Monday, January 23, 2012

Safe havens and pitbulls

I have a good friend who left an abusive relationship with her kids and is now in hiding with a restraining order until a court hearing about domestic violence.  I was visiting her at her new place this weekend and thinking a lot about her situation - which she is not alone in.  The domestic violence safe houses around our region are all full right now.  She and the kids went from a pretty darn nice big house to literally a trailer park.  But it's home and it's safe so that makes it a lot nicer.

So, I started thinking that it would be comforting for her to have a dog because pets have a tendency to ease stress for people and are just all around good for you.  And dogs are friendlier than cats and smarter than rodents.  And sadly, not everyone can have (or for some crazy reason may not even want) a horse.  But she doesn't know if she's going to be living in this trailer for a long time, or if after the court dates are all done she'll move to a more long-term apartment or house and who knows if that place will take dogs since most rentals around here don't.  So, adopting a dog right now wouldn't work.  But what if there were a service that provided temporary dogs - like service dogs - to women in transitional housing after leaving an abusive relationship?

I was thinking it would be cool to have an organization that takes pitbulls from shelters, puts them with knowledgeable dog owners who are willing to train them with the same training as service or therapy dogs, then women coming out of abusive relationships could sign up to have a dog live with them.  They could have six months (or something like that) where the organization helps with dog food and vet care, then they'd have the option to officially adopt the dog if they wanted after their six months is over.

Of course, I couldn't be the one to take in or train dogs because our house is already over run by pets. But if I could find other satellite homes and trainers ...  I don't know.  It seemed like a good idea when I was having insomnia at 5am this morning.  I told two of my co-workers my idea over lunch today and they said it sounded great, but then they're those kind of nice people who would probably be supportive of me if I said I had an idea to inhabit Jupiter and create a weight loss clinic based on different gravities.

Speaking of lunch, I'm going through a phase of being especially obsessed with spicy foods.  I loved spicy foods or years, then couldn't even smell them when I was pregnant without throwing up, then lost my ability to eat much spice at all because it was too overwhelming.  But since I've been eating more (in attempts to balance out my immune system ... and because I'm hanging out with Laotian, Indian and Nigerian folks a lot so it rubs off ...) spices it is starting to bother me when food *isn't* spicy (unless it is supposed to not be spicy like say pie).  For the second time in a couple weeks when we went out to get take-out Thai food and I specifically asked for mine and JJ's to be spicy, we got back to my office and they hadn't put any hot spice on mine.  It had a nice flavor but no heat at all.  That happened at the Thai place by our house a couple weeks ago (once again - I specifically asked for spicy!) so I took my neighbor's advice and bought some Sriracha sauce to add to my food when they forget to make it spicy. Now I'm thinking I need to keep a bottle at work too.  I'm starting to understand why my friends from Indian wrinkle their nose at some American food that doesn't have heat to it.  Maybe I should stop ordering the food.  Maybe they see me as a pasty white girl who can't possibly mean she wants spicy.  When my boss picked up some Thai food for me last month when I had cold and he asked for it to be spicy, he brought it back and it was so hot it burned my mouth through the whole meal. Sigh.

And on that note, I made a stir-fry tonight with Karam's Garlic Sauce and Sriracha sauce as the only flavoring and it was really good.  Although, it's hard to find both those sauces these days except for I think Central Market in Shoreline still sells them.   It's definitely harder to find Karam's sauces.  I found mine on Amazon because they don't carry them up north up here in the stores.  Although they do carry sriracha sauce and hot pepper jelly - the latter I couldn't find anywhere until we moved up here.  Plus, there is a good Indian grocery not too far away to get the hot-n-spicy ketchup.

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