Tuesday, May 1, 2012

May Day, M'aidez

Before we walk  into the Great Dismal Swamp this week,
I thought I would acknowledge that today is May Day.
May Day is usually celebrated with little May baskets filled with flowers,
bonfires and dancing around the may pole.
According to Wikipedia.org,
May Day has been celebrated since Pre-Christian days.
Gaelic cultures celebrated it as Belltaine;
 in Germanic cultures it was called Walpurgisnacht,
traditionally celebrated the night before or on May Day in honor of Saint Walpurga,
an English missionary to Wurttemberg.
Saint Walpurga is the patron of those suffering from rabies,
and her crypt was said to exude a healing oil.
I often wondered why pilots would call "May Day, May Day" when they needed help.
It seemed like an odd thing to say. But in my research,
I discovered that the "May Day" distress call was born from what is called folk etymology.
People hear a word or phrase in a foreign language, and relate it to words they already have.
So the French phrase m'aidez (meh day), "help me," became to Americans, "may day."
So May Day, the feast of Saint Walpurga, the healer,
and reminisicent of  "m'aidez" the distress call,
 is a good day to make a special request for your help.
My husband and I volunteer with a local group
that rescues pekingese dogs who have been neglected and abused.
As a result of their mistreatment,
these poor creatures are frequently blinded, crippled, and sick. 
The stories I could tell are gruesome;
that humans could be so cruel is unfathomable.
But yes. 
The good news is these pups are resilient;
and with love, good food, and quality medical care
they are transformed into healthy and loving companions
who bring joy and pleasure to many.

Here is a photo of our Wiley when he was rescued.
He was sick, his hair had fallen out, and he didn't even have the energy to go for a walk.

Here is Wiley today:

 He's strong, healthy, and very furry.
He runs and plays and follows me from room to room.
His story is one of many. And with your help, there can be many more stories like his.
If you have enjoyed my posts these last few months,
please consider a donation in the name of Still Waters: A Virginia Shire to continue this work.
There is no donation too small.
(My next donation request will come October 1; only two per year, I promise.)
Tomorrow, we return to the Great Dismal Swamp.

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