Monday, November 17, 2008

My doggles

If you know me at all, then you know that I absolutely LOVE dogs. Especially my dogs. I have three - Juneau, Casey, and Riley. They all have a special significance to me, each with their own story. Jer bought Riley for me to keep me company while I lived alone in Lubbock. Jer had already graduated and moved back to Amarillo, so I needed a companion. Jer bought Casey for me when he proposed. I had always wanted a Keeshond and couldn't find one. He found a breeder in Louisiana and arranged to meet her in Dallas to pick Casey up before driving back to Lubbock to propose to me. We got Juneau from a shelter after our honeymoon in Alaska. She looked like the sweetest dog and having the name Juneau felt like a sign. With that being said, you can understand my horror when we returned home on Saturday night at 11:00pm to find our back gate wide open. Riley was still in the backyard, but the other two were missing. We had been gone for about 3 hours, so there's no telling what time they got out and how far they had gotten. Jer and I jumped back in the car and set out looking for them. We drove around for 2 hours with no luck. We had doubled back to the house a couple of times to see if they had returned or if someone else had returned them, but neither had occurred. I was getting really worried because all the dogs have tags with our address and phone number on them. No one had tried to contact us. I had tried to block the thought that something bad had happened to them, but after time kept passing, I just couldn't ignore it anymore. At around 1:30am, I had given up hope. I was bawling and every empty street we turned down made me more and more upset, and more and more hopeless. We had been searching for more than two hours, and it's possible they had escaped even a couple hours before that. Who knows how much ground they could've covered in that amount of time? The other thing that really bothered me is that Casey hadn't returned on her own....she has dug out of our backyards over the years many times, and always returned through the same hole, or sat on our front porch and waited for us to come home. I went back home and decided we'd sleep in the living room in case they returned, so we could hear them scratching at either door. I figured we'd start our search again in the morning when it was light outside. Jer had other ideas....he went to the closet and grabbed his heavy coat and gloves and told me he was going to set out on foot and he wouldn't stop searching until he found them. Wow. It was like out of a movie or something. I'm the one who is madly in love with our dogs, and I'm curled up on the couch crying about their fate...while Jer (who is less than fond of having 3 dogs) sets out on a mission in the freezing weather. I couldn't believe it. While he was gone, I sat there on the couch with my eyes glued to the door. I never heard any scratches. Finally at 2:30am I got a call from Jer that he had found the dogs. It was incredible. Casey was soaking wet, from what we do not know, and Juneau was very disoriented. They were more than a mile away from our house, across a busy street, but still together. I drove over there and picked them all up and thanked my hero Jeremiah about a thousand times. I don't know what would've happened to those dogs if Jer had just gone to bed and stopped searching. I doubt they could've found their way home. I also don't know how I would've handled losing both of them. That possibility seemed way too real to me on Saturday night and I hope I don't have to think about it again for a very, very long time.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Just be good for goodness' sake!

In case people are wondering why I feel the way I do, and in case people are wondering what a humanist is, this website explains it very well! If you don't want to follow the link, here's what it says:

"Many people imagine that the only way to be good in this world is through belief in a god. But is that really necessary? Must we be bound by moral dictates set down in “sacred” texts written hundreds, if not thousands of years ago? Must we accept the authority and judgments of “spiritual” leaders and religious hierarchy? Does religious faith offer the only lens through which to judge life’s events?

The answer to these questions is no! There is another way for us to approach life. We can have ethics and values that aren't set in stone. Our ideals and principles can evolve over time to reflect our ever-changing and increasingly complex world. Yet, we can be confident of the decisions that we make, not because someone told us what to do but because we relied on our own careful reasoning and emotional reflection. We can live a life that accepts and appreciates the world as it is, without needing to see supernatural explanations behind every event. This is a positive and uplifting way to live.

This way of life is called humanism. Humanists use reason and the tools of science to better understand our world and the best way to live in it. Humanists understand that compassion for fellow human beings, as well as an acknowledgement of their inherent dignity and worth, must form the basis of our interactions with each other. Humanists are free of belief in any god or afterlife. We must make the best of this one life that we have.

If this is how you, also, see the world, then you are a humanist. " - The American Humanist Association