Did I ever mention to you all how much the Biscuit family loves Joni Mitchell? Seriously, Joni, in my opinion, is one of the most important singer/songwriters of our times—and despite the fact that she’s gone on record for saying that she thinks Madonna is a talentless opportunist (I’ll forgive good ol’ Joni for that and simply blame the swingin’ 60’s drug use as a reason for her lapse in judgement), almost all of her lyrics from her entire catalog of music has given me perspective on people and life throughout the years. Now your probably wondering why I’m even talking about Joni Mitchell considering this is supposed to be a post about Thanksgiving and Mamma Biscuit, right? Well, I’m thankful for Joni’s insightful contribution to our American folk-to-mainstream culture (even though she’s a native Canadian) but more importantly, I thought I’d take this opportunity to highlight the chorus lyrics of two very special songs from her earlier work to better illustrate a bigger point here:
And the seasons they go ‘round and ‘round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We’re captive on the carousel of time
We can’t return we can only look behind
From where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game
Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you’ve got
Till it’s gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot
Ain’t that the damn truth Joni! In life, unfortunately, we don’t know what we’ve got till it’s gone, however, Thanksgiving is the perfect opportunity for everyone to pause from their whirlwind of a life to reflect and give thanks to the many wonderful friends, family and animals in our lives. It’s also a time to be grateful for the luxuries and securities that we have—to never take any of our material privileges for granted! Thanksliving is more like it because in my opinion, appreciating what we have while we have it is what can cultivate true happiness in our lives. Having Mamma Biscuit in my circle game of life has truly made me reflective about her life, her horrible past and of course, our lives before this beautiful creature became the lady of our home. So in honor of Mamma Biscuit, the Thanksgiving holiday and the true sentiments of Joni Mitchell, we dedicate this Thanksliving post to two very important people who were intrical to Mamma’s second chance at life: Dreá from Curly Tail Pug Rescue and Julie from Massachusetts—Mamma’s amazing foster mother.
Firstly, we would like to thank Dreá from Curly Tail Pug Rescue for her dedication and tireless work! Curly Tail gives new life to tortured and unloved pugs everywhere with their relentless rescue efforts! Without such compassionate people like Dreá and the entire staff, Mamma’s life would have been cut short like so many other unlucky dogs that come up through the puppy mill system.
Now before we hit the dinner table and stuff our faces with holiday food, let’s give a big thanks to another hero from Mamma’s past: Julie, Mamma Biscuit’s foster mother! Let me start by saying that I have had the great pleasure of becoming Facebook friends with Julie and our friendship and this blog has made both of our experiences (fostering and adopting) one giant, happy, open adoption! Being able to talk and share with Julie (as well as Dreá) about Mamma’s past helps me understand her story and how I should move forward sharing it with you all. Speaking of you guys, Julie has sent me numerous photographs of Charlotte (Mamma’s initial name given to her by Curly Tail) upon her rescue! So what better way to say thank you to you, the reader, who has supported this little blog from the very beginning than to give you all an exclusive look at never-before-seen photographs of Mamma Biscuit before she became Mamma Biscuit—our favorite toothless glamour pug!
Here’s an initial photograph taken of Mamma Biscuit after her rescue and medical treatment!
Now Mamma’s journey escaping the puppy mill system was not an easy one. Speaking with Julie, we learned that she came with almost two dozen other pugs from the same mill via the underground railroad—her words exactly! Curly Tail Pug Rescue got four of those pugs—Charlotte, Wendy, Penelope and Romeo and the others went to G. M. P. R. (Green Mountain Pug Rescue) and P. P. R. A. (Precious Pug Rescue and Adoption). Kristin from Curly Tail picked up Mamma (then Charlotte) and the other three pugs in a Petco parking lot in New Hampshire early one morning.
Julie explains, “Mamma arrived with another pug named Wendy who was overweight, emotionally damaged and afraid of people—especially men. On the other hand, Charlotte was underweight! When Charlotte and Wendy saw each other at a fundraiser event after they had been in foster care for a while, they were instantly attracted to each other. I don’t know if it was by smell or what but it was like they remembered each other?” Despite Wendy’s emotional trauma and trust issues, one of Curly Tails’ volunteers ultimately adopted her. Below is a photograph of Charlotte and Wendy at the adoption/fundraiser event! Try not to scream from unbearable cuteness, you don’t want to wake up the dead turkey in the oven—or in our house, it’s Tofurkey!
Julie goes on to describe her experience fostering Charlotte: “she lived at my house with Marco Puggo (her own handsome pug) and also another foster pug named Murphy. Mamma was the lady of the house and was in charge! The day Mamma left my house she had a pep in her step and an attitude—like she was ready to rule the world. I gave her one million kisses and hugs and then she was led away by the transport team and never looked back! This was comforting to me as I was a mental patient learning that she was being adopted—especially by two men in the city! As far as I was concerned she needed a woman in the suburbs like me! Boy was I wrong! I guess that’s why they don’t let me pick the homes! I wanted to adopt her but was told that if I kept her and my home was closed to fosters, I wouldn’t be able to help another mill dog be saved from a horrible life! The worst part about saying good bye is that we are told by the rescue not to cry! It will upset the dogs. Can you imagine how hard this is??!! Heartbreaking!”
Below is a montage of photographs sent to me by Julie during Charlotte’s four month stay with her! Julie may not have been able to cry when Charlotte drifted out of her life but her experience captured here in photographs makes my eyes swell with tears!
When Mamma left Julie’s care, Julie thought she would never see her again but boy was she wrong. Thanks to the wonderful world of Facebook and Mamma’s little corner on the web here, Julie and I were able to set up a reunion of sorts in NYC—Times Square to be exact! So that’s what happened this past weekend, Tommy, Mamma Biscuit and I headed down to Times Square to meet up with Julie and her boyfriend—they were visiting New York City for the day. Julie was just as lovely and humorous as I could have ever imagined and Mamma practically melted in her arms! Most of all, I loved how Julie kept nuzzling her lips in Mamma’s floppy ears—almost as if she were sharing a big secret with her! Julie, if you are reading this right now, your secret with Mamma Biscuit is safe with her!
Now that you’ve used up all of your Kleenex tissues while reading through Mamma’s reunion with her foster mom Julie, below is a series of photographs of our glamorous and chic gremlin giving you all Thanksgiving realness—New York City style! Mamma Biscuit sure knows how to work a classic houndstoothe so when I saw this sweater in pink and black houndstoothe, I snatched it up for her with the quickness! This holiday is all about eating but the last thing I would want is for Mamma Biscuit to show up at her bowl of food wearing a bib—what kind of parents do you think we are? Now feast your eyes on this fashion plate!
Oh and that fabulous gold brooch with a pearl center you see here was a hot find from an estate/apartment sale here in Washington Heights six months ago! Yes, only I can find an accessory for my pug while rummaging through a deceased woman’s closet!
So this Thanksliving, we thank Mamma Biscuit for showing us the true magic of love and joy that dogs can bring to human beings and for simply being the fabulous pug that she is. Her terrible past is a painful yet important reminder that all suffering of animals (whether domesticated or farmed for food) deserves respect, love and nurture! Mamma’s new life with us in New York City and this blog is a perfect example of how rewarding it is to rescue a dog in need and to generally demystify the notion that dogs that are either considered to be too old, imperfect (by some bullshit breeder standard) or with a damaged past are less valuable or desirable than dogs from pet stores or breeders—the real root and cause for most of this torture to begin with. We continue this sentiment by thanking Farm Sanctuary for their tireless work in not only providing a safe-haven for animals that have endured pain and suffering beyond what anyone could ever imagine but that they also bring attention to such atrocities and demand reform where it’s so desperately needed.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving, now let the Christmas games begin!
PS: check out these amazing photos of this year’s Feeding of the Turkeys Ceremony at Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, New York: click here.