Friday, October 31, 2008

halloween just doesn't excite me

i don't think i've ever been into halloween, which is weird because i think both my parents enjoy it, especially since they met at a halloween party. and don't you usually learn to love the events your parents love?

i can only recall a few halloweens with any sort of clarity.

youth: some sort of costume that involved wearing a decorated cardboard box.

adolescence: i dressed up like a businessman (slacks and a sportcoat. how original) because it was the only thing i could afford as a college freshmen. yes, of course, i did it just for the candy.

adulthood: when i was pregnant with pooka, i didn't dress up, but i remember handing out candy. one little boy came to the door and saw arizona, our first cat, walking around. he made a typical toddler comment like, "is that your cat?" and i replied, "no. that's my husband. i turned him into a cat because he made me mad." i don't think any 'scream' mask could have made his eyes wider than they were at that. heh. it still makes me laugh to think about it.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

since we're talking about old music

certain songs bring back specific events in my memory, and other songs just bring up general feelings or images from recurring scenarios.

hearing jim croce's "bad, bad leroy brown" reminds me of driving around in dad's truck singing along until i realized i said 'damn'. i didn't know if i would get punished for swearing. i don't remember dad saying anything at all, but having parenting experience now, i'm sure he was laughing at me.

listening to "hot legs" or "do you think i'm sexy" by rod stewart always makes me think of pam and i remember sitting in her room next to her tiny record player as she danced on her bed. hearing "bridge over troubled water" just makes me think of her in general and our relationship.

we used to do a lot of duets back in the day. dad had a reel-to-reel player and used to tape us singing. sometimes it was just for a lark, or to record candid memories, but sometimes it was a performance. i remember pam and nicole practicing "you light up my life" repeatedly for days and days until i was about ready to scream. then again, jeanine and i rehearsed "love will keep us together" almost as much. she and i also made up some of our own ditties which we thought were awesome, of course. i haven't spoken with her in years, but whenever i hear that song i think of her. thanks to 93.1, i hear all these old songs a lot more often than you'd think.

dad had some of everything on those tapes. his music, our music, our voices. there's one reel of dad trying to get me (approximately 3 years old?) to recite something for the tape, but i refused to do it. what's there is probably more than 5 minutes of him offering different requests and suggestions, but all his coaxing was futile. i don't think you hear me say anything more than "noooo."

it's funny how kids will do some of the strangest things for attention, unless their parents ask them to.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

this is the 3rd time and i'm starting to take it personally

my college was well known for it's gay-friendly atmosphere. so much so that a tomboy with short hair, who liked to wear jeans, eschewed makeup, listened to melissa etheridge, and didn't sleep around was assumed to be gay. even by my father, at one point.

i didn't get around much, but both of the guys i 'dated' in college before kisu ended up being gay. well, one of them was bi, but still.

recently i found out that a guy on whom i had a major crush in high school is also gay.

what the hell?

i don't have a problem with gay people, except that it makes it more difficult to date them if you're the opposite gender. obviously, this is not an issue anymore, but i'm starting to develop a complex. of course, that's just silly. i didn't turn them gay, right? (did i?)

i told kisu straight up, if he ever even has a fleeting thought about changing his orientation: please, for the sake of my vanity, just keep it in the closet.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

a classic (rock) education

one of the very first songs i ever sang to pooka was don mclean's "american pie." it became one of her favorites and to this day still is. i feel bad that bug has only heard it from a cd. i just don't have the patience anymore to sing all 6 verses at one sitting (unless i'm driving).

pooka also had her fair share of nursery rhymes and other typical kiddie songs, but she also was exposed to a lot of the music that kisu and i listen to on a daily basis, although we keep out anything that's too, um, adult for her. therefore, she has a great appreciation for such artists as big & rich, barenaked ladies, cowboy mouth, great big sea, gaelic storm, third day, dixie chicks, jimmy buffett, and other assorted music.

i was pretty pleased with the breadth of her music experience until saturday morning. on the way home from dance class, i turned on a local folk-type music program only to hear the closing notes of simon & garfunkel's "the boxer." i was bummed that i missed it, but thrilled to hear the opening notes of "cecilia" follow immediately. it was at that moment that i was struck by a regrettable hole in the girls' education: no simon and garfunkel. no jim croce. no beatles.

what the hell have we been doing?!

immediately upon our return home i gathered up the respective cd's and vowed to have pooka listen on our next car trip. when next we entered the car, kisu hijacked the radio and played queen. despite the fact that i was by then actually craving some lennon/mccartney, it did start filling the hole.

pooka thinks i'm tormenting her, but after the tenth listen, she usually starts singing along.

Monday, October 27, 2008


saturday when kisu and i were out and about, we noticed a curious trend: the cops were out in full force. we passed through at least 5 different municipalities and saw cops (mid-action) in every one. was saturday some kind of cop holiday? i even saw several earlier that morning on the way to dance class. the really weird thing is that many times we saw them in groups of 3 or 4 cars.

there must have been some major shit going down that day.


this morning on the way to work i saw a vette pass me. (you know he was going fast if he passed me.) as he went, i noticed some large wheels in his passenger seat. thinking bicycle, it was only as i saw his handicapped plate that it clicked: a wheelchair.

i guess a vette doesn't have a lot of trunk room, eh?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

18 month bug

i can't believe how big she's getting. trite, i know, but look at her:

her personality continues to develop and shine:

she has lightened up on the bullying, at least at home. she responds better when you say, "no hitting," or, "be nice." she

her vocabulary is starting to expand significantly, as well as her clarity of speech. she likes to try out every new word she hears. friday night, all we heard was, "yook, yook!" as she pointed to her hand. she wanted us to 'look' at the marks she colored on herself.

it's funny, i don't remember pooka having any of those cute speech impediments that lend themselves to unforgettable family jokes. and at the time i was (inordinately) proud of her perfection. but bug uses 'y' for 'l' and i'm still proud of her. i know she'll grow out of it sooner or later. and for now it's part of her charm.

she is very self-assured and will let nothing stand in the way of what she wants. she has been known to drag the stool across the house to reach her goals. she is frighteningly fearless, climbing rocking ottomans (ottomen?) to reach forbidden items.

she couldn't be more different from her sister, and yet when they play together they are irresistibly cute.

we get her to do a little bit of show-pony stuff. we're still trying to get her to do the full "touchdoooooown michchchchigan!" but the way the season's going she hasn't heard it often enough to emulate.

Friday, October 24, 2008

and then she just stares

pooka is really showing a lot of growth lately, particularly in taking personal responsibility for herself. she is getting into the rhythm of laying out clothes for school the night before; getting up without (too much) whining; doing homework. often the first words out of her mouth when i pick her up are, "i already did my homework, mom."

the reading homework is a breeze for her. whether it's poetry, library books, spelling lists, or writing, she enjoys it, looks forward to it, and does it well and usually pretty quickly. the math homework? not so much. well, she does show enthusiasm for it, but her facility with numbers is not as great as with letters. i think this is an inherited trait, because i never liked or did very well at math that much, either.

math trips her up even when it depends heavily on her strong language skills. she had to come up with two story problems the other day. the first one was easy (she had probably been thinking about it all day) but the second one just refused to show itself. i suggested she follow the theme/scene she used for the first. i suggested three different possibilities, but she said they weren't good enough. for first grade math? it's not a pulitzer prize, honey. i offered up other scenarios, too, but she just couldn't decide which one to use.

i'm beginning to think she has anxiety issues. in situations like this it just grabs her and won't let go.

so far that's the only plausible reason i can come up with for the way she behaves at other times, as well. when she's being willful or disobedient, we'll remind her of consequences (in a perfectly normal tone of voice): if you don't get ready for bed, you won't get snuggle time; if you don't stop whining, you will lose the daddy blanket.

she receives these ultimatums as punishments that have already happened. as if she knows she is unable to accomplish the things she needs to in order to avoid them. she will stop moving altogether, or she will whine louder or burst into all-out tears. it doesn't make sense to a rational person. you know what to do to avoid the punishment, so you do it, but not her. i think anxiety just freezes her and she locks up, incapable of making a decision or taking the necessary action.

we don't know what to do about it. we've talked with her at calmer times about what she needs to do to avoid those punishments, etc. she understands that she can control her own destiny somewhat, but in the heat of the moment, she just can't do it.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

last respects

the first encounter with death that i can remember is my grandmother when i was 14. pooka has faced not one but two episodes this week.

first it was the dog. friday morning, it was g.g.(great-grandma). kisu's grandmother's passing was no surprise, but still comes as sad news.

the most difficult thing for pooka to accept was that we were going to grandpa's friday night instead of the school fall festival.

she has accepted both deaths with an equanimity that's almost chilling. but then again, she's only six. and perhaps her distance from both entities helps to dull the sting. she only knew the dog for a brief 3 weeks, being told the whole time how sick he was and that he would soon be leaving.

she wasn't much closer to g.g. we saw her only occasionally, and she was never a very affectionate person. she did try a little bit with pooka, but i think the kid saw through her, saw her internal discomfort with intimacy. pooka is a very loving and affectionate child, but only offered g.g. the dryest and quickest of hugs.

kisu and i debated whether to allow her to attend the funeral services, but g.g. pre-empted that concern by mandating no service. she only requested a family luncheon, to which we have been told not to bring the girls. so much for the love and support of your blood relations.

Friday, October 17, 2008

singular suckitude

kisu had to take primary responsibility for his mother this week, which took up most of the after work hours. so i have been living the life of a single parent. i have to admit i hate it. there's a reason i went the traditional family route: getting a husband and then the kids, you know?

i have new-found respect for those heroic women (and men) who manage to raise multiple children on their own, particularly in despicable circumstances, particular when they manage to instill in the children a drive to succeed and a measure of self worth. that isn't easy to do, even when you have a partner present to prevent you from getting medieval on those kids butts.

in particular, i have renewed respect for my sister who spent a large portion of raising her children doing it on her own. three kids, who were practically triplets, on her own because her husband was not only not helping, but often times actually trying to cause more trouble for her and for them.

once upon a time, i thought i wanted three kids, but after this week i think i have buried that idea. (as if the crashing economy hadn't already.) the tiny island of sanity to which i am desperately clinging would be completely engulfed by the tsunami that a third child would bring to our world.

maybe in ten years or so we'll have one of those 'oopsy-daisy' babies. by then our sanity will either be sufficiently recovered or completely blown and crazy will be normal.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

vanity plates

there are typically two options for personalizing license plates: vanity plates and 'support' plates.

vanity plates are the fun ones that offer so many options.

you can label your possessions: mybenz
you can go with your oh-so-clever rebus: 2fast4u
you can compress your name: lkeisha
you can hint at your favorite comic book: snikt (the sound of wolverine's claws, for those who don't know comics)

i have often thought about what i would put on a vanity plate, if i could bring myself to spend the extra $35. (i am so cheap, but definitely NOT easy.) i like 'megachk' or if i wanted to fork out an additional $35, i could get the u of m plate that has the first letter built in, and go with 'egachik' or 'ishu'.

the challenge, of course, is not only do you have to come up with something readable in 7 letters or less, but it has to be something that no one else has already taken.

the other way to go is a support plate. support plates are usually fundraisers for specific organizations, like conservationists or a university. they also have patriotic plates. these are the ones where you can proudly display in which armed service or conflict you served. i have seen quite a few that said korean war veteran, vietnam war veteran, a couple world war II veteran, and an increasing number lately for gulf war veteran.

today for the first time ever, i saw one that said cuban missile crisis. i didn't know they printed those. was that a conflict worthy of a plate? history's not my best subject, but i didn't think there was any actual military action for that. not technically a conflict but a tremendous build up of tension? that's like having a plate for cold war veteran. but maybe it was a special run for this particular driver because he looked an awful lot like castro.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

curtain call

we were out today and missed out on dugan's last hours. kisu returned to find the backyard empty, again. expecting a note in the mailbox, he went to the front door, only to find a group of people out in the street. at such an hour, it was unusual. one of them called out to ask if kisu had a dog. when kisu replied yes, the man said, "i just ran over your dog."

apparently, dugan got out and wandered across the street. guided by nothing but a desire to find warmth and security, he crawled under a recently parked car. not expecting an animal to be underneath, the driver pulled out and ran over the dog.

when i arrived home with the truck, kisu put dugan in and took him to the emergency vet. as he closed the door, dugan started crying. there's no other way to describe that sound and i will hear it in my head for a long time. kisu suspected a shattered hip or two but the vet diagnosed a broken back. the only thing to do was end his misery immediately. his fate was imminent, but we would never have wished that final injury to him.

we are still confounded as to how he escaped the yard. kisu thinks maybe he really pushed through the wooden gate and is berating himself for not checking it after the last incident. as if the man needed more blame to shoulder in this world.

i braced pooka for the situation on our approach to home. i told her to say goodbye to dugan because he wouldn't be coming home. she accepted his departure stoically. while getting ready for bed she railed against the neighbor again. she wants to set up a video camera to catch her trespassing. she will not let it go. i'm a little worried about her obsession. here is some of the conversation:

pooka: trespassing is mean and it's one of the commandments. mommy: it's one of the ten commandments? p: no, it's one of the 800 commandments from the devil and she is listening to him for some reason. so she's on the wrong side. m: she's on the dark side, like darth vader? p: no, it's not a movie and {agitated} i hate star wars.

more tidbits from later:

m: maybe you could say a prayer for dugan, to help him get to heaven. p: why does he need help. m: we all need help. p: why? m: do you know how to get to heaven? p: die? {with wide eyes and a shake of her head betraying the unspoken 'duh!'} buy wings and start flying into the sky.

if only it were that easy to find our eternal reward.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

up in the air

pooka and i had the rare opportunity today to pilot a small airplane. my boss's boss has a beechcraft sundowner in which he graciously offered to let us fly.

we met him at plymouth airport and spent some time learning about the machine and how to fly it. pooka seemed genuinely interested and learned some factoids. she was in the co-pilot's seat for the first trip and as soon as we reached a stable altitude, jim let her take the yoke on the way to fly over our house. she did a good job of staying straight, turning, and keeping us from plummeting to the earth in a fiery wreck. not bad for a 6 year old's maiden flight. especially since she couldn't hear jim's instructions. we found out later that her headset wasn't picking up communication inside the plane, only the chatter from other craft. that also explains why she said not a single word the whole trip. jim thought she was terrified, particularly when she refused to give up control when he took over. i thought she might have been scared, too, but i figured it was due more to concentration.

i got a little nauseous up there. between the heat in the plane (who said it gets cold up there?), the turbulence, and trying to locate the house while jim was circling repeatedly, i nearly lost it. not until leaving the airport did i find out that pooka felt a little sick, too. she hid it better than i did, though. i was dripping with sweat.

we arrived back at the airport and did a switcheroo so that i could take my turn at piloting. honestly, i wasn't sure i wanted to endure another trip, but i didn't think i should send ragan up by herself on just her second flight. but i calmed down after a few minutes and we headed for the house again since pooka didn't hear me point it out the first time.

this time, i took the plane all the way to our neighborhood, where i gave up control in order to pinpoint the house. you know, it's awfully difficult to identify things from up in the air. most buildings look the same. you have to use landmarks like water, or freeways, or in our case football fields to get your bearings. it was a lot harder than i thought it would be. and finding the airport? forget it. i'm amazed at pilots who could do that, at night no less, before gps.

i got queasy again on the second trip, worse this time because i hadn't completely recovered from the first bout. i just sat there thinking, "if you puke in his plane, he will fire you." that helped.

when we got home kisu said that he and buggy saw us and waved on our first pass. the whole thing took about an hour, and pooka enjoyed it despite the nausea. she has been so fortunate to have such a wide variety of opportunities in her young life.

Friday, October 10, 2008

encounters with animal control

because dugan's stay with us is temporary, we didn't buy a doghouse or make any major modifications to our home or schedule for him. thankfully, the weather is pretty nice, so he's been staying in the back yard while we're at work and in the florida room or foyer at night.

monday we came home from work to find a mysterious supply of dog treats on the ground near his food bowl. we were perplexed, and a little angry/creeped out that someone was in our yard.

wednesday it rained. hard. fortunately, i was taking the girls to the doctor so i returned mid-morning, only to find an animal control officer parked at our house. he had the collar in his hand and said that someone called in to report no shelter for the dog. (we usually left the garage door open but had forgotten that day.) i gave the officer a brief run down of the situation and he said that he would close out the complaint and that we wouldn't hear more of it. he actually said that he wished he could tell me who called but he didn't know. i had my suspicions, but nothing i could do.

{there's only one neighbor who can see into our yard, who's home all day to see the dog there, and who (we suspect) has called the township on us for other petty infractions (lawn too high; wtf?) in the past kisu has actually caught the husband in our back yard 'helping' us with our fallen leaves. they usually help by picking up those leaves that fall into their yard and dumping them back in ours. yeah, they're that kind of people. never once have they actually talked to us (about anything). some neighbors. }

kisu put a padlock on the fence gate between our houses and we thought it was done, although we silently raged that we couldn't catch them again in their interfering, trespassing ways.

thursday we came home to find an empty yard. there was a note from the police in the mailbox saying that dugan was found "wondering (sic) the streets" and we could get him at the p.d. we were incensed. how the hell could a blind, arthritic dog escape our fenced yard? we suspected that someone (see above) intentionally let him loose. to what end we couldn't figure. to get rid of the eyesore of an old dog in the neighborhood? to force us to make 'proper' accomodations? or did he really escape? this dog who moves between three positions all day, can't see the wall before he bumps into it, and trips over every twig on the ground? he forced his way through a slack gate or a 5-inch gap from a missing fence post (he's a 26" inch tall dog, people) to go, where?

kisu retrieved the dog, although he wasn't able to speak directly to the animal control officer. he did speak with the desk officer who acknowledged that when the weather starts to get colder they get a lot of calls about the 'cruel' people who leave dogs outside. they're dogs. they have fur coats. get over it. he was sympathetic to kisu's situation.

kisu and i expressed our doubts and our suspicions to each other and pooka picked up on them, of course. she disappeared into her room and came out proudly brandishing a 'writing exercise' that said:

there is a mean lady next door. she is ugly and stupid. i want to kill her.

although it was funny in a very dark, macabre, and misspelled way, i'm disturbed by it. where did she get this idea of killing people over such a thing?

we're waiting to let dugan go until kisu's brother and mother can see the dog one more time, but i'm getting antsy because i don't want any more incidents with the police. also, i don't want him to suffer any more than he already is. he needs some mercy.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

who's in first?

pooka really enjoys school, except for the getting out of bed part. she likes her teacher, most of the kids, buying lunch, riding the bus, and the work. except the work is too easy.

she brought home some reading books one day and i internally ridiculed the difficulty level. okay, not so internally. pooka agreed with me and i let her send an email to her teacher. this sparked a somewhat defensive response from said teacher. i had to apologize and smooth things over to let her know we weren't questioning her teaching skills or planned curriculum. however, we do hold pooka to some high standards and we expect her to be challenged at school lest she become bored and get into trouble.

at the same time this discussion was taking place, the principal sent home a letter informing us that the first and second grade classes were crowded enough that they had decided to skim kids from each class and create a blended class. parents were asked if they wanted their children put into the blended class. assuming that the work might be more advanced, kisu and i jumped at the chance to put pooka there. the current teacher agreed with us. when we asked pooka if she would like to go, she responded, "i need the more challenging work."

there was much email communication with the teacher and the principal. the whole process, as the parents saw it, took a week. monday they informed and we requested. wednesday there was an informational meeting (which we couldn't make, of course, because of this cursed commute), thursday was selection day, and the following monday the first day of the new class.

to notify parents if their child was selected they sent home a smiley face postcard. kisu said it was like trying out for football: your locker had a red ribbon or a green ribbon to let you know if you made the team.

of course, pooka was selected. she was very excited and we were extremely proud. not only that she was able to handle the change and the potentially difficult work, but that she was looking for that challenge. in our younger years, kisu and i would both have said thanks but no thanks. why should i work hard when i can coast and still get by? nowadays, our attitudes have changed (in some respects) but we are thankful that pooka is showing a more eager approach to education than we did.

she is technically still in first grade, and the principal has said that at the end of the year she will progress to second. the curriculum in her class, however, is supposed to be more individualized than in the others (a blend of montessori and public schooling?), so we are hopeful that, if the situation warrants, there will be testing to determine her appropriate place for next year.

some people would caution against children skipping grades as it can lead to social awkwardness, but i don't foresee any problems. pooka is already one of the oldest kids in her grade, thanks to a late birthday, but she is also a very mature kid. even before the medical situation that forced her to associate with grownups 99 % of the time, she was mature for her age.

she is now in her second week in the blended class and is doing well. they do split the kids up for the special activities, like computer lab and gym, but otherwise they mix together. there's not really that much difference between first graders and second graders, anyway.

now, if only we could figure out how to get her to wake up pleasantly in the morning...

Sunday, October 5, 2008

still hanging around

well, at least he got a thorough bathing, and a blow-dry, no less! kisu complained that dugan's shampoo is fancier than his (more expensive, too!)

since the bath, i have deigned to let him stay in the house. kisu thinks i'm getting sweet on him, but that's not the case. i don't have anything against the dog personally (?), but i know what's best for him is not lingering in pain. his imminent demise notwithstanding, i can't in good conscience make him sleep in the 40 degree weather. he spends all day outside as it is.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

fashion week

Friday, October 3, 2008

bocce 2008

it's time once again for the company bocce charity challenge. for the third year in a row we will be changing one player. this year jon is the lucky rookie and our team name is wombat flugtag.

we had a very slow start in the first match against the fried chicks, at one point down 11-3, but we managed to come back and eke out a 21-17 victory.

the next match was played under inclement conditions. i was freezing! it didn't help my sinus infection any, especially since i forgot my hat. this match was a see-saw battle through the halfway point until we finally got some momentum. we beat balls of fury 21-14.

our third opponent was crouching bocce, hidden ewald. movie title names are quite popular this year, with entries including no bocce for old men, and there will be bocce. it makes a nice diversion from the endless testicular references.

onto the match. it was a hard fought contest, with mutual commiseration over the poor court condition. there was also a lot of laughter even between teams, which is nice because some teams take this tournament waaaaay too seriously.

it's for fun and charity, people. (and for getting out of the cubicle for an hour and a half.) ultimately, we won 21-17, helped in large part by a round where we actually scored 4 points (the maximum). that never happens.

so we head into the weekend feeling pretty good and looking to rest up for the second half of the tourney. it's only gonna get tougher from here.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

chicken giggles

bug is, as so delicately described by the daycare director, a rough-and-tumble girl. that's just a nice way to say bully. this is no surprise to us.

we dropped bug off at school this morning at the same time as one of her best buds, connor. when i returned to the truck, i reported that bug ran immediately to her favorite teacher and pooka gasped in surprise. "really? but connor's here, i thought they would get together and do crime."


this afternoon on my way to pick up kisu, i had a chance for a laugh. traffic was stopped in the middle of the road to allow an electric wheelchair to cross. (this was not why i laughed.) the humor entered a few seconds later when i realized that there were now two electric wheelchairs traveling the same street on opposite sides. like a race. because i'm so not-competitive (yeah, right) i started cheering for 'red' who was on my side of the road.

i never did find out who won, or even if they were heading for the same destination since i reached the intersection well before they did. i'm fairly certain they were, though, and i just know in my heart that one of them was taunting the other in victory.


pooka is so proud of being a big girl and going to elementary school, but she is still getting used to the routing of collecting her own things and ferrying them back and forth daily. this week we wanted her to bring home the extra sweater and shoes she had at school. after two days of forgetting, i warned that another miss would earn her a note pinned to her shirt. she was distraught at the prospect. of course, she tends to get distraught easily.

sure enough, the next day she forgot. so today i pinned a note to her shirt. she was mortified. i felt sorry for her thinking that she would be ridiculed by her classmates all morning until the teacher removed the note. i didn't really think they would even care, but she was certain they would. the two things i was certain of? the items would come home and she will never forget them again.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


kisu's mother, who has not been a part of our life since around the time pooka was born, has lately been in declining health. we hear this via adam, kisu's brother. although he lived out of state, he actually kept in touch with carol and had a general idea of her welfare. recently, her condition has become dire. it was necessary for the boys to get a court order and have her removed to a facility for evaluation and care. this is a long, complicated, emotional story for another time. this post is about the dog.

the dog who was left in the house when carol was removed. honestly, there was not a good place for him to go. adam is lodging with family and we, well we have a very territorial cat and an empty house for 11 hours of the day. adam was checking on him daily, but one day {details omitted} dugan was picked up by the humane society.

dugan is a 15 year old wheaten terrier who entered the boys' lives the year before i did. i don't know if the dog means more to kisu than i do, but you see the chronology of it. judging by his current appearance he has been neglected in the past couple years. he wasn't let outside and wasn't eating properly. the boys' hearts were broken. without a place to stay, the humane society was going to put him down. they weren't ready for that, so kisu brought him to our house. knowing that he was a mess, we gathered up every old blanket we could find and cleared a space for him in the florida room.

pooka was so excited, she wanted to make a nice bed complete with a pillow, great big water bowl, etc. i warned her that he was old, sick, and probably wouldn't be around very long. she seemed to accept that with an icy clinical attitude. (she gets that from me.) when he arrived, we weren't surprised to see matted hair, covered in excrement that was also in the back of my truck. after an impromptu hosing off, he didn't improve. he was now soggy, shivering, and even more pathetic looking. pooka asked, "what's daddy doing to my dog?"

you see what happened there?

the first hours were a mess. due to age or illness he couldn't control his bodily functions. having admitted that he probably would be put down, we started thinking sooner rather than later. he can't hear, his eyes are cloudy, he's unsteady on his feet and trips over the merest pile of leaves. after the first day with real food (graciously donated by the humane society) he started to look marginally better; he controlled his functions and was able to wander slowly around the yard. daily he has continued, incrementally, to improve.

we are approaching the tipping point of painful mercy. he looks like he might be saveable, but is it what's best for him? he is old, his eyesight won't return. how much medicine should he be given? what will his quality of life be?

this needs to be resolved quickly, before pooka (and kisu) gets too invested in him.