People

Jumping With Your Eyes Closed


20160718_171914Anyone who knows me knows that my dog is the love of my life (sorry, Chris). My relationship with him is the longest I’ve ever had. When I was young and reckless in college, he gave me life. He gave me a reason to take care of myself because I needed to take care of him. He has traveled the world with me and he teaches me things all the time. Like after college when our walks taught me to see the world through a filter of wonder. He taught me that tears can be licked away and a smile revealed like a rainbow that will give you just enough energy to start the day anew.

Recently, he developed cataracts causing his visibility to be drastically reduced. It started out small. I noticed his eyes would shine green in the sunlight. He would step extra carefully down the stairs. Then he started running into the other dogs much to his surprise and their disapproval.

Whenever I tell people that he’s basically blind, they sigh and express pity. I felt this, too, once. It’s hard to watch someone you love struggle and there’s not much you can do.

But Orbison was never frustrated. He was never sad about his situation. If he hadn’t started running into things I would have never known his eyesight had deteriorated so much, because he runs and jumps with the same fervor as before.

A few months ago, I lost my job. It was a job that caused me to develop an eye twitch and one that I was dying to be rid of, but it was still a blow to my confidence all the same.

Searching for work is like jumping with your eyes closed. Sometimes I would be afraid to apply somewhere because I couldn’t see how it would work or what it would be like or if I would fit in. When I felt like that I would think about Orbison and how he jumps with his eyes closed all the time. No fear. Sometimes he misses and bumps his head. But mostly he lands and he is where he wanted to be.

Last month, I started a new job where the majority of my day is spent taking care of animals. It’s a complete career change and I’m being generous when I call it a career because it’s so specialized I might just have to work there forever. There were a lot of things that sounded scary about this job; different wages, different schedule, different people, so much unknown, and so much poop. But when I felt unsure about what I was jumping into, I remembered how Orbison jumps with his eyes closed all the time so I’ll just have to too.

So far he’s never led me astray.

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Of mice and dog (and snakes): A tale of honor, survival and lunch


I have snakes.

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My mother thinks I’m a freak. But snakes can be really cool pets.

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I am kind of a freak though and I like to feed them live mice. I know a lot of snake owners disagree about this because of the risk of the snakes getting hurt by the mice. I know that sounds odd but the little suckers have sharp claws. Anyway, I do check them to make sure they aren’t being hurt and are tended to if they do receive a cut.

There’s this cute little shop called Animal Palace where I get them. I like to support local businesses and they also have great natural (and affordable) dog food. That’s right I have a dog, too.

Meet Orbison Pedro III

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He reminds me of Odie

This shop is pretty neat because I never know what I will find there.

So I finally stopped fooling around in the store and I bought some mice. I got home and promptly realized I had something I forgot to do. I left the bag with the mice on a table and felt confident they would be okay. The bag has air holes and is stapled shut so there isn’t really a way out. And in my experience they usually just go to sleep or huddle to devise an escape plan.

Well, I was shocked to find this when I got back.

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I remember thinking they had made more ruckus than other mice but I never thought they would seriously plan an escape! I mean I have to give it up to that guy. Oh yeah, only one was brave enough to escape. The other one was still in the bag. I looked everywhere for it but I knew it wouldn’t be easy to find a little mouse in my apartment.

It was getting late so I figured I would just have to lure a cat inside tomorrow or something. I still stayed up thinking about this mouse. I couldn’t get him or her out of my head. Let’s call it Stan.

Stan had been a fighter from the beginning. He never settled down. And who knows, maybe the other mouse was telling him to stop it and just accept his fate. But Stan was no quitter! He knew if he just nibbled away enough he could break through and attain freedom. Sweet, sweet freedom.

Sadly, Stan also met Orbison today.

I’m really proud of my dog. He has a rep for being kind of apathetic. He’s an easy-going dog. He likes looking out the window, eating cheese and having his belly rubbed. But aside from his occasional menacing growl at the school children running around my apartment complex, he’s pretty harmless. But today he proved something. He showed his cunning skill and virtuousness for not eating the mouse. He brought himself great honor among the snakes despite the tragedy that bestowed our unlucky friend.

This blog is in memory of Stan. He went out giving it his all.

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