Browsing Date

January 2015

What kind of day has it been…

manifestos January 22, 2015

Today, in a word, was odd.

Seven days ago today I made the decision to help my companion Gus, of oh so many years, ease his suffering. Seven days ago sucked.

In a dark moment, I was surrounded by friends. Glorious, glorious friends. Friends that helped me carry my 106 lb dog out of the house and into my car for his final journey. Friends that came to the house after bearing kind words, cookies, flowers and hugs. Friends that called, texted, messaged me through every possible communication device. Some just wanted nothing more than to sit with me while I wrapped my brain around what seemed so improbable. Others came over and took charge- helping me do the things that needed to be done. Others picked up the phone and others still are just there, waiting for the meltdown that will probably happen. Some took care of things that I would have never in a million years expected, understood or will be able to reciprocate.

7 days later my house is quiet. Weezie and I are figuring stuff out. We figured out our new routine, sans the food driven beast that reminded me daily when it was time to eat, because he was STARVING. We have a very different morning routine. We are making adjustments and learning how to fill the house.

Today, I finally got back to the business of life. Sure, I’ve been functional, I mean, come on- a person has to get up in the morning and work. But today, I felt like I could actually breathe for the first time in a week. My clothes have a lot less dog hair on them. My house is scandalously silent. No clippity clop of 106 pounds of dog lumbering through the hallway. No snoring so loud you would swear that a drunken geriatric obese man was sleeping on the floor. No dog greeting me at the door.

Today, 7 days and 6 hours later, I picked up a box. A box that holds what is left of my dog. I stare at this box blankly, because I know, that is not my dog in the box. That is just the remains, not the squirrel loving, frito eating soul that brought me joy, angst and happiness over the years. It is a box that signifies a change in time. A passing, a transition.

I expected to be taken to my knees by picking up the box. Instead, it provided some needed closure and reality. I was really ok with this particular transition. It was if it was a loud voice saying “next.”

I picked up the phone, while in the parking lot of the vet and called a friend. Dropped off a Starbucks and snuggled with two amazing labradors. Fine specimens of labradorian lineage. One of the two had those perfect lab eyes. Soulful eyes that make you know that everything is going to be ok. This is going to sound exceptionally lame, but loving on that dog, that sweet boy, somehow made me realize that it was going to be ok.

I got home and was overwhelmed by the outpouring of love in my mailbox.

I finished up work, and prepped myself to go out and support an organization that I love, and friends that I cherish. It would have been easy to stay at home, but life goes on. You just have to do what you need to do.

So, I did.

I hugged the necks of many friends. I made some new friends. I joked with many. I drank a cocktail. I flitted around, I did my thing.

I came home, hugged my black dog, wearing a Lilly P collar and a pink sweater (oh, the indignity) and said to her- it’s time to get our shit together.

We will put the box in a place where it needs to be. I will get prints of the pictures that we took in December. We will go on our walks. We will do our new thing. We will make each day a day.

Whereas I don’t have that big fat yellow ball of squirrel eating dog next to my side, I have my people. My glorious glorious people.

I was looking at my calendar tonight, filled with awesome events and outings, and I realized- I am lucky to have such problems- not enough time to spend with all of my people. I have a home, a glorious new roof, friends throughout the globe, family that keeps me on my toes and a dog that sits in another room keeping an eye on the house.

It’s been a day, but what kind of day has it been to come to such amazing realizations.

 

 

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The 11th Commandment

manifestos January 20, 2015

Now, I’m not a particularly religious person. Born & raised in the Catholic church, over the years, I have kinda defined my own thing spiritually. What that means to me is I don’t typically haul my butt to church on a weekly basis and try to avoid being a ChristEaster Catholic. Instead of attending a weekly service, where I find myself more tuned into peoples hair, purses and accessories, I’ve spent most of the last decade spending some quiet time on Sunday mornings. Some Sundays, I dig in the dirt and play with my flowers. Other times I pick up a yoga class, and more often than not, I found an excuse to lay around with my pups and just zone out for a few minutes.

All of this being said, lately, I’ve been thinking about the 10 Commandments. The why is not really worth sharing, but I feel like one is missing. Therefore, I declare the 11th Commandment to be: “Don’t be an asshole.”

It reminds me of that little thing that people do with Chinese Fortune cookies- after you read the fortune, you say “in bed.” For me, you could do one of the following- attach a “, don’t be an asshole” after the original ten, or perhaps just set it out by itself.

I have to believe that people are inherently good people. We all try to be decent in the space that we take up on this earth while we are breathing. However, in my increasing years (oh, the increasing years), I find that it gets easier and easier to slide in a little assholery. Some snark. Some comment, some dig. Yes, I admit to being an asshole every now and then.  Lately though, I’ve been shown exceptional examples of non-assholery and I would like to pay it forward in some way.

My only resolution this year that I feel worth focusing on (aside from the typical shrinking of the ass, eating less cheese and chocolate and wearing less leopard) is focusing on being less of an asshole. Intentional awareness (and prevention) of the ability to slide into assholery.

no-assholes

So there you have it. My 11th Commandment.

Thoughts?

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Passion

random me January 19, 2015

Tonight I entered into a conversation with a friend about passion. It was a roundabout conversation- started with the lament of someone eschewing stability for passion. Meh. Passion.

When I think of the word Passion, I think of three things: 

  • the horrible, horrible tv show from the 90’s- Click HERE for a blast from the past
  • the passion you find at closing time at the bar (or so I’ve heard…ahem)

this song. yes, seriously, this song. i passionately love this song like a fat kid passionately loves cake:

But in reality, please do the following and I’ll be in passionate bliss: Give me my labradors, a solid bottle of red and maybe some chocolate. That’s my idea of passion.

Perhaps I could get all hot and bothered talking about my imaginary outdoor kitchen- complete with a ceiling fan, pizza oven, wine fridge and a big ass gas grill. That’s my new passion.  Oh, and a fire pit with cozy chairs. Wait- and a kick ass big ole table for the world to congregate. And wine. Did I mention wine? I’m passionate about my imaginary outdoor kitchen.

I’m passionate about my people.

I’m sadly passionate about the proper use of a good animal print as a solid accessory. Too much- you look like a hooker (or Peg Bundy- been there, done that.)  Too little, it doesn’t have the necessary bam.

I’m passionate about feeding people. All the people. I just realized I had guests over multiple times today and I didn’t offer food. What the living hell is wrong with me? Ah yes, I can blame my total lack of hostess skills on Guster. Right? I’m still kinda out of it. Or I was just rude. PS- I let people in my house and it wasn’t very clean. Sigh. Somewhere, Jude is having a stroke and Martha had chills. Neither knew it was because I am a borderline housekeeper. Passionate about cleaning, I am not.

I’m passionate about dogs. Specifically dogs of Labradorian lineage. Duh. If you’ve met me, you know this to be true.

That’s my passion.

I’m sure there are other things I like well enough. Maybe I need to step it up and find something to be stupidly passionate about. Or maybe I’ll just keep on living the life that was meant for me?

 

Just some thoughts… good night.

 

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A Girl & Her Dog

manifestos January 17, 2015

Did you know that the original name of this blog was called “A Girl and her Dog(s)?

meandgg

Yep, it could all be said that when I rescued Gus, he really saved my life. Sure, he was malnourished, abused and heartworm positive, but that reticent, scared, hated to be touched yellow boy saved me. He made me think less about me, and more about something besides myself.

I always claim that Gus was an impulse acquisition. I had intended to go buy furniture, instead I brought home a dog. The immediate joy and happiness (and frustration, fear, irritation) that he brought me was overwhelming. He was just the perfect dog for me. I was at a particularly selfish point of my life. I was working a lot, in a weird relationship that really needed to be over, traveling all of the time, spending all of my money on shit I didn’t need. I had few real friendships at that point. I couldn’t tell you what was going on in most of my peoples lives. It was just go-go-go. I worked, therefore I was. I ignored most of what was going on around me because I truly despised my life (even though I wouldn’t have admitted it back then.)

Then, I got Gustafer. Or Gus. Or Gus Gus. Or Guster Burton. A dog of labradorian lineage that had been part of a puppy mill. He was stubborn, hated being in a crate, and shockingly to me now, hated ALL OF THE FOOD that I tried to feed him. I was told that he was not a good “people” dog and that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

me and g summer time

At my wits end, I took him to Camp Bow Wow Coppell, and I met a few women that will forever change the way my life worked with Gus. Camp Bow Wow- Coppell is owned by two fabulous women. Strong, smart, kind, caring leaders. Linda & Amy took us in and helped Gus learn how to play with others. How to be ok being touched. They told me that he was going to be OK through heartworm disease. They told me that it was ok to be frustrated with a dog that wouldn’t pee on the grass. The team of people that worked there at that time, saved my sanity. I will forever be grateful to Amy, Linda, Ashley, Aaron, Lynn, Amanda and Keely. Yes. I remember almost all of their names because they helped Gus Gus come out of his shell and made me realize it was going to be ok.

 

When Gus passed away this week he was somewhere between 106-110lbs. I laugh as I write this, because when I originally got Gus, he hated food. All of the food. He was barely 50lbs.  Wouldn’t really eat anything but cheeseburgers from Sonic. Yes, only Sonic. Luckily, Linda & Amy told me about a great place in the area that sold great dog food and they might be able to help me. That “place” was Three Dog Bakery in Southlake. I will never, ever forget the day we walked in. Me, unsure of what to do with this yellow boy. Christy, the owner walked out beyond the counter (her husband was back behind the counter with a few of their mastiffs) and greeted me. We instantly bonded over Gusters name (we both adored a show called Psych) and she got down, loved on Gus, and we got him to eat a disgusting amount of doggie frosting, bones, and food. It worked. We became frequent customers and friends. Christy, Brad, Mary, Don, Tia, Trish and Jamye saw us entirely too many times per week. We met Bruce, a lovely Canadian who was getting treats for his pup Daisy. Bruces wife Julie is this amazing peaceful human that you just want to sit next to and drink wine. All of the wine. They now have 4 dogs- Daisy and Guster are hanging out, but the 4G Network is running strong these day.   We met Christine and Fred, bad ass humans who just got it. We met Aunt Dawn, a courageous woman who loved Gus Gus and just kicked cancers ass this year. We met Melissa C. We met people at this store that I can still proudly call friends today.

bigassbone

Last night, I was talking to my cousin Trish about the impact of Gus. Yes, he was a dog. But he was a damn GOOD dog. He was friendly, kind, silly and just had something about him. I believe that because of Gus, we were able to get Trish out of a situation in Michigan and get her to move to Texas. There are clearly more mechanics around it, but if there was no dog, Trish wouldn’t be in Texas.

thestarsatnight

If there was no Gus, I don’t think I would be able to consider Bruce and Julie my people. We bonded over our dogs and became friends over the years. From them I met a plethora of people. If Gus wouldn’t have eaten, we wouldn’t have gone to Three Dog, and blah blah blah. My friends are good solid people.

thanksgiving

It would be simple to say that he was just a dog. But he was more than that. He was my constant companion, the basis of all of the stories, something that forced me to get up in the morning and deal with life. There were many times over the years when life has totally sucked, but I knew that I had to get up and take care of the dogs. I couldn’t just lay there, there were two creatures (Weezie, or Eloise if you are fancy) to take care of.

roadtrippin

We became our own little pack. My dogs travelled with me. Along the way, we picked up a slightly nuts black kinda lab named Weezie and we became three.  They fought the squirrels, and I puked. They were the WORST leash walkers, but we did it anyways.

doublethetrouble

Over the years, I found myself drawn to people with dogs. We all just made sense to each other. We got what it’s like to care for a four legged creature and could laugh over the joy, the pain, the expense and life daily with the D-O-G.

Gus, Weezie, Remy & Gracie Girl. Four of the best dogs in the whole wide world.

Gus, Weezie, Remy & Gracie Girl. Four of the best dogs in the whole wide world.

 

The last 6 months has been hard. Oh, so very hard. Gus developed arthritis that made getting around a little harder. Stairs became challenging, running after the squirrels almost a non issue. We have been blessed with a tremendous team of people that took after Gus Gus. His primary vet, Dr. Robert Gaines has been an angel. Not only is he our vet, but he is our friend. He gave Gus extra time. I will go down and say that here. He extended the time and quality of Gusters life for just a little bit longer. We made some decisions to get Gus more comfortable and for a short time, it worked. I will always be thankful for the last 13 days of Gusters life. He was happy, humping and moving around better than he did in months.  Dr. Jim Turner, owner of Farrell Animal Hospital was an a comfort to me on Wednesday. (Side note, because of Gus, we met Christy, who introduced me to Dr. Turner and his wife Mary…but that is another story.) Dr. Ashlie McBroom was our angel on Thursday. She was calm, patient and guided me to a decision I knew I had to make. These three vets were/are priceless humans.

bubbamelt

This week hopefully will be a blur, but right now, I want to say thank you to my friend Kim. She was there at the very end. She helped me navigate through the last 18 hours with Gus. She kicked amazing ass. Heather & Troy. For supporting me, for kicking me into gear on Wednesday and telling me to get my ass into the car and get GUS IN. Troy. What can I say man? You have been my one man squirrel removal team for years, and you got to be one of the angels that helped Gus make his final car ride. Harrell, my friend. He helped, he sat, he cried.

The outpouring of love, support and kindness has been breathtaking. To the Howards. I will never ever know the right way to fully thank you for what you did this week. To Jenn. Your support, friendship and vodka concoction was incredible. Natalie A- your cookies made my heart happy. Julie- the flowers are perfect and the brownie was delicious at 2am this morning when I woke up thinking I heard Gus snore. Chris, Kristie & Peggy- you rock. Lisa, sweet Lisa, you made me smile. To Jen Ho. You. Just you. You telling me “do whatever the fuck you want to do, somehow made laying in bed ok.” Leslie- you stopped what you are doing and came over. You get it. You all get it.

There are 130 unread text messages that I just can’t bring myself to read. Over 155 posts on Facebook. A jillion private messages and phone calls. I know that they are there and will read them eventually. To each of you, I thank you for being you and knowing that my crazy soul needed this outpouring of love.

I’m not the first person to lose a dog, nor will I be the last. I am just exceptionally thankful for the joy that shedding, squirrel eating, calming, always by my side amazing creature brought to my life.

Few factoids:

From the day that I got Gus, he was always my co-pilot. Hated sitting in the back and would only do it forced. He preferred to be in the passenger seat where he would sleep on my shoulder.

Gus really enjoyed Fritos. In fact, he ate almost a full bag of them on Sunday.

Gus loved children. All of the children, from infants to adults, Gus was patient, tolerate, loving and kind. He has converted dog fearing children into dog lovers. He has let twin babies climb all over him. He was enthralled with the laughter of kids. The more the kids laughed, the harder his tail wagged.

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I’m going to miss my frito eating, squirrel chasing co pilot. Weezie and I are going to have to figure out a new routine and way for us to navigate our days. We need to define our new normal.

But for now, I leave you with this face… oh, this glorious, glorious face. Goodbye my buddy.

the best of the best

 

32 Comments

things i’m thinking about: Sunday Edition

manifestos January 11, 2015

1.) My ears hurt. Again. I want to cry. Allergies are off the charts, and my ears suck. More drugs. Wah, wah. wah.

2.) I need to develop a sudden and horrid allergy to chocolate, bread and butter.

3.) My old yellow dog has the most loud, yet peaceful snore.

4.) I need to work out tomorrow. Walk, yoga and something else.

5.) Um, Cowboys fans? I get your pain. Seriously.

6.) Another cold front. Yay. I hereby bequeath my entire paycheck to Atmos Energy. You are welcome.

7. ) Tomorrow is a busy day. Lots of shit to do, lots. Must be nice and find the special version of me.

Things I need to do:

 

1.) Work out. Seriously. Oh my droopy ass.

2.) Take down the exterior Christmas lights.

3.) Be less impacted by assholes.

4.) Figure out a way to navigate my day in a more productive way.

5.) Find some happy.

 

 

30 Comments

It’s a little bit funny

manifestos January 9, 2015

Happy 2015 everyone!

Yes, I know that I’m a bit late to the party, but I’ve been busy working on the stuff that pays my bills, working on the stuff to make me less fat and working on the stuff to help me find some zen.

Zen-Dog1

 

Speaking of zen, I’ve been STRUGGLING to find it lately. Woo daddy, I’ve been a walking pile of stress, nerves and bitchery. I need to do more yoga and cut down even more the diet coke consumption, which btw, is at an all time low (2 a day BABY!).

Because I’ve been busy, I’ve been having a hard time finding tolerance for a lot of things. Dumbasses top my list of things that annoy me. The inability to critically think and make a decision on your own without taking it to committee vies at the top of the list as well. The toxic shit that we spew on Social Media (all caps) is really at the pinnacle.

Toxic shit? What could i possibly be talking about.

Well, grab a cup of whatever makes you happy and come on in closer for me to fill you in on what has been bothering me about social media.

Over the past year, I’ve been on a mission to “keep it real” on social. I don’t paint a pretty picture of my life. Instead I share the funny, the silly, the “oh crap my underwire just exploded in the middle of home depot” kinda stories. I like reading about peoples lives, not see perfectly filtered portraits of what you want people to see. I find that level of control exhausting and really a cue that perhaps you should go see a shrink to figure out why you must paint everything with a pink hue. I digress however, and need to get back to my point.

I’m tired of the degradation of real conversations. I’m tired of finding out critical life events of people that I had up to that moment thought were in my close circle only then to find out about a significant life thing through the blue and white walls of fucking Zuckerberg.

I’m tired of vague booking. I’m tired of the “oh, send some good thoughts we are dealing with something.” Oh come on, either tell me that you have an infected toe nail or don’t post about it in a vague way. Instead pick up your damn phone, call your  closest people and deal with it that way. It’s hard for me to say this, but not every thought needs to be shared via Facebook/Twitter/Instastuff…

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate social media. I love a lot of aspects to it. I love the fact that I can keep up with the goings on of people across the country. I love seeing social media campaigns for good. I love that I can share my random thoughts and ode to Lionel Ritchie for the whole world to see.  I love that I get too ooh and ahh over funny pictures of kids.

I’m just tired of the bullshit.

Let’s pause here for a moment and I feel a clarification might be necessary. I don’t think that the bullshit in which I am railing against is strictly limited to social media. In fact, I think I’m just tired in general. At the age of 37 10/12ths, I am tired.

I’m tired of the work that just keeps wearing me down. I feel like I’m starring in my own version of Groundhog Day.

I’m tired of not always feeling good. Last year, and the year before, and the year before that, were shitty, health wise. I want to get back to healthy. I want to feel like I felt 6 years ago. I want to be running, working out, and not feeling like my head was/is going to explode. Literally.

I’m tired of having to fight very hard for every single thing. EVERY SINGLE THING.

I’m also exhausted of having to explain myself over and over and over and over. I’m pretty direct. I don’t mince words. I shouldn’t have to reiterate something because the receiver of my message doesn’t like the answer.

Well, this post took a slightly bitter turn didn’t it?

It’s not fair to say that everything sucks. That would be a lie and not at all the picture I’m trying to paint. I’m just worn out. I’m tired and I want a break. I don’t need a bunch of “oh, I’m busy too shit.” This isn’t a competition. We are all tired. We are all busy. We are all working hard.

I want to win the lotto.

I want to win the lotto, cash it in and have it paid out in quarters and swim around in that shit like Scrooge Mc Duck.

scrooge

 

 

In conclusion, it’s probably better if people just ignore me until mid March. Or just let me nap.

I just want to be surrounded by good energy. Positive energy. Naps. Lots of naps. Swimming pools filled with quarters. Chocolate that won’t make my ass any bigger.

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