Love is sweet torture

By Mir
March 10, 2011

By the time Chickadee got home from school yesterday, she was all sweetness and light again. She wanted hugs and kisses and to cuddle and was full of stories from the day and things she’d been meaning to tell me and pretty much just brimming over with “I am sorry except I can’t actually SAY that.”

Just like that, the events of the morning are set to rights. In her perception, anyway. I try to go with it, to suck up the goodness when it happens. Like the little girl with the little curl, when she is good she is so very, very good. So I roll with it. I take a quiet moment to remind her that I vastly prefer THIS to THAT, and sometimes it brings a muttered, “I know…” and I move on, quickly, before it goes sour again.

Monkey has a bit of a cold and put himself to bed early, after which Chickadee and I sat on the floor of her room, chatting and getting her packed up for this weekend’s band trip. (“This one time? On the band trip?”) Licorice kept moving back and forth between us, deeply concerned.

What she (Licorice, not Chickadee) really wanted to do was curl up in one of our laps, but she couldn’t, on account of there was a BIG SCARY SUITCASE sitting there. You may recall that Licorice—whether due to the circumstances of her pre-rescue life or just general fear of change—suffers from Post Traumatic Suitcase Disorder, and the appearance of a suitcase always sends her into a downward spiral. I’m telling you, this dog becomes downright depressed. Otto was packing for a business trip earlier this week and the dog dove under the bed AND CRIED.

Last night she just became very fidgety, and would curl up in my lap for a bit of petting and then jump up and go nudge Chickadee until she petted her, and then she’d go sniff the suitcase with suspicion, and head back over to me, lather, rinse, repeat.

So Chickadee and I chatted, and folded clothes, and rubbed Licorice’s ears and assured her that everything would be okay, and while we reassured one very nervous pup that everything was going according to plan, I couldn’t help but look over at my gorgeous half-girl, half-woman and believe it, myself.

I was on the verge of having a tender moment, is what I’m trying to tell you.

But Licorice was not soothed, and then this happened:

(No, she didn’t get in there of her own accord. Chickadee coaxed her, and while I simply had to have the picture, doesn’t the poor thing look TERRIFIED? So pitiful.)

We laughed and laughed and finally I told Licorice that she has to let Chickadee go, and no, she doesn’t get to go with her. But she’ll be back. And we’re always very glad to see her when she is.

I’m even a little sorry it took a bit of puppy torture for me to realize that that’s absolutely the truth, for both of us.

Happy Love Thursday (even if Karen didn’t call it that, today), everyone. The best love feels a little terrifying, doesn’t it?


  1. 12tequilas

    Oh noooo! Soooo cuuuute! Like, “you forgot to pack meeeee.”

  2. meghann

    This totally is not meant to ignore this wonderful, heart felt post, but. . .I LOVE that “noun” shirt of Chickadee’s.

  3. elz

    Oh, sweet tormented puppy. Imagine what her therapy sessions would sound like, “And then the woman GOT OUT A SUITCASE…”

  4. michaela

    oh, man – the things my dogs would say about suitcases in shih tzu therapy….

    also, mir, brain, child just posted an essay excerpt on their facebook page that made me think of you and chickie. (i mean, i haven’t actually READ the essay, but the blurb sounded promising.)

  5. Damsel

    That is just too precious… poor thing!!

    Hope Chickadee has a great time on her trip!

  6. Frank

    Put me in the “I totally dig the ‘I’m a Noun!’ ” shirt group.
    On a slightly related note, I have a friend that likes to wear shirts with messages on them. One of my favs is: “I hear voices… and they don’t like you.”
    No reason other than I think you would appreciate that humor…..

  7. AC

    I much prefer your pup’s suitcase disorder symptoms to mine. Muddog (formerly, Mudpuppy until she reached the mature age of 12) becomes a nervous vomiter.

    Soooo, in between the fun of packing, I’m chasing her around and trying to steer her towards the tile as she dry heaves and runs away in terror. Good times.

  8. Debbi

    Very cute.

    My son is like that, he is embarrassed by his behavior and doesn’t want to bring it up so he won’t freely say “I’m sorry” but I can tell by him wanting to be close to me and make sure I am feeling happy that he is sorry for what happened earlier. I do the same as you, I comment that this bubby is so much nicer than the bubby from the morning and he gets it.

  9. Randi

    AWWWW!! The poor baby!!!

    Poor Licorice too :)

  10. StephLove

    I think in a previous life Licorice was a sweet but rather neurotic cat I once had.

  11. Caroline

    My Mom had a little poodle. One time when she was packing the car for a trip — going back and forth bringing bags from the house to the car — the dog followed her back and forth. This went on for about 15-20 minutes. On the last trip to the car my Mom noticed that he had put two of his toys in the backseat. As if to say “What?! How am I supposed to go with you if I don’t have *my* stuff too?”

  12. Varda (SquashedMom)

    That “letting go and trusting things will be OK” part of love is so very hard. Glad that with my boys at only eight and a half it’s not come full upon me yet, but I can sense it up ahead, right around a few bends.

    Glad things have eased up for you (for the moment) & hope Monkey feels better soon.

  13. Laura

    Love Thursday posts are my favorites. Love Thursday posts with pictures of Licorice? Awesome.

  14. Karen

    Love this post. Now you want to know what really eery??… my blog post today is a CSN give-away. I went to their site and picked out three or four things that I could put with the post so people knew some of the “stuff” CSN sells. We bought our bed from them, so I posted a pic of that too. The stuff I put there?…. is all in the ad above these comments. That is so very weird. Freaky really. I mean, even my bed.

  15. Jean

    That is one pathetic looking dog in that photo. Worth every tortuous moment, I’m sure.
    Too funny. Love the ears that are pressed to the head like they are glued there…

  16. Lisa

    Your suitcase-fearing Licorice is pretty adorable. I have a vacuum-fearing Roscoe (he’s a Bassett/Retriever mix that looks like a full-size Retriever that’s had his legs chopped off at the halfway point). I’m sure the vacuum-fearing thing isn’t all that uncommon, but it just *kills* me when I vacuum. Roscoe can’t just go off and hide in another room until it’s done. He has to come running out and running back to his hideout every two minutes or so, because he has to make sure *we* haven’t been eaten by the vacuum monster.

  17. Megan

    Reminds me that I should call my mum, again, and thank her profusely for not killing me during the (many) times that the ‘real, nice’ me was away and only ‘ungrateful, sulky, button-pushing’ me was around!

  18. Chuck Mann

    Dogs never like suitcases. I think it’s a universal truth.

  19. joaaanna

    Our dog doesn’t like the suitcase either. He’s placed his rawhides in there a couple of times. I actually gather all of the clothes and everything to go IN the suitcase and wait until the very last minute to bring it out and pack. It’s not worth the drama!

  20. Cele

    I might not get to read for a whole week, but I always come here for love Thursday.

  21. The Mommy Therapy

    My dog has the same fear of suitcases appearing, he becomes compltely unhinged. It:s quite sad and quite amusing all at once.

    So happy you had a moment of your sweet daughter and the tough love didn’t have to continue all day.

  22. Aimee

    Oh, poor LICORICE!

    BTW, I think your readers are really birds of a feather, because I too focused immediately on Chickadee’s “I’m a noun!” shirt. Love it!

  23. Lynn

    Karen – it’s not so weird, really – these ads mine what websites we’ve visited so they can tempt us with what we like. I’m seeing Jet Blue ads, because I just booked a trip on JetBlue. I know, it’s all very big brother. Try to be amused by it.

  24. Kim

    When my no-husband and I were househunting, I moved into his no-pets apartment and my dog moved in with my mother 6 hours away. ( Mom and I had raised her together.) It took 6 months for us to move in and retrieve her. When all of us went back down for Christmas, and started packing to come home, the dog jumped in the backseat and would. not. budge. She refused to even look at my mom. Mom would approach the car, Rosie would turn her head the other direction and sing “lalalala can’t hear you” in her little doggy head. Once the ignition was on, she jumped up, stuck her head out the window, and gave Mom enthusiastic goodbye kisses. Love Thursday, indeed. I miss that dog like crazy, and it’s been almost 6 years.

  25. Katie in MA

    It’s true, Mama Mir. I think you should hang this near your computer where you can see it on those difficult mornings!

  26. Angela

    How sweet to hear of a happy reconciliation! Kids are a rollercoaster, eh?
    I have almost the SAME picture of my little white poodle in a suitcase looking just like that! It’s hilarious and pathetic all at once. She often goes with us on trips so when we start packing she does the fidgety, back and forth, can’t stand still thing until it’s confirmed. Then when I pack her food and treats I make a big deal of it and she leaps in the air over and over with joy. Nonstop, until we leave. If we’re going on a day trip and are taking a bag, she climbs right in the bag until we leave. They’re so smart and silly!

  27. Lynn

    I have a 10-year old cat that also gets depressed when the suitcases come out and the family leaves. He has so much hidden from the neighbor that was taking care of him while we were away. We have found him out days on end because he would not come in for the neighbor. We have also found him tucked within furniture hiding when we returned.

  28. Heather

    My cat always sits on my suitcase, too, like, “Ahem!”

  29. Kim

    I know this post is a few days old, but I still wanted to comment. Man these days with a hormonal pre-teen girl are hard. Part of me just wants to be rip van winkle and skip over it. But it doesn’t work that way, plus I’d miss out on those little moments of goodness that do pop up occasionally. Your daughter is a couple years ahead of mine, so watching her weather the tides gives me hope that it does indeed keep moving forward. That someday goodness and light will be at the end of this seemingly endless tunnel. Thanks for sharing.

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