We heard the news last Friday, that Lebron James is heading back to Cleveland to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers. We welcomed him back with some sidewalk art!
Our neighbor, Steve, is thrilled too to have “The King” back in C-Town!
May 6, 2013 ended a decade of horror for three women. Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight were held captive in a house on Seymour Avenue in Cleveland, OH got their freedom when they escaped from Ariel Castro’s house. That day they got their life, their freedom, their families, and their independence back. Now it is time for these courageous women who fought to stay alive for more than a decade to find their way back into the community and get back to what we would call a normal life. A life where you can wake up and do whatever you want. A life where no one tells you what to do, when you can do it, or if you can do it. A life filled with freedom.
Almost three months after the women escaped from captivity, Ariel Castro, their kidnapper & rapist, was sentenced on August 1, 2013 to life in prison without parole + 1,000 years after pleading guilty to 937 charges including murder, rape & kidnapping. A sentence fitting for this monster. During his sentencing hearing, he said that he was not a monster and he basically blamed all that he did on others in his life. He took no responsibility for anything that he did. He said that he was abused when he was younger and that is why he became addicted to porn and made him the way he was. He did say that he was sorry and apologized to the women, the court, the judge, and to the city of Cleveland for what he did, but it was not a heartfelt apology at all. He was only thinking of himself. He pleaded guilty to raping these women, who were young girls when he kidnapped them, but then said that his house had “harmony”. He said that what went on between him and these woman was consensual, but the judge then interrupted him and said, “if you say that what went on between you and these women was consensual, then why did you plead guilty to raping them?” No answer from Castro.
Today, marked a day of freedom (again), independence, peace, and love in the city of Cleveland, as Ariel Castro’s house was torn down as part of his plea agreement. There will no longer be a reminder of what horrible acts of terror that went on in that house, as it is gone. By the time evening arrives tonight, grass will have been planted on that lot with flowers and three angel statues, one for each woman, and another smaller one for Amanda Berry’s daughter, Joslyn, who was born six years ago in captivity on December 25th. By tonight, you will have never known his house ever existed, and the people of Cleveland, and these three brave women can start to heal.
Here is the news report clip from earlier today with the demolition: http://news.yahoo.com/cleveland-kidnapper-ariel-castro-home-is-razed-125943841.html
Castro has started his new life in jail where he will now be told what to do and when to do it. His torment and captivity has only just begun. This chapter of horror is now closed. Healing can now begin.
It has been one week since we all heard the news that Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight were found alive after more than a decade. The thoughts of their horrific ordeal has filled my mind since the news story of them being found. I can’t even begin to imagine what they had gone through, but now they have to learn how to adapt to a normal life again. A life where no one controls what you do each and every minute of the day. I looked back on my own life over the past few years and can happily remember all of the wonderful memories of birthday’s, anniversaries, celebrating Christmas with loved ones, and everything else in between, and get a sick feeling in my stomach now knowing that these three women have been robbed of a good portion of their life and will never get that back. Even not knowing any of these women, your heart goes out to them. How could it not?
As we drove to the Cleveland APL on Saturday, our heads spun around in shock as we saw the street where they were held for a decade and no one knew. It hit home. On our way back home, we found a place to park and I jumped out with my camera and walked down Seymour Avenue. It was the strangest feeling in the world walking down that street. My eyes darted back and forth, looking at everything. Ariel Castro’s house, the man who kidnapped these three women a decade ago, was just three houses down on the right side of Seymour Avenue off of W. 25th Street. As I approached the barricade on the street, I stopped and looked up and saw the house. Immediately, my eyes welled up with tears. I still cannot believe that no one in the neighborhood ever saw anything as the houses were so close together in the neighborhood. I stood there looking at the house, like a deer in headlights, shocked. This really happened, I thought to myself, and I still can’t believe that they found these women alive after all of this time. It is amazing, it is a miracle. I moved over a little and got a couple more photographs of the house, and I was not the only there. What hit me when I was walking back to the car was that all the people who stood there like I was…..said nothing. It was so quiet. Silence. We were all in shock.
The house was being boarded up and a 10 foot high fence was being erected around the house to protect it. It is a two-story piece of evidence.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Amanda, Gina and Michelle and we hope that they all can recover from this horrific tragedy that they had to endure for more than a decade and start healing and welcome life as we know it back, again.
It’s been raining here for at least two days straight, and yesterday we heard on the news that we are supposed to get up to 8+ inches by the time we wake up on Friday morning. Well, I just looked out the front window and the rain has now just turned into that white stuff again! Oh boy! The drive in tomorrow morning for Daddy is not going to be a fun one! And Mommy has already put away her snow pants because she was hoping that the snow was finally going away, not yet at least Mommy.
Mommy and I did some errands today and I got to go bye bye again! Everytime I hear the car keys I get all excited and jump all around. Mommy always makes sure to take a bottled water and snacks for me when we do errands, just in case I get thirsty, and the snacks are for when I am good (which I always am!) And, since I was such a good puppy today, I got a brand new red Milkbone squeaky toy! Yeah! I could not wait to get home to play with it, and when I did…..I ran all over the house, throwing it up in the air, and squeaking the heck out of it as I ran. (if you can hear me now)
I also had another growling fit at those stupid laundry baskets today. I am starting to think that Mommy is placing those things on their side on purpose just to get me going. I think she thinks it’s funny, but all I do is run away from them, peak around the corner, and growl and growl at them.
Well, for now, I am going to sit by the front window and watch the snow come down, and know that when the driveway turns white, I can pee right outside the back door! LOL (I don’t do this all the time, just when it is covered with the white stuff) Uh oh, I’ve gotta go….. I hear Mommy coming up the stairs and I don’t want her to catch me on the computer again. I’ll talk to you all later!
Wet Snowy Puppy Kisses to you,
Hey everyone, it’s me, Nikita again! WOW, did I have a busy weekend! On Saturday, we had our photo shoot for Cleveland Magazine (May Issue) and it went well, except that I had to get coaxed with lots of treats & squeaks from my toys to get a good shot like this. Anyhow, this is a sample of what you’ll find in the issue of the magazine, and if I don’t say so myself, I think it turned out absolutely fantastic! (My Daddy and Mommy look great too!) We had a great & friendly photographer named Jason Miller from Pixelate Ltd. (www.pixelateltd.com) who did a fantastic job on getting me to behave well for the camera. I even gave him lots of wet puppy kisses too after every picture! You should check out his great website of his work and if you ever need an awesome photographer, Jason is the one! (tell him that Nikita sent you) THANKS JASON for your patience in getting me to smile for the camera! I can’t wait to see the May issue with me in it! Make sure you pick up your own copy too, and if you need me to autograph it for you, just let me know!
We also got to play Wii Trivial Pursuit this weekend too with our neighbors Steve & Jen. They are getting married this June and are a great couple to have as friends. All the best to you both! (By the way, Jen kicked butt in Trivial Pursuit & won the game! Way to go Jen!)
This is one tired puppy and will probably sleep most of the day today, unfortunately, I heard a rumor that I have exceeded my quota for puppy treats for the week, so I am cut off! Bummer! That’s what happens when I have to “sit pretty” for the camera. I hope everyone is having a great day and I’ll give you a shout out tomorrow! Woof Woof!
Wet Smiley Puppy Kisses to you,
Hey everyone & Happy President’s day to you….what’s up with this white stuff (again)? The weather is amazing here in Cleveland and you will never know from one day to the next what it will be like. One day it is sunny, the next snow, the day after that “orange barrel” season starts. It is quite funny because the other day I was running around on the somewhat green grass, yesterday I was walking on wet smushy grass, and now today when I went outside, I see that white stuff again. Daddy brought in the holiday paper this morning in the drive, and I got to eat the snow off the bag! (cool) Mommy and I waved goodbye to Daddy when he
was leaving for work this morning and wished him a safe ride to work. The roads are all snow covered with ice, so it might take him extra time to get into work. Heard that we might get up to 3 inches or more today, looks like Mommy will have to shovel the drive again! I’ll keep you informed of what I get into today, so far, I’ve been good, but it is only 7:30am.
Snowy Puppy Kisses to you,