Category Archives: pets

Gettin Better All The Time

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20171203_101352-1.jpgThis morning I woke up to the 21 month old telling me in his own language (that I am still learning) that he was STARVING. Despite having dinner last night and then a pear, a meatball, a whole cup of milk and a granola bar for a bedtime snack. To add to the 7am fun of trying to decode what his clicks and hums mean,  I am sick. I am actually very sick with either a head cold, the flu or possibly a prolonged stroke/heart attack/ intestinal twist, Dr. Facebook can’t quite diagnose me. The dog,of course, understands everything the baby says and jumps off the bed thinking that I am going to also jump off the bed and go get food. Yeah dog, not happening. I lay there and contemplate texting my neighbors an S.O.S. that I’m dying, the baby is starving and the dog is about to explode. But I am not that desperate…yet.

I roll my butt out of  bed and the baby immediately starts screaming because he is positive I am going to leave him for another baby who has more money and a private jet. So, I scoop up Mr. Baby and stagger to the bathroom to set him down so I can pee. Which is also a total betrayal of love and loyalty according to him. Meanwhile, the dog has also decided that I don’t love him either and is downstairs barking like someone is ripping his ears off. I am doing my very best to ignore both of them and just get ready as fast as possible so that the screaming stops and the dog doesn’t pee, puke or poop on the carpet.

As I brush my teeth, I remember that I threw up last night in the sink, so I have to grab the disinfectant and do a quick wipe while Mr. Baby tries his best to climb INTO the sink. It was literally a wrestling match with me keeping him away from the germy sink and the Clorox wipes. I won. Off to his room to change the diaper.

I can’t smell anything because of this plague I have so, poopy diapers have been a complete surprise for the past 4 days. I should have known…I should have KNOWN, but I was so full of confidence because he never has poopy diapers in the morning. Never. That is, until THIS morning. I whip off his diaper with an air of arrogance reserved for horse jockeys and white men and sure enough, poop goes flying everywhere. I. Mean. Everywhere. The wall, the baby, my bottom lip. EVERYWHERE. Look for the blessings, isn’t that what Mr. Rodgers told us? At least I can’t smell the poop that is on my bottom lip.

Mr. Baby decided that he was over the poop and the Nana who refuses to allow him to play in pukey sinks or with chemical wipes and decides to take his naked poopy body to the top of the stairs to conference with the dog through the gate thereby smearing baby poop into the crevices of the gate which the dog thinks is a terrible breakfast but if it’s all he is going to get, he will take it. I can’t even with these two.

I get all of us cleaned up and dressed and ready to confront the possibility that the dog has exploded all over the livingroom. We make it downstairs and it’s a Christmas Miracle! The dog has NOT exploded, no pee, no poop. He did use the Christmas tree water to wash down the baby poop, but I call that resourceful and give him a pat on the head.  I get the leash on the dog, the hat and coat on the baby, and I find my flip flops and off we go into the frozen tundra of Upstate New York in December to get to the Starbucks for breakfast. I’m not going to debate the pros and cons of having Starbucks every morning so you might as well keep it to yourself. Just accept that is what is happening today and every day up to this day in rain or snow or dark of night (morning, whatever) and any illness or pooptastrophy.

I get the dog to his favorite morning poop area, I get the baby buckled into his seat, I get my half awake/flip flops/sweatshirt under a sweater/forgot to wash my face into the car to go. The dog starts whining, the baby starts with his favorite game of Drive Nana Crazy In The Car in which the rules literally involve cry-screaming, repeatedly saying NANA and pulling the dog’s ears, for as long as the car is in motion. It’s not a hard game but I haven’t won it yet. I can tell you that if I had ANY doubt as to the sort of day this is was going to be, it was erased when Mr. Baby decided to add pushing the All You Need Is Love button on his Beat Bugs book in between “Nana” and scream-cry and pulling on dog ears. Gentle reminder I suppose.

We get to the Starbucks,  I open the back window half way for the dog and go in for our usual. Mr. Baby seems to lighten up while we are in line as all of his favorite baristas are saying hello to him while he snacks on his blueberries. I put him in his seat and that is when I make the fatal mistake of throwing away the empty blueberry container. I don’t know what I was thinking. I truly don’t. My lack of consideration for Mr. Baby and his empty blueberry container can only be attributed to my own stroke/heart attack/flu illness. He let me know how wrong I was. He also let the entire Starbucks know, as well as the car dealership next door, the bank across the street and the Target a half mile away. One of the barista’s dropped a full pot of coffee when Mr. Baby released the cracken. Side note: another benefit of this stupid plague is that I can’t hear anything. No sense of smell, no hearing, I have become numb to many of the weapons of the toddler.

I smile and nod at the other consumers, I wave cheerily to the people outside who make a sharp turn back to their cars rather than enter the war zone that has suddenly erupted. I can read the dog’s lips and see he has joined the army and is barking his head off. I am pretty sure we are all going to be arrested now. So, in anticipation of spending the next 24-48 hours either in jail or in the psyche ward, I calmly finish my bagel. Who knows when I will get another.

I gather up the baby, my keys, my tea, a handful of napkins and hobble out to the parking lot while yelling at the dog to zip his lip. I do the buckle, the starting, the drive. The baby finishes his Drive Nana Crazy In The Car game. We get home, I get everyone out and up the stairs and into the house. I think I am going to just go ahead and die at this point. But the dog insists on being fed, the baby wants his We-Just-Walked-In-The-Door-Snack and the 3 cats are swirling between my legs because they know I like being challenged when walking around my own home.

Fed. Done. Sit down. Put Mr. Baby’s show on. Dog jumps up onto the leather couch and silently throws up everything he has eaten in his life. I just happen to look over and see his “Sorry about that” face (thanks Mr. Rodgers) and leave the room to grab  the clean up supplies which sets off the Screams of Abandonment from Mr. Baby. I come back to find the dog on the orange suede chair and take a step towards him to take off his collar directly into the slime puke or the “after-puke” he has let slide from his doggy mouth. Squishes between my toes, all warm and well, slimey. I hop into the kitchen while praying my uterus doesn’t fall out (another story for another day) and grande battament my leg into the kitchen sink while yelling at Mr. Baby to not touch anything and at the dog to not eat anything. At this point, if it had been a regular day, I would either be crying or laughing or both. But today, as I battle the possible anthrax infection spreading throughout my body, I just silently scrub my foot in my kitchen sink while staring out the window wondering what the me in the parallel universe stepped in this morning…

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Spencer The Fearless

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spencer the fearless

He looks brave, doesn’t he?

It was one of those days. I woke up knowing it was one of those days. Truth be told, I wake up every day knowing it’s one of those days. I just never know what is going to happen to make it one of those days.

I get up and remind the kid to let the dogs out. I remind the other kid to feed the dogs. Then I yell at the dogs for good measure and out the door I go to take the kids to school. This particular day, I come home and start working on the hor d’oeuvres for that evening. I volunteered to make hors d’oeuvres for our local theater company’s open night. Silly me. The dogs do not like it when I cook because they are barred from the kitchen which is their favorite place to be what with all the food falling or just sitting idly on counters waiting to be stolen.

Anyway, the kids come home. I drop one off to a friend’s house and come home to continue my hors d’oeuvres crafting. I pop the stuffed mushrooms in the oven and run the two younger kids to karate. I come back and I notice there is smoke coming from the oven. This isn’t the most unusual thing I have ever seen, so I just wait and watch. I open the oven door and smoke rolls out in great waves. But being a relatively mellow person, I simply shut the oven door again and wait. For what I am not yet sure.

I do this open and close with the oven door a few more times and my anxiety level starts to rise as does the smoke level in the kitchen. I start to get nervous about the fire alarm going off because it is connected to my security system and I don’t remember any passwords or numbers to
punch in. I have no idea what I will do if it…..SHIT! The alarm goes off!!!!

Now, the sensible thing for me to do would have been to shut the oven off. But who can be sensible when there is this nuclear bell ringing and the dogs have broken down the barricade and are now practically up my butt. I run to the key pad and start punching in random numbers….nothing. Except now Spencer has started pawing at my thighs as if that will help me to shut the alarm off.

My leg is bleeding and the alarm is going off, the smoke is still happening, and the phone is ringing. I run into the dark living room to the only phone that is currently working. The dogs are both trying to hang on to my legs as I run. Worse than scared children. I am tripping and kicking them as I go.

I answer the phone and it is the securities lady. I can’t hear her with the alarm going off, but I manage to give her my password and I hear her say something about a code I can punch in and that the fire department has already been dispatched. I thank her, hang up, turn around and step right in a HUGE pile of dog poop compliments of Spencer the fearless.

I go hopping back into the kitchen with the dogs still trying to jump into my arms. I punch in the code and the main alarm stops. I still have the voice saying “Fire. First floor. Oven” and it won’t shut up. That’s just humiliating. I am still not sure if it was a voice in my head or if it was coming from the alarm system. It very well may have been Spencer.

I hop over to the sink and scrub my foot off. I finally shut the oven off and
open the windows. I grab plastic bags and walk back to where the poop is
waiting, cleaning up all the little turds along the way. I do this with a
quickness as the fire department could be there any second!! At this point,
Spencer has given up on me and is trying to save himself. He is at the backdoor, on his hind legs trying to punch through the glass. Emma, the good dog, is sitting between me and Spencer waiting to see which one of us will survive and then she will decide where her loyalties lie.

I check the time and see I am now 10 minutes late picking up the kids from
karate. So, I leave a note on the front door : Hi Firemen, Nothing on fire here. Went to pick up kids. Be right back!! Spencer gave up trying to bust out the glass and is now concentrating on the door knob, cursing his lack of thumbs.

I get back and still no firemen. It had been over 20 minutes at that point. I am hoping that the security lady canceled them and it wasn’t personal thing (it’s a small town, you never know). Now, with all of this commotion, I am scattered. I have to regroup and figure out what I need to get done so that I can get these hors d’oeuvres to the show. What needs to be kept warm and what needs to be kept cold on the 45 minute ride to the theater. On a good day this is difficult because I have to think ahead so that Spencer doesn’t nab my food on the way out the door.

And he is still trying to escape the house. I am walking things from the fridge to the car, and he is trying his damnedest to push past me and get out. He’s such a drama queen. The smoke had cleared, the alarm was off. But he insists on acting the part of scared dog. He doesn’t know when to quit.

Meanwhile, my mean cat Cecelia, who has been gone for 4 days, shows up at the door. Cecelia is the meanest cat alive and no one understands why I keep her. But this is why. When my dog, who is supposed to be my best friend and loyal to the end is confronted with a bit of smoke and a fire alarm, he poops knowing I will step in it with my bare feet and then tries to break down the back door and save himself. Cecelia, on the other hand, who will never allow us to pet her, or even look at her, hears the alarm and decides she best come home and see if there is anything she can do for us.

Nature vs. nurture. Spencer has withdrawn his application for fire dog as of
yesterday.

Dear Diary, It’s A Lovely day In The Neighborhood

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This is why I can't pay my bills.

This is why I can’t pay my bills.

Except that it is 11 degrees, the snow has melted to reveal the massive amounts of dog poop on my front walk and I jammed my ring finger toe on the step stool in the bathroom. Let’s begin with the 11 degrees thing…

It’s March. It’s the end of March. This should be sweatshirt weather. Instead, we are still hunting for hats and mittens. One of the perks of living where I live is the changing seasons. So, when winter decides to not leave when it is supposed to we feel jipped. Or maybe righteously pissed off is a better phrase. But it has been sunny! Which has helped all the snow to melt. Which means the dog poop is all exposed.

See, it has been so cold that my kid has been just opening the front door and letting the dog do his thing while she stands inside. So, “his things” are all over my front walk. This was a non issue when we had snow covering it up. I have to wonder about the food I feed this dog. I feed him the higher end stuff that supposedly has no chemicals or fillers… then why the hell doesn’t his poop disintegrate? If the sun is strong enough to melt the snow and ice, I have to conclude that it should be warm enough to melt the poop.

The mail lady left a note in my box that I had to go to the post office to get the mail because the front walk wasn’t shoveled. I think that is just a nice way of telling me she doesn’t want to walk through the mine field of  dog turds. I don’t blame her. I also am not going to the post office to get my mail because, why bother? I’m not going to make an effort to go collect bills and collection agency notices and bounced check alerts. It’s just depressing.

So, let’s look at this in the positive. It’s March and 11 degrees which means I don’t have to look at my fat arms in a tank top for at least another two months and the dog poop has successfully kept all of my bills at bay! Really, what do I have to complain about? Nothing!

Except my toe. How does it happen that you see the step stool, you are walking in what you deem (at 41 years of age, having at least 40 years of walking experience) a reasonable distance from the step stool and yet you pick up your foot, sort of lift it up behind you and then SLAM it into the stool you are looking RIGHT AT. How does that happen? Of course it is the most pain I have ever experience in my life including child birth and the canker sore.

Now I am not one of those high drama people like my bff who sounds like she just discovered a dead body when she stubs her toe. No, I am more of an immediately violent person. I want to smack someone and I spill swear words that even I have never heard before. Then I walk it off, laughing because I don’t want to cry. What the hell is that about? It’s like biting my tongue. I have had the same tongue in the same place for 41 years. How the hell can I accidentally bite it. And bite it so hard it bleeds. Or missing the last step of the staircase in the house where you have lived for 8 years. Same amount of stairs, nothing has moved and at least once a month I just forget that there is that last step and give myself a minor heart attack.

All in all, I suppose it’s not a horrible day. Then again, it’s only mid-afternoon.

Sometimes I get water up my nose in the shower through my eye. That is never as fun as it sounds like it would be.

This is what the first day of spring looked like here. It looks like bullshit to me.

This is what the first day of spring looked like here. It looks like bullshit to me.

Dear Diary, Day of Maniac Mass Murderer

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Edward Fork Fingers might protect me from maniac mass murderers. Of he might just hold my cell phone while I sleep, which is also helpful...

Edward Fork Fingers might protect me from maniac mass murderers. Of he might just hold my cell phone while I sleep, which is also helpful…

Ya know how you run down the stairs, holding your boobs so they don’t hit you in the eye (or in my case get stepped on) and then you skate through the livingroom into the kitchen to check to see if your footbag is done heating up? And while you are skating, you are still holding your boobs because you’re a girl and that is what you do. But then, you feel eyes on you and you slowly turn towards the back door, still holding your boobs because you can and there stands some man looking at you through the door? Ya know how that happens????? So, you back up into the stove, still holding your boobs and trying to think of what to do…what to do…

When I was a little kid I always had a plan on what to do if a maniac mass murderer broke in and tried to kill me. What I would do would be to grab as many of my cats as I could and just throw them at the maniac mass murderer. I had already explained and apologized to the cats. They were ok with it. After all, he wasn’t after them, he was after me…except my stalker…he wanted my cats in the worst way.

Anyway, there were no cats in the vicinity. I figured I was just going to die. And you know what flashed through my mind? That I wasted all that time and money on junk food and cheese which I thought was going to kill me slowly. Damn it all if I had known I was going to go at the hands of some maniac mass murderer I would have eaten healthier.

And then, he knocked. The maniac mass murderer knocked!!!! So civilized. So, I let go of my boobs and slowly went to the door…to find a guy who I had dated a while ago, standing there, sort of swaying. Still, with the caliber of men I date, he could most definitely be here to kill me. I asked him what he wanted, he said he wanted his shoes back. I explained I had given them away 6 months ago. He seemed very sad about that. He asked to come in. I said no. And he shrugged and left.

I watched him get in his car and drive out of the driveway from my kitchen window. Then I skated into the livingroom, holding my boobs again, to watch him drive down the road. THAT was a close call!!!!!!!

I skating everywhere because I have hardwoods and I have my jogging pants pulled down over my feet like Gumby…so, I can skate. I’ve been doing it all my life. I am ready for the 2015 In House Winter Olympics.

So, after all that excitement, I got my footbag and came upstairs and told my cat that she is safe… for now…

Heartburn is keeping me warm tonight.

I despise hanging up my clothes in my closet.

Don't let her snuggly little face fool you. If I launched her AT you, she would kill you before you could say meow mix.

Don’t let her snuggly little face fool you. If I launched her AT you, she would kill you before you could say meow mix.

On Becoming 41

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19 not thinking about 41

19 not thinking about 41

So I have been 41 for a whole 2 days. It feels pretty shitty. But I am chalking that up to having the worst head cold in the history of head colds. Or maybe this is just how 41 feels. Sort of runny and sore and watery and stuffed up.

I’ve got a year of being 40 under my belt…and a little over my belt. In the year I was 40, I dated some very lovely men. I dated an asshole or two but that is sort of the story of my life. I lost only one person whom I love, but I know where she lives now so I guess she isn’t truly lost. That’s a bonus as I have lost a loved one every single year for many years now.

I tried, I failed. I bet I succeeded but I can’t think of how or at what off the top of my head. I made some new friends, made some friends closer friends and lost some close friends to the abyss of mis-communication. I have lost more memories, I have gained more common sense. I have lost patience, tolerance and love. I have gained acceptance for myself and for others.

I think I would very much like to travel but I know I don’t want to continue traveling alone. I put my house up for sale and then took it down. I stayed put. I went to The City more often than I have since I was a teenager and I enjoyed every single second of every single trip…even the trip where I had the stomach bug, the one where I had to drive over a bridge and the one where I drove down and back in one day by myself. I went to Boston which is my new fav place to go. I went to the ocean alot and I want to go alot more.

I have not found my birth family. But I don’t think they are looking for me. And most days I can’t think of what I would say to them anyway. I look at my daughters who are the only people in the whole world I am related to and wonder…besides me, who do they look like, who do they sound like, laugh like…I guess they look and sound exactly like themselves.

But being 41 means thinking in new ways of new things that I didn’t have to consider when I was 39. 41 means growing up. It means stop being silly and start becoming witty. It means dating sophisticated men or not dating at all. It means witnessing my mother turning into HER mother and knowing that despite my very best efforts, turning into my mother is beginning to seem like a very comfortable idea.

I hear my biological clock ticking which was a great surprise…I thought it was going to run out soundlessly and gracefully…then I remembered I’m me. Nothing I do is graceful or soundless. I have had wicked tortured thoughts of another baby…just one more…for what reason? None. For who? I’m not sure. It is a strange and maddening longing that I don’t believe, but it is definitely there. And I know I am not alone in these feelings. Instead, I will concentrate on having a rock solid body or maybe getting a Lifestyle Lift.

Watching my kids turn into teenagers which is interesting and very frustrating. At 41, I am not that far away from 19…or 15 …or 11 for that matter. But they think I am. Officially uncool. Un-consulted. Uninvited. At least they have each other. I would like a parade and a day taken in my honor for giving them each other…but they don’t see it as anything special. I see it as the most incredible thing I have ever done, will ever do. Kids ppfftt…

So, day 3 of being 41 will bring a trip to the mall with the kids to see a movie which is my only form of escape, and dinner out because I still don’t cook. Maybe the dog will get a walk, maybe I will feel well. Maybe I will not think of the people I love and what may happen so that I lose them too, sooner rather than later. Maybe I will figure out a way to keep us afloat financially for one more day. Maybe 41 will be the year? Or not. Regardless, I am no longer sad. I have no expectations which frees me up to appreciate every single little joy that crosses my path.

I don’t think I ever thought about where I would be when I was in my 40’s. It was a pretty unclear forecast. I used to make plans…lists and dreams…but those things seem so trivial and small now. Now I just wait to see what the day will bring because I know that tomorrow is not a guarantee and should never be taken for granted and should always be held in reverence….

I lost all of the people I loved, I lost my home, my child, my family and myself but being 40 has given me new family, new children to love as the ones I lost and a home that makes me feel. And feeling at 41 is not as easy as it sounds. Everything around here is getting older…including me. Now I grow my hair to shocking lengths and get on with learning something new and loving someone new and going somewhere new. Or I will revel in the sameness of my every day existence and find the joy in the children becoming independent people riding out to find their own paths.

Or maybe I will invest in the arm gurtels I saw on tv and stage a comeback of my early 20’s!!! Or maybe I will just get another cat. That sounds alot less exhausting…

41 still thinking about being 19...

41 still thinking about being 19…

Spencer And The Snowstorm

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Happy Mutts

Happy Mutts

We got over a foot and a half of snow last night. Spencer is about a foot and a
half tall. So, when I let him out this morning he went sledding down the back
stairs and belly flopped into the snow where he was immediately covered by the
avalanche from the roof because I slammed the door. Oh it was funny!!! I laughed
and laughed at him!! He crawled out and walked in a circle 3 times and then
stood still. I assume he was peeing but all I could see of him was his head and
the top of his back. He may have just been contemplating the best revenge for me
laughing at him.

I was all ready to start snow blowing. I was still in my PJ’s but I had on my
scarf, hat, gloves and boots. I knew this was not going to be a fun project. My
car was buried and my driveway is on an incline. And it is single wide meaning
that only one car can fit down or up the driveway. I do have a turn around area.
I knew I would have to snowblow the turn around also because there was no way I
could back up and out of the driveway. Ok, so, now I was procrastinating,
wondering how a plow guy could do it…where I should start…wondering if my
neighbors will totally laugh at me snow blowing in my PJ’s and wondering if I
care if they do….Meanwhile, Spencer is doing his damndest to get back up the
stairs.

To his credit, he was trying to dig around where he thought the stair was. He
knew that I was going to be of NO help as I stood there giggling at him. He was
mumbling under his breath as he dug. But really, it’s not like he was going to
put his superior digging skills to use for MY sake. He was not going to help me
dig out the car. He finally realized that he does not have the ability to stand
on one stair and dig on the next, so he starts barking at me.

I did all the dumb things I did when he got himself stuck upstairs. I tried
encouraging him, I tried dragging him, I thought about trying to carry him. I
was trying to avoid shoveling. I had to have a goal if I was going to get thru
this snow hell and my goal was to not use a shovel, only the snow blower.
Spencer was not going to ruin my goal before I even got started. Who’s the
evolved one here? I went up the stairs kicking snow out of the way, now both of
us are muttering under our breath.

Spencer is back inside now and Emma, the smartest one in the family, had refused
to come out at all. She rather pee on the rug than slide down the stairs. Who
can blame her, really? Ok, now I am ready to snow blow. First task was to find
the snow blower which was buried completely under all the snow. I started
kicking and digging around where I think I had left it. Score! And it starts!!
So far so good! But this is really wet, heavy snow and I kept getting stuck. As
I have no upper body strength, I have to put my hips into it, with a rocking
motion. I am sure this looks like some fetish video. Being in my PJ’s with an
assortment of winter accessories on I think makes the entire thing hysterical.
Now, I am snow blowing, getting stuck, doing my snow blower dance and laughing
hysterically by myself.Oh and talking to the snow blower. It started stalling
out so I would then say “Come ON! You’re a snow blower, this is what you DO!
What you were built for!! You can do it! It’s your moment to shine!!!” It
crossed my mind to actually cross the street to the neighbors to see if they
were finding this as funny as I was…

I got one pass done and I turn around and there is Spencer, pooping on the
cleared 1 foot by 1 foot area of driveway. I was astonished to see him
there,looking right at me, pooping where I had just snow blowed. And he was
laughing too. Like that was his revenge. Whatever. I kept going which kind of
scared him. He didn’t know which way to go. He knew I was watching so he
shouldn’t go up the driveway, but that was really the only way to go as I hadn’t
snowblowed anything else yet. He turned in a few circles and then went up the
stairs and ran through the door, which had blown open. I was still laughing at
the hilarity of the situation. Me and my goofiness and Spencer and his choice of
space to poop. Ha ha ha!

My second thought was “I better remember the poop is there because I don’t want
to step in it or snow blow it and have poopcicles fly all over the yard. That
would be just my luck! That is what happened every time I used the weed wacker!!
Oh spring…I can’t wait till…POOP!!!!” And yes, not only had I snow blowed the
fresh poop, but then I stepped in it. Just in case you had ever wondered, dog
poop smell overpowers exhaust fumes. And apparently chilled fresh dog poop stick
to boots better than even room temperature dog poop. Pretty sure I didn’t
needed to know that. Spencer’s revenge was sweet, in a sense. No kids, that is NOT
chocolate snow…..

He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Dog

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Who's the manipulator here????

Who’s the manipulator here????

Most Sunday mornings I am on our local Native American land at a meeting. When the weather is nice, we sit outside in a circle, enjoying nature. The Rez  is a beautiful place. Our meeting is held on school grounds so there is a building, a field and surrounding woods for miles. We see hawks and deer and dogs. Lots of dogs. We have had dogs wander into our circle and bask in the love. We have had a mama trailing puppies who stopped to nurse right in the middle of our circle. I think it’s pretty neat stuff.

This morning, I sat down on the damp grass and looked out across the mowed field to the edge of the forest. About 2 acres away from where I was sitting was a dog, a perfect looking Husky. Perfect coloring and tail, standing as if he was guarding something a little deeper in the clump of trees. I shifted my gaze and saw some movement. I couldn’t really make out what it was exactly that was moving so slightly. I squinted and strained but all I could make out was a reddish shape and a blondish shape. I stared for a few more minutes willing myself to be able to see what the shape was. I was trying to force my brain to make sense of what I was seeing.

So, my brain said it was a reddish dog having puppies and a blondish goat standing behind it. That didn’t make a whole lotta sense.I had never seen a wild goat on the Rez…then again, what do I know? The shapes started to move a bit more. This was after about 10 minutes of them moving but basically in place. I was concentrating so hard on trying to figure out what the heck was going on in this clump of trees with these animals I think I drooled a little. Thinkin is hard work sumtimes.

After about 20 minutes I could finally make out that it was two dogs…butt to butt…and the reddish one seemed to be pushing the blondish one…like the blondish one was facing up the hill and the reddish one was facing down the hill and the reddish one was backing up as the blondish one was moving forward…what????? This made even less sense than a dog giving birth with a goat in attendance as like a midwife type role…So, this is going on and the husky is just watching from the sidelines. Now, my first thought is Oh NO! These poor dogs have been tied together, maybe their back legs…maybe some mean kid did it or maybe the dogs found some handcuffs and were playing and accidentally handcuffed themselves together…I’ve seen that happen in cartoons…

My second thought was the husky was going to try to eat them because they were sick and dying or had been hit and crawled off to die….And as the two slowly disappeared into the woods, the husky followed and I sat there and thinking about the circle of life, of what I know about dogs, about Emma and Spencer and their natural decline, about how a goat could survive in the wild or if there might be a goat gang living deep in the forest and how they might be harassing the homeless dogs. Goat gangs in Upstate NY…I haven’t heard that covered on NPR…

I saw some movement on the other side of the wooded clump and out trounced the reddish dog…up the hill and into the forest proper. More movement and there was the husky, butt to butt with the blondish dog pushing it up the hill. The husky took over for the reddish dog! About 10 minutes into it, the husky stood still, the blondish dog laid down and the husky went back into the clump. The blondish dog laid there, looking around, watching a big hawk fly over head.

I was stunned, I could not believe what I was seeing. I was so wrong in my assumption, in the story I was telling myself! The poor blondish dog needed help! Blondish dog was obviously old or sick or hurt. Reddish dog took the first shift, going butt to butt to help blondish dog though the small clump of trees and small hill. Then the husky took over and helped blondish dog up the steeper hill, butt to butt the same way the reddish dog had done. Poor poor blondish dog!!! But how lucky blondish dog was to have two such wonderful friends!!! What a heartwarming thing to observe. Nature, not being cruel or harsh, but being kind and gentle! So, as I sat there and marveled at the determination of the husky and reddish dog and grieved for the obviously sick blondish dog and wonder if maybe I was wrong about the goats being a mean gang and possibly being like nurses who could take care of poor blondish dog….the huskey came galloping out of the clump, and stoped next to blondish dog, Blondish dog got to his feet, huskey went ahead up the hill in a jog. Poor blondish dog…ditched by both of his friends. They were probably sick of pushing him up hills…blondish dog can’t count on anyone ever….blondish dog is probably crying, (I can’t tell because I am too far away, but I just have a feeling) WAIT! LOOK AT THIS!!!! Blondish dog is UP…blondish dog is trotting up the hill all on her own!!!!! Oh happy day!!! It’s a miracle!!!

No, it’s not a miracle. Blondish dog is a faker. Blondish dog is simply lazy and had manipulated his friends into butt pushing him through woods and up hills. Blondish dog is a total jerk!

Moral of the story: Never butt push someone up a hill who doesn’t absolutely need it.

Or maybe the moral is : Never assume to know the story from a distance.

Or possibly : Goat gangs exist.