One week

Somewhere I got lost in a readjustment. This week was at least a month long. It used to be that way whenever not much was going on. Boredom stretches days into little eternities but this week was filled with all sorts of things, some planned some not yet instead of speeding by it seems as if it’s been forever since I last did laundry, even though a sock count assures me it was only 6 days.

My rescue dogs, husky-mix Lily and terrier-mix Lulu have no idea what I’m talking about.

I can leave for a 40-minute bike ride and get a greeting as though I’d abandoned them with no food, water or outside relief for weeks. Yet I can go out with friends for lunch or do some volunteering at the library or plant clinic and barely get a notice when I walk in the door.

Well, not exactly, basically it’s the same welcome, but the backdoor rug isn’t as likely to be balled up for a 3 or 4 hour absence as it is for a half an hour.

I wonder what I’d see if I installed security cameras. I don’t have a smart phone so I can’t watch them until I get home. My brother and his family have put a camera on the front of their house so they can see not only the front door but the side door and the driveway. I know this because they showed me a notification from their phone where the UPS guy was filmed bringing a package. I guess they have to call someone to go get the package so it doesn’t just sit there. They can also talk to the guy through their phone. They joked about putting one in the house near their dogs’ crates, but I talked them out of it. How cruel! Talking to the dogs like invisible people. They’d go nuts looking for them.

So Lily and Lulu. Do they go from door to window, all over the house? Do they just wait at whatever door they think I will come through until I do come back? Sometimes I go out the back door and come home through the garage. They are usually waiting for me there, not at the door I left from.


The house I moved from I’d had a puppy door installed on the back kitchen door. The yard was fenced in which meant nothing to escape-artist Lily, but even if she escaped the fence she didn’t go anywhere. Sometimes she’d wander across the street to visit the neighbors but generally she just hung out at the front door. This is how I knew she’d got out.

Here, though, the back door is wood-framed glass and goes out to a sun porch. So I’d need 2 puppy doors, or just leave the sun porch door open. Some neighbors had a puppy door custom made and brought theirs to me when they moved because they didn’t want to sell their house with it for some reason and thought I might like to have it. Thoughtful of them but something happened when they removed it and the frame basically was in pieces so for me it was unusable. But I’m not away so much that they’d need a puppy door anyway. Except when the neighbor dogs go outside, then Lulu likes to go to the fence and raise all kinds of noise telling them they’d better not try to go over to her yard.

Still, I’d rather be here than go someplace and spend the whole time worrying about them.


Before I retired when I worked every day there was never enough time. As a single parent I divided time the best way I could but nothing ever seemed to have enough of my attention for me to feel it was fully redeemed. I am certain this is not a peculiarity to me. All the stuff that has to be done… laundry, cleaning, cooking, budgets, school, work, and then somehow play gets left till last.

Not fair.

Play needs to be an integral part of life. Not to the exclusion of other important things but as important. Playing gives more room. More breathing space. Makes time stand still.

This past week I truly enjoyed 4 days with my brother and his family. Unfortunately my son did not join us, but we had that many days of incredibly pretty weather– sun, soft, puffy clouds, sparkling ocean and bright blue sky. The International Space Station even made an appearance a couple of nights for a few minutes.

I love mornings at the ocean….


look to the west and there’s this, just where the moon has set–


and you meet the most interesting characters….


or others, not quite so frightened but part of the peaceful beauty of the sunrise-


Time. Everything else is so still no matter how much time passes. Thank you.


Separation anxiety defines this on a broad spectrum for dogs: anything from pacing to panting anxiously, barking, howling or chewing, to  escaping (or gnawing on their own feet– my experience with a border collie).

For me it begins as soon as I take my babies to be boarded. Oh, I’m sure they are just fine. They have an air conditioned run, scheduled playtime with other new friends, regular feeding times, their bed and blanket.

I am the one with separation anxiety. For me this runs from crying, to guilt, worry, anger that I took them before I actually needed to take them as though I could not wait to be rid of them, and then there is the not with them emptiness. Something dire is missing. The life around my ankles has suddenly gone still.

So I begin counting minutes until I will see them again. This might be allayed somewhat once I get to whatever place of doom that won’t allow me to bring them, or not. It’s not incumbent upon anyone with whom I will be while away to alleviate this stress for me, either, but the fact remains I will have some degree of stress until I am reunited with these babies.

I don’t go away often. This was not a trip I actually intended to make. It’s a trip I have taken with my brother and his family, occasionally my son joined the party, for about 7 or 8 years. Last year after my little Murphy died I worried so much about rescue dog Lily I found a cottage up the beach from where they stayed that would allow me to bring her. In fact, they allow 2 dogs so I could have even stayed there and brought Lily and her new little rescue sister Lulu. But time got away from me this year and I did not have a space anywhere so decided it was just as well and I would not go at all. That is until my sister-in-law checked this place’s reservations availability and found part of their week open. So I was confirmed into that reservation.

But I did not have to take Lily and Lulu to their boarding facility until 4. So why did I take them at noon?? Where I am staying has set meal times. The evening meal is at 6. It takes roughly 2 to 2 and 1/2 hours to drive to the place and the doggie inn is open Saturdays from 8-noon, then 4-6. I had made my reservation to arrive for the supper meal but I didn’t have to! I could have changed it, it’s not like I can’t miss a meal.

Because of all this stress, whether I know it now or not I will be glad to see my brother and his family. I only see them otherwise once a year so it’s important to me. For that I am grateful to my sister-in-law for spotting a space. My son is detained by work so I will not get to see him.

But those dogs! And when we were almost to where they are staying Lulu nearly jumped out the window! I yelled and scared her to pieces. When we got there I hugged her and told her I was sorry, what a good girl she is and petted her. She seemed to feel better but I didn’t. Some decisions I make I will never understand. So I am sitting here, by myself right now writing this blog feeling completely empty inside. Seriously! They are that big a part of me. I will miss those little bundles until I return home. I hope they will forgive me!



Finicky eaters

When I was young I had a thyroid imbalance. Hyper actually, so much so that my mom told doctors she thought I was having seizures. No idea how she got seizure out of hyperkinetic (maybe hyperkinetic hadn’t been thought of then), but nevertheless the doctors believed her (no one really ever disbelieved my formidable Mother), so they prescribed what was then an experimental drug for epilepsy.

It nearly killed me.

After my severe reaction which included hospitalization with a very high fever, terrible rash and blisters all over me the size of box turtles which later burst and the skin on my entire body peeled it was determined I was not epileptic. Warned that unless I wanted instant death I must never take even one dose of that medicine (why would I), the doctors still had no idea what the problem was. I was happy because, at 5 feet 7 inches I weighed a lithe 115 pounds. Mainly because I had no appetite for anything much except what causes everyone else to pack on the pounds: potato chips, cookies, ice cream. I had a wonder metabolism.

Mother did everything she could to interest me in good food, especially breakfast foods: she made scrambled eggs sound wonderful. She plied me with cinnamon toast and crispy French toast dripping with butter and syrup. She offered any sort of cereal brand I would eat. I was having none of it. So she caved and said whatever I would eat for breakfast she would let me eat.

This included vegetable soup and ice cream.

Ultimately this fantasy life didn’t last and my poor little thyroid gave out, underproducing but it took a specialist friend Mother had in New York city to diagnose it. Then endocrinologists which helped put the thing back in balance.

All well and good, but what do I do with 2 dogs with very different eating habits? Husky-mix rescue dog Lily eats everything in sight, and retains it. No thyroid problem for her, she just stays stocky. New little terrier-mix rescue dog Lulu won’t eat for days. Especially not in thunder storms, or anything that sounds like one. Since I live where I do there are 2 large army bases nearby and we often get F-15s on flyovers, or Air Force 2 doing touch-and-gos with the fighter jets clearing airspace before and after. Then there are the military helicopters.

Lulu did eat well when we first adopted her. I would put her bowl down and she’d clean it about as fast as sister Lily. Then she wasn’t so interested, so I dressed it up with Parmesan cheese. She soon bored of that so I added some chicken broth. No good after a couple of days so I switched to shredded cheddar cheese. Now pretty much nothing but stark hunger works. So I look at Lulu wistfully watching Lily wolf down her bowl of food, snubbing her own. And I wrap it up waiting for a time when she is hungry enough to eat it. But Lulu loves rotisserie chicken, only right after I bring it home from the store. If it’s been in the refrigerator a day or two, no good.

I am out of ideas.


“Now, where did I hide that rawhide bone…. ”