Category Archives: Puppy

CPS Should Take Me Away From Myself

cpsThis is the view from my desk right now.

From left to right: A tangled knot of yarn that I’ve managed to untangle and re-tangle about 4 times now. Fell off the couch when I fell asleep on it last night. A dish towel my puppy stole from the kitchen, and a pillow she stole from the couch. Also an old water bottle that is actually something she is legitimately allowed to chew on. The vacuum cleaner that has sat there since Friday, when I vacuumed up the last chew toy she destroyed (pictured behind the vacuum: new destroyed chew toy). And last, but not least, a TV dinner tray that she accidentally drug around and flipped over with her Elizabethan collar.

Now most of this mess, yarn and vacuum aside, happened in the last couple hours (though I should really just put that TV tray away, it’s the fourth time). So since my puppy has been home from surgery and destructively bored in her recovery for the past 6 days now… I’ll let you image the state of the rest of the apartment.

My puppy has finally ceased her hour long tantrum about not being allowed to eat off the counter and fallen asleep. One might suggest that I take this golden opportunity to pick up her mess, revacuum the floor, and… well, let’s face it, leave the vacuum out to vacuum up the next mess she makes. But I’ve got bigger fish to fry.

You see, I feel like I’ve been a pretty good puppy mommy this week. I made her homemade puppy food and puppy treats. Helped her eat and drink and walk when she was on her sedative. Sat with her and soothed her when that sedative gave her puppy nightmares. Held her toys for her so she could get chew leverage inside her Elizabethan collar. Slept on the couch all week so she could sleep next to me (and by next to me, I mean on me) because the bed’s too high for her while she’s on jumping prohibition. Stayed home nearly 24/7 because her dog crate is uncomfortably small with that giant cone around her head.

But there’s someone I’ve been neglecting for the past couple days. Someone I have been depriving of sleep, forgetting to feed, and completely ignoring. Someone I’ve reduced to tears three times in the past two days by overwhelming them with unrealistic expectations and belittling them when they couldn’t meet them.

“Why hello there, Old Me. When did you get back in town?”

If I were a child, Child Protective Services would LITERALLY take me away from myself for the way I’ve been neglecting myself. And the funny thing is, I would never treat a child this way. I would never treat my puppy this way. Hell, I wouldn’t even treat the cat this way.

But for some reason it’s ok to treat Me this way. It doesn’t even cross my mind that it might not be ok until I’m reduced to tears because my head hurts so much, and I’m so exhausted, and I just don’t know what to do about it… oh wait. Maybe I should try eating. My first meal of the day. At 8:30 p.m. When I’ve been up since 6:00 a.m.

YEAH?! You think that might be a good idea?!?!?!

You’ll have to forgive the yelling. I just get so frustrated with myself, because I do this all. the. time. I always say I’m going to put myself first, and I always mean to, but it’s so easy for me to forgetSo easy for me to lose myself in someone I love. Even in a frickin’ puppy.

So I’m not cleaning right now. Messy living room be damned. I’m eating my chili, writing my blog, and taking some time for me.

How to Be Awesome Tip #12: Don’t just know your priorities – live them.

When Life Gives You Lemons… Cook Them.

My best friend (29 years old) has stage 4 colon cancer. Shhh, she doesn’t want anyone feeling sorry for her. But anyway, that’s the (month) old news. The new news is, she can never have babies. That’s right. Because of the location of her cancer, the radiation is, with little wiggle room, certain to kill off all the eggs in her ovaries. The cost of the procedure to remove them and store them for later? $15,000. Not covered by insurance. Only about a third of their annual income.

I know she’s heartbroken. I can hear it in her voice. What I can’t do is hug her or look her in the eyes while I promise that everything is going to be okay, because she’s in California, and I live in New York now.

So the more in my face concern: My puppy ripped out her stitches. You see, when she’s really excited (aka always), she does this thing where she doesn’t just wag her tail, but literally her entire hindquarters waggle with it. Adorable, but non-conducive to surgery recovery, so after stitching her back up, the vet prescribed her a low dose sedative to help calm her down. The downside? Now she’s super woozy, and needs help to eat, drink water, and pretty much everything else.

Leaves me stuck at home, absolutely happy to give my puppy the care she needs, but with not much else to do in the in between. And I certainly don’t want to spend my time mulling over how my best friend’s life is un. fucking. fair. (Sorry for the colorful language, but I feel it’s necessary to describe the extent of the unfairness in this particular situation.)

So I cooked today. Boy did I cook.

lunchAnd I played with my food. What can I say? Five years old at heart.

Ignore the boring old turkey burger, and let’s focus on these delicious, amazing, sweet little orange peppers I picked up at the farmer’s market last weekend. Oh, how I hope they have them again tomorrow! I will buy them all. All. The ones pictured above are filled with black beans, corn, avocado, salsa, and mozzarella, topped with green onions. Broiled for about 4 minutes until the cheese melted. But I also filled some with bacon, garlic, artichoke hearts, and mozzarella (didn’t have any spinach, or I would’ve tossed that in too), and they were absolutely delicious, too.

So that was lunch, and my puppy made pleading puppy yelps all the way through my cooking it, so I thought I better whip her up something too (see previous entries about her being S.P.O.I.L.E.D.).

Hello Puppy Pumpkin Cookies:

They smelled so good, I literally ate one.

So from a human perspective, I can tell tell you that these taste a little bland. But boy did my puppy gobble them up and then try every trick she knows (which is a lot!) to try to earn more.

Now, like my puppy, I am also on a gluten-free diet. And I have to tell you, I had MY  FIRST MAJOR BREAKTHROUGH TODAY. I mean, my first moment where I actually thought I could really stick with this long term.

If this doesn’t look delicious to you, it’s because you’re distracted by the
Tomorrowland plate it’s sitting on. I get it. I love Disney, too.

Meet spaghetti squash. I’d never had it before, but I heard it was a “pasta replacement.” Being a pasta connoisseur, I was highly skeptical. But… the flavor is pretty close. Kind of like a buttery angel hair. It’s the slight crunch that’s a little off putting, but I eventually got over that. You see, pasta is my weak point. But this… I could live with this. (Pictured above with chicken sausage, kale, onions, and garlic.)

I also made peanut butter chicken jerk for my puppy, and Halloween bark to mail to my boyfriend. I wasn’t joking about cooking all day. Unsurprisingly, it didn’t make my best friend’s cancer go away. It didn’t raise money to pay to have her eggs removed. And it didn’t heal my puppy. But surprisingly, it did make things better. Life continues, and that’s a good thing.

How  to Be Awesome Tip #9: Shit happens. Don’t stop living because of it.

Southwestern Chicken Salad

swsaladYes, I shamelessly staged my salad for a photograph before tossing it into a bowl with the dressing and mixing it up. I’d post a picture of what it looks like tossed, but it’s in my tummy now, sorry.

So, I woke up this morning exhausted. And I use the term woke up loosely, because I didn’t really sleep at all.

My puppy came home from being spayed and having her rear dewclaws removed yesterday afternoon. Here’s a video of her being adorable, and what I spent most of my evening doing:

It was the only thing that stopped her from crying and chewing at her poor ankles. And because of the Elizabethan collar, she couldn’t even hold the bone for herself. (Don’t mind the noise in the background, that’s just Dexter, Season 8 – no spoilers except that Deb eats.)

So, my little Madelyn puppy usually sleeps in bed with me, but my bed is really high, and she’s not supposed to be jumping, so instead I set her up in the bathroom, then blocked the door off with the couch so she could sleep next to Mommy. Just as I was falling asleep, I got a huge punch in the gut, opened my eyes and saw this:

puppy“Please don’t make me sleep alone on the floor, Mommy.”

So that’s how we slept. Or rather, how she slept. It’s difficult to sleep with a 57 lb puppy tossing and turning in discomfort on your tummy all night.

Anyway, all that is to say, man I’m tired today. And there’s a lot to do that I didn’t get done yesterday. And boy did I just feel not at all like doing any of it, especially making lunch. Couldn’t I just order take out, or even better, delivery? Oh it sounded innocent, but there was that monster of mine sneaking in again! And what it was actually saying, under the guise of “giving me a break,” was Just give up on the clean eating, gluten-free challenge. You’re not worth the effort when you’re tired.

Oh but I am worth the effort. Even when I’m tired. In fact, especially  when I’m tired, I deserve extra TLC, even if I’m the one who has to give it to myself. (After all, if I don’t think I’m worth some extra effort, why should anyone else?)

So I whipped up this delicious southwestern chicken salad – very little effort to chop things while the chicken cooked – and my own homemade dressing. I originally got the dressing recipe from greens & chocolate, but the link no longer works, so I’m going to post it here:

  SOUTHWESTERN RANCH DRESSING
  Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup light mayo
  • 2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp ranch dressing mix
  • 1 tbsp taco seasoning

  Directions: Mix ingredients. Easy peasy.

And I feel good about myself. No take out binge followed by guilt trip today.

How to Be Awesome Tip #8: Remember you’re worth the effort.

The Pampered Puppy: Homemade Beef Cakes

madelynThis is my beautiful, sweet, (kind of derpy), loving six month old puppy, Madelyn. This picture is from a few days ago, because as I type, she’s at the veterinarian, sleeping off the anesthesia from surgery. Nothing serious – just getting spayed, having her dewclaws removed, and getting the all important microchip.

Still, it’s surgery. And it’s my baby. And she’s going to be gone from home two whole days. If you’re not getting the idea yet, I’m having separation anxiety. It’s not like it’s the first time I’ve been without her… I spent practically the entire last month traveling back and forth between New York and California. But it’s the first time I’ve been home without her in the entire 3 months since we got her. Also, did I mention that it’s surgery?

I know it’s gonna be rough on her, barely being able to walk for a few days, and then going over a week with no running, playing, or swimming. And it’s going to be especially hard for it spend all day lying down, not being able to follow me everywhere and do everything with me. She (like most labs) is a very social puppy.

So as a treat, to help add some low key excitement to the otherwise boring week she has ahead of her, I decided I would cook her dinners for her while she’s recovering. Being a good puppy mommy, I already knew what kinds of foods a healthy puppy diet included (important for picking the right puppy food and treats), but I didn’t really know in what proportions. So… to Google, of course. The Whole Dog Journal has a fantastic article about how much of what to feed your dog. Time to get busy in the kitchen!

meatloafYes, it’s Mickey Mouse shaped puppy meatloaf (don’t hate, it’s the only muffin pan I have that’s not still in California – also, Mickey is awesome). I got the recipe from Dog Training Central – thought this was a great one to start with because it’s FREEZABLE. Will prevent me from having to spend extra time away from my puppy cooking on the first couple days when she can’t really walk.

Definitely going to try their tuna roll too when she’s up and walking again, except with canned salmon instead, because man does she love her salmon puppy treats.

Yes, my puppy is spoiled. Very spoiled. Very very spoiled. It’s what happens when you have an unemployed puppy mommy with too much time and money on her hands. But I’m not going to apologizing for loving her too much.

How to Be Awesome Tip #6: Never apologize for loving too much.