Sing It

The internet does a nice job of making you realize you’re not crazy. Basically, a lot of pet parents have little songs they sing their dogs.

I modified the lyrics to Sugar, Sugar as follows:

Aw, Sugar, Sugar

Aw, puppy, puppy

You are my corn chip dog

And you got me loving you

Sugar gets corn chip feet and when she curls into a ball, it spreads to her whole belly. I love it.

Several people use the line “Come on Barbie. Let’s go party.” and switch it to “Come on doggy. Let’s go potty.”

I added my own version which turns “We like to party” to “You gots to potty.”

Love makes you weird.

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Gray Sweats

I am a big fan of shopping ethically. It’s a great way to help the environment and let your dollars talk. I can’t always do it as much as I’d like. An absurd amount of ethical companies don’t make plus sizes. Thrifting is very hit or miss, especially when you’re a certain size or body type.

Sometimes I have to buy things new that likely came from unethical conditions because they’re affordable and I know they’ll fit. But sweatshops are not the absolute evil we are lead to believe.

Some are worse than others with Gap and its subsidiaries literally getting awards for their ample human rights violations. Even if it’s a loophole to get their stuff secondhand, I still feel kind of dirty. It’s not that hard to agree to not beat your staff with rubber hoses (yes, really).

Sweatshops are also frequently located in places awash in abject poverty. Forget get the bootstraps-American-dream BS westerners pretend is possible. There is no good way out for these people unless a micro-finance charity shows up. The working conditions are bad and often deplorable but it’s work where there might otherwise be none.

Child labor is not good but in places with this level of poverty, what else are these kids doing? They’re not off having a childhood as we understand it. There is not a branch of the Boys and Girls Club in Bangladesh IIRC. These kids are trying to survive or help their family. My husband had a classmate in college who said exactly this.

This awful factory jobs gave these kids somewhere to go, something to do, and a way to help their families. Is it good or ethical? Hell no but there is a moral gray area buried within this awfulness.

This problem exists because of bigger wealth inequality all over the planet. I think we need more ethical options but if you have to skip them, you are not a bad person.

Sweatshops beat abject poverty. Child labor gives these kids somewhere to go, something to do, and money to bring home. It’s not good but it’s not pure evil. Still avoid the worst of the worst and thrift where you can but don’t beat yourself up over not being able to live the ethical fashion dream. Do the best you can with what you have where you are.

Trauma Has Many Forms

I dipped my toe in a few different books while attempting to conquer War & Peace. I finally committed to going in deeper with Can’t Help Myself by Meredith Goldstein. I just finished a section of her memoir that really resonated with me.

At one point, Goldstein spends a lot of time talking about her mother’s cancer and what that meant for her. Her mother endured something awful but Goldstein had to watch her mother endure that awful thing and sometimes, that is its own trauma.

I know someone who was at the Vegas shooting. This person told me that those who were shot and survived have less psychological trauma than those who were ‘uninjured.’ When I read this chapter, this parallel really struck me. When your body is fighting to survive, your mind hangs on to less. If you’re on the proverbial sidelines of that fight, you’re able to remember it all.

Last year I endured some ugly emotional abuse from my mother and some impressive apathy and betrayals from ‘friends.’ It was the worst time of my life. I wonder how it was for my husband. He came from a loving family while I was seeing a roided out version of some Cluster B BS I’d dealt with all my life. He was thrown into a chaos he didn’t understand and we emerged stronger for it.

In all of the above cases, everyone has adhered to the ‘support in, dump out’ method. You are allowed whatever feelings you need but never put your burden on someone carrying the heavier load.

Watching someone you love go through hell is hard. If you’re going through something like that, respect your pain. Someone, somewhere, will always be fighting a harder battle. Don’t let it stop you from seeking the help you need.

Not Ready to Make Nice

This song has been running through my head for the last couple of days. It started when Natalie Maine’s said she was ashamed George W. Bush was a fellow Texan upon hearing he invaded Iraq. The fallout of this one statement created intense backlash, a compelling documentary, and this excellent song.

Not Ready to Make Nice

Forgive? Sounds good. Forget? I’m not sure I could. They say time heals everything but I’m still waiting.

So much of what is said applies to today’s political climate. This should have been an early indication of the shifting attitudes on the far right. The crimes or logic don’t matter; Party before country. It almost reminds of ‘faction before blood.’

This song also chimes on a personal level. I have been No Contact/very limited contact with my mother since last fall. She quickly figured out I wasn’t going to have the wedding she wanted me to have and unleashed an astonishing amount of nastiness and vitriol. I go into more detail on my Insta Mother’s Day post.

In addition to such a rapid and intense betrayal by my only remaining parent, I experienced a similar one by several ‘friends.’ My life was going in a downward spiral and it still amazes how so many people could know this was happening and not care. Their first world problems mattered more than being a friend and support system. I wasn’t the easiest person to deal with during that time but maybe having the support of people who claim to care about me might have changed that. I’ll never know because it was much more convenient to cast me out.

Some took the high road and said little but others went on a smear campaign Trump would have been proud of. Some made an effort to hide my struggles so I could keep being the villain in their story. I feel a mix of pity, disgust, and shame for those people who made an active effort to hurt me after casting me out. I still feel genuinely foolish for ever thinking those people were my friends.

I experienced the worst of so many people so close together, I’ve been keeping a comfortable distance from everyone who isn’t my husband. I hear people talk about their ‘chosen families’ but I don’t see myself ever being able to trust someone that much again.

Forgive? Not sure. Forget? No way. They say time heals everything but I’m still waiting.

Sweet Mess

Did you know dogs get motion sick? I didn’t until I learned the hard way. Both my husband and my dog have this problem. Road trips should be fun.

Sugar puked in the car for the first time on her way home. It went a little something like this:

Me: What’s she doing?

Hubs: She’s puking

*I look back*

Me: Oh, she’s eating it!

Both: Sugar, no!

Me: I do not want to be dealing with this at 60 mph

I had cover for the backseat but learned it’s past its prime. I had to clean that and my car seats. Not the grossest dog puke I’ve cleaned up but still not pleasant. I hate vomit.

I realized this wasn’t a one off when Sugar had a repeat performance when I took her to work the first time. Here’s a very cute photo taken before Sugar tossed her kibble.

I had to clean the car cover again but this time I turned to the Internet. Being in multiple dog groups on the Internet proved very useful.

I moved Sugar to the front seat and put her pet bed in the car. Who needs a dedicated bed when you have laps and my work clothes I need to de-fur before throwing in the laundry? I also added a drop of ginger essential oil to her collar. Our organic market let’s you sample before buying, thank Dog.

So far, no more puke. I got her a booster seat she mostly uses now. Hubs and I recently went out and tried to get her to use it in the back. No dice. She wound up riding upfront in his lap. I’m not sure what we’ll do on longer journeys but we’lol chase that ball once it’s throw.

Sugar’s First Days Home

The rescue says they do not guarantee any dogs are housebroken. That was accurate.

One of the first things Hubs and I got at the store was cleaner for pet messes. That saw quite a bit of use in the beginning. Sugar had several accidents but Hubs and I worked to get her familiar with her surroundings and on a routine.

The was the first clue that Sugar probably started as someone’s pet was that she was basically housebroken in a matter of days.

The second big clue came later. We tried twice to barricade Sugar in the kitchen on her first night and twice she broke out. I collapse on the couch because it’s 1 AM and I’m tired. Sugar immediately makes herself at home in my lap. I decided to stay on the couch because I’d notice if she moved. Sugar held it until I took her out in the morning.

I ended up sleeping with her for the next 2 nights while we waited for her crate to arrive. No accidents, no crying. I expected a repeat of the kitchen barricade with her new crate. Crying, fussing, more nights with too little sleep. Nope.

Crate training Sugar consisted of putting her couch blanket in her crate. Seriously, that was it. She went right in and got comfy.

She tried to jump back into bed or run around during the night but eventually stayed after being out back a few times. She’s been good about spending most of the night in her crate with the door open since.

However, Sugar would occasionally eat plants on walks and has multiple scars on her face and head. A small piece is missing from one of her ears. She is not intimidated by big dogs at all. I’ve watched her put several big dogs in their place.

I did a more thorough read of her paperwork and it looks like Sugar was a surrender. It has a birthday but that could be a best guess from the vet. Our working theory is that Sugar was a pet but the hurricane either put her on the street or somehow screwed up her situation.

Regardless of her past, Team Rocket is very happy to be this sweet girl’s future.

Dog Tales: Meet Sugar

On April 14, my husband and I visited a local rescue. They had dogs from several places including Puerto Rico and the Middle East. Most dogs didn’t resonate with him but I recognized one chihuahua from their website. I held my hand up to the cage, she licked my hand, I opened her door, and the volunteer turned around to see her in my lap. That was Sugar.

Hubs wasn’t overly interested so we left empty handed. After talking, he realized a small dog would be a good fit for our 1 bedroom apartment life.

Sugar was also friendly but chill. Some dogs were skittish around people or others were reactive and vocal. Sugar was relaxed and that resonate with him. Hubs had never had a dog before so he wanted an easy dog. Sugar also has some scarring on her face and head so we joked about getting a battle chihuahua.

I sent in an application but had some trouble getting someone to get back to me. The following Saturday we went back to get our girl. In preparation, I hit up Target for a leash, harness, a couple of toys, and a pet bed.

We arrive on a very busy Saturday to find out our sweet girl has no other applications. I have no idea how but it made things even better for us. Hubs has a good job, I work with dogs for a living, and our apartment building has its own dog park. We’re pretty great on paper and nice in person. We brought her home that day.