All of the updates you didn’t ask for

I did not mean to leave things on such a down note, last time, but you know how it goes. Life has a way of barreling forward whether you’re ready for it or not.

So now it’s—*checking calendar*—nearly December, and there is so very much news to share!

That’s a lie. I mean, very little of it is actual news, but I will share it anyway, because ye olde blog here is now old enough to vote, so why stop now? As Otto says, I always have many words, and it’s simply for his safety that I spew some of them somewhere other than directly at him. (True story: last night when he arrived home from work I began talking AT him so earnestly, the very moment he walked in the door, that when I finally paused for air he said, “I’m going to go take my shoes off, okay?” in that hesitant, overly-careful manner one might say “I’m going to put my gun down, alright?” to a distraught person standing on a high ledge. This may have been my first clue that I was overdue for posting.)

Also this morning Goose’s vet’s office texted me that her fecal exam showed “no intestinal parasites or ova detected” and what kind of monster would I be if I kept that sort of riveting information to myself?? You understand. (Also: isn’t technology amazing? I mean, just a few years ago I would’ve had to listen to an actual human speak those words over the phone. Now they text. MAGIC.) read more…


As I am wont to do, I started noodling over the inevitable blog post several weeks ago. Where to start, how to do it? I couldn’t quite hit the ignition, and so it simmered in the back of my brain along with the rest of… everything… like how I should probably go get an oil change in my car and Chickadee asked me to look for something in her room and how I ordered groceries and asked for one of the pork shoulders that was on sale, “average weight: 4 lbs,” and I thought “Hmm, that’s a lot, but it’s so cheap, and I can freeze leftovers” and then they picked me one that was almost 9 pounds and it’s taking up so much room in the freezer, I really should, y’know, cook it up sometime soon.

And then, a couple of hours ago, while I was trying to do several different things at once, the phone rang. I ran to grab it and managed to trip and go sprawling so hard that I not only screamed and probably scared the absolute crap out of Monkey (who’d been upstairs doing homework but fairly flew down to see what happened), but I also managed to give myself so many lumps and bumps I eventually (after confirming that nothing was broken) settled onto the couch with a smattering of ice packs and a desire to never move again.

That seemed like a sign, I guess. So here I am. I guess it’s time, even if it took me nearly braining myself in the middle of the day for it to happen. read more…

So now it can be told (sort of)

In addition to just being largely absent here, I have been sort of talking around the elephant in the room. Really, elephant isn’t big enough. Or scary enough, either. The dragon in the room? Let’s go with that. I have been talking around a fire-breathing dragon in the room while hoping it wouldn’t, you know, set anyone on fire.

First of all: Everyone is fine. More or less. Do not fret!

Second of all: I’m still going to talk about this mostly in generalities, because the specifics aren’t mine to share. Perhaps you will wonder about the details. That’s your prerogative.

Third of all: It has been about a year of trying to figure out The Best Solution™ to a sucky situation, and it has occupied a lot of time and energy, and as these things tend to do, it has also taught me a lot about the coping methods (or lack thereof) employed by various loved ones in my life and myself. Fascinating, on an intellectual level. Maddening, sometimes, on a personal level. But that’s how it is.

Fourth of all: I moved my parents across the country and all I got was a busted foot. But I’m getting ahead of myself. read more…

You still need groceries in a dystopian hellscape

Well, then. We’ve come to the portion of the program where I turn on the news, listen for a few minutes, and turn it off again in a fit of rage and despair. Fun! I am so tired of old white men making all the rules. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love and adore quite a few old white men, individually, but as a collective, I’m still waiting for anything good to come out of their scheming. I will not be holding my breath.

In the meantime, the banalities of life continue, and I am trying to do my best impression of a Functional Adult Who Still Cares. This is a testament to my acting skills, as my level of functioning is questionable at best, plus I’ve been dead on the inside for a very long time, but… eh. We all have our issues. Mine is that I’m a delicate flower and I hate everything, but what are you gonna do? I still have to pretend like I’m a willing member of the human race, or something. I guess.

So let us consider the Life Matters Of Which We Can Speak™—that is, nothing of true importance or which overlaps with other people who did not agree to ye olde Internet confessional—which are, ever so precariously, keeping me busy/somewhat sane/from hurling myself into traffic these days, shall we? Yes? Yes! read more…

More dog content? If you insist!

It’s been… oh, nearly a couple of months. I would love to tell you that I was extremely busy living life to the fullest during this time, but that would be a lie. Mostly I was busy 1) being cold (yes, Georgia winters are short, but I am a delicate flower and our brief very cold portions of the year always kind of sneak up on me), 2) baking things, because why not, 3) cutting my own hair (this started during the pandemic and as I am nothing if not lazy, I am slooooowly perfecting my technique, which mostly consists of a lot of swearing and getting hair all over my bathroom), and 4) dealing with small, opinionated dogs.

The only interesting thing on that list is the dogs, right? Right!

When we last spoke (er, when I last spoke? wrote? whatever), Grok had been with us for a few weeks and had become Goose’s new favorite chew toy. Despite his startling similarity to a disgruntled preying mantis and penchant for peeing on his own legs, Grok was a Very Good Boi, and after his neuter he was listed for adoption. I thought this was very exciting, but Otto thought this was very sad, as he was convinced that Goose needed to keep him. I remained the voice of reason—that reason being, “We cannot keep a dog just because our dog likes him”—and was thrilled when I got the message that Grok had an approved adopter who wanted to meet him. read more…

Shih Tzu Nation

Good news: I’m back again, in under a month! With the words, and stuff!

Bad news: Nothing interesting ever happens here except as it pertains to the dogs. If you aren’t interested in dogs, first of all, what is wrong with you, and second, this is not going to be very interesting.

When we last left off, everything was broken and/or deeply annoyed. Goose was in a cone and battling her mortal enemy, thrice-daily eye drops, and our house was presumably about to burst into flames due to faulty wiring, which would’ve been sad but also most of our electronics were already fried so, eh. We are now rewired and less dangerous, and Goose is fully recovered from surgery, footloose and cone-free.

And while it’s true that we are still operating our garage door via a spare clicker my husband has literally hung on a nail in the wall with a zip-tie (klassy!), most of the broken things have been repaired or replaced.

Which of course meant it was time for more Dog Shenanigans™. read more…

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. read more…

Christmastime, gone to the dogs

A few weeks after we received Goose, and about a week after we said goodbye to Licorice, my phone started lighting up with messages from the rescue. Possibility of a owner surrender, yorkie/dachshund mix, 10 years old; could I take her? Otto has always said we have a two-dog maximum. Well. I had just one dog, now, and even I was growing tired of my moping around and spending all my spare time crying (side note: my parents were very much of the “shield young children from death” variety, and while I’m not blaming them for the profound grief I found myself mired in after Licorice died, allow me to suggest to any parents with younger children that death is indeed a part of life and trying to keep your children from realizing that may bite them in the butt later on), so I said yes, sure, let’s get her.

It was a group effort; one volunteer worked out the surrender paperwork, another went and fetched the dog, and then I went to her house to do pick-up. It was a sad story: Rosie had belonged to a single, older owner for most of her life; when the owner died, her adult child claimed her, but couldn’t keep her. The dog I picked up seemed friendly enough. I now have a “doggie carseat” type contraption in the back of my car (because of course I do) complete with a seatbelt that attaches to a dog’s harness. I loaded Rosie in, buckled the seatbelt, and away we went.

About 30 seconds after I started driving, I noted that Rosie managed to flip herself out of the doggie containment and was now seated next to it, in the middle of the backseat. Hmmm. Well, okay. And then we were just a couple miles from home when Rosie jumped into the front seat. I did NOT drive into a ditch when that happened, so YAY ME. She had somehow slipped the harness—the one provided by the rescue as escape-proof, mind you—and it remained securely buckled while she made herself comfortable right next to me. Huh. read more…

The very goodest girl ever

In retrospect, it’s easy to see meaning in things where maybe there wasn’t any, but that’s the way we silly humans are, I guess. We need stories about our lives to make sense. We struggle to understand our experiences as cohesive narratives that follow some sort of reason. I know this. It does not stop me from doing it.

And so I know it both to be true and probably not when I tell you that after the first couple of days with Goose here, Licorice—the dog who took several YEARS to warm up to Duncan, and who generally practiced disdain for all other four-legged creatures—took to lying down next to her, patiently waiting for her food while I attended to Goose’s, and generally acting like Goose was her new best friend. Goose literally climbed all over her and Licorice was unbothered.

The story that feels true to me is that Licorice knew. She knew she was dying, and she knew I needed another dog in the house, even if it’s not a dog we’re keeping. She knew Goose would be a comfort to us, and that she wasn’t leaving us alone. read more…

*insert indignant bird noises here*

Licorice lasted about 2 weeks on her new glaucoma regimen before she started squinting again, and back to the vet ho$pital we went. They put her on a third eye drop, and so far, so good. So she now gets three different eye drops three times a day, but also they have to be given at least 5 minutes apart, so each dosing period is referred to as the Parade of Eye Squirts, but we’ve all acclimated. She doesn’t mind at all. (“That’s because she never sees it coming,” explained Monkey with an arched eyebrow, proving that his comedic delivery remains unrivaled.)

Chickadee and Sunny are coming home for Thanksgiving, and as we navigated Licorice’s medical issues and weirdnesses, Chickie kept reminding me that she couldn’t wait to come see her dog again. (Never mind her human family, natch.) There was a brief period of time when I worried Licorice might be in a downward spiral and perhaps would not make it to the holidays, but things are much better now. Phew.

Naturally, in the middle of this canine drama—while still insisting that I was absolutely not ready for another dog—I started looking at various rescue dog listings and just THINKING, you understand, about someday-far-in-the-future Next Dog. I did find a Very Good And Handsome Boi about 5 hours away who tugged at my heart strings, and Otto even offered to drive us out to get him, but I knew it wasn’t time, yet.

Finally, I contacted the coordinator at the rescue where we got Licorice a dozen years ago. “I’m ready to start fostering,” I told her. “But don’t get too excited because I don’t know how useful I’m going to be.” read more…

Things I Might Once Have Said


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