Thursday, August 31, 2006


"I can fix a bad page but I can't fix a blank one." ~ Nora Roberts

I'm drawing a line in the sand. It's time to get back to writing. Whatever issues I have with writing--like most writers, I have many--I need to put them aside and get over them. I'm a WRITER, dammit! I need to start behaving like one. Which means writing nearly every single day.

As I've said in previous posts, I hatehatehate scheduling myself. Ever since I was a kid I've always bucked against schedules. I like to keep things loose and casual most of the time... So I won't write myself a daily schedule--not yet. For now, I'm going to attempt a list of goals.

1) Critique one scene per week for my online writing workshop (I'm behind by two right now.)
2) Write a minimum of 30 minutes per day.

This will be enough to get started with right now. I'll also dig out my poster board and clippings and see if I can't get started on a collage for my WIP. No pressure. It doesn't have to be perfect. In fact, it can be hideous! Great, I'll add that:

3) Work on collage at my leisure.

I am giving myself permission to fashion an ugly collage and permission to write 30 minutes of drivel a night! At least at first. Hopefully, after I while, my confidence will come back and I won't think I suck.

This is my plan. Care to join me?

Current Mood: Hopeful.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Quick update

Sorry I haven't posted in a while. We have been busy getting Lulu settled in her new home. It is a new and interesting experience having a rescue dog and so rewarding. She is an adult (mostly--as a large breed dog 1 year old is still a bit of a pup) and she's had life experiences we don't know about. She's been through a roller coaster the last two months since she was picked up by the shelter on July 13th and who knows what else happened to her before that? Poor Lulu!

Anyway, in spite of all that, Lulu is fitting into our family like she was always there. Like she was a missing puzzle piece. She's lost most of her initial shyness and all of her anxiety. She needs to be told "no" a couple of times a day when she takes a shoe or a towel, but she listens and is learning quickly. I don't think she's had any training as far as sit, stay, etc but she is housebroken and hasn't had an accident yet. This is so great.

We contacted Tyson's foster parents and we are going to arrange a meeting soon. Lulu has really come out of her shell and though she (like Tyson) is mellow most of the time, she does like to play and we think she would benefit from having a friend.

That's all for this lunch break. I will post another better update and perhaps some pics tonight or tomorrow.

Current mood: pretty decent

Monday, August 21, 2006

Lulu Pix

Here is Lulu. As you can see she is very fond of her bed and napping in general.
Here she is all stretched out in the livingroom.
And here she is looking very much like her English Bulldog side.

We took her for a walk tonight and in the middle of it she simply sat down as if to say, "I'm all done now." It was really funny. I wonder if this is a common Bully thing. Our neighbors have the cutest full bred English Bulldog named Matilda. Next time they are out walking her I'm going to ask them about it.

Current Mood: Amused

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Sunday, August 20, 2006

Lulu update

Lulu is here! She's sleeping at my feet and snoring those little Bully snores. She's precious and adorable and I love her so much.

The adoption event was a noisy, stressful zoo. It took us 2 hours to get there and then there was all this chaos--dogs everywhere, people everywhere, L.A. in general-- and the hubby and I almost left dogless. But then we saw Lulu and we took her out for a walk and re-connected with her. We talked some sense into each other--really, there was so much commotion we were starting to feel so stressed out. We were looking at other dogs and we walked Lulu and Tyson together and they did good together. But it all felt like so much. Bellini wasn't there. The rescue owner said he was at training. (When I asked about him again later she said he'd need more training because right now he was a pain in the butt. So that's not good.)

I guess it was an emotional thing too. We only lost Niki 2 weeks ago and the pain was still so fresh. Adopting a dog is a lifetime (the dog's) commitment and it all felt like such a huge thing. And it is. So, in the end we took Lulu and decided to get her situated and get a second dog in a few weeks. On the way out we saw Tyson and his foster parents and we talked with them. Earlier in the day he was mellow when he was in his crate, but once he was outside and we tried to walk him he got kind of hyper. They explained that he wasn't hyper at all, it was just the commotion--which I totally understood. When we told them that we thought we wanted him and talked to them about how we'd recently lost Niki they were so warm and caring. They run a Petsitting business and they own 2 dogs and foster 2 dogs and are really great people. According to them Tyson loves all dogs and he's just a big mellow ball of love. Abner and I are intrigued.

--Oh! Lulu just snored so loud right now! It was the funniest thing ever!--

Anyway, we really don't want to go to another of those adoption events. Hopefully we can just go pick up Tyson at their house. That would be great. The hubby and I are going to discuss this over the course of this week and see if it's something we want to commit to. I think it is.

Anyway, back to Lulu. She acts like she was abused in some way. She's skittish when she hears noises and she backs away when you stand up or move quickly, but she's already learning to trust us. When I was banging pots and pans around in the kitchen she stood there next to me and didn't even flinch, which made me happy. She doesn't like the black cordless phone at all. She backs away when one of us picks it up and we're wondering if someone hit her with one or if she got hit for taking one. She likes to pick things up and carry them off, but she hasn't ruined anything. She's very gentle.

That's all for tonight. It's been a full weekend and I still have to hang up laundry and wash my crazy mop of hair. I hope you all had a great weekend out there in Blogger land. Will post Lulu;s new pics tomorrow if Blogger will cooperate.

Current mood: sleepy and happy too...

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Friday, August 18, 2006

Checking in

Sorry I've been AWOL. Pupsitting for a couple of extremely active dogs is exhausting work! Abby and Stuart are very cute, but I could never live a normal life with dogs like this in my home on a permanent basis. Even my husband exclaimed that he can't take the stress.

The first night they were at our house, they spied Rutherford the cat and chased him all over the house. Abby noticed him jumping on the kitchen chair and up onto the kitchen table, so she followed him. I will never forget what it looked like to have a Scotty dog standing in the middle of my kitchen table. My husband and I just stared at each other for a full second or two. It was so odd. She knocked all the food off the table and Stuart kept after the cat. A couple of loud crashes from the living room brought me out of my Scottie-on-the-table haze and I ran to rescue Rutherford.

When I found Ruthie and Stuey, they looked a bit like a cyclone. All arms and legs and lots of growls. I was so afraid for Rutherford. I grabbed Stuart and Rutherford hid behind the entertainment center until we put the dogs in their crate. My husband is so against the idea of putting dogs in a crate. He was pretty much horrified when his sister told him they slept in one. It came in handy just then though, let me tell you.

It took forever to get Ruthie out from behind the entertainment center and we gave him lots of TLC. The sad thing is he's been afraid to come home at night now. Tues he came home very late. Abner had to go outside and bring him inside because he kept shying away. Wed was the same thing. Thursday he stayed even farther away. It was so sad. I had to put his food on the porch. This is really breaking my heart.

The painters are taking longer than they said they would. What turned into "three days" pupsitting is turning into 4 or 5--or more. I felt bad, but I had my husband call his sister and tell her that the dogs had to be out Saturday morning because we're leaving at Noon to go get Lulu. They already knew we were going to get her, but I wanted to make sure they knew that the dogs needed to be picked up.

I just can't bring Lulu home into a chaotic house. First she was lost, then she got stuck in the shelter, then she was at the vet in a small cage for 2 weeks, then she was at the Foster Family's house (with no yard) for a week and finally she'll be at the adoption event all afternoon with tons of dogs and people and activity. What she needs is to come home to a quiet house, to have time to explore and get to know us. I know I'm doing what's best for her. I'm sorry my sister in law will have to deal with having her dogs indoors all weekend or taking them to her mother's house, but my first responsibility is to Lulu.

Current mood: Resolute.


Monday, August 14, 2006


Not to be outdone, this is Bellini. My husband thinks he would be good with Lulu because they are both English Bulldog mixes (Tyson is all American Bulldog) and because they are a similar size, etc. This is my way of thinking too and I'd be very happy with him--he's adorable--but I'm sort of stuck on Tyson right now.

The test will be how well the dogs like eachother. We'll see...

Current mood: stressed--must go clean house because in laws will be dropping off dogs tonight. House is a MESS. yikes!


This is Tyson. Isn't he cute? I just can't wait to meet him on Saturday.

Bet you all are thinking this Blog has seriously gone to the dogs. I guess it has. But I promise that once our homelife gets back to normal, I'll be writing again.

Current mood: anxious

Sunday, August 13, 2006


Here's a better picture of Lulu. You can see how she's filled out since they picked her up from the shelter 2 weeks ago. She's a very pretty girl and not as silly-looking as she appeared in the other photo from the petfinder site. We're getting excited about having her come to live with us.

This week will be busy too. My brother in law and sister in law are having their house painted. Last week some workers let their dogs out of the gate and they had to go pick them up from the pound. It cost them $200 to pick them up after being there for only 8 hours! They don't want to take any chances, so we're going to dogsit them at our house this week while the house gets painted. It will be fun to have them here. Stewart is a Boston Terrier and Abby is a Scottie. :)

Current mood: Satisfied

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Doggie Update

I tried to post pictures from our date with Lulu and Jefferson yesterday but Blogger won't let me. Oh well.

So, we went to go see them and they are both beautiful. Lulu is lovely and sweet and so loving. She makes this little piggy snort and licks your face and her puggy little face and little button eyes get all animated. Jefferson is gorgeous, big, buff, larger than life. Very sweet, very playful but... His play got a bit rough. And then he started to grab my husbands clothes and he wouldn't let go. My hubby is a very good judge of dogs (and people actually) and he said he could tell by the look in his eye that if he didn't get some good training very soon, he could be a very agressive dog.

I was so let down. He was too. We just are not ready to be dealing with an agressive dog right now. It was so hard with Niki for many years because she didn't like anyone but us. We really want dogs we can take with us to the park, to family gatherings, doggie friendly weekends in Big Bear Lake, etc. And Jeff wouldn't be that kind of dog without tons of work. And they wanted the two of them placed together.

Or so we thought.

Turns out that the rescue owner hadn't realized that he was agressive. She said she'd have to get her trainers to work with him and that she wanted Lulu away from him so she woudn't start to pick up his bad habits. She also told us that they were in the same cage at the pound together, they weren't picked up together like we thought. So we're not splitting up a family by taking Lulu without him. In fact, she said she knew they had another dog who she would get along with Lulu (Probably Tyson, who we'd already expressed interest in) and that she'd bring all her dogs to Petco for an adoption event next Saturday. She's gonna hold Lulu for us in case we want her.

We've had some long conversations over here and we've decided we do. Yippee!!! She even told us we could go back and get her if we wanted to, but we decided not to. We decided to get the house all ready for our inspection and to bring the dogs home together so Lulu won't be lonely before her friend gets here. I can't wait to meet Tyson. He looks like a beautiful boy! We'd actually asked about him before we even saw Jefferson.

So, that's our news. We're excited. We're crossing our fingers that we can find Lulu a friend. We're hoping it's Tyson. If we don't find her a friend, we decided we'd take her anyway on Saturday and then we'll just take her around when we go to meet other dogs. But for now...crossing fingers for Tyson. And LOVELOVELOVING our Lulu.

Current mood: Hopeful


Friday, August 11, 2006

Here's Jefferson

Here's Jefferson too. We're going to meet him and Lulu tomorrow at 4 PM.

If we decide we'd like to adopt them (and if we're approved of course) I'm thinking about names. The rescue named them, so they aren't used to their names yet-- since they've only had them 2 weeks.

I've been toying with presidential names. Since we have Rutherford the cat and someone named this boy Jefferson, it got me thinking that we could rename Lulu something presidential too. The only girly presidential name I could come up with was Madison. I'm not sure.

Lulu is a cute name though. I also like Sadie or Sadie Mae.

Jefferson kinda looks like a Jefferson. Hmm... Thoughts?

Current mood: Anxious

Dogs, Dogs, Dogs

Since my baby Kiki passed away last Friday--I can't believe it's been a whole week--my days have been filled of thoughts of dogs. My after-work evenings have been spent looking for dogs to adopt on the internet, filling out adoption applications, speaking with rescue owners, visiting animal shelters...

We all grieve in different ways. I talked to a woman who said her dog passed away 3 years ago and her husband still isn't ready to get a new one. Ditto for another person who had lost her pup 6 months ago. But us? We need a dog (or dogs) in the house. We don't have children and the cat comes and goes as he pleases. We still keep looking for her when we come home, still have her bowls husband saved her the little corner of his sandwich yesterday and forgot she wasn't there to eat it. (That was their thing.)

Someone asked me if I wanted to wait and get past my grief first. She didn't seem to understand that I'll never get past my grief. It fades and comes less often, but it's always there below the surface. She asked me if I felt guilty replacing my dog. I am not replacing her. No dog could ever take the place of my little Kiki, of Kilroy or Dotty or Louisa--no dog, cat, animal or human could do that. I carry all my pets with me in my heart. What she didn't seem to understand is that our house is empty now and I need another dog to share my life with. I've never wanted children, but I assume it's like this when a woman decides she wants to have a baby. It's all-consuming.

I'm a little excited, but trying not to get my hopes up. We are going to set up a meeting tomorrow with 2 English Bulldog/American Bulldog mixes--a boy and a girl who are friends. If we all like each other, we can adopt them both. They are already friends and we'd be keeping them together and that makes me really happy. Please meet Lulu. Doesn't her silly bulldog grin just make you smile?

Blogger's doing weird stuff, so I'll post Jefferson's photo in the next one.

Current Mood: up and down, but feeling up just this minute


Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The Gentleman From California

We call Rutherford the Gentleman from California because he was named after a president (long story) and because we watch entirely too much C-SPAN.

He's famous for posing in messy places like on the back of the couch when I have a load of laundry on it, or on the kitchen table with dirty dishes...those are the best photos I have of him and I'm not posting them, but this one's pretty good. All in all, an unmade bed isn't that bad of a place. After all, it was still morning and we'd just gotten up.

I just let him in the house for his dinner. He was chasing a bug so made me wait--of course because he's a cat. >^.^<

Current Mood: Amused

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What else can we do but go on? Some days are better than others. (Some hours are better than others.) I know the cat must have been glad to have the house all to himself at first, but now I know he's wishing we'd get another dog and fast!

Monday night I heard my husband--a silly, skipping sound of footsteps--thumping down the hallway. I heard him go back and forth and through the living room for a minute and then I heard him say, "Ow!" I went to investigate and asked what happened.

"I was giving Rutherford a ride on my shoulders and then he sunk his claws into my neck."

God help him, he is a dog person. As am I. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my cat Rutherford. He likes to cuddle on our laps, he will let my husband do silly things with him--undignified things like make him dance, dangle his feet, etc-- and he purrs like a motor. He's even decided it's now his job to wake us up in the morning like Niki used to. I just adore him. But I am a dog person. I miss Niki laying at my feet, following me around, listening to me like she understands me. I miss her big solid presence. I am a dog person.

We have been filling out applications at dog rescues and scouring the internet since last Saturday night. We have so much love to give and we need to share it with another dog--actually dogs plural. We like big dogs anyway, so Rutherford will not lose his place on my lap. And then my husband can do silly things with the dog instead. I'm sure Rutherford will think it's a good trade, all in all.

I still owe everyone a photo of Rutherford. I have a few and I'll post them later today.

Current mood: I'm not sure. It changes all the time. Healing is a lot of work.


Saturday, August 05, 2006


Today and yesterday have been incredibly hard. We see little bits of Niki everywhere. Her bed (which is old and worn and I forced my husband to throw away), her toys (which we ended up burying all but one of them with her), her fur (Gah! She's an Akita. We'll be finding that for months), her bowls (still sitting full in the kitchen), her hotdogs (in the fridge--for taking her pills), her vitamins, a new bag of unopened food, etc., etc., etc.

My husband found it hard to have an uninterrupted night's sleep last night. Since I sleep like the dead, she always woke him up in the middle of the night to be let out. I looked for her when I opened the fridge, because she'd always come running. Ditto on when we came home from the store last night. ::sigh::

The expression "It's better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all" is true, but there's nothing easy about it. I miss my baby.

Current mood: melancholy

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Friday, August 04, 2006


We lost our baby girl tonight.

We just came back from the 24 hour pet hospital. Everyone there was so kind and loving. Our Nikita was nearly 12 years old and we made the right decision, but it still hurts like hell.

It feels good to know that we were there with her when the vet put her out of her misery. It was over in seconds and she wasn't scared at all. It is good to be able to say that we gave her a long healthy, happy life. Since our other Akita Kilroy passed away we doted on her--refrained form getting another dog (which would have made things easier on us) because it was better for her to be alone with us.

But why oh why does it have to hurt so much? Why oh why do we let these furry creatures into our hearts? Because we have no choice. Anyone whose ever loved an animal can tell you that. You really have no power over the love of an animal.

Our house seems very empty tonight.

Tomorrow I'll go to and enter her name in the memorial. Tomorrow I'll go to and order her a plaque to match Kilroy's. But tonight--this morning--I'll do what I'm doing now. I'll remember all the good times, cry a river of tears, cuddle my cat and comfort my husband.

Good bye my Niki, sweet Kiki, baby girl, Nikita Bonita.

Good bye baby.

Lady Kenpo Nikita
September 23, 1994- August 4, 2006

Rest in Peace

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