New and Improved

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Everytime I start to write here, I get caught. Maybe I need a new spot. It feels to open and available. I'll let you know.

Ed. And with good reason. My crazy online stalker person has been visiting. Facebook me if you're interested in my more secure (and interesting) location.
Posted by Kristen @ 10:15 AM | Link

Thursday, August 07, 2008

So things are moving along here in my new town. I'm becoming familiar with things, getting to know a few people and in general, liking it more. I miss Boston, but it's less acute.

I would love to start dating, but am not into online dating. I did it off and on while I was in Boston, but there's something really unappealing about doing it now. I really would like to be introduce to someone. Anyone know of a single, laid back, dark-haired professional (but not boring finance or anything like that) guy in the area???

I'm sure as I get into my job more, I will have more opportunities to meet people, and really that's my only option.

I've been looking obsessively on petfinder for dogs. I think I would like to get two dogs, so when I'm gone they'll have each other. It's just a thought, but really, I'm kind of enjoying my time alone.

Ok, the nephew is here, so I should put down the laptop and wrestle more. Promise a more well thought out post soon.
Posted by Kristen @ 10:35 AM | Link

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Last night, over many glasses of wine, I thought of lots of things to say. Now I can't remember.

As I approach my 30th birthday, with my life nothing like I thought it would be, I feel a true change coming on. A change in the way I think about the world. I can't fall back on the idea that things will "better" when I get older. That my life will start "soon." Even though I've always known better than that, I think I'm just now putting it into practice. This is my life and if I don't like the way it's going, it's up to me to change it. I am an adult, not just pretending.

I'm doing my best to get out and meet people. It's not as bad as I thought it would be, but it's a challenge. I am desperately seeking comfort. Comfort driving around- please, I'm tired of being lost; comfort with people that I know and that know me, comfort of an easy job. Obviously, some of these are normal and others make me wonder why I don't like to challenge myself.

This is all over the place and I realize I need to focus a bit. And I will. Soon.
Posted by Kristen @ 12:22 PM | Link

Saturday, July 26, 2008

A little less Milo in this one? Maybe? 

All week long, I've been gazing at dogs on petfinder and craigslist. I was telling myself no, but in reality thinking probably.

I agreed to watch a friend's dog this weekend because well, I was missing the companionship and the reason to get out and do things. She's an awesome old lab who wants nothing more than love and dinner. I can give her both of those things easily.

What I am getting from our time together is that I am not ready for another dog. I want to be free. Adopting a dog anytime soon wouldn't be fair to the dog. I loved everything about Milo so much, I know I would be comparing and contrasting everything the new dog did to the way Milo did things. I was used to him, knew him inside and out and even this girl that I love is so different that it bugs me. Not that she bugs me, but her not being independent like Milo is such a change. Maybe in a few months, I would prefer this, but right now I'm happy to have her for a few days and then send her home.

In other news, I have a busy week. I'm trying to socialize as much as possible. I have a new book club meeting on Tues. It's from not sure how it will be, but I'm hopeful since I love to talk about books and love people who talk about books. I have a new friend blind date, set up by someone whose judgment I trust. It would be nice to make a new girlfriend so I don't have to bother the hell out of the one I have here! Plus, Monday a co-worker (um, triathlete) is going to meet me after work and tune up my bike and then take me on a ride. I'm a little nervous, but she's cool so it will be fun.

I'm trying hard not to slip into a depression. Milo dying is certainly grounds for it, but I don't want it. I want try to find the positive and get out and about more than I have in the past 3 years.
Posted by Kristen @ 12:35 PM | Link

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I promise I will write about something else soon. 

Things feel weird. My equilibrium is off. I've never lost a loved one and no matter what anyone says, my dog was a loved one. I'm in pain. I'm lonely. I lost my best friend. It's acute and real and worse than I thought it would be.

That being said, I feel like I can't talk about it too much. A really good friend of mine didn't call and speak to me after it happened. She sent a text, but didn't think to call and just say "I'm sorry you're going through this and I'm hear to talk." Isn't that what close friends do? And when I mention that I'm really sad about it the response is always "I don't know what to say." Say "I'm sorry your dog died. I wish there was something I could do." Instead, it's so obvious she'd rather talk about the fucking high school bbq that she went to over the weekend. It sucks to be let down by friends, to feel like they don't care, especially when it's someone you really count on.

People keep asking whether I will adopt another dog. I could not be more torn. I miss having a furry little one to hang out with and kiss and love. I miss all the walks and the closeness. That being said, for the past 3 years, I have not been able to come and go as I please. No impromptu overnights. Drinks after work was even difficult. The chance to be gone from the house for hours and not feel guilty is appealing.

Clearly, I'm not over Milo (it's only been a few days), but I'm not sure if I could love another one. Something tells me I can and will. Just not yet.
Posted by Kristen @ 9:11 PM | Link

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Milo loving life 

Posted by Kristen @ 3:56 PM | Link

Milo, bunny, stinky, lovey boy. My love. 

I know an animal is not human and that most people hold the lives of humans far above any dog or cat, I am not one of them. I have a love for dogs that goes as deep as my love for children. The innocence, trust and vulnerability in the eyes is the same. The ability that dogs have to ask for nothing but food and love and trust that they will get the right amounts of both leaves me longing to make sure I provide enough of both and more.

It was not love at first sight for Milo and me. He was dirty, smelly and had stitches below both eyes. He didn't greet me with a wagging tail and a feeling of warmth. Instead, he paid me no attention in the waiting room of the shelter. He sat up straight and tall and gazed off into the distance as if trying not to be noticed. He showed some excitement as he got into my car, but it was mostly an excitement that said "I don't care where we're going, just get me away from that place."

It wasn't even love after the first week. His personality was friendly, but very aloof. I certainly cared about him and took care of him, but this dog was not like the labs I had known before. As I researched more about what his possible mix was-- hm, black spots on his tongue... Chow?-- I realized that I had happened upon a lab who was mixed with the most clever breed of dog. The border collie.

As I began to read more about his breed, Milo's behavior made more sense. He truly understood what was being asked of him at any point in time. He knew the rules before being told (he was never one to get on the furniture) and rarely did anything explicitly against them. His nipping at my arms to take him out was his trademark herding behavior, not signs of a mean dog.

As time went on, and he was more secure in his place in the household (mama's baby being his favorite place), he became more affectionate and sweet and funny. He was a serious dog, but his propensity for properness never failed to make me laugh. He often sat straight backed and tall, looking so regal.

One habit that was well-developed almost immediately, was his love of shoes. As soon as anyone important left the house, he would run off to get a shoe (tho clothing worked in a pinch) to hold as he watched that person leave. There were shoes strewn about the apartment and one time even the comforter from the bed. These things were never destroyed, but rather treated like comfort objects.

After about 9 months, Milo and I ventured out on our own. I was nervous and felt pressure. I had never owned a dog by myself and knew how much work it was. But, really, there was no other option. Milo had become my dog and I would have taken it to court if necessary. Thankfully, there was almost no resistance. As we got into our rhythm, Milo we developed a bond that is deeper than anything I have yet to experience in my life. We could read each other's moods. I knew every single thing he would do in response to anything I did. Running off leash, the dichotomy of his personality was most visible. He wanted to run ahead, be free and set the path. A simple "Hey!" could get this headstrong and bossy dog to turn on his heel and follow the direction I set. But he still did not want to be a follower. He'd run ahead, almost cutting me off at the knees, herding in his own way. No matter how far ahead he ran, though, his need for eye contact was far greater than his need for freedom.

One of my favorite memories of Milo happened in April 2006. We had gone to the then fiance's family's house on the Cape for Easter. Milo enjoyed his time there immensely. He swam in the ocean and got fed copious table scraps. As I began packing the car, Milo darted out of the house and sat next to my car. I called him to come in and he refused to move. I opened the car door and he hopped into my seat and again he refused to move. We didn't leave for another half hour but his fear of being left behind was written all of his face so he was allowed to sit in the car while we said our goodbyes, content to know that he was still mine.

Milo had many quirks, most of which never failed to garner an audible giggle no matter where I was or who was around. Anytime I got out of the car to run into a store or the ATM, I would invariably return to the car to find him sitting in the driver's seat as if he were at 16 year old with his permit, eager to get some practice in. Milo was never great at fetch, but a good game of chase was always welcome. Bones and treats tasted better when they were chewed on the carpet. A ride in the car was the best part of any day, regardless of the destination.

In the three years I had Milo, I watched him change several times. I saw him go from an aloof dog, to a lovingly independent dog, who would sleep in a different room, but come in for hugs and kisses every once in a while. I watched him go from a demanding, insecure dog that barked whenever left alone, to a dog that preferred company, but did not lose his mind when I left. He went from a dog who could not be around another dog without lunging and barking, to a dog with a well-developed sense of autonomy, which allowed him to mostly ignore the presence of other dogs (well, in large open spaces).

Milo's life was far too short. I certainly loved him beyond reason, but I was always trying to make up for those years he lived before me. The years that kept him from being carefree and goofy. Each day was filled with activity to make him happy. My first and last movements of any day revolved around him. The love this dog and I had may be insignificant to some, but it has been the most solid love I've known in my adult life. He was so very special to me in every way and I wonder how I will ever fill the void.

What do you do when the sun, moon and stars are turned off? He was my sunshine and the love of my life and I'm not sure where I turn from there. How long until I accept that he's never going to go slinking upstairs for no reason? That he will never sit in my front window in a chair facing out, waiting for the sound of my car so he can run to me and show me his ball? How long until I stop saving the last few bites for him?

Milo was simply the the love of my life and everything feels off-center without him.

Sir Milo von Gorgeous, 2001-2008, known for his valiant efforts to rid the neighborhood of all squirrels and feral cats, one bark at a time.

Rest in peace, my bunny.
Posted by Kristen @ 1:09 AM | Link

Friday, July 18, 2008

I'm resurrecting this blog because I don't have the mind to create a new one.

So how have I been? Not great. Today is probably not the best day to start writing again. My beloved Milo was diagnosed with lymphoma in March. After some aggressive chemo he was in remission and doing well. We moved to Philly and at our first appointment here I found out that he had relapsed.

Long story short, just under 2 months later, he's really sick- almost overnight. Literally, he was fine one day and all labored breathing and slow walking the next.

I'm sorry I don't have much more interesting or happy things to share, but at some point, I will. And when I'm ready, I will tell you about the 55 year old married guy that tried his best to get me to go to his hotel last night.
Posted by Kristen @ 6:27 AM | Link