Saturday, December 31, 2005

Now What

Artificial as year endings/year beginnings are, this one has had me pensive and sometimes sad or morbid. This will be the first year (in my lifetime) without my brother, who died in June. It will be a year with the dog to whom we gave his name (a decision that seemed right at the time and isn't readily changed, except via nicknames).

I am, more than on any New Year's Eve I can clearly remember, aware that the coming year -- like any year -- could bring the loss of people I love, or things I value.

But for now, the dog doesn't need my care at the moment, my older daughter is at a friend's and not nauseous enough to call for pickup, my younger daughter is playing video games with a friend, my husband is writing a story, the house is cozy, there's pumpkin bread in the kitchen, and I am grateful for all of it.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Still out here

I've been in a sleep-deprived, bronchitis-aggravated, dog-related fog for weeks, but I thought I should make a post, even if I have no clear (let alone interesting) thoughts to record.

It's a beautiful, unseasonably pleasant day with a deep blue sky, and I wish I was energetic enough to do much with it. Maybe this afternoon I'll take dog and daughter to the park -- it'd be a first for the former. She's afraid of parking lots, so she won't like the idea at first, but....

Friday, December 16, 2005

Talking to invisible dogs

Well, talking to absent dogs, to be more precise -- but invisible sounded catchier.

When I'm home alone with The Dog, and she's awake, and we're not in the middle of tug-of-war or some such, I tend to think out loud at her. Whether it's more to make her feel like she has company, or to make me feel that I do, I won't try to assess.

So now, when I'm on my own in Kroger or someplace, I find myself thinking out loud. About nothing more interesting than milk or sandwich bags. I have probably been on the verge of talking to myself in public places anyhow, but The Dog has pushed me over the line.

Monday, December 12, 2005

one of many terrific drawings

My daughter Livali is an artist and cartoonist. She drew a holiday picture involving various characters from a comic book she is writing/drawing. She wasn't able to post it on her live journal for size reasons. So I'm posting it here, Blogger permitting.

Happy Holidays, my Livali!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Love sponge with teeth

Well, we're still working on being a dog-owning household. The puppy turns out to grow like something alien -- in 2 weeks and one day, she went from 10 lbs. and change to 14 lbs. 13 oz. The duffel-bag carrier we got for her is too small -- today, puppy and I went shopping together (a great luxury Petsmart provides) and got her a plastic car crate. It could be used on a plane, but the only place I tend to fly at this stage of my life is to my parents, who most emphatically will not be hosting a dog. I am pretty boggled by how fast she's getting big. It would be nice if I could establish more complete dominance while she's still a fairly small percentage of my size.

She loves people, and is always begging for belly rubs and the like. When she's particularly happy to see someone, she wags her whole body. When she's in a crate, the rhythmic thumps of the wagging tail are kind of cute.... She's very cooperative and tolerant in most respects -- quiet on car rides, good at the vet, good with strangers. She has only one bad habit, but it's disconcerting. She lunges at legs and nips, alternately chewing on pants instead. I have strategies for coping with this -- getting her to chase a stick, making her go on a walk, dragging her inside to her playpen -- but my 9-year-old falls apart when the puppy starts this up. We have a somewhat desperate call in to a trainer recommended by our vet. My husband, Mr. Alpha Male, has no such problems. We've had him shadow us and step in when the puppy starts lunging -- too soon to say if it's helping.

Thank G-d puppies sleep a lot!