Saturday, November 15, 2014

My phat dachshund.

I am not gonna lie: I am so freakin' excited.

Lil' Frankfurter, he of the inflammatory bowel disease?

Yeah. So, he was on antibiotics, and he gained a few ounces. And then he lost them. And he was looking horrible. And shaking all the time.
I'm sick but I'm pretty.
I took him to the holistic vet. And she was basically like, "This animal is critically ill."

And then I was like, "Dude. I just lost a dachshund. I can't lose another one. Here, take all my money."

So, for the last six-ish weeks, Lil' Frank has been dining like a king on canned duck and canned pumpkin, four different probiotics (including one called "Digestive Slurry!"), and two meds. He has never been happier, as he is required to eat four times a day.

Also, since the vet told me that this dog was literally freezing, I have been free to buy him many fashionable shirts and coats. On clearance, of course. But still, I am That Lady.

Yesterday, we had a check-up. Lil' Frank is now rollin' at 6 pounds, 4 ounces. He's gained a pound. He no longer looks like a dachshund dressed as Skeletor for Halloween. He's interested in his toys. His poops are kind of normal-sized. He is a total stud.

The holistic vet leveled with me: "When you first brought this dog in, he was dying."

I tried to act all, "Oh, uh-huh," about that, but I was startled.

She went on. "I'm so, so pleased with his progress. Would you mind terribly if I wrote him up for a journal? Would you happen to have any 'before' pictures?"

At this point, I laughed. I take pics of my kids every day, so, yeah, I've got pictures.
Fat, happy, and helping mama write.
But then I got to thinking ... Lil' Frank's fame is going to grow! Maybe now I can realize my true life dream of being an overbearing stage parent. Maybe my pushiness can propel Lil' Frank into pageants, movies, or - dare I even dream! - a reality show!

My Guy was a little less thrilled with my horrendous parenting, but ecstatic about the weight gain. Our 8-year-old now weighs almost as much as I did as a newborn. Hurray!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Book It! And get a personal pan pizza!

Or ... just enjoy some good reads and omit that grease from your diet. Whatever.

Here are a few books that I've enjoyed (or not) as of late.

David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants - I'm pretty much the last human on the planet to read Malcolm Gladwell. There, I said it. Feel free to shame me openly. I don't know why I've resisted his books, but I enjoyed this one. His approach to revisiting ideas that are mostly givens (but shouldn't be) is refreshing. Except for the section about people whose kids had been murdered, this was a really invigorating read. (Dead kids. I just can't do it.)

Fragile Beasts: A Novel - In Coal Run and Back Roads, Tawni O'Dell so beautifully captures small-town life, its politics, and its bittersweet honesty. In Fragile Beasts, some of that delicate narrative is there, but she also intersperses tales of Spain and bullfighting. Now, I'm from a small town, so those sections really spoke to me. But I'm not from Spain, so the bullfighting sections? Not so much. Still, an engrossing read.

Scandals of Classic Hollywood: Sex, Deviance, and Drama from the Golden Age of American Cinema - Gurl, I love me some old-school Hollywood gossip. Current gossip? Ehh. But give me a Mack Sennett bathing beauty with a coke problem or a 1930s gangster actor with a little bigamy issue, and I'm all over it. Anne Helen Petersen is literally a doctor of celebrity gossip and wrote a series of fascinating columns for The Hairpin. Now, she's pulled together all new content about the Hollywood truth machine in this fab book. Pickford and Fairbanks? Check. Bogey and Bacall? Check. Montgomery Clift? Oh, check. Check it out.

At Least in the City Someone Would Hear Me Scream: Misadventures in Search of the Simple Life - It's no secret that I love me some Wade Rouse. He's hilarious and honest, and this memoir of leaving the city to live amongst nature and dirt and stuff is funny and tender. Wade isn't afraid to dish about times when he was a fish out of water and looked like a fool. Sure, his ego might have taken a hit, but we readers benefit. This book is also a lesson in accepting yourself and how imperfections make our perfection.

Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald - Therese Anne Fowler novelized the life of the most infamous author's spouse around. This book is at times energizing and at others heartbreaking. Mostly, it raises the question of whether Zelda really was crazy, or just a narcissist trapped by a bad marriage and restrictive gender roles. When I read The Paris Wife, I decided that I'd made a good life choice by not marrying Ernest Hemingway. After reading Z, I determined that not marrying Scott Fitzgerald was a similar life win.

So, friends, what are you reading? What should I pick up next?

Monday, November 3, 2014

Things I said before 9 a.m.

"The backyard is not a buffet!"

"Are you trying to have a shit-eating grin?"

"Eating poo is not your best life decision!"

"Don't lick his ween!"

"Put your penis away. Seriously."

It's gonna be a long day.
You're not the boss of me, lady.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Stack your pets for easy storage.

I'm having trouble getting motivated today. Nothing seems more important that holding my shivering Lil' Frankfurter.

He's always cold.

It hurts my heart, but it has created moments that have warmed my heart considerably.

We have a lot of hot dachshund-on-labradoodle action at our house. It looks affectionate, but I'm pretty sure it's just Lil' Frank's way of scamming body heat from Big Doodle. The Stack, as we call it, takes on many shapes and forms.

There's The Wall Stack:
 The Face-in-Crotch Stack:
 The Bathroom Tile Stack:
The "Hey - Let's Spread Out Right in Front of the Dishwasher Because That's Super Convenient" Stack:
 The Sunshine Stack:
 The "Holy Crap, Those are Two Cute Butts" Stack:
 And, of course, The Mega Adorable Stack:
It kind of burns your retinas, doesn't it?

Monday, September 15, 2014

I'm bad at grieving.

Thank you for the kind words about the passing of Foxie Doxie. They truly mean more than I can ever say.

This is hard.

I'm cycling through all the stages of I'm-not-good-at-this grief:
  • Eat your feelings. Pad Thai for breakfast and pizza for lunch? Don't mind if I do!
  • Sleep. All the damned time. My excuse is that sleep was a rare commodity the last week of Foxie Doxie's life. The truth is probably closer to "I don't want to face the world."
  • Watch "Rambo: First Blood Part II." This is actually a really good movie. If you're grieving, I highly recommend channeling your pain through John Rambo. He will shoot people, and it will make you feel better. You'll feel guilty for feeling better, but you'll feel better.
  • Call your parents and start crying when you hear your dad's kind, even voice. Make him tell you all about how he went to coffee and then to the dentist this morning, and take comfort in your dad being your dad and the beauty of the everyday.
  • Make an executive decision to wash your hair and put on some pants. Not sweatpants. Real pants. Implement this decision, even though it takes longer than usual to prepare to face the world.
  • Leave the house. See friends. Realize the depth and breadth of your riches, as well as the simple power of a frou-frou cocktail.
  • Love on your dogs. They're hurting, too. Cuddle up, even though the entire house still smells like dog pee and you should scrub the floors instead. Choose love and a slight funk over a clean house.
What's your go-to stage of grief? Clearly, I'm no expert. Any suggestions?

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Farewell, sweet friend.

When I first adopted Foxie Doxie, he had a big ol' bald spot on his side.

He'd gotten burned by some fresh asphalt, and the vet said my hyper doxie would probably never grow hair there.

Well, clearly, the vet was full of shit, because Foxie totally grew lush side-body hair. He was the dachshund equivalent of Farrah Fawcett. He did things his own way, thank you.
That was 12 years ago, and Foxie has been full of piss and vinegar every since. You lookin' for somebody to trap a possum, at night, in the pouring rain? Foxie's your man. You wondering just who would pee on wedding invitations?

Well, Foxie was a tiny bit ashamed about that one, but evidently, it had to be done - even if it meant wearing The Overalls of Shame afterwards.
So, 12 years and one week after I first met my little guy with the bald spot on his side, he got the same hairdo again. He got shaved for an ultrasound, as we hadn't been able to shake his raging UTI.

Never in my wildest, most hypochondriacal dreams did I think that Foxie Doxie's little tinklepotty problems were actually prostate cancer.

But they were. And that bidness is bad, bad news in dogs.

Our options were basically "ship him off to Colorado for treatment that will scar him emotionally and fry all his internal organs" or ... let him go.

We found out Friday. By Saturday, it was obvious that he was miserable and wasn't going to get any less miserable. My Guy and I decided that keeping him around would be wholly selfish on our parts.

Foxie cuddled with Lil' Frankfurter, and then enjoyed some sunshine.
I wrapped my boy up in a blanket and we went to the vet.
He died in my arms.

I can't stop crying.

So, here's the thing: Foxie Doxie was the longest non-family relationship of my adult life. He knew stuff. We went through a lot together. And while he didn't say much, he knew.

And he was a total jackass. This is a kid who peed in my bed more than once, just because. He had such social anxiety that he would lose his mind if another dog even deigned to walk down our street. He felt it was his duty to mark every piece of furniture in my house - and my parents' house. He took this duty very seriously.

And yet. He had the softest ears on the planet. When I held him, he would tuck his head under my chin and snorgle loudly. He was my boy, and I was his mama.

My heart is broken.

And yet. When the vet tech asked for a phone number to call when the ashes were ready, I told My Guy to give her my number. He was upset, and the phone number he rattled off had about 17 digits and wasn't even close to my number. Like, the area code wasn't even right. I was holding our dying dog, and I started laughing like a hyena. I looked at the tech, who was mortified. "That's so not my number," I said. "We've been married 3 and a half years, and that's not even remotely my number!"

So, at least there was laughter through the tears in Foxie Doxie's last moments.

Later, dear, kind, generous friends wordlessly showed up on our porch with our favorite, completely complicated pizza order, a 6-pack, 2 bottles of wine, and 2 gigantic mums. As my sweet husband told me, "I don't even know what to say. Except that this feels good after a few really shitty days. I don't even know what to say."

Lil' Frankfurter and Big Doodle are sticking to us like glue, as they know we need each other more than ever. Our little pack is reeling, but we're doing it together.

We're heartbroken. But blessed.

We love you, Foxie.
Enjoy marking the pearly gates.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Better Homes & Gardens, c'mon over!

We've got a mouse.

I used my mad detective skillz to figure out we have a mouse because someone chewed through the bag of Fritos, right before I made chili. So, you know, there were no Fritos for chili. Our lives are so terrible!

And after it became obvious that there had been a mouse in the bread drawer, I checked out all the other kitchen cabinets. The lazy susan was filled with corn starch, and the corn starch had tiny little paw prints running through it. There were actual turds in the blender.

Sigh.

For those playing along at home, here's the final tally:
  • Baking supplies thrown out: 5
  • Canned goods wiped down with bleach wipes: 752
  • Appliances with mouse droppings in them: 2
  • Hours of my life lost to disinfecting my entire kitchen: 27

This crazed disinfecting took so long because I had to keep stopping in order to clean up dog pee. Foxie Doxie has a raging UTI, and is basically slow-rolling through the house, tinkling as he goes.

You know you want to come over.

Last night, My Guy and I surveyed the damage. Everything except canned goods is on the counter, because surely our mouse isn't surly enough to breach the counter. This means that we have about 4 square inches of available counterspace for actual cooking.

We ate some chocolate chips and discussed our food options. And then I realized that the bag of chocolate chips had two tiny holes in it.

We're probably going to come down with the bubonic plague. It seems fitting.