Feeling inadequate, taking defeat personally

Published 10:02 pm Thursday, November 12, 2015

Ashley holds Bram, a Chihuahua experiencing complications from an operation on his leg.

Ashley holds Bram, a Chihuahua experiencing complications from an operation on his leg.

By Leonard Rizzo

It’s quite obvious that I cannot win all the cases I take on, all I can do is set up the best possible scenario and try to leave my kids in capable hands. I receive wonderful letters of thanks and encouragement for my successes and of course they thoroughly lift my spirits. My problem is how I react to the inevitable failures. I become angry and despondent.

“Could I have one more?” I ask myself.

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I’ve had a pretty rough year due to illnesses and now dialysis and I cannot follow my special cases as diligently as I used to. I know I have a wonderful support team whom I trust implicitly but still I take each defeat personally.

Last week a family puppy was accidentally backed over in their driveway. I took on the case and learned there weren’t any broken bones but internal damage was being worked on. I was told the prognosis looked good but for some reason the sweet soul did not recover from the operation.

My boy Bram, the Chihuahua whose leg we repaired at Upstate Veterinary Service was sent to a rescue in Pennsylvania. In the past I would have handled Bram’s placement myself but I had too much on my plate and not enough time to follow up adequately.  Bram was in good hands so I was comfortable going on to other things.

Last night I received word that the Pennsylvania rescue said that Bram’s operation was botched and $2,500 would have to be raised to have his leg removed. Of course I cannot know all that occurred but I trust the Upstate vets implicitly, especially Dr. Allen who worked on Bram. We have collaborated on dozens of Lennie’s kids and many were far more difficult than Bram’s case.

I’ll do what I can to see that Bram gets the best possible outcome. Still, I feel so helpless.

I’ve been up and down a lot during the past year and I’ve had lot of time to reflect on the past present and future.

I wish to conclude by offering a poem called “When It’s Over.”

Thanks for listening.


When the afterworld is beckoning, upon the day of reckoning, when I take into account what life has been.

Will the tabulators bless, a life without success, and account the battles I simply did not win.

At times my life was rough, will they say that it’s enough, all the souls that I’ve managed to touch.

I was carefree, I was funny, and I never made much money, but I quickly gave the little I had.

I loved with deep emotion, and an undying devotion, will they say that it was good, or it was bad.

I made hundreds of mistakes, and some suffered in my wake, though their suffering was never my intent.

I fought an uphill fight, and I don’t know if I was right, but I still managed to make a few content.

I guess my life was mediocre, sometimes seer, sometimes joker, with a spirit that was boundless and was free.

Will the judges understand, when I make my final stand, and have pity on one as insignificant as me.


Donations to the Lennie’s Kids fund may be mailed to 245 Ioka Hills Rd., Columbus, NC 28722.

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