Dog, Crayons, Books, Plans

The Dog

We came home the other night to find a dog on the side of the road in our yard. Head down, unable to stand, no collar but very friendly and obviously well-fed. A golden retriever with large paws and brown eyes. “Crap, this dog looks like it’s been hit by a car,” we thought, and mulled over what to do with it.

The dog had a companion, a large brown creature of unknown breed more closely resembling pig than canine. When we decided we couldn’t stand to leave an injured animal on the side of the road, we bundled her up. Goldie growled, grunted, and whimpered when we hoisted the blanket into the bed of the truck. She stood briefly, dragging a stiff leg before collapsing. Pig Dog started yelping as we drove away, clearly unhappy to be without his true friend.

As I rode in the truck bed with the dog, I suddenly remembered why it was illegal to do so. I twined my wrists into the frayed loops of tie-downs and lay flat, trying very hard not to think about how far I’d fly from the vehicle if we hit anything. Goldie put her paw on me and lay her head down next to mine. My hair whipped up into a big fro of curls in the 80 mph winds.

At the emergency animal clinic, dad and I watched the Olympics in the lobby. When we were called back to talk to the vet, she told us that Goldie was a very old dog. “I don’t think she has any broken bones. I think she just has really terrible arthritis. Medications would help.” Goldie, now standing perfectly erect and panting cheerfully, walked back outside to our truck with much less help than she needed to get in the door.

“Faker!” I wanted to yell. Why had this dog acted so very pathetic up until the point we blew that money on her? You try to do the right thing, have compassion… and you get a Faker Dog and a Pig Dog in your backyard eating double bowls of dry food and causing Solomon to scream all night through the windows.

The next day they were gone. And then the signs for “Missing Golden Retriever” started appearing around the neighborhood. But what can we do?

The Crayons

My coworkers have kids starting school. They lament shopping for supplies.

“I always loved shopping for supplies as a kid,” I said. “Man, you know what I always wanted? The big box of crayons. I never got bigger than the 24 pack… but wasn’t the big box cool? With the sharpener on the back?”

Everyone agreed that the big box was, in fact, the epitome of cool.

And then, a week later, I come to work and one of the nurses plops something in my lap. I look down. It was a 96 pack. All the others had forgotten the earlier conversation, but she hadn’t. “Ha!” I squealed with glee, opening it to read some of the color names. There was even a sharpener on the back.

I was so busy that day, I didn’t have time to draw her a picture. But I did make a sign using a different unusual shade for each letter reading “Cheryl saved my childhood dreams!” She laughed with satisfaction.


I couldn’t remember how long it had been since I read a novel for pleasure.

Sure, I listen to audiobooks constantly. I’ve probably listened to 15-20 audiobooks since January during my commutes. And I have lots of books on my bedside table that I use for “study”. They’re dry, dusty old tomes analyzing philosophy or emerging religions or something like that. Not exactly light reading. Not something I usually read cover to cover.

So, I decided to read a few books. To lay my eyes on the words and carry the paper around with me. And then I remembered why I got away from them in nursing school. They consume me.

When I was a student, I spent my driving hours listening to books. I spent my reading hours immersed in schoolwork. After graduation, I never went back to the old way. I think I was imagining that my new system was somehow more “efficient” and “high tech”. I’d forgotten that I am an exceptionally fast reader. I never skim or skip over things, I just plow through them so quickly. So I read 6 books this week. Is that not crazy? I’m going to have to slow down. I have a wedding to plan, after all.


So I’m going to quit my job September 11th, move my things to Austin, come back and freak out for a week, then walk down the aisle September 27th. I had bridal portraits last Saturday, which was fun. (I wish I could post pictures, but you know, wouldn’t want to spoil it for certain people.) I’m getting really excited about all this. It’s going to be a really huge change for me. I’m not only getting married… I’m moving to a new city, finding a job in a new specialty, fitting myself into an established network of friends… becoming independent (I feel like I am the very last person to do this).

But my feet are far from cold! I’m just excited to think about the opportunities. Doing something totally new. And being with Jeff, who has my heart now more than ever.

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One Comment

  1. Anonymous
    Posted October 15, 2008 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    Honeymoom post needed! Jz

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