Category Archives: Pets

Home is where the heart aches…

It hits me the hardest when I put down my luggage.
A stillness settles over me as my heart remembers you are no longer here to promptly sit on it while I try to put everything away.
I am defeated.

I will carry the memory of the loss of you with me for several more days before it settles back into the reality of my existence and the loss begins to be normal again.

You aren’t sitting on my lap and incessantly demanding I lie still to make up for the time we lost when I was away.

You aren’t rubbing against my face when I try to use the computer, insistent that all attention should be paid to you.
I’ve never had an easier time writing.

You aren’t tripping me on the stairs.

You aren’t batting my face in the night.

You aren’t.

Too many cogs, too many wheels…

So here I am, new house, new baby, new town, trying to get some semblance of normalcy into my life by enjoying a relaxing day at home with the children, and maybe taking a small trip to Ellen’s for lunch. It was a plan ill fated from the beginning.

Otter was an upset baby today, not a happy baby. He was a crying, screaming, fussing, unhappy baby. Therefore the morning lacked the longed for relaxation. Doubly longed for as he was a fussy baby all night and I haven’t seen the deep side of sleep in what feels like 50% of forever (as my mom would say.) To make things worse, every time I try to sleep in I am awoken by a. the baby b. Monkey or c. Lee, looking rather as though I am a bad person for sleeping in while he heads off to work. (It’s okay, I look at him like he is a bad person when he is sleeping at night and I am up with Otter, of course, he can’t see me, so it has less effect.)

Anyway, the morning is spent attempting to console the inconsolable child. Then we all bundled into the car to go to Ellen’s, where I spent two hours trying to console the inconsolable child. Our landlord was coming by to show the house to a visiting religious leader/friend of his, so I went home to let him in, while Monkey stayed at Ellen’s.

But my day gets better…

Ellen called to say she was bringing Monkey home in a few minutes. After I hung up, the landlord arrived with his guest. While they were coming in the door, Bella got out. I had a hold of Andy, and was carrying the grousy baby, but Bella was sitting pleasantly by my side, like her well behaved self. While the landlord was coming in, she calmly got up and sauntered out the door before tearing hells bells for freedom.

So here I go, 20 pound baby in arm, racing in fitflops down the street yelling for Bella. (The fitflops really do work by the way, I am quite pleased with them.) She disappears, and my ragtag team of me, Otter, landlord, and landlord’s honored religious leader visiting from India go searching for her.

A random cabby tells me he hit her when she ran across the street, but that he had just began moving and didn’t hit her hard. He points out the direction in which she ran. He spends a good 20 minutes trying to help me find her, in between frantic calls to his boss and assurances to me that he wasn’t speeding. (I wasn’t even wearing my “cross me and I’ll sue you” t-shirt they gave out on graduation day!)

At this point I was terrified for my sweet Bella, who spends all day every day following me everywhere I go and is an integral part of my life. I went home to get my car, and my daughter, and we left to go find her. I called Lee, he headed home, and I began driving up and down streets in search of her.

Then I got a call from the landlord telling me she was home but hurt. Apparently a nice man got her to cross the street while a cop blocked traffic and she limped in through the back door. I drove home, relaying the message to Lee on the way, and found my sweet dog, lying on the kitchen floor, with a bloody mangled paw. She looked up at me with eyes that said “make it better mommy” and collapsed in a heap at my feet.

I set the baby in his pack and play, laid out a blanket, coaxed her onto it, and gave her a bowl of water. Then I sat with her and petted her until Lee got back.

Lee raced her to the vet and, $600.00 later, she is now sitting at my feet with a cone around her head and a paw wrap. There is nothing broken, no internal bleeding, just a bloody mangled paw. (Sadly that $600.00 was our extra travel home money, so it is looking like just the visit in August and hopefully christmas. Also, Lee probably won’t make it home for the wedding in August, so it will only be me and the children. Sigh.)

I feel like such a bad doggy mommy. I was holding onto the flight risk dog, Andy, and the baby, because Otter screamed every time I set him down. Bella hasn’t run off in years, so I didn’t think it would be a problem. There were simply too many cogs squeaking on my wheel for me to handle, and hers is the one that fell off.

Sorry girl. I promise to slather your painkillers in peanut butter to make them more palatable.

Of temper tantrums and bodily fluids…

Why is it that the moment one parent leaves town, the kids go insane?

Lee is away at a Ruby on Rails conference with Devon, Morgan, and a few others representing Vonage in all it’s orangeness. My Dad was here until yesterday, so I only have two full days alone with one Monkey, one infant Otter, three dogs (I agreed to keep Devon’s dog Fitz, who lacks housetraining but normally will keep to a pee pad instead of hitting floors and carpet), and three cats. Shouldn’t be too bad right?

Let’s see… The night before I got up at 4:30 am to take Lee to the train station for his journey Monkey threw her first ‘Post little brother” fit. It was complete with screaming and crying and ended with the phrase “you don’t love me anymore, you only love Otter!” Sigh. Lee and I talked her down off a ledge, told her we did love her, and finally got her to sleep. However, Otter then kept me awake until almost 11, thereby giving me only 5 hours of interrupted, fitful sleep to work with upon Lee’s departure. I tried to go back to sleep after dropping him off, but Otter was awake and ready to eat, so it didn’t work. (It’s hard to sleep while a small creature sucks milk out of your nipple, but damn it I am going to master it eventually!)

The next sign that my week without Lee would be more challenging than initially anticipated came when Fitz decided to deviate from the perfectly acceptable pee pad behavior and instead poop on the carpet. Not wanting to risk a rental deposit of astronomical proportions, I cleaned up the mess and confined Fitz to a large linoleum area with temporary toddler fencing. She has still not deigned to hit the pee pad conveniently located near her, but at least she can’t destroy the linoleum. Sigh. (As if I was not already handling enough human waste, now I have to handle doggy waste too!)

The week continued with Monkey waking up at four am two nights ago with a nightmare, and last night having wet the bed, causing me to lose even more sleep than I normally do taking care of the baby. Of course I had failed to wash her previously dirty sheets so when I opened it at 4 am, the sheet cupboard was bare. Sigh. Additionally she has managed to use every tactic in the book to delay bedtime each night this week, leaving her very tired and cranky during the day. Joy!! (She was very well behaved today though, until bedtime, so I am thankful for that.)

Happily my dogs have not gone mad, yet, and Otter is only slightly more cranky and fussy than normal, so things are not as bad as they could be. However, why is it this crap happens when you are already taking a hit for the team?