Happy Birthday to my awesome husband, Russ…
*whispering* He is forty!
and to our equally awesome cat, Max the Cat…
*YELLING* HAPPY SWEET SIXTEEN MAX!
Losing Ebony has been difficult. I am going to take a few weeks in Real Life and just deal with that. And by deal with that I mean sleep. And mope. And take turns saying to Russ “Are you ok?” and “Do I look ok?” and bugging the girls about how they are doing.
Saturday I will post another short story about the human-animal bond. These have been fun. I think I will try to write them more often. The Saturday Blog Hop is a great time to fit them in cuz they just take a second to read and you can hop to the next blog.
This one has Russ in it so I am going to get his permission before I post it. I rarely ask his permission for anything, but I do try to ask people or at least give them a heads up if I am going to say anything other than “This person is super awesome,” which he is, by the way. I figured I could at least extend him the same professional courtesy I extend to others. And also, I try not to do anything Important without running it by Russ first.
We are a good team. The hitch comes when we are both going through the same difficult time. Still, it has been so good to have someone who loved Ebony like I did to be with.
Next up after the Short Story is that series of leadership articles written for veterinarians. I am going to try to fit them all in before March. I posted the first and my favorite at dvm360 today…
I will put the other seven here on Riley and James.
Then March 1 – Heartworm Free Celebration and hopefully by then I will be done with the Veterinary Economics 25 Leadership Books Series and can tell ya what I thought. (So far I love it! Less than two books to finish and the last one JUST came in the mail a few minutes ago – woo!)
Then hopefully I will be back to random celebration of preventative care in real time. It’s what I love best about this site. But when real life hits, you kind of get dragged through the hard times with me. I love that you are here, but I do not want to share to the point of discouraging you. Fuzzy and Wuzzy and Piggy and Ebony were such wonderful pets. Losing them as little individual family members has been horrible, but having them pass away one after another in a matter of three months has been staggering. I SO hope I have no news for you when I come back to sharing in real time mid-March.
Here is what I plan to say:*yawn* Well, that’s better. Gotta plant garlic and potatoes, then I will be back to write some super helpful veterinary preventative care information and stories for you…
Happy End of Winter…
Hope it is boring for you and your pets in the best possible ways.
Guest post by Russ…
They said “You don’t want that one. She is afraid of everyone and will roll over and pee on herself every time you get near her.” But I knew they were wrong. I knew when I saw you through the glass, lying in your kennel. I had been waiting to meet you since I was eight years old, almost twenty years.
Gary across the street had Black Lab hunting dogs and had puppies every year. Of course, we already had dogs, so I never got one of those puppies, but I vowed that when I grew up and had a house for my own dog, I would come find you.
They said you spent the first few months of your life roaming the streets of New Mexico and probably would not be very social. I knew they were wrong and we asked to meet you anyway. You came in the room and the pound caregiver was holding her breath as she dropped the leash. You did not roll over and pee or cower, but for the first time of ten thousand you came up to me and put your head under my hand and pushed up to be pet.
She was shocked, wondered out loud why you were acting that way. I think you were waiting for us like I was waiting for you. You nosed Shawn, you gently peeked at baby Amanda and you sat down on my feet while I pet your ears. Everyone knew you had found home and we had found our beloved friend.
Maybe it was the New Mexico streets or maybe just your need for speed, but you ran and explored whenever the urges got to you. You would wait for the door to open and dart past, then run like the wind. You never went to the close highway and always came home, but not right away or at our command. You just needed to run. We accepted that and went to dog parks and to Chalco Reservoir where you could run safely and we worked on coming back to the sound of a whistle. You would come for the treat, but not to be done running.
Later it was the bean field behind Grandma and Grandpa’s house. Freedom to run and bounce through the field. We all laughed at the black head and back popping up out of the beans every few feet.
In our new house, the first project was a fence to keep you in the yard. You were the fastest dog I ever knew, underestimated by some unfortunate rabbits and squirrels, and you never outgrew the love of running. Still, from the first day, and wherever we moved to, you knew where home was and when to come back.
Well, I figured that our new Lab-Mix puppy would love to play fetch and pick up on it pretty fast, but you just looked at that ball with all the apathy you could muster. I periodically would try fetch with you again, maybe with a ball or another toy. Eventually, maybe five years later, you humored me by fetching a stick a few times, but it was never your thing.
Lab-Mixes ought to love the fact that my parents lived on a lake. You weren’t afraid at all, but you looked at me like you were saying “Why would you make me go in there?” So, water was not your thing either. I would joke with people that you were a Lab that didn’t fetch and didn’t like water, but it was never a big deal to me. We weren’t going to hunt anyway.
Of course, when we met you, we had a baby girl at home. We wondered if having a big puppy, a big dog, would be safe for Amanda. From the first time you nosed her, you were the most gentle and patient dog I had ever met. Amanda grew and was soon grabbing your face, pulling ears, climbing on your back, taking handfuls of fur or tail as she learned to “pet” the doggie.
Then it was her baby friends on play-dates, then her sister Abby. You never snapped, you never growled, you never knocked them over, you never even whined a complaint. Maybe you sometimes pleaded with you eyes, but always with a wagging tail. Unless a kid had hold of it anyway. You loved your kids as much as we all loved you.
Then much later, Joy the puppy tested that patience again. It seemed like you relished having another baby to play with. Joy followed you incessantly and copied your every move. She walked like you. She would lay down by you and look to make sure she had the position just right. I know that she sometimes annoyed you, because, well, she’s Joy. You were like the mother she probably never knew, and you once again showed your patience and love.
I miss the way you put your head under my hand to be pet. I miss the thump of your perpetually wagging tail. I miss the happy noises you made- like Chewbacca. I am so sad that we didn’t have more years together. I know heaven is a bean field full of bunnies and running without getting tired and that Jesus has his hand out for you to push up on and be pet. I will always miss you because I always wanted you and loved you. You were the perfect dog that nobody wanted. You were our dog, the one we wanted and loved, our Ebony.
I am waiting to see what three of my favorite companies have in mind for future projects. I am hoping for a lifetime partnership of regular writing assignments, with cute pictures of my pets scattered throughout the publications.
That reminds me of one of my favorite lines in August Rush. Evan’s friend asks him “Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” and Evan replies, “No, I’m thinking something else.” Perhaps they are thinking something else. Who knows? It could be even better than what I am thinking. Though, as you know, there is nothing better than cute pictures of my pets.
I am waiting to read another leadership book that I can add to the “What I am Reading” series here. As you know, I will only review books to which I can give five stars. So I am getting through the list, but not falling in love with the books. Seriously, it seems as if the books were all chosen by men! (They were…not that there’s anything wrong with that.) Let’s skip the sports and war illustrations guys! Then we can whip through these life lessons a little faster.
I am waiting to see how my fall work schedule pans out. I struggle with the same pull with which every mother struggles.
Should I stay home more? Should I work more?
However, a normal mother makes the very difficult decision that balances her life and family dynamics best, and then adjusts her schedule based on the changing circumstances of her family. I do that and then obsess. And second guess. For a decade. Literally. Still, I am blessed to have the choice over which to obsess and second guess. Lately I have become a tiny bit better at enjoying the ride. See? I named this post “Waiting.” Not “Fretting.” Or “Obsessing.” Or “Flip-flopping.” Yay, me. I’m progressing slowly, but I am progressing.
That reminds me of one of my favorite Bible verses:
“Wait for the Lord; Be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:14 (NIV)
I am waiting for the smell of my perm to dissipate.
I am waiting for my kids’ friend to wake up from her nap so they can all play together.
I am waiting to see how well the Heartworm Disease and Omaha Pets article does on Omaha.net. Is everyone sick of discussing heartworm, or is it still an attractive topic in its (unfortunate) timelessness? Maybe I just needed to write it to remind myself to continue to be a strong advocate for my patients’ health.
I am waiting to see how some important things turn out. Russ, you always proof-read my rough drafts for me. Thank you for that. And I don’t write rough drafts of my posts on this website. I just write what I am thinking. Since the rough draft step gets skipped here, you may never see this. If you do, remember that I love you more than writing. I love you more than being a veterinarian. I love you more than my (un)naturally curly hair.
Now I am waiting to hear back from only TWO of my favorite companies! While I was writing this, I received an email from Nina Silberstein, the editor of The Wagging Tail Blog. She said that she forgot to tell me that the post she had asked me to write a while back is due TOMORROW.
Sometimes it’s good to wait patiently, and sometimes it’s good to get busy. The genius is in knowing when to do what. I am going to go start on this Wagging Tail Blog post…
Have a great week.
I love you more than chocolate.