Its been a hard month, Critter passed and quite suddenly, my house has started to less resemble a fort, but more the need to be a fort. We've always prided ourselves on privacy, and keeping undesirables out, but those "undesirables" never materialized...in fact I've always figured people thought of us as paranoid wierdo-urban hermits...but now I can see my fears are founded.
One of the more positive aspects of Critters absence is I now have a tremendous amount of free time. Most of which must be actively used indoors, for now, due to the dire wolves that have materialized at my fence line, but I digress.
I guess I never realized how much time I spent putting up and taking down baby gates. Mopping up pee in the morning, evening and night, off tile. Using the carpet cleaner when I wasn't lucky enough to be cleaning tile. Time spent wandering around the house aimlessly searching for the giant, invisible bottle of white vinegar. Having to do a potty break ever half hour, all hours of the day, in a futile attempt to keep the floor clean. I'm exhasted thinking about it just typing this up.
Don't get me wrong, I love my dog, and I'd endure "pee feet" every morning for the rest of eternity to have her back...but man that dog peed a lot, and in all the wrong places.
Now that hospice duties are over, I've been getting to know my other dogs. I thought I knew my dogs pretty damn well. I mean, I spend all my time with them, so I thought. I feel like that dad that has a great relationship with his kids, that just lost his job, and is now home all the time and coming to the realization that there was alot more to know. Alot more to do.
My first impulse was to replace the gaping hole with another dog. Not to replace her, but to occupy my time/mind while I heal. This is how we acquired Emma for Kev, and Kiwi for me. This model works out for me logically. Dogs need homes. There is a vacancy at the inn. Sorry no pool. Pets allowed with deposit. Please no peeing on the carpet. That sort of thing
This transition was different, so I laid low and allowed myself to feel the awkwardness. I kinda felt this time, like I didn't deserve another dog, and this time, like it would be an insult on Critters memory. I let the emptiness eat me this time, in between cleaning everything in sight.
We went on a hike the other day. I took the three able bodies, and left Tippy to sleep on her pillow, which she'd probably rather do anyway, to the trail up off of Ettiwanda. It was cold and my hands wouldn't work. The dogs were beside themselves. For the first time I didn't feel any guilt for leaving the "others" behind.
Emma is a turnkey dog, if I could replicate her and sell her to new owners I would. On this trail, Kiwi must be kept on a long line, or else in her glee, she'd get lost. Chili stays by my side, sniffing this, or that, but staying with me, I watch for dogs and people which could potentially ruin both his and my day. Em, on the other hand, is having the time of her life, looking for rabbits, she must have inspected every shrub on that trail, all the while, staying near and checking in with me, of her own volition, which required no training to accomplish this.
I never in my life thought I'd be comfortable, letting a 25lb dog, run out of sight, with prey around. Never in my life. I trust this dog that much.
Chili followed her into the brush for a brief moment. I do see that the other dogs are role models for him, as hes gleamed a bit of behavior from them all. But I could see in his face that he had no idea why the hell this was so "fun" and eventually came back to me. Probably the same feeling I had as a kid, backpacking, miserable, all the while my dad was toting it as the best thing that could have ever happened to me... "your not tired! this is fun!"
There was a place where the trail doubles back on itself, and as a result, Em had emerged quite a bit ahead of us on her "check in". I could see her, but she could not see me. Hilarious. She wasn't panicked, but had this look of "stupid human, I left her RIGHT HERE" funny to see the dog look for the "lost" person rather than the other way around. I highly recommend it
So wikipedia, defines religion, partially as such
Religion is a cultural system that creates powerful and long-lasting meaning, by establishing symbols that relate humanity to beliefs and values
I mention this, because today, on impulse, I almost said "sorry, its against my religion" when a guy came in selling flowers. This struck me as odd, since I've always prided myself on the absence of religion in my life.
I took note of this, because my head didn't miss a beat, so I must assume it was genuine. Kinda like a Freudian slip.
But now, when I look at the definition, perhaps my subconscious was onto som'thing.
For those that don't know about Roses, specifically the hybrid tea rose...I wont bore you with details, but essentially its an over bred hybrid, with pretty much no resistance to insects of disease, grown for the long stems that us Humans prefer in our cut flowers. They are readily available at garden centers at huge prices, yet almost never in garden, since unlike other roses that are hard as nails, these teas die.
Since hybrid teas are what are raised for cut flowers, and they essentially, suck. They are raised indoors in huge greenhouses with heavy fertilizers and pesticides.
My other understanding, is for the sake of cheap labor and lax chemical laws, they are grown primarily in South America...where workers are exposed to toxic chemicals and paid less than they are worth, probably without the knowledge that they are killing themselves.
Som'how my brain accessed all the above, and in an instant took a stand. No. I do not believe in this. My second thought however, was that this guy wasn't aware of any of these things, and chewing him out would do no good.
I could have educated him on it, but I didn't, which IN FACT goes against one of my OTHER beliefs, about educating the ignorant. So now what?
I guess if my hypocrisy is going to send me down the road to hell, I'll at least have Emma escorting me down that road, checking every damn bush along the way.
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