Hi! I'm Lauren, and I need a Lobotomy.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Working Out With Wind

Haha! With a title like that you thought this would be off-colour, didn’t ya?

Sorry to bust your bubble.

When I was nine years old we moved to Switzerland. My mom spent the better part of four months before we got there teasing me about some of the changes we were going to be experiencing when we arrived. One of my favorite examples of this special sort of bonding is when she told me that all of the cows in Switzerland have one side of their legs shorter than the other due to grazing in a circular motion around the tops of the mountains. I didn’t know a whole lot about mountains at that time - I had spent most of my life in the Midwest up until then - and didn’t realize that mountains are huge and not every single one of them has a farm at the way tippy- toppity of it; where cows continuously walk around in circles like they have some weird sort of mad cow disease. To my nine year old mind it made perfect sense that the cows would have one side of their legs shorter. I was scared to death and I vowed to make sure that I walked equally up and down the streets. I think I was fairly successful because both of my legs are still the same length. Score!

Yes. They wear bells. And yes. It is awesome!
I was reminded of the short-legged-on-one-side cows when I walked out of a building today in Cheyenne. It was windy. Not just the blustery-and-you-deal-with-it kind, but the full-blown 35 mph gusts that alternate between forcing you to practically crawl along the pavement in order to keep moving forward and then knocking you over when it swirls behind you and you haven’t recovered from the stooped position. It was really fun.

I imagine this mode of transportation would be infinitely more dangerous here...
Everyone always says how windy Wyoming is but I hadn’t really experienced it because the summer was so pleasant, so I guess I didn’t really (want to) believe them. I wish I had a video of my odd zombie walk back the car. I tried to keep my arms down but they kept wanting to pop up to keep me from bashing my face in on some cement.

When I got back to the car I noticed that my muscles were sore, as if I had been working out. I’m not really a fan of that whole ‘working out until your muscles hurt’ stuff so this certainly perplexed me. It was then that I realized that by being forced to keep all of my muscles tensed so the wind couldn’t sneak up on me I was getting a bit of exercise. Totally my kind of exercise – totally the only kind worth doing. Or not doing, as the case may be. You don’t even have to think about it and you’re getting fit! It reminds me of Couch Tai-Bo that was totally the craze between me and some of my friends in High school. It obviously counts because you are exercising. Anyone remember “Sit and Be Fit”? I digress.
Like this, but with kicking and punching instead of towels, or whatever those are. Oh, and old people. None of that, either.

I have a new one now: ‘Working Out With Wind’. Do what you will with that one... I plan to do it every day for the unforeseeable future.

Friday, October 5, 2012

A Tribute to a Special Dog

I have taken a HUGE break from blogging due to changes in latitudes (and some attitudes) and I am breaking my silence to offer a tribute to a wonderful dog. Our beloved Jasmine Genevieve (Spelts) Carver went to Heaven today. She hadn’t been feeling well for a while, was mostly deaf and blind, and would get lost in corners, scared and cowering. She didn’t like the confusion she was experiencing, we called it her doghaimers, and I hated seeing her in pain. I know it was the right time to let her go but it doesn’t make it any easier.

I have a belief that we should not mourn those that have passed but celebrate the time we had with them. Obviously tears will be shed but I try and stay positive with happy memories to ease the transitions in life. I do not believe that those we love who pass on want us to be sad but rather to be happy for the special time we had with them.

Jasmine was truly one of the best dogs to ever live. I am not saying that because I had the privilege of being her caretaker and dog-mommy but because it is simply true. I think if we got right down to it, and she could use facebook and twitter, she would have more friends than I do. I can’t think of one person who met her that didn’t love her.

I rescued her from a pet shop in 2000. She had lived in a cage for the better part of her puppyhood and was on deep discount because she had been there so long and was pretty ill. She spent 5 days in intensive care before I even got to take her home. Once home she fit into college life extremely well. She went to class with me (Boulder, CO, awesome) and all of the parties and events I cared to attend. She was so popular that if there was a shortage of ladies at a party the guys would take her for walks and come home with a trail of females just wanting to scoop her up and cuddle. Jazzy was a bearded collie, and by golly, those puppies are the cutest little fluffballs!

We frequently hiked and she would rock climb with us. Random strangers would tell me she needed to be in a dog food commercial due to her dexterity on the rocks and cliffs. Jazz never met a mountain she couldn’t climb! Once, when she was scared to get back down and I couldn’t carry her, I opened a can of Vienna Sausages, promising her some when she got to the bottom, and I swear she walked on her back feet almost the whole way down. She got the can and then some.

Being a sheep dog she was extremely protective of her flock. She would just sit somewhere and bark her crazy head off until we all showed up and then she would walk off, content that we were still in her care. When the kids were born she wouldn’t let them out of her sight. When the little guy was just a few weeks old, my Mom took us to Galveston where Jazz, who was so incredibly afraid of the water, went into the ocean because I had Yaya and Finn in my arms. She would not let her babies get hurt no matter what it cost her. That dog had a heart of gold.

Jasmine raised a bunch of dogs from puppyhood, and while they were not biologically hers, they are some of the most well behaved dogs I have ever met. Her spirit lives within them and I know she is never far from their hearts.

When I was in college I had a Suzuki Samurai and Jazz and I rocked that Barbie-mobile. We would drive aimlessly around together, the top off and our hair blowing in the wind. I reminisced with her the other day about how sexy we were, rocking out to pop tunes. She smiled at me in her doggy way.

She loved anything to do with the outdoors, including camping, hiking, fishing and snowshoeing. I bet she even would have loved skiing if she could have figured that out. We took an extended camping trip before Yaya was born and I don’t think she’d ever been happier.

We lived in Steamboat Springs two years ago and Jasmine went missing in the woods a couple of days before Memorial Day. I cried my eyes out until she came back two days later, exhausted and missing some teeth. When I think about that weekend I feel so incredibly lucky that she came home and we were able to gain an extra two and a half years with her. She tried so hard to come home and I will forever be grateful for that extra time.

Jasmine always knew when you were sad or upset or scared about something. She was truly my battle buddy during all of Brian’s deployments. Something about that scruffy face could always make me smile, and when I was at my lowest she would sit beside me, her head in my lap, and just be there for me. I will miss her quiet, calming manner. She was my best dog friend, there beside me as I found my path in the world, and she will be so incredibly missed.

I think Brian put it well: “After deafness, blindness, dementia, and multiple tumors; our amazing dog, Jasmine went to heaven today. I sure will miss my trail running, rock climbing, snow shoeing, chick magnet mountain dog. I miss you Jazz, and will see you again someday!

Jazzy, we send you to Heaven with the best wishes and the most love. There will never be another dog like you! We love you!