life stories

the center of the universe is the brain

Archive for the month “September, 2009”

Pass the Puppy

Disclaimer: In the interest of not having this post come back and slap me, all names and identifying features have been changed. The story itself is true.

Hogan bought a 6-week-old puppy. A puggle to be exact. A designer mutt for whom she paid $800. While it is highly unethical to be charging such prices for mutts, it is what the market will bear and this is a capitalist country even when living creatures and genetic experiments are involved.

That isn’t the point of this post.

Hogan has multiple scleroses that to date has shown only mild symptoms that cause her to have difficulty walking. This is not a new condition. She was clearly aware of it when she bought the puppy. She brought the puppy home and the situation became clear. She was not physically able to take the puppy out with the frequency needed to house-train it. She could not get on the floor to play with the little creature. In fact, she hardly let the little guy walk around. She scooped it up in her arms and carried it everywhere. And she didn’t smile about it either!

Within a week, Hogan called the breeder and told her it wouldn’t work out. The breeder agreed to refer buyers to her and assured her that someone would buy the puppy at full price.

Here are the points that are nagging at my brain:

  • Hogan was aware of her physical condition before venturing into puppymomdom
  • She was also aware of the puppy’s needs
  • A legitimate breeder would take the puppy back & give a full refund
  • The puppy could have spent the last week with someone who could bond with it and keep it

The situation probably wouldn’t bother me so much if I thought the puppy’s time with Hogan was a positive, socializing experience. Instead, he probably spent a week wondering why his mum wasn’t with him anymore and needing so much that this sourpuss didn’t have to offer.

What I truly don’t understand is why anyone would purchase a puppy, not on impulse on a street corner, not a love-at-first-sight from a shelter, knowing all the facts and knowing she couldn’t care for it. What is Hogan looking for in this situation?

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Walking in the Woods

Chugach State Park - Hemlock Knob

Chugach State Park - Hemlock Knob

Yesterday Angus and I took a jaunt up Hillside and hiked (strolled really) for a couple of hours. There has never been a more beautiful late Summer day. We started out at the Upper O’Malley trail head and walked along Gasline Trail (a maintenance road) to Hemlock Knob. From there I’m not quite sure where we went but we ended up a ways down from the Upper Huffman trail head. I was a little leery about bears but we only saw one pile of evidence that a bear was present. Otherwise the most dangerous creatures we saw were squirrels. They didn’t get terribly aggressive.

Chugach State Park is an amazing asset for Anchorage and we (meaning John and I) don’t take advantage of it at all. The variety of trails, the views, the accessibility are something that any city dweller might dream of. But to me there is another dynamic. I grew up with 22 wooded acres for my backyard. The woods were my sanctuary from a turbulent home life and I would walk for hours, write bad poetry and enjoy the absolute peace that the woods had to offer. I think it would be fair to say that the woods probably saved my life, or at least my sanity.

Yesterday, as we walked through the well-kept footpath of Hemlock Knob I experienced that sense of peace, of being 100% present. Suddenly there was nothing nagging at me. I didn’t feel like I should be doing something else. I wasn’t making a list in my head. I didn’t answer my phone when it rang.

The thoughts that rush (sometimes quite painfully) around my head were momentarily vaporized. There was no worrying about Mother. There was no keeping up with Twitter. There was no last-minute project. There was just me and Angus. Walking.

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