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Anniversaries, Acts of Love, and the Caverns Beneath

A year since Doogie. A year since my arrest. A year.

6 months since his death. I struggle to understand what happened, still, today.

Am I really a human? A woman? A mother? A leader? An American? A thief?

Who are these people who relentlessly pursue me? Are they human? Why are we so different? I don't comprehend.

People say I'm a hero for rescuing Doogie. I like it. I hate it when anyone saves anything and then denies that they are a hero, for it steals the beauty in the act. In that one moment of your life you are a hero, regardless of whether you embrace it or not. Whether comfortable with it or not. And maybe you'd return the dog and maybe you wouldn't. You don't know until you're there.

People say I'm a devil for stealing a dog. I hate it. I hate it that they can't see, that they can't perceive of anyone doing anything selfless, and so attribute vile, self-serving motives to it. Because they never could or would.

I hate that I care. I resolve to stop caring.

My ex-husband is trying to take my kids. I hate it. I struggle to understand. I cry every day, and I couldn't cry before. But now I can. Facing the loss of my children I have rediscovered that I am human after all. And mother.

Some will say it's karma. I took Doogie, therefore now I may lose something I love. Trouble is, I didn't chain my children until they could no longer stand. And ride ATVs while they writhed on the ground begging for me to see them.

Love?

I bore both children without drugs. None. I did that for them, not me. Now when a doctor asks me to compare my pain to the worst pain I ever felt, I have to say it's a 1. Because once you've born a child without drugs, most everything else is just a 1.

I breastfed my children for 1 and 2 years respectively. I did that for them, not me. Anything which ties a woman to a baby, sagging her breasts for life, cannot be attributed to selfishness in a society tied to looks and body image.

Will I lose my children because I give so much of myself to my other 'child', Dogs Deserve Better, that I've left them open to 'hostile takeover'? I haven't guarded them closely enough, given them enough of me, the mother? I struggle to mother both children and dogs, yet I love them all ferociously, and would gladly lay down my life for all of them.

I shoulder the onus for stealing Doogie. Not without great personal sacrifice, not without absolute conviction in moral right and moral wrong.

A year later, I will spend days in court for both Doogie and my children. Faced with the possibility of losses on both sides. Weakened from pain. Faithless in the rightness of our society and our system...

In the depths of despair, one thing remains clear. No matter how ugly our world is, no matter how much pain there is to endure, how you are pursued, persecuted, tortured, tormented, that only thing that truly holds meaning in the end is did you do the right thing? The TRULY right thing...not the thing you justify to yourself and others.

The one you feel in your gut.

I did, and I cling to that knowledge. And for now I cling to my children, and love them ferociously. Give them more of me.

I am terribly flawed like most humans, and some days an utter failure. Then the cat who's life I saved�with a year-long raw food diet (yuk)�jumps to drink from the meditation fountain, and I smile. My children tell me they love me�and mean it�and I melt. And Miss Deer�the biggest scaredy dog in the world�sleeps on my bed and licks my hand, and my heart beats its joy.

Today, September 11, 2007, I feel too deeply the struggles of the world, and the unfairness within. Today, we hold a collective sadness in America, and my suffering is only the tiniest particle in that sadness.

Today, I hold every suffering soul in my heart, and wish for you all the courage to do the right thing, even when it's hardest. Maybe in that awakening alone will be the salvation of mankind, and with it man's best friends.

That is my hope.

Tammy Grimes, mother, founder, Dogs Deserve Better


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