Well, here I am at my kitchen table. No dog. When I go for a walk, no dog. Get in my car? NO DOG!! Have you ever seen Disney’s, “The Kid?” If you haven’t, you really should. It is one of my top two favorite movies of all time. It is about this man, Bruce Willis, that is 40 and a total jerk. He is a rich, selfish, business man with no time for anyone or anything of meaning. So, he runs into this kid that is actually him when he was 8 or something. It takes them both a while to figure out that they are each other. I am not spoiling the movie by telling you this as it happens early on.
Anyway, when the little boy realizes that he grows up to be a jerk he yells, “I grow up to be a guy with NO DOG??? I’m a LOSER!” I have seen this movie about five times and that part just cracks me up. I totally agree with it. I’m sorry if you don’t have a dog that now you have to know what I think. I have told Ben before that I kinda find people with no pets really pretty strange. It’s ok, strange is ok, but why would you not want to pet something and have it just think you are the bomb no matter what you do? My Kando really caused me a lot of extra cleaning as Labradors shed like mad. She was super expensive as she had to have two kinds of medicine every single day, special chow etc. She also ate stupid things which required so many trips to the emergency room. She was expensive and high maintenance, just like me. Man, I miss my dog. The loneliest time is when we come home. No one there to greet us with a tail wagging like crazy. No one dropping a giant stuffed pig at our feet. I am a woman with NO DOG, a LOSER!!!
I am going to try to wait one year before getting another one. That way we can go see my Dad, travel, etc. without worrying so much about hiring someone to stay here. The cats don’t care. I love them, but they don’t really need us so much. What a lie that is. Joe would be lost without me. In fact, if I get hit by a bus, please someone watch over Joe. Ben will set him free on the canal, I am sure of it. I have told him that I will haunt him so badly. I will and I will never stop. I also told him if he marries some young blonde I will do the same. I will haunt her worse. Anyway, I think the thing about Labradors is they get it, most of them anyhow. They get that it is all about love. They are instant forgivers, ever loving, ever faithful, and not ever hateful. Kando got to know everything about me. I did not have to tell her how I was feeling, mentally or physically. She just knew. She sensed it. I think us humans don’t listen to our senses very well. I get gut feelings about things and try to listen. So, waiting one year is going to be tough for me. I go on the Foothills Animal Shelter website every three days or so. Just checking! Ben told me to quit doing that and I told him not to tell me what to do. Poor Ben. I know I can be, ummmmm, a challenge. Laura and I are high spirited. That is not the same as bad. High spirited.
I grew up with a Labrador named Bonnie. She was my Dad’s baby. She followed him everywhere. She was a chubber as for each bite dad took, he gave her two. Dad and Bonnie and I would go downstairs on Saturday afternoons and watch John Wayne. I remember Dad eating sardines on crackers with ketchup on them as he sat in the chair watching westerns with his youngest child. It stunk so bad. I didn’t care because my Dad hung the moon and still does. I love my husband an infinite amount, but would now require all sardine eating to be done on the deck or when I am absent. Ewwwww. How I loved those afternoons with my Dad. It wouldn’t be long and he’d be asleep in the chair. His head would fall back and he snored like a hog. The funny thing is that if anyone turned the TV off, he would wake up and say, “Hey, I was watching that.” Too funny. I still love westerns and John Wayne was the king man. My love for animals began very early. I remember watching those shootout scenes where people are getting shot right and left. They are falling off their horses dead. If the HORSE fell over, I would cry. I wonder if there is just something wrong with me. In my mind it is still sad because the people are actors and chose to do the scenes. The horses would rather be anywhere else, I am sure. Why should they have to fall down like that? It must hurt. See, something wrong with me. I could watch old John Wayne bite down on a stick after taking a shot of whiskey, someone digging a bullet out of his leg with a pocket knife or whatever. Fine. Horse falls over? Tears. Guess I am twisted.
My very favorite movie of all time is “Tombstone.” Ben and I have watched it so many times. He quotes it often and can sound just like Doc Holiday. Sam Elliott plays one of Wyatt Earp’s brothers, Virgil. Sam has been a crush of mine for many decades. He is in so many westerns and that voice is the BEST. In one scene he gets shot in the shoulder. He falls to the ground and his wife rushes over to him, kneels down, and is bawling and carrying on. He says, “It’s ok, darlin’, I’ve still got one good arm to hold you with.” Oh Lord, what a line! Lawdy, Lawdy. That silver handlebar mustache, those boots, he’s bleeding through his shirt…It just kills me every time. Sam Elliot is a close second to John Wayne.
When I first got sick with MS I was really in bad shape. The first two years I was in and out of the hospital pretty regularly. The very first time it was really bad. I couldn’t walk. Laura was about six months old. I was in the hospital for over a week and was tortured by being away from my kids. Ben’s boss at that time came to see me. As it turned out, Sam Elliott is her cousin. Are you kidding me right now? I didn’t believe her for several minutes. She was just messin with me. Well, nope, it was real. Sam is really her cousin. She called him on the phone. I was telling her, begging her, NOT to do that. She wanted me to talk to him. Absolutely not!! That would ruin everything. You see, to me, he was the guy in the movies. “Darlin’, I still have one good arm to hold you with.” “Beef, it’s what’s for dinner.” (yes, he did those commercials too!) I can’t explain it, but I just really didn’t want to talk to him and so I didn’t. She had him right there on the phone. Stop it, stop it, stop it!!! You’re killin me here, you’re really killin me. I folded my arms and shook my head no. No way. I did not talk to him. A few weeks later he sent me an autographed picture in the mail. His note was so nice and said, “sending healing light to you.”, or something like that. He was wearing a green collared shirt and his hair was combed back. Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo. I want him to be in a cowboy hat on a horse, all tattered up from wrangling around. It was so nice of him to send me the picture and to call. I am glad to know he is a nice person. Ugh. Way to ruin my life.
So, here I am. I started this blog on March 3. Today is April 9. Life happened. Things got crazy and as I pulled up this file today, I had kind of forgotten I had written it. I think I felt it lacked focus. Well, kids, that is my reality. Sometimes you gotta lack focus and just go for it anyway. We have had the majority of our upstairs painted and it has caused this disaster effect on everything. I had to take everything down off the walls and shelves. All the furniture was moved to the center of the rooms and covered with plastic. The cats were bananas. I was afraid Bella would get out and Joe was on the warpath, so I had to shut them downstairs each morning. It is strange when someone is working in your house. You kinda don’t know what to do with yourself. Is it okay to leave? Do I stay upstairs? There is nothing to do upstairs because there is nowhere to BE and not be in the way. Our basement is the death of me. Not because of the stairs. One would make that logical conclusion when I make that statement. It is because I hate clutter. The rec room, Ben’s home office, and the laundry room are down there. All of that is recipe for me to have a fit. So, I was locked down in the dungeon with the cats for almost two weeks. Then, when they were done, the upstairs was beautiful….but a beautiful disaster. I over did it. I about killed myself getting things put back together. I caused myself to really crash. How stupid. It still isn’t really back together, but I’m trying not to miss the forest for the trees, or whatever that saying is. The house is here, it will be here. I don’t have a time frame in which I have to complete things. My kitchen is cookable, which isn’t really a gift. I no longer have a valid excuse for not fixing food.
I decided this was the perfect time to go see my Dad. He was lonely. I was lonely for him. So, off I went. I spent almost a week with my Dad. It was heaven. My Dad is about a month from being 92 and sleeps a lot. Fine by me. We would get up and go eat breakfast. I love oatmeal and love it more when someone else makes it for me. Poof, there it is in front of me with little dishes of raisins and brown sugar beside it. My Dad is next to me with his poached eggs. Then swoop, they come take the dishes away. Back in the apartment, we would visit a little and he’d nod off in his chair. I read a lot. I napped a lot, so much so that I would not sleep well at night. A person cannot complain too much about that dilemma! I just soaked up as much of Dad as I could. I would take him on any little errands he needed to run. Mostly though, we just hung out. Since losing Mom, I now understand the bigger picture a bit more. Life really isn’t about what you do every single day…..it isn’t about if all of the stinking mismatched socks are still sitting down in the laundry room, or Ben’s stacks of who knows what in his office, or if you are a famous actor like Sam Elliott or just little old me. Whether you have a dog or not (but why wouldn’t you?), life is about the interactions with each other that we have. To me it is about how we can make each other’s lives better while filling whatever sense of purpose we are driven to. Sometimes I get bogged down and muddied just like everyone else does. I get so very, very muddied. Sometimes the other stuff seems to matter. Being with Dad helped me remember that when it is all said and done, nothing is as important as each other. At the end of every phone call my dad says, “Take care of each other now.” What a great thing to say. I say, “We will.” It’s just all about taking care of each other.
So, as I sign off, I have my dog at my feet. In fact, she is so close to me that I had to pull my feet back under the chair. No, I didn’t wait a year. I have a gorgeous red dog at my feet. She is mostly Golden Retriever, a virtual Labrador with longer wavy fur and the same personality. She is 2 ½ years old and her name is Mabel. Her former family named her Maple, but we feel she is more a Mabel than Maple. Joe has had one heck of a month. First he is locked in the basement, now another stupid dog. What I have learned is that life is just too short to not have a dog. Take care of each other.