Fundraisers are fun when Naomi is the host

Thank you Naomi Parker.

Yesterday I was at the fundraiser for Joe Angelo for Mayor , Celeste Ellich for Commissioner and Steve Zollo for Commissioner – all for the City of Wilton Manors.

At least I think it was officially for those three…

But I am getting ahead of myself. 

Every neighborhood has its share of Characters.  Interesting people that make life better by their being there.  I hadn’t had the distinct PLEASURE (Get that?  I can’t stress it enough!) of meeting Naomi Parker before.  She lives within walking distance of me, I’ve walked Mrs Dog past her house thinking that she’s done nice work on her property, but I never knew that the beauty on the outside was outshone by the beauty of this warm woman’s love and hospitality. 

Naomi is one of those people that when you say you hadn’t met her you hear “You mean you haven’t Met NAOMI?” in tones of awe of the experience you will have as you get to know this gem of a person.  Naomi is a warm and giving person who seems to be the “Earth Mother” of that side of the Central Neighborhood.  One of those people who seems to know everyone and lives her life by making them feel cared for, Naomi opened her house to me and mine, and the political people last night. 

Oh did I say she made some of the best Barbecue I’ve had and I’m making it my own personal quest to find some of the best.  You know you’re in for some good food when you spot that smoke from a block away and sniff that tang of a barbecue grill on the air.  This thing was easily 10 feet long of grilling potential.  Forget your Weber’s folks, Naomi doesn’t mess around!

The warmth of Naomi and her friends was apparent as people in the neighborhood floated past the house all evening.  She started us off with the food and she’d introduce us to the neighbors, offer them some of her specialties, and set us on the right track.

That was a perfect analogy to the evening.  Warmth and Inclusiveness.

For the entire time I was there, the yard was filled with friends and family.  Everyone welcome, everyone enjoying themselves.  I’m skipping a breakfast that I don’t need because she had so much on the table that was so wonderful.

As the group grew to its peak, I was asked what I would write about in this posting.  I looked around at the crowd and pointed out that I was looking at a group of people who are competitors in the current elections, at no point did the number of electoral hopefuls fall below 4 out of 7 for the municipal election.  Every one of them were chatting like they were old friends.

As a Project Manager, I was looking at it from the “Team Building” angle.   I realized if I were their boss, I would have had no work building the team.  These people were all able to work together, talk, and not compete.  It was an interesting view, as I pointed it out to the people gathered.  Celeste Ellich had said that “that was the way we wanted it.”  For the most part, the City Commission does work together, fairly well.  With some notable exceptions, the people on the Dais every two weeks are there to co-operate and not play schoolyard games.

I would say that the fundraiser was a success.  It started at 4pm, and I left after 7pm which was it’s official ending time.  Despite being turned into a pincushion by hungry mosquitoes (this is South Florida after all), I didn’t want to leave.  There were good friends, good food and good times.  I can’t say enough good about the time. 

The bottom line is that if you haven’t voted, I can easily say that any of the people that were there last night were deserving of your vote.  

The list would be as follows:

For Mayor – Joe Angelo
For the 4 Year Commission Seats – Pick 2 of 3
Ted Galatis, Scott Newton, and Steve Zollo
For the 2 Year Commission Seat – Celeste Ellich

Thank you again Naomi!

Unstuffed Skunk Border Collie Toy

No rant today, I’m ranted out for now…

Walking through the minefield back to the bouncy chair, I noticed the floor.

There were little piles of white fluff everywhere. 

Looking down at my stocking feet, past the coffee mug, the culprit was spotted.   A Bored Border Collie.

Usually when I find fluff, I pick it up, and toss it into the trash bin.  The house has fur in the corners, dog foot prints on the “Show Everything” beige tile floors, and to add insult to injury the Parrot has a habit of eating “al fresco”.   I could run the vacuum twice a day and never quite get all the mess up. 

The fluff tells me that I have to get out needle and thread and sew the seams back up.  I have a dog that loves her Frankenstein scarred toys.   She’s one of those dogs that likes soft toys.  She will grab a leg or a tail and shake the thing around not caring that she’ll brain herself.  It is probably best that way.  I have given her soft toys since she gave up on the Tennis Balls that I gather from around the courts at Hagen Park.  There’s a bucket of those on the front porch that are waiting for Baby Girl The Friendly Pit Bull across the street or any other deserving dog that may need them.  

A Helpful Hint… if you have a tennis ball that needs to be cleaned off try the dishwasher or toss it in with the laundry.   If you do put it in the laundry, your clothes will be naturally softened and the tennis ball will come out fresh and ready for a new coat of slobber and floor grunge.

A Second Helpful Hint… Now that you have cleaned the tennis ball off in the washer, grab a knife and make an incision in it.  Make the incision slightly longer than a piece of your dog’s favorite food.  For my Lettie, I usually try for something slightly wider than my thumb.   The result is now you have a place to put the dog food in that bounces.  I’ve fed Lettie that way when I want her to be preoccupied with something while I make my own dinner.

But back to that unstuffed toy.   The skunk has been around for a while, taken a couple trips through the washer and has been refilled with other stuffing.  It is scarred and ripped… I think this time it won’t survive the trip.  Friends here, knowing that I have One Of Those Soft Toy Dogs will give me little plush things to give her.   I toss them in with my weekly laundry and then give the toys to her.  They briefly become her favourite thing, but she keeps returning to the same few toys.   That blasted semi-shredded skunk.

We call it “Road Kill” the skunk.  When it was fully stuffed, she’d had a habit of leaving it on its back with the legs sticking up in the air. The first time I walked in the house after we gave it to her, it sat, upside down in the middle of the beige floor with beady eyes staring back at me pleading mutely in my mind to save it from being chewed.  It was that time when Lettie bounded over to the door, grabbing the skunk in her path and making the electronics squeak at me.   Who knew Skunks could make noise?  I sure didn’t!

Now with half the stuffing left, it is sitting in the hallway bent at an odd angle, fur all spiked with dog slobber and looking sad.   It won’t survive another voyage to Lake Bosch.  It lost the electronics a while ago when they became a rattle then the pieces fell out in a short bit of flapping about one day.   I’m still finding white pieces of plastic in strange places.  I never was all that effective at using the vacuum either but with a dog, I can cover.

Or so I tell myself.

Her favorite toy was a grey squirrel.  She had that one for more than a year grabbing it by the tail and flapping it around dizzily.  After she savaged it, she’d place it carefully next to her mat and curl up into a dog ball.   Odd way to treat your toys, one moment it was to be shredded like an outside squirrel, the next your baby, but that is Dog Logic (TM).  Her sleep mat in the master bedroom has a ring of dog toys around it so she can keep an eye on them as if they were the puppies she never had.   I guess the ol’ girl is feeling broody.

On the next trip to the kitchen, for the next mug of coffee, I pick up the next pile of fluff.   I stuffed it back into the skunk hoping it would stay there for a while giving the thing a little more life, but no… it popped back out.  It will go into the bin and Mrs Dog will have one less toy for a while.  

Not to worry, there’s a box in the hall closet marked “Dog” in sharp black lettering with future furry treasures for her to shred.   If only I could get her to stop coveting my plush duck decoy…

Wilton Manors Electoral Debates

Last night at Wilton Manors’ Hagen Park was the debate of the election season.  I do not know of any more opportunities for people to have heard their future elected officials speak before they get a chance to vote.

Looking around the space, I noticed that this year there were fewer people in attendance than there were in the last election of 2008.   Partly because Barack Obama and the chance to reclaim our nation from the Fascism that was the Bush years energized us with Hope.   Partly because early voting meant many have made their decisions and are sitting this night out.

This was for those of you who haven’t voted yet.   The early voting is at the Commission Chambers at City Hall, 2020 Wilton Drive, Wilton Manors.   I believe that it is available for people through the entire county.  The chambers look strange without the rows of chairs waiting for a commission meeting and rows of little blue plastic stalls and they will remain that way until November 3rd.  My suggestion is to go vote and beat the rush.

Last night we were able to hear everyone speak off the cuff.   They were given questions and timed on their responses.   Commissioner Scott Newton and I seem to be cut from the same cloth – we’re both wordy.  It was amusing to hear him get cut off by the person holding the stop watch, Nick Boyko.  There were a couple times where Scott found his muse and really got into the subject and then “TIME!”… I wouldn’t have minded hearing him speak just a little longer on those.

This is what I saw from the front row, it is my opinion and nothing more.  I was not paid for this, although I did have some people who are local readers who are not running for office insist that I write my thoughts down.  I will reiterate, THIS IS OPINION, AND UNPAID.  THIS IS NOT TO BE CONSTRUED AS A POLITICAL ANNOUCNEMENT.

There were two on the panel that were less comfortable than the famed Nixon vs JFK Debates or the “I am not a crook” Speech by Nixon. 

Mayor Gary Resnick looked out of place.   For someone who has had the position for two years, he has been widely seen as a dysfunctional and ineffective mayor.  Admittedly I find his recent actions at the Spirit Vigil reprehensible when he turned the vigil into a political rally.  I am ashamed for his lack of propriety in that situation.  Last night he proved that he was not up to the task.  His nerves were showing strongly as he sat there fidgeting through the two hours of the debate sweating as if it were overheating – it was not, I was freezing , and darting his eyes around as if he got caught with his hands in the cookie jar.   He was as he always was and the City has noticed his antics. Hopefully this will move him onto his next career.   Answers that were given were highly reactive instead of pro-active, indirect and evasive he acted like that smacked dog that flinches when you pet him.

The other person who did not belong up there was Julie Carson.  If Resnick’s electioneering at the Spirit Vigil were reprehensible, Carson’s actions were obscene.  That having been said, she had to do something to tone down her hard edges, she truly looks like someone who is out to get someone.  Of course that is all bravado.  Carson is an empty suit.  She would get started talking and you would quickly realize that she doesn’t know what on earth she is talking about.   This person would be a disaster if she got elected.  The circular logic and incompetent reasoning had me wondering how many gallons of cheap coffee she swilled before getting up on that dais.  There was a rhythm to her speech.  She’d get started to speak and rapidly run out of steam doubling back and second guessing herself.  This is a behavior I witnessed when she was mistakenly on the City Commission before and she would hack into somebody and trail off into complete confusion.  This person has nothing to add to the discussion of City Government and needs to go back to her day job – clearly, Julie Carson is Unsuitable for Public Office.

The Four Year seat is currently up for grabs.  There are two positions and three people that are running for the office.  In contrast to the incompetence of Gary Resnick and the completely unsuitable Julie Carson, I found the three running for the Four Year Seat to be a pleasant discussion among people who were content to be with each other and hash out problems in a co-operative manner.   It came out that the newest to the bunch, Steve Zollo was actually coached to run for the office by current office holder Ted Galatis (no website).  It is hard to argue when your competition thinks that you belong in the post.  Steve and Ted both are joined by Scott Newton, an affable business person who is always entertaining while he explains away some arcane piece of public policy in a way that is engaging and will be easy to understand by someone who is not as involved as I or some of the other volunteer corps are.   Ted Galatis brings to the discussion the precision of his Lawyer’s background and rounds out the triplet.

The other person running for the Two Year seat is Celeste EllichCeleste is a warm and caring individual who I have had the privilege to know for the last four years.  She has run before and tells people in her own “home spun” style that she has some problems with public speaking.  I’m going to ask Celeste to stop saying that because after watching Celeste in action, I aspire to be as good a public speaker as she was.   Celeste was the equal to the best up there and brings to the table a depth of knowledge that only someone who has more than 2 Decades of Public Service in a volunteer capacity could.   Celeste’s knowledge of the Real Estate market will be a strongly needed asset to the City Commission especially in view of the G Resort controversy and the future zoning changes that will be needed in moving the City forward as a Jewel in South Florida instead of our lurching forward under the current administration like a ship without a rudder.   Celeste will bring stability and deep consideration of issues with her.   I highly recommend anyone to get to know this person, I am truly happy I do.

I have saved the best for last.  Joe Angelo.  Joe was easily the strongest speaker last night.   Listening to Mr Angelo was like listening to a concert violin virtuoso playing a Stradivarius.  Well thought out, and often humorous anecdotes would pepper a discussion that illustrates a deep understanding of current, past and future challenges to the City.  I found it particularly instructive to watch the others on the panel when Joe spoke.  I noticed them listening intently at what Joe had to say for something that they missed, and I caught each one at one time or another nodding in agreement.   Joe has an openness that is quite refreshing and a willingness to listen to people.  While he may not agree with what you are saying, he certainly will give you the opportunity to state your case and when you are through you will understand exactly why he feels the way he did and the thoughts that were necessary to come to his conclusions.  Like his election ribbons say “Go Joe!”.  Joe Angelo will be a wonderful and energetic Mayor, and that is exactly what we will need to clean up the mess of his predecessor. 

Wilton Manors Spirit Vigil for Teen Suicides or Political Rally?

This is NOT a political advertisement.
This has NOT been paid for by any candidate.
This IS a personal opinion, and expresses my feelings that people who were bullied and harassed to death should NOT be used for purposes as offensive as this.

Last night I went to the Teen Suicide vigil in front of the Alibi.  It was promising to be a time for people to vent their frustration that so many Teens and Adults feel that the only way to escape the torture of being bullied and harassed for being different was to take the final solution and step into the long night.

Like anything in Wilton Manors, things are somewhat different here.  There was your usual contingent of people with Purple hair, although since this was Wear Purple Day to support those who need to know they’re not alone, there were more out there and there was a good reason to do it.

The Vigil began at 7pm with the Gay American Heroes Foundation beginning to give a talk on the many people around this country who paid the ultimate price for being different.  It was not just gay teens that were remembered, it was straight kids who were merely different, and perceived as being an object to pick on.

There was problem of the curious choice of opening speaker – the current Mayor, Gary Resnick.  Mr. Resnick has just done his own bit of bullying by visiting the home of 70-something Diane Cline.  It seems that Mr Resnick’s own political campaign is going so badly that he has to visit a frail old woman and bully her by accusing her of stealing his yard signs.  If you want to chose someone to represent what a bully actually is, our current Mayor is an excellent choice.   He learned at the hands of his tormentors.   Mr Resnick gave an approximately 10 minute talk about how difficult it was to be a gay teen and how he hid in the closet and did not come out until he was 27.  Then he followed by recounting the story of his male partner’s failed marriage to a woman done so that he could cover.

Perhaps he should have listened more carefully to his own story because after that he completely forgot all he said and turned it political.  He said that he thought he should continue to be mayor in Wilton Manors because of this experience.  What he in fact did at this point was to dance on the graves of each of these teens by offensively twisting the vigil to his own needs.

Mr Gary Resnick – Unsuitable for Public Office.

This was followed by some brief talks by others and the introduction of “Former (Temporary Interim) Commissioner Julie Carson”.  Julie Carson took the stage and launched into a diatribe of what she thought were her strengths, what she thought she should be able to do in office that she is running for again, and why she thought you should vote for her.   It seems that she wants to be elected the Commissioner for the Lesbian community in Wilton Manors.   Unless I miss my guess, Julie, there is no such office.   Wilton Manors is more than 50% Heterosexual.  Assuming that Kinsey is right, that would mean that another 40% are Gay or Bisexual Men.  You really don’t want the rest of our support and you do not deserve it.  This is a DIVERSE city.  We ALL work together to make it better, not just ONE GROUP!

After Julie Carson gave that tirade and whipped her fans into a frenzy and offended the rest of us she gave short shrift to the purpose of the Vigil.   In no more than two sentences she returned to the subject of Teen Suicide and moved on.   It was an obvious afterthought.

Mrs Julie Carson – Unsuitable for Public Office.

This was NOT a political Rally.  Both Julie Carson and Gary Resnick hijacking the vigil for their own sad political stunts was an offense to every person in need.   It was an offense to the thinking person that these two shallow people would be elected to office.  Gary Resnick has presided over a City Commission as mayor for two years of inaction, sluggish response, and bad decision making.   The energy of the decision making process on the City Commission has moved from being that of the Mayor leading the Commission to the Commission clearly leading the Mayor.   The position of Mayor is a leadership position and Gary Resnick Does Not Know How To Lead.

There also is the story of how Julie Carson had her term on the Commission back a while ago and was a complete mess.   She felt that it was appropriate to micromanage every individual that came before her and at one point proceeded to shred the City Attorney in questioning.   The end result was almost every time that she was speaking we were treated to a rant of circular logic that would confuse even an Einstein.  When through she was patted on the head figuratively and they merely moved on.   This woman was a distraction that most thinking people involved were happy to see move on her way.

For those reasons and more, I am thoroughly ashamed that Julie Carson is involved in City Politics.  

I strongly recommend that you take Mrs Carson’s advise – learn about her competition, as well as the competition for the Mayor’s race against Mr Resnick.   In both cases you will find people who are highly competent and ready to lead.  They also are not going to use the suicides of others as a political talking point to further their own questionable career.

I am deeply embarrassed for the city and for anyone involved in that offense that happened in the parking lot.   I was so offended by the actions of Mrs Carson and Mr Resnick that I had to leave early. 

Make sure this doesn’t happen again and vote for
Joe Angelo for Mayor and Celeste Ellich for City Commission of Wilton Manors.

This is NOT a political advertisement.
This has NOT been paid for by any candidate.
This IS a personal opinion, and expresses my feelings that people who were bullied and harassed to death should NOT be used for purposes as offensive as this.

I’ll be Wearing Purple Today

In support of every person who has ever gotten picked on, every child who is bullied in a school yard for being different, no matter what that difference was,  I will be wearing Purple.

It isn’t just the spate of gay teens that had had enough of being bullied every day by people that think it was acceptable because a sick and twisted version of a “religion” has told them it is right to pummel them every day when school lets out.  It just isn’t right that it happens, ever. 

Being bullied is not a character building exercise.  It is violence.  It leads a child who should be brought up to strive to be the next Einstein to underachieve or to even take their lives because people around them didn’t care enough to notice that something went wrong. 

It is not normal to be taunted because you are of a “different” religion.
It is not normal to be beat up after school because you have different hair color.
It is not normal to be harmed because you are not in the in crowd because of some sick and twisted arbitrary standard.

It will get better, trust me.

I had went to a Catholic High School.  The place had a tradition of hazing by upperclassmen upon the freshmen when they got in.  It was well known by the school hierarchy of teachers and counselors and ignored.  I watched each of my friends and co-classmen get picked on by a motley crew of some pretty underachieving students.   They got to me in Sophomore year.  I had my own problems and didn’t need that.

I also stopped that tradition, personally. 

One of the ring leaders decided that one day he’d hassle me on the way to class.   It was right before the Christmas Break and it occurred to me that he didn’t have the right.   I got through that and went to class and had two weeks to think about it.  He was short, fat and not that good looking and felt he could take it out on everyone else.   Typical for someone like that – in a dog it is called Fear Aggression, the common displacement of your own inadequacies on others.

Two weeks later, I met the same dumpy little guy and had had quite enough.  He started by slowing me down by grabbing the jacket that I had to wear as a part of going to this hallowed institution.  They should have paid more attention to the character of the students than what they wore, but that is typical of most institutions of that sort. 

What Mr Short and Dumpy didn’t realize was that I had my growth spurt.  Over the two weeks of the christmas holiday, I grew 2 inches in height.  Somehow, subconsciously I realized this and subconsciously I knew I had more power than before.  

He hung on by my jacket and I stopped.   In front of an open locker, I turned around grabbed him by the shoulders and slammed him inside and locked him in.  The rest of the wolf pack scattered.

Going to Homeroom, the word went around and everyone was silent, including the teacher.  They all knew what happened. 

Over the intercom, the Dean of Students read a list of two names, Mine and the Bully.

When at the Dean’s office I was asked Two Simple Questions:
Did You Do It? “Yes”
Would You Do It Again? “Absolutely”

Thank you, you can go back to class.

He got two weeks of detention.

I went on to single handedly break the tradition of hazing in Camden Catholic High School of Cherry Hill NJ.

So you see if you’re being bullied and think you’re alone, you are not.   People notice.  Once in a while that kid who is being picked will make a difference and make things better.   You will get through it.  

Even if you are in a backwater of a town where you’re the only one – what ever that is, you will get through it.  You will realize that it isn’t YOUR problem, it is Theirs.  Once you’re out of school you can make up your own mind whether you really need to stay in such a place.  After all the big cities are typically much more openminded since they have to be.  Join a crowd and no matter what your difference, you will find someone just like you.   If the town only has 1600 people, it is easier to stick out.

I hear that today’s schools have a zero tolerance policy in effect toward bullying in many places.  It is very different than when I went through that particular hell that was Camden Catholic High School and left my own stamp on their society.  Even with Diversity training, Teachers are not perfect.  Most are underpaid and undermotivated.  There were a few at CCHS that were shining examples of the philosophy of what a Teacher should strive to be, it wasn’t ALL bad even if at times it felt it was.

The straw that broke the camel’s back was the suicide of the Gay people across the country for various kinds of bullying.  The videotaping of the guy at Rutgers was offensive in many ways.   There are people who will be bullied tomorrow, but at least now it is in everyone’s mind to try to stop it.

It won’t stop but there is no reason why it should be so bad that someone will feel the need to kill themselves.

You will get through it.  I did. 

Don’t go silently though – make sure that people who say they care about you know what you are going through.  Going through things alone will only make things harder to deal with.

October Mornings are Made For Disco

It is a beautiful day here.  After the dog walk, I threw open the windows and started on the routine of the day.  Once the house quieted down, it got too quiet so I put on Diva Disco for a bit.

The neighborhood hadn’t quite decided to start making the normal sounds of small engines, lawn tools, and the occasional truck.  Not that it has conscious control over it, but all was fairly quiet. 

As things woke up, I inched the radio louder, into the Parrot Zone.   I have an Orange Wing Amazon that I share this house with.  I have had him since 1986 so he’s old enough to vote but since he doesn’t have opposable thumbs that won’t happen.  He’s my hearing protector.  When the radio is too loud, he starts chattering at it.  Really crank that radio up to blow out the windows and Oscar is screaming.

Oscar can be a grouch you see…

I have learned just where to keep the volume so that Oscar’s quiet, the music is reasonable, and I’m not disturbing the neighbors.  After all, it’s after 9 in the morning so we’re all up.

Walking from room to room, the music just barely loud enough to hear in the laundry via the open windows on the car port and the small door in the laundry, I’m listening to a track as I gather the wash from the racket that the dryer is making.

Padding out into the main part of the house, I get a clear view of the street as I am heading out to the bedroom to lay things out on the bed to allow them to relax.  The breezes of the South Florida Morning are cool to the touch on my arms while I smooth things out. 

I put away the socks and some of the other clothes that don’t need to be folded, and begin to walk out to the living room.   The track was still playing, Harry Thumann – Underwater.  If you haven’t heard it, its one of those Late Disco Era songs that has a lush enough sound bed that you could practically walk on the percussion as it skips across the pond of the still morning air like a stone.  Can you tell I liked it?

Apparently so did someone else because as the music swelled, and I went back out into the front room, I looked outside.  There was someone out in my swale, with his dog, bobbing his head to the beat of my music.

Ok, Oscar wasn’t chattering, but this dude was doing the disco dance at 9 in the morning on the street in front of his house as he picked up after his dog.  I was smiling as I walked up to the front window and just watched him bounce around lightly to the Disco Beat.  Once a DJ, Always a DJ I guess…

He spotted me, waved and smiled, and went on his way.  I walked back to the big green chair with a laugh and turned the music down just a little bit.

Oh wait, Alec R Constandinos is on Diva… let me turn this just a little louder…  Shaddap Oscar!  I’ll turn it down!!!

Friendly Pitbulls Do Exist

It is my fervent hope that anyone who mistreats a dog comes back in a future life as a dog and gets exactly the same treatment.  Karma.

When I moved here I had some very common misconceptions.  I remember walking to the train home through a rather questionable neighborhood and watched a Pit Bull trot down the street toward the “abandoned area” on the wrong side of the tracks.  She was clearly post-partum, covered with hundreds of ticks, and was getting ready to go back to her pups and nurse them.   Stray dogs in the city have a hard life.   Stray Pit Bulls in Philadelphia are almost immediately “put to sleep”.  Needless to say I kept my phone in my pocket.  Whether that was the right thing to do or not, I am not sure.

Every home should be a caring home.  That is true for Dogs, Cats, and People.  Love really does make a family, and if Heather has two mommies, it is clearly none of your business as long as Heather is Happy.  No matter what Heather is.

I moved here and for a while I had heard horror stories.  I no longer consider leaving the dog in the car while I dash in to get a quart of milk.  People hijack your friend and do horrific things.  I was warned never to do something that I rarely did up North.

Here there are people who have pitbulls as a fashion accessory just like they do anywhere else.  Those are the people who should be chained in a yard in my own mind, but I’m sure that won’t happen.  There are many of those fashion accessories that escape and end up in another home. 

Anabelle is one of them.  She was lucky enough to have walked past my Godmother and her husband at a festival quite a few years back.   Anabelle had signs of having been a breeder dog and smacked around quite a bit.   This dog is probably one of the sweetest animals I’ve ever met.  She sees me and tries to climb into my Jeep when I leave, parks next to me on the couch and lays down so I can pet her for as long as SHE wants.   My hand is cropped out of the picture but it was happily employed in making her happy.

After that, across the street moved in Baby Girl.  She’s another Red Nose Pit that had clearly been in more than one fight.   There are bite marks that were on her head that are visible to this day.  She was found wandering the street in Hollywood, FL and adopted by Lisa and Billy across the street.  I was … scared.  A Pit Bull Across The Street (Cue dramatic music!).  I finally allowed my fear to calm and this fat little dog waddled across the driveway and proceeded to fiercely lick my shin, scarily wag her tail, and snort fearful amounts of happy noises at me. 

I was clearly in the throes of another one of those mental adjustment moments that adults with preconceptions go through.


To this day, I’m quite happy to have this pink and blond love sponge across the street.   She teaches me about how those who are not human can be humane – or more humane than those who are expected to be.  When I visit Anabelle, I remind my Godmother that she will never have to worry about her dog because if anything happens, Lettie gets a friend.  Lettie won’t like that but … tough.

The hardest part about that particular dog will be teaching Anabelle not to get on the couch.

She’s happy and healthy and so are both dog’s owners.  I won’t have to worry about adopting a second dog for quite a while.

That will keep Lettie, in turn, quite happy herself.