February 21, 2010 (this day)

A lot about this day has to do with this dog.  At the same time, she both enriches my life and she causes me pain.  I cause myself pain because of the wrong-headed ways in which I think about her.

Carole left today for a few days, so I was alone with the animals.  Our temperatures are getting a bit above freezing and our snow pack is finally shrinking a bit.  But only a bit.  Everything is still covered with snow and ice, but now dripping and slushy as well.  The sun shines only once in a while.  It’s still quite cold.

I realized the other morning that before this weather started in, my morning routine was to get up, get dressed, walk the dog, eat breakfast, read something recovery related or religious and go to work.  For weeks now I’ve gotten up, fed the animals, maybe eaten something, maybe not, and battled the elements.  The cars constantly need to be scraped and dug out.  The weather forecast is constantly ominous about what our drive will be like, filled with peril.  Accidents abound, roofs are collapsing from ice and snow,  and everyone has had enough.  My son has needed medical attention and I took my daughter last Friday to have her wisdom teeth removed.

But I avoid facing how my day has been.  I have a slight cold that’s sort of on my chest.  I haven’t been sick for a long time and I really think this will be mild.  I fed all the animals twice.  I took out the recycling, loaded, ran, and unloaded the dishwasher.  I ran up and down the stairs 13 times with the dog.  Slowly, because of my chest cold.  I have ushered the older dog (and so both dogs) out the back door to the freezing slush many times today, so far avoiding a pee pee accident by the older dog.  I tried and failed to follow a pattern to make a scarf.  I cut that loose and started a simpler scarf.  I put more music on my new computer, read my message board, read the blogs I read, and I’m writing here.  Oh yes and I also watched the Dog Whisperer and brushed the dog.  She loves that.

My day is consumed, though, by the feeling that I haven’t and never do enough for this dog.  I know I haven’t come anywhere near satisfying her exercise requirements.  I also really suck at discipline and training.  I’m A+ for affection but that is only because she is so very mild mannered, and doesn’t take advantage.

After I fly to Hawaii and back without fear, I plan to seriously attack the problem of my attitude with this dog.

But meanwhile.  The picture is of her and our 19-year-old cat.  They don’t really seek each other out, but if they end up on the couch together, Xandra lets him stay there rather than biting his head off.  And he enjoys a warm spot very much.  She is the sweetest dog I have known and we were so incredibly lucky to find her.

She was unspayed, filthy, and had pneumonia when we found her at a very high-kill shelter.  The cat came from people who ran a crazy foster cat organization, and I use that term loosely.  His mother had been left, pregnant, when her people moved away.  I chose him over his sister because I thought the cat I already had might take more kindly to a male cat than to a female.  She didn’t, but he likewise turned out to be just the sweetest cat ever.  As long as you don’t have food around.  Then he’s the lion from Daniel’s den.

I have work tomorrow, and more medical appointments for my son.  I have a new hair straightener I feel unmotivated to try tonight, even though I know that everything is better with straight hair.  Everything.  A friend in the program slipped again last night.  Another told us yesterday that he has cancer.  The world is frozen, and gray, and I need to update the Menopause Chronicles.

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