Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The final word on Buster

The Bastards win. Don't they always? I've tried my hardest to keep Buster alive but after spending way too many hours obsessing over this, he has to be put down. I spoke to more than one person involved in rescue, people who spend all their time placing dogs and worrying about dogs and acting like dogs are human beings and every response was the same. No one would feel safe placing him. It turns out a dog who bites the daughter of the owner is not a hot commodity. The consensus was that Buster could possibly do this again and it would be irresponsible to let him out there.

So the dog who couldn't be taken down after getting plowed into by a car going twenty five miles an hour will be going away due to his own stupidity and really, it's fitting. It was always Buster's stupidity that we knew would do him in. And yes, I am mad at the little mother trucker right now. He had a good thing going here and he blew it and now I have to listen to Maggie say at least twenty times a day, can we go see Buster yet? Being mad makes it much easier on me because the madder I get, the less likely I am to burst into tears.

Why yes, I have cried over this. How can this be? Believe me, I've faced worse things in my life. Logic would tell you that if you've had to say goodbye forever to a person, saying goodbye forever to a dog would be a piece of cake and yet here I am, crying like a great big buffoon, doing things like taking off in my car or locking myself in my room so no one sees me shedding tears over a dog. But I admit, I never wanted to be one of those people who, with every new sadness, turned into a colder, harder version of myself, and clearly if the past few days are any indication, there's no fear of that happening.

Buster came into our home when Maggie was about a week old. He ran away more times than I can count on all ten fingers and toes. We chased him through the streets of Mount Dora; I pushed children out of moving vehicles just so they could grab him; we had neighbors chase with us and if they weren't chasing they were cheering us on to go get him, pointing out the direction he had taken that day. He scared the UPS man so much that he no longer left things at our door, he would just yell to us, "it's in the driveway." When friends would come over for tea and a chat Buster would find a way to insinuate himself into the activities, usually by placing himself directly on people's laps and not moving until they got up (Julie? Does this sound familiar?)

Oh of course, of course, he was just a dog, I get it, I really do, but when you say goodbye to a dog you start thinking about all the other stuff that occurred during the time he was with you and it can just choke you right up. Five and half years is a little bit of a stretch wherein all sorts of things have happened to you and your loved ones and you realize, yet again, that life just keeps moving on and sometimes that feels good and sometimes it just plain sucks.

We'll miss you Buster.  Thanks for listening, you guys. Now excuse me while I go shed another tear or two.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

I must laugh so I don't get too sad

What a difference a day makes. I was feeling lighted hearted when I wrote my previous dog post, but things have certainly changed, haven't they? Buster bit Maggie last night and she had to get some stitches and we had to say goodbye to our dog of five and half years.

He really was a sweet dog. Yes, he ran away once or twice or hundred times and even got hit head on by a car once, but he survived and we took it as proof that he was Wonder Dog. We believed he would live for a  long time and that he would be with us for at least ten more years. I loved walking with him. He kept up with me and could walk forever. He would look up at me every once in awhile like, yep, me and you are pretty kick ass with our walking pace, aren't we? He would lay next to my side of the bed every night and any time I put my sneakers on he assumed I was taking him with me and if I happened not to, I would feel guilty. Did I spend some serious time complaining about how many times he ran away or the mess he would make with the garbage? Of course, but that was because I just figured he would be around forever and now that he isn't, I'm a bit sad.

Lines have been drawn in the sand. We seem to have broken up into two camps over here. Here's a completely unbiased version of what's happening. On one side we have the Cold Hearted Bastards
(the CHB) who believe Buster should be put down. He bit a five year old, our five year old, and he needs to go away permanently. And on the other side we have what I'll simply refer to as the Angels of Light (the AOL). To maintain journalistic integrity I can't tell you which side I'm on. The AOL believe that although Buster did bite our favorite five year old, he is a dog and as such he has a pack mentality which kicked into gear last night. He was trying to be the leader. The Angels believe that if given to the right home where no children live, he could live out the rest of his dog life without bothering anyone, because never before has he been aggressive to Maggie.

The Bastards are implying that perhaps the Angels simply don't love Maggie enough if they want Buster to be kept alive, because yeah, it's not like any member of the AOL carried Maggie in her womb and breast fed her and spent the past five and half years taking care of her. Anyway, the AOL are quite upset that Buster bit Maggie, but they believe in second chances and even though they know he cannot come back here ever again, they want him to go somewhere he will be loved. It should be noted that the victim in all of this still loves Buster and was crushed when she was told ( by our chicken murdering neighbors) that he would not be returning.

One member of the Angels has taken a turn for the worse in regards to her feelings for Leo, because even though Leo wasn't involved in the incident and wasn't even the room when it happened, this particular person believes maybe Buster was just jealous Leo was brought into the family and biting Maggie was his way of acting that out. And she also consider herself extremely loyal so she just feels bad liking Leo too much now. A member of the opposing side wise cracked about how this kind of  twisted loyalty is exactly how Nazi Germany was so successful, I guess implying that this Angel would have made a great Nazi. The Angel had to remind the Bastard that given the chance, he would probably replace his love for his Angel (which is how she now wishes to be addressed by him) just as easily as he seems to have replaced his love for Buster and he would probably do so with a slender golden haired hussy just to match his new dog. It's all so hand to forehead frightening I can barely stand to think about it all!

On a more serious note, Miss Maggie is doing amazingly well. She was a trooper in the ER and didn't shed a single tear. She wowed the doctor and nurse with her vocabulary and speaking skills and at some point they found out she was homeschooled and mistakenly thought it was this fact that was giving Maggie her sophisticated edge. I decided to let them keep on believing that instead of telling them the truth, which is just that Maggie watches a lot of movies that were meant for bigger people ( please, nothing R rated, just things like Phantom of the Opera). She had such a smashing time at the ER and liked everyone there so much that the second she woke up today she asked if she could back again to visit, but first she had to go outside and show off her stitches. Later on this afternoon, after rehashing all of the previous day's events and Maggie's cuteness and good attitude throughout it all, we agreed that regardless of any feelings we had about Buster's fate, Maggie is a keeper.

Thursday, November 8, 2012


Did you fools really think I was going to talk about that? I'll do whatever it takes to up my readership though and I knew someone out there would be lured in by that title.

Well here's an update on our new dog, Leo. He is highly irritating. Greg keeps trying to trick me into finding his behavior cute by calling Leo a puppy, because he's only eleven months old and technically that still qualifies him as such. But he is fully grown and he doesn't look like a puppy at all ( kind of like Anthony is fully grown and doesn't look like a pre-teen. The similarities between Anthony and Leo are endless) . He is a complete nuisance but as soon as Greg tells me he's only a puppy I think, oh, that's right, I can't get mad at a puppy, that would be like getting mad at a baby. Yesterday I caught him with his paws up on the kitchen counter and his face in a jar of peanut butter. He looked at me like," yeah, whatever be-atch, I'm a puppy, just try and get mad at me."

And so it's begun. I am one of those people who tells really boring dog stories and when your face glazes over with complete disinterest I don't even care. I just keep rambling on and on, because omg! Leo is the cutest dog ever, don't you think so too?! Yes, I will send out Christmas cards, for the first time in fourteen years, but not because I really care about wishing you a Merry Christmas. I need a reason to put antlers and a scarf on my puppy and Christmas is ready made for that. I'll do a Christmas letter too and I'll  make it so it looks like Leo wrote it! Here's what it would say if Leo did write it...

Hey everybody!

It's Leo. I've just been adopted by a new and really dumb family. They let me rip up paper bags and books and shoes and toys all day long. Sometimes I like to go into the bathroom and grab the toilet paper and then let it trail through the house. The mom gets a little mad but then she laughs and says something about how it reminds her of her son when he was a toddler. (She compares me to her son when he was a toddler an awful lot and I'm starting to think this kid must have been a real handful.) I take all their socks and hide them out in the backyard and under couch cushions and then I watch the mom wander around all day trying to find them and sometimes she looks at me like she wants to hit me over the head, but then the man comes in and tricks her into thinking I'm just a whittle puppy and I can't help it and she calms right down. This guy has her wrapped right around his finger. He tells her all kinds of lies, like that she makes the best toast and eggs ever, just to get out of doing things himself. I think she has what you humans call low self esteem, so if you just give her one little compliment she eats it right up! Anyway, I like to jump all over people and hump blankets. That one gets me into trouble, but not too much because I am just a puppy after all. I've been enjoying my walks. The lady just likes to take me out and show me off, because she thinks everyone will find me as cute as she does and mostly people do because let's face it, I'm a golden retriever. The mom keeps calling me the Jon Hamm of dogs. She makes sure not to do it in front of the dad though. And the son thinks it's funny to call me a son of bitch and he tells the mom, "well, technically he is a son of a bitch so it's not like I'm cussing, mom!" I've noticed that the males in this family like to use the word "technically" a lot and the mom sometimes has a hard time getting control of those two. Anyway, I really like it here because everyone thinks I'm cute and lets me do whatever I want. The only thing that bugs me is that they have this older dog, Buster, who must have been considered a bad dog before they got me, but now that I'm here tearing everything up all day long the mom occasionally looks at me and tells me she can't believe it, I'm so bad I'm making Buster look good! But she's always smiling when she says it. She's a real sucker. Well, that's about it from me. I hope to stay here for a really long time!

So anyway, that's what it would say if Leo wrote it. That's all folks. And admit it, this was much better for your mood than having to read nonsense about the election.

Saturday, November 3, 2012


Anthony is turning twelve tomorrow! In his honor here are twelve things about him

1) Easy birth, easy baby - that all changed right around the time he turned two and started doing things like stuffing  wash clothes in the bathroom sink, turning the water on and causing a minor flood that ended up leaking through to the basement. I honestly think this is a pretty common two year old boy thing to do.

2) When he went to preschool he fell head over heels for a girl named Kate and asked her to marry him. He told her she could wait to give an answer until they were older, but she decided to answer him right then and there. On a good note, she was the smartest, most well behaved child in the class, so at least he picked a good person to rebuff his proposal.

3) He was diagnosed with diabetes a few months before his fourth birthday and cried exactly once when I had to start giving him multiple daily shots.

4) At some point in the second grade he got mad at some kids  because they were being hypocrites, so he called them pharisees. I bet that really got them but good!

5) He tries to call my sister at least a hundred times a week. It usually has to do with asking her to buy him something. She seems unfazed by him. He loves her for more than her gift giving though.

6) He wants to be at least six foot four and if he turns out not be to that tall he will consider this a great failure.

7) He's never met a fruit or vegetable he's liked. One time when we were at the drive thru of some fast food restaurant he yelled out to the woman at the window that he wanted a burger BUT NO CABBAGE! He meant no lettuce, but whatever, it was funny and we still like to tease him about it.

8) He likes "retro" things and asks kids his age if they like retro things and if they say no, he writes them off.

9) I watched a documentary a few weeks ago called Half the Sky about the abusive treatment women in third world countries have to endure everyday and he sat there and watched the whole thing with me  (without me asking him to) and looked like he was going to cry through much of it.

10) Yesterday he told his sister Jane that she was going to make an awesome mother and he meant it.

11) He is bossy. Maybe even bossier than my husband. Greg tells me this will serve him well. Of course a bossy person would say something like that.

12) Happiest memory with him? There are many, but the one that makes me want to cry when I think about it is when he was in preschool and his sisters were in elementary school, so I had some hours during the day when it was just me and him. We would ride our bike to Target and he would talk the whole time about how all the beautiful things in nature came from God. And he would try and whistle while he was riding. He remembers those rides too and counts them among his favorite, proving that yes, it is all worth it - the kids will remember and appreciate all those times when you were just with them and listening to them and not doing much of anything at all except enjoying the world around you.

Happy Birthday Buddy!

Friday, November 2, 2012

When I was... ( a post about my sister)

There's this thing called NaBloPoMo, which stand for National Blog Posting Month and it's held every November and guess what you do during NaBloMoFo, or whatever it's called.  You post everyday. Yeah, I know I pretended like I was going to do that back in May, but this time I really am going to do it. Yes, I am aware that I missed the first day, but I'm making this happen for the rest of the month.

When I was younger, maybe seven or eight, my sister would make me come and sit on the bathtub when she used the toilet because she would get bored and she needed someone there with her to make it more interesting and even though I really wasn't a very interesting seven or eight year old I would oblige like a good little sister. Younger sisters just do what they are told. Always and forever. If you are a younger sister you will most likely marry a bossy man because you are comfortable with bossiness. It's all you know.  Although I must tell you, one time I met a woman who told me she was the older sister, but she acted like the younger sister and this turned my world upside down! I had no idea it was possible for the older sister to be bossed around. By the time this whole idea was presented to me I was much too old to try it out for myself, but I guess every once in awhile it could work.

When I was a teenager I fell deeply, madly in love with Bruce Springsteen. My sister did as well and we learned all the lines to Rosalita and we would scream them at the top of our lungs. And those lyrics carried us through many a good time and couple of horrendously crappy ones.

When I was in college I got myself into a  bit of trouble. It was less than a crack addiction but more than lip picking problem. Anyway,  I moved away from home for a short time and my sister came and saw me every weekend and never once judged me for my foolishness. She acted like everything was fine and dandy and never asked me any questions that would have made me uncomfortable. She even skipped going home for Thanksgiving that year so she could be with me.

When I moved away from Albany it was my sister I had the hardest time telling and even though she probably would rather I stayed there, she was kind enough to not make me feel awful for moving a thousand miles away. She found the perfect balance between telling me she would miss us, but Florida wasn't so far away and it would be fine, we would still see each other. And for all the times we've gone back to New York it's been my sister's (and her husband's) generosity that has allowed us to do that. (In fairness to my mom, she paid for me to go back once too. My goodness, I am a pathetic freeloader!)

When I loaded up the credit card with thousands and thousands of dollars worth of debt and finally told my husband about it, he looked at me and asked, "does your sister know" and when I said no, he told me to call her at once, so I did, and of course she just sat there and listened to me and then she said something about how at least I hadn't murdered anyone, but she also kindly pointed out that I should probably stop doing things like this.

My point is, I kind of like my sister a lot and I miss her very much, but she lives far away and so in order to make it through my life without her being just around the corner I pretend she is just around the corner. It helps me. I think, oh gee, my sister, who lives just around the corner, hasn't been around much. I wonder where she is, I hope she gets a chance to come over for lunch soon. And then a year or two passes and I have my sister over for lunch and I laugh until I can't breath and then we say goodbye to each other and I fall into a state of sulkiness and rue the day I agreed to move to Florida and then I get over it and go right back to pretending she lives just around the corner. It all works perfectly fine and I will go on this way until I move closer to my sister or die. Leave me alone. Let me be. This works fine for me.

And this concludes my first day of NaBloPoMoFo.