4 weeks ago today, I became a father. This life event has catapulted up to the top of the list. I can’t say for certain it has ousted hugging Conan O’Brien, but it’s up there. In the first four weeks, I’ve learned the following:
- Poop happens – you are going to get pooped on and it is going to happen at the worst time. For me, that would be the first doctor visit.
- You’re getting warmer – spit happens. it is warm. it is warm spit that travels slightly below the speed of light. Always have a spit rag handy.
- What’s television – watching tv, previously second on my “what do you want to do?” list, has taken a tumble. No longer am I drilling through show after show on the dvr. Thankfully it’s summer.
- Moms are better – No matter how hard I try, mothers always know best. I’ll stick to the grill where I know I can dominate.
Hard to believe, but it’s been 4 years since my D-O Double G passed away. A lot has happened during this time, but I’ll always remember him. He has a spot on my cube shelf and a wood box at the house.
It was a year ago today that I had to make one of the toughest decisions in my life. My 13 year old Border Collie, Duff, was diagnosed with lymph sarcoma, a form of cancer that attacks the lymph nodes. Well, unfortunately it was too late for surgery and chemo more than likely wouldn’t have helped. I didn’t know how much time I had, but I knew it wouldn’t be enough. I spent the week waiting on him hand and foot, something I usually did anyway, only this time knowing that there was a special reason. He had everything he wanted, as I spoiled him with cheeseburgers, Dentabones, whatever I knew he liked. I even poured gravy on his food. We went for endless car rides as the week was beautiful, and he enjoyed it very much. I made sure he spent every night with me, as I tried to comfort him. His condition took a turn for the worse over the weekend, and on Sunday morning he wouldn’t eat. I sat on the floor and pleaded with him to eat. I called my friend Evan who knew of an at-home vet, who I ended up calling (my vet couldn’t be reached). I explained the situation to him, and he agreed that it would be best to put Duff down. We managed to sneak a Valium down his throat, and then we all took turns saying goodbye.
When the vet arrived, I didn’t know what to expect (I hadn’t even met him before). I was thinking this guy was just going to grab my dog, jam a needle in him, hand me a bill, and take off. We had moved outside (it was a gorgeous day), and he must of spent a half hour just talking to us – I don’t really recall what exactly, I just know he did an excellent job of calming all of us down. After explaining the process to me, he left it up to me when to let the pain end. The Valium was having its affect, so I decided to go through with it. I don’t recall what the first shot (or pill) was, but I was told it sometimes made the animals throw up. Well, wouldn’t you know it, Duff threw up. He started to wander around, and he finally began to collapse. I moved him to the front yard and let him lay.
The Vet then explained to me that the lethal injection was a barbiturate, and that there really wouldn’t be any pain. Unfortunately, because of Duff’s condition, it was hard to find a vain. I sat with Duff’s head in my lap as the injection went in. Less than a minute later, the pain had ended. A small amount of blood was dripping from his paw, and the Vet actually took the time to carefully bandage him. He then checked for a pulse, which was nowhere to be found. “It’s okay now,” the vet said softly. I stayed on the ground with him for several minutes. It’s really hard to say goodbye to someone who has been by your side for 13 years. The vet told me to get some scissors and clip some hair, something he had done when his dog died. I chose to clip the dreadlock behind his ear and a few stray hairs. The vet carefully lifted Duff up and placed him in his truck. I thanked him for being so nice. I chose to have him cremated, and got a beautiful box made for him.
You can never replace a pet, and I never try. Duff was such a huge part of my life growing up. In a family of all girls, he was the only other male companion. I can still remember picking him out at the SPCA, or when we picked him up and had to wait for him to get another bath because he decided to roll around in some poop. I can remember him chasing me around the house, the first time he jumped up on my bed, how much he loved being a parental figure to our other pets. How he loved going for car rides, or how I would make him dance forever before giving him a treat. I even made a short movie about him in college (If I had the web space I’d host it on here), or how he used to LOVE footballs, or the time he knocked out my 2nd story window screen and jumped on the roof. I can also remember the times I yelled and scolded him, or the times he comforted me in sadness. I have many memories, the good far outweighing the sad.
Yes, it was the toughest day of my life. Today was the day I lost my best friend. I love you and miss you, Duff. I hope you are enjoying an endless Dentabone in the sky.
Early in January I listed out my 2008 resolutions. I figured if I wrote these down and posted it for the world to see, I’d have pressure to achieve. Let’s take a look and see what happened.
Read 20 books: Negative. I know I read at least 5, but most likely no more than 10. I did thumb through 20 books if that counts.
Fully Fund my IRA: Success! To be fair, I’ve done this a few years in a row now, but it is an accomplishment. For the two of you reading this, have you funded yours?
Start a net worth and budgeting program: mild success. We bought a house this year, so I did a lot of budgeting and net worth discovery. I did fail in the sense of keeping an accurate and updated budgeting system. There is always 2009.
Become a notary public: Negative. It’s still my dream to have my own stamp of approval, I just didn’t think about this one at all.
Invest better: hahaha. next.
Digitize my Family: Negative. I feel bad about this one as I’ve been sitting on it for almost 2 years now. Maybe 3 is my lucky number.
Start a business: This list is not looking too good. throw up a goose egg on this.
Travel more: Success. I travelled enough in 2008 to achieve Gold status with Alaska Airlines. The problem with this was that only 2 of the trips were for vacation. The rest were business trips or going to funerals. So, while I did travel more, I didn’t do the travelling I wanted.
Blog more: Whiff. I didn’t even post once a month. My current rate is $6 a post.
The usual: eat less nope, work out zilch, lose weight I gained (way too much).
So how did I do? By my math I got less than 20% of my resolutions completed. But this year is going to be different! I’m working on my list for 2009 and I will have a nice list of small, medium, and large range opportunties for me to make myself better.
So yesterday brought on bad news as I found out one of my dogs back home had to be put down. Pooh Bear was our border collie, last of 4, and lived with us for 12 years. She was an excellent frisbee dog, loved to play fetch, and even in her last months would try her best to get us to toss the disc, even though it was too much for her. She died of congestive heart failure and complications from a murmur. She is survived by the last dog of my original pack – Abbey. Abbey is 15, deaf, not doing so well, but feisty as ever. She is also survived by fellow dogs Joe, Wiggles, Bell and cats Tom, Coal, and Suzie.
The best trick I ever taught a dog was to Pooh – the coach k. She would have some sort of doll or toy and I would simply say “coach k” and she would begin to violently shake her head and the toy. I think she hated dook more than me.
If I am reincarnated, I am sure that it will be as a cab driver in Seattle. I can think of nothing worse than having to drive in this awful, awful, awful, awful place.