Friday, May 30, 2008

A Letter to my puppy


If you could ever imagine how much you’ve impacted my life, you’d be amazed. I received you a year ago, and I couldn’t have been happier. You and I started off a little slow, I think, but then I had so many expectations and I was terrified of upsetting you, or making you uncomfortable or not handling you properly. There were so many unknowns for me this time last year.

The day started and we had a fantastic breakfast. Just a side note, because you were so good during obedience and never once went for the food distractions. But that bacon at the school was the best bacon I have ever tasted. But you were such a perfect puppy and you were not easily distracted. We learned all about high collar corrections that day, and I think, correct me if I’m wrong somebody, but I think that was the day that we learned how to make turns with Juno. But you can only imagine how hard it was to pay attention to our lessons. On everyone’s mind were the dogs. Dogs dogs dogs. We had had interviews in the days before asking us what kind of dogs we would prefer, and I told them I think I wanted a female black lab who was not overly hard to control, but gave me enough of a challenge to be fun. However, I knew that the instructors knew best.

I would also like to add that those first few mornings were really nice. We didn’t have to do this, but for some reason, we would all wake up and meet in the day room before breakfast. It was kinda fun, and it gave us a chance to socialize. This morning was no different, though nerves were running high, and we were just so excited.

So, we get to lunch time. The instructors, like always, were teasing us and feeding us all kinds of stories about why we couldn’t have our dogs today. Most of me didn’t believe them, but part of me was terrified. That day at lunch, Tiff, Zack and I all stood outside hugging each other and chatting nervously. Then we went in and a bunch of us messed around on the piano for a bit. Hey Tiff, do you remember the beautiful song you created about the heroism of Stuffy with the missing ear? It was very touching. Anyway, I’m on the couch between Tiff and Kurt. We had a lecture before the dreaded time came, but I don’t remember who gave it or what it was about. My mind was racing at this point. Then Pete, the class supervisor came forward and talked to us, telling us about the rules with our dogs and how we were supposed to conduct ourselves that evening. Then it was time. Marc, who I loved solely for his Australian accent came forward and announced our names, and the dogs we were going to receive. ”Zack, you will be receiving a male yellow lab named Alfred. Curtis, you will be receiving a male yellow lab named Truman. Jess, you will be receiving a female yellow lab named Rita. Leah, you will be receiving a female black lab named Sicily. Tiffany, you will be receiving a female black lab named Santana…” at this point, I’m so excited. What an awesome name for a black dog. Santana would later be known as black magic guide dog. “Jim, you will be receiving a male black lab named Bradley. Rachel, you will be receiving a male yellow lab named Morgan. Barb…” everything slows right down. “You will be receiving a female black lab named” Yes! Amazing!! I got what I asked for! “Rosamae!” That name sounds so southern, but so gorgeous. I’m close to tears. I think I might have been squeezing Tiff’s hand the whole time. Not really sure. “Kurt, you will be receiving a male yellow lab named Ambrose.” That too is a pretty funky name. I came to learn later that that was one of the most successful litters in a long time. Five of those boys went on to be guide dogs. Alfred, Ambrose, Augie, Artimus and Avery. That’s one kick ass litter. “Neil” wait for it, this was good. First, let me say that Neil is this big, powerful man. Six foot some inches tall. He desperately wanted a poodle because he and his wife were both allergic. “You will be receiving a standard bred poodle named Kiwi.” The class erupted with cheers and laughter all at once. Kiwi! Awesome! “Toni, you will be receiving a German shepherd named Dawner.” It was really too bad Dawner had to be career changed the next Monday because he tried to bite the dog belonging to the director of training. “Julie, you will be receiving a female black lab named Helga.” We shouldn’t have laughed. I tried so hard not to laugh. I was more laughing at the fact that Julie and I, as room mates, were both going to have black labs. “Brandi, you will be receiving a female yellow lab named Tanayah.” Sadly, Brandi never got to graduate with Tanayah, because she injured her eye halfway through the program and had to be sent home for surgery. “J, you will be receiving a male black lab named Banker. And finally Gary, you will be receiving Norwalk.”

We all have been told our dogs’ names now. Now it was time to wait. I called Steve and Carin as soon as I could. I’m almost in tears I’m so excited. I had seen dog day before when I was in the continued assessment class, I hid in the library. It was pretty cool for me even then, but now… now it was my own dog… I think I might have babbled at Carin for awhile, and then, a knock at my door… for Julie. Aaaah, what a disappointment. But I was so happy for Julie. Zack came by and said hi to me, and he had Alfred in toe. I thought, “What a perfect name for Zack’s dog.” And then Julie and Helga were in the room. Julie was crying. At first I thought it was because she was so overwhelmed by the experience. I came to find out later that it was because she hated her dog’s name. I thought that was a little selfish, I mean, come on! It’s a name! She would grow to love it eventually and sing German polka music to Helga. And then, Stacy and Jessica knocked on my door. “Hey Barb,” says Stacy, “Remember that leash we gave you at the beginning of the week?” “Yeah, why?” You’re getting a dog on the end of it.” That did it for me. I was just overwhelmed by the emotions and thoughts of finally having a guide dog after all these years. Jessica came in and got me. We walked into the music room, and Stacy’s dog Kay-leigh was in her crate. I remember talking to Kay-leigh as if she understood me and saying “I’m getting a guide puppy like you. I can’t believe it.” I was shaking I was so nervous. And then, there you were. You were panting a little, but otherwise perfect and Jessica held the leash. “Meet Rosamae. She’s pure black, except for a little spot on her nose that sort of looks like a zipper. She loves her work, and is one very loyal dog. I think she’s great for you.” I was so happy I didn’t even have the words to describe my emotions. I sat there and petted your head and scratched your ears a lot, and then Jessica unclipped her leash, and I attached mine. IT felt like a right of passage. Stacy was right; there was a dog, at the end of MY leash!!! I loved that leash since the moment I got it. Then Jessica took us back to my room, and I sat on the floor and talked and sang to you, while I listened to Julie crying and Helga wining.

Dad called, and I had to get you to sit at my feet and be quiet while I talked to him. You kept trying to be all wiggly and stuff. Eventually, Jessica brought me out into the hall so I could do heeling practice. As I said, you were perfect. You didn’t sniff, didn’t get distracted by the big bowl of dog food that Stacy was shaking. Not even Kay-leigh made you look. You were completely devoted to me. But I still was unsure, because you didn’t seem very excited or anything. You were just quiet. After we walked up and down the hall a few times, I fed you for the first time. You just dove, head first into the bowl. This showed me that I would have to teach you to wait until I gave the command. You were such a fast learner.

When I tried to relieve you, it was a challenge. I don’t think you actually did anything during that relieving. But you were amazing, and I didn’t even care. I was just so glad to have you with me. We had dinner, and there were three humans and three doggies at the table. It was a bit chaotic, but we managed. That night, a bunch of us convened in the music room with our dogs, and Zack and I played guitar. We did that a lot in the first couple weeks. It was great. I remember this one weird woman who was in the continued assessment class walking in, and even though all the dogs were fast asleep, you all jumped up at the same time and barked in unison. It was weird. We all quieted you, but for whatever reason, none of you liked this woman at all.

That night, Julie and I lie awake in our beds for so long just reaching down and petting you and Helga, and talking about what wonderful dogs you guys were going to be, and how excited we were and how much we looked forward to everything.

Rosamae, you are an amazing dog. You have been a huge blessing to me, and I couldn’t be happier with you. Granted, sometimes you frustrate me beyond belief, you love to test Mummy and push her to her limits from time to time, but I don’t know what I’d do without you by my side. You and I have had some interesting times together. Do you remember Terri and Jesse from the summer and how we always would spend time with them and their cats and dogs? Do you remember Joey, and how much you loved him? Do you remember the first time you met my boyfriend at the time and what you did to him when you thought he was trying to attack me? I wonder if you ever think of the first time I brought you to Kingston, how stressed you were, and how you had diarrhea all over the floor at the high school during Cam’s graduation night. And Cam, your favourite person in the entire world. He’s coming home soon, and I bet you’ll be so happy to see him. He loves you too, you know. He always asks me how you’re doing. And what about the cats at Mom’s house? I know what you think of Buckwheat. It’s too bad he doesn’t like to play, because he thinks you’re going to hurt him. I know you aren’t, Rosamae. You just want to have fun right? Do you remember that other girl with the guide dog who used to come over to my apartment in the fall? I know you liked that dog, she was adorable.

If people heard all the crazy nicknames I have for you; Mayzers, Miss Mae, Squeaker Doo and any other random form of Doo, and my personal favourite, Rosamae MacSniffy Nose, I’m sure they’d all laugh at me. I wonder what they’d think if they knew that your favourite band, for some reason unknown to me is Led Zeppelin, or that you love being scratched right above your tail, or that every time you see a man you get right on your back and show everyone your special places. But in that same instance, if you feel like someone is going to do harm to me, I know you are very defensive and protective of me. I sometimes wonder how you can know when I’m in the possibility of danger. I think you can read my thoughts. I don’t know how you do it, but sometimes I really believe we communicate telepathicly.

Rosamae, you’re beautiful, hard working, strong, intelligent, and just perfect for me. I’m very happy with the match they made between you and me. We’re gonna go out with Chuck today, so do me a favour and be a good girl for Mummy ok? I know you will be. You usually are. And yes, Mommy will play with you and your bone now. You can calm down.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Dark Room

Just imagine being in the tiniest room you've ever seen, and it's completely black. There are no windows or doors in sight, and everything is all small. The ceilings are low, and even though the walls are so closed in, it feels like you walk around and around in circles forever. You can't hear any sound except the screaming inside your own head, begging to get out. But you can't get out, because you don't see doors or windows. You don't know how you got trapped in there, one day you just woke up and you were stuck there, alone, and terrified. You do everything in your power to distract yourself. You sing, you try to sleep. You attempt to remember positive experiences. But tono avail, because the voices in your head are completely overpowering.
And then, when the voices finally cease, you have no emotion at all. Just complete numbness. You can hear your friends' voices telling you to come to them, consoling you, but they sound so far away; like you're just imaginingg them, because you're so caught up in your own problems that you can't find them, no matter how hard you listen for them. And you keep trying to tell yourself you're not crazy, but there's a prodominant voice that says "Yes Dear, you are, in fact, crazy. Except it. You're not getting out of it now." And you remember that confident, happy person that you showed everyone at the party and wonder where she is. You know that somewhere, there are pictures of her laughing, smiling, dancing around and just being herself.But you think that she's gone now, and when you woke up in this room, she disappeared, completely. You can even hear your most trusted companion, your dog, curled up on her bed, having a little puppy dream. You somehow figure out a way to reach through to the outside and touch her, and she somehow finds a way to make you smile, if even just a tiny smile.

They say that dogs are man's best friend. God they weren't kidding. She doesn't make everything better by any means, but she tries. She loves me unconditionally, and I her. I'm exhausted.

Monday, May 26, 2008

A piece of Paradise

So it's officially my favourite time of year. Lilac season!!! It's truly amazing. I went to the cottage this weekend. We live at the bottom of a hill, and all the lilacs are at the top, but you can smell them everywhere. They're quite amazing!

I love the cottage. It's so relaxing and nice there. I find Mom and I usually get along really well there. We listen to music, relax, eat good food, and sometimes if Alana is around, we get to go for a late night hot tub. It's great times. We had another weekend of virtually no argument. It was great. I'm happy. There's really not a whole lot else to say, just that I love that cottage and I hope we'll have it for a good long time.

Questions about Canada

Meg sent this to me this morning. I'm sure it's been seen before, but I'm amused.

> Subject: Canada questions
> Now that Vancouver has won the chance to host the 2010 Winter Olympics,
> these are some questions people from all over the world are asking. Believe
> it or not these questions about Canada were posted on an International
> Tourism Website. Obviously the answers are a joke; but the questions were
> really asked!
> Q: I have never seen it warm on Canadian TV, so how do the plants grow?
> (England)
> A. We import all plants fully grown and then just sit around and watch them
> die.
> Q: Will I be able to see Polar Bears in the street? (USA)
> A: Depends on how much you've been drinking.
> Q: I want to walk from Vancouver to Toronto-can I follow the Railroad
> tracks? (Sweden)
> A: Sure, it's only four thousand miles, take lots of water.
> Q: Is it safe to run around in the bushes in Canada? (Sweden)
> A: So it's true what they say about Swedes.
> Q: It is imperative that I find the names and addresses of
> places to contact for a stuffed Beaver. (Italy)
> A: Let's not touch this one.
> Q: Are there any ATM's (cash machines) in Canada? Can you send me a list of
> them in Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton and Halifax? (England)
> A: What, did your last slave die of?
> Q: Can you give me some information about hippo racing in Canada? (USA)
> A: A-fri-ca is the big triangle shaped continent south of Europe. Ca-na-da
> is that big country to your North...oh forget it. Sure, the hippo racing is
> every Tuesday night in Calgary. Come naked.
> Q: Which direction is North in Canada? (USA)
> A: Face south and then turn 180 degrees. Contact us when you get here and
> we'll send the rest of the directions.
> Q: Can I bring cutlery into Canada? (England)
> A: Why? Just use your fingers like we do.
> Q: Can you send me the Vienna Boys' Choir schedule? (USA)
> A: Aus-tri-a is that quaint little country bordering Ger-man-y, which
> is...oh forget it. Sure, the Vienna Boys Choir plays every Tuesday night in
> Vancouver and in Calgary, straight after the hippo races. Come naked.
> Q: Do you have perfume in Canada? (Germany)
> A: No, WE don't stink.
> Q: I have developed a new product that is the fountain of youth. Can you
> sell it in Canada? (USA)
> A: Anywhere significant numbers of Americans gather.
> Q: Can you tell me the regions in British Columbia where the female
> population is smaller than the male population? (Italy)
> A: Yes, gay nightclubs.
> Q: Do you celebrate Thanksgiving in Canada? (USA)
> A: Only at Thanksgiving.
> Q: Are there supermarkets in Toronto and is milk available all year round?
> (Germany)
> A: No, we are a peaceful civilization of Vegan hunter/gatherers. Milk is
> illegal.
> Q: I have a question about a famous animal in Canada, but I forget its name.
> It's a kind of big horse with horns. (USA)
> A: It's called a Moose. They are tall and very violent, eating the brains of
> anyone walking close to them.
> Q: Will I be able to speak English most places I go? (USA)
> A: Yes, but you will have to learn it first.

Friday, May 16, 2008

I talk too much

See kids? This is what happens when you go for a retardedly long time and don't post stuff. You get this build up of things that you want to talk about, so you just write a bunch of stuff and it's nice and happy.

I jumped off the pissy train last night, finally. Hopped on the everything is beautiful train. I like the everything is beautiful train, it's a nice train to ride. Quite comfortable and the service is awesome. I don't kjnow what I'm babbling about. We didn't get to go swimming because some poor soul had diarrhea in the pool, so we just went for a huge walk and smelled all the lilacs. It's really too bad that lilacs don't stay in season for long, because that might be the greatest smell in the world. And they're everywhere. It's spectacular.

I think of Alana sa a sort of big sister. We can talk about a lot of things when we go out by ourselves, and I know I can trust her. It's cool that she's my chiropractor, and now my friend too. I like that, and I know she enjoys it as well, now that wqe have a relationship that isn't just Alana and Mom's kid. That came out wrong, but you know what I mean.
We got to talking about guitar hero last night, and it made me think a few things. One, I remembered how much I hated that game, but I have to have some respect for it, because it's getting so many young kids into classic rock, which is always awesome. The other thing that I find is getting people into classic rock, the Beatles in particular, is that movie Accross the Universe. I haven't seen it yet, but I have friends who only used to listen to rap and goth music, and now they're in love with the Beatles. I like that this music is coming back into style. It makes me thrilled.

I think that's all I've got for today. I'm gone for the weekend, so maybe monday I'll have something good to post. Have a good long weekend Cnaadians. Americans, it sucks to be you. Your long weekend isn't till nexst weekend so ha! Ha!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Back on the pissy train

And I'd better fall off it by tomorrow or I'm going to throw myself off a god damn bridge. No, not literally. We already discussed that whole suicide thing. I'm just really mad, and grumpy and wish people in this house would do one of two things. Either stop incessantly bitching about their jobs and how pointless they are, or quit and find another god damn job. Oh, and while they're at it, they can also cease telling me over and over how I wouldn't be able to work at their job because I'm blind and blind people can't do anything. Dear family member, go fuck yourself. Honestly! I'm just tired of you rnegative bull shit! I'm tired of my negative bull shit. I'm off to Ottawa tomorrow and going swimming with Alana, my life coach tonight. Hopefully that will improve my mood drasticly. Would you look at that, Jaws is cooperating! Go Jaws. Someone tell me something funny, or something, please.

Stones and Things

Tiff, you'll appreciate this. I went out a bought a quartz crystal the other day, and I wanted to look up what it signified, because they told me in the store but I wanted to have it written down. When I did this, I found a bunch of other stones I have too.

Helps one to remain grounded and to sort out the priorities that one chooses to face. Focuses energy and emotions to facilitate balance between physical,
emotional and mental bodies.
Physical: Strengthens the organs that cleanse the blood, i.e. the liver, lungs, etc… Helps to dispel heat in the body often used to bring down fevers.
Emotional: Strengthens the etheric body, dissolves negativity and opens one to universal love while staying connected to the physical.
I have a hematite ring, also known as black silver, on my right ring finger. My cousin brought it back for me while she was in the Dominican.

Alleviates emotional imbalances. Enhances personal integrity and smoothes the peaks and valleys of emotional expression.
Physical: Strengthens the adrenals and pancreas thereby increasing the production of insulin. Relieves conditions of bloating and eases the fluctuation
of insulin levels in the body.
Emotional: Brings truth to situations of the heart, inhibits behavior that is not conducive to the advancement spiritually and emotionally of the individual. I am wearing pearl earrings, given to me at Christmas time.

Amplifies energies and thought patterns, quartz assists one in increasing the force of thought for sending and receiving energy, information or vibrations.
It is the only stone of the mineral kingdom that can be programmed to carry a vibration other than that which it was naturally given.
Physical: Strong positive influence on the digestive system and the bodies ability to heal itself. Has been used successfully to treat vertigo.
Emotional: Opens and activates the
pituitary chakra (throat)
and assists one in being better able to experience visions. I'm not sure what they mean by visions, haven't seen any visions that I know of, but I love my quartz crystal.

Allows one to be more receptive to the good in life. Usually chosen by those in service in life, silver is reflective and moon oriented in its energy.
Physical: Helps the body to eliminate toxins, helps to stabilize vision by assisting the body in the assimilation of vitamins A&E. It assists the body
in absorbing helpful trace minerals from stones that it is used with.
Emotional: This metal assists one in showing a more reserved cultured response to one’s surroundings. It enhances one’s ability to articulate information
concisely and clearly with a smoothness that is readily acceptable in all situations. OK, the part about being more receptive to the good things in life, I don't agree. I've worn silver all my life, and I have trouble staying positive. But the rest sounds plausible.

It's about time!

Jesus Christ I was a bitch whore this morning when I woke up. I was in the grumpiest mood and it was all I could do not to cry or punch someone in the face. I'm over that now though.

I probably should feel bad for the victims of all these horrible natural disasters. I think it's weird how a bunch of them all happened at the same time. Cyclones in Burma, earthquakes in China, a fire in Florida, although that wasn't natural but still, and I think there was a tornado in Georgia or something. I don't remember where exactly. I could look it up but that would take effort, and today I just don't feel like it. Anyway, maybe this is Revelations finally coming to pass. Crazed!!

OK, this post really had no point. I'm going to continue talking to Steve now, because he's much more interesting than me. Oh, I downloaded Against the Wind by Bob Seger, because I heard a song a few weeks back from the album I'd never heard before and I thought "Damn, I'd better get this." I'm on track three, and it's pretty great so far! OK, back to talking to Steve. Good day.just don't feel like it. I wonder if this is revelat

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Thought Bonnanza Chapter3: Wherein Barb babbles about things and stuff

It's been a good couple of weeks. Let's start from where I left off on that Saturday. That was the first weekend I've had with Mom in a very very long time where we went virtually the whole weekend without a fight. We went to the cottage and raked up the whole yard, went to Wall Mart and bought me some badly needed new clothes. So much for me boycotting Wallmart. Oh well, the bras are cheep and comfortable. Always important when dealing with those fun under garments. We then ate Chinese food in this cute little old diner, went home and listened to Randi's vinyl tap. Have I mentioned how much I love that man? If not, let me just say, I love that man. The next morning we went for a run, the first since I had twisted my ankle the previous Thursday during O and M. Now we're down to one minute runs, but only two minute walks in between. That's harder than it was before. So that was an awesome weekend.

Last Tuesday I got my hair cut again and was told I should go check out this French employment resource centre, considering the job at Xanadu is really not getting me anywhere since I have zero students. No students = no money except for $10 here and there for a staff meeting. So the people at the French employment resource centre were really excited about the fact that my French was so good, and they said they were fairly certain they could find me a job given my proficiency in both languages. The counsellor made it very clear that she thought I should go into a profession teaching music, which is what everyone but Mother and grandparents think. They want me to make lots of money, which I understand, but it's hard when I'm not overly passionate about much other than music. Anyway, I'm pretty convinced that that's what I'm doing, and on a side note I received my letter from Queen's saying I have to send along transcripts. I hope they will accept me, I'd really like to go back to school next year. I hate to say it but I really miss school.

Meg and I went and saw Iron Man on Wednesday. And holy hell it was awesome!!!!! Marvel has put out some good ones, but this one was by far the best. On another side note why the hell is it that every time I navigate out of this blogger window and come back to it Jaws turns forms mode off? That's fucking annoying and I'd apprecitae it if that would stop.

So I took Carin's advice and when we were at WallMart bought Rosamae a Kong Wubba. Yep, it's official, this dog loves the thing. She just loves to run around with it in her mouth and squeak it to death. If you squeeze it just so, it sounds like you're torturing a mouse. This provides Megan with hours of entertainment. You know what they say about small things amusing small minds, but I'm not gonna lie I think it's funny too.

I went to the cottage this past weekend so Mom, Grandma and I could all celebrate Mother's day together; that and I haven't seen the grandparents since Easter. It was great, and I now have a crap load of new music to listen to. Dad downloaded the 500 best singles as voted by Rolling Stone. Three full mp3 cds worth, and I'm only through one of them. I made sure that I didn't skip any of the songs. There is some cool stuff on there. A bunch of it is super old and I've only heard it on Randi's show, or sometimes not at all. This is great!
I think that's all for now. Rosamae is curled up in her bed snoring like a band saw, and methinks I should follow suit.

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Saturday, May 03, 2008

Better Run Girl Far Far Away!

Am I the only person that is creeped out by the lyrics to Gary Puckett's tune Young Girl? Something about the phrase, "Young girl get out of my mind,
My love for you is way out of line
Better run, Girl" I just have this vision of some horny musician chasing a little 12-year-old girl with pigtails. I'm just sayin'...

Thursday, May 01, 2008


  24 Apr, Thu, 08:19:54   
"she tied me" "drugged"

She did, did she? Was she drugger? Or were you? I hope you will be untied soon.

  29 Apr, Tue, 10:08:28   
"she tied me too"
Sounds like this woman is all about tying people. Random.