Jul 6, 2011

Sweetness and Sorrow

I have not posted here recently because I was waiting for some big news to share and there did not seem to be any. In the mean time as I look back over the past few months I see that so much has happened and though it may not qualify as breaking news it certainly is a series of events leading me to the next leg of my journey in both the business of baking and the business of animal rescue. Since my last post there have been holidays and occasions which have given me a chance to bake. Baking is still a passion and being able to donate even small amounts of money to Kids Against Animal Cruelty has been a blessing. My goal for Rich Delights is to see it prosper in order to to leave something for my children as well as the opportunity to make a difference in the present.

One of the most rewarding things I got to do recently was visit a dog my teen and I helped get off the streets in February. I spoke of her in a previous post. We named her Precious.She was rescued by Stacy Parmer of The Barking Lot. They named her Gina and then changed it to Geisha.We went to visit her in El Cajon where she is sort of the mascot for the facility in which she lives. We came bearing baked goods, blankets from our Synagogue's youth group and some dog treats we had collected. We were so impressed by what we saw there and even more impressed not only by how happy Geisha was but by how happy she makes those around her. We were so grateful that we took the time to run after her months before when she was a stray running down the streets of West Covina. I don't think I will ever be able to just drive past another stray without stopping to do whatever I can to help. They count on humans to do this for them and I don't plan to be a disappointment.

When I am not baking or taking care of parental obligations I fill my days with activities that make a difference in the lives of shelter or rescue animals. My teen and I still spend most of our free time on the week ends volunteering at adoptions outside the Mira Loma PETCO. Our  friends with Angels 'n' Paws Rescue have many dogs, mostly pit bulls, in boarding and we are trying to help get them out. We volunteer with other groups as well but this one is more local and easier for us to attend.

Last month we did something that was both purposeful and fun.
 Devin Fox and Lou Wegner are friends who have acted together and worked together to network dogs on facebook. Devin is a teen singer who has a hit single out. Lou Wegner is an actor and the founder of Kids Against Animal Cruelty. They formed a duo to make a music video to benefit animals in need. My daughter Shira has been a volunteer alongside Lou at events and also represents his group here in Riverside where we live. She was asked if she wanted to have a small part in the video.On Father's Day we drove to the Baldwin Park Shelter so she could film her scenes.It was a day filled with work and play and in the end there will be good coming out of a collaboration amongst teens.

The past couple of months have also found us chasing stray dogs in town. Not sure why they keep finding us but they do and once we see there is one needing help we cannot turn away. We saw a post on facebook about a stray pair of pit bulls running near the river trail and while we were out searching for them we came across two pre teen boys walking with an 80 pound pit bull trailing behind them.When we stopped to ask if he was their dog they informed us that he was not and so began our adventure with a dog we called "Bubba". He was picked up by animal control services and listed as non adoptable at the shelter. They said he growled at another dog at intake but when we went to plead for his life we found they had already changed his status and he was now adoptable. While working to find a rescue for him we made daily trips, often twice a day, to the fields where the female river trail stray had been rescued by our friend Amber Houck. A few weeks of leaving food and water we noticed the food was sitting untouched and began searching listings for the shelter. Sure enough he was there. During this time we had a bit of a miracle as the owners of "Bubba' finally showed up at the shelter and took him home.It seemed bittersweet as we grew to love him and were going to miss him yet so grateful that this would be one less euthanized pit bull.

Things were not so good for our male river trail stray. The dog who had limped and eluded us for weeks would spend the remainder of his life isolated in a kennel with no chance of adoption. His only hope was a rescue and as hard as I tried to make that happen I failed. I asked to meet with him when we went to the shelter but was denied access due to his fearful and apprehensive nature. I wanted to see him but nobody would bend the rules. My last memory of him is sitting at the far edge of the field where I could not approach him. He is no longer on this earth and I will always feel that I failed him. However, his destruction made me more determined to fight harder for those that cannot speak for themselves. For weeks I worked to keep him alive and now I live with the realization that all I did was pro long his life until animal services caught him. I wish things had been different and the sadness is overwhelming but if I had it to do again I would not change a thing. It is always worth the struggle even when we lose in the end. His female companion turned out to be a sweet dog and I began a new friendship with the wonderful woman who rescued her. It is time to move on and honor the memory of the animal I could not save by not giving up on the next one that needs someone to champion for them. The weeks have been exhausting. The ups and downs include the emotional rewards of animals going to forever homes and the emotional devastation of losing so many  to euthanization.

My wish is that some day all the cages will be empty and there will no longer be a need for animal rights activists to point their efforts in this direction but we are far from that happening and unless people wake up and understand the reality of what is happening in shelters then things will continue on a downward spiral. The only relief I feel is knowing that my teen and so many like her work hard to educate others on the need for adoption, fostering, spaying and neutering. The children of today are the adults of tomorrow and if they can open their minds to the truth then the future will hold something better for our animals....I am not sure when the time of change will occur or if it will occur in my lifetime but  I will always march on through the sweetness and the sorrow.
Last but not least! On July 2nd there was a  meeting in Beverly Hills with the incredible Laura Keats. This meeting was for Southern California women who volunteer or work in animal rescue. Not sure what is going to happen with this but I will be sure to update you in the future and no matter what happens..... I will continue .....baking4you!