Monday, November 28, 2011


Over the past few days, I've been alternating between hysterical crying and being totally focused on taking care of details. When I've been able to switch into detail-mode, the crying has stopped, but so has the filter that usually prevents me from just blurting out every last thought. To be totally honest, the filter I am speaking of is not the most highly functioning part of me regularly- I have a tendency to be pretty honest about things and I have never had a poker face, so you pretty much always know what I'm feeling. 

On Saturday I met with the funeral home director to make arrangements to have my dad cremated. It had been less than 24 hours since my dad died and I think I was supposed to be hysterical, but I had cried the entire night before and I just didn't have any tears left. I was ready to answer questions, fill out paperwork and check another awful, heartbreaking task off my list. 

I have always been interested in the "behind the scenes" part of things. Whenever I go anywhere, I always wonder whose job it is to choose what hangs on the walls and where things go. I'm always curious about staffing, schedules and management. And so when the funeral guy said, "do you have any questions?" I couldn't resist. I asked several questions about the cremation process, about the urns that were displayed around the room, the morgue, and so on. I'm not sure if he thought I was heartless, or if friendly/smiling/ lack- of-emotion-while-discussing-one's-recently-dead-father is normal. 

My dad didn't want to be set on a shelf, so I wasn't shopping for an urn, but I was very intrigued by them. As I was browsing, I noticed "memorial necklaces" and asked about them. They take some of the ashes from your loved one and infuse it with the glass to make a pendant. I think my dad would have told me wearing him around my neck was creepy (and I agree), but when the funeral guy asked if I was interested, my response wasn't a normal, "no thank you". What flew out of my unfiltered mouth was, "I'd like to have that done when my dogs go, but I don't think it would be right with my dad." 

That was the point that my boyfriend gently put his hand on my arm and guided me out, wincing with apologetic embarrassment as we left. 

For the record, I would consider that for them and no one (including my dad) would be surprised by my dead dog ash necklace. 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Losing My Mind

In case you were wondering, yes, I mentioned the bulldog brigade in my dad's obituary.

Preceded in death by father, John and niece, Ria . Survived by children Natalie and Danny Jr., mother Carol, sisters Vickie, Val, & Amy, countless friends, and three loving grand-dogs.

My dad always claimed he hated all three dogs, except that I can't tell you how many times I overheard him talking to them, sharing whatever he was eating with them or telling people stories about them. Imagining that look of disgust he made whenever I referred to them as "grand-dogs" makes me laugh, because it was all an act. He thought I was ridiculous with them and I can just see him in heaven saying, "come on", but, as I said out loud when I wrote it, "look dad, if you can hear me, this is payback because you left me with a lot of paperwork, so, ha ha, now we're even." I like to think that even though he's gone, we can still play-fight about his relationship with the puppies...


On Friday, Olivia and Griffin lost their Grandpy.

My dad has been sick for a while and living with me since October. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving and we were excited to go to camp on Friday to spend the weekend hanging out in the woods. On Friday morning, my dad went to an appointment and I packed so we would be ready to leave at noon. As soon as I got out to cooler and started packing food, Olivia started losing her mind with excitement. As I usually do, I riled her up further by saying, "who wants to go to camp?!"

At 11:30 I got a phone call letting me know that he'd fallen down a staircase, was unconscious, and in an ambulance on the way to the hospital. I went rushing out the door, leaving the excited dogs behind. My mom went over to my house at 4 to let them out and feed them and they were very unhappy I wasn't home yet. When my best friend dropped off some treats later that evening, Olivia was being super naughty, humping and biting Griffin, throwing a tantrum and generally expressing her displeasure at not being at camp yet.

My dad passed away at 8pm. When I got home 45 minutes later, I think Olivia and Griffin could sense that something was wrong because they were pretty calm. They haven't gotten much attention this weekend, which usually leads my angels to turn into crabby, horrible little beasts, but they've been oddly subdued. Dogs are amazingly perceptive to emotions and I have appreciated it during this difficult weekend.

This is Olivia, trying to bite my dad's feet, while he  attempted to avoid her puppy teeth.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Eating Out of Boredom

It's been a while since I've posted- I'm blaming writer's block, but I'm not sure if it's that I can't think of anything to write or if I've just been really busy and haven't had time to write. 

In the meantime, here's a video of Griffin and Olivia eating frozen peas. They love vegetables and sometimes when they are bugging me for a snack or I need to keep them occupied for a little while, I will throw a few handfuls of frozen peas on the floor and let them go crazy. I used to put hard food or vegetables into rubber kong toys, but Griffin couldn't figure out how to get anything out of his, so I would always end up on the floor, helping him anyway, so this just skips that step.