Wallace

RIP Theodore

Theodore, I fight the urge to say that you were taken from us too soon, but really you lasted beyond any expectation we had for you. You came into our lives about a year ago with a circus themed box from Barkbox. Your brother, Telemachus the tiger, was only with us for a few short months before meeting his end.

Wallace adored you. Unfortunately, that kind of love can also be damaging. While he affectionately groomed you and carried you around and tried to share you with whomever was sitting on the couch, there was a dark side to this as well. At times he would gnaw on you and chew, and we feared the end was near. Despite this hot and cold love, you lasted for months, enduring it all without a complaint (one of your finest attributes was truly that you didn’t have any squeaker).

I wonder if Wallace knew that the violent part of your relationship was reaching an escalating moment, because the week before your end he placed you on the kitchen stool next to me and went and laid down in the living room. It was the most reverence I’d ever seen him give to a stuffed animal.

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A few days later it was all over. I looked over at Wallace, who was on his dog bed, and there you were. For the first time, Wallace looked sad gazing upon your fluffy entrails that surrounded him. I’d never seen him show remorse after murdering one of his stuffed companions, you were the first, and there have been many. Wallace remained there with his ears back and I truly believe if he could have undone his actions, he would have. It was much like the harsh childhood lesson I experienced at a young age when I learned the hard way that My Little Pony manes don’t grow back after you cut them off.

So thank you Theodore for your endurance and your companionship. You were missed, it’s unclear if Wallace retains memory of previously adored stuffed animals, but in that moment you were mourned.

Theodore is survived by the Quilted Pig, Puppy (the cat stuffed animal), the rope toy, some Mardi Gras stuffed throws, and a collection of outdoor toys.

I Took the Pirate Flag Down

I took the pirate flag down today. I’ve been meaning to do it for a week or two. One day I just looked at it and realized I didn’t need it up any more and didn’t want it up anymore. It was very large and black on my bedroom wall and dominating my space. When I needed to feel more like a badass, more like “fuck the world, I’m still here” it was there. Now life is starting to seem gentler and I’m finding a new way in it and the flag seemed very harsh on my wall.

My birthday was last week and it was weird. Part of the weirdness was I felt like I should feel like it was an accomplishment getting there, but I didn’t, and was annoyed to even feel that way. The after effects of this rough ride are annoying. Now that I’m not putting poison in my body every other week or recovering from surgery I feel like I should be able to be back to B.C. But that’s not the way it works and it’s really annoying/frustrating.

I had a bit of a wakeup call a couple of days ago when I saw this video:

It was hard to watch, but it is also inspiring and a kick in the ass. For most of us, when we hear we need to make lifestyle changes for longterm benefits, we put it off. Or we say “fuck it” and just don’t worry about it. But if I get cancer again in the near future I am going to feel like the worlds biggest asshole for not taking care of myself. I’ve already played the “it can’t happen to me” game and lost big. It would just be supremely stupid for me to go through all this and then not do what I need to do to give myself my best shot.

However it sucks having to make major lifestyle changes. It’s hard. As someone who doesn’t love eating right, exercising, or being the sober friend at happy hour (I have had a year of experience with that off and on now), it’s freaking tough. Then we can add the fact that I’m 31 so this isn’t a lifestyle many friends are sharing and then add the fact I moved somewhere that loves bad for you food and delicious drinks. It just makes me want to burry my head into a pile of pillows and not come out.

Kate Moss once said “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.” She was unfortunately wrong. Try Commander’s Palace’s bread pudding soufflé. Or Drago’s chargrilled oysters. Or a glass of good wine after a stressful day at work. I could go on and on…

I gave myself a free pass that got too comfortable while I was going through treatment and the immediate time after because I needed something good. When your bones ache, you’re exhausted constantly, having hot flashes, etc, food was the only good thing I had going because nothing else felt good. Now I’ve got to close the book on indulging myself and accept the fact that I got dealt a bad hand and I’ve got to work with what I’ve got. Folding would be stupid with stakes this high. So the pirate flag has come down.

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Just to show it’s not all hard times.

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Gratuitous Wally photo, i.e. how he spends most of his time at my job

Some Ways That Puppies Are Different Than Toddlers

My puppy and I have been together for about three months and have spent a lot of time together. Being a full time puppy Mom (does that sound better than unemployed or just really weird?), I spend more time with my puppy than my husband. (Ok, now it sounds weird).

In the beginning I called him “baby lite” because it is a bit like having a baby. You’re waking up throughout the night, they can’t be left unwatched other than when they’re in their kennel, they can’t really do anything by themselves, and they’re actually babies. However, when they hit the toddlerish age, they stop being comparable to their human equivalents. This became blindingly clear when my four month old puppy tried to get to know the cat biblically. (Yes they’re both neutered). My reaction was a mix of, well this was inevitable, and bad puppy! If my toddler had tried this, I think I’d be taking a long hard look at myself and the messages I was sending. Puppy got put in his kennel and if it had been my toddler, I think there may have been some kind of therapy involved.

Puppies are not kids. You love them a lot and they require a lot from you, but they’re another much more manageable category: dogs, and I’m good with that. Much like toddlers they will destroy things if left alone, but this should only last a couple more months with Wallace, whereas we’d be looking at years with a kid. They do grow up too fast, see below.

My puppy can take himself out to go to the bathroom at any time of day/night as long as we let him out and back in. Toilet training lasted about a month and a half. I’d say this one is a tossup between puppies and toddlers. It’s great that it was so quick, but we still have to clean up the yard. The end game with kids is using a toilet, which is pretty excellent.

Wallace will eat whatever we give him. There is no pickiness here. He will also do just about anything for a treat, which can be an actual dog treat or a piece of cheese or anything that looks like it might be tasty. Right now he has four things that he could be asking for through crying:

1. To go out

2. Food/Water

3. Attention

4. The cat

That’s it. No one will ever launch a blog “Reasons my puppy is crying” other than to look at cute puppy photos. He wears the same thing every day and if it gets dirty, I just use a hose. To amuse him all I have to do is throw a ball. Everything I teach him is to make my life easier: stay, sit, down, no… He’s already a gentleman. I told him “no” when he was trying to bite my hand, so he offered to shake my hand instead as an apology. And the best way a puppy is different than a toddler: I can leave him home alone.