Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Faces of Healing

Last Wednesday was a hard, hard day emotionally for me. My baby was turning one (yes, I know, way overdue with his 12-month letter, and let's ignore the fact I never wrote one for his 11-month birthday. Hello, second child syndrome!) which means that I will never get to hold a newborn again, at least not one that spent nine months inside my tummy. I was missing my dog tremendously, more so than any other pet I've ever lost. I knew I always had a sweet spot for that dog, but never realized how truly special he was to me until he was gone. And damn I miss that dog.

But even more than me, there was Little Man, who worried about Old Dog going hungry in heaven, since it had been his job to feed him twice a day. And then came the talks of how he hoped that our car would get in a horrible crash and we all died, that way we'd all get to go to heaven and be with Old Dog again. Nothing says 'I miss having a dog' like a four-year old with crazy dark thoughts.

So on that fateful Wednesday, I decided that we all needed an outlet for our puppy love. And began to contact breeders of Brittanys in Texas.

And it was freaking hard. Because the whole time, the guilt of 'replacing' my dog, was eating me alive. And I cried in my blue cubicle. A lot.

One of the breeders who contacted me back was one of those rare breeders who holds the interests of the breed above the business side of it. The kind of person I was looking for, because the last thing I'd ever want is to fuel a puppy mill, thank you very much.

She told me that they were not planning any litters for the next six months and maybe beyond, due to the state of the industry and the economy. She then told me that unfortunately, most breeders don't have the best interest at heart, and to please let her know if we decided to buy a dog from someone, as she could tell us what that breeder's reputation was like. She then asked me about rescuing.

We all might remember our incident with Cujo, a.k.a the cocker spaniel who was inbred and had Spaniel rage and mauled Sweetie Pie twice, the second time being so horrible, that my husband's body went into shock. And then of course, there was Satan's Dog, the worst dog that ever lived, who was just rotten, until he mauled Old Dog.

I told this breeder that if we didn't know the parents and their temperaments, we wouldn't take a dog in. Which excluded rescues.

On Friday, I received an email from a woman with the Brittany Rescue Association. Wouldn't you know it, two puppies were available for adoption about 40 miles from us! And the breeder had suggested us as parents.

And I told her no way, not going through that again, I have children to worry about, they come first. No parents, no rescuing from us.

She had me on the hook. She emailed me back and said these puppies were actually from a divorcing couple, the kind of divorce where no one can agree on anything and it gets so nasty that they just get rid of everything and start fresh. Which included the dogs, mom, dad, and three puppies.

And then she told me she'd sent me pictures.

And did she ever.

17 megabytes of pictures later, my inbox blew up, and I had fallen in love.

As soon as I emailed the pictures to Sweetie Pie, he made it clear that we could meet the puppies, but we were getting only one. Which I agreed to.

On Saturday, the rescue group came to the house for the mandatory home visit with both puppies and there they were, in our yard, running around with those little puppy legs, sweet as can be, wagging their tails at us. After a good half hour, a decision had to be made.

And I couldn't do it. Picking one over the other felt too much like a Survivor tribal council, and neither puppy had given us any reason to have their torch snuffed out and tell him too bad, so sad, but you can't be part of our tribe, because your brother's slightly cuter?

We couldn't do it.

So meet Thing 1 and Thing 2. They've already brought a lot of joy to our house. And have been so have been a lot of help around the house, like when they decided I had way too many gift bags in my closet and helped me declutter by shredding a couple. Or how Thing 2 feels that Bounty paper towels' stock needs a boost and piddles in the house to make sure that Bounty's sales can increase.

Most importantly, they're helping heal my broken heart.



Monday, October 19, 2009

Like a Really Bad Comedy About a Gypsy Curse

I'm not superstitious. I don't believe in Feng-Shui. I'm agnostic.

In other words, I'm just here, living my life and don't believe that anything I do is going to cause me bad ju-ju.

Except that I'm now convinced that a gypsy curse has been set on me.

And I've been terrified to blog about it, because I thought I might make the curse angrier and then something heavy would fall on me. Or that I'd end up climbing into my parents home made hot air balloon and fly away, since apparently all of the cool kids are doing it.

Let's rehash the past three weeks, shall we? Of course there was the death of my beloved dog, which I've blogged about here and won't bore you with my grief again, even though I thought about him on my way into the office today and the pain gripped my heart so hard that I thought I was going to pass out. I've put four pets to sleep now, but none of them I have missed this much. And stopping now before I write another depressing post.

In the midst of losing my dog, I was also embroiled in a security investigation. I'd like to say that I was the one doing the investigating, but I wasn't. Instead, I was being investigated by my company for potentially developing and releasing a malware virus into the company. At first, I thought the whole thing was a joke, because me? Really? I may work for an IT company, but I'm actually the Tweedle Dee of technology. In fact, when the investigator asked me if I backed up my laptop, I paused and then asked "doesn't it do it automatically?" Hell, when Blogher contacted me to ask me to shrink down my header, I asked them if they'd mind doing it for me, beause I? Have no freaking clue how to do it. My job here is to look cute and make people laugh. Not to know IT, yo.

I've been cleared and I'm sure they now realize that even putting me on the list of suspects was ridiculous, although I sure hope the person who had to go through my work laptop enjoyed the 10,000 pictures of my kids that I have saved on it, and they obviously now know that I would never think of using my work laptop for personal use. Cough, cough.

Since I was being investigated, I was told that I would not be provided with a replacement laptop and would instead have to use my personal computer. Which is totally awesome, except for the fact that I don't own one.

Which meant I had to borrow a crappy laptop from someone and work out of my Yahoo account, because nothing says very important person like working out of your Yahoo account and having half of your emails go into people's junk folders, because their email thinks you're trying to convince them to use potions to grow their penis size.

But worst of all? Is my almost impeccable driving record (if you don't include the incident in March 2001 when a car full of people driven by a 16-year old girl went through a red light and slammed into me) has now been ruined. Huge props to GEICO, who might be the best insurance company ever, since they've yet to cancel me even though I slammed into the back of two vehicles in three weeks. Because one fender bender, just isn't enough.

The first one was totally not my fault. Some old lady stopped in the middle of the parking lot in front of me for no reason, and chose to do it right when I was hanging Little Man a piece of paper to throw out his gum. I slammed on the brakes when I realized what was going on and the impact was at such a low speed, that I was certain I'd stopped 0.0002 inches from her bumper, since I felt no impact. But when she got out of her little Miata looking pissed off, that's when the "oh crap" thought entered my head. The paint damage on her vehicle was pretty minor, but my Jeep Liberty acted like it hadn't even hit anything.

The second accident might have slightly been more my fault. I was waiting to turn right to get on another street, and there was another car in front of me. I was looking to the left, waiting for my chance, and there was a huge opening, that I assumed (which is the key word here) that the car went. At the next opening, I slammed on the accelerator (hello Nascar? I'm available anytime you want me) only to slam into the rear end of the vehicle in front of me, who I guess was waiting for an invitation to go.

It was a Honda CRV, which apparently is a car made of tin foil and paper, because his trunk? Let's just say it was practically kissing the back seat and my Liberty does not have a V8 engine.

But the worst part of accident number two in three weeks was that the poor guy still had paper plates on his car. And from the expiration date printed on those temporary plates, it was pretty clear that he'd had his brand new car about three days. Welcome to the real world, SUCKER!

My Jeep, on the other hand, took it like an Ultimate Fighting Championship beast/man hybrid and except for a crack in the plastic around the license plate holder and a few missing paint chips on my bumper, which give it some character, if you ask me, my Jeep is otherwise intact and ready to take out anyone else who gets in our way.

Both times, I was driving my children around, because let's face it, I'm rarely without at least one backseat driver nowadays, and the second accident, as I sat there freaking out trying not to say curse words, but unable to hold in the "OhmyGodohmyGodohmyGodohmyGod" verbal diarrhea, Little Man spoke up from the back seat and said to me "Don't worry, Mommy, it's just an accident."

And this is where it's proven once again that my son is a better person than me. And when he's a teenager and backs up into a pole with my Porshe (because surely, I'll be driving a cooler vehicle by then, yes?), I hope that I return the favor and tell him the same thing.

Except for the fact that I'm not a good person, so I know I'll end up going ape shit on him. But hey, knowing your own limitations is a sign of maturity, right?

This week is a new week. As an eternal optimist, I feel like that maybe, just maybe the gypsy curse has run its course. This weekend, I spent way too much money investing in something I will probably only need for another 12 months to 18 months. I got the houndstooth pattern, which clearly ups my cool factor by 10 points all by itself. I think the sheer coolness of that bag coming my way soon has broken the curse.

And now good things are coming to me. I know it. I opened 12 fortune cookies before being told so.



Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Doing Everything That a Spider Can

A few weeks ago, Little Man decided that when he grew up, he wanted to be Spider-Man.

I have no idea where this came from. Kid's never seen the show, kid no longer watches any TV really, and the once a month he'll ask for something, it's a recorded show from a network with no advertising. And yet, there it was, someone at school must have preached the greatness of Spider-Man, and now my kid's decided that putting on some weird costume and flying from building to building taking out bad guys is a fantastic career path.

I told him that superhero as a career choice wouldn't pay the bills, and that he'd need a day job. Little Man settled on police officer by day, Spiderman by night. Not exactly the most family friendly path, because exactly when will he handle midnight feedings if he's out wrestling with the Green Goblin? But whatever, I'm not his wife and until she sets her foot down, I'm not interested in crushing his dreams.

We're currently in Ottawa visiting my parents, and Little Man accompanied my dad on a golfing excursion with some buddies of his, one of which is a cop. The cop asked Little Man what he wanted to be when he grew up, and Little Man gave him his usual answer of cop by day, Spider-Man by night. The cop told him that he was actually a cop as well, and Little Man's eyes lit up with excitement and he asked "And you're Spider-Man at night?"

"Nope," the cop replied. "At night, I sleep."

Little Man later told me that his grandpa's friends are extremely lazy.