Wednesday, September 24, 2014

One Year and Squirrels

Last week was the one year anniversary of Harlow's adoption day. She had puppy parasites and her name was Pinky, and I recall referring to her as "Little Girl"for weeks before coming up with an new name. Looking at her now, it really doesn't seem like a whole year ago that she joined me, challenging me and often winning, day to day being a puppy.

I remember being exhausted! I look at her now and while she is still desperately needy for attention much of the time, and still behaves rambunctiously too, she is a far better behaved girl than she was.
Last week I had dinner with Mom and Dad and I brought Harlow along. She was harassing Mom during dinner and finally I barked "Harlow, go lie down!".  She turned and went straight to her little mat and lay there. I was impressed!

Recently, Harlow has discovered the fabulousness that is squirrel chasing. Why she's never really noticed them til now I don't know. Perhaps there are just more of them out now that fall is coming and the rodents are out looking for nuts to collect?

One time, Harlow spotted a squirrel at the top of our fence in the back corner, and now, every time I let her out, she leaves the house  v e r y  s l o w l y  on the chance that a squirrel will be perched there and she can get a running start at it. The first time I really saw her go bonkers was last week.
I let her out and she ran full speed at the six foot high stockade fence, jumped, and got so high that her front armpits caught on the top of the fence. She didn't get stuck or anything but I was sure she injured herself.  And she had. She is covered now with abrasions and sores and I don't truly know the source of all of them, but clearly this knew fence-slamming habit is a contributor.

This behavior is concerning to me though, so I decided to nip it immediately. I put the correction collar on her and the very next time she ran full speed at that gate, I gave her a zap. She let out a yelp and bounced off the gate. I don't think I've ever used the zap button on that collar before, maybe once (there's a vibrate mode which is usually effective in distracting her from whatever obnoxious behavior she's participating in at the moment).

The interesting thing is that she has caught on to not only the fact that the collar is what makes her uncomfortable and as such, she behaves when it's on and goes nuts when it's not, but she's also realized that I control the collar. I know this because if I'm watching her and she has the collar on, she'll stay away from the fence. She'll run right up to it and stop short of jumping on it (and has created a lovely trough of dirt through that section of the yard).

She has somehow realized that if I'm not watching her, she won't get zapped. I know this because I've heard her, from inside the house, throw herself at that back fence!

The other day when I let her out a squirrel was there, practically waiting for her. And man did that squirrel have a good time with her. It ran the length of the fence back and forth while Harlow wigged out following it, crashing through pots, plowing over and disrupting sections of the quasi-rock wall I have running the length of the fence, and steam rolling over my hostas. If fall wasn't upon us with it's cold plant killing ways, I would care. Unfortunately when H gets like that, there's nothing you can do to snap her out of it. My voice is white noise to her squirrel focus.

I know she wouldn't know what to do with the thing if she ever actually caught it!

Just the other day!
Harlow last year on adoption day! So little!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


This weekend was great. I spent it with a bunch of my favorite people on the cape and I couldn't have had a better time. I knew that when it ended, I would feel sad. A weekend of little hands hold mine and arms wrapped around my neck and little voices asking to be picked-up and fun stories and so on. There were seven kids ranging in ages 2 to 8 there and I knew it would catch up with me when the weekend came to a close. And of course, it did. I felt really really sad. Sad that the summer is over, sad that my friends and I were no longer enjoying the bubble of cape cod, sad that I will never look into a kids' eyes and see a trace of myself or the Scott line, sad that I struggle to find a good man, let alone an exceptional one who will take me with my short-comings and accept from the get-go that adoption is the only way if he's with me (or surrogacy).

As if I didn't feel that the odds were against me enough.

Meg texted me when she and her family, including 7 year old Stella, arrived home to Great Barrington after our weekend together, "Stella cried for a half hour".
"Tell her I did too" I replied.

Stella selfie!

I wonder how long it will be sad for me that I will never have kids of my own. I wonder when it will be that I will feel OK with this reality. When will I not feel like a broken woman. It dawns on me that I may never feel unbroken or OK with this situation. I feel it every single day. This puddle in my heart. Sometimes I can just ignore it, but other times, it bubbles up and drowns me a bit, leaving me wondering what I'm truly doing on this planet except taking up space and whining.

I find this reality unbelievable. I have lived my life with caution. I have thought through all my decisions. Deciding not to drink too much, deciding to never try drugs. Choosing my boyfriends carefully (a lot of good that did) and my friendships too. I work hard and am careful with my money. I take responsibility for my actions, try to be kind to the people in my life and kind to those who are not in my life. I try to be a good friend and I think I'm good at it. I was diagnosed with a disease and took it in stride and continue to live with it to the best of my ability, complaint-free.Life is a learning experience, and I try to learn and grow form it.

I am grateful for what I have. I have a lot. And I am grateful for all of it. I do find myself wondering though if it's because of all the wonderful things I can be grateful for that I have been robbed of things I hoped for most. Love. A family of my own. Is the universe letting me know that I have enough to be grateful for and I should just accept what I have?

I don't want to believe that receiving things I never asked for removes me from things I've always dreamed of.

Well, Universe, I am humbled. So what's your lesson? Because this time I'm not really learning it.

Ben and Vivian take on Martha's Vineyard

Vivian, Lauren, Aaron, Sylvia, Meg and Miles shuttling to the ferry

Twin, Aaron, Miles, Noah and Amanda check out the hermit crabs