Tuesday, October 12, 2010

2010: Year of the Baby

In the past 72 hours, there has be tremendous baby news for people around us -- and not in the way you normally get this kind of news. One person is expecting a baby via surrogate in December; she just told the world as she's had so many failures she didn't want to get everyone's hopes up. Another friend is taking a step with artificial insemination, and for some reason, I had a very psychic knowing before she told me -- a vicarious nausea -- I think she is pg. And, perhaps closest to me, James and Uma. We started orientation with our adoption agency on the very same day, and together, we went through the classes, saved seats at support groups for each other, and visited whenever we had our foster-adopt series in Redlands, where they live. James and Uma got a call a month ago from our social worker, who introduced them to a very, very pregnant person who wanted to place her child for adoption. They all got along well. They went with her to the ultrasound. And in a couple days, voila, the baby was born and Uma is a mom and James is a dad. They are a family.

But there's no "just like that" with all of the above. When you hit 40licious, you realize how hard-won babies are. There are tears and tries and surprises and terrible miscarriages and disappointments when surrogates or birth moms don't pan out. And then, at the end of it, there is a good news call, and a baby.

Blessings to those who have to work just a little bit harder. 

Friday, October 1, 2010

Well, he's not retarded

From the second I saw him on May 1 of this year, I loved him, this little dog our neighbor found on the 5 freeway. Which is why we ended up calling him Cinco. I successfully found a new home for this flea-bitten, stranger-humping, indoor peeing little tornado of a beast. But we decided to keep him. Even though he was a little dog, and neither of us had any experience with little dogs. Big dogs, no prob. But little dogs? Different planet.

We dealt with the fleas and the humping. Still working on the indoor peeing. Which, if you have enough rags handy, isn't all that bad as he figures out that going inside is not just one of many options one has for relieving oneself. But the worst was the bolting. If he got lucky enough to slip outside, there he'd go. Taunting us. Teasing us. We'd go after him or ignore him. It's always an effort to lure him back in, sometimes with the help of a willing passerby. The last straw for me was an early-morning walk, and he slipped out of an unsecured harness, and gleefully ran right into an intersection. Where a lady driving large old sedan didn't see him. She rolled slowly and stared at me as I screamed, "Wait! Wait! Wait! Stop!" Which she finally did, with some look on her face like she wasn't sure if I was going to carjack her or what.

And Cinco ran some more. "Ha ha," he said. "You always give me cheese when I run loose. I feel like some cheese for breakfast. I will run some more. Sucka!"

That very day, haggard and deranged, I got myself on the Internet and found after a quick search, found the fabulous Ronen Tivoni, who happens to live a short six blocks down the street. He's Israeli. He's got wads and wads of training certificates. And he trains really important dogs. Dogs we cannot speak about.

Last Friday, Ronen arrived for a two-hour session and we worked with a nervous but excited Cinco to sit and stay. And we learned to ignore cries and pestering. And each week, we did a little bit of homework. When Ronen came this week and Cinco kept acing everything, much earlier than it takes most dogs. He  peed under my desk and sat and sat still and came when called and ate some more cheese.

Ronen told us, "Intelligence is not his issue. He has emotional problems."

Well, you would too if someone dumped you on the 5.