Snowy and Clean


Snowy and Clean. It pretty much sums up the last few weeks. There’s presently a lot of snow here – at least for the Pacific Northwest portions that aren’t in the mountains. Also, my house is now very clean.

This all seems quite boring, and I assure you, it really is.

However, inside my head it is very, very dark, tumultuous and extremely grumpy. Very not boring at all.

That would be why I haven’t written much of late.

Between Jasmine’s sudden death making me incredibly sad almost all the time, sad and angry people trying to make their bullshit about me and the sudden loss of my agility mojo, I’m not really feeling it lately.

Jasmine being gone has affected me far more than I would have guessed. For instance, the other day, as I was hiking with Youke, Brady and Camm in the snow about 45 minutes east of home, I became teary as I thought about how much Jasmine loved snow and how sad it was that this winter, when we’ve seen the most snow in the lower elevations than we have since about 2008, Jasmine isn’t here to frolic in it. Repeat this very same scenario two days later when snow hit hard where I live. The three dogs were rolling, diving, shoving their noses in it and running that crazy tails tucked between the legs run that dogs do when they became extremely playful and excited. I suddenly missed Jaz so much. The bitter. metallic taste of grief signaled the first sob, followed by tears.

Of course I didn’t indulge in tears for long, because really, it’s hard to maintain sadness when three dogs are doing zoomies at 80 miles an hour so very near your knees.


Camm coming for Youke at warp speed.


Dogs posing for me on a snow-covered trail.


Dogs love playing in the snow.

While I could blame hormones on the moments when I’m so unexpected caught by grief, I truly think it’s more that Jasmine got ill very suddenly and while 13 years old, never truly grew to be an old dog. The weekend before she passed. she had been running like crazy with the other dogs in a great big field, barking her fool head off and bulldozing over anyone that got in her way.

I mourned Sylvie too when she died, but she was about 16 years old and had been a very old dog for the last two years of her life and an ancient dog in the last six months. Her death was different in that it felt very natural and she had lived an incredible, adventure-filled long life. Jasmine did too I suppose, but I still feel she died too young. Her death also resurrected a lot of the grief and pain associated with the loss of my first dog as an adult, Kip. Kip died at only seven years old, in the prime of his life, from an aggressive cancer.

There’s just something about losing them when they are theoretically young and still full of promise.

So here’s a thing. Everyone knows I hate housework. I literally have cleaned out barns and shoveled out multiple cow and horse stalls in my life to avoid housework. But when I become upset about life, I clean. I suppose it’s some form of catharsis. It also would appear to be some form of surrogate for ridding myself of the people, feelings, things that I cannot literally discard.

I literally vacuum to suck up the figurative dirt in my life.


Only a few of the cleaning products used in The Purge of 2017.

Over the course of four days I became a cleaning whirlwind, scrubbing bathrooms, vacuuming not only floors, but crevices as well, mopping floors, washing walls, rearranging furniture and heaving so, so many things.

Strangely, I didn’t even recognize at first what I was doing and why. It was only on the last day, when my hands were red and raw and my back and legs were aching from all the heavy lifting that it suddenly dawned on me. I only clean when I’m upset or pissed. And as it turned out, I was both.

As for agility, I competed with the dogs in two trials since the New Year. They were trials I had entered a while ago, and before I realized I’d lost my agility mojo.

At one trial, I almost left midday to go hiking because I just wasn’t into it. My dogs knew it too and we were a hot mess. Except for me and Youke. He and I have been a hot mess for many years, so he is very good at compensating. Plus he was only entered in one run that day. I guess he wanted to give me a present and therefore was awesome.

So, instead of hiking, I took off for an hour or so to find a book to read and ended up finding formerly expensive candles on sale instead.

I ended up going back the next day and this time the pre-agility routine of a ginormous cup of coffee with multiple shots of espresso and playing KC and The Sunshine Band really, really loud on the way to the trial site did its magic.* I was pumped and ready to play. Needless to say, we did fairly well that day. Well, except for me and Camm. Camm and I still have extended periods of being a hot mess.

*(The pre-agility routine always consists of a ginormous cup of coffee – 16 ounces or larger, with at least three shots of espresso and a flavor because the added sugar from the syrup just can only make things better. This is because I am not a morning person and doing agility apparently requires early mornings. I do not know who made that rule. I would like to stuff a bagel down the throat of the person who made up that rule. The pre-agility routine also requires loud excitement-inducing music. Since local radio stations cannot always be counted on to supply this requirement – nothing worse than hearing a Journey ballad on the way to an agility trial for me – I provide my own CDs that I regularly rotate through. In the past, AC/DC, Aerosmith or The Rolling Stones could be heard blasting out of my speakers, but I am currently in a dance music or disco phase, hence, KC and The Sunshine Band. Last month, Michael Jackson was also in the rotation.)

Last week, we also went to an agility trial. Same pre-agility routine, but it was pretty anticlimactic. I only ran Camm on Saturday and decided to skip the first two runs of the day, instead choosing to sleep in. I arrived, not really ready to rock. However, Camm decided she was ready to rock, so completely overcompensated for my lackadaisical handling, scoring two number one qualifying scores. I’m pretty sure actually that would not have happened had I really cared at all.

The second day was better. I arrived for the first runs of the day this time – but mainly because I had entered all three dogs and six runs is a lot to throw away money on. However, by the second half of the day I was over agility again and just wanted to leave and go watch the Super Bowl.

The current lack of agility mojo does not bode well for CPE Nationals.

I sent my entry in last week. It’s a draw and everyone is on pins and needles about getting in. Except for me.

I truthfully don’t care if I get in or not.

It’s like I blew my load on qualifying Camm – which happened finally on the last weekend of the qualifying period. We were way behind because she was out with the broken foot last year for several months and we could only start competing again in the fall. So I busted my butt (and pocketbook) on getting her qualified because it seemed really, really important at the time.

Now I’m all like, blah, whatever.

If you believe in that sort of thing, my horoscope for 2017 says this is supposed to be a very good year for me. I’m still kind of waiting. I’m not whining. It’s been fine so far and the year is still very early.

Signs do point to some major and exciting events though. So, I’m expecting.


Dawn on the new year.




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