Dear Universe

December 18, 2012 § Leave a comment

Dear Universe or God or Guides or whomever it is that feels my energy, my thoughts and can make things happen, I’m having trouble talking to you each night before bed since my two recent losses. I prayed or wished or pushed out positive energy as hard as I could and yet I was ignored. None of my wishes came true. None.

I’m most angered by the fact that my dear Otis’s energy doesn’t come to visit me in my dreams. Where did he go? Is he mad at me for allowing the vet to kill him? I don’t feel him at all and I think I should. I thought that our energy changed shape, not that it completely disappeared for good. I find no comfort in anything. No thought can help me heal or feel good about his death. Well, only one thought, the thought that maybe I helped end any suffering he was experiencing or was about to experience.

I cry every night (and occasionally during the day). My ritual, my habit of putting ideas and wishes out into the universe still happens, but I cut it short. I no longer believe any of my thoughts or energy does a damn thing to help the world. I need to pray for my grandma’s shoulder recovery, but I feel you’ll just kill her. I need to pray for health and love to all my family and friends, but feel it will backfire. I need to pray for myself and my new unborn child, but we know how well that worked with Elias. It didn’t.

At least with Elias I was able to feel the energy and his wishes. I saw the future. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the early heads up nightmare you gave me about Otis just days before he died. I’m just sad that I can no longer feel much of anything.

Time for Change

September 17, 2012 § Leave a comment

I miss Otis. I think of him every day and every night. I cry for him daily. This blog is called All About Otis. I’m deciding whether to end it or continue. I definitely need to reinvent my initial plan for the blog. Not sure why I’m even writing this. Who cares?

I guess I may be a little sad, a little depressed. I need to snap out of it and reinvent every part of my life. I’m stuck. I think Otis’s death and Elias’s death are showing me how stuck I am. Showing me how much I’ve let myself go and given up on all the plans I had for my life. My passions have fallen flat. I’ve let too many circumstances prevent me from moving forward. It’s time. If I stay this way, I die this way.


September 12, 2012 § 2 Comments

I’m devastated by the loss of my sweet baby Otis. The events surrounding his death were unexpected. It was a typical Sunday. We played catch/fetch with the ball. He asked me for treats. He kept me on schedule. I worked out and was cleaning because we were having a friend over for dinner. Around 3 in the afternoon Jeremy came home after golfing with said friend. I was bitchy. We were arguing. Otis rang the bell to go out as he often did when we argued. Jeremy let him out.

Minutes later Jeremy called to me to come outside. Said it was Otis. I couldn’t have moved faster. I opened the door to bright red blood all over the patio and deck. Otis seemed fine. I looked him over and found no injuries. We hoped he’d caught a bunny or squirrel, but found no evidence of fur or guts. I brought Otis inside. He went to his rug in the living room. I heard him cough. He got up and came to me in the kitchen and coughed up bright red blood. A lot of it. We went outside and he continued to cough up a lot of blood all over the back yard while Jeremy searched for an emergency vet.

We immediately hauled him off to the nearest emergency vet. It was Sunday, so our regular vet was unavailable. As we waited to see the vet, Otis coughed up more blood, first in the waiting area and again in two different exam rooms. The vet did some tests and an X-ray. He rambled far too long about what Otis didn’t have, then said this was an emergent situation and we needed to get to a specialist. So, we headed an hour further north to the best in the Chicago area. The weather was horrible, the entire drive was through a downpour. Otis sat in the back seat, rested his head on the back head rest and looked out the window. He had a few coughing fits on the way.

At the specialist’s, they basically ran the same tests and more X-rays. The vet told us to prepare ourselves and that Otis would likely not make it through the night and if he did, he’d not make it to the end of the week. She didn’t exactly come out and say that though. I basically had to ask “are you telling us that Otis is going to die?” During this time Jeremy and I were waiting in an exam room while Otis was somewhere in the back. We cried and cried and cried. We wanted to take him home with us, but he would have likely choked to death on his own blood and we wouldn’t have been able to do anything to help him. Finally, we made the decision to let Otis go peacefully and humanely with us by his side to the end. We took him outside the facility for a little walk in the misty rain. We came back inside and cuddled and talked to him. He was normal. He was perfect Otis. They moved us to a private room. We cuddled and talked more. Me spooning my big dog. Otis pawing at Jeremy to keep rubbing him. He was himself. He didn’t cough up blood the entire time. I asked the vet again if she was sure? She shook her head yes. Otis gave her a kiss.

After hours of cuddling and loving him we gave the specialist the approval to administer his drugs. I wasn’t ready to let him go! He became drowsy from the sedative, then she began the lethal injection and there was no turning back. She listened for his heartbeat and said he’s gone. Oh my baby Otis! He looked peaceful, like he was asleep. I held him tight. He was heavy and solid. Such a big and beautiful beast. I wasn’t ready to let him go. He was only 9.

My body and chest ache only a little less today. I cry hard for him every day. I miss him dearly. My heart broken yet again this long, hot summer and my best friend is no longer here to guide me through the pain.

In Memoriam

September 12, 2012 § 2 Comments

Thank God for little bunnies

July 26, 2012 § 5 Comments

Little fucking bunnies have been eating my Black-eyed Susans. At first it was kinda cute. Bunnies are cute. They started trimming my huge overflowing potted petunias and I welcomed it. They’d pop out of the ground cover while we sat on the patio and we’d watch them fill their little bellies. I even encouraged them to eat some of our very pretty ground cover gone awry. Then suddenly the Black-eyed Susans looked less voluptuous. Stems were broken, flowers missing. What?

Last year the flowers struggled because they were being choked out by trumpet vine. Nasty, invasive stuff. Well, this spring and even now we’ve worked on keeping the trumpet vine in check and finally our Black-eyed Susans were back to their glory … until … the little fucking bunnies.

I began chasing them away which didn’t do much to hinder them. I encouraged Otis to walk through the area thinking his big dog-ness would scare them off. Just the other morning I asked Otis, standing hock-high in ground cover, to get a little closer to the Black-eyed Susans. A little bunny (hiding in that same ground cover) decided I was the lesser of two evils and leapt out, smacked my shin and landed on my foot before scurrying to the other side of the patio to hide in more ground cover. Bunnies are soft.

I say thank God for the little fucking bunnies because they’re cute and they make me laugh and piss me off at the same time, but most of all they’re keeping me busy. I have a purpose. I need to keep our damn Black-eyed Susans from being demolished to a bunch of stubby stems. I was really looking forward to the Black-eyed Susans lasting into autumn along with all of my other expectations for autumn and to lose them now will really piss me off.

P.S. Yesterday I went to Home Depot and bought some Rabbit Repellent to ward them off. It’s supposed to be safe and I think it’s working, though I did just chase a little fucking bunny off. I feel bad that I’ve ruined their food and have considered feeding them, but I know that’s not good for them. They need to be wild little fucking bunnies and figure it out for themselves. I just hope they stay away from the other flowers and veggies.

P.S.S. When I first saw the bunnies all I could think about was how close in size they were to my baby Elias. I desperately wanted to hold one as I did Elias. Empty arms. I resisted the urge because again, I know it’s not good for the wild little bunnies.



Do you have a cat?

July 16, 2012 § Leave a comment

Otis is like a cat. The moment I crack open the tuna can, he’s at my side. I squeeze the juice into his bowl and he laps it up leaving a sparkling dog bowl behind. Well, sparkling for a dog food bowl.

Anytime I think of Otis or cat in the same sentence I’m reminded of what has become an inside, weird joke between me and Jeremy. On occasion, I or Jer will say Do you have a cat? in a really weird voice. I’ll try to explain it here, but I’m not sure it will translate AT ALL. You have to let your mind go to a really strange, warped space, imagine an ordinary day you’ve experienced when things suddenly became a bit bizarro world for you and only you get it.

Early on when we first moved to this neighborhood, we were out for a walk with Otis when we passed two older women sitting in their pajamas on their front stoop. Both women were wearing cat eyeglasses like from the 50’s or 60’s or whenever they were the thing to wear. The stoop they were sitting on belongs to a dilapidated house with a large dumpster on the side in the driveway (the kind used during construction). Very Grey Gardens. It appeared as though they were mother-daughter or possibly sisters. As we passed their house, they complimented our gorgeous dog Otis and continued talking about what a pretty and big dog he is. Then, out of nowhere one of the ladies asked “Do you have a cat?” And, not that Do you have a cat? is the strangest question in the world, but if you could have heard how she said it. So innocent, like a child. So very sincere. So extremely curious if we had a cat. An old woman, with the voice of a little girl. In an instant I looked at Jer, he looked at me and we acknowledged without words how odd the whole set up was while Otis sniffed a bush. What adds to the strangeness is we’ve lived here three years and we’ve never seen them again. Almost like it didn’t really happen or they were ghosts or something. The house is still there with the dumpster by its side. Things about the house change (though not for better), someone must come and go, though we’ve never seen anyone. It pretty much appears deserted.

We had another moment once like this in the city. Again on a walk. We passed this big, beautiful old brick house and there were two really small women dressed in red jumpsuits. They were really small, reminded me of oompaloompas but their bodies were proportionate. They were doing something to the huge pine tree perched in front of the house. Jer and I looked at each other, acknowledged the strangeness of it and never saw them again. Both of these weird incidents were/are located on our regular paths, so it really makes no sense that we never saw either again. Well, now the story is getting boring. You should have seen the red jumpsuits. Really out of this world.

Coffee can be Soothing

June 21, 2012 § 3 Comments

Stumptown Coffee, Hair Bender

Stumptown Coffee, Hair Bender

This was supposed to be a blog about food and travel and tidbits about my dog. When I included “Actually, All About Everything” in the title I never imagined everything including mourning the loss of my baby boy. So, now the blog will include my grief and hopefully my healthy steps back into the light of life. My wound is fresh, hasn’t yet been a week. Sad, heartbroken, hurt, scared, lost – none of these words scratch the surface of what I’m physically and emotionally experiencing.

Anyway, in terms of food. I still like and admire food and want to prepare something delicious again in the future, but for now I have no appetite. The most pleasurable food experience of my day is my morning regular coffee. I sit with it outdoors on my patio or on my screened in deck. I feel the warm breeze, listen to the birds doing their morning business, watch the squirrels pass by with my lovely Otis nearby, and stare at the beautiful flowers I planted in May. I cry. I remember my baby in my arms. I collect myself. The church next to our house rings its bells and plays beautiful music. I cry. I miss my son and want to hold him in my arms. I imagine those moments of holding him in the hospital. It felt right. It was soothing. I never wanted to let him go. He was perfect.

I digress. Coffee. Stumptown. The best coffee I’ve ever experience in the U.S. What I’m drinking is the Hair Bender blend. Shots made in our espresso maker. I savor it as I savor the flowers, the breeze, my dog and my son.

Otis love

April 25, 2012 § Leave a comment

I write really well in my head when I’m away from paper and pen or computer. I also write really well in my head when I’m tossing and turning. When I used to keep paper and pen by bed, I didn’t use it. It’s always when you don’t have it near you that you need it, never when organized and ready for it.

All of the things (along with crazy pregnancy hormones) that helped create my grumpy mood of yesterday are less an issue today. Worries that I gave my very expensive bridesmaids dress to some seamstress who may very well hack the thing apart leaving nothing left but a rag, worries that I won’t fit in said “altered” dress come May 12th, worried about my future, money, career or lack of career and worried that I’m never going to have fun in life again or that haven’t yet had fun in life. None of these worries are really that worrisome.

I gave Otis a big cuddle which always helps. He told me to chill. Reminded me that I freaked out when I brought him home the first time. He sat at the edge of the rug in our big apartment in Chicago and we stared at each other, like now what? He became a fun little hooligan to train. I was actually unemployed then too. It was 2003 and the pr firm I worked for was having another round of layoffs, this time I was cut. It became their norm after 9/11 to cut people annually. I think they continue to nearly do it quarterly over there to this day. They sucked anyway and wouldn’t let me grow. I need growth to be happy.

Back to Otis. He put me at ease, reminded me that I fell in love with him easily and that I’ll fall in love with the-baby-on-the-way just the same, maybe more. He made a few Rottweiler purring noises and groans and grunts to really get his point across. Then, French kissed me with his powerful lick that opens my mouth up (by accident) when he does it just right with his passionate intensity. Then, the mail came and he helped recycle the junk. It’s his latest cool trick. He’s very helpful.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Otis as a puppy.

These are scanned photos, so quality doesn’t look as great.

On my mind

April 5, 2012 § Leave a comment

A few things I’m obsessing about lately:

1) I’m in a wedding in about a month and will be wearing a pretty strapless dress in persimmon. The problem is my girls are HUGE! I was well stacked to begin with, but now with being pregnant and all they’ve exploded to a new level of ENORMOUS. It’s the only thing that’s changed (body-wise) so far and I’m having major issues dressing my top half. I’ve desperately been searching the internet for a good strapless bra or bustier (which it appears they just don’t make the way they used to in the ‘50’s, as in, not as popular for daily wear these days as they were then) and I just don’t think they exist for people like me. I want to be comfortable that day, not look like a porn star and not deal with a bra that won’t support or stay put. Time is running out! I must find something that works soon or I’ll be screwed. I’m going to my seamstress soon to fit the dress and hope she has a back up solution in case I can’t find the one.
2) When I toss and turn at night I rearrange furniture and clean the house in my mind. Sometimes I decorate a farmhouse we almost bought which I fell in love with and is just down the street from us. I’m really good at decorating that farmhouse, but have no clue how to decorate the house we’re in. Probably because it’s not a farmhouse. I wanted a farmhouse to decorate with a clean minimalist, Swedish style. If that makes sense. Instead we’re in a brick and frame… Hmm… Major brain fart. Not sure what we call our house. Will let you know when it comes to me. Ah! Cape Cod. Which is cute and had really no work to be done except for changing some paint colors and keeping up the landscaping. I’m not complaining. It’s just not the style I’m in love with, but it will do for now.
The point of this rant is after tossing and turning all night and doing all of that decorating, moving furniture and cleaning in my mind, I’m too pooped to actually accomplish any of it during the real light of day.
3) Easter! We host Easter this Sunday. It’s now Thursday and I’ve just finalized the menu. I need to get to the store (something I don’t enjoy), clean house (see number 2), plan how I want the dining room table to look, get candles, boil & stain some eggs, and finally, decide which order to prepare and cook everything.

On the menu
hors d’oeuvres – deviled eggs and maybe a relish tray or salami or something easy

dinner – thyme honey glazed ham, scalloped potatoes with leeks, roasted asparagus and a spring salad

dessert – angel food cake with chocolate frosting (I think, my husband said his dad doesn’t like angel food cake, though I remember him enjoying two pieces the last time I made it)

Have I mentioned I’m gluten free and I’m supposed to be dairy free (though I still want proof that I shouldn’t eat dairy)? Gluten free is easy for me. I have no desire to eat it, been off of it for about six or more years now. Dairy, now dairy is difficult. I love it and you just can’t get the same creaminess for certain recipes without it. And, then there’s cheese. Most of which I can’t enjoy while pregnant. Anyway, I was good not having dairy for a year. But now that I’m carrying a little being inside me all I think about is dairy. Cottage cheese, parmesan, gouda and all the other good cheeses that we’re not allowed during this time. Did I mention I’m throwing some gouda into the scallop potatoes & leeks? I’ll try to do better next week and not have dairy.
4) Exercise and yoga. I’ve not been consistent at all due to the lovely side effect of pregnancy called fatigue even though I know it will help me with energy and feel more like myself. One week I have five great workouts, the next just one workout and the next zero workouts. I feel guilty and terrible about this. On the schedule today is a prenatal yoga class down the street from my house. I MUST GO! Even if it’s just to finally meet others in the same state (as in, new moms to be). I need some damn friends that live near me!
5) My sweet baby Otis. He’s going to be nine in June. He has hip dysplasia and I assume some arthritis. It’s getting hard for him to get up from lying down and tough on him getting up the stairs. I love him dearly and I know he’ll absolutely be insane with happiness to have a little baby in our house. He adores babies and small children. I want him to have the chance to share the new experience with us; it will be a joy to witness.


Where Am I?

You are currently browsing the Dog category at allaboutotis.