When your dogs fight

There are really few things I care as deeply for, as I do for my dogs.

One of them I’ve known since he was 6 weeks old and the other 2 I’ve known for a little over a year. There are people who I have known longer than all my dogs have been alive and I would throw those people into a burning building to save any of my dogs. I’m not going to talk about how important animals are and I’m not going to talk about why dogs are better than cats, although they absolutely are. What I’m going to talk about is one of the most heart-wrenching things that happens to me and my partner too regularly.

Orbison Pedro III is a 26 lbs., tan, terrier mix. He has a curly tail, he loves food more than anything in the world, and he enjoys passing the time staring out the window. He’s willing to share his toys, even at the dog park. But he grew up as the runt of the litter and he’s used to being picked on. He is resilient. He never lets down. He never stops being who he is and he doesn’t apologize for it.

Soto is a mid-sized, black, Australian shepherd with brown legs and white paws. She’s unbelievably gorgeous and her personality matches. She loves being petted and purrs like a cat, but we love her just the same. She will steal your food anytime, anywhere, no regrets. Soto loves people, but if you’re a dog, she has no problem reminding you she is the one who gets the most attention and who is the most beautiful. No exceptions.

Pete is a husky. I don’t have to tell you how gorgeous she is. All huskies are beautiful. What you need to know about them is their personalities. Pete talks back. Pete guards socks. Pete lets you know when breakfast and dinner should be served. Pete is a fucking boss and she makes sure you’re aware. Pete doesn’t take shit from anyone. But also please, scratch her butt when she asks because she likes it.

Usually, we describe dogs with words like loyal, obedient, loving, and playful. Some of these words I would like if they were used to describe me. But recently I’ve been wondering if my dogs are caring. Do they care about us? Probably. Do they care about each other? Maybe. Do they care about getting enough vitamins? Absolutely not.

I come to this questions because, while I feel and have seen my dogs exhibit not only the human qualities of sadness and love, but also understanding, they fight.

There are moments where they go black in the eyes and their lips pull back violently to reveal wolf-like teeth with purpose. The sounds they make are like war cries from warriors going all in. They attack swiftly and without hesitation. It’s as if their minds have temporarily gone blind, inhibiting them from recognizing the comrades they’ve shared a home with for more than a year. That’s almost 8 years for dogs!

Like anyone who cares about anything, as soon as said thing is in danger, hysteria ensues. They’re all about to kill each other and I’m an accessory to the crime because I’m just standing there letting it happen. Can someone tell me how hard you kick one of your dogs to stop it from murdering your other dog? Or cat or pig or whatever you have?

I sincerely hope that no one ever has to go through this. I hope no one ever has to witness, a couple of beings you love unconditionally try to hurt each other.

The only thing that gets me through it is realizing that they’re not going in to kill. If that were the case, someone would be dead already. It’s a matter of the pack. It’s a matter of who is the alpha, who is the boss. It’s a not so gentle reminder that they’re still animals despite the way they lick our tears and put their paws on our shoulders like they’re going in for a hug.

I will never stop loving any of them. I will never stop loving dogs. I will just do my best to do the best I can for them. Sometimes that means accepting their mistakes and moving forward.



What kind of liar are you?

There are many kinds of lies.

There are white lies, lies about lies, omissions, lies we tell children, lies we tell ourselves, butler lies, fake sarcasm lies.

Lies we tell children

These seem to be the type of lies most people are comfortable with. In some cases, you can be labeled downright deranged if you don’t keep up the lies everyone has agreed on. Like you would never tell a small child who isn’t yours that Santa Claus doesn’t exist. Unless said child has been non-stop screaming and kicking the back of your seat on a 4-hour flight. Then it’s war. Another thing we lie to children about is death. Death is an incredibly difficult concept to process. Even some adults never figure it out. It can be especially hard to decide if a pet goes to heaven. Thankfully, the Pope is working on clearing that up. In the meantime, here’s a shoutout to all the dead pets believed to be living on a farm. RIP.

White lies

People who tell these lies think of them like they think tasting a grape at the supermarket isn’t stealing. Generally, these lies are small but I guess that’s all relative anyway. Small to some can mean lying about your age, while small to others can be hiding the fact that they stalked you for three months and that’s how you casually met at your favorite bar. These lies are the gateway lies. They can lead to lies about lies and lies about truths that didn’t make sense with our other lies. Some people would argue these lies can save lives or potentially make life more pleasant for everyone before they die. The lies can be useful if used only in emergencies and sparingly.

Lies about lies

These lies can be breakthrough lies or they can be asphyxiating lies. When some people reach this point, it’s like their rock bottom. Other people are just too lazy to remember lies this much. That’s right. We can thank everyone’s inherent laziness for much of the honesty in the world. People who can keep up with this many lies should write a book because they’re clearly wasting their imagination on trivial things. They could write a book about a person who tells lies about lies and then that will get turned into a Netflix drama series and we’ll all be forced to watch it with friends while secretly wondering what they lie to us about and trying not to look suspicious when we think about the things we’ve lied to them about. It will be a hit! Lies about lies are like Pringles.


These are one of my favorite kind of lies because they’re so hotly contested. The people who don’t believe lying by omission is lying, haven’t been screwed by a used car salesmen yet. Lying by omission can seem harmless but you won’t know until the facts come to light if they ever do. This type of lying is very popular in soap operas and shitty tv dramas where entire seasons are focused on someone knowing something very important that this other person doesn’t know. You know what series I’m talking about. These lies are like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get.

Lying to yourself

Sartre coined this type of lie “Bad Faith” which involves self-deception. Lying to yourself can be the best thing you ever do or it can be the worst. Everyone does this. If they tell you they don’t, they’re lying. Just a regular lie though. Some people use this type of lie to create confidence. Some people don’t realize they’re lying to themselves and miss out on big opportunities.  We’ve all done this – unless you’re a soulless, egotistical prick that thinks you can do anything. People like to say, believe in yourself. I like to think, don’t believe in yourself. Instead, just believe yourself. Then, always tell yourself you’re awesome. These lies can cause greatness or can cause great damage. Proceed with awareness.

Butler lies

These lies are babies. Communications professors at Cornell University coined the term just a few years ago in honor of butlers who used to do this type of lying for you. Or like when you would make your mom answer the phone for you and say you weren’t there as to avoid talking to someone. Now we use them more commonly when we communicate electronically. Examples include texts messages saying: I’m on my way!, Sorry. Just saw your message., I didn’t receive a call from you, weird., I would love to but I already have plans., I’m at the gym!

Fake sarcasm lies

“Yea, I ate alllll the pizza myself lol.” We know. We know you did it. We’re laughing, but we know. Just stop it.

Undoubtedly, there are more lies than this. Personally, I think lies you tell your employer should be called Lie Taxes because taxes are mandatory and lies you tell your employer can sometimes be mandatory to keep your job. No one would have a job if they hadn’t done this at least once. Don’t lie to yourself.

Anyway, we’d all love to believe we’re super honest people. But let’s face it. We all lie. It just depends what kind of liar you are.


You and Me and We and I

You and Me and We and I are unpredictable.

You is mostly caring but can be combative at times.

Me is closely followed by -lancholy but when Me is alone, Peace can usually be found.

When You and Me are together, Peace will stick around. But it can still feel like something is missing.

We is happiest. No one can really deny. But We can be very tumultuous.

I is completely different with Love, but alone, I only confides in Misery.

You and Me can turn into We, but they don’t really decide when that will be.

There is speculation it happens the less time they spend with I.

I is quite the smooth talker and incredibly possessive.

I speaks unfavorably of We, although We never does of I.

You and Me often don’t know who to believe.

And even when they think they believe We, they say to themselves, “I bet I could be a better We.”

I tends to sneak back in.

I lingers for fear of being forgotten, of becoming a memory like the Is past.

I wasn’t always so different from You and Me. I once tried to become We.

You and Me risk it all when they try to become We. I took that same risk without realizing I has to become You and Me before it can become We.

Angry, Alone, and Afraid were the first to come when I failed to become We. I wouldn’t listen to You or Me, and soon found solace in Misery.

You and Me and We and I are unpredictable. But they are also, undoubtedly familiar.

Music, Pop Culture

What it feels like when you stop enjoying a relationship

She would make everything easier when she was around. She would make the hours go by so quickly. She could put a smile on my face at the drop of a hat. But when I was sad, she let me cry it out. She said the things I wanted to say but couldn’t. She touched parts of my soul or wherever we store our feelings that I don’t think many humans have. She was my motivator. She was my rock. She was my joy.

And then something changed. Something terrible happened. She’s gone now. I don’t feel any of those things. Maybe the sadness.

I don’t yearn her. I don’t pine after her. I don’t think about her when I don’t have her near me. It breaks my heart.

I try to go back to her. I try to feel like I once felt. I’m just indifferent. She doesn’t do the things to my heart that she used to do.

Music and I were in a relationship. I think it’s over.

I used to listen to music almost constantly. With the graces of technology, I found a device to blast over the sounds of the shower. I was so proud the day I heard a Mumford’s song while vacuuming. It was truly enjoying the the advances of the 21st century in a first world country.

I was that annoying person who foolishly had a song set to play as a wake up alarm. You can be sure that every song I’ve ever had as an alarm is dead to me now. Although, that never stopped me from playing a new song I was addicted to on repeat for weeks.

Playing music at work was not only a necessity, but a must that had prerequisites. I would spend weekends compiling the perfect while working playlist, workout playlist, sad playlist, happy playlist, angry running playlist, can’t fall asleep playlist; you name it.

Tweet: Music to me was like an unexpected massage, by a beautiful person, while someone else hand fed me pizza. @jesspuente to me was like an unexpected massage, by a beautiful person, while someone else hand fed me pizza. My music selection is generally seduced by my mood. At other times it lifts me up higher than Snoop Dogg on a Friday.

Yet, I have to confess, I feel it less than I used to. I don’t know why. I don’t know when it happened. I don’t know how long it will be.

This has happened in the past. There was always someone there to tell me it didn’t have to be this way. That I could truly feel and love again. Maybe it’s the lack of new music. Maybe it’s the level of stress that has completely overpowered any and all other emotions.

I figure I have two options. I can turn into a passionless, musically devoid, semi-human. Or, I can play music every day for as long as possible. I can drown out my fears, I can drown out my apathy, I can drown out my stress, I can dance instead of sit.

Recently, a very good friend suggested I listen to Nick Cave. Suggested isn’t the right word, enthusiastically and almost forcefully insisted is better. I’m so glad she did. I loved him. Perhaps, fondly remembering him from the Harry Potter series but this music paired perfectly with my mood. Like when you’ve had a hard day and you go to a new coffee shop and they get your order right on the first try.

I want music back in my life. If you have her in your life, send me your favorite songs. Not the catchy ones. The ones that make you feel. The ones you play on repeat. The ones that you couldn’t imagine a year without listening to. The ones you will never forget the lyrics to.

Send me those.



I hate writing about love.

Every time I try, I just end up hating myself and shoving the doc away deep in my drive. But too much has happened to ignore it any longer.

When you start to feel love whether it’s for a significant other or a friend, you’ve basically just signed up for cancer.

It feels so good at the time, like you can’t fully breathe without it. When you’re not giving it or receiving it, you feel like you do right after you get off of a roller coaster–nauseated and bored.

Some people describe love as an addiction. A drug. And just like with any drug or addiction, your mind is melting right now but you’re in for an ungodly pain later. It’s just a matter of time.

So why do we keep doing it to ourselves? Are those of us who keep engaging in love just as bad as people who pay in nickels for the cheapest cigarettes they can find at the only open gas station at 1 a.m.? maybe.

Maybe we’re all just masochists for our desires. Maybe we’re just not meant to be alone?

But we all know, that no matter how much you love the person standing in front of you whether it’s your boyfriend, girlfriend, child, mother, uncle, distant cousin you still keep in touch with, the best possible outcome is that you die together at the exact same time. Literally. Simuldeath is the best scenario here! Because you don’t want to suffer without them and you don’t want them to suffer without you. We can all predict that death will occur, eventually. And yet here we are, driving friends to the airport, letting them cry on your shoulder, falling in love and kissing in the rain.

It sounds so stupid sometimes.

Recently, I lost a friend and a couple of my best friends lost a parent.

The pain seemed neverending at times. Facing it was incredibly difficult. Everyone tells you it just takes time. That time will heal and make it easier. Well that’s fine. And it’s true. But everyone forgot to mention the gut-wrenching feeling of meeting a new person who wants to be in your life.

At this point you’ve thrown up your hands. You’re calling it. F this. Never again. Never again will I go down this road and throw my emotions callously into a vacuum that I imagined would last forever. Oh no. Time to gather my things, and live in the forest. Alone. That’s the only way to protect the heart.

Except, unlike cigarettes and booze, love has a way of feeding you. It’s less of a leach and more of a symbiotic relationship. Sure you can try to say no to love. Shun it, and call it names while you laugh and do some more crossword puzzles alone with your cube wine.

But unless you’re Richard Proenneke, you can’t escape other people. As a matter of fact it’s the only thing that gives your life meaning when you really think about it.

That triathlon medal can make you feel good but it can’t kiss you on the forehead. That fancy Ikea lamp can make the light in your Instagram selfies look esoteric but it can’t hold your hand when you’re nervous. Those new shoes can make your legs look longer but they can’t know you better than you know yourself.

We don’t think about what we’re doing when we start to love someone. We generally don’t think about them dying, or us dying and how sad everyone will be. We see adventures, unforgettable memories, laughing until someone almost pees, blurry nights, new first times, and more embarrassing stories you hope no one remembers.

And that’s why we do it. Time and time again.

Is it worth the ups and downs? Is it worth the deprivation, the destruction, the absolute wreckage of your being when the love is gone?

Go hug someone you care about for a full minute. That’s how you know.


A letter to my upstairs neighbor

I’m sorry.

It doesn’t have to be like this. Dodging each other in the parking lot, crossing through the grass to avoid close proximity to one another, constantly staring at something ever so intently on the ground so eye contact never occurs.


You seem like a decent guy. I saw you with your daughter the other day. I feel like you said hi to my dad one time he was in town. We’ve both lived next to each other for a year now without any issues. So you might be feeling like what I did was uncalled for and maybe it was. Maybe I should have just called the complex and let them deal with it.

But really, can we just be real about this? If I can Shazam your music from my dining room, I think I have the right to ask you to turn it down. And not because I don’t like the music from the decade that saw the end of the Cold War and the beginning of AIDS. I just don’t feel like listening to the artist formerly known as Prince at 8 a.m. on a weekend.

See, even he thinks it’s too loud.

And to be honest, it wasn’t all you. You were really just the straw breaking the camel’s back like a freight train would break tracks made out of glass.

Sleep is a very crucial thing for me. It has been ever since I lost the ability to stay awake for days at a time like when I was a foolish girl in college wasting precious sleep time by watching marathons of Arrested Development and texting my friends about how much I hated my new roommate because she only cleaned the apartment when she was drunk. I know, it didn’t make any sense to me either.

I’m not saying I need eight hours of sleep every night, but waking up early in an unnatural manner or without purpose just does something to me. Almost to the point of physical pain.

Recently, I was listening to a Radiolab podcast where they talked about measuring pain. It’s not an easy thing to explain to someone else–the pain you’re feeling. One woman they interviewed said she put it in terms of what she would do or trade to have the pain go away. Shortening her life span to make it stop was a bargain she would have taken at the time.

And I know you don’t know me, but just imagine for a second what could compel me to put on pants (yet another thing I hate doing), venture out into the horribly blinding brightness of the sun, hike up the tower of stairs to your apartment, and ask you to please relieve me of the pain I was in. If you think about it like that, it makes total sense and you shouldn’t hate me anymore.

But I don’t know if you will ever know.

Hopefully, I can make you muffins and a mix CD of the best of the 80s and we can put this behind us.

Until then, just know, it wasn’t you. It was the pain.


Congressman Barney Frank marries longtime partner Jim Ready

This weekend, Barney Frank became the first congressman to exchange vows in a same-sex marriage.

A quarter of a century ago, this Massachusetts representative first announced he was gay.

This weekend, he finally tied the knot with longtime boyfriend and photographer Jim Ready.

About 300 guests joined Barney and Jim at the Boston Marriott hotel in Newton, Mass., including House Dem leader Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer and Senator John Kerry, reports the Wall Street Journal.

The pair met at a political fundraiser in 2005. In 1987, Barney Frank became the first sitting member of Congress to come out about his homosexuality.

“’I told him I had a crush on him for 20 years,’ said Mr. Ready, recalling that as a teenager he was inspired by Mr. Frank’s public declaration that he was gay,” reports the New York Times.

Whether you disagree with gay marriage or not, there are so many aspects of this story that are incredibly inspiring.

The valor it takes to be transparent not only among your peers but the nation as Barney Frank did in 1987, a time where being gay was more widely unacceptable.

And what I find the most important, perseverance and beauty that come from having a successful and loving relationship over a long period of time.


Is your iPhone ratting you out?

So is anyone else being forced to recognize their obsessive behavior because of the new iMessages?

Thought so.

What creeper suggested this feature?

...arg. what are you thinking and not telling me???

It’s bad enough I have random and irrational anxiety over whether people dislike me or not. Now I can watch myself be rejected in real time!

Read 11:00 GIVE UP AT THIS

Thank God I don’t have Siri or my phone would also vocally mock me.

That's incredibly rude, Siri.

There are just waaaaay too many situations in which being able to see people writing a response is excruciating.

There’s that really gorgeous boy who is just too cool to even consider thinking about features on an iPhone. How un-minimalistic.

Or when you miss a call from your mom and she texts:

Are you itchy? Your cousin got bit by a dog and didn't tell anyone.

What the frick is going on mom?!

And then you just see those three little bastards.


And not just the abuse but what about when I send a message. I don’t need you to know I opened and closed that text six times before I finally decided what to write.

 Hello, my name is Jessica and I am a victim of first world problems.

Any who…

I’m considering demolishing the iMessage.

I will begin by banning them from my phone. Will you join me?


People watching on a Sunday

I went to church today. (To an enormous cathedral to be exact.)

I sat next to a man, and who I presumed to be his girlfriend. He seemed preoccupied. Down. He had his hands between his legs. His forearms resting on his thighs like an enormous weight was on him and this was all he could do to keep from falling over.

She wrapped her arm in his, putting her hand on his thigh. He didn’t budge. He didn’t acknowledge her at all. She caressed him. Trying. She was trying to make him feel better or something.

Maybe I misread it.

They both had on some uptown shoes. You know, those shoes you see in Anthropologie. Hers were black suede with round laces. Heels, but with holes in the side so you saw just enough of her feet to make a man’s heart beat if we were in 1934. His were an odd color. They looked like every men’s shoe I have ever seen at Urban Outfitters. If gold had a creme-colored cousin, that would be the color of his shoes. They had round laces too.

We stopped to shake hands and give peace. His eyes were empty. We sat down.

He started tracing out letters on his thigh with his finger. She responded back in the same fashion. I was fascinated but didn’t want to be more obvious. She seemed happy.

At the gym I looked out the second story window and saw a man. Tall with greyish hair, silver really. He wore a pin-stripped shirt, tucked in. It was some sort of melancholy blue color. Not what you imagine when you think blue.

He was waiting it seemed. A black man with a leather kangol hat was around, but not really next to him. He came from the side of the building and walked along the sidewalk. They signaled to each other. There was something happening beyond the sidewalk I could see. The man in the kangol hat went to investigate.

The tall man stood next to a trash can that appeared to be leaning against a large pillar. He was smoking. Everything outside the lobby is chrome. If you glance out the window it looks like even the leaves get greyer out of jealousy. Chrome is so shiny and generally pleasant to look at. But cold.

A red car pulled up. I didn’t see at first. All I saw was a slender looking woman with swift black hair hanging out of the driver side pointing a camera. At first I thought she was taking a picture of him.

Maybe she hasn’t seen this man in forever and he is the love of her life. He held his arms wide open as if to say come to me.

But then he crouches down and I see a little blonde boy in a green jumper walking awkwardly as fast as he can. I felt like I could hear his noise. Children that age have the ability to giggle and shriek at the same time. Even though I was three floors up, I knew that sound could pierce through steel.

The tall man picks him up and kisses him twice and then again but for longer. They are so happy they’ve forgotten the woman and the camera.

Without missing a beat she closes the door and drives off. He puts the child in the back seat of his silver car and the man in the hat gets in the passengers seat. They sit for a moment, then start the car and make a right turn like the woman did.

It was like watching 3/4 of the season finale to a show you have never seen. I miss the city.