Apr 18, 2008
Hubby and I drove the 3 1/2 hours from this cesspool called Houston out to the Texas Hill Country where Hubby's 87-year-old Mum lives. The woman is a dynamo. How many 87-year-old people do you know who don't need to be in either a nursing home or at least an assisted living facility? IF I make it to that age myself, I can only hope I have a tiny bit of her joie de vivre. Absolutely amazing woman. She's been very lucky to have lived in the same apartment for over 20 years since she retired. The country is gorgeous, the town is small and she can get everything she needs in a 5 minute drive, and she's blessed with very good friends as neighbors - even her former boss is a neighbor and longtime friend.
Mum's apartment complex is government subsidized so the rent is more than affordable, but it was built in 1963 and the typical old-age problems are cropping up. Her unit developed some kind of roofing leak and there is water damage in all the rooms. It wasn't possible to do the repairs with someone still occupying the apartment, so the manager was obligated to move her to a new one. Today was Moving Day, so we went up to help out. I still can't believe how fast it all got done! I know it's going to be difficult for Mum to adjust to a new apartment after so long in the same place, but even she has to admit it's a huge improvement. Her little chihuahua, "Baby" is having more trouble adjusting than Mum is. :-)
While we were cleaning up items to go back into the china cabinet, I asked Mum about Baby's history. Baby has only been with her for 2 years and came from a shelter. Mum tells me, "I know she had 2 litters of puppies before I got her, and I WISH I would have let her have one more before she was spayed." WHAT?!! I am such a proponent of avoiding bringing unwanted puppies in the world, I really had to bite my tongue, so I just said, "Why?"
"Because the puppies are so CUTE! They're just these itty-bitty little darling things and I wanted to see what they'd look like." OK. Mum is 87 years old Jen, just shut your mouth, bite your tongue and leave it. Yeah, right. I launched into a scaled-down version of my pet poplulation lecture and the literally millions of animals who are destroyed every year because nobody wants them. So many people let their animals breed for their own enjoyment - so they and their children can experience having puppies around for a few weeks. No thought goes into what will happen to those animals when they grow up and go to new homes. "Well I found homes for them all, so what about it?" Obviously those homes don't last or there wouldn't be millions of animals destroyed every year. I just don't understand the mentality.
Hubby's cousin lives in the same general area as Mum, and she's been holding down a full time job, and breeding horses and cattle dogs for years, and she lives by herself and does all the work herself. At 60 years of age and with health issues on top of it, she's yet another female dynamo in the family. I know Cuz loves these animals, but again, there's some genetic lack of common sense. Cuz has 13 dogs on her property. Five belong to her son who is a hunting guide and uses them as hog dogs. They're all well-cared-for as far as food, water, attention and living conditions are concerned, save one: she can't afford to put them on heart worm preventive. Every last one of those 13 dogs has had heartworms from their first year of age. Am I crazy here? The way I see it is if you can't afford medical care for your animals, then you can't own animals. It's that simple. Does this not make sense in any way? Cuz justifies the lack of heartworm preventive by saying that the dogs will die of something else (like being gored by a hog perhaps?) before the heartworms kill them, so why bother? It's too expensive for 13 dogs anyway.
I love these two women. They are both so very special to me in so many ways, but I will never understand their attitude when it comes to dogs. Never. Dogs are not disposable. Their offspring is not disposable. Both Mum and Cuz regularly watch the stories on Animal Planet and weep in horror and scream in rage at what they see on the screen, but they don't see that they themselves are part of the problem. Bless their hearts, they don't understand it and never will.
OK. End of rant. I think I can maybe sleep now. Please spay and neuter your pets. PLEASE?