Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Night of the Tail

It was a decidedly cold December night in the Phoenix valley. Having figured that, like ours, Mollie's blood had thinned after living in the desert and could no longer withstand cold temperatures, Garrett and I ventured out to buy her a sweater.

Mollie loves sweaters

I know that this is a relatively typical move, buying clothes for one’s pet. However. Mollie is a Lab. She isn't one of those tiny dogs you see being paraded around in foofoo outfits on the daily. In fact, up until our shopping trip, she had no clothes of her own.

But, you see, Mollie likes wearing clothes. Once, when I accidentally pulled Mollie’s bandana over her head in an attempt to make her jump on the bed, she stopped in her tracks and looked at me as if I had done the most horrible thing in the world. She then proceeded to stare at the limp bandana in my hand, which led to me staring at the limp bandana in my hand, and finally leading Garrett to stare at the limp bandana in my hand. Nobody moved. And then she walked into it, putting her head through the hole the knotted bandana created. Mollie put her bandana back on and all was well in the universe. We all let out our breath and relaxed once more. (See Mollie wearing said bandana below...)

In addition to bandanas, Mollie is also a fan of wearing t-shirts. Her whole demeanor changes; she gets calmer and acts kind of...cool.

One time, we put a pair of sunglasses on her during a car ride to a camping trip up north. They stayed on her face for a good 45 minutes until they fell off (after all, they were made to fit a human skull), and I swear for that 45 minutes she sat taller and prouder as she gazed at the mountains through the backseat window.
Naturally, we find Mollie's affinity for clothing and accessories to be hilarious. We started to feel a little guilty, though, that she didn't have anything of her own.

Fast forward to a trip to Petsmart on that chilly December evening. Surprisingly, there was an abundance of clothing for large dogs. This resulted in us spending way too much time picking out the perfect outfit. We ended up agreeing on a reindeer get-up, as ‘twas the season.
We drove home, excited to present her with our gift. Really, we couldn't wait to stretch the hood of the jacket over her head to don her with a set of antlers and a bright red nose.
Yes, we really like our dog.
And she really likes us too.
Mollie recognizes the beep of our car when we lock it. As soon as she hears this sound, she retrieves something (toy, sock, shoe, etc.) and holds it in her mouth until one of us comes through the door. Her tail wags so hard that her entire body wiggles. She wants to jump so badly but knows she's not supposed to, resulting in tiny hops up and down. She cries, she squeals, she barks. She gets really excited when we come home.
See? Told ya. Mollie really likes us.
Which brings me to the point of this story.
That night, like we'd always done, we got out of our car and hit the lock button twice, causing our car to emit a beep. As we walked up the pathway to our condo, we heard a loud crash. Garrett and I furrowed our brows at each other.
"What was that?" he asked.
"I hope it didn't come from inside," I said.
We unlocked our front door and out ran Mollie. Instead of staying inside and greeting us with her version of a present in mouth, she busted through the door and sat on the doorstep, wagging her tail. It was a bit unusual, but we thought little of it.
"Come inside, Mollie," Garrett called. He set her new reindeer outfit on the table.
It was dark, the lights were off. We turned the switch on and saw our full-length mirror lying flat on the ground.
"Oh no!” I exclaimed.  Bracing myself for broken glass, I lifted the mirror off of the ground. Miraculously, the mirror had not cracked one bit. Relieved, I propped it up against the wall. But then I noticed that there was something red on it. As I looked closer, there were a lot of tiny red dots speckled all over the glass.
"What the --?" and then it hit me. It was blood!
"Mollie, are you bleeding?" I asked.
To which she said, "Yes mom, I am." Just kidding. I know she can't answer me.
We pulled her into the light and found that a light splattering of blood had been sprayed all over her yellow-white coat.
"Jesus," I exclaimed in a panic, "where is it coming from? Where is all of this blood coming from?!"
And then we found it. The source of blood was coming from a cut at the very, very, very tip of Mollie's tail. It was a very, very, very tiny cut. Paper cut size, if you will. Not paper cut sized damage, however.
In the time that it took us to discover the blood on the mirror, see the blood on Mollie, investigate where in fact the blood was coming from, find the source, and move Mollie to a contained area, our condo became covered in blood. In about 60 seconds, blood was wagged onto the walls (somehow 7 feet high), our new suede couch, my beautiful leather purse, the hardwood floors, the now-standing fallen mirror, my recently purchased forest-green skinnies, the dining room table, the mirror above the dining room table, and all over my face.
Once in the confined space of the kitchen, we got her to lie down so I could clean the cut and bandage it as well as I could with the materials on hand. Materials on hand being paper towel, water, hydrogen peroxide, a ripped up Irish linen napkin, and scotch tape. I cursed my lack of proper first aid kit supplies. Eventually Mollie settled; we barricaded her in the kitchen with chairs, and I left to use the bathroom.
Silly me. Mollie wagged our makeshift bandage off as soon as she heard me walking back to the kitchen. Now, in a 10 second time frame, blood got all over the kitchen floor, fridge, cabinets, and walls...again, 7 feet high.
Our condo turned into a what could be murder scene.
I re-bandaged Mollie's tail and sat with her in the kitchen as Garrett ran to the store to grab gauze and medical tape. He got home 10 minutes later and we set out to bandaging her as best as we could.
Do you have any idea how hard it is to keep a bandage on the tip of a wagging tail? We had to wrap it almost all the way up.
Do you know how to stop a Labrador from wagging their tail?
You can't.
How do you stop something from bleeding if that something won't stay still?
You can't. (We were not going to create a tourniquet on her tail.)
It made for a very long night. Between attempting to keep Mollie confined to the kitchen (she hates being away from us) and the four hours of cleaning that ensued, Garrett and I were worn out.
I took her into work the next morning (perks of working at a veterinary hospital!) to have them take a closer look at her tail. They had to shave it down, poor thing, to see the full size of the cut. I was right, it was pretty much a paper cut.
So not only did Mollie have a sore tail, she now had a shaved tail. And then she had to walk around wearing a bandange looking like this:

For three weeks. During those three weeks (all that wagging meant delayed healing), you could really hear Mollie coming. We had never realized how much her tail slapped against things as she walked.

Garrett and I also swear that her tail got stronger. She did support a few extra ounces of weight at the very tip of her tail for about twenty-one days. Even after the bandage came off she continued to wag with a renewed force. I'm sure that we now have newly developed wrinkles around our eyes from all of the wincing at the loud bangs of her tail hitting against hard surfaces.

Oh, and that reindeer outfit? We put it on her the next day.

Neon tail bandage? Check.

Super sweet reindeer jacket? Check.

I think that Mollie liked us a little bit less for the duration of her healing process.
Her tail never stopped wagging, though, so it was hard to tell.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

My Belize Shopping List

A big thank you goes out to my sister Lizzie for getting married in Belize, because under no other circumstance would Garrett and I be able to take such an amazing trip at this point in our lives. We can't wait to celebrate the union of two of our most favorite people in what they have raved to be one of their most favorite places.

With the big day just over two months away, this girl has started to think about what to pack in her suitcase.
Here's what I'm lusting after most right now:

1) Retro inspired bathing suits are a must. No more skimpy bikinis for this girl! One pieces and high-waisted bikinis fit my body type much better. Anthropologie has some pretty good ones this year, thank goodness.


Pinned Imageretro bathing suit #bathingsuit #anthropologie

 2) Why not carry on the retro thing to my sunglasses? I’m seriously coveting these Oliver Peoples Alivia frames.

3) Goodness, how beautiful is this RL Silk Abrianna dress? This would be PERFECT for the wedding! Too bad it's $2,798...the search for something similar within my budget starts now. 


That's the gist of it for now: cute bathing suits, fun sunglasses, and flowy dresses. The everything in between will just have to come later.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Shake It Out, Shake It Out

All male athletes were called to attend a seminar at the beginning of freshman year. Male football, basketball, and hockey players stood beside swimmers, wrestlers, and runners. The topic of the seminar: how to treat women. Or, realistically, how not to treat women.

College is full of girls that want to...let loose. A lot of those girls want to let loose with athletes. Sweet, think the male athletes. Their dreams have come true.

There's the fun--the partying, the kissing, the sex. But what comes after? What comes when those girls get clingy, become jealous of one another, get a little "cray cray"? How is a male athlete supposed to behave when faced with such exhausting and demanding behavior of the opposite sex?

To this question, an ill-advised young man had a solution.

"You just shake 'em," he said, "you just shake 'em 'til they get some sense."

Oh. My. God.                                       

And that is what the seminar was for.

I couldn't believe my ears when Garrett first told me this story. I was appalled.

But in retrospect, I think, maybe he wasn't so far off.

There are a lot of people that I'd like to shake right now.

There is a woman who doubts her beauty. I want to shake self-worth into her.

There is a man who turns too quickly to anger. I want to shake peace into him.

There is a woman who refuses to take care of herself. I want to shake sense into her.

There is a man who doesn't know his boundaries with women. I want to shake manners into him.

There is a woman who talks too much and says nothing. I want to shake quiet into her.

There is a man who does not try hard enough. I want to shake ambition into him.

There is a woman who works too hard. I want to shake rest into her.

There is a man who speaks no truth. I want to shake honesty into him.

There is a woman who devalues herself in the presence of men. I want to shake self-respect into her.

I fully understand that one cannot shake self-worth, peace, sense, manners, quiet, ambition, rest, honesty, and self-respect into another. And I'm not trying to make light of the serious issue that man had with his projected behavior to women. But sometimes, I'm at a loss of what to do. I can extend my hand, reassure, give guidance, slap a wrist, offer an ear, and still, it does not help. Sometimes, you simply cannot help those who will not help themselves.

Coming to understand that you cannot always help others is no easy feat.

Now that I have reached this understanding, and know I can't shake help into some of the people around me, I will, in the words of Florence, just have to "shake it out" myself.


Friday, March 1, 2013

Woe Is Me

Being sick is the pits. It's the absolute worst!

I used to love getting sick as a kid. You see, my mother would let me stay home at first sniffle, cough, or gurgly stomach. I'm sure that I could have toughed it out 75% of the time and gone to school, but what kid is going to say no to a couple of pampered days at home? Not this one. I was a straight-A student and my absences never affected my grades; with the borrowed notes of others and help from teachers I easily kept up.

Not now, though. Now, I can't keep up. Being sick as an adult is not the same as being sick as a kid.

I don't have time to get sick. There is simply too much to do and hardly enough time to do it as it is. And, what's worse, I don't get pampered anymore when I'm ill. Garrett and I had to have a sit down about this recently--neither of us is very good at taking care of the other one when sick. Fact: I have very, very little sympathy. I think I was in the 9th percentile for sympathy on my last personality evaluation test. This lack of sympathy unfortunately carries over to my ever-demanding husband when he doesn't feel good. So, I'm working on it. In turn, I asked him to work on taking care of me when I'm sick just like he wants me to take care of him when he's sick. To me this means: let me rest, bring me soup, feed and walk the dog, keep the house clean, and tell me I look pretty even though my nose is all red and I haven't washed my hair for days. He's working on it.

Today marks the first day that I've had to call out of work, ever. I don't have the same stance on missing work as I did on missing school; I can't borrow notes and look for help from teachers to catch up anymore. It isn't quite the same.

Realistically, I'm glad that I stayed home. I've worked through being sick pretty frequently over the past couple of years but wasn't pulling a 101 degree temp like I am now. Realistically, I need to be bedridden because I get dizzy when I stand. Dizzy standing is not ideal for my job where I work on my feet.

But just because I needed to stay home does not mean that I wanted to stay home. I do not want to be sick anymore. Got that, universe? Because in one day of being sick, this is what I missed: an important and overdue meeting at work, teaching a lesson to brand new clients, teaching one last lesson to a student before she tests to the next level of riding tomorrow, a meeting with a potential exercise rider, and a volunteer training commitment. And that's only at work. Did I mention that today is one of my best girlfriend's birthday, and I have to miss her get together tonight? Or that it is 80 degrees and sunny outside for the first time this year, and if I felt well enough I would have spent my morning off (which I had regardless of my health) at the pool? What's worse, now my dog hates me and thinks I'm the most boring person in the world because I was home all day and didn't walk her. She spent a good portion of the day staring me down and crying, hoping that I would cave as I normally do.

In a nutshell, I feel like poo, I missed a ton of stuff at work that I cannot make up, I had to stay inside on a beautiful day, I can't go out for my good friend's birthday (which I already had an outfit ready for, of course), and my dog thinks I suck.

Maybe Mollie is right: I suck when I'm sick.

Sorry for the rant. I feel a little (mentally) better now.