Inside the Newsroom @ A2 Journal

Welcome to Inside the Newsroom @ A2 Journal, a blog written by the newspaper's staff at A2 Journal, a new, weekly, community newspaper covering Ann Arbor. This blog is a place for members of the newspaper's staff to write their thoughts, observations, opinions and other informative pieces they put together while covering the rich history, interesting people, institutions and traditions that make Ann Arbor such a unique community.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

March 3, Lisa's Musings From Every Day Life

Many dog breed clubs have an e-mail list and I'm a member of the Toller one, which tends to be a very active means of communication for Toller owners across the globe.

I try to give the new postings a glance every day. but with all the other e-mail I get, many times I just delete it without reading it.

And the first few I received today met the trash bin unopened.

I had a few couple of minutes this afternoon and opened one of the posts to see several threads with the subject line: Laurie Geyer news.

She's the breeder from whom I bought Ryan, my oldest Toller, who is pictured with Nancy Jennings on the far left side of the photo above. Driver and I are the next two in the group and I've written about Becca Burk and Mardi Gras, who are on the far right side of the photo.

Laurie lives in North Dakota and we e-mail and Facebook each other once in a while with updates about Ryan but we don't get to see each other unless she heads out this way or I out her way for a dog show.

In fact, she hasn't seen Ryan -- except in photos -- since he came home with me almost three years ago. I drove all the way to Minneapolis to meet her (much closer than driving all the way to North Dakota) to pick him out of a litter.

I assumed she'd won something big over the weekend when I saw the posts, but when I started reading them I realized it was bad news. I had to go back to the earlier posts to discover that she and her husband smelled smoke last night, got themselves and the dogs out of the house, but according to the information in the posts, they lost everything -- except the garage, in the fire.

As soon as I found out, I called her on her cell phone to offer any help that I could, but who knows if she got the message or whether her cell phone went up in flames as well.

Although I'm relieved to know that they all got out OK, the thought of losing everything you own in a house fire is devastating.

Stop and think out this. You're safe, but the only things you now own are the clothes on your back.

All your papers, photos, clothing, stuff -- everything. Gone.

Now, I don't know the circumstances of the fire and perhaps there was nothing that the fire department could do to save the house, but every time I hear about municipalities cutting fire fighting personnel, a situation like this comes to mind.

Were the ranks of the local fire department cut and there weren't enough firefighters or equipment or outdated equipment to come to the rescue?

I am so thankful that I live in Chelsea, know my firefighters, and am confident that should a fire ever break out in my home, there will be enough of them here, as quickly as possible, to do everything they can, to save me, the dogs and my home.

Can you say the same about where you live?

So as municipalities talk about cutting firefighters or police officers to balance their budgets, let your elected officials know that this should be the last place they should be looking to balance their budgets.

And say a prayer tonight before you rest your head on your comfy pillow in your warm and toasty home that you never have to find out what happens if there aren't enough emergency personnel when you need them.

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