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She’s My Polly

The other night, I was describing the antics of my sister and her neighbor across the street. My friend cackled  with laughter. “It’s Polly and Beryl. They would do this!” (You never know, as I thought about it, the story line made me chuckle. Anyway …

Carol is definitely Polly when it comes to rescuing people and animals. I have always described her (Carol) as an Injustice Warrior. She can’t bear to allow it to happen around her. 

My first memory of Carol doing anything like this was when she was in elementary school. A big kid, my age was beating our brother (yet two years younger). Carol wasn’t having it and popped the guy on the head with her notebook, then told him to go. He went.

The two of us traveled a busy street every night after work in the early days of our lives. And it was usually dark by the time we got moving. One night, Carol was driving on a busy, well-trafficked street when she hit the brakes, jammed the car into park, got out of the car, and stormed up to the front door of the house there.

I realized the car was parked just behind … just behind … the tailgate of a pickup truck they hadn’t bothered to pull off the street. Carol had nearly killed me.

She pounded on that door and yelled at them to move the truck, that she’d nearly killed her sister because of their negligence. They moved the truck.

We came home to help Mom open a quick printing shop in Omaha in the mid-80s. Dad was a pastor in Council Bluffs, IA, across the river (Missouri). Mom died a few years later, Dad’s life changed and one day, he told us he was dating. And then they got married. Carol and I moved into a beautiful apartment in a sketchy neighborhood in Omaha. We were so innocent. Anyway … (I get off track, don’t I?)

We had a Shih-Tzu at the time. Genghis Khan, King of the Mongrel Hordes. Mom named him. Weirdo. We walked that huge neighborhood with tiny Genghis every evening. One evening, we walked down Park Avenue toward home. Two or three blocks from the apartment was a bar, a rough neighborhood bar. It was twilight and I didn’t see much. It was on the other side of the street. Then Carol took off, leaving me and Genghis gaping in surprise. A man was beating on a kid with a tire iron and Carol didn’t hesitate. WHAT? 

She yelled at him to stop and he tried to justify his actions by accusing the kid of stealing from his car. Carol informed him that you call the police, you don’t beat kids up. He dragged the kid into the bar and I was still trying to take my first breath when Carol returned. 

Louis (pronounced ‘louie’) is Carol’s third dog. He lives here and is loved here because one day after church, Carol was in her vehicle and saw a dog wandering aimlessly in a warehouse area. She followed him for a while to see if he would wander home. She ran off to buy dog treats just in case. When she returned, he was in the same area. He had a little bit of a limp and looked unhealthy; not signs of a pet. It took her more than an hour to gain his trust and get him into her car (he is a rat terrier, maybe 10-12 pounds). They came home, she cleaned him up and delivered him to the Humane Society for the three-day hold on an intake. Just to make sure no one was looking for him. She checked on him regularly and as soon as he was released, she brought him home. He’s absolutely a street dog and in the beginning, had many problems with her other two dogs. Did she give up? Nope. The rescue continued and still does. He adores her.

The other day at Arby’s, an older woman got stuck in the drive-thru. Her car had died and she didn’t know what to do. Carol was five or six cars back and finally ducked out of the line. Rather than only caring for herself, she went in to get a manager or some help for the woman. A young man had also stopped and helped by pushing the woman’s car into a parking space while she called her son. Ten people, at least, were annoyed by the situation. It never occurred to them to help. 

Then, a day or two later, Carol took the big quilts and blankets to the laundromat. A woman’s car was parked strangely across two spaces. She didn’t want to because she was busy, but Carol asked how she could help. The woman needed someone to jumpstart her car. Carol didn’t have the resources, but made sure the woman found someone to take care of her.

Carol rescues. Without hesitation. Okay, sometimes with hesitation, but it doesn’t stop her.

She is my daily reminder that Polly exists.



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