Thursday, November 13, 2008

Ladies and Ladies

Quilts and Dogs.

Yesterday, I had a touch of the flu... I have a feeling I won't be eating chili verde for some time.... today, however, I felt a bit better, and went along with The Sisterwife to her Relief Society (a group of Mormon women in each Church area who do, well, relief work). I've done this before with other friends, I like it, to be honest. There is no dividing line of faith in helping others, and my hands and willingness to contribute time are as welcome as any ones.

We worked on quilts for those who are in hard times this year, and those people are many in our area as they are any where else. One thing I'll say for Utah, you do not see people wandering the streets in need. The LDS Church is so very wrong in so many of it's political beliefs (I will not go into religious beliefs) but, they do step up and help out to those in need. I know far too many who have been without food, housing, furniture, money...and one call allows them no payback but time to others in the same condition. I've canned, made up hygiene kits (basic toothbrush, soap, etc), put together dresses for refugee camps (I do not care where you live, who you are, every little girl in the world deserves a dress she can twirl in, something sweet in colours if her culture doesn't allow a twirl.... no matter how difficult life is, they should have something to smile about), made teddy bears... you get the idea. I've done it with these women who sit and talk and laugh and bring food for each other.

I was in charge of finishing off the edges, me and my trusty sewing machine. Ahhh, something you didn't know about me, I sew! I used to make HRH's dresses when she was a little one, and all of the FMDKids costumes for schools and everything else. So, I sewed my fingers off, The SisterWife tied off with yarn, we had quilt frames everywhere, kids dashing about, women's voices low over their work. Most of them do this all the time, and our work was going to a good cause. Our quilts would keep children and adults warm in this cold climate, these cold times. I know I keep my house at 50F with my door shut and a safe space heater so I am okay. I can sorta pay my heating.... again, I am in long sleeves and sweat pants and I'm cold at times.

We were giving help for people to keep going.

I left there, heading home, and stopped at the Animal Shelter, where my friend AH works... she's the, well, dog catcher in town. We met when the person who used to have her job killed our dog illegally, and her soft voiced question to me of "Would you like to speak to my Captain?" was met with my low shaking voice saying, "Well, unless his name is Jesus Fucking Christ, and he can raise the fucking dead, I'm not sure what good that's going to do me, do you??"

From that encounter, the former man was fired, a new law was passed and we obtained Douglass.

I also had a new friend.

She's on her last stretch on this job... five years of putting down dogs and cats when you love animals is too much. The usual stint on the job is two years. I said, "Let's go look at the animals!" and she said, "I can't go look at a group I have to put down tomorrow, I can't do it anymore.... I feed them with my eyes shut these days." She's doing her best to get a new job somewhere else, and the only thing that is easily obtainable is....animal control.

She and JB sat outside with me, they chain smoked and twitched, both women chatting away, good friends on the job, both flicking their eyes over at one dog in the outside pen they'd managed to save for a few months, but, her lease was up. She was this lanky lurcher, a dog that would be snapped up in the UK, ignored here.

"We'll flip to see who puts her down tomorrow." said JB. "It's come to that." Around that point, a woman pulled up with a box, inside a cat she'd found. With the woman inside filling out paperwork, the two flipped a coin to put down a cat to make room for this one.

I won't say which one it was... she was ashen when she came back. "We've both started Xanax and Lunesta." she said. " Come on, tell us about New York, act out the parts..."

And I did, making an ass of myself, exaggerating stories.... they laughed.

A call came in, a cop had shot a spaniel, who, he said, attacked him. "FUCK!" both said. "Fuck."

JB was off work by then, AH picked up keys, laid a tarp in the back of the truck.... "I hate the washing out of the truck later." We all did the hug and cheek kiss and drove our separate ways....

Warmth and death....

I don't have to tell you which one left a better feeling in my heart.


From an email I received late last night... and please note, AH weighs around 135 lbs...

Well, the dead cocker spaniel ended up being a 200lb rotweiller and the owner was a hysterical drunk 300lb woman who at one time actually fainted in my arms.
It was a blood bath from start to finish. At some point I will have to act out for you the details that followed but let us suffice to say that
...I know how the Romans conquered the known world. Their war dogs (rots) CANNOT be breached by any weapon known to modern man let alone some poor celtic tribes tools 2,000yrs ago...I had to use my teeth at one point to try to tear a hole in the dogs skin BECAUSE WE'D ALREADY BROKEN EVERY BLADE AND SAW WE HAD AT THE SHELTER TRYING TO CUT THRU HIS SKIN. (he wasn't dead, and they had to insert an IV)


austere said...

Me all for the quilting ladies.
I know someone has to do it. Yet.

Bud said...

The doggie thing--you're describing a job in hell, I think.

inflammatory writ said...

I think giving euthanasia to animals would be the answer to "What profession would you NOT like to attempt?" on Inside the Actor's Studio.

This coming from the girl who had pork chops last night.

In terms of Utah, I have a dear friend who is a former Mormon who's really torn about how to feel re: the new war of gays vs. Mormons, because he is both. All I can say is that all religions have good people in them, but can do very bad things.

Anonymous said...

I read your post and hugged my rottie.

the Constantly Dramatic One said...

Wait sew?

Maggie, Dammit said...

See, these are the things nobody realizes. I love learning about the things nobody realizes.

plain jane said...

I never realized how heart-breaking a dog catcher's job could be. Wow. And I definitely have a new respect for Rotties now.

Anonymous said...

You sew...?!!! And make quilts..., Wow! Can I send you a new pair of jeans that I need to have altered? Having a devil of a time here finding someone to alter them...

Dog catcher... That is something I don't think I could do, at least the euthanasia part of it.

I can just about picture you making the ladies laugh with your New York monologue! That's great! You ARE finding many moments of enjoyment there in Utah, and that is an answer to one of my prayers.

Speaking of Mormons, I lived in a sleepy little Mormon town in Wyoming (Lovell), just west of the Big Horns and south of Billings, for a year back in the mid-1970's.

golfwidow said...

When I was a tiny kid, we used to throw dirt at the dog warden, because we loved the stray dogs and cats he would take away. Now I have guilt.

Mike Valentino said...

That's sad. The state of animal welfare in this country is horrible.

Peter Varvel said...

I cannot cope with what AH and JB have to do, except to pray that it's over with as quickly as possible, for each poor creature.
It breaks my heart.

Quin Browne said...

i sew.

i make quilts.

i no longer fix jeans after my hippie days.

i respect my friend a huge amount.

she wept over the rottie.

i've seen peter close to tears over a pigeon.


Therapeutic Ramblings said...

I could never harm an animal that wasn't trying to kill me or harm someone I cared about. I can deal with humans being stupid and hurting each other, but not animals.

Therapeutic Ramblings said...

ps. She isn't bad, I just can't deal with animals being in pain. :(