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9:59 a.m. - 2010-01-10
My Life As A Dog ad infinitum

This morning's earworm is 'Apeman' by the Kinks. Despite its theme of 'people are stupid and they suck' it's a happier choice than yesterday's - 'She's Gone' by Hall and Oates. I really, really wish I could strangle the shuffle-meister who's running my mental iPod. Truly I do.

It's a good thing all of you live inside my computer, visiting Casa Sage in person right now would be a baaaaaad idea. Contagion rages. Coughs and sore throats and aching heads and an entire old growth forest has been felled to make the tissues we've gone through this weekend. Honking, wheezing, trumpeting, the Great Snot Festival of 2010 is underway.

I'd like to personally thank everyone who goes to work and sends their kids to school when they're sick. Your relentless dedication to your jobs and your children's education has gifted us with the Plague. Appreciate it muchly.

Damn, I cannot remember the last time I was ill with anything bacterial/viral. It's pissing me right the hell off. As is Wolf's being sick, I gifted both my kids with my scarily powerful immune system, and seeing my boy running green boogers and hearing him cough makes me furious. Not with him, it's not his fault, but with the carelessness of the world at large. The same selfish "Me! Me! Me!" mindset of those who text and yammer while at the wheel is the same selfish way of going on that lets obviously ill people just fra-la around spreading their crappy germs because, you know, they are just too fricken important and special to stay the hell home and keep their goddamn germs to themselves.

Okay, Typhoid Mary rant over. Let's move on, shall we?

Tidying up the kitchen last night Mick looked at Princess who was standing in the front hall looking in at us and wondered aloud why she does that. Why not just come into the kitchen if she wants attention? I let go a laugh that had zero humor in it and said she does that because she's out of kicking range. Far enough away to duck something thrown at her too. Princess wants to be with her people, she hopes she might get a dog cookie or a juicy dinner scrap, but she's too careful to let herself be in target range. I reminded Mick I understood Princess's wary distance all too well. I squatted down and called to her. Princess came to me, but cut a wide swath around Mick, skittering past him quicker than quick with her tail tucked and her panicky eyes showing white all the way around. She came into my arms, pressed up against me as close as she could and then buried her snout in the crook of my elbow. I crooned softly and hugged her. Told her she was safe and that she was a good dog. She gave me a few quick kisses on my chin before tucking her face away again.

That I should end up with this dog, this poor beaten terrorized pup, oy, sometimes I can hardly stand it. Princess is me in canine form. Such a pretty dog. So obedient. So grateful for the tiniest kindness. The rare times she forgets herself and acts like a real dog, running around like a mad thing and barking with cheerful yips, then when called to heel the cringing subservient almost belly crawl back to the voice of authority, it makes me wince and tear up. The way she retreats into her crate on the front porch, willing to endure the bitter chill of the porch just to be in her safe place. Happy enough to be in a shitty plastic box with a single stinky blanket, isolated and cold, but feeling it's better (safer, smarter) than risking the warmth of the house and the comfort of the couch lest she be suddenly yelled at and beaten. Ambushed, punished for daring to let down her guard, for the arrogance of believing she was entitled to act like a member of the family.

I'll admit even I lose patience with her sometimes. The other day I upended her crate to make her go into the house, to go in where there's food and unfrozen water and a big fat pet pillow on the floor bathed in a handy sunbeam shining in on it from the living room window. To please not do this, to not hide and be so willing to accept the meanest, shittiest of existences out of fear of possible hurt. Trading away a good life to guard against the surprise attack.

Yet I got it. I see that she's not wrong to play it safe. I, too, hide in my dim icy safe place. It's better than to acknowledge it would come. It DID come. The hurt. The ass kicking. The casual cruelty. To have to once again suck it up and deal with the weary punishment for daring to believe in safety, in love, in acceptance. In short, to act like a fool.

I've been a fool too, you see. A fool, a schmuck. At almost 47 years of age the lesson still refused to be learned. I was dumb enough to believe that for once I was safe. Can you stand it? That someone with an aggregate IQ score as high as mine? A beaten pseudo-dog who didn't even have the wisdom of an actual dog, let herself believe that it would be okay?

It's never okay. It's never safe.

In my crate, hoping like hell I've finally, finally wised up. ~LA

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