Hey there, it's been a while. Over a month. When I started Dog Lady Horse Crazy, I was armed with great advice on how to keep a consistent blog presence and a goal of posting 3-4 times a week.
Life has a funny way of getting in the way of plans. I've struggled with how to write this, because in most aspects of my life I am an open book. However, what has been going on doesn't just concern me. It has been a tough summer and while I may never divulge the complete details as they are painful and private, I've had a large life change.
LONG STORY SHORT: I've been adjusting to being a single dog mom.
My dogs have been my constant comfort, which is why Willie's surgery in the midst of all my personal stuff threw me for a loop. Then, Chico got diagnosed with ehrlichia - a tick born virus that made him a bit crankier and achy. I did what any good dog mom would do and investigated all options - including a new vet. Turns out, my sweet bear cub dog also has severe arthritis and bone spurs in his spine. He and Willie are both now on Adequan shots (and Willie is doing laser therapy). Then, my sweet Dingo had two episodes of vomit attacks in two weeks. We are investigating the reason, but he has responded well to meds! What can I say? These three - they own my heart.
But the real hero of my summer is my friends and family. I have no idea how one person could be so insanely lucky to have the incredible support system I do. From the first days of my dilemma to the last few weeks, you guys have been ROCK STARS. You've listened (phone, text, and in person!), agreed to go on trips with me (my preferred method of dealing with stress), brought me things, taken care of my dogs, spent an insane amount of time with me, just an unwavering amount of love. At a time when I found myself most empty and in need of a soul refill, you have overflowed my cup.
First credit must be given to my immediate family. My family is close. Weirdly close. As in we text in a group text multiple times a day and still talk to each other on the phone multiple times too. My parents and my sister have been my rock. My mom and dad have been wonderfully supportive: listening, offering advice, taking me out to dinner. They knew when to just listen and when to start pushing me to get out of my own way on the path to healing, My sister has been a godsend. The normally super annoying 3 hour difference between our time here in Kentucky and her time in California has been great because she knows I can't sleep and is always up to listen. She's there for me. Somehow she knows when she needs to be irrationally, indignantly angry on behalf and when she needs to bring me back down to earth because I'm being irrational and indignant. This past weekend, my mom and I took Willie on a trip my dad insisted on paying for to visit my sister. Despite coming home with strep somehow, it was one of the best trips I've had.
My extended family - cousins and aunts and uncles. The conversations, the wine nights, the fondue, the discussions in the pool, and feeding Dingo from the formal dining room table. I don't think I can ever adequately express how much all of this has meant to me, as I will inevitably start crying (as I am now, as I type) and it would make all of you very uncomfortable. So virtual high five and a big ole hug from me instead. :)
My friends. Wow. The old cliche about finding out who your friends are in the tough times is so true - there is even a country song about it (so obviously, its true.). To quote said country song my friends "just show on up with their big ole heart."
Friends that were late to work to talk to me because they knew I was hurting. That made time to talk to me when they were nursing their 2 week old. Friends that returned from other countries and spent their first jet-lagged hours back in the states dealing with my emotions. Friends that drop everything and come over for pizza even though they have to work at 7am and drive back to Indiana. Friends that make potato and gluten free dinner (not an easy feat) and accidentally drink 3 bottles of wines between two. Friends that get dog hair in their wine from sitting on the floor giggling about how amazing the dogs of St. Matthews are. Friends that will have me over for dinner and drink wine, even when their own lives are so much busier than mine. Friends that despite teaching two workout classes in a row, come over and listen because they know I've had a rough day. Friends that will watch a sick Dingo and send me updates on him and his BFF.
Friends that despite how tired and busy they are in their own lives, made time to listen to me - even when I knew they must be frustrated because I was frustrated with myself. Friends that get tough and make me confront the issues I'm trying to avoid, letting me know they support me no matter what. Friends that offer solid advice even when its hard for me to hear. Friends that are ALWAYS there - I have a very hard time shutting my brain off, resulting in texts at random times. My friends always answer. Incredible.
Lucky for me, lots of friends that are willing to drink wine on a "school night" just because I need to word vomit. Friends that helped on my (one night only) quest to drink all the alcohol in Louisville, then go dance at Play at 2am. Friends that say hell yeah to the random trips I throw at them - be it Harry Potter World, Miami, Boston, or California. Friends who take me to awesome country concerts and also find it a great idea to ride rental bikes to find pizza at 12am.
My friends are so amazing, even their signifiant others and family members have been superstars! Friends whose dads wear out Dingo when Willie was in the hospital and who offer sound life advice every morning on my dog walk. Friends whose husbands sit on the deck and drink bourbon quietly until they can't keep it in and offer an outstanding male perspective. Friends whose husbands offer to drive to a wedding because he knows I need his wife to be my rock and she ends up snoozing on the way home and we have great conversation. Friends whose husbands stay up after their wives go to bed because they have a newborn and I'm visiting and he wants to offer his opinion and support. Friends whose husbands put up with me at their lake house and eat hot dogs with me late at night.
It has been a long, hard summer. But I have nothing but an overwhelming sense of gratitude. How can I possibly stay sad when I have so many incredible people in my life?
So, thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Nothing I ever say will come close to all that you guys have done for me this summer, but I will continue to try to show you how much you all mean to me in any way I can.
It may only feel like Autumn at night and in the morning, but I think it's going to be a good one. I've always loved Jordan Baker's observation in the Great Gatsby...