Thursday, December 23, 2010

For Sierra

Many of you will recall a previous entry in which i detailed the hilarious hijinks of Sierra and I going to the vet.

I'm very sad to report that our beloved Sierra passed away early this morning.

I was never much of a dog person. Raised mostly around cats, I felt like dogs were unpredictable and potentially mean. Sierra was the dog who would rid me of that opinion, forever.

I remember the first night I met Sierra. I was sitting at my fiance's computer desk while he was looking through his DVD's, and I saw his door crack open a few inches. Suddenly, a long snout was poking into the room.

"Hi, Sierra!" Matt said. "Come meet Sarah!" She stood in the hallway, unmoving. I guess she was as unsure of me as I was of her.

"What...what is that?" I asked.

"It's a Collie." Matt said.

"It's ...big!" I said.

Matt laughed. "She's actually fairly petite for a Collie."

I stared at Sierra. Sierra towered over me. (Okay, maybe it's a bit of an exaggeration. But to me, she was a tall, tall dog!)

And with that, we left. The next time I saw her, she came right over and rested her head in my lap. And my heart melted a little bit.

Over time, it became evident that Sierra was the sweetest, most loving dog ever. She pretty much loved you right away, no matter what.

I learned that when she took walks, she didn't walk in a straight line. I'm not talking about the typical dog sniffing from tree to tree. She walked in a serpentine pattern, which I still presume was to avoid giving terrorists a clear shot. She was street smart that way.

She loved the outdoors. She especially loved her mudhole, and Matt's mom's columbines. But the girl didn't underestimate the value of a cozy sleeping bag at the end of the night.

She charmed the crowd at my engagement party. She was easily the most complimented aspect of the day! She also suffered silently through many humiliations brought on by her own family. (As do we all!)

And though she was very sweet and well behaved, she also had a mischievous streak to her. She'd happily prance outside for a walk, but when it was time to come in, she'd look at the porch step, then back at you. Then back at the porch step. Then back at you.

In the backyard, if you called her, she'd wait until you walked over to her, and reluctantly, and sloooowly get up. At the dog park, she'd run to the far end, making you hike all the way over to get her.

Last week, in Forest Falls, she sweet-talked my mom into an entire piece of cheese.

And let's not leave out her tendency to steal cars for a joyride. This was taken upon finding out she had stolen Margaret's car. Who knew she could even drive stick?

Last night, Matt's mom Nancy called and said that it wasn't looking good for Sierra. She had a nasty bout of pneumonia, and her fever was spiking. Nancy had arranged for us to be able to go visit Sierra at the emergency animal hospital after Matt got off of work.

We were told we couldn't touch her, because she needed to stay in her oxygen cage, and also not to visit for too long, because she got too excited and it winded her.

As we approached the cage, she snoozed peacefully. Matt grabbed my hand as Sierra lifted her head.

"Hi, Collie-Girl." I said. "I'm sorry you don't feel well."

She opened her eyes, one drooping with sleep. She looked just like Matt.

"Hey, girl." Matt said.

We both stood with lumps in our throats. Sierra lowered her head. The vet tech was answering questions we had about temp and how she was doing in general. Sierra lifted her head again, and smiled.

"It's okay, girl." I said. "You can go back to sleep now."

"Get some rest, Collie Girl." Matt said.

We both said goodbye and left, much to the chagrin of the dachshund who was getting fastened into a cone of shame. I think he was hoping for witnesses.

It was such a great privilege to know and love Sierra. RIP, Girl. We love you!

"We give dogs time we can spare, space we can spare, and love we can spare. And in return, dogs give us their all. It's the best deal man has ever made." - F. Facklam

Monday, December 20, 2010

Holiday Greetings

Dear Santa,

I have been as good as can reasonably be expected under the circumstances afforded to me. The fact that I haven't killed anyone yet this year should be noted, as well as the fact that I have donated to every gosh darned salvation army bucket I have come across (even the one I walked into).

Santa, as I'm sure you're aware, the economy sucks. I wish I could sugarcoat it for you, big guy, but you and I both know that a spoonful of sugar doesn't help much with that bitter pill. So, I'm only going to ask for a few reasonable things.

1. A Pony.

I've asked for one every year since I was 3, and nothing. It's getting a bit old, Santa, that you refuse to acquiesce to my demands. Besides, I would name him Tony, so that his name rhymes with what he is.

2. A job.

(Image courtesy
I know I'm good at what I do, but please. I just want a real person job with benefits. I really miss going to the doctor, and I don't want to have to wait until after I'm married to do this. Do you know how hard it is to sit in the lobby of the free clinic for 5 hours on a Wednesday, Santa? Do you?? I really don't think you do, because then you'd know that even with an appointment, you're not going in anywhere near your scheduled time. Unless you show up late, then they called you at your precise appointment time. Also, they won't change the channel away from MTV, and I really really really don't care who America's Next Best Dance Crew is. They all suck. Plus, I'm tired of being hit on by guys who are there to get a herpes medication refill.

3. For the Government to Pull Their Heads Out of Their Arses.

If I hear the word "fillibuster" ONE MORE TIME. Plus, they totally "booed" when they were told they'd have to work this week. Oh, boo hoo! They, like so many other Americans, are being asked to do their job. To finish what they started. To make a frickin' decision. There are tons of unemployed Americans who would be thrilled to do the job for a week, to make a little money for the holidays. Also, they keep voting down important issues just to prove a point to each other. I think the point they're trying to prove is "I'm a bigger, more stubborn idiot than you are!" Seriously, they're voting down the decision to give the 9/11 first responders and volunteers health care coverage? Are they out of their minds? These are the guys who came to help and stayed until the job was done. They continue to do their jobs. And the congress is treating them as if they were nuisances. One would think, Santa, and I'm sure you agree, that now is the time when they should be proving to the American people that they deserve to keep their jobs.

4. Johnny Depp. Enough said.

5. If you could bring back that "all berries Cap'n Crunch" cereal, that would be great.

It's delicious, and a part of a complete breakfast.

I'd like to wish each and every one of my blog readers a Happy Enough HoliDon't. I'll end with the best christmas quote I know:

"Where do you think you're going? Nobody's leaving. Nobody's walking out on this fun, old-fashioned family Christmas. No, no. We're all in this together. This is a full-blown, four-alarm holiday emergency here. We're gonna press on, and we're gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny fucking Kaye. And when Santa squeezes his fat white ass down that chimney tonight, he's gonna find the jolliest bunch of assholes this side of the nuthouse. " - Clark Griswold, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation