So, it has been established that I am an animal lover. And at times I agree with the statement that the more people I meet, the more I prefer dogs (and cats), but I swore no more animals in my house! No more 4-legged creatures to feed, take to the vet, take on walks, figure out what to do with when I travel, share my bed and sofa with, and on and on. So what do I do? Sign up to become a foster home for rescued Labs…. I actually gave this a bunch of thought and besides nearly crying every time the ASPCA commercials come on; it just kills me to see stories about abandoned animals, or those stuck in shelters, or chained in a yard, the list of animal cruelties goes on and on. So, I was browsing a website for a local rescue group – luv’n labs and came across a story about a lab. This young black lab had been left with friends of a soldier being deployed; and somehow ended up in a shelter. Or a dog that becomes an unwanted family member due to divorce. Anyway, I have a big yard, a nice size house, the means to pay for basic care, and the heart to try to save a dog from being euthanized while waiting for a forever family.
And today, Austn the big goofy black lab (mix) joined my household. While Brin and Gabby went with me to meet him and seemed perfectly fine with him on a leash with a different person. Brin isn’t being so hospitable at home. I’m hoping that resolves soon – but in the meantime – they aren’t trying to kill each other. And Austin – looks totally like a lab – but has a white chest and white feet. Super waggy tail and is incredibly sweet. He’s showing no interest in Kirby, Josey hasn’t made an appearance. He’s marked everything on the 1st floor of my house, but is currently sleeping soundly in his crate.
The most common question I’ve received as I’ve told people I’m embarking on this adventure is why? And my answer – because I can. I don’t see this as much different from donating a kidney. I’m doing something that is changing my life (and hopefully) someone else’s for the better. And I’m not just talking about Austin and any future rescue dogs – I’m talking about whomever is so lucky to adopt this beautiful pup. They are going to get a loyal, energetic, goofy companion…..and who could want more than that in a dog?
For those of you who might be reading this wondering what it has to do with kidney donation. Probably not much. However, I’m good at spin – and can totally rationalize that having yet another dog is going to take my amount of cardio up another notch, and thus keep me on my path to good health forever! I’d also say it’s another example of how being a living donor has given me greater confidence to try new things and pave my own course in life. One can either stand on the sidelines and hope someone else helps – or do it him/herself.
Regarding the ol’ kidney… me. I’m fine. Nothing to complain about healthwise. I had a nice section of skin taken off my back a couple months ago, it was cancerous, but won’t kill me. (so says the dermatologist). They got clear margins and no treatment was necessary. I haven’t had additional labwork to check kidney function. While I have some orders to get drawn, they aren’t due until October (2-year transplantversary!), and I’m just not worried. My blood pressure remains perfectly normal.
I’m hoping that Lisa will find some time to post her own update in this millennium. I just returned from Denver a few days ago and spent nearly a week with Lisa (and Brutus), the twins, members of her family (Liz, Bill and Adrienne) and friends. We had a great time. Daniel and Sophie are growing like weeds and are getting to be very good talkers.
As I finish this – Kirby (the cat) is laying under my legs next to the sofa, Gabby is on the 1st level of stairs dead to the world, Brin is on the tile in front of the door sleeping, and Austin is in his crate – snoring. Not a bad Sunday afternoon. I’ll post pics of Austin as soon as he acclimates a bit more!