A message from the Connecticut Burns Care Foundation

Ryan and Dwight hope to raise $10,000 to support the burn camp, which will host 70 children between the ages of 8 and 18. They are determined to reach the West Coast as a personal challenge as well as helping young burn survivors.

Started in 1991, the Arthur C. Luf Children's Burn Camp is located in northern Connecticut on 176 acres. Every summer, burn survivors come to the burn camp, which is a safe and fun environment that helps kids heal emotionally and physically. The Burn Camp is free to the children, who come primarily from the Northeast and some foreign counteries, but any burn survivor child anywhere is welcome. More than 70 adult counselors, primarily active and retired firefighters and burn unit nurses, occupational and physical therapists, child psychologists and even a doctor will serve as mentors for the week.

It's also our goal to promote burn awareness and fire prevention and education, which we do year around. We sponsor a burn survivor, burned in a car accident that involved speeding and drinking alcohol, who speaks to high school students throughout Connecticut. We also support the burn unit at Bridgeport Hospital, helping to purchase equipment.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Armstrong labrador

So I'm rolling up on this hill with one ring up each sleeve, ready to take it nice and easy--as a fellow on a ten speed is forced to do when he is confronted with any mention-worthy incline--when the blonde beast sidles up beside me, a fearsome, golden blur out of the barn yard. He's moving at a full gallop, making a b-line for my beautiful calves--I can tell he's jealous--I try to talk him out of it, "hey buddy, that's alright," but he's not having any of my sweet nothings, and keeps charging. No words are exchanged. He doesn't seem the type to waste energy barking. I look at him and he looks at me and we both know what's at stake. Actually, it's hard to tell what his intentions are, but I'm not about to wait around to find out. Thankfully, I've already set the contingency plan in motion--pedal faster. So, instead of dropping down into those reserve rings, I'm shifting up, thumping up that hill, trying to put some distance between me and that menacing, fang-filled grin. As I push as hard as I can, I start to pull away, thank God.

I'm over that hill and have got some room behind me, and I look over my shoulder expecting him to be slowing down and quitting the chase, only to find that he's not at all discouraged, still coming along full clip. Little by little he loses ground, but he keeps coming with the same determination. Over the crest of one hill, then another, he's always there over my shoulder, now on the black top, now on the grass, always moving in one direction. Miles of road pass under me and still he persists. Around the bend I think I've lost him, but then he appears, a yellow speck in the distance. It's almost more horrifying than that first moment, because then there was the possibility of escape, and now it seems that if I ever slow down he's going to catch up. I can only maintain this pace for so long. Approaching the center of town I think, maybe I can hide in one of these shops? They're all closed. Oh my god. I look over my shoulder once more, and he's out of sight. So is Ryan. I wonder if he made it. Maybe the beast turned, saw him coming, tackled him off his bike and gobbled him up. Hope Ryan can wield that hand pump effectively.

Then, I see that familiar shape in the distance. Ryan's coming around the bend. No dog in sight. "Did that fella give you any trouble?" I ask him as he rolls up. "No, he pretty much ignored me." Unbelievable. "Worn out from the chase," he offers. Guess my legs just looked that tasty.

Long day, today. 80 miles to Kansas City.

1 comment:

Albert said...

Sounds like you had an encounter with Cujo. http://tinyurl.com/5meavw

Road Tip: Have you tried slathering peanut butter on your calves? This technique is not widely known but it lessens the chance of a dog bit - with their genetic makeup they just gotta lick it.