Three’s Company … Also a Family


There’s a saying, “Who Rescued Who” referring to saving or adopting a pet which in my case are dogs. I wrote last April about my two white boxers in “We Are Family — My Dogs and Me!” Extra extra … now there is another dog saved. Or was I the one saved, again?

As I learn about dancing in the rain, May 4th is a reminder of the terrible tragedy that I encountered in 2010 – the horrible suicide of my husband. So tomorrow is the 2nd anniversary of that awful day. Sad, yes…angry still, can’t help but be a bit. However, this year I made a firm decision as to May 4th. Going forward, I wanted it to be not just a memory of sadness and grief. Oh no, I want to show progress and I need to find positive reasons for progressing with my life. This year on May 4th, I’m officially adopting my foster dog, Mabel.

I’ve learned quite a few lessons in two years’ time, about myself and my life, and about others around me. Your real friends will always be there for you no matter what you go through. The others … well, they were really only acquaintances anyway.  And what is family these days?  It’s very different than it once was in our parents’ era.  Broken homes, single parents, blended families – you name it.  It’s not homogeneous and uniform; it’s heterogeneous and different.  That is America today.  And I believe family is what and who you make it.  In my life, my little family is made up of three wonderful creatures who love me unconditionally.  They are always there for me, just like my real friends are.  And I couldn’t be happier with my family.  I wonder how many people feel this way.

And also I made some decisions.  I wanted to Speak Up about the tragedy to inform people about suicide, its statistics, and that there is help out there.  So many positives I felt could come about from such a dreadful situation.  And I’ve made further decisions, one important one is to make May 4th much more of a positive.

Now I had viewed many photos of dogs that need to be rescued.  But already having two, I had no feelings to have another.  When I saw Mabel’s photo and read about her, it all tugged at my heart.  She felt to me like some kindred spirit needing me.  Once I brought her home as my foster, she immediately made friends with my other two dogs, Miley and Casey, sisters.  Her timid demeanor, soft and gentle ways and she is the sweetest girl I’ve ever known.  Which leads me to the original quote above.  Who Saved Who here?  I think we saved each other.  What a wonderful way to help remember May 4th with new beginnings and a new life.

As I work from home now, the girls are here with me and seem to love it.  The Florida weather allows me to open the sliding doors to the living room and the girls go in and out, like little kids.  After playing outdoors for a while, they’ll trot inside for water and to check up on me.  Life is good!

So look into your hearts and see if maybe a pet needs your saving.  Or perhaps you could be helped a bit by “being saved” and becoming a family.

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Do Not Feed or Molest


What would you do if you were face-to-face with a real alligator? Take a moment or two; after all, it’s not every day you’re confronted with a question like this.

Photograph by Joan Pyke

If you can read the sign in the photograph above, it indicates that Florida Law prohibits feeding or molesting alligators.

Not sure I know anyone who would actually want to molest a gator. I’m thinking you’d run in the opposite direction faster than an egg beater on turbo-power. Am I correct? We know alligators are notorious for their bone crushing bites. And an ‘average’ alligator weighs in at 800 pounds and about 13 feet. Although the record in Florida is said to have been 17 feet 5 inches long. Yikes … Oh yeah, and alligators have on average about 75 teeth and live approximately 50 years. So I interpret this to mean that if you come across a gator, especially an old(er) gator then you could be dealing with a frustrated old geyser, so run like hell.  

After living in Florida for 22 years, I’ve seen my share of gators, although never quite face-to-face. However, the sign above stands prominently in the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo, Florida. London friends were visiting and my husband and I brought these friends to various local parks to see the sights. Do we WOW ‘em or what? Only the best for our friends we say. 

Photograph by Joan Pyke

Photograph by Joan Pyke

I assure you that this park is lovely with lily pads, boardwalks, and trees, plants, flowering bushes everywhere. Well, we have had a very hard cold winter for Florida and there’s quite a bit of brown leaves and dead tree limbs and shrubs and plants.

Obviously alligators are in the water at the park. And dutifully, park management decided to alert the public in this manner. But, twisted mind that I have at times, I started thinking about this reference to humankind vs the animals, specifically gators. It seems to me we need to notify the gators to not molest the humans and no feeding upon us.

Alright now, I know some of you are aghast amidst the chuckles. Though you realize this is true, right?