<$BlogRSDUrl$> The Cyberactivist

Behind the scenes of the fight for the protection of animals and workers and the preservation of the environment - my experiences as a Tyson slaughterhouse hanger/killer turned activist. Exposing the evils of factory farming, by Virgil Butler. If you have arrived here looking for the Tyson stories, view the early archives. Some of them are now featured on the sidebar for easy searching.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

I will LIVE!!!!! (plus more updated info) 

(Laura is writing for me today, as I am still having some problems thinking clearly and seeing clearly, though not as severe as before, mostly just having to take a lot of medicine that makes it hard to concentrate and think straight. But the seizures have stopped. I am just really sore and tired.)

Virgil is much better now. Although we did end up having to rush him to the hospital Thursday night after he fell out of a chair and hit his head again, knocking himself out and scaring the sh*t out of all of us, and then taking him back to the doctor Friday, he is going to be okay. He is no longer in danger of death anymore! It will just take a long time for him to heal. Thank goodness! Had us all scared to death there for awhile, but the doctor's help made a real difference and caught the problem in time. His new CT scan from the last ER visit was clean - no blood clots on the brain or anything, so he will be just fine - just in a lot of pain, and it will still take quite a while for him to regain the use of his right hand and things like that because of the pinched nerve and spine. But his head is okay now! That was by far the biggest concern we had. Whew!

I can finally rest without worrying myself half to death and staying up at all hours, never taking my eyes off of him. I have to say that I am still just completely exhausted. Everyone here has been finally resting after we returned from the doctor's office with the good news, as it has been a very hard and stressful time for all concerned. Anyway, just wanted to let you all know. I haven't had time to let you all know yet until today, but we did answer all of the kind and worried personal emails we received to put at least some minds at ease. I just didn't have time to update everyone else here via this blog, as all of the responsibilities around here have fallen squarely on my shoulders, even the simple things he cannot do for himself, like put a jacket on, buttoning his buttons, even sometimes just needing a shoulder to help him walk without falling since he still gets dizzy at times, though he is getting to where he can finally tie his own shoes pretty much. He is mostly using ones that have Velcro on them, though, which makes it much easier.

This has been a very scary and trying time for everyone, to say the least, but at least his new CT was clear, so no blood clot or bleeding on his brain! His hardheadedness can sometimes be a major pain in the butt for me to live with, but it has also been an asset, particularly in this case. ;) No doubt it has been a pain in the butt for Tyson and their ilk, too! Ha ha ha! ;)

You should also know that at the very time the ambulance arrived to take him to the hospital the "spayed female" foster dog we agreed to house until she could be rehabbed and placed wasn't spayed after all. Turns out that the people who turned her in lied. So, guess what? When my sister went to feed everyone for us while the ambulance was here and we were getting ready to leave for Hot Springs, she found that Sophia had delivered puppies! There were originally 11, one of whom was stillborn, and another who died today (just failure to thrive, though we did all we could to help, of course), but the rest are doing well and are up inside this tiny trailer with us in a box on a soft fluffy blanket, all comfy and warm and safe. So, now that makes 24 canines here!!!!!!! What will we ever do? These animals just keep right on coming, one way or another. Guess we will just do as we have always done - care for them, love them, and do our best to find good and loving homes for them. A bit crowded in this trailer, naturally, but I do have to admit that the sounds of newborn babies making their little cries just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I just love babies!!!!!!! :) And, at least this time it isn't 2 mothers with 20 baby puppies all at once!!!

I did call and inform For the Sake of Animals about this recent issue, since they were the ones who brought this particular dog to us, and the woman told me this morning that these 4 animals actually now belonged to the Humane Society and that For the Sake of Animals had their hands so full (about 100 dogs - due to Katrina mostly - and 2 horses!) and that since donations just weren't coming in, that she could not help us anymore. She was just going to call the Humane Society to come here and pick up everybody. Unfortunately, there is a big problem with that. They are a kill shelter. And a few of these dogs would be, without a doubt, deemed "unadoptable" and put down. The rest would be confined to tiny kennels, hoping that a home would come along for them. They would also take the place of animals who could be housed and put up for adoption, so I said, "NO WAY!" They are better off here. I told her to give them our number and that, if they agreed to pay for the spaying of Sophia (which they did), that we would either find the homes for these dogs ourselves or just have to keep whomever we couldn't do that for. So, as of today, these 4 dogs they brought are officially "ours" and, except for the help with the spaying, we will be responsible for everything else for their care. She does seem to think that the Humane Society could find the homes for the puppies, but I am not sure whether to trust them or not. I surely know that they would have better care here than there. They would be loved and socialzed and have a lot more room to run around and play in, as we have a yard for them with a doghouse (actually two now, since we have let Jake and Sophia out of theirs and have the one Virgil built for the roosters, who both died, the last one on Christmas). So, we are still thinking on what to do about that. They could find homes quicker, most likely, but in the meantime, their only quarters there are tiny kennels, whereas here, they would have a yard and a doghouse and more time and love than they would there in that crowded shelter.

And then, there is also the issue of enough money to feed everyone on our own now without the help of the rescue group, who has given us food from time to time, though nowhere near what we have been using. They had originally agreed to provide everything when we made the agreement, but they just couldnt keep it after Katrina hit. So, most of the cost of food has come either out of our own pockets or from the generous donations given by readers of this blog. And, given that Virgil has no way to pay for the extra medical bills we have had to take care of this month to get him seen and cared for, we are pretty tight right now as far as our monthly budget goes. But, if I have said it before a thousand times, I will say it again - NO animal will EVER go hungry here! I have done so before and will again give away my own food and do without before I let any animal here go hungry.

We are seriously thinking of applying to become a shelter. We have talked about going non-profit for some time now, but have also been given advice from other shelters and sanctuaries and such that it may not be the best thing to do because of all of the red tape and all, not to mention the IRS breathing down your neck all the time. We have been advised to keep donations coming in as "gifts" to avoid all of that, though we save all of our receipts we spend on the animals to prove where your donations go if anyone ever wants to see a full accounting, but I would hate to have one little mix-up and be horribly penalized, even being shut down, if we didn't dot every i and cross every t. The no-kill shelter I volunteered for when I was 14 was shut down for having too many animals (because of people dumping litters of them at night when they were closed), the animals were all put down, and the shelter closed, even though they did wonderful work and everyone was healthy and well-cared for. The health code just didn't allow them to have more than a certain number of animals, so they were shut down, as they ended up with about twice as many as was legal. I won't have that happen here. Also, we are worried about the problem that has besieged other small shelters/sanctuaries in rural locations - too many animals for us to care for properly. I am sure some of you have seen some of these stories in the news. People start a shelter, and then when others find out, they not only fill up quickly, but they also have people who will just dump animals illegally at the gate to the shelter, exceeding the limits of what care the shelter can give. Many of these animals are terribly sick and in need of immediate care. Someone calls in a tip, and then the people are demonized. The shelter gets shut down, the caring people branded as horrible, cruel, uncaring people who don't take care of their animals, they get criminal charges brought against them, have to pay restitution to the rescue groups that take in the sick animals that aren't euithanized immediately (some of whom were dumped at their door days before and that they had nothing to do with making sick), and then are the subjects of media articles and hate mail campaigns by angry activists. So, we will be giving this a LOT of thought before we decide whether to even try this or not. We will still expand our chicken sanctuary, although, obviously that project has been put off again, what with Virgil getting so badly hurt and all, but it will get done. I still have the donation for that project tucked safely away in the bank to pay for that, though I used part of it to take in Feisty to the vet to try and save his life, but it was a relatively small part that can be replaced relatively easily.

Anyway, we are still taking things easy around here for the next few days, as we didn't have much rest there for awhile. But Virgil and I didn't want everyone to keep worrying and sending in emails thinking that Virgil was in imminent danger of death. He isn't - not anymore. Whether it was due to the competence of the doctor cathching his problem in time or the fact that we had so many people pulling for him or both, it worked. And, frankly, I don't much care HOW it worked, only that it did work and that he will be okay.

Now begins the long time of recovery of the use of his right side. He probably won't ever be able to work a full-time job again any more than I can, according to the doctor, but then, then doctor had already told him that it was a remote chance he ever would anyway. This latest situation just pretty much seals that fate. But, if I know Virgil, and I do quite well, as many of you do too, this hardheaded determination of his will pull him through that as well, getting him healed up to at least continue his activist work and care for the animals here. I expect that he will exceed the expectations of the doctor and be back to his semi-regular self before too much longer.

Thank you again, everyone, for writing and letting us know how much you cared. It really did make a difference to both of us.
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