Monday, August 30, 2010


JTK likes to call TRex his "Parrot" :)
That is the nickname for my son, Joey.     I can't seem to stop calling him Joey, even though he's preferred JOE for years.   It's actually funny why he started going by Joe instead of Joey;  he started dropping unnecessary letters from everything when he had to start writing them out.     Joey became Joe and Mommy quickly became Mom.    ::sigh::     I digress ...  in our early days of fostering we had a cute little fox terrier foster named Joey for a while.   Whenever I had to communicate with the group via email, I would always differentiate with "Joey the dog" and "Joey the kid."   Well, Joey the kid stuck even after Joey the dog got adopted and it has now been shorted to JTK.    He loves having a nickname.    I remember when I was younger I was always jealous that I didn't have a nickname.   I'm glad he got one so early in life ...   and it's definitely not self explanatory! 

Well last night JTK was quite sick - he had a sore throat and this nasty rash on his check/nest/chest.   I'm a pretty laid back Mom when it comes to illnesses, probably because I grew up in a family of hypochondriacs.     My Grandmother's favorite saying was "I have to get better to die."   Niiiiice  So, maybe you can see why I've lost my trauma switch reaction to various illnesses, for the most part.   However, last night, I was really worried about my little guy.    If he had been overly dramatic I wouldn't have been worried, but he kept saying stuff like he felt "odd" and "weird" and that he didn't have a headache, but he had an "aura" in his head.    YIKES    I made the ultimate mistake of googling the following symptoms:   swollen lymph nodes, rash, sore throat.   Seems those all match  Measles, Mono, German Measles and SCARLET FEVER.   OMG  I was about to have a fit.   Luckily, I was able to reach out to my brother who is on Facebook and asked him some questions.   He's been a paramedic for over 20 years so I pretty much trust his opinion.   And he totally nailed it ... sinus infection.   Thanks bro!!   I was still stressed, but that reassured me enough to remain calm.    Craig's reassurance and Joe's lack of fever prevented me from running out to the ER.

JTK had to sleep on the couch last night - he had a really hard time falling asleep.   Suzie and Tina were NOT happy with the interruption in their routine.    Tina loves sleeping with Joey.   So much so, none of the other dogs can get on the bed with him when she's being cuddled by him.    What a spoiled brat ... JTK gets really tickled that she doesn't want to share him at all.   But Suzie and Tina kept going from my room to the couch and our little Tubby Tina can not get herself hoisted on a couch or bed so I had to follow her back and forth as she changed her mind about where to sleep.   

Joey is such a good kid.   He not only helps me tremendously with our fosters, but he's always on call at the adoption events helping people   do various things.   He never complains and readily jumps up to help when asked - well except when I'm the one doing the asking.   :)   More than once I had to wait in line to receive help from my son at an adoption event ... geesh Mr. Popularity!   For the past 7 years or so, I can not take a "normal" picture of Joey if he's really aware I'm taking a picture.    My photos are filled with goofy faces and general acting up.    Why do I get the feeling when he's about 25 these will be my favorite photos?  :) 

I do get worried that I'm scarring Joey for life with having to say goodbye to the various fosters that he gets attached to.     I do keep checking in with him and making sure that he's OK with what we're doing and seeing if he wants to quit.   There have been a couple of times I've been ready to throw in the towel, and this young man has given me a few pep talks about why to keep doing it!   I've also started a new routine when we have an application on a foster that JTK is particularly close to.   Once I get the application and I think they're good, then I let Joe read it over and meet the people.     I then let Joe know, it's his decision.   I'm OK with them, but he has a voice in the process as well.   He's a great judge of character and it's the one way I've found that makes it easier for him to let go.    And, quite honestly, it makes me feel better about everything.    Recently, one of his favorite foster, Prince Tater Tot was adopted and he LOVED the couple who adopted him.   It was a no brainer and after meeting them Joey even said he'd let them adopt one of our own perma dogs!   Then with another applicant, they were intersted in Suzie and Tina and they said they were going to change their names.   NO WAY said JTK ... and he was right.    Suzie and Tina *really* know their names and if you're going to change a dog's name that really knows it it can work if it has the same sounds.   For example, I suggested Lucy and Gina but I got the feeling that was not an option.    Luckily she backed out and I didn't have to do anything else.
Joey and his perma dog, Cooper

I believe with fostering and working with our group,  Joey is learning so many intangible things that will help guide him in life - to be compassionate, to be loving toward animals, and to know you can volunteer your time and energy even if you don't have a lot of money to donate.     I can't believe my boy is 12 ... it probably would have helped if I didn't lose out on being called Mommy once he hit kindergarten.  ;)


  1. Kim I remember the first time I saw Joey, it was back in December when Andy and I had started fostering. He was working pretty hard at the adoption event cuddling dogs, answering questions etc. I remember telling Andy: wow this is really cool did you see the kid at the adoption event, he really knows his stuff! :)
    I totally think that Joey is learning to be loving and compassionate to animals and he is learning how important it is to volunteer :) Way to go Kim!

  2. Thanks Elisa ... I do love my boy! He is feeling much better today. His Japanese pop music is now blaring from his laptop. yay But, if I make him "work" he acts like it's child abuse because he's sick. :)

  3. Kim rest assured I think your doing the right thing for Joey, its so nice to know that there will be a few people in another generation that can help care for these helpless animals. If only we could convince the ones that ARE old enough and can actually do something on their own to care. Hell even if they cared about their own animals.