Monday, April 28, 2008


Yesterday it was time to put Arlo to sleep. Steph and I took him to Adam's so the kids could say goodbye, then we took him to the vet and let him go.

To understand what this meant to me you have to understand my relationship with significant dogs in my life. There was the boxer we had in Topeka until I was 4 years old...he was such a non-presence that he didn't move with us to Kansas, and the only memories I have are from the pictures. There was the little dog next door who bit me on Thanksgiving one year as I played in the street. There was the dalmation who attacked me on my paper route and would have torn my throat out if I hadn't gotten my arm in the way. Then there were my grandparent's various moderately-insane boxers I dreaded being in the same room with every Thanksgiving in McPherson. Because of these early examples I was afraid of dogs until 2001 or so...that was when I met Freckles, Sarah's dog, and decided that canines as a whole maybe weren't entirely evil. Freckles was still kind of there but not terribly significant. She lived w/ Sarah's parents and I saw her occasionally, but that was it. In my years in Oklahoma I took her for one walk, and that was to escape the house on Christmas one year.

Then there was Arlo. He was there early on when Stephanie and I started doing things outside of work hours. He went on those early hikes with us, and watched us fall in love. He was the only other living creature on the trail with us when I asked Stephanie to marry me. He was there the night we got married, sleeping in the car as we signed on the dotted line and panting on the floor of the pet-friendly Loews Cherry Creek when we slept that night. He was the first dog I ever let out to pee at 3 am, picked up poop for, fed, watered, petted endlessly, snuggled with on the couch, told to shut up at 5 am, and took for more than one walk. He was the first dog I ever referred to as "mine," and the first dog (second animal) that I would say I loved.

It was his time to go. There is no doubt about that. In the past couple weeks he stopped eating his dog food, then ground beef, then the chicken thighs I boiled for him. He started falling on the hardwood floors and gave up on climbing the stairs under his own power. For the last days of his life Stephanie and I had to carry him up and down the stairs so he could be near us when we slept. The decision that is was time to do the humane thing had to be Stephanie's, but I didn't realize how much it would affect me until it had been made. Arlo was a wonderful dog, and a loving member of my new family. I loved him and I miss him, and it will be a long time before I stop shuffling my feet in the dark so I don't accidentally step on his massively sprawled paws. The old boy is in a better place now, but that doesn't mean it was any easier to let go.

This post needs a picture. This is Arlo, smiling approvingly (in my mind) from the back of the CR-V on the night we were married:

Thursday, April 24, 2008

There is no point to this post. This image (from the lovely world of just made me laugh. I miss Falkor.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Last Thursday K1 came home with a sticker on his shirt. See, with the little ones you don't send notes home anymore...those get lost, forgotten, used to blow their nose, something. So this was a sticker reminding parents about the Cub Scout Night at the school at 6:30 that very same evening! (Yay for temporally proximal reminders!) So when Steph got home we decided that K1 and I would go to this thing and check out the local Scout troop.

See, my relationship with Scouting goes back a ways. I started as a Tiger Cub, as the son of an Eagle Scout who had 3 brothers who were also Eagles. My dad was my scoutmaster or assistant scoutmaster for much of the time I can remember, and I don't recall there being much question about whether I would stay involved. I worked my way up through the ranks to Eagle, which I got at 14 (pretty darn young for an Eagle Scout.) Then we left Kansas to move to Colorado and I never got involved again. Band took over my life and I spent my high school years mostly as a music geek.

Since I left, Scouting has been kind of a fond memory as well as something that other people do. I have several uncles currently involved in leading Scouting groups at various levels with their kids, and they all have a great time. So now my stepson wants to do Cub Scouts. This could be really fun and really good for us as a bonding sort of thing. I'm excited that he's interested in this. At the same time though I have my reservations. The Boy Scouts were all over the news a few years back because they had fought for (and won!) the right to exclude any of those Gay folks from their ranks. Also they've never been shy about the Christian and military undertones of the whole experience. So I don't know how I feel about that.

I'm not about to let my personal potential political qualms get in the way of being supportive of K1 and his friends. It's just strange to be conscious of the fact that this very unique experience comes with these lurking undertones of things that I won't always agree with. Which in itself is somewhat silly, because the things I remember most about my own Boy Scout days are the camping and the dirty jokes I pretended to understand and the hiking and the day camps and the kids who were always pushing the rules to see what they could get away with. I'm glad I did it though, and I'm glad my dad was there and willing to support me in my Scouting days. I wouldn't deny K1 that for a second, if this is something he's wanting to try out.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Another anniversary

Tomorrow is K2's 1/2 birthday. One year ago when she turned 2 1/2 Steph invited me over to meet her kids for the 1st time. I was still adjusting to the idea of dating a girl with kids and it was a big step. A year later I love both of the kids like my own and I'm proud to call myself a stepdaddy. Who knew?

In other news The Office is back on next week. That's exciting. It's been gone too long. What happens next?! Also in entertainment news, I discovered last night that Gnarls Barkley released a new CD and failed to personally tell me. Bitches. Thanks to iTunes and instant gratification, I have it now and it's great. I think better than the first, but without a real breakout single. It's a more consistent batch of songs, and they seem to have found their groove. Good stuff all the way through.