This Picture Says It All – Dogs!

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I took this picture yesterday afternoon.

A few things come to mind.

First, the dogs look like they are about to get into a lot of trouble.  Fred will pounce at a moment’s notice.  Second, Kona is a cool dog.  With Fuego’s (Kitty) death, my love for Kona grew.  I finally saw her for who she truly is.  Finally, I get to see why Bostons get along with Boxers so well.  Despite of their small size (about a third of a Boxer when fully grown), they put up with the Boxers style of playing.  Bostons can take Boxers on.  It is so cute to see.  Fred growls and sounds like Kona when he plays.  It took a while for Fred to understand that Kona was trying not to kill him when she growled so loudly.

But, perhaps, the biggest thing from this picture is what the dogs have taught me – coping with your disabilities to make the best of your situation.  Kona has a bad back.  It is riddled with arthritis.  Getting up is a challenge.  To a little puppy like Fred, Kona is just another dog.  Kona could not keep up with the playing.  So she lays down and they play together.  Just two dogs (minus the running around).  There is no pain for Kona.  Fred doesn’t judge like humans do.  The dogs make the most of their play time.  It is so nice to see Kona enjoy Fred.

If only we could learn to be more like dogs.

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And His Name is Fred XVI

A few days after the passing of Kitty, FullEclipse and I began to talk about getting a new puppy to help Paczki deal with the loss.  Her way of coping was to ask for a small dog that could live longer than a boxer.  She had ideas on what to do to track the dog’s life, etc.  It was cute yet heartbreaking in a way.  I am happy that Paczki was able to deal with the loss in a logical manner. 

As much as I hated the idea of getting a new puppy, especially since I had not grieved Kitty, I knew it was the right thing to do for the K Family.  FullEclipse and I had talked before about which kind of dog we would after our Boxers died.  We settled for a Boston Terrier.  One of my best friends has a Boxer (one passed away) and two Bostons.  The personalities mesh really well.  Bostons are a smaller version of Boxers.  With Kona being an older dog, she needs a smaller dog to be able to keep up with the playing, etc.  We also wanted a boy because two Boxer girls are bound to fight.  Kona will only hurt herself since she is the dominant dog.

After many phone calls and ads, we found the perfect breeder.  She asked the right questions and had no problem answering ours.  You would be surprised to see how many backyard breeders pose as reputable/caring.  The breeder and I emailed each other often.  She sent us pictures.  There was a guy who stood out right away.  He was the bigger puppy of the picture.  A cute brindle boy.  I always want a solid color dog, but life sends me brindled dogs!  We made plans to visit the breeder.  My issue was the travel.  At 50 miles away from home, the idea of making a few trips out there seemed so daunting.  On a Saturday morning, we got the kids.  Paczki whined because she wanted to stay home.  Once she realized where we were going, things got much better.

So, we met our guy.  I had a name picked out but it didn’t seem right.  The breeder had an Ethel, Lucy (loved her!), and Fred.  I looked at the puppy.  He looked like a Fred to me.  The name stuck.  It is a great name.  When we registered him for the AKC, he was given the name Fred  XVI – fancy! 

Here is a picture of the day we brought Sir Fred Stink Eye K XVI home:

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He was smaller than Kona’s tongue.

Fred is getting used to being around us.  One of his ears is goofy.  We decided not to tape it as it was suggested.  That only makes him more unique.  The tie adds to his personality.

I miss Kitty like crazy, but I know he is finally at rest.

Fred has helped a lot.

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First Grade for My First Born

Today Paczki started first grade.

As much as this summer sucked for all of us in terms of spending too much time together in close quarters, it was sad to see my first kid go back to school.  Long gone is the shy little girl who was hesitant about going to school.  FullEclipse, K2, and I dropped her off and waiting until Packzi walked to her classroom.  We will pick her up as well.  This is a tradition I hope to keep for many years. 

It is very surprising to see how much time has passed.  If there is a regret to have, is the fact that I did not hold Paczki as much as I should have when she was a baby.  But I am making it up with lots of kisses and silly games. 

Can we slow time down?  Paczki keeps growing and growing.  Pretty soon, My Little Pony will give way to something else.  My baby needs to enjoy her childhood.  Who needs homework at 6 1/2?  Right?

Today Paczki gets her favorite meal as a way to start the new school year.  One of many many many meals to come with our kids.

Despite of the fact that FullEclipse lost his job, I cannot be bitter.  Money comes and goes, but our family stays the same.  I am truly blessed even if at times I lose hope. 

Enjoy your day love of my life.  You will kick major ass in First Grade!

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A Setback In Life

FullEclipse lost his job last Thursday.  Because of what might happen next with his union, I can’t really go into specifics.  Even if I could, I wouldn’t do it.  Let’s just say it was an underhanded move.

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday were hectic.  My mind  went into worst case scenario thinking.  Part of it is true.  We are losing our health insurance along with a nice pay.  My worry is and will always be my mental health.  So much work has gone into making me somewhat normal.  Today I went into Dr. Absolution’s office with the idea of weaning off my medications.  Thankfully, I can go see him once a month as a cash patient.  Crisis averted.

The question is, where to go from here?  Obviously, FullEclipse is looking for a new job.  He is not sitting down waiting for things to happen even if the lay off made him really upset.  He wants to move on.

This setback will drain our savings account.  Let’s hope we have enough to get us through the rough patch.  We are lucky because we don’t pay rent.

I don’t know what the next month will be like, especially with K2 and my birthday coming up.  The trip in December is now on hold even though the tickets are paid.  So much is up in the air.  I hate not being in control.

One thing is for sure, we are “Ks” and we will get through it.

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Meet the New P-sychiatrist

After the first meeting with my new p-psychiatrist along with some help from Dr. Socks (the marriage therapist), my new doctor has a nickname – Dr. Absolution.

And you know what?  The name fits him.  He has the calm demeanor of a priest.  His patience seems to have no bounds.  Where Dr. Inception tore me a new one (psychologically speaking and in a great way), Dr. Absolution will come in to help me guide through the new set of challenges that come my way – from traveling more to another change of career path (thanks Dr. Inception!). 

I feel like good things will continue to happen with Dr. Absolution. 

Everything will fall into place so I can let go of how fucked up my ex and the aftermath of the divorce and years after that….

I can be content with being me.

Plus many other issues that drag me down.

But if I lose him to kids, my head will explode!

Damn kids!

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Of Mice and Kitty

The subject line would be so perfect for a good Fuego story.  Too bad this post is a sad one. 

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On Saturday, after running errands for a soon to be member of the family, we picked Fuego’s ashes from the veterinarian.  The ashes were ready to pick up last Wednesday.  I wanted to go alone to do this for my Fuego.  Because of the time I got home, I did not find a chance in my schedule.  Sad! 

But I could no longer wait any longer.  Kitty needed to come home to me.  Since my grieving process has been out of its norm, I did not know what to expect.  Part of me knew I would cry.  I just did not know how things would play out.  As we drove closer to the office, I could feel the sadness.  I walked into the office alone.  They handed me a nice baggie.

I sat in the car.  When I opened the bag, I saw his ashes and a paw print.  On the way home, I lost it.  Everything that I held inside came out in sobs.  The kids and FullEclipse sat quietly.  It was a very somber drive. 

Today, as I drove to work, I felt the same sadness take over.

The truth is, I miss kitty.  He is ashes and nothing more.  I want to believe all dogs go to heaven.

I really do.

I miss him so much. 

Oh kitty. 

 

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I Quit My Class

After a lot of bitching about my class in my last post, I could not take it anymore.  I dropped the class.  The good news is that my graduation date will not change.  The difference is that my time off will not be from the end of September until Thanksgiving like I originally planned.

So, why did I quit?  The first three days of class were rough. With the kids in the office with me, I had little time to read the material.  My tempter with my little imps was short.  They do not deserve this kind of stress.  Also, the first essay proved to be more difficult than I thought.  Even though I had an idea on where I wanted it to go, I just could not find the words.

To be honest, I feel no relief after quitting the class.  Sure, it is nice to have until the end of August off.  However, part of me hates feeling like a quitter.  At least I know how to prepare myself for the next time this class comes around.  I might postpone it until the end.  I have to figure it out because of the way Financial Aide works.  I borrowed too much this time around because I thought I would need more money to cover the extra 3 units.

Oh well…it is what it is….

Now if I could only get rid of the last two level 300 classes, I would feel better.

Wish me luck with the rest of my summer.  Perhaps it is not too late to learn a programming language.

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No Capstone Class Bleh!

My big complaint with my school is the lack of a Capstone Class in my major.  Some people might think of this as a blessing, but I do not.  Because Cyber Security (or any other IT major) is a new concept to me, having a large project would be beneficial in so many ways.   The majority of my classmates have experience in the field.  All they need is the degree to advance in their careers.  I, however, do not have this advantage.  A Capstone Project is something I need.  Even if I were to fail the class miserably, I would still get the benefit of learning throughout the process.  But I am not that lucky!

However, my wonderful school has this signature series they deem necessary for any undergraduate to take.  Everyone has to go through this class in order to graduate.  Here is the description of the this nine unit/credit behemoth:

The Signature Series is the intellectual linchpin of the undergraduate degree programs. The series focuses on various institutions and traditions of Western Civilization that have achieved unprecedented success in the United States. It finds ground for intellectual, social, and cultural progress through the productive tensions that can arise between tradition, change, freedom, and responsibility.

Normally I would love the chance to learn about American History and Politics.  This is not one of those times!  Looking at the syllabus is overwhelming.  Every week we have about 100 pages to read plus videos.  We need to complete the responses to our peers – at least five.  Oh and we have to submit an essay each week.  Three of those essays are at least 2,000 words.  Let’s not forget a volunteer position of at least three hours a week.  The work load is something anyone would expect coming from a class of nine units.  I should get used to the idea of this much work because graduate school is in the future.  My issue is the fact that I did not choose this class as part of my degree.  It is forced upon us.  I find it to be a waste of money and time.  Additionally, my school is in a conservative Midwest Area.  Coming from a liberal background, this can only mean disaster.  My views are radical.  I often clash with Conservatives.  Based on the reviews, any dissent from conservative lowers your grades in some cases.  I asked for a fail/pass option, but it is now allowed since this class IS A MUST to graduate.  Faking a political stance, while it is good for a grade, makes me ill.

So, my descend into my bleh stage of school begins today.  I am dreading this class.  Part of me wishes I had taken the summer off.  The masochist in me thinks a month off between classes is fine even after the struggles of last semester.

On the bright side, once the class is done at the end of September, I have until the week before Thanksgiving off!  The early fall semester will give me a nice break where I could hopefully get back to normal.  Maybe I would be able to finally learn a programming language – something I should have done in the month I had off!

Wish me luck!

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For Fuego 3/7/2006 to 6/25/2014

I am sitting in front of my computer trying to figure out what to say about the death of my dog Fuego (A.K.A. Kitty).  The words escape me.   There is so much to say and very little comfort in writing about kitty.  He is gone.  There is no more KittyKatt (Kona and Fuego).  The K family no longer owns two crazy boxers.  Part of my identitiy is gone.

Nothing I can say will bring Fuego back.  It sucks so much to know your best friend is gone.  Yes, my dogs are more than animals.  They are family members.  In fact, I prefer my dogs over some of the people in my life : cough cough family members cough cough :

Dogs are pure souls.  Their default position is to love you unconditionally whether you are happy or down.  If that does not work, they offer you more love.  Fuego was the perfect example.  He got me.  We both had anxiety.  I understood how he felt.  We had our games like the evil sock, the paw, or the repent game.  Rough housing with my big dog was fun.  Just to think that I was scared of his size when FullEclipse and I picked him up from the breeder.

So if you were to ask me how I felt about Fuego’s death, I can honestly say that I am confused on how I feel and how I am coping with his death.  Putting kitty down was a logical and financial decision that needed to be made for his well being.  Thinking in terms of numbers makes me sick.  Fuego deserved so much better.  However, spending at least $1,400.00 for a surgery to remove his spleen gave us no warranties about his health.  At best, he could live for six to nine months.  But at what emotional cost?  It was not fair for my energetic boy to live with a cancer that was spreading.  I could have thrown all my savings at the problem only to get the same results.  Fuego deserved better.

I am also angry at the veterinarian for wanting us to spend money on keeping Fuego overnight for observation.  The doctor only wanted to treat the symptoms.  If it had not been for FullEclipse pushing for a solution, we would have spent $500.00 a day to give Fuego fluids – nothing more.  To think that we could have decided to spend the money just to make Fuego suffer.  It was until the doctor saw the tumor that he realized why we wanted to see what was making kitty so sick.  He wanted us to bring Fuego home.  We could not.  Knowing he was dying was bad enough.  Seeing him waste away was not an option.  FullEclipse was there to say goodbye to kitty.  I kissed him before he left for the veterinarian.  Little did I know that would be my last kiss.

Confusion also plays part in this equation.  Fuego was fine.  In fact, we had a photo session with one of my best friends.  The dogs were happy.  After my friend left, Fuego went downhill.  My friend thinks that Fuego held long enough for her.  I believe it too.  It was surreal to see her cry.  She told me she had a feeling this would be the last time she would see Fuego.  We now share the pain of losing two boxers.  Not a fun club to join.

I feel sick.  My body has reacted in odd ways – from anger displacement to dry heaves.  I have not felt great at all.  The dry heaves began the night he died.  Almost a week later and they have not stopped.  Something inside is eating me.

I also feel emotionally constipated (TM) because I have not been able to cry.  The day Fuego was put down, I asked my parents to take the kids.  For the first time in history, the kids did not want to hang out in my parents’ room.  I had to eat my tears.  I still do because K2 and Paczki (more than anyone) get upset if they see me cry.

My emotions or lack thereof drove me to see Dr. Inception.  Thankfully she was able to see get me in for a quick session.  She told me it was okay to grieve on my own terms.

The kids and FullEclipse have moved on.  Paczki wants a new puppy to study why it is that large dogs die soon.  It is her way of coping.  We are thinking about getting a Boston Terrier.  The thought stings.

The truth is that I miss my partner in crime.  He was the first major present FullEclipse got me even if I fought to get another dog.  However, all it took was this picture to convince me kitty was the best thing:

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I miss you kitty!  You were a tad stupid but made up for it with lots of love.

R.I.P. Fuego Alexander Sweet Cheeks K, III.

Be free and play with my Gimpy.

If tears could build a stairway,
and memories a lane.
I would walk right up to Heaven
and bring you back again.

No farewell words were spoken,
No time to say “Goodbye”.
You were gone before I knew it,
and only God knows why.

My heart still aches with sadness,
and secret tears still flow.
What it meant to love you -
No one can ever know.

But now I know you want me
to mourn for you no more;
To remember all the happy times
life still has much in store.

Since you’ll never be forgotten,
I pledge to you today~
A hollowed place within my heart
is where you’ll always stay. “

 

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For Dr. Inception – Time to Say Goodbye

First I fired “Dr. Smokes a lot” – not a big loss.

Dr. How I Met Your Mother left after a month of seeing me because her residency year was up.  That was tough, but she planted a tiny seed inside me that led me to the realization that I wanted to recover from my issues.

Then Dr. Backstreet Boy took over.  He got me to a place where I could function and get on with my daily life.  He moved onto a children’s fellowship at the hospital.  His goodbye letter is here.   Dr. Backstreet Boy left me in great hands with the “hard to nickname” Dr. Inception.

Now, a year has passed since I met Dr. Inception.  Her time is up.  Tomorrow is my last session with her before she begins her fellowship working with children (damn kids!) and hands me over to a new p-psychologist who is  tentatively nicknamed Dr. Kelsey Grammer.  Saying goodbye to Dr. Inception will be very hard because of how much she has helped me in terms of personal growth.  She has taken me to places where I am not comfortable.  I have said things to her that no one other than FullEclipse know about.  There are many more things to cover.  Time ran out!

Perhaps this is a hard goodbye because Dr. Inception, in a way, is an extension of Dr. Backstreet Boy.  I learned a few months ago that they are engaged.  I cannot picture a better couple!  Knowing that Dr. Backstreet Boy trusted Dr. Inception with my care just goes to say how great they both are.

So, how do I write a goodbye to Dr. Inception?  Well, let’s start out by setting up the mood.  Lately, the song “The One I Love” by R.E.M. has been in the back of my head.  No, it has nothing to do with Dr. Inception.  I just like the beat.  It makes me think that underneath it all, Dr. Inception is a great person to hang out with and can really be fun!

Here it goes….

Dr. Inception,

Writing has been a part of how we approach some of my sessions.  The words flow without any problems.  We work through my feelings.   Right now I don’t have the words to convey what is going inside my head.  It is the eve before our last session.  There is so much I want to say and I am stuck.  Saying “thank you” is so cliche because you deserve so much more than these words.

Yet…

…there is nothing I can say but thank you!

Thank you for always being there to guide me through my dark times.  You were there to push me to get over some of my big fears.  If it had not been for you saying, “what is stopping you from flying?,” I would still be stuck with that fear.

Thank you for getting inside my head to get me to see how life could be different.  Your nickname is dead on!

There is still a lot of work to do.  While you may not be there to see me through my journey, I know our sessions have put me on a better path.  Perhaps I will never accept me 100%.  But I can live with who I am.

I feel like I am losing one of the few people who cheer me on.  You want me to succeed.  You do not judge me.  The kids who will be under your care are very lucky to have you.  If your interactions with Paczki are a glimpse of what is to come, you will kick ass as a children’s psychiatrist.  These kids need help.  Having you by their side gives me hope that they will never have to face the stigma that comes with having a mental illness.

Thank you for those times where you let me rant.

Thank you for being there to let me know I am a good mom and human being.

Thank you for letting me grieve Fuego on my own terms.

But, most importantly, thank you for giving me a voice!

This voice will come out during my quest to find how to help those who do not have a voice.  The path that I will take is still unclear, but my mission is set.  Without your help, this voice would have been silenced.

I believe in destiny.  Part of me knows that if we had met under different circumstances, we would have been friends.  Life works in funny ways.  Our paths had to cross this way and I am thankful for that.

I wish you the best of luck.

Until we meet again,

>Funny things you see