Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Year of Puppy Improvement

At the start of the new year my husband and I had declared that this would be the "Year of Home Improvement." In the fall we had tiled our foyer and kitchen area and were impressed by how that relatively small change had a dramatic effect. So, we were pretty excited about this. I had dreams of adding in some new lighting and different sink fixtures, a bigger shower, etc... However, in January we got some bad news.

We have three dogs that we absolutely adore and our oldest puppy, Aussie, has severe arthritis in her hips. Considering how bad her hips look in an x-ray, she gets around amazingly well, but she does have the occasional bad day where she can't walk that well. We took her to the vet and were essentially told, "Aussie's not a candidate for surgery and all you can really do is give her narcotics and anti-inflammatories for the rest of her life. But the anti-inflammatories will also damage her kidneys and liver in the process. The prognosis isn't good."

We were crushed at the news and were depressed for about a week and a half. The only ray of hope the vet gave us was to suggest acupuncture. She said many dogs have had success with this. We are pretty much willing to try anything to help make her more comfortable.

So I found a certified holistic vet who does acupuncture and chiropractic care, along with conventional veterinary care. Amy said I have found the place where all the crazy people take their pets and essentially, she is right. I am quite at home. Every Friday we take her in for acupuncture and a chiropractic adjustment. I believe I am taking better care of my dog than I am of myself right now. That's sad, but true.

During the appointment, the vet brings us some pillows and a mat for Aussie to lie on. They then insert 16 needles into various acupressure points and then dim the lights and we sit there with her and pet her. She does pretty well with it and she does seem to be doing better. Since we've started, she hasn't had any bad days and is able to go for longer walks and just seems more comfortable.

Just to add even more crazy into the mix, we bought a book on puppy massage. Every night we give her a 20 minute therapeutic massage and then take all three dogs for a walk and then feed them some fancy dog food that actually reads, "Contains human ingredients." The dogs are eating New Zealand Venison and Barley and Flax Seed, and Atlantic Whitefish with carrots and barley on a nightly basis. It's just obscene and I know it, but hey, I love those dogs. A friend of mine once said, "When I die, I want to come back as one of your dogs." I took that as a compliment.

I don't want to think about how much all of this is costing, but none of it really matters when I see her jump up after a massage and start barking to go for a walk. In dog years, she's 72 years old. That's not bad behavior for an old girl.

On a side note, it was my birthday yesterday. In dog years, I'd be dead.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Staring Crazy in the Face

Have you ever stared crazy in the face and had it yell back at you? I had the pleasure of that last year, and in my boss' office, no less, with someone who worked under me making bizarre accusations of physical abuse. For those who have no idea what I look like, I'm not even 5 feet 2 inches and a man in his mid-thirties claimed I struck him and constantly intimidated him in a domineering, physical manner. Anyone who is physically intimidated by me really needs to get on some medication and apparently this guy desperately needed some chemical balancing.

I spent two months in a pretty bad emotional state. This was someone I had tried to help and I just couldn't make sense of how things got out of control so quickly and how every one of my actions had been misinterpreted in the worst possible manner. Unfortunately I think he was just one of those people that was so down on himself he saw negativity in everything. He would always believe that he was the victim and people were out to get him. He definitely had a personality disorder that distorted his view of himself and of others.

I was mad, sad, a bit scared and just completely baffled by this whole experience. One night I sat down at my computer and all of a sudden this odd style of writing came out of me. I hate to say it, but it almost has a rap kind of flow. It's like it's someone else's voice and I found it intriguing how quickly it came. It doesn't have a name or anything, but here it is:

So you think the world’s out to get you?
Yeah let’s believe that's true for a second.
It has nothing to do with the choices you choose,
It’s someone else who’s left this mess for you.

Maybe Jesus hates you and has set you up to fail
miserably at life, so when the rest of us prevail
we have something to compare our lives to, something
to measure against…a ruler, a yardstick to say “Yeah,
we’re definitely better than you.”

That’s what you think, that every time we laugh it’s at you,
and not with you. Like that would make a difference. There
are a lot of worse things in life than being laughed at, like cancer,
rape and pedophilia… You think we really spend that much time
thinking about ya, dealing with ya? Please, everybody’s so self absorbed
we’re sponges that can’t soak anything else up…but you gotta be strong like
the quicker, thicker picker upper…Brawny towels that don’t split open under the
weight of a bowling ball or some other unbelievable shit you see on tv.

You see everything as chaotic, but once you take a moment and let
it all slow down you see there’s a pattern and at the center there’s always
You. You’re the constant, you’re the thing that remains the same. Did you ever think
that if you change for a second, you’ll break the chain…like a dog on a leash begging to be free? You can run from yourself, run from the police but nothing's gonna change if you don’t stop…don’t stop and own what you create, what you fake, and know what makes you shake.

You find that thing that scares you and you stare it in the face. I promise
nothing is as scary as you believe it is if you knock on its door. It’ll crumble as soon as you kick it to the floor because you gotta want peace of mind and peace of heart so much more than whatever has been holding you back.