Brain Rabies

I think I’ve been infected.

It started with a sniffle, which moved to post-nasal drip, and stealthily worked its way up into my sinuses and back into my ears.

There is now a soft, but constant ringing noise in my right ear.

I will go insane because of this.

Oh, wait.  Crazy can only get “er”.

I’ve had my voice fluctuating between normal and husky – all the way to non-existent.  People are going to think the multiple personalities are finally coming out to play. 

They’re not – I keep them locked up good and tight with the other Voices in my head.

I know that most people refer to this as “the common cold”, and write it off as a small inconvenience.


It’s brain rabies, I know it!

I’ve heard about brain rabies, a friend with her own troop of flying monkeys told me about it, and so I know it’s real and dangerous, and can only be cured by copius amounts of alcohol and bacon.

For realz.

One of the other symptoms of this heinous disease, so I’ve been told, is that you can’t focus on one thing for more than

Hey! Squirrels! I thought they were hibernating for the winter!

Awww… look how cute they are…

Uh, where was I?

Oh – that’s right.

Brain Rabies – seeee??

No, I didn’t plan that wild tangent all out and go googling for pictures of cute little squirrels to distract you – it was just like it happened here, honest.  It’s the rabies, man.

I’ve had a million and one things floating around in my brain lately, all stuff that I wanted to blog about, sorta…

But, have you ever had 2 colors of play-doh, and made something where you mixed it together?

Yeah, it doesn’t ever look right again, and you can’t pick those 2 colors apart ever.

Hey… doesn’t this look a little like a squirrel, if you cock your head to the side a little and squint?

 Jumping tracks again, sorry.

And I just had the crap scared out of me!

While googling  for a picture of “mixed up playdoh”, I ran across this:

This is a picture of another blogger’s cat.

Here’s Sally, mine: 

Twins?  Doppelgangers? 

I don’t know, but I do know that if there are 2 out there like my Patchwork Sally – in all her rabid-squirrel-coon-cat glory…

We’re all doomed.

Brain rabies is only the beginning.

5 Minutes of Fire

“Seek and you shall find, Gemini.  Whatever actions you take today – even if it’s only to take a first step toward a special goal – will be met with great support from the universe.  You are blessed now with more highly tuned insights, greater perception and awareness, increased intuition, and a bit of extra charisma…”

Just before bed last night, at about 12:30 A.M., I checked my horoscope on my phone.  Not because I feel that I need to live by the words written there, but every bit of positive energy I could find would help me get to sleep and get through the night. 

I got so much positive encouragement yesterday and in the days prior from my friends, both here in the blogging world, and across my “normal” life.  Thank you to you all.  It meant so much to me, and helped me remain calm today.

Today was the big day.  Court.  Shaking and feeling like I wanted to throw up, I set off to the municipal court a little after 8.  By the time they opened the doors at 8:30, I was shaking so bad I thought everyone would be able to see it. 

I wasn’t the only person waiting, there were about 5 or 6 others, some who had been there before, evidenced by their familiar manner and banter with friends and officers when checking in.  I practically whispered as I asked the officer at the counter if I needed to check in there.  He answered with a “yes” and handed me a single sheet of paper, and a pencil.  Running swiftly through the instructions, I was told to fill it out, and sign it before court began.  Then he told me to go sit in the courtroom to wait.

When the judge entered, everyone rose.  He was a middle-aged man, looked a little tired and as though he wanted to make an early morning of it.  But he had a kind face, and when he spoke, he was mild and pleasant. 

The first young man to get called stood, and approached the dais, stated his plea, and received the judge’s decision.  What I noticed then, was that the judge was nice.  He listened to the young man, and attempted to figure out a reasonable compromise with him, even while telling him that he needed to get his life together and stop doing what he’d done to end up there.

Then it was my turn. 

Standing up, I stated my plea.  “Yes”, I said, my dogs got out, we were guilty.  Yes, my dog Jack had shown signs of aggression before, but had never attacked anyone.  I told the judge the circumstances under which we got our “guard dog”, and he let me tell him.  He listened.  I also told him that the dogs only go outside muzzled now, and that we would be making sure that there was a decent fence back there, so that the dogs don’t get out again.

He listened.  Compassion.

And in the end, he dismissed the charge regarding the licenses and vaccinations.  I had brought the proofs with me, even though he never even looked at them.  He then went on to impose a fine that was half of what the animal control officer had told me it normally was.  Mercy.

The officer had written on the back of the citation everything he’d said that he’d tell the judge.  Honesty and integrity. 

After 5 minutes of fire in my head and a tornado in my gut, the bailiff assisting the judge told me I could step back out to the counter and pay my fine.  I was done.

Leaving the courtroom, I almost cried with relief.

I get to keep my dogs.

Lady Justice is said to be blind.  I don’t know about that, but I do know, that today – Lady Justice showed Compassion, Mercy, Honesty, and Integrity.  And it only took 5 minutes.  Maybe she’s not as blind as they think.

Oh, and the rest of my horoscope?  “You can charm the pants off of anyone you want to impress.  If there is something you wish to achieve in the coming year, beginning to reach for it now will ensure your success in 2011.”  Novel time.


I’m pretty much a nervous wreck today.

Tomorrow is the day I go to court to find out what the legal system thinks about our dogs.  If you missed the explanation of what happened, it’s here.  When I spoke to the animal control officer that day, he said that because I was so cooperative and polite, he’d give the judge a “heads-up”, and let him know that I was trying to work with them on this.  I have no idea what, if anything, the officer has said to anyone about the situation.

On the outside, I was pleasant and polite, helpful and quiet.  I didn’t make a big fuss and go off about the neighbors, because I knew that it would be counter-productive.  Taking the high road, and all that.

On the inside, I was a bawling, mewling mess.  I was angry – furious with the people we live near.  I was torn apart about the possibility of losing our dogs, or having to pay some sort of outrageous fine.  I was deeply depressed, because this was not the only upsetting thing going on in my household at that point, it was just the cherry on the crap-sundae.

I’ve calmed down, sort of.

The last time I was in court, I was a lot younger.  I did stupid things in my youth (who doesn’t?), got caught, and had to fix them.  But I haven’t been back to court for even so much as jaywalking in decades.  I’m pretty straight-arrow. 

Which also means that I have no idea what to expect. 

This is municipal court, not district court, which I gather means that it’s not quite as serious.  *shrug*  It’s plenty serious to me.  These dogs are members of my family, and they’ve been touted as being dangerous by the neighbors.

This face couldn’t be dangerous if she tried.

This is Jill.  She’s 2 years old, and would rather lick someone and snuggle them to death, than hurt anyone.  She still piddles on the floor if my OtherHalf reaches down to pet her right away on getting home.

I know that German Shepherds have a bad rep.  I wasn’t sure about getting one myself before we actually got Jack.  I’d had a scare from a German Shepherd when I was little, and was leery.  I got over it when I saw this:

Jack.  He is 5 years old now, and is starting to creak, groan and whine when he has to do anything strenuous.  The basement stairs cause crying and yelping, due to joint pain that we’ve had to treat with chondroitin for dogs.  He doesn’t even jump up to balance on the gate anymore to watch the people walking on our street.  He lets Jill do the watching, and barks from behind the fence when she makes a noise.

Yes, he’s a guard dog.  But a guard dog is different from an attack dog.  Guard dogs bark and charge strangers that get too close to their property or look like they’re going to menace someone in the family, but do not bite.

Jack is a guard dog. 

My OtherHalf recently took him to the vet, to get his updated rabies vaccination, and to get the new city license for him and Jill.  He said that Jack didn’t make so much as a peep in the vet’s office, even when the vet poked him with the needle.  He was calm, looked at the vet and then back at OtherHalf as if to say “What the heck?”

I can’t talk about any of this in court, or so I’m told.  I can’t talk about how the neighbors have hated us from day one, even though we didn’t even have dogs when we moved in.  How they throw noisy, alcohol-infused parties in their backyard, and have taunted and threatened our dogs over the fence.  How they’ve accused my OtherHalf of sending threatening and harassing e-mails to them, even though they’ve never had any proof. And besides the fact that my OtherHalf has never sent an e-mail in his life, wouldn’t even know how to open the e-mail program on our computer, much less how to find an unknown neighbor’s e-mail.  I can’t describe the many times that their dog has dug under the fence and gotten into our yard, nor the fact that when we got Jill, I took her down there to try to “mend fences” so to speak, hoping that the dogs could be socialised together so they’d get along, and the neighbor let her dog attack mine. 

I can’t talk about any of it.  I simply have to bow my head, promise that our dogs will not get out again, and tell the judge how we plan to make sure that this happens. 

I’m not sure how many nerves I have left, but I know I’m getting pretty close to the last one.

Anybody have any idea how I can move a section of the Great Wall to North Dakota? 

What I wish my backyard looked like

The Legacy

I’ve started to understand my last BadBoss a lot more, recently. 

This prospect scares me, as I can’t imagine becoming that kind of person, and don’t want to.  Not even a little bit.  She was a bitter, hurtful person, and it frightens me to think that I could ever be like that.

I wished my neighbors to go up in a fiery ball of misery last night.

I wanted to take the tree out to the boulevard for the trash to pick up today.

I wanted out.

I’ve begun to hate the holidays with the fire of a thousand burning suns.

What happened?  Well, yesterday morning, I was still kind of riding the anniversary high, and on my break, posted a couple of replies to friends, cheerful and upbeat.  Then I got a phone call on my cell that changed everything.

*Please excuse me if I skip over some parts, if I don’t, this post will turn into a raging miserable rant, and I just don’t want to go back there*

The phone call was the police – animal control.  My 2 German Shepherds (Jack & Jill) had gotten out of our fenced-in yard (by jumping over a low point due to built-up snow), and he had them penned in a neighbor’s yard.  He needed to talk to me, and have me come home and get them.  I went.  Fast.

When I got there, I found out that supposedly, Jack (the guard dog) had charged at a neighbor.  He didn’t actually attack, just charged, which is typical for him to do with strangers.  When we have him out walking, he’s always on a leash, and has a muzzle on, because we know that he doesn’t like strangers.  We didn’t socialize him on purpose, due to the fact that when we bought him, it was for protection

Jill, on the other hand, loves everyone, and I’m not sure that she’d do anything to a stalker/burglar/trespasser but lick them, and pee on the floor in front of them when they looked at her.

The neighbor that got charged at by Jack, he and his wife have hated us for years.  Their dog (a Sheltie) has gotten into our yard numerous times, every time we’ve simply sent a child over to get them to come claim their dog.  They’ve also had loud parties until very late hours, where their guests have taunted my dogs, sending Jack into a frenzy, and almost causing him to jump fences to get at one man that was dangling himself over the fences, hollering obscenities.  I had to bring the dogs in that night, and tie them up.

Granted, Jack did get into their yard once, when he was younger.  My husband jumped the fence, grabbed the 150 lb. dog, and tossed him back over onto our side.  No harm, no foul.  There have been other incidences with these neighbors, not dog-related, but for whatever reason, they can’t stand us.  And we can’t stand them.  Their 12-year old son is not allowed to even speak to OnlySon over the fence, due to their hatred.  I’ve told OnlySon that none of this is that boy’s fault.  That he’s just a kid, so I don’t want him to blame the other boy for this.

These two boys could have been best friends.  They live right behind us, their son is exactly the same age as OnlySon – they attend the same school.  It’s sad.

Another neighbor, the one whose yard was used to corral the dogs, told the animal control officer that the dogs barked a lot.  His 3 dogs are allowed to bark at all hours, and to howl, I guess, but he doesn’t like it when mine do.  He also forgot about all the times that his largest dog has jumped out of their yard, charged our fence, and us, or has gotten hung up on their fence by his collar, almost strangling himself to death – and we saved him by telling the neighbors about it.

*sigh*  So much for trying to get along with the neighbors.

So now, the dogs go out to the bathroom – one at a time – and muzzled – and they are watched, to make sure that they stay away from the fence. 

So what does that have to do with the price of candy-canes at the North Pole?

Well, this is not the only issue.  There are others, including more legal trouble for Eldest, that I just found out about yesterday.  AND, I now have to go to court on the 29th because of this, to prove to the city why I should be allowed to keep my dogs. 

My last BadBoss had a deep-seated loathing for the Christmas holiday.  She hated it, because approximately 25 years ago, her husband passed away from cancer right around Christmas.  It was all just painful memories for her, and it turned the holidays from a joyful time, to a time of excruciating loss and crushing miserable memories.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas – BadBoss style.

I’m trying, I’m really trying, Goddess.  Help me overcome this legacy of pain, of misery.  I don’t want it.  Not now, not ever.  Help me to not be that, to find my joy again, and walk through this place.