Category Archives: Bainbridge Island, WA

Dog Ownership: An Eight-Foot Love Triangle

We’ve all heard it: a dog is “Man’s Best Friend.”

This is never more true than in my own house. We have an eight-foot triangle. See, I love my dog dearly, but she has made it abundantly clear in her almost twelve years that she doesn’t love me. She loves him, my husband.

And not in a oh-he’s-alright kind of way. In an I Dream of Jeanie I’ll do anything for you, master and may I lick between your toes for 25 minutes now, master? kind of way.

dogs

I get a lot of shots of this, her rump.


Rejection on a professional or creative level is hard to take; rejection in relationships is torturous. But rejection by your dog, the one you’ve had since puppyhood, is the worst.

Sure, she wags her stubby tail and flops her ears back when I come home. For a minute. Like as a favor to me. After a few seconds, I see in her eyes a glimpse of Good enough? We done here? before she trots off to find him.

dogs

And another rump.

If she sits by me on the couch (see how nice I am, she can sit on the couch!), the quickest way to have her leave is if I pet her. And who does she roll on her back for, showing her fuzzy tummy every morning? Him.

It’s not like my husband loves her more. In fact, I think I love her more, but he gives her more treats and more steak off his fork and well, she’s basically a cold-hearted food slut.

She’s so obvious about her preference that it’s possible I’ve gotten a tad resentful. It may be true I no longer fill up the water dish immediately or restock the dog biscuits. I have to protect my own heart, you know.

I hope to start anew some day, wipe the past clean and have my dog lavish me daily with affection.

Yes, some day I hope to get a new dog.

Does your dog show favorites? Tell me I’m not alone!

Where Dog Ownership Conflicts with Shoe Ownership

I am insane Duh, Wendy.

If we go by that definition of doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result or perhaps even if we don’t use that definition.

Here’s what happens:
When I come in from a run with the dog and by “run” I may mean mostly walking, I take off my shoes (not that anyone else does around here…or not that I’m bitter) and put them here–
shoe basket

Later, every day at some point, the dog gets excited about something near the front door, evil brown truck, a dog getting walked, a raccoon ambling by, whatever. With her emotions overflowing, she then needs to put something in her mouth I have no idea where she could have learned this….
dog with shoeShe doesn’t chew it or eat unlike me; she just walks and wiggles around with it in her mouth.

Oh, that’s so cute, Wendy. That shouldn’t make you crazy!

Except that 9 times out of 10, the dog ends up like this–
griffon shoe distributor–which has earned her the title of “Shoe Distributor.”

This time I was lucky. It got dropped early on, not out in the weeds grass or piles of old leaves where I find it weeks later wet and 3 shades darker from the Pacific Northwest treatment.

The crazy enters when it’s time for me to go walk that very dog and either have 2 right shoes or 1 shoe from each pair (yes, I have left the house with two different shoes on) or 0 shoes. At which point I holler “What the hell?! Have you seen my other shoe??! Where is my other shoe??

And the Hubs says, without any show of even pretending to consider the matter, that stock comeback gem of husbands all around the planet: “I don’t know.”

So, all that *waves hand in large circular motion* makes me CRAZY.

And I keep putting my shoes in that basket.

And my dog is almost 12 years old.

I am insane.

Nothing Gradual in Graduating

Today, the Kid graduated from her elementary school (it goes to 4th grade here, then to middle school). She’d gone to this same school five years, since kindergarten, probably the longest she’ll ever go to the same school God willing, she won’t become a 5th year college grad.

She had the annual tug-o-war…
4th grade tug-o-warand the “moving up” assembly…4th grade moving up assembly
ending with her…officially graduated.

Some may complain that this generation of kids gets way too much acknowledgement, awards for showing up at school, ribbons for participating in your third soccer game. No one applauded the end of my 4th grade or 5th grade or 6th grade.

Even if these moments are the equivalent of a torturous Barbara Walters interview (“that must have been hard, losing your dad at 3…”) and I’ve run through my allotment of Kleenex, I’m glad we’re stopping to notice. I’m glad someone is making us stop and pay attention to this milestone.

How many have we buzzed by in this kid’s 9 years? And how many more will we, accidentally or because we’re tired or busy or preoccupied or stressed out?

No, I say let’s all take a break from our personal, inner world of drama and our busybusybusy and focus our eyeballs on what’s happening right in front of us, in our very homes and neighborhoods: a kid graduated, a dog napped more, a baby napped less, a friend moved, a teen took drivers ed, a grandparent slowed down, a cat didn’t come home, even a tree didn’t sprout leaves like it used to.

Time marches on. You can squeeze your eyes shut, walk your feet faster, fill that calendar as much as you want or you can take long baths, plan big, slow vacations or breath in as deeply as you want. Time? Still marching on.

But if we’re all left feeling like spectators, let’s at least take a moment to do just that – spectate. With eyes and hearts wide open, we can watch and see and soak it up until we’re fully saturated and leaking out our eyes and cannot soak up anymore.

No, it doesn’t feel gradual at all. It may have slowly crept up on us, predictably coming along, but then BLAMMO, we’re hit right in our sweet spot. Ready or drunk not.

Leaving us happy and sad and proud and fully and completely saturated.
final bus ride
Congratulations, all you graduates out there! You are loved!

On-Deck Action: Birds and Stuff

Who’s been on your deck lately, Wendy? you ask in my imagination.

Well, thanks for asking, friendless blogger who makes up conversations in her head and is always looking for an excuse to take a break from writing.

I recently trimmed the Kid’s hair and she suggested we put the trimmings out for my selfish blogging purposes bird nest-making ingredients.

I thought we were too late in the season and nests had been made, but yet again! I was wrong.chickadeeYou cannot tell me the corners of your mouth are not heading up.chickadee with hairWe had another visitor the dog was much more interested in. We don’t get these guys on the deck all that often (if the dog has anything to say about it).Douglas squirrelLast but not least, this baby appeared.baby pine siskinHe sat for so long I wondered if he knew how to use those wings, but he did.pine siskin at feederNeener, neener, lady with the camera.

I think the moral of the story is….always write by a window with a camera nearby. Of course, when I lived in a city, those shots may have weighed heavier on oddballs and garbage, but anything to distract from your writing duties, eh?

What do you see out your window?

That creepy, eery feeling

Ever feel like you’re being watched?

This morning I was reading with my back to the window and suddenly felt the urge to turn around, like some foreign energy was boring into the back of my head. Was I being watched?
band-tailed pigeonsYup. I had a whole judging panel flight of those giant, band-tailed pigeons looking down at me (this shot was taken while I sat, lazy wildlife photographer strikes again.
band-tailed pigeons
Waiting. Coo‘ing. Waiting…

Is it just me and my propensity for drama but does this remind you of anything?The Birds movieYeah, creepy. It was just like Hitchcock’s The Birds. And I live near a school.

But at least with these guys, I had a sneaking suspicion why they lurked.
bird feederAt least, I hope it’s the seeds they want…

If you don’t see any more blog posts from me, well, it was a pretty decent run. You were mostly awesome although would it kill you to comment from time to time? Thanks for the memories. Becca, be a good dog. Hubs, turns out you can have the whole garage after all. Kid, there’s M&M’s hidden in the soup pot. I love you, Mom.