Tag Archives: dog

A Beautiful Heart

A beautiful heart.  
Sacha heart 4.jpg

That’s how the doctor described Sasha’s  heart after seeing the CT Scan results in October.  So fitting for her, my little girl.  She loved everyone and everything.  She befriended the weirdo neighbour around the corner, much to my chagrin.  She tried to play with skunks, much to my dismay.

When the house alarm went off last Spring, I came home to find her playing with a police officer in the backyard – as stressful as it was for me, seeing the smile on both their faces as she retrieved her toy for him was a Mastercard moment – “priceless”.  


November 4th, 2017

She brought me out of my shell and made me less shy.  She made me a better, stronger person for having known and loved her.  She was my first dog as an adult, my very first little girl.  She suffered through almost 14 years of allergies.  She triumphed over cancer twice and her triumph gave her another 5 years of mischief and me another 5 years of memories.  And just four weeks ago, on December 4th, at 3:40, that beautiful heart of hers stopped beating, and with it went a part of my own.

The scent of her – the scent of home – is gone.   Henry feels it, too.  He’s restless and cries for no reason.  Make no mistake, the dog left behind feels a loss.   


Just nine hours before she died… I really thought I’d be bringing her home the next day.  Had I known, I’d have lay next to her at the hospital the whole night.  Regrets….

And so ends 2017, with loss and heartbreak.  With sadness and goodbyes.  Tonight, I’ll spend midnight as I have the last five years, with my favourite people – only this time, there will be four less paw-prints in the snow.


I walk along the city streets you used to walk along with me
And every step I take reminds me of just how we used to be
Well how can I forget you girl?
When there is always something there to remind me?

… you’ll always be a part of me…


Open Letter to Sasha, My Dog

Happy 13th birthday, Sasha!   




I know you’re disappointed that I took the day off to be with you today because you hate it when I’m all over you.  But I’m a selfish person, and I don’t know if this is the last time I’ll be able to put a party hat on you.   So when the Doodle was sent last week to schedule a meeting, and today was the day when everyone else could make it, I said, fuck it, no.  

Because you’re not ‘just a dog’ to me.  

From the moment I held you, and you nibbled my ear, I was in love.  I had read that puppies that struggle when you hold them will grow up to be stubborn and dominant, and that they are likely to give you grief.   You struggled.  But it was too late.  I got your Ex-Daddy (henceforth: Mindf*cker) to call the landlord to see if he could make an exception on the lease, so that I could bring you home.  That was on Friday, June 11th, 2004.   We waited and waited and waited, and finally, we had to go home.  Because, at that point, we were technically loitering.

The landlord finally got back to him late in the night, and I could hear Mindf*cker say, “listen, Brian… if you don’t let her get this puppy, she’s going to start talking about babies….”  I could have taken that as an insult, but I didn’t care…. as long as that lame joke between men meant that Brian would waive the no-pets clause in the lease.  

It worked.

Saturday morning, I was up bright and early and made the coffee.  I was giving Mindf*cker the evil eye because he was being sloth-like (but not cute), and told him to hustle it.  We arrived early and my heart soared when I saw that you were still there, that nobody had taken you home already.  You were loose and following one of the guys around as he prepared to open up, and it was as if time had slowed down.  But you were there, and I would soon be bringing you home, so all was well with the world at that moment.  

When we got you home, you were a little explorer, into everything.  I remember the sun shining through onto the hardwood floors, and you just lay down and fell asleep.  So I lay down next to you for a cuddle.  And then you got up and moved away.   I was crushed.  That was the first indicator of just how independent you were.  


First week at home

You were my first little girl; all my other dogs had been boys.   I naively thought that we would somehow be even closer because of it, but you had your own personality and your own ideas.  Mindf*cker cruelly exploited this, knowing how much I loved you, teasing me by saying that you liked him more than me, knowing that would hurt me.  He said that maybe if I tied a porkchop around my neck, you’d come to me.  Jerk.  He was the more ‘fun’ human (mostly because I’m pretty sure he had ADHD), I get that.  

Soon, I learned to respect your space and let you come to me.  And when I would scold you for being naughty, I’d threaten to hug and kiss you if you didn’t stop.  You were so naughty!  Despite telling Mindf*cker not to leave important things lying around on low surfaces, he did.  And then he’d lose his shit because you chewed it.  Like the $150 SD card (when SD cards were the new, revolutionary technology), the arm on his glasses, etc….  What I hadn’t counted on was that you’d chew the corners of walls. :/   Hiding that from the landlord was trickier than when you peed on the floor just as he was walking into the flat to check on something – that fleece toy I bought you really came in handy that day.  


The Toy That Soaked The Pee

For a couple of months, after you were able to jump on the bed, you would try to wake me up by nudging my head with your wet nose, and, when that didn’t work, you’d sit on my face.  On.  My.  Face.    It was quite a surprise at first, but it soon turned out to be my favourite way of waking up – because you made me laugh.   As you started to get bigger and heavier, it suddenly stopped – maybe you instinctively knew not to smother the face of the hand that feeds you.  


After you were ‘fixed’ – despite being the responsible thing to do, you would have been an amazing mother

The mischief you got into!

There was the time we were moving into a new flat so that you could have a yard and you bolted up the back stairs into the landlady’s open kitchen, eating the hamburger out of the pan and  the guest soaps in her bathroom.  You stole her tomatoes and ran off with an adolescent pumpkin, small enough for you to run off with, yet heavy enough that it meant you were dragging it as you ran.  You stole an entire quiche off the kitchen counter as it was cooling off… which resulted in having to clean projectile diarrhea at the end of the day.  When we brought you to a lake in Magog to let you experience swimming, you went after the ball, dropped it at our feet, then bolted into someone’s cabin, stealing freshly made cookies off the counter – the wife found it funny, the husband… not so much.  

And how can we forget the time that I thought you had escaped out the yard when the absent-minded landlady left the gate open, and I ran through the entire neighbourhood in tears, shaking a bag of baby carrots, shouting, “Bunny Luv! Sasha, come get your Bunny Luv!”… because that was the brand, and that’s what you usually responded to… only to come back, exhausted and red-eyed, to find that you had been hiding in the landlady’s compost box the entire time, eating fermented crap… which resulted in more projectile diarrhea.  

There was one time when I let you down.  We were invited to Mindf*cker’s father’s farm to see his dog’s new puppies.  We only found out after getting there, that his dad said you couldn’t come into the house because his dog might see you as a threat to her pups and get aggressive.  So Mindf*cker tied you outside.  And then it started to rain.  There was nothing more heartbreaking than seeing you sitting in the rain and having a house full of people say you were fine, that Labs are made for water.  Eventually, Mindf*cker saw that I was really upset and he put you into the barn/garage to appease me.  What I should have done was grab his car keys, and sit in the car with you until it was time to go.   But I knew the grief I’d get for doing that – because he cared more about what his family would think, than about how I felt.  So, I didn’t make a fuss… but the guilt of not having stood by you that day has stayed with me all these years.   


A rare, precious cuddle

Despite the fact that you’re not exceptionally cuddly with me, you’ve always been there for me when I’m upset.  Always.  While Henry runs away, uncomfortable (men, am I right?), you make a beeline towards me.   You won’t necessarily let me hold you around your shoulders, but you will direct your bum towards me and let me cuddle and/or cry on it.  A lot of tears have been shed on your bum, haven’t they little girl?  

Even when you had your cancerous tumours removed, two years in a row, and you came back all stapled up, like Frankenpuppy, it was you who comforted me because the shock of seeing you like that made me weep.  While Mindf*cker was freaking out about the vet bill, we were busy taking care of each other.  And this time, I stood by you when Mindf*cker tried to bully me into going upstairs to bed, knowing full well that you’d try to follow despite the surgeon saying you shouldn’t climb or try to jump for a while.   So we slept on the floor together – at a comfortable distance for you.  And when he dumped me on the love seat, two days later, two days before Valentine’s Day, 2012, my first thought was:  is he going to try to take the dogs away from me?  That was mixed in with a lot of other toxic emotions that had built up over the nine years we were together, but the thought of losing you and Henry scared me (he never cared about the cat, so I knew I’d be keeping him).    He ended up leaving to stay at a friend’s before he moved his stuff out because things were just really awkward.  Once the agreement to transfer the deed of the house completely to me had been signed, and the cheque I cut to him to get him the fuck out was handed over… I was safe.  I could fight back.  

And then the conversation about you and Henry came up.  He wanted shared custody.  He wanted you on the weekends.  Except for when he wanted to go away or something came up, then I could keep you.  So, you know, he wanted you… when it suited him.  I refused.  He said he’d sue me.  I called my notary and he said that because animals in this province were (at that time) still considered property, by leaving the dwelling, he abandoned his ‘property’, so he had no legal claim.  And, legally,  I could also throw all of his belongings to the curb, since that was now considered abandoned property as well.  When I told him to go ahead and sue me for his ‘abandoned property’, he realized that maybe he hadn’t been dealing with a dumb woman all along, that maybe he just treated me like one.  So you were mine.  All mine.  Still, the day he and his friends came to collect his things (I didn’t toss them, as much as he deserved it),  I boarded you at the veterinarian’s – that’s how scared I was that he would just take you.  Not because he really wanted you, but because he knew that that would be the one thing that would devastate me, one last kick while I was already down.  

And the last five years we have spent, just the four of us, have been amazing.  You’ve been there when I started dating again and making mistakes, you were there for me when mum died and I had to take care of everything myself because my sister is a self-absorbed, lazy coward.  You’ve helped me to keep my shit together and, more importantly, you’ve helped me to FEEL something on those days when I sometimes feel dead inside.  


Is there anything cuter than a puppy’s belly?

You’ve made me laugh so much over the years, and you’ve recalibrated my priorities and my perspective in life.  Because of you, I’m less selfish.  Because of you, I have more courage. Because of you, my darling little scavenger, I see how much garbage people toss on the ground.   And I’m writing this today because I know there will come a day when I won’t have you in my life- and I want to preserve this now, because I might not be able to later.  I can never adequately express what you mean to me, and, there are so many more stories that I’ll remember later on that I wish I would have mentioned here. 

When I think about not seeing your sweet face and wiggly bum when I come home from work, I feel a hollowness inside that echoes with sorrow.  So I try not to think about it.  Maybe I’ll wake up one morning and find you cold; maybe it will be when I come home from work.  I’m hoping you’ll go on your own terms, peacefully.  But I’m prepared to do the right thing by you if I have to, at home, where you can be in your familiar surroundings.  Where Henry and Harley can also say good-bye.  Where I can wail freely, and loudly.  I’ll stay with you until the end, just as you’ve stayed with me all these years.  You won’t be able to see me because of your failing eyesight, but you’ll sense me.  And I hope that, as you drift away, you’ll somehow know that you were the first greatest joy of my adult life, that you have made my life so much better because you were in it.  



Love you forever, my beautiful girl….


MENtal… part I

Roxy, last summer. She's getting older now, so I go to her on the side of the balcony so that she doesn't have to go down the steps. She is adorbs.

Roxy, last summer.  Adorable.

As the last official days of summer come to an inevitably melancholic end, punctuated by the return of obnoxious adolescents on public transit after a blissful, three month reprieve,  I  fondly recall the hopeful burst of energy it started with last May.

When it’s nice outside, I’m often greeted by a sweet friend on my way home from work.  Her house is just across from the metro station, and when she spots me now, she gets up and starts wagging her tail as I make my way up the driveway to see her on the balcony.  She gives me kisses and I give her pats and tell her what a sweet girl she is.  Her name is Roxy – and I think her humans suspect that I want to dog-nap her….

So, at the start of summer, after such a meeting with Roxy, I came across an extremely unusual encounter.  People around here rarely make eye contact with passing strangers, let alone acknowledge their presence – probably because this city is densely populated with assholes and psychos.  I have no quantifiable, statistical proof to back this statement up-  but I DO have a Psychology Today subscription, and fairly good intuition and observational skills.  So when this incredibly handsome fella with thick, dark waves on his head, his tie stuffed into his shirt pocket, smiled and nodded at me while eating his DQ ice-cream, I was completely taken by surprise. Who was this wizard who could see through my invisibility cloak???  The only rational explanation was that he picked up on the   happy vibe emanating from my encounter with Roxy – friendly encounters beget friendly encounters, I suppose.

Regardless, I suddenly felt a rush of encouragement – something I hadn’t felt in quite a long time.  The handsome stranger gave me that little bit of confidence – a ‘ballsiness,’ if you will –  to start emotionally prostituting myself to the masses online once again .

“Hey, fellas” … a casual, come-hither pose that transcends species….

And so, without further ado, I took a few  realistic selfies.  No more washing out my facial features with a bright flash, or taking the shot from a flattering angle… after a glass of sexy wine.  No trickery.  No más!  In the past, I probably misled a few dates into thinking they caught themselves a real honey, and I decided it was high time to stop with the false advertising.

Next, the profile.   I decided to KISS it – Keep It Simple, Stupid.  A light and vague enough profile so as not to box me in, yet clear enough to hopefully minimize the creeps looking for a sex toy.  If you ain’t got hope, you ain’t got nothin’….

Deciding on which site to go on wasn’t that difficult.   I think I’ve pretty much done them all – with the exception of Christian Mingle and Tinder.  Christian Mingle would not only depress me with its hypocritical wholesomeness, but also, I  would probably spontaneously combust… and ‘charred’ is not a good look for me. This didn’t stop me from crashing JDate, though – but that’s a story for another time. Going on Tinder would make me feel like that old side of beef at the butcher shop.  The one at 75% off.   The one that looks like it’s violating the health code.  So, I picked the last one I was on: OkStupid.  Apparently, it was designed by mathematicians, so I kept my fingers crossed, and hoped for a mathemaGical experience.

Oh, the naivete!

WEIGHTWithin the first half hour of being ‘live,’  I got into a little electronic kerfuffle with some macho who obviously thought he was the bee’s knees.   In the very first message he sent, he wanted my name and to Skype with me.  Getting off of a dating site (to, say, regular email) right away to communicate with someone is very suspicious.  And Skype with that person?  Please… I don’t even Skype with good friends overseas, why would I Skype with a stranger I ‘met’ online two seconds ago?  If you’re too lazy and impatient to haul your ass downtown to a public place where one or both of us can be thoroughly humiliated through awkward conversation, in front of witnesses, then the discussion is closed.

But I was bored. So I told him that mama told me to never Skype with strangers and asked if there really were women  stupid enough to do something like that with him.   He responded with, “oh… you have ‘a little extra’… it figures.”  Whaaaa?  Apparently, only skinny bitches Skype with strangers on the internet.  Plumper gals, such as myself, are too ashamed.  *roll eyes*  “Yes, having a few extra pounds is EXACTLY why I don’t want to Skype with you.  Not because I think you’re creepy, or desperate, or living in your mama’s moldy basement, wanking off to pictures of your cousin Gina’s baby pictures….” And Block.

I also ‘weighed heavily’ on the mind of another fella, who was apparently very proud of the fact that the first thing people noticed about him was his hair… probably because they’re thinking, ‘you look homeless’:

He: “Hi, i like your picture
i’ll be back to [city] next week
you look thin, why did you write a little extra weight ?”

Me: “I’m actually the size of a water buffalo from the waist down…”

He: “you’re serious ?”

Me:”Don’t you like fuller figured women?”

He: “depends on the overall look
you’re 5′-7″ and how much you weigh these days ?”

But before I could reply with a description of my 317 pound kiester and my club foot (that’s the foot that likes to party!), he blocked me.  Heart = crushed…  I really wanted to tell him about the time my club foot got plastered at a German rave in ’95….

As a rule, I try to avoid religious people and vegetarians.  Not because I think they’re wrong, but because they think I’m wrong – and feel perfectly entitled to mention this (and force their lifestyles on me) at every given opportunity.  They kind of annoy the shit out of me – if I ever consider undergoing a ‘colon cleanse,’ I’ll just go on a date with a Religious Vegetarian.

Religion not being an issue with my next online encounter, I was, however, a bit concerned about the enthusiastic vegetarianism. I made sure to make it perfectly clear that I’m old enough to make my own food choices and, sometimes, those choices involve animals.  Although his messages were fairly humourous, I did sometimes feel like he was trying to manipulate me with his ‘down-on-his-luck-in-love’ tone – not to mention trying to convince me that he wasn’t a pig and that he’s never had a one-night-stand in his life.   Red Flag Alert.  People who repeatedly try to convince you of their ‘wholesomeness’ oftentimes have something to hide.

I’ll call him Embryonic Vegetarian.

HeightI met him at a cafe at the market on the canal.  As expected, he was shorter than he claimed – men always do that.  I don’t get it – don’t they think I’m capable of noticing this measurable physical characteristic?  The actual height isn’t even the issue; rather,  if you’re lying about something as concrete and obvious as your height, what kinds of other things are you lying about that I can’t see?  Because I was late  (I was checking out the cute doggies on their walks and completely missed my exit), and he was whining like a pre-menstrual bitch,  I treated him to his tartelette and juice as a little ‘sorry-for-making-you-wait,’ conciliatory gesture.

Despite mentioning several times how he found it offensive towards women to discuss things of a sexual nature prior to actually dating the person, he would subtly make remarks with sexual connotations at every given opportunity.   The one that comes to mind was when we were cycling and heading towards a dip and hill on the path.  I said something like, “oh, great… I hate going uphill… love going down, but hate going up….”  To which he snorted, “ohhhh, you love going down… that could be taken the wrong way… you probably said it innocently, but….”   So I said, “next time your mum says she’s going down somewhere, make the same observation and let me know how funny she thinks you are….”   Pre-pubescent comments like that, coupled with the fact that he was constantly popping wheelies on his bike (“look what I can do!”) and the fact that he high-fived me when we parted ways, is why he earned the nickname, ‘Embryonic Vegetarian’.  I’m going to coin a new term for guys like that: moys.  Not quite men, not quite boys.  Moys™.   Does it already exist?  If not: you heard it here first, folks.

fiver When I got home, I was taking things out of my bag when I noticed a 5 dollar bill floating around inside.  That wasn’t there before.   Now, your first thought might be, “what a nice guy – he didn’t want you to pay, so he slipped it in your bag when you weren’t looking.” BUT… the creepy thing is:  I never left it out of my sight, so how the hell did he get it in there?  Was I on a date with David Blane disguised as an embryonic vegetarian?  If he could slip a fiver into a zipped, cross-body bag, imagine what he could do with a roofie.   I’m sure he was perfectly normal and safe, but… why take a chance?   There were too many things about this guy that made me think,  “I don’t want to be interviewed by the show, Dates from Hell.”   For instance, when I joked that I texted my friend his name and cell number, for safety reasons, he icily said, “I would be concerned about your intelligence if you weren’t worried about your safety….”   Duly noted.

You’d think that, after a couple of weeks of this kind of shit, I’d have thrown in the towel and admitted defeat.  It just wasn’t as entertaining as the first two rounds of internet dating  – round 1 in 2013, round 2 in 2014.  But this was early summer, don’t forget.  Hope sprung eternal, and, like the Illuminati*, I was willing to self-flagellate myself emotionally by exploring the possibilities….

*: minus the obsessive, religious zeal, and conspiracy theories.  It should be noted that the original Illuminati, the Bavarian Illuminati, were actually composed of a group of rational men (for that time) who opposed the control of the church over people and the abuse of power.    But for the purposes of my exaggerations, I’m referring to the crazy Da Vinci Code Illuminati.  Reference:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illuminati

(…to be continued…)