Friday, October 21, 2005

David heading back to New Orleans one last time - Oct. 21

It’s the middle of the night--again--2am. I have been home for several days, but have not been able to get my life back. Still on the phone and e-mailing constantly with Jane, Pia and now Brenda of and Kate and Karla. All of these great people helping us get logistical support, deal with volunteers, get supplies--so many things going on. And then there is the whole mess of all the pets we rescued not being able to be properly tracked by their owners. I really hope it gets straightened out because it’s heartbreaking, but that is a topic for another day.

The real news for me is that our volunteers have dropped to such low numbers that we are not at all sure we will ever get to every house on our list of where pets were left. Many, though, were rescued anyway before we even had a list. The people still on the ground are working so hard-- Rob, Holly, Alvin--all of them. They must be so tired. I cannot get what I feel is an accurate read on whether the list is now a moot point and we should just rescue the pets on the streets.

So, once again I’m off to New Orleans. I'm heading out before dawn and will be there until Monday, getting an accurate read on the validity of the list, doing whatever it takes to get into more houses than humanly possible, and seeing what folks I can round up who will move at the pace I am requesting. Jane and Dorothy really wanted me to go, but they understood if I didn’t. Pia said it’s ok, too. But after a day of deliberation, I’m packing my bags. If there are ACOs or firefighters or whoever who can work on their own (not in teams), and they can be a strike force, I'll direct them. I need a catch pole and a crowbar down there, which I'll try to scrounge up. Jane will send me to wherever the highest chance is of me finding someone alive. Maybe apartments? Maybe where the flood was not too bad and we're just dealing with starvation?

So do not look for me to do any coordination- Jane has got it covered and Pia is available as well- honestly, I'm exhausted. My goals in going out there now, unless Jane tells me differently, are:

  1. Ascertain the validity of continuing to pursue the list.
  2. Report on anything I see that will help focus our efforts to save the neediest pets soonest-evaluate the pets on the street and feeding stations-- Jane, I'm tired, so I need some direction here.
  3. Do our bidding as needed, but know I start this trip very burned out already and need to get back to my life and my martial arts business.

My personal goal is to save just one that wouldn't have been saved had I not come. Just one. I can't stay longer than a few days because I have to head to Canada as soon as I get back for my work. I am so exhausted and I just want my normal life back--I'm a martial arts instructor and I have not exercised in a month-I am so lost.

This is going to sound funny, but someone ought to look into a donation of night vision goggles. They can be expensive, but we don't need the latest technology, and they see heat and would allow us to look for pets at night, especially the ones on the streets. It could be valuable, I think.

Let’s go hard and save every last one we can. Then I'll come home, maybe more sure that we did our best. Everyone who comes back wants to go back. Everyone feels guilty for the dogs and cats and other animals we did not save. Everyone feels lonely, like no one can relate. I'm tired. But I'll go back one more time and try to find the very last one alive in a home. I'm coming.

P.S. If Cindy (my pet sitter) is reading this, thank you for caring for my guys while I'm gone. I couldn't go five feet away if I didn't know you were here to keep them safe. You are their God-mom. And thanks for looking after Orlea. (I don't think I mentioned that I brought home a cat on my first time back--will try to reunite her with her human, if possible. Black cat Pia and I rescued from under a car. I named her Orlea for New Orleans. Not that brilliant, I know-- But in Hebrew, "Or-Li" means a light unto me, and she it that-- She knows where I've been and knows where I going back to. I so didn't want to go back, but when I look at her.... let her light guide me to just one more. Off to the plane now...)


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Blogger Lisa said...

I'm so inspired by the work you and the others are doing. I only wish I had the means to be there on the front lines myself, helping to save all these poor creatures. Stay safe and thank you for your tireless efforts

7:15 PM  
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8:42 PM  
Blogger renata_ortel said...

In the name of all animals you have saved or tried to save, I ´d like to say: "Thank you David and your wonderful team. The world needs people like you"

7:24 PM  
Blogger ElisabethAnneDavis said...


I was at Lamar Dixon - one of the volunteers for Search and Rescue. I know that you don't remember, but I had the honor of meeting you. I wanted to say that you moved me, motivated me and inspired me then, and continue to do so. You have made me believe in the power of one individual, one voice, to move mountains. I can think of no other words than THANK YOU. You are my hero.

Elisabeth Davis

11:23 PM  
Blogger The Complimenting Commenter said...

I must say that congrats to what you have done so far. Get some rest and hit the ground running.


5:49 PM  
Blogger Monica said...

Hi Dave! Glad you are going back. We had the pleasure of working with both you, Jane and Pia. FYI just found this on and this was our area Section 33. I don't rememeber seeing the Econo Lodge but you might wanna check it out. I will email Jane w/this info when I find her email addy in my mess of notes.

Black Shep
Precious Bailey was left at Econo Lodge in the 4900 block of Chef Menteur of New Orleans, LA. She was in room #123 with food and note from her owner.

Good Luck and thanks for all you do!!!!

Monica Elkins

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