Thursday, August 28, 2008

Consumed with Details


Day 45 of abstinence
Starting weight: 262
Today's weight: 240
Total loss: 22 pounds
Dogs walked today, besides my own: 3
Attitude: frustrated & sad, in that order...

I have more than half of this week off, at least in terms of the first half of the day. Henry & Hero are away which means two - three dogs in the afternoon & I'm done.

I was gonna:

  • Exchange my Montana driver's license for a New York State license
  • Get a massage in Chinatown
  • Finish Chapter Two of my novel
  • Got to the NYC Aquarium
  • Take the 7 p.m. harbor cruise around the waterfalls
  • Visit an old friend in a rest home
  • Deal with the enormous stack of NYers dating back to September, 2002
  • Get batteries in watches
  • Assemble the Daisy calendar for my mother's birthday
  • Buy a sleeve for my air conditioner & make arrangements for it to be installed and the dry walling repaired

I've managed to:

  • Wrap a couple of packages & mail them...but not all because I had to order more printer cartridges as well as a shipping label from Zappo's
  • Write my Lab Lady post for the brooklynheightsblog
  • Write two sentences of chapter 2
  • Get down to 7 New Yorkers, throw out the plastic thingie they were in, recycle a lot of boxes and paper bags, donate school supplies to Housing Works
  • Talk to the neighbor who said he would call today (and hasn't) about the air conditioner and dry walling
  • Get my hair cut
  • Take a lot of pictures for a friend who's painting flowers and doodle them around in Adobe Photoshop, then make prints for another painter-friend who doesn't have a computer

Keep these lists in mind, as well as the fact that I'm meeting a friend for dinner in 90 minutes, need to go to meetings tomorrow night and Saturday morning, and am going out to dinner at friends' house on Saturday night. Four of those items mean leaving Brooklyn Heights for a considerable length of time -- visiting my friend won't be a quick heist either.

My dreams have been violent -- dragging a black witch (as opposed to a witch of white magic) around by the ears, teaching tough seventh graders.

Now add the ingredients of five dogs dying this summer, three of them "friends" of mine, and the news that my walking time bomb, Roger, is moving to Long Island in a week.

Roger. Roger, Roger, Roger.

There is a particular kind of love one has for a dog that hates (i.e., is scared of) everyone. There are four people in the world who can pick this little man up and I'm one of them. Only three of us are asked for belly rubs and two of us get humped and I'm the only person he kisses.

And he's leaving.

I've been on the verge of tears or crying ever since I heard. Before I took him out yesterday, we had a long talk. I asked him to remember me. I told him how much I love him. I told him how smart and beautiful he is. I asked him to remember our cookie game, our scary game, how I cam over and crawled into bed with him when he was so sick. I told him I will always remember reaching over to turn his ears right side in, and his gray beard and how he runs in great exuberant arcs. His owner called me today and asked what I did to him yesterday -- he spent the evening asking for cuddles rather than staking out the bathroom as his private territory.

I think Roger understood me, at least emotionally.

And I think I'm weepy not only about Roger but about the loss of Godiva, Barley and Zeke. The privilege of being trusted by a dog to turn up, love it, walk it, make it comfortable, make it feel loved, make sure it has some fun and pleasure has made me public in a way that nothing I've ever done before has. "Are you the Lab Lady?" bare acquaintances are beginning ask now, having read the bhblog. It's gone another step beyond being the Mayoress of Hicks Street's tender.

But it comes down to the dog. I won Roger over the same way I won Godiva over. I sat down on the floor and was. I sat and was Frances, whatever that is. They decided it by looking me in the eye, smelling me, eating some cookies, tasting my skin, walking on me. I feel as though I'm losing a percentage of my love and validation in the loss of Roger.

Old issues. I can see them however, and I can feel my sads and know they'll pass.

I just wish I could have wiped that list out...


Anne M. said...

((( big hugs ))) I'm so sad that you are having to say goodbye to Roger, who trusts and loves you as he does few others. Your dogs are such a huge part of your life and you see them through different stages of life - and even to their last days. It is a privilege but it takes its toll.

I hope you can find one thing on your list that will help you feel better about dealing with all of this, and find a way to fit it in. Not to forget but to remember that you matter, too.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry for your loss of dog love. I did find it interesting, though, your describing how you won Godiva over. I did the same thing with a dog a couple of weekends ago. She would go near no one, but I just sat on the ground and waited her out. Let her come to me and climb on me. Then she rewarded me with kisses. (My ADD son was soooo jealous, as he could not keep still enough to not frighten her.) It's a good thing to keep in mind - sometimes the best thing is just to "be".

Unknown said...

Your story about taming Roger and Godiva makes me think of The Little Prince and the fox.

I notice that the biggest difference between the list you wanted to do and the list you did is that the list you did has a lot of stuff for other people on it. It's nice to do for other people but don't forget about yourself, kiddo. I hope you'll pick something you really WANT to do from your list and do it if you can.

By the way, why are watch batteries such a blessed pain? This is why I just buy new watches after carrying the dead ones around for a while. It's hard to find a jeweler who's willing to bother with the work for the $3-5 a watch battery costs. Grrr....

Bea said...

I bawled all the way through this. I am a newish dog owner/lover. This is my first love affair with a canine. I am learing lots. Mollie is very kind and gentle with my lack of dog knowledge. Life without her love was bland. Maybe you can go and visit Roger? Great post.

Laura N said...

Now I feel like I need to go home and love on my dog, or rather, my daughter's dog, who I usu. think of as just another body in the house that needs attention. I am so unworthy to be a dog owner. Thankfully my children adore her. But I think she needs some adoring from The Mom in the house. I'll tell Lucy that Frances sent me her way. I bet she'll understand.

I really hope you have a dog book in you. You write about them so lovingly. I'll have to check out the Brooklyn Heights blog. Even though I live way out in a flyover state, I bet the Lab Lady articles are good reading.

Your to-do list? Very ambitious. Your done list? Very ambitious, and accomplished. Looks like a lot got done even if it wasn't everything.

Glad you updated us on what's going on with you.

Lori G. said...

I can understand how sad you must feel about Roger and you must feel a bit afraid for him. It's a big old scary world for him in particular. He will remember you. You have many great gifts; helping dogs is just one of them.

Your to do list was quite overwhelming. Any two of them would be quite sufficient for a Good Day.

Be good to yourself.

Much love,