Shelley Widhalm

Archive for September, 2010|Monthly archive page

Missing Zoey

In Best Friends, Missing each other, Separations, Sleeping companions, What's important, Wrapped around Zoey's paw on September 26, 2010 at 4:51 pm

I don’t like that I have to leave my dog Zoey at my dad’s house, but after the fight with my mom, who I’m living with for the time being, I will have to do so (at least from Oct. 16, 2009 to October of this year, when I will be moving into my own apartment).

Zoey has been staying with me one out of every six weeks when my dad travels to Nebraska for treatment for his macular degeneration, as I’ve mentioned before. I visit my dad during one of the weekends in the interim if I can fit it with working every fifth weekend and whatever else comes up.

A few days before I pick her up, I talk about her more and get excited about spending time with my favorite girl. I love sleeping with her tight against my side and getting doggie kisses in the morning. We play after I get home from work and every once in awhile, she’ll accept being a lap dog for about five minutes while I read. But mostly, I sit on the floor to do bills or type on my laptop because she wants me at her level.

I’ll admit I’m a bit of a pushover, but at the same time, I’ve come to see Zoey as my best friend. I never feel lonely when I’m with her, but I will on occasion when she’s gone. Sure, I have friends, but they don’t want to play every day after work, now that we’re in our thirties. I miss how in elementary school, I could walk down the street, knock on my best friend’s door and ask, “Can you play?” Now, I have to call or Facebook, plus go through all these antics, just to plan a coffee outing. Life is so complicated being an adult. I miss the simplicity of childhood, and I love the straightforward relationship I have with my dog.

Friends Again

In Confrontations, Dog sitting, Forgiveness, Moms and daughters, Separations on September 19, 2010 at 8:08 am

My mom and I are friends again.

My mom and I are friends again, but it took me a few months to get over what had happened. Our argument pointed to longstanding family issues that I had yet to resolve, but it took that argument for me to do some more inner work.

I am sure my mother, too, remained mad at me for awhile. I did not ask her if she, deep within her own emotional world, forgave me.

Forgiveness is hard, but losing your friendship with your mom because you or she cannot get past family issues would present a big loss, at least for me. I had been angry at my dad first, an anger that surfaced when my parents got divorced when I was 30. I was angry at him for not trying hard enough in his marriage with my mom. And then I was angry at my mom for not trying either.

The separation of their lives was out of necessity. Zoey’s and mine, however, was out of circumstance, lack of money and the fear of losing my job and having nowhere to live.

Zoey’s and my separation, however, will not be permanent. Until we are girl and dog again, I cannot help but miss her little body next to mine at night and her following me everywhere I go as if I’m the most interesting person in the world. Where else can you find a friend like that?

Zoey’s Practice Goodbye

In Dad's house, Hard goodbyes, Leaving Zoey, Missing each other, Uncategorized on September 12, 2010 at 4:34 pm

Zoey enduring one of my hugs.

Zoey stays with me every one of six weeks, because my dad, who is caring for her, has to travel to Nebraska to get treated for macular degeneration. He used to live there and did not want to change eye doctors when he moved to Eastern Colorado in August 2008, coincidentally the same month I moved to Northern Colorado from Alexandria, Virginia.

A week after I took Zoey to my dad’s house, I talked to him on the phone, and he said she was doing just fine and loves his big backyard. She is very social and likes attention wherever it comes from, and it seemed she didn’t miss me.

But I know the truth. I had visited my dad in mid-July. While I was there, he fixed something minor in my car, which I had to move back to the driveway to load it up with Zoey’s and my stuff for our drive back home.

Dad held Zoey on his lap, but she saw me “driving away” and started squirming, yelping and crying as if I was going to leave her. I didn’t, of course, and hugged her after locking up my car. But I got no kisses back. It seemed that Zoey figured she was safe with me back in her lair.

Goodbye Zoey

In Babysitting, Confrontations, Dog sitting, Hard goodbyes, Leaving Zoey on September 5, 2010 at 10:06 am

When my mom said she would no longer babysit Zoey, I took that cute, adorable puppy with me on “an errand” and called my dad. He told me to not sell, get rid of or drop Zoey off at an animal shelter (I would rather drop myself off than her). He said he would take care of her until I moved into my own place. (It took me awhile to do this because I was facing a potential layoff during the Great Recession, but, as of yet, I still have a job).

A couple days later of my mom and I avoiding each other (this was in October 2009), I put up the white flag and asked her if she wanted to get coffee. She said, yes. While we sipped lattes, I told her that I was sorry for expecting her to take care of Zoey, She said that she was sorry for some of the things she said, and so did I.

But then a week later, I came home from work and my mom was in a very bad mood. She snapped at me a couple of times and physically pushed Zoey away. I suggested kenneling Zoey.

Mom said, “I want her out of here.”

And that was that.

So on Friday, October 16, 2009, I took Zoey to my dad’s house to stay with him. Two days later, I gave Zoey a big kiss and hug goodbye and tried not to cry as I drove 123 miles from his house in Eastern Colorado to mine along the Front Range. That night, I couldn’t sleep because I kept crying. We were separated, not only by distance but by something that had nothing to do with her, or maybe it was all her (and me).