Monday, January 26, 2015

Onward and Upward

My sister has this little room in her basement filled with prepper and survival type supplies, gear and food. I've always joked that I'm coming to this house if the apocalypse comes, and now I'm living in this room with all the gear, most of my worldly posessions and 4 little dogs: Smokey, Spot, Ty and my bossy girlfriend, Zoey.

It's been very strange going from a large McMansion with 3 full floors, to a small room. Obviously I feel the sting of everything I've lost, but now I'm not cleaning this monstrous house all day, every day, and I'm not worried about the mortgage and the property taxes and the plumbing and, well, you get the idea. The loss comes with a corresponding loss of stress.

And the dogs actually seem happy and excited by the change in scenery. My big house came with an obnoxious gated community next store that dug a large gap under my backyard fence because it fit into whatever landscaping vision they forced on their community and my street.

None of us could let our little dogs out because they would all escape into the gated community, who would then send us nasty letters reminding us that we were trespassing on their property. Long story short, we couldn't let our little dogs outside most of the time even though we had this big house with a big backyard.

Here at my sister's house, it sounds like every house on the block has multiple dogs, and the 4 little new dogs in the basement already get lost in the chorus of barky neighborhood pooches. Losing my job and my house and becoming homeless, I had to choose which family member to inflict my 4 little dogs on, and so far it's going better than I thought it would!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Lenny's Passing

Supposedly it's not very dignified for a big man to cry this much, but to know me is to know my love
of little dogs. I wasn't going to keep this blog, because I don't post much to it. I haven't been doing the things that I do with my other blogs to build a readership, but it dawned on me that this particular blog is more about my own personal journey more than the useful services I try to make my blogs into. A blog doesn't have to be anything.

The fact that Lenny's passing wasn't a surprise didn't make it hurt any less. On the contrary, I started feeling his passing about a month before it actually happened. I thought the pain would ease a little because he wasn't suffering anymore, but it just made the pain worse.

I figured that having so many people I care about in my life would give me comfort, but apparently it's rare for someone like me to feel this way about just-a-dog. Not many people deal well with grief, and probably fewer even understand this kind of grief over a dog. Maybe big men aren't normally vulnerable, but yeah, I could've done with a hug or two.

At least in my grief I've seen a few things clearly. In my darkest hour, after losing my health, my job, my house, and my dog, most of the people in my immediate life seemed more concerned with what I was going to do with my possessions than my well-being.

...and then the pity party ended. I'm still very sad, but I accept my sadness, and it's OK that I'm sad. Now I'm focused. Discovering that my relationship with Lenny was more important than most of my human relationships made me twice as sad at first, but now it gives me a little comfort. It's OK that I loved him that much, and I'm no longer looking externally to justify that fact.

It felt a little shameful at first to do a gut-check and discover that I cared so much about a dog. But now it's kind of liberating. He was an awesome fucking dog, and I think that it's a testament to his awesomeness that he lived every day to the fullest and ate every meal like his last. He showed me qualities every day that I rarely see in humans.

So as my journey through life continues, I'm using a few of my hard-won lessons:

1. It's OK for a big man to cry and be sad for as long as I want.

2. I can love a dog as much as I want--no permission, acceptance or validation is needed.

3. I can still keep the offspring of Lenny safe. Any relationships I lose because of this were superfluous anyway.

4. Somewhere out there are people who feel the same as I do.

5. I want to eventually work with and rescue little dogs.

At least now I'm starting to feel a little of the relief I hoped I would feel over him not suffering, and I'm looking forward to the life changes I'm not sure I would have the courage to make otherwise. I'm going to keep the sons and daughters of Lenny safe, and when they are safe and happy, then I'm going to gradually widen that circle, until other little dogs are safe and happy.

And I'm going to blog more about little dogs, not less.
















In the sun with his son


Always a ham

Lenny and his proud sons Ty and Bear

It was probably fitting that he had something special with Ty, who hasn't had an easy life


Never far from someplace warm to burrow into


They were bitter enemies at the end, but for a long time they were the best of friends