Remembrance

The second Saturday of 2017 was a terrible one when many of us went to RPM’s clinic to welcome our drivers home from Colorado.

None of us has forgotten what was lost that week. RPM’s president gave us a few moments at this week’s transport to silently honor the memory of our driver and the family he left behind. We continue your mission, Charles Roberts.

Group shot after transport, January 12, 2017.

Guest Room

I can feel that I’m starting to get sick. It’s inevitable. So many people I work with are sick. But it’s also a matter of our constantly fluctuating temperatures and weather and the fact that we have no insulation in the bottom half of our house to keep out the heat or cold. I’m working hard to hold whatever it is at bay with rest and fluids and good food, but I can feel it lurking.

This reminds me of another time I was sick and moved into the guest room for a few nights so I wouldn’t disturb Tom as I coughed or got in and out of bed several times a night. I was also away from little dogs pushing me around in bed and disturbing my sleep. I set up my laptop so I could work or watch movies in bed, and our foster at that time, Thomas, was the only dog allowed to join me.

This is what the guest room looks like now. Not really an escape option these days!

The bed is in storage. The green chair is at the upholstery shop to be repaired and reupholstered. And Thomas now naps in the home of his forever family. He’s a great dog.

Photo Friday, No. 581, part 2

Current Photo Friday theme: 2017

Photo Friday extended the 2017 theme another week. Might I just say that I like my tropical storm water much more at the end of the beach when I’m safely inside with Tom’s family cooking, playing games, and enjoying seeing how our nieces and nephews (including our godson!) are growing up so beautifully and with so much talent?

We kicked off the summer with Tropical Storm Cindy and ended it with Hurricane turned Tropical Storm Harvey. What a season.

(ETA: I accidentally skipped the “Rain” Photo Friday challenge on 12.15 and had to fix everything. That’s why you’re still seeing this same ol’ beach a week later.)

wrapped in plastic

I don’t know if anyone remembers that time I photoshopped myself all up to look like dead Laura Palmer from “Twin Peaks,” but Marika sure did.

Viola! My first little Funko figurine ever which she couldn’t resist sending me because she’s Marika.

I didn’t get to see the recent “Twin Peaks” reboot. But I will. One day. Thank you, Marika! You’re nuts.

Make me an angel…

“…that flies from Montgomery…”

That’s a line from a very old John Prine song I love, as sung both by him and by Bonnie Raitt.

Well, I have an angel who flew all the way from England.

You may remember that years ago, Marika secretly sent out a call to friends far and wide offering to send them angels to color for me as a surprise at Christmas. I think I received nine angels that Christmas, and a few others in later years.

That was in 2009, y’all–eight years ago! Marika recently expressed concerns about the tin of angels that friends, family, and I have colored through the decades. Had they survived the flood? Were they okay?

Trust me, the angels were stored high above the flood waters, and in any case, Debby and I emptied that bookcase as quickly as we could because we’d seen bookshelves in her apartment and Tim’s go down fast, with loss of books in both places. We moved everything to a safer, more stable place in case that happened here. Now the angels are in storage instead of decorating the house this holiday season.

Except this one. After all these years, Mark a longtime LiveJournal friend from England, sent a beautiful Christmas card as he does each year. In it I found this bookmark and this stunning angel. THANK YOU SO MUCH, Mark, it was a delightful surprise–and I know Marika will also be thrilled. Right now your angel is keeping me company on my desk, and soon enough, she’ll join her band of angelic friends so that next year, they can all grace Houndstooth Hall with their beauty.

the restaurant at the end of the universe


Man, I miss this kid. Today is the day Aaron was born in 1993. I can’t believe he’s been gone more than five years. There are still times that I’m reading something or watching something and think, I bet Aaron would like this! I think of him with every One Republic song I hear. There was a funny comment I just read in Chris Weitz’s “The Young World” teenage dystopian fiction trilogy (Aaron loved all The Hunger Games books) about “Katniss,” and all I wanted to do was buy Aaron this whole series so he could read it and we could talk about it.

I believe it was my nephew Daniel who said something that made me read the Douglas Adams books that inspired this blog title. I never stop learning from him or being introduced to books, music, and other things I might otherwise not have found. I wanted this with his brother Aaron, too.

Most of all, I wanted Aaron to experience all the wonders that life has to offer.

We love you so much, Aaron. I’m sending out a happy birthday to the restaurant at the end of the universe where in my mind, I’m sharing birthday cake with you.

I’m not doing enough networking

I’m too busy to remember that I have a fundraiser going on, and so far, I’m the only person who’s contributed to it because I’m a terrible networker. I also know it’s a tough time of year when most people’s budgets are already strained, so I’m not surprised or even disappointed. This is just reality. If you’re able to help, please click here.

Sunday we pulled a tiny puppy from BARC–he and his brother, actually–only to hear from his foster that he wasn’t doing well. She was so worried that she took him to one of Houston’s best ER vets, and Tim went by to visit him later. He has parvo. Today he’ll be transported from the ER vet to one of our veterinary partners who has pulled many parvo puppies through for us. Tim sent this photo of him.

Parvo always hits me hard because I’ll never forget Pollock and his sister Ruby’s littermates. They were the first litter of puppies pulled by RPM from BARC, and they were to be fostered by Hanley’s mom Laura. Since she had to be out of town for a few days, Tim took them (and I shared photos of all of them in several blog posts in September 2013), then they went to Laura’s after she returned. Big Guy became sick and was held back the day the rest of the litter including Pollock (he was Little Guy then) and Ruby were loaded on the van and were on their way out of town. Laura got a call from the vet with bad news: Big Guy had parvo. So the rest of the litter were pulled off the van and came back to The Compound. The deal was that all the puppies would stay with Tim. If they got sick, they’d go to the vet, where two vet techs were fiercely committed to caring for them. Then if they made it, they’d go to Laura’s until they were well enough to travel.

One by one, each of those puppies got sick and died because of parvo despite everyone’s best efforts to save them. Ruby was the only one who got parvo and pulled through, and Laura adopted her so she could get her strong and well. Little Guy never left Tim’s and never got parvo but did get his new name, Pollock. There was no way after all that loss Tim could let Pollock travel to Colorado. They were meant to be together.

Neither Tim nor I put that story on our blogs back then because it was too painful. RPM was new and that was a tough part of the beginning. Now more than 25,000 transported dogs, cats, and pigs later, no one connected to RPM ever forgets the ones we lose. So many of them come off the streets and out of the shelter sick and broken, and that’s why we say we rescue, rehabilitate, and transport. The financial impact is huge, but that’s part of RPM’s commitment. We don’t pull only healthy animals. We pull animals in need. Thanks to our rescue partners and their compassion and commitment, we’re able to do our best to get them healthy before they travel. Thanks to our donors and grantors, we’re able to pay for it.

All that is to say that I was already emotionally invested in today’s little puppy even before I realized his name (given to him by my records partner at RPM, Lynn), which is Frisbee. That reminded me of the late Rob Edler (person belonging to Mlle. Renee, another amazing rescue dog). His LJ user name was Cody Frizbee Jr. I felt moved to contribute to little Frisbee’s medical bills because of Rob and Renee, Ruby and Pollock.

I hope he makes it.