Showing posts with label Puppy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Puppy. Show all posts

Sunday, June 04, 2023


I feel bad because I broke my shopping ban and did some online shopping last week. (1) I got suckered into the Loft sale and got a couple of things I DO NOT need. Better a Loft spree than an Anthro spree, I suppose. (2) However, no regrets on the 12-dollar sunnies I ordered for vacation, they showed up, and they're awesome. (3) I'm going to keep Craft and Conscience by my friend Kavita Das, which I ordered for At, a bit longer to myself as it seems like something I could use for a class. (4) The hammocks I ordered didn't fit our stands, so I washed the old ones and put them back on (this is what I should have done in the first place).

Otherwise, I had a lovely Boss Day...I made a risotto with feta and veggies for dinner with At, Nu, and Big A and then a cuddle/watch fest of a new season of I Think You Should Leave. 

Pic: Huck and Max get a little closer...

Saturday, June 03, 2023

Max week

It has been a week of/with/at Max. 

I'm so relieved Huck and Max seem to be getting along better. They're not cuddling together (yet), but they play (fight) quite nicely and they really bonded over their mutual panic this morning when I vacuumed the whole house.

Speaking of which, I had to go into Nu's room with a handful of plastic bags and a stack of laundry baskets just to be able to see their floor... I'm not exaggerating, and I'm genuinely worried about this child's ability to live on their own in a couple of years without hoarder-level dysfunction. (Finals week is coming up for Nu, and the stress has seemingly wrought havoc on them.)

Long conversations with sis and mom this morning, while the rest of the fam was asleep, about our India visit in August. One of the things we were discussing excitedly was if we should drive or take the train on some internal trips. And then friends began to text to check in because of the horrific train crash in northern India. It doesn't seem like anyone I knew was on either passenger train, but the huge death and injury tolls are sad and terrifying.

Pic: Huck and Max sharing (the path) by Scout's memorial. 

Wednesday, May 31, 2023


Today I was busier than anyone ought to be at the start of summer--but there were huge deadlines to meet. And although I'd been working on them steadily for the past week, the final steps were still due. 

All done now (3:12 am): submitted MCTE materials, turned in Spring Term grades, approved pending NWSA proposals (and created and titled about twenty panels). Not a bad day's work. 

Remember when I wanted to set a timer to take regular breaks? Turns out I don't have to if there is a puppy who needs frequent potty breaks. So I got outside a lot too--it was gloriously summery.

Pic: Max gamboling. When you're so little, you can just slip through the fencing where mom's flowers are...

Monday, May 29, 2023

Memorial Day

Yesterday we made a little Scout memorial. 

Originally, I thought we'd scatter his ashes around the bend where he'd come bounding to greet me. The wild phlox is in season again, so all that's missing from the scene of my favorite photo is Scout. But then I began to worry that if we moved to a different house in the future, we'd be leaving some part of him here, so I decided to continue to keep his ashes on the altar. As Big A pointed out, that little space off the kitchen where the altar is really is where Scout spent a lot of time hanging out with me while I meditated, or he waited for me to finish my kitchen chores, or he hung out trying to convince me to give him pets or treats.

I went through a lot of memorial stones with words on them, but I knew even as I checked with Big A that he'd find them too cheesy/ersatz. So I went with a rainbow wind chime and a solar lantern, and we set those up yesterday. I think I'll add a laminated photo to the wind chime in a bit. It was comforting to have a space for our memories of Scout while indulging in nostalgia and family hugs. And when I took Max out for a potty break at midnight, the pretty, patterned light from the perforated lantern was a sweet and steadying presence.

Pic: Scout's memorial. In the background, today's picnic with EM and Nu.

Sunday, May 28, 2023

Mother's Day!! (observed!)

We celebrated Mother's Day today as I was in England on the actual day. All day long At/Nu/Big A would say "Happy Mother's Day!" And then add sotto voce--"observed!"--as though they were reading off a calendar. Perhaps you had to be there, but it was low key hilarious. 

It was a Happy Mother's Day for me. We made breakfast tacos, which turned out delicious (At and Big A took some leftovers for later). At and Nu helped me dig up and plant some redbud saplings that L gave me and then we all worked in the garden as has become our custom. At and Nu put the new garden chairs together, Huck climbed on top of the picnic table to sun herself as she always does, and Max followed me around as I weeded and puttered and then flopped into the grass by my feet to nap. When the chairs were built (hi-jinks and a few YouTube videos were involved), we picnicked with lemonade and donuts. Nu and Huck headed back inside and I had a lovely heart-to-heart with my eldest while Max napped on my feet. 

Pic: The kids with me before card, presents, and heading outside...


Saturday, May 27, 2023


Max is tiny; the responsibilities are huge. 

One forgets the massive undertaking the care and keeping of little ones can be. 

He's absolutely adorable; the way he toddles around being curious about everything is my favorite thing. What it must be to be all of eight weeks old in the world! I keep thinking Scout, friend to all beings, would have loved to play with him. 

Max likes shoes and has made a little pile of toys, shoes and hand towels in the rumpus room... I'm hoping that the people who live in my house and love their Converses, Docs, and Campers will start putting them away properly out of fear of Max now. Ha.

Pic: Nu with Huck and Max in the backyard.

Friday, May 26, 2023

no way but welcome

Max is here. Welcome, little one! 

This is a crazy idea and the timing seems way off. But I feel my heart growing as I find ways to welcome Max into the family. JN whose idea this was initially is 100% this is the right move (I was drinking a non alcoholic cider slushie yesterday so I was fully present), the rest of the family seemed convinced too, and suddenly we have a new puppy.

So far: Max, who is all of eight weeks old, is very enamored of Nu; likes to cuddle me like a lovey and sleep on my feet if I'm in a chair; pooped in the backyard three times like a champion; peed in the house twice by accident; likes walks and tolerates a leash; learned to ‘aah cheppu’ (say aah)  and eat from a spoon; is afraid of train sounds in our backyard; likes treats, but does not care for chewy treats; has learned to play with toys; has barfed up a meal; has chewed through a charging cable; is definitely the best poser in the family…

Huckie has been ignoring Max for the most part, although she's the main reason he's here. That and the fact that Max needed a family and a home. Huckie has been so forlorn since Scout. Big A and I have been worried about her going into decline as she was uninterested in most things, not eating enough, and--this part freaked us out--doing things only Scoutie used to do like refuse to use stairs, lie absolutely still with a tail wagging welcome, etc. We hope Huckie and Max will be best-friend-sibs, but if that doesn't happen, that's ok too. I'm perfectly fine if she decides to live her best life out of spite; she certainly seems more animated already.

(Scout was named for Scout Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird; Huck was named from Huckleberry Finn; Max is named for Max from Where the Wild Things Are--well, we already have a "Rumpus Room," nothing left to do but let the wild rumpus start, I suppose.)

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

but I haven't told all the stories yet

It has been a month.

I'm sorry to sound like a broken record, but I can't say it out loud to other people (except Big A)... I miss Scout. I miss Scout. I miss Scout. 

I do keep telling stories about him to everyone... and sometimes if the person I'm telling the story to is a stranger I might never see again, I tell the stories in present tense as though he were alive. 

I have so many stories. How we called him the 'writing wolf', because he'd wake up and hang out with me to write. Or how we called him 'wolf puppy' when he'd writhe on his back and bare his teeth. and how--we don't have a name for this--but how he'd get upset at raised voices and bark at the person who was being mean. 

Pic: Scout running to meet me--just about two years ago. This may be my favorite (grainy, fuzzy) picture of Scout.

Sunday, May 07, 2023

balance sheet

Things I've done: Stocked the fridge, used up all the fridge veggies, watered all my plants, finished class prep for the next week, talked with/texted everyone, cleared brush, distributed the morels we found yesterday, read a ton, cried about Scout, spent extra time with Nu and Huck, fought with Big A, made up with Big A, took long soaks and longer walks...

Things I've not done: actually packed for the two-week trip to the UK my students and I are leaving on tomorrow. Yikes.

Pic: Walk with L in Baker Woods. Trillium in the foreground! L and I found this patch right as we were wondering if we would see some. It was like we had magically summoned them. Trillium! 

Thursday, May 04, 2023

visits (pasts and futures)

I had to visit my CASA kids at the Luce Road school today. I got such a running tackle-hug combo when CD spied me walking down the hallway. Then their aide reminded them to use "walking feet" in the hallway, and I remembered how I love elementary school sociolects. And then CD began announcing loudly and proudly to everyone that I was their case worker. OMG. I love kids and their lack of filter and the weird things they're proud of. 

I also got various random kids stepping up to me to shyly say hello. I had to wonder at the combination of shyness and speaking unprompted to a stranger they didn't have to speak to. I was chuckling on the inside and all grown up on the outside. The whole thing was such a delightful interlude. 

This had been Nu's school ten years ago, so there were flashbacks to my serious kindergartner and of bringing puppy Scout to school and being told he had big feet so he'd be a big boy, etc. And then I saw Nu's first grade teacher, Ms. G. I remembered how Nu told me and Big A not to smoke (we don't) because Ms. G's parents had died from smoking. Ms. G thought it was hilarious--not her parents' deaths, but what her students' parents remember ten years on. And THEN, I saw one of MY students from five years ago, whom I had mentioned in class just this morning (for the random reason of them having been a picky eater on our London trip). That was truly bonkers.

Today brought many smiles. And Big A will be back home tonight too...  (Just seven more trips to Milwaukee before his job moves back to Michigan. YAY!!)

Pic: Wandering with Huck in the backyard... there's grass growing inside this tree hollow!

Wednesday, May 03, 2023

sorrow bird song

a sorrow bird sits in the tree outside
she'll sing her terrible song
when I notice her

the buds on the branch are waiting 
they'll crawl into yearning
when her song opens 

I pretend I don't need to hear her go
ah--for what is life, what is life 
without pause or answer

I say goodbye to all that before it starts
it turns out, I've gotten quite good 
at repeating goodbye

Pic: Such a grey day today, but no rain at least. Huck and I found all this greening when we dropped Nu off at the school bus stop. Scout would have made us late with all the things he'd have wanted to sniff on the way.

Monday, May 01, 2023

sitting with sorrow

Friends have been incredibly supportive and I am so grateful for friends who understand, are trying to understand, or are simply there for me as I grieve Scout. Friends who make themselves available, check in via text and visits, send cards in the mail, bring deserts I do not need, or simply sit with me while I sob, etc...

I wonder if I appreciate this so much because it's culturally different from how I grew up, where you're expected to put grief away within a "suitable" interval. 

I was reminded of this over the weekend when I broke down while I was talking with my sister, and she told me sternly to pull myself together for the sake of the other kids. My sister loves me very much, and I suspect she phrased it like that believing it to be the most effective way to stop my tears (and because she loves me so much that hearing me cry makes her sad). But also, I already do a lot of "pulling it together" so I can give the kids or my students my best self and I was hoping to let my guard down with her... so... 

Pic: A card from KB arrived in the mail today... what a perfect image and sentiment.

Friday, April 28, 2023

in the aftermath

There's just been a lot of sad sleeping around here, including--especially--by Huckie. JS kindly offered to hold a puppy playdate with her Maeve, but it rained all day, so we had to cancel. 

Although I've been home this week, I've been working on finalizing prep for the course that starts on Monday. Thankfully, Big A is back today, so I'm not solely responsible for caring for all the sad babies.

Pic: Huck fast asleep with "Buddy" who looks like a baby Goldendoodle. Buddy used to be Nu's but we decided Huckie needed a lovey. (She wasn't really hugging him, I slipped him under her arm.)

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

the day after

It feels empty. 

I feel emptied out.

My eyes and head hurt.

My whole body hurts.

(But I have a very clean house.)

Sunday, April 23, 2023

the boy with a blaze

Stuff's getting real. When Nu headed up to bed tonight, they said wonderingly that this would be the last time they would be saying goodnight to Scout. So yes, a lot of "lasts" today. Also a lot of locking myself in a room with Big A and just sobbing, sobbing, sobbing.

But also such a good day when we got to do all the things Scout loves, and he had a bit of an appetite so lots of treats and pancakes and pizza. We went for a slow walk in the backyard and he even did a little jog back to me. And--I thought I'd never see it again as he hadn't done this since his E.R. visit--he did his "wolf puppy" bit where he wriggles on his back growling softly and then I ask "is that my wolf puppy with a fuzzy belly?" and rub his fuzzy belly. (I didn't actually rub his belly, because that's where his internal bleed is, I rubbed the little blaze on his chest instead.)

And I thank the universe for friends who have been checking in on us and sending love. And sometimes accommodating weird requests from me. Like, I'm not sure if an afterlife exists, but I was nevertheless in a panic this afternoon because Scout wouldn't know anyone there until I remembered one of my favorites--Big Murphy our old neighbor who'd taken puppy Scout under his wing to teach him all the doggie stuff. So I messaged NGF (my bestie and also the person in my will in charge of making medical decisions on my behalf in case Big A is unable) and asked if she could ask her Murphy to look out for Scout and she immediately said she'd let Murph know to look out for Scout and hangout with him. And now I feel there's a plan beyond the vet and beyond the goodbyes.

I guess it's tomorrow now. I've gone over the plan over and over in my head, but I'm not ready. 

Pic: Scout at two weeks old. It would be another six weeks before we could bring him home, but we'd all fallen in love and I was already calling him my "blaze-y boy" although Aunt R said he looked like a "potato."

Monday, February 07, 2022

the lovey

One of my favorite pictures of Scout as a puppy: hugging his lovey and watching for the water vole to swim past in the old house. He would get so excited when he saw water voles or bunnies that he'd sit down like he couldn't bear the weight of his surprise. Scout was always the sweetest of my babies.

Anyway long neuro appt today for Scout (from 11 am to nearly 4 pm) and they found some things but are going to pass us on to the ortho dept. They weren't letting anyone but patients in, but I was so anxious that I couldn't understand them on the phone--it was like I lost my capacity for language. So they brought me into a tiny exam room and went over everything with me again. 

I remember pointing out his weakness and everyone trying to convince me that I was imagining it. No one thinks I'm imagining it anymore, it's that obvious.

Time is terrifying sometimes.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

A moment

I have sweaty socks Hucky is loving on; Big A is slumped post-run and post-shower; Scout is smiling because he heard me say his name; the human babies are still asleep upstairs; we're in the hanging chairs At assembled all by himself years ago; the plants in the tea garden are happy because they've been freshly watered; and I'm happy that I don't have to worry about them for another week...

I will come back to this moment when the madness and busyness descends.



Sunday, March 31, 2019

Watch out, sticks!

The picture is its own happy story.

     Alternate story: It's the kind of day where you need a woolen hat when you set out and need to switch it out for sunglasses by the time you get there.
     Nu and I set off with Mason jars of chicken soup for At who wasn't feeling well.
     We found out when we got to Alma that he'd been running a fever for five days--so it was off to Urgent Care, where we found out that he'd lost even more weight and that he had Strep. Pharmacy next (Amoxy is free!) then back to the MUN House to put him to bed. Refrigerating the soup, I found four other trays of food that he'd stashed without eating them.
       Back home, Big A set to throwing away the food and putting the dishes in the dishwasher while I cried my heart out. And that resulted in... a very firmly-worded text to At from Big A. And so we go on.


Friday, January 01, 2016


There're ways to do this
where dreams are choral
and my eyes are wings
florescent with words

And if If I gave you three dollars
and 75 cents, how far away
is the train at 50 m.p.h.
carrying all our songs of want?


Bottu Puppies!


the other one

I keep feeling like I'm missing  something. Part of it is the usual anxiety of final grading and checking my sums a million times as I&#...