Dear Person Who Rewrites Nightmares:
There’s a wildfire and I had to be evacuated. I honestly don’t know where I was living–this was not a place familiar to me. I live in the Cahuenga Pass and spend a lot of time at my parents’ house in Pasadena–both had fires very nearby recently, but I don’t have a clear feeling that I was at either place. Maybe somewhere in between. All I know is that because of the fire, all the people were evacuated and all the animals were quarantined. I know that makes no sense. But in my head, that’s what happened–I had to get out, and they took my dog Chance from me. They took him to a vet’s office I’d never seen before. I was going to this office to see him because I hadn’t seen him since we were evacuated. I walked up to the front desk and explained I was there for Chance. And they explained that I couldn’t take him home, but I could see him, but only for a few minutes because they were so overwhelmed.
So they took me in the back to an exam room. And then a vet tech brought Chance in. And I could see when he walked in that he was terrified and nervous, but as soon as he saw me he erupted in joyful wiggles. And he gave me kisses and I hugged him and tried to explain that I didn’t abandon him, and I was gonna have to leave again, but that I was going to be back to get him. Of course, I knew he couldn’t understand me, so I just started sobbing. And almost immediately the tech returned and said my time was up, and started dragging him away, and he looked at me with this look, like “Mom WHY ARE YOU LETTING THEM TAKE ME?!”
And then I woke up.
You woke up too soon! A moment later, you said, “wait a second, if you’re so overwhelmed, maybe I could volunteer?” They were pathetically grateful for your help, and it gave you an idea. With Chance curled up in your lap, you got on the phone to all the people whose animals were quarantined–all of whom missed them terribly. You knew that being in the L.A. area you were bound to find people with resources, and eventually one agreed that yes, he did have a large ranch well outside town.
With everyone chipping in what they could–some people could chip in a whole lot–it was just a matter of getting anyone with a car to drive the animals and the people without cars to the ranch, where you all lived blissfully for three weeks, playing with your animals and living in sleeping bags and cooking outside. When you were all finally allowed to go home, the owner of the ranch said it had been the happiest time of his life, and he was turning the ranch into an animal sanctuary and you were all welcome to come and stay any time. You (and Chance) were heralded as heroes, and he knew he had a mom who would always find a way.