Saturday, July 31, 2010

I Saw the Pride in my Father's Eyes

I have made it no secret that money is not what motivates me in the world. (which I admit freely has not worked out too well for me) But anyway I seem to get motivated by helping other people who can't help themselves and all the little animals of the world.

My parents were never able to understand this about me and for the most part freely let me know what a disappointment I have been for my lack of financial success. In my defense I always expected to be working at this point in my life bringing in the dough by the truckload. I did not plan on my ticker giving out at such a young age.

Now the point of the story.

As I pointed out my parents never understood why I didn't chase the almighty dollar (although at one point in my life I thought I had reached the point where I would never worry about money again). When I was taking care of my dad I caught him several times looking at me with a pride that I had not seen since my childhood. I know he was grateful that I was taking care of him (even though he was one difficult patient to handle). Usually these looks would happen when I had finished playing what I have always referred to as "deal a dog".

I used to find homes for animals as easily as most people fix dinner. I had a catalog (in my head) of animals that needed homes and people knew to come to me and I would hook them up with the pet of their dreams. At one time US AIR was flying greyhounds all over the east coast for free for me because I was finding so many homes for them.

The first time my dad saw me in action I picked up a dog that I named "Lucky". Lucky was named "Lucky" because she had the good fortune to run across me in her hour of need. She was a diseased, starving hunting dog that I found on a mountaintop in Lincoln County, West Virginia. Daddy and I were on the way home from the hospital and when I saw the poor creature I turned around. My intention was to feed her the order of Fazoli's spaghetti I had in the car and leave her but the second I opened the car door the desperate creature crawled right in.

As she ate the spaghetti in the back seat, Daddy asked me what I intended to do with her. I told him I would fix her up (I already had 2 dogs so food wasn't a problem and I had the medication she needed - or so I thought) and find her a home. She was thrilled to be with us for a couple of days and Daddy was having a good time feeding her slices of bologna so things were working out. Then she got sick - beyond caring for - and I had to put her out of her misery. At least she died happy and didn't suffer like she would have on top of that mountain.

Then I went to work for the 2 old lady's running the puppy mill. Things were so bad that I was in tears everytime I came home for the first couple weeks until I got things lined out. Then I started finding homes for the little dogs and even adopted one for us that Daddy thought the world of. He seemed to be in awe that I could find homes so easily when most people didn't know where to start. He compared it to his ability to sell cars which anybody in my family knows was legendary.

It was nice to finally see the pride in his eyes. I am starting to seriously doubt that will ever happen with my mom though. Oh well.

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