Blog-Jacking By Dogtor Timothy Q (Alias Mr. Rick C.)

This photograph of my dog was taken by me in S...

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Guest Blogger:  Dogtor Timothy Q.

For some time “The Queen”, as we like to refer to her, has asked me to help out with her fine blog.  Technically, she may have never asked directly.  However, I think “Stay in the gosh darn yard before I go bazookas” could be translated into our language as “Please write my blog for me”.  I would like to begin by introducing myself.  My name is Timothy and I am a dog that lives in a magical floating house that is at the top of the bottom of a hill.  (This confuses me, also.  I just go with what I am told.)  As you may have guessed… Our Queen is none other than the very “I’m gifted”, “I’m talented”,  and “shucks I am so fat” … Dr. Q.  This description is not my own, but rather, what she repeats each morning as she looks into the mirror before chasing the fine young prince and princesses around the house as the one we like to call “The Knight” pets us and escapes.

I have worked on this for the last month.  Not because I have a lack of things I would like to say, but because paws and keyboards do not go well together.  This is just one of the many discriminations that we as dogs face.  I am proud to say that, rather than make excuses or bark endlessly about my problems (I tried that once and endured something called mad neighbor with a water hose), I have learned to use my nose.  My tongue worked better but seemed to create issues with the computer.

I grew up with all the comforts a Labradoodle could hope for… Gourmet meals, attendants, a plush customized mini van, grooming at the finest spas.  Yet, I have always felt like I have missed something.  Recently, I discovered a loose patch of grass right next to the fence.  The sign could have been no clearer.  It said to me, “Dig!, Dig!, Dig!… your time to explore the world has come”.  That is just what I did.

I have made many friends during my adventures through the neighborhood.  I have also learned that there are many out there that will lead you astray.  Being a stray is not a bad thing and can happen to the best of dogs.  I have quite a few friends that fit into this classification, even.  Many dogs are born stray, such as the ones they call coyotes.  As my grandfather once told me, Labradoodle translates into “Feared by every single coyote that has ever even come close to us”.  With this in mind, I reached out a paw to the yotes and found out that they’re not so bad.  We have a lot in common… We all dislike cats and agree that they do taste a lot like chicken.  Trust me… after hitching a ride on a banana truck back from Tijuana, I will never ever listen to a cat as long as I live.

Screenshot of Barbra Streisand from the traile...

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Interestingly, people seem to let their guard down when they think that it’s just us dogs watching.  Aside from enduring the occasional really bad rendition of Barbra Streisand, we pick up some pretty interesting information.  Gets kind of complicated sometimes.  Too much of this, not enough of that, need to change,blah, blah, blah, blah, woof.  Believe it or not…. most of the stuff we see and hear as dogs doesn’t change what we have for people that feed us and pet us…. unconditional love.

How has your dog been rewarded today?  What bad things have cats done to you?  Do you know any sweet young female dogs (censorship!) that are looking for a good time?  How does your dog see you and do you really have to dance while you sing the same gosh darn song every single morning?

Lost But Now Found

A three-year-old labradoodle.

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What a night.  Mr. Rick C. was right.  Sometimes I do sit home and medicate.  It is not self-medicating, though, as I have my own prescriber.  And last night I was using my self-care tools to survive:  0.25mg of alprazolam got me through the first half of the night crisis, and then 2.5mg of zolpidem got me through the rest.  Despite these helpful medications, I dreamed of Timothy and Jack in the worst of circumstances.  I was amazed at how many positions a coyote could hold my Labradoodle in his mouth.  My eyes are still swollen red cherries and my complexion is bad.

Earl and I were not connecting.  Who does when they are afraid and grieving?  I simply told him,

Sorry honey.  I’m no good.  Can’t connect.

Earl is gentle.  He responds easily to words.  He doesn’t react easily to negative emotions.  He is a wait-and-see kind of guy most of the time.  His eyes are not red this morning.  He did not medicate.  He did not make this about him.

We made forty flyers describing our Great Pyrenees Jack and Labradoodle Timothy with our phone numbers and including a lucent plea for anyone to call if they saw them.

Our three kids in the mom-van, I planned to go door-to-door and harass people – I mean ask people – if they knew anything about our dogs.  We first targeted our neighborhood mailboxes where there is a bulletin board for community announcements.  I lifted my flyer to staple in front and center position and, “Darn-it!”  My kids had broken my stapler.

Pyrenean Mountain Dog

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While banging my stapler on the wall, I noticed another white sheet flyer.

2 White dogs found!

More tears.  I called the number and blubbered.  The woman was comforting me, suggesting more alprazolam and a good psychiatrist she knew.  Our dogs were happily frolicking in her back yard with her two German Shepherds.

Timothy and Jack are home now figuratively and literally in the dog house.  We have a dog trainer, at much expense, coming tomorrow to help us.  We will also be placing an electric wire around our fence before the rest of our neighbors cement a reactive opinion about us.  Although our dogs are important, we hope to live here a long long time and don’t want to be picketed out of the neighborhood.

Thank you so much everyone for your kindness, for your empathic responses and patience with your own Dr Q.  It was a large blessing for my fragile self last night to know you were all there.  I hope that blessing comes back to you.

Keep on!

Take What is Yours

It doesn’t have to be that complicated.  “I only go two places.  The tattoo parlor to hang out with my buddies or the beach.”  He says he doesn’t have a cell phone or a computer.  I see him every week with his wife, doing what he can to support her as she teaches a class for my 3-year-old. He smiles and chortles and pokes with satire.  He has shown me his skin art several times and it is easy to see what these represent.  The people he loves and who love him.

In the film written and directed by Derrick Borte, “The Joneses,” we watch a pseudo-family move into a gorgeous home with intent to market their wares to the unsuspecting towns-folk.  As they are instruments in sales, they become infected with purchasing-power-fever.  As their own fantasies grow of being the perfect family unit, so does the definition of what it takes to be one.  Being happy individually as well as relationally equals easy access to riches and easy life.  The glitch is that they are not a family nor does the new this or that belong to any of them.  Like making a deal with Ursula the purple octopus-witch, they are ensnared.  It becomes a hard choice to regain the rights to their lives.  In the end, they barely escape with the understanding of what they can really claim as their own – love.

The other day when our dog was dyeing, at bedtime I was able to debrief with our daughter about her feelings.  “I know you love me Mommy but it felt like you loved Maggie more than me.  Even though I knew you loved me more, I didn’t feel it Mommy.”  For someone who can barely see around her Ego, that’s pretty amazing!  From her beautiful child-self, she told us that love is there even when we don’t feel it.

My husband was telling me his “Good News,” quite different from  rights of passage like a fraternity.  It is that God is already right here with each of us and unrelated to our performance.  We all have Love, regardless of lost opportunities, low-character, higher learning, or technology.

It’s not that complicated.

Self Care Tip #51 –  Take what is yours.  Be a friend to yourself.

Question:  Agree or disagree?  What do you think?  Please tell me your story.

New Verses New

She died this morning.  After a day and a night of confusion, stumbling gate, and suffering, our gentle gorgeous Maggie died.  She is returning to carbon ash and giving us another reminder of what can be delivered to the living by death.

With the children taken to school, my husband came home to share grief with me.  He had just listened to a podcast by Rob Bell about the word “new.”  In Greek there are 2 common words used for “new.”  One connects newness to Time.  As in the young in age and old in age.  This is traditionally how our culture interprets “new.”  Another use of “new” uses the concept of renew without connecting it to time.  There is a newness in you as you are in time.  It’s a great overlap into the concept of presence.  But where my big gratitude went out to was knowing how many opportunities to being made new we have.

Some of us have the propensity to wait until we “hit bottom”  before we come looking to be made new.  I don’t mean this in any way that is judgmental.  Please see my blog posts on temperament if you want to read more about this.  If we were fortunate enough not to have picked up any self sabotaging habits, then in some ways we’ve got an easier time of it as the the years roll by.  However, few of us are, and getting crushed over and over again like recycling cans hurts a lot – us and ours.

“You can’t have it all” we are told, brewing panic after wasted opportunities.  Not having it all, missing out on more days to share with Maggie, loosing the hope of puppies some day, brought the well-timed discussion about newness straight to our grief.

We are given the opportunity to be made new any time any where regardless.  Any where from greatness to low-living, we have that choice.  When I think of Maggie, I will think of this and hopefully I will choose to be made “new” again.

A “new” heart also will I give you, and a “new” spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

Self Care Tip #50 – Be renewed.  Be a friend to yourself.

Question:  Do you agree?  Disagree?  Please tell me your story.

In The Days of Our Youth

We have many chances to start and restart taking care of ourselves.  Lots.

When things get so bad though, sometimes we have to stop everything and declutter our lives to make room for self-care.  It might be dramatic.  It might represent many missed opportunities of self-care that accumulated into a heap of messy angry resentment.  However, we can hope that those times in life are few. The majority of our moments and days we hope are not extreme renovations.

It reminds me of the verse from Ecclesiastes 12:1

Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw near, when you shall say, I have no pleasure in them.”

Even our relationship with God is developed by the little choices along the way.   In personal relationships with God or with man, they hold beauty, they bring pleasure because we did what was right for ourselves “in the days of our youth.”   Because we did, we don’t have much to resent them for.  We are available emotionally to connect with our “Other.”  We can see them. We can be present.

And when the stressors hit, the “evil days,” as they do come inevitably to every relationship, we can say that we remember the good times.  There is bank there to get us through the bad.

As said to me today by the Australian Labradoodles breeder, Tiffany Aveling, taking care of ourselves along the way avoids “death-bed conversions.” Those big swings.  Those, “I’m changing everything about my life,” type of changes. They might be necessary.  However, they usually hurt a lot.

In the film, Avatar, directed by James Cameron, we hear over and over the lovely quote,

I see you.

That is a gift we can give better when we can give the gift of a healthy self.

Self Care Tip #41 – Take the little chances.  Be a friend to yourself.

Question:  What did you think?  Do you see this in action in your life?