If my math is correct, it's been a little over 10 weeks since Tad first entered my life...or I entered his...whichever way you wish to look at it.
In this short time, I've made some amazing friends, met some truly motivational people, been completely moved, and restored my faith in humanity. You all say how truly inspiring I am, but if you only knew what you all have done to me. If y'all only realized what you have done for Tad...
I am not sure what's more moving...Tad's physical changes or this emotional journey that so many have traveled with us. I think combined...it makes it even more moving...it makes this all so much bigger. I had no idea 'The Abandoned Dog' would turn into this...absolutely no idea. I hadn't even DREAMED of something like this.
Yet...here we are...
Tad has not only grown emotionally and mentally, but with all of you...your care packages, cards, donations...Tad has just about reached his physical peak...he is almost normal. Strangers don't even take a second glance when they see him anymore...whereas before, we were glared at, whispered about, hugged, thanked, etc.
I don't make a lot of money...in fact, Charles and I are hurting right now (especially with the latest Tad Mishap and my knee lol)...but, we'll manage. We always do. My animals will always come first...they depend on me for life, and I will be worthy of their devotion, loyalty, unconditional love. I could not ask for better friends. I could not ask for a better bunch of loonies to surround myself with. I will have it no other way.
I want to seriously express how grateful I am for every single monetary donation (including the product donation from companies). Some of them were as small as $1...some larger than I even imagined people would be willing to donate to a strange girl with a dying dog. I have always tried to make you all as much a part of Tad's life, as I can. You helped me...and you helped me help Tad, and I can never repay any of you for the kindness and the inspiration you have been for me.
If you aren't already wiping your tears (I know some of you too well!), then stop reading now and go find that box of Kleenex, or steal the toilet paper from the bathroom. However, make sure everyone's done their business, because I know you'll get grumpy if they try to interrupt you and take the toilet paper back.
Tad would have received the same care regardless...but, it would have been done so on a much slower pace. He would probably still be hairless and stinky and his skin still possibly red and inflamed. Like I said, I don't make a lot of money...but, I do what I can, and I think that's what's most important. I try my very best, and I settle for nothing less of myself.
In 10 weeks, we have overcome serious cases of two different types of mange, intestinal parasite infestations, severe wounds and infections of his skin and ears, and we 'think' dry eye...in 10 weeks WE HAVE DONE ALL THAT! ...that is unheard of. That is impressive...amazing...inspiring...motivating...sooo many words, so many hugs I want to give, and so many shoulders I just want to cry my happy tears on! Though, I promise I'll keep a tissue handy; I don't like other's snot on my sleeve, and I assume y'all are the same. ;)
But, seriously...in 10 weeks...do you realize what we have accomplished together? We have given life...we have given hope...and we have inspired so much...you may think that this is all me...it's not. Y'all are just as much a part of this. You all deserve hugs and cookies, too.
I was looking back through Tad's first videos...I didn't recognize him. I don't remember him being that awful...I really don't. I'm not saying this to be corny...but, I truly believe that I was blinded...all I saw was a will to live...and a wagging tail...and that was more than enough for me to keep fighting for him.
If Dr. Holliday had said to put him down that first day...I don't know that I would have done it. I think I would have given him one more chance...even just a week...but, look at the change in that first week!? ...I mean, look at what we might have denied him!? I mean...this is all just so crazy! ...look at where we are!
I'm always second guessing myself...I always feel like I've made the wrong decision...and that probably has a lot to do with being as overwhelmed as I am and behind with everything as I am. I often wonder if maybe I should have found Tad a family...one who had more time to work with his protection issues and one who could work him to release energy. In trying these things, I've a smashed camera lens and a smashed knee...I wonder if I am not the right person?
But, then...I catch a glimpse of Tad in the corner of my eye. He's laying in his bed, beside my desk, and...he's not sleeping. He's wide awake...and he's just watching me. Not like a creepy dog stare...or, I'm about to go for your jugular and eat you for dinner...but, a...I'm so frickin' glad you came back for me. Don't you ever leave me.
I couldn't betray that trust...that bond...that obvious attachment. It's that look...that look that helps me see that he is learning...this is all a new experience to him...this is something he's NEVER had. It's that look that reminds me to be patient, it reminds me that he didn't mean to smash my camera lens, and he didn't mean to smash my knee cap, and he didn't mean to bite the drug rep's manhood. He didn't mean to be to troublesome...he didn't mean for anything other than to survive, but boy...look at everything else he's done.
He's moved the world...he's inspired young children to get out and volunteer. He's inspired grown people to donate to their shelters. He's inspired young kids to donate their allowance to rescues. He has got many of you scouring the roadsides now. But, most importantly...he's moved me. He's shown me what true, honest, unconditional love is like...and of course, broken things, destroyed things, inflicted pain and headache...but, I forgive him. I have to...my favorite quote of all time ends with, 'We owe it to them to be worthy of such devotion.'
No matter what he does...he will always, always be worthy of my time, patience, love, and understanding. He will always be protected, cared for, and understood. I owe that to him...because of that look.
I don't know that there's a point to this blog post...I opened a new post and let my mind go...and I'm sure all of you are blubbering messes right now. But, I seriously...with all my heart...owe so much to you. You have helped me, help him, and in return...he has moved every single one of us...