Friday, November 27, 2009

Just a day in the life...

Excitement is a constant in our home. A 3 year old with more energy than I knew possible and two crazy dogs assure there is never a boring moment. This morning, we sort-of slept in, but we were up late so I was still exhausted. The dogs were doing their morning "thing" outside. Sampson usually sits on the "porch" of Kaitlyn's playhouse for a while to sun himself. I always let him and usually make Daisy stay inside so the old man can get some relaxing peace and quiet. So that's what I THOUGHT was happening when he didn't come in right away. But Daisy was totally freaking out, even more than usual. It didn't take long before I realized that the gate was open and Sam-the-Man was on the loose. I grabbed a sweatshirt and flops and started frantically yelling "SAMPSON" in the middle of my street. (In hindsight, I probably looked ridiculous but at the moment, it was what needed to be done.)

Our neighbor came out and asked if I wanted him to drive me around a little bit and said he thought he saw a big dog behind his house. I jumped in his truck and all I could imagine was the worst of Sampson making it a couple of blocks to the 4-lane road. We saw some neighbors on the street behind us outside...and then Sampson! I was SO relieved. They had called the numbers on his collar--my cell phone was still off and my parents weren't home. They called the number of the vet on his rabies tag, which was the vet that got us through so much near Lejeune. (I later found out that the lady on the other end was flipping out because she remembered us. She said "is he a boxer?" and when our neighbor said yes she said she would call all the numbers to get a hold of us. Our neighbors called back and said they had found us.)

Anyway, so we pulled up and as I am running to get my 4-legged BFF, the man holding Sampson (on a hill) lost his balance. Sampson was running free and the man was rolling down the hill in his front yard--his father in law was trying to stop him and my neighbor got out of the car to see if he was okay. I was trying to grab Sampson and run to the man to make sure he was okay. He was. (Whew!) But his head was bleeding as he rolled through his rose bushes. I felt terrible and kept apologizing. He insisted that he was fine--that he might be sore tomorrow but it wasn't a big deal. I told him I would send Sampson to help take care of him. :) (They have a chihuahua so I doubt that would actually work out.)

Anyway, my neighbor took his truck home and got the keys from Buzz and brought the Xterra so we could get Sampson in there--then he had to leave because the reason he was in his truck in the first place was that he was on his way to the hospital to see his grandma. (Then I felt even worse because I held him up looking for my dog. He said it was fine, though--he has dogs so he understands). We talked for a while and I found out that the man's wife is the HOA president--I had not paid my dues yet. They were all very nice. It wasn't long before Buzz and K walked around the corner. I said thank you and I am sorry more times than I can count. I carried K home and Buzz drove Sampson back.

This afternoon, I took my good Samaritan neighbors a fruit basket, a thank you card, and a check with my HOA dues. The wife answered the door and we talked for a while. She seemed appreciative of my appreciation and she said her husband was fine. She said it was no big deal, but it was...not everyone would take in a big dog like that. But they did and I have my Sam-man home with me now. He has been SO proud of himself, wagging his tail and looking longingly out the window. I picture him reliving his big adventure this morning in his mind.

Why was this adventure so great? He got a treat. Yes, the people that saved my dog gave him something that can aggravate his IBD. I didn't want to make a big deal about it because I was so thankful for their kindness, so I didn't ask what kind of treat or how many he got. They just told me they gave him one so he knew they were friendly. (After telling my parents this story, they said I should get a medic-alert tag for him that says something like "do not feed--severe food allergies.") :) Anyway, I called the vet and I had to take the old man in for a steroid shot. (for the record--he weighs 82 pounds now. He's gained 10 pounds since we've been here. They say it's the steroids. I guess it's just more to love.) But he was happy to be there at the vet, too. It's been an all around good day for Sampson, I suppose. And for us, too...other than the loss of money, but we all know money is no big deal when we are talking about my Sam Dog. Kaitlyn got to talk to the big parrot at the vets office. He has only been there a few weeks. His name is Bubbles and he loves kids, and especially Kaitlyn according to the staff. (This is the second time they have hung out together.) They have great conversations. K tells him that she likes his new black cage, asks why birds eat worms, and tells him that she used to be in my belly, among other things. :) It's great. One of Sampson's doctors says she's going to grow up to be a vet. It wouldn't surprise me; she's my little animal whisperer.

So that's it--that's my day so far. And it's not even 2:30 pm yet. I think I am going to pile us all in my bed and take a nap. I would say we all could use one!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


This time last year, I was about 2 months into a 7 month deployment. Thanksgiving day without Buzz was when the reality of that deployment really hit me--I cried all day. In both of the deployments that I have experienced since our marriage, the long drive home after saying goodbye was excruciatingly painful. Each time, K fell asleep on the ride home and I sat outside of our house crying my eyes out--the reality of going into that house without Buzz and knowing it would be over 1/2 a year before he set foot in it again was more than I thought I could handle. But, somehow, each time I did. Once I got myself together and walked through the door, I worked (not always successfully) to keep in mind that every minute that passed was another minute closer to having him home without the constant worry about his safety (and my sanity).

But Thanksgiving last year was rough--very rough. But I had an amazing support system, comprised mostly of other military wives, who got me through. I made it. Looking back, I am still not sure how. The thought of even one more deployment still haunts me. I try to enjoy this time we have without that huge threat (though the possibility is still there even at this duty station). But I always know in the back of my head that someone else is living that reality right now--people I love. I am pretty sure not much in life is fair, but we still have to move on.
So, this year, I am really working on being thankful. I am thankful for my family and that our core is together for the holidays--happy and healthy. I am thankful for my friends who got me through all of the ups and downs--no matter how much distance is between us. I am thankful for all of the blessings in my life.

I can't say enough how happy I am that Buzz is here with us again for the holidays. I have never been a big fan of the holiday season. Ever since I can remember, it depressed me. I don't know why--maybe the stress, the cold? But I am working on turning that attitude around. I hope I can make K a big fan of the holidays and teach her to be thankful for all the blessings in her life. I hope the three of us have 100 more happy, healthy Thanksgivings together (which would make me 129 years old, so if someone in the biological sciences could please help me out with that, that would be amazing). :)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Dance like nobody's watching

This weekend was the Marine Corps Ball (happy 234th). It was tons of fun. But something was missing--dancing...MY dancing. Lots of people were dancing, drunk dancing. That means that even if I would have found the guts to really get out there, people probably would not have remembered--and it's not like any of them would be a finalist in the next season of So You Think You Can Dance. (Is that show still on?)

I used to dance. When we went out and there was music, I was dancing. I was never "good" but I had fun and was uninhibited (probably by alcohol) and had a great time. Those days seem to be over. I still hear songs on the radio that I used to dance to back in the day and it makes me want to get out and dance--just let loose and have fun and not care about anything except the pursuit of having fun. But on those few occasions where I DO get the chance, I chicken out. BOO!

So I have been thinking about this the past few days. Why does it matter? What has happened in my life to turn from someone who would just get out there and "cut the rug" to standing on the sidelines remembering the good ol' days? I don't know--I still haven't figured it out.

But then, today, something clicked. K was dancing and singing to a variety of music (from DMB to Miley Cyrus)--I mean she was SINGING at the top of her lungs (getting most of the words right) and DANCING her little heart out. It was beautiful. I watched her and smiled. Then, I joined her. We have dance parties on a regular basis, but we do it in the comfort of our own home away from windows or with the blinds closed. It is SO much fun. (THESE are the moments I life with my daughter and getting caught up in the moment. It is amazing.)

But watching her dance in the context of my weekend got me to thinking... She was dancing like no one was watching. But, the thing is, someone was watching and she didn't care. For a few minutes, I just sat there in awe wondering how we get from that place in our lives to the place where I am. How do we get from truly being able to just enjoy the moment in the moment with pure joy to being scared to do the Electric Slide in front of a bunch of drunk Marines? I don't know and I still haven't found an answer for that, either.

But here's what I do know... I want to bottle up whatever is inside of my daughter right now and keep it. I want to take some for myself, but mostly I want to have a reserve to make sure that she keeps that spirit--that uninhibited love of life in the moment. I hope that she never cares who is watching (or listening) as long as she is doing what she believes in her heart is the right thing. I hope I have the knowledge, strength, and health to raise her to believe in herself first and foremost, so she knows it doesn't matter who is watching. We can learn a lot from a child and I think it may be the adults who screw up this sense of spirit with our own insecurities. But I know she has it now and I am going to take her cue. Watch out for the next Marine Corps Ball, there's going to be a 30 year old Captain's wife on the dance floor and it may not be artistically amazing, but it doesn't matter if I feel it in my heart. :) Here's to dancing like nobody's watching in all spheres of life--even when they are!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Everything I need to know...

I learned from my dog? Maybe not, but here are a couple of articles I ran by today that are more proof to me that dogs are at the very least awesome, amazing, and smart and on the farther end of that spectrum, superior to humans. :)

As an update/side note, Sampson had another IBD flare-up this weekend. (On a Sunday, of course, and his oral steroids weren't kicking in very quickly so we ended up at the vet ER...always on a Sunday.) He seems to be feeling better. I think he has learned to play pitiful for walks. He acts like he's in a deep, dark depression and I feel sorry for him--he gets walks. I have noticed this behavior even more after a flare-up (i.e. me babying him). I mean, Pavlov's dog probably could have learned how to tug at your heart strings, too...right? Anyway, here are the articles.
(the only thing I disagree with in this one is about if your dog can't eat it, you probably shouldn't...that would put me on a strict diet of costly hypoallergenic dog food)