Category Archives: Butters the dog

The Octopus in the room

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Ok. I’m going to give this a go.  I am keyboardless and, as well as my fingers fly over an actual keyboard, is how NOT well the touch screen thing works for me.  I’m awful at it.  Which I think is partly the reason my ‘pay as you go’ cell phone terrifies me.  The whole’ touch’ ‘swipe’ thingy combined with auto-correct, back up and do it again thing is like a bizarre millennial hokey pokey.

I didn’t want to open like this, and if I had a keyboard, it would start like this:

I’m scaring my dog.

Then it would go on to say:

She sticks close by, unsure of my current mood.  Or, like yesterday, sticks close, positive of it.

I was alone and having one of the worst spells I’ve had in a while.  Ms. Agnostic hit her knees and prayed “PLEASE don’t let me die right now.  Not today.”

My heart was acting up big time.  I could barely walk Butters.  I took the three steps down to our yard and though, “oh my god, I can’t do this.”

But I had to do it.  She needs me.

It was a quick walk around the yard, and when I came in, I felt like calling an ambulance.  My face was flushed, heart pounding, dizzy.  Yeah, taking the dog out to pee.

I know the difference between a ‘spell’ and my ever-increasing anxiety attacks.  This popped up in my news feed the other day and I thought, “Yes!.”

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Used to be I had a few triggers.  Now, I have an arsenal.  The screaming from the house next door, a weird sound coming from my car, crowds … Any sort of dispute in my ear shot.  Now, add changing lanes in traffic, Butters taking off and barking in the yard.

My poor nails try daily to grow, but I hinder them and their quest.

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I’m alienating friends, scaring off others.  The only time I feel comfortable is at work or with my son.

Even when I DO ‘reach out’ I can’t find the right words and come off as a psycho.

My sleeping pattern is off.  I’ve gained weight, which, is a good thing … But, I haven’t been trying.

top all of this off with my Nannie who has been in the hospital for a while.

I feel like I don’t get to say how much she means to me, because someone might be offended.

I also feel like someone may be offended by sharing my current state of, let’s just say it … Depression.

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I am still quite capable of seeing ‘good’, I just don’t feel capable of participating in it.

Poor little Christmas tree is barely ever lit.  I’m not counting Christmas down in ‘how many sleeps!!’

I’m just here.

And  mostly smiling all day and then scaring the dog when I sit on my bed and cry.

But I did just notice my purse looking like a weird octopus, so I still have that.

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(Cartoon art credit to Hyberbole and a Half … Please don’t sue me.)

 

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Le Drape & Butters

I’ve had neither the discipline nor the inspiration to write of late.  Not even a sea of new faces at the Laundromat last Sunday could tempt me.

Needless to say, there have been a LOT of life/routine changes.

New dynamics in the house: Two new roomies.

Getting used to living with someone you didn’t give birth to is weird!

Although, living with someone you DID give birth to has its moments too …

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Adjusting has been surprisingly easy actually.  It certainly helps being über comfortable with that person to begin with.

Helps that they spoon and tell you ‘I love you’ first thing in the morning even before you brush your teeth.

AND … Butters is enjoying her new friend the cat. That alone, was a HUGE relief for me!!

It was the only variable I was terrified could go horribly wrong!

I was certain, worrier that I am, that I would be getting a phone call advising that either:  A) Butters eyeball was now located on cat’s claw. Or, B) Butters had just ended all 9 of the cats’ lives.

But those things did not happen.  It’s a freaking miracle as far as I’m concerned.  Okay, maybe not, probably the prep work, patience and work we put into their introductions had a lot to do with that one – and the fact that both fur kids are inherently sweet-natured.

Cat has a name. Draper. Poor Draper – reducing him to ‘The Cat.’

Le Drape.

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He’s so mellow – except when he gets a little bonkers in the morning … then there is that whole run at top speed from one room to the next feline ‘thing’ that happens.

He’s also learned to sit on the rug in front of the fridge alongside Butters when I am making my lunch sandwich in the morning.

Clever. Clever boy.

So they each got a bit of cheese and lunch meat, because they were being freaking adorable – which, started a bad habit.

I own it!  My fault!  Totally my fault.  But they were working together and getting along so WELL during begging!

So anyway, here they are staring at ‘dad’ wanting some of HIS food.  You’re welcome honey.

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They are the alpha’s in the house, no doubt. They have us VERY well-trained.

I even managed to have one of those moments I only read about on the internet. My fiancée explaining that he came to bed only to find me, snoozing diagonally across the king sized bed – Draper curled in between my legs and Butters smashed up against my side – leaving him with the conundrum of ‘where the hell am I sleeping??’

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SO now you’re caught up, turns out I will not be the cat lady – just a one cat gal – and a happy ever after after all.

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Musings from the Laundromat: Cats & Dogs and Naming Glaucoma man Edition

Me: Glaucoma man is here.

Jim: What’s his name?

Me: Glaucoma man … I don’t know.  I don’t name them, then I won’t feel so bad if I lose one.

Immediately upon introducing the two, Jim got his name.

Dammit!

So, now you do too.

Glaucoma man is Roger.

And he’s sporting some serious shorts today.

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All this time, we shared our lives, but never our names.  He still doesn’t know mine.  Oh!  I ran into him at the grocery store last week!  It was bizarre.

I was getting groceries the morning I was to pick up Jim at the airport, and I heard a familiar voice in the cereal aisle.

It’s like seeing a teacher out of school … or a co-worker in an unexpected place.

He showed me his new haircut and asked why I wasn’t at work.  When we parted, he said “Don’t work too hard.”

I found that odd.  Well, the whole interaction outside of the laundromat was odd.

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It’s been a great weekend.  I would say it’s been weird adjusting to having a roommate, but it hasn’t been.  At all.

What we ARE still adjusting to, is the integration of my dog and his cat.  It’s going well.  But Butters (as Jim so appropriately described her) is like a bowling ball with legs.

Her eagerness might end up causing Draper an injury.  So we’re very watchful when they’re together.

And yes, they’ve reached the point, after a few nights of pining and sniffing and exploring – of being in the same room.

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We followed the SPCA’s advise and rewarded Butters for calm behavior walking past the baby gate divide.  Draper was on one side, leashed and Butters leashed on the other.  Each with their person.

We were determined not to rush it.

Needed it to be a positive experience for each of them.

We still have a lot of work to do … but making great progress.

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So many new people here today – people I’ve never seen before.  Glaucoma man is leaving, I feel a little out of place now.

Then I glance over at my honey’s seat and he’s been drawing as I have been writing …

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And now I don’t feel out of place anymore.

Everything is as it was meant to be.

Roger that.

Faith, Hope, Love

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I had these ‘peelable’ words in my bathroom, on my light fixture.  I took them off today.

Not because I don’t believe in them.  Because they were peeling of their own accord and I was in Ultra Domestic Goddess mode today.

I started off with awaking at 1:00 a.m. with Butters staring at me.  Urgently.  Whining.  We went outside and she chowed down on any grass she could find.  Which, in a desert, is a pretty futile effort, but she knew every spot in our yard.

This could be (other than a ‘duh’ moment) indicative of the fact that the very day before, she started eating garbage.  She has NEVER done this!

She wouldn’t even eat delicious, hot, human food sitting at her eye level before she was spayed! I do not know what she ate that brought on such an emergency … other than Q-tips, tissue and ok … mother nature arrived.  (For the second time this month … another post … or not) Ug.

But she has NEVER … EVER … before. Weird.  I wonder if that means after her surgery she was craving something her body needed, much like us girls do at certain times of the month. We can be all ‘salad and healthy’ then ‘give me a f*&$ing burger’.

So knowing this, we were outside for half an hour early in the morning while she scavenged for grass.

I’m no dummy.  I know dogs eat grass when they want to puke.  Bottom line.   But, there was no puking.

So I’m a little concerned about her.  I’ve let her out sans leash a couple of times, it’s been 10 days since her surgery … but mostly I’m still walking her, because she seems to like it.  And also, I get to tell her in non-verbal ways, that she doesn’t have to bark at every car that goes by.

Rewind.

I was up at 7 a.m.  (Expecting to walk into the main house to find Butters vomit – but no, we already know that.)

I went to bed early – so, in spite of my 1:00 a.m. awakening, I was spry.  (I’m excited I get to use that in a sentence! LOL!)

My morning: 7:30 – left house.  Off to get my oil changed (turns out I have a tiny leak and they talked me into synthetic oil since I’m over 75,000 miles).  Car wash.

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Store for my future cat ‘Draper’ – cat bowl, cat food, cat toys purchased.

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Bank, for money.  Since Nic lost my card, I’m doing this a lot. Good thing I used to work with these chicks and I love visiting them.

Purchased Nic’s 20th birthday gifts.  (Ug! That’s a whole other post.  My baby is going to be 20 on Tuesday!!!!)

Dropped donations off at Goodwill.

Stopped at the shops for things for my honey, for the house.

Got gas.

20 cents off per gallon!  Thanks Smiths!

Got home.

1:00 P.M.   Did a majority of the weeding in the yard, after picking up the poop earlier.

Butters got to sit outside without her leash!

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Cleaned house.

I kept avoiding the bedroom and worked on the rest of the house, I’m loving our nerd living room:

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Thought about a woman’s ‘Day Off’.

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Eventually got to the bedroom … and I can now walk through it.  And it is ready. And there is space for my honey.

 

So, back to ‘Faith, Hope, Love’.

Someone commented, when I shared my morning:

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Bottom line is I am SO grateful.  Grateful that I even had the money for the oil change and the car that required it.  The physical ability to weed that wretched dirt yard – the mental strength and ability to go through every single piece of my past these past weeks – the determination to make my past and present ready for my future.

The Faith that what I am pouring into my tomorrow is worth it. (It is, I know it.)

The Love still in my heart … that I fell head over heels with the man who I know was always meant for me.

I am SO grateful.

So very, very, very grateful.

And I can’t wait until he’s finally here.

Less than two weeks – and this girl has the man of her dreams, dreaming next to her.

 

Musings from the Laundromat: Butters, Palms & Pocket Man Returns edition

This week has been bananas.  And this morning started off on a queer note too.

I awoke, knew I had to take Butters outside (more on that later) looked at the clock, 10 minutes until 8!  I threw some clothes on, grabbed a sleepy dog and a leash and out we went.

To no avail.

Came back inside, brushed my teeth, ran a brush through my hair and by now, my eyes are starting to open.

They opened enough that I could see in the living room that it was now 7 a.m.

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Apparently, the atomic alarm clock in my bedroom got bored, and decided to leap into the future.  I seriously need to leave it some crayons and paper or something, because this is the 3rd time it’s done that since I’ve had it.

Anyway, if my clock can time travel … so can we.

Let’s go back to Saint Patrick’s Day ….

I finally had an appointment to get Butters spayed and to receive her shots.

(Here’s where I preach again.  DO NOT GET A PET UNLESS YOU CAN AFFORD TO TAKE CARE OF IT!  I’ll also remind you that Butters was a stray, who adopted us, and it’s taken THIS long to afford to spay her.  I kept her in the yard, have not let her have contact with other animals – because she had not had her shots.  Be a responsible pet owner, spay & neuter!  They are family members for life, not just a passing fancy).

ANYWAY, (climbs off of soapbox)

Got her in the car … managed to leave her in the car while alerting the vet that I was here and reminding them “She slips her collar – I may need help.”  They came outside with me holding the lasso type leash.

It worked.

Everything was going well!  She allowed her temperature to be taken, was a champ getting through her shots  – and then I said goodbye, covered in hair and smelling like a dog in my work clothes.

Later that morning, I received a call from my son … it went like this:

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Received another phone call that afternoon from the vet saying she was out of surgery and in recovery.

Cake walk!

Then it was time to pick her up.

I could see by the looks on the staff’s faces that they hadn’t mentioned everything during that phone call.

“Um, she’ll be out in a minute … they’re just trying to get the cone on her.”

Minutes added up … finally 4 technicians FOUR came out with Butters.

Sans cone.

(It makes a lovely lampshade though …)

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Turns out she was only one of two dogs that had ever woken immediately after – surgery and managed to take her own gauze off.  Turns out she was a little hard to wrangle.  Turns OUT she had already removed 4 cones.

“Do you want me to help?” I asked.

Yes, yes they did.

I held her as they put another cone on, as my manatee squirmed.  And, watched as she removed her entire collar and cone.

I held her as they applied the ‘harness cone’ – and watched as she removed that too.

By now she’s panting … the senior technician, with a look of exhaustion, asked me if she was a ‘licker’.

“Well, yeah … I’ve seen her lick her foot.”

Long story short, we had the vet shoot her up with a tranquilizer and I left with a sedation prescription in addition to the pain-killer prescription.

“She’ll go down any minute …”  the technician told me.

So the entire drive home, I had one hand on the steering wheel and one hand holding her upright, terrified she was going to zonk out, fall off the back seat and hurt herself.

I needn’t have worried.  I ended up staying awake most the night with her.  She would not ‘go down.’

She tottered around the house like a drunken toddler.  I followed her everywhere so that she didn’t fall … and as she fought sleep, we cuddled.

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I knew I would be useless at work the next day – and called my boss to ask for the morning off.

Oh, and  why is she on the bed?   I lifted her, because if I tried to ‘sequester’ her to a confined space (as the vet suggested), she yowled and jumped clumsily up at the door which I knew was NOT good for her stitches.  I chose the lesser of two evils.

(In between all of this fun, I had given my son my ATM card to collect her prescriptions, which, he ended up losing.  And after cancelling the card, he then found it.  Groan.)

Fast forward to Friday.

I had a terrible spell.  It lasted for hours.  Usually when I’m tired, or stressed, I seem to have them more frequently.  I sat at work having chest pain and dizziness.  Off balance and feeling like I was in a furnace.  I couldn’t wait to go home.  Besides, my son was in Phoenix and Butters had been unattended all day.

When I felt safe enough to drive home, I took the chance and went for it.

I pulled into my parking spot and saw the most beautiful sight.

Blurred to protect the innocent

Blurred to protect the innocent

Boxes on the porch!  Lots of boxes!  My fiancée’s possessions had arrived.

But first on my list of things to do, was to get in, take my much-needed medicine, check on Butters and take my poor girl outside!  She has to be leash walked in the yard for at least 10 days … so she doesn’t ‘overdo’ it.

I go inside – and was greeted by another sight.

Not so beautiful.

My VERY house trained girl could not hold it all day.  I’m not surprised considering the medicines she’s on.  But I was already not feeling well & now had 3 messes to clean up.

First things first though!  Medicine?  No.  Take Butters out.  Because I knew she was probably embarrassed about those accidents and she comes first.

Out we go.

Then she notices the boxes.

And to say she freaked out would be an understatement.

I can’t bring a box or bag in the house without her looking at it like I invited a vampire in.  She fusses and frets until I ‘touch’ the strange new object and then she’ll get comfortable enough to sniff it – but keeps her eye on it, just in case.

Well, the boxes were just too much for her.  And she must have been going bonkers when they were delivered – I imagine she was barking maniacally at the poor UPS driver when he or she was depositing the boxes on the porch.

So there’s mulitple ‘strange objects’ and ‘scent of stranger’ surrounding her.

She yanked on the leash, and it tightened – and she backed up to the edge of the porch ready to leap!

I had two choices, let her leap … which could do her wound much damage, or, I could pull tighter on that leash and cut off her air supply.  I only had seconds to decide.  I know doggy CPR.  I chose pull, and get her back inside.

I locked her in my bedroom, stepping over the accidents.

I then cleaned up the accidents, as she whined urgently and pawed at the door … an occasional pitiful bark of protest.

I still had to handle the boxes, because I knew she still had to go out, and would not walk past them.

So I carried each box in, straining at the weight of them – heart pounding more than it already had been.  Placed the boxes in the kitchen and released the hound.

I was finally able to take her outside.

And as I walked her, remembered, I still needed my heart medicine.

We eventually calmed down – and I put the boxes in new places so that she could walk in the kitchen without fear.

Fast forward to yesterday.

I indulged in a Netflix binge … needing the rest.  Watched Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (at the suggestion of my friend Penny).

Okay, I watched the entire Season. (GREAT show by the way, bravo Tina Fey!)

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Pausing only to take Butters out and fix a snack.

Then came the ‘incident’.

Stay with me.

Butters has a path.  She’s walked it so many times, it’s indelibly etched into our desert dirt yard.

We took the path.  Oh, I should mention.  I was in my Netflix day underwear and a t-shirt.  Ok, not technically ‘underwear’ underwear, not the type I drop on the laundromat floor.  They’re boxer briefs that are so comfy and look like bicycle shorts from afar.  Decent for the yard.

On said path, is a palm.

This one.

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That’s the front view – as we approach … here it is from the other side, which, took me longer to see.

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So – here’s what happened.  I’ll usually discourage her from this part of the path.   But, I wanted her to go her route.  I decided I could fit under the archway.

Only, I didn’t factor in her pulling, and me holding the leash.

I lost my balance.

Luckly, the palm caught most of my fall.   By hooking my underwear to it.

I’m hanging, by my underwear, not letting go of the leash, and I realize – I’m in pain.

It did not just have me by the undies.

I had palm imbeded in my leg and arm.

I kept calm.  Kept hold of the leash and reached up to unhook myself from the palm, only to drop, very gracefully (not) to the ground.

Not one to be detered by a mere palm incidient, we finished the little walk and she successfully went potty as I felt blood running down my arm – and felt the ache of my leg.

Once inside I inspected the damage.

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My arm was already swelling – my leg needed some barb removal, and was already bruising and swelling too.

Let’s talk about palm trees for a second shall we?

They’re so exotic and beautiful no?

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NO!  They are nature’s serrated knives!

Evil, barbed, serrated knives!

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That is what I had hooked into me.  You know what – they’re more like natures chain saws!

Here’s my leg today …

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Trust me when I say, it looks worse in person … and feels like I was bitten by a strange object vampire.

Hurts to walk – hurts to sit.

I shall not be going under that palm again!

But I will be walking Butter’s path – many, many times for the next week.  Because after almost $500 she’s my biggest asset at this moment – and also, I discovered how much I loved her when she was at her worst.

I called my future mother-in-law the day of the surgery – looking for advice when she wouldn’t settle.   She told me dogs pick up on our stress.

Well then, Butters is screwed – I am a stress ball.  I’m the one who worries for everyone.   I can’t wait until Jim joins his boxes, because he soothes me.  He’s my calm.

Speaking of worrying for everyone – as I was finishing up at the laundromat, the little man who I wanted to put in my pocket came back.  He’d been gone for two weeks, in the hospital for most of it.

He walked over, wearing an oxygen apparatus and said: “Thank you for your kindness.”  I’m tearing up just remembering that simple sentence.  To make a connection with a stranger – to have them thank you.   My little pocket man promised he would be there next week too, after I said to him and his wife as I made my way out of the laundromat “It’s so good to see you BOTH here.”

I’m so grateful for all I have, all I don’t have.   For Butters, for my love, my family and friends – and for that stupid palm that reminded me, even if you get hung up or snagged on something painful, you keep going and finish what you started.