Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Pretty Great Day!

My day started off with trying to clock in this morning but the computer was down. Took a couple of phone calls with our IT guy at  corporate and twenty minutes of me squatting on  the floor reading off numbers and verifying which lights were and were NOT on the router and modem. No fifty three year old woman likes to squat, I don't know how hot flashing Ethiopian women do it? Most of them don't even have a house much less a chair, it's brutally hot and they seem to always be squatting...not to mention all  those pesky flies.God bless 'em and Thank You Lord for letting me be an American.

Computer issues were finally fixed and I waited to hear from a friend of mine who was in town to call.

It's a crazy story (as most all of my stories are) so I'll back track a little for you.
Last year around this same time I did a blog about our dog Ham following my other two idiot dogs out of a hole in the fence at  the back of the yard one night. One of the idiots ran around and into  the garage to wait by  the kitchen door. The other one ran around to the front of the house and waited by  the front door. Ham simply got lost. Ham is blind and once out of the comfort zone of his back yard  wandered off. It took me a good bit of time to find him but finally did, a half mile from our house wandering down the middle of a busy road. I had to get out of my car and physically help him into the car because he couldn't see it but at least I found him. This was at  a time when we were barely scraping by. Tim had been out of work for well over a year and was working again but we were playing a tough game of "Catch up."

A guy who  reads my blog, who I have never met and lives in Miami contacted me and said my blog about Ham touched him and his wife as well.  His birthday was coming up and told his family all he wanted was money for his present. He sent me his birthday  money, kicking in some of his own to take Ham for an evaluation with a veterinary ophthalmologist. How nice was that?

Long story short (kinda) we got Ham up there to be seen, with several other people helping us with money  for dog food and gas to get us up to  the north side of Atlanta to see the vet.

Zach went with me and  the vet even had a picture of Ham's daddy in her office...she had done lens implants for Ham's dad a few years back.

All systems were go and had a foundation who would back us because we had been actively fund raising for Ham. The bad news is I  took Ham to our local low cost mobile vet to get his shots updated for surgery and he tested positive for heart worms. Not good.

Once again my (and Ham's) friends rallied around us and paid for the quick kill method of treatment which isn't cheap but Ham could live being blind but wouldn't survive with heart worms.

Three months and tons of love and help later he tested negative for heart  worms! We called  the vet back but they told us at this point considered eye surgery elective because they were worried he may not be able to survive the anesthesia required.

I called Auburn and we were on the board again when they suddenly lost their ophthalmologist.  I waited a month, no change. Then a friend of mine (another I've never met) told me about an ophthalmologist not twenty minutes away.  So  we are back in business. They may not be able to totally restore his vision but give him limited, blurry sight.  I am sure Ham would be as thrilled as me for that blessing.

I got an email the other day from my friend in Miami, he was coming to Atlanta for work and wanted to meet with me if he could. "Hell Yes" is what I should have written back. He and his wife had these awesome Thank You notes made up for me to mail to all the many people who have helped Ham on his journey. It had this picture on the front of them...
 This guy and his wife who I have never met have been so sweet to us and our pup. When I blogged about my feet freezing in the furniture store during the winter (we don't run heat) they mailed me a package of "Toasty Toes" for my shoes.  At Christmas they mailed us an adorable boxer ornament for our tree.( the one Ziggy tore down but the ornament survived!) You know...us dog lovers are pretty cray-cray about our pups. The out pouring of love for Ham has blown me away.  I sent out over twenty  Thank You notes to peeps who helped my pup and had to buy more. We truly wanted to help Ham and did what we could but sometimes you have to draw the line when it's the mortgage payment or vet bills. We  were threatened with foreclosure and only had five years and our house would be paid off.

These friends, some from high school, some from college, some from the church where I grew up, some from my blog and some who I didn't know at all, pulled my Ham through this and will always be eternally grateful for each and every one of them.

Back to today...Massey  thought it was creepy (she thinks a lot of things I do are creepy) I was meeting up with someone I had never met but knew he had helped Ham so she agreed to bring Ham up  to the furniture store for the meet and greet. My friend called to say he was on the way around elevenish this morning. It was a good day to come, Tuesday is the slowest retail day of the week. Let me also say this  guy  drove almost thirty minutes just to meet my dog!

Massey  arrived with Ham, took him out of the car  and he promptly took a dump on the wood chip covered island in front of the store. Good dog! I wish he could teach Ziggy  that trick.

My friend pulled in not ten minutes later. I told him I almost didn't recognize  him without his floral print shirt on and said he could go back to the car and get it if I wanted!  I knew immediately I loved this guy! We shared a long tight hug, the kind that means something.

He met Massey and he met Ham. We sat outside for a good thirty minutes. Massey was smart enough to bring Ham a water bowl and he loved all the attention. We chatted for a while, I left a couple of times to make a sale, had one customer comment on how handsome my boy was. While I was inside working the peeps, Massey and Jerry sat outside with Ham talking. When Massey went to take Ham home she turned  to Jerry and said "I'm going home and adding you  to my friends list!"

We took a couple of pics, this first one I took of the two new BFFL'S
Then I had Massey take a pic of me and him with  the Hammer...
After Massey and Ham left we went inside and talked for over a hour.  I told him a lot of stories about my struggling  debut as a furniture store manager and we had a few laughs. (I do  lot of things to laugh about) The time flew by and felt as if I was talking with a life long friend...which he is now!

He started to leave and we walked out front of the store. He told me he admired me for all we had been through and all we had accomplished. I told him it was because of people like him, friends and family. If he hadn't started the ball rolling, I wouldn't even know Ham had heart worms and by  now Ham would most probably be dead. Thanks to Jerry and his wife Dee Dee I have a huge network of people who love my pup and have given him his life back.

I got kinda emotional when Jerry  went to leave and just wanted him to know how much their kindness and generosity has meant. We hugged , I grabbed his bearded face and kissed him on the lips! He cracked up when I said "Don't tell your wife I kissed you on the lips but if you do tell her I will kiss her on her lips too when I finally meet her!"

We took a "Selfie" as Massey calls it when he left and the rest of my flew by.

I produced some numbers, sold and loaded out a lot of product but the thing I was most proud of was being able to thank someone in person for loving not only me but my family...which always includes my pups!

Look forward to someday getting down to Miami and meeting his sweet wife too.  Shout out to Dee Dee...Your husband made my day, and Ham's too!

Life is a journey. There's no map, simply guidelines. Live right, help others, love others and it will all be okay.

Today was the perfect example of how  true that last sentence was.

Til next time...COTTON

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