Charley Waffle and I are riding the bus back from the park. We are both exhausted. I was falling asleep on the bus And then I heard a thud. My phone had fallen out of my hand. That was kind of weird. I didn’t know I was fading off until saved by the thud.
We had seen Parker again, a little mini husky.? ??A few retrievers. Labs. And of course some sort of a Doodle. Labradoodle There Are several different Doodles. All I know is that they don’t shed. And I like to say “Doodle.”
There is also almost ALWAYS a breed that comes from Texas. Via Italy or Asia or South America. . Breeds I’ve never heard of. I always wonder WHY?HOW? I know how they come from Texas But why these rare breeds? Oh well. I’m always quick to find where they are from and how rare their dog is. That’s cool and if they are a rescue even better. My story of getting Charley on Craigslist for $500 at 6 weeks old from a farm almost seems criminal. Especially if I tell the story how she kneads this velour blanket over and over until she goes to sleep. probably because she was weened too soon. Was that a rescue? Ahh…. maybe from myself!
The grass is growing at the park at a rapid rate so I would look up and everybody, included me and all dogs had our nose pointed to the ground searching for our Pet’s ball. Even though it seemed today’s color was bright orange. Ours was the ragged faded orange into brown with no bounce. Anytime somebody would yell ”Who’sBall?” I would say, “Is it a ratty orange muddy mess almost split into two?” Yep. At least I only had myself to blame if ours went missing!
I was at the far end of the park and this guy comes into the park area. I took notice because he looked like a colorful guy. Not his clothes but maybe the initial thought?? Vibe? Or I just knew he didn’t beat to the norms of blue colored group of people. Or I know…. a kindred spirit . I kinda felt I was observing the male version of me , if that makes sense. He kinda looked like an Berkeley LALAPOOLOZA (sp) Red Hot Chili Peppers, Primus, Maybe a liking of Jerry Garcia. Mix and match. Well, I guess somebody that I could relate to. Was I maybe slightly attracted to him? Was that why I wanted to talk with him?
I had one of those full circle days. What I mean by that is some event happens during the day to me. Something that is a bit bothersome that gnaws at my conscience and I just don't feel like I did the right thing, Feeling convicted that I could have done more. One of those "if I'd only listened to that fleeting thought" or "If I had done one thing different," but disregarded. I can't stand that. It could be big or something that seems trivial to others, but just gets at me.
I got up the other day feeling pretty good. It SEEMED like my on-going mission to becoming one of the "Organized Ones" was almost about to reach a level 2 on a 5 point scale. I was putting my keys on the designated hook. My spares were now kept inside a metallic box stuck to my fridge. I was hanging up Charley’s leash the moment we walked in, on THE designated hook ALONG with her harness. I had cleaned my fridge, PUT FOODS IN their proper bins; fruits marked FRUITS and vegetables marked VEGETABLES, butter in that irritating butter bin on the side of the door. My broom and SWIFFER WET JET (by the way, reminder: don’t ever get the refill pads that say “COMPARE TO SWIFFER”.... there is nothing like a SWIFFER refill) and my DIRTDEVIL on THE HANDY DANDY hook thingY from (AS SEEN ON TV) Mike bought for me. I had MATCHED MY SOCKS (MAJOR KUDOS TO ME!!) Washed Whites with whites. Delicates , whatever those are, in cold and I let my bras air dry. I remembered to put fabric softener in time, AND SprayED and WashED as directed. Hung up my previous clean clothes that had been hanging out over a chair for a few. ORGANIZED my TUPPERWARE and JUNK DRAWER(!!!) I washed AND put away the dishes. I was feeling calm, a little bit more in control of my craziness. Cleaning house big time is Therapeutic I’ll admit. What I really was hoping for a reprieve from my usual panicky "WHAT THE??????I know put it right there!!!!” It the last 2 minutes I'm heading out the door. Never fun.
I was able to prove to myself and quite proud when it was time to get ready for Playtime in Parking Lot. I amazingly found all the Frisbees together. They were hanging on a hook inside a a flowered bag on the side of the fridge. Her bouncy balls that disappear, re-appear, were all together IN the FRIDGE. In the side. Seriously. (I have found that works the best, otherwise it becomes a search party)….for she’s been known to find them again in the house and hide them all, thinking it’s funny. Not so funny when I have to find them. Makes playtime a lot easier with them!!!!
I was left with extra time on my hand so I’ve decided to transfer everything from my HUGE PATAGONIA back pack to a smaller back pack.
We started playing at Freeway Park that’s located smack in the middle of downtown. It was the first weekend, at least for me, that felt….. ummm… happy. I was trying to think of a great adjective for how I felt. And yes, it was happy
Yeah, it felt happy. We left the park with a great natural buzz from work out adrenaline. The good good yummy adrenaline. The one where it didn’t take seemed like I worked out. Felt light and fancy free.
I decided to go to the store so Charley could see her boyfriend, Nick. I was actually just trying to work the snot out of her. Sometimes I give up thinking I may have some life there in the midst of it all. I really just give in and go gun ho. I usually have a better time when I let go anyway.
On our way there I spotted a gentleman on the sidewalk laying on a sleeping bag. It was quite warm out and, I’m thinking, he must have been hot. He was uncomfortably warm and itchy. He had a few layers on and a wool skull cap. Black. The cap. Oh, and the guy. Some guy had stopped to talk with him but ended up walking to his car. I asked the man on the sleeping bag if he wanted anything or help. He asked me if I could get him something to drink. At first I thought he meant alcohol but that’s the alcoholic in me. I was going to even if it was for an adult beverage for I know how it’s like. EEkkk. I remember how strangers would help me when I was in that same position but suffered from the shakes and homeless. He asked for orange juice and a coke. No. No. Make it an orange soda. He held out 3 dollars and I told him not to worry about it.
Charley and I got to the store and ALAS! No Nick!!!
That’s ok, I suppose. The only thing is I had told her we were going to see her boyfriend and she gets so extremely excited and starts this little whistle thing in her throat. She looked around and up and down when we walked in, looked at me and seemed confused. Lawrence was working, and he has witnessed her love for Nick, so he half-heartedly tosses her a Milkbone. Nothing even close to the treatment Nick showers her with. It’s absolutely adorable, yet so crazy how she actually looks as if she’s melting on the floor. She is allowed behind the counter and takes her job quite serious. She will stare at the customers and won’t display any actions of friendliness. Just business.
I got a couple of orange juices and a bottle of orange soda and proceeded to pull out my wallet. I proceeded to look for my wallet. I proceeded to quickly look for my wallet. I proceeded to pat my back, side, front pockets. My heart and head proceeded to pound. I left my wallet, had to have, at the park!!!! I said, “I’ll be back!” and started running back to the park. We went to where we were playing and desperately looked around. There was a gal sitting exactly where we’d been and I asked her hoping she might have seen it. She seemed very confused, so I just kind of threw my hands AND hopes out. We walked home, and I was very sad. I had just replaced both cards just days earlier. My ID. My bank card. Some money. I was really really bummed.
Plus, on the way back to my apartment I remembered I’d told the guy I would be right back. I know how it is, for so many people say that and don’t come back. I was going to go back to where he was but I didn’t want to be a disappointment for him. It was hot outside. He really was thirsty. Shoot, I was thirsty AND hot and I wasn’t laying in the sun with all black on a blanket with no shade cover. I just felt horrible.
I called Mike and just kinda stammered and slobbered like a little girl. I wanted to know what was wrong with me. See, I’ve been losing things a lot lately. My memory, short term, sometimes long term, is incredibly bad and it’s incredibly embarrassing. Mike tried to tell me with my TBI and everything else, with the new, well semi-new Charley Waffle, and that I was trying to get organized stuff like that happens. He felt so bad for me, he told me he sent some money to my PayPal. That made me feel worse. Because that is not what I wanted or why I’d called. I was bummed.
After beating myself up in a good way, I calmed down as soon as I just started plotting the next day and what I needed to do in order to get all of that back. Ok, I’ll be out the money for my ID. Which I’d just bought. I’d be out the money in my wallet. Well, I fortunately had not brought all my money, so look at the positive aspect. Charley and I went to bed, and I had no choice to put it out of my head.
Morning came, and upon waking up I started to get ready to take Charley out. I was overcome by this thought to go back to the park and just double double check regarding my wallet. Plus, I could get a little morning play time with Charley this way so maybe she would be a little bit more tolerable as the day wore on.
We walked into the park at one of the entrances, the one we always go to. Came up to the first grassy knoll and OH MY GOSH. Do I see something sticking out of the grass that is flat and black? No way!!! I didn’t want to hurry too much and get my hopes up. I kept blinking my eyes and straining to look closer. My vision has slipped a bit since I hit 50. It started happening at the age of about 45, and all of a sudden it has gotten way worse. Almost like overnight.
As I walked up to this object my mind would not allow it to believe that what I was staring at was my wallet. NO WAY. I stood there, looked at Charley. “OHMYGOD” I picked it up, opened it, and almost gasped as I saw all of my cards where in the wallet. Holy cow. There was no money in it, but that was ok with me. I couldn’t believe it.
I played with Charley with laughter and cheer and newfound energy. Yay!!! Yay!!! Wait til I tell Mike. Where I found it is not where I’d opened my purse. Probably somebody found it and threw it on that particular knoll. There had been tons of people out the evening before, and the chances of my wallet disappearing were far greater than what happened. Even that morning there were little groups of people walking through the park at 7 a.m. I think because the weather had been so warm and was expected to be warm that day as well.
I was totally elated. Mike couldn’t believe it. Neither could I. Still really can’t. How lucky was that? Was it luck or serendipity or what??
I started going to the store and thought I could still buy the drinks for him, but he wasn’t anywhere to be seen. I vowed I’d try later on that day until I found him.
Well, later in the day I did. I was walking by a bus stop and I saw a man sitting on the bench with a blanket wrapped around him. I had this feeling come over me as I stopped and asked him if he had been lying on the sidewalk yesterday. It was him. I told him I was the gal that asked him if he wanted anything. He said, yeah, I was wondering what happened to you. I asked if he wanted anything now that I’d gotten my wallet back. He said no, then asked if I smoked. I told him I’d left my smokes at home, which I had, and he said, “No, I was just wondering because, here, I wanted to give you one.” Wow. I asked him his name. Chris. He said he’s always around there. I promised when I saw him again if he wanted anything, I still owed him. We had a little brief conversation. It was light and airy and fun. I said goodbye, see you later, and he said the same. I felt really really good.
What started out a good day, that turned bad, ended up being good 24 hours later. Now that is a FULL CIRCLE DAY in my book. Anybody else have those just made for t.v. moments? It was really cool.
Charley and I have been hanging out at this here Labyrinth. It’s our little hidden spot that we’ve grown to absolutely love. She gets to run and hop and fetch and catch while I can pretend I’ might or hope to have a brief moment to relax and take a breath…. But so far that has not happened. As soon as I sit down on the grass just when it seems she wants to kick it for a minute she jumps up , screams “PSYCH!!! “and we start the whole process over.
That makes it extra difficult for I’ve realized at 50 that “old” people were abdoiilt right. My body aches horribly. Standing up is a chore. I even caught myself doing the Jane Fonda for ARTHRITIS WORK-OUT periodically. So the sit down, jump up, down, hopes up, hopes down and no hope for rest wins…..
This weekend was the first time that I read the plaque, or tombstone, or whatever the dictionary defines a plaque, on the instructions, or excuse me, THE GUIDE of walking the labyrinth.
I WAS QUITE INTRIGUED. There is actually something really cool about a labyrinth.
I’d always thought a labyrinth was an entry to impending and inevitable doom. I attached the word to something dark and dank, Confusing my mind and making it hurt, (for I’m horrible with directions) , chains attached to the brick walls. Drip and scurry and chirp chirp sounds of all things creeping in a sewer t Throw in the occasional burning torch randomly in the wall making those freaky horror movie shadows. just totally mind- messing with me. Well, I guess kinda like the dungeon in “The Count of Monte Christo”. Or the snow covered grass LABYRINTH in “The Shining” where little boy REDRUM was being chased by a VERY DULL JACK.
It wasn’t until reading the plaque (marker, tombstone, I learned I’d been thinking of a MAZE. The one MAZE where the Minotaur would be waiting for me with a huge scythe or-a whippy thingy with nowhere to go, breathing hot snotty and scary sounds at me.
It dawned on me I was confusing the word LABYRINTH that was in Greek mythology of, I guess the creature Minotaur. Which actually was considered more of a MAZE. Not a LABYRINTH.
this whole time of 2 months, we’ve been going to this place, it spooked me to walk on it, for even LOOK at it for what I thought it represented, …. I knew the GREEKMinotaur wouldn’t show , but just maybe A MODERN -DAY MINOTAUR could awaken. I mean, come on now.
EVERYTIME we’d gone to this site (it’s inside a college campus ) the intentions were to stay 30 minutes. But, alas, EVERYTIME 30 minutes, though painful at first, our “VIBE” would kick in, and we would GET ITON. Frisbees would fly, balls kicked, thrown, we’d play hide and seek. (She’s amazingly awesome good ) ANYTHING to wear HER down.
We equally ended up worn down, in a gleefully playful way. I felt like I’d just been called in from 3rd grade recess, She plopped down panting in the grass while I breathing heavy, BUT GOSH, THAT WAS FUN!!!!,
That’s when I took the time to look at the guide. And I decided to give it a go.
13 NIGHTMARES is one of my favorite podcasts. I can get the really good skinny on the back story of many horror flicks. Real corpses were used in POLTERGEIST floating in the pool and the cast did not know. Shelley Duvall ‘s fear was real on the set of THE SHINING due to the psychological torture of Jack Nicholson and the director Stanley Kubrick. Or chocolate syrup was used on hams to look like real blood to stand out in George Ramirez’s Night of the Living Dead
Charley Waffle loves Horror. Movies. Or at least I think she does. Because I’ve been repeatedly told that all dogs want is to make their owners happy. And I love horror movies. I’m not sure if that’s really all they want for I think she’d take a frisbee over HellRaiser any day.
I’ve had Charley since she was 6 weeks old, not quite weened and definitely not potty trained. I’m the only thing she really knows as far as, I guess, I was going to say MOM and loving friend and a sister and all that but I think I’m basically a tool. A tool of survival. As a provider of all her needs. And WANTS.
Another thing I’ve learned is that Pets adapt to their environment that they are constantly exposed to. Becomes the norm.
(This reminds me of one reason given for the calves that live to become veal cube steaks.THAT’S THE ONLY LIFE THEY’VE EVERKNOWN… (but I will not go there.)
I live in the city. Downtown. Right by the hospital. CHARLEY does not flinch at ambulances and fire engines screaming by. Police sirens won’t even cause a futile glance. Buses roaring by her while walking on the sidewalk and that will make her jump Same goes for ANGRY and loud voices.
Going back to my horror film watching I started becoming a bit concerned and veryaware when watching CABIN IN THE WOODS
I really like that movie.
Also watched The Descent , which scares the heck out of me. It’s one of those “could -might really happen.” Dale and Tucker Vs Evil isn’t really horror but I guess a com-hor flick I guess??? Like ROM-Coms. So I guess it would be called a Hor-Com, right?!? I love horror that plays on all human fears and oh my gosh!!! The Just imagine…… fear…..
During Charley and I kicking it while watching CABIN IN THE WOODS I started getting annoyed. It seemed so loud. And all the screaming and the sounds of “SQUELCH” and “”RIIIIPPPP”, “SQUISH “ My mind recalled that you are supposed to censor what your child watches. This is the kind of movie a very young child should not watch, for we all know Horror leads them to a life of crime, homicidal and psycho insane tendencies. A serial killer, etc…. RIGHT?!?!
I kept looking at Charley starting to convince myself she was looking anxious and fearful and that she was only sitting there because DOGS JUST WANT TO PLEASE. I turned the TV down, concentrated on sub titles, started flipping through other channels. Comedy? nah, her ears just perked up but her face, I swear, was a confused and non-understanding. Not in a good way. She can’t laugh, so maybe she was feeling left out. I put it on cartoons and it seemed she was extra annoyed by these characters in vivid color flying through the air or “UNDER THE SEA” and ALL DOGS GO TO HEAVEN https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Fkusy4ylhiYUnder the sea doing things that she was not able to do. Why could those dogs talk like humans and she couldn’t?
What is funny about cartoons is they are just as loud as horror flicks. Same with comedy. Loud and animated stunts, etc etc… I was even thinking that she thought these things on the screen were making me happier than her. How could she compete, she was thinking. Because I knew what she was thinking, right?!?
I forget that term used when owners projectto their pets how they think they feel . I do that a lot. To people as well. It’s led to many misunderstandings and even a few losses for me.
By this time I was frazzled. I was thinking this and that and worried maybe I was not good for her and she was going to be neurotic or turn into CUJO or some evil thing like the cat in PET CEMETERY. Was she fearful for her life out in a total state of ongoing anxiety? What really got me was this one gal said she felt horrible when she heard that the only reason dogs are nice to you because they think at any moment we’ll kill them….. How horrible is that one????
That one made me sad
WAS she thinking I was watching these horror movies and things she couldn’t do to scare her in some sick twisted game. Maybe I have watched too many movies like “SAW” or “seven”.
Then my wonderful friend Mike told me that animals don’t have conscious thought. They aren’t worried about yesterday or tomorrow or if they did the wrong thing or hurt my feelings. They were only focused on what was in front of them.
Which I kinda felt better but I swear she thinks more than that. She’s got to. She’s so sneaky and funny and makes me laugh and definitely has a memory.
My final decision as it was nearing bedtime and I was getting sleepy from the relaxing music for dogs, AND but for some reason that music kinda gets me a bit depressed. Or I’d like to say wistful. About the past, future, the now…
After one last serious thought I thought of jazz music. I put jazz in the “explore” tab up top on YouTube, scrolled a few pages, saw the name DR SAXLOVE. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQI6D_gZxHo. I was sold on the name. I thought it was witty. I wanted to hear Dr SAXLOVE.
I like Dr SAXLOVE. The first night I fell asleep along with Charley and woke up with her sprawled over my forehead. I had been drooling.
The last couple days I have been feeling that Charley and I are on a new plateau as far as bonding. I have been taking her out every day and bringing along with me 2 balls, one of them with a chuck-it, 2 frisbees, one a Petco one and one a Wham-0, ( which we lost today…both of them..)and, if I’m feeling really on top of it I bring her soccer ball. People tell me, “oh, she’s a cattle dog, that is what she is trained for…” and I thought, yeah, yeah. She was born on a farm but I was wondering how much of her genetics comes into play. I have been taking her out every day, at least 3 times.
I’ve realized it is just like learning an instrument, or seeing the slow but ALL OF A SUDDEN results come in bounds. Well, we were playing with her soccer ball, and a tennis ball, and I noticed she kept whipping the back side of her towards whatever ball was rolling, (she also had one in her mouth) and nipping at it. So, I tried 2 balls to see what would happen. I showed her a basic area where all of our things were, and watching with absolute amazement I saw her herd the balls into this basic area. Every time she’d nip one of the “herd”, her tail would go up, back arched, ears bouncing with each little trot.
We have this communication when we play, and we both feed off each other. She doesn’t like to drop her favorite frisbee so she pretends, after dropping it, heads towards some unseen whatever, sniffing her and there…. nonchalantly, leaving me open to grab her frisbee. She pretends to bark and growl but that is the way she does it. She’s so confident and so stubborn. People and all the YOUTUBE videos teach how to STOP toy guarding but, you know, it works for both of us. I’m good. Sometimes I get tired of being that perfect pet parent and the right way and what not to do, blah blah.
Back to why I feel like Matthew McConaughey
I remembered a Jimmy Fallon episode where each had to guess if a situation is true or false after reading a situation.
Matthew told of a story where it was just him and a Tiger alone in a cage. Just kicking it. Jimmy was supposed to guess if it was true or false. It was true. Matthew’s response was that after awhile they were jiving with each other and they were right with each other.” All right all right……”. Well I suddenly felt totally stoned, which Matthew has that power to emulate over the screen for me and in that moment I’d felt totally one with Charley, and I thought he was talking about me and and my Waffle. It is happening daily. It is cool. And beautiful. I love her. I felt like Matthew sitting there doing ESP with Charley.
Last night our heads were on opposite sides of the bed and she had her head resting on my ankles. I had my arm slung across her body. ALL RIGHT ALL-RIGHT…. she is just lovely. I’m really getting attached I love my Charley Waffle.
They say the average person laughs 17 times a day. Sometimes that seems like a lot. Other times very few. So I got to counting. I was in single digits. Charley has made my laughter back up to double digits. Even more. I am so grateful for her.
I’ve been extra self conscience this go around with daily activities with my Charley Waffle. i may be over thinking a lot of things but I’m not quite sure. br>Ok, For example, silly stuff as the other day we were stopping at the Poly, or What i would call our “morning/evening herding grounds” at the side of parking lot at the sitting area that happens to be slightly above street level. I had noticed a gal walking up the sidewalk in my peripherals along with others and our general surroundings. I was hyper focused on our whereabouts because Charley was not attached to her leash (i was test driving my recall progress with her in chartered territories) when, suddenly i hear “right behind you.” I stepped back and said “oh she won’t bite you”. She said, obviously hesitantly and cautiously, backing up ;“oh no I was just letting you know I was right behind you I didn’t want to startle you” and I said” oh yeah I get what you are saying” Then, after a moment i thought to myself ” WHAT EXACTLY Is she exactly saying?” For it was daylight. Around 12:40p.m. On a weekday. People were milling around. There had been others that had come up on us. Was I the one to not to be startled, or was she speaking of Charley? Was i a scary person or was my dog scary ? Was it as SIMPLE as not wanting us to be surprised? And was it as simple as she was being nice?
Because I’ve ran into people actually that really were/are scared of Charley. People would beat around the bush, asking questions like, “wow, HE sure moves like a fighter, uh?” and, “”HE looked like HE is on a healthy diet. Do you give HIM vitamins? ” or “WOW, what a fighter HE looks like! What kind of training?” ultimately it all ended up with the question if she (but to most….a HE) was a pit. One thought she was a Routweiller.(SP)
I had also been on a teenager-like pot smoking binge ( WHASSUP my Matthew M.. “all right, all right”) I realized, so was that my issue with why this bothered me?
Another factor was my broken down self esteem for being brought down many pegs due to significant life changes that have me living in subsidized housing ? (that is a whole different chapter. )And feeling not worthy at times that I’m not doing a good enough job for my Charley Waffle?
I am terrified of dogs. I really am.yet…
LB JUNE PIT BULL LIL RUNT
The last time I had a dog , my first dog, was Lb June. A little pit Bull runt I’d commandeered from neighbors that had her locked in a closet because her siblings would try to gobble her up, literally growling and chewing on her. People who knew me and my fear of dogs were giggling about my choice of a first dog. But there was something about her. She was incredibly sweet. Really sweet. It was fate her and I. I provided a loving home for her. I even had my two children when she was four and I had to deal with ” you know that dog is going to flip on your kids. Something in their brain snaps and she will maul and maime your children ” “You have a pit and have kids???????” People putting their shopping carts in between them and her. Crossing way across the street to avoid her. Stuff like that. She lived to be 14. SHE weighed 35 pounds full grown . My children were devastated. She used to sleep under their cribs while they napped. They were bred a as nanny dogs. I was really nervous because of all the stuff I’d heard before so I researched the heck out of pit bulls. Really. They score top of the list as family dogs. There are some things to watch out for of course. . Like you should be able to put your hand in their food dish. That always gets people. “Everybody knows you don’t put your hand near a dog’s food bowl. ” It’s a test of temperament. Not that I would do it to prove a point but it’s true. If used to subscribe to Jason Mann’s Pit Bull Gazette. I don’t see him online anymore which is too bad. If they Show aggression towards people they probably should be put down. It’s a misbred dog at that point. LB was the biggest geek EVER. People still talk about her to this day. She was awesome . I loved and adored her. I i wasn’t living in subsidized housing then but didn’t realize I was a flip of the coin away from it.
I’m posting this because I wrote it way back when I first got Charley. It was right smack in the middle of Covid and I didn’t realize how much it affected me. I went to a very dark place and I really didn’t or couldn’t see any light of happiness. I had started this blog because I wanted to see the effects Charley would have on me.
I’m happy to say I giggle with her every day and I don’t ever want her to go away. I may be that weird “hippie rag doll”- as my friend Steve referees to me— and I used to be self conscious. I think just being in lock down and stuck in my head. So I think I’m becoming a different person and I feel a lot of love and hope and I owe it to my Squishy Bean.