After working at Trauma all day...

I have decided that I am in desperate need of a deflective bubble to keep me safe from everything in life that could potentially physically harm me.

I have diagrammed for you my feelings of necessity and the things in life that scare me :

(click image for closer view of the terror)


Just a forwarning...

If you ever happen to find yourself at 10:00 at night in Orlando, Florida with a sleepy little boy and an even sleepier man after a day in Disney World, do not stay here at America's Best Value Roach Motel Inn:

It is a non-descriptive no chain travel place dipped in hell.



I still remember the day I first met her. I was in high school back in 1996 and my family decided it was time to add another new family member to the group. We piled into the minivan and drove to a little shop called "Le petit chien".

We didn't really have in mind what we were looking for, but instead were waiting for her to find us. The owner went into the back and brought out two tiny silvery gray miniature schnauzers for us to hold. Little Chloe decided that we were the family for her and chose to come home with us.

None of us had had the pleasure of living with a puppy - we had only the memory of our old mutt Muffy and she was already well into her adulthood when us kids came along. To have a teeny puppy to train and love was just such a novelty. We adapted quickly.

Chloe was the most docile sweet dog you would ever want to meet. If you could overlook her stank poop breath (it is well understood that she liked to 'snack' on her own body's producings) and her constantly wet muzzle from her rather nasty habit of licking whatever was near her, (ie - carpet, clothes, furniture, people) that was harder to break than a heroin addiction, you would have just as easily fallen in love with her too. Chloe flourished in our home where she was dressed up like a baby (mom), showered with treats (dad), cuddled in bed every night (Fush, Cesaro, myself), taken to 'Stupid Dog Trick' training camp and groomed every month. Chloe loved it when you noticed her new haircut and fancy bandana and would put her little chin up on your chair for a good rub down.

When Chloe was about 4 years old, we turned her stable and loving world upside down by thrusting a neurotic little 2 lb. black mini schnauzer named Pepper into it. To see a puppy not even 6 inches long launch an attack on our full grown Chloe was astonishing and amusing. Chloe hid out beneath an end table for months, lamenting the perils of her new existence. Eventually though, the two pups became inseperable and could often be found at the end of a long day lying on their bellies facing each other, kissing.

In my humble opinion, dogs are family members, albeit much cuter, sweeter, less annoying family members. When you share your life with one of these creatures for 12 or more years, you tend to grow a bond so tight even you aren't quite aware of it until your little pal is taken away from you.

Chloe was never big on exercise, and had been known to down 3 bowls of dog food in one sitting as well as being caught after stealing and finishing off a 1 lb. chocolate bar. It is a wonder she never ended up on Jenny Craig with her own commercial alongside Kirstie Alley talking of all of the weight she lost after realizing that her eating was not out of hunger but out of emotional necessity, and then going on the Oprah show to talk about her screwed up puppyhood complete with crossdressing as a human and dealing with an annoying and neurotic little sister after which she would inevitably don a bikini and show off her svelte new figure.

Alas our little pup went the other direction and ended up with a terrible heart condition. We first noticed it when my parents took her on a springtime walk and she collapsed from the exhertion. (We thought she was just being melodramatic but turns out she wasn't kidding). Several months later we found out she had congestive heart failure. We put her on meds that would give her a greater quality of life but would only delay the inevitable. Chloe seemed to have her old pre-Pepper puppy spark back and we thought we were out of the woods for a while.

Then on March 22, 2009 Chloe decided enough was enough and left us.

Dear Chloe,

Today marks nearly two weeks since you decided to go bounding across that great rainbow bridge in the sky toward an afterlife filled with endless bowls of meat chunks, licking parties and bark-fests. I never fathomed that this day would ever come. I have tried to write this letter to you many times over the past weeks but find that even though I thought I was getting over it all, it all comes rushing back in a wave of emotion complete with tears, snotty noses and several bowls of peanut butter chocolate chip ice cream.

I often find myself looking for you in your little bed whenever I come downstairs at night. Every so often I go up to dad's office where he put your collar on your favorite Garfield toy and jingle it just to remember you. I always tried to shush your incessant barking whenever I (or anyone else) walked through the front door, but I now find myself longing for your head jarring voice. Pepper and Lucy wait by the outside door everytime we let them out to play, looking for you, not sure when you are going to be coming back from wherever you went. The first few days after you left us, whenever we mentioned your name they would run around the house trying to sniff you out. Knowing that those two pups were grieving your loss breaks my heart.

I can't honestly say you are in a better place because I know how much you loved your life with us. We loved you so very much. You weren't hurting or in pain when you went in Mom's arms, thank goodness. I just wish we had a little bit more time with you.

I thought I was doing good until your vet sent us your very last paw print with "Chloe 3/1996 - 3/2009". It all seemed so permanent.

Enjoy your romps through fields of dog biscuits and the occasional turd. Be sure to wait for us at the pearly gates when we get there.