Full moon and other woes

Dear Mr Judgy McJudgypants

Thank you for standing there, staring at me, instead of moving on, while I was trying desperately to get my dog’s attention away from yours and back onto me. When I was yelling “leave it!” and “middle, dammit!” did you not notice that I was really really trying, as I was struggling to hold onto 70 lbs of determined dog, to keep him from running over to you and your dog? He wanted to play, that was obvious to me, but what was also obvious, or should have been, was that I wasn’t going to let him run up to a strange dog. There was a reason you couldn’t just move on? You had to stare at me, and then continue to stare at me, when I finally got him to look at me long enough to make him move? Yes, I was pulling on him. Try moving him when he is totally focused anywhere but me, without pulling on him. I dare you.

Also, when I had to go back to the car to get wipes because I managed to get poop on my hand when trying to pick it up, thank you, Miss Judgy McJudgyass, for staring at me like I was Satan incarnate when I put the Teen Terror into the car so I could get the wipes out of the trunk. Yeah, I’m totally gonna leave him in the car with the windows rolled up.

And my Kindle is busted. The only good part of that is that Amazon is replacing it.

There’s a full moon. I blame most of the shit that’s happening on that. Call me crazy but there it is.

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The demise of an American Icon

My husband retired this week
He spent 28 years working for Harley-Davidson
The first time we met, he drove past the plant and told me proudly that he’d worked there for 14 years. Later we went out and fed the deer that lived on the land Harley owned, he bought a bag of apples and cut them into pieces that we threw to the deer – deer that would come up to the fence to get the pieces and then run back to safety.

A few years later, those deer would be slaughtered during a night hunt that was organized by Harley for reasons no one could quite understand.

We should have paid closer attention to that decision.

A few years after that, it was contract time. We had married, and built a house, a house that’s way bigger than we need for the two of us, but it was okay, because he worked at Harley and life was, and always would be, good. Harley took care of its people. Harley wasn’t a company as much as it was a family.

My family – dysfunctional doesn’t begin to describe us. I should have remembered that.

Harley management took lessons from my oldest sister. Make them think you love them, then stab them in the back. And smile. “You didn’t REALLY think we cared, did you?”

I should have known better.

I wrote this three years ago. It’s still true. And it still makes me sad.

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What I should be doing

I should be checking on the students who have done nothing or close to it since the summer semester began a couple of weeks ago. I should be reminding them that they have an exam that closes tonight at midnight and they really need to get on it if they haven’t completed it.

I should be doing some training with Maverick.

I should be reading a book or knitting something elaborate or working on my dog training course – since I paid for it, I really should get into it.

What I’m doing instead

I’m writing a blog post, isn’t that obvious?

I’m reading emails and thinking about writing a letter – because I still do that for a few people who love getting a real, written on paper and stuck in the mail, letter. I guess that’s another thing I should be doing but I think that thinking about it counts.

I’m pondering the cute little notebook I got to help me chronicle my Lenormand readings. (I think that almost counts as actually writing in it)

I’m thinking that even though Bear’s schedule changed and we don’t have to be up at the crack o’dawn this week, it might be nice to continue to get up early so we can get our walk in before it gets really hot.

All this thinking about doing stuff is making me tired.

I think I need a snack.

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Early mornings

I am a confirmed night owl, have been since I can remember, although my mother would often tell me that when I was a wee thing, I would insist my father get me up when he got up at the crack o’dawn to go to work. I think it had nothing to do with the hour, I just wanted one on one time with my Poppa – as the youngest of five, that wasn’t always easy to get.

Mornings make me grumpy. People who like mornings make me annoyed. If it weren’t for coffee, and that most people can read my “get the hell away from me before I bite you” expression, I would probably be locked up by now.

So a couple years ago, the Bear retired from Harley Davidson, after being screwed over mightily and well, that’s another long story. Best thing he ever did was getting away from there, and here’s a hint – if you want a Harley, get one made before the last few years because quality is no longer important at that company. After two years of “enjoying” retirement, which was actually a year of recovery from major surgery and then another year of sitting on his butt watching endless episodes of MASH to the point where I was ready to hunt down Hawkeye and throat punch the self righteous bastard (can you tell I was pretty over it?), he took a part time job.

Thank you, Sweet Baby Jesus.

He works part time. But for the month of June, he works from 6 am till 2:30 pm. Last year, this was not a problem until the last week, Maverick came home on the 22nd so for that week, I got up at 6, took puppy out to potty, played a bit, then we both napped awhile, repeat through the day till Daddy got home and then I got a nap. This is not going to work with a year old puppy.

In the interest of my sanity, I’ve been getting up at 8. Asking for more than that would be impossible for me, it just won’t happen and if it did, I’d be meaner than cat shit, as my sainted mother would say.

So we’ve made it through almost the first week. Of course, it’s a week where I have something going on every single day.

If anyone has a spare nap they aren’t using, could I please have it?

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My Little One

I think we may have turned a corner and are starting to see light at the end of this tunnel. I’m pretty sure there are some rocks still gonna crop up in this tunnel and the light may be blocked a time or two. But in the past couple of weeks, I’ve seen you change so much – and I can see the dog you’re going to be.

It hasn’t been easy on us. I’ve struggled with accepting that I have to meet you on your terms sometimes, that I can’t make plans and expect you to follow them when you don’t speak English and don’t have a clue what I want. I’ve finally started to listen to you – and most of the time to understand what it is you need.

I made plans before we brought you home. For a while I’ve thought those plans had gone in the dumpster. Maybe I’m a hopeless optimist, but I think maybe some of them may just come out of the trash.

Tomorrow he may have me in tears again. Yesterday and today were amazingly good days and I’m going to bask in this glow as long as it lasts. Pray that the crash isn’t too hard!

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I don’t normally do this, but…………….

one of my friends recommended these treats so I ordered two bags. Maverick about stood on his head for them.

He insisted that I had to tell everyone about them, so if you get a chance, check out https://graciesdoggiedelights.com/

Gracie is a delight, and her treats are, well, Maverick said “they made my mowfee explode!” He pretty much loves them, and he’s finicky.


He seriously is fussy, and not at all food motivated – and a high value treat today will be meh tomorrow. THESE treats look to have staying power, and they’re healthy, and the little girl who runs the company is just freakin adorable. So go and shop and send her a picture of your dog. Do it now. Maverick insists.

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In the blink of an eye

a year went by

Last year, I was so deeply mourning Max, so lost in grief that I thought I’d never smile again.

And a few miles down the road, you were being born. A little red ball of fur, who would wrap his paws around my arm, and lift my shattered heart back into the light.

I’ve fought my way out of the darkness of those days. I’m not all the way out, there are times when I still dissolve at the memories, those last pain filled days of fighting so hard to keep Max alive, to somehow beat the unbeatable, of wanting it to end and dreading the moment that I would have to make that decision.

He was my Monster Boy. You are my Little One. He was a big, blonde, curly boy, who just glowed with love and peace. You are my reddish blonde, curly haired kid, with so much energy and so much curiosity and so much life and joy that you make me laugh even when you try my patience to the limit. (Please stop fighting the harness, it’s not going to kill you, I promise)

I didn’t want to love you this much. I didn’t want to let myself be open to the pain of losing you. You won’t have that, though – you will climb into my lap, and nose boop me and kiss my face, and bite my ankles and let me know in every possible way that I am YOUR Mommah, and you are my Little One.

I will love you forever. Happy Birthday, my Little One.

I love you, Mommah
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Food woes

I was brought up to think of food as a way to express how much you love someone. If you come to my house and go away hungry, it’s your own fault, because if I like you, and you wouldn’t be invited to my house if I didn’t, I will feed you till you don’t need to eat for a week. And then I’ll send you home with leftovers.

If I offer you food, and you refuse it, you’re refusing my affection. It’s ingrained in my soul and it’s one of the reasons I was overweight for so many years.

Max would eat any time you put food in front of him.

And along comes Maverick.
From day one, he’s turned up his nose at the food we’ve given him. There are only two brands of dog food I’ll consider feeding because of the whole grain free mess and DCM, and so his choices of dry are limited, but he gets a variety of toppers to make things interesting.

Apparently I’m offering poison. For awhile I was letting him free feed, but this kid already thinks he’s in charge of everything and I was advised that I needed to put his food down and pick up the bowl in ten minutes if he hasn’t eaten. Tonight we’ve done this routine three times. At 7:30, I will try for the fourth time. And again at 8. And then he’ll go hungry till tomorrow.

This is not the part that makes me want to tear my hair out. I can outlast him. The part that makes me want to check into the looney bin is that so much hinges on him eating his food. Training involves giving rewards in the form of treats. Treats are far preferable to food, so training goes by the wayside when he won’t eat, because I refuse to reward his refusal to eat. Everything, even playing, involves food in some way, and when he won’t eat, I find myself sitting here, counting the minutes till I can one more time heat up the food and try again. (I heat it up because I refuse to throw out three bowls of food for Mr. Pickypants.)

No one gets this frustration. I’ve tried to explain it to my husband, and to my friends, and no one gets it.

So if you don’t hear from me for awhile, just assume I’m in lockdown and pray they’re giving me good drugs.

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Walking and walking and walking some more

I remember a few years ago, my best friend told me that her husband one night, totally frustrated with the behavior of their puppy – who was about 11 months old and full of energy, announced that he was taking the dog for a walk to hopefully work off some of that energy before bed. She had already taken the dog for a walk that day, but decided that it was best to just let him go around the block and walk off his own frustrations.

Off they went, around their development, maybe a mile walk. When they got home, Zeke – the puppy – settled down and napped awhile, and was calm the rest of the evening. They were amazed at how little it took to make such a big difference, and nightly walks commenced along with the morning walks.

Yesterday was not a great day. Maverick and I have been walking on my road for the past week, about a mile – which leaves him happily tired from all the sniffing and gives me an hour or so of peace. But Wednesdays are my long days – I leave home at noon and don’t get back till around 5. I’m normally a bit frazzled from student demands and trying to get stuff done on campus when I’m only there two days each week. When I got home, I fixed his food, and was planning to go for our walk once he ate.

And he wouldn’t eat. Frustration abounded – on my part and I’m sure on his. I didn’t want to train or walk until he ate. He wanted to paw at me and go out to the field every 15 minutes and bark at me and generally be a twit. He refused food until almost 8, by then I was beyond annoyed and wasn’t going to go for a walk in the fast approaching dark.

I realized later that this is what he does every Wednesday. I’m not sure if it’s anxiety from me being away so long, or if he’s pissed off that I was away for so long. It doesn’t really matter, the realization gave me the tools to work with this.

Today we went for a walk before noon. He napped till 2, then I had to leave for about 1/2 hour. When I got back, I got the “treatment” which was cured by intense attention for the next 1/2 hour. I think he got sick of me. 🙂 At 4, I fed him and he cleaned his bowl. Food has been an ongoing battle of wills – so if he cleans his bowl the first time, it’s a major victory. A half hour of training, and back we went for our second walk.

The nap was awesome. The peace and quiet was wonderful.

The happy puppy was the best part. He was so excited to be out THERE, to be sniffing and seeing and sniffing some more! He was so happy, and so content when he got back home.

I love to walk. If we need to go three times a day, then walk three times we shall. When he’s bored with our route, we’ll go further and go down the road THAT way instead of the other way.

One of my goals was to have him walk with me, nicely, for a good couple miles, by September. I had almost given up hope of that happening. Maybe I shouldn’t give up just yet.

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Looking back and looking forward

A year ago, I was sleeping on the sofa, sleeping on the floor beside Max, barely sleeping, listening to him breathe, praying for one more week, one more day, one more ride in the car, one more Golden smile, one more of everything. A year ago, my friends came to see him, to say goodbye to the beautiful boy who brought us together, who made our lives so much brighter, who spread love with every wag of his tail and joy, so much joy. He drove me crazy at times, and I drove him just as crazy – “Just let me out so I can come back in, geesh!” – and through all the days, the bond we shared would never be broken.

I miss him, every day, every minute. He was gone in a moment. I fought for months and then …………..he was gone. My heart shattered. A million pieces, that will never be completely healed.

Two months of crushing sadness gave way to Maverick. Laughter filled the house again, most of the time. Sadness filled the corners. The whirlwind began – the Tiny Terror took over, all my time has been filled with him, worry over Max replaced by worry over this little one – memories of Max always there, seeing Max in Maverick, forgetting the bad days and remembering the good ones, trying to be the mom to Maverick that I tried to be, and often failed, with Max.

I tell Maverick every night, “I will love you forever.” And I whisper to Max, “I will love you forever, too. Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow. Always and forever.”

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