Mood: Shoulder to the grindstone
Drinking: Working on that recommended daily intake of water
It’s been a grey February. Not so much with the weather, although California has been drenched, dried off and then drenched again. It is the rainy season, after all, complete with landslides.
But the grey that’s been hanging around has been more of the mental variety. I have two very dear friends who have been going through some incredibly dark times, sometimes barely able to keep themselves from going under altogether. Sometimes I’ve woken up terrified that one or the other of them might have finally given in, let go, disappeared from the face of the earth altogether. Thus: greyness.
But both of them are stronger than they look. Stronger than they know. And they are fierce fighters. So now that they both have their feet set on the road to wellness, I’ve been laughing a lot more. Laughing with relief, with hope, with the lovely realization that sometimes you can actually write a whole long list of reasons that you’re glad you are alive. And *that* is saying something. Because sometimes when the Bell Jar descends, you’re hard pressed to come up with even one thing to write down, one thing that makes dragging your carcass out of bed worthwhile.
So, to celebrate, I spent the weekend in SoCal with Boy & Dog and my sister and her newly-adopted beast of a dog. In spite of the thunderous deluge that spanned most of the weekend, we managed to find a few pockets of sunlight during which we raced down to the beach for some surf and sand. I spent most of the weekend laughing. Really hard. To the point that my stomach now hurts because my laugh muscles were so out-of-use.
In the two years since we’ve adopted the LeeLoo, I’ve discovered that dogs can bring out the best in people. I’m an admitted misanthrope, and usually stalk around town without really looking at people. I have an aversion to talking to strangers that borders on phobia. But when I’m with LeeLoo and meet up with another dog owner, I’ll stop and chat. We’ll let the dogs do the butt-sniffing thing and have a completely pleasant conversation, then go on our separate ways feeling better about the world in general. It’s really weird how that works.
It may be that LeeLoo makes me laugh more because she’s such a clown. Boxers are known to be dorks of the dog world. Their monkey faces and childish antics make them great entertainers. And this weekend, wandering around my sister’s neighborhood with my little brown LeeLoo and her fat white Yoda, we spent a lot of time doubled over with laughter.
First, you have to understand that I am a DORK when it comes to my dog. I have been known to dress her in ridiculous outfits (and I know my friend J is HORRIFIED, absolutely horrified, if he’s reading this). Dogs in clothes are just unacceptable, I know. But. So. Funny. I’ve created a profile for LeeLoo on dogster.com, because I’m that much of a dork. And so it has been with a great sense of satisfaction that I have watched my sister (who used to ridicule me constantly) become a dog dork, too. The day she created a dogster profile for Yoda was a great day in sister history. (See LeeLoo on dogster here.
And Yoda here.)
My sister has wanted a dog for a long time. We grew up with Beagles and Basset Hounds and Cocker Spaniels all over the place, so all those in-between years of college and roommate housing sans dog were just kind of missing something. Once she and her boy got a place of their own last year, they began their dog search and eventually found Yoda’s sad story on Petfinder.com.
(Note: If you’re bored now, you might as well just skip on over the rest of it, because it’s just dog, dog, dog and more dog.)
Yoda, who is part Boxer and part American Bulldog (a big boy), fell on hard times over two years ago when his owner died suddenly of a heart attack. The Yodes was so upset, he lost all his hair. His deceased owner’s family didn’t want to pay the vet bills to get Yoda better, so they dumped him at the pound. He was scheduled to be put down when some people from a Chihuahua Rescue found him. I don’t know why they decided to take a 90-pound naked pink dog when they were really looking for tiny teacup-sized pooches, but they did and in doing so, they saved his life.
Unfortunately, nobody who comes to a Chihuahua Rescue looking for a waif-like Bit-Bit or Tinkerbell is interested in a big white brute who looks nothing like his greenish Jedi namesake but is instead polka-dotted with crusty bald patches and suffering from a severe case of doggie depression and really sour farts. So Yoda languished in the rescue kennel for two long years. And then my sister came along. And after much patience and paperwork on her part, Yoda had a new home.
And he’s loving it. He eats up the attention and is starting to drop a few pounds now that he has a girlfriend (that would be LeeLoo) and gets regular exercise. He’s made friends with the grannies and grandpas in the senior center next door and is proving to be excellent company for my sister.
So you put this big sweet nerd together with my little drama queen and you have a Vegas-level show on your hands. And all you can do is laugh.
Everything they did was funny. Sometimes it was the way LeeLoo got jealous whenever we paid too much attention to Yoda and so she would start doing all her tricks in a row on the other side of the room, as if to say, “Hey! Look at me! Over here! Look what I can do! Stop playing with that fat bitch and come over here and rub my belly!”
Other times it was the way Yoda snored like a fat old man. Or the way he tried to “romp” at the beach but ended up looking like an epileptic rabbit. It was the way LeeLoo shot Yoda incredibly dirty looks whenever he would stick his nose in her ear, which he did every five minutes or so, with loud and long snorting sounds. It was the way Yoda consistently poops in a perfect circle, looking over his shoulder to make sure he’s doing the job right.
It was ridiculous. It was stupid. It was perfect. The best kind of medicine for a weary and grey psyche. Double-dog therapy. I should do it more often.
-Lo, who knows she’s a total dog freak and refuses to be embarrassed about it.