Sunday, August 31, 2008
I love these dogs. And I don't want them to suffer. I also don't want them to die and leave my life forever.
Since starting my business in 2006 I've been studying (as money permits) different therapies for geriatric dogs. Acupressure at the Tallgrass Institute in Denver. Lots of online courses in Traditional Chinese Medicine and canine physiology. Skeletal and muscular and organ stuff. Lots of memorization and unlearning previously held myths about dogs. Disease indicators and how to assess a dog's well-being by palpation and smelling. And of course talking to the owners about their dog's behaviors.
I've been taking a few case studies. I worked on Gus, a Basset Hound puppy, for about two months twice a week because he could not walk with his back feet. I worked with Jake, a Bichon Frise, once a month because he had through the roof anxiety. I am working with Van Gogh, an ancient black lab, once every three weeks because he has severe arthritis. I am working with Pardner, a Springer Spaniel, once a week because she has arthritis and pancreatitis.
Let me tell you people, I love it. I want to help all these dogs. But it will take a leap of faith on my part to officially announce to my customers and the rest of my potential customers that I am offering massage therapy as a service. I decided for sure to take that leap about three weeks ago. I still haven't written the letter. I need to do it.
Here are some pictures of the dogs that are in my heart. Their suffering is apparent to me. I want to help them feel better and I know I could do it. I'm praying for the courage to put myself out there for their sakes.
This is Daisy. She's had multiple surgeries in the past two years for tumors and other very unpleasant anal gland issues. I see her every two weeks.
Patches has severe arthritis and fast-advancing dementia.
Desi has severe arthritis.
Inga has arthritis and a raging skin itchy condition and has to have steroid injections every two weeks. I see her every two weeks. She's uncomfortable 24 hours a day.
Buddy is extremely overweight and has joint pain as a result. He is in a bad mood. He snaps at people because he is really irritable from the constant pain. He has no breath and can't run.
Howie had a stroke last year and he has an enlarged heart.
Poppy is in pain too. She coughs a lot and her chest hurts. The shine has gone from her eyes.
Chucho had a brain injury as a puppy. He also just had many teeth extracted due to infection. He needs general relief from anxiety and fear.
Skinner is ancient. Very very well taken care of. But he has stiffness and pain too.
That is a fraction of the slideshow that I wake up to most nights at about 3:00 am. Those moments God whispers to me so that He doesn't wake up Pat and Sunny. He tells me to go for it.
I'm going to do it.
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Friday, August 29, 2008
Thursday, August 28, 2008
I did venture out of the house today. I took Sunny to the library for reading hour and to play with a friend (a regular weekly playdate). These are important landmarks to Sunny's week. Socially and in her method of keeping track of what day it is.
I never get to go to library reading hour or dance class or anything like that because I work at those times. My Dad or my husband is the one getting to see all that cute stuff. So I was pleasantly surprised to see another Mom from dance class that I like and she had a baby since the last time I saw her.
The other Mom and I walked over to the other part of the library while the kids listened to a story and she and I whispered quietly about how her labor/delivery/first month had gone. No one was looking at us from the reading area and we were so quiet. Anyway, the librarian came over and said:
We would like you to keep your voices down because you are setting a bad example for the children. The whole point of this is to set a good example for the children.
Then she walked away with her cart of books.
I stood very still with my ears ringing and sweat forming and and kind of floaty feeling in my knees. After what might have been a minute or five, I slow-motion walked. Like walking in a pool to where she was sorting books.
The four librarians saw me coming and Young Guns style lined up at my approach. The head librarian said (right after the eagle shriek across the canyon) "We're not open on this side."
So, time started moving the same speed again all around me but I was hot and shaky. I said, "I know but she came over there and talked to me so I thought I would come over here and talk to her."
The librarians actually scooted closer together. Looking more like a football team on the defensive.
I turned to my librarian and said, "I'm really sorry. I didn't know that we were being that loud. We were whispering but I got carried away because she just had a baby and I'm seeing her for the first time."
She said, while I was saying the last entire sentence, "We're trying to set a good example for the children. You weren't loud. You were whispering but this is about teaching the children to respect the library."
I said, "See, that thing right there, the good example thing you keep saying? That's the thing that really hurt my feelings. You could have said to be more quiet or go outside or something and I would have apologized and then just felt bad. But you came over and said I was setting a bad example for the kids. It would be nice if you were more sensitive about saying critical things like that to a young Mom who's already worried about being a good Mom and obviously trying to be a good Mom by bringing her kids to the library reading hour..."
At this point, all the other librarians were back in their sections of the library working quietly. Not at all involved in our stand-off.
I told her that Sunny loves the library and she's being a really good girl. My librarian agreed that Sunny was great. So I reiterated that I wished she had just asked me to be quiet.
She said, "People usually get defensive when you tell them to be quiet."
I asked, "More defensive than if you called them bad examples to the children?"
She said, "Yes." Like that settled everything.
Anyway. When it was over I floated back to the reading group. I mean, I guess I did because I don't remember it. I stood like a statue until the reading hour was over. I acted like nothing had happened. I smiled and talked to the other parents and to the kids swarming around my knees.
But let me tell you that physically, I was in a state of shock like someone right after very close call. You know, that moment when you know you have survived but that you had been a beat away from disaster.
The dissociated version of Candi floated over to the playground with Sunny and her playdate and her playdate's Mom. We were there for an hour.
But I wasn't there. But I also wasn't obsessing about the librarian. I was more dealing with the physical exhaustion of getting that worked up. It was awful.
Quick venting calls to Christy and Pat helped me wind down. I'm still feeling like I'm going to puke. But my ears aren't roaring and I am not shaking. I guess I'll survive telling the librarian that she was a meany.
Christy had a minor epiphany on the phone. She realized that we were having a huge physical reaction because we weren't use to feeling justified in standing up for ourselves. That other people are acting normal because they just don't let people walk all over them while they smile their good Christian smiles (like I too often do). They say, "ow!" and then go on with their day.
Is this true? Are you other people not having panic attacks and/or wearing guilt like a cape of wet wool?
And check out how Christy dealt with the same kind of issue this very morning. Very strange World.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
The body is organic cotton and the collar is organic banana fiber. I wanted to make a hood or a cowl neck. But the poncho is getting too heavy to add a hood and I ran out of green for the cowl neck.
And I had to do a pintuck disguised as a flower to close the neck a bit (lacking the cowl).
It's for an adult but Sunny was my only available model.
Feel free to make major changes. Even if only a swatch is left. What do you say right here in front of all these thousands of blog readers (ok so it's 7 readers according to my stat counter)? Can this be part of your craft group?
No pressure of course. Just like all the other stuff in your life.
Honey, I know we just talked about your awful impending job loss, but my van won't start and I'm stuck at a customer's house all alone with her eight dogs. It's hot. Did I mention I just washed eight dogs? And that it's hot? And that my van won't start?
Hey Honey? Yeah I know you just got back to your gloomy office after saving me because my van wouldn't start and I had to get to my next appointment and all. But I just got yelled at by a very grimy toothless angry man at McDonald's because I wouldn't let him buy my food. He yelled at my back as I stomped to my van that he has more money than I'll ever have and I shouldn't judge him by how he looks. He yelled this at me in a crowded McDonald's.
Ok World, I've had it. I am not coming out of my house again until you promise to shape up. Your behavior today was appalling. And I'm not playing that game any more. If you make toothless angry grimy men talk to me about how much time they spend on the road without their wives and can they buy me a cheeseburger...well, I reserve the right to be completely rude. I will not giggle and say, "Oh really. That must be lonely." Or some crap like that. No! The toothless grimy old man will be rejected and I will not feel bad about it.
Oh, and World? You better get the rats out of my trash can. I don't care how you do it. Just do it.
Sunny and I will be inside. When you are ready to play nice we'll think about coming out. Until then...I guess I'll vacuum.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Pancakes and Spongebob help her celebrate her super victories over evil.
Holding my ears helps her recharge for the next challenge. I need to cut those fingernails.
Friday, August 22, 2008
I have to say that after writing the Swank blog my life spun round and round with lots of greys and blacks and loud noises. Phew. But it was a breakthrough and I am now on medication for the depression and even though I have the exact same stressors in my life this week as I did that week, it doesn't seem so bad. In fact...dare I say...things are good. I have been happy. For almost three whole weeks!
I have been writing....eeeeeee!...I have been drawing...ooooooo!...I have been crocheting...ahhhhhh!...and I have been sitting around doing nothing without a looped angry voice in my head telling me what a horrible person I am. And, I've been super boundary girl to boot. More on this a little later. Don't want to jinx stuff you know.
So, my dear Christy asked us all to post things that we are proud of a long time ago. Now I am ready with just a few things.
This is a funny little aluminum foil/wrapping paper/modge podge/marshmallow cross I made about six months ago. It makes me laugh so hard. Here are a few angles to enjoy.
This is a collaged box I made with Gustav Klimt pictures, ink and modge podge. It's what I call my Womb Box.
I am also proud of my new funky curtains made from material I got at Ikea (said like Homer says donuts).
And my new huuuuuuuuge painting my Neal Breton.. It's called "...and I realized that all my heroes are dead." Pat did the surfer painting below. Isn't it rad?
And here you have many things I am proud of. My painting from Christy, one of the congas I painted for Pat and my baby slapping her butt and dancing to Old Skool Rap. Hat on sideways and Hello Kitty cell phone in hand.
It's Friday. I have dogs to wash. Dirty dirty dogs.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Friday, August 15, 2008
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Being a redhead is not easy sometimes. I feel like I have to be nocturnal or start wearing head-to-toe gauzy clothing. Which actually sounds really fun.
Not sure the gauzy clothes will help my intense back pain. Sigh.
But the Tiny DJs in my mp3 player are earning their keep today. I haven't heard Jack Johnson yet today. And, yes, that is a Buffy the Vampire Slayer album I have loaded into my mp3 player and on Candi's Favorite playlist. I am not ashamed of the gospel of Buffy.
I need a lover that won't drive me crazy, Woo hoo I love me some Johnny Cougar!