Posts Tagged ‘Fenway’

How I made it through my week.

April 18, 2017

It’s been a tough week. Losing a pet is always difficult, but losing one so suddenly, and under such suspicious circumstances is even worse.

I feel like I’ve done it all. I’ve lost a pup-pup to old age; I’ve lost one to divorce; I’ve lost a dog suddenly to an accident; I’ve lost a dog to a sudden medical issue; and I’ve lost a dog who’s run away. And having been through that, this one seems worse. Maybe because the kids are old enough to have invested everything in their dog, and now she’s gone. Maybe because she was the good luck token we got days before the Red Sox won their most recent championship. (Okay, not really that. But maybe.) Maybe every single loss feels like the worst one.

You know, I’m kinda leaning towards that theory.

My friends and family, though – they’re awesome. I think they get it. I know they do. I am surrounded by dog people, and even though who aren’t devoted to pup-pups, they got how devastated I was. And so this happened:

Sympathy cards, encouragement cards, wine, chocolate, extra time with the girls, all kinds of flowers (!) [and thank god no one pranked me with hydrangeas because this just wasn’t the time], and then that photo. My cousin Kene (who, by the way, was the one who came up with the suggestion to name her Fenway) sent me a print of the red seat at Fenway Park. It marks the spot in the Lower Bleachers section in Right Field where the longest homerun – hit by Ted Williams, naturally – landed, clocking in at 502 feet. It was an incredibly thoughtful and personal gift. The girls and I are going to frame it and hang it up, making my home a little more like home Boston, and a great way to remember my pup-pup.

All of it has been very much appreciated. You all have been so sweet and so patient. Fenway was a very good dog, and she will not be forgotten.


A good, good dog.

April 10, 2017

I don’t know how to write about it. Probably because I’m stewing in so much guilt still.

Someone – I think the neighbor kids, while retrieving their dog, but I can’t be sure – left the gate open. When I let Fenway out, not knowing, my sweet, mischievous pup-pup found the open gate, and then escaped. Fenway loves a good adventure.

I tried finding Fenway, driving along the streets, hoping I could tempt her into the car because my goofy dog thinks every car goes to the vet. But I didn’t find her until it was too late. She was hit by a car.

And telling the girls… well…let’s just say we’re never getting a dog again so I never have to go through the particular heartache with them. So many tears! It broke my heart. I can’t even handle my babies with that much grief.

She was a good dog. Yes, you were, Fenway! Who’s a good dog?! She loved hearing that; I can guarantee you her tail is wagging, wherever she is. (And probably there’s a little pee on the carpet.)


The Christmas Eve that was both relaxing and productive, and also sort of surreal.

December 25, 2016

Yesterday (on what Kim is calling Calendar Christmas Eve), Kim and I had the house to ourselves while the littles hung out with their dad for Christmas. We got a lot done, and yet aside for one minor incident involving ThePlaceThatShallNotBeNamed, we were able to really relax, too!

We slept in, and then hit the stores first thing because I thought they would be INSANE. Traffic was a little busy, but no one was a jerkface, and the parking lots were surprisingly thinner – at least not as packed as I anticipated. We stopped for tea and coffee (honestly, Starbs was busier than any of the other stores), Ulta (for a last minute gift for Gracie – her tweenaged hair needs adult shampoo right now, and her fairy godmother had Ulta bucks to spend!), and then the store we really needed to stop at – Petsmart (for puppy presents).


We had to get Fenway a stuffie Flamingo, and the pen, dangit, it just happened to write “From Auntie Rhi”, because FLAMINGO!!!

After we finished our shopping excursion, we fled back home for some tasty lunch and Kim started sorting Legos (for an upcoming surprise; I’d stay tuned!), while I tackled the hot mess that is the kids’ playroom.

How cute does Fenway look, all snuggled up?! This was before her tail swiped Lego piles into chaos; she spent a lot of time in time-out later in the evening. And my clean room makes my heart so HAPPY! I can’t even. The girls cleaned it a lot from where it had been about a week ago. But there were buckets upon buckets overflowing and without covers that I needed to fix, and I ended up sorting through the bookshelves instead of just “neatening” like I told myself when I went in there. I always do more than I intend to. But this way, Santa will be able to leave the girls’ big gift in the playroom, and not worry about the mess being in the pictures! WIN!

After all that excitement, Kim and I capped off the evening with her beating the pants off me in Sorry. Three times in a row! And a few rounds of Rummy that went back and forth. It was definitely her night. And a good way to end the evening – Storm Chasers and board games, just like it used to be.


So it might not have felt like Christmas Eve yesterday, and today might not feel like Christmas – and, I suspect it won’t until the girls come home late this afternoon – but we made the most of it. Laughter fills in the gaps, every time.

Merry Christmas to all of you, dear readers! And Merry Christmas Eve to me.

Where she belongs.

January 28, 2014

I told the girls for years that if we found a red border collie, we’d get her, so you can’t really say Fenway was a spur-of-the-moment decision. Except…she sort of was. You’ve heard the story – I accidentally logged on to a petfinder site, saw Fenway, and saved her from walking the plank the very next day. When you go from seeing a dog to owning that same dog in  just a day, I’d say that was a little spur of the moment.

I’ve had my doubts about Fen. When I discovered she was so submissive that she would pee all over the floor whenever she got excited or met someone new, I wondered what I had gotten myself into. When she started digging holes under the fence, I nearly cried with exasperation. When Fen ate a few ornaments straight off the Christmas tree, I half-expected the girls to lead a rebellion against all dogs everywhere and swear off anything to do with her.

But even though Fenway still makes me question my sanity from time to time, she’s worked hard to fit in. She hasn’t had an accident in ages. She’s learned the rules of the house and has learned to communicate exactly what she wants. The digging is still a bit of an issue, but Fenway has learned so many cues and commands that I know we’ll fix that problem, too. Eventually. All of the things that Fenway does right far outweigh the moments that make me sigh with exasperation.

When I found out that my Uncle Teddy had passed, I was a bit of a mess. I was sobbing and hyperventilating and couldn’t stand up straight. The girls were at church with their grandparents and so it was just me and Fen. Poor Fenway. She knew something was wrong and kept dancing around me. She wanted to comfort me, but whenever I reached to hug her, she pranced away, unsure of what was going on. [I know she was in a home briefly before she was on the streets. I wondered if maybe she was beaten when someone was crying? Something had to have conditioned her away from it; she was clearly torn between wanting to comfort her human and not wanting to be too close.] Fen kept an eye on me, and she would bring me her lovies, but she wouldn’t get close enough for me to hold on to her.

Monday was chaotic. I had to bring the girls’ school uniforms and things over to their dad’s house for the week I’d be gone, and then I had to bring Fen and her belongings over to the vet’s office for boarding. She did not want to get into the car, but did well once we got going. I knew she would be fine…but the house was entirely too quiet Monday night. No girls, and no puppy. It was nice not to have to worry about anyone, but it felt as if the house was missing everything that makes it wonderful.

Because the vet’s is closed early Saturday and all of Sunday, we couldn’t get Fenway until last night. (I could have gotten her yesterday morning before work, but I thought rescuing her in the morning and then abandoning her alone at the house in her crate all day would be mean.) I picked up Bee early from daycare and brought her with me. Oh, Fenway was so excited! I was afraid she was going to think she was abandoned, and she did stick pretty close to our sides when we got home, but she didn’t seem scarred at all. She rushed around to all of her favorite spots (looking first for food dropped under the table, heh) and kept bouncing back and forth between Bee’s side and my own. When we picked up Gracie later, it was a happy puppy reunion all over again.

I’m sure Fen will get into some trouble sooner or later this week that will make me wonder all over again what in the world I’m doing with a dog. But really…having her gone for one night, and then the joy of her coming home made me realize how quickly she’s become a part of the family. We need her here at home with us. The chaos at Casa de Katie just isn’t the same without her to blame for it.

Born to run.

October 23, 2013

One of the concerns I had about adopting dear ol’ Fenway was that border collies are known to be a hyper breed. They need lots of exercise and attention and training; a bored border collie is probably going to be a bit destructive. Also, at about a year old, Fen is still mostly puppy. So I was taking on an energetic puppy with a lot of fiesta! coursing through her veins. What was I thinking?!

Of course, I had a plan. And that plan involved exhausting my puppy. The girls help a lot. I asked the girls to take Fen outside and maybe work on training her. Fen knows “sit”, but is a little selective on “stay”, and only knows “lie down” because any time you get a little stern, she shows you her belly. That was what I had in mind. What the girls had in mind by “take the dog out and train her” was to build a giant obstacle course out of yard junk. Including a hula hoop on a string. And they were using her water bowl to tempt her through. Yes, my kids invented reverse water-boarding. Sigh.

The second – and grander – part of my plan was to take Fen running with me. Daring, isn’t it? But it’s gone great so far! Of course, Sunday morning when I slipped Fen into her harness collar and snapped on the leash, she refused to budge. You know toddlers who will go limp when they don’t want to do something? Yeah, that’s my dog. I had to first drag her out of the house, and then I had to drag her down the sidewalk for the entire first block, but with enough praise and encouragement, Fen decided I wasn’t taking her to her doom and she started running right by my side.

Fen was amazing, in fact! I’ve never seen a puppy heel so well on her first outing! The only time Fen even thought about leaving my side was when she saw that rat tiny dog a few blocks down, or when she saw the people who were running down the trail. (Fen thinks everyone was put on this planet to adore her and she wants to make it easier by running over so they can pet her. She might be right, but still…) There was also the small matter of the three times Fen stopped my run altogether. The first time she wandered into the tall grass by the trail, I stopped and waited because I figured she needed to potty. Maybe she did and she just didn’t know what the rules were (I refused to let her stop on any of the neighbors’ lawns), because she just stood there. So I made her start running with me again. A few minutes later, she did decorate the grass – twice – and then we were back to running right along.

Fen’s endurance was pretty good, too. She was a bit slow at first, dragging even my sluggish pace down a bit. Then she started keeping up just fine. I was worried that 1.5-2 miles would too long, especially for Fen’s first run. But my puppy surprised me, matching me stride for stride and never complaining – even though I somehow misplaced our water bottle in the craziness involved in getting everyone out of the house. In fact, I thought it was amusing that after my allotted time for the week was over and we were walking back home, Fen would automatically stop if she got more than half a length ahead of me, look back at me, and wait for me to catch up. While we were running, any time I had to make Fen catch up, or keep her focused (dog! people!), I would snap the button on the retractable leash and say “Heel!” while bringing her back to my side. [HA! Not “hell!” like I just typed. Though that would be amusing.] Apparently Fen caught on because I could just see the thought bubble over her head saying “Heel!” every time she had to wait for me.

Yep, I would say Fen and I are going to be a championship running duo if the first few outings are any indicators. Even untrained, Fen seems to get the hang of this thing. Here’s hoping the dynamic duo can only get better!