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Week 4: FETCH a Cure

Dear Batter Up Fans,

Meet Robin, Joanne, and Dudley. These are just a few of the people (dogs are people too) that can be found at the FETCH a Cure headquarters.

For those of you who are not familiar with FETCH, it is a non-profit organization devoted to raising awareness and providing education about pet cancer prevention, detection, and treatment. They have an amazing program called Companions in Crisis that allows them to offer financial assistance to families overwhelmed with the cost of life-saving cancer treatments. And, if that weren’t enough, they have an equally amazing program called Pixie’s Pen Pals where they keep dogs without homes out of euthanizing facilities by placing them with inmates in various correctional centers around Virginia. This organization is making a sincere impact on the lives of both people and animals. If you ever have the opportunity to attend one of their fundraising events, please go. You can learn more about these events and all of their work by visiting their website, fetchacure.com.

This delivery hit close to my heart. While I have never had to go through the agony of watching my pet suffer from Cancer, I can relate to the frustration of a sick dog. My 11 year old labrador retriever, Dymer Belle, has suffered from epilepsy since she was five and is now being challenged with terrible arthritis. She has been on tons of medications and is now enjoying the benefits of acupuncture a couple of times a month. To say that Dymer is my best friend would be a colossal understatement. She has been to 15 states stretching from Georgia to Maine, lived in 10 different homes in three different states (we move a lot), stayed in many hotels, visited countless restaurant patios, and is pretty much my partner in crime with everything I do. She is, without a doubt, my best friend and the love of my life.

It’s funny that friendship seems to be a theme in my life right now, which makes FETCH such a perfect recipient today. There is nothing more rewarding than the friendship of a pet. Having said that, my human friend Jenny went with me on my delivery—and was actually the one who nominated FETCH. Jenny and I have only known each other for a little over a year, but we became the best of friends almost instantaneously. After leaving FETCH, we headed to Don’t Look Back for some tacos and ended up having a long discussion about the transient nature of friendship. Most of us are lucky enough to have a couple of people in our lives whom we’ve known forever and day—and can count on to always be in our lives. But, for the most part, friends seem to come and go with the changing of tides. Yes, we see them in passing as we’re scrolling through our news feeds while procrastinating at living our lives, but so many of those friendships exist only in the online space. I’m sorry to say that I’ve lost more friendships than I care to admit over the years, but doing this project has, just in the first four weeks, reconnected me with people whom I have not seen or heard from in years, if only just to exchange a few online sentences. My hope for Batter Up was two-fold: 1. Recognize people in our community in a way that others could get to know them; and 2. Encourage my readers to make their own homemade food and get to know the people around them. It’s working for me and I sincerely hope it’s working for you too. If everyone reading this would take the time to make some homemade food this week, and share it with the people around them, just think about how many unsuspecting friendship connections could be made. And if you can’t do that then, well, at least go hug a dog.

And now, onto the food. As you can see in the pictures, I made homemade dog treats for the office dog(s) and any other dogs that might be stopping by. In the 11+ years that I’ve had Dymer, I’ve never once made her homemade dog treats. She got her own bag out of this batch and is now demanding that we make up for lost time. As for the cake, this week was a Zebra Bundt Cake from the Bakers Royale blog. (recipe found here) I’m getting more ambitious in the kitchen—and by ambitious I mean that I combined two different batters into one pan. *pause for gasps and applause* I’m still struggling with following directions (shocking) and time management. Why is it that when a recipe says it takes an hour and a half to make, it takes me five?

Until next week…