Sunday, May 24, 2009

Ten months, birthdays, outlook

Ten months to the day. Not much to be said about that; how many adjectives are there for hell?

Friday, a dreaded birthday, sad, but lifted up by a wonderful group e-card full of  heartwarming greetings and pictures from over a hundred well-wishers, some I've met in person, some I've spent many hours with on the phone since last summer...
No plans, just took a walk on the beach, for the first time in months. Trying to find a moment of balance. 

Near impossible, without Brindi, of course; knowing she sees the same square footage every day, the same small area where dozens of dogs poop and pee. No sand and surf and wind. Boggles the mind. 

Yesterday a birthday rally for dogs and human, at the Halifax North Common, with miraculously beautiful weather, with a wonderful group of Humane Halifax members, many people joining in to sign petitions, read the flyers, enjoy a piece of birthday cake, some sharing the special dog cake with th
eir pooches  - and lots of talk about Brindi.

Everybody we talked to had heard about her, but many were stunned to lea
rn that she was not released in January. I hear this often, and believe me, correcting people is no fun. The same reaction of shock, disbelief, and irritation, not infrequently, outright ang
er. One woman, very distinguised-looking and well-dressed, burst out - and I quote - "I swear, this place is just like a communist country!! It's getting worse all the time!!"

Today, cold, rainy, and gray, to match my mood. Very tired. Visit from someone who couldn't make the rally, welcome company, a walk around the field and the beach, but not much more productivity from me today. 

Progress report otherwise? Good news: permission from the authorities to see Brindi 30 minutes a week, noontime Wednesdays. Two visits so far since January. Unlike back then, this time we were allowed to be inside the building, since it was cold and rainy that day-  that was the day after her surgery, which was a very scary time, waiting to find out if she had cancer or not. I didn't write about that because it was simply too much to think about, let alone put into words. 

The next visit, the first of the noon series, I hope, the weather was sunny and warm, so we were allowed to go outside in the graveled pen, the one she sees every single day. She has not been anywhere else outdoors, to my knowledge, since July 2008. Probably sniffed every square inch hundreds of times. She lay down on the gravel for me to rub her belly, and I worried about her stitches popping. 

I can't helping thinking that Brindi has easily served ten times more time behind bars than even the worst animal abuser. My time has been much like prison; I certainly have not been living a real life. Knowing your dog is literally on death row makes that kind of impossible.  

Well outnumbered by positive supporters by the thousands, I have to marvel at the few detractors who want blame me for all of this. To them, I'm practically an animal abuser - yet here I am, trying everything possible to save my own dog, which to my utter disbelief has turned out to be a colossal effort. The alternative? A syringe of poison injected into Brindi's body on August 7, 2008, nobody knowing or caring. If she is being abused now, it certainly is not by my hand. Other people are involved in that decision, not me, just as other people are seeking her death right now. I am staking my entire life on preventing them and will keep on doing so as long as I breathe.

Incredibly, there are even one or two who insist I deliberately misled the public by posting a video of me celebrating the Supreme Court victory on January 16.  Sure, I would lie about the most important thing in my life, for what?? 

Call me naive, but when my own lawyer called and said "We won!!" and that Brindi would be home within a week, how was I to anticipate the devastating disappointment that followed? 

How was I to expect that instead of getting my dog back, I would be charged for the first time ever for violations of a by-law 45 minutes before the expiration of the six-month statute of limitations? 

All I know is, I love my dog more than anybody on the planet. There is nobody who will take better care of her or work harder to keep her safe and sound, with all the necessary aids and precautions. 

When people tell me how much they love Brindi, I think that's really great, because it reassures me that even behind bars, she is being her wonderful, beautiful, smart, attentive, fun, eager to learn, and above all, loving self. Even behind bars, all of that comes through; she is weary, she is lonely, she needs more exercise, her teeth and coat need attention, and Lord knows she needs to come home -but she has not gone crazy, she has not become vicious. Not this dog, people! 

And it gives me a bit of hope. Who in their right mind could kill a dog like Brindi? 

My hope is that maybe, just maybe, people who say they love Brindi will put themselves in my shoes for just a moment. A fraction of a moment. Any amount of time, no matter how brief, would be enough for them to know one thing for certain: nobody loves Brindi as much as I do. And then they would understand exactly why I say that I am not going to stop until she is back home, safe and sound. 
That is all I really want for my birthday: nothing more or less than my own dog, the one who celebrated (quietly) with me, one year ago on May 22. How much longer?

Here's some of the pics - thanks to Valerie S.! And everybody else, two-legged and four-legged, who attended!