Thursday, June 14, 2007

Whimper: Redux

so yeah, single again. blogging about it again. and again feeling compelled to say something declarative and profound about life and love, and how things work and don’t work for me. but i’d rather not get into all that this time around. it simply isn’t necessary.

what i do want to say is that i’m handling the breakup well -- perhaps uncharacteristically well. there was no big drama, no cheating or burning the house down. it was an amicable, mutual split that was many months in the making and free of any agonizing regrets. i felt prepared for it and confident that it was the right decision for both of us.

at the risk of sounding too mature, i will confess that i’ve been listening to sad music nonstop and eating copious amounts of buffalo wings with ranch dressing. but only on thursdays. and only when i’m not busy scribbling in my offline journal: Dear Diary, Why won’t anyone love me?

but really, all is well, and i’m glad we gave it a shot. we shared two fantastic years together, with a wildly romantic origin story that led into an irresistible and fiery love affair that i’m better for having. at times, even most times, it felt like Everything I Wanted, but there were deal-breakers that ultimately rendered us unworkable, despite how much i wished otherwise. still, Mo remains a permanent fixture in my life and a forever owner of my affinity. but as for being a pair, we can’t.

and now, i’m quite optimistic about the future and its assorted mysteries. i’m enjoying my alone time, with an empty house to myself and a new puppy to know. there are items to do, books to read, DVDs to watch and old friends to reconnect with. i anticipate this summer to be a strange hybrid of hibernation-motivation as i situate into a new routine that’s rooted squarely in my home, among my furry kids, sketching out the next chapter of my life.

sadly, this means no birthday bonanza extravaganza this year as the puppy is still too young to handle drunken guests walking through an always open yard door. i don’t trust her not to escape and don’t want to spend the entire evening worrying that she will. instead, i’ll turn 31 quietly among my closest friends and family. and then, i don’t know. but i’m curious to find out.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Introducing Pinko

i had been thinking about and talking about getting a second dog for years. i knew it would happen eventually, though timing and circumstances never made it easy. i had looked at a few dogs in the past, even had one stay the weekend with me, but it never clicked in the way i knew it would need to. then one day about a month back while i was cruising the pets section of craigslist, something i do regularly, something did click. i spotted a puppy and felt the familiar pinch of cupid and his damn arrow again:

deep dog: this might sound lame but there was something in the pup’s eyes that seemed deep and irresistible to me. she had been named Pebbles and her history involved a sad story about being rescued from a crackhouse in palmdale, where she had been mistreated, malnourished and left to suffer with a broken leg. a nice foster family took her in and nursed her to vitality. by the time i met her at an adoption fair a month later, she had made some mighty progress — putting on weight, learning basic commands and getting good with the housebreaking. i was impressed. but of course my interest meant nothing without approval from the big J.

we had one meeting at the adoption fair and another playdate at my house that went exceptionally well. they played, they laughed, they loved, they cried. and the planets aligned. with Juice onboard, i adopted the sweet puppy, who’s now six months old with leg fully healed, and renamed her Pinko after her pink cast and my communist roots.

co-pilots in crime: Juice and Pinko have become fast friends as well as sisters, united no doubt by their common enemy — me. i smell a mutiny on the horizon, with these two colluding against me during their huddled embraces. but what can i expect with three bitches in the house?

mystery meat: Mo says Pinko looks like she got her face caught in a car exhaust, that she fell for the old exploding cigar trick — a charcoal face characteristic of the Belgian Malinois. to me, she looks thoroughly shepard-esque mixed with the same mystery breed that gives Juice her floppy ears. but Pinko’s little with little, breakable bones. vet says she won’t grow to more than 35 pounds and that she might have some chihuahua in her.

Juice & Deuce: for being new, this runt sure has a lot of nicknames already. they include the very apt deuce, crazy, the little one, pretty in pinko and squirt. i had actually considered making Squirt her official name but then rethought that upon realizing i would forever have to introduce my dogs as Squirt ’n’ Juice. too much fluid. so yes, Pinko Jews is way better.

crazy in love: thankfully, Pinko is just as affectionate, cuddly, loving and warm as Juice is. unfortunately, none of this goodness is directed toward me, the evil dungeon mistress who occasionally drops kibble in the bowl when she’s not busy yelling “put that down! don’t eat that! off the bed! come back here! settle down!” it’s like chasing after a toddler. so most of the time, i get the cold shoulder, the dirty look, the silent treatment. and Juice the protector — who literally puts her big body between us when i’m trying to discipline the naughty puppy — gets all the unconditional awe and admiration a little sister could ever have for her older sibling.

still a sleeping cutie: and what a sibling Juice has been. i well up with treacle each time i consider how patient and welcoming she has been with this rat-faced terror whose favorite pastime is nipping at her neck and stealing toys from out of her mouth. but Juice never flinches; she totally gets it and even helps me out by modeling the perfect behavior each time i utter a request to Pinko, who turns constantly to Juice for direction.

hijacked: i will confess that i’m a bit jealous of their relationship. i sometimes think that Pinko is less my second dog than she is Juice’s first dog. she shadows Juice at every turn, needing to walk in her pawprints to sniff the same blade of grass that Juice sniffed. not that Juice minds having this captive audience of one who thinks she’s the center of the universe.

double the dirt and trouble: but oh my, the mess that two dogs leave behind. like Juice, Pinko has the shedding shepard gene that leaves a whole other dog behind, in hair, whenever she gets up. and there’s also Pinko’s proclivity of bringing in sticks from the yard to be eaten on the couch.

the twins: these two really have taken to each other in a way i couldn’t have predicted or planned better. Pinko simply lights up whenever she looks at Juice, just like she did the moment they met. and Juice is so fiercely protective of Pinko that she supervises Pinko’s interaction with other dogs at the dog park to make sure no one is picking on her kid sister. meanwhile, i'm still chopped liver.

the secret: behold the well behaved pupperonis who sit on cue and smile for the camera. i am the beastmaster! yeah, yeah, with some treats in my hand.

the temperament: this puppy is one tough cookie. she’s deep, she’s seen some shit, and it’s written on her face and imprinted in her eyes. like Juice, she’s smart and stubborn. like me, she’s full of needless pride. she’s a survivor — fearless and independent in a way that’s surprising for a six-month-old puppy. but with a bit of time and dedication that will all melt into love.

welcome home, Pinko.