employment (who shall remain nameless) stated: "You're a little weird, Lauren T."
In retrospect, I have been called far worse. But, this surprising revelation really stung. Somehow I found the strength to say, "How?"
This person appeared to be at a loss for words. I suppose he/she thought that I would just laugh it off or walk away with my tail between my legs (figuratively, of course). All I wanted was an answer.
"Well," he/she stammered. "You post pictures of dogs with no eyes."
I have no problems being judged as the "crazy dog lady." To me, each dog is special, much like a human child. I have no regrets about adopting any of my fur babies. In fact, most of them would have been euthanized if their respective rescue groups hadn't given them a second chance.
The particular pooch that this person is speaking of is Hope. She is a double Dapple Dachshund that was born without eyes and is deaf. However, she does not let these "disabilities" prevent her from living her best life. She loves to meet new people and dogs. We are still working on getting her to like the cat.
My husband and I find Hope to be one of the most inspiring dogs that we have ever met. In just two days, Hope was navigating our house as if she has lived here all of her life. She even climbs onto chairs by using her front paws to pull her body through the opening between the back and seat cushions. And even when she runs head first into things, she simply shakes it off and keeps going with her head held high and a smile on her face.
The same is true of our three-legged dog, Penny. She uses her "stump" to hold onto toys and to "pin down" her brother, Cole, when they play together. And don't forget that she is able to scale our four foot pet gate. Penny also loves everything and everybody.
Just because some of my dogs are not what many people would call "normal" does not mean that they are not worthy of being loved. Can you imagine the parent of a human child with a disability not loving him or her? Of course not! Why should it be any different with fur parents?
While we are on the subject, my husband and I have CHOSEN to be pet parents. We do not desire to have any human children. And, quite honestly, we do not owe anyone an explanation as to why. In addition, I believe that Matt and I take better care of our fur babies than many parents do of their own children. Our "kids" are the most spoiled on the planet!
The person then managed to squeak out another reason for my "weirdness." My rubber bracelets. Everyday, without fail, I ALWAYS wear 5 rubber bracelets on my left arm. I call this my "cause arm."
Each bracelet represents a specific cause that is important to me. Allow me to explain. The green bracelet is for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I wear it to support my 91 year old Grandmother who was diagnosed with Mantel Cell Lymphoma two years ago. The red bracelet is for the American Diabetes Association. I wear it to support my Dad who was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes almost two years ago. The purple bracelet is for the Pancreatic Cancer Network. I wear this bracelet in honor of a friend of the family who passed away a year ago due to this horrible disease.
The yellow bracelet is for canine cancer. I lost my very first dog, a Border Collie named Spots, to cancer. The final bracelet represents my support of "special" dogs. The "Everything Rosie" bracelet was created to celebrate the very short life of Rosie, a special Chihuahua that was the product of backyard breeding. The message on the bracelet is "Always Adopt." I agree wholeheartedly with this campaign. (Check out www.everythingrosie.com to order your own bracelet and support the cause.)
I choose to wear these bracelets everyday because they are a part of who I am and what I stand for. The people and animals that these causes represent mean the world to me. I am proud to show my love and support.
I have known for quite some time that I am "not like everyone else." I have never had a drop of alcohol in my entire life (except for communion). I haven't ever tried drugs, smoked a cigarette or committed a crime of any kind, not even a speeding ticket. I also do not believe in using profanity. It just diminishes the speaker's intelligence.
I am proud of the fact that I am "different." I love knowing that there is only one person in the world like me. And I am not afraid to own it. In a world filled with copycats, I am an original.