Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Peanut Butter

I HATE peanut butter.

Don't ask me why. I like butter and I like peanuts.
Don't ask me how the aversion developed. There was peanut butter around in my house.

Makes no sense to me.
But there it is.

HATE the smell, the feeling, the taste of peanut butter. EWWWWW.

The first time I willingly touched peanut butter was to put it on a sandwich my little cousin was begging for. I gagged and held my breath and did it.

Yah. She was, and is, cute. Impossible to resist.

Then at least 10 years later I was introduced to Kongs for our shelter dogs. I'd do everything else to fill them and ask somebody else to top them with PB.

Then I realized that occasionally I could cope with PB for my own dog's Kongs. Not every day - we use plain yogurt more here but every once in awhile was OK. Just a tiny dab on a plastic knife that I can then throw out.

Then this morning I found myself in my new routine spreading peanut butter on Big T's toast. How on earth did that happen? Have I changed my feelings about peanut butter? No. It's disgusting. I HATE it still.

But I deal with it for the ones I love. As I was spreading it this morning it occurred to me that the dogs an awful lot for me that they hate too. Brody hates being groomed. Yen hates being left behind. Sally loves most everything except not getting to play with me. Thea hates the cold. Yet all tolerate the thing they hate the most. If I were to anthropomorphic in nature I'd say they tolerate them to make me happy.but I don't actually think that's true. I think they, and I tolerate and deal with the things we hate because we know the pay off is going to be GOOD. Brody will feel better less matted - and the cookie payments help motivate him too. Yen is learning that we do come home after we go. Sally always gets to play eventually. Thea helps keep a clean house and gets to cuddle to warm up. I get to see how happy everybody who loves peanut butter is when they get it.  Great intrinsic value for all of us. Nothing noble at all. Worth some pain to get to personal pleasure!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

there is a list going around

there is a list published in a British paper of 50 things your dogs should get to do in their life time

My own quick scan of the list suggests my dogs have gotten to do many of them

Creating a list of the things that have brought the dogs or the humans the most joy from that list is easy

1. Flop down in front of a morning fire
2. Go for a swim in the sea (lake for us - but same point)
3. Go mad in the snow
4. Dig up a flower bed
5. Do the 'Beethoven' shake and soak everyone around you
6. Have your own spot on the sofa
7. Accompany your owner on a run/cycle ride
8. Attend a family picnic
10. Cheer your owner up when they are down
12. Roll around in a really stinky, muddy puddle
13. Ruin a pair or slippers or shoes
14. Sleep in your owners bed
16. Chase a cat during a dream
21. Convince your owner you can howl English words
22. Get filthy within 30 minutes of a bath
23. Howl along with your favourite song
25. Learn to skateboard
27. Show the postman who's boss
29. Try to follow a squirrel up a tree
30. Go to work with your owner
31. Have your own social media page
32. Bound through a forest
33. Have a personalised kennel (well it's a board that can move with him!)
34. Go on a boat and get your sea legs 
35. Play frisbee on the beach
37. Steal someone's lunch when they're not looking
39. Eat doggy ice cream
43. Rip the stuffing out of a pillow or cushion
44. Unwrap birthday presents
46. Be in a family portrait
47. Have a stand off with your own reflection
49. Star in a YouTube video

not too shabby :D

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


HA! Was looking at my post lists and the drafts waiting for update/revision etc - found this one

"Bob". I don't know a Bob. No clue where I was intending to go - so instead, a  (sort of) Wordless Wednesday post that has nothing to do with Bob .... in these snowy days the dogs (and cats) are pretty happy chilling and wrestling by the fire!

Saturday, February 09, 2013

how do you help heal a broken heart?

You do exactly what the circle of people around us have done over the past six weeks.

Accept that there is a hurt there that you may or may not understand. No matter what your own experience of grief is each single circumstance, even for the same person, is different. Nothing you can do will alleviate all the hurt. Grief is a process and while it can be pushed back it will resurface. Accept that and be prepared.

Be present. Not obnoxiously so but check in. A short phone call, a quick email, connect for that thing you've been talking about for months. Grief creates isolation and in grief it can be so very very hard to reach out, or to think of reaching out. Saying nothing may be interpreted as blame, or a lack of caring. It really isn't hard in this day and age to find some way to reach out.

Be honest. If you have questions ask them. If you are grieving too say so. Tell the grieving person how you feel.  They may be shocked to realize they aren't as alone in their grief as they feel.

Share. Your memories, photos whatever you have of the departed one. Sharing is a way to break through the isolation of grief. And even though it may be bittersweet it's still sweet. Memories may hit you at any time. Share them when they do. It's likely to make the person both ache and smile.  A friend made this picture her cover picture today - and let me know how Wyn like she thought it was. Pretty good impression for a black lab eh?

Be concrete. If possible go beyond  email or FB post. Send that card. Pick up the phone. Make eye contact. Twelve years ago I got a package in the mail  after Rufus, our first golden, died. It was a photo frame with words around it. "Remember this moment? The memory brings a smile to my face. I recall the exact feeling. Suddenly it was magic I wanted to capture all the fun forever in an instant. Smile when you recall this happy time. Proof we were there. Remembrance of laughter, happiness and good times. Those were the days. Always know as years go by, this moment will last forever."  The frame has been out somewhere through every photo rotation and move we've had since it arrived. People have sent cards,  flowers, cookies, meals - all are gratefully appreciated even if not properly smelled or tasted. Donations continue to be made to Project Jessie the rescue I work the most with. So thoughtful and touching and so appreciated.

Be yourself. Things beyond the person's grief are happening in the world. Talk about all the normal things you do usually. Do they have something else in life happening? Ask about it. Be prepared to spend a little while every time you connect on the grief. Grief is strange.

Laugh, and cry cry and laugh. You don't need to be strong, or emotional or anything special. Be yourself! You are in the grieving person's life and you can be yourself. If you don't know what to say it's better to say that than to stay away. There is one person I fully expected to hear from about Wyn. I have yet to hear from them and it confuses me. 

Share concern. If the grief is destroying the person say so;if you worry it isn't normal say so. Give the person suffering support and options for help.

Share hope. Life is a truly wondrous thing and cultivating gratitude can be so difficult in tough times. It is both awful and wonderful to watch Wyn's peers and friends growing up but it's hopeful. It reassures me there will  be rainbows and sunshine in life again. 

My world was so wonderful around the loss of Wyn. Words may never express my appreciation properly but I promise to pay it forward when people I know face grief.

Life truly is learning. 

Sunday, February 03, 2013

the Princess gets a turn

perhaps in celebration of her first birthday Sally actually let Yen have one of the couch cushions!