Some days I have thoughts that hit me hard.
I had a terrible night last night. Hub woke me about 3am because I was screaming in my sleep. He said it had gone on for over a minute solid and although he hated to wake me, he was worried that I wasn’t really getting good sleep anyway. Also, I think the screaming freaked him out…which is completely understandable. I was having one of those horrible snakes were biting me nightmares and I knew I was screaming Help me! Help me! in the dream. You know, those kind of muffled screams where you know you’re dreaming but you aren’t sure if you’re really screaming in the dream or in real life? Yeah, it was not pleasant. It was just as well he woke me, because I was entirely terrified in the nightmare. On the flip side, I wasn’t really able to sleep much all night. I’m back to having trouble sleeping, which is sucky.
Yesterday, I was really busy in the kitchen. After we went grocery shopping, I had a bunch of things I wanted to accomplish while Hub was running errands outside the house. It was all pretty much cooking and/or prepping food. I’m usually not good at doing multiple things like that at once (especially keeping track of things cooking and not burning), but since Hub was out, I took my time in concentrating and was able to do everything I needed to. When Hub came home and we were getting dinner ready to go on the table (which I’d spent part of the afternoon prepping and cooking), I was taking dried apple slices from our dehydrator and putting them into plastic containers…for the dogs. See, we’d bought some dried fruit dog treats for Le Moo and Butthead in the past, and I realized it’d be a lot cheaper and less worrisome (no preservatives or chemicals) if I went ahead and dried fruit at home for them. And I already had the dehydrator because we’d tried this in the past for Sweet Pea. Unfortunately, we didn’t follow through for SP because she didn’t like the way the fruit came out for some reason. I think it’s because I didn’t know how to do it properly, but I’ve figured that out now. So the dehydrator has made its way into a kitchen drawer that I can reach, and I regularly dry fruit (mostly apples, sometimes pears at the moment) slices for LM and BH. Which they enjoy immensely (as does Cray-cray Lab when I have overage to share).
So I was standing in the kitchen with Hub, plucking dried and cut apple slices from the dehydrator and dumping them into plastic containers. And it made my heart hurt a little. So I said to Hub, “Do you ever feel like we didn’t do right by Sweet Pea? That we didn’t give her the best of the best like we do for LM and BH?” My explanation to you readers is that we are extremely careful these days about what we feed LM and BH. They get relatively expensive food that is made in the USA and is grain free (LM has sensitive skin), that we have to order from online because it isn’t available in local pet stores. We also only buy natural treats (or make our own!) with food sourced and made in the USA because of all the issues with dog food/treats made in China. With SP, we bought a higher end food available in pet stores, which turns out to be a pretty crappy food. We bought her all kinds of crappy treats, made in China and who-knows-where…and treats just filled with chemicals and crap. Why? Well, mostly because we didn’t know any better at the time. And also, society wasn’t as informed on all these issues at that time. But seriously? Now we don’t buy treats without reading the labels, and the majority of what we have in our house are treats made from human-grade food, with everything made and sourced in the USA. And I say “majority” because there’s some stuff that I wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole, even though they say it’s made with human-grade ingredients. Also, I make low-fat doggy ice cream every couple of months for our pups…along with the apples (every couple of weeks), and we often pop plain popcorn for them as treats. We’re uber careful these days. Back with SP, we shared McDonald’s french fries with her (they were a favorite occasional treat), we gave her that fake Beggin’ strips bacon crap all the time, and other low-end, chemical filled treats. I shared cottage cheese with her sometimes, and later in life we gave her crappy american cheese in order to get her to take her pills every day. (I still can’t eat that cheese that comes in single-serving plastic pouch things? The sound of that crinkling plastic makes me cry. We gave her that cheese every day for so many years…I just can’t.)
Don’t get me wrong, SP was spoiled freaking rotten. And we loved her to no end. I still grieve her, and I sometimes still cry when I think of her. I still feel like there’s a part of me missing every single day. That dog was my heart. But we didn’t know…we weren’t as educated, nor was society. But it does hurt me that we didn’t give her as good a life as we’re giving LM and BH. I know it may sound strange to some of you, but these are my thoughts.
Hub reassured me that we gave Sweet Pea a great life, and did everything we knew of to make her happy and healthy. In my heart, I know it’s true. Sometimes it is harder to convince my mind, though.
I struggle with feelings of guilt a lot. With relation to my family and to my dogs. It’s something I’m still working on, because I’m well aware that not one person in my family (alive or not) would want me to live riddled with guilt. And not one dog (well, maybe Le Moo)–if they could understand–would want me to live that way either. It’s all in my own head…and I will continue to work to conquer it. But some days, it sneaks up on me.
And now, some pictures. Enjoy!
It’s all fun and games until Butthead is awake.
Look at that face, would you? (That’s Cray-cray Lab one day when she was hanging out with us.)
Guilt-monster, that Le Moo. Both beds are equally nice, but the one in the corner was hers originally, and she does prefer to lay there. Every now and then we catch her lowering herself to sleep on Butthead’s bed.