WOW Portland and back again in about 24 hours. I went for a graduation and brought Horace down with me, since I want to be able to travel with a dog some of the time, and because getting it together to have him boarded was too complex considering he just got his rabies shot on Wednesday. Anyway, it went well, and Portland was nice, as always. I saw my pal Trixie and after walking around and being out for two hours yakking Horace promptly tinkled on the floor of her comic studio and I panicked and caught about half of it with my hand. Trixie’s only disappointment with the whole situation was that no one took a picture of me using my hand as a pee bucket.

I realized I had not been down for a year since Strudel’s grandpa’s memorial service. A year marks me realizing I was not spakked out about dogs anymore either. I wanted a dog for yeeeeaars and was researching training and breeds when I found out I was pregnant with Franny, and then about 5,000 things happened after that (which I should really write down some time OH WAIT) and this brings us to the present day I suppose. Eleven years later, SJ gets a dog. Ok.

I couldn’t be more thrilled with the timing, though. I know because I have heard it come out of people’s mouths that sometimes dogs are like practice for kids. I could not be more excited that my babies are very LARGE (132 and 77 months respectively) and that I frontloaded that work. Why not start with the hard part first? There’s one for my headstone. I certainly feel some of my old toddler-management skills coming in. Is the dog 1. fed; 2. pooped; 3. appropriately occupied? I keep snacks in my purse. I bought a baked lamb shank and laid a towel down in the backseat for the drive. Man this dog likes to chew. Also I have lost my mind and bought dog puzzles for him at work so he has to work a few minutes for every mouthful of kibble. I think it’s going well. I’m trying to be uber effort now for pay off later, when he is grown and trained. I am trying to be patient with the people who are giving me dumb unsolicited advice. I am trying to be patient with people who don’t ask and just whoosh and pet him when it is pouring and I am willing him to PEE PLEASE PEE STOP STARING AT THE MAX AND EVERY BLOWING CANDY WRAPPER.

One thing that is nice is that it completely made me realize something was missing in my life: joy. I was happy enough, I wasn’t depressed, but I was kind of out of gas when I took a break at the end of February. 2011 was very tiring and I was running out of things to say, which as you know is completely unlike me. And now I have this little simple creature in my life and I don’t have to worry about what college he is going to go to or who he is friends with at school and who broke my favorite serving bowl? (Answer: Not Me.) Now I laugh and laugh at his dumb doggy ass running circles on the carpet and I feel better and I have more energy and it makes me more patient and happier in other areas of my life. Joy–I have not felt that in a long time. It’s worth finding.

9 thoughts on “WHEW

  1. I am so happy to hear you are enjoying Horace so much. Violet takes complete responsibility for breaking down your puppy barrier. ;p
    I have been thinking about getting those puppy puzzles for Violet and Sully as well, so you are not alone in your crazy.

  2. I’m happy for you!!! I got a dog a year ago and it is so exactly how you describe it. The weird toddler work/stress but then the joy of just being in the room with him and his dumb face and how gentle and kind he is, etc. Also the unsolicited advice and petting! So many people go directly for my dog’s head and I have to be like “he hates that!” while the dog is lunging hysterically away from them. Anyway, I look forward to your descriptions of the dog park, if you start going there. It is a very funny scene and also I think reminiscent of parents of toddlers. Talking to strangers about poop in great detail = not something I would have anticipated for my life. Anyway congratulations!!! Such a great thing!

  3. I’m glad to hear you’ve found joy in your life again! I was wondering what you’ve been up to lately–glad to hear you’re doing well! :D

  4. I was shopping the other day when I saw this ridic card with Marie Antoinette on it. I can’t even remember what all it said, but I laughed and it made me think of you. I would have bought/stolen it and mailed it to you, but I just don’t know where to send the coconuts. Also, your new wee beastie is too cute.

  5. Puppies (and kittens) are joy personified. EAT PLAY WALKE POOP SLEEP PET ME ALL MY FAVORITE THINGS! Congrats, and I’m glad to hear you’re rediscovering your joy. I, like marianna, look forward to your “can you believe those fucking dogpark people?!?!” entires.

  6. Hey, Bugger–I got that card for my birthday (in Feb!) and have it sitting right next to my computer because I love it that much:

    “All I said was ‘Let’s have cake,’ or ‘Let’s eat cake,’ or something like that, and suddenly, everyone got all pissy!”


    I’m not a dog person myself, SJ, but I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying the addition of Horace to the family!

  7. ohh this has reinforced why I want a dog so much. But cannot have boo hoo. Please give us many Horace updates to feed the dog love. Thank you!

  8. Never party with peasants – they ruin everything. MOAR dog shenanigans, if you please.

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