A Dog Shaped Hole In My Heart

I got Daisy when I was 31. I was living with one of, if not the best abusers on the face of the earth. He happened to be a police officer which made him that much better at it. He knew how not to leave marks. Every day was an interrogation, a trial, which I inevitably failed at. I lost 20 pounds in less than 6 months. I didn’t eat. I barely slept. Panic attacks became my reality and I started to shake when I knew he’d be coming home. He decided to move us out to the country. I believe it was just to have more control over me and less prying eyes.  At that time, I decided I needed a dog, as an alarm, as protection from cougars and bears.To let me know when he was coming home. And of course because I needed company.

My parents had come to visit and while they didn’t know precisely what was going on, I think on some level my dad knew how bad it all was. Without any forethought and with the abusive ratbastard beside him, my Dad bought me a puppy.

He handed it to me as if it  were a gold-plated sapphire. “It’s a female! There was some guy selling them outside of a tire shop! She was only 50 bucks! She peed on me on the way here but that’s okay. She seemed like the quietest one.” And lo, I had a dog.

I found out within a few days why she was the “quietest one”. She was sick. So, so sick. Didn’t eat, wouldn’t drink. I made 3 trips to the vet, Daisy staying overnight with an I.V., just to bring that poor sick little puppy around. Abusive ratbastard kept raging about how a bullet would be cheaper than that fucking dog. I didn’t care. In less than 2 months, she went from a $50 dog to a $900 dog. But she was mine. The more he tried to crush me, the more I loved the dog. When I thought about ending me, I stayed here for the dog.

I think I’d had Daisy 3 months when I left. She gave me the strength and love to move on. After that, it became “love me, love my dog”. Two years later, she went on the second date I had with my hubby. He passed the test.

Daisy was with me through our courtship, baby and marriage. She was treated as a member of our family. My hubby bonded with her when Daisy went fishing with him and had to lick every fish he caught. When she greeted him at the door at the end of the day. And when we brought our new baby son home, she sniffed him head to toe and wagged her tail, as she finally had her own child to play with.

I kept her here for maybe 2 years longer than I should have. Her hips were gone, to the point that she had to be helped up a couple of steps to get into the house. She was losing her bladder control. Her breath. I made the decision last Saturday. I knew. She knew. We were both very brave as we took our final walk and car ride. She had chicken for breakfast and a hot fudge sundae as a treat. Chocolate is bad for dogs but on their last day here exceptions can be made. I held her and thanked her for all she’d meant. She butted foreheads with me, which was her “I love you and I get it” sign. It was peaceful. And my heart broke.

We went away for a few days this week as a distraction from our grief. When we got home I checked messages. The vet had phoned and Daisy’s ashes had arrived at the office. I dropped everything and told my boys,”I’m going to pick up our girl and bring her home.” They both got teary and nodded.

Tonight is a blue moon and we sprinkled her ashes around the yard she loved so much. How perfect. How fitting for my rare dog.

Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened. ~Anatole France 

Bye, Daisy. Good girl!

December-Part One

I’m home!!!!!!!

Oh home! How I missed you! If I could hug a house I would, that’s how goddamn happy I am to be home!

We went to the ‘Chewan for our lovely holiday visit. Nothing like driving 5 hours across bald, scrubby prairie to help one to understand the concept of horizon. It should be a very Zen experience. However, try doing it in a fully loaded Outback, with an almost seven-year old, who is perpetually in motion, a twelve week old kitten, a hundred and ten pound Shepard cross, and a thirteen pound lap dog.

I think we were an hour into the trip when the son started his plaintive calls of, get ready, “Are we there yet?” No shit. Every twenty minutes. Followed closely by “I’m borrrrrrred!” Look at the scenery, son. “What scenery???” Exactly.

Now, add in the big dog. She has always been a back seat driver. She cannot lay down and enjoy the trip. Oh no. She must get her head and upper body right between the buckets so she can see out the windshield and assess how well you are driving. This is very exciting to the old girl and the more excited she gets, the more she pants, therefore, the more she drools. As you are motoring along, your arm is getting wetter and stickier with each passing moment. Whats funny is that she is so big and sits so erect and close to your right shoulder, I’m certain it looks like some strange two-headed conjoined beast twin driving our auto. Either that or everyone thinks we have an extraordinarily ugly daughter. Who has a drooling problem.  

The small dog (we think he is a Pug/Jack Russell cross. A Jug, if you will) has a rather high-strung personality. This manifests itself in a non-stop vibratory shiver while in the car. The poor thing is a nervous wreck. He acts as if he is about to be raped and castrated at any given moment. It goes like this: Shake, open eyes, quickly smell penis, nutsack and anus to make sure they are all still there, give a dirty look to the closest human so they know you are watching them, close eyes, shake for ten minutes, repeat.

The kitten was an awesome traveller. She just hid until we arrived at our destination. We took her as a surprise present for my folks (read that as getting rid of her) but they were having none of it. We had a rousing game of ‘nonchalantly throw the cat in the car, nonchalantly throw the cat back in the house’ as we were saying our goodbyes. My parents won. Pricks.

The top cat didn’t come. I tried to get him in the cat carrier, but he is huge and wouldn’t fit. It was like trying to stuff a horse into a Corvette. But with claws. I decided to just throw him into the car and let him ride free. He escaped as soon as hubby opened the hatch, and it was a sight to behold, watching my poor man fighting with a huge ball of flab and fangs. Honestly, I don’t know who was more petrified, the man or the cat. So I got out and caught the miserable sonofabitch (the cat, not hubby) and brought him struggling and fighting back to the car, which I then quickly threw him into and tried to slam the door. Not surprisingly, he had his tail half out. Did you here the shriek over at your place? I opened the door as fast as I shut it and that cat flew out so fast, I didn’t have time to see where he went. Our neighbour let him in and fed him but he is still not speaking to me.

But we made it home today. I have had a hell of a couple of weeks. This is going to be a long one, so I’m breaking it up for you. Part two of it all tomorrow. 

Did I mention I’m glad to be home? *Hugging house*

 And does anyone need a cat?

Cat Laws

This is the cat.

Sorry, I misspoke. It’s The cat. The only one worth anything. The top cat. The cattest cat.

If it’s not obvious yet, it’s him demanding I write this post. Hard to believe, I know. But you’ve never met him.

He has been alternately sleeping on my lap top, jumping on my tower, and cozying up to the Mac. When those subtle hints to “write about the cat” have failed, he’s taken to sharpening his claws on my bed and sleeping across my throat.

He weighs 18 pounds. He is trying to kill me.

Without further ado,

Cat Laws (in no particular order):

1. If someone accidentally steps on your foot, tail, testicles, etc, you must SCREAM BLOODY MURDER!!! Seriously, yowl as loud and blood curdlingly (is that a word?) as you possibly can so that someone, anyone, will hear you for 2 miles around and know that some human is offending your body and it must stop! If that fails, hiss and bite.

2. If you are a cat and hear another cat in your household yell out in pain, quickly run over to the possibly deathly injured cat and try to beat the shit out of it. First, it keeps the other cat that is bringing its death out of ‘your’ cat area, and it may impress the human that feeds you, because everyone likes a brave cat.

46. If it rains, go up on the roof of the garage. Sit there. Look pissed off. Alternately, if the rain freezes on the roof of the garage, slide around while trying to get down. It will entertain the humans.

23. If your human leaves laundry on the floor, piss on it. Humans don’t need to be so slovenly.

4. Pretend you don’t understand the words “Get down!”.

13. When your human cleans your litter IMMEDIATELY run to the box and have a huge dump. Just because.

62. Get chatty in the middle of the night. If your human rolls over, take it as a sign they want to talk. Meow lots.

31. If the human leaves the dishwasher door open, get inside to remind them they left it open. Same goes for dryers, cupboards, closets, cars, etc. Humans are stupid.

89. When your human goes to change the bedding, release your inner kitten and fling your body crazily around the bed as the sheets are fluttering down. That’s just fun.

53. Go out and kill something. Eat part of it. Leave the legs and hind end at the front door.

80. When the christmas tree goes up, watch casually from a distance. Pretend you don’t care. When your human gives you the warning glance,  lick your neuter stumps. As soon as they are out for more than an hour, get NINJA on that sumbitch. Again, that’s just a good time.

27. When it’s catnip time, get shitfaced. Then get miserable. Pick a fight with any other cat or dog in the house. Find a perch and sleep it off.

11. If you are not getting enough attention, wait until the house is dark, and as your human fumble walks to go get a drink or a snack, get right between its legs and trip it.

38. Once in a blue moon, climb the bookcase and sit on the top quietly. Don’t move. Just stare. This move frightens the humans.

72. If you slip off of something, lick yourself nonchalantly. Pretend that you meant to fall.

90. Love the dog. Play with it. Then ignore it. And when it comes close to say hello, reach out and whack it really hard. Dogs need to learn their fucking place.

17. When you have to vomit, make this noise: GLOUWGLOUWGLOUWGLOUW! If no one comes, retch 3 times then puke. Make sure to do that right on the nearest carpet. Don’t feel guilty. You gave notice.

Final Law. Love the female and the boy violently. So much that you will let them degrade you by decorating you for christmas.

And remember, no matter which side of the door you are on, it will always be the wrong side.