Sunday, September 14, 2014

Enough Goodness to Make You Puke

My crazy lady idol.
If you've followed my blog this long, you are well aware that I go one speed and that is called crazy
lady barely hanging on speed. It's a good thing. Really, I swear. This weekend was no exception to the rule. It was crazy, I barely hung on and I miraculously survived. BUT, this weekend is one of those weekends that reminds me of why crazy is SOOOOO good, it will make you toss your cookies.

The reason I started this blog was to keep myself motivated for my 8th marathon at the NYC Marathon on November 2. I pledged to raise $100 per mile for the animals at the Humane Society of Eastern Carolina. This surely would keep my sneakers to the pavement and I could raise some MUCH NEEDED funds for the animals I love so dearly and work for every single day. The Humane Society of Eastern Carolina survives solely on donations and fundraisers. We receive NO funding from the government or from the Humane Society of the US. Just like every other organization that survives this way, we are hurting badly for assistance. I just ran our reports and we have adopted out over 560 animals over the past 12 months. That is 560 super adorable, super furry and super needy lives saved from euthanasia at high-kill shelters. **Insert the happiest of all happy dances here** That is an increase of almost 200 animals saved in a year. The sad fact is though, with more animals, come more vet bills, more staff need, more vaccinations and more in-house meds. We simply can't keep up. It's for real the 4th quarter and we are running out of plays. This fact keeps me up at night and keeps my anxiety levels on high red at all times. Mostly, if you hug me, my eyes automatically leak. Deep breath in... deep breath out.

Fluff and Puff Dog Wash victim number 30. What a pretty boy.
Photo courtesy of Capturing Canines
So this weekend we had a fundraiser AND national adoption weekend at PetSmart.This means the staff and volunteers are hustling and bustling! It makes for lots of excitement, chaos and general busy-ness (aka CRAZINESS). Saturday arrived and the pressure was on. It was cloudy, threatening to rain and our fundraiser that we were counting on was a Dog Wash. Luckily, dogs aren't like cars. You can wash them on a rainy day and it's all good. I mean a wet dog, is a wet dog no matter how it happens! It was also college game day... strike 2. My heart began to sink as the dog wash line was a slow trickle. By lunch we had 26 customers where we usually have at least 45. Yet I looked around me and the volunteers were positive and the people that had come out to support us were beyond giving and kind. There was laughter and encouragement all around and before I realized what happened, an angel appeared by my side. She's one of the cutest angels you'll ever meet too. She's a tiny little thing, but a force to be reckoned with and she happens to be a dog sitter/walker in the area (Danielle's Pet Care is awesome in case you were wondering). She approached with a smile and she could tell I was discouraged. She smiled, picked up her phone and said... I'm texting all my clients to tell them to come out if they can. I laughed and thought, "Gosh I love her" and then the sea of people began to come. We ask each person how they heard of the wash. I'm pretty certain the majority of them responded from that point on, "My dog sitter, Danielle". I even had one lady shrug her shoulders and reply, "my friend's dog sitter?". All I'm saying is, Danielle is my new favorite gal! I mean, I've always thought she was pretty awesome, but this miniature Wonder Woman packs some power. We ended up doing much better than anticipated AND we had a HUGE pallet of food that was donated to the Pet Food Pantry of Eastern NC by our supporters as well, so all and all, I would consider that a success! I returned to the facility to unload the dog pools and tables and walked into a shelter that was rocking and rolling. Adoptions were happening in beyond incredible numbers (that's my favorite) and my mood had shifted from gloom to BOOM!
Not only did Danielle bring us a ton of last minute customers,
but she also volunteered her afternoon as a "runner"
to take the dogs through the dog wash.
Photo courtesy of Capturing Canines

Love Wins. For sure... especially in Italian.
Now on to this morning... we managed to wrangle our kids into the car and make it to church ONLY 5 minutes late. This is like a major high five for us since our church is a 30 minute drive and my kids are related to me. It's like a goat rodeo, in a Jeep Compass. Did anyone bring the wine? At church the sermon hit home and my already emotional self was having an internal meltdown which unleashed itself into an external meltdown with the hug of a very sweet friend. (So sorry Natalie, Velinda and Jeff!). After church, I headed out on a very hot five mile run so that I could go donate blood at our blood drive. Remember, the whole reason I started this blog was because I am RUNNING THE NYC MARATHON and you can't run AFTER you donate so... I sat down and went through all of the insane questions they ask you when you decide to give your blood away (before 1977 did you sell yourself for drugs or money? Ummmm wait, I was born in 77) and then the lady said, "Is your left arm okay?" For the first time EVER I didn't hesitate at all and slapped down my arm tatoo side up! For an explanation on why this is an achievement you can read this. For once, I felt proud of the beauty on the underside of my arm. Just then Jackson came to sit with me and was chatting it up in normal Jackson fashion. The lady put the cuff on my arm and pulled out a marker to mark my vein. Just as I was trying to be all Mom-ish and began to tell Jackson that when he got older he could donate blood too, I glanced back at him and he looked like he might just fall out. I instructed him to go find Daddy and maybe he shouldn't sit with me if it was going to upset him. Before I knew it, I was all hooked up and I heard an American Red Cross worker say, "hey, is that kid okay? He looks really bad". Troy hustled by me with a very green Jackson as I was stuck in my chair with a needle in my arm. As I finished I got up and went to find them. Jackson had his fill of goodness and had in fact tossed his cookies. I think it's safe to say, he and his Daddy just don't have it in them to be blood donors. Sometimes, I find myself feeling the same way Jackson.

I'm gonna seal it with a PRAISE!
Photo courtesy of Capturing Canines
I finished my weekend reading the report that we had adopted out 19 animals this weekend. That would put us at 33 adoptions for September and we are only 2 weeks in! Now THAT is a lot of goodness. Almost so much goodness that I wanted to puke, too. It just reminds me that I have to keep asking people for money, keep asking people to volunteer, to adopt and to donate anything they can! So here I am, asking you to help me reach my goal. So far, I have raised $2,280. This leaves me $340 shy of my goal of raising $100 per mile of my 26.2 mile adventure through all five boroughs of New York City. Let me reword that, I am not asking you to support ME, I am asking you to support THEM. The 560 animals we have saved this year and the 560 animals that still need saving. In Pitt County, over 2,000 animals will be euthanized this year. If the HSEC didn't exist, that number would increase... by 560 lives. I used to hate our old tag line, "Help us help them", but as for tonight, I can't think of a better phrase. Won't you help?
If you enjoy the pics from the dog wash, please visit and give will a shout. He does amazing things with a camera and a dog (he's not too shabby at humans either) and he donated 25% of each package back to the HSEC!