The Red Threads That Tie Us…

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Archive for the month “July, 2010”

Dedicated to Chico and Dad

Okay, I know you’ve been inundated with animal posts lately (try talking to me, oy…) but this will be the last mention of a pet for at least a bit. I just have to mention it.

My sweet, wonderful, six year old family guinea pig Chico died Tuesday. He led a long, happy life and gave us a lot of comfort and joy along the way. He had a massive infection in his bottom teeth and my parents did everything, from getting him emergency surgery to syringe-feeding him gruel morning and night. Even my father helped out, and he never had pets until we came into his life.

It was Daddy who called and let me know. I could hear the tears in his voice and it really brought home to me what kind of man my father is, and how lucky I am to have him. Dad grew up with no pets because his father hated them. So he didn’t really get it, but let Mom slowly bring animals into the house. And he loved them all. As secretly as possible. Our guinea pigs lived in luxury because my Mom always had big cages and my Dad didn’t like the idea of them having little homes. So he would either build or make sure they had the biggest cages possible. He doesn’t understand my obsession with fish (“they’re just fish, darnit, what’s the big deal?”) but when Henry the Chinese Algae Eater committed suicide, Daddy got out of his comfy chair and came all the way upstairs to hug me.

Dad was the one who made the decision to pay for surgery for our elderly, free guinea pig. It was worth the money to make his animal as comfortable as possible and as healthy as possible. I don’t know many people who would do that for their dog, never mind a guinea pig.

My father is strong, compassionate, and incredibly loving. I think the world would honestly be a better place if more people had fathers like mine. It would probably be a sweeter place if more people had pets like Chico too. I hope he finds a warm lap to curl up on in Guinea Pig Heaven.

Bunny Battle

So last night I got in a fight with my bunny. Well, not really a fight so much as I got ambushed. Either way, my face lost.

As I was taking her back to her cage after letting her run about the living room, she decided she’d rather not and FLIPPED, leaping from my arms and using my face as a spring board to freedom. So now I’m sporting a very attractive gouge from my forehead to the middle of my left check and two bloody pockmarks under my left eye. Sexy, yes? This will be fun to explain to my clients.

I also have to call the vet because as The Boyfriend was petting her last night, he pulled a giant clump of fur off her back. Now she has a very smooth, nickel sized bald spot when your ruffle her fur. She is acting fine, there are no marks on her, and it’s probably just from the stress of the After Attack Capture, but my paranoia and I will be calling the vet just to make sure I didn’t break my bunny.

A Mouse in a Lion Suit

It’s always disappointing when you expect yourself to roar like a lion and all you hear is a little mouse whisper.

I got my butt patted by a client the other day. He came up behind me and BAM! Hand on my ass. I was so shocked that I was literally speechless for a moment. That right there is upsetting. I would have hoped that my pseudo-confident, feminist, positive sex self had taken over more of the shy, scared little girl than that. My response to something like that in my head was always either a slap/punch (let’s face it, I’m violent) or an immediate “Don’t EVER touch me again!” said loudly. Instead, there was nothing.

Luckily, another client, a sweet older man, immediately spoke up. “Hey now! We don’t do that kind of thing!” Thanks, old man, for speaking when I couldn’t. I’m glad that someone could, and doubly glad it was someone of your gender and age.

Sadly, my mouse voice continued even further. Once I was alone with the client, instead of speaking in a confident, strong voice, I quietly told him that his actions were completely inappropriate. Quietly. It obviously had no effect on him, since he made two inappropriate comments during our time together. Yes, I again let him know this was unacceptable.

I ever APOLOGIZED to my supervisor when I told her about it. As if it were in any way my fault. I apologized multiple times because of the hassle she would have to go through because it. She never made it seem like a hassle, in fact had a really great response to it, which makes me feel good. Too often things like this are swept under the rug. However, I feel almost trained to apologize for something like this because I’m obviously at fault. I’m a woman after all.

NO! That’s so wrong and I hate that I feel even one iota of that. I want so badly for no female to ever feel it’s her fault. Or man who gets harassed for that matter.

So. We’ll see how it goes next time with the client and if even one thing makes me vaguely uncomfortable, I’m done. He can go to someone else. I refuse to put up with that behavior, especially when it has nothing to do with his symptoms. At least I know I’ll be supported there.

I’ll run back into a burning building for a friend, but I apparently won’t speak up for myself. This is a problem. And one I promise myself I will work on. You should too.

Please don’t ever lose your voice.

New Pet!

So. I did not adopt Precious, but she did go to a new home, so that’s very exciting. I have added to my ever expanding pet family though! The Boyfriend and I finally decided to make our foster dog, Tanner, a permanent member of the family.

We got Tanner in January and he was adopted in February. Sadly (not for us) the adoption didn’t work out because a family member was wildly allergic to him and he came back to us in March. He is an absolutely doll baby of a dog. He’s anywhere from 3 to 8 years old. It’s hard to tell because when he first came into the rescue he was suffering from some very serious heartworm, so he was sluggish and acting like a very old dog. Then he came to us. The day he came he was dropped off at my work and I immediately brought him inside for some love from the coworkers. And oh, did this dog need love. Part Lab, Golden Retriever, and probably Bloodhound, he weighed 56 pounds, his hips and ribs showing, he was stinky, and you couldn’t pet him even once without your hand coming away with that dirty dog grime you get when you pet a dog for (usually) a long time. Even with having a nearly 2 day trip, which meant no food, all he wanted was to be pet. He immediately lay on the ground for belly rubs. His eyes ate at your soul because they were so sad.

They were sad for a reason. Tanner was found in Georgia tied to a tree AFTER the owners of the house had moved away. Then he was taken to a kill shelter. The boy is lucky to be alive.

However, the moment he walked into the house, his eyes lit up and his butt wiggled and he went straight for the couch. The Boyfriend commented on how it was like he was different dog.

We bathed him that night and he just let us. He was so good. Through everything we discovered that he was scratching himself till he bled because he had a yeast infection everywhere. Four months later we discovered that the yeast had been covering up sarcoptic mange, which he had given to Russia. (They’re fine now) He had tape worms as well. We fixed him up and got him a home. He left us fatter, happier, and much healthier. I’ll give the adopters this, he came back to us at a perfect weight and with a new shot of confidence. He actually plays with toys now, which is kinda huge.

Anyway, I knew were going to have trouble giving him up a second time when I started getting protective over him going to an adoption display. Even for the day. And The Boyfriend kept worrying about whether Tanner knew we loved him. He had to stay out of the bedroom because that was Russia’s one Tanner-free space that was his.

So when The Boyfriend turned to me a few weeks ago and asked “What would you think about keeping Tanner? Like making him a permanent family member?” I wasn’t surprised. But I was really pleased.

So he’s ours now.

RIDE RIDE RIDE RIDE RIDE!

He LOVES to go for car rides. You open a door and he's in the vehicle.

Why aren't you petting me?

Look at those eyes! They beg for love. And treats. And pets.

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