a new walk

I feel like I’ve been off in emotional recovery and rehab rather than here on this blog. As much as what’s here is part of me, much of it still hurts to revisit. Since deciding to tentatively reclaim this spot as a means to express myself (CATHARSIS WIN!), I’ve been reading past posts, laughing and crying and nodding in agreement with myself.

I thought that motherhood would separate me from the past but it just made me so busy that I didn’t have much time to sit and remember.

It’s been almost three years since I envisioned my future with The Dog and Child. In his first year on the outside, JJ spent part of every other day in a stroller or sling as we wandered the neighbourhood, The Dog as our proud, if far too protective, escort. The Dog’s leash is now gripped by 2.5 year old JJ, who thinks he’s controlling the walk, unaware that I’m still setting the pace with a few words to our responsive girl. The Dog does give me a look like she’s soooo hard done by whenever JJ picks up her leash but it’s the only time that she gets to run now that JJ refuses to get into a jogging stroller. His response to seeing the stroller is a stern “I walk, Mama!”. With that, he’ll pick up the dog’s leash and scream “go go go!”. They run at his top speed in unison until his little legs tire and he stops, laughing and proud of how fast his shoes go.  Neither child nor dog will cross the street without me (yet) so I can walk at my own pace, laughing at their antics, The Dog washing his little face with her tongue if he gets within range.

It’s joy I never imagined.

 

walking

My available topics of conversation over the past few months: baby, baby, labour, breasts, baby, baby, labour, labour, hope, breast, baby, baby, labour, baby, dog.

The poor poor dog.Voodoo

I understood in theory that The Dog would have to take at least a temporary backseat to the offspring since she’s relatively self sufficient while a newborn human will need the time we have historically devoted to the dog. We’re five weeks away from the estimated due date of the Offspring and oh, the poor poor dog. As it’s happening before my eyes and the dog hasn’t had a walk in at least 4 days and I think I forgot to feed her supper last night and she’s still following me around the house with deep affection in her eyes – I have Le Guilt. The offspring isn’t even HERE yet but just having him fully embraced in my pelvis has me choosing to be a neglectful dog mom.

Today I committed to refocus on my girl. We walked/waddled for an hour, I minded good posture while she minded sniffing all the parts of the neighbourhood that she hadn’t smelled for awhile. It felt good to wander the ‘hood to do a few errands and I do love walking with the beautiful, focused, prancing pooch.  It was a relief to see her continually adjusting to my new physical self where I am slower and more awkward than I was a few short months ago. Today The Dog would pause and take a glance behind her to make sure I was still coming along behind. The Dog, she patiently walked me.

We’ve been told that The Dog can already hear the Offspring’s heart beat from deep within my body, smell my different pheromones and I’m sure that’s why she’s become more focused, more affectionate, more  concerned with me than ever before. As we get ready for the newest member of the family to arrive, we’ve stepped up The Dog’s  training to commands like “leave it” to prepare for her first encounter with baby vomit, diapers and other things she’s sure to deem delicious. She’s been introduced to a newborn and was very focused on helping clean his cradle-capped head with her giant tongue and thus, we have deemed her as having much potential as a big sister.

I keep picturing a gorgeous autumn day in October or November when The Dog can walk both myself and her little brother around the neighbourhood. I hope we can keep the small human alive and well while continuing to ensure that The Dog, the first of our dependent family members, continues to be healthy and happy.

Thank gawds her patience is easily bought by a big disgusting bloody bone. I’d better stock my freezer.

burglar alarm

The dog is standing at the back door, a low growl rumbling in her throat as she looks out into the darkness.

I just rechecked the door locks and the motion detector yard light and everything is secure. That should make me less on edge but having our laid back pooch sounding caution is giving me the heebie jeebies.

Last month a man rang the doorbell. I held the dog by her collar when I opened the door because my dog, she’s a love whore. I am well aware that a muscular black dog running at your face to coat you in french kisses isn’t always a welcome (or understood) thing.  When presented with humans, she dances and licks and dances until she’s in a frenzy. I held her collar so she’d stay put while I figured out what door guy wanted.

He started with  “Do you have an alarm system, ma’am?” and my CSI-watching, paranoid imagination went into overdrive as I was responding “no”. My red flags were waving and alarm bells screaming – why are you telling a stranger that you have NO SECURITY SYSTEM?!? And out of my mouth came “no but…”  head nod toward dog “she bites.”  At that, the salesman’s eyes opened wide and he stepped back, staring hard at my pup who was straining against my hold to get at him to please please just let me give him a kiss, just one… oh my, his breath smells like chicken for the love of all things holy let me kiss him!

If he’d been a dog person, he would have noticed her tail wagging at top speed but instead, he quickly wrapped up the conversation and walked quickly to the next house.

Since then, we’ve arranged to have a system installed because really, we suspect that our dog would greet an intruder with slobbery, dancing love, following from room to room as he took our belongings. Ever since the salesman visited, I’ve felt a slice of guilt for even allowing someone to believe that she’s anything but an eager to please girl who loves to make out with strangers.

Now, as she stands in our dim kitchen, growling into the darkness, I wonder if I wasn’t lying to the salesman. Maybe she’s more than just love and naps and I’m not sure I’m willing to open the back door to investigate until the daylight arrives… just in case.

a brief note before I wrangle wild dogs

Cuddly BFF

Dazy’s humans are on vacation in a place where she couldn’t fly to and she’s hanging with us and Voodoo for a long sleepover party. These dogs love each other madly. They are inseparable and photos of their cuddling antics warms the hearts of many. “Aw – such sweet pups!” the masses say while stroking the photos and murmuring about angelic dogs. They are cute. As cute as they are mischievious. They are telephathic, looking to each other for reassurance when they are about to disobey – checking in to see if they’re both ready to serve the time if they do make a run for that squirrel against their yelling owners’ wishes. One will create a diversion while the other digs. They love to play, wrestle, chase and cuddle each other. They are entertaining when they pay attention to us and do their puppy things, licking our ears to make us laugh, rolling on their backs and doing a dog version of purring. Together, they are smarter than most humans. The Husband and his fan clubTogether, they are capable of ten times the trouble (I’m still struggling with the math – 1+1 = 10x? HOW??)

Together, they are currently plotting a takeover of our household.

I can’t blame them – if I was cute and furry (rather than cute and hairy), I’d want to rule this house too. If I wanted to eat rocks and de-pot plants and dig up the lawn but had two taller people yellin’ at me to stoppit, well, I’d want to push back a bit. The Husband and I are in full time supervising mode as they try to execute grand plans to eat, dig, and move things they shouldn’t, bat their adorable heart melting eyelashes at us and then take off to find more trouble. They sense when we’re tied up on the internet or even busy with a quick visit to the laundry room and those times… those times are their excited rock-eating, flower pulling, wrestling in the living room mayhem. So we’re cutting down our activities until we can teach these two some boundaries while we fight for our place as the Humans That Rule. My suspicions are that you’ll not see much of us for the remaining dog-sitting days. I’m sending this note from the wireless laptop in the backyard between hollering at the girls to stop barking at the little dogs that pass along the fence and in the next moment, fishing odd bits from their jowels. It’s taking me forever to send this to the internets…

I must admit that every night it’s all worth it when they cuddle around us, golden and brindle fur and warm breath on our toes.

But mostly, they’re still a two dog wreckin’ crew that’s keeping us on our toes.

Dog fight!

Aren’t they just the most adorable raging dogfighting pups you ever did see?

houdini

Voodoo The Ubermutt had to hang out at home alone for three days last week. I put her in the kitchen in a large metal exercise pen with her favorite toys, nyla bone to chew, water, a towel, and her blankets. I leave the television on so that she has some noise in the background.

Lookit that cute face!Day one, she knocked the x-pen over. I guess that was just silliness on my part but I really haven’t ever seen her try to escape it before. It hadn’t dawned on me that she’d want to escape based on experience with Dazy (now known as Miss Perfectly Behaved Pooch) who walks into her x-pen every morning and stays there until a human opens the door to let her out.

Day two, I weighted the xpen down on three points – two corners with roped clips tied to heavy toolboxes, and tied a third corner with roped clip to the locked back door. Not to be denied, she figured a way to jimmy the bottom door latch open and squeezed out.

Day three, I did the same setup as previous but reinforced the door latches with carabiners. She chewed through the roped clip that was connected to the outside of the xpen then knocked over the opposite side. I have no idea how her little snout got out to the rope, let alone how she could move her jaw to chew it… baffling.

She is nothing less than determined.

Once out, she becomes a berserker of destruction. She chewed the METAL venetian blinds on the front window in three places (luckily didn’t cut herself), ripped the cushions off the couch and filled the void with all of our shoes, chewed through a laptop cable, ate my camping sandal (smells very much like my sweaty feet), attacked a plant that was WAY out of her reach but left the floor level plants alone, danced on the kitchen table however didn’t eat the hamburger patty we’d left on the counter, took all the books out of the bookcase, knocked over everything on the coffee table, shed hair like a terrified dog… we keep finding other oddities as the days pass. Like, where the HECK is my other red shoe?!? We can only believe that she’s having mass anxiety attacks while we’re gone because we get home, she greets us in a panic, then immediately settles down to Status: Angelic and chews appropriate things like her bully sticks, nyla bone, toys.

It’s lovely to think that she’s escaping in an attempt to save us from whatever horrors she imagines happens to us when we leave. Is she preparing to rescue us from disaster, upset that we’ve gone out into the world without someone to protectively slobber in our ears while we attempt to drive? And if preparing, how does eating every right sandal help? Really? Sandals?

Jay is turning our back porch area into a dog safe jail today (we hope it’s Voodoo-proof now that we know she aspires to be the dog version of Houdini) and we’re going to attempt to webcam her to see what she does when we leave.

If we watch over the web as she escapes, rings up some doggie friends and holds a kegger, I can’t say I’d be overly surprised.

limericks

I haven’t been on the interweb much in the past couple of weeks. Weird, that. I’m still here, just… hermitting.

In lieu of a meaningful or revealing post, I submit several somewhat limerick formatted things:

There once was a girl from Outlook
Who shimmied and danced and shook
Until one dark night
Her left foot went right
And now she’s become jammed in the nook.

I hope the nook has a beer fridge within reach, or else she’s going to have to bribe her husband to help her shimmy herself out!

Summer is coming so quick
The cold, it is making me sick.
The lawn chairs are out
So don’t you pout.
Blender drinks we shall soon sip.

Ah, how I love a lawn chair, good company, and daquiris.

We have a wee dog named Voodoo
She’s from N’Orleans deep in the Lou
When I’m working I misses
Her sweet doggy kisses
But I don’t miss picking up her poo

Responsible dog owners pick up the poo. Even if it’s really truly yucky. Suddenly what we feed her is much more important because, well, I’m going to have to get up close and personal with it on the way out.

good voodoo

 

Photograph by Brianna WettlauferVoodoo.
Vous Tous.
You all.

She’s only 14 pounds.
She’s 17 inches tall at her shoulder.
She speaks mostly doggish.
She has farts that smell like bad juju.

She is magic.
She is all consuming.
She is transforming us.