Monthly Archives: February 2007


REPORT: Bratz dolls and other sexualized images are hurting girls’ psyche.

Really. I’m shocked.

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Goodbye, My Sweet Lucy

Well, I have got to stop blogging about events in my life. As soon as I say we’re all healthy, a child gets sick. And as soon as I say I’m worried about the dog, she gets worse.


I knew it was getting worse on Saturday when I blogged. The husband and I had the discussion about whether it was time to let her go, but I couldn’t. She was still smiling in her eyes. I couldn’t let her go.

But when I woke up Sunday to find her tummy a little too rounded, I knew we were in trouble. I took her into the vet and he confirmed our worst fears. There was fluid in her abdomen and there was nothing more we could do. But the husband couldn’t get off work. With an assurance from the doctor that she wasn’t in pain — yet– we were able to bring her home for another day with her and arranged to bring her back this morning, when all of us could be with her.

We fed her lunch meat and cake and cookies and spoiled her yesterday, but there were a lot of tears, too. Our friends came over this morning to say goodbye and we took some last pictures, but I was in and out of tears. We took her to the doctor and I looked him straight in the eye, asking one last time if this were his dog, would he put her down. He told me that this was the last kind thing we could do for her and that yes, he would not want his dog to suffer the death she was to face within days.

So the husband held her and I petted her face and ears, telling her that we’d love her forever. And we will. She was my Goosey Lucy, my Lucy-Loo. She was always present, watched the kids like they were her own, and never let us down. She was a good dog. I hope we were as good at being her family.

And even though I know we did the right thing, I feel like a murderer. I feel like I killed one of my best friends. I feel guily about every time I complained when she started losing bladder control on occasion. I feel guilty about every time I ignored her or chewed her out for mooching at the table. And all this is normal. I know. But what won’t go away is that I miss her. This I know because I now have lost seven animals in my life. But Lu-Lu was the first dog that was my dog. Not my parents’ dog. I just can’t believe she’s not here.

The cats, by the way, are walking around the house regarding us as if we are the Cosa Nostra, we had her bumped off, and they’re next.

So now we need to move on. And listen to everyone we know say, “Hey, I know this guy who has some puppies…”

Goodbye, my sweet girl. We really will love you forever.

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The Grim Reaper is Circling My House

We’ve had Lucy for twelve plus years. I remember sitting in my office tapping away at my Mac one night when the husband came in with the newspaper.

“They have dogs in Frederick,” he said.

“Huskies?” I wanted a husky.

“Black labs.”

I kept tapping away, considering. “So you want a dog?”


I turned and looked at him earnestly. “You do know if we go look at them, we’ll end up bringing one home.” He nodded sheepishly, but he already had me. The only time I’d been petless was in college and even then we tried to have everything from fish to a bunny to rats and a hamster. Little animals and I do not get along, as evidenced by three dead hamsters, a dead rat, and a bunny we gave away because he was a nasty little sucker.

So we went to this farm about 30 miles north of where we live and we found Lucy: a 3 month old lab grehound mix who would chew through my dining room chair rails and drive me about bonkers for two years until she finally grew up a little. The day after Lucy came home with us, we found out we were having son #1. (There went my office, by the way, which I still haven’t gotten back.) She was his best friend for several summers of playing in the back yard.

Lucy has been a puppy forever. She’d run around the back yard, play with the kids, and has been a fabulous dog. But Lucy is approaching 13. Old for a lab. Ancient for a greyhound. About a year ago, she stopped running around so much and started slowing down. Then the coughing started. A quick trip to the vet confirmed our worst fears.

Lucy is in congestive heart failure.

We’ve been buffing her up with lasix for nearly a year, and she’s done pretty well. But then she stopped eating. Feeding her wet food made her sick, but putting hot water on her dry food made her happy, so she started putting on weight again.

But now, as we watch her black fur turning white around her delicate muzzle, she’s stopped eating again. She still likes her table scraps, but can’t eat much of that before it’s too much for her and she gets sick. She’s getting thinner and thinner, and I don’t think she’s long for this world. And it’s terrible.

There comes a point when you wonder, “Is this when we let her go? Is this when we put her down?” But then she smiles in her eyes and wags her tail, and I know I can’t do it. I wake almost every morning wondering if she’s still with us. I don’t want her to die, but I know it’s coming. I want to her to live as long as she can remain pain free, but then I watch her gasping for breath from her wet lungs and I wonder how much she’s suffering.

Death is all around her. One day I think I will wake up and she will be gone. I think that day is soon. And how terrible am I to think that day will come with so much sadness, and yet relief. We’re all waiting for our sweet dog to take her last breath. We all dread it, and there is a sense of mourning about us all. It is a wonderful thing to be able to say goodbye to our friend – our protector for 12 years. And it is a horrid curse to watch her fade.

Some debate that we should put her down, but I can’t. Not yet. It may come to that, but I doubt it. She does not seem to be in pain, but if she doesn’t eat, she’ll soon be too weak to draw breaths. She’ll fall asleep and just not wake up. And we’ll cry as we make her arrangements. And yet, we’ll thank God that our friend will be free to run around the yard again, if only in spirit. pict0261.JPG

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Confessions of a Walking Dictionary

Yes! I hate to say this out loud – or to even type it – but I think we’re all healthy. Or, I should say, on the mend. The boys still have sniffly noses and some coughing, and I am still on antibiotics waiting for the after effects of cellulitis to fully pass, but we’re mobile and able to get out of the house for a few minutes, even if only to go to a meeting.

Our oldest had his annual IEP meeting yesterday. For those of you who don’t deal with special ed daily, that is an Idividual Education Plan that helps outline what he needs to work on for the next year and how we’re all going to do it. This was a big one, as he heads off to middle school next year. I am so not ready for that!

But since all our kids were actually in school yesterday morning, hubby and I both got to attend. That in itself was a miracle. So we talk about Son #1 for an hour and a half and, as we’re walking out of the building, hubby turns to me and says, “Gees, I understood them and what is going on with the boy. But some of the words you said… did they even understand you?”

This is not unusual. The husband loves to tease me about my $50 vocabulary. It is common knowledge that the more I drink, the longer and more complex my sentences get. I am used to popping out with what I think is a perfectly reasonable statement and watching others’ eyes glaze over as they try to access their old high school vocabulary lists.  At work, they call me the walking dictionary. Yes. To my face. I proofread everything that goes out of that place — well, not everything. Sometimes there are a few things that go out I wish I’d gotten my hands on first. So yes, I would say that I have an unusually large vocabulary and a fairly decent grasp on the English language. However, I try not to sound condescending when I tell people that an apostrophe is never included in a plural and all punctuation goes inside quotation marks, thanyouverymuch. Oh, and let’s not forget that adverbs generally end in ly. Note, generally.

And this is where some of my friends cringe. See, I may have a good grasp on a good portion of the English language, but there are these huge holes.

For example, what the hell is a participle and how do I know when one is dangling? I have a feeling I do that a lot. And split infinitives? Well, my absolutely smarter-than-me friend Rebecca just clarified that for me recently. Semi-colons? Still struggling with them. I have then and than down to a science, but affect and effect still bug me, even when I remind myself one is a noun and one is a verb. These are apparently just blocked for me.

Let’s not even discuss my spelling! Oy!  It’s just about as bad as my math. And don’t ask me to add more than two plus two. Honestly, God invented the adding machine for a reason. Spellcheck, too, for that matter. And if you ever converse with me in IM, get ready to do some translating. For one, I have this odd habit of “dumbing down” and doing silly things like typing double negatives and ain’t every three words. And my typing is — unique. My friends have told me I IM in Cate-onese. Luckily, they can read it.

As for the folks that call me the walking dictionary, I think they’d be shocked if they read an IM from me. Emails, too. Perhaps it’s better if I just speak to these folks. Then they might miss the fact that my knowledge has some interesting weaknesses. You can feel sorry for my kids, though. They’re constantly getting lectures on proper English. And they’re picking it up. They, too, use $50 words on a regular basis. My poor husband.

So in the interest of interaction, what’s your deal? Are you one of those usefull people who I can take to a sale to figure out exactly how much 33% off is? (Heh. How’s that for sentence structure!)  Can you clarify the semi-colon, or just know all the lyrics to every REM song ever recorded? Whatever it is, share your quirk!

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