Tag Archives: love

Dear Diary, Day 1,467…

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I love my kid. We can be judgey together and we are always right.

I love my kid. We can be judgey together and we are always right.

I’m still alive. The snow is falling like my hopes of finding a suitable husband before I retire. I have been locked in this house of cat hair and children for the past 18 hours. No chips, no dip, no massage therapist. It’s the closest to hell that I have ever been. How do people survive like this? Heathens and snowmobilers are the only ones equipped  to deal. This might just be the end, my friends…not sure how much longer I can hold on….

I woke up, checked my email, saw that all the schools in all the land were cancelled for today because of snow. Went back to sleep. Woke up again at 10 am. I haven’t slept in past 9am since I was a baby. I got up, feeling like a big ole pile of shitballs, woke up the children and had them walk down to the donut shop to get me breakfast so I didn’t die of feeling like crappola. Bonus : they took the dog with them. And just so y’all don’t think I am the meanest  mom in the whole world, the donut shop is about a half a block from our house and it wasn’t really snowing much at 10am. I am only the second meanest mom in the whole world, tops.

The 15 year old asked if her boyfriend could  come over and I scanned the livingroom and sighed and said “yessssss”. So, she went to take a shower. I sat there on the couch with the dog, changing my perspective on the cat hair that is so thick on the back of the couch that I could probably convince people it is actually a blanket that I picked up on my travels to the Himalayas. That is my story and I am sticking to it like the cat hair sticks to the throw pillows.

As the kids were going out the front door to run up to our neighbor- who- does- our- plowing-‘s house, he swung into our driveway to plow! My 10 year old went up to his truck with money clenched in her mittened fist and he wouldn’t accept it! It was a freebie today!!! Wow…I love where I live. The kids came back in and were picking up the house in anticipation of the  boyfriend  arriving when we heard someone shoveling our front walk! It was my other neighbor, my new neighbor! Not only did he shovel out my front walk but he went to town on the ice wall that had built up right in front of the door that makes opening the storm door all the way impossible.  I have the best neighbors ever. Later, after more snow blanketed us in cold, white hell, he shoveled AGAIN. My neighbors rule.

The boyfriend came. I immediately had the 15 year old and the boyfriend walk into town to pick up take out from one of my fav restaurants. Having children was the best idea I ever had. The boyfriend is a terrific kid. When the boyfriend comes over I am relegated to my bedroom. We have a small house now and as much as I enjoy the 15 year old and the boyfriend, I do not enjoy the chick flick the 15 year old will inevitably force the boyfriend to watch. He is gracious about such things, I am an asshole about such things. I accept this about myself and go hide in my bedroom leaving them the good tv.

The snow is still piling up. If we survive this snoacolypse I swear I will never again mock winter by wearing my sneakers instead of my boots.

Girls compete with each other.

Women empower one another.

Old ladies measure you for bras at departments stores.

All natural beefpork. So, is that a picture of a cowpig?

All natural beefpork. So, is that a picture of a cowpig?

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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…

Little Black Dress + Gorilla Glue Duct Tape = 50 Shades Of Ow

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So this past weekend an old friend got married. Ok, we aren’t old, but we have known each other for many years….well, not many years because that would make us old. You know what I mean. We did theater together as teens and were both part of the punk scene. I love this guy! He is funny and stunningly beautiful and kind and talented. And he’s my friend. I am so lucky to have the coolest friends in the whole world. I know this. For many years I put my friends aside, not that I wanted to but because my attention was forced to be elsewhere. Despite my dysfunctions, when I got free, my friends were right there, along with a whole bunch of new friends.

Look! No duct tape involved....

Look! No duct tape involved….

This weekend was the first time in years and years and years that I have traveled sans children! I was SO EXCITED!!!! I drove to Albany then took the train to Penn Station, met my girlfriend who I was staying with and who was my date to the wedding!! I felt so grown UP!!! Just like I used to when I was a teen who would hop in the car and drive to where ever whenever. Or check the bus schedule and take off to another state or jump on a plane with my Walkman and dramamine….When I had kids and got married that all stopped. We traveled but it was with kids ofcourse.

I packed lightly, a couple of dresses and shoes to choose from. Silly because I totally knew which dress I wanted to wear to the wedding. One that I had bought but really was never going to have an opportunity to wear it cause it is rather funky. But this wedding called for funky. I was going to be with friends who actually remember me when I had half a head of hair and combat boots and dressing up meant a prom gown from the 50’s and Converse. But this dress has an issue (ofcourse it does).

Let me explain, the dress is black, with a tight, spandex-y tank dress underneath that comes to mid-thigh and a very sheer overlay that comes to above the knee in the front and longer in the back. It’s really a great dress. But like I said, funkier than what would be expected of this single mom of three daughters in my little world. And….it rides up. Yeah, like…way up. There is no bending over in this dress which wasn’t going to be a problem as I had no kids with me. Kids are usually the reason moms have to bend over. BUT, walking also makes the dress rise. And dancing. And breathing. And standing still. Ok, so obviously I need some duct tape.

I ask my girlfriend and she runs down the 4 flights to her friend who owns this super cool Japanese antique store just next door. She comes back with packing tape and Gorilla Glue duct tape. I choose the Gorilla Glue duct tape because it was black and Gorilla Glue is superior so their duct tape will probably be also. I fold the tape over on itself and stick it to the side of my bare thigh and then stick the dress to the tape. I do the same on the other leg. It isn’t really working as well as I thought it would. So, I do a piece on the back of my thigh. Hhmmm….well, even though it isn’t really working to keep my dress down I just leave it because well, because I THOUGHT it was a good idea and I am just not willing to give up on my theory. Meanwhile, my girlfriend and I are deciding what she is going to wear, checking jewelry and shoes and doing our hair. We look good. Her boyfriend offered to drive us to the event! Score!!!

We totter down the four flights of stairs in our highest heels and plop into his car. At this point I am sort of bummed that my tape idea wasn’t really working but I figure it is night time, no one is going to notice or care if my “mom” panties are showing are a little. Maybe they will think it’s a new cool trend (yeah…for 40 year old single moms who NEVER leave the house…cool “trend” Lady) My girlfriend and I renewed our long standing promise (me:you tell me if my panties show! her: yup. You tell me if my boobs are hanging out) A promise we made and have kept for over 25 years now.

I'm actually glued to my seat here...I would like to say it is in anticipation of this incredible union of souls...but mostly it is because of the damn duct tape....

I’m actually glued to my seat here…I would like to say it is in anticipation of this incredible union of souls…but mostly it is because of the damn duct tape….

We get to the venue and as I get out of the car I realize the heat from my leg and the pressure from sitting on the duct tape has activated the Gorilla Glue and it is stuck! MY PLAN WORKED!!! HA HA HA!!!! I AM A GENIUS!!!!! Except…wait….when I sat down in the car, the dress rode up, as did the tape and now it is stuck just below my ass. Oh this is bad. It is really bad. You can SEE the under dress and the hem is down in the front and WAY UP in the back. I look like…well….like I have stuck my dress to my butt. EMERGENCY!! EMERGENCY!! I grab my girlfriend and as we are standing on the sidewalk outside the venue, I pull up the sheer overlay dress and say “Do it.” She looks at me, I look at her and we know. This is going to hurt. Alot. I have basically superglued my dress to the bare skin just under my ass. As I am standing there with my dress hiked up and my best friend ready to rip it off of my leg, I realize that this is my life. This has always been my life. I am friends with women who would have never thought to duct tape their dress to their leg. Some of them would have actually bought special skin tape to do it and some would have never tried to wear the dress in the first place. But me? Me I wear the dress, with the Gorilla Glue duct tape, and I know that not only will my girlfriend will rip it off fast, but that my friends inside will not judge me on my duct taped dress. Hell,  my friends actually used to have  entire wardrobes made out of duct tape no doubt. We are a very creative bunch.

She rips, I cry. I was shocked at how bad it hurt! I think I am going to need a skin graph….luckliy it wasn’t bleeding. And then we start giggling because really, who would have thought we would be standing on a sidewalk in the middle of Brooklyn, going to our dear friend’s wedding, with my skirt hiked up and her ripping duct tape off my ass…If anyone had told us this is where we would be 25 years ago we probably would have…..believed them….

Best friends have rules. We tell each other if boobs are hanging out, if underwear is showing, if we have something in our teeth, if we have a booger, and if we have lost the plot….new rule: friends never let friends use duct tape in inappropriate places on their body. Now we know.

I swear, I can't take me anywhere...

I swear, I can’t take me anywhere…

 

Spencer Goes To The Dog Wash

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A new dog wash opened in a town a few miles from where I live. I was so excited when I saw this!! It is a dog/car wash. This sounds like the perfect solution to all of my dog washing issues. Neither Emma nor Spencer fit in the stand up shower, and it costs me 150 bucks to have them shaved. So, off to the dog wash we go!

dog wash sign

I pile Emma and Spencer into the car and which sounds like the easy part. Emma has to walk around the car at least 3 times before attempting the jump into the back seat. Sometimes she can’t decide which side of the backseat she wants to sit. I don’t see how it matters at all as she always ends up on the floor. I try the driver’s side back door…no go. The passenger side…nope. Back to the driver’s side…uh, no. Back to the passenger side…maybe….um…ok. And she’s in. Spencer gets his front paws onto the door jam and waits for one of us to lift his hind end into the car. It took me a few minutes to catch on to the fact that he was actually waiting for the rear end lift. He’s too proud to ask outright. I boost his butt into the car and he gets up on the seat waiting for me to roll down the window.

Emma is laying on the floor and Spencer is swaying with every turn of the car, knocking his head against the sides of the window. Every so often he falls on top of Emma and then steps all over her getting back up onto the seat. It’s just loads of fun.

dog wash shadow

We get there, to the dog wash, and unload. I didn’t know what to expect, but as I walk into the small room, I am so impressed!! It’s like what the real dog groomers use!!! A ramp, to a shallow tray that is waist-high, a hose that is connected to a machine that will do shampoo (oatmeal, flea and tick, or tearless) conditioner, fragrance and rinse. Then there is another hose that is a blow dryer!!! And yet another hose that is a vacuum with a comb attached so that you can actually vacuum the hair and water off the dog!!! So far, I am thinking that whoever devised this ingenious set up should be running the country!

I have seen the dogs on tv do this sort of thing….the run right up the ramp and then stand patiently as they are suds up and hosed down. Spencer immediately knows I am up to no good. He turns right around and stands patiently waiting for someone to open the door and let him out of this insanity. I turn him back around and try to encourage him to go up the ramp. Yeah, that’s not happening. Ramp walking is some sort of special skill that Spencer does not have. So, I help him. I put his front paws onto the ramp,and his backend immediately falls down. This is going to be a two person job, just getting him into the bath area. I grab the front, my kid grabs the back and we lift him onto the bath table. Spencer was amazed. He though for sure he was going to get out of this without getting bathed.spencer getting washed

Let the bathing begin! I even heard of a cool new trick where if you hold a dog’s snout they won’t shake!! I am totally feeling like a professional now!spencer getting washed 2

And on to the rinse….he is enjoying this, really…this is his happy face.spencer getting washed 3

The best part in my opinion (not necessarily Spencer’s) is the blow dry! Imagine, no wet dog smell!!!spencer getting washed 4

He is looking so handsome! And the best part is all of this washing and drying takes 8 minutes and costs 5 dollars!!!! Oh happy day! No more stinky mutts!!!

I think he looks devine…he thinks he has been through hell and he is NOT in the mood for picturesspencer not amused

Now, Emma has been watching this entire process. You would think she would have understood that she would also have to climb the ramp and get suds up, rinsed off and blown dry. Alas, Emma was simply enjoying watching the entertainment that is Spencer.

Giggling quietly to herself….

As we lift Emma up to the bath, I realize that maybe there is some merit to agility training. Time to get soapy Em! How come I always get stuck with the undercarriage?emma getting washed

And a rinse…emma wash 2

And the blow dry….emma getting dried

Over all, it was a good day at the dog wash!!! And we even made some new  friends!!! dog wash friend 2dog wash friends

Spencer Goes To A Birthday Party

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spencer goes to a birthday party He’s looking for the cake…

If any of you are doubting the truth of my stories of Spencer, I now have witnesses. I had my annual Holiday/birthday party for the kids. Lots of people, LOTS of kids and LOTS AND LOTS of food. Spencer was in heaven with the whole kid/food combination. I warned everyone who came in about Spencer and his thieving, and Cecelia and her sneak attacks. I told Spencer stories and he layed there basking in the attention…

Children love Spence. He is huge and smelly and awkward and very funny and he farts. He’s like a clown dog. And he tolerates little kids trying to ride him or crawl on him. He loves it. Rub his tummy and he smiles…teeth and all. But all the while, he is keeping one eye on any dropped or unattended food. He casually walks by the garbage can and takes a peek, snatches the plate of cake and walks on into the living room to eat while enjoying the tree and the little kids playing. Now if he could just get someone to bring him his smoking jacket and pipe he would be all set sitting regally on the blue velvet sofa. Ass.

As I am standing in the kitchen talking with a friend, behind me Spencer is unattended in the dining room. And in front of at least 5 other people, Spencer takes a HUGE wedge of cake off a plate that was on the table and inhaled it. My friend tried to warn me. She pointed and yelled “DOG!! FOOD!!” and that was all she could get out before the cake was gone. The other guests were amazed at the gracefulness. He didn’ knock the plate off the table. They were impressed with his technique. That’s when he knew he had them all in the palm of his paw. Now he knew that they would bow down to honor him and treat him with the much lack respect previously afforded to such a funny fat smelly mutt. And he sashayed away with attitude…until he took one step on to the laminate flooring and his entire back end went down. And he kind of crawled/dragged himself to the rug, hoisted himself up, shook it off and turned left into the family room where he slid on his belly all the way to the couch. Impressed all the guests. But also made them feel compassion for this dog who is obviously on his last legs. He’s like a movie star past his prime but thinking he’s still got it.

Now, after the party I was cleaning up and putting away all the food. I took the garbage outside, did the dishes, wiped down the counters and let Spence catch the crumbs. After all, he put on a good show. But I either accidental left the fridge ajar or Spencer has another cool new trick. When I got up the next morning, all of my chicken wing dip was gone, half of a cheesecake, carton of eggnog pierced and spilled all over the floor. All of the saran wrap that I had used to cover the food was gone. And I haven’t seen it yet. And I kinda hope I never do.

So added to the list of Spencer tricks is refrigerator opening. I have to think he could be a very useful mutt. He could be trained to help people (lazy people like myself) Work for his meals. But his compulsion is so grand he wouldn’t be able to get me a snack without eating the entire thing before actually getting it to me.

I sat him down and explained the state of our economy and how it coincides with the diet that the vet wants to put him on. See I have no money to buy dog food and he needs to eat less. Serendipity!!

And for Christmas morning I will give him the gift of my grandmother’s cereal bowl for his new food portions and he will most likely give me back the saran wrap, used twice. We love each other and really think about a thoughtful gift for the Holiday. And if I am truly as loved as I think I am, he will leave it right where I will step in it with my bare feet. It’s love, dysfunctional love, but love none the less.

Spencer Goes to a BBQ

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spencer goes to a bbq
his “Westminster” pose…doesn’t LOOK like he’d be licking random grease traps does he?

It’s summer. Spencer is 13 years old. He has cloudy eyes and selective hearing. He has ruined every single one of my antique oriental rugs and now he’s working on ruining the hardwoods. He needs a full time nurse to help him wipe when he poops. And he cannot walk on the hardwoods because they are actually laminate and he just belly flops and can’t get up. Yeah, that’s my dog…He’s fallen and he can’t get up. Real funny except in the middle of the night when he falls in his own pee AND poop and then can’t get up. Cold showers at 3am but not for the same reason as they used to be.

I have made many concessions for this mutt. I have rolled up the rugs. I have spent a small fortune on baby gates. I have invested in dog beds…that’s right, beds. Because he’s a picky sleeper. I have barricaded the stairs so he cannot go upstairs because he throws himself down the stairs and I know he will break a hip one of these days. Basically, he is now confined to one room. The fancy livingroom (which isn’t so fancy anymore minus the rugs and plus the pee and poop).

Last fall I had new storm doors installed. I had my heart set on the full length screen door but I knew that would be a major temptation for Spence. He has never seen a screen door that he didn’t plow through. Still, I talked myself into the full length, stupid expensive, screen door. In the winter, it was a full length glass door that Spencer left nose prints all over. I changed it out, put the screen in, bought yet another heavy duty baby gate to go in front of it and figured I was brilliant…or at least smarter than Spencer.

I was wrong. Oh so wrong. First of all, to get out of my front door, you had to open the door, then the baby gate, then the screen door,go through, while holding the screen door open but closing the baby gate and/or the door all the time yelling at Spencer to “GIT” because he is deaf and trying to escape. It’s a process. One which I am sure the neighbors enjoy watching. Anyway, I have to be vigilant as Spencer loves to roam and the street is busy and the neighbors don’t care for him pooping in their yard and going thru their garbage. I don’t blame them. I don’t like it either.

But Spencer has gotten old. So old that his fur never grew back from his last trip to the groomers last year. He is now a short haired dog with some long hairs here and there. Kinda like an old man with the nose/ear hair growth…He was really acting as if he wasn’t all that interested in escaping or even doing his routine where he does a dive roll through the screen door. The baby gate was pretty secure. I became complacent. I thought he was too old for his antics of yesteryear. Can I be any wronger?

P1050432Emma: I’m sorry. Me: for what? Emma: for having a dumb brother.

The other day we were out and about and I had left the front door open with the baby gate closed and the screen door locked. I got a text from my neighbor who lives 5 house down that Spencer had just come up for a visit and he walked him home and shut the door. WHAT???? How is that possible????? I got home and there is Emma laying in the backyard waiting patiently for someone to let her in. No one knew she had also escaped because she is smart and simply went to the backyard to wait for us to come home. She looked like she knew she was in trouble but she is kind of the asskisser of the pack and was already acting all contrite and remorseful. And what did she do with her time alone outside in the big wide world? Nothing. She waited for us in the backyard. Spencer on the other hand just HAD to go visiting. Lucky for him he decided to visit the guys who like him, or at least tolerate him.

So, exasperated, I close the front door. I am beaten, I give up. Spencer wins. I can’t have nice things. No antique rugs, no full length screen doors.Wait a second… wait one gosh darn second… I am the human here… I am the grown up… I am THE MOM!!! I say open the front door and live life!! That damn dog is not allowed to rule this house!!! And for a few days, I think he understands that I am in charge and what I say goes and I say he is NOT allowed to go THROUGH the screen door ever again! Yeah, he gets it. And just incase he doesn’t I shut the front door every time we leave the house.

All is well…until today. I open the door, I give my warning (which even I am sick of hearing) about not leaving the house, to which Spencer just rolls his rheumy eyes, and I go upstairs. I get a text from my neighbor UP the street that she just sent Spencer home and he is at the front door. WHAT???? I know deja vu right? I run down stairs yelling at the kids that Spencer is outside and I open the baby gate and the screen door, (which now is really just a frame of a door with some screen kind of hanging from the corner), fully expecting to find the arrogant mutt waiting. He’s not there! I send the 8 year old down the street, the 12 year old up the street and I go to the back yard. He couldn’t have gotten far. It had literally been possibly 15 seconds from my neighbor’s text to me arriving outside. No Spencer. No Spencer anywhere. After 15 minutes I start to get worried. He is kind of blind and sometimes deaf and the roads are busy. I know all he wants is food or better yet garbage or nirvana would be something big and dead to roll in…half and hour, still no Spencer. The 12 year old thinks she has picked up his trail as she found a steaming pile of poop right in the middle of the sidewalk around the corner and down about a half a block. At this point, I am driving around, alerting all the responsible dog owners who are out walking their well behaved dogs on leashes. Imagining the worst, that he has been hit by a car and is being taken by ambulance to the ER and that he is uninsured, I drive slower and yell louder. I don’t know why I am yelling because he only hears what he wants to but that is what dog owners in the movies do when their dog is lost.

About 45 minutes and at least 10 trips around the neighborhood, I pull in to the driveway and see that Emma and my 8 year old are sitting on the sidewalk and my 12 year old is walking toward my neighbor who has Spencer by the collar. Relief. I wanted to hug him and kick him all at the same time (Spencer that is, not my neighbor). My neighbor had been driving around looking also and he decided to go home and check his yard again when he saw Spencer’s butt in his next door neighbor’s yard. As he rounded the corner he caught Spence in the grease pan of their grill licking away as if it were his job. My neighbor introduced Spencer to the new neighbor, making sure that the new neighbor understood that Spencer was harmless albeit annoying and then he hauled my dumb dog home.

Spencer was in the mood for some barbeque. It is summer after all. Turd.

P.S. for all of you who may think that I don’t feed Spencer enough please refer to http://ellie072.wordpress.com/2010/03/09/spencer-the-addict/ which will give you an idea of what Spencer is, which is not underfed!

Spencer The Addict

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spencer the addict

They say we are only as sick as our secrets. I don’t know if this is his secret or mine….

Spencer spent the first 8 years of his life outside. When he was in, it was mainly in the mudroom. Then, he spent a year at my mother’s house in the village, where he accidently broke her knee, but that’s a story for a different day…. And when we moved in here, Spencer and Emma came home. They became suburban dogs. They began their transformation at my mother’s house where they had to learn to walk on leash and how to steal food off the counter rather than eat fish out of the creek. They developed a whole new set of skills. Emma eventually learned that she was now a kept dog and she would be fed and walked. She just had to be patient. Emma is a good, smart dog. Spencer is a fart.

Don’t misunderstand, Spencer always had a tendency toward theft. Even when we lived in the woods and he had his fill of critters, he would take every opportunity to steal people food. He did the typical “turkey pull” where the dog pulls the cooked turkey off the counter. The difference being, he pulled it down and swallowed the 14 pound bird whole. He may be part snake as his bottom jaw unhinges and he’s a sneaky, sometimes slimy mutt. I’m not kidding, for a 120 pounds, this dog is fast!!

Spencer eats anything and everything he can. He loves garbage, dead animals are his nirvana, and…. candy. He is a chocoholic. Every year we had an easter egg hunt with about 30 kids and their families. I made a huge ham dinner and I knew better than to let the dogs in the house. I put the 20 bags of candy in the mud room not knowing that Spencer was what he was which is insane. He ate 10 bags of easter candy tinfoil and all before I caught him. Of course, the entire world told me he would die, as chocolate is deadly to dogs in large quanties. What he whole world didn’t know was he is a Coon Hound Disease survivor so I figured he’d survive this too, if only by sheer stupidity and will power. At the same time, if the chocolate had killed him then, after taking care of his paralyzed ass for months on end, I would have been severely pissed. Luckly Spencer didn’t know that chocolate was poison. The only effect the chocolate had on Spence was a sugar high, followed by a sugar low and then alot of diarrhea. He likes to go all out on the holidays. Thank you Easter Bunny. Bawk Bawk!

Obviously from that day on, I knew there was no more being careless with food. Spencer had an addiction and me, being the codependent enabler I am, stepped right up to the challenge of keeping him sober or at least keeping him from eating us out of house and home. But for that year that he and Emma lived with my mother, I became lax. We could actually sit down to dinner without one of us having to keep lookout for a sneak attack from the dog. We would actually leave bread on the counter, a bowl of candy stayed right where we put it.

And then they came home. And I do believe Spencer was bolder and less apologetic than before. He felt entitled to help himself to whatever he wanted. The kids and I began to live like we were in prison. We eat with one arm around our plates and our eyes ever shifting back and forth waiting for that hot doggy breath on our legs, signaling that he is about to take what is ours. Bringing groceries in is a 3 person job now. One to stand guard in the kitchen, one to stand guard at the car door and one to actually bring the groceries in. When heating something up, there is no way to put it down and answer the phone, or the door. If the kids aren’t there to protect the food, I can’t get the door or answer the phone. Or if I do, it is with food in my hands. Bowls filled with meatloaf, hot pans of lasagna, plates of brownies, that how I greet guests to my home, not because I am suzy homemaker, but because if I turn my head, that damn dog will have scarfed down every scrap.

I am considering doing an intervention and sending him to rehab.