When your Therapy Dog needs Therapy

Sit, my boy. Talk to me, bubbeleh (little darling one)

Anyone who regularly reads this space knows about Gatsby, our stunning rescue dog we adopted. He immediately filled our hearts with furry, snuggly, puppy love. Gatsby, he is a special being. While we rescued him, he certainly recaptured our ‘dog-loving’ hearts right back. He is our little boychik (sweet boy) who has brought us all such nachas (pride and gratification, usually through one’s kinder (children)) and expanded our family in a very healthy way.

He is the most amazing dog for us all… and, pretty early on, we realized our zeiseh punim (sweet faced) man suffered from terrible bouts of anxiety and tsuris (grief, heartache). He is a neurotic ‘Vincent van Gogh – Woody Allen – Adele’ wrapped inside (in our case) women’s best friend.  His early months on the planet had left him traumatized – and with no canine fidget spinners in sight, we experienced some tough behaviors together.  Horrible separation anxiety, excessive chewing, leash reactiveness at the sight of any dog or cat, over-zealous obsession (OCD) with squirrels, birds, noises, and lights in the parking lot… you name it, and he felt it! He was farshluggineh (shaken, mixed up) and a bit, well, meshuggeneh (crazy)

Did you hear that? I heard something… Did you hear that?

We tried training, and this boy, our four legged smarty pants, could sit, give a paw, high five and lie down (My Mrs., she homeschooled him)! We added in rescue remedy, a tight fitting ThunderShirt, DAP (dog appeasing pheromones), calming canine music, exhaustive walks – and bubkes (nothing), no change in our meshuggeneh (crazy) mutt.

Our therapy dog, he needs therapy. You all already know I’m a mess, ergo, I blog for catharsis! Now my boy, we need to help him! He is proof that stress and anxiety knows no discrimination: rich, poor, man, woman, old, young, sick, healthy, feline or canine!

I was beginning to think our little man of the house needed a little chemistry to help him along. All he wants to do is please us, yet he is plagued with such shpilkes (anxiety). Oy vey!

My Mrs., she took him to the vet to talk about this new wrinkle in his care. At first, they were a bit skeptical. Then they witnessed him going batshit bonkers over a painting of a dog on the wall. Next, it became difficult to take blood – his fur was flying at the thought of being at the vet’s office. He was shrekn (terrorized with fear) and the doc, she saw what we knew. She put a muzzle on my poor boychik’s face and carried on with the exam. We left with some Trazadone to calm him and a prescription for Prozac.

The Trazadone worked wonders. He would calm, without being at all lethargic. We needed this while the Prozac built up in his system. About a month in, he is doing much better. He still prefers we stay together (as do we) and never leave him behind. He still barks outside, but he is not inconsolable. We can deflect behaviors. Riding in the car is greatly improved.

Our glass is half full. Thank you momma’s – I feel so much better.

I share this with you all because, much like 2-legged people, sometimes our 4-legged friends need a little help. I did some research and found that about 30% of dogs exhibit some form of canine anxiety. Like any of my other kinder, we will do whatever it takes to take care of him. Our CVS fills the prescription with a pseudo-affordable generic. When his Rx is ready, they call out, “Gatsby!” Medication is not always the answer, but in our case, we are grateful for such a solution.

Not everyone the dogs bark at is a thief. Nit yederer oif vemen hunt bilen iz a ganev.

also:

Who finds a faithful friend, finds a treasure. Vas finds a gatray fraynd, finds a autsr.

We have found a treasure indeed!

      

      

  

 

Putting it on some greens

Cake, ice cream, pizza, and mac-and-cheese has been the menu of late. It’s been a birthday party bonanza around here, with my little party divas. I am one lucky momma getting to attend as well as escort my maidelehs (little, sweet girls). Such fun!

This one, she always marches to the beat of her, well, her own putter…
Earlier that same day, Big, she lost two teeth. Didn’t shake her game up at all
This foursome was tough to beat
The beauty of the 19th hole…

I think we played about 43 holes, sans any attempt at golfer know-how and etiquette. If it weren’t for cuteness, it could have been a real problem.

If you’re going to do something wrong, enjoy it. Az me est chazzer, zol rinnen fun bord.

Enjoy all! L’chaim. (To life!)

      

    

Aside

101 things I can’t believe I have already said this summer

The summer sizzle, she has started! When I saw the temps hit 101, oy vey iz mir (oh em gee), I had to document it for you all to see. Me, I like the heat. You will not get a complaint from me from heat and humidity… cold, that’s another story altogether. And in the heat, we get a bissel meshugeneh ( a little bit crazy). It’s hard to believe the things that have come from my mouth, in these short, early days of summer.

  1. Absolutely no licking your sister or Gatsby — in fact, you really should not ‘lick’ anyone at all
  2. How many times do I need to tell you both that your feet should not be on the walls?
  3. There footprints on the walls in every damned room in this crap apartment
  4. Talk with your big girl voice
  5. No dribbling in the house, we have neighbors to consider
  6. Please, just roll the ball
  7. Do you want me to bring the ball downstairs and give it away?
  8. I do not think you should have a jar of Kalamata olives for breakfast
  9. Step away from the Kalamata olives
  10. What is the one rule we have in this family? That’s right, be kind.
  11. Really, you are slowly killing me Was (insert kicking, throwing, not sharing, yelling, ignoring, having a tantrum) that behavior kind?
  12. Can you try using your utensils during meals?
  13. Today, I am not going to mention anything about using utensils
  14. Can we try to have just one meal, where everyone stays at the table, in their seats, the whole meal, utensils or not
  15. Do you even hear my effing voice when I speak?
  16. Just fuc*ing answer me I know you heard me speak, so can you just fuc*ing answer me kindly respond?
  17. Do you know what it feels like to be ignored?
  18. R-E-S-P-O-N-D-!
  19. You do not need to cry, just answer so I don’t go batshit crazy and start throwing things
  20. My girls, if being tired were a valid excuse for making bad choices, mommy and Ema would be miserable asshats grumpy and unkind all of the time
  21. Why are you frustrated, honey? kill me, or stick a hot poker in my eye
  22. Who used magic markers on this white table What is the definition of mental illness?
  23. Honey, please put something underneath your paper when you draw or color
  24. Why is the table purple and blue?
  25. Please think your answer through before you speak — lying is not kind
  26. Well, then who colored on the table?
  27. Who remembers what mommy and Ema say about licking? (please note: she just licked the soy sauce bottle on the table at the Chinese restaurant I am completely useless
  28. Quiet, happy place Quiet, happy place (repeat over and over in hopes of finding a quiet, happy place)
  29. Little, please leave Gatsby’s teeth alone — he is trying to sleep
  30. If he’s growling at you do you want him to go all Cujo on you, what is he trying to tell you, honey?
  31. I don’t think Gatsby want’s to wear your bike helmet right now sweetheart – maybe just the pearls
  32. Has anyone brushed their teeth today because these toothbrushes are bone dry, and your breath reeks of hummus?
  33. Yes, you have to brush the wiggly-giggly teeth or the tooth fairy will not visit for a couple of nasty, food covered, smelly, grungy teeth, blech!
  34. Can you both try to stay in the bathroom while you brush your teeth
  35. Girls, should we be walking around the apartment while brushing our teeth?
  36. Please turn off the water while you brush your teeth
  37. What does mommy say every time about conserving water for the planet, girls
  38. Look how Jesus H. Christ hard you are running the water
  39. Do you want your children to have water (yes, I did go there) to brush their teeth?
  40. Big, brush longer — sing an entire Adele song in your head
  41. Little, enough brushing already!
  42. You really only need to spit once or twice when rinsing
  43. I counted 17 rinse/spits — toothbrush down — step away from the sink
  44. Why is there a crap load of toothpaste on the floor each and every damned day of my life
  45. Let’s put on some sunscreen girls
  46. It’s time for more sunscreen girls – because we want to protect you
  47. Why are you standing in the refrigerator?
  48. Please, girls, do not drink your water with the refrigerator door open
  49. Your glass of water will not get hot if you keep it by your side during dinner
  50. What does mommy say shut the damned fridge door already about conserving energy for the planet earth?
  51. Do not drink your water like Gatsby would, honey, you have opposable thumbs for a reason
  52. (Epic spill) Oy, it’s only water — grab a towel
  53. Be nice to each other, you are shvesters (sisters)
  54. Do you know how lucky you are to be shvesters?
  55. After cleaning every damned pot, pan and dish in the kitchen How on earth can you be huuuuuunnngry?
  56. Why do you say that like you’re about to cry? Say it normally, in your big girl voice
  57. Drink a glass of water and let’s check back in together, in 20 minutes or so
  58. Quiet, happy place Quiet, happy place (repeat over and over in hopes of finding a quiet, happy place)
  59. What did I say about drinking your water with the refrigerator door open?
  60. Nope, it hasn’t been 20 minutes yet
  61. When I say no licking, that includes the refrigerator door handle someone, save me
  62. Okay, but think about what you want BEFORE you open the door of the refrigerator
  63. Fine, have some olives — yup, as many as you like
  64. No, you cannot eat them on the sofa
  65. Because we eat food at the table
  66. Because I SAID SO (yep, I said that too)
  67. Gesundheit! sneezed into my f*cking mouth — ugh! Sneeze into your elbow, please sweetie
  68. Uh-oh, cough germ warfare game on into your elbow too, honey
  69. Please don’t pick your nose
  70. Even when you turn away, mommy can tell that you are picking your nose
  71. Because I can
  72. Now, go wash your hands so we all don’t get sick
  73. STOP! Should you be jumping on the sofa especially when we have a f*cking trampoline in the living room?
  74. Does this look like the playground (well, minus the trampoline – apartment life)?
  75. Get on the trampoline girls and jump some of that energy out
  76. Okay, then read, color, call Nona,  split the atom, cure cancer, write letters to Sen. Toomey or put on a show for us
  77. Yes, we will put our phones down when we watch your show — now go and practice in your room
  78. We were just talking while you both were rehearsing – remember how we talked about how sometimes, mommy and Ema, we need time to talk to each other?
  79. Grown up stuff
  80. Why are you standing on the sofa?
  81. Okay, let’s just think before we jump on someone without them expecting it
  82. Oh for f*cks sake Ema, are you okay?
  83. PLEASE! breathe Kindness includes not jumping or ramming into each other or us
  84. Maybe I am the one who is batshit bonkers and no noise at all comes out of my mouth Does anyone in this house HEAR ME when I SPEAK?
  85. Quiet, happy place Quiet, happy place (repeat over and over in hopes of finding a quiet, happy place)
  86. Yes it is the weekend
  87. No sweethearts, mommy stays home today! It’s a family day!
  88. Maybe we can get ice cream today
  89. Not really, most of the time ‘maybe’ means ‘yes’ because mommy and Ema crave ice cream nightly, it is our equivalent of a nice bottle of red
  90. Let’s walk Gatsby, you can bring your scooters
  91. Of course, you have to wear your helmets
  92. Yes, you need more sunscreen – that was hours ago
  93. Because it is mommy and Ema’s job to take good care of you
  94. Everybody, please pee before we go
  95. It will be a nice walk, I don’t know how long
  96. Are you really going to scooter in those gladiator boots I’m meshuggeneh (crazy)?
  97. Come here girls, give me a big hug
  98. Ewwww! Did you just LICK my underarm?
  99. Ema, text me when we can should come back!
  100. Take all the time you need, honey
  101. I love you all to the moon and back, to infinity!

She (and by she, I mean me) should go crazy and run around through the streets. Zi shoudl geyn mshuge aun loyfn arum dirk di gasn.

      

      

    

 

Summer: Leaps of faith

The greatest mistake is fearing to make one. Di greste grayz iz mura tsu makhn eyn.

This one, he’s fearless!

This is what summer is all about.

      

    

My faith in humanity is restored!

I came home from work, and the pain in my neck was excruciating. On a scale of 1 – 10, it was a 46 (that should only be my age). Ugh! My shana maidelehs (sweet little girls) were so excited to see me; Gatsby, my furry boychik, was jumping and barking at my feet.  My Mrs., she could see the pain in my eyes and she gently kissed me on the check. Heroes welcome for certain.

Apparently, a note was left at the front door entrance to our apartment building to my attention. Big, she was very excited to tell me all about it. Someone found something of mine in the parking lot… call a phone number and they will give it to me. I had no idea what that could be and I had no intention of finding out immediately due to my ‘pain in the neck‘ neck pain. My family, they went out to a birthday party for Little’s friend — I wanted to go, but without full body cooperation, I listened to the siren song of the sofa calling my name. Gatsby and I snuggled in tightly, arranging my head just so, and I asked ‘Alexa’ to play Rachel Maddow as I closed my eyes.

A little bit later, I heard a ping on my phone, so I took a look-see. I noticed a few notes in my Facebook messenger. Delving a little deeper, there was yet another note for me from a person I did not know. It was brilliant! Take a look at this:

Someone found my wallet, and wanted to return it to me! All of the sudden, I remembered Big’s excitement and put 2+2 together… I lost my wallet.

Wait, I lost my wallet? I never lose my wallet? Nu? When did this happen? Where? How? Obviously in the parking lot…  

My penchant for the penny-wise is so strong, I only reach cash/card if I really have to make a purchase. I met a friend for coffee today, but that’s a luxury, so no wallet. I didn’t even know I lost it!  This could have easily been disastrous! 

I dialed up my very kind neighbor right away. She was so sweet and caring. She said she was eagerly waiting to hear from me and she hoped I wasn’t going crazy looking for this missing wallet… Wait, I lost my wallet? I never lose my wallet? She was at work, but her hubby was home and would be happy to deliver my missing property. I insisted that I go to him – It was the least I could do! Gatsby and I ventured across the parking lot. As we made our way, it dawned on me that the previous day, me and this boychik, we walked to the local coop for some dog food and treats. My wallet must have fallen out of my pocket on the way home… I lost my wallet?

I pressed D9 and the most delightful man answered, in a British accent too! He buzzed me in the doorway and came straight away, with my red wallet in hand. As he handed it to me, he reached out his hand and said, “My name is Jim.” I happily took his hand in mine and smiled, gushing gratitude! He bent down and played with Gatsby. These two people who found my wallet, Kristy, and Jim, they are mensches (good people filled with honesty and integrity). And, they like my Gatsby. Dog people are good people! ❤

I love a kind human!

Today, in a world filled with chaos, hate, divisiveness, terror… I experienced the ultimate in human kindness. I saw proof that people, all people, can choose kindness.

A little bit of light pushes away a lot of darkness. A kleyn bissel fun likht pushiz a vek a plats fun finsternish. 

Kristy and Jim, thank you for my light.

I lost my wallet… My Mrs., Liz, Biz, Nona — it’s official. I’m a true part of this family! Expect a lost/stolen iPhone next, and, wait, where did my keys go? Oy vey. (OMG.)

Shalom, Ahava, and Simcha. Peace, Love, and Joy. May you all find some kindness today and every day!

      

     

      

He’s Gone… I got him!

After the run, my Gatsby is tired. Thank you, Benny!

He’s meditating on whether a flea has a bellybutton. Er klert tsi a floy hot a pupik.

      

 

 

Won by One each time

June. Summer. Kids running free and the smell of chlorine. PRIDE month is happening all over the globe. Nu? Many of you must be just a bissel ( a little bit) interested in the gay agenda? Come, sit. Let me tell you a story about a yearning to fight inequality in the form of a rainbow.

Way back in June of 1970 (that is effing 47 years ago people), the very first Pride Parade took place in New York City (my Little, she calls it, ‘You Nork’) to honor the Stonewall Riots of 1969. This event clearly marked the beginning of the long, hard struggle known as the  LGBTQ civil rights movement in the US. One single pride parade has bravely morphed and grown into festivals, parties, galas (this group, we know a little something about throwing parties!) and month-long celebrations all over the US and around the world. Why you ask? There is something so very freeing in leaving the cloak of invisibility behind. To celebrate lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgendered, and queer culture, family, and, well PRIDE! You see my friends, this is one group that knows how important it is to rejoice in everyone’s unique and special differences. Insert glitter here!

In 1997, a short couple of decades ago, Ellen DeGeneres made television history by having her character, come out as a lesbian on TV. In pure Ellen-comedic-fashion, she accidentally announced over the loudspeaker at the airport to her love interest, played by (straight) Laura Dern, “I’m gay.” Nobody had ever done this before on TV. Hate mail, death threats and at least one bomb threat would happen before the show titled, “The Puppy Episode,” aired. This title had a hidden meaning — everyone knows a puppy gets bigger. And everyone on this show knew this was an issue that would also grow. “The Puppy Episode” ranked #35 in the top watched television episodes of all time and won an Emmy. What followed was quite the ruckus in tv land. Major advertisers bowed out, and the show was canceled shortly thereafter. Her career was in turmoil for several long years. But our Ellen, she persevered. Her brave and historic outing, of both her character and herself, eventually made it a lot more ‘okay’ for the sweet, funny girl next store to also be gay. Ellen, you are my hero!

Meanwhile, mitten drinnen (in the middle) of all of this gay history and lots of tsuris (trouble)  and violence, a long time ago (in 1963), two nice Yiddisheh young women met (Edie Windsor and Thea Spyer) and fell in love. After a long and beautiful 40+ year engagement, loving each other in sickness (Thea bravely battled MS) and in health, Edie and Thea went to Canada to tie the knot in 2007. It was legal there. In 2008, living in New York (You Nork) and in their 70’s, they fought to be legally recognized as a married couple and won. They spent their last two years together as a happily married couple. Sadly, in 2009, Thea died, leaving her entire estate to Edie, as spouses often do…  Edie rightfully claimed the federal estate tax exemption for surviving spouses, and the IRS said, NOPE. You see, under Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the word ‘spouse’ is defined as a union between a man and a woman. Opposite-sex partners only need apply. Same-sex married couples were excluded from the 1500+ laws and benefits that straight married couples get automatically. Edie had no choice but to fork over more than $360,000.00 in estate taxes. By 2010, Edie, no stranger to fighting injustice, sued the federal government under DOMA for a full refund. Her case rose to the highest court in the land, and in 2013, the 9 Supremes heard The United States v. Windsor. On June 26, 2013, in a landmark 5-4 decision, the court ruled in favor of Edie, saying that DOMA was unconstitutional. Edie, petite, near deaf and a feisty 70-something, brought respect, dignity, and protection under the law to the LGBTQ community. Edie, you too are my hero!

Picking up right where Edie left off, another major case made its way to the nine robed judges. Enter Obergefell v. Hodges, representing 4 same-sex couples. Not asking for a special new law or even special protection under the law, they challenged the 14th Amendment and simply asked to have the equal right to enter knowingly in the fundamental right to marry, just like any other straight couple in love. On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court passed Marriage Equality for all in the US. In a 5-4 victory, equality won.  Same-sex marriage was now legal in all of these United States. We danced and sang and kissed and declared a jubilant victory over this newfound constitutional right. President Obama said, live from the Rose Garden, “Today, we can say, in no uncertain terms, that our union is a little more perfect.” He went on to say that this, “affirms what millions of Americans already believe in their hearts: When all Americans are treated as equal, we are all more free.” HEROES, all of them!

In 2016, Ellen DeGeneres made the news again, earning the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Yes, my man POTUS 44, Barack Obama, recognized how Ellen has made extraordinary contributions to the betterment of our culture. He said, about Ellen,  “A single individual can make the world a more fun, more open, more loving place.”

One year ago, the very worst (by the numbers of those killed) of all too, too many mass shootings in the US, occurred in Orlando, Florida, at the Pulse Nightclub, a known gay bar. A cowardly, disturbed man walked in and shot dead 49 people in a place they felt safe and happy — and yes, it was during PRIDE month. This was deemed a hate crime because it happened in Florida. But, know that in many states across the US, this would not be the case. Many states have no laws to protect the LGBTQ community. In Pennsylvania, where I live with my Mrs., and our kinder (children), one can still legally be fired for being LGBTQ. No joke…

Okay, glitter works here too! ❤

So PRIDE month is significant. It is important for much more than the extreme news footage of drag queens, roller-skating trannies, nearly naked men, and bare-chested lesbians. It is important that we, all of the LGBTQ community and our straight friends, family, and allies continue to fight the inequality that remains today. We pay homage to all those that fought the very hard battles before us and paved the way for the new freedoms and ease we now experience. And we continue to speak to the discrimination and hate that is very much a part of today’s world.

Please notice, every victory was a squeaker, 5-4 decisions. mr t, he ran his campaign saying he would be good to the LGBTQ community. Some believed him — not this lefty-liberal-lesbian. He appointed Pence as his Veep, a known supporter of gay conversion therapy — the old, ‘pray the gay away.’ He appointed ultra-conservative Gorsuch to the bench to replace the vacancy left by Scalia. Gorsuch has some deeply disturbing rulings against the trans community and will very likely be a strong adversary of LGBTQ rights, as was Scalia. The tweeter in chief himself has made 5 proclamations so far for the month of June. Breaking presidential tradition, not one includes June as Pride month. Not one word, not one tweet, not one mention of my community. mr t is one small-minded man.

In all of these cases, we have won by one. We all need to come together for the sake of LOVE because it is really that plain and simple.