The ups and downs of life

Published 10:24 am Thursday, August 17, 2023

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It has been quite a while since we last spoke, so if you allow me to ramble a bit, perhaps I can relay some answers.

I’ve lost 10 pounds in the last week and a half and I’m not trying to lose weight. All of my vital signs are pretty good but I’m as weak as a kitten. My legs have been swelling up with discoloration and I see some signs I had before losing my toes, although I do not have any pain. It seems I see a doctor of one sort or another every other day; that of course includes dialysis. 

I’ll be 82 years of age the first week of October and all things considered, I feel pretty good for my age. My wife (who babies me like a mother hen) would disagree, but she only sees what she sees, she cannot feel what I feel. God bless her soul.

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My time spent with my Savior along with his Angels and Saints is a driving force for me, along with my love for His creatures. Through it all, most of my spare time is devoted to my mission in life, caring for some of His four-legged wayward critters which I selfishly call Lennie’s Kids.

I spent $7,500 in the month of July and $3,000 has been spent thus far in August for animals in need. I once again find my 501c3 funds precariously low. Except for a few of my regular contributors, donations have fallen way down, something I’m sure we’ve all felt. My donation jars and folks who hand me money for my kids go a long way keeping me afloat.  

A few weeks ago I spoke of a gentleman in a white van that handed me $30 while I was at prayer by my church. Last week I find an envelope in my mailbox with a note on it, which read “From the man in the white van,” inside was a $100 bill.  

Each time I find myself lamenting on the darker side of human nature a bright light turns up to remind me that He is listening.

My latest case for Lennie’s Kids was Bo, a 1-year-old Beagle Basset mix that was struck by a semi-truck. He wasn’t run over; he just bounced off it and fractured his left rear leg.  All I could think of was Don Quixote tilting windmills. The young lady that owned Bo had some money but could not afford the procedure.  

I was asked by a dear friend if I could help and I said, “Yes, just have her give what she can and I’ll handle the rest.”  

Bo’s fracture needed to be put in a special splint that would be wrapped tightly along with meds for pain and swelling. The hard part would be to keep the little rascal quiet for a few weeks. I tried a few times to call the number I received to see how Bo was doing and after leaving messages I never got a response. It made me a bit angry that I couldn’t get the common courtesy of a response.  

“Oh well,” I thought, “It won’t be the first time this happened and probably won’t be the last.” 

Last Friday I went to Landrum Vet to find out when Bo was due for a follow-up and perhaps remove the splint.  He was scheduled back at 2:30 on Monday afternoon. I was handed a slip of paper reminding me of the day and time and it had the young lady’s phone number.  

“I’ll be darned,” I said to myself. “The number I had was one number off.”  

I called the new number I had and the young lady picked it right up and after exchanging pleasantries we agreed to meet up on Monday at the veterinarian’s office.

I arrived a bit early on Monday and after checking to make sure Bo and the young lady hadn’t arrived I went and sat down in the waiting room. A few minutes later in walks the young lady with the young pup full of himself. After greeting each other we sat in the waiting area to be called. Bo proceeded to wash my face as if he’d known me all his short life. As we spoke Bo stayed glued to me and the joy I felt in my heart made it all worthwhile.  

When Bo and the young lady were called I left to get home to take a nap but before going to my car I sat on the bench and said the Lord’s prayer. With a tear coming from my eye, I went on, “Forgive me, Father, for my lack of faith after all these years. I should know by now that You are listening.”

And to all of you, thank you for listening.

Bo, a 1-year-old Beagle Basset mix was struck by a semi-truck

Leonard Rizzo is the founder of Lennie’s Kids, a nonprofit organization that helps sick and injured animals in the foothills, promotes animal welfare and works to find homes for pets.