Paul Harvey Would Love This Blog Post

Because here is the “rest of the story.”

So. Evelyn got pregnant in mid 2022. Evelyn really wanted this baby, but the relationship with the father didn’t work out (long story; not my story to tell). So, since she was facing life as a single mom, her family offered to let her recuperate at their home.

Evelyn has two chihuahua mixes and she didn’t feel right sticking her relatives with two dogs in addition to her, so she asked me to take care of them. So far, so good.

Now, what you have to know about my lifestyle is that I walk Mila at least twice a day, usually about 20-25 minutes in the morning and about an hour in the evening (though it’s been so hot lately that I’ve been taking her out in the back yard for about 15 minutes in the evening and walking her for about an hour at night). This means that instead of getting up an hour and a half before I have to be at work, I now get up two hours before I have to be at work. I also don’t get my dinner until about an hour and a half after I get off work.

When Felicity came to stay, I shortened Mila’s evening walk, because I started walking Felicity for half an hour in the morning and in the evening, too. So now I was getting up two and a half hours before I have to be at work and still not getting my dinner until about an hour and a half after I get off work.

Add Evelyn’s dogs to the mix now. I had to get up three hours before I had to be at work, and wasn’t getting my dinner until two hours after I got off work. So on days when I worked until 7 and had to be back at 8:30, I was getting my dinner at 9 and getting up at 5:30. This really began to eat at my mental health. Just getting up at 5:30 in general began to do it.

There were other things as well. One of Evelyn’s dogs has an anxiety disorder (I think it may even be OCD) which causes her to lick at people constantly. She’s a sweet girl and I love her, but geeze.

Mila was happy to see her sisters for a couple of months, but then she wanted her momma back, dammit. She didn’t get possessive, possessive, but if one of her sisters took Mila’s usual spot, she’d be visibly unhappy with the situation.

My possession of a pit mix and having had four dogs has made me make some discoveries about my personality. I have one of the personality traits of a dog hoarder — I want to save all of the pit bulls. We have a pit bull problem in the city; about 10 or so are put down by the city every week. However, I now know that I cannot handle more than one, **maybe** two dogs.

I met with my psychiatrist about two weeks after all of my visitors went home and the first words out of her mouth, after “hello,” were “so how many dogs do you have now?”

I was so happy to tell her “One!”

Today’s Gratuitous Amazon Link is going to be Sorrowland by Rivers Solomon. Vern was raised in a religious compound. She escapes and gives birth to twins in the wilderness. Soon after this, her body starts to change. And then the people from her compound come looking for her.

What Had Me Feeling Down Earlier This Year

The year started with my dad still short of breath and the two of us still disagreeing with the cause. I believe that what the doctor saw on the CT scan is correct, he thinks it’s long COVID.

In February, I was walking Mila when this yellow dog looms out of the darkness and starts jumping up on me. In a totally friendly way. I took Mila home, put a leash on the dog, and took the dog out to see if she could lead me home. Not only couldn’t she lead me home, she didn’t seem to have ever walked on a leash before.

I bumped into a neighbor, who said that this dog had been floating around the neighborhood all day but that no one in the neighborhood had been able to keep her. Turns out she’d been surfing from one back yard to another. The neighbor had posted about her on Nextdoor hoping her people would see her, but he suspected that she’d been dumped.

Somehow I ended up agreeing to keep her in my back yard for a couple of days while we waited to see if her owner turned up (spoiler alert: they didn’t).

Once I could see her face clearly, I realized that she was at least part pit bull and so I was afraid she’d be hurt or worse, since pits have such a bad reputation. This is totally unfair in general, of course, but particularly when it comes to this dog, which I named Felicity. She has a great temperament (my vet’s exact words), and just needed someone to train her.

This began her four-month stay in our back yard. She couldn’t come into the house because both Mila and my dad were afraid of her.

Immediately after her people didn’t show up, I began looking for a home for her. I asked pretty much everyone I knew and they promised to start looking for homes for her.

A week or so after that, she went into heat. So now I didn’t just have to find a home for her, I had to find a home where they’d promise to spay her. Once I thought she was out of heat, I took her to get her shots, and the vet at the mobile clinic I took her to thought she was pregnant, because her genitalia was still swollen.

So off to my vet I went. She was not pregnant. I guess she was in heat for a full month. I had stopped looking for a home for her when she went into heat (I wanted to do someone a favor by giving them an awesome dog. I didn’t want to stick them with every unneutered male in a five-mile radius). By now it’s the end of March and my vet didn’t have any openings for a spay until late April.

So I began looking at low-cost spay places and inquired about sending her to the Humane Society. All of the low cost spay places were full until at least June and the Humane Society couldn’t take her until at least July and maybe not until October.

By now it was late April, and so I called my vet again. They had an opening at the end of May. So I took it.

I was getting a nibble every couple of weeks, but nothing ever came of it. Generally the person I talked to (or the person they had talked to) was up to take her, but their roommate/spouse/etc. wasn’t. Most notably was the first person I asked, whose wife wanted her, but he didn’t.

I got her spayed and, figuring that since she was a friendly dog but still mostly a wild animal, she wouldn’t like the Cone of Shame, I bought three bodysuits to cover her incision. This worked great.

So, the 10th day after the spay, just as I was going to go ham on posting her absolutely everywhere, we got some rain. There was thunder in the background, and apparently she freaked out, because she jumped through a window. She didn’t seem too badly hurt, so I sat up with her the rest of the night and took her to the vet in the morning.

She needed stitches on her foot. I mean, it could have been so. much. worse. She could have sliced a tendon. She could have gotten glass in her eye. So really she got off easy.

I wanted to keep her indoors to protect her foot, but my dad was still scared of her, so he gave me an ultimatum and that’s sort of what led me to call 988. There was more to it than that, but that’s for my next post.

Before her stitches came out, a friend’s family said that they wanted her. So, stitches, Cone of Shame (which she took to much better than I’d feared) and all, I turned her over. She’s there now, there was definitely a learning curve regarding transitioning to being an indoor dog. She seems to be doing really well. She has a crate and regards it as her safe place. The grandma of the family has two elderly chihuahuas, and she gets on with them. She sits and stays. And she’s becoming a couch potato. I couldn’t be happier.

Coming up in two more days, the other things that were going on at that time and thus the rest of the reason why I ended up calling 988. Whee!

Our Gratuitous Amazon Link for today is one of my all-time favorite books, Freaky Friday, by Mary Rodgers. Now, since Freaky Friday has been made into two movies, I’m sure you’re “Oh, I know that story by now.” But do you? Do you really? Because the proverbial novel-on-which-the-movies-were-based is all from Annabel’s perspective. It is literally one day — Friday — and we watch Annabel, who told her mother that her mom’s life is easy, living her mom’s life for a day. Such a good book.

Where Have I Been the Last, Oh God, 10 Months?

Wow. I keep meaning to update this blog but, well, I don’t know.

Let’s see. After I got my trigger thumb diagnosed, my dad ended up in the hospital. He and I disagree about what caused him to end up there, but I can understand why he might be in denial. He got diagnosed with the same thing that killed my mom.

So. Yeah.

Then I started a blog post in October, but abandoned it. I started working on my first novel and that’s been taking up most of my writing neurons. But now I’m challenging myself to write every single day and I remembered that this blog exists and so I can use this on days when I just am not feeling the novel.

Then I found out that my domain names expired on July 5, so I spent the next 24 hours getting that back together. Which brings us to today.

I also went through a dark night of my mental health about a month and a half ago and ended up calling 988 twice during that time. Maybe I’ll make that tomorrow’s blog post?

Yeah, I think I’ll make that tomorrow’s blog post.

I guess it’s time to return to the Gratuitous Amazon Links, isn’t it? I guess that today is the true-crime classic The Stranger Beside Me, by Ann Rule. When Ann Rule decided to become a true crime writer, little did she know that the subject of the case that was going to make her name in the industry was working with her at the crisis hotline. As a matter of fact, she was researching a local serial killer and discussing the work she was doing with the subject of the book she was writing — Ted Bundy.