My Stubborn Mule

Bucket-headed dog

Bucket-headed dog (Photo credit: Paul Kidd)

The sun shines through the slated blinds on my red dog’s face. As much of a pain in the bleep she is, I can’t stop loving her. She’s my girl, Lexi, the one I rescued from the shelter and even though I can’t walk her (she is ridiculously strong) in public, she’s still mine. She PULLS me everywhere, I have to stay in my neighborhood. You wouldn’t believe how many times members of my extended “family” have told me to give her “back” or “give her away.” But there is no way I will do that, I can’t. I love her.

Admittedly she is one of the toughest dogs, strongest dogs I’ve ever known and on the advice of three, yes, three, dog trainers, they have all agreed she is a “wild one with a stubborn streak.” Frustrating? Yes. Do I love her less? No. I rescued her from the shelter when she was tiny, curled up in a little red ball, sound asleep and my heart fell in love immediately. This was MY dog. I played with her, she let me cuddle her, nothing could stop me from adopting this sweetheart.

Sometimes love is blind, we know that. And, admittedly, maybe I missed my dog Callie so much (she had cancer) that i didn’t give myself enough time to recover from that grief. I probably should have waited longer to adopt my puppy but I didn’t. That’s my fault, not hers. I needed to hear the sounds of a dog in the house, I missed them so much and I need to have a dog in my life. I have become a dog person, through and through.

I should have known, when she was the worst, evil puppy in the world, that she was Trouble. She would go after our hands, feet, like I would go after a chocolate layer cake, sink her sharp puppy teeth in and not let go. Screaming in pain, little” Honeybadger didn’t give care.” Her grip would tighten. She was a really difficult puppy but still I didn’t love her any less.

She will be two in February, February 16th, 2014. I’ve had people tell me that she will NOT slow down, not this dog. She is muscular (all muscle) and strong (like an ox) and she still pulls me around that I’m scared to go out with her. It doesn’t help that I am very weak and have no balance. We have about nine different collars, leashes and equipment and Ms. Stubborn defies the odds. But that’s okay.

I love her and I won’t give her up, I could never do that. She is my dog and when I have to take her to the vet I will ask someone to come out and get her since she loves going there and pulls me dangerously across the street. I will make compromises, she will not. She is sleeping on my bed now looking like an absolute dog angel. She doesn’t show affection very often but this is her way. She keeps me company, gives me kisses. She’s going nowhere except in my arms for a big hug. She is not an easy dog, for sure, but I love her, I picked her and she makes me laugh. Sometimes.

PS: Remember the book and movie “Marley and Me?” Marley is a sweet kitten compared to Lexi, I kid you not.

photo credit paul kidd

words copyrighted lf

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I’m A Puppy, You’re A Cat: The Conversation

Puppy Love

Puppy Love (Photo credit: ransomtech)

Puppy Love

Puppy Love (Photo credit: zane.hollingsworth)

I know, I know, I am just the cutest little puppy you have ever seen, right? Here I come, bounding into a room, all loose limbs and enthusiasm, drooling and licking your face, I love you, I love, I love you so much. I love you just because you are here in this room with me and you are my best friend, forever. That’s who I am, your puppy, for as long as I shall live, until the day I die and not for a second before that. You were made for me and I was made for you and I am going to sleep next to your bed or on your bed or in your bed and give you licks on your face and your feet and sometimes your belly because you are just the most delicious person on earth. Yes you are! Yes you are! You want to take me on a walk, did you say? I CANNOT believe how lucky I am to have you, for you to have picked me, little old me from the shelter, I am the LUCKIEST dog around, I knew it!!! Did I tell you how much I really love YOU?

Not me, snarled the cat, take it down a notch, would you canine? Ugh. Yo, owner this is where it’s at: I may like you, I may even become fond of you, in time. That is if you treat me the way I want to be treated( consistently) and when I am in the mood for it, when I want it not when YOU want it. I may (notice I said MAY) skirt around your legs, but no promises. I am in control here, do you understand, because I’m only saying this once. Read my lips, one time only. I’m in control, not you, never you. You want affection from me? Ha Ha Ha, Seriously? You must be thinking of that other species, you know the other kind, the D-O-G kind. I’ll walk around on your kitchen table and shed my fur into your food when I feel like it.What, you got a problem with that?! I didn’t think So. I had a really good time when I  hacked up a fur ball, right in your cereal bowl, you dumb fool. You thought you swallowed the wrong way? HA HA HA. I do get the affection part, it just has to be on MY terms, like when you rub my neck a certain way, when you hear me purr, keep doing whatever you are doing. That’s the best I can do. I got nothing else for you, I’m done, take me as I am or leave, could not care which you choose. Ever.

Haiku Heights – Infatuation 2

Beautiful Red Poppy - Just Opened

Baby being born

A first look, like a painting

Time can not erase

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A kitten’s first blink

Flying paws swatting the air

She scampers and sleeps

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Puppy rules the house

Licks my cheeks with sloppy sauce

Snuggles in my hand

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Fresh bright red poppies

Sprung from a lawn of lush green

Embracing the sun

Like We Used To

mother and son

Image by 'PixelPlacebo' via Flickr

It’s a different page in the book, the old chapter ended abruptly. Now, there’s a new chapter that really doesn’t seem to fit in with the rest. But, since I have no choice but to continue reading, whether I want to or not, I will learn something in the end. I’m not sure if I will like the ending or if I will hate it but it is not an ending that I get to write. Not anymore. It’s no longer my story. I’m so low on energy today with the temperature and the humidity so high it hurts to breathe and I am feeling daggers of chest pain. Tears are sliding down my cheeks but I don’t bother to wipe them away; it’s all out of my control. I wish I could hide away somewhere, or go on vacation alone and relearn who I am.

It would be nice to be able to talk to my eighteen and a half-year old son with the same ease, joy, warmth and humor that we used to have. Now, he is readying himself for camp and college and independence; I understand that but still, sometimes what he does or says sting. I am sure he will come back, at least that’s what other parents of older children have told me. I’m his mother, I will wait. New words entered our vocabulary last year, things like beer pong and prom, girlfriend, college, admissions and honor programs. Maybe there is still a little kid inside him also trying to deal with changes too. Maybe he doesn’t know how he’s acting or how different he seems. It’s a little rocky in the beginning when things change so dramatically but eventually we all learn to adjust to everything. The ability to adjust is what keeps people alive; we have no other option but to adapt.

I have pains in my chest; I feel weak and sad and  fragile and everything in my body hurts from Fibromyalgia and my heart hurts too. My body, is stiff and unyielding. I’m tired of being tired and I feel everything and nothing. Today, nothing trumps everything. There were many things that used to make me happy. More importantly, I used to make myself feel happy but I don’t anymore. Does the true essence of my self still exist if I can’t feel it?

Always Elizabeth

Deer

I associate french fries with Elizabeth. Still, to this day, I can picture her face when the french fries that she DID NOT WANT appeared on her plate. I can’t forget her face. She looked like a deer, with white, almost translucent skin and dark, dark eyebrows and eyes.

When I was in High School, a long, long time ago, in Jamaica, NY, in the early seventies, I was good friends with a girl named Elizabeth W. I don’t want to give her last name since she seemed to disappear and maybe she wanted it that way; I hope that’s the reason.  This was a friend, a dear, enormously talented friend that wrote amazing stories, poetry; I think she was an artist too.

I remember we cut class together and would go to a pond or grassy area right near the school and talk about writing and life and everything esoteric. What sticks in my mind the most is that this was one tragic, sad girl. I cannot call her “young woman” because nothing about her wanted to grow up or change. She was the daughter of one Child Psychiatrist and another Psychiatrist or Psychologist. Elizabeth was one very sick girl. I am not sure if her parents knew how sick she was.

Back then, as my daughter would say, in the land of dinosaurs, no-one knew what Anorexia was but certainly that is what Elizabeth had. I remember vividly going to a restaurant and Elizabeth told the waitress at least twenty times that she did not want french fries with her sandwich. She said it over and over and I also told the waitress to make sure they didn’t bring french fries because I knew how Elizabeth would react, badly, of course. Sure enough, Elizabeth, never Liz or Lizzy or Betsy or Beth freaked out. Deep down in my stomach I sensed that would happen and I swept the offending french fries away and started to try to talk her down. She was inconsolable, she cried and trembled and cursed; we left immediately. I want to say we went to a show or a movie after that but I don’t know what we saw. I think there were kids throwing candy and that upset you, and me, too.  Poor Elizabeth, no one knew much about your illness back then.

I remember your very pale, very skinny body that seemed to shed it’s own skin. The hair on your arms were black or maybe that’s just how I remember them. We took a trip to Philadelphia once, I don’t know why, but we did. We took the train together for a day trip, did we visit a museum? I remember nothing about what we did there or where we went or even why. I had an aunt and uncle that lived there but I am not sure if we saw them. I remember nothing but your face, dear Elizabeth and the photo in our yearbook; etched in my brain.

Rumor had it that you went to a small all-girls college, Smith maybe? I tried to track you down but never found you. I was your friend and then you were gone. Nobody knew anything about you, it’s as if you were a dream of mine, that you existed only in my imagination.

I just wanted you to know, if you are still out there in this enormous world, that someone has not forgotten you, that I remember your big dark eyes, and your wistful little smile, like that of a tiny kitten. I hope you are well, I hope more that you are still alive.