Sunday, March 4, 2012

Starting Small.

I'm fairly certain that, along with quitting smoking, updating my blog on a nearly-every-day basis was one of my New Year's Resolutions for 2012.

I'll begin by wishing you all a happy March 4th! Okay, so it's not a real holiday, but it will be Day One of my New and Improved New Year's Resolutions 2012, which is when I just happened to realize that I haven't done shit that I resolved to do this year, and the year is already 25% over.

So far in 2012:

Caleb turned a year old, and successfully uttered "mama" the very next day. That was a good day.

I tried to quit smoking a few times. Those were pretty bad days.

I still can't quite decide what grade level I'd like to teach. Those have been fun days, observing and trying to nail it down.

Aidan is being tested for the gifted program. That is great news.

We found out our dog, Lena, has lymphoma. That was shitty news.

Let me take a break right there and tell you what we did.

Being a parent to a seven-year-old and a one-year-old isn't always an easy task, particularly where pets are concerned. Many a dog have we brought home and fallen in love with, only to find children knocked over, toys torn apart, asteroid-sized craters dug into the backyard, so off they go again to find their next perfect home, we, the people, left behind to always remember them fondly, happy that we gave them a second chance at life.

Then came Lena.

We brought Lena into our home almost 5 years ago and we've never looked back. Did this "free dog" come with some bad habits? Sure. I can't tell you how many bags of trash she managed to find her way into. I can't recall the weight of the cinder blocks I crushed with a sledge hammer in order to line the perimeter of the fence so she would no longer squeeze under it to run the neighborhood. I can't even count the dollar amount spent on our "free dog," from her initial spay and shots and microchip and having two baby teeth removed that never fell out, her dental a few years later, two trips to the emergency vet. If I could pay one hundred times that amount to keep her here with us for another 10 years, I'd do it in a heartbeat.

Lena started acting "off" two weeks ago. Nothing major that would stop another pet owner in their tracks, but just things that seemed peculiar. There were two nights in a row that my son thought Lena had a fever when she was up in bed with him, and each of the following mornings, we woke up to find Lena asleep on a blanket on Aidan's floor rather than tucked in his bed, which is where she'd slept for the past year. I gave her a good pat-down and noticed she had a swollen gland, which is where it all began.

Anyway, long story short, we decided to throw Lena a "going-away" party, of sorts. Yesterday, we had friends, family, and neighbors come over for a cookout, and their fee to join the festivities was to bring a drawing or a letter about a special memory they had of Lena. At the end of the day, we had notes, drawings, photos, dog picture frames, dog biscuits, cards, even a "Seeds of Life" tree, all from Lena's special friends. When Lena's time here is up, we'll always have this special scrapbook to remember her and her special day.

I'm hoping that day never comes. Sorry to be selfish, but that's my dog. That's all I can say.

Anyway, it's been a good year, it's been a shitty year. We take the good with the bad and we roll on. I hope to see you more often, sooner rather than later. Life is just too short.