Broken, precarious, neurotic, and/or furious

Look at me—it hasn’t even been a whole month, and here I am again. Writing! Like some sort of… writer! Who does things with words on a regular basis!

That’s weird.

Anyhoodle, here we are, having survived the holidays and *gestures vaguely* everything else, so that’s good, right? I would love to tell you a fun story about how Goose has settled in to being officially ours by being even more ridiculous than usual, but basically she’s just peak ridiculous all the time, so there’s not much to tell there. I do hope to have a fun tale when the weather warms up, though, as her current favorite thing to do when I take the dogs out is to run across the pool cover and while I try to convince her not to. Otto thinks she may just charge full bore right into the water when we open the pool this summer, but I think she’ll just be miffed that her favorite pseudo-trampoline has vanished. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

In the meantime, I do love to use my language facility to complain a lot, so that’s what I’ll be doing today. Because: complaints! I have ’em! Although at this particular time I believe I am more than justified, though in the spirit of full disclosure I ALWAYS feel justified, so that’s not saying much.

Christmas was poised to be a bust for multiple reasons: we’d just lost Licorice and I was hardly in a holiday mood; the girls had come home for Thanksgiving and were therefore not traveling for Christmas; Monkey was headed north to spend the holiday with his father; and we (read: Otto) recently acquired a new car, so we made the decision not to do gifts, really, though we are in need of a new mattress, so we talked about going shopping for a new bed and calling that our gift to each other. And then we decided to adopt Goose so that was a nice cherry on top of a understated holiday.



Things Which Are Broken

The universe heard us vow not to spend money, you see. And OHHHHH, how the universe laughed.

First, because the aforementioned new car can be plugged in (fancy!), Otto decided to consult an electrician about adding a circuit in our garage. At which point we came face to face with something we’d sort of been ignoring since the last time we had an electrical repair, which is: Our entire circuit box is a disaster waiting to happen. (Not alarming AT ALL!) It’s out of compliance, uses parts no longer made, and the electrician basically said he wouldn’t do any work for us unless it started with upgrading the entire board. Which is obviously a thing we should do, and we knew we should do, but had been avoiding doing. Welp. That’s happening later this week. I guess it’s technically not “broken” but also when I found out how much that costs, I certainly felt a little broken, so it goes on this list. Bonus: The day it gets replaced, we will have no electricity all day. That sounds fun. (If you need me, I’ll just be over here trying to feed my family with whatever’s left in the fridge so as to sacrifice the least amount of food, so who wants a horseradish-mustard-carrot-yogurt parfait??)

Second, shortly after that was decided—when we were still planning to buy a new bed—we had a big storm one night. Crash boom, crash boom, tornado warnings, the whole nine yards. Nothing hit the house, though, so PHEW! Right? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAA*sob*. Do we have surge protectors? Of course we do. Did they do any protecting? No, they did not. Apparently something got hit outside and we experienced a major surge on one side of the house. So:

Second A: Our garage door opener control inside the garage was fried. Otto purchased a new one and installed it, and it still wasn’t working. Because…

Second B: Whoops, ACTUALLY the entire logic board in the garage door opener was fried! Neat! So now that’s on order. (Editorial note: The opener thingies in our cars still make the door go up and down, at least, but everything inside the garage itself has decided not to work. Weird.)

Second C: Our already-limping-along Internet router? Yeah, say goodbye to that. Otto bought a fancy new mesh something-or-other (I don’t know, plus at this point it was like OH HEY WHO NEEDS MONEY?) which it took most of a day and possibly a couple of satanic rituals to get working again.

Second D: Cable boxes? Fried. Oh but no worries! The cable company has a nearby office and you can just go swap ’em out for new ones at no cost. Yay! New cable boxes also didn’t work right. Because…

Second E: Family room television still works! It’s fine! I can see a picture!! Except no, it’s also fried. Specifically, 3 of the 4 inputs no longer, er, input. So that’s neat. I fell down the television research rabbit hole and ordered a new TV, because money, who cares, we don’t need no stinkin’ money, but we definitely do need the ability to ignore reality and binge Netflix.

It was at this point that we decided we should postpone buying a new bed. Because actually all of this cost quite a lot. Sigh.

Third, MAH BAYBEE returned from his trip and then it was his birthday, so I dutifully set about making the traditional celebratory birthday morning cinnamon rolls, and while I was mixing up the dough in my trusty KitchenAid mixer, the motor went *whirrwhirrSCREECHwhiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiirr* and the dough hook stopped moving and I turned it off because, well, terrifying. I waited a minute because maybe it was a fluke? And when I turned it back on it went *SCREEEEEEEE* and nothing moved.

And then I cried.

The good news is that KitchenAid has a great repair service where they send you the box and you mail it in and they fix it up and send it back; the bad news is that it costs almost as much as a new mixer AND their “current turnaround time” is UP TO TWO MONTHS. Siiiiiiiiiiigh.

Things Which Are Precarious

First, as you might imagine, such a big storm blew down a bunch of branches and such. A few days afterward, I said to Otto, “Hey, is that tree leaning over our fence a whole lot more than it used to?”

Otto glanced out the window and replied, “I don’t think so.”

A couple days after THAT, we were outside with the dogs and I looked up at said tree and said, “Otto. LOOK AT THAT TREE. It is definitely leaning WAY more than it used to.”

Otto looked up and sighed. “Yeah. I’ll call someone.”

I do not know how much removing that tree is going to cost, except I vaguely remember we were going to trim it back a few years ago and because of the price we decided to postpone it for a bit. Like the idiots we are. Why not postpone until we’re already spending thousands of dollars on other stuff but said tree could fall over and take out our fence at any moment? GOOD PLAN, US!

Second, Otto has started joking-but-not about how we should just keep Rosie, too, because she’s so sweet and snuggly (she really is), so I panicked and groomed her and then made him take a bunch of pictures for her adoption listing so that we could find her a forever home, pronto. (I would never live it down if we kept BOTH of my first two fosters. And while Rosie is lovely, I do not feel the “this is my dog” pull with her that I did with Goose.) I suggested the rescue list her with a caption of WHO WANTS A TINY ONE-EYED LAND HIPPO but they used something else, for some reason.

(She has actually lost a little weight since this pic was taken, but still. Covergirl!)

The good news is that Rosie is going out on “adoption trial” in a couple of days, but Otto keeps telling her to pee on the floor and otherwise be obnoxious so that she’s returned to us. Lord. Sooooooo she may be adopted this week or I may get used to not having to clean up a trail of water every time she has a drink (Rosie believes you should stick your ENTIRE FACE into the water bowl) and she may come back next week. We’ll see. I met the potential adopter and while it’s not my decision, it does sound like the home would be a great fit, so fingers crossed.

Things Which Are Neurotic

First: Me. Always me. No particular reason, I just am. Obviously.

Second: Guess what we learned during that big storm? GO ON, GUESS! If you guessed “big bad Goosefeathers is terrified of storms,” you win… uhhh… well, I have some peanut butter dog treats here, if you’d like one. The night of that storm, I went to check on Goose (she sleeps in a crate in my office), and she was standing in the corner of her crate, crying. I brought her into bed with us, where and she immediately jumped down and RAN… I wasn’t sure where, because it was dark. I eventually found her cowering in the corner of the bathroom, and brought her back into our bed, where she spent the next few hours vibrating and whimpering.

The purchase of a wee thundershirt and some “calming supplements” completed (money? WHO NEEDS MONEY??), I figured we were set for next time. But last night she got all weird and squirrelly—and she had surgery last week, so I was thinking she was in pain, had popped a stitch or something—and about 10 minutes after her strange behavior began, it started raining. The thunder was a good 20 minutes after that, but man, she knew. Goose spent the bulk of the evening wedged into a couch crevice, behind some cushions, trying to become invisible.

Bonus: before I figured out she was having storm anxiety, Goose kept going to various doors and scratching/snuffling like she was trying to get outside. This led to Otto’s prime opportunity to COMBINE Goose’s neuroses and mine, by wondering aloud, “I wonder if maybe she had a home, got freaked out by a storm, got out and got lost, and her owner has been looking for her all this time. What would you do if someone saw her picture online and contacted the rescue to say she’s their dog and they want her back?”

(WHY would you say something like that to me, Otto?? I thought you loved me!)

Listen; Goose was on stray hold at the pound for a week, and judging by her coat and nails, she was stray/neglected for at LEAST a couple of months before that. So this is an unlikely scenario. Still, it kind of freaked me out, until I had a random thought and started laughing.

“If that happened you KNOW it would turn out that her name was Petunia or something prissy like that,” I finally managed to say between giggles. I don’t know why this struck me as so hilarious, but it did.

Things Which Are Furious

As I mentioned, Goose had surgery last week. She had a dental cleaning, got her cherry eye fixed, and had a few lumps removed. Unlike Rosie’s very rough post-surgical recovery, Goose has been in pretty good spirits, happy to eat and drink, and—after the first 24 hours—exhibiting very few symptoms of pain. This is a relief for obvious reasons, but also because she ended up having SIX teeth removed and I figured she’d be very sore. Not really! I had her on soft food but then she got super miffed when Rosie got a treat one night and she didn’t, so I handed her the treat—expecting her to spit it out—and she chewed it up just fine, so we are back to kibble.


First: Goose needs 2 different post-surgical eye drops, one twice a day and the other three times a day. Mind you, I’ve been putting ointment in her eyes twice a day for months with zero complaints. (And yes, I still have to do that, too.) Ointment? That’s fine. I am LITERALLY STICKING MY FINGERS IN HER EYES and she’s like “Cool, cool.” But DROPS? Nope. NOPE! She runs. She flails. She tries to bite me. She HATES them. I don’t know if they sting (maybe they do?) or she’s just offended on general principle, but she is BIG MAD about the drops. And because all eye things have to be given 5 minutes apart, for the morning and evening times when she needs both drops and then ointment, it’s a 15-minute goat rodeo to get it done.

Have I taken to sanctimoniously reminding Goose that Licorice never fought her eye drops? Mayyyyyybe.

Second: A cherry eye repair involves a single suture to re-anchor that third eyelid gland tissue back where it belongs. Easy peasy! As it’s, you know, INTERIOR, I had assumed no cone would be necessary after surgery, but I’m dumb. If the dog paws at their eye—which they might do, because it feels bad, plus the horror of eye drops—it can mess up the repair. So yes, Goose is in a cone. Goose does NOT want to be in a cone. At all.

“This is bullshit.”

Goose is furious about the cone. Goose has a penchant for small spaces and walking under things and either she goes THWACK or she doesn’t fit at all, and this is alarming and infuriating. After a month spent encouraging her to use the doggie door while she remained suspicious, now she ONLY wants to use the doggie door, and doesn’t fit, and has to wait for me to open the whole door. She’s so mad about it she’s going to try to ram her head through the doggie door a few more times, THWACK-THWACK-THWACK, before giving up and going in the regular way, but DON’T WORRY, because she’s gonna do it all again the next time she goes out.

For the first couple of days she couldn’t figure out how to get her face into the food or water bowls at all, and I was basically hand-feeding her and guiding her toward the bowls while she overshot them again and again. She did eventually figure it out.

Eating dinner or the saddest Pixar lamp? WHO KNOWS!

It’s gonna be a loooooong couple of weeks, is all I’m saying.

Third: Yesterday I had to do a million things, and I did not WANT to do a million things, but I did them, because I’m a grownup. One of the things I did while out doing these various things was run to the grocery store for half-n-half. The last time I ordered groceries, they were out. (Have you seen all the stories about shortages on half-n-half and cream cheese? Crazy.) I require coffee with half-n-half to be less grumpy, so I stopped at the store, and also grabbed some milk, and put this bag on my passenger seat and continued on my way to do All The Things. Later I arrived home and picked up said bag, only to discover that… the milk had leaked everywhere. EVERYWHERE. My seat was soaked. I was irrationally furious. Or maybe it was rational; nothing smells worse than old milk soaked into fabric. Regardless, I stomped around and did my best to clean it up, but I’m still mad about it.

Fourth: COVID. COVID is still very angry, you know? Please get vaccinated and boosted and wear masks and stop going places you don’t have to go. Sunny and Chickadee got COVID from a coworker—and they are vaxxed and boosted and are fine—but I am still angry about it. It’s been almost two years. Can we just, I don’t know, get it together as a species, maybe? Please??

Okay, that’s all I have today. Time to go wrestle a gremlin so I can put a drop in her eye for her own damn good. LIVIN’ THE DREAM!


  1. Kristie

    I think you should let Otto keep his dog since he let you keep yours. =)

    • Mir

      Nuh uh, the agreement is dogs for cars. He got a new car, I got a new dog. ;)

      • Elizabeth Smith

        He gets a dog, you get a car? A car without milk seats?

  2. Moira

    Our rescue shih tzu has been terrified of storms for the full 13 years since we got her. In the past, this has led to her trying to climb on top of the tallest thing in the room… mostly, my husband’s head. Thundershirts, rocking like a baby, keeping in the bed with us… nothing worked. Now, we open the bathroom door, turn on all the lights and the fan, and she plops on the rug and snoozes all night. Highly recommend. Good luck!

  3. Mary K. in Rockport

    Hi Mir, our tiger, Bailey, with us from kittenhood, was terrified of thunderstorms and was like a furry little barometer. He would start to skulk along, his tummy an inch from the floor, and try to squeeze under some piece of furniture where he did not fit. He could not be reassured – holding him tight, or huddling under a blanket with him did not work. Another Bailey story- as he aged, his kidneys became wonky. Since he was clever about doing the “ptooie” thing with pills, the vet gave us a sort of soft wand that applied a dollop of medicine inside his ear. Even so, he started to avoid us at ear application time which was sad. He had a long and lively life until he became so sick, we had to say goodby ?.

  4. Liz

    Thinking of you. That is A LOT. XOXOXO. And I am angry about COVID too.

  5. Heather

    I’m so sorry! Being an adult with all the responsibilities included is not all it’s cracked up to be. I really thought adulthood would include more naps and ice cream for dinner – but nope, just more bills and stress.

    Unsolicited advice alert (sorry in advance)! We had a lab for 15 years who hated storms- she would Freak Out, no one got any sleep, she injured herself a time or two in her panic if we weren’t home, and on and on. It was…not fun. Thundershirts and pheromones weren’t helpful enough, so after a long consult with the vet with started her on daily prozac and xanax situationally if we had enough warning before storms. It was a *game changer*- she was much more content and relaxed and we no longer lived in fear of a storm disrupting our lives and making our poor sweetheart panic.

    Hopefully Goose will never get to the point that she needs meds, but I wanted to mention it incase this upcoming storm season is a rough one. Good luck!!

  6. Victoria

    aww I’m sorry about Moose’s cone frustrations, but it’ll be so worth it when she’s all healed up and boopin around like nothing happened!!

  7. Emily Speight

    Totally unsolicited, take or leave… Our Greyhound was TERRIFIED of storms (70lbs of tremble and whine). Valium helped IMMENSELY.

  8. Kathie

    Use baking soda on your car where the milk spilled. Let it sit overnight. And then vacuum it up. No spoiled milk smell. One of the kids spilled an entire cup of milk on my rug in the living room. Tried this hack and it was lifechanging.

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