So a lot has been going on lately.
If you know me at all, you know I hate being emotional. Hate it. I can't stand talking about my "feelings". However, when my life has been as awesome as it's been for the past few months it's hard not to get a little worked up. Here's some of the reasons that my life is kickass.
This is Hot Pocket before she got better. She was dropped off in front of my work and we weren't sure she was going to make it.
this is Hot Pocket now. I've brought her home, and she is as close to a perfect puppy as they come.
My Family's trip to Washington DC:
Yup, my life definitely has some high points. But, I have my bad days too. Lucky for me though, I associate with the type of people who make the bad days seem not so bad.
“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Chemistry is a funny thing, ain't it?
Let's set aside the scientific chemistry rumblings from high school and focus on just a certain type: the type of chemistry that happens when two people meet each other and just fit together. Now, I don't necessarily mean romantic relationships- it could be friendships too. You can't really be friends with someone if there isn't any chemistry there, and you definitely can't be in a relationship with someone if there's no chemistry either.
It's easy for me to look at a relationship and say "this is why I like this person" or "I value them because of this" but it is damn hard for me to be able to say "this is why they like me" or "this is why they value me". I don't mean that in a modest way or a oh-I'm-not-deserving-why-would-anyone-like-me-pity-me-party type of way. I just don't...... get it. I don't understand. How do two people meet each other, have amazingly awesome chemistry, and keep it? Forever? How are there friendship that last from 8 years old to 80 years old? How are there relationships that start in middle school (when you really don't know who the hell you are) and last until death do them part? It's just insane to think about; for me.
It's like those penguins, the ones that find their partner and stay with them forever. Us humans are so complicated with our emotions, "Do I really feel this?" "I used to love him but now..." "is this love?" "Do they care at all?". But those adorable penguins find each other and just love. That's it. They love so easily and so readily. They meet, they make it work, and they love.
I don't really want to get into the actual science stuff, because I think that takes away some of the magic of chemistry, and of love. And what's love without some magic?
Sunday, May 30, 2010
I think I started this blog for all the wrong reasons. However, it's stuck with me for all the right reasons.
Just like all the new people, existing people, and people who have left my life I've learned from my reasons. I've met people recently that have challenged who I am- in all the right ways. They make me go in to annoyingly agonizing detail about why I've made a decision, or why I think the way I think. It's hard when it's happening, but I appreciate it so much after because it's helped me more than I've thought. Just from them wanting to know about how my mind works I've been able to figure it out myself. I am so amazingly comfortable with who I am and how I got here and how my brain works that it is ridiculous.
My friends and family who have stuck by me, with me and stuck up for me are the best. I couldn't ask for a better group of people. My true friends are the ones who say "I've got your back" and they mean it and have shown it. I am so very fortunate.
I've had people leave my life because of unseen circumstances or disagreements- and thats okay. Some days its tough when a memory comes to mind that I haven't thought of in God knows how long but I am more than okay. I am at ease and am comforted by the memories more than I am hurt by them. Some people have left my life and I don't even speak to them anymore, and it's strange to see them (whether on the internet, in person, or in an old memory hidden in a box under my bed) and know that once upon a time we shared an experience.
Regardless of the people who have come and gone, I have the people who have stayed. Who have stuck it out with me when I've gone crazy, I've hit rock bottom or when I just can't take it anymore. I've been truly blessed with a "family" (family, friends, friends of friends) unlike any other and it's amazing. It's eye-opening, its an adventure and I wouldn't change any choices I've made that have brought me to this point.
Monday, May 3, 2010
A tattoo is a true poetic creation, and is always more than meets the eye. As a tattoo is grounded on living skin, so its essence emotes a poignancy unique to the mortal human condition.
- V. Vale and Andrea Juno
A work of art is the unique result of a unique temperament.
- Oscar Wilde
All art is but imitation of nature.
- Lucius Annaeus Seneca
(Sidenote: My newest tattoo, the one above, isn't done. I'm adding more birds traveling up my arm)
Thursday, April 15, 2010
There is plenty to envy about well loved pets.
I envy they're view. They are lower to the ground and they get to see so many of the beautiful things that I take for granted daily. I envy they're free spirit, they live in each moment. Sticking they're head out of the window of a moving car is enough to get them giddy. I envy they're short term memory; Thalia knows I'm upset with her one minute, and the next she's ready to just move on.
I went on a morning hike with my girl Thalia today and I was swept away by just the beauty of sound. I wasn't even in a pretty hiking area either (I mean, as far as trails go, I was in the trailer park forest complete with tires and rusty beer cans). Once I got far enough away from the road though I could actually hear.
I could hear. Just sounds. Whether it was my own breathing, my steps, rocks falling off a ledge, Thalia eating grass (and she did plenty of that), birds, something scurrying away from my sounds. I could hear. I heard the wind rush past me, swirl around me and rustle through the trees.
I saw life. Even the "weeds" had a shot at being beautiful today. The sky was bright blue, the whole forrest was bright green and even the dead leaves that covered the path made up a color palette of earthy goodness. It was so amazingly beautiful.
I even found a beautiful stray dog (who I promptly named "Scraps")- which just topped the whole day off. I was out hiking for almost 3 hours, thats how much I loved it. I felt like I reconnected with myself, and everything around me; it was a very zen moment.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
As with any good story, or at least a dramatic one, there is a beginning... so:
There I was...
Driving home from a soccer game that took place maybe 20 minutes from my house, my car started going crazy. First, the engine light came on. Soon to follow, the battery light came on. Then (a light I didn't even know existed, nor that I had it) an exclamation light turned on. But it doesn't end there. My car gave me one last "Eff you!" and my gas light turned on.
I pulled over to the nearest gas station and phoned a friend who just happens to be a mechanic. After fiddling with my car for almost two hours we decided it was getting too dark and the tools needed were in short supply to fix my vehicle. So, we called it a night and called a tow truck. Around the time the Tow Truck Man arrived it was close to 10:30pm. After discussing that my drive way was probably too steep to park the car, we decided it was best to park it around the corner and my mechanic would work on it in the morning.
This is where the fun begins.
We found a spot to park my car no more than a block away from my house. The Tow Truck Man started to unload my car and myself and my sister (who, sidenote, just moved here) stood on the other side of the street so we were out of his way. Thats when I noticed a stranger walking up the street towards us. He was wearing a red polo, had white hair growing in the masses over his frame and resembled Santa Clause.
He started talking to us asking if it was my car, and what was going on. I sort of blew him off, "yea, my car had to get towed, blah blah" and went about my own business. He turned towards the tow truck and thats when I saw it, and it played out like a scary movie.
In the gleam of the street lights I saw that he was carrying a knife in his hand. I confirmed that what I saw was indeed a knife with my sister, put my arm around her to guard her (she's a toothpick, I figured if I got stabbed at least I wouldn't bleed out as fast as she would) and we quickly went to the Tow Truck Man and told him what we saw. He told us to get in the truck quickly as the man with the knife started walking over to us and the Tow Truck Man. My sister and I jump into the tow truck as quickly as possible (um, are those things high enough?!) and locked the doors.
The Santa Clause man started to harass our tow truck driver. "Leave the car, I didn't stutter, leave the fucking car". Luckily, the car still had not been removed from the truck so our Tow Truck Man was able to lift the car back on to the dock. He then quickly got into the truck.
As we were getting ready to drive away, the Santa Clause man came over to my side of the car (I was closest to the window). I held down the lock on the door like I was holding on to the edge of a cliff. We started to pull away and the Santa Clause man rushed to my side of the vehicle and slashed the front tire. We kept driving to get away, and stopped at the end of the street. The Tow Truck Man called the police.
When they showed up, after a stop at the local quicktrip (yes, that's fact), they told us to go back to where we were unloading the car and act like we were doing it again. Basically, we were to act like bait for crazy Santa Clause man.
He never showed up again, and thanks to the police blocking off traffic we were able to park in my driveway.
Had my sister or I not seen the knife in this guys hand, or if we hadn't thought to get away from this stranger myself, my sister, or our Tow Truck Man could very well have been seriously hurt or even dead.
It's a scary thought. It was a scary moment. And it is a scary reality.
Monday, April 5, 2010
I am so very thankful.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Why is this such a dirty word in Animal Welfare? Why is it such a bad thing to have compassion for the animals you care for?
I bring this up for a few reasons. One, a comment was made to me a few days ago about a dogs welfare and the way it was said made it seem like they were trying to convince me that what they were doing was the right thing. Which I already knew it was. I guess they felt I would get emotional, and they needed to make sure that I knew it was the right thing.
Secondly, comments have been made about me to others about how I'm a little fragile when it comes to euthanasia. Is this a bad thing? I wouldn't say I'm fragile, but I certainly don't like it. But- at the same time I realize sometimes its the only option left; for whatever reason. Yes, I cry. Yes, I can get extremely bitter. But why does this make me fragile?
Which brings me back to compassion.
I think people build a wall sometimes to help them cope with the ugly side of our job, and I understand that. No matter how many times it happens, it sucks. Animals die (sometimes for circumstances we can't change) and it can be unbelievably unbearable to us.
But I've noticed something in myself. If I put that wall up, then I start losing the little hope that I do have for all the animals I care for. I run out of it or I just don't have any. I don't want to be that person. I don't want to be so cynical about my job just because of the harsh reality of it.
Compassion is not a bad thing. Yes, it hurts like hell when you have so much love and care for a dog and they still can't be saved. My God, does it hurt. At the same time though, I feel like if I don't give that dog my compassion I can't give them as much as they give me. My dogs (I refer to the dogs I care for as 'mine') love me. No questions, no shame, no nerves; they love me. They love me whether I take them for 80 walks or no walks. They love me whether I'm in a good mood or bad mood. They love me when I'm sad. They love me when I'm happy. They love me. Plain and simple. Thats the beautiful thing about animals. They love you regardless. They are so unashamed of their compassion for humans. Why are we so scared of the same compassion?
So here it is: Is it better to put that wall up, and guard the love you give to the animals because you are scared of the outcome? Or, is it better to say "yes, I loved that animal so very much. It hurts like hell that they aren't around anymore. But I think they knew how much I loved them, regardless. And even if they didn't, at least I know how I cared for them for the short while I had them".
Monday, March 22, 2010
The job that I do has many upsides. I get to see changes in animals everyday and know that in some small way that I helped them. I get to see animals find the families that they should of had all along. I hold a puppy in my hand that can barely eat on it's own and sometimes get an update a year later and see how big he or she has grown. Sometimes a dog is so scared that they hide in the corner of they're kennel and I get to be the one who works to bring them out of they're shell. It's so rewarding when they start to recognize me and I know I've made a difference. Thats the best part of my job: knowing I've made a difference. Regardless of size or significance, because in actuality, even if the world doesn't seem to notice or care what you are doing the animals do. They know when you've helped them. They don't forget so readily as humans do.
But sometimes- you can work your hardest, put all your dedications and efforts in to one animal and it just won't make a difference. That was the case with Gremlin.
When Gremlin first came in to the shelter he did not like me at all- which is why he was placed in my part of the shelter. He needed some work on socializing. It took a while. Every time I would walk by his kennel he would bark and go crazy- but I would just keep giving him treats and talk sweet to him. Eventually, one day, he wasn't barking and going crazy. He was just jumping up to try and get close to me. I leashed him up, we went for a long walk, and he kissed me. You know, those sweet slobbery kisses (and he may have only been eleven pounds, but by God that boy was a sloppy kisser).
I saw changes in him everyday. He became my bud. We'd go for walks. He'd let me cry in his kennel while he sat next to me not knowing what to do but just lean his head against me (which was all I needed). We played tug of war together. He attacked me with affection and I in return attacked him with attention and love.
But it wasn't enough to save him. Although a few people were able to make some of the same progress with him- a few wasn't enough. He also had health issues that weren't going to let him be an appropriate adoption candidate.
I gave him his last peanut butter kong today. I walked him around the shelter one last time today. I took him out to the dog park and let him run to his hearts content for the last time today. And then we went on another long walk because I just wasn't ready. I cradled his face and recieved his sloppy kisses for the last time today. Then, I said 'I love you', and walked him to his death.
I love my job. I love how rewarding it is. How I know I'm making a difference and how it makes me feel. But some days, the only thing my job makes me want to do is curl up in a ball and cry. It's not the shelter's fault that he was euthanized. I honestly believe that the only way we would have made the decision to euthanize is because all options had been used and weren't effective.
But even though I know this, and I know he's not in any pain anymore, I still miss him.
R.I.P. Gremlin- you'll forever be my little Grem Grem.
Friday, March 19, 2010
Sometimes giving up is the hardest thing. Sometimes letting go is the hardest thing. But in making the decision to give up, or to let go, as long as you know in your heart it is right then you can't really fight it even if you really want to.
If the decision is more than "should I choose silk or milk?" it gets even harder. If the decision is based off of emotions or parts of your life it can be unbearable.
You will feel guilty. You will spend some days wanting to change your mind. Sometimes, you'll want to forget everything and the only way to do that is with one too many girly drinks with names like 'sex on the beach', 'windex' or 'sea breeze'.
You'll go on trying to live your life. You will go out. You will have fun. You will have so much fun that you think you are finally starting to move on. But if the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning is how you still don't know how to deal, then you still have a way to go.
I still have a way to go.