Saturday, April 01, 2017

Sunday, February 19, 2017

I'll be the one with the bags of poop

We make medical waste.
There's the cuteness, and then there's the day the vet says these two sentences: "Your dog has the joints of a 12 year old." And "Your puppy is teeming with parasites."

Ever since he was a puppy, Gus has had periodic limpy episodes. We first thought it might be growing pains (he was underweight when we got him, and grew from 25 to 70 pounds lightning fast*), but x-rays showed degenerative joint disease (DJD. Or call it arthritis if you want). Another episode recently resulted in another set of x-rays, which showed a hairline fracture in his elbow as well as the joint wear we already knew about.

ANYWAY, he has lately been on an anti-inflammatory/pain med and nutritional supplements, which seemed to be helping. He must have injured himself (unfortunately, probably puppy-related) because he's all limpy in the front again. A friend who used to be a vet tech recommended injections of this magical stuff that restores lubrication to worn joints, and our vet agreed it was a good idea, and that we could do it ourselves.

So twice a week, and then twice a month, and then once a month, brave Mark is injecting this stuff into our dog.

Also, Clover is a good girl, but she's a 16 week-old puppy. This morning she insisted, starting at 4 am, that she really needed to go out (she sleeps in a kennel in our bedroom). She was still making intermittent sad sounds at 5:30, so I took her out. We walked and walked and walked around the dark and then less-dark neighborhood. I shuffled cautiously down icy sidewalks as she trotted ahead. We saw a skunk and lurched in the other direction. We saw the woman with the maniacally barking dog who plants herself in the middle of the sidewalk with a big smile on her face (the WOMAN, not the DOG). We lurched away from them and into the path of the SAME SKUNK, waddling up and down driveways in the morning light. To sum up, I walked her for an hour, and she did not pee.

Later I learned from Mark that Theo was sauntering around our room teasing Clover most of the night, and that's why she started crying to come out of her kennel. It's the cat's fault.

Fear not, dear reader, she did eventually pee.

Must be an angel.

This afternoon we went to Tandem, and since it was almost 50 degrees and sunny(ish), we sat outside. We left poor Mr Limpy home (he's supposed to take it easy. He's not supposed to be wrestling puppies or flinging himself into snowbanks or any of his other favorites). Clover was so tired from the long walk she and Mark had just taken that she wanted to sit quietly on my lap like a dream puppy while I drank a latte.

I won't give you the "teeming with parasites" details. Let's just say it's being taken care of.

*Gus is now 82 pounds and could stand to lose a few of them. Clover is 21 pounds, and might get as big as 50.

Friday, February 10, 2017


Detail: lap with snowpants and puppy.

So we went and got ourselves a puppy because we just weren't going outside in the bitter cold and whirling snow in our jammies quite as much as we wished we were. No, but I really don't recommend a puppy in the winter, unless you want to feel incredibly intrepid, like you're a person who's lived in Maine for 18 long years, dammit! This is day two, so don't listen to anything I say, but this puppy is pretty fun. Gus was surprisingly dour about the whole thing, after an initial glorious frolick in the snow with her. But he's coming around to the charms of a smart and rascally puppy.

Theo may be a bit heartbroken, but this morning he stalked over to the couch where I was sitting with the puppy, and sat up tall, staring at her, and yawned, flashing his razor sharp teeth. I hope she won't chase him. I'm going to teach her to be sweet to all cats.

Her name is Clover (FKA Merriweather, which probably should be her middle name). She is 20 pounds, so pretty, with funny ears that may go half-up eventually, as per her Australian Shepherd heritage (her mom was at least part Aussie, dad unknown, although I imagine him as a dead ringer for Gus's cousin Charlie). She may get as big as 50 pounds, although she seems pretty tiny right now. She is smart, sharp, agile, sweet, cuddly, brave, hungry. By "agile" I mean you should see her spring from the floor to the couch, silently, like a cat, or leap straight up and down in the snow—you can practically hear the cartoon boing boing boing. And she can almost hold a ball with her paws. Add "dextrous" to that list. I imagine Gus has been annoyed in part because she goes running in circles around him and bouncing back and forth across his body in the snow. His leg is hurting him, poor good boy. But he's pretty much a sunshine anyway.

I worked with Clover sleeping behind me yesterday and today, took breaks to snuggle with her or take her outside. I don't want to tell you how many times she accidentally peed in the house, for fear of jinxing it. (But it was ZERO.) This morning we walked a little bit of the way around Mackworth while the wind blew hard and bitter and snow swirled around us and two dogs danced around. The former park ranger who was always yelling at people to keep their dogs on a leash (just doing his job) was there with his dog OFF THE LEASH. Also, his dog pooped and he said, "Aw shoot I forgot a bag." And Mark said, "I have extra!" and the former park ranger said, "Oh, no, that's okay! I'll...pick it up on my way back."

Friday, February 03, 2017

Love is love is love is love

Wise words from Jamie Varon in my email inbox:

Love compels me to stand FOR factual evidence. A sentence I never thought I'd need to type and a disillusionment only 2016 could bring—that many people do not believe facts anymore? Facts are not here to suit your personal beliefs. Journalists at reputable news organizations have ethics to uphold. You've been watching too much House of Cards or Scandal if you believe the entire press is fake and incapable of reporting without bias—just because they don't agree with your assumption of the facts doesn't make the facts any less true.

To fight against injustice is not divisive. To stand for and be complicit of an unjust system IS the divisiveness. Perpetrators of racism are the dividers. Perpetrators of sexism are the agitators. If you think peace comes from being silent in the face of injustice—then your peace is dependent on the silence of the suffering. Compassion and love is not passive—and love should compel you to stand against anything which is not rooted in love. Love is not love without action.
It hardly needs to be said, any of it, and it's gratifying to be able to spend so much real and virtual time with people who totally get it -- my family, friends, my little city, even my Instagram pals and Facebook warrior buddies. But every once in a while I get a reminder* that there are many who don't get it. I want to help them, because I just can't believe that there are that many evil, mean spirited humans in this country. Or, more likely in most cases, people who are frightened of the Other.

*see: comment on my January 29th post.

Sunday, January 29, 2017


I saw a tweet today that said something like, "Wow, you know people are mad about this Muslim ban if they'll actually go to the airport, the worst place on earth, to protest." Our little airport in Portland is the easiest one ever, in my airport experience. It takes about ten minutes to get there, five minutes to park (close, cheaply). It's quiet and laid back for an airport. Granted, I am almost always delivering someone or picking someone up when I go there--and sometimes the planes they get on or off look really really small and somewhat terrifying.

Anyway, I went to protest the Muslim Ban with the Dancer and her girl, signless (I was signless--the Dancer had one). It was truly heartening, with hundreds or thousands* of us crammed into the baggage claim area. We were early, and we watched the crowd gather--lots of families with wonderful, hastily made signs, and it wasn't even entirely white, with quite a few POC and Muslims represented. Before things got started, I noticed a guy walking slowly through the crowd, and then lurking around behind us for a while. He was white, and had a red "Make America Great Again" hat on, and a backpack. He made me nervous--he looked like the kind of person who would have a backpack full of weapons, or... I don't know, I was totally profiling him as a "type." And then, I watched two Portland police officers with a dog do the same thing. They walked toward him, walked around him, let the dog sniff around, including his backpack, which he'd put on the floor. They talked to him for a while. The end of the story is that he had no explosives (or whatever), and he was totally there to collect his luggage--just some traveling Tr*mp supporter who happened to find himself in the middle of a protest. I don't know, it was weird.

*There was an announcement that we numbered 3,600--which seems too big? Maybe?