“No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant idealism.” ~ Winston Churchill
For you readers who may be new to EyeYotee I maybe should oughtta explain that I sometimes start with a quirk. I’m prone to being somewhat narcissistic in rising to startling revelations while starting from scratch. But it never works out that way. I rarely get my way, and that, my friends, is one of the most endearing things about writing: it don’t matter none if I get my way or not. Now . . .
When I first started working at Stray Hearts of Taos, an animal shelter, I was assigned to work with dogs. Before long I was sent to train with the big and troublesome dogs in “the pods”. Pod #5 was the worst. Them doggies out there had issues, they were strong unruly animals who might be dangerous, and it all came down to composure. Ya jest had to get all alpha at times. Show em who’s boss, stuff like that. I remember one incident in particular, involving one dog in particular, and his name is Mitch. He’s a pit bull mix, buff in both color and stature. Big fella and young, 60+ pounds on the hoof. Mitch just wants to play. Bites and scratches may occur, but he don’t mean nothin’ by it all. It’s all a game to him. Cleaning the cages in a kennel requires first removing the dogs, transferring them to ‘cleaning kennels’ so that you can then remove the residue from their being there. I was fixin’ to remove Mitch from his cage, one day, and I was being none the wiser about it all. My bad. Instead of opening the door and slipping intentionally into the cage, where I could put the slip lead around his neck without incident, I attempted to secure him at the door, “attempt” being the operative word. Mitch came out like a rocket. My reflexes were good but not that good. I got his collar with my right index finger, but the hold was tenuous and I lost the grip. Again I grabbed at Mitch and again I got the same finger, and another, under his collar. This time my determination took me right down to the floor, a slick cement floor that knew nothing of my need for soft landings. Ouch. Mitch was free and he was launching into a running spree but I was friggin pissed off by then and that dog was not going to get away. Floundering on the floor my instincts were suddenly sparked up and ready. I lunged at the dog and tackled him by wrapping my arms firmly around his torso and clasping my hands, hands to wrists. I took him down, and we achieved communion, lounging there in the dirt, locked in a comfy hug. My coworker came and secured the son of a bitch with her slip lead. Friggin dog! He got what was coming to him. My only forte when I was playing junior varsity football, 4.5 decades ago, was my ability to take other guys down. Some talents never totally fade. That dog pissed me off. I’m not so good at anger management. Case closed. But after that incident I worked up a little mantra to use, to calm my fears, when handling Mitch: “Mitch, Mitch, you son of a bitch. Mitch, Mitch, you son of a bitch”. The mantra, when repeated just like mantras are supposed to be, helped me to cope. Of course I attained Nirvana, but I always got the dog as well. Also after that I realized that I was cursing at the dog, verbal abuse that may be dangerous to my employment should some spy take this politically incorrect behavior to court. Trust me, there are spies in animal shelters; no moles, just spies. What them there spies think they are doing is beyond me, and hopefully beyond them.
I’ve left the dogs behind and I now work with cats. Taking a cat down is not a good idea. Cat bites not only hurt like the ninth level of hell, they also can kill. No, really! Ask your doctor. You’ll see. And cursing at cats has no more deleterious effect than it does with dogs. Animals go by intent, not lexicon. Cursing is a human thing, except when the curse lands you down yonder in hell. For that you need a demon. If you can’t find one you can invent one. It’s all good, k? Also, since that time with the dogs, legal actions have sent our staff doctor packing. That guy simply did not want to work under fire. Who can blame him. Personally, I miss the doctor. He is my friend. It shall always be so. But my sadness goes further than that. It also stems from the fact that having no doctor on staff makes the necessary goals, of sanitation and keeping the animals in good health, that much more difficult to achieve. Oh, don’t get me wrong, we make it happen. Youse spies can just friggin chill. You’ve had your fun, now wait alongside the lawyers, but remember: lawyers also sometimes bite. Hear tell that one of the considerations driving the efforts of the spies, in their legal quest, is the welfare of the animals. Doing that by applying further stress to the animal’s lives just don’t seem smart to me. But maybe that’s just me. I’m still employed. They, however are not, “they” meaning the spies. BTW, I call them spies because I lack any other appropriate and politically correct word for it. It baffles me. Political correctness and appropriateness don’t usually hang together. That would be what we writers would likely call ‘nonsensical’. What’s the sense it that? Tell me. Go on, tell me.
“Oh life, it’s bigger
It’s bigger than you
And you are not me
The lengths that I will go to
The distance in your eyes
Oh no, I’ve said too much
I’ve said enough” ~ REM
Yeah, maybe I have said too much, but I haven’t said enough. It’s like that sometimes. Live with it. In writing about the controversy I try so friggin hard to be fair. I’ve been told to investigate the facts. I work smack in the middle of the facts by cleaning cat litter boxes and feeding those strange and wily animals! You can take that to the bank. I do. But, hear me now, all ye who ply condescension upon we who don’t need the friggin headache, it all comes out in the wash. Dirt is dirt and shit is shit. Come clean some cages. You’ll see. And about the stooges to which I alluded in the title of today’s blog post here at EyeYotee? There are two common usages of the word “stooge”. One refers to the straight man in a comedy team, think Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, or Rush Limbaugh and Jon Stewart. The second definition is: “One who allows oneself to be used for another’s profit or advantage; a puppet.”. Trust me, I ain’t goin’ there, I’ll stick with the comedy. Son of a bitch, I want my doctor back! But on the lighter side, we sent five cats out the door, and to their new homes, yesterday. All five were healthy animals who only escaped incarceration because of the efforts of the staff. Believe you me, cats have staff, and I ain’t talking Staphylococcus aureus, nor am I even certain that cats can even get that. Now . . . it is with a deep sadness that I write today’s post. Yesterday we had what can be called, although I greatly hesitate to do so because someone might wring that into a cause, a day from hell. If the old doc had been there it would have been easier by degrees. Don’t get me wrong, we make it right, we make it work, we who cannot buckle under stress simply because it is all about the animals. It’s not about us. We don’t take it personal like unless we take it on the hoof, paw, whatever, at which point we stop to make some considerations that might otherwise be lost in the reactionary realm of existence. It doesn’t take long to step back, breathe, and put the hurt on reactionary stuff. I ain’t sayin’ nothing more than that, and not about no one else, so don’t even try it, there are better ways of doing things, if you only take the time to seek them, and then you don’t have to go chasing doctors, or shit shovelers, or peace peddlers, unless you need to go all antsy and stuff, all grimacing and stuff, in which case, more power to you, my friend, and, if I may offer advice, pay no heed to the copious mutterings of WTF, for they will not bode well on your path, for your path is more serious than that, your path is . . . . . . Dang! That’s the problem with trying to write legitimate David Foster Wallace-like run-on sentences, you can get lost if you’re not careful, at which point legitimacy high-tails it out the window. Bueno bye. I came here to write about the animals. The rest of what I offered in this post was all varnish and/or oxidation, all of which needs to be removed so that the animals can breathe easy once again. Friggin tally ho. Let’s go. We can do it. Ya with me or what?
Peace out, y’all. Goof gloriously, k? Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk.