Tuesday, December 7, 2010

the doghouse

i don't know about you, but sometimes i like to spend time thinking about what snapshots of my life will make the cut for the much-touted "life passing before your eyes" death show.   well, if i were in charge of the editing (and who knows, maybe i am), then i had a moment last night that might make it in.

so there are these two dogs who live at the house on the corner, and they live outside.   more specifically, they live chained up in a dirt yard, with one doghouse which only one of them can reach.   i could elaborate further on their lives but the purpose of this blog is not to thoroughly depress its readers.  the weather has been cold in michigan lately, and these dogs have weighed heavily on my mind.   i've made pots of warm bouillon for them and brought it over, and chicken too, but last night the snow just kept falling and falling and the wind was bitingly cold.   david trudged home from a long, long day of work (at his new job!) and we settled in for a cozy evening at home.   but my mind kept going to those doggles.

when we moved in here, we inherited a doghouse that has thus far been used for beer bottle storage purposes.  aha! my mind said.   let's bring it to the dogs!   david was tuckered out though, and it was very late, so we agreed that we'd move it over tomorrow.  but...i just couldn't stop thinking about that dog lying on the frozen ground, wind burrowing into its bones.  i kept telling myself it was just one more night, but it was really getting to me. ever since i was a little kid i've had this thing about the suffering of animals and lonely people in particular, where i really feel it keenly and uncomfortably.  it's kind of the worst.   i didn't say anything but i think david knew what was up.   suddenly, he got up from our warm blanket-strewn couch.   whatcha doin? i said.   moving the doghouse! he said.

MY HERO!   it was eleven o'clock at night, a strange time to move an unannounced doghouse into someone else's yard for a number of reasons, but he was totally on board with my "fuck 'em" attitude.   i'm not a violent person but i would happily punch an animal mistreater in the balls any day o the week. (consider yourself warned!)

so the doghouse turns out to be composed of two parts, roof and house, and it's hard to say which one is ungodly heavier.  not as heavy as my heart thinking about that cold dog, but real close. wheelbarrow and dolly options are both thrown out, the thing is just too big.   the snow is falling very fast and silent, and our street is completely hushed.   sho is asleep upstairs, wrapped in blankets.  the streetlights cast their yellow glow and i can really picture the north side the way it was one hundred years ago, humble houses built by the dutch farmers who would live out the entirety of their simple, hardworking lives within them.   we try rolling the house down the sidewalk, a slow, odd progress. david runs inside and comes back out with our skateboards: we are in business!   we hoist the huge doghouse onto david's new board and suddenly we are zooming down the street, running and pushing the doghouse as fast as we can, laughing with snow in our eyes.   you are my best friend! i yell.   you are my best friend! he yells back.

getting portraity


how i missed you! many apologies for my sudden disappearance. our internet was turned off, but now it's back in business. sometimes i sure feel poor, but then i look across the backyard at our neighbors whose roof consists of a giant blue tarp (in december), and suddenly feel utterly rich. who couldn't feel that way, with the little buckets of love pictured above in our house all the time?  

vanessa and i set up a little portrait studio in our living room recently to immortalize the chunky, bald-headed greatness that is shoshanna mary at seven months. it was pretty fancy. we used two sheets, some bright painting lights, and of course, two black pitbull-ish doggies who are shoshi's best friends to date. vanessa borrowed her stepdad's fancy camera and took these.

can you believe what a little dumpling she is?