The lion and the lamb . . .

January 21, 2008

The picture painted in Revelation and other books of prophecy are pretty lavish in their descriptions of how fabulous things are.

You know, the child will put his hand on the nest of the adder,

the lion will lay down with the lamb . . .

All that stuff.

Apparently, Bunkis and BBC have been hitting the Scripture bong again, and are enacting their version of the lion and the lamb.

kittyanddog

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Side effects may include. . .

September 18, 2007

As I’ve mentioned, my dog has a brain tumor. Her neurologist (yes, her neurologist) mentioned that she would likely continue to have trouble with her “bad” side, and that her mobility would likely decline. Overall, she’s been doing pretty well. The medicine seems to be working out OK.

duhhhh.jpg

However, the neurologist did not mention that occasionally my dog would get the most ridiculous “duhhhhhhh” face in the history of doghood. And that sometimes her tongue would not go back in her mouth.


The evening walk

September 15, 2007

It’s great to have a dog that a six year old can walk.

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The tank of death. . .

September 15, 2007

For Christmas last year, I gave my step-kids a tropical fish tank. They went to the pet store with me and chose three fish each, and named them fabulously ridiculous names: Kitty (yup), Snowy (this one made sense, she’s all white), Cube, Bartleby, Pickle and one more I can’t remember.

My husband had kept fish before and he knew about pH, letting the tank “settle,” correct temperature and all that stuff. For a short while, everything was fine. C was terrifically dutiful about remembering to feed the fish morning and evening. Many hours were spent discussing the various fish personalities, which fish was the fastest, whose fish was better, etc. After bedtime stories, the light from the fish tank was a nice nightlite. Everyone liked the fish.

One day, after we had the fish for a few weeks, I got a phone call. “Honey?”

There is a tone of voice that my husband has (maybe all husbands?) that says, “something is wrong, I don’t really want to tell you, and the bad thing is either your fault or my fault.”

“Honey, the kids are crying, they are really upset,” he says. “One of the fish died. They found it this morning.”

My heart sank. I felt awful. The fish were supposed to be a happy thing, a good thing. I knew eventually they would die, but not after a few weeks. I felt like a step-parent failure. Here I was, bringing grief and DEATH into their lives. Nice work, sister.

Dad talked to the kids about pet death, we prayed for the living fish and for the soul of the departed fish, and brought the carcass to the pet store. They couldn’t see anything wrong with it. They tested our water, which they said was fine. Mysterious death. Even better.

Within the next few weeks, two more fish died. At this point, I started calling the fish tank the “Tank of Death.” When the second one died, B was crushed, and C was a little upset, but there were no tears. By the time the third one died, the kids were getting a little disgusted and were like, “Oh, well. Fish died.”

Awesome, I thought. Not only have I brought DEATH to their little psyches, I have also brought the capacity to be blase about DEATH. Super. Way to go, step-mom.

Everything stabilized for a while, and D decided to get one more fish and see how things went. That fish seemed to do well. It was untouched by the powers of the Tank of Death. Then one day I got to the house and the kids were nearly coming out of their skins they were so excited.

“Snowy had BABIES!” They screamed. Sure enough. The Tank of Death was full of teeny, tiny white fish careening around the tank. Lots and lots of teeny white fish. It freaked me out at first. I thought fish had to lay eggs or something, and the thought of fish eggs in the tank kind of grossed me out, I don’t know why. But it turns out these kind of fish are “live birth” fish.

Soon after that, Snowy had more babies. And then even more. It got a little freaky. I re-christened the Tank of Death the “Tank of Life and Death.” Then Cube, who everyone had decided was the father, up and died. That made four of the original six dead. Cube was C’s favorite, and actually, my favorite too. He was the most manic of the fish and so he was always fun to watch dart around. We were bummed about that.

Now the babies are much bigger and hang out happily with Snowy, Kitty and Pickle the Second. We have trouble counting how many of them there are because they move around so fast, but we think it’s about 25.

img_2787.jpgIt isn’t often that God provides such an obvious metaphor for not giving up on things in the face of grief and loss. Nor is it all that often that in the universe of parenting things sort of “right” themselves. So I am very grateful that the Tank of Death is now the Tank of Life and Death.


My old, sweet, smelly dog

September 14, 2007

Tasha is my dog. I have had her for six years. I love her.

She is very old, very sweet, and pretty smelly. Especially her mouth.

I don’t know how hold she is, because when I got her, the vet said she was somewhere between the ages of three and six. I think she is probably somewhere between eleven and thirteen now, which I know for a dog is a huge range.

When I took her last year for X-rays, she had bone spurs and/or arthritis in practically every bone and joint in her body. And I am not being hyperbolic. It was painful just looking at the X-rays. Actually, now that I think about it, they weren’t X-rays, they were something fancier. And more EXPENSIVE. Some kind of semi-3-D imaging. As he was explaining the images, the vet said, in this very serious voice, “You have a geriatric dog.”

Geriatric.

People, let me tell you, when I first had Tasha, I took her everywhere – Bible study, to the grocery store, to friends’ homes, on long walks, everywhere. She was always well-behaved, mellow and cute. She also preferred to stay home, thank you very much. People who don’t like dogs at all like this dog. They usually say something like, “well. . . she’s not really a very dog-like dog.” It’s true, she’s not. She has the energy level of a potted plant. She has never jumped on anyone, played catch (or played anything for that matter), ran around or even fussed for her dinner. She never so much as farted in an annoying way. So. Imagine that dog being geriatric.

She is currently in this position:

Tasha, supine

And, this is, more or less, how she is 98% of the time. In the mornings she can be breifly “frisky” if you dangle the leash in front of her and make a loud noise with a plastic bag. I use the term “frisky” very loosely. She loves to go for her walk, although with her various ailments (did I mention, she also has a brain tumor?), the most she can comfortably manage is about a half a block.

Even before I knew she was geriatric, and long before we found out about the brain tumor, I had a very clear sense that I wanted another dog. This was almost two years ago.

This is where Tasha’s secret hidden energy comes in. I think somehow she knew that I wanted another dog. She objected. And she used all that energy that she has been saving up by not acting like a real dog for years to put a serious PAW HEX on my ever getting another dog.

I will tell you more about the PAW HEX another time, I promise. Right now, I have an overwhelming urge to get some goat cheese and feed it to Tasha. I must go!