Friday, December 31, 2010

twenty-ten, over & out














Two thousand and ten, you were quite the challenge when it came to life post-grad. I turned 23, fell in love, tried my hand at accounting (wtf?), dealt with unemployment, terrible employment, and unemployment once again, spent a lot of money enjoying a summer I didn't expect to have, thankfully attended more weddings than funerals, got a tattoo, watched too much Jersey Shore while drinking too much wine, made new friendships while rekindling the old, became the proud mother of two (count 'em, TWO) dogs and kissed my sanity goodbye.

Thanks for the ups, let's forget the downs, and here's to a fantastic year ahead of us all!

BRING IT ON, 2011.

Monday, December 27, 2010

for Christmas my grandmother decided to dress me like a pimp

My grandmother, God love her, has the strangest taste.

I should qualify that statement by saying that when it comes to dishes, home d├ęcor, and her own clothing, she has impeccable taste. Really just fantastic. But because we (she and I) are such different people, the things she chooses to buy me are often...iffy.

Or in this case, pimp-like.

Shudder.

A few hours before everyone was supposed to arrive at our house for Christmas Eve festivities, my grandmother swung by to drop off all her gifts (because they were already in her car and she just couldn't bear the thought of leaving them in her trunk unsupervised). Sweetheart, I found the most fabulous outfit the other day. I thought you could wear it to a New Years Eve party!, she gushed.

Now, I was wary because I know her penchant for purchasing interesting items, but really, I wasn't prepared for the reality of the situation.

I'll just kiss my dignity goodbye and show you this:


HOLY SHIT, GRANDMA.


I.

Look.

So.

Fat.

Also, I'm planning on stoning my mother later for making me pose this way. That angle does not work for my body. Wtf.


In case you're having a hard time taking your eyes off the ensemble as a whole, let me break it down for you. This fashion-forward look can be yours by stopping at your local Dillard's and purchasing:

one silky black top
one black COMPLETELY SEQUINED Tuxedo jacket
one black fur "bomber jacket"
one pair gray-black JEGGINGS
one jaunty black cabbie-style cap, complete with black sequined band & bow


My mom said I looked like a hooker. I really felt more like a sassy gay cab driver, possibly native to Reno. Mitch said he still loved me, so he's obviously a keeper, although the next thing he said was could he please also try on the jeggings?

Mitch had just come from the ballet, where he was starring in Peter Pan. Also, check out those sexy tennis-toned legs. Meowww.


Marry me.


You see, my grandmother had bought two pairs, being unsure what size I wore.

This was clearly the perfect opportunity for Mitch and I dress like a lesbian couple.


Merry Christmas!


We showed my grandmother these pictures later. She apologized and took the clothes back. Thanks, Grandma.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

a weary world rejoices





Here's to sweet time spent with sweet family, hot chocolate with mini marshmallows, puppy presents, hideous purple bathrobes gifted from great-grandmothers, and another wonderful holiday all together. Merry Christmas, y'all!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

i'm alive, i swear

I feel so out of touch with the real world.

And by the real world I, of course, mean the internet.

My parents, Mitch and I just got back last night from a family hunting trip out in Hickville, USA (aka. West Texas) where there is absolutely no cell phone service. Also, coincidentally, there was absolutely no hunting for me as I prefer to read and nap. Hunters, hunt your hearts out. Just leave me out of it.

But isn't this a great look for Mitch?

I promise that in real life he looks much hotter. And less like Elmer Fudd.


Anyway, since Christmas Eve is tomorrow (tomorrow!!) I'm spending this evening quietly enjoying a homemade facial mask and tons of free foodstuffs from my Neiman Marcus assistant buyer friend, Eileen (who, in case you couldn't tell, has the coolest job ever).

Happy almost Christmas! Enjoy this picture of my two (TWO!) puppies, please & thanks. And no, it never makes me feel pathetic to talk about my dogs as much as I do. It's fine.

Hello, we're the Townsend-Baker dogs and we're pretty damn adorable.




Oh, and PS: just to be totally anticlimactic, my big "secret" of last week was that my two very dear friends Kelsey and Harrison got engaged this past Saturday. I was overly excited to find out a week before Harry proposed and despeartely wanted to tell the world; however, I am pleased to say I was able to keep it to myself. Look at me, I'm growing up. Anyway, congratulations, Kelsey and Harrison! I can think of no two people more deserving of true love and happiness. :)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

a proper introduction

Well, World, meet Pete Townsend.*

Pete, the World.

Hello.


It’s about time the two of you were introduced since you’ve been a part of our lives for over twenty-four hours now (and a taxing twenty-four hours they have been). But now that we’ve made it through our first day together, things have calmed down long enough for me to sneak away to write this.

Pete is my new puppy.

He’s a seven-month old hound dog I adopted through a rescue and adoption organization here in Dallas called Paws in the City. I feel a little insane adopting a dog this close to Christmas and when I’m, oh yea, not steadily employed, but something in my gut told me this was the right decision. About a month ago I wrote about my other dog, Clark Kent, and her diagnosis of Shar Pei fever. Episodes of fever and swelling (associated with Shar Pei fever) are thought to be brought on by stress, whether physical or emotional, so my thought process is that I can reduce Clark’s emotional stress by providing her with a playmate. I just can’t be home every second of every day, so she needs another dog to play with and keep her company.

Enter Pete.

Ummmm...hello again.


He’s a bit of a mess, all lanky puppy arms and legs, scavenging for food in the trashcans and pissing all over my carpet. But he and Clark seem to love each other, and that makes me happy. All the kinks will get worked out in time and, of course, with extensive training. So get ready, Pete, because come January, I’m enrolling your ass in Puppy Kindergarten.

My new Christmas wish is for patience.

And for Pete to not destroy my house.

Yea, that's right. Eat your bone, but nothing else. Except maybe food. Dog food.



*Not to be confused with Pete Townshend, although the similarities are uncanny.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

it was all for you

I love Pandora.

I probably even love it more than my iPod, which is saying something because Gad has a pretty important place in my life (and yes, I named my iPod). When I hit the Pandora app on my phone this morning, it was immediately apparent that Mitch was the last one to use it since I found myself listening to Gucci Mane radio (really?). Me, I’m more into Jason Mraz radio (the absolute best station for any mood).

Anyway, this morning I was, of course, listening to Jason Mraz radio as I drove to today’s shoot, jamming to the likes of Ingrid Michelson, Matt White and, of course, Jason Mraz, when an old favorite came on. As soon as I heard the opening chords of Sister Hazel’s All For You, I felt myself slipping back to wintertime two years ago.

The boy I dated before Mitch was a guitar player. Well, is a guitar player because I really have no reason to assume he’s not still playing. Our relationship was (at best) tumultuous and (at worst) absolutely devastating, so when it ended I tried to push every single memory of him out of my mind. Even the good ones. Or perhaps especially the good ones. But this morning, listening to Sister Hazel, I remembered a good one and found myself less inclined to cringe than usual.

Leo said he had a surprise for me and, no, he couldn’t tell me where we were going. We drove through and all around our small college town until we arrived at a park, a park I had never really taken the time to visit. At first I was less than impressed; it was chilly and I wasn’t really in the mood to traipse around some stupid park grounds. But as we parked and made our way out of the truck, he grabbed a picnic basket and his guitar from the back where he had hidden them both.

C’mon, he said, and so I followed.

We waded through weeds and brush and thorns until we stopped in a small clearing, secluded enough by the tall trees to feel like this was ours and we were alone. I stood behind Leo as he spread a blanket on the cold ground and started to lay out the food he’d brought for us (peanut butter & jelly sandwiches and chocolate chip cookies). We sat and we ate, but then he started to play. And then he sang, words can’t say / and I can’t do / enough to prove / it’s all for you. It was like magic and I was transfixed.

I mentioned that there was a lot of hurt, a lot of dishonesty, and just plain a lot of bad in our relationship. I’d get so angry, so completely fed up and want to walk away, but then Leo would manage to do something like this, something unexpected and special, something that made me feel special.

And for whatever reason (love?), those moments were enough to convince me that everything would be okay.

Now, obviously, things didn’t end up being okay, and it’s taken time (lots of time) to be in a place where I can write about this without bitterness. A year ago, maybe even six months ago, I don’t know that I could have heard All For You and not have been momentarily thrown into a downward spiral. Hearing it this morning and being able to immediately remember the good instead of immediately remembering the bad…well, it’s nice.

It’s nice to be able to dust off old memories.

It’s even nicer not to cry in the process.

Monday, December 13, 2010

sicky

Greetings! I think I'm getting sick.

Hot apple cider, I need you.

My head is all fuzzy and my throat is all scratchy and, as a result, I'm all whiney. You're welcome, parents. But hey, the silver lining is that tomorrow I get to spend ten hours with pre-teens!

I think I'll cough on them.

Kudos and love to my mom, though, for making me cider since it's the only thing that makes my throat happy. And kudos and love to Clark Kent for being a wonderful snuggle buddy.

This is my current view. Jealous?

Hugs and kisses, y'all.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

cake balls, puppy dogs, and a Peruvian hat (but not in that order)

My love affair with weekends continues, in case anyone is interested.

On Saturday my friend Diana and I went to the most fabulous little salon in Uptown called Dear Clark Hair Studio for haircuts and complimentary makeovers. I love free stuff (sadly, the haircut was not free). Dear Clark somehow manages to be both chic and adorable, plus there's wine. I also love free booze. The girl who cut my hair, Chantel, is fantastic, so fantastic that not only is this the best haircut I've ever had in my life, but she also made me look so pretty (and, trust me, this is not an easy feat). My new Christmas wish is to be able to style my hair the way she did. Fingers crossed. Anyway, it was such a fun afternoon and I left with a spring in my step.

Last night was Kelsey's white elephant party and let me start off by saying I totally got what I deserved, as much as that sucks. Everyone brought such fun gifts (ie. Mitch walked away with a spaceship alarm clock that projects the time AND PICTURES OF PLANETS on the ceiling!) and it was a blast, except for the part where I ended up with my own stupid gift. That's what I get for buying a talking bobble head of Snooki.

I deserved to walk away with this. Best part? Every time her head moves she says, I'm not trashy...unless I drink too much. It's my new motto. Also, this looks nothing like Snooki.


To be fair, Diana is an excellent friend and gave me the gift she ended up with, the most adorable little Woodland Creatures cookie cutters from IKEA.

I can't wait to make moose cookies!


As the night came to a close, Kelsey gave us all these cute little canisters she made filled with delicious cake balls. Have y'all ever had cake balls? I can't even describe them except to say they're like little drops of heaven. Kelsey also gifted me a bottle of wine with a funny little label she made that says He's the Riesling for the season. Get it? Or are we the only ones who thinks that's funny? It's fine.

Kelsey is so adorable, but y'all've already figured that out.


I feel so blessed to have such sweet and wonderful friends. Sometimes I can't understand why God has been good to me, but I'm grateful all the same.

This morning Mitch and I joined my whole family (grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, etc.) in attending our church's Christmas play. It was pretty amazing -- there were fireworks that went off inside the auditorium and, at one point, HUGE FLAMES OF FIRE. We felt the heat on our faces all the way in our seats and I'm relatively certain everyone in the first nineteen rows must have walked away sans eyebrows. Later Mitch and I went Christmas shopping for Clark (no, that's not sad; it's AWESOME) because we love her. Note: we frequently joke that we don't want to have kids because we'd really just like to have dogs and vacations, but after spending the afternoon with my cousin's cute (but diva-ish) baby, we may no longer be joking. While we were out, Mitch bought/gave me an early Christmas present: the cutest Peruvian-style winter hat. I'm obsessed. Thanks for being the sweetest boyfriend, Mitchell. :)

I'm gonna rock the shit outta this hat all winter long.


The only thing I can keep saying is how blessed I feel all of a sudden. And it's not that anything has drastically changed, it's just that...I look around me and I feel warm with love for the people in my life. The hat helps, too.

There are a lot of really exciting things that are going to happen this coming week, but for now, they must remain secret. :) All the same, I'll end on a list of things I'm looking forward to (because it's fun to remind myself):
  • Mitch now lives in DFW and I can see him whenever I want
  • Drinks with friends tomorrow night to celebrate the end of finals
  • Couples dinner date night on Thursday (Kelsey and Harrison are seriously the cutest)
  • Secrets :)
And now I'll for real end this post with two pictures of Clark because she's the best and I'm really trying to treasure every moment we have together.

You're a beaut.


Oh, Clark Kent, I love you. And I have excellent posture.

Friday, December 10, 2010

plan usa

Being as broke as I am, I decided weeks ago that no one is getting Christmas presents from me this year. Perhaps I'll just write nice notes instead? Anyway, when my Plan USA: Gifts of Hope catalog came in the mail on Monday, I knew that no matter how tight money is, I had to buy something. How could I not?

Plan USA is an independent, non-profit organization that, through child sponsorships, donations and partnerships, works to provide a better future for the underprivileged children of the world. From their website:

Founded over 70 years ago, Plan is one of the oldest and largest international development agencies in the world. We work in 48 developing countries across Africa, Asia and the Americas and raise funds in 21 countries...

Through child sponsorship, donations, and partnerships, more than 1,500,000 children and their families directly benefit from our grassroots, self-help programs in health, education, water and sanitation, income-generation and cross-cultural communication. Indirect beneficiaries include an estimated further 9,000,000 people living in communities working with Plan.

Two years ago, in December 2008, I made the New Years resolution to help someone other than myself in 2009. I spent a lot of time researching organizations like this before I decided on sponsoring a child through Plan USA. Dipesh is eight-years old and lives in Nepal with his mom and baby brother. Every six months or so, Plan USA sends me an updated picture of him, as well as a kind of progress report to let me know how he's been doing. And sometimes I even get a little drawing he's made. :) I also receive an email every year reminding me when his birthday is coming up so I can send him a letter or card. I can't believe it's already been two years, but I have to say that my donation to Plan USA for Dipesh is the best money I spend every month.


Anyway, around Christmas time they send out a catalog of gifts you can donate to families and children in need. Things like mosquito netting for a family or village to keep out mosquito-transmitted malaria, donating the money for a sheep or cow (which equals precious food or milk for a family), planting a mango tree to help feed children, etc. Reading through the catalog, everything is so necessary that it was hard to pick just one or two things to "buy." I ended up donating the money for a birth certificate ($25), a home birthing kit ($25), and childhood vaccinations ($25). My parents also decided to put money in to buy a goat for a family ($75). I really encourage everyone to look over the website and consider donating something this year. Perhaps even considering sponsoring a child! I can't tell you how blessed I feel to support this organization and know that Dipesh has shoes, school supplies, and food, and what a relief that must be to his family.


When I start to complain or feel sorry for myself that I can't go buy a new pair of boots (when I still have a perfectly good pair in the closet) or go out to eat with my friends as often as a want, I stop and remind myself of Dipesh and Plan USA and all the families struggling out there. Then, of course, I feel horribly selfish, but all the same, I know I can do something to help.

We all can, and we all should.

Please take a few minutes today to look over Plan USA's website and gifts of hope catalog. We are such a blessed people; let's bless others in return.



PS: I so wish I could share with y'all a picture of my little Dipesh so you can ooo and awww over how cute he is, but I don't have a scanner. So, just trust me. :)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

mishmash: december

Y'all, basketball picture season is upon us and, let me tell you, I'm exhausted.

Running around the set for nine hours straight, trying to herd together a bunch of screaming pre-teens really takes it outta ya. And for the life of me, I don't remember being that wiggly at twelve and thirteen, but maybe I was. I swear to God, these kids cannot stand still for longer than a split second. And quiet? HA. Maybe in another universe. I lost count of the number of times today I stood on a table and screamed CLOSE YOUR MOUTHS. What a joy.

I have so many blog posts I've started but not finished over the past few days. It's like I can't stay focused (or awake) long enough to get a complete thought out. This has just been one of the most scatterbrained weeks I've ever had, seriously. For example, on Tuesday I dropped off my resume at the front office of one of the middle schools we do pictures at (you know, just so they'd have it on file, just in case) and accidentally wrote "also available for tax tutoring" on a Post-It instead of TAKS. Then I schlepped out to the parking lot, crawled into my car, and died of embarrassment. Hello, Frisco ISD! I'm completely incompetent! HAHAHA!

Ah, good times.

Anyway, Friends re-runs are calling my name (one of my many comfort activities...as opposed to, you know, comfort foods), but before I go, I wanted to share a few pictures from (an impromptu) girls' night out last weekend.



Kelsey, me and Diana met Big Al Mack from Kidd Kraddick in the Morning and squealed like little girls. This was also before I decided to start using my cute mustard yellow scarf as a towel. Yikes.


My new friend Eileen. She just moved here from Chicago a couple months ago and I think it's safe to say she's slowly but surely falling in love with Dallas. And me.


I just love it when old friendships are rekindled. Here I am seen obnoxiously clinging to my little (or rather, tall) loverbugg, Diana.


Tomorrow's Friday which means only one and a half days left until Kelsey's bumpin' White Elephant party on Saturday night. I. Can't. WAIT. I love holiday parties!

Oh, and did I mention Mitch moves home tomorrow? No big deal. :)

All right, peace up.

A-town down. And out.

Monday, December 6, 2010

can't stop, won't stop: december

Oh yea, it's time for this again (because, really, I'm always finding new and old favorites to obsess/re-obsess over). And as for my most recent playlist? Well, here ya go:


(photo credit)


Have y'all ever heard of The Band Perry? I hadn't until I heard their song If I Die Young over the weekend. It's so beautiful, y'all, that I really think I need to check out their entire (self-titled) album.

sink me in the river at dawn
send me away with the words of a love song
...

I would really love to do a bit if a re-cap of the totally fantastic weekend I had, but I'm picky and want to post pictures, pictures I haven't even seen yet because I'm waiting for my friend Diana to upload them to Facebook. My camera(s) bit the dust recently and, needless to say, I'm going insane not being able to take my own pictures. Anyway, I suppose it'll just have to wait.

Oh, and I mean, it's still in the works, but I believe I will have someone new for y'all to meet very soon. :)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

rap songs & pablo neruda

I had a lot on mind earlier than I was really excited to write about...but now it's 6:30, I have to be somewhere in a half hour, and my hair is still in a side braid. Not cute.

Two things before I rush off to dinner with an old friend (note: I love mentioning things like this because it makes it seem as if I have a social life during the week...which, in actuality, I don't):

1. Mike Rod - "Like I'm Tannehill"
Someone posted this video on Facebook today and I was floored. Hell. to the. YES. I bet Ryan Tannehill feels like an even bigger badass now that he has his own rap song. I know I would.


hullabaloo caneck caneck, son


2. I was feeling like a sappy lame-o when I got home and made this (while inwardly mocking myself):

from Pablo Neruda's love sonnet xvii (a personal favorite)


In related news: only one week left until Mitch moves back!

Monday, November 29, 2010

tweet tweet

I have had the hiccups all day.

Literally.

This can't be normal.


(photo credit)
does eating sugar really work?



PS: I just realized this would be more appropriate for a tweet rather than a blog post, but oh well. Sorry, Twitterverse.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

a very Townsend-Baker thanksgiving

Holidays are lovely, but they really throw off me off, ie. I've thought it was Sunday all day.

I hope everyone had a tasty Thanksgiving! Mitch and I spent time with our families (one of his family traditions is to play a dominoes game called Train whenever everyone's together, which I discovered I'm not good at) and ate two Thanksgiving dinners. I was also able to take a few (non-professional) family photos of the Bakers during one of the brief moments it stopped raining, and I have to say I'm pretty pleased with the results.

I couldn't have said it better myself.


Bakers. :)


Favorite Thanksgiving day moment:
laying on the couch & inadvertently spooning Morgan (and the bonding continues...)

I wish we had a picture of the aforementioned spooning, but I suppose this'll do.


I don't like to take normal pictures because they highlight my hideousness but, my god, Mitch has never looked sexier.


On Friday my parents had us take a quick family photo out at a nearby park since my brother and sister-in-law were in town for the holiday. Note: I hate being in pictures, so I was a less-than-happy camper, but whatev. However, it was pretty cute that my family included Mitch in our photo shoot; I thought that was just precious. I guess there's no going back now, eh Mitch? You're on the Christmas card. You're officially stuck with us.

left to right: Mitch, Clark, me, Mama, Dad, my sister-in-law Amy and my brother Benton
(and I'm beyond annoyed that my mom and I look like the same person ughhh)


The rest of this long weekend has consisted of traveling back and forth to Dallas for various reasons (movies, an interview, parties, etc.) and, finally, resting. I can't believe I still have another day of this left! Thanks for taking your sweet time, Sunday.

Oh, and the interview I had today? I think it went well, but I won't find out until Monday whether or not I'll be selected for a second interview. So...we'll see!

Thanksgiving, I cannot believe you have already come & gone, but thank you for bringing together family and food, as well as a cold front. And although I'm grateful for the memories we've made together, it's time to move on. I hope you understand, Thanksgiving...

It's Christmas season, bitches. :)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

i think i wanna marry you

Oh, and I think I could watch this clip from last night's Glee episode over and over and over and over. And forever.

thankful

Two of my best friends and I at the A&M v. t.u. game last year, Thanksgiving Day


In keeping with the spirit of Thanksgiving, I wanted to list some things I'm thankful for (and effectively copy ninety-nine percent of the other bloggers in existence).


This year I'm thankful for...
  • parents that drive me absolutely out of my mind (but who I love all the same)
  • an incredible aunt and uncle
  • fantastic cousins that feel like brothers and sisters
  • the most wonderful dog in the world
  • a pretty nifty boyfriend
  • my hometown
  • sweet friends, near and far
  • having an interview this coming Saturday :)
  • Taco Bueno party burritos
  • sweater-weather
  • the Bakers (and their reluctant love & acceptance, ha)
  • Dallas, TX
  • the power of forgiveness and the promise of future


  • my cousin Hunter and I, Thanksgiving 2009


    I'll be spending the first part of Thanksgiving day with Mitch and his extended family, then we'll trek back to Grapevine for dessert and AGGIE FOOTBALL with mine.

    Too be frank, I'm not a huge Thanksgiving fan. Don't get me wrong: I'm all for being thankful. But my family seems to be one that gets, ahem, unbearably stressed during the holidays, so it in turn make Thanksgiving more of a day to get through than a day to enjoy (sorry, Mom). Regardless, bring on the turkey, mashed potatoes and apple pie*!


    my sweet cousin Braeden and I playing around last Thanksgiving -- isn't he the cutest?


    *Regrettably, I am a picky eater and these are the only Thanksgiving foods I like. I KNOW.

    Monday, November 22, 2010

    can't stop, won't stop: november

    It's time for another round of can't stop/won't stop, featuring songs (and perhaps an album or two) I'm inexplicably obsessed with.

    (photo credit)


    Thanks to Gwenyth Paltrow for doing such a fantastic rendition of Forget You that I've found my new go-to karaoke song. We had a good run, Benny & The Jets, but you've been replaced.

    Thursday, November 18, 2010

    an update
    (alternative title: i'm out of clever ideas)

    Not only is Clark still sick, but I have found myself also under the weather, meaning we've spent the past two days like this:

    I know you can barely see Clark in this picture, but the important thing to notice is that I'm sleeping in my coat and scarf. I wish this was unnecessary, but it's that cold in my house.


    She's still dealing with a high fever and swollen legs (seriously, break my fucking heart) and I think I've simply got a case of severe stress (do I sound like a broken record yet?). We've been a cheery duo, as you can see, but I'm really looking forward to her perking up so I can stop sulking. I suppose I could stop sulking now, though I'm not sure I want to. Where's the fun in that?

    This week's hit: conquering my fear of vomit
    This week's miss: cleaning dog puke off my bed (on multiple occasions)

    Oh, and here's a random picture from last weekend when my friend, Jordan, got his Aggie ring. Just felt like sharing.

    Jordan's sad because he hadn't received his ring yet,
    and I'm happy because I'm better than him.


    Here's to (it almost being) Friday!

    Tuesday, November 16, 2010

    clark kent: the girl dog with a dude's name

    I may or may not have mentioned before, but Clark Kent is my dog. My female dog. It's not really that interesting of a story (how I named her, I mean), but basically I just thought it would be funny to name a dog Clark Kent. My plan was to adopt a male, so when I found a listing for "FREE PUPPIES!!!!!!" on CraigsList, I immediately emailed the family and asked if they still had any little boy puppies left. They said yes, but when we met them to pick up the puppy, surprise!, he was a she (how do you mix THAT up?). Anyway, I was all, fuck it, let's still name her Clark Kent. See? Not terribly interesting, but there you have it.



    the day we brought her home (ahhh so small!)


    Christmas 2009


    All the same, she is hands down the light of my life, one of my single greatest joys. Clark is brilliant, does tons of tricks, and is hands down the sweetest, most affectionate (read: co-dependent?), albeit at times hyper-active, dog in the world. I love her.

    my absolute favorite picture of her :)


    Today when I got home from errands, however, she didn't bark or run to the door to greet me. I looked around until I finally found her curled up under the coffee table, looking strange. She wouldn't respond to me, wouldn't move; her body was burning up and her left front & back legs were completely swollen. This was my cue to freak the hell out. I rushed her to the vet and then to the animal ER (my vet wasn't in today, of course) where blood was drawn, x-rays were taken and copious amounts of medication were administered.

    Results?

    Clark has Shar Pei fever.

    Earlier this year we took her to the vet for a similar situation (high fever, swelling) but wrote it off as a freak incident. The doctor today informed us that Shar Pei fever is hereditary (she's a mutt, but we do know, duh, that she's part Shar Pei), it's not curable and eventually leads to irreversible kidney failure.

    Meaning today I became the girl who sobs publicly in the animal ER.

    Fevers, swollen "knees" (called hocks), incidents like this will keep happening for, well, the rest of her life. The only thing we can do is manage the part of the fever that causes protein deposits to form in her kidneys (obviously causing kidney disease, and then failure). There's a medicine we have to track down and start her on immediately that will hopefully stave this off for as long as possible, but the part I can't over is when the doctor said that this will shorten her life significantly. I absolutely lost it.

    explorer dog!


    She's only a year and a half old, and I can't imagine losing her. And she's not just a dog, not to me at least. Anyway, I just needed to get all that off my chest, and I would really appreciate anyone's prayers. :)

    Summer 2009, still a teeny tiny precious puppy (ie. before she turned into a dinosaur)


    Summer 2010, eighty pounds and clearly too big to ride in the driver seat
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