called her on two other occasions about Last-Chance Tuesday down-to-the-wire cases. She has always taken them.

So when Sissy, Judy Ann, and Leticia were asking why I hadn't called Phyllis, I said, "I don't want her to think I'm using her. Am I being a wienie?" The consensus was an emphatic "Yes!" At 10:00 pm I called Phyllis, apologized for the lateness of the hour ("but I'm desperate"), and begged her to take Gator. She said yes. Yea! On a roll here. "How about a couple of cats? Kitty and Shyla got held over from last week, and there's no chance they'll get a second reprieve." "Oh, I shouldn't, but I will." Major save from the Great State of Wisconsin! And, of course... all credit goes to the beloved St. Phyllis deep in the heart of Texas.

I finally finished my blog post (again), updated the pledge sheet, said good-night to Judy Ann, Sissy, and Leticia and hit the pillow at 12:30. So... that's why I didn't swim this morning. (Aren't you glad I didn't choose a topic that would make for a long story?) BUT I did ride the full 26.8 miles round-trip to and from work. So all was not lost.

The morning was beautiful. The return trip was dark and windy, but with interesting sidelights. I got to visit with the mounted police who were taking a break right off the bike path with their four steeds. (Bubba and Luna were my favorites.)
As I passed Lake Monona the crew rowing teams were going for all they were worth. It's been another great day, made better knowing that Gator, Shyla, and Kitty are safe with Phyllis. Ahhhhhh. Exhaling now.


  1. Good job mom. And don't take on too much. (That's slightly hypocritical coming from me). This program and pledge sheet sounds like a lot of work and you already help animals SO much.

  2. Thank you, Care. And also you're right--advising me not to take on too much is RICH and ironic coming from you. I could do all this and take on another full-time job and still not be filling my hours to the capacity you are. I'm just trying to humbly live in your shadow. ;-)