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Brain Freeze

Today, work was a shark-eyed monster lurking under the surface of an idyllic weekend, waiting to pounce. Work was like this:

As a result, my brain feels like this:

In case the meaning is lost, that would be my brain feeling small and trying to hide under a chair despite the fact that everyone can see it.

So, tonight I’m drinking some wine and doing this:

Only I will be wearing clothes because I am not a heathen

Heidi’s Little Emergency

Yeah, this is a post about my dog. I know it’s annoying to some people, but if people I only know as passing acquaintances can post pictures of the insides of their uteruses (uteri?) online, I think this is okay.  

In all photos, Heidi appears to be contemplating serious questions of great importance. If not for her lack of opposable thumbs and her inability to speak English, she could be figuring out the cure for cancer.  It’s just the schnauzer beard and those gruff little eyebrows because I can assure you she’s kind of a lazy C-student and the camera can’t capture her dopey look.

Heidi at full ear attention.

She can be smart when she wants to be: she learned how to sit and lay down just by viewing hand commands, but she regularly runs into glass doors.  I think  of her as a doggie version of Phoebe Buffay from Friends: an oblivious free spirit with some flashes of brilliance.

She is a special unicorn.

She’s not  particularly motivated to be Lassie because she gets by on her looks 90% of the time. She’s abnormally small for a schnauzer, and she looks like a perpetual puppy.  Here’s a picture of her with her best frenemy Bailey for comparison.

Heidi likes to share with Bailey. Bailey likes to destroy Heidi.

So, she’s tiny and therefore cuter, and she has unusual coloring for a schnauzer which makes her even more interesting to strangers.  She’s like a more active stuffed animal.

LIke a great stuffed animal, you can dress her up too.

She’s grown accustomed to universal admiration (with the exception of her best frenemy who kind of hates her), and she swans through her doggie life under the assumption that everyone wants to cuddle her or give her treats. Frankly, she’s sort of indifferent to praise at this point.

This is Heidi sleeping through your admiration.

A couple of evenings ago on our nightly constitutional, I noticed she wasn’t actually peeing and that she was instead dribbling blood.  I assumed a UTI, but it seemed wise to call the emergency vet and they told me to bring her in.  Nobody thinks peeing blood is a good sign.  Suddenly dumping the second glass of wine into the sink felt like a prescient choice.

Don’t worry- I think that drink is mostly juice. I think.

We drove to the all night emergency clinic. I watched the digital display of my remaining gas miles dwindle with some discomfort (why didn’t I fill up after the grocery store!?).  I imagined running out of gas a mile from the vet and walking down the dirty streets of Sandy Springs at midnight with a lame dog.  Heidi yawned at me and blinked her impossibly long eyelashes, totally nonplussed.

See all the Effs she gives?

At the clinic, the staff ushered us to a room where I bit my nails and Heidi started to get a whiff of something unpleasant happening to her. She doesn’t fear the vet like other dogs, but she’s not a fan of discomfort in any variety. She usually ends our walks by sitting primly in the grass and refusing to budge once she decides the heat is not to her liking. The staff fussed and fawned over her and the word “cute” was tossed around multiple times while I waited forever for the vet to return with a diagnosis.

Luckily, the vet pronounced her to be UTI positive.  Heidi stood on the exam table with her ears thoughtfully perked and her nose quivering, but she was entirely unfazed by the large needles they poked in her leg for pain meds and antibiotics. They could have been giving her acupuncture for all the concern she showed.

Isn’t that the cutest bandage you’ve ever seen?

We made it home where I read the vet’s directions word for word and Heidi leaped on to my cream duvet  and smeared some drops of blood on it.  When I gasped and hissed, “Heidi!”, she froze mid-circle turn and looked up at me with enormous deep eyes and quirked ears.  She flicked her ears like little antennae trying to read my mood, and then she flattened them and wagged her tail a little.

Sigh, I’m an easy mark for her.

That little manipulator. She really does get by on her looks.

Auf Wiedersehen

My German odyssey begins tomorrow, and I’ve spent much of tonight making final preparations.  Here are some last minute things I did:

Last American Meal for Nine Days:  bbq pork taco with queso dip

Well, it’s technically Tex-Mex, but close enough.

Last Minute Baked Goods for Hosts: Unicorn Poop Cookies. Assuming German Customs allows this in the country, I’m giving my hosts techni-color sparkly sugar cookies in thanks for their hospitality. There’s enough food dye and edible glitter in these to make my holistic-medicine-loving cousin lose her marbles.  You might think this an odd choice, but my friend Jenny enjoys unicorns and I enjoy a good baking challenge.  Recipe here.

I captured a unicorn! At last!

Last Picture of Loyal Schnauzer: My neighbor and friend N will dog-sit for Heidi in my absence. N encouraged me to take my little monster with me so she can see her “Mother Land.”  We tried to ask Siri of the iPhone if schnauzers are common in Germany and Siri told us she can’t  look for things in Germany.  I think Siri is way more helpful to Zooey Deschanel and Samuel Jackson in those commercials  than she will ever be to me.

She is stalking my luggage, looking for the opportune moment to stow away.

Last minute panic attack:  Do I have three copies of my passport? Is three enough?  Did I write down Jenny’s phone number?  AM I SURE?  What if someone steals my laptop while I’m gone? Should I leave it at N’s house? What if the whole building burns down? Is it too late to get an external drive and then take all my files with me? Probably too late, right?  What if my plane crashes and I lived my last day at work at my job instead of spending time with family like I always say when people play the “Last Day on Earth” game? What if my parents fight with N about who will get custody of my dog if I die? What if that weird thing in Heidi’s mouth explodes while I’m gone?  Did I remember to put her flea meds on her? Did I count my pills to make sure I have enough? Is my jacket heavy enough? I should bring a sweater, right? Why do my sweaters  smell strange? DO I HAVE BLACK MOLD?

You can see that I desperately need a vacation.    Good thing I leave tomorrow. Next stop: airport!

To Which Ever Jerk It May Concern

Nothing will bring you out of blog hiatus faster than unsatisfied rage.

Today at lunch, I trekked home from work (as I do everyday) to walk my dog, Heidi. For the past 3 years, this is what we do: I go to work, she stays in my bathroom until lunch, I walk her to my neighbor’s for an afternoon play date, I pick her up after work, we lounge about watching bad TV until bed. Lather, rinse, and repeat.

Something different happened today. At my door, the following sign greeted me:

I Wish Your Yappy Mutt Would Die

Classy, right? I’m some what shocked because my neighbors are mostly young professionals and the majority own dogs, and I wouldn’t expect this kind of malice from any of them.    And who would wish death on this?

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