Saturday, December 21, 2013

Princess and the Pea

Mum: "What are all the sharp pokie things I was sleeping on last night in your bed?" 
Me: "oh those were probably chewed up pieces of a peanut butter jar..."

Friday, December 13, 2013

Sick days

I wake up to the slight whine as Orion nudges his nose under the blanket tent I have created on the couch. It's daily light now and I'm thankful that I managed to get some excuse of sleep as the evening was far from peaceful.
I had a friend recently say one of the three things she missed about not being partnered with someone was on sick days. As I was trying to go to sleep last night every fifteen minutes or so I would wake up coughing so hard I wasn't sure I was taking in enough air to sustain me. That, and after a few more rounds of hacking, my muscles hurt so bad that I'm holding my rib cage, eyes are streaming, nose is streaming and I'm just flat out miserable. I reached over to Orion, just as the one around who could acknowledge, "Hey buddy, I'm having trouble here, go find the sheriff if I stop breathing." I'm not sure he's up to Lassie standards but it made me feel better all the same to rest my head on his hip.
Soon enough, I decided to move to the living room, thinking perhaps the room without heat turned on maybe would have more moisture and not irritate me so--so we gave up the electric blanket and piled on the couch, dog and I. (There was a moment I even thought to call my mom in hopes she would know what to do). But we piled on, and Orion, adorably crawled up to snuggle where I could hug him and didn't run off while I coughed against his sleeping self. All and all, I was happy to have my little puppy with me last night.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Fall gone by

Seeds litter my couch between torn cardboard. For a moment I am puzzled, was there a pumpkin somewhere I didn't realize? Was something other than a dog bone in the box? And then it connects, my gourd--could he have devoured my gourd? I peek in the kitchen. It is gone from the window will. "How could you, when did you even find TIME to eat that??" I ask incredulously. 
I sigh.
"That was my only fall thing you know."

Friday, October 4, 2013

Conversations I make up with my dog

Me: "I love your cute little pink nose."
Orion: "I have a winter pink nose like you have your winter face... my black nose goes and your freckles disappear."
I kiss his nose.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Conditional love

"I love you Orion," I say looking down at him sprawled on the floor. "Except for maybe when you bark like a crazy dog in the car."
"I guess that means my love is conditional."

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Desk Buddy

Someone once said if you want your dog to get use to what you do, he will adapt accordingly. Orion seems to have caught on when I sit at the drawing table, I'll be there for a while... he settles in too. It's one of my favorite things with him.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Cheese it snatcher

I'm lying on the bed thinking of how my lower half is NOT happy with me. I hear Orion rustling something in the next room.
"Hey Orion, come here!"
He rounds the corner innocently dangling a cheese-it box from his mouth, like, "Yes? You were saying?"
I laugh as I swing my legs over the bed and hobble off to take my box back.

Thursday, September 5, 2013


I am driving home from school and smiling thinking about Orion waiting for me on the other side of my apartment door. It has been my first week back to work and I think both he and I have had to make some serious adjustments. On my part, I'm physically exhausted and my body is retaliating in some rather rude ways. On Orion's part, he's not appreciating my stock piling of energy (ie. shortened walks) because I'm storing up for the day or just flat out in the night. Plus, I'm sure he misses my endless company.

The sun is shining in through the windows and there is a light breeze, making for the perfect walking weather. I lay down on the floor, pushing my bags to the side, as Orion wiggles all around me. "Hi Best Friend. Oh, it's so nice to see you too.... We should go for a walk. Although... laying here, I could go for a nap instead...." But I get up and we enjoy a stroll to the park. He splashes around, then runs like a maniac around, and I squirm hoping his crazy-dog antics won't include a wet dog jumping on me. I smile up at the sunshine filtering through the tail feathers of a red tail hawk flying above.

At home, I take the 20 minute power nap I've been requiring on six hour rotations, and there is a wet dog rolling alongside my back. His face is wedging into my shoulder. His wet feet shoving at my thighs. He's groaning as he uses my sheets to dry off. And then his head shows up on my torso. Resting, as my ribs go up and down, up and down.

I think my dog has missed me.

And I promise him tomorrow we will spend the afternoon together, or at least devoted to him, as I return from my late night book club hours later.
"What picture do you like," I say, lights out and only the glare of the computer screen lighting up our images from the morning.
"I only have ten minutes left to write your blog before bed." He's sitting at the foot of my bed, chewing on a peanut butter jar that has long since had it's prime chewing done.
After a bit he disappears and returns with my shoe hanging out of his mouth.

"What are you doing eating my shoe? That's suppose to be on the shelf," I say, sliding out of bed, taking the shoe and wandering out into the kitchen. "You just want me to pay attention to you." Instead I stick my head in the fridgerator.
He sticks his head in too.

"What do you want?" I ask, scouting for my own goodies.
"What do you say a carrot for you and a brownie for me?" He sits. I grab a carrot and brownie and we wander back to bed.

All and all, a good day.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Morning, O' Morning

I may have stayed up until three AM reading a book. Not a notable book, just one I had read a few times before. As the time ticked, by I did remind myself the importance of good self-care, and how valuable my sleep seemed to be to my overall well being. Orion, after a two hour play date was passed out, eyes twitching, lips flopped on the mattress. Oh, from time to time I'd pat him because he was moving so much in his dreams I couldn't imagine it restful, or toss a kiss his way because he looked so freaking cute all sleepy-like. He'd wake up, then out cold again. Every now and again he'd get up and relocate. Eventually my book ended and I laid in bed thinking why on earth was I not tired? Surely it couldn't be the coffee from 4PM?
And then I slept.
And then at 6:30 I had a dog whining in my ear. Grumbling, I got up and let him out, fed him breakfast and crawled back in bed--I was hoping to at least re-coup some sleep in the early AM hours. But then, I found myself awoken by my elbow being licked. Then my face. I threw a pillow over my head and a nose stuffed under that. My whole arm was cleaned. Then my foot.
"IT'S NOT TIME YET!" I hollered.
A moment of peace.
I may have slept five more minutes.
Then my arm was licked.
Then my armpit was licked.
Who can sleep when their armpit is licked? Even if you're NOT ticklish (which I am).
I wake up. I look at him. I ask him what his plans are for the day. What it is he expected by waking me up. What time it was.
"Did you at least let me make it till 9?"
His ears perked up.
"Close enough." I get up and fix breakfast and plunk down on the couch. He lays down at the other end.
I think he was just bored and wanted some company.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Pet Insurance

I crouch down next to where Orion is sleeping. I pat his head.
"Well, that makes me feel better," I say, having just hung up from purchasing Orion emergency pet insurance. "Now I don't have to always to be threatening you that you're life is only valued at how much my Apple stock is worth. I can breathe a little easier. Now that doesn't mean you should go out and get into any trouble... though your friend Scout gets into her fair share so by proxy I suspect you will too..."
Orion lazily lifts his head.
"Then maybe I won't have those bad dreams about you getting injured too. $250 deductible is manageable. I can't imagine what I'd do in Cherry & AJ's case this past year. Savings is not my strong point with all these job switches, moves etc. But I'm working on it."
He flops his head back down. He's done with our conversation. I stand up myself and move back to my desk.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Evening sketches with Orion

Orion is peacefully sleeping. I have been twitching to draw for awhile. Pent up energy likely from months of non-art making. Here's the refined one:

Monday, August 5, 2013

P.s. I missed you

"Yeah, I just wanted to call and thank you for this afternoon," I walk in the door, cell phone tucked between my shoulder and ear, dropping my bags and smiling to the yellow dog at my feet.
"I know," I snag Orion's collar and start walking him outside to go to the bathroom. He is bouncing all around.
"We'll we could possibly hang out on Thursday but my appointment is moved to earlier just this week..." I'm saying as I notice Orion is simultaneously peeing and pooping at the same time. As my friend continues chatting I'm thinking of the physical aerobics Orion is implementing to not be peeing on his chest. The mental coordination...
And then we are upstairs and I'm sitting on the floor talking while my phone is charging and behind me I hear intense licking. Turning my head to peer over the mattress I see him frantically licking my frying pan that definitely wasn't on the bed when I left it...I roll my eyes and try to focus on the conversation rather then the clinging of his dog tags on the edge of the pan.
I think someone missed me today, his first 8 hour day alone in awhile.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Boredom at its Finest

I spent the day painting again today. Someone was less then entertained.

Sidewalk Sounds

I sip quietly on my coffee, feet propped up on the coffee table, Orion snuggled next to me, close enough to get my shorts wet with his post-swim body. A voice floats up from the sidewalk. Orion bolts off the couch barking so enthusiastically his front feet are lifted from the floor.
"HEY! Orion, settle down!" I call after him, having not moved an inch. "It's nine AM. The whole neighborhood doesn't need to know when someone walks by our window."
He comes back and flops back down beside me.
A minute later, keys rattle below the sidewalk and he's off.
"Do you need me to mix up some anti-anxiety drops in your breakfast?" I ask him. "You have to learn to just settle down. You can't be that uptight my friend. Come on..." I pat the spot beside me.
He climbs back up, circles and plops down.
"Much better," I say, and take another sip of coffee.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Sleep In?

I accidentally posted this one on my musingsofmolly blog as oppose to Orion's where I had intended it:

I peel the paint covered tank over my head, precariously balancing it on the bookshelf hoping it will not cover the shelf in Prussian Blue as it did my face earlier.
I slip into my boxers and throw another clean tank over my head. My hair is dripping from the quick shower. The clock blinks midnight. Orion is sprawled out on the floor looking up at me as if assessing wether he can in fact go to sleep or needs to move again to follow after my fleeting form.
I bend down and kiss him between his ears.
"Thank you for staying up while I painted. I love you. Now, try to sleep in."

Friday, August 2, 2013

Solo time becomes swim time

"Well Orion, this is probably our second day rolling solo since April. Seems kind of quiet huh?" I say as I'm sitting on the couch on a Friday morning. "I wonder how I ever lived alone without you around and stayed entertained?" I puzzle, as I'm still sitting in my jammies at 8:30 in the morning.
"What should we do today? We already went for a walk, I've showered... we could paint, we could work on looking up graduate programs, we could go for another walk, take another nap, work on Etsy, write a book...." I find this unscheduled time is new to me. Typically I always have another human to bounce ideas off of and inevitably make plans with the person, but today is a full day on my own in my own apartment and I find the ideas of what to do could go on and on, limited only by the fact I'm not driving still.
"Let's go for another walk after I eat something," I decide, and wander out to the kitchen to poke around for some grub.
Before long, I call Orion over, slipping his wet leash on, and we're out the door walking up the street.
"I think we're going to have to take this slow," I say, thinking my legs feel a little fatigued and not wanting to have a wobbly day. I picture in my head walking with confidence, energy, and normalcy, figuring the good intentions won't hurt. We wander by the juice shop, where a guy sits with his bagel and strawberry cream cheese in front of him, past the gallery shop with the cute oil paintings of the town, and out past the mini park entrance where the pond begins to loop against the road. Orion is happily trotting along, presumably enjoying the sunshine as much as I am. He stops to sniff this and that and I wait patiently, not in any rush. We work our way around the edge of the pond to what I have deemed his "watering hole" and I quickly swap leashes so he can swim at length. Releasing the short leash Orion takes off and jumps spread eagle into the pond. He swims, he jumps out and shakes. Turns around swims again. I sit down on the grass, happy to be outside, happy to be sitting, happy to see my dog enjoying himself so.
In and out Orion goes, once seemingly to chase a frog. I hope I won't have to be pulling a frog out of his mouth and am thrilled to see the pond scum has diverted his attention. A little kid wanders by with his dad and they ask if Orion's friendly.
"Yes, he jumps and he's wet though so let me come up and get him to sit for you," I say. Yet when I get up there Orion is barking and the little boy pauses in his interest to see this now wet, bouncing, barking dog.
"Maybe the dog is scared of zombies," the dad says, as the kids out stretched arms imply his zombie status may in fact be a deterrent on this summer day. Instead, the zombie just scoots beside the dad to whisper in fact he is no longer interested in petting the wet dog, zombie or no zombie.
And so we go back down to the water. Orion strikes a pose and starts stalking something in the grass. I wonder if an animal snuck by without my notice but realize it is just a dragon fly...
After a few more swims, I decide it's probably time to head home. The boy bounces around as we climb up the small hill, runs some loops and dutifully waits to have his leashes swapped and off we head for home. Good day.


"Mags, unroll the skylight for us," I say as we're cruising up the highway for yet another trip to New Hampshire. We've been spending a few days here and there up there each week--keeping my duel residency up, visiting with the family and friends, and making my doctor's appointments. Orion, the trooper that he is, comes along for the ride.
The wind rolls in over our heads. Mags slips on a second pair of sunglasses, leaving the first pair on her nose, and pushing the other up to hold her hair in place. I'm smiling. It's been a good day. Orion steps forward in the seat, so his paws rest on the console. 
"Can you see with him there?" I ask.
"Yeah, he's fine," Mags replies before turning off the exit that has us driving by our old elementary school. 
Thrilled to have an extra few inches into the front seat, Orion peers out the front windshield before discovering the open sun roof.
I laugh, as from below I watch his lips flapping in the wind. The pine trees fly by and Orion continues to leave his nose out the skylight, tipped just high enough to check out the views...

Sunday, July 28, 2013


Today I sat on the couch as the evening rolled to a close and watched over all my little Orion videos. I initially was going to watch ones on youtube of labrador puppies, but thought, I have plenty of my own so proceeded to watch him tackle a bell, a curtain string, a pan... videos of him chasing after a large boxer (Webster) on his first encounter of another dog, desperate to play with this new friend, then again as an older puppy after his best friend Oliver, and then of him jumping in a pool in New Hampshire. It was warming to reminisce about him as a puppy but also about the fun he and I had in Ohio with our new and old friends. We had fun. We've had some quality adventures. And it made me think of taking a road trip back there to spend time with those friends... maybe next summer... one yellow dog's head sticking out the window, one healthy girl pedal to the floor... I-90 here we come.

Sunday, July 21, 2013


Today Orion discovered he could put his nose out the skylight. His little lips flapped back and forth. His nose angled up to the sky. And every time he brought his head back in he'd sneeze and throw snot all over the car.
It was a hoot.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Gone home

The house seems quiet as I walk in the front door. The heat pummels me reminding me of my least favorite of the seasons. Orion strolls over panting.
"I know buddy, but remember it could be like that summer with no AC or fans for that bit and the bed bugs and scabies..."
He walks slowly back to the living room and plunks down.
I look for the grey dog, but then quickly remember Ma took her home. I miss Chloe already. My old friend. Yes, I know she belongs technically to the family but I've had her for sixth months almost and I've become reattached to my old buddy of adolescence. Plus Orion loves her and kisses her face and bounces around her, and gets chased and ordered around. Now it's just us.
Chloe is a natural barometer of my moods and emotions too, positioning herself at the foot of my bed to stand guard while I'm out cold recooping my energy from the day. (Granted 99% Orion lays beside my head too, keeping guard but sometimes when I wake, he drifts, while she stays). I like that about her. She sticks it out when I'm not in my best place to remind me, hey, don't worry. I'm here.
Plus, lets be honest, we can relate a bit more pacing wise now.
"Orion, I miss Chloe."
He looks up from his corner between the couch and the wall.
"Hey buddy, I know you're going to hate this, and I'm going to be sad too because you'll ignore me all night but we still need to clean out your ears..."
And now I sit in bed with no dogs near. Orion hiding somewhere else in the apartment and Chloe up in New Hampshire sleeping beside Ma and Dad's bed on the carpet. Good thing I'll see her Tuesday. Get my dose.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Life like my 14 year-old-dog

Dad: "I'm calling to wake you up."
Me: "Yeah. I've been passed out for about three and a half hours. I'm recuperating from the week in the front yard."
Dad: "Yeah you fell asleep on me while texting the other afternoon."
Me: "Dad, I'm like an old lady."
Dad: "What else is going on?"
Me: "Chloe's sleeping out in the shade and Mags is getting some statistical stuff done for her thesis and sweating."
Dad: "Chloe's out there too?"
Me: "Yeah, Chloe and I are pretty much about the same right now."
He chuckles, "You're right. Well get up and do something."
Me: "I think you missed the whole part of I have no energy. I've thought about getting up for thirty minutes now. Maybe I'll go see if Chloe gets up, then I'll muster it up. I mean if she can and she's fourteen, I might be able to as well."
I get up. Chloe wakes up. We go inside.
I miss my yellow dog who I set out at the farm because I knew he'd want to run in the fields and terrorize other dogs. More energy than I was game for on this day... but I still miss his goofy little cute face. I told Chloe her rest period was going to come to a short end in  about an hour when her brother came home and ran loops around the house. She resumed her sitting position looking out the front door. I resumed my position resting on the couch.
What a team.

Monday, June 10, 2013


The team is reunited. One scruffy mutt Chloe, one pure-bred trouble-making labrador Orion. The parents have headed overseas again and it's the young sisters keeping it real. It's a good thing Mags is still on Laos time because she's been very patient with a yellow dog waking her up at five AM for pee breaks. Chloe? Chloe sleeps. And now, chases the young one.

Things are good.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Borrowing from the dog

"Orion I'm running out of steam. Can you help?" He licks my face. We might make it after all.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Miss you

"Orion, if I flip the couch out will you sleep with me? And quit ditching me for Dad?"
He looks at me.
"Orion I got you to be MY therapy dog."
He licks my face.
"I'm just saying I miss you."
"Your grandpa takes you on walks and lets you out and you sleep with him. Where do you and I get time together?"
He saunters off to the kitchen where Dad's making dinner.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Evening hours with Chloe

Dad has taken Orion out for a long walk. I'm still trying to encourage this both for him, Dad, and for Orion so he gets exercise. "You're not allowed an ice cream bar till after you take the dog for a walk. I'd like to see you keep off the thirteen pounds you lost in Georgia and I suspect you've put at least seven back on," I say, as I wrap up the remaining leftovers of my dinner. "Five. I put back on five." "I'm just saying there are countless trails all over here. You could really enjoy the time here." So off he goes with Orion, leaving my old friend asleep on the floor. I discover I feel a distinct feeling of loneliness looming on my perhipery and I wonder if this is due to my best friend's departure. She left early that afternoon. Or, that I was passed out for an hour after work and once again I am left wondering about my life and how much meditation, how much positive affirmation and all that I am doing right now. I lay down next to Chloe. I rub her belly, "Hello Old Friend," I say. It's not often I can pay attention to her without a yellow lab licking her face, barking at me. Jealous. She wakes up, lets me rub her chin. She's like a cat; I scratch the sides of her cheeks. Scratch her face. "You know your story too?" I ask. "You were just a little girl, maybe three months old, sitting in a little cage at the shelter. Someone else wanted you, did you know that? Someone else had first dibs. Your little ears were bent over and you just sat and looked at us." I rub her tummy some more. "But we got you, and you got you to come home with us." I'm quiet for a moment. "I'll be forever grateful you were my buddy while I was not in my best space Chloe. I want you to know that." I rub her head. "You've always had the prettiest eyes Chloe." She's happy. She's just hanging out. The two of us lying on the floor. Lately I've been relating to her as I move slowly, as my legs take a bit to warm up in the morning, as I take my naps. She's low maintenance but I love this old friend.

Sunday, May 26, 2013


The best friend human is on Molly watch this weekend but part of the time since I'm like an old lady I still nap. Here is the picture capture:

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Rambles of a day in New Hampshire

Today friends who have been out of the country returned and picked up myself and my two dogs to deposit us up in New Hampshire at my parents house. Oh they were willing to have us hang at their house too, to visit, but as we pulled up I explained I was going to need to sleep so just drop us off it'd be easier. The nice thing about my parent's house is there are only two steps to get to the door, there is a big front yard and they have wired up cords so that the dogs can be hooked up and more or less roam freely in the front yard. It's quiet there too. Sure you can hear the highway but that's different than the sound of people stumbling out of the bars at my apartment or the continuous flow of traffic through downtown. The stars are also amazing, perhaps because again, we are far from the city so you can look out between the trees and see each twinkling down at you. Don, one of the friend's says, "See that one there?" (referring to the stars) "Yeah." "That's Saturn," he says. "Oh, well apparently that's my planet as a Capricorn--I'm learning these things living in Western Massachusetts." He drops me off and I go inside to Chloe who's fast asleep on the couch--probably loving that this is her familiar place and then there's my boy, ready for snuggles, wiggly as ever. This afternoon we sat outside on the front lawn. Orion sat on my leg and let me comb him. Chunks of white fur littered the yard. "Well some bird is going to have a sweet hotel nest," I say. He stays snuggled close. My childhood best friend's mom stopped by for a visit and Orion slept on her feet, while also making sure to be touching me. Earlier, as I slept, he climbed on top of me and stayed, even as my body was going through it's usual round of spasms. All 65 pounds of him. "Thank you friend," I said because my body was so exhausted it was like it didn't have the energy left to even spasm and his weight seemed to slow them down. Not to mention, I'm just tired and it's comforting to have best friend dog giving you some "dog medicine" as my old friend use to say. And so now we decided to climb up to the parent's room, where surprisingly it's warmer then the downstairs. It's a bit sad because the last time I was here I was with Mom and she was making me laugh and I was getting a lot better and Orion would antagonize the hell out of her trying to sleep on her side of the bed, and I would laugh but now it's just he and I. He jumps up, fluffs up the blankets and passes out, feet falling over my legs. Chloe stays on the floor but that's always been Chloe's style, just like it was mine when I was a kid and had growing pains--Dad's bathrobe and the spot on the floor beside their bed--I swear that's why I can sleep anywhere, any surface. Anyways, it was a good day. It was nice to see old friends, really good to talk to my childhood best friend's mom about what was going on because she has a rough go of her own, and just because at one time she was like my own mom, letting me do screaming contests in her car, letting us draw all over her table. It was nice to sit on the deck and talk with the other friends about girl things and nice to come home to my dog who's just been kind of what I've needed lately. I once said I bought a lab because I wanted a dog to go hiking with, one that would swim, and one that wanted to be with me all the time. Orion fits the bill, but I especially like it when he seems to sense to tone down the two-year-old and step up with the dog perception.

Friday, May 17, 2013


"Would you mind if I go to bed? I'm pretty exhausted," I say at 7:30 PM. Orion crawls under my desk and flops down. I'll call that a yes.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

And he steps up

Today the legs decided with twenty yards to go to my apartment to stop working. "This is a problem dogs," I say, balancing both leases in my hand. Granted I hadn't taken my meds yet so this was partially my fault. "You two need to help get me home ok? This time I WANT you to pull," I say. I zig zagged between their leashes and my functional hips and use their strength to get to the door and we make it. I stare at the stairs to lead up to my apartment. Hum. The dogs have crawled up, Orion paused half way to look at me. I tried the whole arm pull up the handle but two steps in my arms just didn't have it either. Too tired. Pride before fall, I think, and I sit on my butt and bump one step up at a time. Orion comes back down the stairs, he has his harness on. "Hey buddy. I'm just having trouble today. Can you help a little?" I ask. I grab his harness and he steps one step back, I bounce one step back. He steps one back, I bounce one back till we make it to the top. "Thank you Orion," I say. Though he's now off down the hall. His duty was done, kept an eye on me, made sure I was okay and was on to other things. I lean against the wall and patiently work my way to my apartment. Opening the door, I'm happy to find my walker inside right near the entrance and quickly pop it open. I start to wheel towards where I keep my medicine and my legs decide they're done. My arms decide I am just too much today too, so I safely start to collapse myself on my walker and down to the floor. Patience Molly, I think, as I really feel like crying. I look at my legs folded cockeyed. I look at the meds on the top of the microwave. I'm so close. I'm so tired. "Okay, Mol, no rush. Just wait a minute or two then try again." I look around to see if I can knock the pills down with anything. I do and they roll off the counter down to meet me on the floor. Success. Orion is still hanging out by me. I pat his head. I tell him how much I appreciate him. "Orion can I use you again to try and get up?" I ask. He moves around me, and I grab his collar to start the upwards process. "Thanks friend," I say, and he goes on under the table to do better things like shredding apart the paper recycle bin. I don't even mind.

Saturday, May 11, 2013


I sit in bed. My legs aren't working right now. I'm exhausted but I'm getting use to this pattern. It has been well over a month. Orion grumbles at the foot of the bed. I move the walker over to the fridge to get him a bone, silently thanking my mom that when she was in town she bought them in bulk. We move back to the bedroom, I trip and go down, safely, but have a hiccup in my tear ducts. "I'm trying," I remind myself. I collect myself up and go back to lying on the bed. I wonder what to do with myself for the rest of the day. I'm so tired. I can't move much. Orion's still grumbling. "Orion, I need you to be good. AJ and Cherry took you to the park. I'm not well buddy." He looks at me and moves closer. "Hun. This is not our best time but I don't want you to have to be taken away from me okay?" "Orion, look at me." He rolls over and kisses my chin. "I just need your patience." "I didn't sign up for this either and I had higher hopes for you and I but we have to stay positive okay buddy? And you can't drive me nuts because it is going to take a lot for me to stay positive right now." I think about a time my friend's brother was dying. She watched back to back episodes of 24 to pass the time. I sat on the bed just to be around her so she had company. We hardly talked. I couldn't tell you a thing about that tv show because I didn't pay attention. I could care less about 24 but I figured it sucked to wait for your brother to die by yourself so I just was there. As I sit in my bed I kind of wish I had someone sitting next to me. I don't know what we'd do but just sit next to me. Pass some time. I'm half tempted to write that friend but that friendship ended in a real not good way so I'll just stay sitting here. Orion's moved on to emptying the kitchen sink. I can hear him remove the spatula from the sink. "ORION!" But truthfully, I don't have it in me to get up and get him. I think about my teacher friends and if I should call and say, "Hey, could you just pick me up and let me be around? Do whatever you'd be doing but just let me be around?" But they're new friends and that might be presumptuous. I think the adjective I'm looking for is that I'm feeling lonely and my dog happens to not be a tired snuggly one but a two and half year old smiling lab who has brought an Ensure bottle to the bed just to let me know it was NOT the spatula he was after afterall.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Dog Swap

Recently I was gone for a week stay in a hospital (long story not worth repeating, also for once, not involving the dog). While gone my friends AJ and Cherry took care of my dogs, taking them for walks, letting them out etc. AJ bought a new harness for Orion, convinced it would work.
Me: "I don't know AJ, I have tried different ones in the past and he has near to killed me."
AJ: "This one will work."
And so I pass off the money for it trusting AJ the dog whisperer and then take up my hospital residency. (AJ hung out with me for a day and told me she was working on Orion.)
When I return home, I am not allowed to walk the dogs at first due to me walking myself with the support of a walker, but I see Orion has a new shiny harness. His choke chain and prong collar have been removed.
"Mom, have you walked him on that?" I asked astonished. (My mom flew in from the Republic of Georgia to be sure I was ok)
"Oh sure. He is great on it."
Skeptical I watch him loop in and out of the house. I work on walking on my own and before long I'm ready to try to go for a walk with the dogs.
"Can I take Chloe?" I ask, knowing she won't pull and overall she will be easier.
"Nope, you might as well take Orion while I'm here with you," Mom says.
I take Orion's leash and we start walking.
Orion walks beside me.
I look at Mom.
I keep walking.
He is still beside me.
We return to the house and he flops down for a nap.
"Mom, I don't know but between you and AJ, I don't know what happened to my yellow dog..."

Monday, April 15, 2013

Is it possible?

I turn the key in the door and slowly open it wondering what the inside will look like post Orion...
Is this possible? It looks exactly as I left.
I push the door wider.
I'm greeted by Chloe. Slowly Orion loops around the corner.
"Hey yellow dog are you feeling okay?" I ask. Usually I get wiggles, licks and an outburst of energy. I wonder briefly if that plastic bag he ate in full (stolen from the pocket of a woman at the dog park) is finally working its way out in a way less appealing to his gut...
We go for our walk and I find the top of the bag has made it through--yeah for ziplock bags...
Inside he settles into the evening.
Is this my dog?
I kiss his pink nose and toss the ball a bit and he peacefully settles into Grandpa's old chair.
Okay then.
I guess after a day with my aging grandparents he wanted to show me how it might be with him too.
I will take it for today and I turn back tot helmeted writing on my desk.

I miss my dogs

I miss my dogs. Long week. Getting better. Will see them soon.

Monday, April 8, 2013


I have noticed when I go to give Chloe her pill Orion disappears.
Me: "Orion, do you want your ears cleaned?"
Orion's response:

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Morning Make up

I sit and watch as Orion weaves in and out of my legs. We had a rough evening yesterday. I may have sat him down and had a talk. "Orion, I understand you're upset and bored. Orion. Look at me. I'm doing the best I can. And I still love you even though you destroyed the kitchen AND ate my shortbread..." One could say it was a fight. He spent some time in his crate and I was still slightly disgruntled with him even in the morning. I'm Irish. What can I say?
Regardless, there I sat, brushing my teeth on the edge of the tub and thinking how much I enjoy that even though we were fighting, he still wants to hang out with me. Still travels room to room with me. Still watches patiently while I do my hair. Sticks his nose in the shower to check on me.
I look at his nose. The pink nose. The winter nose.
"Orion, your pink nose is just like my freckles. They come and go with the seasons."
He looks up at me.
I study the tiny intricate furs that make up his snout, pausing in my teeth scrubbing. I could study his face for hours.
"Today I wish I could actually stay home with you and just look at your face," I say, standing up. But instead I toss the cup of peanut butter in the crate with him and remind him to be ready for play time in the evening.
"Be a good boy Orion," I say. "Stay out of trouble. I love you," I say the familiar phrase tugging the door behind me. "You too, Chloe."

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Terrible twos

I drop my stuff to the floor. The wind flops out of my sails.
I don't even pat them. There are shattered dishes on the floor.
Cardboard is everywhere.
I reach for the broom. I fluff out a trash bag.
I sigh.
I practice breathing in and out slowly so not to have the tears fall and the five foot eight self fall to the floor as well.
"Go. Get out of here. I need space," I say to them as I clean up the mess.
Water bottle is destroyed. The water bottle from my friend, that made me smile as I practiced drinking more water in the day. "What you need is to drink more water to get rid of those headaches." I take the recycle bin and I throw the whole thing in the recycle bin downstairs.
"I don't freaking care about the stupid recycling anymore. All you ever do is just get in there and make a mess out of it. I'm done with my house being a mess!"

Then we're outside. They're hooked around my waist.
"I HATE HAVING TWO JOBS! TODAY I HATE HAVING TWO DOGS! I HATE TWOS IN GENERAL!" I shout as we cross the road to where they can pee and I'm getting tangled and they are pulling me one way then another.
I realize anyone who hears me is going to think I'm nuts.
Right now, I've resolved, I am nuts.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Chill people Just chill

I've spent a lot of time recently just petting the dogs. Rumor is petting a dog can reduce stress. I'm all for reducing stress. I'll just sit there and pet, pet, pet until one or both get sick of it and wander off.

Yesterday as I was getting everyone ready for the drive north, I put some of Orion's Rescue Remedy (a natural anti-anxiety for pets) on a treat and gave it to him.
"Okay Orion, this is so you can chill out on the car ride," I say, dropping the fourth drop on the treat.
"I need some of this for humans..." I mutter.
We load up and off we go.

Today in the Natural Food Store:
"Hi I was wondering if you had any vitamins for stress reduction/anti-anxiety?" I ask the sales lady.
"Actually yes, we have two. This one is for more immediate affects," she says turning to point behind her.
I start laughing.
She looks puzzled.
"I'm sorry, I was JUST telling my dog I needed some of his Rescue Remedy for humans, and they actually MAKE it for humans."
"Oh, I'm sure there's a slight difference."
I'm still smiling.
"Oh, I'm fine even if it doesn't. I'll totally try it."
And off I roll to put my four drops in water and resume my position on the front lawn with the sun pouring down on me, and Chloe at my head. Pet, pet, pet...

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


Chloe's nose pops up over the rim of the claw foot tub.
"Chloe, it's not going to happen," I say as I eat my piece of pizza while soaking in the tub. Orion's crazily tossing his plastic dice around in the other room so he can capture the bits of kibble that filter out of the hole in the center--my temporary safety net for the household whilst I'm slightly at a disadvantage.
Her ears perk.
"You're never snooping in the bathroom; I know you're just after the pizza."
She nudges the shower curtain.
I am getting sick of this thick dough.
Her little eyes sparkle.
The cute little white dot on the tip of her nose says, "but I'm so cute..."
I hand her the last bite.
"I'm still going to have to treat your tail you know," I say to excuse my temporary softness.
Eventually I climb out of the tub when the little yellow dogs whining implies Orion has finished his dinner and could I please move the chair that blocked the kitchen off so Chloe wouldn't eat my dinner?
I slowly creep up next to Chloe who has positioned herself as usual in front of the fridgerator, bacitracin in hand, and I pet her head while scooping up her half balding tail.
"Here honey, this will help that little cut heal. You and I both are a little banged up this week," I say, brushing the remaining fur over the little bald tip.
"Now don't go licking it off."
I notice Orion is no where near Chloe and I. His head is low, as if he's peeking but hopes I don't see him in the other room.
"Chicken are we?"
I stand up and move towards him.
"I just need to check your ears." I snag his collar and peek inside each ear before patting his head and releasing my grip.
"All clear. No need for cleaning tonight. Not so bad, eh?"
He slinks into his crate and refuses to participate with Chloe and I for the rest of the evening.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


I opened the door from work and smile down at my yellow dog's happy face. I set my bags on the floor from the first job and assess the room--I kept Orion and Chloe in the kitchen to try to cut down on the elements of destruction.
"Got bored of the order in the recycle bin Orion?" I ask as I look at the newly arranged box, cardboard on the floor papers thrown about. Not too bad.
I step into the kitchen.
Where's Chloe?
"Orion what did you do with Chloe?"
He trots behind me, and we move into the bathroom where Chloe has taken refuge on the one cloth component in the kitchen--the bathmat.
"Hi Old Friend, did you get sick of the who-rah's of the young one and decide to designate the bathroom as your territory?"
She wiggles her tail and starts to get up to greet me.

I return from the second job and open the door, wondering how round two will go.
My backpack is on the floor, the blanket pulled out of it.
The floor is visibly wet.
I'm curious.
Beer glass bottles from the recycling bin are tossed about.
I move closer--those should have been empty.
The can of Ginger Ale that very much was NOT empty until a little yellow dog opted for a drink and opted to quench his thirst by piercing the can.
Well, at least I took the iPad out of the bag before I left.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The boy has been throwing up. It sounds sad. It looks sad. Sadder still when it has some red in it. I frantically call Pam, "Should I be worried?" She tells me what to look for and I feel slightly better, but still worry that something may be cutting his tummy.
"You know I was kidding when I said you have only up to my Apple stock value for what I can do to fix you, I really don't want to see you be sick at all." I give him hugs and he twists between my legs. I am happy to have the evening off. Happy we spent time snuggling this morning even if it did cause me to be nearly late for work.. It was a tough night with him up on and off.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Week down

Sunday: shredded dog bag
Monday: ink jar held strong. Italian dressing on the comforter lost wicked bad
Tuesday: acrylic paints everywhere
Wed: who needed those shoes anyways??

Someone besides myself doesn't like that I work two jobs.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Conversations of an unbalanced life

I push open the door, puzzling over my lack of balance with work and life after another great meeting with librarians, writers and illustrators in the basement of a historic tavern. Orion greets me, tail wagging, his eyes looking tired. I glance around the kitchen for poop piles as he seems to be under the weather as of late and leaving me said presents to remind me both of my lack of balance and his lack of interest in my long hours away.
"Oh what's this Orion?" I ask, pointing to the shredded brown bag on the floor.
"Oh, that's your lunch that you didn't finish this afternoon, that you thought you'd pack again for tomorrow..."
"Yeah? And how did it end up in pieces?"
"Oh, I thought you were so kind for leaving me a peanut butter and honey sandwich. You know how much I love peanut butter and a challenge to get to my food. Plus that chicken broth and rice diet? It's just not cutting it. That's why you left me dessert!"
He wiggles between my legs to get his butt scratched again.
"And that was extra nice that you left me carrots. I do love carrots."
"And, well, I know you mentioned how important peas are too, so I took care of that bag too just in case there were any left... that's in the living room."
Wiggles back through.
"And well, don't worry, I pulled down enough silverware for Chloe and I because I know how important it is to eat properly. I tossed down some bowls too."
"Did you see the towel I pulled out too, to properly wash our paws?"
"I kind of wish you would've left us some water though... that one bowl wasn't quite the same as the toilet lid left up...."
He's smiling as he goes back and forth between my legs, appreciating his back scratchies.
I move into the living room. See the shredded pea bag.
I move into the bedroom.
"Oh, and Orion, did you just want to remind me how much I love to pick up poop in the house too?" I ask my trailing companion, as I see a pile in the bedroom.
"Well I know how much you want to relax in the evening, and how you are just about done with your paper towel roll. I just wanted to make sure you could use it all before the weekend. Just trying to help is all."
The light heartedness wins out for tonight. A precarious seesaw, and I kiss the tired boys head and tell him it's okay and we crawl into bed (of course after depositing the stinky poop)

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Old Fart

It's dusk and it's the first time in awhile I have this deep happy swelling in my insides. Chloe trots along, little tail flipping left and right, her bald patch not bothered by the flurries twisting in the air. Orion springs ahead, a wound dog wishing to be set free to sprint along the sidewalk rather than patiently stepping one foot in front of the other.  Snow is melting despite the light flakes falling in the air, and I have never been so happy to see mud in my life. I proudly stomp through it, celebrating the sign of spring. I listen to the bustle of downtown traffic and think about how much I miss the ground beneath my feet but how happy I am to be putting down roots in this place, this place where friends invite me to be a part of their community, coffee shop owners tell me when they're going to Aruba so I won't worry when they aren't there to wave to in the morning dog walk...and my apartment with it's purple curtains and wood floors.

We round the corner and Orion's control bursts. Suddenly Chloe and I are in a jog, a run, down the sidewalk... my singing ceases for the moment, as I call ahead, "Orion! I'm sadly too old for this! I'm nearly thirty Orion!" And then I start to giggle. Almost thirty?
"But Mom the night is lovely, and we're out for a walk, how about a nice job instead. Hold tight to those mittens!" I say out loud, as Orion's voice carrying back to Chloe and I... and then I start into song, again, "Here I am a happy yellow dog with my best friend scruffy Chloe, and best friend human Molly and we're walking down the sidewalk..."

It's a wonder the record company hasn't called.

We pass the house with the dinosaur in the garden, and I think of the little boy with blue eyes pretending he was big enough to shovel, telling me about something in his little boy language during Nemo the snow storm, and the parents, with their foreign languages, and the odd baby face in a plastic flower attached to their fence post that scared the bejesus out of me the first time I saw it.


I love neighbors. And I think of Zachary, my nine-year-old buddy and how I should give him call...and my old friend, who's name's escaping me for the moment, Herb, who use to walk his tiny dog everyday and tell me not to get married...


"Hum." I walk in the front door, dragging my six grocery bags in on my dying arm. I plunk them on the floor and look around. It is surprisingly clean in the kitchen. Too clean. The frying pan has disappeared from the stove. The plate as well.
"Liz?" I had left a key for a friend who may have arrived before I made it back from shopping.
No response.
Did someone come in and steal my frying pan?
Orion's following at my feet as I peek in the middle room. I flip the light switch.
Orion cocks his head.
My couch looks as if the recycling bin exploded. There's my strainer, or a piece of my strainer. There's a spaghetti jar, the packaging for the ham that I was going to recycle, the juice box. Pieces. Pieces. Pieces.
He trots back to the kitchen.
I follow, eyes rolling to the top of my head.
But what about that frying pan....
I look under the table, I look in the bathroom, and then I see it--frying pan and broken ceramic plate, beside the stove.
I sigh.
I start collecting pieces.
"Honey if you break these and eat them they can cut up your intestines and then you'll be a dead dog. I don't think my Apple stock can cover that kind of repair work. If you have to, stick to the recycle bin okay?"
Chloe wanders in. She sniffs the pile of broken pottery.
"What were you, the driver when the robbery happened?"
She struts back out.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


With a single week night off and one weekend day, I haven't had much time to indulge in the world of blogging but these are the highlights:

1. Walking dog at 5:44 AM through the perfectly cut sidewalks after a two foot snow storm. Dog dives head into snow, as if looking for something. Dog's head pops up. Something is in his mouth.
"ORION SERIOUSLY??!!" I back track on the ice to him, dragging fourteen year old dog back as well. Pry open dog's mouth. Half a chocolate chip cookie. "Honestly Orion? How do you FIND these things??" Keep walking. Grumble, grumble.

2. Sitting in bedroom ready to fall asleep. Friend from Ohio says, "I think Orion's cleaning up the kitchen." There's a crash.  Another crash. A third crash. "Is it bad I just don't even care enough to see what he's into? It'll be there in the morning," I roll over and go to sleep.

3. "I might kill him," I say to Ohio friend as we are driving her to the airport. "I mean we've done the rescue remedy." Orion's whining in the back seat after his high pitch barking parade. "That's it. Reach in the glove box and find a benadryl." Dog eats benadryl in a piece of donut. Ten minutes later I look at him, head propped against the passenger chair, eyelids dropping. "Oh honey. Just put your head down and rest. I know you feel weird. Just sleep."

4. It's cold. I haven't turned up the heat. I'm afraid the bill will be high. I lift the blanket. The boy crawls under. I curl up beside him. We'll keep each other warm tonight.

5. It's mounds of snow from our Nemo snow storm. The boy bounds up the mountain, the mountain collapses. Where's the boy? Head pops up and he leaps like a reindeer only to disappear a second time. Well, we go another block like this and i figure we can skip the long walk as he'll be tired enough with his hurdles.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


Recently I moved across country. Then I moved again three months later to avoid driving 1.5 hours to my two jobs twice a day. As I left the countries leading bed but capital of the world, I had no trouble throwing out my mattresses and starting fresh here, and by fresh I mean with y air mattress till it was time to invest in a bed. Trouble is, the air mattress was a twin. Trouble is, Labrador grew. Trouble is, I may have popped it by mistake when all pound ages of me fell on it one fateful night and must have sprung a small but subtle leak that now makes for a balancing seawardly like state in the morning wi dog and I. Consequently, I had to give it up. I should have a fold out couch arriving some day but for now I have only cushions:

"See? This isn't so bad," I say to Orion assessing my creation of every cushion in the apartment.
Orion: silent.
Me: "okay, so maybe it is. I will start saving for a bed."