Category Archives: Pets

princess

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Back in 2004, I made the incredibly intelligent post-college grad decision to use my gift of persuasion and push my high school sweetheart into marriage. I then of course had to follow up my adulting by checking things off my list of grandiose holly-homemaker life goals – husband, check! house, check! a dog named Princess, check! Ah the optimistic dreams of my early 20’s, my life was so complete! Only…

The husband… I, um, about that, <cringey face> the husband turned out to be a decision I maybe might have should have maybe thought through a little longer. We barely lasted a year and in the best Forrest Gumpiest voice I can muster, that’s all I have to say about that.

The house… the house was a tiny ranch that had this really high-tech central air system that actually cleaned my carpets for me by leaking pools of water under the furnace room wall into the guest bedroom. The plumbing did this really cool thing where it would generously show me the poo water in my pipes by bubbling it up through the drain in the bathtub if I flushed the toilet, ran a sink and had the washing machine going at the same time. And the neighbors were ah-mazing creatures who would eat lunch in their driveways on tv trays in their underwear while hosting garage sales. I’m not even kidding a little. The day I was bought out of the house the neighbors heard a faint “sayonaraaaaaaaa!!!!!” as I peeled down the street for the last time with $12k in my hand.

And then there’s the dog…

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She’s the absolute best thing to come from my poor decision making skills from a decade and a half ago.

This little being has been with me through 7 moves, a number of career changes, countless relationships and becoming a momma. If this dog could talk she could tell you novels of my greatest love stories and my worst loves lost, of what it feels like to comfort me when I sob and the elation felt while sharing with me the moments of pure joy, though I know my deepest secrets are safe with her. For the last almost 15 years, she has been the most loyal protector I could have ever wanted by my side. And in the last year or so, her age has started to show. Most people who meet her would never guess she’s almost 15, but having had her in my life since I was 24, I see it. Her eyes are foggy and when she jumps on the couch or the bed she misses the first attempt, sometimes by a good foot. She doesn’t hear much anymore though I can startle her out of sleep with a loud sneeze. She would rather starve than eat dog food. At night she gets into such a deep sleep and frequently wakes up in a puddle of pee. Not mine, I promise. And when she breathes while laying down, it sounds like she’s wheezing. My old puppy, she is slowing down.

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And until she tells me it’s time, that she’s done, that she is in pain or that her life is not hers anymore, with a hole in my heart I will help her with that. “But it’s not my time yet!” she tells me with her big brown eyes and wagging tail. And so we make it work.

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So she won’t have to struggle, I scoop her little warm body up and place her on the couch when she needs me. I cook her dinner every night complete with ground beef, chicken or turkey mixed with scrambled eggs, cheese and rice. I’ve learned the hard way that tuna doesn’t sit well with her and if I try to sneak in peas she will strategically pick them off her plate and place them on the floor in a pattern that spells out “no thank you”. We sleep with a waterproof shower curtain atop the comforter because no amount of pee dribbles will ever deny her a warm spot in the bed. She is in the early stages of kidney disease that we are stopping in its tracks with a daily supplement along with a dose of Pepcid to ease tummy upset. And the wheezing is from an enlarged liver pressing on her diaphragm when she lays down, though she’s gotten pretty good at finding comfortable sleeping positions that momentarily make my heart stop.

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My girl is old in body but still a puppy at heart. And after 15 years of her selflessly giving me the greatest love, loyalty and protection such a little being could give, I won’t ever hesitate to return the favor of making sure she’s happy and safe. Today that means occasionally hand feeding her when she wants help, giving her extra understanding and I love you’s when her body, eye sight or hearing momentarily fails her, and lightly touching her back to let her know when I’m standing right next to her while she’s desperately searching for me around the corner. We’ll see what tomorrow brings and roll with it.

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My Princess, I couldn’t have asked for a better doggie. She is mine and I am hers.

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Filed under doggies, life, Love, Pets

this is why I can’t have nice things

Hazy.

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Hazel is my playful, energetic 9-year-old ball of fur with big brown eyes and a cute little underbite. At night, Hazel likes to either shimmy her way under the blanket and sleep down by my feet, or lay on top of the blanket and chew 3,234,583 little holes in it which drives me absolutely nuts. I have no idea why she does it but she pretty much always has; it’s the reason I always have a needle and teal thread on hand so my bed doesn’t resemble swiss cheese.

So the other night around 3am, I woke up to her wriggling around under the blanket by my feet. I gave her a little nudge which usually quiets her down or gets her to move over, only this time she kept wriggling. Wouldn’t move over. Wriggling. Wriggling. It was not what I needed at 3am and I could feel my blood pressure start to rise. So I sat up, reached under the blanket to bring her up so I could snuggle with her, and……yeah. This is why she wasn’t budging.

 

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The dog chewed a hole in the blanket, stuck her head through it and got stuck.

And this is why I can’t have nice things.

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Filed under doggies, Funny, life, Pets, ridiculousness

betrayed

I’ve heard about the wife who discovers her husband has another family on the side complete with 2.5 kids, a white picket fence and a yellow lab named Skippy.

I’ve actually known the mousey little HR-by-day girl who no one would ever suspect of being naughty, yet there she is every weekend naked on stage at The Circus sticking dollar bills in places they don’t belong for an addition on her house.

I’ve heard of the child who is a quiet, reserved, sweet little thing with smiles and manners and “yes, ma’am”s at school who goes home and tortures small animals in his backyard.

I’ve seen Trading Places, The Parent Trap and Undercover Princes.

Double lives happen, I know this, I just never thought it would happen to my family. Yet there I was the other night, browsing the Pinterest homepage after unsuccessfully trying 10 times to verify my blog to my Pin profile and inevitably locking myself out, when I saw a cute little ‘Make Your Own Board Book’ pin.

I decided to click on it and check out the tutorial and that’s when I realized that fate had put that pin on my homepage for a reason. Because when I scrolled through, I saw her. With another family. A mom. A dad. A baby named Boo and a brother named Bub. Grandparents. Aunts. Uncles. A whole other family that I never knew existed! My brain started swimming with questions – the when’s, the how’s, the why would she do that to me’s?

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And I think the hardest part was that she just looked so… happy.

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Filed under craziness, DIY, doggies, Family, Pets, ridiculousness

dance like nobody’s watching

We were hit with some pretty severe storms over the last 12 hours, a welcome reprieve from the sinus-stuffing heat we’ve been floating around in lately. Though welcome may not be the exact term hazy would use to describe the rain…

Poor little thing tried her hardest to climb into the 2 inch gap under the couch last night with no luck because thunder is apparently worth hiding from, even if it means clawing the floorboards to smoosh yourself out of sight.

I have to say that while last summer was amazing with my 3 months of maternity leave stretching from June to September and a new baby to snuggle, this summer has been my absolute favorite and I’ve been sucking the life out of every minute and haven’t had much time to sit down and write about it all. In the meantime though, I have rediscovered the joys of running through a backyard sprinkler in my bathing suit and eating ice cream faster than it can melt down my hand, rolling around in the grass and feeling the cool blast of air conditioning hit my face after playing barefoot outside in the summer sun for hours. Leave it to a 1-year-old to teach her mama how to let the world’s problems fix themselves and instead enjoy the little things in life again. There is so much truth to the statement, “the best things in life are free…”

Our Michigan trip was a blast and after getting lost on the way and driving through a part of Detroit that was scarier than the sketchiest parts of Chicago I’ve been through with a baby in tow, I’m happy to now say that I kinda know my way around another little part of the world. We did a lot of beer drinking, late night sister talking, baby chasing and thrift store shopping, and I now declare Christmas in July an official family holiday that will be celebrated every 4th of July from here on out.

On the work-front, Amy left us a month ago and New Amy started this past Monday. Though with a name like “New Amy” not being one to just roll off the tongue, we’ve decided to call her Gretchen and lucky lucky girl got to sit next to me while I stared at the side of her mug all morning while the internet was being fixed. Everyone say hi Gretchen!

What else….

Summer now understands every single stinking word we’re saying. If i ask her, “where’s cookie finger?”, she does this:

If I say “where’s monkey?”, she’ll go find her monkey blanket and bring it to me. If I say, “give Hazy the ball”, she’ll go get a tennis ball and hand it to the dog. And if I ask her “do you have any mail?”, she’ll run and check the little mailbox on her house toy and dance while opening envelopes because her mailbox plays the alphabet song, one of her favorites. And to make sure the girl isn’t disappointed, the mailman (Scott) has been giving her our daily junk mail, though every once in a while she actually gets legit mail from her friends…

She literally squealed when she opened that.

p.s. I absolutely love thrift stores so so much and I snagged that learning house toy thing from one a few weeks ago. The house toy was big. It was bulky. The door hit me in the shin and the base fell off every time I lifted it up to try to get it to the register, out the door, and in the car. The whole way home with every bump I hit, the beast would start playing music and with every new song that bellowed from the trunk, I regretted buying it more and more. Then I got it home. I wiped it down with some disinfecting wipes. I screwed on the base and I let Summer have at it while I looked it up online to see everything it does. And not only did Summer instantly love it, but holy shite the thing costs 90 ridiculous expensive dollars. I got it for $10. Best thrift store purchase evaaaaaaa. It’s the Fisher Price Laugh and Learn Learning Home and it’s awesome and have I mentioned that I love thrift stores?

And now I leave you all with some good tunes from the stylings of Farmer Tad and his biggest fan…..

To view directly on YouTube, click here

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Filed under 4th of July, Parenting, Pets, Summer

life lessons from a gerbil

I got my first pet when I was around 10. My parents had finally caved in to the incessant whining of the 4 of us girls begging for our own pets, animals we swore on our lives we’d feed and love and clean up after and whatever else it is you do with small rodents kept in a cage in the corner of your room. And while my sisters all picked out hamsters, I instead took a dare to be different approach and went with a gerbil that I creatively named Gerby. Then one day I was playing with Gerby and the ungrateful little fucker bit me with his little yellow rodent teeth and it pissed me off and I never picked him up again. And you know what happened to Gerby? Gerby kicked the bucket.

Shocker.

And before the grass even had a chance to regrow over the spot in the backyard where my dad buried him in a shoebox, I begged and I pleaded and I cried for another one. Because while my sisters’ hamsters were all thriving and making litter after litter of little hamster babies despite the fact that the pet store guy swore up and down to my dad that they were all male (ha! I vividly remember with the first litter Becky running down the stairs yelling, “There are little pink things coming out of Sugar’s butt!”), I somehow convinced my parents that I absolutely must have gotten a defective gerbil and I needed a new one. So once again, my parents gave in and on a trip to the pet store with my dad who was dropping off half a dozen hamster babies (oh yeah, pet store’s mistake=pet store’s problem), I got another gerbil. And after reaching deep down into the depths of the core of my creative childhood imagination, I named him Gerby II. And one day Gerby II started jumping uncontrollably in his cage, seizures of some sort I’m guessing, and it freaked me the fuck out and I never picked him up again.

R.I.P. Gerby II.

And now here I sit looking back at the whole experience through my new eyes as a mother knowing darn well that despite the 2 dogs that we already have, Summer will eventually ask me if she can have her very own pet to feed and love and clean up after and whatever else it is you do with a small animal when you can barely tie your own shoes. And I find myself asking if having my own pet at 10 years-old taught me love, responsibility, patience, and consequences as a little girl. And you know what? No. No, it did not. I didn’t learn that from a pet until I was 16 and our family dog fell down the basement stairs and broke his leg and hip and I was in charge because my parents were out of town and I ended up driving all over the freaking state with a panting doggie crying out in pain in my front seat who I honestly thought was going to die while I tried to find a 24-hour animal emergency center at 11:30pm on a school night. Now that is a lesson learned in responsibility. All Gerby taught me was that rodents have ugly little yellow teeth and they bite hard and have seizures. That, and if you ignore your problems long enough, they’ll eventually go away – a fact that was later reconfirmed by Gerby II, my dad and a shovel.

And this, my friends, is why I vow right here and right now that if Summer ever asks for a pet of her own, instead of taking her to the pet store and letting some little creature with a long stringy tail and beady eyes teach her the fun lessons in life, I’ll take her to Target with me when i choose to buy an 8 pack of new socks and underwear instead of doing laundry because I just don’t wanna. And I’ll teach her to put Pizza Hut on speed-dial because sometimes you just cant be bothered with grocery shopping even when you have an empty fridge and a hungry husband waiting at home. Then I’ll teach her how to coast in neutral past the gas station all the way home when the car’s gas light comes on because sometimes you just really want your pajamas and the couch and the gas station will still be there tomorrow. And I’ll teach her all of this without having to bury a dead rat in a shoebox in my backyard.

And then maybe I’ll buy her a plant.

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Filed under Parenting, Pets