Life is Short. Buy the Boots.

sunset-401331_1280

If grief were a color, it would be slate. Not an angry obsidian black, or a peaceful dove grey, but that shapeshifting silver somewhere between black and white, a stormy sea that some days seems blue, others almost brackish, depthless and impossible to truly describe.

If it were a shape, it would be a spiral, a shape you ride on in a neverending loop of centrifugal force splattering you against the wall whether you will it or not, bringing you back again and again to the same spot, from a slightly different vantage point.

helix

 

I imagine that grief counselors are well versed in this, which is why every bad day seems to be preceded by a call from the chaplain, who senses it like a dog knows an earthquake is coming. The last one had come just before Christmas.

“It’s Chaplain Gary. How are you?”

“Fine.” And I am fine, until I remember that I’m supposed to be upset, and then I am.

The most recent call came on the one year anniversary, if you can call it that, of the date my mother became ill. The season has returned to set the backdrop for the nightmare month of May: lengthening days, long afternoons, and the scent of blooming jasmine wafting over the chairs in the backyard that I’ve rarely gone to sit in since the night my mother died. When I sat blankly until 2 am, staring at a candle and wishing for her parents to come and spirit her away from this earth as her breath rattled slowly away.

We went to the beach for Mother’s Day last year, spending a night in an oceanfront bungalow that would normally be way too indulgent for an innocuous holiday, but I had a rare and terrible gift: knowing that this was my last one.

I had only this one day into which I must pour every future Mother’s Day of which we were being robbed. And because I had to continually remind myself to be there in that moment, instead of thinking ahead to the years her chair would be empty, I could notice things I would probably not normally observe in my hypervigilant state: my mother’s hair, so different from mine, her dainty nose which I did not inherit, the way her hands would gently enfold the kids whenever they came into her line of vision. She was beautiful inside and out.

And Here We Are

One year later, I’ve come full circle to that spot I knew I must return to, and dread. It’s been there all along, these memories, receding into the shadows of the changing season and coming out again this spring to say hello. I see my friends post stories and pictures with their mothers, having recently entered into that comfortable spot in life where they can be totally honest and laugh about anything, and I feel an almost painful sense of longing remembering the small moments with my own mother I had come to treasure.

We met for lunch often, once the kids were older and in school. Our lunches were something my husband would always dread, because they were always followed by wandering into a store where she never, ever, ever talked me out of impractical things. Because of her, I own a snazzy chain link belt and a pair of Frye boots that I would never have bought on my own. It’s a silly thing, boots, but I love them. They suit me, as she said they would. They are happy boots. They are sad boots.

I know, because people have been tremendously generous with sharing their own stories, that this longing for more time will never go away. You never entirely forgive the universe for taking a treasure from you, even when you know anger is useless. It sucks and it will always suck, even when I’m an ancient crone cruising around on a walker.

Love Remains

But I cannot be anything but grateful that I had a mother whose love was so encompassing that to lose her has left me devastated. How many of us worry that if we were gone, no one would care? She never did.

Every year was a gift and a marvel. While her physical form is gone, Mom surrounds me in a thousand little ways, from the whistle of a teakettle to the smell of a cookie, the joy in a beautiful sunset, the strength to do what needs to be done. She’s here. In some form or another, love remains.

To those celebrating Mother’s Day this weekend, my love goes to you. Take a deep breath and really experience it, be you the recipient or the giver. And if you are hurting and dreading the day, don’t be afraid to run away from the brunches and the flower shops, the rituals and the intact families, the resentment and the sorrow. Find a place that brings you peace. Buy some sad boots. Go to the beach. Sit in a forest. Sadness means you loved deeply, and that has its own kind of beauty.

And wherever you go, don’t forget to take your dog. 🙂

 

Pawcurious: With Veterinarian and Author Dr. V

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Emmylou Harris’ Rescue Helps Second Chance Dogs

The lyrics “We believe in new beginnings/ Giving in and forgiving/ We believe in happy endings/ You and I” are more than merely lines from a chart-topping duet co-sung by Emmylou Harris….



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DogTipper

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We must work on legislation to improve situations …

We must work on legislation to improve situations post seizure. Many times abusers are convinced to surrender these animals. It should be a law that evidence of abuse automatically means the dog is relinquished to proper shelters for adoption.
BAD RAP Blog

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Not Now, Cooper!

Two trips to the dog park a month ago, now every time I open the car door to unload groceries, Cooper thinks it’s time to go again! It’s been raining all night, and the dog park we go to gets kind of swampy, so it’s not in the cards for today. Sorry, boy. Until next […]


Doggies.com Dog Blog

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Win a Stick and Handheld Vacuum!

This week we’ve been busy, busy moving furniture to make way for our new pet kitchen. Every time–and I mean EVERY time–we move furniture in this house, I’m shocked by the…



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DogTipper

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A new book on pit bulls and the great American dog war

bronwen dickey pit bull

Three years ago, I received an email from a writer who wanted to interview me on what I knew about the history of bulldogs and bull and terrier types.

I have received several emails like these over the years.  They usually go nowhere, but when we were able to talk  on the phone, I was actually  quite surprised.

The author had actually read my blog very carefully, and the questions showed that she had done quite a bit of research on the topic. When you write these sorts of blog posts, you often wonder if people are actually paying attention to what you write.

She obviously had done her homework. She asked me something about Cuban bloodhounds, a defunct breed of dog used to catch runaway slaves. I hadn’t written on Cuban bloodhounds for many years. She asked about the ancient alaunt dogs, whether pit bulls had essentially become an urban landrace, and how society came to understand this concept of breed.

The author who contacted was Bronwen Dickey. I didn’t know it at the time, but she is the daughter of the great Southern poet and novelist James Dickey. And as I came to find out, she is a very fine writer in her own right.

In April 2013, she was delving deeper into the research around pit bulls. She was writing a book on the story of the pit bull type dog in America. Pit bulls, as we all know, are the most controversial dog breed in America. Many, many claims are made about them, but whether these claims withstand objective scrutiny is quite another thing. There is a widespread belief that these dogs have locking jaws or that they suddenly turn on people without warning. There is also a belief that a pit bull is a super canine that can readily dispatch  a feral hog on its own and then curl up with the kids as the “Nanny dog.”

Both advocates and detractors have created an image of this sort of dog. What Bronwen wished to figure out is which parts are true and which are parts of contrived to the point of being pure fantasy.

It turns out there was quite a bit.

Now, this book isn’t out yet, and it’s already being attacked.

Pit bulls are so contentious that I stopped writing about them quite a while ago. Of all the issues I’ve seen dog people invest emotional time and energy into fighting over, pit bulls are truly an outlier. Dog people fight over just about anything trivial, but when it comes to pit bulls, there is a whole other dimension:  If a pit bull mauls someone, there will be a group that wants them all executed. If a pit bull mauls someone, there will be a group of people who want that dog’s life spared at all costs.

I’ve never seen anything quite like this in dogs. Indeed, the only other topic that riles people up more online is whether feminism destroyed video games or not.

In one week (May 10), Pit Bull: The Battle over an American Icon will be released. There are people whose minds will never be changed on both extremes of this debate, but for that great middle, who really wants to know what the pit bull is and what it truly means to this country, Bronwen Dickey has produced a nuanced analysis that is well worth reading.

And she’s a good writer.

When she had me review a few chapters of her drafts, I found them to be quite fascinating in deed.

But if you really want to know– and are brave enough to have your assumptions challenged– buy a copy. Only a few more days to wait.

 

 

 

 

 


Natural History

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You wouldn’t feed your dog or cat hair, would you… knowingly, that is!

Four pet foods tested…  all four positive for hair!!!

Photo Credit:  TruthAboutPetFood.com Photo Credit: TruthAboutPetFood.com

Those foods were:

  • Pedigree Adult Complete Nutrition Chicken Flavor

  • 9 Lives Plus Care Cat Food

  • Beneful Incredibites with Real Beef Dog Food

  • Friskies Indoor Delights Cat Food

Read the full story  and unfortunately, disgusting photos and video… 

Source of all info is credited to: TruthAboutPetFood.com

Helping to keep beloved furry babies healthy and safe… and pet parents informed!

Lori

I’ve Got the ‘Scoop’!, LLC

www.IveGotTheScoop.net

2015 Best Pet Sitter & Dog Walker in Burlington County, Voted Best of 2015 Burlington County Times

2015 National Pet Sitting Business of the Year Recipient, Awarded by NAPPS


PetsitUSA Blog

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Papillon?

Maybe a Papillon or a Papillon mix.  Cute anyway …
RIVIERA DOGS

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Humane Society’s Pets For Life Received 25,000 Bowls Of Halo Pet Food

Humane Society of the United States Day of Giving March 31On March 31, because of you, Halo helped donors do more for the Day of Giving donation drive for the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). The donation drive was in support of HSUS’s Pets for Life program which helps families in low-income neighborhoods care for their pets.

The one-day donation drive was a huge success! By 11:31 a.m. ET, donors had given $ 25,000. By the end of the day, the program had received more than $ 380,000 along with 333 vaccination packages, 500 dewormer treatments, and 25,000 bowls of Halo pet food.

Those donations will make sure that financial difficulties don’t prevent families from providing for their pets. In his blog, HSUS CEO Wayne Pacelle noted that the Pets for Life program has helped care for 109,000 pets. We can’t wait to see how many more pets the program will help because of the Day of Giving.

We’re honored to know that through Pets for Life, more families will be able to feed their pets Halo pet food. We’ve heard from many of you that your pets love Halo and are healthier and happier because of the nutritious food. When you buy Halo for your pets, you make it possible for us to help pets in need. Whether those pets are in shelters or with families struggling to make ends meet, you’re the reason why we’re able to donate. We can’t thank you enough. As the Day of Giving showed, when animal lovers come together, we can really make a difference!

The Humane Society of the United States Day of Giving with Halo Pets 2016

Halo

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Costa Rica’s Land of the Strays cares for homeless dogs

The Poodle (and Dog) Blog

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