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August 2009

VERY grouchy

(Sorry, another soapbox rant today.  Feel free to move on if you wish, but I have to get this off my chest.)

Today I am absolutely furious - not because of anything that's happened to me or mine, but because of the careless, unthinking cruelty of someone hundreds of miles away. 

I'm sure most of you have figured out by now that we're rather fond of our animals here at Grouchy House.  All our pets are much-loved and well treated.  Sadly, that is not the case for all animals.  Today I read Yarnhog's  posts about a mama dog and her puppies, and I am just livid.  That anyone would treat an animal in that way - especially an organization that supposedly exists to help animals - is completely inexcusable. 

Part of my outrage is because we've seen a similar situation up close.  When we still lived in Indiana, we adopted a Rottweiler mix from the local shelter, where the kids and I volunteered.  Sadie was about one year old when we met her and weighed around 50 lbs. or so.  We fell in love with her sweet personality and calm demeanor and took her home.  At her first vet visit, we discovered that she was pregnant.  Mind you, she was an "owner surrender", meaning that her previous owner had turned her in to the shelter (their excuse was that she was "too much trouble").  Apparently the "trouble" was that they hadn't had her spayed and didn't want to be bothered with taking care of puppies or finding them good homes.   

Well, two weeks after we adopted her, Sadie had twelve puppies.  Yep, twelve.  Two were stillborn, but the other ten were big, healthy pups - out of a dog who only weighed about 55 lbs. when she delivered them.  By the time the puppies were weaned and we'd found good homes for them all, Sadie was up to 70 lbs and looked like a different dog.  It seems the previous owners thought they could starve her into miscarrying, and when that didn't work, they dumped her at the shelter.  By the time we'd had her five months, she was at a healthy weight of 85 lbs and was an absolutely wonderful dog....and no trouble at all. 

So obviously Yarnhog's story hit a nerve with me.  There are so many wonderful animals out there that are being abused and neglected because people are just too stinking lazy to do the right thing, and it makes me furious.  The few times that we have been unable to keep an animal, for whatever reason, we've made darn sure that we found a good home for it where it would be loved and cared for appropriately.   It's really not that hard to do the right thing for an animal, you know.  If a person can't even treat a dog or cat decently, don't you wonder how they'd treat other people - or God forbid, their children?   Sad.  Very sad. 

So glad to be a human

    Monday afternoon one of our cats, Lily, gave birth to five kittens.  They're all healthy, squirmy, squeaky little mites, despite being the tiniest kittens I've ever seen.  Lily is doing a great job as mama, although I think she's getting a touch of cabin fever.  :-)  I sat with her while she was delivering the kittens, and I have to tell you....I am SO glad I'm not a cat!  Or a dog, or any other animal that commonly produces multiple babies at one time.  One at a time was more than enough for me to handle, thank you! 

    Okay, so maybe I'm a bit odd for even thinking about something like this, but seriously - can you imagine?  Giving birth to three or four - or more - babies at one time, and then having to nurse, clean up after, etc. all of them all by yourself?  Aaargh!  At least humans who have multiples can ask for help with bottles and diaper changes.  That poor cat is on her own with those five babies.  Thank God it's different for us!

    I'll post pictures in a few more days - right now we're trying to keep things calm, so Lily and the babies don't get stressed out by too much noise and activity.  They're awfully cute already, we can't wait until their eyes open.  In the meantime, give thanks for things like opposable thumbs and disposable diapers.  And kids without tails. 

A triple-dip

    Yesterday all three of my children were baptized.   I can't begin to tell you how proud of them I am, or what a wonderful thing it was to see them take that step.  Our belief is that baptism doesn't "save" you, but rather that it's a sign that you have made a decision to follow Christ and to live your life (as much as possible) as a reflection of Him.  It's a serious step, and one that we never pushed the kids on, because we wanted them to fully understand the reasoning behind it and make the decision for themselves.  Since our church doesn't have a building - we meet in the local middle school - baptisms only happen about once a year, and it's usually either in someone's pool or the lake, during the annual church picnic.  Yesterday was the picnic, and Luke, Faith and Seth all chose to step up and identify themselves as believers in Christ.  To make it even better, Jon and I were able to participate in the baptisms. 

    I usually try to remain fairly low-key about my beliefs here, just because I didn't start this blog as a platform for evangelizing.  However, my faith is a huge part of my life, and when something this big happens in my family, I want the world to know!   So many kids (and adults, for that matter) are just floundering these days because they don't know what to believe.  I'm really glad my kids have made the choices they have.  I know it could be very different - with three teens, we could be living with a world of heartache over things they've done.  But thankfully, they've been smart enough to see the consequences of bad choices in others' lives, and turn away from those things.  Obviously they still have their lifetimes ahead of them, and I'm sure they'll make many decisions that Jon and I won't agree with.  Still, I feel like they've got a solid foundation of common sense and good judgement, as well as strong faith, to guide them in the years to come.    We are really blessed by our kids....thanks, God.