Saturday, October 11, 2014

Weekend. Things. Stuff.

October is proving to be a hectic, crowded month. I am grateful indeed for my new housewifely status. It's always been the dream, the goal, the bar to be reached and while I may not have a routine down, or have a spiffing spotless house to prove it, I don't miss feeling like I'm worthless and wasting my life away forty hour weeks at a time.
Not to mention since being shooed out the door, I've gotten a wonderful, steady harp gig that I'm thoroughly enjoying; added gigs on top of that gig (seriously Taylor you may as well be my manager); and playing more piano in the accompanying world. Feels good and right.

In any case, yesterday Mark took work off and we packed up our truck to head up into the mountains with our crazy puppies and some good friends for a tiny baby camping trip. Mor'du still seems unsure of moving vehicles but he was pro-status after a quick nap on Mommy's lap. And Odin was just content to rest his head on Mommy's nice clean pillow laying on the console between Mom and Dad. Yummy.

We found a secluded and beautiful little campsite just off the beaten path and immediately set off for an unexpectedly adventurous hike up the mountain.
Due to the unexpected nature of the hike, my phone was not with me (nor were my sturdy hiking boots) so I did not get any pictures from the event. Although I might not have had much opportunity anyway considering after we reached the most accessible crest of the hill we were hiking on it started pouring rain. Mor'du was having the time of his life, bounding around and skidding through the damp leaves and debris, but Odin was less than amused. His abiding fear of thunder and disdain for being wet and his unfortunately high center of gravity was making this steep incline of earth NOT his favorite place to be. But he was such a trooper. He refused to be left behind and plowed on like the rest of us.
Considering the rain, we were beginning to worry for our chances of being able to get a fire going, but the resident Eagle Scouts did not disappoint!

The coals were white hot and the flames never faltered as we fed it more and more slightly soggy wood. Which was a blessing since it was our only plan for dinner and dessert.

However, the entire trip was saved by the fortuitous inclusion of a pop up canopy in the packing list of Allie and Alex. It might have been a right flop of an outing if we hadn't had that shelter. The rain, blessedly fine and misty for the most part, slogged on for the better part of the evening. Including a comforting rainbow hovering right over our corner of woods.

The scenery was, of course, a beauty to behold.

Odin and Mor'du spent the dwindling moments of sunlight scurrying around the general vicinity, always bounding right back to camp when we called. We have been so blessed with those well-mannered pups.

"Nope, sorry Mom. Can't stop for a picture, too many smells to smell."

We had dutch oven cornbread and chili for dinner, followed by a scrumptious dutch oven peach cobbler for dessert and by the end of the feasting I was the only one that could stomach even the idea of roasting a marshmallow. Perhaps because I had greedily bought the humongous sized marshmallows (90 calories a pop!) and even that I didn't finish.
But I did end up with a demon on a stick.


We toyed with the fire, sat around joking and laughing, and played about half a card game before it was finally declared bedtime. My phone had since died which was unfortunate because Mor'du and Odin's sleeping arrangements were mighty adorable.
The sky had cleared just in time for some glorious stargazing before the enthusiastically bright moon began peeking over the treetops and there was much butting of heads over whether a constellation was the big dipper or casseopeia (it was totes casseopeia, btw).

The morning was cold and dewy, but beautiful nonetheless. The dogs were happy to go on a sprightly walk down the trail (I myself was much more sluggish than sprightly) and they were kind enough to routinely sit and wait for me to catch up before bounding ahead of me again.

It was wonderful and I'm amazed with how well it went. Things worked out and nobody got hurt or lost and we all had fun. As I said to Mark, "if it had to rain, it was the perfect rain."

Monday, October 6, 2014

The First Eulogy

Puppies should never die. And when they do die, it should be of old age and in their sleep. Let's just make that statement for animals in general. Humans. Everyone!
I'm having a hard time picking an emotion.
One minute I'm solemn and straightforward and glad that Misha, my parent's old Yorkshire Terrier, is off in heaven with fully restored eyesight, hearing, and a nice shiny coat of hair. The next I'm making inappropriate jokes about how I'm sad that he didn't get a chance to meet Odin or Mor'du but the shock of that meeting really might've killed him anyway.
Though I guess that would be better than drowning.
And then I'm stuck in tears thinking about my poor parents having to find him that way. My dad sent out an email Sunday morning to close friends and family, those who knew Misha and his effect on our family. He'd been with us for over 14 years and during those 14 years was never very far from my Mom's side. If she was at home, he was attached to her. I immediately called my mom's cell and my heart broke when her shaky voice answered. She put me on with my dad and he started out with much bravado and claims of how much trouble and time and effort Misha was and how they didn't want another dog but it wasn't long before he broke down as well.
It's been a long time since I heard my father cry like that.
My mom kept repeating that really, they were okay, and she's just so grateful for the example of pure love that Misha was and how much he taught her. He was a very special dog to our family. The one and only dog we've ever had.
I can easily remember the adorable way he used to pick up his plastic food plate (nicked from a toy tea set I had because he was that small as a pup) and bring it to the dinner table when we as a family sat down to eat a meal.
The bizarre and crazed look he had when he came inside from a strenuous gallop through the snow banks in our frozen backyard in Utah, with weird packed balls of snow caked into his fur.
His never ending testosterone war with the neighbor's huge, black lab. Talk about a Napoleon Complex.
His woobie.
His tuft of Elvis hair that swooped over his eyes in different shapes as we played tug of war when he tossed his head back and forth.
The hilarious way his tiny feet would scramble furiously, and ineffectively, over the wooden floor as he tried to chase the cats through the house.
And of course, the funny way he waddled with his diaper on, bald leathery skin sagging, and graying hair sticking out in crazy angles as he suddenly became so old in his last days. It's strange how love really does overcome appearances.
He deserved a wonderful, peaceful death and it honestly just breaks my heart and brings me to tears that he had to leave suffering.
Dogs are special. Pets are special. They're just genuinely special creatures and it's terrible when they have to go, regardless of how they go. I'm grateful I have my own furbabes to hold extra tight to for this transition period.
I'm not sure how to finish this post. I don't think I want to.
How do you end something that is an end itself?
Puppies should never die.