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Posts Tagged ‘love’

Today was windy and cool, a California autumn on the heels of a hot Indian summer. Zephyr and I  hadn’t been to the river in weeks. It was time.

Starting out in the park. Bright eyed and ready to walk.

By 5:30 the sun was heading west, cooling down so Zephyr could make the first half of the hot dry trek to the river. I love the dusty dirt road, but Zephyr heats up fast these days. I have to be careful.

If Zephyr were any other animal. He would be an otter.

The water is still amazingly high, higher than I’ve ever seen it this late in the season. Gates at Folsom must be wide open, because you can see the rise marks along the sand.

The sun was still hot on the upper dirt road, so we took the forest path along the river, which stays hidden in trees and vines. The path is very narrow in places. Fallen trees block passages. Despite, the dreadful “beaver fence” all along the rocky ledge, the beaver have been busy. (The dreadful fence keeps deer out, dogs out, people too, but the beaver, not a chance.)

Zephyr ahead of me on the trail. He trots on then turns and makes certain I’m coming. At 12 1/2 years old, he can still trek ahead. This makes me SO happy.

A little trouble on the big rocks at the end. Agility is best kept to the flat trail.

Coming back on the high road. Having fun in the setting sun.

We made it! Zephyr gets the rock ‘n’ roll dog award for this trek. Our celebratory photo.  Every single time we can still make this trek I feel blessed.

d, xo

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My mom managed to deliver a beautiful plant I was eyeing at her house last week. It came  in a bag with a bright red bow and this card, via my dad. That’s a long distance transaction, well planned.  

Thanks mom, d. xo

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Today is a bitter-sweet day. I don’t want to be sad, but losing you was so horrible and I miss you still. You were my constant, protector, travel companion, best friend.

You and I bud, we saved each other. ♥

Shadow:  found Oct 1995. Died July 27, 2006

Love you always, me and zephyr

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It’s almost the day of thanks. Tomorrow I’m packing up the jeep, the dog and going home for the holiday. Today, I’m thinking about what I’m grateful for and where it all came from.  Happy Thanksgiving, d.
***
As a kid I loved teddy bears. Not the big, country kitsch, sit-it-in-a-rocking-chair collection bears, but the squishy stuffed “pets” that I dragged around the house, curled up with when I was sad & lived all over my bed, with me  buried beneath them.

Sweet stuffed bear at StitchFace on Etsy–the bear that made me remember.

If you know me, this is no surprise. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see I have not really changed all that much over the plethora of years. It’s just now, my stuffed animals are dogs–alive and breathing. They still live all over my bed.

Zephyr and me, above; Our beloved Shadow below.

I wonder sometimes when this came about, this love of all things animal. I was given dolls, but I never liked them–hard plastic, batting eyes, their caustic vinyl smell.  Nothing warm or comforting there.  But I still remember my very first & most beloved stuffed animals. I STILL own them, tucked away in a trunk:  A small blue bear stuffed with straw, won at the state fair by someone–my grandmother, mother?–for knocking over bowling pins or skipping pennies across a shallow plate to win a prize.

Another,  a stuffed pink rabbit with long floppy ears whose belly was a music box I don’t remember hearing. It was a baby shower gift for me–ME. What an unbelievable thought.

Retrieved from the treasure trunk. Poor blue bear. Stuffing falling out like Dorothy’s Scarecrow.

The last was a purple bean bag pig that I woke up with after being rushed to the hospital for an emergency appendectomy. He was a gift from our baby sitter.  He staved off my fears, then joined our pack.  

When you wake up in the hospital it’s good to have a purple pig.

When I was 6  we lived in a house where I had a queen sized bed all to myself. Yet, at night I lined up each animal, body tucked beneath the covers, head lighted upon the pillows, an entire row of them that left me a small bedding slice along the edge–not even the middle! I could not risk someone falling to the floor, freezing in the cold winter night. And what has changed in all these years? Nothing. I still wake in the night to see that  Zephyr is warm somewhere in the house, tucked in, not freezing on the floor.

 It may sound peculiar, but I love this about my life: the surprising ability to nurture and protect my animal pack that began with keeping stuffed bears off the floor at night.  Or maybe, it has always been them protecting me. Either way: Dear universe, thank you. 🙂

d.

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The world is freaking me out today. The simmering triple digit heat has left Sacramento feeling edgy, jagged and hostile. It’s May and this is way too early for  July weather. It’s best to ease into summer, one digit at a time, instead it  feels like an intersection collision.

Triple digits have become a trigger. I relate it always to Shadow and that dreadful summer where we laid together on the wood floor beneath the whining window AC. Two weeks of heat that would not relent below 100 and more often rose to 114 degrees. The living room became small, suffocating. I draped sheets over the stairwell and wet towels over Shadow.  He was in so much pain by then. Time has never moved so slowly.

Now, when the sky feels like it’s on fire,  those days come back  in a viscious flood. Life was measured in teaspoons then. They were the worst–and the most important–days of our lives. And then Shadow’s life was over before he could feel the coolness again.  I wanted to go with him, but I had to stay behind.

***

So, this weekend has been all about haulting encrouching demons,  staying  present, remembering  that it is just heat,  just weather and it will pass. It’s difficult. I don’t want to live here anymore. I hate summer. 

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I hate taking Zephyr to the mobile vet clinic. It’s way too hectic for my sensibilities. The yelping, chaos and anxious energy of the dogs–or maybe it was me. I’m not sure.

We finally got to the doc, a handsome guy. (I took in a ten second vision of marrying the doc and settling down with our trio of dogs. My imagined ideal: marry a vet.)

This guy blew that idea right out of the hot tub. Arrogant with a capitol A. I am overly cautious about the way people treat my dog. How they approach him, pet him, relate to him. If it isn’t good, I will forever be leery of that person to the point of writing them off completely. It’s that simple.

My furry four legged kid

The doc man started out okay, at my council. Zephyr has slipped disks in his back, arthritis in his legs and feet, and he doesn’t like to be grabbed at, especially by strangers. Well, who does?

The doc was too forceful, in a hurry, impatient.  Zephyr whelped through the roof, backed out of the tourniquet and began growling. I stopped everything. The doc called Zephyr a “chicken” . . . a chicken? Really? That’s your response to an animal who has no idea what is happening other than being grabbed and stabbed by a stranger? Dude, you’re an asshole. On my hit list, you’re now tops. Congratulations.

gang bangers

Luckily, the kind female asst. was in tune with animals. Her energy was calm, reassuring, understanding–not just of Zephyr, but of me, who needed a Xanax in the worst way. (Why can’t I  be a lesbian? Life would be so much easier.) She talked me through getting Zephyr muzzled (imagine temporarily suffocating your child.) I was not feeling well, but with her help, I took control and we got through it fast. The doc was zero help, except with the needle. Figures. Sadistic bastard. Hit list buddy! The frigging top of it!

When it was over I rushed Zephyr to the car’s safety, then hugged him until he squirmed. I desperately wanted KFC.  (Anxiety wants junk food. I’m not sure why.) Instead I did a little mantra and went to the nursery.  I bought too many veggies for my small garden–4 kinds of tomatoes, cantaloupe, sweet corn, Japanese cucumbers and something else, I can’t remember. I had the same frantic, junk-food-yearning energy, but I came away with life affirming plants. Om…

Still, this incident is an amazing reminder. People have actually said to me: “Well, you’re not a mom…” and I want to stab them with a kitchen knife.  The truth is I AM A MOM. I am a mom. There is one  ferocious warrior inside me that will not be messed with, especially when it comes to mine–my niece, my dogs. Don’t ever go there.

Meanwhile, there’s a Sacramento veterinarian, with a nasty voodoo spell on his head.  

There are some  gang bangers that cruise the liquor store down the street.  It would give the boys something to do. See how the doc likes to be bound up and stabbed with needles. No? Really?  “Chicken.”

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I found this beautiful shop, Stiletto Heights, on Etsy and want very much to buy two of these photos, but they are so haunting, so wanting, I’m certain any Feng Shui artist would shake her head no. Women thinking about love should not hang portraits of lonely women on her walls. . .

lonely-woman-1lonely-woman-2lonely-woman-3lonely-woman-4

Still, they are so beautiful and Stiletto Heights has many others, more cheerful, more playful, but of course, these spoke to me. Sigh. Be braver than me and go buy one. She’s having a sale.

Just lovely, dahlila.

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