Posts Categorized: Inspiration

A Rupert By Any Other Name Would Smell Like Pee

imageI think I’ve said it before, but shaking a fist at the Universe and proclaiming, “I will never…,” is usually the quickest way to get the Universe to sit up and take notice of you. Don’t ever do it. It pisses the Universe off. No matter what the Universe might be working on at that precise moment, it will stop to remind you just who’s in charge. Spoiler alert: IT’S NOT YOU!

Just a week or so ago, when slapped in the face by my rapid decent into crazy pet lady status, I shook my fist and shouted to the heavens, “I will not write about my animals again for a LOONG, LOONG time!”

I am duly chastised, Universe.

A while back a friend of mine asked if it upsets me when dogs we foster, and who we name, are re-named by their new families after being adopted. She suggested the topic would make a great post. I thought it was a great question, but I wasn’t sure there was a post in it. Recently, however, I was inspired while walking Rupert. Dog pee inspired me. Don’t judge. I’ll explain in due course.

The answer to the question, by the way, is no – and yes.

I’m human. I love my fosters. I don’t give them super stupid names that I hate. I give them awesomely amazing names that I can’t imagine anyone wanting to change. On the other hand, when you make the commitment to love, cherish, provide for, protect, honor, and, one day hold a dog in your arms as it breathes its last breath, you earn the right and deserve the honor of naming that animal. It’s pretty simple, really.

How does this apply to Rupert? Well, Ed wanted to call a dog – any dog – Rupert from the day we decided to try fostering. He tried to name or, in Buddy’s case, re-name, every dog that came through our door Rupert. Not particularly fond of the name, I resisted. So, when I plucked a scraggly, ugly little Chihuahua off the street a couple of months ago, I let Ed call him Rupert. The truth is I didn’t want to waste the name Norman, the next name on my list of awesomely cute dog names, on that particular dog. Sad and shallow, but true. It never crossed my mind THAT would be the dog we ended up keeping! [This is an example of Karma and the Universe working together to teach me a lesson. Note to self: The Universe knows when you’re being a sneaky, little bitch. It has Karma’s number on speed dial.]

I don’t want to turn Ed into some kind of saintly figure, mostly because I have to live with him after I post this, but he does have his moments. When we decided Ru was staying, Ed offered to let me change his name. Pretty amazing, huh? Ed FINALLY got to call a dog Rupert, a name he obviously loved, but he was willing let me change it because he knew I didn’t really like the name. Well, I’m shallow and sneaky and bitchy, BUT I play by the rules. When Ed agreed to keep Rupert, he made the commitment that gave him the right to name our dog. Rupert it was and Rupert is stayed.

And how does all this apply to pee? Well, Rupert is all of about 6 inches tall. It’s an unfortunate fact of anatomy that makes it nearly impossible for him to pee without getting it all over himself. He just can’t help it. So, when I was walking Rupert the other night it hit me. It doesn’t really matter what our dog’s name is because [wait for it]…

a Rupert by any other name would smell like pee.



When Opportunity and Inspiration Knock, You May As Well Answer

Writers write. Writers write every day. I’m not sure if that’s a quote or just something I heard or read somewhere that’s stuck with me throughout the years. Lately, I say those words to myself at least once a day – usually when I SHOULD be writing.

Writing, and the dream of writing “for real” someday, is my first adventure with Begin in the Middle. In fact, it’s the inspiration behind Begin in the Middle. Recent events have taught me that opportunity sometimes finds you rather than the other way round.

Lesson One: Opportunity Isn’t Always Expected – Or Even Logical

I’m about to say something I imagine is rarely said in a positive way – my Facebook posts changed my life.

A couple of months ago, a friend called to say that the company she works for, The Greensheet, was looking for guest bloggers. She went on to say that she had given a colleague my name and number. What?!!! I had never written anything for public viewing… except those Facebook posts. It turns out that this particular friend finds my Facebook posts amusing. Who knew? I, myself, don’t think they’re all that amusing. At least, I’m not trying to be amusing when I write them. Hmmm….. I wonder if that’s a bad thing.

Lesson Two: Take the Chance

Although I like to think I’m an optimistic person, realistically, I’m probably not. I never thought anything would come out of my friend’s initial suggestion to her employer. I certainly wasn’t going to bring it up again. Still, when I was invited to lunch to discuss actually writing as a guest blogger, I didn’t say no. A week or so later, I was meeting with The Greensheet’s head writer, Taran Goecke, discussing foster dogs, families, my Facebook posts (embarrassing) and life. I left with my first assignment, writing a story about my experience fostering dogs and how it changed me. It was one of those moments in life when I stepped completely outside of my comfort zone. I’m not sure why I didn’t say what I was actually thinking, “You really don’t want me to write for you. I’m sure anything I write will be total crap and I don’t want to embarrass myself or The Greensheet.” It would have been much more like me than what I actually did. I pretended to be a confident person and I took the chance.

Lesson Three: Accept the Gift

My first story, Falling in Love with Foster Dogs, for The Greensheet’s Paws and Claws pet blog, was published a little over a week later. I’m proud of that story. It did well for The Greensheet, but, more importantly, I LOVED WRITING IT! Don’t get me wrong; it wasn’t easy. I agonized over every word. I wrote, edited and re-edited. I was more than a little sick to my stomach when I finally hit the send button submitting the story. Still, I knew I wanted to keep writing. Discovering joy in writing, something I’d never dreamed of doing, was an epiphany and a gift.

This is the good parts version. I’ve left out details, but this is, basically, how Begin in the Middle was born. I could have taken my pats on the back for that one story and never written again, but that’s the old me. Honestly, that’s probably the REAL me. I’ve decided I like pretending to be confident so much that I think I’ll keep it up for a while.

 By the way….

You may be wondering what to expect from future posts. The truth is – I have no idea! That’s a pretty big deal for a semi-control freak like me. Writing made me realize there are quite a few things I’d like to take a shot at and there’s no time like the present. I have a lot of projects and ideas running around in my head. Here are just a couple:

*I promised Ed that if I got a Kitchen Aid stand mixer last Christmas, I would become the WORLD’S GREATEST BAKER. I got the stand mixer. Sadly, I am not yet the world’s greatest baker.

*We have a 56 year old home that’s begging for some DIY. I’m not sure it’s begging me to do it, but that’s another story!