good that i only had 45 seconds

Yesterday evening around 6pm I had about 45 seconds to myself. I’d just gotten home from work, was sitting in the living room, and my daughters (let’s call them Pebbles, 5.5, and Bam-Bam, 3) were playing quietly in the kitchen with some frozen peas.

The dogs, the new dogs, now  just 48 hours away had been on my mind all day. I looked to the corner of the room where Samson’s bed used to be, and thought of how crazy but happy our home would soon be with two, healthy dogs in the house. This may be the best stupid idea I ever had! Or am I having a life crisis and don’t even realize it?  There’s still a coloring book page taped on the wall, near the floor, in Samson’s corner. Pebbles colored a bright red heart for Samson to look at during his last weeks, when he rarely moved from his bed.  “So he knows how much we love him,” she’d explained.

Samson, January 2010

How much indeed. Samson had been with DH and me since we got engaged, almost 10 years ago. In the first few moments after he died this spring, we looked at each other with wonder and sadness.  Samson had taught us to work better as a team, to exercise regularly, that it’s ok not to be in control all the time, and that you can induce vomiting with two tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide and a turkey baster. DH and I were losing the silent partner in our marraige.

And so in my 45 glorious seconds of “me time,” I marveled that it was happening again. Realizing that our sweet, pain-in-the-ass dog is not coming back.

Then Bam Bam ran in and grabbed my hand. “PEE PEE! I NEED TO PEE PEE!”

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Filed under Brittanys, Marriage

BREAKING NEWS

It appears we have been approved to adopt a Brittany.

I know this because we are going to get our dog this weekend.

Oops… did i say “dog?”  It’s because I’m still getting used to the idea… our plan has changed a bit. We’re getting two.

Brittanys.

This weekend.

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Filed under Adopting Dogs, Brittanys

What to expect?

  1. This blog is about the dogs in my life. And maybe motherhood. Wifely duties. A deep affinity for the amber liquors that bolster my ability to endure all three. But mostly about the dogs.  Dogs I once owned, and the dogs to come. 
  2. You’re welcome to share stories about your dogs. Same for the motherhood and wifely duties crap.
  3. Blog Rating: PG-13. May contain adult situations.
  4. I will, however, refrain from unnecessarily foul language.
  5. In keeping with the greatest animal writers, and out of respect for animals, I will work hard to avoid anthropomorphizing dogs and for that matter, all of God’s creatures.
  6. Count on regular references to literary dogs. (And by this I mean, for example, Tulip. Not Philip Roth.)
  7. I’m not a religious freak; that “God’s creatures” business was just me unable to think of another word for animals.
  8. Chipmunks may talk from time to time. Because chipmunks, and I think history proves this, deserve it. Maddening little motherfuckers.
  9. I will continue posting for 6 months and then reevaluate. That gives me until… hang on…counting ahead from the day I launched….December 21st.  The winter solstice.  My goal has a name! Now it’s definitely my end date.  I believe this to be a sure-fire sign of a book deal.
  10. Recall point #1; this is not about a getting book deal, it’s about my dogs.
  11. Wow. The winter solstice!  Shortest day of the year. Interestingly, this is also my parents’ wedding anniversary.
  12. My father died 12 years ago. My mother has been happily remarried for years.  Her new anniversary is in May.
  13. I will not end any blog lists on the number 13.  Who gets selected to adopt a beautiful Brittany, much less lands a book deal, by not attending to superstitions? I don’t stop on sidewalk cracks either; please reference #12 for substantiating proof point.
  14. I will post a few times a week. That is the all I can offer you.
  15. I should be clear; I don’t actually HAVE a dog at the moment. I’m between animals.
  16. And finally, I will stop before the cutesy, devicey stuff gets to be too much
  17. Or shortly thereafter.

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Filed under Adopting Dogs, Brittanys, Kids, literature, Marriage

the home visit

Linda showed up at our house at 7:30-ish. That was our agreement over email, complete with the “ish.”  “Ish” is my way of warning that I have two children under six, work full-time, and am no stranger to adult attention deficit.  If you’re late, or early, I will understand. Time management is an oxymoron in my world.  Add “ish” and at least I’m self-aware.

Linda pulled her Camry right to our front gate and waved out the window.  I imagined the scene as she saw it — lovely daughters, just slightly dishevled, eating popiscles on the front porch swing and giggling. White porch dappled with light from the setting, summer sun.  Dear husband (DH) watering the new azalea bushes. My lipgloss? Fresh. Light.  I may have heard music.

“Hi there,” I called through  my most fabulous smile. 

Then, “you gonna shower now?” I whisper-hissed to my husband through said, sparkling smile. 

Linda is a volunteer for American Brittany Rescue. She conducts home visits with families interested in adopting, and oh, I was interested. At that moment there were only two forces driving my behavior.  The first — less force really, than prim old-lady voice inside my head —  was my maternal grandmother chirping, “you never get a second chance to make a first impression.”  (Seriously, the man ran five miles and smelled like a hunk of cheese.  Expecting that he think ahead and be showered was not exactly an expectation on par with those of aStepford Wife.)

The second force, truly a force, was the deep hollowness I have felt for the last three months. We euthenized our Brittany, Samson, on March 5, 2010. He’d been suffering from cancer.

DH sighed his you-realize-you’re-being-ridiculous sigh and acquiesed to my shower request.  I responded with a slap to his behind. I’m-no-stranger-to-ridiculous. 

My two-year-old pressed her melting, half-eaten rocket pop into my palm.  “Can I watch a show? Pleeeeese?” 

And Linda — this ABR angel with perfectly separated Maybeline lashes who had the power to fill the chasm in my heart — crossed the threshold to our home.

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Filed under Adopting Dogs, Brittanys

Welcome to The Play Side

You’ll call this sentimental–perhaps–but then a dog somehow represents the private side of life, the play side.

Virginia Woolf

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