Ruby

Commentary

Image

Let me tell you about that time when I had a puppy for four days.

On Tuesday after a very fruitful talk with my best friend, I came home quite determined to find myself a puppy.

You see, for the past 2 years, at least, I’ve been trying to convince my significant other to adopt a puppy with me. I grew up with dogs in our household — loving little creatures that made coming home an extra special treat. But coming home to an empty nest just made the whole living on your own a bit of a bore. My efforts were relentless: we’d visited the dog shelter together, we’d liked the same dog and on a hopeful whim I had bought a leash for my imaginary dog-to-be. Nothing ever came of these visits; the red leather dog leash filled up the cupboard for all things undefined with a quiet sense of defeatism. At first, stubborn as I am, I refused to give up. I would go through periods of timid acceptance before I relapsed into dog obsession mode and became quite an insufferable person to be around. My significant other, would not give in. He wanted to be ready and I gradually came to believe the one indisputable fact: we’d never be ready.

But then on Tuesday, I came home and with a few clicks and scrolls, I came across Argos Animal Sanctuary and on their Facebook page was a little face I couldn’t resist. It was love at first sight. It was the dog I had been dreaming of. It was at that moment that I knew that this was going to be my dog. That night, I told my boyfriend that we would have a new addition to the household and then I showed him the picture. He smiled in agreement and I thought, what else could this be but divine intervention? My dream was finally coming true — until I found out that there was another person interested in adopting this little cutie. I must admit, I was a little worried, but deep down I knew that if I was meant to have her — as I felt that I was — I would see her at the sanctuary and I would take her away with me for our much-awaited happily-ever-after.

On Wednesday right after work, my mom and I drove to the sanctuary with the effervescent joy of teenagers. We were excited, yet anxious. Would we find her? Would she be there? When we asked for her, we were taken to the puppies area and surely enough, there she was. Tiny and fragile, yet absolutely gorgeous. I signed the papers and yes, we were now the proud adopted parents of the sweetest pup any owner could want. In the car, she looked at us with big, sad eyes, ever so expressive. She was quiet and docile and a little car sick. I pinned it down to the stress of being in a new place.

After I gave her a bath, I snapped the above photo — still thinking that surely this is some kind of half-dream. She was much the little explorer — following me from room to room, patiently waiting for me on my heel, before moving on along side me. She was hungry for love, but she was quite on edge. She refused to eat, but she did drink a little water. It astonished me that she hardly ever sat down — she was always on her feet, evaluating the situation. It wasn’t until I finally took to the couch, that she made an attempt to join in by putting her tiny paws on my resting feet. I set her down on her own cushion next to me and sat down next to her, helping her lay down to rest. It wasn’t long before I gave in and put her on my lap, where she fell asleep as I petted her. It was a moment I held on to dearly, in the days that followed. Even my boyfriend indulged in this loving exchange, as she migrated to his lap, as though I’d warned her about winning him over. Our unit of two was being reconfigured.

But then, on that night, she kept throwing up and had severe diarrhea. It was clear that this was not good news. I took her to the vet that had given her the first vaccine, with the impression that he could have known something more about her history, but this proved to be a big mistake. After a superficial examination, he pronounced her sick with gastroenteritis and prescribed a bunch of medication that it was clear would do no good since she couldn’t eat. And his parting words, “I hope she makes it”, confirmed what I suspected. He had destined her to her death.

In the car, on the way home, she was so lethargic, that I thought she might die before we got home. It pained me to leave her alone for the two hours I had to work that afternoon, but what worried me more was the fear of coming home to a lifeless body. As soon as I got of work, I came back for her and took her to another vet, to get a second opinion. I found her mischievously on the couch like a princess, and put her in arms for that last trip from home. The other vet was very good with her, and after a blood test and an ultrasound it was determined that she had parvo, and that the odds were against her. But I just couldn’t give up on her — I wanted to do everything I could for her. After all, wasn’t it fate that I had picked her? Wasn’t it destiny that she would be given a second chance by receiving proper medical care? Hooked on IV and strong medication, the poor little one stayed in the clinic, trying to fight a losing battle. But she was not fighting alone: i stopped by daily, mom dropped by unannounced, my sister, best bud and boyfriend came along to enliven her. We all wanted to breathe life into her life through love. And she was looking better — there was some meat on bones. But the IV fluids can fool you. I refused to give up on her and I refused to stop being hopeful. I was convinced that I would will that virus out of her.

But then on this Sunday morning, the vet called me. I was wide awake, but still in bed, and I was daydreaming about Sunday walks we’d take together on the beach once she got better. I thought he was calling to let me know that I could go and visit her — ever the Ms. Glass-is-half-full. But instead, he awkwardly mouthed down the line: “I have some bad news”.

You see, I really wanted a dog, but not just any dog. And so when I saw her cute little photo I felt that she had sort of chosen me. And maybe she had. They called her Molly at the shelter, but that was clearly a misnomer. She was a precious little thing. Her name was Ruby.

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Ode to Muffin

Odes

In memory of our dearest dog, Muffin.

You woofed your way

into our plebeian hearts

and left a blondish trail

wherever your nose led you.

Mr Carrot had it in for you

for biting his head off;

Mr Ant was afraid

after you shut him up.

And now, you lay hushed

below trees that you played with;

and house corners wait patiently,

– in futile –

for your bouncing company.

I cling onto your long sigh of goodbye,

your soft exit.

No flowers for dead muffins, no remembrances.

Doggy sticks would do you just fine.

You always liked to plead and whine for them,

and we loved it.

And we loved you.

And we do.

Hitting the streets

Jewelry

It’s often that I lose sleep over some seemingly brilliant idea that merits black circles in the morning. Sometimes, looking like I came straight out of a Tim Burton movie is worth it, because the idea is actually a sound one. My decision to come to Chania was one of those late-night light bulbs over my head: Bright and hard to ignore. It’s turned out to be a good one, because I’m loving the Cretan life, which isn’t without its own share of idea light bulbs. One such energy-spending bulb flashed over my head last night, and there was no switching it off.

The idea? To take plain bananas out to the streets.

Let me clarify: Greek islands are known for the street artists that pepper the popular locations, and in the summer you really get a chance to see a lot of talented people. With this in mind I couldn’t help but wonder: Could I be a pepper speck too, just to spice things up, so to speak?

So just for the fun of it, I decided to hit the streets and give it a go. But first I had to prepare enough packages because you never know, do you? And by preparing, I mean adding that extra splash of magic:

A secret message for each package

A secret message for each package

Supplies ready

Supplies ready

Armed with these bananas, I set off for the old harbor and landed myself a spot that proved to be too far away from passersby. It made for a cool photo though:

Spot the banana

Spot the banana

The view from where I was sitting

The view from where I was sitting

I was sitting right next to the horse carriages, but they didn’t seem to be enjoying much notice either.¬†While sitting there, looking frazzled from the insomniac night before, I had one of those moments where you sort of look beyond your tiny spot and appreciate the whole situation.

I saw: Me, on the pavement, my jewelry in front of me, a wonderful view ahead and my boyfriend who came along for the support and to take photos of this adventure.

Not where I thought I’d be a year ago, for sure, but what a surprising journey it has been all the way to the streets of Chania. I didn’t make a single sale, but boy am I glad to be here. Sure I look like death occasionally, but some ideas are really worth losing sleep over, right?

Mad Hatter celebrations

Musings

Written on the wall

Written on the wall

I have been busy all weekend with general birthday festivities. What with the recent move, the tones on Friday were low and to make up for it I chose to extend the birthday spirit across the whole stretch of the weekend. In true mad-hatter tone, I declared a celebration and yes, a very merry Unbirthday to me! Friday was low-key, Saturday was artistic and Sunday was a true celebration.

Let me start at the beginning: The real thing. On Friday, I woke up to not one but two bouquets of flowers. This was a perfect excuse to buy a vase, which we sorely needed. Little did we know that the vase we eventually chose was nothing more than an impostor vase! Just look how wonderful it looks in the photo I took in my midnight enthusiasm (at the far back is my creative beading corner) and imagine how deflated I felt in the morning when I moved it and discovered that it actually leaked onto the table.

Alstroemeria and lilies in fake vase

Alstroemeria and lilies in fake vase

Upon complaining at the shop, we were told in a very matter-of-fact, “duh” tone that the vase is meant for decoration, not water, surely! As are all other vases in that shop, apparently. Great — a vase that’s not really a vase, but an ornament. Thanks.

On Saturday, we ventured out for a photographic expedition at dusk, only to discover to my utter blondeness that I had forgotten my camera. I looked around finding all sorts of photographs I couldn’t capture, and meanwhile being devoured by mosquitoes thirsty for blood. The night ended at one of my favourite hangouts here in Chania, with a lot of wine, plenty of laughs and nuts for dinner. Yum!

The festivities culminated with cake, presents and general birthday shenanigans. A friend also had a birthday today so the celebrations were joined and run along the theme of Eddie Izzard’s Cake or Death. Appropriately, the cake combined both, so you didn’t have to choose. It was cake WITH death and it was pretty good.

I think I'll have deathcake

I think I'll have deathcake

Yum!

Yum!

The cake was so good, there is hardly any left over and that’s a good thing because there’s no more room in the fridge (or our stomachs!). I loved loved loved the Japanese presents I got: funky origami geisha to make, the coolest stationery set, green tea in a geisha tin and cherry blossom tea in the cutest packaging ever! I can’t wait to put all those presents to good use; as of tomorrow I’m getting things into gear and finishing up whatever unpacking needs to be done.

It’s time to get back on the writing track and beading. I can’t wait to make a mess of my workspace and let’s not forget that there’s still the etsy shop to open. Coming this week, and boy am I excited!

Oh and a very merry unbirthday to you!!