Category Archives: relationships

Tribute to Shadow

As a kid, I only had fish, my sister had a turtle. We never had a furry friend – nor did I ever desire one.

I’m not an animal lover. Call me afraid, call me weird, but it’s true. Even petting zoos freak me out. Remember when you put a quarter in the machine to buy the food in order to feed the animals? I would put my hand out and as soon as the animal would lean in to eat the food, I would pull my hand back in fear, scattering the food everywhere; thus teasing the poor animal.

When the boyfriend and I started dating, I learned that everyone in his family had at least one dog. I eventually (this took years) warmed up to Shadow and we took a liking to one another. I was still nervous but he only ever wanted to be petted. When people say their dog is good and friendly, this one was.  Shadow was truly, a good dog.

When we would come to visit, no matter the time we got in, Shadow waited at the top of the stairs waiting to greet us. I think he was more excited to see the boyfriend, but then again the boyfriend was more excited than me to see Shadow. Shadow would stand at the top of the stairs waiting for us and wagged his tail so hard it would beat against the ground. He was waiting for the big hug and some good behind-the-ear scratching from the boyfriend. I would run my hand from somewhere behind his neck to the middle of his back before pulling it away. Sure, laugh. But Shadow is the only dog I have ever pet, willingly. And even this small gesture took me a few years to master.

One of the first times, if not the first time, I met Shadow, we were visiting the boyfriend’s parents for a long weekend. I had to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. I walked out of the bedroom and Shadow was there, standing guard. I was terrified – and at a standstill. I couldn’t walk the ten feet to the bathroom without passing Shadow. I didn’t know what to do because I really had to go to the bathroom. Shadow started to bark and the boyfriend’s sister was awakened by the commotion and upon realizing I was scared to leave the room, she held his collar so I could leave the room. Little did I know then, Shadow was probably just making sure I was okay. He wasn’t going to pounce, attack or bite.

When we ate, he always laid under the table near me patiently waiting for hand outs. I think this is because I am a slow eater and he knew that I would be the last to finish. Again, I was afraid to feed him, just like at the petting zoo, so once I finished my meal, I let the boyfriend feed him any leftovers.

Shadow loved walks, hated taking medicine and loved being at the lake.

Shadow was the kind of dog who didn’t care who pulled on his tail or who would snuggle up on the floor with him. With so many kids in the family, it was bound to happen.

When the kids would swim in a pool, or in the lake, he always kept watch. He would pace around the area keeping an eye out.

When I heard the news that Shadow had been put down this past weekend, I shocked even myself. My throat got tight and I started to cry. I cried because I was sad. I cried for Shadow but then I cried for my boyfriend who loved Shadow so much and then I cried for everyone who loved him. I cried thinking about how the kids would learn that Shadow was in heaven and I cried for the boyfriend’s parents who loved him so much.

I never really understood when people said a dog is part of your family. I get it now.


Number one: I couldn’t stop eating

Hurricane / Tropical Storm Irene caused significant flooding and damage on the Eastern Seaboard this weekend but hopefully everyone is safe.

My post-hurricane/tropical storm observations from my own home.

1 – During ‘lock down’ I COULDN’T STOP EATING. We had bought some food (read: unhealthy crap) that we don’t normally purchase so it was a bit of overload. But not everything was unhealthy. Bananas, granola bars, popsicles, bread. It didn’t matter. I couldn’t stop eating. Besides small leaks in my apartment, the biggest personal problem I have with Irene is the weight she put on me. Anyone else have the same problem?!

2 – The boyfriend and I prepare for emergencies very differently. I heeded the advice of elected officials, I taped the windows, I moved my irreplaceable (after human life) items into the closets, I filled the tub with water, I made sure we had wine and beer and canned goods and snacks (okay, so they said canned goods and food…I interpreted it my way), I slept on an aero bed in our foyer away from glass windows. I was under the assumption that our windows were going to blow out. The boyfriend, not so much. He made sure we had bottled water, he filled up used water bottles with tap water in case we needed more water to flush the toilets (because he drained the tub I filled), he made sure we had flashlights (even though the batteries were supposed to be used by 2003), he slept in the bed – next to said glass windows. Maybe we make a good team.

3 – I feel bad for the newscasters. I know that I once wanted to be one of them, but boy is it tedious, not to mention dangerous. And I got sucked in with the best of them. On Sunday evening, yes Sunday, when I asked the boyfriend, ‘Where did Saturday and Sunday go?’ he replied, ‘We watched the news, a lot of news.’ And just like that my weekend was gone.

4 – While I give New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg much credit for speaking Spanish during his press conferences, he might want to have a translator to speak on his behalf. I do hope it is sincerely appreciated by Spanish-speaking New Yorkers because he does give it a valiant effort.

5 – Whatever your political affiliation, you have to love New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s ‘get the hell off the beach’ speech. If you haven’t seen it, click the link I provided right this second. HILARIOUS. PS – he is right, although I admit that I may have waited a little bit longer just to avoid  the traffic.

6 – Social media is here to stay. I have believed this for a long time but for you naysayers…news was out there relaying information as well as local governments. I admit, I followed a few more relevant Facebook pages and Twitter feeds that would give me the information I desired. And some with not so relevant information…but hey, with 10K followers in just a few days, that’s impressive.

7 – Note to self: when stores are restocked, create an emergency kit – including D batteries and duct tape. No where could D batteries be found. Duct tape — I eventually found a few more rolls, but they weren’t at the hardware store. Now I realize the importance…I don’t want to be THOSE people at the store again. I want to have that stuff at the ready.

8 – We should be thankful it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. Prepare for the worst, expect the best is a good mantra.

9 – I prepared for the windows to blow out and I also prepared to lose electricity. I had games, a deck of cards and candles ready to go into the bathroom. I also made the boyfriend and I pack a little emergency bag in case we had to evacuate at a moment’s notice. Laugh now, but I don’t think it was a bad idea.

10 – I am a little annoyed by the MTA and the PATH trains. You shut them down for the first time in history and you get them back and running in less than 48 hours? Why? Why? WHY? The storm happened over the weekend. You couldn’t just make a public plea for people to stay home on Monday?

While there are many people who think this was too much preparation for something so little, I do think the public officials did right by their constituents. Mother Nature is unpredictable and while there is significant damage up and down the Eastern Seaboard, you never know what could have been.

Late for a Very Important Date

WHY can’t I consistently be early, or on-time?

Professionally, I am always on-time, if not early. I get frustrated when meetings start late and run over.

Personally speaking, I’m not early. I’m usually on-time. Or, more often than not, a few minutes late. This is when I am banking on walking, or taking a subway or a city bus to my destination.

Because I rely heavily on public transportation, I am bound by specific schedules. I have to do the backwards math to get me to the transportation. I figure out which time is the ‘ideal’ train, bus or boat time in my head and then the second best. It’s getting to that ‘ideal’ train, bus or boat that being late kicks in.

Once I am en route on one of the ‘ideal’ timed transport, I’m going to arrive when I say I will.

If I’m not running for transportation, I just feel like I am running late.

Many years ago, I had to sprint from the parking lot to catch a train that was already at the platform. Once on the train, the train conductor told me that “People wait for trains, trains don’t wait for people.” I try to avoid repeating that situation as best I can.

In college, I was in a sorority – Phi Sigma Sigma – and everyone was always at least five minutes late, so consistently that we coined it ‘Phi Sig time.’

The boyfriend is very much an ‘early to on-time’ kind of guy and he was abruptly introduced to ‘Phi Sig’ time when we arrived somewhere to meet friends about ten minutes early. Which meant we were waiting for my friends for nearly twenty minutes. So many years out of college, and some of us are still on Phi Sig time…but it makes it easier to plan accordingly knowing it’s kind of okay, and pretty much expected (those of you reading this, know who you are).

I am taking an official stand and making a mid-year New Year’s resolution to heed Vince Lombardi’s words in my life: “If you’re not 5 minutes early, you’re late.” I will be realistic about it though. Two to three minutes early, or even exactly on time would suffice for me.

Hate being late? Check out these proven tips. I know I will.

Are you a Flake?

“While you may not consciously be trying to tick off people, the problem is that you aren’t consciously making an effort not to either. This thoughtlessness can derail your professional and personal relationships.” — Susan Kim

Take a read.

Well, are YOU a flake?

As for me, where I do really well…I’m the queen of follow-up both professionally and personally. So those that don’t follow through with what they say they will do happens to drive me crazy.

And my other peeve is not saying thank you after someone went out of their way for you. I’m not from the South but you would think I was. I love thank you notes. I don’t care how it’s sent – whether it’s a handwritten note, an email or a call. It doesn’t need to be on fancy stationery or contain long-winded paragraphs or be a long phone call but there should always be an acknowledgement of thanks.

And since I am absolutely not perfect, check out tomorrow’s post when I point out where I don’t do so well.