Better

Exciting news on the puppy front! Kyrie loves her. They play in the living room. There’s something rewarding and adorable about my 45lb German Shepherd/Shar Pei/Chow mix trying to figure out how to play with a 2lb 3oz puppy that yips and squeals at every play bow. Kira plays with Frankie in the backyard, too. Kira, being a 40lb dog herself, is also crazy adorable when playing with Frankie. They play tag. Kira lets Frankie jump all over her. It’s so cute!

I’ve been worried about Kyrie, because she, like me, was in mourning of Keagan. Frankie really seems to have lifted her spirits, though. Everyone is getting something of a workout with Frankie around. She plays with Kyrie and Kira, she TRIES to play with Bdo and he cleverly evades her at every turn… and the cat is getting a lot of exercise loathing her existence. Lol.

Being happy has made me reflect on how much better I’m feeling on the whole. July 2017 Me wouldn’t believe that I was going to feel this okay, even if I went back and told her. She also wouldn’t believe that I actually whacked all my hair off. But the truth is, even with how wretched of a year I’ve had, I AM BETTER.

  • I don’t cry everyday for no reason
    • Or even for a reason like I just feel sad… cuz I don’t feel sad
  • I don’t feel like life is totally pointless
    • Only KIND OF pointless, in a fun way
  • I don’t obsess about my weight anymore
    • Am I fat? Yeah, but my wardrobe is hella cute
    • Also I’m not binge eating
      • Although sometimes I overdo on Chipotle…
        • I love Chipotle
    • But I’m also not dieting
    • I just feel good about me
  • I don’t dread social interaction
    • I’m even branching out into new social interactions
      • Like Pathfinder up at Robot Boy’s place
    • And I’m kinda half-dating someone now
    • And I can’t wait to take Frankie places after she gets all her shots
  • My mess bothers me
    • Like, if I don’t clean the house this weekend, I’m gonna lose my shit, cuz I deserve to come home to clean and organized
    • I also need to clean both cars
    • And mow the lawns
    • And probably rearrange the living room better
  • I have the desire to do things
    • I want to clean the house
    • I want to finish cleaning out the basement
    • I want to clean out the crawl space
    • I want to zero-scape the backyard
    • I want to repaint the inside of the house
    • I want to redo my bathroom
    • I want to get my banisters redone
    • I want to organize all my art stuff
    • I want to read more
    • I want to get back into illustration
    • I have art projects I want do
    • I want to train Frankie to be SUCH A GOOD GIRL
    • I want to retrain Kira
    • I want to go to the dog park with them
    • I want to display my Halloween town and Monster High dolls
    • I want to organize my books
    • I want to crochet some stuff for winter
    • I have so many wants!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It makes me think about how far I’ve come, because I’d lost so much.

It’s uncanny to think that I could have been so poorly off and no one knew. I didn’t tell anyone. I didn’t trust them with my feelings. I didn’t want to bring anyone down. I didn’t want to sound whiny and emo. I didn’t want to burden anyone. And mostly I just didn’t trust them.

I’ve had problems with interpersonal relationships for… probably as long as I can remember having interpersonal relationships. I didn’t have friends going into middle school so I hooked up with people I saw as nerds, and then abruptly dropped them when I hit high school because they were nerds. To get friends in high school I essentially fabricated my whole personality to match what the kids I wanted to associate with were into. I didn’t bring much of myself into that. In college I felt incredibly lost because everyone was gone to other schools or on with their lives. When my best friend left to law school I had a complete freak out trying to figure out what I’d do without him. Even after college, I settled into a version of myself that I had to build from the scraps of who I’d been and who I lied about being. It’s only recently I’ve kind of let those things go and just EXISTED as a person.

I’m not saying I found myself, because that sounds new age-y and weird. I’m just saying that for once I’m not trying to be anyone. I’m not trying to be edgy. I’m not trying to fit in. I’m not trying to live up to some standard I think you have that I can’t even verify exists. I’m just living. I’m doing stuff. I’m trying to enjoy life.

It’s nice.

New Beginnings

I will never stop grieving the loss of my Keagan. Let me make that perfectly clear. I’m not leaving him behind. I’m not forgetting him. I could never replace him. No one could ever mean more to me than he did. To that end, I wear a picture of us on a silver necklace every single day, and intend to wear it every single day, forever.

That being said, one must live. So, I’ve began to do a number of rash and spontaneous things. For once this is not binge eating or drinking too much… instead I started by whacking off my hair.

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My hair dresser, quite correctly, was terrified this would be a bad idea. I’d gone quite short once before and hated it, but this time… I think I have it on lock this time. I just needed change. I needed to get rid of the baggage I was metaphorically carrying around, and nothing quite feels like lifting that, than whacking off a good 7 inches of hair.

37650652_2124475984491527_7616077764386357248_o I didn’t stop there, though. My next feat was to SPIKE that do up into a mohawk, much to the dismay of my mother. I loved it. I relished how much she hated it, but smiled anyway, in that way she does when she doesn’t like what I’m doing but supports my choice to do so. I enjoyed the feeling of doing something I’d yearned for since I was was in high school, but didn’t have the courage to do. I liked feeling edgy, even though I’m nearly 30. I liked the stares, in particular a little girl with tight, kinky hair piled high on her head. She stared at me like something she couldn’t even fathom existing, and I bent down to tell her I liked her hair. I wallowed in my mixture of self-consciousness and pride in my appearance. It was a wonderful day, that was only to get better.

dl5zpyw5k3jeb.cloudfront.net On Thursday, I’d gotten an email about a puppy. I’d setup an alert email for shelter corgis within 50 miles on PetFinder. I didn’t expect to find one, or that if I did that I could even afford to adopt it, but I liked the emails full of furry faces with big ears just the same. But, Friday morning I was sent this sad little face. I can’t say why, but I fell in love. That face made me want to cry and all I wanted was to hold this puppy.

The shelter, Moms and Mutts, is specifically a shelter for pregnant and nursing strays, as they’re often put down in other shelters because a litter of puppies takes up a lot of room. I had arranged to head over and just LOOK at this little ball of joy with Mom after work, but i37620963_2124904891115303_3004902537829548032_nt turns out this isn’t really that kind of shelter. Instead, I was directed to fill out an adoption application. They wouldn’t tell me how much the adoption would be, but I filled it out anyways. I expected to be rejected, because I have so many animals already, and I would be kenneling the puppy while I went to work. At least, I thought, I could say that I tried.

Obviously, I got approved.

I was waiting for a phone call from the shelter, letting me know if I got approved, and Saturday afternoon after Mom and I went to see Incredibles 2, I was idly checking my email. There it was… an email saying I sounded like a great home for a puppy. The puppy I’d applied for would be at an adoption event on Saturday from 11-5 at the nearby mall. It was 3pm. I thought very hard about not going, because it was already so late in the day. At the end of it, I wanted to know the pup went to a good home and wasn’t still sitting there, though. So, I rang up Mom to see if she wanted to go look at puppies with me, just to see if my puppy was there. She wasn’t excited but she came. I figured she’d take me to dinner as a consolation prize after we discovered my puppy adopted.

37583688_2124904851115307_6138505724893855744_nImagine my surprise when Mom and I arrived and there she was. The only one of her litter left. I asked about the price… It was a lot. A very lot. I was disheartened. I am used to the Dumb Friends League’s prices, and usually I don’t get actual puppies. That was when something unexpected happened. My mother asked if that was the one I wanted.

My mother is against us each having five animals. Four dogs and a cat is a lot, and while the passing of Keagan broke her heart as much as mine, for she’d bought him for me to take care of me, and he’d done a very good job of that, she was glad to see we were at least going down in numbers a little. So, it was much to my surprise when she had me go ask what the price included, and when I reported back it included the first round of shots, puppy deworming, microchipping, a month of pet insurance, and her spay. Mom ran the numbers in her head, determined that was an acceptable price for all that, and if I wanted the puppy… she’d put it on her Amazon card and rack up some points.

I cried. Like a lot. She got mad at me for crying about it, because it made her also cry. I was just so grateful, and then she took me to Petco and helped me buy my new little bundle of joy some sweaters, puppy pads, a collar, etc. I have a really good Mom.

“I would do anything to make you happy.”
-My mom on why she helped me get a puppy

So that’s what I’ve been up to.

I named the puppy Frankie. As the smallest in her litter, she’s a whole 2 lbs 3 oz, and in great health. I took her to the vet and they looked her over for me, and decided to de-worm her again, just in case, but didn’t charge me for the exam. She came out of a corgi, but we don’t know what the father was. I’m guessing it may have been a chihuahua, but it’s hard to say. Her whole litter all look different. One looks like a teddy bear. It’s crazy. So we’ll see what she grows up into.

I was worried the dogs wouldn’t like her, especially Kira since she is oh so possessive… but much to my surprise, Kyrie and Kira LOVE her. They play with her in the house and in the yard, and they’re not that put off by her except that she’s very loud when she wants to be. It’s pretty cute since they’re both 45-ish lb dogs and she’s so very small. I was surprised Bdo isn’t into the puppy… he seems to feel like she’s infringing on his territory of being the baby. I’ve gone to great lengths to try and keep almost everything the same as it was, but he is still offended. She tries to play-bow him and he blatantly just walks away from her. It’s sad, but funny. Kato… I was really hoping Kato would like Frankie, but she’s hissed at her a couple times and I caught her swatting at her once. I guess it makes sense, since the ONLY dog Kato liked was Keagan, but it’s still kind of sad. I thought they could be buddies.

The first couple of nights were bad. She’s 11 weeks old and it shows… she cries at night, she didn’t like sleeping in the kennel, and she has to potty at night… but I went and bought a baby toy that makes a heart beat sound… and she’s sleeping better than ever now. She still has to pee at 1am, but getting up once is better than 6 or 7 times.


Also… I’m seeing a dude.

We’re not serious or anything, but he’s super nice. His name is Chris, he’s 32, he used to own a game shop that went under, and he’s got 2 kids, 10 and 5. We talk about books and music a lot. He took me to tacos. I took him to Pathfinder and burrito. Yesterday we split the bill on some Korean BBQ.

I haven’t met his kids, yet. He asked if I wanted to and I told him no. It’s too soon. This could all crumble into little pieces at any second. He understood that, but he goes out of his way to text me on the daily if for nothing else than to say hi. I like him, but I want to go slow. He asked if he could kiss me when he dropped me at home yesterday, and I told him not yet. He was not offended.

I like that he’s patient with me. We’ll see how it goes. I’m not putting my metaphorical eggs in that basket, but it IS nice to have someone I look forward to hearing from… and he was excited about baby Frankie… so… hard to complain.


Things are still hard. The house is still a total wreck. I’m still not exercising. I still miss Keagan. I’m still not up on the housework.

Still, things are better. I’m not HAPPY, and I’m not even quite back to where I was before Keagan passed away, but I’m working on it. I’m on the road to it.

The Hardest Thing

Last Saturday I took Keagan to the vet for his arthritis. He was having a lot of problems getting around. They prescribed him gabapentin, which I thought was funny, since I take that for anxiety, and carprofen, which is an NSAID pain reliever. I was delighted he perked right up and seemed to feel a lot better.

Tuesday evening, he was really weak. He didn’t want to eat. He didn’t want to go outside. He just wanted to lay down. I was worried, but we had auditors, so I was planning on taking him to the vet Thursday or Friday. That idea went out the window when I woke up at 2am and he couldn’t stand up. He’s wet himself, and he’s crawled across the floor to get out of the wet. My heart sank. I considered rushing him to the ER, but instead I made him comfortable and laid on the ground with him for the rest of the night. I barely slept. I just wanted him to be okay. In the morning, he still couldn’t stand, though. I called my mom and told her had to go to the vet, and she came over to help me get him downstairs, and later into the car so I could get him there.

The vet, a very nice man by the name of Dr. Fedder, who always called Keagan my mutant (for what else can you call a Corgi/Husky hybrid?), said that Keagan was extremely anemic. The first potential cause could be a tumor on his spleen. They’re very vascular, common in old dogs, and very fragile. It was very possible that he’s had it, and that when he started moving around more, it ruptured: meaning he was bleeding into his abdomen. The surgery to save him would need blood transfusions and had a very low survival rate, along with a very high cost. The other likely cause would be an autoimmune disease. It’s harder to diagnose, and I’d need to take him to the emergency vet for a series of tests. If it was an autoimmune disease, he’d need to undergo blood transfusions, chemo, and a lot of pills. Survival was 50%.

In what has been the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make in my entire life… I chose to let Keagan go. He was 17, the survival rates were very poor, and I didn’t want to put him through chemo and pills or surgery at 17 years old. I couldn’t live with myself if I’d selfishly put him through all the stress and pain just for 6 more months or maybe a year… I didn’t want to watch him slowly degenerate right in front of me, just because I couldn’t let go. It hurt more than anything I’ve done, including when they ripped my wisdom teeth out. I’d rather have done that every weekend for the rest of my life than have to have let him go… but life doesn’t work that way.

It was a blessing for me that this experience was nothing like when I had to put Joie down all those years ago. Joie bled out into his abdomen, too. His blood pressure was so low that the shots didn’t work. They gave him enough to put down a St Bernard, and he was a small Bichon thing. We ended up having to hook Joie up to the anesthesia machine and watch him struggle to stay awake. He wasn’t ready to go. He was scared to leave. It was excruciating. While letting Keagan go was excruciating for ME, he didn’t fight it. They gave him the sedative, and he nodded off like he was supposed to. I promised him he’d be okay, and so would I. I told him to say hi to Joie for me. While he had low blood pressure, the second shot worked almost instantly. He stopped breathing, and he was gone. I don’t think he even saw it coming… which is best for him, and probably me.

The vet said I could stay with him as long as I wanted, but he got cold so fast… so much faster than I would have ever guessed. I hated to leave, but he just wasn’t there anymore.

I’m having him cremated, and I get a paw print.

I went home and cried. I folded up his kennel and rearranged so that when I come home tonight the first thing I do isn’t to be reminded he’s gone and collapse. After that, I got in bed and didn’t move again until my mom came home. She brought dinner and we watched some mindless cooking show at her place.

Sleeping was hard. I’m so used to him being there, curled up next to me. I woke up in the middle of the night and reached out for him, and he wasn’t there. I woke up in the morning, and he wasn’t there. I let the dogs out and I counted 1-2-3—- there was no 4, and I just cried. I cried on and off all morning, trying to get ready for work.

I managed to get up early enough to sit in the living room while everyone ate. Bdo didn’t eat all his food. Kyrie didn’t eat all her food. Even Kira, who didn’t even like Keagan, because she was so jealous of him, didn’t eat all her food. They know something’s up. They know yesterday morning he was here and I was sad. They know I came home without him and was sad. They know he didn’t come home and I’m still so very sad. I wish I could explain it to them.

I’m incredibly sad. Keagan was my best friend. He was my soul mate. He was my constant. He was my world. No one will ever love me as much as Keagan. I love all my dogs, but Keagan was, and always will be special. I’m going to be incredibly sad for a very long time…

In the meantime, I have to be okay, because I promised.

One of the hardest parts of that is Kira. I was mad at her yesterday, because Keagan died and she never liked him. I was mad because I thought she wouldn’t even notice he was gone. She noticed, though, and it’s got her messed up. Also, I can’t be mad at her for being jealous: I favored Keagan all the time. And lastly, I can’t be mad at her for not being Keagan. She loves me uncontrollably. She does. No one will ever love me like Keagan, but if Keagan loved me like a soul mate, Kira loves me like an obsessed stalker.

I started thinking Keagan was going to die when he turned 10, because Joie died at 10. Keagan kept on going and was in great health till the last 24 hours, and I conned myself into believing he’d always be there…. Now I have to adjust without him… and that hurts so much…

I’ll never forget him.