Soul Mates

I have a dog named Haley.  She’s an “English Cream” golden retriever.  We also have Troy who is a regular golden retriever although huge at 100 pounds.  So maybe not so regular.  Troy and I are bonded at the hip, thank god. I paid a fortune for Haley as she is supposedly “ring trained and pure bred” both of which mean nothing to me.  I was, at the time, frantic to try and replace a female dog named Rosie. Rosie was a Catahoula, a breed that is not recognized by AKC, maybe because it’s in their DNA to be very aggressive.   It’s been YEARS and this is the first time I’ve had the strength to write about Rosie.  I’m crying as I write.

Rosie and I were soul mates. I know animals well and I know the really intelligent ones domestic or in captivity need what is called “enrichment”.  It is creating things the animals can do to use their innate skills, intelligence, ingenuity and natural tendencies.  Just like the Chimps and gorillas at the zoo, of whom I’m an amatuer expert and volunteer to speak about their intelligence, relationships, behaviors, etc., very smart domestic animals need it, too.  Rosie was so darn smart, I knew she needed it.  When I took her to agility training for the first time the trainer was astounded.

“Oh, so you are very experienced working together in agility.”  I said, “No, this is the first time we’ve ever done agility but we are soul mates and we get each other.”  She couldn’t believe it.

I had so many close calls with Rosie in aggressive situations.  She would over power me even when I had her on leash. She just wanted to attack everything! (She adored me and was protective and completely loving toward me.)  And she was capable of it and seemed to be looking for it. I was filled with anxiety constantly and knowing there was a legal liability if she ever did anyone harm.  But also knowing I couldn’t keep her if she continued this aggression!  It was torture.  Finally, at a lunch I had at my house for some women friends, she attacked and bit a woman.  I knew that was the end.

The next morning, my husband and I cried together knowing that we had we had to put her down.  Thank god we had the support of our friend Debbie Hartel who is an RN to help us through that.  It was one of the most painful times in my entire life.  I ADORED that dog and she adored me.  I can’t wait to see her again at the rainbow bridge.

I asked my husband a year or so ago if he remembered how I sat on the chaise lounge in the bedroom where I used to be with Rosie in the evenings and cried for 3 months each night after she died.  He said, “Andrea, you did that for a YEAR!”

Back to Haley.  I never bonded with her.  I think I resented her for not being Rosie.  I have faked it for her sake.  She is very loyal to me.  Tonight, I looked in her innocent eyes and realized I need to just love her.  So that’s what I’m going to do.

There’s Rosie in front of gorgeous Ryder.

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Brandy

One day, years ago, I was taking a walk with my mother and my beloved Golden Retriever.  I always carry around a fear about how long my dogs are going to live and I asked my mother, “How long do you think Brandy will live?”

“Oh, 11 or 12, how old is she now?” my mother asked.

“She’s 14,” I replied.

That dog lived until 17 years old and those were the days before I knew what designer dog food was and her entire life I fed her “Skippy” from the grocery store.

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Predators

OMG. OMG. I naively thought the “casting couch” was a thing of the past. Harvey Weinstein obviously proved me wrong. He has lost his job, his company, his wife, his kids, his reputation and his dignity, if there ever was any dignity. He joins the ranks with amazingly talented men who f*&^K up their lives by neurotically thinking they are above and beyond the norm and are entitled to things most everyone else are not. He joins Tiger Woods, Donald Trump, Bill Cosby and so many others. Many of these men lost everything, some end up in jail and it’s just a matter of time for the psychopath Trump. He is unraveling fast, making very poor decisions and alienating himself from his people in the White House. Today or yesterday he said “I hate everyone in the White House”. And we all know he is a predator of women and has spoken of them in ways that is unbelievably insulting if you are a woman, are in a partnership with a woman or have daughters. It’s unacceptable.

I entered the business world in the 80’s. I was smart, perceptive, educated and politically savvy. I was shocked at what I had to deal with in terms of sexual harassment. I dealt with it assertively but it was scary and I think I lost one job because of it. I hope this coming out about some of these guys changes things for women. I’ll end this post as I started it.

OMG

 


Drinking

I bought this new Camelbak water bottle that you turn upside down, put in your mouth, squeeze and the water comes out. It’s pretty cool because unless you squeeze it you can turn it upside down and the water doesn’t come out. Apparently, it takes a little getting used to.

The other day at pickle ball my friend Cooper was sitting on the bleachers waiting to play. I looked at him as I was walking by, turned the bottle upside down in my mouth and squeezed. Something went awry. I’m not sure if water squirted from my mouth or dribbled out but something less than elegant happened. Cooper probably knows.

“You alright?” Cooper sort of mumbled. I laughed and sat down next to him.

“What?” he said, “You look at me and forget how to drink?”

“Something like that….” I replied. We laughed until we almost cried.

 

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My friend Cooper with his friend (That’s not me!)

         The water bottle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The President

I manage our household finances and while I’m very good at it, my husband Steve is better and I need help from time to time.  Today Steve was promoted to President of Prime lending.  I’m so proud.  Here is the link to the press release if anyone is interested.

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20171002006172/en/Steve-Thompson-Named-President-PrimeLending-PlainsCapital-Company

Steve is very humble.  When we were dating seriously 20 some odd years ago he said, “You are so much smarter than me, I better get an MBA.”  And he did, while he was working full time I might add.

He got home a little early today and in the late afternoon I was working on some stuff in my home office and needed to ask him a question.

“Can you please step into my office for a moment, Mr. President?” I called.

“Yes ma’am, CEO!  We all know who is in charge here!” he replied

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An Apology

I was reading through some of my old posts today and a while back while I was ranting about Catholicism I used the sentence, “Gay men entered Catholic seminaries so they would have access to alter boys to molest.”  I have many gay men friends and I was mortified when I read it.  That should NOT have said “Gay men” it should have said “Pedophiles” and I am deeply sorry if I offended anyone.

Andrea


Worry

As a young person I was unconsciously self-conscious, in denial that I cared about what people thought of my stuff and me. I worried so much about my hair. It was either utterly gorgeous or horribly frizzy and I was obsessed with which it was going to be on any given day. I feared that my cooking, although I knew it was good, wasn’t quite brilliant enough. I worried about my beautiful area rugs being perfectly straight without any rug pad showing.

Over the years, I’ve worried about hot water heaters, air conditioners, automatic awnings, stoves that stopped working, stains on carpets, Pebble Tec spontaneously falling off the walls of a pool, those damn pool vacs that go around the pool supposedly cleaning it that break constantly, mold in showers, strange noises in the house, etc. And then next thing I know, I don’t even own that house anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I fix stuff in my houses but it’s so weird to sit here and think of all the stuff I worried so bad about for weeks on end about a house I owned 5 houses ago!

My sibling, Orlando has on the signature of email this quote:

”Could things get any worse? Why yes, little one, be patient”. – Morrissey

Well, some things have gotten worse. I guess maybe it comes with time and stuff you have to deal with as you age like surgeries and illnesses. In general we are hanging in there but the stuff I worry about now is in a very different category than anything I mentioned above. In fact, I blow off the stuff above, it’s relatively meaningless. (And, in Dallas, it’s so humid so much of the time that if our hair is curly, it’s frizzy as hell and if it’s straight, it’s flat, so we use hairpieces! Big business here! Ha!)

I just found out today that my Jenn-Air range cannot be repaired because it’s 12 years old and they don’t make the parts anymore. And, there are two of them side by side that must match or it would look ridiculous in a house like mine. They are very expensive. My attitude is “Bummer, but it’s not cancer.”

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Catholic? Really? How can you even do it?

I attended the Catholic Church as a young child by obviously no choice of my own.  I learned the prayers and the songs but never really knew what it all meant. It was totally confusing to me.

I went to Catholic school as a very young girl (first and second grade if I remember correctly until my parents’ violent and frightening divorce.) I recall being slapped across the face by a nun for doing something with my mouth that she thought was gum.  It wasn’t gum, it was just something weird I was doing with my mouth.

I remember a nun saying my gorgeous and amazing drawing of a birthday party could have no way been drawn by me, put huge red exes through my art, told the entire class that I was a cheater and a fraud and to steer clear of me. I was asked to stand in front of the class, hold my hands out in front of me while she bashed them with a gigantic yardstick. Nice. I was a little girl in first grade.  I never attempted to engage in art again. And my drawing was amazing for a first grader, BTW.  I may have had a talent.

I am outraged at the Catholic Church and have a hard time believing anyone can still support it.  Pedophiles entered Catholic seminaries so that they had access to young alter boys to molest.  This is now documented and it went on for years and years with high level people in the church turning a blind eye.  It makes me want to throw up and makes me wonder how anyone can remain a Catholic.

Just TODAY Cardinal George Pell, former archbishop of Sydney and Melbourne and CURRENT head of the Vatican’s Secretariat for the Economy is facing multiple charges of sexual assault on alter boys and other young men in the church.  This is an outrage!

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The Goosebumps

“The Week” is what I would describe as a News Literary Journal. It sums up the prior week succinctly and in nice little sound bites. The Editor in Chief’s name is William Falk.   He doesn’t always write the editor’s letter as other editors sometimes do, but I love it when he does because he is an amazing thinker and writer.

I was lounging around the other day reading The Week. I came upon an article called How They See Us: Europe Loses Faith in America. I was appalled at a comparison that was made and immediately went to my computer to email William Falk.

Here is my email to Customer Service that had “For William Falk” in the subject line:

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Dear William,

I’ve been getting your mag since the beginning.  I love it.  You are a wonderful editor and an incredibly skilled writer.  I LOVE it when you are the one who writes the editor’s letter.

There is something that has upset me in your June 9, 2017 issue of The Week.  In the article called, How they see us: Europe loses faith in America, the author says and I quote, “Trump even physically shoved aside the Montenegrin prime minister as NATO leaders gathered for a photo, displaying the “diplomatic grace of an orangutan.”

I am an amateur expert on the great apes.  This is actually a disgrace in comparing the gentle, diplomatic Orangutan to this frightening president.  Whoever wrote this piece (and it doesn’t say who) needs to research the great apes before using them irresponsibly for comparison in their articles for your publication.  I encourage you to demand this writer go to a zoo where there are Orangutans and observe them for a considerable amount of time.  This person clearly knows NOTHING about great apes, the comparison was an outrage and that person should not be using them in an article.

With frustration and the best to you,

Andrea Thompson

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A day or two later I received an auto response that they appreciated my contact but that they receive so many emails there was no way they could respond to every one.

Yeah, of course, I thought, and not many people care so much about the great apes, anyway. And what Editor in Chief of a major news magazine is going to care? I still felt good about fighting for apes though.

I got home late from the zoo today.  I talked to a lot of people about gorillas and chimpanzees and I was tired. I saw on my phone that I had several emails so I went to my computer with the intention of answering or getting rid of as many of them as I could in the shortest time possible.

And then, as I scanned the inbox content, my eyes landed on an email from “Bill” Falk.

I was stunned, actually.  Here is his email to me:

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Dear Ms. Thompson,

Your point is well taken, and I am sorry we let Tom Peck of the London Independent insult the great apes. (It was his piece that we were quoting from, as we indicated in the magazine.)  I would guess that Peck believes orangutans and other apes sometimes engage in territorial displays. Hence, the comparison to Trump.

I envy you your life’s work. I am fascinated by apes of all kinds whenever I go to a zoo; they are so clearly related to us, and yet so different.  The intelligence in their eyes always gives me goosebumps.

Bill Falk

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I’m a softy and this made me cry. Here is my response to him:

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Hi Bill!

Thanks so much for your response.  I received a auto-response from your team saying there is no way you guys can answer every email you get so I’m honored that an issue about apes rendered your reply.  I am thrilled you are fascinated by great apes.  I know what you mean about the goosebumps.  Many, many people say that.  The latest statistics are saying we share 98.8 percent the same DNA with Chimpanzees.  In fact, Chimpanzees are more closely related to humans than they are to Gorillas!   The apes feel like brothers and sisters to me and I love them so deeply.  When I look into their eyes it calms my soul.  I love them way more than I love most people.

What bugged me, of course, is Peck’s comment comparing an Orangutan in any way to Trump, but I get your take on it.  Orangutans have a lot more diplomatic grace in every way than Trump.  In fact, when they do territorial displays, they make sense and are for a very clear purpose.  I’m not seeing this with Trump.

Please recycle your electronics (phones, tablets, computers, etc.) at an electronics recycling facility to minimize the need to go to Africa and mine for a mineral in our electronics called Coltan.  The great apes are losing their natural habitats at an alarming rate because of this mining and the Coltan from old stuff can be removed and used in the new electronics.  Google “electronics recycling” in your area.

All the best and thanks again.  And thanks for the awesome magazine!

Andrea

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