This post has more to do with my anger at people and situations than it does with personal finance. How it relates to personal finance is that this evening, I got smacked upside my head with the realization that I have put forth a lot of effort, time and yes money into a situation that has given me no return on my investment and honestly, I was not expecting a return on investment, I was expecting some courtesy and respect. I swear I can not and have not made up this stuff, truth is stranger than fiction. And I completely admit, as you read this you will think I’m some whinging 14 year old. My blog, my privilege to whing on…
As I have blogged before, I have an elderly friend who is no longer able to live on her own. She moved in with a mutual friend (Dee) earlier this summer and I ended up with one of her dogs, called Poochie. Fast forward to this fall. Same elderly friend has not had a good summer, has been in an out of the hospital, a skilled nursing facility and is now in a rehab center. As of this week, we have no idea if she will be able to return to living with our mutual friend or if she will truly require extended care. Our mutual friend has taken over elderly friends life, has helped with the sale of her home, helped to get it cleaned out, packed up possessions, got new doctors, got friend moved and settled and was able to take our elderly friend plus a few of her dogs. As my elderly friend suffered other health issues, I ended up with another one of her dogs, whom I’m calling Poochie 2. Poochie 1 and Poochie 2 don’t like (no HATE) each other. I took Poochie 2 into my little abode (that I’m now calling the Kennel) for a variety of reasons, one being that I probably would have better luck finding Poochie 2 a new home than Dee would. Dee had enough on her plate with her own life and managing the life of our elderly friend. Our elderly friend does not have any close, or even extended family, we are pretty much it for “family” under the age of 60.
The problem is that not only do I have elderly friends two dogs, I have my own. And my dogs are not getting along with her dogs. The sad/funny part is Poochie 2 is related to one of my dogs (they are littermates, I got her from elderly friend just before my own life fell apart) and they don’t like each other. Really not getting along to the point where they can’t run together and I have to exercise and run them in shifts. I have re-arranged the dog room, put up a couple kennel runs in my small yard (actually got them from elderly friend’s old house), it’s difficult at times, manageable at best. On her own, Poochie 2 is sweet, loving, fun, snuggly, affectionate. She is a bit spoiled and a bit undisciplined. She pretty much had run of elderly friend’s house, kennel and yard. She had her other dog buddies that she ran with and life was good. She and her other dog buddy were also very close to elderly friends now deceased husband. I think Poochie 2 misses elderly friend’s husband. Living with me is like living at boot camp. Not really her cup of tea.
This is where the 6 degrees of separation concept comes into play. I truly believe this concept exists. I took Poochie 2 for many reasons; one was that a friend of a friend was in the midst of losing her 14 year old dog. The dog was in kidney failure, had a mouth full of rotting teeth, was being kept alive by an expensive diet and a lot of drugs, the vet was afraid that if he did surgery to remove the dogs rotting teeth, it would never come out of the anesthesia. The friend of a friend knows my elderly friend well, knows Poochie 2 well and lives just a couple towns over. I took Poochie 2 on the premise that this friend of a friend would take Poochie 2 as a replacement for her dying dog. This is what she wanted to do, this is what she told me she wanted to do, from what I saw and what I was told this old dog was literally on its last legs, with just a few weeks left to live. I would deal with the crazy dog dynamics for a few weeks.
Friend of friend’s elderly dog manages to survive its dental surgery and has bounced back better than ever (or so I’m told thanks to modern veterinary pharmaceuticals). I get an e-mail (not even a phone call) that states the old dog is doing so well and guess what; I’ve got a new puppy so I don’t want Poochie 2. I barely managed to keep from punching my computer screen when I read this. This was Friday night. I was so angry, I was cross eyed, and I was not even given the decency of a phone call.
I am at an event this weekend and am talking to a very good friend who know elderly friend (are you following this? Six degrees again!). I related in the most general terms that the proposed home for Poochie 2 did not pan out, I related in very specific terms that I really needed to find a home for Poochie 2. This friend knows my living situation, she knows how small my house is, she knows my elderly friend, she knows I’m doing this out of the goodness of my heart (or because I’m totally nuts), she knows Poochie 2 was not destined to be at my house long term or permanent. I am told by said friend that she has the perfect home for Poochie 2, describes the potential family looking for a pet, and will be in touch with me in a few days once she makes some phone calls. We talked some more and I am convinced that this potential new home will work out for Poochie 2. I know someone who knows the prospective family, I recognize the name of the couple and I am grateful and relived, this sounds like it will work out. Poochie2 could have a new home by the weekend. Yes! Six degrees of separation works!
Today was a few days. I’m running some errands after work; one of them is returning some items to a department store. I’m walking through the store and whom do I see, but my friend I spoke to over the weekend. She is on the other side of a clothing display and does not see me because she is engrossed in a phone call. I walk towards the display to say/wave hello and stop cold dead in my tracks when I hear the following. “Sylvia, so glad you called back. I wanted to give you Kari’s number, she has the most wonderful dog that would be perfect for you, Kari will be home this weekend , she is expecting your call, here is her web address, she has a lovely web site too…” there is more to the conversation about Kari ,her most wonderful dog and her most wonderful everything . Just so you know I am NOT Kari. I am Betty. I turn on my heel and I walk out of the store go sit in my car and stew for a few minutes. I then use my mobile and call the woman. I hope and pray she is not parked next to me in the parking lot (she is not). We exchange pleasantries and I say have you spoken to the new potential owners or would you like me to give them a call? The answer I get back is “Oh I did and Betty, they have decided to wait on getting a new dog until after the holidays. You may want to find another home for Poochie.”
I don’t even remember the rest of my conversation; I hope I was polite and civil, despite being lied to. I do remember going to Costco and stomping through the store and throwing a 50 pound bag of dog food into my cart. I remember throwing the same bag of dog food into my car (squashing the very ripe vegetables I bought at the ethnic market too). I have no idea how I drove the 32 miles home on the highway, I just remember pulling up to my house angry, upset, annoyed, hurt that I was lied to by someone I consider a friend. I know Kari and I know Kari’s set up. She lives in a very nice country house. It’s a hell of a lot better than mine and last I heard (which was last week!) Kari was not looking to sell or move on her dogs or horses. It’s that six degrees thing again, you just end up knowing more than others realize you do.
There is only so much of Betty to go around. Betty is feeling stretched to her limits right now. I spend a lot of my working day giving and supporting other people. I’ve been MIA at the gym due to a temporary schedule change (and feeling fat now) and the dogs are a bit cranky from the lack of exercise and out time, I seem to spend most of my nights dealing with these needy dogs, I’ve cut back on my outside activities for financial reasons. I spend my weekends working for someone else, when I’m not working for someone else, I’m working off of this ever growing to do/errand list that just never seems to end and I feel like I never see any progress. AND I do it alone with no one to say, great good for you or let me help. Sometimes I’m so tired at the end of my day, I can barely get my butt up off the couch to deal with what ever needs to be dealt with.
I know this rant sounds juvenile, selfish and self centered. I hate being lied to by people who are my so called friends I hate the fact that I am feeling so powerless to make certain changes in my life. I hate a lot of things and I hate the way this situation has played out. I took in these dogs because it was a personal obligation, I paid the vet bills, re-arranged my life and my house, I never bitched about it (until now), and I dealt with it and am trying to make it work. I would have at least expected the courtesy of the truth from Kari or my friend, instead I got nothing. And I'm angry and upset.