New dog, maybe?

So, I don’t know.

I’m thinking it may be time to add to the family. It’s been nearly 1 year since Betty passed away, so nearly 1 year since we moved to Texas. And what nicer way to cap off this (very good, very bad, very weird, all in one) year than by adopting a new dog?

That’s just it. I don’t know.

There are so many places to find the right dog. And it has to be the right dog, I’m on a 3 dog winning streak. And I don’t want to adopt the wrong dog.

(So often I do that – hem and haw and think about it and then buy the first shirt/shoe/sofa/house that I see)

(Proof: 3 wedding dresses. An impulse pair of ankle boots, eventually returned and transformed into two pairs, both of which I adore)

(Also: that stupid dryer in the NC house, bought during some sort of energy rebate weekend even though it didn’t qualify because no dryer qualified but hey! Dryer acquired!)

(Furthermore: every mobile phone I’ve ever purchased, ugh)

Here’s what I want in a prospective third (fourth) dog:

  1. Male – Scooby is too old to care, but Sadie’s younger and I think she would see a male as less competition. (Basically, I’m trying to prepare for a post-Scooby universe)
  2. Older – Ideally around 5 or 6. Still younger than Sadie (who is 7 or 8?) but not a puppy and not a full senior
  3. Not too large – 50 lbs maximum, but even someone Scooby’s size (25 lbs) would work. There are a ton of rescue chihuahuas here and I’m not interested in little dogs. There are also a ton of pit bulls (and other breeds like that) and I don’t want a dog I have to explain to the vet, the insurance company and the neighbors.
  4. Maybe from a not-no-kill shelter in my area.
  5. Gets along with Scooby and especially Sadie.

Basically, I want a turn-key dog.

We’ll see.


It’s All Over Now, Betty Boop

So. The terrible awful thing that happened the day after we got to TX.

(Hideous Spoiler Alert: As of today, we only have two dogs now)

Anyway. Early in 2016, Betty was taking a long time to pee. I’d noticed it even in Cheesecake City but chalked it up to her being old. Eating like a champ, able to get up on the sofa, etc. Eventually, the groomer pointed out to me that Betty had peed a lot at the groomers and I realized that it wasn’t just old age.

The vet diagnosed her with a bladder infection and gave us antibiotics. Dutifully, we gave them to her. She began peeing in her kennel at night, and in the house at all times. We’d moved the dogs to my old office so the dining room could be a dining room again and the dog room smelled just terrible 🙁 Still drinking water like normal, still eating like a boss, still the most loving dog anywhere.

And we were days from moving to TX. A 20 hour drive, stretched over 3 days so the dogs wouldn’t be too uncomfortable.

Back to the vet’s on moving day. Infection not gone. More meds, stronger ones.

Moving day was freezing cold outside and we had to leave the dogs in the back yard while the movers were moving. Poor Booper was freezing cold and sick, huddled against the side of the house because it was out of the wind and a little warmer. My incredibly sick dog, just desperate to get a tiny bit warmer. I will never forget doing this to her.

The first day, we drove to Atlanta and stayed at an Embassy Suites. We gave them all they wanted to drink, and oh my Betty wanted to drink so much water. If I’d let her at the swimming pool, she would have dried it up. Just a few minutes later though, she forcibly ejected it all. We decided that she wasn’t keeping down the new antibiotics so we stopped giving them to her temporarily.

Her illness in Atlanta was repeated at our next stop. By our last stop in east Texas, I’d taken to holding her at night (despite the protests of Scooby and Sadie) and trying to decide what we needed to do. Finally, the day before we hit our new home town, I called a vet in the new town and begged for an appointment as early as possible the next day. Our poor little girl wasn’t getting any better. If we gave her water to drink, she drank with intensity only to get rid of it quickly.

At the hotel in the new home town, we arrived around noon, unloaded everything and then Gene took Betty to the new vet. I did not expect good news. I honestly didn’t even think she’d come “home” again, but she did. For the night.

Bladder cancer. My poor baby had bladder cancer, and there was nothing to be done. The massive tumor was blocking her bladder so none of the ocean of water she’d been drinking actually went anywhere, which is why she lost all of it. “You have the best dog, with the worst disease” the vet told us.

Dutifully we went back to the vet’s office to begin the process. They did the first shot and then the second shot. When dogs go to sleep like this, they don’t close their eyes. They just aren’t awake. And then that’s it.

We elected to have her cremated, with her ashes buried at a memorial park for animals here in Texas. We still have her collar and leash and her kennel. I desperately want a third dog again, but mostly I want my Booper back.

The last 6 months

So, here’s what I’ve been up to in the last year

  1. Coworker J and her husband got pregnant. The second J told me this great news, I demanded to get to host her baby shower. The LaineyD from 2009 is horrified that I would attend a shower, let alone host the damn thing. The shower, initially planned as an elegant do hosted in a favorite restaurant, ends up taking place at J’s house due to bed rest. Not as elegant as originally planned (I still have one of the original invites – I cannot put into words the huge investment of finances and time and hope that it took for me to want to do that) but it all worked out.
  2. August 2015: Said farewell to my beloved friend The Almighty D, who has taken off for the Midwest. I miss her even though I can talk to her whenever I please. D singlehandedly (or singlehandedly enough) got me through the worst time in my life.
  3. Finally, finally, finally scheduled bladder surgery for December 2015 after meeting with a doctor who quoted the recovery time as being 2 days (down from the 2 weeks originally quoted to me by another doctor). Basically life changing.
  4. The week after my surgery, Gene interviewed with a company in TX. And then, while that was working its way through, interviewed with a company in Indiana. Eventually we ended up with two offers and even though one of them would have taken us back to Indiana (very near my parents’ house), TX was the better choice. I can’t do Indiana winters. I can’t make Gene do Indiana winters for a job he wasn’t thrilled about. I’ve lived in Indiana, haven’t lived in TX. Better money, better relocation package.
  5. Spent a very quick 2 days in TX to pick out a house to buy (also while Cheesecake City house is on market, and actually it sells while we’re in TX for the weekend). End up with a house that’s being built and won’t be finished until a month or so after Gene needs to be here to take the new job. Make plans to live in long stay hotel for 4 weeks (which is exactly how long it takes for you to forget how to do chores).
  6. Go back and forth with my job about if they’ll let me work remotely. Initially it was no big deal. Then it was a big honking deal. Then I told them that I’d have to start a job search in TX. All of a sudden, not a big deal again (They tell me this 1 day before I was going to give 2 weeks notice). Shrug. Meanwhile, Gene does 90% of the packing up of the house in Cheesecake City.
  7. Hmm, that’s weird. Betty’s taking a long time to pee. Poor Booper, she’s old and fat, I’m old and fat. Perhaps we should get her the same bladder sling surgery that I got. Take her to vet. Bladder infection. Ah, poor girl.
  8. Laptop slowly hand grenades. Oh well. Too much going on at home, will limp along with phone until we get to TX, then deal with it. My basic plan for December through February 15, the day we left for TX, was “Is it on fire? No? Well then, it’s not a big deal and can be dealt with in TX”.
  9. Turn sharply inward, stop communicating with pretty much everyone and contemplate digging a bunker somewhere to live as upheaval of my life is too overwhelming to be dealt with.
  10. Oh Betty, why aren’t you getting better? First thing on moving day is taking her back to the vet’s. Bladder infection is not gone. Oh well. Stronger antibiotics. Please get better, we have a long drive to make.
  11. Move out of house in Cheesecake City. Load up car with 3 dogs, 5 (?) laptops and a lot of candy.
  12. Terrible awful thing happens when we get to TX. More later on that.
  13. Three days after getting to TX, I start working from home (which at that point was a extended stay hotel). For the first four days, I don’t have a headset so I take all phone calls by yelling into the speaker on my incredibly terrible work laptop. My clients are saints for putting up with that.
  14. I spend a lot of time chasing around the builder and the lender, filling out paperwork, and walking the dogs around the outside of the hotel. Closing day on the new house gets pushed by 13 days (I guess a last minute surprise job change will do that) but eventually gets adjusted back to a less awful 3 days later. Badgering the lender works sometimes, although next time I’d rather just not. Closing goes fine, ultimately.
  15. Birthday ruined for house related reasons.
  16. Move in Day pushed 2 days later because idiot movers don’t realize that they have to move our stuff to TX. The yelling. Oh God, the yelling.
  17. Eleventeen trazillion chores later, eighteen trazillion boxes later. Moved in. Bought one of everything that Amazon sells.
  18. A week ago: Hmm what is the big wet spot on the bedroom floor? Oh. A leak. Spend a week with a dehumidifier and blower running 24 hours a day in bedroom and only using guest bathroom. The good news is that the last of the fix happens tomorrow.

So. As my coworker said to me today: At least you’re surviving and thriving!

A Little More Conversation

Hey outside world!

So, to catch us up:

Survived another year end in payroll. Previously, year end meant that life was an 11 on the busy scale for about a month, complete with working 6 day weeks and then it leveled out to about a 7 on the busy scale for the rest of the year. In my current job, year end means that I’m typically at about an 8 on the scale but it stays that way all the time. I might even say that sometimes it dips to about a 6 but if I say that I sound like a slacker.

Sometime in early February, had a little kerfluffle on the home front that more or less rivaled year end for suckitude. Did not run away, eventually talked it over with my therapist and then did the grownup thing and got things fixed up and they have been pretty splendid since.

Which is a good thing because we’re heading for some pretty major job stress for Gene. Something we were counting on didn’t happen and it’s thrown things into some uncertainty. Even if my own job is not always a solid gold delight I’m going to keep hanging on. So, so, so glad we didn’t buy the new car we were looking at. If the worst happens, I know that we’ll be fine for some time in terms of mortgage, food, etc but I definitely don’t want a car payment, increased car insurance, etc until stuff feels more stable.

That said, I still immediately reached for my wallet when I got the email that said Eddie Izzard’s coming to town later this year and bought the best tickets I could find (he’s never been here before, it may never happen again). It’s my birthday present along with a good birthday cake and a new pair of wedges from Duo, the company who made my boots. (I may or may not also have my eye on a wristlet purse doodad, but I feel guilty buying it after buying my dream purse last fall).

More later 🙂

Well, that was silly

Crazy shit I have done lately:

1) Posted 8 month old draft on blog for no conceivable reason

2) Lost my mind and good manners and was extremely rude to someone in a customer service position. (Seriously rude. And now I have to attend the Best Picture Showcase in disguise).

I’m blaming point #1 on being cracked out on Ambien. I really think that the zombies on the Walking Dead aren’t really zombies, they just took their Ambien and decided to go for a walk. Sooner or later they’ll get tired and wake up 8 hours feeling refreshed. We should all just be glad that they don’t have laptops or else who knows what crazy stuff they’d buy?

Point #2 is due to work stress. This has actually been the least stressful year end I’ve had during my career in payroll. In my old job, year end was an 11 on a 10 point scale for 3 months a year. In this job the entire year is a 7 on a 10 point scale. Some of it’s just ridiculous but none of it’s as ridiculous as it could be.

2013 Year in Review

1. What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?

I ran away from home. Never tried that before.

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

My 2013 resolutions were to read better books from time to time, take more bubble baths, keep taking my meds, dress better and make it to Indiana at least once. I read a lot, mostly better books. I didn’t go great at taking bubble baths 🙁 , I stopped taking all meds except Ambien (this is doctor approved, or at least when I visited the doctor I’d been unmedicated for at least a couple months, so after the fact doctor approved) and made it to Indiana three times! In 2014, I want to take more bubble baths and stop feeling so fucking guilty all the time.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
YES! My friend Julie gave birth to her sweet baby M. YAY! YESS!! HOORAY!!

4. Did anyone close to you die?

5. What countries did you visit?

7. What date from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

April 1, the day I got my new-new-new (?) job.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Being selected for my new job, even though there were two candidates and two available positions. (What I’m trying to say is that I was a given for the job and the job was a given for me).

9. What was your biggest failure?

Not feeling able to call out people when they are wrong. In the fight or flight response, I nearly always vote flight.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I slipped a disc in my back during the summer, which led to all manner of hilarious shenanigans (see question 1).

11. What was the best thing you bought?

My purse. I finally got my dream purse. And it is lovely and it needs to see me through the remains of my 30s.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Mine, dammit.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
I really can’t recall if we had any puta estupida antics in 2013. So, yay. But, just in case, fuck her.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Feeding ourselves. We spend a ridiculous amount of money to feed ourselves.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Breaking Bad, Hunger Games: Catching Fire, seeing Book of Mormon.

16. What song will always remind you of 2013?

Blurred Lines, Get Lucky, Thrift Shop, all of those Pink love songs like Just Give Me a Reason.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you happier or sadder?

Happier. I have no idea why or how.

18. Thinner or fatter?

Fat, fat, fat. A thousand times fat. My new fitness goal is to just weigh less than Rebel Wilson but I haven’t had the heart to google it because I just don’t want to know.

19. Richer or poorer?

We’re doing OK. I try not to think about it because if I find we have $5 extra in the checking account, I will spend it.

20. What do you wish you’d done more of?

I wish I’d spent more time with the Almighty D.

21. What do you wish you’d done less of?

I wish I’d spent less time hating my job.

22. How will you be spending Christmas? Xmas 2013: at home, just Gene and I and the dogs. Christmas is on a Wednesday this year so, whatever. Christmas is just Gateway to Year End so the hoopla just makes me sad.

23. Did you fall in love in 2013?


24. Any one night stands?

I’m on the hunt for a one night stand. No, kidding, I’m on the hunt for one nightstand. And a bed. (The nightstand joke never gets old).

25. What was your favorite TV program?

Scandal, Mindy Project, Revenge. A little sick of Glee. Loved the hell out of the final season of Breaking Bad. Ambivalent about Homeland.

26. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

No one new

27. What was the best book you read?

Where’d you Go, Bernadette? and Reconstructing Amelia were both good. Did not particularly like Seating Arrangements, the Engagements or Bridget Jones Mad about the Boy (mainly because I am pissed Helen Fielding killed off Mark Darcy. WTF?)

28. What was your greatest musical discovery?

I don’t think I discovered any amazing new music this year.

29. What did you want and get?

The Louis Vuitton Madeleine PM handbag. YAY. This is last year’s What did you want and NOT get item. Thank you eBay!

30. What did you want and not get?

I’m still a little bummed we didn’t go to Vegas for Thanksgiving. Next year!

31. What was your favorite film of this year?

Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Is it time for Mockingjay: Part 1 yet?

32. What did you do on your birthday?

OMG my birthday sucked! I made a cake that I only liked a little and Gene liked not at all. I think I will try to re-celebrate my 36th in 2014.

33. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

This is where I usually post about how much nicer my year would have been if I’d been able to get pregnant. Figuring out that it’s never going to happen is a multi step process and comes and goes in waves.

34. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?

Blouses, knit shirts, Danskos, beloved Ugg boots and new this year, Duo Boots. And boring ass pants. Believe it or not I generally don’t wear my crappy Old Navy tshirts to work anymore.

35. What kept you sane?

The Internet in general. Playing Canasta on Pogo, Words with Friends. But also the daily Ambien o’clock. My favorite time of day. (Scratch that, my favorite time of day is 6 PM because I have my work ethic’s blessing to, as we say on my team, AMF for the day). (Adios Motherfucker).

36. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Blah blah blah Henley c. 1991. I would still hit that if given the chance.

37. What political issue stirred you the most?

May not be political, per se, but I’d like to put a fork in the “keeping Christ in Christmas” discussion each year. Even the Pope says atheists are OK.

38. Who did you miss?

I miss my grandma. I miss my MIL. I miss the Boy.

39. Who was the best new person you met?

I can’t think of anyone new I met in 2013 but I have seen new dimensions of my boss and he is a bad ass. I don’t particularly like my job (or working for a living) but I totally would go to war for my boss.

40. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013:

Save yourself or you remain unsaved. And going back <> failure. (<> is SQL for ‘does not equal’). (I am such a geek loser).

41. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

Just a second we’re not broken just bent

And we will try to love again

-Pink, Just Give Me a Reason

Dear Immune System…

Dear My Immune System:

It’s December, so it’s time for me to make my annual reminder: There is no getting sick in December. There is altogether too much to do!

(Sidebar: People of Earth! Can we please move Christmas to July for real? I get that you want to decorate your house, your car, your kids, buy presents, take a week off, enjoy the snow, do the Elf on the Shelf thing and sing along to Debbie Gibson’s immortal version of Sleigh Ride but year end is on the way so this is seriously inconvenient).

Anyway. So no getting sick in December. I’m out of sick days anyway.

And none in January because that’s Year End.

February is absolutely a no go on illness because I need that month to catch up on the stuff that I didn’t get done in December and January.

March? Only if absolutely necessary. I have a week off scheduled but I really do not want to spend it sick.

Maybe April. Okay, immune system, you can wreak some havoc in April but only if my boss is in town and my robot coworker is around too.

And noooo, immune system, I will not do anything to make this easier. I got a flu shot what more do you want? I will not stay hydrated, I will not take vitamins, I will not get 8 hours of sleep. I will wash my hands frequently but that’s it.

Fight the good fight, immune system.

Thankful ’13

Okay, this is my second swing at this. The first was getting too maudlin and vaguebloggy and blah.

Anyway, I love all of you and I am thankful for all of you and your influence on my life. It’s been a year of laughter and tears and I am freaking glad it’s nearly over!

I am well (well stuffed with Thanksgiving food!), hope you are well (stuffed) too!

Breed All About It

First things first: Gene has informed me that our next dog should be named Patrice, after the much maligned character on How I Met Your Mother. Considering that three dogs puts us above capacity, I assume that he will have forgotten this whim by the time we’re in the market for a new dog. (I also expect THAT to not happen for many years as Betty and Scooby are merely middle aged and have a lot of life in them).

Secondly, a month or so ago, the website Woot had a deal of the day for the Wisdom Panel Dog DNA kit. The exact item had been on my Amazon wish list for about a year but Woot’s price was about 40% cheaper than Amazon. Since we had to buy three I was eager to get it as cheaply as possible.

(And now that we know the results, I feel a little foolish about paying even the discount price. Not that swabbing your dog’s mouth doesn’t make you look like a jackass anyway, but I digress).


Back in the day, when my Grandma M and I would talk about the dogs she would always say “And you have beagle hounds, right Elaine?” and I’d say Yes.

Anyway. The votes are in and we are zero for three in terms of “I wonder what breed the dogs are?”.

Scooby – Scooby was listed on Petfinder as a beagle mix and to look at him, I completely believed it. I was 1000% sure that the test results would say “Beagle and shepherd. Have you even looked at your dog before?”. So imagine my surprise when the results stated he’s a “Chihuahua, German Wirehaired Pointer, Pekingese, Shetland Sheepdog, Tibetan Spaniel Mix”. The best parts were the chihuahua and pekingese, which are purse dog breeds and Scooby is absolutely a 100-lb German Shepherd in the body of a 25-lb dog. He loves to tangle with big dogs.

Betty – Betty was also listed as a beagle mix, I think. To be honest, when I saw her on Petfinder I knew she was our dog and the description could have said she was a Pit bull mixed with killer bee and I still would have oohed and aahed and ponied up the $80 to bring her home. After 10-ish years of ownership, Gene and I have assumed beagle and corgi and Luis Guzman’s forehead. So again…imagine my surprise when the results say she’s a “Chow chow, Pomeranian, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Samoyed, Vizsla Mix”. In retrospect, the pomeranian and Chow Chow parts don’t surprise me as they look like exceptionally sheddy dogs but Rhodesian Ridgebacks and Vizslas are long legged and short haired. Betty is…umm, furry and longer haired and has the shortest legs and most adorable paws ever.

Sadie Pot Pie: Sadie has always been our big question mark. Even the pet rescuer we adopted her from politely dodged our breed questions with “Umm, there’s  lot of things in her!”. (The question was, “We think she looks a lot like our other girl dog, who we think is Beagle and Corgi”). We’ve posited a ton of theories about Sadie’s lineage but have mostly given up (“Sure, Corgi, golden retriever. Why not?”). So once again, imagine my surprise when the results came back to reveal: Beagle and Labrador Retriever. (And a lot of other things. At least half of her lineage is still listed as “Mixed Breed”, a/k/a who knows?).

So all in all, we thought we had a bepherd, a corgle and a whatever and it turns out we have a 25 lb purse dog, a 35 lb large breed dog and a 55 lb beagle. We have the melting pot of doggies and I maintain that all three of them can out badass anything at Westminster. Genetics are amazing things.