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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in dr_brat's LiveJournal:

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    Monday, January 6th, 2014
    9:31 pm
    The meeting
    I entered the crepe place and slid along the wall towards the counter, scanning the crowd for my date. I was running a little late and assumed he would already be there. But I saw no one who matched the pictures I had seen on OKC or on his professional site. And then I saw a man sitting alone. He looked neither as young as the OKC pics, nor as together as the website pic, but definitely like a 50-something academic, so I headed towards him. The look of pleased recognition that crossed his face as I approached told me that this was indeed my date and that my pictures were perhaps more accurate than his.

    He rose to greet me with a hug as I approached. That put me off a little. I don't like to be touched by strangers, but did not know how to deflect his greeting, so I accepted it as quickly as I could. He asked if he could get me something and my instinct was to refuse, to say I would get my own; but I glanced at the pot of tea on the table, murmured that I would also have tea, and sat as he went off to get it. There a followed comedy of errors as I sought sugar, spilled my tea, allowed him to get napkins, and returned the sugar to the counter. Oy. But then we were settled, ready to talk to each other.

    I don't remember how we started the conversation, just that it progressed easily. That it was interesting to me to watch his personality develop as our conversation both broadened and deepened. I could see all three of the pictures I had seen in his features as he spoke. The animation that lit up his face as he spoke of his current career endeavors was transformational. He spoke warmly of his children, quietly about his ex-wife and divorce, with compassion about an ex-girlfriend. I found myself telling him stories I had not intended to tell, pleased and comforted by his lack of judgement. His eye-contact was intense, so much so, that I found myself breaking eye-contact with him frequently, to avoid the intensity. And yet, we continued to talk.

    He asked if I had eaten, shared the menu with me, and then went off to place and pay for our order. And again, part of me wanted to take care of myself, resisted letting him buy my lunch, even as I knew that he wanted to and that I should let him. He went to put more money in his meter, and still we talked. He started touching my hands, flirting with me, clearly pleased by my company and I found myself wondering at this man who had taken such a quick liking to me. He said that he had been happy over the last few days, anticipating meeting me and I wanted to ask him why, but smiled and nodded instead. He said that his meter was about to run out again, and that perhaps we could find someplace quiet to go and kiss?

    I found myself agreeing and we walked out into the cold of a Somerville evening and the back streets around Davis Square, to stand on a street corner as the cars passed by, making out like a couple of teenagers. Later, in his car at Alewife, I found myself throwing him curve-balls, purposely trying to put him off balance. "What am I going to do about all the other men I'm seeing?" I said, teasingly asking a question that had been the kiss of death for many an interchange. "Keep seeing them," he said, "you have your life and I have no interest in stepping on that. It is what makes you who you are." And we talked. We talked until I said "dog bladders!" and he let me go, knowing that he would follow me home.
    Thursday, September 13th, 2012
    12:02 pm
    Giggly and silly
    because P. is coming down tonight and we're going to the farmers' market and then going to cook together and walk the dogs and talk and talk. He sent me a long email yesterday and we've processed some of it and agreed to process other parts of it tonight. He's actually far more interested in seeing where this can go than I had thought he was. I'm both pleased and nervous.
    Friday, September 7th, 2012
    1:15 pm
    That explosive personality - LOL!
    So, last Monday when I was leaving P., I suggested that he come to Salem some time this weekend to see Magic Mike with me and then hang out. He said that he didn't want to be presumptuous, but if he came could he sleep on the couch, and I said that would not be a problem. So I sent him the show schedule and he let me know that Saturday was too busy for him, but he hoped he could come on Sunday. Said he'd let me know on Wednesday. Wednesday, he still didn't know because apparently there had been some sort of drama with his ex about how unavailable he'd been last weekend.

    This morning, I texted him, saying that I would like to know about Sunday, so that I could make other plans if I was not going to see him. He called to say that he didn't think Sunday would work. His daughters have soccer games, one of them wants him to take her driving, and besides, the ex is still having a fit about the weekend. Since I am tied up next weekend, could we perhaps plan on Thursday evening and he'll come to me, if everything works out and the ex has calmed down. I agreed. And then I took a deep breath and I said "listen, I know your daughters come first, but I really don't want to take a second seat to your ex's drama. Either you can make time to see me or you can't." And he said "I understand."

    About an hour later I got a text: "Well said this morning. smile and shine today."

    I'm really very proud of myself. But we'll still have to see if he can get out from under the drama thing.
    Tuesday, August 21st, 2012
    7:15 pm
    Personal Ads
    Was trolling Plenty of Fish and came across a man whose wish list looks like this:

    "You are someone with whom I can think and talk about the world.
    You are at least reasonably pleased with yourself, if not outright delighted with who you are.
    You want to develop a committed, vibrant, long-term, monogamous, and fun relationship. And friendship.
    You are politically and socially alert, and spiritually generous.
    You find laughter and joy easily. I want to laugh a lot with my partner.
    You are responsive AND proactive. I too have feet and I fancy the idea of being swept off of them, and I am also quite skilled with a broom myself.
    You don't smoke, are no fan of illegal drugs, and are not in love with your television.
    You are curious, brave, smart, warm, playful, spirited, sensuous, powerful...and Very Much Alive."

    I so want to be that woman and I so want to be with a man who wants to be with that woman. And yes, I answered that ad.
    Thursday, August 16th, 2012
    12:16 pm
    The bottom line
    So I'm still spinning the George thing. Having trouble being alone, although I am trying to ride that out. Had a lovely dinner with friends last night, so I am glad that I made the effort to ask if I could be included. Anyway, I am only half functional today after a storm last night that threw all three dogs into my bed (my two and a visitor), but as I dropped the boys at daycare I was thinking "Who just packs up and walks out after eight months with no negotiation, no warning, just 'I'm done' and there's nothing to be done?" And of course the answer is "someone who was going to leave anyway." Duh. I am trying so hard to see that this was not about me except in so far as I failed to protect myself, failed to recognize his personality flaws and unsuitability in the first place, but I am really having trouble with it.

    As I was writing this just now, at work, a colleague stopped in to see me because he had seen my car in the parking lot (they like me! They do like me!) and I ended up dumping this on him and he said "are you seeing a therapist?" "May I recommend one?" And he just called me with the number. Off I go to make an appointment.
    Friday, August 10th, 2012
    5:44 pm
    thinking about
    stages and processes and the weird twists and turns that life takes. I've been having trouble being alone in the house lately, which is such a weird turn of events. When DWH first died, it was not so much hard for me to be here alone as it was for me to come home to nobody. I really liked it when J. was here her two nights a week, even though she tends to lock herself into her work in her bedroom. It was just nice to have another presence in the house. So I'm looking forward to her return and to the return of the semester. I like the rhythm of having work to do, especially work that has specific deadlines. While I also like having open ended work, I am not as good about doing it. This coming semester, I will have a second roommate as well, and I am looking forward to that.

    What's weird is that when George was here, I came to resent it if he were here too much and to really like it when he was gone. I always looked forward to his coming back, but I liked the alone time, partially because he tended to be restless and critical and I found that psychically wearing. In fact, that last night I saw him, I had been sitting here in my chair in front of my window (with my water view), reading a novel and enjoying the empty house with my beasts when he showed up. Somehow, his leaving and the way that he left disrupted my enjoyment of being alone. I find myself thrown back into that panic I felt after losing DWH, that feeling that I will never find someone else and that my life will somehow be poorer for not having a male companion. Intellectually, I find that abhorrent, but my gut indulges in that feeling on a regular basis. Eh.

    One of the issues that George and I had was that he kept trying to fix my life for me and I kept resisting. I have a great life and it struck me as ludicrous that someone who is as incapable of arranging his own affairs as he is would presume to tell me how to life. I often felt myself feeling as I did the night that he declared that he would never have rented my apartment from me (because it wasn't up to his standards) and it was all I could do to keep from blurting out how ironic that was coming from a homeless man who was accepting (abusing, in fact) my hospitality in an equivalent apartment. I came to really resent his judgments of me and to judge him in return and it was hard not to be harsh with him because of it.

    I have trouble fathoming why I miss him, in fact, since we did squabble a lot and since he did tend to ignore my stated preferences (that he not live here, that he not spend so much time here, that he not watch so much tv, that he get dressed (so it would be ok when people came by, which they do) instead of sitting around in his robe all day). Never once did he take responsibility for an argument. They were somehow always my fault, even his being here from February through April was my fault - I "seemed to want him here every night and why should he pay rent somewhere if he were always sleeping here?"

    It's almost like I'm going through withdrawal from a bad drug. From a drug that I no longer wish to use and yet feel almost compelled to search out. Good thing my supply got cut off, I guess. I'm heading into a rare unscheduled weekend and the weather is supposed to be awful, so I am planning on just staying home with the dogs (my two and a guest) and reading and perhaps watching a movie or two and trying to find some more of the flat surfaces that I know exist in this house. I have piles to sort through and a guest room to clean out. I need to count ribbons for the October's agility trial and order more. I have research to do and a promotion narrative to write and I am looking forward spending the next two and a half days doing these things in rotation as the spirit moves me. And perhaps it will be good.
    Wednesday, August 1st, 2012
    9:09 pm
    More Processing
    So, I joined a new free dating site yesterday - Plenty of Fish. They have a series of tests they ask people to take that they then use to create a chemistry profile and a relationship needs profile. I was fascinated by mine and I thought about how George had been fascinated by the process on OKCupid. So I sent it to him. He answered that he had been on POF before he got on OKCupid and could not figure out how they actually used to profiles to create matches. So I wandered off to see if I could find him on POF. Absolutely eye-opening: Read more...Collapse )
    Tuesday, July 31st, 2012
    6:45 pm
    Thursday I drove to Albany to spend the afternoon and evening with lorres. Friday, I drove on to Niagara on the Lake to take in plays with a Witful Turnip. Then Monday, I drove all the way back (stopping in Albany for dinner again). I found that I spent a lot of my time in the car with the radio and book on CD turned off, just thinking. I miss George. I miss him a lot. But I realize that much of what I miss is the physical relationship I had with him and the potential I saw in him for so much more than he actually gave me emotionally. I thought about our fights (not one of which was actually about anything that mattered) and how they seemed to devolve into power struggles where, if he could not get me to budge, he would gather up his things and storm off (I guess that's one way to "win"). And I thought about the picture he presented to me of myself and how different that picture is from how I see myself or how my friends seem to see me. I've been having a terrible time reconciling what he said to me with what I feel/know to be how I am in the world. And all I could figure is that this is a man with such low self-esteem that my failure to pay him more attention came across as an attack on him. He interpreted my neutral quiet as anger. He accused me of "having a fit every time I interrupt you on the computer." I know that is not true. I'm too used to having been interrupted by DWH and being interrupted at work. I don't have a fit. But perhaps he just felt tentative enough about interrupting me that he anticipated a fit and made it so in his own head? I don't know.

    As the Turnip said - it's not about me. It certainly feels as though it is about me, though. Intellectually, I am processed enough to have told a friend that I want what I cannot have - I want him to be emotionally mature enough and secure enough to confront me as I am and be my partner. Part of me thinks that can happen and the rest of me knows it can't. And I can see those of you who know him shaking your heads at my folly. I am getting there, but it is hard. I keep having to remind myself of what my roommate pointed out after our first major fight and the again today when I saw her: he never took my wants and needs (even when I stated them clearly) into consideration. And even though I could not be sweet as he wanted me to be, I was unfailingly kind and he was unable to see or appreciate my kindness because it was not wrapped in the sweetness he craved. Sucks it does.
    Wednesday, July 25th, 2012
    7:15 pm
    Sunday, November 6th, 2011
    10:16 am
    Three Card Spread
    Judgement, Death reversed, Temperance

    Yeah, I have stuff to process, quite clearly. Huh.
    Sunday, May 29th, 2011
    4:42 pm
    I feel as though I've mostly been drifting this past year. And I've pretty much allowed that - it was comfortable to drift, to allow others to make decisions for me, to take care of friends who needed it and to allow them to take care of me. But it's starting to be time to recreate my own life. David was so much my anchor, that I've really not known what to do without him, but clearly, I need to decide. Some things I decided without deciding, functioning on gut. I know I won't leave this house. In fact, I'm about to put $130,000 into it. I meet with the architect and the planner this week to go over final plans for a bathroom on the third floor and a complete overhaul of my kitchen. I'm spending more than I will get back in terms of increased value in the house, but since I'm not planning on going anywhere, I don't care. I'm turning this into the space that I want to live and entertain in. The bathroom will have both a soaking tub and a stall shower. I'll be installing heat on the third floor, finally and more importantly, air conditioning. The kitchen will be completely redone, including taking out the current pantries and the chimney to make more room. And there will be decks off both the second and third floors. The third floor deck will have a hot tub on it. I just wish I had the view out the back that I have out the front. But that's ok. This time next year, I could be sitting on my deck typing instead of in my living room.

    So the house is part of it. But there's so much more to figure out. Time to resurrect a research agenda. Time to commit to training this puppy (who is 13 months old!). Time to figure out what I really want to be when I grow up. I know that I am already part of what I want to be: I am a teacher who cares about my students and who makes a difference in their lives. I am a friend who is willing to share my resources with those who need them. But I want to be more. I just don't know what yet. And I want to travel, I'm just not sure how or where or for how long. Not too long, clearly, since I'm making myself such an appealing nest.

    I want to ride a bicycle down Haleakala at sunset. I've wanted that for 15 years. I think that it will be my 50th birthday present to myself.
    Thursday, July 15th, 2010
    11:59 pm
    Did I remember to mention
    that I started grief therapy yesterday and the floodgates have opened and I'm all weepy alla time and it sucks and I hate it? But better now than in September.
    4:18 pm
    Continuing Catching Up
    (It's been more than a month, but I still want to get some of this down).

    We were awake and it was only 5am, so I couldn't make the phone calls I needed to make. I don't even remember what we did. Made tea to drink, and Nadia drove me to campus so I could grab my laptop before anyone got there. I called DWH's sister around 6am. That was definitely the hardest call of the day, but somehow, I don't think she was really any more surprised than I had been. Shocked, yes. But not surprised. Called Cash's day care operator and told her I'd be keeping Cash at home for the next week or so, and why. Called my friend Rich, because I knew he'd been up. Called in sick to work but had to leave a message, so I asked to be called back and by then the phone had started to ring, as well. My brother called, and my father, and work called back. I had gotten on DWH's computer to try to get some work contacts for him, but nobody was in yet. Discovered that he'd just made a Land's End order the day before, so I called and canceled that. The woman said she'd have them pull it off the truck.

    Nadia left me after the second call - I imagine she didn't want to hear it over and over again. Once, when I went looking for her, she was doing my dishes. The next time, she was mowing the lawn. She said she thought about weeding my garden, but it was so bad she thought it should just be roto-tilled. Lots of rain and the end of the semester don't mix well for me and my weeding. The house phone rang and someone asked for DWH. I said "he's not available, may I take a message?" which is my standard response when he can't go to the phone, since it's usually work. It was one of the people with whom he had worked the most closely who said "oh, I was just returning his call, I'll call back" and it was all I could do to catch him before he hung up and say "Tom, he died." And Tom expressed his shock and I apologized for being so blunt and he said he'd take care of things on the work end for me (and he did, fantastically well).

    Somewhere in there, my sister showed up and Nadia left for work. The funeral home called and asked if we could go by at 11:30 to discuss arrangements. That was hard. It's kinda nuts. You're in shock and freaked out and you have to go make decisions about a service, a tribute, a final impression for a lot of people. You have to make decisions that are going to cost you money which you may or may not even have available and I don't know about anyone else, but my brain didn't work too well at that point. Dianne kept asking me questions and I kept saying "I don't know." Well, until she told me that the local paper charges $240 to publish an obituary. I definitely had an opinion on that. "No. I'm not doing that. People who knew him, knew him; and it won't make any difference to those who didn't." And it was as if that knocked my brain into gear because I was able to make the other decisions I needed to make after that. The Commonwealth puts a 48 hour hold on the bodies of people who die unattended, so we couldn't do anything until Sunday anyway and there's an extra charge for doing things on Sunday (but there's no dominant culture in this country - fffft), so the soonest the body could go out for cremation was Monday. I hate, hate, hate viewings, so I wanted to have him cremated first and then have the service, which meant Wednesday was the soonest, so we decided on Thursday. They really wanted me to do visitation Wednesday night and Thursday morning, but I refused. I just couldn't handle the idea of that much formal mourning, especially since I knew I'd be on my feet the whole time. So we agreed on two hours Thursday, before the service.

    After we got home, my sister insisted I take a nap. She tried to make me eat something first, but I just couldn't. The very thought turned my stomach. The phone rang a couple of times while I was asleep, but I ignored my cell and my sister fielded the house phone. When I got up and went downstairs, she had my refrigerator torn apart and was cleaning it and we laughed at each other. It's exactly what I would have expected her to be doing. She insisted on going out to buy food and asked me what I would eat and the only thing I could think of was fresh cut fruit. Rich called and asked if he could come by and I said yes. And I kept making phone calls, speaking to people or leaving messages to please call me. One friend called me back in tears, because she had heard by email between the time I called her and when she called back. That rather pissed me off. Not because she knew, but because the person who emailed her didn't really have any business doing it. Vampire. Crys called right before going to conference with her boss, so I said she should call again after she got out and I'd tell her what I wanted. She wasn't fooled that it wasn't important, but at least I didn't ruin her meeting.

    Rich came, bearing food. And it's odd. I can't remember if anyone else came that night. I don't think so. I know Jeff called suggesting my sister and I go out to eat with her and I couldn't even consider it. I remember sitting at the table talking to Rich and my sister and nibbling, because food was still just not happening. And the phone kept ringing. And if I had to put the rest of it in order, I'd fail. I don't know when flowers started arriving, but they did. I don't know when people started arriving, but they did. I got emails and facebook messages and texts and calls and people stopping by. And sometime on Thursday I had a conversation with a colleague from another department who offered to proctor the project presentations that I had scheduled for Friday. Originally, I thought I could do that, but by Thursday night, I knew I couldn't, so Pat did it for me. Rich offered to proctor my exam on Tuesday. People from my department, from other departments, from other colleges, offered to grade for me, but I couldn't let that part go. Crys called on Friday to say she was an hour away and what kind of food should she stop to buy and I opened the fridge and said "none - there's no room and it was empty just yesterday."

    And that's really why I started to write all this. People have just been amazing. But I find that I already have no sense of the order in which things happened. I just know that Jeff left water and fruit on my front steps. Kitty and Jennie came from Delaware and stayed several days and weeded my garden (instead of roto-tilling it! LOL!). Nadia and Kate cleaned DWH's closet. Kitty and Crys (who drove all night from Ohio) plowed through the crap that had been piling up for months under and on top of his desk. Kate and Jennie cleaned and organized the kitchen closets. Jeff and Jenn came by several times bringing food and keeping me company. Bev drove over from Hartford where she had been dancing. Ros came down from Maine, bringing Reeta and dragging me and Cash out for a walk. Kristen called to express her shock - DWH had joined us for dinner just Monday night - how was this possible? Melanie brought day lilies and doggies to play. Chris brought pictures and made sure the trash was all out and was quietly helpful in a number of ways. Barbara flew in on Saturday and Jenn and Nadia arranged it so I didn't have to go to the airport to get her. She brought me pictures from DWH's childhood. She and Phyllis made all the Indiana calls. My students came by Friday after presentations and left a basket of goodies (tissues! and beads and a bear and soup and chocolate and cookies) and snuck off until I called them to come back. My brother James came to stay until the next Saturday and offered to look at my investments and help me figure things out for the future. As James was leaving, Piglet arrived to feed me and keep me company while I graded. Piglet and Lorre overlapped in their company keeping and I did indeed get all my grading done, almost on time, even. It was a full two weeks before I was alone in the house. I was fed and cared for and allowed to wander off on my own if I wanted. Sometimes there was one group of people in the dining room and another in the living room. Apparently the memorial service was standing room only. Because of the way the funeral home is set up, I have no idea. I do know that we fed 58 people lunch at the Hawthorne Hotel afterward.

    And I am so grateful. I am grateful for every bit of help and sympathy, large and small, for every message, every flower, every donation, for the smiles, the pats on the back, the check-ins, the flirtation, the "let me make this easier for you" that I've encountered from service people when I call to change accounts, make returns, cancel things. It's overwhelming because it's a sign of a level of regard for DHW and for myself that I didn't realize was there.

    Thank you.
    Thursday, June 10th, 2010
    9:27 pm
    Catching up.
    I really want to record the happenings of the last month here, but I'm not sure I have the gumption to do it. *sigh* We'll see how far I get.

    On May 5, I went out to Greenfield to visit a two week old litter of Tervuren puppies. The mother is Cash's sister Delta, the father is Willie, one of the top males in the country. It's a nice litter. I hesitated about going, but I had finished classes on Tuesday and didn't have papers coming in until Friday, so it made sense to go, especially since Thursday was reading day and I needed to be on campus. So I walked with Nadia in the morning, held my office hours until 11, and then went home and checked in with DWH. He was fine, at work and perking along. He said that he wanted me to bring home pictures and a description of the puppies for him (this was going to be his puppy). So off I went. Had a lovely time, clipped nails, played with puppies, yapped with Brenda, took pictures. Left Greenfield at about 8:30.

    When I got home, the house was dark, so I figured DWH was in bed. I came in the front and the upstairs door was open, so I wasn't that surprised when Cash didn't greet me. By the time I got to the back of the house and started up the stairs to the third floor, though, I was surprised that he wasn't barking. I figured he might be in bed with DWH, since they'd been getting along better lately, but I was surprised that the lamp on the third floor was out. I turned on the overhead light and headed back to the guest room, where DWH had been sleeping since the insomnia hit last year. By the light from the hallway, I could see that he was lying on the bed, fully dressed. So I laughed and put my hand on his leg saying "hey you, get up and put yourself to bed for real." But his foot was stone cold. So I turned on the light and went to shake him awake. He was lying with a book on his chest and one hand under his chin. When I shook that arm, it resisted and that's when I knew for sure. And I fled.

    I called 911 and told them that I was pretty sure that my husband was dead, that he had been for a while. She told me to stay on the line and I told her that the front door was locked. She said to go open it and I told her I'd have to put the phone down to do that (ancient corded phone is still the best one in the house). So she said to do that. I did and picked up the cordless on my way down. I opened the front door and sat on the front steps until the EMTs arrived, thinking "they're going to laugh at me when they go up there and he wakes up for them."
    Except they didn't, because he didn't.

    The rest of it is random pictures rather than a stream of happening. I know that they made me sit in my room for a while, but that at some point I went to my office. I called Nadia and got her voice mail, so I called 411 for her home number and called it. Poor thing, all she got was "David's dead, can you come." And she did. I tried to call my father but he didn't pick up, so I called the brother my father was staying with and told him. I asked him to tell Dad and he asked if he could do that in the morning. I said yes, but I had to get off the phone because a detective wanted to speak with me. He took me to sit in the kitchen and Cash made his presence in the yard known, so I excused myself to let him in so he wouldn't disturb the neighbors. He growled at the detective, so I crated him. While I was talking to the detective, my phone rang and it said "Kate cell." But Kate and Frank don't speak, so all I could think was "christ, Dad's died, too." But when I answered the phone, my sister said "do you need me to come right now?" And I said no, that Nadia was coming, so Kate said she would leave first thing in the morning and come to me. Sometime in there, Nadia arrived and had to let Cash out of his crate because he raised such a fit over seeing her.

    They said there was no sign of foul play but they needed the general practitioner to call back and confirm that DWH had a heart condition that would explain his death. Once that happened, they all left (EMTs, firemen, policemen - there were a lot of people in this house), leaving a uniformed officer standing in my back hallway. I don't know what time the undertaker (who is the mother of a former student and tenant) arrived, around 1:30, I think, letting herself in the front door and calling up the stairs "E! What happened?" "Dianne, he fucking died on me, that's what happened." She had help and went on upstairs, then came down to ask me if I wanted some time with the body. Nadia says I said "Hell, no!" and I'm sure I did. We sat in the TV room to be out of the way and I remember thinking that Nadia should have her back to the door so she didn't get upset when they removed the body. So I sat facing the door while they took him out. Then Nadia made me go upstairs and lie down.

    I woke at about 5 because Nadia was leaving the room. Apparently, she had left home with just her cell and her keys and hadn't left a note for her husband. He had woken at 4 when her alarm when off and couldn't find her. Since she didn't hear her phone the first two times it rang, he was in a panic when she finally did answer it. I remember looking at her and saying "oh, you really are here. That's not good."
    Thursday, May 6th, 2010
    4:34 pm
    Only 44
    DWH died in his sleep yesterday afternoon while I was off visiting puppies in Greenfield, MA.
    Sunday, April 25th, 2010
    6:31 pm
    Our first weekend out since October, Cash and I had a good weekend. One Q and one NQ yesterday, same today, but the jumpers with weaves run today was simply glorious. We were totally in sync and moving about as fast as it is possible for me to move. Cash was listening for me, but locking on to the next obstacle and moving out for it. I told a friend after that I'm too fat and out of shape to be running like that but that if I drop dead of a heart attack after that kind of run, they'll be burying me happy.
    Saturday, February 6th, 2010
    11:05 pm
    Harry, again
    When Harry was 24 months old, I had his hips xrayed for the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals. The vet tech wanted to know why I would have a breeding test done on a neutered male and I said that my breeder wanted to know what she was producing. I also said that I wanted to do agility with this dog and that he wasn't going to tell me if something hurt, so I had better know what kind of structure I was dealing with.

    Little did I know - when Harry finally told me last March that his leg hurt, it turned out that it must have hurt for a while.

    About 4 weeks ago, Cash ran into Harry and he screamed. We went to the vet the next day but he found nothing. And Harry gave no indication after that of being in any pain, even when his stomach started acting up.

    Last night, we put Harry in the shower to rinse him off and when DWH washed his chest, that boy howled like nothing I have ever heard before.

    We didn't make it to Wednesday. We let him go this morning.

    Run fast, Harry-Terv, run fast. Isn't it nice to have all four legs again?
    Thursday, February 4th, 2010
    10:49 pm
    About four weeks ago, Harry started acting weird at obedience class - it was like he was tiring very easily, but he still wanted to work, so we worked.

    Then, two weeks ago, he had stomach issues and visible cramping, so I took him to the vet - not my usual vet, but the one who was available on short notice. She gave him pain killers and said to put him on a bland diet. So we did and he got better. Then, last week, he started leaving parts of his meals behind. So we went back to the vet, and this time we saw the one who had done his surgery. And I felt stupid, because there wasn't anything clearly wrong, except that Harry not eating is WRONG. So he suggested a diet change and ordered a blood panel and an ultrasound. Those both came back negative, but the diet change caused diarrhea.

    Friday, on my way to take Harry to aqua therapy (where he swam for a good 8 minutes), I dropped off a stool sample and asked if my regular vet were available on Saturday. While I was there, D himself came out and asked how I was and how the boys were. So I told him Harry had been having trouble and he said "I'll just give you metronidazole right now and if he's better, you can cancel your appointment tomorrow."

    Saturday morning we woke to find that Harry had peed himself over night. It was freezing cold and we didn't want to take him to the vet wet, so we wiped him up as best we could and went off to see the vet. D was shocked. "You didn't tell me he was this sick!" Well, he hadn't been that sick on Friday. It's like he crashed overnight. So D. took xrays and urine and stool. He didn't like the xrays, so he sent them off to a specialist, told us to continue the medication, feed him whatever he would eat and come back Wednesday.

    So. Harry has continued to pee himself. Xray consult came back Wednesday as we were meeting with the vet. That leg? The one that wasn't cancerous? Yeah, that one - was apparently the primary site for what appear to be metastatic lesions on his lungs. Which doesn't explain the bladder. So D. did another set of xrays, this time on the lower spine, looking for a mass. But there isn't one. The spine looks fine. While Harry was being xrayed, DWH and I decided that if there was a mass, we would have him PTS right here. But there isn't one. So D. said it *could* be an infection in the spinal cord and suggested we give him antibiotics and come back next Wednesday.

    But he's not getting any better. He's still peeing himself and now has to be helped down the stairs to go out. And if he gets better, there are still the lesions on the lungs to come bite him in the ass later.... Barring a miraculous recovery, Wednesday will be a one way trip. I totally dread it. DWH is so sick and he's so not ready to lose his dog. Luckily, Harry doesn't appear to be in any pain or discomfort at the moment, so we can let DWH assimilate the idea.

    Somebody tell me this isn't happening like this....
    Saturday, December 12th, 2009
    11:21 pm
    AT totally fucking rocks
    in a way that I don't think I could even begin to imitate. Go you.
    Friday, August 28th, 2009
    12:32 am
    Hi all. I want to thank those of you who expressed sympathy for my situation with Harry having his leg amputated and let you know how well he's doing. Wednesday, I took Harry with me to the obedience class that Cash has been going to (which used to be Harry's class). I've been trying to get him out of the house as much as possible and figured he could hang in an xpen while Cash trained. When we first got there, we let Harry do some heeling, and then I switched dogs. Well, Harry did a phenomenal job and he was so happy to be working again. And Cash was totally motivated by the competition and did some great heel work himself. Harry hung in the xpen for much of the hour, but he would occasionally whine to let me know he wanted to work. By the end of the night, he had done some heeling, including figure eights, a recall over a low jump (UKC regulation recall), and the stand for exam as well as a few retrieves. The only thing he had any trouble with at all was the side of the figure eight where the dog is on the inside. There he had a little trouble maintaining his balance between me and the "post." I find that interesting, because he had no trouble whatsoever on the about turns or circling while heeling. His fronts are a little farther out than they used to be, but he can get into heel position from the front by going to either side and ends up fairly straight. It was very nice to see how happy he was to work with me and that not having his right front leg doesn't seem to bother him at all in that context.

    (cross-posted to dogsintraining)
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