The Week in My World 7-30-11

Knowledge and growth are born of adversity. Writer Josephine Hart said, “Damaged people are dangerous. They know they can survive.”  I know this is true. The shock fades and new skills emerge. It’s a weird sort of relief to know there will be no relief, so there’s no need to fake optimism. It forces one to deal with reality in less emotional ways. Lower your standards, expect nothing.

Drug Cartels Coming to a Street Near You!

My passion is animals and my cause is spay/neuter. It’s very hard to get people here to spay/neuter, but I never give up. After many years of working in animal rescue, I know that spay/neuter education is the single most important effort that can be made to stop the flow of stray dogs and cats. It would be easy enough for schoolteachers to give a lesson on it once in a while, but they don’t.

I’m currently trying to help neighbors get their dogs fixed for free. I’m all about free. If poor people consent to it (the first hurdle), they should get help. Some organizations make the pet owner pay the money back, but I don’t believe in that. Pay the vet bill for them, and DON’T spend thousands of dollars on a sick or crippled animal because you can’t stand to put it down. (They do that here, they’re all anti-euthanasia in Bisbee. It’s not realistic. In Douglas the pound puts them down too fast, within a couple days.  In Mexico the methods of euthanasia are medieval, I can’t talk about it. I seek sane case-by-case judgment but can’t find it anywhere.) But for the people who want to spay/neuter and can’t afford it,  I write emails, make phone calls, collect information, make appointments, coordinate funding, beg and plead. Works pretty good.

A lady I’m helping in my neighborhood has a fifth-wheel camper for sale in her yard. She told me cartel members have come to her house three times wanting to use the camper for a drug smuggling drop-off point. She said no. I asked her if she reported it, she said no, because they told her they had relatives in the local border patrol and she’s too scared. I don’t believe that. They don’t let agents work in their own neighborhoods for this exact reason.

Since I no longer believe we have a functioning government, I’ve been practicing, spending money on bullets because I think it’s important to know how to defend yourself. It took living on the border, a collapsed economy, and an arrogant leader to come to this conclusion—I sound like a nutcase in a bunker—but Americans need to wake up to reality. The America we knew, the one where you could walk into an employment agency and have a decent job in a week, is gone. The banks, corporations, and politicians who run this country are evil. War, money, oil. Yesterday in Egypt tens of thousands of hardline Islamic fundamentalists demonstrated, killing Christians and calling for strict Sharia law—as we send them billions of dollars to fight a hopeless cause. What did you think would happen?  Isn’t it kind of embarrassing to belong to such a stupid species?

RIP Amy Winehouse

Amy, Amy, Amy. Amy was a freak with the voice of a fallen angel. I have not read all the tributes to her online because my feelings are purely personal and I don’t want them tainted. I loved her music and her voice and her attitude. She was an outcast from the Hollywood rockstar mold and didn’t care. People made fun of her, she was an easy mark. Her “You Know I’m No Good” is my favorite song by her and gives me chills and makes me cry every time I hear it. I haven’t been this affected by the death of an artist since Janis Joplin, another member of the “27 Club.”

Coco and Chico

The two chihuahuas (see Help) got adopted and then sent back. The couple didn’t want them because they did not immediately bond with the husband. They only gave the dogs five days. Chico hiked on the guy’s clothes on the floor and he gave up on them way too fast. They’ve been shuffled around for months now—and after all, they were just neutered in June at age five years. Don’t expect miracles. We adore these loving, funny dogs. We’ll continue to work with them until they learn. They are a good project for someone with a lot of love to give. The dogs will love you right back.

Stormy day today with lots of rain, lightning and thunder.

Sonoran Desert toad, Bufo alvarius. I picked him up in a tupperware and gently carried him to safer ground, away from pets. These toads secrete a poisonous milky substance from glands on the side of their heads that can paralyze or cause seizures in animals and humans. He was big, about 5 inches long, about as big as my hand, and solidly heavy.

Canyon tree frog, Hyla arenicolor. There are variations among this species.

Another tiny canyon tree frog, even smaller, about an inch long. These frogs and toads are only seen during monsoon.

Caterpillar or larva of pipevine swallowtail butterfly, Battus philenor. There are lots of them in the yard. They are toxic and their bright scarlet color is a warning to birds.

Chico on way to new home

Chico coming back after being kicked out of new home

Coco and Chico coming back. They love, love, love to ride in cars.

Two car-lovin’ chihuahuas need good home in southern AZ. Will deliver. Neutered, loving, funny. Do not want to split up. They don’t bolt. Open a car door and they jump right in and settle down.

Met some people carrying goats. They had just picked up this mother and daughter whose owner couldn’t keep them. This couple makes goat cheese which they sell at the Farmers’ Market, and also uses them for meat…of course I asked if they get attached to the goats…yes, but they grew up on a farm and are used to the slaughter. Not very nice to think about, is it. Please don’t ever throw meat away, give leftovers to your dogs.

Helicopter repair shop in Elfrida, AZ. Who knew?

Helicopter graveyard, Elfrida, AZ

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24 responses to “The Week in My World 7-30-11

  1. First of all – bad looking clouds and storm!

    Second wehy sre y ou NOT keeping the dogs if you’ve had them?
    that seems cruel!

    • I’m sorry I don’t understand the question. They were foster dogs, they got adopted, the people didn’t want them, so we took them back. Did I do something wrong here? I have seven dogs of my own. Are you saying I should take in and keep two more? Can you make a donation?

      They are up for adoption. To a good home. They are not MY dogs, they were abandoned by their owner.

  2. You manage to make me feel good in spite of all of this because of the work you are trying to do and because of your attitude of self sufficiency. That caterpillar looks really scary!

    • I didn’t know the caterpillar was toxic, I picked it up and played with it! It comes from the type of plants they eat. Always have to worry about my dogs vs. wild critters.

      Thanks Tom.

  3. I really liked the “stream of consciousness” pace to this post. I’m thinking if I lived on the border with the drug cartel in my backyard I’d be armed too. I’m so lucky to live where it is peaceful. Some of your best photographs to date. Seems somewhat strange that there are tree frogs in the desert. No water, few trees. But where there is a niche there is an critter to fill it.

    I agree about Amy and Janis, two wonderful, if not misguided, artists. I would add to that group Jim Morrison. “Crystal Ship” is still one of my favorite songs to this day.

    I’m with you on spending our $ domestically. Now if we could only get the big corporations to tell THEIR congressman to do the right thing. God knows the common citizen has no access to politicians anymore.

    Thinking of you and sending good thoughts your way.

    • Hi Bill, I guess they burrow in the ground until monsoon. It’s amazing—but it is high desert here, not barren, mesquites and oaks and pines. More frogs and toads this year…maybe migrating away from areas totally burned by fires. At night they make that trilling sound just like New England tree frogs. And the mockingbirds here sing ALL night long! What’s up with that?

      I guess I didn’t realize just how bad big business is until the GMAC experience. They’re all in it together, to bring destruction to the average struggling person. Don’t see how this benefits them, but I know that somehow it must. And now I know that they are not here to serve us, we are here to serve them. Thanks for writing.

  4. Five days? We adopted an adult dog – it took her a year to settle in. It was a very long year for all of us. People expect so much out of animals yet give them no respect. I don’t understand it. I wish I could take those two but I’m maxed out on animals and just too far away.

    • Hi Kay, I just put them on here because you never know, someone local searching for chihuahuas might happen upon this. It happened before with two other dogs.

      Yes I worry about people adopting puppies or shy dogs or naughty dogs. No dog comes perfect. What if the dog chews something or has an accident? Is it going to get hit? I warn people it’s extra work and expense. I’ve had precious things chewed by dogs and it can make your adrenaline surge. I worry about other family members—sometimes we take a dog back because we find out an alpha family member decided to keep it outside. Grrr.

  5. What makes me sick...

    Hey Debra! Cool pix of the frogs. Dum Dum’s upstairs neighbour keeps snakes, frogs, tarantulas and his latest edition: a monitor lizard. From the back, Chico looks like my cat, Ingy Bingy. The best friend anyone could ever have. Originally he was a rescue cat, and one of my neighbours asked me to look after him for a couple of days. He then packed up in the middle of the night and left town. Owing rent and me money. Dickhead. Even though it was a lot of money, I might not have Ingy Bingy otherwise. Wouldn’t change things for the world! Living by the North Sea, we have a lot of seagulls around here, and they do make a racket. But I love them ’cause I know I’m near the seaside. Once the chicks reach that awkward adolescent phase where they are not white and grey (seagull coloured), they’re ash grey, they can’t fly yet, and they’re stupid. They are born on the rooftops of our houses, and when they become teens, sometimes they lose their purchase on the roof, slide off, and fall down 3 stories to the ground. Then you see them wandering about looking totally confused thinking ‘what the f**k? It’s really funny.
    Take care.
    Dum Dum

    • DD, when are you going to tell us more of what makes you sick?

      I’m so glad you have a rescue cat as your buddy. The guy who left town knew you would take care of him.

      I hope none of the seagulls get hurt when they fall. Then I’ll have to come over and build them a tiny rope ladder.

      You take care too, and thanks for stopping by.

  6. Hi Debra, I have not been on lately so had to catch up on your blog. I so feel your pain with GMAC. We tried w/BofA to no avail, so guess what, they will be the proud owners of ANOTHER house soon. The sad part of this is we will probably never be able to own another house 😦

    These Texas storms are just incredible. I always love AZ monsoons, but I gotta tell ya, these are just as spectacular that come in off the gulf and roll across the hills.
    Anyhow, take care 🙂
    phxmtngirl (Joy)

    • Hi Joy, oh god, you too…I really don’t think people get how bad it is. Yeah, all my life I’ve been proud of my credit…now I realize it really doesn’t matter. All GMAC would have had to do was look at my record for the last 30 years and see that I am a person who takes my commitments seriously. But since they don’t care, why should we?

      I’d like to do some research on Texas. Some people I know who just walked away from their house here are headed for Texas “Hill Country.” They think they can work toward a better life there. Can you or anyone enlighten me on this area? I don’t care if it’s cold in winter, I’ll burn my useless belongings.

      Take care hon….thanks for checking in.

  7. Hey Darlin –

    I see you’ve been keeping busy with photography, animals, and wishing for solutions to problems that you may never get. Don’t beat yourself up to much with the idiot people who will never understand the concept of spay/neuter and why people like us advocate it so strongly. I’ve tried in person, over the phone, and on the internet to make people understand that we already have enough cats and dogs in this country and the need to breed more for willy-nilly reasons is like banging your head on a concrete wall. To bad that some people can’t see it.

    As for the lady that was told they have relatives that work for Border Patrol – that may be true, distant but possibly true. I do believe that there is corruption to some extent within Border Patrol as there most likely is with all law enforcement agencies, although I think it’s probably minimal and the majority are on the up and up. I think many people hold the question of “Is this law enforcement division corrupt” in the back of their mind when they have dealings with law enforcement. We are taught to trust them to help us when we are victims of a crime, yet some victims fall through the cracks of corrupt or inept agency. As an individual, we’ll never be able to change that, collectively? – maybe. Probably best to keep your weapon available anyway.

    All great pics, but love the pics of the copter graveyard and Coco and Chico – they seem to be helping to guide you back home. What a pair 🙂

    Take care – Ciao Bella

    • Hi Cowboy, refusal to spay/neuter is a sort of primitive mindset and hard to change. Very hard to get men to fix their male dogs. Many pregnant female strays here.

      Since there is corruption in every organization the BP no doubt has its issues…someone paid to look the other way? I don’t know. But once you do that you risk your life, right? I hope America has been reading about the brutality of the cartels, mass graves found, women, children. Gruesome methods equals effective terrorism…the fact that it’s moving into the US should be a concern to all of us. As you well know because you report on it often, this is a war we should be dealing with on a much, much larger scale than a few BP on horseback or ATVs. The sheer number of people crossing into the US every day is very serious, we see them all the time. Headlights flash, car doors slam, voices…my friend who lives near the San Pedro sees/hears it every night. I see it in my backyard…a few miles from here, big groups wait for their ride at Burger King, sometimes a big bust there. Now how can we make the government see it? Or the millions of Americans who blow it off as nothing to be concerned about?

      As I’m learning, you can’t fix ignorant, you can only defend yourself.

  8. Judging by the looks of those helicopters, I’d say that there is a LOT of repair work needed! LOL My guess is that they are on their way to the smelter when aluminum prices get high enough!

    • Hi Harry, there was a big hangar too, but it wasn’t very interesting so I didn’t take a pic! They probably cannibalize those helicopters in the yard, you think? They seemed to be organized by various stages of ruin.

  9. Debra, The hill country is very nice, but much more expensive. I live out in the boonies southwest of Houston (about 30 miles). I LOVE the hill country, but out of my price range, and I am a desert rat at heart, so this area seems to suit us fine.
    And I do agree, have spent my whole life building great credit, but the AZ economy and Obama took that all away. Life goes on 🙂

  10. Nice to catch up on your life, Debra! I hope Chico and Coco can find their forever homes soon. I love the picture of them together coming home.

    It is sad to feel so unsafe that you have to resort to carrying a gun. I understand where you are coming from. I just think it is a very sad thing.
    I grew up in the northwest woods of Maine quite near the Canadian border and in my hometown everyone had guns, but it was a hunting mecca, which is very different. They weren’t fearful for their lives. (but the deer and moose probably were).

    Take care and look forward to reading more from you!

    • Hi Char, it’s sad to carry a gun but sadder that we live in a culture where it’s almost a requirement. But then again everything is sad all over the planet. There is not a safe, sane place to live anywhere, unless you have lots of money.

  11. I wouldn’t touch those Bufo toads if I were you, unless you want to have a psychedelic experience. Ever hear of “licking toads?” Those are the toads that they lick. They secrete 5-MEO-DMT, which is a very, very powerful hallucinogen. Some people actually catch those toads to milk their secretions and sell it as a drug!

    • Of course I wouldn’t touch them, they’re quite dangerous. The reason I pick them up is because I don’t want any run-ins with my own animals. I place a large tupperware bowl over the toad then slide the cover underneath its body and gently place in the desert. This goes on all through monsoon. I don’t even like to spread this information around because there are so many lowlife drug addicts here that it wouldn’t surprise me if people are milking them and I can’t bear to see any creature exploited.

  12. I am 27, and this ’27 Club’ is the irony of our shallow, pretentious world. Another genius in this doomed club was ‘Nick Drake’.
    Their death has affected me beyond words. RIP, dearest all.

    The day Amy died, I wrote something:

    Beyond lights,
    Beyond fame,
    Untouched,
    Beyond shame.
    Eternal peace,
    Home I came.

    Not a wasted life it was.
    But motion in constant pause.
    It was hard, the love that was.
    I let it go – my end, my cause.

    Laugh at me, call me names.
    Throw at me a million blames.
    Nothing hurts now, bird has flew.
    But it was’nt a easy thing to do.

    A dream I held in teary eye.
    Not more than a wish to fly.
    In silent years of hopeful hope.
    I had to live, I learnt to cope.

    You cut me short, tied and bound.
    Days of torture, round and round.
    Nothing hurts now, bird has flew.
    But it wasn’t a easy thing to do.

    Still I had memory damn good.
    How I wished to be turned to wood.
    But I was a stone cut in rain.
    Sculpted long, a forgotten pain.

    Not a wasted life it was.
    But motion in constant pause.
    It was hard, the love that was.
    I let it go – my end, my cause.

    Beyond pain,
    Beyond fear,
    Unbound,
    Unshed tear,
    Eternal death,
    Price dear.

  13. Yeah, still in archives…days worth of great writings here, thanks for being ok with my blog creeping. :).
    Now, onto my thoughts….We bought our American Stafforshire Terrior nine years ago. She’s also considered to be an American Pitbull Terrior, however, I hate that name because she’s never been in a “pit” her entire life. Her owner bought her as a puppy, a teenage boy who couldn’t afford to keep her legally within his city limits. She was taken to the pound, then the Spca…then pulled out through an under ground rescue network prior to her being killed. In November we will be adding a 10 month old Staffordshire Bull Terrior to our home. I picked him out last weekend from our good friend who is a world wide registered breeder. This young one and his sister were both stood up because the prospective buyers couldn’t pay the prices for a clean breed line. I will try and post some pictures of our dog soon. She is my walking buddy and knows how to put up with my mood swings.
    I’ve found some great blogs by linking from your blog. You have great taste and thanks for sharing their work.

    • Yikes, c’mon down here where they roam the streets after being dumped in the desert! When I worked at the pound it was always full of “pitties.” My rescue partner has seven of them, they were all slated for euthanasia. Beautiful, sweet, smart dogs—except the ones that have been abused, and even then they can recover but often don’t get along with other dogs for obvious reasons. Wish people wouldn’t breed them, they often end up in shelters because so many places won’t let you have them and most aren’t so lucky as to find good homes. I think we’re the pittie capital of the world down here. I live in a culture that has disdain for spay/neuter so it’s incredibly sad. I actually burned out from working at the pound, too many nights of going home in tears.

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