So Long, and Thanks for all the Pizza Crust (Part III)

Dear Internet,
Today marks the one year deathversiary of our beloved pug, Wednesday. In requiem, upon her death, TSTBEH wrote a series of vignettes detailing her life. Below is the next chapter in her life story.
Previously: Wednesday is born, she fights with Leonidas, and she becomes king of the yews. She then has questionable business acumen, hoards grain, and writes the instant classic, Pug and Pugjudice.
In the early 20th century, Wednesday took her fortunes to America. She quickly became enamored with aviation. As the first few generations of aircraft evolved, pilots were competing for a wide array of speed and distance records.  Wednesday set her sights higher. In 1932, she would be the first pug to fly solo across the Atlantic ocean.

This image must be photoshopped, note the thumb on the left hand
This image must be photoshopped, note the thumb on the left hand

“I figured that I had one enormous advantage over the other pilots,” she said during a 1995 appearance on Die Harald Schmidt Show. “I’m a pug, I only weigh 20 pounds. Less weight means less fuel, which means I can fly further than my non-pug competition. After I completed the Atlantic flight, a lot of pilots came out of the woodwork to complain about my weight advantage. I told them to ‘Shove it where the pug don’t shine.’ I never bitched about their fancy opposable thumbs, or the fact that they are only toting around two nipples, I have eight nipples for chrissakes! EIGHT! Do you have any idea what it is like to have eight itchy nipples at the same time, with no thumbs to aid in the scratching? It ain’t pleasant.”
After conquering the skies, Wednesday became an international sensation. Her new found celebrity opened up many opportunities in Hollywood. Wednesday ditched the flying game for the life of a movie actress.
Wednesday adopted the stage name Puglores del Rio. Early in her career she had bit parts in several B movies.  While she hat yet to find much theatrical success, she did have a lot of success courting famous young bachelors. She embarked on a four year relationship with Orson Wells, which was detailed (gratuitously) in Welles memoir Three years in del Rio.
“I just want to make sure you understand my book title, Three years in del Rio.” Welles said for a New Yorker feature, “by saying ‘in del Rio’ I’m referring to penetration. So basically, I’m making it clear that I hit that shit for three years. I blew that pussssay up, there was nothing left by the time I was done.  It was like Hiroshima….Are you going to eat those peas? No?  May I also assume that your fish fingers are also available?”
puglores
meeeeowwwww

Wednesday finally enjoyed big screen success in 1943, starring in Journey into Fear with Joseph Cotten.
The film was a commercial success, but mostly for the wrong reasons. Controversy arose when Wednesday appeared in cat face during several scenes in the film.
“The portrayal of Feline Americans in Journey into Fear does nothing but perpetuate the demeaning stereotypes that Feline Americans have struggled against for decades. They reinforce the oppressive dogtriarchy that is pervasive through our society,” said famed feline rights advocate Purrrrsephone Yarnball in an op-ed for The Dallas Morning News.
This was the end of Puglores del Rio. Wednesday retired from acting after Journey into Fear. She reflected on her acting career in the memoir, A Lost Pug in Hollywood. “I never considered that I could hurt anyone by acting. I thought I had chosen a profession that could only bring joy and contemplation to all of mammal kind. I am sincerely sorry to any Feline Americans that I have offended with my performance.”
The cat face controversy compelled Wednesday to join the fight for feline equality. She was a featured speaker at the million cat march and she fought tirelessly for feline marriage equality.
xoxo,
Lisa

This day in Lisa-Universe: 2014, 2011, 2001

year in review: 2014

Dear Internet,
Working at home today and getting supremely in the groove. Re-discovered that I used to do a round up, by month, of things that went on in the previous year as a year in review. This seems like a good idea to continue insofar as giving me a perspective for the year and helping me figure out what I need to improve or cut back on.
Previous years: 2000, 19971996

Neil Gaiman’s New Year’s wish for 2015:

Be kind to yourself in the year ahead.

Remember to forgive yourself, and to forgive others. It’s too easy to be outraged these days, so much harder to change things, to reach out, to understand.

Try to make your time matter: minutes and hours and days and weeks can blow away like dead leaves, with nothing to show but time you spent not quite ever doing things, or time you spent waiting to begin.

Meet new people and talk to them. Make new things and show them to people who might enjoy them.

Hug too much. Smile too much. And, when you can, love.

It’s been a helluva a year. Here’s to 2015 being boring and slow.
xoxo,
Lisa

This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2014, 2013, 1999

fyrene dracen on þam lyfte fleogende

Odin, God of Wednesday

Dear Internet,
I’ve been remiss on updating my latest tattoos, which I think are tattoos 14 and 15. Introducing tattoo #14: The Viking dragon ouroboros.

Viking dragon ouroboros, completed March 30, 2014.
Viking dragon ouroboros, completed March 30, 2014

This is my first full on color tattoo, and according to Gareth, I healed out the colors (including the white) most excellently. This piece is the foundation of my half-sleeve, and I’ll be filling in the Celtic knot with color and the spaces inside the ouroboros with medieval marginalia.
The design is inspired by the dragon head of the Oseberg ship. Even TheHusband, who is meh on most of my art work, really loves this design. He’s pretty excited to see where the half sleeve goes.
Tattoo #15 is the rune of Odin, who is the god of Wednesday, in memoriam of our beloved pug Wednesday, who passed away on February 1, 2014. As per her custom, Wednesday sits on top of TheHusband’s head. TheHusband is represented by the rune of  thorn, as he was to be named Thor if his father had his way.
Odin, God of Wednesday, completed May 6, 2014

xoxo,
Lisa
P.S. The title translates from Old Norse into, flaming dragons flying in the air. It seemed pretty appropriate for this post.

nippy sweetie

Death and the Fool from the Book of Hours. Use of Rome, MS Douce 135, 16th century. Via Bodelian Library
Death and the Fool from the Book of Hours. Use of Rome, MS Douce 135, 16th century. Via Bodleian Library

Dear Internet,
My ToDo list for Sunday looked like this

  • Return the growing pile of phone calls
  • Clean out my personal inbox and respond/follow up to emails
  • Pay bills
  • Get .ca/.us passports prepped to send 
  • Get caught up on work related readings
  • Start draft of article due in a little over a week
  • Do laundry
  • Get caught up on reading
  • Write letters (Pete, Alice, et al)

That’s what I wrote down at least.
What was completed are the items with a strike through and those three items took up most of my day — and I started after watching Canada kicked Sweden’s ass in hockey this morning.
The passport stuff was daunting as I thought I had lost my US social security card and my short form CA birth certificate, which sent me into a tizzy for an hour ripping things apart until I realised they were binder clipped together with other important cards that I had moved to another location on my desk.
TheHusband cheerily quipped, “Don’t worry! I won’t let them deport you!”
The US passport stuff is ready to go and that will get dropped in the mail on the morrow. CA stuff, however, is a bit confusing. I had to provide two non-relative references, an emergency point of contact of someone whom I don’t travel with so that became my brother, and then I need to track down a guarantor to prove who I am. The confusion is the wording on whom the guarantor is because it alludes it could be my husband but that he must hold a position [list of positions] in addition to knowing me for at least two years. It’s not clear then if I choose to do a guarantor by profession, such as a notary, why the sworn statement on the application states they must have known me for at least two years while the documents say this is not true. I aim to call Canada’s passport office in the next few days to get this all sorted so that I can get my passport updated.
So while I felt tremendously pleased with myself for getting the big stuff out of the way, my email was a brute, I couldn’t believe it took me almost the entire day to get completed. Because I knew I was going to spend the day working on cleaning out my ToDo list, a few days prior, I spent a few hours getting my office sorted. What this really came down to was shifting piles of paper everywhere.
If Wednesday was here, she’d be having a fit she couldn’t get to some of her regular lounging spots.

««««»»»»

wednesdaysurn

Wednesday has been gone for three weeks. I picked up her urn last week, with TheHusband in tow. I cried when they handed me the bag that contained her urn and paw print, TheHusband was sniffling in the car when I came out of the vet’s office.
There is a very definite stillness of the house without her here.
We’ve been doing okay, says the girl tearing up writing these words. TheHusband started writing Requiem for a Pug, which was to be her life story starting from her birth as a poor Spartan Pug up to her death, but he got as far as chapter two and then stopped because he got too depressed. I’m prodding him to continue because the photoshop jobs he’s done of her on various famous figures through history alone is worth the posts.
The house is quiet and I still catch myself looking for her in her usual haunts or hearing her nails click on the floor. We’ve started barking at the other when we return home from outings, because that would be what Wednesday would do to admonish us for leaving her alone longer than 2 minutes.
I had to stop looking at my personal Instagram and Flickr feeds and moved all of her pictures to a cloud storage so I couldn’t randomly stumble upon them, for when I did, I would burst into tears. I put her tags on a chain to wear around my neck, and it has now become my touchstone when I need comfort.
Even if in slight silliness, it this all sounds sounds slightly sad and pathetic, but you cope.
To help with the grieving, TheHusband bought me Fat Tuesday from squishables.com:

fattuesday

Fat Tuesday is perfect for snuggling, doesn’t tear holes in the bedsheets, hogs the bed, or randomly farts you out on a daily basis. We don’t have to feed her, walk her, or worry about being gone too long when we leave the house. She also fits perfectly in-between the two pillow mountains on the bed. And there is not a quick flash of guilt if you accidentally kick her if she gets under your feet.
She also has no personality and is filled with stuffing.
Yet having Fat Tuesday has helped, tremendously, with our loss.
We’ve decided to hold off on getting another pet at this time, until we know what my job situation is going to look like in a few months. Even more poignantly if we need to move or travel considerably. Plus Wednesday was beloved by all that met her and incredibly special, replacing a living being that loved you so unconditionally seems crass and maybe a tiny bit cruel.

««««»»»»

In other cruel things:
Screen Shot 2014-02-23 at 1.10.43 PM
That’s our weather forecast for the week, in the last week of February. Where the fuck is spring??
xoxo,
Lisa

This day in Lisa-Universe: 2013, 2013

boats against the current

Screen Shot 2014-02-02 at 11.30.54 AM
Dear Internet,
Mother never explained death to me, so you can imagine at the age of 41 how naive I must feel.
Birth, of course, was an entirely different matter. She didn’t have any problem giving me explicit details of how my brother was conceived (clinically) and what was going to happen when she went into labor. She was a nurse by training so it may not have seem that odd to her to explain to her six year old where babies came from. I took this knowledge to my Catholic school playground where within days of my new education, I told my class the vivid details of human birth and dismissed the old trope of a stork and such. Mother was called in to reign in her precocious offspring and to stop scaring the children with such wild stories.
Death. Death was a whole ‘nother matter.
People who died in my family were so far removed, I didn’t understand the concept of what it meant to die until nearly high school. If a death would occur, it would be my mother or one of her sibling’s aunts, uncles,  cousins, or high school friend they hadn’t seen in a decade. People I knew in name only or had met once or twice. My paternal grandparents were well into their 80s when I came along, and my maternal grandmother had died right after I was born. I did not attend my first funeral until I was 24 when my grandfather died in 1996.
We had no pets growing up, except for fish who seemed to die as rapidly as they were replaced. Well, that’s not entirely true. My brother and I had kittens we had rescued after we had moved to Grand Rapids in the late 1980s. A few weeks after we had them, my mother had accidentally stepped on of them, paralyzing it. She threw the still living cat into the apartment dumpster, where it was rescued shortly after by a neighbor who took it to have it humanely put down.
After a few years of apartment living and Mother’s boyfriend hopping, we finally landed in the house on Paris Ave., a 1920s craftsman house not unlike Throbbing Manor. We somehow gained ownership of a Pomeranian puppy, named Max, that became beloved by my brother, and a Maine Coon cat named Chester, who was my cat until I moved out a few years later. Max was hit by a car within months of his arrival when he escaped out the front door one day. Chester became Mother’s cat and best friend after I moved out and remained that way until she put him down a few years ago at the ripe old age of 20.
So while I had relationships with pets and people and rationally knew dying existed, yet death was often removed from my day to day life so I had no coping skills when it did happen. While I would grieve when these pets or long lost friends were lost, the grieving never last long. It was more the loss of a life rather than a loss of something I loved.
Shortly after we moved into Throbbing Manor, Wednesday had a seizure. Within a couple of months, she would have a few more seizures and shortly after, benign lumps would be found on her spleen and removed.
The seizures, idiopathic in nature, had no warning signs. The last one she had was last summer while we were up at Throbbing Cabin. I had spent the night with her in my arms, tucked in like a baby, while the seizure did its thing. This was a growing concern as  they would increase as she got older. She also had benign fatty deposits on her body, that while not fatal, could become more cosmetically problematic as she aged. Prednisone could destroy her liver. She was a ticking time bomb.
In the three years since the first seizure, she would come perilously close to death many times only to have a miraculous recovery. And in those three years, I grieved numerous times over when I thought it was time to let her go. I knew this was coming and we were living on borrowed time. That’s the funny thing about pets – they are fine until they are aren’t. They are not like humans in there is a progression with an illness. It would just hit you fast like a truck.
Against the prediction of the vet, Wednesday rebounded when we upped her Prednisone during her last week. But I knew this was a temporary fix. A very minor temporary fix. Even on the upped dose, she had maybe three months left before her liver would fail, or she slip on the wood floor and break a bone and not feel it, or something equally worse. She had had no control over her facilities and no feeling in her back legs. She would lie happily in her own shit and had no idea she had defecated herself.
The vet had told us this appointment was not a permanent appointment. We could cancel it any time. We came tantalizingly close to canceling the appointment during the week as Wednesday seemed to improve, but I knew it was time. I could bear cleaning up her shit and piss, but I could not bear the thought of her being in pain or her liver going out or her breaking something, a real fear TheHusband and I often discussed. We came even closer to canceling when the weather shifted and we were slated to get 5-8″ of snow Saturday morning.
We agreed Wednesday had attempted to make a deal with the devil.
They had us in a private room, and I could hold her or they could take her away. In respect for her, I wanted to be there when she died. They put a catheter in her paw with a sedative, so when they brought her back to me, she was snoring in the vet’s arms. Two shots would be injected vis the catheter, the drugs whose names I cannot remember, but her death would be peaceful. And quick.
Within seconds of the second drug was injected, I felt her last breath leave her body. I was petting the unicorn bump on her forehead when she died and I remember gasping in the fastness of it all. One minute she was in my arms, pawing at my hand to get comfy on my lap, and the next she was frolicking in the fields over the rainbow bridge.
TheHusband, supportive of my decision, was a pessimist about Wednesday’s illnesses over the years. He warned he was prepared for her death because he had many pets over the years who died and while it was sad and painful, it would be okay. It was just a pet.
Except.
Except, it didn’t work out that way. He cried when I cried, and if he cried, I cried. He panicked when we got to the vet because he didn’t know we would be with Wednesday when she died. He thought we would hand her over and leave. He choose to support me by staying in the private room with us, but he did not watch her die. And I was okay with that.
We had packed up all the unused food and medicine and donated it to the vet for families and pets who could use it. We had decided to keep Wednesday’s dog bed and food/water bowls in case we opt to get another dog later in the future.
The drive home was somber.
My brother and his girlfriend picked us up shortly after we got home and we went on a all day drinking spree across the city. Four pubs in nine hours, we came home late Saturday night with our hangovers starting and our sadness permeating our actions.
Our sleep was broken Saturday night, partially from drink and partially from unsurety. There was no 20lb lump keeping us apart and we were stumbling on how to cope. Sunday morning brought awkwardness. No dog to walk meant no we didn’t have to jump out of bed when our eyes opened.
After my allergy testing in the fall of 2011, and discovering I was allergic to lots of things including dogs, which forced our hand to be more vigilant in how our laundry was done. Comforter was steam cleaned by the dryer, along with the pillows, on a regular basis. Sheets rotated at least weekly, but more like bi-weekly. I was acclimated to Wednesday’s dander but coupled with the beefed up cleaning schedule, I was still plagued with the occasional hives and itchies.
It was the weekend, of course, for us to do all of those things. TheHusband gathered up all of Wednesday’s beds and steam cleaned them and packed them away. We washed her leash and harness, along with her food and water bowls, and packed those away as well. Her stuffed pug, the one she got when she was young pug, was washed and will now live on pillow mountain, where Wednesday would rightfully be.
I put Wednesday’s name tag on an extra long chain so it would be close to my heart.
We spent Sunday in enlonged periods of silence as we worked. There was no herding to the bedroom when it was time for bed, no impatient waiting at the top of the stairs as we came and went from the basement. No truffle hunting in the kitchen for the crumbs that may have fallen. No prolonged staring that was her way of begging as we ate. Dinner was a silent affair.
I felt lonely while TheHusband watched football in the Rumpus Room and I was pecking at this piece in the bedroom. I fondled her name tag a lot and tried not to cry as there was no 20lb lump who threw herself on my left side when she could get the chance. No bed hog who would plant her self between my legs at night, trapping me in.
TheHusband is taking her death more deeply then I had anticipated and I suspect in the next few weeks, it will be worse for us both. He is beginning to comprehend his constant companion, the living thing he spent 24 hours a day with, is no longer going to be around. He asked me to take down the house rules we had on our fridge, which included Wednesday specific instructions, because it was too painful to look at. Tonight I caught him trying to pet the air while we were snuggled up in bed and then we both cried.
She is everywhere in this house. I can see her in my mind’s eye at the locations I expect her to be and I can hear the tapping of her nails against the wooden floor as she followed me everywhere. I can see her drunken sailor walk speed up when she saw me come through the door at night and the roll over onto the floor for belly rubs when TheHusband stuck his foot near her.
To work through the grief, TheHusband started writing Wednesday’s obituary, beginning with her birth in Sparta in 510 BCE  and so far, up to when she wrote Pug and PugjudiceAdditional chapters will be forthcoming.
She was the most interesting pug in the world. And she will never be forgotten.
xoxo,
Lisa

This day in Lisa-Universe: 

So Long, and Thanks for all the Pizza Crust (Part II)

Previously: Wednesday is born, she fights with Leonidas, and she becomes king of the yews.
Fearing more trouble in the Roman world, Wednesday quickly made her way to Scandinavia.  She toiled for years trying to strike it rich with her questionable businesses.
Examples include:

  • “Fjord Fiesta” A margarita bar for the weary bearded traveler.
  • “Fjord Escape” Iron age Eco-tourism.
  • “Fjord Focus” Ophthalmology practice.
  • “Fjord Edge” Axe sharpening services.

Mind the gap, where you intestines used to be!
Mind the gap, where you intestines used to be!

After nearly 1000 years of failed business ventures, Wednesday decided to get back in the soildering game.  She married a princess (The Danes have always been progressive), amassed an army, and attempted to conquer England.
After many failures, using her her years fighting with Leonidas as her guide, Wednesday finally conquered England and became known as Pug Forkbeard.
After conquering and unifying England, Wednesday decided to fade from the limelight to pursue her more creative endeavors. She then spent nearly the next millennium in England, traveling around the countryside gathering stories and hoarding grain where she decided to embark on the greatest writing career known to pugkind
She reminisced about her time there during an appearance on The Mike Douglas Show in 1966.
Prose before milkbones
Prose before milkbones

“I took a liking to England right away, something in there air there unlocked by creative juices.  Probably emissions from all the rotting teeth; or the gas from the terrible food; or the terrible weather; or maybe the the miasma of cancer vapors from the collective national stiff upper lip.  Wait, why did I like this place again?”
During a prolific period between 1589 and 1613 Wednesday wrote 37 plays and 154 sonnets whose imprint on the English language and world culture cannot be overstated.
Among the most famous words in world literature is the opening soliloquy to Wednesday’s theatrical masterpiece Puglet:

To pee, or not to pee, that is the question–
Whether ’tis Nobler in the loin to suffer
The Stings and Arrows of distended bladder,
Or to take Arms against a Sea of urine

No comment, my wife will hit me if I say what I think of Pug Austen
No comment, my wife will hit me if I say what I think of Pug Austen

Wednesday’s coffers finally filled from her scheme as a grain trader and playwright, decides to to take the opportunity to focus her considerable talents on writing novels.
Between 1811 and 1816 she wrote six novels, which would become  definitive classics:
Pug and Pugability
Pug and Pugjudice
Pugsfield Park
Pugga
Pughanger Abbey
Pugsuasion
Excerpted from Pug and Pugjudice:

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single pug in possession of a pizza crust, must be in want of a drink.

Wednesday famously suggested the real reason her sister Cassandra burned her letters from that period. “I was having an affair with Lord Byron AND his half-sister Augusta Leigh. Can you imagine what would have happened to my work if that had gotten out? No one would have ever believed my books were written by, ‘A Lady!'”
Next chapter: Wednesday conquers America.

This day in Lisa-Universe: 2013, 2012, 2011

So Long, and Thanks for all the Pizza Crust (Part I)

Wednesday the pug was born to a poor Spartan family on July 19th, 510 BCE. Her father, Pugtroclus, was a popcorn vendor. Her mother, Cleocharia, was a river nymph. It wasn’t a pleasant childhood as Wednesday’s parents had a strained relationship. She famously spoke of this in a 1977 interview on Parkinson for the BBC:

These leather shorts are chafing my taint.
These leather shorts are chafing my taint.

“My parents always fought about money.  Dad would say, ‘I dragged my popcorn cart all the way to Olympia and back.  I work my ass off to put food on the table.  When I get home, I just see you splashing about in the creek.  There isn’t even a cold meal waiting for me.’
“Mom would reply, ‘I’m a goddamned river nymph!  What does a river nymph do?  A river nymph frolics!  I’m sorry that my chosen profession isn’t economically viable; but you knew this from the start.  You sure didn’t seem to mind all the frolicking we did when you were younger.’”
Wednesday demonstrated an aptitude for battle from an early age which is a good talent for a young Spartan.  She fought at Thermopylae with Leonidas and they had a close relationship.  Many a night at the pub were spent bantering about the latest play or music.  The 2007 biopic Leo and Me, for which Wednesday won a Golden Globe for Best Original Screenplay, highlights one of these exchanges:
“ABBA!”  Wednesday cried incredulously. “Leo, come on! You have got to be kidding me.  They are terrible.“  Leonidas replied  “I fucking love ABBA, I don’t care what you say.  It’s a good thing the Swedes aren’t marching towards our gates.  I’d let them pillage Sparta for backstage passes.”
After Leonidas fell, Wednesday lost her desire for combat.  She decided to wander the world, seeking more peaceful endeavors.  Eventually, she settled in Galilee.
500 years of travel left Wednesday with an empty coin purse, she noted that “artisanal” sangria was all the rage.  Naturally, cashing in on this fad by launching an exclusive line of “artisanal” sangria goblets would replenish her coffers.  Market research showed that anything labeled “artisanal” instantly became more desirable if it was made of wood.
Wednesday quickly signed up for carpentry classes at the local community college.  The course was taught by a sweet, patient man named Joseph.  There were constant interruptions by his wife, Mary.  She had some facial ticks and would randomly repeat certain phrases like “King of the yews” (A pet name for her husband)  and “Virgin birth”.  Eventually, Wednesday got handy with the lathe and turned her first prototype.
Sangria anyone?
Sangria anyone?

Joseph suggested that Wednesday take pre-orders for her goblets.  Renting a stall outside the temple in Jerusalem would offer the most exposure for the product.  Wednesday made her way to the big city with Mary (on a sangria run) and her goblet in tow.  Unfortunately, there was some sort of scheduling mix up.  Wednesday’s stall was occupied by some local money lenders.  Wednesday showed them her receipt for the stall and asked that they vacate the area.  The money lenders also had a receipt for the same stall and the dispute soon became heated.  Mary soon, became agitated by the argument and starting yelling “King of the yews, King of the yews”.  The money lenders heard something seditious and reported Wednesday to the authorities.
Shortly after, Wednesday was arrested and sentenced to death by crucifixion.  Luckily for Wednesday, her half river nymph heritage allowed her to hold her breath for hours on end.  Nullifying the normal suffocating effects of her sentence.  This is boring business, so, after a few hours, Wednesday took a nap.  The authorities mistook this for death and Wednesday was able to escape her shallow grave.  Regrettably, the artisanal sangria goblet was lost in the melee at the temple and was never seen again.
Next chapter: Wednesday travels to Scandinavia, rules England, and writes her best seller, Pug and Pugability.

This day in Lisa-Universe: 2011

Left Hip Action

Lisa & Wednesday after we got her; she's about 10-12 weeks old
Lisa & Wednesday circa 200 after we got her; she’s about 10-12 weeks old

Dear Internet,

Screen Shot 2014-01-23 at 10.25.26 PM

It has been a rough couple of weeks.
Since mid-December, we’ve noticed Wednesday’s back legs becoming more drunken sailor-y then ever and the Prednisone and Glyco-Flex combo wasn’t seemingly helping anymore. While she’s been prone to the occasional peeing in her sleep and hate pooping in the house, we realised that much of the hate pooping had nothing to do with her supposed anger and everything to do with her having zero feeling in her lower half of her body. As her Prednisone was almost out and required a refill, I made an appointment with her vet to get a check up and warned some hard decisions were going to be made.
The vet unfortunately agreed. Wednesday’s neuropathy has gotten markedly worse since her last appointment in November, which was detrimental to her quality of life. TheHusband and I had agreed that if she could not at least do her business on her own, then it would be time. I could not keep her to assuage my broken heart; I would not want her to be so broken that my last memories of her are one of her in pain.

Little baby Wednesday, circa 2000
Little baby Wednesday with Jen, circa 2000

TheHusband and I had been down this road before numerous times in the last few years, where we think it’s time to put her down only to have her a miraculous recovery.
But this time, there is no recovery. There is no drug, surgery, or physical therapy that can save her.
Because the last few years had been so touch and go,  I thought I had cried all I could cry for this dog. I had long come to terms with her near death, but it was not until this appointment it had really hit home.
Wednesday, April 2003
Wednesday, April 2003

I cried all through the vet appointment, cried on the phone with TheHusband on arranging the date, cried while pumping gas, and then cried so hard the rest of the day that my eyes were raw and my cheeks were stained.
While getting ready to leave for therapy appointment Thursday morning, I cried in the shower. While getting dressed, I got my jeans up to my knees before I fell on the bed and started crying so hard I started hiccuping.
Wednesday and her stuffed pug, January 2011.
Wednesday and her stuffed pug, January 2011

I called into work sick.
After coming home from therapy, where I cried some more, I walked into TheHusband’s office where my heart broke in half again for when ThePug saw me, she stopped cleaning her paws, her tail starts wagging, and she attempts to push herself out of her bed happily to come greet me, only she could barely climb over the small hump of her pillow.
Two days later, I’m still crying.
After the vet appointment on Wednesday and when I came home from therapy on Thursday, Wednesday and I spent the whole day in bed. She was ever joined at my left hip, while I aimlessly tried to do some work and watch Britishisms.
When she got too big to lay on me, she opted for squishing herself right my, preferred, left hip wherever I was sitting down.
June 2012. When she got too big to lay on me, she opted for squishing herself right by my, preferred, left hip wherever I was sitting down.

I can’t find Wednesday’s origin story, but I know I’ve written about it somewhere in the thousands of files that document my life. She was born to the first litter  of a  sire and dame, Linus and Lucy, were owned by ExFiance #2’s aunt and uncle. They had been trying to breed Linus and Lucy for ages and when it finally happened, they opted to give the pups away to see how they would do.
I remember driving to their house when it was time to pick out a puppy and I wasn’t terribly keen on the idea of a dog. I didn’t fancy myself a dog or a cat person, pets seemed to be too much responsibility and commitment. I could barely keep human relationships going, getting a pet seemed to be too much trouble then it could be worth.
I sat on the kitchen floor, puppies scampering and sniffing me until all but one wandered off. Wednesday took one look at me, climbed into my lap, nuzzled my hand and fell promptly asleep.
That was it. I had been chosen.
Several weeks later, we picked her up and brought her home. Soon later, we would adopt her sister and brother, whom I would re-home in 2008 when I could not find a living space to take all four of us.
For nearly 14 years, 1/3rd of my life, this dog has been my best friend, my constant companion, my confidant, and nothing less but a four legged fur extension of myself.
I had calculated during her entire life time, we have not been apart for more than two months. Total.
Wednesday taught me about responsibility, laughter, and patience. She gave me unconditional love, never asked for anything other than to be my side now matter where I am. If I’m sitting in my office, vacuuming carpet, or in the kitchen making coffee, she’s always where I am. The click of her nails against the floor as she follows me from room to room, the pitter patter of pug feet TheHusband says, will always been an echo of her presence.
She taught me how to love. Without her, and her brother and sister but especially her, I would never have taken chances on relationships, learned to open my heart, and learned how be vulnerable. Without her, I never would have taken a second chance on TheHusband.
She is everything to me.
Wednesday, December 2013
Wednesday, December 2013

 
xoxo,
Lisa
P.S. Her euthanasia appointment is scheduled on February 1 as I knew if I had pulled the trigger the day we were at the vet, I would not have been able to drive home. In retorspect, knowing there is a definite time and hour she’s going to be killed has made it a lot worse than ripping the band aid. For two days I’ve been near inconsolable about her upcoming death and I expect as time marches on and on the day it happens, I will be besides myself.
We are going to be with her when they put her down. We’re opting to have her cremated and she’ll have a urn so that she’s with us always. I had joked about giving her a viking funeral, but TheHusband is pretty sure we might go to jail if we tried.
TheHusband is working on her obit, which I’ll be posting at the time of her death.
While I may not have responded to everyone who gave their condolences, I do want to thank you all for your sympathy and love. Knowing that she was beloved by so many has been comforting.

This day in Lisa-Universe: 2011, 2003, 1999

Secret Oaths to Persephone

Persephone and Hades, circa 450BCE via British Museum
Persephone and Hades, circa 450BCE via British Museum

Dear Internet,
Where was I? Oh! Yes.
It is late Sunday night and TheHusband is engrossed in some sport ball of DOOM that is nail biting, etc. I’m annoyed because I have my British telly lined up for the evening and I was told nothing was going to happen just yet so I can’t watch my stories as hoped.
But if my yawning is any indication, and how sleepy my eyes feel, when I get into bed to watch said telly, I’ll promptly fall asleep.
This week has been a week. I still feel okay with missing a few days writing this week, sometimes things just cannot be helped. This upcoming week is going to be far worse as due to schedule kerfuffles, I’ve got at least two 12 hour days on tap, plus I’m prepping for one of my liaison departments accreditation which is taking longer than anticipated. I’ve got a lot of plates I’m spinning in the air at the moment and some personal projects are going to have to be on hold for just another week. I know I said a few weeks that I would be catching up on personal email and projects, but please bear with me for another week if you haven’t heard from me yet.
The next morning.
True to my earlier prediction, we were not five minutes into telly where I promptly fell asleep. We forewent going to the gym this morning as TheHusband has not been feeling well, some version of the plague has been hanging out for the last week, which worked to my benefit since it meant we did not go to the gym. The next three days are going to be rough as I’m working longer than usual shifts to cover all the meetings and classes that were heaped up by happenstance.
Other notes:
I discovered sometime in the night that my heating blanket is not in fact broken as I was beginning to think it was. It seems if the dog is laying on it , it stops the heat from generating up to me. Once I moved her off, and noticing the location she was laying on felt like a sauna, the rest of the blanket warmed up. New note to self: Do not allow dog to lay at my feet anymore.
Speaking of the dog, we go in for a vet check up on Wednesday to see about upping her dose of Prednisone for her arthritis and spaghetti legs, but not to be too much of a Cassandra, the end is coming.  Example: she has almost no feeling in her back legs or below her waist anymore, so she has not been able to tell us when she needs to poop. It just comes out and she’s surprised as we are when it happens. This morning I was carrying her down the stairs and stopped in the kitchen to get some coffee before taking her out. She starts pooping while I’m holding her like a football and I had to put her on the ground, holding her up by her harness, so she can finish her business. She’s had a good run at 13.5 years, but coupled with the occasional peeing when she sleeps which has started to become near daily and the fact she cannot feel when she has to poop, we said if it gets to this point where her quality of life is diminishing, and it will get worse, keeping her around to soothe my savage heart is not in good interest to anyone. Discussions will be had with the vet, and potentially hard choices will be made.
The exercise calendar I mentioned a few weeks ago? I’m using it to track our time at the gym. I’ve cemented that I work best when I hit the gym early in the morning before my day gets going, finding that any time I attempt to schedule after work or afternoons during off days just doesn’t work. To keep myself honest, I’m checking in to the gym on Foursquare and then writing out what we did on the calendar, which is currently posted below my Naked Rowers calendar in my home office. I have been continuously wearing my FitBit Flex since I got it for my birthday last summer, and I like seeing the numbers grow.
Speaking of FitBit, they sent me my yearly roundup:

Screen Shot 2014-01-19 at 9.28.38 PM

Not too shabby for six months! If I can keep up the gym and once the weather gets better this year, do more walking/running then next year should at least be double, if not triple that value. I do wish the notification when my battery is low was more reliable. I have set to email and text me but it never seems to sync up with the actual battery level.
Our holiday tree is still up. I had made self-promise to take it down this past weekend but that looks like it is not happening anytime soon.
I’m now ending my third week of being caffeine free and I think I’ve found a winner. My moods have been regulating themselves fairly well the longer I go without, which was the point of the experiment. I’m sure the exercising I’m doing is also of help to keep me fairly mood balanced. In the next month or so, I’m going to continue on with the experiment and remove refined sugars from my diet and see how that works.
xoxo,
Lisa

This day in Lisa-Universe: 2013, 2011, 1999

Coffee, Tea, Cocoa

“How Sir Lancelot Was Shot by a Gentlewoman Hunting” by Arthur Rackham circa 1917

Dear Internet,
Last night I dreamt I was in command of a Viking longship, my braids flying in the wind as we traversed the seas. I had silver hair cuffs to hold my hair back, I wore leather leggings and tunic, my belt was made of metals and precious jewels, and I took lovers in every port. It was a glorious dream.
It is mid-Sunday afternoon and the only leather I have been in contact with is the leather of our couch where I’ve been settled for the last several hours. TheHusband, who is currently driving me crazy with his songs reinterpretations by replacing lines with “Pookie Bear” and interjecting “pug” when neither pookie nor bear fit, is reading The Adventures of Ibn Battuta: A Muslim Traveler of the Fourteenth Century sprawled on the chair opposite. Wednesday, who is aghast she is not allowed up on the couch or the chair, paces the living room like the little old lady she is before heading to one of the many dog beds we have scattered around the house for her particular use. After 20 or so minutes of watching us wearily from her bed, she starts the pacing over again thinking she will eventually wear us down with her silent demands.
[Interlude:  The dog, 30 minutes before she was due for her afternoon constitution, decided to pee in the kitchen and then 10 minutes later, poop in the dining room. She’s now lounging on the couch, a fleece blanket beneath her. You win pug. You win.]
It has been snowing for nearly a week straight, we are on day three of our self-imposed home rule and we’re already snarling at each other. TheHusband and I have not had a good, healthy, screaming drag out fight for months so we took care of that yesterday afternoon. The fight started when I asked how he planned on cooking the beef for today’s beef pot pie and corkscrewed out to something else entirely, as it always wants to do. I’ve never understood these people who claim they never fight with their partner — how boring and uninspiring those people must be! I can’t imagine living in perfect harmony day in, day out — it would be living with a husk. I need the conflict to keep me enthralled.
Fight out of the way, we’re establishing patterns. We wake up sometime between 8A-9A, the dog is walked. Breakfast is consumed, either something individually or as the case of this morning, a shared meal of pancakes and bacon. TheHusband wanders off to do his thing, I wander off to do mine. Lunch is foraged and dinner is planned between 5P-7P, depending on how hungry we get. Yesterday I baked two sets of muffins, sorted out our grains and legumes, a load of laundry was done, kitchen eternally cleaned, and writing and reading was adhered to. While all that housework seemed to go against the idea of “do nothing staycation,” I can attest I did it all in yoga pants, tshirt, and a sports bra.
This morning was not that much different than yesterdays, except instead of muffins I made the crust for tonight’s dinner as it needs to be chilled and pre-baked before it is used. TheHusband, once his husbandly chores for the morning were completed, has been reading (and randomly singing) in the chair. Tomorrow will probably be no different or the day after that.
And we cannot forget the already mentioned, never ending, infernally maddening snow.
TheHusband has challenged me to another round of “how long can you go without taking a shower,” a family tradition in the making. But two days in, my teeth are feeling fuzzy, my yoga pants are getting slick with day to day dirt, flour, and pug hair, and my hair is standing up on its own without product so I am declining. A bath will be taken this evening, no matter what.
x0x0,
Lisa

This day in Lisa-Universe in: 2012