"On the plains of Oklahoma, with a windshield sunset in your eyes like a watercolor painted sky, you'd think heavens doors have opened."
Fly Over States



Monday, April 13, 2009

Shadowing



I haven’t posted much, lately. I’ve gotten a ton of new cases and the work I’ve gotten has been pretty challenging. Moreover, I have several people approach me to “shadow” me while I work because they are working on getting certified and part of that requires being involved in a certain number of juvenile court cases. I always enjoy the company but it takes a little bit of extra time. One of the drawbacks of limiting my practice to GAL work is that I don’t have the interaction with other lawyers to talk shop. Moreover, the work is frequently pretty depressing. Training new GAL’s prompts me to think about why and how I do what I do. It is also great to be around the optimism and enthusiasm that newcomers bring to the table.

Recently, a woman who has been shadowing me accompanied me on a home visit with two little guys. I’d met the older brother, at school and he was very shy. He remained shy but his younger brother was a self priming word pump – not a retiring bone in his body. I always enjoy home visits because you get to see babies and dogs and grandparents. What could be better? But this visit was just that much more fun because I observed the shadower, a woman with no children, beautifully interact with those kids. She was a natural and got the older boy to giggling and talking in no time.

I don’t know if I have mentioned this case, before. I’ve been working it for about two months and the estranged parents have taken each other to court 7 times. Yes. SEVEN. They are constantly filing contempt proceedings against each other. I’ve lost track of how many times they have sent the police to the other person’s house. The week before Easter, the father sent the police to the children’s CHURCH during the Easter program and egg dipping party to fetch them. The police showed up at the church THREE TIMES.

The father dropped the F-bomb on the pastor and ended up being served with a no trespassing order.

On Easter, the Police showed up at the father’s house because he wasn’t picking up the phone and the mother wanted to make sure the kids were okay.

The older boy has been throwing up a lot.

Grrrr.

I have another new case where the father is subject to a protective order for apparently breaking into the mother’s home and putting a knife to her throat.

Why he is still walking around is a mystery but he is.

He is seeking custody and visitation. I paid a trip to his lawyer’s office to ask him, “What gives?” He showed me a newspaper article where the mother and her boyfriend had lured him to the home and beat him savagely. He showed me some horrendous color photos of the father with a battered face, stitches and his eye half out.

Why the mother and boyfriend are still walking around is a mystery but they are.

I decided after seeing the pictures that the injuries must not have been as bad as they looked in the photo. There must be more to the story.

I met the man at court, last week. His face is a disaster of scars. I was secretly shocked (I hope I kept it a secret). He and the boyfriend didn’t speak or make eye contact but they didn’t yield on body space, either. You could taste the hostility in the air. The mother seemed incredibly sweet and timid.

You don’t get many of cases like these. Blessedly. I need to do some more investigation to understand it.

I could go on but I won’t. I’ve just recently gotten a slew of cases that probably don’t have good answers.

The girls are doing great and Pearl is growing so fast I can’t believe it.


She acts like an older dog. She’ll come upstairs just to see me in my office and flop down in her open crate. She doesn’t destroy anything. She gives kisses and cuddles and snuggles. We are still keeping her in her crate at night (husband told her that when she got all her teeth she could run free) but she pretty much has the run of the house. No accidents in weeks and we think she is probably 95% housetrained – at least at our house. We wouldn’t trust her anywhere else and if we weren’t here, she could easily have an accident since no one would be home to let her out.

We are excited to be going to a Samoyed Yard Party down in North Carolina, next month. There are supposed to be at least 20 Samoyeds (and also one pit bull puppy named Sharky) at this event! Can you imagine? I’ve been involved in an online group of Samoyed lovers for several years and this will be my first chance to meet many of them in person. The lady hosting the party fosters Samoyeds and has a fenced yard with a run for dogs who need time out. If Jezebel were still with us she would probably end up there all the time. I can’t wait to see that many Samoyeds (and Sharky) all in one place. I am sure there will be pictures.

1 comment:

Stephanie D. said...

A potty pose, Penny? Poor Pearl!

I used to feel the same way about my orientees, but I think I'm getting too old. Now I want someone else to orient them so I can get my work done. The constant questions and explaining wear me down.