This is me today

This morning I walked into a store to buy a coffee.  I smelled you.  I looked everywhere but you were not there.  14 years and it hit me like a punch in the gut.  I saw a man in a car today.  I thought it was you.  It was not.  I think I’m going to see you soon.  I feel it.  And it doesn’t really matter.  I’m OK.  You’re not OK.  My version of the book.

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NOT.

I am moving soon.  It is a difficult thing to do.  The packing and selling and organizing.  Selling some of the stuff in my parents’ house so I can get my stuff out of here and in there.  Log jam!  Sometimes I feel overwhelmed.  And other times I feel like – I’ve got this.  I’m a frigging production manager.

moving

My father had his shoulder replaced last week.  He looked so awful afterward in the hospital, he scared me.  And I don’t scare easily.  He will be 81 on March 30.  He has been in rehab since Friday.  He is himself again.  If he wasn’t sitting around in jammies and wearing a sling, you’d never know.  Yay!

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I have a new job.  Driving an escort car for oversize loads.  I love love love love love it.  If I have my way, I will never ever sit in an office again.  Unless it is volunteer work of some kind.

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The other day I was escorting a guy whose handle was Big Daddy.  I kid you not.  But I did kid him about it; oh yes I did.  So we’re coming over 691 and I said, “Big Daddy.  See that tower up there?”  He said yes.  I said, “When I was in high school, I used to go up there with my friends and smoke the wacky.”  He laughed and said, “Me too.”  Turns out, Big Daddy went to high school in Connecticut, as did I.  We graduated in the same year.  I met Big Daddy in person at the end of the run.  He looked like my ex.  A little taller and his Buddha was a little smaller.  He had a shaved head complete with baseball cap, bright blue eyes and the same hands.  I said, “Big Daddy.  You look like my ex.  Hey!  You could be my next ex.”  He rolled his eyes.  I get a lot of that.

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I have this dog Dante.  He is some kind of freaky critter.  He is not my Mikey.  This doesn’t mean I don’t love him.  Maybe I feel about Dante how mothers feel about their kids.  You love them all but you love them different?  First I had Dave and he was my baby.  No doubt about it.  Then I had Mike and he was my BFF.  I loved him with my heart.  I still do.  We got each other.  Now I have Dante.  A rescue.  I had the others from puppy stage.  Dante has issues.  He is needy.  He cries and barks.  But he is sweet.  He stares at me all the time.  And he loves me.  And he is playful.  He worries.  I can tell.  He paws at me if I don’t touch him enough, which for him is most of the time.  He throws himself at me.  He tries to sit or lie on my lap.  He weighs 55 pounds.  He hogs the bed.  I have to fight for space.  But I’m a dog person/poodle mama.  I love his screwed-up little self.  But I think I might miss Mike every day for the rest of my life.

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Never heard of Pharrell Williams till the song “Happy” came out.  I freaking love it.  I wish I had written it.  But I never would have worn shorts to the Academy Awards.

Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do

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Today, I am happy too.

happy day

My life in Haiku

I do hate housework
I try to make myself clean
Vacuuming is awful

vacuum

I miss him a lot
My dog Mike with his brown eyes
I will not forget

Mike

Once I lost a job
A man who had small fingers
Were other things small

Was crazy in love
He said I’ll never leave you
Who tells lies like that

Ann Coulter faking
But people believe in her
She laughs all the time

ann-coulter

Looking at hairdo’s
I have been struck blind often
Need a mirror, Girl

bad hair

Thinking in Haiku
It’s funny and makes me laugh
You should try it too

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Stop licking my pit
My dog loves deodorant
Dante’s a weirdo

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Candy Crush Saga
I am so addicted now
Candy Crack Saga

candy crack

I am fucking broke
Twenty two months not full time
But love not working

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Love NCIS
Isn’t Gibbs really handsome
Why did Ziva leave

ziva

I am getting old
Arthritis hurts my poor toes
And the rest of me

toe

I’m a love cynic
Now I protect my poor heart
It is easier

heart

Not superstitious
Only a dummy would be
Knock knock knock knock wood

knock wood

Word I never heard
Disambiguation – huh?
Love dictionaries

dictionary

I called you Pumpkin
You called me your Pussy Cat
You were full of shit

pumpkinpussy cat

My heat isn’t on
I’m waiting for Thanksgiving
Colleen needs the warmth

fire

The end. For now.

Bad patch, better patch…

I have not written a blog for a very long time.  I have been in a bad patch and I could not write because I didn’t want to let people know how crappy “my patch” was.  But I am trying again.  And I feel better.  And I am taking my own advice and pulling myself up by my bootstraps.  See below.

bad patch

You don’t owe anyone your life.  Not one single person.

It is OK to tell your grown children to try to make some decisions on their own.

If anyone treats you like you are stupid – and he/she is being a superior bitch – you may tell him/her to fuck off.  If you are not able, call me and I will do it for you.

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Attitude is everything.

Don’t be afraid to cook.  If it doesn’t come out right, throw it in the trash.  And don’t let anyone else decide if it is “right”.  That is for you to figure out yourself.  I have been amazed to find out how many people worry about this.  I think many of you know I can cook.  But I will have you know that as a child, I once broiled a birthday cake for my mother.  It was very flat.  But I tried.  And we all laughed.  It was OK.

flat cake

Do what feels good.

When you are 40 or 50 years old, it is no longer OK to blame your parents for the things you do.  You are an adult and it is time to take charge of your life and make it right.

Put effort into everything you do.  You can make things better.  Love hard.  Play hard.  Sleep hard.

sleeping

The truth will set you free.  Don’t keep bad secrets.  Tell someone.  It forces the badness to dissipate.

Fuck ‘em if they can’t take a joke.

Life is about choices.  Make good ones.  If you wake up every day and feel crappy, then that is what you have chosen.  If you live with someone who abuses you, you are allowing and choosing it.  If you never feel happiness, you are choosing that.  Think about it.

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Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps.  People can help you but only you can sustain a change, an improvement in your life.  Where there is life, there is hope.

boot straps

Never eat anything bigger than your head.

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Many things will be as good as you make them.  For example, if you put effort into learning about and training your dog, you will have a fantastic dog.  It is not a coincidence.

dog training

There are people out there who are sociopaths.  When you discover them, leave a wide berth.

Don’t assume anything about people.  You really don’t know what is going on in their heads unless you know them awfully well, and for a long time, and you have the capacity to keep your mind open.

Try not to be so hard on yourself.

Eat the ice cream.

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The Story of Dante

Someone asked me about the story of how I got Dante.  Those of you who are sick of my dog stories may skip right over this.  The dog people – please continue.

The last time I took Mike to the vet, I met a woman there named Daryl and we struck up a conversation about poodles.  Come to find out, she ran Connecticut Poodle Rescue.  We had a very nice conversation about our favorite breed of dog and I left there with her card in my pocket.  Little did I know I’d be looking for it in less than three months.

So then I lost my Mikey.  And I felt that I wanted to wait for a while before I got another dog.  But pretty soon after that, I came to a firm realization.  I am a woman who lives with a dog.

My old friend Cindy dropped me a note and said you should fill out the application for a rescue poodle so when you’re ready, the paperwork will be done.  So I went on line, found the app, and filled it out.  Then I sent a separate e-mail to Daryl and told her about Mike.  She sent me a nice note and I sat back to see how I would feel.

Then at the beginning of my fourth week without Mike, my mother asked me if I was going to Maine and I started to cry.  And I told her I couldn’t go to Maine without my dog in the back seat.  In addition to our multiple trips to Lake Ebeemee, Mikey and I had traveled all over the country:  Baltimore, Tennessee, Texas, New Orleans and Florida.  If he was in the back seat, I was never alone.  And if he was in my condo, I was never alone here either.  At that moment, I knew it was time.

So Wednesday night, May 22, I went to http://www.poodlerescuect.org/ and saw a couple of standard poodles that had not been there two weeks before.  And I sent Daryl another e-mail.  My phone rang 2 minutes later and I had an appointment to see her the next afternoon to meet Dante.

I called my mother and asked her to come with me as she had been my poodle good luck charm because I had gotten my first poodle from her – a toy named Dave, and she had been with me when I went to get Mikey.  And I wanted to make sure Dante got along with Barkley, my parents’ poodle, because we spend a lot of time together.  So the three of us – me, Mom and Barkley – headed out to Naugatuck to meet Dante.

The meeting between Barkley and Dante went very well.  Barkley sometimes lacks manners and peed on Daryl’s deck.  She wasn’t one bit fazed as she has seven dogs – and yes they are poodles – all size and shapes and colors.

So I brought Dante home.  And the first night, I wondered what I had done.  He seemed so unhappy.  But he had had one helluva week.

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Dante’s mother had to give him up because she was forced by financial circumstances to sell her home and she could only have one dog where she was moving.  And she had another poodle that was 12 years old and she kept her.  What an awful choice to have to make.  But I am telling you, I am very lucky she did.

From Dante’s original home to Daryl’s to his foster home to the vet  and then had a grooming and then back to his foster home and then picked up again and home with me.  It was raining Thursday night but I took Dante out at least 6 times before midnight.  He did not pee, he did not poop, he did not eat.  He did not get on furniture.  He hardly made eye contact with me.  I was supposed to go out to dinner with my girls but I canceled.  I couldn’t leave him alone right away.

I took him upstairs with me to go to bed.  I was picking up my room, there were shoes all over and I was neatening up a little and he sat and looked at me.  I folded up a nice, clean, thick quilt next to my bed.  When I sat on my bed, Dante became instantly airborne, and landed on the bed, lay down and went to sleep.  OK.  This was good.  He slept all night right next to me.  When we woke up in the morning, he seemed happy to see me.  He was making eye contact, and he wanted to go outside for a walk.

Dante was uncivilized on a leash and was busy pulling my shoulder out of its socket.  As the day went on he seemed better and more interested in his surroundings.  He was coming out of his slump but he still did not eat.  Friday night I had a bowl of chicken soup and he was very interested in that so I gave him some.  He gobbled it up – the first thing to cross his lips except water since I had brought him home the day before.

On Saturday morning before I got up, I was lying in bed thinking about what would make him eat and all at once it occurred to me what he wanted, and that was canned dog food.  I had a couple of cans and opened one up.  He inhaled it.

Things went steadily uphill from there.  I took him with me when I went to Petco and bought his name tags, one for home and one for Maine.  He was pulling me all over the store and one of the salespeople saw him and introduced us to PetSafe Easy Walk harness.  Problem over – I kid you not.  Just like that.  That made me happy because I was wondering how I would be able to teach this old dog (he’s 5 1/2) a new trick.

Today is five weeks since I lost my Mikey.  I will miss him and his happy party-boy personality.  He was my guy.  Dante is more serious, not a rowdy dog, gentler.  Today is our tenth day together.  And I can tell you, we love each other.  We are getting to know each other.  He is different.  He squishes himself into little places.  He doesn’t sprawl on the couch.  He likes to go behind my chair and make himself small.  He likes food but he is not the food whore that his predecessor was.

But it’s all good.  Different, but good.  Dante and I – we are working it out.  We spend a lot of time walking around the neighborhood.  Dante gets along well with other dogs.  He has no desire to be the alpha boy.  He has adjusted and is obviously happy to be here with me.   I am happy too.  I am not lonely.  I am a woman who lives with a dog.

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Almost three weeks without Mike

I have not cried about you in over a week.

I carried your jingly collar around in my purse for a bit, but now it is in my “Mikey box”.

Last Tuesday, I was at the Y longer than I thought I would be and started to worry about you and then remembered that you were no longer waiting for me.

Your pal came over Friday night.  You did not greet him and beg for cookies from his pocket.

I made soup on Saturday and dropped a carrot.  You did not dive for it.

I took a nap in the afternoon.  I thought how nice it would be if I had my nose in the back of your neck and I could sniff you.

I made an iced coffee and an ice cube slid from the fridge to the floor.   You did not come running like a big nut to grab it.  I picked it up and threw it in the sink to melt.

Nobody, I mean nodoggy has eaten any of my dirty laundry.

The back yard is all clean.  There are no pooper doopers.  The mulch is new and red and cedary.

I threw out your beds.  They were all lumpy from all the washings after your seizures.  I ran all your bowls through the dishwasher and put them in the Mikey box downstairs.   I windexed all your nose smurb off the slider and the front door.   I threw out all the toys you had chewed to smithereens.  I gave a couple that were like new to Boo.  I washed Kong and Orby and put them in the box with the bowls and the collar.  I washed the car blanket.  It is clean and will not smell like you again.

I picked up your ashes and it made me sick to my stomach.  And then I wondered – how could so much dog fit into such a small box.  And I don’t refer to your physical size but your emotional size – the hole in my middle.

But I am feeling better.  I just reread my last blog – 4 Days without Mike.  I no longer feel like I’m wading through an atmosphere as thick as peanut butter.  I can laugh without feeling guilty. I sent an e-mail to the nice lady we met last time we were at the vet – the one from Poodle Rescue.  You never needed anyone to rescue you.  You had me.

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