Posts Tagged ‘pets’

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.)

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And that was the last I saw of the kiddos.

September 16, 2014

Everyone has their favorite things about fall: pumpkin spice everything, fall foods, football (the kind where no one beats their kids or their spouses, natch), cooler temperatures, being able to put away the annoying windshield sun visor, cozy sweaters, new wardrobes, boots… All those things are lovely, sure (well, except for that pumpkin stuff – blech), but my favorite far and away is that once the temps drop, my kids go outside to play and I never, ever see them again. Huzzah! Hooray for the sun being so cool that our sneakers won’t melt to the patio and we won’t get sunburned in 3.14 seconds!

We had such a day last weekend. The cold front came through Thursday night. Friday we all dressed in jeans and cardigans as we went off to school and work, and that night temps dropped even lower. I had on socks and yoga pants! The next morning, I wore a hoodie! In September! It was glorious!

After I picked the girls up from their lock-down lock-in, Bee and Gracie headed straight for the backyard. I didn’t expect to see them until I called them in for dinner. So I was pretty surprised when Gracie came tearing through the house, yelling for me like something was wrong. “BUNNIES! MOM! I FOUND A BABY BUNNY IN OUR YARD!” Now, we have grown-up bunnies all the time. I thought maybe a tinier version was hopping along and Gracie wanted us to see it. I threw on some shoes and went outside to see what was up – and Gracie wasn’t kidding.

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A baby bunny small enough to fit in the palm of my hand was hopping around, shivering, scared to move much. Bee had come out to see what the shouting was about, and so I dispatched her to find me some gardening gloves. Of course, Bee couldn’t find any, so I had to risk all sorts of bunny diseases, other than just dying of The Cute. I picked up the bunny and put him in a teeny tiny gardening pot we had nearby.

Guess what? Baby bunnies are squeaky! My goodness! I kept glancing over my shoulder to make sure some 20-foot, rabid mama bunny didn’t hear that thing making so much noise and come running. That was about the time that Gracie was all, “HEY! MOM! THERE ARE MORE OF THEM!” She had lifted up a tuft of grass and, sure enough, there were three more teeny tiny baby bunnies, all shivering in the cold breeze and wondering where the roof to their nice cozy home went. [Aside: Later I asked Gracie how she knew the bunnies were there. “The ground was moving, so I picked up the roof,” she answered, nonchalantly. “GRACIE!” I yelled, “What if that hole was filled with snakes?! They would have eaten your face!” She wasn’t moved. “But they weren’t. They were bunnies.” Sigh.]

Refusing to be mean Mr. MacGregor, I returned Peter Rabbit back to his nest with his tail intact, let him curl up with Flopsy, Mopsy, and that other one, and covered the bunnies up again. We moved a piece of wood to partially cover the side of the roof, then turned a chair upside down over the bunny nest, so that mama bunny could get in, but Fenway could not. The girls, unhappy with my simplistic approach, stayed outside to build a super mega bunny fort supreme!

And that was the last I saw of the girls. They stayed outside in the gorgeous weather, watching out for the bunnies and making sure nothing bothered them. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday afternoon, outdoors in the gorgeous weather. Even if those silly bunnies confused the seasons and thought it was spring.

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Training the trainer.

August 20, 2014

It hit me all at once: empty water bowl, stubborn dog, requesting to go out but then refusing, being off-schedule. It happened over and over, but putting the pieces together – all of that is what suddenly clicked.

Fenway is a smart puppy. She’s border collie, a breed known for its antics when they get bored, yes, but also for how incredibly smart and trainable they are. She learned quickly that when she needed to go outside, pawing once at the door – what can sometimes sound like a “click” when her nails hit the window – is a good way to let everyone know. (What she hasn’t learned is how to be patient when we tell her to wait just a minute, but that’s an entirely different post.) One of her humans will walk over, let her out, and off she goes.

Sometimes Fenway will simply sit at the backdoor and look outside. Before, she would only do that if she wanted to go out, and maybe just hadn’t gotten around to lifting her royal paw to make the request. I’d open the door and she’d go out. Except lately she’s learned the art of window gazing. So when I open the door, Fenway will look at me like I’m stupid, and after I’ve asked her a time or two if she needs to go outside, Fenway will sit. That’s her sign for “No, thanks.” I learned pretty quickly that when she says no, she means it. 99.9% of the time, she’s reliable, even if it’s last thing before bedtime. Even if it’s just before work. My dog has the biggest bladder in all the land, and if she says no, you can believe her.

Except I thought maybe she had gotten her wires crossed, starting a few weeks ago. Fen would ask to go outside, I’d admonish her not to dig (if she’d been digging), or mess with the dog next door (if she’d been taunting Bruiser). And then Fenway would sit down and refuse to budge. Now, Fenway really, really likes to please her pack leader. So I thought maybe the sudden refusal to do what she had just wanted to do was because she had gotten reprimanded and didn’t want to get in any more trouble. She’d been yelled at, so she better not do that. Except…that never used to bother her. In fact, telling her “no digging!” was a pretty good deterrent. She listened (mostly). So what the heck?

We’ve been a bit off-schedule since we got home from vacation. When I’m home with Fenway, I’m pretty good about keeping her water bowl full. When the girls are home, I try to remind them to fill it, but it’s not something they think to do on their own. So most days Fen’s been out all day, playing with her humans, but her watering schedule is…apparently not optimum.

The other night, she pawed to go outside, and as I let her out (and she went), I caught out of the corner of the eye the fact that her water bowl was empty. I filled it with water, which I assumed Fenway had heard with her supersonic ears, because when I turned around, she was waiting at the door to come in already. She headed straight for her water bowl and drank it all down.

The next night, Fenway again pawed to go out. I opened the door and – nothing. She sat down and looked at me like I was an idiot. An idiot holding a door open. I admonished her for asking me to go outside and then refusing, and then went back to whatever it was I had been doing. About fifteen minutes later, it happened again. Only this is when it all clicked for me. I remembered the empty water bowl from the night before. The fact that Fenway was clearly asking for something. And her water bowl was empty again.

“Did you want some water?” I asked her. I poured her a bowl and she immediately came over and drank it down. Five minutes later, she clicked at the back door again and refused to go out. “Are you testing me to see if I really got it?” I asked, incredulously. Yes, yes she was. I poured more water, she drank it down.

It took her an entire year to come up with the system, but still. One point to Fenway for figuring out how to signal to us that she needed something. Two points to me for figuring it out.

Brokenhearted…nope, wait, she fixed it with scotch tape and stubbornness.

February 18, 2014

That Bee-girl of mine is going to kill me. Either she’s going to do me in as part of a large-scale plot to avenge her childhood illusions, or else dealing with her is just going to cause me to keel over in exhaustion. You know, one or the other.

This weekend, I took Gracie to the craft store to buy a rainbow loom and some loops. It was what she decided to buy with her winnings from the Superbowl pool. Bee – lonely, left-out Bee – did not win anything in the Superbowl pool, but because we are dealing with a lot of issues lately (chief among them: feeling like Gracie has a heap more advantages, and sometimes Bee is even right), I told Bee she could use a little of her own money to buy something. Since I never let the girls spend their birthday money, this was a Big Deal.

Off we went! Gracie picked up her loom and spent 203498503948 minutes selecting her three loops colors. Bee took at least twice as long deciding what she wanted to buy. First she picked up a make-your-own lip gloss. I wasn’t too thrilled with that choice because Santa brought the girls a mani-pedi set that included (unbeknownst to me) a make-your-own-glitter polish and WOW WAS THAT A MESS. I almost convinced Bee to get her American Girl doll a tutu dance costume, or a dining set, but then Bee saw it: A grown-your-own dinosaur kit like the ones she had before.

For those who don’t remember, we’ve hatched two dinosaurs here at Casa de Katie. The first, George, was actually sort of Gracie’s pet. We hatched him and then set him free, at which point, he sort of became Bee’s protective pet. She was scared-scared-scared of the dark, and so at night when she refused to stay in her bed, I reminded her that George lived in the woods and walked around our neighborhood at night, stomping on monsters and bad-guys and smooshing them dead. Brilliant, that was. Then George got a little brother, Steggy, and Bee hatched him, and eventually he, too, went to live in our woods.

All was well, but that was ages ago, and I really thought that at  some point, Bee realized that those dinosaurs…they weren’t real. I mean, dinosaurs are extinct! And she’s a pretty bright kid. So when Bee decided that she was going to hatch another dinosaur, and then picked out a rather large bug cage for her dinosaur to live in so he couldn’t escape like the last two, I shot Gracie a look and kind of panicked.

Bee really thought they were real. Really, really real.

I had no idea what I was going to do. When the dino came out of the water, he’d be slimy. And if you recall the George Experiment, he’d attract a lot of bugs! No to mention, he’d start shrinking when he came out of the water! Auntie Rhi suggested to me that I replace the rubber dino with a stuffed dino when she was looking and explain that he grew fur overnight. (That wasn’t a bad idea, actually.) And that might have been the plan (oh, how I was ad libbing as I went…) except that the egg started to crack and the silly dinosaurs head pushed up out of the crack and then this happened:

“Mom. His eyeball isn’t moving,” Bee said, with not a small bit of injury and accusation in her voice.

“Yes, well, he’s still in the water hatching,” I tried.

“But he has a line down his back,” Bee complained. And then delivered the death knell, “Like a toy has.”

I had to do it. She knew, she just hadn’t accepted it.

“Sweetie…that’s because he’s not really real.” Bee stared at me, horrified. “I thought you knew.”

Then came the flood of tears. I sat down on a kitchen chair and my baby girl threw herself into my arms. The way she threw her arms around my neck was just exactly as she had done so many times as a toddler, like I was her life preserver. Her touchstone. The one person who could fix anything. I thought to myself how one day she would realize even that wasn’t true and I’m just a person, a human with faults and no magic and who makes plenty of mistakes. That revelation was going to be even more devastating.

“I thought he was real,” she sobbed. “I told my cousin I would bring him to church and she believed me!” she said. I rubbed Bee’s back and murmured every encouraging thing I could think of. Poor Bee-girl.

I thought she was scarred for life. I worried that she would connect the dots and realize certain other magical beings didn’t exist either (she didn’t, thank god). I thought she would never recover and, oh my heart, how I hurt for her.

So of course when she talked to Uncle Joey and grandma and grandpa the next day, I knew the story of her dinosaur-who-wasn’t was going to come up. And she surprised me. “Yeah, it wasn’t real. George and Steggy are real and they still live in my garage sometimes but mostly in the woods. And…”

She changed her mind. Apparently Bee has decided her other two dinosaurs are just as real, even though I know they came up during our discussion. It was just too much for her and Bee stubbornly refused to believe that George and Steggy were just as fake as that other dumb, imposter dinosaur.

Seriously?! SERIOUSLY?? I had been loathing myself for even starting us down this path – however useful this path used to be – because Bee was devastated. And she decided to just believe bits and pieces of it now?

This mommying gig – it is not for the faint-hearted. Or for those who really value their sanity.

Mama said there’d be weekends like this.

February 13, 2014

Oh, Fenway. Puppy. Pup, pup, puppy, pup, pup. I tell you what – it’s a good thing I love you, dog.

Last weekend – yes, that thing that was four days ago and yet was so frustrating that I’m still living in fear of it – that dog of mine very nearly found herself out on the street. She had the worst weekend “performance” since her very first week at Casa de Katie more than six months ago. It was ridiculous.

Fen had been doing so well. We’d gotten into a routine, she was quite content to chew on her toys and knew to come signal when she needed more attention than she was getting. We’ve been on walks and runs and had our schedule pretty well down. Things were good for us. In fact, things were so good that I was started to think about letting Fen spend a night not crated. She could try sleeping in the living room or maybe the girls’ room and see how she did. Because she clearly understood the rules and was doing very well.

And then this weekend hit and instead by Sunday afternoon I was considering opening the front door and letting the dog walk right outside whoops where’d she go oh isn’t that too bad.

Hmph.

It all started Thursday night when Fen pulled a half-eaten apple out of the trash can in the front room and ate most of it before I discovered her. I yelled at her and crated her and had a discussion with Bee about throwing away her food in the kitchen trash can only. And then when Fen whined to go outside every two hours that night because green apples don’t agree with her, I grumbled, but figured it was better than cleaning up the mess in the morning. Everyone makes mistakes – kiddos and puppies, especially. But! Lesson learned!

Except Fen thought the lesson learned was that if she whines from her cage at night, she gets to go out whenever she wants to instead of holding it until a reasonable hour in the morning. All. weekend. long. Fen would whine from her cage, only there was no potty emergency. It took almost all weekend of me sticking to my guns and trusting that it was just a “trick” before I broke her of the new bad habit.

An old bad habit emerged from the incident, too. There was a week waaaay back when Fen was brand new where she would forage in the trash basket for the very tastiest tissue or other goodie and then chew on it in the living room. I can’t tell you how many times I found trash in the living room last weekend. I’d get the dog, bring her to the evidence, yell at her with it, and then crate her. Over and over. I figured out that was why she was getting “locked” in the bathroom – she would be sniffing at the trash can, her strong super-powered tail would hit the door (that is weighted such that it swings shut easily anyway), the door swings closed and the dumb dog shuts it even tighter trying to open it. Sigh.

Fen played in-and-out at the back door, started whining to go outside but then refuse, tried digging under the fence to get at the neighbor’s dog, and once, when she was outside for so long that I hoped she actually was escaping, it turned out that she started a new hole in the middle of the yard, right where it was muddiest.

And then, for good measure, when she was finally let out of her crate after mudapalooza, Fenway chewed a flippin’ hole in the girls’ school sweater that was lying where their backpacks go. Chewed. a hole. in their sweater. !@!E#w#$*(!@  Did I mention she had two new toys to chew on and still she chose a sweater?!

She spent the rest of the afternoon in her cage until the girls came home. I figured it was safest for both of us.

I know Fenway is a puppy and she was probably trying to send me a message. Or that she just forgets to know better. I do. We’ve kissed and made up since then, honestly. And I wouldn’t ever really let the dog roam the streets. …But I might invest in a nice, sturdy dog house. (Kidding!) (Mostly.)

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.

Someone’s feeling a little more comfortable.

November 5, 2013

There certain things I expected when I decided that yes, I had lost my mind, and yes, we were adopting a border collie. A border collie puppy, essentially. One, she was going to be a bit hyper. Border collies are known as high-energy breeds who require a goodish deal of mental stimulation, or else they’re going to be bored. And when border collies get bored, most of tend to get a bit destructive. So I was also expecting a bit of destruction: chewing, digging, whining… I wouldn’t have been surprised if Fen was a bit high-strung, because hell, the rest of us are, so why not? [Okay, no, not always. Just this morning. But I’m writing this, so shoosh.]

Fen surprised me. She happily accepted the constant attention from the girls, and the training Gracie and Bee changed up from night to night. (“No be a circus dog, no be a seeing eye dog, no be a detective dog, no play hide and seek!”) She loved going on runs and honestly looked at me like I was an idiot when I was concerned during that really big thunderstorm that she might be scared. When Fen does the smallest thing wrong, whether you just clap your hands, snap her name, or yell “NO!”, Fen has the same reaction: “OhmygodI’msorry! HERE’S MY BELLAH! LOVEMELOVEMELOVEME!” She instantly stops what she was doing, cowers, says she sorry with those gorgeous gold eyes of hers and flops over on her back, patiently waiting for you to eviscerate her and send her off the island. She’s submissive and attention seeking, but because you get the feeling that she’s never been loved a day in her life, like there’s constantly been that Sarah McLachlan song playing in her head, and please she will love you all her days if you’ll just pat her head and make the sad, sad song go away. Fen was so happy(!) to have a family to love and to slobber all over. She would never do anything to cause us any grief! Ever!

Except then she decided that we weren’t going to take her back to the shelter or force her out the front door for anything other than a satisfying run around the neighborhood. She began to feel loved. Cherished. Necessary. Hmph. Surely if her people were spending so much dang time teaching her how to catch a ball, and bought her so many chewies and tasty bones to gnaw on, surely they were going to keep her! Why, they hadn’t done anything more than banish her to the backyard or her crate when she’d peed on the carpet or tasted (just tasting! she swears!) that shoe! And so Fen started to chew on things. Wrappers. Trash. Fuzzy things on the carpet. And then Saturday night it was Legos – we now have some “special” pieces – and then when she  got out of time out for that, she immediately started in on a poor, helpless Polly Pocket.

Bee wasn’t even all that annoyed about her “Holly” Pocket (as she calls her). “It’s just like Soul Surfer, Mom!” she happily proclaimed, after begging me to keep the amputee. “Except she doesn’t have legs. But you don’t need those to dress her up, Mom.” Fen thumped her tail a few times from doggy prison, as if to say, “See? ‘S all good. Bee doesn’t think I’m rotten.” Gracie was a little less forgiving when she caught Fen up on the end table, actively destroying her Lego tree house to look for more tasty…um…plastic?

I have got to figure out what exercise or stimulation my puppy needs, or vitamins Fen is missing in her diet and fill up on whatever playtoy she feels she’s lacking because good god – she’s not just manipulating the kids into picking up their toys off the floor and hoovering up the crap off the floor that I didn’t want there in the first place. Now she’s seeking out things on shelves and things that qualify at Casa de Katie as “put away.” Someone teach the dog that, quick, before I lose my mind!

I’m glad my sweet, submissive, loving puppy is feeling more comfortable here at home, but ease up, Mr. Biteypants. Please?

Was that a…cow?

March 27, 2013

Last night, Gracie was lying on the couch watching Shark Week (which is proven WITH SCIENCE to help you recover from a stomach bug faster) and Bee was doing some math problems on the computer in the front room. I was paying bills on my laptop in the craft room and heard…a rather odd noise.

I walked out to the living room. There it was again!

“…Was that…a cow??” I asked Gracie.

“Hunh?”

It wasn’t just me – or maybe it was – but I heard a distinct moo-ing sound again. “Is that coming from outside or from Bee’s computer game?” I scanned the farm behind us and counted three horses, as always, and zero cows. The mooing – much louder than you’d think – was definitely coming from outside.

Gracie and I walked out on the patio. There was definitely a cow somewhere. And it was really loud!!

Gracie brought a kitchen chair outside and we both stood on it. Looked across the fence. And gaped. You will not believe what we saw.

Cows

Yes – COWS. Baby cows. Did you know baby cows are really loud?! They are! Also – COWS! In my neighbors’ yard! What the man?! I do not even know if my neighbors are allowed to have baby cows! All I could think of was that those baby cows had better not be scream-mooing all night long. Because what are the rules exactly for calling the police and asking them to shoot your neighbors’ cows in the head so you can sleep? Probably it is not the thing to do if you want to still be liked in the neighborhood.

Thankfully, the cows either went to sleep or into the house or maybe far, far away because there was not any mooing, screaming or otherwise, by the time we went to bed.

Monday – it was officially the weirdest.

Tales from Vacationland: Walking on the wild side.

October 11, 2011

Yes, I know our vacation was all the way back in August – a very long time ago indeed. But I was thinking, still, maybe – if we’re very, very lucky – my sister’s cat has by now recovered from my two girl children trying to love him to death. Gracie and Bee adore cats. They love all animals, but I think because they only have three dogs, they feel deprived for they do not own a cat. To make up for this slight, the girls planned and plotted their way through the air as we flew back to New England. They argued over who could pet Friedrich first, with whom he would sleep each night, who could feed him first, etc., etc., until I declared that Friedrich was, in fact, Switzerland. And was promptly met with blank stares for about five seconds before it started up again.

Naturally, after all of that careful dividing of affection on the girls part, Friedrich took one look at All! of! that! Movement! and Shrieking! and freaked the heck out. He planned and plotted his hiding places with the same fervor and thoroughness that the girls had planned their pet-a-palooza. That’s where Auntie Kim stepped in to trick the pretty kitty, or, should I say, bribe him.

Friedrich loves to go for walks. Yes, walks. Like, on a leash. (Shh – don’t tell him he’s a cat. He thinks he’s a mighty tiger….um, with a leash.) Auntie Kim knew that if the girls were to offer Friedrich his leash, he couldn’t help but be a nice, obedient, “normal” kitty for a little while and bond with the girls.

 

Yes, I know the quality of the pics isn’t that great: apparently my camera forgot it has a nighttime setting. But how could I not take pictures of something Bee and Gracie had talked about for weeks?

Here Friedrich is saying: “Shhh – do you smell something?”

This is half of Kim’s giant backyard that leads into the portal to Stephen King’s backyard scary, scary woods. We did not see (or hear) any of those messed up ROUSs (fine – fisher cats), but we did hear some deer crashing about in the woods. We thought they might come out and walk through the backyard, something they do on a regular basis, but we were outta luck. Bee thinks it’s because we had our mighty, mighty cat-who-thinks-he’s-a-tiger with us. The deer, Bee says, think he’s scawy.

So what does Bee decide to do? Go find the deer on her own. (Well, on her own with Auntie Kim.) The Brave One left Friedrich with Gracie and I and the two Twisted Sisters took off into the woods. Yes, I actually said out loud to them not to touch any glowing trees or travel to another world without me. (It’s a Rule.) Luckily, the emerged unscathed, ready to adventure another day.

I don’t think Friedrich ever really relaxed until the girls were gone (and Auntie Kim returned), but he at least let himself be petted every now and then after our walk. He was totally just saving up his points, hoping to trade them in for another adventure, but I don’t think anyone minded.

Rule the Second: Love Thy Neighbors.

September 2, 2010

It has been a tough week. I’ve been dealing with family drama, my mom’s Parkinson’s has not been very nice, I’m having boy issues, a hurricane is possibly headed for my sister’s house and my mom’s house, I’m working through some issues with The Ex, and on top of everything else, I’m sick. I honestly had no idea what in the world I was going to write about for Love Thursday until I got home from work last night.

I pulled into my driveway and saw my neighbor in her yard. I’ve been meaning to walk over there to ask how much I owed them for the fence since it’s been fixed for a little while now. So I said hello and we exchanged a few pleasantries and I asked Sandy how much I owed them. She said not to worry about it for a little while – the receipt was somewhere inside her house…but she wasn’t quite sure where. The filter on her fridge malfunctioned while they were on vacation (of course) and the entire back half of her house had flooded. They’ve been living out of a hotel for the past week, stopping by each day only long enough to feed the dog and pick up their clothes.

You can imagine how quickly my jaw dropped and I started thanking God that at least my house was (please, please) still in one piece. Ohhhhh, I could have it so much worse than I already do! Thankfully, Michael and Sandy’s homeowner’s insurance is paying for everything, but the clean up is moving at a snail’s pace. I told Sandy anything I could do to help, just to let me know. I even offered to watch CeeCee. Yep, I offered to watch That Irrascible Dog. Yes, it will be rather annoying if CeeCee barks through the night and I’m responsible, and it will be a bit annoying if I have to clean up after accidents, and a little problematic if she eats the girls toys (or worse). But if your neighbors are having to replace floors, furniture, cabinets, appliances – you help them out any way you can. I’m pretty sure Love Thy Neighbor is one of The Rules, anyways. Also? I love that crazy dog, CeeCee. Even if she is a little highstrung. And I love my girls. (If Sandy and Michael take me up on it, I’m a lock for Mother of the Year when Gracie and Bee find out!) That’s why I made the offer even though my life is a bit crazy right now.

Happy Love Thursday, everyone. Go out of your way today to do something extraordinary and selfless for someone you care about. (Although I will stipulate that mine might not really qualify as selfless since I could potentially medal in Mommying!)