Fostering Love

Back in May, my wife approached me with what she called ‘a wonderful idea’. She was with a friend who fostered puppies, and wanted us to do the same. At first, I was against it; we planned on renovating the house, and also we needed to build a piece on our shed. Definitely too busy to ‘foster’ animals.

Of course, we fostered. It’s not that the wife always gets her way (she does), the truth is, I am an animal lover, have been all my life. My only fear was letting the animals go. I feared we would end up being what is referred to as a ‘Foster Fail’ where the foster parents end up keeping the pets. No, we wouldn’t want that.

My wife and I picked up two little pups from a foster home in the area. Their mother was abused and too skinny to properly feed her babies. My wife handed me the little boy dog. it was love at first site for the both of us. He really took to me, and I to him. Here is a pic.

harley

See, how could a person get attached to something like this? We also fostered his sister. Her name is Gracie.

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Apparently, the pups were at ‘Death’s door’ when they were given to us. The owner had the pups threw outside, and was tossing adult food at them. The pups were swollen due to the fact they could not properly digest adult dog food.

It didn’t take long for the animals to begin looking better. As I said, Harley took to me, and wherever I went, he wasn’t far behind. In one night, I managed to house train both doggies, and actually had them barking to go outside within two days.

We socialized the two doggies, taking them for walks in the park. Already having three dogs of our own, the pups grew accustomed to other dogs, and our cat loved them as well. When they were ready for adoption, the group we are so actively involved in, The Southwest Coast SPCA found great homes for the pups. The new owners were amazed how well behaved the pups were. I was okay with them going at first, but when Harley pulled on his leash to follow me rather than his new owner, I nearly cried.

We keep in touch with the new owners, and the dogs are doing great. Me not so much.

My wife had a cure for my dull drums. Three kittens who had been rescued from a home. The kittens and their mother were surrendered to the town animal pound, and rescued by the SPCA. The group at the SPCA agreed to separate the kittens from the mother, as she had finished feeding them anyway. We got all three kittens.  We removed them from the town kennel one kitten at a time. First was a cute calico. We named her ‘Callie’callie

 

Callie

Then we reached in and took out Rascal. Very cute little thing.

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Rascal

Last but not least, there was one little kitten left in the kennel. Meet Milo.

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Milo

The three kittens in a box:

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I know what you are thinking, its going to be difficult to give those kittens up. Totally right. We found a good home for the Calico, with my sister, who had a calico cat for over 15 years. The little cat, who she called Scrappy, got her through some rough times. Callie, now Molly, loves her new home, and I get to drop by and visit very often.

We found a home for Rascal, now Mr. Schmiddy, with a co-worker of mine. Schmiddy is living in another city, but from the pictures we were sent, it is no doubt he is happy.

That leaves Milo. Another co-worker fell in love with him immediately, and we practically had the adoption papers done up when she admitted she couldn’t take him. She already had two other cats and two giant dogs, and a husband who didn’t want any more pets. It would be off to the shelter for Milo.

That evening, my wife came home. “You want that cat, I can tell. Admit it, You want her!” she cross examined me. I did want the cat, but didn’t admit it. “You sound like YOU want the cat!” I joked. I was right. Long story short, we wanted the cat.

So then we had only one kitten, and he was staying. That evening, my cousin called. She runs a cat rescue in the area, and ‘over rescued’ 13 kittens. She asked if we might foster a few for her. I agreed we go and look, maybe take one or two home. My wife came along, and we ended up taking four kittens home. They were cute!

Tortoise Shell kittens. I had never heard of this before, apparently a black cat with orange coloring, and always female, (like the Calico). There were two black ones too, and these kittens were tiny.

The kittens allowed our newly acquired cat Milo someone to play with. Our older cat was a bit jealous of Milo, so he got along with the younger cats better. They are here:

 

Cute, right? All four kittens have homes as of now.

So now, our house is back to normal. Normal if you call normal three dogs, three cats, and two budgies. We just got a call. A dog we rescued a while back just had 7 puppies. Think the house is going to grow again.

If you want to become involved in a great thing, look at fostering a pet. You wouldn’t believe the rewards. Thanks for reading.

 

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Life’s rewards

While at the local vet clinic to check on a few SPCA kittens I dropped off, I overheard an older lady dealing with the vet. As of late, my wife and I have been fostering puppies and kittens, and just recently, we accepted positions on the SPCA board of directors. Very rewarding to say the least.

“You mean to tell me if I can’t pay for this blood work, I have to take my little dog home to die?” she said, crying.

She was an older lady, and obviously living on a fixed income. “My husband raised the dog from a pup”. Often he cussed at himself for not taking an already trained, older dog, but still he trained the little dog all by himself. He named his pup ‘Barak Obama’ because for some reason, every time the President’s name was spoken on the TV, the little dog came running.

I couldn’t help but interject. “Where is your husband now? Home waiting for the dog to come home?” I asked.

Crying, she told me her husband died last year, little dog at his side. “Barak needed a flea treatment, the vet recommended using Revolution. He had a reaction to the medication, now he takes seizures.” She said.

I spoke to the vet, and asked which essential blood work the dog had to have, and why. Turns out the blood work cost was $83 plus tax. They needed to do the blood work to determine the exact amount of medication to administer to the little dog. He would also need medication which would cost around $40 per month.

“I can manage to save enough for the meds each month, but I can’t afford $100 right now, or ever really” She said, breaking down.

When I realized we were both crying, I offered to pay for the blood work myself. “I am paying for the blood work.”

Of course she refused. “I don’t know you, you don’t have to do this” She said, graciously.

“If you don’t let me pay now, I will come in after you leave and pay for it. If this were my dad or mom, and one of their cats were sick and they couldn’t afford it, I would like someone to help them, so let me help you.” I told her, a shudder in my voice.  I was crying.

After about fifteen minutes, she finally agreed. “I will pay you back” she said, but I refused. “My name is…” but before she could tell me her name, I cut her off. “I don’t need to know your name, and you don’t need to know mine, just give me a hug and call it a deal. I told her. She hugged me and sobbed.

As I walked out of the clinic, the vet brought her little dog out, and the two of them scheduled an appointment for the blood work.

Someone in my town won the lottery today, $4 million dollars. It wasn’t me, I never had any numbers right, but today was one of the most rewarding days I have had in quite a while. I hope everything goes well for the lady and her dog.

souveniers

dfg

PHOTO PROMPT © Karuna

He took souvenirs,

and played with them

as if they were his own.

Until guilt set in

and he would bury the tems

next to the bodies

in the dirt behind his home.

Nobody knew he existed

because his father, the mayor

hid his son

and his secret

from the world.

Once a day he threw

food

to his child

who he hid away in the basement.

He wasn’t supposed to get out

but at night he did

and he found kids

asleep in their bed

who had toys

but won’t be needing them

because soon they will be dead.

This morbid story of a young serial killer is my entry into this week’s Friday Fictioneers.

Defiance

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PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

After the bomb exploded, bodies were strewn everywhere. Teams moved quickly to remove the dead, before the entire congregation arrived to help with the cleanup. Despite their hard work, the place would never be the same again.

Those responsible admitted it proudly, as if it was their destiny.

Whoever thought they could bring down the house of the Lord with a bomb were sadly mistaken.

Despite his grief, the old pastor gave the sermon of his lifetime. he started out with these words: “This place is but a building. The Lord’s home is wherever we shall gather in his name.”

This is my entry into this week’s Friday Fictioneers. My condolences to the families of those lost in the Manchester Bombing. Senseless killing seems to be commonplace those days. What is most disturbing to me is how people are claiming responsibility, as if this is something to be proud of. Thanks for reading.

There’s no other kinds

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PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

Harry took his wife out to a local diner for a Mother’s Day meal. The man was outraged when the waitress brought a bottle of No Name Ketchup to the table.

“No name brand Ketchup? You call yourself a restaurant? Fake Ketchup?” he hollered, embarrassing his poor wife.

“I only use Heinz Ketchup! If it ain’t Heinz, there are no other kinds!” he yelled. “I have been using Heinz all my life, just ask my wife!”

“Relax Harry, you have been using No Name brand for years, I just refilled the Ketchup bottle with whatever was on sale” she admitted.

Happy Mothers Day to all the special moms out there, especially those who live with stubborn men like Harry. This story is my entry into this week’s Friday Fictioneers. I hope you enjoyed this, and thanks for reading.

Frank’s Salvage

car

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Steam bellowed from the busted radiator, as Susan paced the deserted highway.

A ratty old tow truck appeared in the distance. The driver rolled his window down,  “Name’s Frank. Looks as if you have a bit of trouble. Hop in my  truck, I’ll tow you to my garage and fix it.” She sensed something, but ignored her intuition and stepped inside.

Upon her entry, Susan noticed something odd. No seats, no dashboard, and worst of all, no floor. As she fell to her death, she disappeared into the oblivion.

“Another car for my collection” the Devil said, as he drove away.

This little tale of hospitality and horror is brought to you courtesy of Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ Friday Fictioneers photo prompt.  Click on the froggy for more intriguing tales based on the photo.

a penny for your thoughts

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PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

Alexander and Peter inherited their parents’ fortune, and spent their time bickering.

Alexander enjoyed picking up pennies from the street and adding them to his bank account; while Peter was so wasteful, he threw money out the window of his plane.

On this occasion, Alexander was driving to town to buy groceries. He drove the rusted Mercedes convertible his dad left him. Suddenly, he lost control of the car as it left the road.

Search crews located Alexander’s car in a deep ravine. He was DOA. The autopsy revealed he died from a massive brain injury. A penny was found inside his skull.

This ironic tale of the fast and the frivolous is brought to you courtesy of Friday Fictioneers. Click on the froggy for more stories based on the photo prompt.

Someone had to pay

Bill volunteered at a local orphanage. He spent hours playing board games with the kids and telling them funny stories. The kids really loved Bill, at times he was the only person who came to visit.

The staff at Care Lots Orphanage also enjoyed Bill’s visits. He could sit  and talk for hours, reminiscing about his years in the Marines, and the many adventures he experienced.

The one thing Bill never spoke of was his childhood. Orphaned as a child, Bill bounced from one foster home to the next, suffering abuse in one form or another from parents who wanted to do the ‘right thing’, and who never really understood the pain the little boy experienced.

Bill’s home life was also very sad. Two failed marriages and several kids who may or may not have been his left him battered and heart broken. He managed to find odd jobs so he could send a bit to his kids, but most of the time, the mothers kept the money for themselves.

A huge man, Bill towered over the entire staff of the orphanage. A plaque was donated to the orphanage honoring the many years of volunteer work Bill had done. “A big man with a big heart” was inscribed on the plaque, along with a picture of Bill and the kids.

Today, the new manager of the orphanage asked to talk to Bill.

“We were looking at your files here, Mr. Hillman. We don’t see your code of conduct anywhere. We need you to fill out this form, which includes a criminal record check. It’s not like we don’t trust you, it is just a legality.” said the  man.

Bill’s head fell. “I don’t, I mean, I can’t get you one. I have a criminal record. It happened years ago, after I left the marines. I have since straightened myself out. I am waiting for the governor to issue a pardon. I have paperwork from the government and from the military”

“We are sorry, Mr. Hillman, that isn’t good enough. We certainly can’t have you working with our children if you can’t be trusted.”

Bill was astonished. Beaten, he stood up and attempted to leave. One of the kids came running. “Bill Hill, where you going? Me and Tommy wants to play a game!”

Bill worked hard to hold back the tears. “I am only going for a little while, things will be okay, I promise” he said. He knew different, but couldn’t bring himself to tell the truth.

“It’s not fair!” he thought, as he walked home. “Those poor kids, they have nobody!”

When he arrived at the apartment, he pushed the door in and fell across the couch. Quite the sad thing really, such a large man crying his eyes out, but who could blame him? The only peace Bill has found has been working with the kids; kids nobody wanted.

Drowning his sorrows with a bottle of cheap whiskey, Bill reminisced to when he was a small boy. His father never stuck around, so it was up to his mother to raise him, to love him. She did neither. She didn’t like sleeping alone, so she quickly found someone to share her bed, and that someone didn’t want a stupid kid ruining their fun. Sharon Hillman began pushing Bill away, often locking him outside the house to fend for himself.

When Child services showed up at her doorstep, she wanted nothing to do with the boy. Drunkenly, she hollered and screamed at the social workers, ordering them to take the boy away. That’s what they did.

Bill was eight years old when he was first set up in the Kindle’s home. Roy and Helen had just lost their boy to Cancer, so Bill was to be his replacement. The Kindle boy was so smart in school, but unfortunately, Bill struggled. The boy was a hero in the school sports program, Bill was not. Bill wasn’t any of the things their boy was, and because of this, Bill suffered.

Helen tried to beat some sense in the boy. “I will make a man out of you yet!” Helen screamed, all the while beating Bill with her belt. At night, the terror increased, as Bill was ‘visited’ by Roy, who promised to make everything alright, as long as Bill didn’t tell Helen what Roy was doing to him.

When the gym teacher noticed bruises on the boy, he called Child Services. Bill was taken away from the Kindles, but the abuse continued. Every home was worst than the one before.

By the time Bill was sixteen, he had enough. He tried to end it all. He couldn’t even do this right, and after several visits to the Emergency Department of the local hospital, the police got involved.

One officer, who had a soft spot for the boy, suggested he join the Armed forces. Bill agreed; the best move Bill ever made. He loved the organized schedule, and for once, he found something he was good at.

Three tours in the Middle East, and Bill was finished. No longer could he take the violence, the hate, and the killing. He wasn’t meant to do this, and wanted out. His Commanding officer rejected his requests, so he just walked away.

Bill drifted from city to city, from state to state. Alcohol became his only friend, and one night, while sleeping off his latest drinking binge, some lady walked up to him and kicked him in the stomach. “Worthless bum, go out and get a job!”

Bill looked up at the stranger, but seen a much different person. He seen his mother. This time, she wasn’t drunk, and she wasn’t with a strange man. “You worthless little boy!” Bill heard. Whether it was the words of the stranger, or his PTSD, Bill reacted quickly. Clenching his hands around the woman’s neck, he proceeded to strangle her. A police car drove past, and the officer was quick to spin around.

Bill was arrested, but the lady chose not to press charges. “My husband was a Marine, a real mess when he came back. I am going to give this man another chance.”

This was the first time a woman was nice to Bill. He wanted to thank her for her kindness. Following her home, he waited until she was in the house. He planned to knock on the door and talk to her.

Bill glanced into the large front window of the lady’s home. He seen her, standing over her small boy. He watched as she slapped the child. Despite not being able to hear what was being said, he knew exactly what was happening. The child was being abused.

Bill barged into the home, and grabbed the boy. He pushed him out the door, and proceeded to take him away. The woman tore at Bill’s face, and screamed loudly. A neighbor called the police. Bill was arrested, and sentenced with attempted kidnapping.

One of the neighbors made an attempt to help Bill. She knew of the constant abuse the woman put her kids through, and wanted it to stop. Of course, the abusive woman was the wife of a Marine, a true hero, so nobody listened.

When Bill was released from prison, he disappeared from the public. He moved often, and lived from day to day. His only solace was working with kids at the various orphanages he visited.

After being barred from Care Lots, Bill’s life changed. “Someone has to pay!” he said to himself. He spent time walking through the park. This is where he met Nicole Simmons. Sitting on a park bench next to her, Bill began a conversation. “Where are you from?” he asked.

“Baltimore” She said.

“Married?” he asked.

“I was, not anymore.”

“Kids?” he inquired.

“Don’t get me started. I had two boys for two different guys. I was young back then, and couldn’t afford to keep them. Hard to make it on your own, you know how it is.” she said.

“I hear you. Hey, why don’t you join me for a drink, my treat!” he offered.

“I shouldn’t, but it’s been a long day.” she said.

Bill walked with the girl, and offered a short cut through the brush at the end of the park.

“So tell me about your kids. Are they with their dads?” Bill asked.

“Not their dads, but they are safe, with another family.” she said. That was all Bill needed to hear. “Someone has to pay, someone has to pay” Bill repeated. When the girl became nervous, she tried to run, but Bill was a large man, with large hands. His grip was too strong. Making a fist, he clobbered the tiny woman, sending her reeling across the path. Removing a .45 from his belt, he ended her life.

It was easy to carry her home. She didn’t weigh much. Bill dug a small grave behind his house, and buried her. He put a small headstone on top, and repeated. “Someone has to pay!”

Cathy Green was a haggard women. Spending way too much time in the bar, she had little time for her small kids at home. One night, while Bill was drowning his sorrows, he overheard a conversation between Cathy and some drunk at the bar. She bragged how two of her oldest had been removed, and were in better homes now.
“These people have money, I don’t. When my kids are grown, they can come back and take care of me.”

Bill waited for the club to close. It was located in a rough part of town, so there wasn’t much traffic, especially after 4 in the morning. He took her life quickly, not even giving her time to scream or fight for her life. She was buried next to Nicole.

A few more nights, a few more women. Someone had to pay, and pay they did, with their lives. Bill moved from town to town, ‘Protecting’ the kids by murdering their mothers.

Returning home, he noticed a white envelope stuck in the front door of his apartment. Ripping it open, he read it.

To William Hillman.

This is a notice of the removal of your children from your estranged wife. If you do not respond within 30 days, the children will we sent to Child Services and adopted out to a good family.”

The letter was dated March 30, two months ago.

“That bitch lost my kids. They are gone to a foster home. Oh My God!” he thought, tears washing his face clean.

He knew where Sally lived. He had visited a few times, in an effort to see the kids. There was a car in the driveway, not hers. Bill never hesitated. “Someone has to pay” he said. He repeated the words to himself as he kicked in the door. The man who was at her house ran for his life, but Sally never made it. Bill choked the life from the woman who bore his kids, the woman who took them from Bill, and allowed his kids to be taken from her as well. Someone had to pay.

The man who fled the apartment called the police. Bill was arrested soon afterwards; after all, someone has to pay.

Cross Examination of a Murderer

Lawyer: “Did you, William Hillman, brutally murder eight innocent women?”

William: “No”

Lawyer: “Did you bury those innocent women, who were all young mothers, in your backyard?”

William: “No”

Lawyer: “William, we found the bodies. Your DNA is everywhere. We have the murder weapon, which is registered in your name. I am asking you once more, did you murder those innocent women?”

William: “NO! Those women were not innocent. Those women abandoned their children, forcing them to live in foster homes, where they were abused. My mother did the same to me. She was not innocent either.

dead

PHOTO PROMPT © Liz Young

Word Count: 100 words. More on this story, check out ‘Someone had to pay’

This little tale of the verification of innocence and one man’s

pain and suffering is my entry into this week’s Friday Fictioneers.

There’s more stories here…

 

put on your dancin’ shoes

shoes

PHOTO PROMPT © Magaly Guerrero

Charlie stared with envy as the young couple danced across the floor. The old guy remembered a time when he and Thelma danced just like this. Sadly,  hard work and raising a large family left little time for dancing anymore.

Today being their 50th anniversary, Charlie had quite the surprise lined up for his wife. “Put on your dancin’ shoes, let the jukebox blow a fuse!” he hollered. The ‘Ya All Come in is having a dance and we are going!”

It wasn’t long before Thelma was ready to go. On this night, the old couple danced like  two teenagers.

This little ditty about keeping the fun in a marriage is brought to you courtesy of Friday Fictioneers. Be sure to click on the little froggy to check out the many other stories based on this week’s photo prompt.

 

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