Tag Archives: crazy thoughts

Better living through chemistry

Surprise, surprise… a real, honest-to-goodness psychiatrist thinks I’ve got issues.

The appointment itself was anti-climatic, as my the few remaining logical brain cells in my head knew it would be.  It was a typical review of all my symptoms, a little bit of crying on my part, a little bit of “there, there… it’s okay to cry” on her part.  A little back and forth, a few probing questions so she could form an opinion, and I walked out of there with a prescription for an anti-depressant. Voila! As easy as that.

The doctor told me that it would be about 2 months before I started getting anything positive from the drugs, and first I would probably have 2-3 weeks of side effects to slog through.  Nausea, headaches, diarrhea … standard fare for this type of medication.  She told me to be patient, to bide my time… basically, hang in there until the effects of the medication kicked in, and to not lose faith that there was hope out there.

I’m ramping up on the medication — half dosages for a week to ease some of the side effects — and then it’s just a waiting game.  My first 3 days have been tolerable:  vague nausea and a slight headache that comes and goes.

All I know is that I have the meds, but it’s sort of just been business as usual — it hasn’t really sunk in yet, despite the potential ramifications, both good and bad. It’s another pill to take in the morning, but without any immediate effects, it’s like nothing has changed.  I don’t feel a victory for having done what I did, nor do I feel troubled because I “gave in” and stopped trying to fix myself. Honestly, it’s almost more of an “eh, who cares?” reaction on my part.  Perhaps depression does has some upsides?

Perhaps I need to view this as simply the next step in me stepping back in and taking charge of my life.  Certainly, I am making headway:  I’ve spent the past 5 weeks eating healthier, dropping some excess weight and going through spurts of training.  And now I can tack on the fact that I made — and went to! — a psychiatrist appointment and started on some medication that has a shot at bettering my quality of life.

Little steps, small changes … but moving … somewhere … nonetheless.


Leap of faith

I have to admit:  I’m scared.

Coming up on Friday, I have that appointment with a psychiatrist to discuss getting a prescription for some sort of anti-depressant. This was my therapist’s idea and I initially was resistant to it (“I don’t need no stinkin’ help!”), but as time has passed I’ve been swayed by her arguments.  Basically, I’ve gotten to a breaking point where I know that something has to change and this seems like one of the few flotation devices left in this ocean in which I’m drowning.

So, what am I scared of, exactly?

(note:  if the doctor is any sort of professional, I understand that my fears are unfounded, but, frankly, logic has very little bearing on how afraid I am)

  • I’m scared that I’ll go into this appointment and the doctor will think that I’m either lying or it’s all in my head. This plays on a couple of fears of mine — first, the fear of asking for help, making myself vulnerable and basically being rebuffed and laughed at for my attempt.  Second, the fear that I should be able to fix this myself by “looking on the bright side” and simply “deciding to be happy” (because it’s just that easy, didn’t you know?)
  • I’m scared of being utterly intimidated and overwhelmed at the appointment. Let’s face it:  this whole situation makes me want to curl up into a ball and pretend like it doesn’t exist (see how well that’s worked so far?).  In the face of a doctor that might not have the best bedside manner, I worry that I’ll clam up and not ask the questions I need to ask for fear of sounding dumb or weak or unintelligent.
  • I’m scared about all the potential side effects — everything from dizziness to weight gain to decreased sexual desire (though, with the current state of my dating affairs, this might be a bonus) to tiredness to hair loss to extra limbs growing out of my chest (who really reads all the fine print?).  What if all I’m doing is trading in one problem for another?
  • But probably the thing that I’m scared most about is this: the appointment will go fine, the doctor will listen and sympathize, tell me that things will get better…and then I’ll be prescribed medication and it won’t work.  That I’ll still feel sad. And like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel. No way out. That this pervading loneliness is my destiny.  That I’m too broken to fix.

Yea, that last one, that’s the one that keeps me up at night.  Classic fear of failure, but with stakes that take my breath away.  What if I’m just too broken.

But having run out of ways to make this better on my own, I know I need to make this leap to try and save myself.  So, I will go to the doctor’s office on Friday (after having shrugged on my bravery coat of armor) and hope for the best.  Hope that my random choice of doctor from my insurance list is someone who will listen and understand and be kind.  Hope that there’s…. hope, I suppose.

That’s all I really want.

Back with a vengeance

Over at The Bloggess, she says something incredibly wise:  depression is a lying bastard and life will be brighter again.

(an aside – if you’ve never heard of The Bloggess, go there right now and read! She’s awesome and it’s much better than being here.  Plus, I’ll wait for you to come back.)

I’m struggling to keep this in mind — that this monster that keeps climbing on my back is doing nothing but whispering lies in my ear.  Nothing good or positive or healthy comes from this voice.  You’re boring.  And ugly.  And will always be alone.  And never have sex ever again.  No one in the world wants you.  That’s what it tells me.  Among other things.  (I mean, if it could toss in something helpful, that’d be nice, though.  Perhaps a reminder to change the filter on the furnace or something like that?)

When I’m at my most logical, I can see the fallacy behind these words.  No, I haven’t found someone to be with, but does that mean it’ll never happen?  Of course not.  And I’m quite sure that my stable of friends would argue with me if I told them I was ugly or boring.  If I were as awful a person as the monster tells me, I’d be utterly alone in this world.  And that is far from the truth.

And yet, I’ve been really challenged to work my head past these feelings and move forward. It’s hard to battle something that doesn’t play fair, ya know?

I had made an early August appointment with a psychiatrist to talk about going on some meds, but in the end, I cancelled that appointment.  See, for a few weeks at the end of July, life was good.  Really good.  I had met a girl.  Someone I liked! I thought she was cute and good company and everything she said to me indicated that she felt the same.  The only downside?  She lived about 2.5 hours from me.

It ended up being the relationship that never was.  After the initial date, we made — and she cancelled — 5 more, all with good, plausible reasons.  But fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me 5 times, who’s the idiot?  Whether the excuses were real or not, it was clear that I was a very low priority and if it’s that way in the beginning?  It’s never going to get better.  You can’t make someone love you. Or even meet up for a drink with you, as it turns out.

After that I went all to hell — much worse than before.  But I had already cancelled the psych appointment.  And when I finally called back, she wasn’t taking new appointments anymore.

For weeks I wallowed and dwelled and hated my life.  It was crying binges during the day and spending entire weekends where the only conversation I had (talking to the dog doesn’t count!) was with the checkout person at Trader Joe’s.  I ate with abandon and my only exercise consisted of using the remote control and doing 12oz bicep curls with my drinks. It wasn’t much of an existence, that’s for sure.

But very recently, part of me woke up and decided that if nothing else, I could control my eating and health.  I decided that even if I didn’t have the motivation to work out, I could eat healthy and watch calories.  I think things got so out of control that I picked the one thing that I *could* control.  If even just a little bit.

And so, I joined myfitnesspal.com and started tracking food.  Joined in with the community.  Even managed to get myself a dozen or so friends that check in on me.  And that’s been good.

In the spirit of trying to take care of myself, I also went through my insurance and found another random psychiatrist who was accepting new patients and made an appointment (I have another 3 weeks to wait)… one of those things that sounds easy as pie but is impossibly difficult for me to do (that’s a blog for another time).

So, we’ll see what happens.  This mood/depression/whatever has been hanging around most of the year, and it’s definitely been bearing down on me lately. Despite the fact that a potential girlfriend made me feel better, I don’t believe getting rid of the depression is that simple.  I think the uplift would have been temporary and would have gone away eventually, with or without someone in my life.  In the end, I need to fix myself, not distract myself.

So, while the depression has been back with a vengeance, perhaps I might be crawling back up as well.  At least I feel like I’m making some healthy decisions in spite of myself.  With every good choice I make, it makes a little easier to make the next one.  I’ve started doing a bare amount of exercise.  And I even promise not to cancel the psych appointment, no matter what’s going on by then. Because I need to remember how depression can lie … life will get better. Sometimes you just need to take the first steps.

More on anonymity

I was reading yet another poignant article on The Rumpus and it got me to thinking again about how I’ve chosen to remain anonymous in this space (you know, as anonymous as one can get on the big ol’ world wide web).

And I’m starting to think that one of my problems — something at the core of everything that I deem “wrong” about myself — is my basic inability to share myself with other people.  Ironically, not complete strangers, mind you, or people that I meet only virtually — you guys probably hear more than you want — but with anyone that holds a spot in my “in real life” life.

I’ve always thought of myself as someone who simply was private.  Someone who took a little work to get to know really well. But as I look closer, I find that with the exception of one, perhaps two people in my life, no one really has any idea what’s going on with me.  I’m not private, I’m utterly closed off.

Most of my friends would respond, if asked, that I was just fine and doing well.  “Sure”, they’d say, “she’s still single and I know she’d love to be in a relationship, but her job’s going great, she’s always busy and up to something fun.”  In fact, many of my married with kids friends would probably admit to being a little jealous of my lifestyle, as theirs no longer allows for the independence and spontaneity that I enjoy.

Now, my family?  None of them have absolutely any idea that there’s anything even close to out of place in my life.  Depression?  They’d never think it. Lonely?  They look at all my friends and activities and would it would never cross their mind.  Struggling with being single?  They’re quite sure I’m single by choice.  I’ve never been one to share much of my social/dating life with them, so no information now isn’t a change.

This leads to the question:  why?

The answer is a little complicated, but it boils down to a few bullet points:

  • I don’t want anyone to know that there’s anything wrong with me.  I don’t want the pity, the knowing glances, the “oh you poor thing”.  I don’t know how I would handle anyone wanting to talk to me about the problems I’m having.
  • It’s easier to just act happy — I think it makes me more fun to be around.  And it helps me — sometimes putting on that mask makes it become reality for at least a little while.
  • I already think bad things about myself and hate myself for them — why would I want the people I love thinking those same things and perhaps coming to the same awful conclusions as I have?

Seems a little ridiculous once I put it in black and white.

A little background:  growing up, my family didn’t talk much.  We joked, we laughed, we teased, we had fun, but we rarely talked about anything of consequence.  When I came out to my parents, that was one of the first times that I had spoken frankly and openly with them. So, for me to, say, make this blog public to friends and family?  A little terrifying.

But if I’m honest with myself, I’ll notice that I spend a lot of energy keeping myself closed off.  A simple example… I don’t tell people, “No, I can’t go out on Thursday because I’ve got a therapy appointment.”  Of course not.  I give a vague excuse and move on, hoping they won’t press for a more descriptive answer.

One day I’m going to have to take that leap and open myself up to friends and family.  Perhaps it won’t be through this blog — there are things in the archives that might hurt some feelings or cause some friends to be a little weirded out (do straight friends get weirded out when they find out they were the object of your love?) — but in some way I think it’ll have to happen for me to move forward.

It’s occurred to me that this might be a huge part of why I’m still single, even.  It’s funny because a way-back-in-time ex-boyfriend described me as “emotionally unavailable” when we were breaking up (oh, okay — I was breaking up with him)… he wasn’t so far from the truth, now, was he?

Session drama

So, I’m in therapy.  It hasn’t been long — about a month or so — but this has been a struggle since day 1 and continues as such.

By the time I get back home after a session, know what I most want to do?  Curl up into the fetal position and rock.  Nice, eh?

Therapy hasn’t been much of a feel-good, esteem-building exercise (though I’m not sure why I thought it might be that way) and rather, it’s an hour of crying and being pushed to acknowledge that at every turn I try to sabotage myself.

And yea, yea… I know… it’s good for me.  The tears and the trauma and the drama all point to her pushing me into facing some truths about myself that I’ve conveniently opted to ignore.  A lot of the therapy centers about the fact that most of my relationships have been ones of unrequited love — you know, the typical story:  girl becomes friends with Chick, girl falls in love with Chick, girl doesn’t make feelings known to Chick, Chick is oblivious (or straight or married or in a relationship), girl tortures herself for months or years on end until she finally lets go.  Whew.

But really – that’s how my life goes.  I could easily name half a dozen of my friendships that have followed that scenario — pretty much every girl that’s been a best friend.  And in every case, Chick hasn’t had any idea (other than perhaps the feeling that I was a bit of a stalker-type and too attached).

My therapist aptly noted:  “You never choose someone who will return your feelings.”  Um, yea.  No idea.  Just happens that way.

Or something like that.

Another gem from my therapist:  “You’ve got a million excuses why you can’t change your life.”  Not quite a million, I replied.  Sure, probably in the hundred thousands, but not a million.

(And yes, I make lame jokes when cornered.)

Of course, to me, they aren’t excuses, but reasons.

A concrete example of my “reasons”:  the apartment in the city.  My reason for not having one yet?  My oh-so-lovable pit bull … apartments have breed/size restrictions, as it turns out.  My therapist pointedly questioned: why not pay more for a place that will accept the dog?  I can’t afford it.  Why not recruit the help of friends and family to watch Belle while I’m in the city and get a pet-free apartment?  Well, because I couldn’t do that.  Why not?  Because why should someone else take care of my dog?  (see how good I am at this game?)

And on and on …until I end up in tears because I can plainly see how stubborn I’m being while trying to find a solution.

I’m not sure where the resistance comes from.  The apartment was *my* idea, and I felt like it was something that I really wanted to see happen.  But as my search got more difficult instead of being creative in finding solutions, I kind of just gave up.  “It’s fate”, I thought.

All this to say that I still need some work.  Until I can sit through a therapy session, confident in the direction I’m headed and the decisions I’m making, I likely still need to be there.  Even though the sessions turn me into Humpty Dumpty who breaks apart and can’t quite get put back together again.

(An aside:  this post has spewed out of me, all jumbled and feeling a little random and unorganized.  I’m usually all about the editing, but this time around?  I like the idea of the post reflecting my own chaotic and slightly dramatic feelings about this.)

The Lens of Time, part I

Back in college (a lifetime ago, it feels like!), I spent a semester studying in Germany (“studying”?  Um, SURE…).  I had gone entirely because my best friend was going and I didn’t want to get left behind.

She had a German minor.  I had taken 2 years of German in high school.  She was a Geography major with a bent on immersing herself in other cultures.  I was a Psych/CompSci major that felt vaguely uncomfortable in situations where I didn’t understand what was going and couldn’t get Taco Bell.

Despite this, I applied for the study abroad program, enlisted every ounce of charm and charisma during the interview and somehow shoe-horned my way in, with nothing more than a promise to take a German class over the summer.  To this day, I’m not entirely sure how any administrator in their right mind would have allowed me into the program, but hey — I took it and never looked back.

And that semester ended up being one of the best things I ever did for myself.  Not only was it a boatload of fun, but I did a lot of growing up and learning how to be independent and started the process of figuring out who I was and what I wanted.  Didn’t kick start the process enough for me to figure out that I was gay, but I’m apparently a slow learner.

Now, this same best friend that I spent the semester with is going to Switzerland to spend a few months with her husband and kids, while hubby is there on a physics sabbatical.  And so now she’s launching herself into this big adventure, much like we did 21 years ago (yes, I’m that old), and that started the both of us reminiscing and I even pulled out the journal that I kept (handwritten! It was 1991!) and read it through.

Reading my journal was a bit of an eye-opener:  the way I described the semester above?  Not entirely true.  While I definitely had fun, I guess over the years I managed to remember the good stuff and let the bad stuff fade into the background.  The semester wasn’t all good German beer and bakery goods (though – admittedly – that did comprise a large portion of the semester… and by the end it comprised a large part of *me*, too)… as it turns out, that semester started a pattern of behavior that I haven’t managed to break out of even today.

As I said, I was there with my best friend.  But – above that:  she was more a soul mate than just a best friend.  I was as close to her as I had been with anyone else and as it happened, but this semester abroad strained our relationship.

See, I depended on her too much.  Expected too much, as well.  I wanted it to be like back at school:  joined at the hip, very little that we didn’t do together.  But, once we got to Germany, she had a talk with me — she wanted a little freedom to meet new people and be friends with others, too.  Immerse herself in the experience.  To that end, she chose to not be my roommate and, in fact, got a room in another dorm.  Crushed me.

Now, before you get all up in arms about her behavior, it wasn’t like she dropped me as a friend, ignored me or anything like that.  All she asked for was the freedom to be her own person and not have her identity automatically twinned with mine.

So, I spent a lot of the semester being moody and unhappy and passive-aggressively mad at her for not loving me the way that I loved her.  I mean, I was there solely because of her, shouldn’t she treat me better?

She was probably the first person that I acted this way towards, but certainly wasn’t the last — it set a behavioral pattern up that I would wear out for the next 20+ years.  And more than that, I can’t believe that it took me 20+ years and re-reading a journal I wrote when I was 20 to even really understand how I keep managing to sabotage relationships.

Perhaps I just needed to be older and wiser.  Or something like that.  I’ll admit, though, it’s taken me a long time to write this post.  I keep trying to avoid it, as if by hiding it away it didn’t really happen — or, rather, isn’t really happening currently.

So, that’s the past, caught up to the present.  And what does it mean for me now?  I’ll save that for next time.

Beware of the monster

I think I might need to have some sense slapped into me.

Any takers?  No?  Well, that’s a nice surprise.

(though, perhaps that’s another reason why I prefer to remain anonymous to my friends and family… they would be all too happy to oblige).

And now I need to hurry and write this before my mind fogs over again.  Wanna know what crazy ass decision I made?  I’m giving up caffeine.  Yup.  Not quite cold turkey immediately, but from about 500mg a day, down to just 35mg a day (and that’s only until I’ve enjoyed every last one of the Diet Pepsi’s still in my refrigerator — then I’m done completely).

What makes this even more fun?  I’m totally PMSing.  And I’m one of those women who give PMS a bad name because I’m so difficult to deal with.  I’m all mood swing-y and irritable and on the verge of crying at all times.  Oh, and completely irrational!  Sometimes it’s like I’m having an out-of-body experience and hovering over my body, hearing the words that are coming out of my mouth and thinking, “Oh, lordy, she’s really lost it this time, hasn’t she…”.

What possessed me to take on giving up caffeine during what is already an incredibly challenging week (and when I say “challenging”, I mean everyone around me wants to kill me, or least duct tape my mouth shut)?  Seems to me this might not be the best decision I’ve ever made, for me or the people around me. But I’ve been having trouble sleeping — both falling asleep and staying asleep. My brain just doesn’t want to stop with thoughts that are less than helpful (let’s just say that my brain produces some very colorful conversations) and I have to try giving up caffeine to see if that allows me to quiet the voices.

But here’s what I figured:  I’m a cranky, irrational, teary-eyed bitch during PMS.  No one should even NOTICE that I’m going through caffeine withdrawal at the same time, right?  Or even if they did, would be too scared to ask anyway.  I’m right, right?  And from my point of view, I get terrible hormonal headaches/migraines during PMS, so I figured adding a caffeine withdrawal headache to the mix would make it more miserable, but at least it would be compressed into just one week instead of spread out over two.

Makes perfect sense, right?  Or at least, it makes the kind of sense that a woman in the midst of raging PMS makes, I suppose.

I’m now on Day 4 of this little adventure, and am suffering greatly.  Oh, woe is me!  Seriously, though, it’s a non-stop headache, nausea that comes and goes, and it feels like I’m moving through oatmeal, both physically and mentally. Word on the street is that I look funny when I’m thinking or answering a question, as if I can’t quite put a coherent thought together.  And – the un-funny part – the word on the street is totally right.  My theory that no one would notice?  Um, yea.  Not so much.  Every person I’ve come in contact with has asked me if I’m okay.  And then it’s all I can do to answer without scratching their eyeballs out for being so insensitive (see how the irrationality pops up like that?).

Now, just tonight, I feel like the headache might be easing just a tiny little bit. But, I’ll take even just a little bit of easing every day of the week and twice on Sunday.  Certainly beats what happened to me this morning:  as the owner of my company was trying to have a conversation with me, I had to interrupt him, excuse myself and the SPRINT to the bathroom to throw up.  At least I made it to the stall in time.  I sure do know how to make an impression, don’t I!

I’m proud of myself:  I haven’t strayed from the plan yet.  I get my one Diet Pepsi per morning (like I said, until I’ve emptied the fridge) and that’s it.  I was tempted today to take a little extra to help, but figured it might help me today, but would just prolong this gawd awful process.  And every single person around me certainly doesn’t want that!

With any luck, there won’t be too much collateral damage by the time I’m done with this whole process, because between the PMS and the lack of caffeine, let’s just say that I’m an enemy-making machine!

On Anonymity

I was reading a post by one of my favorite people — Sugar on The Rumpus —  where she talks about how she’s going to reveal her identity on Valentine’s Day.  She’s been writing her advice column (which is nothing short of soul-wrenching, insightful and, like, totally f’in awesome) under the pseudonym Sugar for a long time and come this February, she’s having her own coming out party and revealing her identity to all.

And this got me to thinking:  I’ve been trying to remain at least a little bit anonymous here.  Sure, there are enough details here that someone close to me would probably recognize my life, but I have barely let on to any of my friends or family that I’ve writing a blog, much less tell them where to find it.

In some respects, this sucks because it’s much easier to build a readership/community when you have a solid group of people that you know you can guilt into reading the blog on a regular basis.  But, this is a choice I made because I want to be able to write from my heart and not have to worry about how someone else might interpret it.

There are things that I write about here that I really haven’t divulged to anyone in my life — if I were in their shoes, I’m sure my thoughts would be something like, “Hmmm… I thought we were good enough friends that she could have talked to me about this…”.  And some of this is my fault:  despite being able to write about topics that leave me feeling very vulnerable, talking about them in real life isn’t something in my skill set.  I’ve never been all that good at the face-to-face sharing. Freaks me a out a little, to be honest.

The other facet to this — this space gives me the opportunity to vent without repercussion.  For example, I talk about my roommate quite a bit, and mostly just the situations where I’m frustrated with her.  In real life, 99% of the time we get along really well.  And when we don’t?  This forum gives me a way to release the frustration, think things out and say things that might not be an effective problem resolution technique in person.  You know, like screaming, “You are such a BITCH!!!” into my pillow and then turning around to calmly discuss the situation.

And so this site remains unvisited by the people who are closest to me.  I’ve given thought to changing my stance on this, but I’m not sure I’m ready.  There’s still a part of me that would edit and censor, knowing that the audience held people who get the joy of dealing with me in real life.  Hiding this space seems the easiest way to be 100% Laura, warts and all.

It’s the big One-Oh-Oh!

This is my 100th post!

I was in the middle of writing another post, when it occurred to me that this 100th one is a milestone of sorts, and that I ought to do something to celebrate.

So – break out the confetti! Woot!  Yippee!!

Okay.  Now that we’ve got the hootin’ and hollerin’ out of our system.

A touch of the serious:  I started this blog awhile ago (100 posts ago!), mostly as a selfish way to put my voice out there, a forum for my whines and rants and opinions, from important and meaningful, to, well, not so much.  It was (and still is!) a cheap form of therapy for me:  my own safe place and a way for me to work through what was (and, again, still is!) a confusing part of my life.  And it didn’t really matter if anyone was reading or not, because that wasn’t the point.

But, as I continue to write (you can see this coming from a mile away, can’t you?), I now hope that in some small way that maybe I can help someone else out there.  That you’ll read my ramblings and perhaps be comforted to know that you aren’t alone.  I know I’m not the wisest or the wittiest writer around, but with any luck, there are a few souls out there with whom my words resonate.

I’ve made it to 100.  With – hopefully – hundreds more to come.

(Lord help the virtual world!)

Two Dog Night

Actually – no longer a two dog night.  Thankfully!

Last Sunday, I picked up Ginger the Wonder Dog at my friend’s house and brought her home with me to spend the week.  Ginger really has earned her moniker: she’s one of the sweetest and most well-behaved dogs ever.

Until she gets around Belle, as it turns out.

A little history:  I’ve been dog-sitting Ginger for a  good part of her life.  Coming from a house full of rambunctious boys, it always seemed like she enjoyed relaxing once she got to the peace and quiet of my house.  Let me put it this way: where I lived previously, I was not even a quarter mile from Ginger.  Once when she escaped her yard, know where they found her?  My front porch.

So, yea – me and Ginger, we have a history.

The first time that Ginger and Belle got together, it was the funniest thing — Ginger immediately sprinted up to me and tried to “protect” me from the evil strange dog (Belle).  And then Belle absolutely didn’t like how protective Ginger was being of HER human and fought back.  And that laid the groundwork for all of their future fights interactions.

So, I bring Ginger home with me.  She sprints through the garage and absolutely bursts into the house and immediately Belle starts protecting her territory.  It’s funny, because the teeth were bared and they both were using their Big Girl Barks, but they barely even touched each other.  As the confrontation evolved, you could see that Belle was definitely the instigator — she would dart in, and with her nose, poke Ginger in the side or flank or butt.  Ginger would then whirl around, bark and growl, but Belle — like a light-footed prize fighter — had already moved to another position.

Poke poke poke.  GROWL!  Poke poke.  BARK BARK BARK.  Poke poke poke poke poke poke!! SNARL GROWL BARK BARK GROWL SNARL!!

It's like impressionist art, no?

Dog blurs

And this became their routine, though by two days into it, they had figured out who was in charge and it became more playful, less serious, though as drama-filled as it was from the beginning.

The fun stuff really began at bedtime, though.  The first night as I retired to my room, Belle followed as always, jumping up on the bed to snuggle in (don’t be a hater! Yes, I let the dog sleep on my bed… it’s not like there’s anyone else to snuggle with at the moment…).  And then?  Ginger followed.  And the fighting continued.  Except 3 feet in the air on top of my bed.  Nice.

They settled momentarily — catching their breath — and before they had a chance to start Round 2, I decided that perhaps *I* should be the alpha dog:  so I pulled Ginger off the bed and tried to get her to lay down on the dog bed on the floor.  She wasn’t having anything to do with my plans (surprise!) and stalked out of the bedroom.

Since she’s not much of a Chew My Stuff risk, I just let her be, figuring she’d settle down on her own.  And once the rest of the house was quiet, so was she.

Here’s a funny:  I get up the next morning and as soon as I open up my bedroom door (had to close it to keep Belle from poke poke poking at her during the night) I hear Ginger move.  She had made herself comfortable on the couch (not allowed! yes on the bed, no on the couch! I’m not a complete pushover!) but was smart enough to slink to the floor when she heard me coming.  Tricky, tricky, Ginger the Wonder Dog.

Anyway, the next few days went by in a blur of dog-walking and dog-feeding and dog-petting and dog-picking-up-after.  I’ve been giving thought to going to the animal shelter and picking up another sweet pitty to be friends with Belle.  And now?  Lesson learned.  Two dogs aren’t twice the work — they are at least FOUR times the work.  Worth it?  Perhaps.  But not now.

By the end, though, they were so cute together.  They’d play and then lay down next to each other to catch their breath.  And at night?  Belle would curl up on the bed, Ginger on the dog bed and both would just sleep.  Just like parents who look in on their sleeping children, seeing the two of them like that made me want to tell my friend that Ginger had run away and that I didn’t have her anymore and then keep Ginger all for myself.  Yes, I have a bit of the evil in me.  Hee.

I was sad when Ginger went home and I returned to my One Dog Nights… the house seemed terribly quiet.  Though while I was a little melancholy, Belle walked right in and stood just looking at me, like, “Okay.  We FINALLY got that wacko dog out of here and things can go back to normal.  Now, PET ME!!”.