Category Archives: Fostering and Rescues

Ms. Passive Aggressive

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No one likes passive aggressive people. They’re assholes. I mean, just say what’s bothering you and be direct about it. Don’t play these silly games that dance around the issue and *hope* your point is noticed by the offending parties.

Well… I’m an asshole. And I’m going to be passive aggressive right now.

First: I’m so disappointed because my boss has decided to buy a purebred Great Dane.

He’d approached me a few weeks back because he and his wife were thinking, yet again, of adopting getting a dog and he wanted my advice. Well, great! I have so many connections to all kinds of local dog rescues and could even help him narrow it down to the right dog with the right personality for his family’s needs. I gave him links to specific dogs and contact information for my favorite rescues.

I should have known something was up, because I didn’t hear a thing about it. Until today. When he says: “I was afraid to tell you about this, but… we’re getting a Great Dane puppy.”

He was afraid to tell me because he knows how incredibly important it is to me that I successfully spread the ADOPT, DON’T BUY message. And he knew I would be pissed at his ultimate decision. He was right.

I’m pissed for several reasons, besides the obvious one of “there’s one shelter dog’s life NOT being saved”… such as:

1) He bought a puppy about 2 years ago from a shady breeder in southern AZ somewhere. His wife decided they had to have an English golden retriever. So they went and got this dog and had no clue what to do to train it. The dog had insane energy and all kinds of health problems. (It had eaten a magnet at the breeder’s house before they even had her, and ended up spending massive amounts of money to have the magnet surgically removed.) At the time, his twin daughters were only 2, and the dog was “too much for them” and then, apparently, one of the twins developed an allergy to the dog. I don’t know what the fuck he was thinking, getting a high-energy, large breed puppy with two little toddlers in the house. It was an ongoing disaster for months, until that convenient dog allergy showed up and they had no choice but to return the dog to the breeder. They gave up on a dog for no good reason at all. A dog they never, ever should have adopted in the first place.

2) Next, they got a Saint Bernard. A Saint Bernard!!! That one lasted for an even shorter time period before it was returned. Again, it was a very young dog and had tons of energy and needed time, attention and TRAINING to get it to be the dog they wanted.

3) Today he told me that he spent a lot of time “exhausting the rescue option” and in the end they just knew they wouldn’t find a dog that was what they wanted, in a rescue. In the Great Dane rescue, the dogs were mostly “4 or 5 years old already, and with the short life spans of Great Danes, we knew we’d only get a couple of good years out of one of those dogs and we’re not ready for that.” Apparently he is of the naive belief that only old dogs die. Look. You get a dog, you’d better be ready for whatever comes your way regarding illnesses and accidents. If you’re “not ready for that”…don’t get a dog.

4) They have two pet rabbits and they also said at rescues they wouldn’t be able to find a dog that would be both good with little kids AND rabbits. Notice I said “wouldn’t be able to” in that sentence up there. This shows that he never really investigated that part of it seriously. He’s lying to me about “exhausting the rescue option.” I hate being lied to. Anyway, who wants to place bets that there will be an incident with the Great Dane puppy and the rabbits within the first 6 months? How about the first 6 weeks?

5) He says he wants a dog he can take on walks, but back when he had the other two dogs, he “hated walking them” because of the work and effort of trying to control them. OH CHRIST, GET ME A DRINK AT THIS POINT!

I look forward to the inevitable failure of this, his latest Worst Decision Ever.

Second: I don’t understand the people who tell me to send them my book because they want to read it, and then they never read it.

I can think of EIGHT friends right now who fall under this category. Eight. All of them friends, not just people I kinda know/strangers. They all said to me, “please let me read your book” and I told them yes.

I also told them to be honest and fuckin’ tell me if you are bored with the story and stop reading.

This is important.

I need to know if my story doesn’t engage people. It’s not a matter of “I’d like to know”… NO. I NEED TO KNOW. So I can fix it.

Some of the people tell me, “Oh, well… I don’t really read that genre, but I’ll give it a try.” This is not the right thing to say to an aspiring author. It’s not that I am upset you don’t read my genre. It’s that you are clearly not the target audience, but you’ll give this a look anyway, probably out of some unspoken obligation. Don’t do that. Just don’t offer to read my book, because it sucks getting excited waiting for feedback that NEVER comes. And I don’t want you doing a pity-read, either. Lame.

Third: Writers who don’t know a thing about my genre, and yet feel they have the right to tell me all the things wrong with my book. Or what they would do differently, to make it sell.

Writer Ex did this to me a couple months ago, and I’m still annoyed by what he said. I wanted him to be brutally honest about my story, and he wasn’t.

He was brutally honest about what he would do with my story idea, if he’d had it.

The first lines of his critique: “Great title. The rest? Not so much.”

Then he went on to explain he never reads YA sci-fi or paranormal so he has no idea what the market is for those books. But if I want people to buy my book, I need to make Zachary some kind of mutant freak with big, flashy superpowers he can’t control. I should write it in the style of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. And so on, until I felt like puking.

Again, maybe you shouldn’t offer to critique my query and first few pages if you are unfamiliar with my genre.

At least I know better now. I won’t ask anyone who doesn’t READ this kind of stuff (or write it) take a look at my work.

OK. My passive aggressive rant here is done.

I’m going home now to write my kick-ass new book, play with my dogs and enjoy my fuckin’ weekend!

The rule of 3 episodes and other weekend things

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On Friday, I worked on my book after I got home, and then had some chocolate ice cream. This made me stay wide awake for a loooooong time. So I watched more of Pretty Little Liars.

OK. What’s the deal with Netflix and TV series? I mean, you can’t just watch ONE episode of something in a sitting. You are compelled, literally compelled, I swear!, to watch at least THREE. The show’s not amazing or anything, and I’m kind of embarassed to say I watched it, but honestly it’s just fun. The story keeps going and going and twisting around and ending on little mini cliffhangers, so it does make you go, “Oh, NOW what? Let me just watch one more episode, then…” and it’s nice to look at. Pretty town, pretty actors and actresses, pretty clothes and pretty houses. I am seriously coveting Hanna’s kitchen.

The cabinets, the lighting, the gorgeous tile backsplash… dear lord. WANT.

My idea for a drinking game: Every time they all look at each other with that look when they get a text from A… take a drink.

Every time Spencer wears a really weird hat…take a drink.

Every time blind Jenna walks in a room and says, “[insert name], is that you?”…take a drink.

She needs to be kicked just for the scene where she’s playing the goddamn flute on her porch.

Every time you want to punch Jenna or shove her down some stairs… take a drink.

Every time you want to punch that brat, Melissa, in her supposedly-pregnant belly… take a drink.

Every time you think to yourself, “Man, that Toby is NOT a good looking guy at all and he needs a haircut or something”…take a drink. Wait. That one will give you too high a blood alcohol level.

See? This could be fun. But it could also land a person in the ER and in need of a liver transplant. Still. Good times.

On Saturday, I got a lot accomplished around the house and went out with my Mom for lunch and to the farm market. I got so much food for juicing and salads for only $18. That place is the best.

Later that night, I found some long-lost scenes from the previous version of my book. They were squirreled away on my old PC’s hard drive. I did some transferring but mostly just ended up reading everything I’d written in the past. It’s so strange how much the book changed since then… but there is still some good stuff there. And I have a feeling some of it might come in handy in books 2 and 3.

Yesterday I woke up feeling like crap. My sinuses were so tender, and it made my head pound. I decided to just veg out all day, and that’s what I did. I read an entire book. I made a green juice. I watched some Doctor Who (three episodes, again the magic number) and had a salad. I downloaded the Dead Man’s Bones album (thanks to my sister, who turned me on to this band because it’s Ryan freakin’ Gosling’s band, and they are super fun and weird), which I love.

The book I read is another embarassing one. So, of course, I write about it here. I share all my embarassing media consumption stories here. Anyway, it’s called Bound for the Forest, and it’s a M/M fantasy romance. M/M means, of course, male/male. Gay guys, falling in love and getting it on. I don’t honestly understand why those stories are so much more interesting to me, but they are. Every now and then, maybe about once a year or so, I read a few books in this genre. I love men in books. This book yesterday was kind of silly and definitely weird at several points, but it held my interest and I read the whole thing from start to finish all day yesterday. So it couldn’t have been bad. I just don’t know that there is anyone I know who I could recommend this book to. Unless some of you are also kind-of into M/M stories. (It doesn’t work when it’s F/F. Not at all. Because I am more interested in reading descriptions of hot guys’ bodies than a woman’s body, plain and simple. It’s always cool when there is one hot guy in a book, but when there are TWO… yeah. Way better.)

I looked it up and these kind of books seem to have many more female readers than male readers. Women tend to think, “awww, that’s so cute!” when it comes to two guys falling in love. And usually, women write them, too. It’s pretty interesting.

So, in other news, there are a couple of events coming up. Nothing huge, per se, but should be fun anyway:

This Thursday— a fundraiser for 2nd Chance Rescue. That’s the group I support the most, the one that brought me Moose. All day, anyone who eats at this one Mexican restaurant, helps raise money for the rescue. I plan to go sometime after getting home from work. And I might bring one of my dogs, too, b/c you can eat on the patio there.

Next Friday: Volunteering to help set-up for Keen Halloween, a new event put together by cool people in AZ who love Halloween. It’s a day of workshops, entertainment, a “monster market” and other fun stuff to get people psyched up for Halloween. Saturday: The actual event. Yay!

October 19: The day the Writer’s Conference starts. Just in case I forgot. 😉

 

You! Off my planet!

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It’s one of those days where I’m not in a bad mood, but I am feeling easily annoyed by stupidity and things that annoy me. Know what I mean? It’s like people and things are interrupting my happy frame of mind, and I want to yell at those things to get the hell outta my way.

I get so tired of a couple people in my department– the constant judgmental attitudes, the negativity, the whining, the bizarre behavior, etc.– that I would totally love to do the “time out” thing with my hands when they are talking and say, “OK. Stop right there. I can’t listen to this anymore because I can’t tolerate the way you speak, act and think, so please shut your mouth unless you have something constructive or positive to say. And I mean it, or I will thump you with a sack o’ mallets.”

I kept my mouth shut again, though, even though I’d have loved to call these people out today. Oh man, it would have been awesome. Instead I just went to lunch with my boss and vented about it. Fortunately, he’s in the same frame of mind as me when it comes to these individuals, so we each feel a little better now, knowing it’s not “just me” feeling this way. Nope, the black holes of suckage that walk around this place are really there. We’ve just got to be better than it, rise above it and always do the right thing even when they’re sneering at us.

Anyway, let’s move on to some non-sequitars, shall we? OK.

Trivial, Unrelated Story: When my boss and I went to lunch today, we first went to a Subway. But when we walked in, there was something burning in there that smelled like melting plastic, and smoke hung in the air. People on line to order had their noses tucked into the neckline of their t-shirts. There was no way I could have eaten in that place, so we left and went to another Subway. Everything was fine – except we were still eating Subway for lunch. That is never really OK. The end.

Tonight we make it officially: I will be adopting Mighty Moose tonight! I feel like he’s been with us for months and months, and clearly this is just a formality at this point, but still. It’s kind of neat because the rescue group is so down to earth and invested in this. There are 3 women who run the group, and I will finally meet the third one tonight. I’m excited, because when we’ve talked on the phone and emailed we have had a lot to talk about. She’s all psyched to meet me and finally meet all of my boys in person.

Well… except for this one. Not only is he the most mellow and elusive, but he’s also a lil’ “special”… spends a lot of time licking this plastic crate:

I have to try to get out of work early today so I can at least vacuum the living room and dining room before she gets there, because I’d be ashamed to let her see my place otherwise. Fur/dustbunnies are floating around AGAIN. It’s an ongoing thing now. Vacuum a minimum of two times a week, but usually three. Sweep and Swiffer wet-jet as well, as needed.

Last night, I had dinner with my Mom and took her to the Home Depot so she could purchase some exterior shades for her patio. While we ate, I talked about Gremlin and what a neat cat he has turned out to be. It’s true. He’s so outgoing and affectionate, and he does seem to be almost a dog in a lot of ways. He and Moose are pretty much always together.

I thought Gremlin liked Hurley, but that was nothing compared to his new bond with Moose. Maybe it’s because they are almost the same size, or because Moose is clearly younger and has more insane puppy energy than Hurley, but whatever it is, it is damn cute to witness. So there I was, praising this cat and talking about how, really, all 4 of my pets are very well-behaved and non-destructive.

And I get home and see a furious mess of shredded paper towels and a torn-open bag of bird seed all over my kitchen counter and floors. I guess the plastic of the bag was too much for Gremlin to resist, because he got in there and tore three holes in the bag. He also took the paper towel roll and ripped the shit out of it, dozens of sheets deep. He hasn’t done that particular move in a long time, so I was surprised he did it again. Overall, I learned a lesson: Don’t brag about how wonderful a pet is. Because when you get home, he will have been very bad; almost as if he overheard you talking about how good he is and thought to himself, “No way, I’m a bad-ass. And I’ll prove it, too” and WILL wreck havock. It’s one of Murphy’s Laws, I think.  

We are doing a yard sale at my house this weekend. God help me. I do hate doing yard sales. But, if it means people will haul away my old crap and give me some money for the privilege of doing so… I guess it’s OK. Still, the preparation sucks, and the actual hours you’re standing out there with all your old crap suck even more. I can’t stand the hispanic people who suddenly can’t speak a word of English and just want to hand you 50 cents for a full armload of your stuff.

One time I did a sale at X’s house and these women did the whole “no speak English” thing and insisted on giving me $2 for a pair of boots I was selling for $5. (They were in great shape.) I finally relented, and you know what they did? They grabbed up three MORE pairs of boots after handing me the $2, and hurried off to their car with all those boots while I was distracted by another customer. Those horrible, cheating bitches. Clearly, I am still pissed off about it. Apparently, you have to keep a constant eye on EVERYONE, especially after they have paid you some measly amount for some of your crap. I guess getting a deal isn’t enough for some people– they’ve got to steal, on top of it. Grrrrr. Yeah, I can definitely say I am NOT looking forward to Saturday.

I was thinking of how ironic it would be if a stray dog came walking up to my house while we were doing the yard sale. A reverse Olive! Let’s hope not. Good GOD, let’s hope not. I have four pets now, damn it! No more!!!!!

(I have stayed away from yard sales ever since that happened. No, really.)

I’m still moving through my list of 47 publishers/magazines, and plan to submit to about three more either today or tomorrow. I will have to slow down, though, because you can’t really submit one story to multiple publications at the same time. Some places are OK with you doing it, but the majority of them are NOT. In essence, you’re supposed to sit and wait for the first publisher to read your stuff and either accept it or reject it. Then, you do the same thing with the next publisher on your list, and so on. This could, essentially, take YEARS, if you figure in that some publications claim they need up to 3-4 months to even read your stuff. Instead, I am kind of banking on the realistic outcome that I will be rejected quite a few times (nature of the business, yo) so I’m risking it and doing the multiple submissions anyway. I just don’t want to overdo it. Trying to find the happy middle ground that still makes me feel like I am making the most of my time and still playing by The Rules, for the most part.

I plan to juice my first whole pineapple tonight. I’ve never cut a fresh pineapple up, before. I wish I had a big, dramatic cleaver–or sword!– to just swipe the top off in one dramatic SWOOSH. That would be fun.

Yesterday, I wore a shirt that I haven’t worn since my sister’s bachelorette party in 2009. It finally fits me again. 🙂

I got a solar spotlight for my backyard, and it’s pointed upward at my Chilean mesquite tree. The effect is very Halloween-ish, and I love it!

That’s all I got, and I ain’t gots no more.

 

Oh my daaaaamn!

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This past weekend, two things blew my mind.

One: The freakin’ Walking Dead

Two: MOOOOOOSE!!

ONE: I watched the March 4th episode on Saturday night, and then the new one last night. Two sucker punches in the gut. I am so impressed by that show, I swear to God. It’s written fearlessly. I really wish I could read the comic books, too, but that seems expensive to buy all those graphic novels. Maybe it would be worth it, though. Crazy Princess, you’ve read them all… how did you do it? 

They’ve now killed off two major characters in the last two episodes, one of which was my absolute favorite character. I was bawling over it, and climbing up the back of my chair during the terrible scene, yelling, “No. No. No. No!” at the screen. I pride myself on my composure, even when alone, when watching movies and TV shows. If I find myself laughing out loud at something, I know it’s an exceptional comedy. But I’m even quieter in my reactions to dramas. This show, though, had me going insane. I’m amazed at the effect it’s had on me, and how passionate I feel about the storyline. It’s a TV show. It’s fiction. Yet, wow! It’s intense. And I love this so much I could scream.

Oh, one very sucky thing happened, though: Entertainment Weekly, my favorite magazine, spoiled the hell out of the first death in the most recent issue by including it on that last page “Bullseye” feature. My sister loves this show, but because they don’t have cable anymore, they need to wait for the DVDs to come out to see this season. So I have gone out of my way not to spill any spoilers at all, even though I’d totally love to tell her some stuff that’s happened. But yeah, she saw that spoiler and she was really pissed off… and so was I! It’s not like The Walking Dead is available on Hulu or anything, so there’s no way to really see it– I bet they ruined it for a LOT of people. I’m very angry. EW, you should know better. Boo.

TWO: Moose is all kinds of cool. He’s definitely fitting in just fine. Gremlin adores him, and is usually not far away from Moose at any given time. I’ve seen Grem licking Moose’s head, just like he does with Hurley. Moose is also starting to wrestle with Gremlin. They’re really comfortable with one another now.

Simon’s doing great, too. He’s acting just about normal again. Walking around, eating, using his litterbox in its usual location, all of that. No more hiding. I still see a little bit of chasing but it’s very mild and it stops with one noise from me. Moose knows he is not supposed to do it. He’s started to look so guilty when I yell out to him– tail drops down, he slouches and his ears flatten against his apple-head. Awww. He’s trying to be a good boy, he is!

He’s finally figured out “sit” so he doesn’t just hop on his hind legs for a treat anymore. It’s a start! I plan to train him all the same tricks Hurley knows.

And Hurley. Oh, man, I am just incredibly excited to see Hurley enjoying Moose’s company as much as he is! They lick one another’s face and ears. They run in and out of the house as a single unit, and will lie in the gravel and sun themselves next to one another. They share rawhides and toys, and eat out of the same dish at the same time. But the best part is how they play together.

They wrestle and make little grumbling noises and jump around and chase… it’s just the coolest thing ever. Hurley’s only really played with cats up until now. He and Olive didn’t exactly play a lot. Seeing Hurley having fun with another dog is so neat. After he has finished playing with Moose, his smile is SO BIG. He’s panting, and smiling, and he just has a happy aura around him, if that makes sense. I love it so damn much. Knowing he is having a great time makes me feel wonderful.

Last night they got into a particularly animated Battle Royale in my room as I was getting ready for bed. Moose would race out of the room, and back in again, just so he could do a flying pounce-move onto Hurley’s back. I’ve never seen anything like it, but I definitely need to video record it, because it’s really that cool. I couldn’t stop laughing.

I got into bed, and told them all goodnight. Hurley and Moose hopped up on the bed and plopped down against my legs, panting and catching their breath. I thought the play session was over, but I was very wrong! They were just taking a break. They plunged back into wrestling and climbing on one another, biting and licking and flipping over onto their backs, etc. for another ten minutes. I was reading a book during that time, or, I was attempting to read. I was too entertained by the craziness going on. They were constantly stepping on me, falling into me, etc. and I loved it.

I turned the light off and they kept going. So I was lying there in the dark, laughing to myself and listening to the sounds they were making. I probably should have stopped them because this shouldn’t become a habit or something, but I was just having such a good time. This is such an unusual thing for Hurley. I mean, it’s crazy how much fun he is having with an 8 pound dog. I never expected this! I love it so damn much. I did finally have to go, “All right, knock it off,” and sit up, and when I did, they obediently stopped. Instead, they cuddled up, butt to butt, next to my leg and caught their breath. I fell asleep feeling their combined warmth and weight next to me, feeling so happy.

So, that’s how things are going. It’s definitely better than anyone could have expected. I love having things to get so happy and/or passionate about! I love feeling things strongly. It’s fan-fuckin-tastic.

I have come to a decision!

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It was fine and good to think and mull over all of my confused emotions yesterday, and I’m glad I did. I was able to give this whole thing a lot of thought and weigh all the options fairly.

However, when it came down to it, I had my answer when I got home yesterday from work. I realized exactly what I was going to do.

I am going to adopt Mighty Moose.

!!!  🙂  !!!

I came home and saw him, and he was so excited and cute when he greeted me. As it turned out, my Mom had stopped by my house unannounced so she was there when I got home, and she was out on the back porch with both dogs. She was petting both of them when I walked out there, and then both dogs ran to me and hopped, whined and wiggled in happiness. Together. Hurley and Mighty, pushed up next to one another, both of them smiling so big and pawing at me, trying to lick my face.

And then, the two of them started playing/wrestling in the afternoon sun.

I knew, just simple and clearly, that he was our dog.

So, yes, it means I have four pets. I know that it could potentially make me look odd to other people, but honestly, when I have I NOT looked odd to other people?! I’m a little weird and do my own thing a lot already. It’s not like 4 pets is going to finally seal the deal and that’s it, and I’m now doomed to be an eccentric, mentally-ill shut-in. Realistically, I know that will never happen.

Mighty Moose is really small. He’s well-behaved and not destructive. It’s not really all that much different with him here as opposed to when he wasn’t, in terms of impact on the house and our harmony. Simon’s the lone holdout, but he’s definitely getting bolder and more used to Mighty all the time. Last night, he was out and walking around like it was no big deal. Mighty started to chase, and I went “NOOOO” and he stopped. He knows what he isn’t supposed to do. He’s getting the hang of things in our house.

I gave him a bath last night and wow, does he look great! He was cute before, but now his coat is shiny and very soft. And he smells so, so much better. Sure, he is definitely not a dog who likes getting a bath, but he’s small, so it’s manageable. (He was like a greased piglet in my kitchen sink! I got soaked. But he calmed down the longer he was in there.)

And last night he slept up on the bed with me. All night. Just like the night before. He cuddles and it’s really so nice having a pet that I can do that with while I am sleeping. Grem sleeps on the other pillow every night, but I wouldn’t say we cuddle. I hold his paws and fall asleep that way. Simon only lies next to me for a brief time, and I have to be petting him the whole time. The same is usually true of Hurley. If I am not petting, there is no benefit for him, so he hops down.

But an interesting thing happened last night. Hurley jumped up on the bed and settled in up against my back. Mighty Moose was curled up by my stomach. I was in a dog sandwich! And I fell asleep like that. Could Hurley be taking notes from Mighty regarding what I like? Oh, that would be so cool. I know I’m weird, but I would love to have my pets sleeping on the bed with me. (Those aloof bastards.)

So anyway, I sent a message to D at the rescue group to see what the next step is. I think they do a 2-week foster-to-adopt period so everyone can be sure it’s a perfect match, but I need to check. That’s fine, if that’s the case. Whatever procedure they have, I’ll follow it.

I know I didn’t want to adopt. I wanted to FOSTER. There is a big difference. I had the intention of doing this seriously, and I was looking forward to seeing Mighty off to a great new home. But then, this happened: He fit in so well, and Hurley loved him. Hurley has never played with a dog this much before. It’s probably because Mighty is only 8 pounds, and more cat-sized (which is what he’s comfortable with), but I also think their personalities are similar and they are well-matched regarding temperments. They both are watch dog types, alert and ready to bark at anything. (Which is simultaneously a good thing and a bad thing.) They both are mellow and non-destructive, and are reactive to me and my commands. Neither seems like an alpha, and so far they haven’t had one disagreement. It’s pretty cool. He will be here a week tomorrow, and in a week, he’s settled in among my boys and they’ve come to like him. (Yes, I think Simon is starting to like him, too. He was sitting next to Mighty’s crate after I put him inside before leaving for work, and was sniffing through the cage when I left.)

After I lost Malcolm in such a tragic, traumatic manner, I really changed my mind about ever again owning a small dog. I just didn’t want to deal with having a pet so tiny it could slip through the small openings in fences or, um, fall in a pool and not be able to get out again. But anyway, here I am, getting ready to adopt Mighty Moose. He is 3 pounds bigger than Malcolm was, so hey, at least he’s not AS small. That’s something.

Small dogs, though, are really not a lot of trouble if you get a good one. Mighty isn’t neurotic or yappy like many chihuahuas. He holds his bladder all day while he is in the crate, which is amazing! (I’m still awed that Hurley has been doing this since I adopted him. I never come home to an accident, which is nothing short of a miracle.)

So, I think we will be OK. Me and my family of 4 boys. (How did THAT happen?! Wow. One girl woulda been nice, but what are ya gonna do?)

I feel a lot better now that I have made my decision. I feel calmer, not worried like I had been, and actually, happier. I like Mighty Moose so much and I’m happy to become his owner!

Oh, and I will share some new photos soon. I am getting better ones all the time of the pets hanging out together.

Slippery slope fears

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I feel awful about something: I am having second thoughts about keeping Mighty/Moose. (Those are the two names I call him most frequently, for now.)

It’s not at all because he did anything, or because of how my other pets are reacting to him, or issues like that. I like him a whole lot, I really and honestly do. I think he is adorable, and sweet, and good-natured, well-behaved and playful. He has been a good boy since he’s been with me, with the exception of one poop-on-the-floor incident (my fault since I didn’t leave him outside long enough that night) and his lingering tendency to want to chase Simon. He’s actually a lot better about that now. Simon is out and walking around a lot more than he had been, and he’s vocal with me when I spend some time with him, petting and loving on him. I don’t think he’s traumatized– he’s just very submissive and meek when it comes to other animals. He’s always been like that, though. He let Gremlin come in and run the show when he arrived, even though I wanted him to stand up and knock the new kid around a little bit. But we don’t always get the hierarchy we, the humans, would like to see. Of course.

Both Simon and Hurley are submissive, actually. Hurley is letting Mighty/Moose get away with so much right now. I always let Hurley lick my plate after I’ve had tomato sauce and pasta, b/c he loves tomatoes so very much. Anyway, last night I went to do that and he did manage to lick most of the sauce away, but within minutes he allowed Mighty to muscle on in and take over. I’d expected Hurley to growl or give a warning, but he didn’t. He shares. He always shares — toys, rawhides, my affection, etc! It’s very endearing, but I’d be lying if I said I liked it. I think of Hurley has the vice president, after all– I want him to be powerful and the boss of the animals!

Anyway, I should get back to my second-thought thoughts.

The main reason I am hesitating about contacting the rescue women and saying “OK, I definitely want to adopt him” is because I am concerned that if I do this, if I take on a second dog, it’s a slippery slope. I was already worried about becoming the crazy animal-hoarding-lady back in July when I adopted Gremlin. I wondered if guys would think twice about dating me once they found out I had not one, but two cats. I felt better when I realized that the right guys, the ones I went so far as to go on dates with, did not mind at all. Some of them were cat owners, themselves.

But if I do this, I will be the woman with FOUR PETS. That is a very large number of pets for one person! As much as I love Gremlin (and I do–in fact, he could be my favorite cat at the moment), I sometimes wonder if I should have just kept it at one dog, one cat. Now, in the space of about six months, I am adding TWO new pets to the mix. In only six months. I don’t know, but I’m worried about the urges to adopt coming back again in, say, oh, six months from now. And/or six months after that. And so on, etc.

And I have a longing to adopt a really desperate dog. One that no one else wants because it’s ‘ugly’ or handicapped… I mean, I only get so many chances to adopt a new pet, and I want to make it really count. That sounds so awful. Like some dogs are more deserving than others. I’m having a tough time articulating what I mean when I say this.

Mighty/Moose is sweet, healthy and adorable. He will be easy to adopt out. He’s little. Little dogs do have it easier in the rescue community. Especially these days, when the rescue groups are overloaded with pit bulls and pit mixes. The rescue group I’m working with has historically had only larger dogs in its foster system. However, over the past month or so, a few smaller dogs have come their way (Axel being one, Mighty another… and there are at least two others I can think of) and they’ve all garned a lot of attention and were (or will be!) adopted very quickly. In the meantime, some of their bigger dogs have been with them for 10 or 11 months already! With no one interested in them! I feel so bad about this, and so bad for those dogs.

I’m definitely deep in thought these past few days, trying to sort out my feelings and instincts regarding Mighty/Moose. I wish it was an easy decision to make, like it was to adopt Hurley, or take in Simon. Those were just automatic, almost. I just KNEW. With Mighty/Moose, I don’t “just know.” I wish I did. I know it’s because I’ve already got three pets to take care of, and I work hard to try to be equal in my attention-giving and quality time with the three of them.

I totally, absolutely want to help as many homeless animals as I possibly can.

If I do this, am I only helping four animals to have a very good home? Or can I help countless others move through the group and find their perfect forever homes? If I let Mighty go and be adopted by someone else, then yes, I probably could directly help at least a few more.

Oh man, I JUST DON’T KNOW. I’m really confused and probably giving this way too much thought. I take this so seriously, I really do. I don’t want to make the wrong decision. Not for the animals, and not for my own future.

Is it terrible and selfish that I worry a little about what potential dates might think about all these animals? Now, I do know good and well that the RIGHT GUY won’t care at all about how many pets I have, and in fact, will love animals just as much as I do. But seeing as no one is lining up at my door and I very rarely even see attractive, single guys as I go about my real-life daily business, I wonder if I will ever really find anyone sometimes. This is a tricky emotional issue for me, because on one hand, I am quite content with teh way things are right now and don’t want to deal with the hassle of dating at all. Yet, on the other hand, I feel envious and jealous sometimes of my friends who are all married or in committed relationships all around me. And I can’t even let myself think seriously about the Kid Thing. If I can’t even get around to dating, how in the hell can I ever even fathom the thought that I might one day be a parent? That ship probably sailed a long time ago, and I am coming to terms with that, for real. I know I flipflop on the Kid Thing, yeah, but deep in my heart I feel terribly sad and disappointed that it hasn’t happened for me… and if things keep going on the current trajectory, it really won’t happen. It’s getting to the point where I’ve gotten nauseous visiting Facebook, and seeing photo after photo and post after post about people’s cute little kids. Every now and then, a photo or a story will just get to me and give me a case of the Jealousies. If so dang many of my friends weren’t parents, it wouldn’t be as difficult, but whatever. I can’t begrudge any of them, or any of you, your happiness and joy, of course! No way. I don’t mean that I don’t like the pictures or posts, or the fact that you’re happy and blessed. I just mean I am jealous. Plain and simple. And sometimes, I feel it stronger than other times. That’s all it is.

I can’t believe I am taking this tiny little 8 pound dog and attaching all this angst to him right now. Ridiculous. Sometimes I want to slap myself silly.

But yes, I really do need to figure out what is the best thing for me to do in this situation. I totally wish I could discuss it with Hurley and the cats, see if they really, really like this little guy or what. Would they miss him if he left?

I don’t have much time to decide about this, really. Mighty/Moose will have to go up on the rescue’s website very soon if I am not going to keep him. I need to let them know what I want to do.

Dear, sweet, lovable little dog: Please know I am trying my best to come to the absolute best decision for all of us. You, too. Maybe there is an even better home out there for you and if I am keeping you for myself, you’ll miss out on that! Or, not. Maybe I am the best home for you. This is so difficult. I wish I knew more, and could see the future.

Settling in, thinking of names

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I’ve got to focus and finish an article for work. Today I’ve got a bad headache… sinuses. I used the neti pot this morning and that did give me some temporary relief, but now I’m sitting at work here and the pressure’s building all over again. Anyway, it’s definitely a huge challenge to try to write when you are battling a headache. But I don’t know what to do to feel better, so I might as well just work through it.

I think the only thing that would make me feel better would be a long massage, since my neck, scalp and shoulders feel tight and sore. And maybe, while I am wishing for things I can’t have right now, acupuncture would probably be amazing, too. Put those little needles right in my face, please. My dad has been getting acupuncture for his headaches and he says it works very well. (He’s also using it for his own sciatica issues, and apparently it’s made a big difference.)

Lil’ Dog Update:

He did very well in the crate all day yesterday. Last night he was out, and mostly just cuddled into the little cat bed that, honestly, the cats never used much anyway, gnawing away on a tiny rawhide bone I bought him yesterday in Petco. (Hurley also got one.) I took both dogs for a walk last night and they did well again. We only passed by one barking dog behind a fence, so that was excellent. That’s just one of the beautiful things of walking after dark: fewer dogs are out! I love it. I much prefer a relaxing, calm walk than one where we keep running into other people with dogs, kids, or walk past yards where the dogs are outside, yadda yadda.

(One funny thing about walking at night: I know the neighborhood really well but I don’t know the colors of most of the houses until I drive past them in daylight! I was surprised to see that one cute little house down a ‘new’ street for us was actually the ugliest mustard yellow-brown in daylight.)

Simon is still being a chicken about venturing out and trying to interact with the dog. Gremlin, on the other hand, is hanging around almost constantly now. He is trying to lick/clean the dog’s head and ears, like he does with Hurley. So far, the little dog is just confused, but he is definitely OK with Gremlin sniffing around his face and everything. Last night, Gremlin and Hurley started to play together, and the little dog was so excited. He jumped down and attempted to join in, but Hurley and Gremlin weren’t sure what to do with a third party in the mix, so it didn’t really work. But at least three of the four animals in the house are on good terms with one another.

But Simon’s coming around in his own, slow way. He’s out and watching things, and he was walking around the bedroom this morning when the dog was in there, just creeping along… He’s doing well. I’m proud of him. He’ll get there.

I will probably contact the rescue either this afternoon or tomorrow to officially declare my intentions to adopt. I still have some hesitation, but this little guy really is cool. This morning after I let him and Hurley outside, I let the little guy jump up on the bed with me and Hurley, and he burrowed deep under the covers. I was concerned if he could get enough oxygen down there! But it was so cute, feeling him cuddle in and snuggle against my legs and feet. It cracked me up. Can’t say I’ve EVER had a pet who did that!

He needs a bath desperately, so that’s on the priority list for tonight. I am calling him names like Smelly McFadden, Stinky O’WashMe, Stinkbug…

Speaking of names, he is going to need one. While Mighty Mouse is really cute, it’s not quite right, either. We were calling him Moose this weekend, which was funny and cute too, but again, I’m not sure. I am trying to come up with something appropriate and it’s definitely tricky! Later on today, after I finish my article, I’ll brainstorm my best ideas in one place and try to come up with some finalists.

Here are some of my ideas:

Lil’ Sebastian

GusGus (the mouse from Cinderella)

Grover (trying to mine Muppets names for ideas!)

Scooter

Rolf

Doodlebug (… this is more likely a cute nickname than a good REAL name)

Pepper

Peanut

DaVinci (I like how incongruous it would be to name a little dog like him that kind of name)

Short Round (heh)

OK, time to get to work. I intend to finish this damn article NOW and maybe, if I still feel like crap later, I can just go home a little early. We’ll see.

An even number

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OK.

Mighty Mouse arrived on Friday afternoon. I love the women from the rescue group– they are so NORMAL. Just passionate about savings dogs. They’re not all socially awkward or hating-on-humans like some of the oddball rescue and shelter people I’ve met over the years. Whew. Two of them came by to drop off Mighty and set up his crate and everything, and we just hung out and chatted as Hurley got to know the little guy.

It went exceptionally well. Within about 20 minutes, Mighty was play-bowing to Hurley and they were hopping towards one another playfully. As for the cats, they were kind of MIA while the women were there, but Gremlin did venture out and Mighty just glanced at him and looked away. Good sign. When Simon did the same a little later, he was also tolerated well.

He slept very well in his crate. Didn’t make a sound, except for when Hurley heard a noise and ran out to the kitchen to investigate and bark. Mighty joined in on that, because he is a dog. Anyway, it didn’t last long and everything was fine.

He’s been a very good little dog. He did try to mark in the house within the first couple of hours he was there, and I had to put him outside and obliterate the smell. He hasn’t done that since, thank goodness. (And if he has, I haven’t found it yet, which is an ominous thought. But it’s kind of par for the course with a new male dog in the house. I’ll deal.) The one thing he did was chase the cats anytime he saw them. He’d go tearing down the hallway, not barking or anything, just chasing. I stopped him every time, and he did listen. He’d look over at me with his ears down like, “I wasn’t gonna do nuthin'” and come trotting back to me for approval.

My mom and sister came over around lunchtime on Saturday; I was really anxious for them to meet the little guy. This was because I could already tell this was a very good dog. Very, very sweet and happy, and with the exception of the cat-chasing thing, very well-behaved. I think I was already falling for him, but I was firm with myself all day: I will NOT adopt this dog. I won’t. I am fostering him. Now, if my Mom or sister wanted to adopt him, that would be totally great…

To say he was received well by my Mom and sister would be an understatement. They loved him. Almost immediately. And when they saw how he and Hurley interacted, it was like a little yellow “caution” light that had been flashing up until that moment was turned off. “Mom thinks you need to keep him,” my sister said to me in the kitchen.

A little while later, Mom said the same thing directly to me. My sister was very interested in adopting him herself, though, so that was the way I wanted to try to go first.

I guess it’s his personality. He’s pretty young– no idea of his exact age, just like Hurley– but he has a certain easygoing attitude that definitely is complimentary with Hurley. He’s not an alpha dog, and he seems to be looking up to Hurley (literally and figuratively) to see what to do. He keeps walking up to Hurley and licking Hurl’s face! Just a little “mwahh, I like you!” kiss. Yesterday I was lounging around on my bed with Hurley and Mighty hopped up there with us, and he settled down up against Hurley’s back and ended up flopping his head back so it was lying in Hurley’s fur. It was so damn cute. I’ve yet to have a dog that behaves this way with Hurley. I think Mighty wants to be near him; wants to cuddle and also wants Hurley to protect him.

I took them on a walk on Saturday night and it was pretty funny. Mighty wanted to walk right up against Hurley, as close as possible. I let Hurley’s lead out a little so he was in front, and Mighty was behind him, so they both were on the inside of the sidewalk and could pee on things. Mighty’s great on a leash. However, when a dog would bark from behind a fence as we walked past, Mighty would quickly skip ahead so he could get next to Hurley again! After it happened three times, I realized what he was doing. He probably felt safer with the big, fluffy dog blocking him from danger! And Hurley took all of this as an opportunity to showboat. It was like “oh, now I have backup, so I’m going to tell those dogs how tough I am, rawr rawr rawr!” Honestly, as I was correcting him, I was also laughing because it was just so silly and so unlike him. What a tough guy.

That night, Mighty cried and whined in the crate for a few minutes after we all went to bed, but he did calm down and go to sleep. I heard a tiny, soft whimper here and there. Awww.

Yesterday he had breakthroughs with Gremlin. The two of them had been face to face numerous times already, since Grem is genuinely interested in Mighty. He still runs at Gremlin, but Grem turns sideways, arches his back and looks back at Mighty like, “Watch it, pal. That’s close enough.” His tail doesn’t get fat anymore. He’s just letting Mighty know the boundaries. I am proud of Gremlin. He’s been very bold, and he’s holding his ground without being a bastard about it.

Simon is another story. He makes me sad! He’s pretty spooked by Mighty. That’s because Mighty really scared him and caught him off-guard as we were all sitting in the living room. Simon was gazing out the front door, when Mighty suddenly flew off my lap and ran right at him! It happened so fast! Simon took off and Mighty followed, and I had to yell to get him to stop chasing him. After that, Simon’s bravery was shrinking. He hid under my bed and in the windowsill in my room.

And yet, he is also curious about the little dog. He keeps creeping around, eyes big and nose moving as he sniffs towards the dog, but once Mighty spots him, he takes off after him. I think to Mighty, it’s a game: chase that one orange cat, because it always runs. What Simon needs to do now is stop and give Mighty a piece of his mind– set the limits, like Gremlin did. I’m sure he’ll do it eventually, but it sucks in the meantime. I just feel bad for Simon. I know he’s freaked out and not eating like usual. If he walks past Mighty’s crate, he hisses at it. Simon was super cuddly with me last night as I fell asleep; curled up on my left side, really close. He’s not a sleep-on-the-bed cat, usually.

So, let’s get down to the crux of it, shall we?

I am probably going to adopt this dog.

AND I SAID I WOULD NOT DO THAT. I was firm with myself, I really was. I believed it! I still believe I can do it. Just… maybe not with this particular dog. I might not be able to let him go. I know my sister totally wants him to be in our family, and in fact would like to almost do a “timeshare” thing for lack of a better word: She wants to take him for the weekend here and there so she and BIL can get some practice being dog owners before they take the plunge themselves. My Mom is also adamant that he stay, citing how good he gets along with Hurley.

I have mixed emotions about all of this. I honestly feel like I’m heading towards animal-hoarding territory here if I have two cats and two dogs! I’m only one person! That’s a lot of pets for one person, in my opinion. It was enough when I added Gremlin over the summer. The family felt complete. And it still feels complete. I don’t know how Mighty fits into the picture, exactly, when we already had everyone we needed. But in some ways, he kind of DOES fit in. Even though we didn’t plan on him, he’s not a bad thing, necessarily.

I’m thinking this through and oscillating between keeping him and letting him be adopted out, and I’ll need to let the rescue president know in a few days or so which way I am leaning. She’ll need to put him up on the website soon if he’s going up for adoption.

If I let him go, I can foster another dog. And maybe another after that. I don’t want to be the foster who “fails” on the first placement! Although, D assured me that this is totally normal and happens all the time. Every person who is a foster for that group has dogs of their own now that were once fosters. “Sometimes, the dog just fits so well you can’t imagine someone else owning him or her,” she said. Argh.

If I keep him, D said she’d be super happy because that means one of their dogs has a loving home. She only cares about the dogs being saved, and getting into forever homes. Even if it means “losing” a perfectly good home for future fosters, she doesn’t care about that. I believe her. She made me feel a lot better when I talked to her yesterday.

So, where am I right this second? Well, I went to Petco on my lunch hour and bought a water bottle for his crate, and a bag of soft squeaky balls since he likes to run after toys. I don’t plan to have the rescue reimburse me for these things.

I just might have four pets by the end of this week.

Son of a bitch.

Here goes nothing

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First: Happy Leap Day!

The animal rescue contacted me today. They asked me if I could do a “meet and greet” on Friday after work with the little chihuahua-mix they’ve been thinking of placing with me for a couple weeks now. I guess the dog’s got a clean bill of health, so that’s a relief. Anyway, what will happen is they’ll come over with the dog and we can see how all of my boys do with this new visitor. If all goes well, he will stay for the weekend to see if this is a good foster situation for all of us!

And then, I could be his foster parent. And I’ll have begun my first official fostering assignment from an actual 501(c)3. Pretty exciting. I feel some anxiety about it, but I have faith that this will be OK. If the dog doesn’t work out at my house, it’s not a big deal. They’ll take him back and find a different foster home.

The dog doesn’t have a real name yet, but they’ve been calling him Mighty Mouse. That’s pretty cute.

I’ve had a couple of long talks with the Vice President, trying to keep him up to speed on any foster-dog scenarios. Since he hasn’t said anything negative yet (or anything at all), I think he is demonstrating cautious acceptance.

More on this story as it develops!