Thursday, May 31, 2012

Don't Cry For Me Argentina

We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming to report that the budding romance between The Pack Mom and MK is no longer. Deal breakers = Distance. Time. Attention. Needs.

What started magically a couple of months ago showed so much promise, such potential, but these are not the only two people on the planet capable of producing chemistry, and now, without a doubt, our heroine knows she is ready to See and Be Seen. And she still doesn't need to settle or jump into anything serious on the 2nd or even 3rd date ;)

Moreover, our fearless leader is convinced that MK came into her life when she did because Ex-h needed a champion in a bad way. More then what this couple taught each other and learned about themselves during the course of their eye opening affair, getting Ex-h on his feet and in a direction leading out of the Pack's basement was a gift greater then any the Pack could have dreamed into existence.

So. What's next for our heroine? Stay tuned....

Friday, May 25, 2012

Dear Riley,

The emergency hospital called with news today. Your *remains* were ready to be picked up.

Oh God Oh God Oh God

I knew this day would be hard. The final nail in the coffin so to speak.

This was it Buddy. You were never coming home to me. Ever. Again.

My best boy, now reduced to ashes in a box. Or in something. I haven't had the heart or nerve to look inside the nice white paper bag they handed me as I signed on the dotted line. "Best to wait for Bird & Mother Hen" I reasoned with myself "so we can pay proper tribute to you being reunited with us in a different form."

Damn you ME and your partner in crime AP. We will never forgive you. Ever.

Why man, why did this have to happen to you? To us? Damn.

It's not your fault Pal, it's not anyone's fault, but I am still so sorry. You were such a good boy, the best, and you can be proud of the dog's work you did here on Earth.

*Head in Hands*

I sure do miss you Ri.

You, as we knew you, will never be back. But we have more then just happy memories now, now we have a physcial symbol that represents your beautiful doggy form to go with the feeling of your presence that has followed us, your Pack, your family, since you were taken away so abrupty.

That is where you will remain. Always. *Right here* holding my hand over my heart.

I'll never forget you Riley.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Four Days Later ...

And the Earth is still spinning, I've managed to continue functioning, I sense him with me but more then ever I miss his physical presence. The faces he made, the attention he demanded when I was focused on another Pack member, the way he "spoke" to me in a way uniquely his, the way he caught flies midair, the way he would cut M.W. off from bringing me a ball so that *he* could bring it to me, the way he guarded me and his other people and "protected" Bird from her BF, even the way he tortured the cats, and wanted to assist in the kitchen.

He was a great dog, a wonderful companion, and the best friend I have ever had. It's sad, but when D1 and I were in marriage counseling, I once told our therapist during an individual session that I didn't need my wife, as long as I had my dog.

And now I have neither.

Still, I take comfort in talking about him, even though I am careful to do it in the past tense, I enjoy writing messages to him by way of The Universe with the understanding that he cannot answer, and I cherish the years we had together even though it was not nearly as long as it should have been.

Ooooo oooooo ohoohohoo
Ooooo ohooohoo oooohoo
Ooooo ohoohooo oohoooo
Oohooo oohoooho ooooho
Ooooo oooooo oooooo
Ooooo oooooo oooooo

Somewhere over the rainbow
Way up high
And the dreams that you dreamed of
Once in a lullaby ii ii iii
Somewhere over the rainbow
Blue birds fly
And the dreams that you dreamed of
Dreams really do come true ooh ooooh
Someday I'll wish upon a star
Wake up where the clouds are far behind me ee ee eeh
Where trouble melts like lemon drops
High above the chimney tops thats where you'll find me oh
Somewhere over the rainbow bluebirds fly
And the dream that you dare to, why, oh why can't I? i iiii

Well I see trees of green and
Red roses too,
I'll watch them bloom for me and you
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world

Well I see skies of blue and I see clouds of white
And the brightness of day
I like the dark and I think to myself
What a wonderful world

The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people passing by
I see friends shaking hands
Saying, "How do you do?"
They're really saying, I...I love you
I hear babies cry and I watch them grow,
They'll learn much more
Than we'll know
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world (w)oohoorld

Someday I'll wish upon a star,
Wake up where the clouds are far behind me
Where trouble melts like lemon drops
High above the chimney top that's where you'll find me
Oh, Somewhere over the rainbow way up high
And the dream that you dare to, why, oh why can't I? I hiii ?

Ooooo oooooo oooooo
Ooooo oooooo oooooo
Ooooo oooooo oooooo
Ooooo oooooo oooooo
Ooooo oooooo oooooo
Ooooo oooooo oooooo  

Monday, May 21, 2012

The End That Finally Came

My Pack is in mourning. My best friend, my shadow, my sweet Riley Love has fallen into forever sleep.

Five months of episode after episode of regurging, another 4 lb loss in a week for a total of nearly 30 lbs, then finally green mucous appearing suddenly in his nostrils coupled with trouble breathing, and The Awful Decision I didn't know how I would make, was made for me.

It was Aspirated Pneumonia, the emergency room veterinarian confirmed. The prognosis, she said gently, was not promising. $2k for treatment during the first 24 hrs, with him being released at that time highly unlikely. "We would only be treating this episode of AP. There is no guarantee that it won't return in a month, or next week. The megaesophogus of course complicates his treatment and his hope of recovery."

This was it. Oh God Oh God Oh God. I summoned my kids while the ER staff prepared him for our goodbye.

Having received oxygen immediately upon our arrival, in addition to the stress of his separation from me, the insertion of the catheter, and the sickness that was attacking from his lungs, and my boy came to us confused, distressed, and clearly afraid.

I called him to me and he came, relieved to be reunited with his Pack Leader. Panting and breathing heavily, he looked from face to face, comforted by the presence of his Pack - perhaps realizing his fight was now going to end. Finally.

My baby. My buddy. My first dog since childhood. The puppy who saved me from heartache four years ago, the beautiful, innocent, sweet companion who never left my side was now needing me to save him - despite the heartache it would bring back to me.

Stroking him, holding him, praying for peace at last, I told him he didn't have to suffer now, that he wasn't going to be sick any more or ever again, that he could once again enjoy peanut butter kongs, meaty flavorful bones, and all the food and water he needed to fill his belly. Knowing it would never equal the heart full of unconditional love he never ceased to show me.

He licked the tears from my face, from Bird's face, and looked again at each of us as Bird rocked him in her arms, crying. Looking into the rich brown eyes already draining of life, I said good night to my boy.

There, in Bird's arms, he fell.

Oh Riley. You will be forever in my heart, your place in our Pack will always be honored, and you will never cease being my best friend.

I love you Pal.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Philanthropist is Not in the Job Description

It's four o'clock in the morning and I have been awake for two hours. For once it's not Riley's fault; no, this time it is me who is hungry. Laying there, I found I was asking myself one question, repeatedly.

"What are you doing?"

I'm certainly not applying for martyrdom. I am no philanthropist. So why am I suffering? Why am I stressed out, depressed, and hungry? Oh I know why, but still it seems appropriate to ask myself.

"What are you doing?"

Your guess is as good as mine. You see, I have not been married to Bird's dad since she was four years old. That's when I realized, hey, you're not a heterosexual. Duh. So why, 13 years later, has he been living in my basement for five months? Seemingly without a care in the world. Streaming his stupid programs on Netflix day after day, sleeping, eating, using resources I should not have to provide. In essence I am a single mother. One who has not only not received child support since said ex-h quit his secure civil servant job, what two years ago? But one who is stupid enough to go ahead and foot the bill for his daily existence.

Seriously. I have to be done with this. Of the several things I cannot control this is not one of them.

Monday, May 7, 2012

On The Plus Side, We're Reducing Our Carbon Footprint

I miss the dog parks. There are a handful close by that we would always alternate between, sometimes hitting two different ones a day. Unfortunately MegaE has changed our exercise routine, seeing as any dog being walked that we pass in the car, results in Riley barking. Barking = Automatic Regurge. No questions asked.

So now I walk them on the leash. Around the neighborhood. It's quiet, and certainly convenient but also getting rather dull. Needless to say, we will have to start venturing further, sans Miss. With my hand burned, it has been challenging enough, but at least we went in a predictable circle and if she spotted a squirrel, I simply let go of her leash. Regardless, we were never far from home.

I did get a mesh muzzle for Riley, figuring on using it in the car to keep him from barking, as well as when he roamed the backyard unaccompanied - to keep him from eating anything. But my fear has been that he will bark anyway, then choke on the regurge.

Meanwhile, I am going to start graphing his episodes, to see if I can determine some sort of pattern. As I tell my GF often, he has good days and bad days. Sure, I am journaling everything but seeing it on a graph may better assist me in my endless endeavour to figure this bloody disease out.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Time, Revisited

Time exists only as a means to measure the space between preparing his food, spending 20 minutes feeding him 5-6 times per day, and cleaning up episodes of regurgitation.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Time, or Something Like It

Time. It seems to pass so quickly, doesn't it?

Or does it?

When I think about how fast April went for example, it seems really, really fast.

When I think about how my idyllic life @ Le Monde died just four years ago, it seems really, really slow.


Things You Should Never Say

When my brother and I were little, and my dad was out to sea, the day-to-day would inevitably become too much for her to bear. Given that I have little memories of him not at sea,

(except of course that she was often this way when he was home, and I've forgotten that he spent all his home time hiding in the garage with a 12 pack of beer)

life was always in an apparent state of unbearableness.

And unfortunately for my brother and me, you were never quite sure what might set her off.

Maybe we ran out of milk. Maybe we hadn't done our chores. Maybe, as soon as she came in the door, we wanted to know what was for dinner.

Innocent, kids being kids. In other words, it was nothing.

Every day, there was ranting and raving to be had. Sometimes she said the most horrible, hurtful, mean-spirited things. Things you should never say to another human being much less your own babies. Sometimes she did more then cause emotional pain. And then, she would say, she just wanted to run away.

I have come to realize only now that she didn't want to run away from us.
She wanted to run away from herself.

At least that is what I have decided to tell myself.

The Tricks We Play On Ourselves

It's funny. Things don't work out and everyone moves on. If you're me, and maybe this is everyone, I don't know, you have it in your mind that your ex becomes perfect in her new life. That none of the problems she had in your life exist anymore, her new partner can do no wrong, and her new family is perfect in every way.

Even when you know its bullshit, somehow, you have yourself convinced. So, if your me, you then wonder, "what's wrong with me? Why couldn't she be that way for me?"

But she's not that way. Not now. Not with anyone. She still has the same issues, the same problems, the same idiosyncrasies, the same drama, the same insane compulsions, the same ... everything. And all new ones based on new dynamics, new exchanges, new differences.

But still, you wonder.

Pushing on This, Pulling on That

Something has to give.

It has been five months since I felt I had no choice but to take my daughter's dad in, and I am happy I had a basement to put him. But he has absolutely no source of income and $200 in food stamps a month just does not cut it when he is here using electricity all day and can eat more then my growing teenagers. Scrimping and scrapping to get by until the next paycheck is just plain getting old. Particularly since I make a decent salary. Granted he does keep my kitchen clean and is here with Riley when I am at work, but this is not my life.

So today I ask him (again) about the Compass Center which is a place that takes care of homeless vets and gets them set up in low income housing. (Thankfully my wonderful GF has provided him with these resources including the medical attention he is now getting at the VA).

He stares at me blankly then stutters "that's mostly for housing"

Um, hello!

"Exactly. You don't live here and you can't keep staying here month after month. This was suppose to be temporary."

So uncomfortable. But what choice do I have? If he had been doing what he should have been doing all this time, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

It's time I started taking care of me.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

This is my Life

May First, and my ex-husband is still living in my basement, my dog is still regurging on a daily basis making him the equivalent of a special needs child, I'm still married yet my ex is already re-partnered with four kids and a grandson, my mom is as stubborn as ever and unable or unwilling to extend me even the most basic of courtesy, I can only see my girlfriend for a few days every month, I can't get a hair cut, go to lunch with friends, or see a movie. And I'm tired. Always. Very. Tired.