I should be doing stuff

Like reading Ulysses because I signed up for this Greek and Roman mythology course and I’m behind on the reading already. But I don’t feel like it right now, so I’ll complain later that I didn’t do it and be all frazzled and try to get it done before the end of the week.. I will get it done, I just like to moan and groan a bit.

Today we went to the library and worked on “get out of the car without taking Mommah’s arm out of the socket.” I read a lot of books about dog training. This is not to say that I ever put a lot of what i read into practice, but I can carry on a conversation and sound really intelligent about it! However, one of the things every book says is that you need to break behaviors down into small pieces. I live five minutes from the library, so I spent the drive thinking about the steps involved in getting out of the car without taking Mommah’s arm out of the socket.

My right pocket was full of treats, the clicker was attached by a bungee cord to my left wrist, I was ready. I even remembered to use the leash that has the sort of bouncy sections that are supposed to minimize the yanking effect. Damn, I’m good. So we got to the library, pulled into the parking lot, I got out and slowly opened the car door. Many many many treats later, as the door slowly opened, and the clicking and waiting was progressing, he got out of the car. And yanked me across the parking lot. Well, the getting out was good!

I got him back in the car, and we went through this again. By the third time, he was doing much better and I was out of treats, so we came home and had a little celebration. There may be hope for us yet.

Now if he would just take a nap!

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pondering pet rocks

As y’all know if you’ve read anything I write, I have this wonderful, crazy, active, and very smart Golden Retriever puppy. I adore the little shit, but there are times when he stretches my nerves to the snapping point, and then stands on them and spins around.

Few seem to understand the stresses that come with this kind of puppy. He is a ball of energy who won’t settle until there’s no alternative, he just sort of falls asleep all of a sudden and wakes up an hour later, just as full of piss and vinegar as ever.

When people ask about him, my stock answer is, “He’s a handful but he’s a joy!” This is all true, and it avoids me saying, “he had me in tears today because when we got out of the car at Petsmart, he almost took me to the ground, I managed to get him back in the car while a couple of people looked on disapprovingly – they, of course, were not trying to wrestle 70 lbs of puppy into a vehicle when he was bound and bloody determined to go OVER THERE RIGHT NOW!” I don’t say that I cried all the way home because my over active imagination is saying that I will never be able to take him anywhere and that the class we’re about to start is a waste of time and money because I probably won’t be able to get him into the facily or control him once we’re in there, if we DO manage to get inside.

I don’t say a lot because the advice I get is either laughable or just plain stupid, or I tried that and it won’t work. Don’t tell me to “ditch the food bowl.” He could give a shit about the food bowl and would probably go days without eating if I didn’t keep shoving it at him.

And don’t tell me it’s something I have to learn to live with. Do you honestly think that I don’t know that this is who he is, and that he will always be smart and will always test me? It’s part of why I love him – but I learned long ago that you can love someone or some dog and not like everything they do. I don’t like some of his behaviors and we will work on training those away.

There are few places I feel safe saying anything about how difficult it is some days. One of them was apparently less safe than I thought. I should know by now not to trust people. Or maybe I should have adopted a pet rock.

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Today I went to the dentist for the seemingly umptee-twelfth time (that was my mother’s expression, by the way) and he ground off a bit of the troublesome tooth, then ground off a bit more and a bit more. I asked if this would hurt and he said, “it shouldn’t.” I told him if it did, I would scream. He nodded sagely and said, “I know.” He’s a very young man, so when he tries to look all professional and stuff, it makes me giggle quietly. I said, “and then I’ll punch you.” He said, “I KNOW!” and that made everyone laugh.

I didn’t have to scream or punch him. I’m very happy about that because he really is a very nice guy, and not bad to look at, either. That’s not a bad thing when someone is rooting around in your mouth and causing pain, by the way.

The tooth – “the tooth which shall be ripped from my mouth should it give me any more grief” – seems to be better. Apparently the bite was a bit whacked. That will make a person cranky. I have to baby it awhile, which means even more scrambled eggs for lunch and soup for supper. Or spaghetti, which is nicely soft and tasty as well.

Maverick – is beginning to show signs of maturing. I found myself thinking tonight that it’s been ages since he tried to eat the cord to the toaster oven, the one my husband likes to let dangle off the counter. He doesn’t fight me to go in his crate at bedtime anymore. We’ve established a bit of a routine – we play, then we train, then we play a little and he’ll nap for a bit. Then more training, and more play and a longer nap. So far, so good. We’re working on impulse control and focus – and he’s so smart – we’re using the “if he does 5 in a row, make it harder” rule. And we start classes next week. I may survive this puppy stuff after all.

Missing Max – it’s been almost a year. I can’t help it, when I look into the woods, I still see him lying there the night he pulled Mark into the trees and wouldn’t get up. I knew then he wanted to die. I see him in the field – running free and having absolutely no recall so it was always a frantic run to the car for me to chase him down before he got to the road. (This is why Maverick is still on leash!) I miss him every minute. I think I will miss him every minute until the day I see him again. I talk to him – I tell him about Maverick. He reminds me that he, too, was hell on wheels for a few years.

And tonight I told Maverick the story of Maverick and Mommah, and how he came into our lives, and I almost didn’t cry. Progress.

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Snow in March

A year ago, it snowed in March. It snowed today, more than it did last year Maverick loves it. Max loved it, too.

I hate snow. I see little beauty in it, it takes a minute to become all brown and ugly, it brings out the worst drivers in the world, and it makes my face hurt.

But Max loved it. I remember standing outside last year, as the snow fell, and he rolled down the bank with that smile – that Golden smile – that always made me laugh – and thinking, “much as I hate snow, I’m happy you got one more” It was to be his last. He ran and played and we forgot that day that he was sick, that time was short.

It was a day of smiles and tears. Today was another day of smiles and tears. Smiles at the Little One running in the snow, getting the zooms, being so happy puppy that all seemed right with the world. Tears of sadness – I will miss you till the day I join you again, my Beautiful Boy.

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root canal part three

Off to the dentist I went today. More x-rays reveal that there’s nothing wrong with the tooth, or the teeth around it. My dentist, who is a very nice guy and wouldn’t lie to me, says there’s still infection there and gave me a scrip for more antibiotics. Apparently the pains I’m feeling are normal.

I don’t deal well with pain.

Maverick and I had a moment before I left – he thinks that tug of war with his leash is way fun – I don’t agree. He won’t go in his crate for me any time but bedtime, so I was already stressed, hurting, and not in the mood. I left his leash on when we came back from our “haul Mommah around, try to pull her down, yank on the leash, and generally be a little shit” potty break, and just pulled him into his crate.

I went to pick up my scrip and was feeling guilty because he looked so sad when I left, so I bought him a new ball.

That was the BEST BALL EVER!!!!!!!!!!! He is currently sleeping with it. And I’m signing us up for training classes.

Two doses of antibiotics in, 28 more to go. This better work because I’m tired of hurting.

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root canal part two

I am seriously frustrated right now. I guess my expectations were too high, I thought that the root canal would take care of the random jabbing pains in my tooth. I was wrong.

I called on Thursday because it was still very sore. I know I’m a drama queen and I have little tolerance for pain, but I thought once the nerve was removed, the pain would stop. They explained that the area around the tooth had been traumatized from the whole process, and would most likely be sore for a bit. Okay, I can deal with that, even though I was pretty annoyed because – see above – I thought it was OVER.

So it did get better, slowly, till I could actually bite something yesterday without it screaming at me. And then I decided to have some spaghetti for lunch today. Three bites in, which aren’t even bites because it’s spaghetti, you roll it up and stick it in your mouth, I got two sharp jabs in that tooth.

What the actual flock is this crap? I called the dentist, I’m going in tomorrow and praying this gets fixed and finished.

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Yes, I’m a drama queen. And I’m better at it than most, so trying to draw me into your drama won’t work because I’m gonna make some drama of my own that will out-drama anything your little peewee brain can conjure up.

Another relative is in the hospital. I cannot and will not deal with another death in the family right now. I don’t give one good goddamn how many cigarettes he smokes and how fast he kills himself, but when this addiction is hurting other people I love, then this drama queen is about to rain some hell fire on his stupid ass.

His children – a few of them – are masters at broadcasting their badasserie. I find this amusing. If you’re really all that badass, you don’t have to advertise. I’m expecting that I will have to take on a couple of them in the near future. Part of me is looking forward to it, part of me is tired. Will they never learn?

Today’s drama was the eating of the mattress cover by one bored puppy, who was out of my sight for one freakin minute. This is getting old. I spent 1/2 hour sewing on a patch because I really don’t want to buy another mattress cover. Someone spent that 1/2 hour in his crate, and apparently we both need needed a nap – I curled up on the bed and woke up 2 hours later, not having heard a sound from said bored puppy.

Yesterday was a day with puppy snuggles and sweet kisses. Today was eating stuff, tearing stuff up, tug of war with the leash. Yesterday I could see the dog he’s gonna be – today I could see the puppy I’ll miss. As trying as it can be (and is) I know I’ll look back and smile. And when the day comes that his face turns white, I’ll remember and miss these days.

I’m missing Max a lot this week. It’s been a year since he got sick, a year since I knew that the days were short, and it hurts as much now as it did the day I said goodbye. Tomorrow I will tell Maverick the story of Max and Mommy, and the story of Maverick and Mommah. Memories will make me smile, and we’ll make some more.

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Root Canal

After experiencing jabbing pains in a lower front tooth, off I went to the dentist to learn that the nerve as dying (and apparently not going down easy) and I needed a root canal.

A week of antibiotics later, I was in the dentist chair, getting drilled and filled and hoping that this would be the end of the hurting. My mouth has been sore for 3 weeks, I can’t bite anything because it’s a front tooth and that is seriously annoying.

Two days out from the procedure, I’m eating soup, and get a jab in that tooth, again. Oh, come on! I went through two weeks of this nonsense, and then a week of antibiotics, and then the whole procedure and it STILL hurts? This is not what I expected.

I don’t deal well with pain. The only bright spot in this was that it snowed (and I hate snow) and so we were both off work, and the Bear could take care of the Teen Terror. I spent time upstairs scanning stuff and pouting because I really miss playing Sims and I don’t have a computer that will let me play Sims 2. I loved that game, I don’t want to sign into Origin every time I want to play -which is what you have to do with Sims 3 – and it just annoys the heck out of me that I can’t play games that I bought, and loved, because of some stupid “upgrades.” This is the kind of thing I think about when I hurt. Another bright spot was cleaning a lot of crap out of the spare bedroom – I can see the bed now!

So tomorrow I call the dentist and make sure that this random pain – which was a one shot deal – is normal. And pray I don’t have to make another trip to see him, because my dental insurance isn’t worth a tinker’s damn. Or maybe that’s a dam. I don’t know, it’s an expression my mother used!

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A year ago

You told us you didn’t feel well, that something was wrong, that you were tired and just couldn’t get up. I knew, in my heart, that time was short. I knew you would soon be leaving us. I wouldn’t allow myself to say it, I wouldn’t face it, I wouldn’t let you go without a fight.

Forever, never leave me, never leave you.

I wasn’t going to let you go, you were gonna be the one who beat this. We fought so hard, you and I. We fought the bitch and we lost.

The first steps on the walk of pain were taken a year ago today. Two months later your walk was done. You ran – away from the pain, away from the sadness, into the light. You took my heart with you.

Shattered, broken, in pieces. I didn’t want to breathe any more. Only one thing kept me going, the love of a good man who was just as broken as I was, and trying to keep me together while he was falling apart right along with me.

In my memories you were always sweet and calm. I’m told that you were hell on wheels the first couple of years, but those memories are not mine. You made me cry at times, you made me crazy at times, and you made me laugh and you kissed my tears and you let me bury my head in your soft beautiful fur when things got nuts in my life. You loved me at my best, and at my worst. And I loved you more.

My beautiful boy.

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For the love of a dog

Today was a tough day.   One of my favorite dogs is going to the Bridge on Thursday, having been diagnosed with the same dread disease that took Max, and having no chance of surviving surgery and treatment, his mom has chosen to let him go while he’s still himself and still having some joy in life.

He spent lots of time with us over the years.   He would come and stay while she went on vacations, and wander our fields, joyfully sniffing and drinking in smells he didn’t experience at home.    At night we would put a blinking heart on his collar so we could find him in the dark, and let him and Max out to do their business while we followed along behind, keeping track of him by his red flashing light.

Max was not demonstrative normally.   When I’d go out, he knew I was coming back, and when that happened, he was like, “oh, you’re home, good, get me a treat.”    Thunder, on the other hand, seemed to think that every departure was the final one, and when I’d return, he would run around the house, then leap onto the sofa, then back to the floor and roll around, then back to the sofa to sit beside me and shower kisses on my face.    I have to admit that I told Max to take notes, because this was pretty freakin adorable.   Max sniffed in disdain and informed me he was above all that.

Today Thunder came to visit, for the last time.    He’s slowed down, his fur is patchy, he’s obviously not well, but his eyes are still bright and he was so happy to see me, and Bear, he wandered the field and went into the creek and had treats and got kisses and was just blissfully unaware that his days are few.

He will going to join Max on Thursday.   His mom was going to take him alone, just her and the vet, to let him go.   I know the pain she’s about to feel.   She thinks it hurts now, she has no clue that it’s going to be 100 times worse on Thursday.   I told her I’m going with her, I will be there to say goodbye, and to hold her while she cries after.

It’s going to shatter me, but I can’t let her do this alone.


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