Monday, November 25, 2013

Pug Love

We have had dogs all my life.

During our marriage, we have chosen to rescue dogs.  We've taken animals into our home who were somehow rejected by others.  A good friend once called our "pack" the Ugly Dog Welcoming Committee.

They were ugly.

Crabby old Coco, who probably hurt so bad by that time of her life she could barely cope with people.

La, the one-eyed Boston Terrier, who wanted to play with everyone all the time.

Wally, my mother's rejected Mexican dog, who wanted so badly to be the big guy on campus.

And the original Luna, the lunatic pug, who first introduced me to pug love. 

For a long time, I wouldn't admit to loving animals.  I tolerated them.  I took care of them.  I played with them when no one was looking.  But I didn't understand why ALL dogs gravitated toward me everywhere.  They stink!  They're ugly!  They lick! Etc!

I hated the hair everywhere (and still do).  I hated the dog smell (and still do).  I hated the caretaking (and still do).  There's nothing easy about being a pet owner.... errr pet lover. 

And I don't care.

I fell in love with the first Luna.  She had spit and fire and devotion in spades.  The other dogs would do their thing and - sometimes even if I wanted to - they would only interact with people on their schedules.  Not Luna.  She wanted me all the time.

And then she died.

And then one day Coco couldn't move and Jakob and I had to carry her to the car.  We met Adam and Joe - her love of loves - at the Pet Hospital.  He couldn't watch her die, so the boys and I did.  It was really beautiful to watch her relax.  And, I might add, to watch my boys being men for the first time.  I was so proud of them for being with her when she went to sleep that last time.

Next, we got Luna (the German Shepherd Corgi Luna) and she was so happy at our house.  Despite the fact that her tag said she had "separation anxiety" she seemed like an exceptionally happy dog.

Then La died.  To date, we aren't sure why.

Then Wally was walking across the grass and died.  Again, we aren't sure why.  We went from all to nothing.

At that point, we welcomed Yoda home.  He was our first baby and he was a Pug.  I loved him from the second he landed in my arms.  And he loved me.  He was the most adoring animal I have ever known.  And I became the most adoring owner I had ever known.  I loved that boy beyond reason and beyond explanation.  The only thing I knew was that HE loved me unconditionally.

How attractive was that?  I have never been truly loved unconditionally.  Never.  My parents both denied me, my extended family had been pushed away by my parents, and husbands and kids don't count.

But Yoda?  He loved me no matter what.  He didn't care if I wore polka dots and stripes or winter clothes in fall or white shoes in the off season.  He adored me.  He didn't care if I sang off key or was late for a meeting.  He adored me.  He didn't care if I fed him figs or newtons or didn't feed him at all.  He adored me.  I could do NO wrong.

And then, one morning, I left him at daycare.  It was a crazy day.  I never hugged him and said "Bye Buddy, see you soon!" or ANYTHING.  I left, trusting he was in good hands.

He was in good hands, but it was a busy day.

When I came home, my sweet Adam had to tell me he was gone.  I think I hit him.  Thankfully, he's twice my size.  But he was so sad too.

That was The Worst Day of My Life.

All I had to do was protect an unknowing creature.  Keep safe a being who didn't know things could hurt him.  And adore an actual being that adored me.

And I failed.

He died.  I will never forget a thing about him.  I look forward to meeting him again.  I adore all pets and animals because of how he loved me.  And I will share that with everyone I meet.

I am so thankful for the people who grieved with me, even though we now actually live in the Pet Cemetary.  

We have come a long ways, but today I wanted to remember.

Yoda, baby, I will see you again!

And thanks to you and the first Luna, we have baby Pugs!!!  Thanks be!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

A Writer Who Cannot Write

I have the BEST QUOTE EVER on my title page: "In spite of everything I shall rise again: I will take up my pencil, which I have forsaken in my great discouragement, and I will go on with my drawing." 

Know what though?  Vincent Van Gogh  took up his instrument and used it.  He wrote despite the agony it cost him.  And aren't we glad he did?

It is never the case that I have nothing to say.

It is far too often the case that I have nothing to say that I want share with people

It takes a great deal of courage to write about hurts and failures and recovery.  And courage takes energy and time away from other great things.  I think that's my failing: I don't have enough time for anything really, really good.

During our trip to Florida this year, I was alone a majority of the time.  I chose not to go to baseball - like Joe said, "Why would she come watch baseball when we're living on the beach?!?!?"  I stayed on the beach.

And I thought.  I thought and thought and thought and thought.  And then I thought some more.

I don't want to be this busy anymore.

Weirdly, though, the things I thought were expendable aren't, while the things I thought were the bread and butter aren't.

What does that mean?

I hope it means I will be making big, big changes in my life over the next year or so. 

Pray about it.  Would you?  I no longer wish to be a write who cannot write.