So it has been no secret that I am struggling with being a parent of adult children. I had this great dream of breaking the cycle of “white -trash” in my family. I have never smoked a cigarette in my life…I have never tried a drug. I don’t even like taking prescription drugs unless I am dying ( I have a high tolerance for pain)…and I broke free from my family of origin and I managed to raise 6 kids. They had good childhoods by even their own accounts…When I look back I can’t think of many things I would change. They had every opportunity and even college funds to make something of themselves.
They have blown those to the wind..and they are making poor -life altering choices that I refuse to support. I will not enable….I will not get in their way because they need to learn. But in many cases it’s also too painful for me to face because I don’t understand it. But I have learned from my bio-mother all of the things “Not to do” She was a terrible mother to begin with…and then she made every wrong choice as far as how to handle life altering choices..and now my nieces and nephews are just as bad as their parents because their way of life seems “normal”. My children no matter what choices they make at least know what a “normal” good life is and they can return to that when they figure it out.
But setting all of that aside and getting to the real reason for this post….I have been struggling. I am going to counseling ( so is my daughter) and I have to intentionally make sure that I see the “Good” in every day. I am not usually this type of person. 2017 has just been a whopper of a year ( well frankly..the last few years) and there have been a few things that just keep me calm and give me something good to focus on and that is my dogs. ( I just want to say this is not a replacement for God…I am actively reading my bible and praying)
My dogs have been therapists. In fact my kids and a few friends make fun of me…because my dogs get first class treatment. I make them a hot breakfast in the mornings and I take them on walks ect…they also get plain popcorn at night. Not to mention all of the other perks of living here. Rob is also using them as therapy. Anytime he goes to the store he HAS to go down the pet isle and pick up treats for them. I went down to our pet closet to get a few treats and it was over flowing. I told him ..NO more treats!! So he started buying toys and then the last few times he brought back costumes for a few of them. ( this is kind of getting out of control) . Clarissa is also using them as therapy…..I hate to think about how we would all be functioning without these dogs to keep us afloat. Honestly…I am tearing up just writing this. These guys make us laugh every day. They make us so happy ..they are always excited to see us…and they are so loyal and dedicated to us. ( well not so much Elvis…LOL,,He makes us laugh…but I am not sure he is actually loyal to anyone)
About a month ago Gracie got some weird abscess on her lower leg. ( the vet tried to find the place of origin and could not figure it out) I spent 24 hours waiting for her tests to come back and tell me if she has cancer or not….it was a long wait. She has surgery right away and we are still dealing with weekly appointments and checks. It has been a trying time for all of us. She had to wear a cone…when you have a HUGE dog that has to wear a cone..the whole house is destroyed and she smells….( because of the drool) she is miserable..we are miserable ect. Anyway, during that time I was pretty devastated. She is 9 and English Mastiffs only have about a 10 year life span..I think we might get a bit more out of her. But thinking of losing her had me in a tailspin. Honestly, she is more than a dog to me. She is my protector. She makes me feel safe and she would never let anyone near me. Our neighbors have been robbed ect..nobody has come near our house…once they see her and hear her…they wouldn’t dare. I know she would lay down her life for me. There have been many instances where she has proven that to me. I feel safe at home with her near me. Thankfully, so far she doesn’t have cancer. But she is on daily pain meds to get her through the day and she is still in the process of healing from her surgery. But she did go on a walk with me this morning.
Kali is my faithful and loyal running mate. Kali is 2 and she is my BFF. She lives and dies by my side. She gets depressed if I leave her for any length of time..and the minute my foot hits the floor she is by my side. She is small for a lab. But if I want to walk 20 miles or jog 2..she is right there with me , up for any challenge. She is so sweet. She hates any aggression…she doesn’t even growl herself. Elvis can be pushing her buttons and she gets up and walks away. She has been attacked by other dogs…she just rolls over and refuses to fight back. She is a lover not a fighter.
Then there is Elvis. Elvis the Pomeranian. He thinks he is the boss of everyone except Rob. he will listen to Rob and respect Rob….but the rest of us are peons. LOL. He is also over weight by a pound because he has some food addictions. That’s probably my fault with the hot breakfast and popcorn that I feed them. But the vet said those were probably not causing the issues…his issues are probably the cat food he steals. in between meals. So I am starting to take him out with Kali and I on short walks or runs…so he can work off some of his weight. He is only a pound over weight…but he is young and we can get it off. A pound on a little dog is quite a bit. Then we just need to lay off of some of the treats a little.:) Elvis talks back to me..doesn’t want to listen to me..like ever. HE thinks he is the center of attention. He also does all of these tricks..and wins the hearts of everyone. Even people who hate dogs love Elvis. he stole the hearts of everyone in Puppy Preschool. Even the instructor loved him. Everyone is an Elvis fan. Elvis also uses the big dogs and stepping stools..he climbs up on them to get to furniture and things he wants to get into. He also uses them as dog beds. He lays on tops of them instead of beside them ect. It’s the strangest thing and everyone always laughs at him. But the big dogs don’t mind it at all and let him.
So with much or little consideration….we decided to add a fourth dog to our family. I would like another guard dog to have around who is trained and ready when Gracie passes. I don’t handle loss very well…so thinking of losing her is difficult for me..but I know it’s going to happen in the next few years. I would like a dog to take the reigns for her. I also know from experience if she has a dominant male to protect us..she feels a bit relieved that it’s not all her responsibility. So I think if we get a male and start the process it will help ease her and myself in this process. I have to say I am not crazy about having 4 dogs….that seems like a bit much. But my brother breeds French Mastiffs and this is his last litter so it was now or never to get one of his pups….and I decided I wanted one. If not for that I would have waited. So Our new family member will come home in December. Here is a picture of him:
We are thinking of naming him Red. We have the whole Elvis Theme going on and we didn’t even do it on purpose. We have Gracie…..Graceland. We have Elvis . Elvis had a manager / bodyguard named Red…and French mastiffs are Red ( in the dog world anyway) so it just kind of fits. Kali is the only odd one out. But I am ok with that.Elvis probably dated a Kali ..at some point. LOL
When I think about the daily work, responsibility and sometimes hassles the dogs cause me….I think about how excited they get to see me, the way they cuddle to me when I am feeling sad and they just know what to do. How they protect me and wake me up with tail wags and smiles…. it just out weighs any of the hassles they cause me. They give me happiness, Comfort and focus. I have someone to take care of and they don’t talk back. ( mostly…Elvis does talk back sometimes..that dog kills me!)
I am not sure I am adequately describing how much therapy these little souls provide to the three of us. But we can be having these terrible moments and then all of a sudden we are smiling or laughing because they have done something cute or funny. It’s just what we need to break everything up into manageable bits …to survive to the next moment. tremendous love and loyalty in these little hearts.
I hope you have a beautiful Sunday.