March 2012

Puppy Love

March 21, 2012

Few living things have ever touched my (dark) heart like my puppy, Penny Lane.

She is one of the sweetest creatures I have ever encountered.

Somebody found her wandering the streets of Los Angeles. Thinking about that – hurts. I wish I knew how she wound up alone. I wonder if something happened to her owner OR if someone was actually cruel enough to desert our beautiful dog…who doesn’t bark or bite or scratch or dig holes or chew shoes. She just wants to be loved. How could you possibly desert a dog like that?

Regardless of how she was abandoned, the important thing is, Homeward Bound, an AMAZING Golden Retriever Rescue and Sanctuary in Sacramento saved Penny Lane. They drove to Southern California and picked her up. They brought her back to their Sanctuary and placed her in the capable hands of one of their many foster volunteers.

We really weren’t sure if we were going to bring home a dog when we first visited the Homeward Bound Sanctuary. But after we witnessed the work they do in our community and saw all of the dogs that were there – in need of homes – we knew we had no choice, we had to adopt one. We wanted to be considerate of The Fridge and Miss Red Pants (who are sort of temperamental) so we tried to find a dog that wasn’t as much of a pain in the a$$ as the two of them (pictured below).

my happy tails kitties

We ended up with a seriously overweight senior Golden Retriever.

Penny Lane was nine or ten years old when we adopted her. She’s about 14 now.

She has really bad breath.

Sometimes we have to help her up off the hard wood floors (her hips fail her all the time).

She’s lost almost all of her hearing. The look on her face when you have to startle her awake (by touching her) is heartbreaking.

She somehow manages to sit wherever you want to put your feet or on whatever cord you need to plug in.

She’s getting pretty stubborn in her old age (although I can’t say I blame her).

I’m convinced she was neglected or mistreated. She was severely overweight when we adopted her (by at least 30lbs – which probably didn’t help her hips) and she gets really upset when voices are raised. She got in trouble for eating cat litter (because that is disgusting) and I almost died when I saw her react to getting in trouble. Also heartbreaking.

We have routine fatty cyst scares.

She hardly ever sleeps through the night.

Her nose runs. All the time. And then she wipes her wet nose on you with the sweetest smile on her face. You almost forget it’s snot.

Our walks are getting shorter. Faster. We barely make it around the shortest block in our neighborhood before she just stops walking all together.

And…she never barks. She only growls when she walks alone, with me. And the other dog has to growl first. It’s actually how I figured out she was going deaf. She didn’t hear the other dog run up on us. I cried. Not because I was scared. Because I knew she couldn’t hear. Anymore.

She doesn’t like when babies cry. Sometimes she’ll just sit down next to them and let them pull her hair or slap her around a little bit. Until they stop crying.

She always knows when you don’t feel good. And she won’t leave your side until you feel better.

I swear she can wink.

She has the sweetest eyes. They make you want to give her whatever she wants…even when Bob tells you not to.

Penny Lane pushes her ears forward when she’s excited, when she thinks you are going to feed her or when she knows Bob is about to walk through the front door. She hearts her dad. She has since the moment she met him. It really was love at first sight/belly rub.

She buries her head in my lap for hugs in a way that makes my eyes water. Almost every time.

She lets the cats @#$% with her. Those lucky little bastards will never really know what it’s like to have a dog in the house – because our dog is dreamy. She has never disrupted their charmed lives. Not even once.

I could go on about Penny Lane. But you get the point. I’m crazy about her.

Sometimes I think about the fact that our time left with Penny Lane is probably limited. And I honestly don’t know if I could ever have another dog. I think, when Penny Lane goes, it will leave an overwhelming hole in my heart. I get nauseous thinking about our world without her in it.

But if we had to do it all over again. If we had to choose between a young pup and our sweet, old girl. I would take her every time. I would take her and I would try to give her the best damn years of her life. Adopting and loving Penny Lane (and the kitties) has softened my cold, cold heart in ways I never thought it could or would be soft.

Now I must wipe my own snot nose. Geez.

Homeward Bound Golden Retriever



The Blind Side

March 8, 2012

Before I potentially agitate every loving mother on the planet (including my own), I want to be clear about three things…

  1. There really are people in this world who do not want children of their own. I know, because I’m one of them.
  2. Just because I don’t want children of my own doesn’t mean I don’t like children. My friends/family have given birth to some of the most intelligent, most beautiful, most hysterical kiddos I have ever encountered. Sometimes I am even charmed by random children. I just don’t want my own children. And I don’t want you to try and convince me that I actually really do. I actually really don’t.
  3. Not wanting children has nothing to do with me thinking I would be a good or a bad mother. I don’t think I would be a bad mother. I have the best mother. And I have amazing bangs. What more does a girl need? I just don’t want to pop little blunt-banged brats (much like myself) out of my urethra (that’s where babies come from, right?).

On to the inspiration for this post and the meat/bones of this @#$%&…

While feeling a little saddened by my recent bout of writer’s block, one of my baby-toting gal pals suggested I blog about my aversion to having children. She’s brilliant. I’m so well versed in the topic and so currently angry at my kidneys…the words just started to flow…like the water I wish I drank…to prevent anguish over kidney dehydration – which made me think of bladders – then babies – you get the point.

I’m sort of in love with lists right now. And they’re really helping with the writer’s block. So I made a list of some of the reasons (there just isn’t enough space or time to list them ALL) why babies are not in my future. Try not to take me too seriously – I really do like children (for the most part).

Some of the reasons why I’m never having children and the one circumstance under which I would…

  1. Frozen breast milk. I don’t really feel like I need to elaborate on this, but I will. Knowing that some of you actually have frozen breast milk in your freezer at this very moment makes me want to vomit (thank you for teaching me all about this Lesley Miller). I know you can save lives with frozen breast milk. I get it. But I will never pump, bottle, bag or freeze any fluids for another human being. That is gross. What if someone thought it was pasta sauce? I bet it looks identical to something you could get at Trader Joe’s. Seriously. That is gross.
  2. Giving birth sounds like the least amazing thing on this planet. I know you all say it’s a miracle but really…you call having something that large being squeezed out of a space that small a miracle? You call tearing a miracle? Yeah. Tearing. I’ve heard ALL about that. Who knew you could tear more than one way. WTF. NO THANK YOU.
  3. I like to sleep.
  4. I like to drink wine. More than one glass. And I don’t know how you can adequately mother your children with a hangover (kudos to those of you that do, I’ve seen you in action and it’s impressive). If I never have children, I never have to worry about it. I can just sleep it off, get some coffee, then brunch, then a mimosa and go on with my day…without worrying about who is watching Dora and who had their bath. Let’s be honest. I’ll probably be the one watching Dora (and in need of a bath).
  5. I like to spend money. On myself.
  6. There is something about the sound of a child throwing a fit that gives me anxiety. I realize they can’t always help it – but – I think an easy way to avoid having anxiety would be to avoid having children. Common. Sense.
  7. When I think about my future, I never see children. Ever. So why mess with my own vision of perfection? (I use the word perfection loosely. I’m still not entirely sure what I’m going to be when I grow up.)
  8. I’m convinced a large part of the rest of my life is going to be spent in planes, hotels, cars (with drivers) and theaters (I’m going to be a star). I don’t want to be a mother and chase my dreams. I just want to chase my dreams. And my dream is not to be a mother. But I’ll love my dreams like you love your baby. Make sense?
  9. Frozen breast milk. I had to throw this one in again. And I want to add breast pumps…for good measure. Gross.
  10. When I see your pregnancy photos on Facebook (there are way too many to name), I feel nothing. I literally feel nothing. It looks miserable. You just look wine, cheese and sushi deprived to me. This tells me something maternal inside me is dead. And I think I should just embrace it – instead of having babies anyway and then resenting them for ruining my awesome, impulsive ways.
  11. I am not a morning person.
  12. When kids kick the back of my seat on airplanes, I want to physically hurt them. I want to pull their little kid hair or twist their little kid ankles. I don’t. But I want to. This urge frightens me. It makes me never want to be in charge of a little person that might send someone like me over the edge.
  13. Kids tell the truth. And as adults, we have the option to be honest with ourselves, or not. I would rather have the option to pay a therapist for the truth than to live with a little gnome that’s just going to uncontrollably spew it at me.
  14. My pets are totally dysfunctional. I’m confident my child would be certifiably insane.
  15. My hormones are already in control of me. NOBODY wants to see me pregnant. I’d probably destroy a region, over macaroni and cheese. Or peanut butter.
  16. I’d like to spend more time in Las Vegas. If I had children, their college funds would surely end up on a craps table.
  17. I don’t need any more reasons to overeat. Thanks.
  18. I like alone time. So…where do you put the baby when you want to go to Nordstrom? Where do you put the baby when you want to get a pedicure? Where do you put the baby when you just don’t want to play with it anymore? Where do you put the baby when it won’t stop crying? Where do you put the baby on Sunday Funday? Is there some sort of safe house for these situations? I just don’t feel like someone should have a baby if they have to ask themselves these questions. Right? I feel like I’m actually being responsible here.
  19. I don’t like to share. With anyone. Not even children.
  20. And…the ONLY way I am ever having a child is if I find myself an exceptional, teenage linebacker that really needs me to help tutor him through high school and then assist him in getting a full ride to a great college from where he will then be drafted into the NFL. That, my friends, is the ONLY way this family is going to grow. I shall wave from the 50-yard line. Notice, I still avoided frozen breast milk and giving birth. BAM.

Last…but definitely not least; I have included a photo of me, and a child.

Meet Payton. I heart her. And I heart all of our self portraits. But I especially love this one. It looks like she really, really likes me.

cute baby smiling at Natalie Daily