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Isa's Story

January 19th, 2018

One Year at the Bridge

Posted by teri in Uncategorized    

My sweetest girl,

Grief stops time so I can’t decide if this year has been a lifetime or a blink. The hole in my heart remains although skinned over now so the wind no longer whistles through my chest. Something of an improvement.

I miss you every day, even the days I’m not consciously aware of it, I miss you. I told you I would always come for you – this time it’s just going to be a while (inchallah) before I get there. I know you’ll be waiting for me.

Almost ten years we were together and I can’t begin to count the ways you saved me, daily. I lost so much of myself so long ago. I had been gathering up scraps before you found me but you took my hand and sniffed out the deeply buried pieces and it all went so much faster. You saw me, as me, when no one else did – with love and without judgment.

And how wonderful you took over the conversation with Stacy. More than (the badly needed) help with Roxy, I needed to hear from you. I needed the reassurance that you are still here with me, that we’re still connected. I know I shouldn’t doubt that, have no reason to, but without seeing your goofy smile daily, it’s hard to remember some days. I have made a start of letting go of the guilt but it will still be a while before I forgive myself. Another lesson for me, one of the tougher ones I must say. You deserved much better of me.

Bring your dog to work day

I wrote this looking at the picture of you, the one on my desk that was taken one day when you were under my desk, dust and boxes and all. You were happy being here and all I can see is love for me, for life, for dogness. It really can and is that simple, for all of us. Humans are, for the most part, simply really bad at it. That’s why we keep y’all around, we’re trying to learn.

You made me a better human and a much, much better dog mom (Roxy thanks you for that).

I love you, my sweet girl. I always have and always will.

January 11th, 2018

Roxy chats with Stacy Krafczyk

Posted by teri in Uncategorized    

I knew Stacy was good after listening to the November Tripawd podcast. I made an appointment for January but then we got lucky and she had a cancellation! The call was even better than I expected and my expectations were high.

She started with Wallee, or rather Wallee was Wallee and butted in, said her piece and went on her way. Which is what she had to say – she does her own thing and is a superior hybrid being (cat/dog/human combo). She didn’t say anything about how annoying Roxy is – and I know that is what she thinks. Maybe it’s all part of the game? I didn’t get a chance to ask.

Roxy started out with a basic – she really (really, really) wants hamburger. I said we would see about the hamburger (somewhat a payday issue but I don’t/won’t buy hamburger for myself – too expensive). Roxy also said she wants to ride in the front seat of the car when we go out. I told her that was fine so long as she doesn’t interfere with my driving.

That’s as far as we got before Isa butted in and took over. Stacy just kept saying “wow” and “wow” again –  Isa is surrounded by an incredible amount of light and lots of rainbows and she has a “master teacher” energy.  Stacy confirmed Isa is/was my heart dog and she was with me for her to teach me about love (and many other things) as well as for her to take care of me.

[Granted, that is what all dogs are here to do for all of us. BUT! Isa saved me more than once. There was a time in my life when there was nothing good anywhere and masses of sub-optimum. I was daily struggling to find a reason to get out of bed. But the image of Isa racing back to me with big-ass smile (in spite of carrying her beloved pink rubber ball) made everything worthwhile in spite of any and all yuckiness. ]

According to Isa, I’ve had a tough life and am a tough cookie. Stacy said there is a solid cylinder of pink light connecting our hearts. She then described the “tattoo” Isa had made on my heart with her paw prints. Sounded an awful lot like a certain tattoo I have on my shoulder…

Stacy also described a man that was with Isa. From the description, it sounds like my paternal grandfather. A “sweet, reserved spirit” — they were together and both keeping an eye on me. Isa said I was “off” and should be drinking “green juices”. (I blame Christmas! I’ve been really good so far this year! I promise!)

Isa repeatedly said that I needed to let go of the guilt. That was a big part of my agenda with Stacy, to ask if Isa could forgive me. I have been struggling (understatement) to forgive myself and I thought that if I knew Isa could forgive me, maybe I could begin to forgive myself. If nothing else, I do feel much lighter – maybe I can begin to find a way now. Stacy said Isa is always here with me, always around, still teaching me (thank dog ) and is mothering Roxy.  I think Roxy and I can use all the help we can get.

Partway through, Stacy interrupted herself to say there was another cat with Isa and asked who it might be. Rodney has been at the Bridge for several years now and there’s no doubt it was him. He and Isa were certainly a pair – Isa was more or less scared to death of him. He told Stacy repeatedly that he was No. 1: he was my first cat and he “won me over.” Just kept on with “being number one.” He was my first tomcat but far from my first cat – there were four other cats living in the house when he moved himself in (this was pre-Isa). I did not have a vote on his moving in but, as he says, he won me over. Stacy laughed about his swagger, the epitome of who he is/was. It made me happy he poked his nose in to say hello.

Although Isa evidently had a lot to say, we did eventually circle back to Roxy. She wanted to know if this was her furever home, which I confirmed, with emphasis. Stacy said that while Roxy and I have been together six months (seven now!), to her it feels more like one. Which makes sense – that’s about how long its been since the adrenal support has kicked in and/or she’s started to relax. A little. Sort of. These things are relative. I have seen her confidence grow in the past couple of months.

I asked about Prince Charming next door. Roxy said he “smells funny” and that she prefers women. Pretty sure I had the latter figured out already. I asked about having a house sitter while I’m on vacation in February and she said so long it was a girl, we were okay. Let’s hope she sticks to that. My friend/house sitter came over last weekend for the first of several meet and greets. Roxy did eventually begin to relax with her and start to think about something other than the stranger danger in her house (FREAK OUT!). At the moment, I am far from optimistic that this will remotely work.

Roxy also complained about not getting enough exercise (guilty as charged). I suspect “enough” would be her running loose for three to five miles daily – and how many ways could that go horribly wrong? God knows, I can’t come close to keeping up with her and the term “loose leash” is a joke. Stacy suggested a couple of things that have been in my awareness but are as yet untested (a loaded pack for starters and I even have the pack. What is wrong with me?)

Out of the blue, Stacy said that we should move. I have no clue if that was her assessment after talking to me or if it came from somewhere else. I laughed and told her that was the plan, the house will go on the market when I get back from vacation and all fingers crossed for a quick sale. That was a nice reinforcement for me that moving is the right plan. I asked her to convey to Roxy that moving will be chaotic, I will be psychotic for the duration and she should be patient with me.

I wanted to know what Roxy liked best and she said “eating.” I tried for a secondary answer and the answer was “food”. I sense a trend here. So her weight will be something to keep an eye on – maybe, someday. She won’t always have this metabolism although her slowing down is hard to imagine right now.

So that was the call with Stacy. I highly recommend her not that she doesn’t already wear the Tripawds stamp of approval.

We went out the next day and I offered the front seat to Roxy. She freaked – a most emphatic “no”. She wanted nothing to do with the front seat. On reflection, I think that was actually Isa’s comment. She always rode in the front seat until she became a triapawd. There was no way I could haul her in and out of the front seat – the back seat was a challenge.

In other news, Roxy came down with a case of the zoomies one morning at the end of December. Top speed circles around the first floor, up the stairs turning around on the top step, never once hitting the top landing and back down again. She made at least four trips up and down the stairs and I don’t know how many circles around the ground floor. I swear she was laughing the entire time, and I laughed my ass off too – a great way to start the day. I do wish I knew what precipitated these “attacks”. I’d love to encourage them.

In case anyone is keeping score on the Roxy destruction inventory, the toaster met its demise last week. The good news is that thing was a cheap piece of such-and-such and I am thrilled it must now be replaced.

and last night I came home to a broken (glass) flour canister with remarkably little flour remaining on the floor. What flour remained had been magically transformed to glue with dog slobber. The Roxinator was a little put out that her dinner had to wait until I had the mess (mostly) cleaned up.

and I will leave you with the cutest picture ever (IMHO):

The monkey was a highly successful Christmas present for Roxy – believe me I do not bring it to bed with us – and it frequently joins us.

Happy New Year everyone – however late!



December 8th, 2017

Happy Birthday and Gotchaversary to Roxy!!

Posted by teri in Uncategorized    

Today is six (6!!!) months since Roxy joined the family. Boy howdy, have they gone quickly – makes my head spin. She celebrated this morning in true Roxy fashion. As we walked into the kitchen for breakfast, she leaped past me, onto the kitchen counter. It appears Roxy believes the counter leaping is a pretty cool trick. Technically, I suppose it is. She was quite puzzled when I started yelling at her. There were also muddy footprints all over the counter when I got home last night. Footprints that could not, would not, ever be mistaken for Wallee’s. I moved Wallee’s food to the top of frig a few days ago and so far, so good. Three and half days and Wallee’s food bowl continues as it should. Don’t think there haven’t been attempts – believe me she’s trying. I’m quite certain it’s just a matter of time. But I’ll deal with that when it happens.

Also! last Saturday was her second birthday! I strongly suspect I will not see a more mature, calmer dog anytime soon. But one can hope.

In other news, that surprisingly, oddly, turned itself into good news, “Prince Charming” next door called animal control and complained about Roxy’s barking. It’s a first offense so nothing bad (yet). Third strike and they take her away. Sounds horrible, right? But it’s just the boot in the tucas I needed. I am going out with a real estate broker on Sunday to look for a new place to live. Something with more space for both Roxy and I and fewer close neighbors (among other things on the wish list). And I never would have even thought to do this if Roxy hadn’t made the current situation untenable. I believe one of the things Roxy came into my life for was to get me out of this current living situation. Inchallah, I will find a place in the ballpark of my “dream home” and my living expenses should be less if things work out the way I hope (fingers crossed). So there’s that. Believe me, I will undoubtedly be whining and beating my breast at some point if only because moving is such an unholy PITA. We all, also, have to think happy good thoughts that my current home will sell quickly and for a good price. It won’t go on the market until February or March.

As for Prince Charming, I’m planning/hoping to negotiate with him – if I keep Roxy in the house in the mornings and on weekends, will he please, please back off on calling animal services. Let him know we’ll be departing for healthier (for us) parts as soon as is practical. This too requires good happy thoughts that he’ll find some semblance of humanity and agree. In order to pull off this move (and get the house ready for market), I (desperately) need the breathing room that will come with not having to worry about him.

So there’s the latest and greatest. I’m very excited.

love to all

Teri, the Roxinator and Angel Isa

December 1st, 2017

Photographic Evidence

Posted by teri in Uncategorized    

Albeit of rather poor quality. My phone, and therefore my camera, are edging into dinosaur territory.

Yesterday morning I went from putting one dining room chair on the kitchen counter to two chairs. When I got home last night, both chairs were on the floor and poor Wallee’s bowl was, once again, empty. My camera phone focuses so mind-numbingly slowly, that Miss Thang has inevitably moved before the shutter goes. When I started taking this, she was looking at me and wagging her tail. I suffered a bit of a conflict between satisfying the Tripawd necessity for a photo and hollering at her.

Clearly, I still don’t have a workable solution and she’s becoming increasingly brazen (not to mention pleased with herself).

Happy Friday all!


Teri, the (incorrigible) Roxinator and Angel Isa


November 17th, 2017

Just When I thought

Posted by teri in Uncategorized    

I could walk into the house after work with a belief that I could relax and not clean the house before dinner. HA! Roxy has been quiet the past couple of weeks (yes, one notable exception discussed below). We have been of free of redecorating since my last post – a month almost exactly.

She was just saving it up.

I thought I was safe – the toilet paper is now kept in locations inconvenient to canine and human alike. It never occurred to me she might move on to paper towels. Foolishly, I thought the paper towels out of her reach, located as they were in the furthest corner of my U-shaped kitchen counter – I can barely reach them. Once again, wrong, wrong, wrong. But an easy clean-up.


I have now learned that my living room rug is exactly the color of whole wheat spaghetti. Do you know how hard it is to vacuum up spaghetti? Easy to break it up with the vacuum to the necessary small bits but in doing so, the bits bounce. Everywhere. And disappear into the same-colored rug. I spent a good half hour vacuuming an 8×10 space.

And “someone” sulked the remainder of the evening, evidently due to my sin of picking up her snack.

I’m left with several questions:

  1. How did she reach the paper towels and pasta jar? They were next to each other in the far back corner.
  2. How did she carry the glass canister (3″ on a side) from the kitchen to the living room – without spilling any of it? There was not a single piece of pasta on the floor between Point A and Point B. One might think she’d eaten it but a clean sweep of one section of the floor and not the other makes little sense.
  3. For that matter, how did she not break the canister? She has dew claws but not thumbs. Maybe she’s magic?

Also in the “magic” category – something I did not notice until bedtime (much to Wallee’s dismay) – Roxy had cleaned out Wallee’s food dishes that live on a shelf a full five feet off the floor. Roxy has pulled the dishes down from there before now, to the destruction of the dishes. This time, they were neatly stacked on top of one another. How did she do that?

UPDATE and Mystery solved!

Same scenario when I got home last night – Wallee’s dishes licked clean and unbroken. I put some more kibble in and went upstairs to change my clothes. … Strange noises from downstairs … I race down the stairs, hollering at Roxy from the halfway point, just on principle. I come around the corner at the bottom of the stairs and look into the kitchen

(are you ready for this?)

She is standing on top of the kitchen counter. I did not manage a photo but I have made a special re-creation just for y’all.

Obviously the picture is not to scale – Roxy is bigger than that. Also, she does, in fact, have back feet in real life. So my kangaroo/mountain goat dog has been hopping up onto the counter and standing on the pass through (if not worse) to reach Wallee’s bowl. Said bowl is now moved further down the shelf, which terrifies me in the event Roxy decides to walk along the (not entirely stable) shelf to reach the prize. In the hopes of avoiding that scenario, I left a dining room chair upside down on the counter. All things considered, I am only vaguely optimistic that has kept her off the counter in my absence.

I do not have a clue what I’m going to do about this. Move furniture on a daily basis? It’s one thing for a 10 pound cat to walk on the counter, quite another for an 80 pound dog. For the first time since I moved into this place, I’m glad the counters are beat-to-hell laminate. If only she would stop eating other people and dogs, we could do some agility training. Clearly she’d be good at it.

I cannot win – but we knew that. Any suggestions for the immediate issue are massively welcome.

The scope of this week’s antics are probably in celebration for coming off our ten-day house arrest. During that period, I have been … let’s go with “tweaked” with her and she’s been (relatively) quiet and subdued. I was also coming home at lunch on work days to let her out to potty. Some of the above may have to do with her displeasure at my noon-time absence.

Why were we on house arrest? Excellent question and the answer is one I have yet to find some/much/any humor in. Two weeks ago I was working in the garage and had the “big” door open. Unfortunately, the door into the house was not latched (because I’m a dumb ass) and Roxy pushed through. She hit the edge of the garage, took off at full speed, and bit the neighbor (who was innocently weeding her front yard). And this was the nice neighbor that has made such an effort with Roxy, put up with so much from her. I grabbed Roxy and hauled her back to the house and went back to check on the neighbor. The bite could have been worse, but that’s my take on it and arguably I’m not objective. I won’t bore y’all with the gory details but paramedics and animal control turned up, reports were filed, tickets issued and house arrest ordered.

So we’ve gotten through that. I am now completely vigilant about doors at the front of the house, something I should have been doing all along. I do not understand, have no clue, what she was thinking, why she did that. It felt/feels out of character to me but, again, I am not objective.

I guess we’ll call it a mixed month and move on. Sorry to have rambled on so very long and even sorrier to end on a bummer story. I have no doubt the Roxy antics will continue – at least until the house falls down around our ears. Then I’ll just post from the rubble.

Happy Friday everyone!

jamm rekk

Teri and the Roxinator and Angel Isa



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