You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Pets’ category.

It’s actually not as terrible as the title sounds – I’ve been drinking the heck out of the neck of my bottle of hard apple cider, lol.  My Vietnamese bosses like to have one single bottle of something alcoholic with dinner and I’ve had several more dinners with them since my last post.  There’s always a round of “cheers” and bottle-clinking and it just seems really lame to try and clink with my red Solo cup of Dr. Pepper… besides, drinking isn’t actually a sin – believe it or not – so I’ve been clinking away with my bottle and manage to sip it down to just past the neck because I still don’t like the taste of alcohol.  My sister is worried I’ll become an alcoholic because addiction runs in our family but I don’t think she has anything to worry about, besides, she drinks more than I do!  Also I’ve stopped drinking caffiene daily, I’m down to maybe once a week now and I’m having one non-caffinated soda a day, usually mixed with juice.

In the last 22 days since my previous post not much has changed.  I’m living in my new place and really enjoying it.  I’ve become quite handy and fixed my swamp cooler and installed a shelf over my washer and dryer all by myself!  I’ve also been trying to get all my stuff out of my mini-storage one tiny carload at a time.  I pack the car full, bring it home and try to put it all away before bring the next batch in but I’m just about done with the stuff that will fit into my small car so I’m getting ready to ask for help from the guys at church to bring the rest here.  I especially miss my piano so I need to set up a time to have it delivered soon.  I’m finding that going through the stuff is emotionally harder than I expected because of the memories and emotions attached to the stuff I took out of my old house.  I’d almost rather donate all of it and start over but I need to be wise with my resources so I’m forcing myself to go through it.

My job is still good although the euphoria has worn off somewhat.  I still leave feeling happy and fulfilled, grateful to be a part of their little family but the giddy, schoolgirl feelings have finally dissapated.  It looks like one of my bosses will be moving back to Vietnam next month so that will change the dynamics somewhat but everything will be fine.  Once or twice a week we all go out for dinner or a movie and last Sunday I even had everyone over to my new place for a BBQ, that was so much fun!  It was just me, my sister, my bosses and one of them brought her boyfriend.  We grilled steaks and had a great time, I think I grinned like an idiot the entire time but I was so happy to have them all in my home because I love entertaining!

I also got a bunny rabbit for a pet, whoo hoo!  I figured a bunny is probably the perfect pet for me because it’s just fine being alone in a cage outside while I work 11 – 12 hour days six days a week but I can bring it inside and pet it when I want to.  A neighbor in the trailer park moved out and gave me the rabbit cage they left behind and then I have a friend who raises rabbits to show and sell and she gave me a sweet little 4-month old lop eared bunny that I have named, with the help of my sister, Bernard.  Bernard is very soft and quite a bit larger than I expected for 4 months old but he is currently in the dog house because he peed on me while I was trying to hold him and watch a movie.  It was A Lot of pee and it smelled very much bad…  I was grateful that only a little, quarter-sized spot wound up on my couch (and I cleaned it up right away) but I can see that I’m going to have to invest in some absorbant pads in the near future, ugh!

I made a new friend at church, we have the same first name, which is unusual since it’s not a very popular first name – we went to lunch together and spent an enjoyable 2 hours talking about all sorts of things and discovered we have similar life stories and interests in several areas.

So there it is, an update on me.  Life is still good, I am happier than I’ve ever been and I’m feeling healthier than ever both mentally and physically.  Oh, my next oldest brother and I are starting to really communicate now too but I’ll post some of those letters later.

In either 2001 or 2002 an English Mastiff puppy was born.  She must have been sweet and adorable because somebody named her Baby Girl.  She was probably the runt of the litter because when she was full-grown she was small for her breed – about 2″ shorter than the minimum shoulder height to be in dog shows and only 125 pounds.

We don’t know much about the first 5 years of her life except that Baby Girl was a slave with harsh masters.  She was a puppy mill breeding dog, having litter after littler of beautiful puppies – and then as soon as they were weaned they were taken away from her.  Baby Girl was probably bred every single time she was in season and had puppies until her body wore out and couldn’t carry them to full term anymore, resulting in miscarriage after miscarriage.  She was probably beaten by men and came to associate people holding cameras up to their faces with Something Bad Was About To Happen.

My mother purchased Baby Girl from the puppy mill and I met her for the first time a few months after that.  She was this large, beautiful dog, fawn-colored with a black mask.  She cared for stuffed animals like they were her own puppies so we think she loved being a mother and missed her babies.  She moved slowly – actually it was cautiously, like she was waiting to see how you would react to her every move before she made another one and if you made a sudden move or raised your arm(s) she was instantly on the floor in a submission position.  Baby Girl was deathly afraid of men.  When my brothers came into a room she was in Baby Girl would slink along the wall farthest away from them and get to another room as fast as she (cautiously) could.

Being a kennel dog for her entire life up until Mom took her home, Baby Girl had absolutely no socialization or manners but she had a heart of gold and desperately wanted to please you – if you were a woman.  If you were a man she hid from you and would work very hard to squeeze her large body into ridiculously small spaces trying to get away.

My mother kept her outside on a cable during the day and brought Baby Girl inside at night.  (Unfortunately the cable was necessary because Baby Girl would run off and not come back for hours, but it was a very, very long cable.)  Mom taught Baby Girl to sit on a mat and lift each paw up, one at a time so Mom could wipe them off with a cloth each time Baby Girl came inside from being outside.  To Baby Girl it probably felt like Mom was holding her paws and lifting her paw up became the most comforting thing she ever learned and for the rest of her life if she was confused or thought you might be mad at her she would sit down and lift up her paw so that you could hold it.  Mom also taught her to stay off of the linoleum floor of the kitchen and Baby Girl obeyed that rule very well.

Baby Girl could have been a “poster child” for Love.  She was the most loving creature I’ve ever met and all she wanted was to be loved in return.

My mom had cancer and one month later took a turn for the worse so I spent a long weekend with my her and was able to spend more time with Baby Girl, who just seemed to get sweeter and sweeter every day.

One month after that my mother passed away and I was back again – I spent a week in her home, just me and Baby Girl, getting everything ready to vacate the house.  Baby Girl and I really bonded and I wanted to take her home with me but our living situation didn’t allow it so one of my brothers took Baby Girl home with him.

Not quite a year later that brother asked if we wanted Baby Girl as she was having issues fitting in to their family.  Our living situation hadn’t changed but we decided to ask the landlord if we could have a dog and just see what would happen, fully expecting a “no” because she was such a large dog.  Amazingly enough the landlord said yes and we were able to bring her home with us!

In the 4 1/2 years that followed she went from being a cautious, scared dog to a very happy one who loved being with us and picked my husband as “her person”.  She became able to be around men, even strangers, without cowing in fear at every sudden movement.

Her greatest joy in life was to sit on the futon with you and put her head in your lap and just lay there while we watched a movie, or sit down next to you and lean all 125 pounds of her self into you, sometimes pushing the chair you were sitting in away several feet…  🙂

She was fascinated by our cat although he snubbed her and did his level best to pretend she didn’t exist, they were so funny to watch together!  Anybody else’s animals she tried to dominate so we had to be really careful outside the house with her.

Baby Girl tolerated going to the Doggy Wash, it was clear she thought she was being punished and didn’t know why but she loved car rides so it was always easy to get her to go.

Just last week we had to put her down.  We spent all day Sunday with her to say goodbye and Monday after work we took her to the vet.  We figure she was about 12 years old, which is long-lived for such a large breed of dog, and the vet said she had bone cancer, which was excruciatingly painful.  It was so much harder than I thought it would be to, chosing to end her life but with the cancer she was headed for a slow and agonizing death.  Going to the vet made her passing super-quick and painless, she just slipped away into doggie heaven with her head on my husband’s lap and me at her side.

We buried her in the back yard along with pieces of our hearts and planted a yellow rose on her grave.  Baby Girl, you were amazing and we will miss you very much!

It sounds like a dangerous title, I know, and especially given some of my previous posts about my relationship with my husband but this is actually what I say out loud to every spider I find inside my home, just before I squish them to death.  As quickly and humanely as possible, of course…

We have primarily Wolf spiders but there are also Black Widow spiders, Jumping spiders (who have really beautiful eyes when you shine a bright light on them) and all kinds of other spiders that range from litty bitty to  well over quarter-sized and each and every one of them seems to think that our home is still that awesome and amazing spider hang-out it used to be before we bought it and moved in.  This house was abandoned and vacant for over a year before it became ours so it really was The Place To Be if you had 8 legs, fangs, multiple eyes and could poo little silken threads from your backside.  It was empty for long enough that I’m sure some of the older spiders we get now days are probably thinking of our house as some sort of a historical landmark and are come back here to try to re-live the good ‘ole days in their retirement years.

But we have been here over two years and I’m still finding spiders in my bathtub, under the sinks, in the window-sills and just about any other nook and cranny they can find.  This is Not OK and I tell the spiders that repeatedly.  They either don’t listen or they don’t care.  Possibly, it’s  because they don’t understand me but I don’t think that’s really fault because after all, who speaks spider?  I would post my Spider Policy on little, tiny labels all around the house near the baseboards and under the sinks except I know for a fact that spiders don’t read so I must content myself with giving them a verbal warning and a chance to run before squishing them with my shoe or whatever else happens to be handy.  A very few number of spiders take that verbal warning and run with it.  About half of those I can still catch and kill and the other half get away… they’re getting smarter – is that a bad thing?

There is a difference between indoor spiders and outdoor spiders however.  I don’t care one whit if I see a spider outside.  That’s their environment and they’re welcome too it.  I’m an indoor gal although I make claims on very small parts of our land that lie outside the walls of our house.  Mostly it’s just the deck and the patio.  If they start intruding into those spaces I will relocate them to another part of the yard and hope they have the wisdom not to return.

There has been the rare, occasional spider, however, that we keep as a “pet”, if you will.  This spider isn’t a kind I see very often and when I try to identify it online I can never find a picture that looks exactly right.  It has a large, bulbous behind and the best ones have two points that look like little horns on the back of their bums.  This spider is usually a creamy white color and spins a typical wagon-wheel web, usually not too far from either the front or back door of the house.  When one of these spiders graces us with their presence we will name it, protect it from other people who would try to kill it and/or destroy its web and we also feed it flies and other small bugs we catch.  We’ve had several of these pet spiders since I was in high school, they don’t usually live much longer than 2 – 3 years but they seem pretty harmless and take care of a lot of bugs for us.  It’s also a great conversation starter and fun to mess with other people’s heads when they try to “save us” from the creepy spider and we try to save our spider from them.  Everybody needs a pet like that, right?

Anyway, spiders, be warned!  If I see you in my house, especially in my bathroom, You Will Die!