My dad was (let’s just say) complex. That’s where I’ll leave it. But I will also say he was not one to express his emotions. Let me rephrase that, he was not one to express his positive emotions.

I never heard him say he was proud of me. He rarely and sparingly told or showed me he loved me. And he never said he was sorry. Ever.

I have carried around the burden of having the dad I had and not the one I needed most of my life, like empty, useless, soiled baggage I couldn’t put down. Or could…

The Peeper Frogs are calling from the pond on my farm. These harbingers of spring always make me smile and give me hope for warmer days and the end of winter’s bone penetrating chill.

The Peepers are calling but I have no one to tell. That’s because the only other person in this world that I know who cared about such things (besides me) is no longer here to call. Each spring my friend and neighbor would call me (or I her) to announce we’d heard the Peepers and asked if they had too.

My friend, Julie, has gone. Left…

My Rescue Kitten Mercy

It began when I was just 5 years old. A neighborhood friend brought me a hurt bird to fix and I actually did. Since that time, I’ve rescued hundreds of animals from dangerous, abusive and bad situations — many from certain death.

As is usually the case with rescue, it starts out as a small here and there venture, a catch as catch can — just taking in 1 more. Just 1 more. Certainly there’s room for one more. Until there isn’t. Nor are there the funds or donations or folks who promised they’d help with the workload.

And the…

We said goodbye today, my little Buddy and I. I had not planned for this to be his last day with me, but my plans are often changing and rarely go as I had plotted out.

Two years ago this coming May Buddy began to slow down a lot and the vet thought he may be starting to shut down. It turned out to be just a temporary concern and I’m thankful I had almost 2 more years with my little Buddy.

He came to me from a high kill shelter, Buddy had little chance of leaving alive. His mom…

As of late I’ve felt the need to mend some broken down fences, and I don’t mean physical barriers. I mean emotional ones. Maybe it’s because of my recent stroke. Maybe it’s because I am finally able to let go of things that happened so long ago I no longer remember exactly what did happen, who said or did what. Maybe it’s because what happened no longer really matters when all is said and done.

I tend only to remember the always automatic hurt associated with the offense and the person involved. And that’s hard to overcome. I have felt…

It was one of the saddest things I’ve ever seen in my many years of rescue. A 6-month-old Anatolian Shepherd locked in a small, mud laden kennel with no water or food bowls and just the shambles of a plastic dog house for shelter from the elements. There was not even the hint of dust from straw or any kind of bedding that had ever helped keep him warm on that sleeting January morning.

He was already a very big boy with very big paws. But he had, perhaps the saddest, most haunted eyes I’d seen for a very long…

The Day I Had A Stroke

On November 5, 2020 I had a stroke. It seems odd, foreign, an out of body like experience for me to actually admit this. Saying the words out loud make it no more real.

I knew something was wrong that morning. My left arm and leg seemed like foreign operatives compared to the rest of my body, out of sync with my mental commands to do my will — not theirs.

My husband, so used to my extremely good health and physical fitness did not believe me at first. I guess he thought I…

Thirty-nine years ago today I married my husband.

No one gave our marriage any chance of “making it”. Perhaps even us.

We met in July and were married that October, yes, of the same year, while being separated by thousands of miles. And no, it was not an internet match. We met and 1 month later I moved from Indiana to Texas. We courted via phone and letters — real hand-written letters — and a few in person visits.

Ah, and as love is so blind, we believed we were soul mates — fated to be together. …

My Lydia is sick again. We’ve been in this see saw place most of her life. She was a wee very sick kitten when I rescued her from the streets. Since that day 6 years ago, her life has been tenuous.

I have tried everything on and off label I can find to try and help her. Her repeated upper respiratory infections have become the norm for her as is the case for some of my rescues who start out that way. Each time I think her life will be over. Each time she fights her way back.

She is…

Jackie Deems

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