RIP Nico

Nico was fifteen years old and people STILL frequently asked if she was a puppy — so pretty and smaller than people expect Siberian Huskies to be (even though she was normal-size for a female husky). But if they watched her walking from the hind end they’d understand she was an old girl. She started to look like an elderly woman hobbling doggedly with a walker, dragging her hind legs stiffly forward one at a time after reaching forward to brace herself with her two front legs.

Eat as Many Treats as You Want!!

Eat as Many Treats as You Want!!

There *was* a choice of whether or not now was the right time to put her to sleep. I’m aware that there are people who would’ve put her down a lot sooner and others who would have let this stretch out forever with doggy diapers and thousands of dollars in vet bills. I’m aware that we might have made this decision for ourselves as much as for her and that I’ve been able to absolve myself of any guilt because she was really Delia’s dog and her decision to make based on twice as many years with her and a lot more love. I’m also aware that Delia gave her a good life and that she’s a HUSKY, and she couldn’t do her husky things anymore – there hadn’t been ululations for a year or more and her sickle tail was permanently drooped into brush-mode. She was confused (at times heartbreakingly comically so, like when she would stand at the hinge of the door waiting to be let out of the bedroom when the door was already open INCHES away from where she’d fixed her gaze – it WAS funny, though sad) and her mobility profoundly decreased. She’d been losing her balance (or her legs just gave out) while she pooped and would often fall over then finish pooping while lying on her side.

Anyway, there was a lot of stuff and seeing blood in her gelatinous-with-mucous diarrhea Saturday night was the clarifying symptom that it was TIME even though it hadn’t been that many days since she ran through the house as much as she could, yipping both in pain and excitement, not able to NOT force herself to go as fast as possible even after wiping out twice trying to navigate the corner between one hallway and another. If it were any other kind of dog you’d think I was describing a very fit and healthy animal, but huskies are just that awesomely driven to RUN and defy every limitation imposed on them.

So we decided to make her last two days full of good things, like her last walk in the woods. It was very very slow and the smallest hills were like giant mountains to her. She even looked at one incline so wearily that she turned around, like “just take me back to the car because I’m DONE”.

Nico's Last Walk in the Woods

Nico's Last Walk in the Woods

During and after making the decision I’ve felt a variety of emotions: excitement looking forward to freedom and possibilities, relief, uncertainty, guilt, confusion, sadness, loss, worry . . .

Our beautiful companion's fur, walking slowly

Our beautiful companion's fur, walking slowly

Two women came to our house to do it after Nico had two days of walks and lots of her favorite soft peanut-butter treats and lots of love and attention lavished on her. The vet and her assistant were loving and gentle and pleasant and thoughtful and smooth and patient and respectful.

We are small and short-lived.

Small and short-lived.

The hardest part was the hour before they got here when we were waiting. Everything was ready, Nico was totally worn out, and there was nothing to do except know that she was about to be gone and didn’t even know what was coming (I think Delia felt more confident that Nico did actually know and was fully prepared and welcoming – either way is actually pretty sweet).  I wouldn’t trade that hour of waiting for rushing around or not experiencing that weird duality of tranquility on the outside and guts churning on the inside, though.

Waiting for the vet to come

Waiting for the vet to come

During the process I felt a fast cycling of emotions of calm, euphoria, gratitude and resignation sort of like when I was in a car crash and had a few seconds to emotionally prepare myself to die and then was elated when I survived. But with this there were also overwhelmingly intense guts-in-the-throat needing to bawl emotions like when I was with my dad during his death.

How beautiful and floppy and light her dead body looked wrapped in a blanket with her gorgeous face exposed and then her front legs tumbling out. The looseness and complete lack of worry. The weird exciting sense of potential like you could reanimate her, so fresh and ready with all of the soreness and stiffness she’d been suffering from magically erased. She really did look like new life (and none of these pictures are communicating the reality of any of this, or at least my perceptions and experiences of these days). She was so so so beautiful.

No more breath, no more heartbeat.

No more breath, no more heartbeat.

*****

Helping Nico die and being present for it helped me with my dad’s death, to process it more and remember it and grieve more freely and more fast. It’s been eight years, but I really didn’t know a lot about how to be with his death and my feelings about it so it’s been a very long and protracted experience. Watching Nico die — feeling her die, touching her dying and dead — I feel spiritually more at ease than I did when confronted with my dad’s final moments. Maybe my idea of peace is wider and simpler than I must have wished for back then. Maybe my expectations for myself are lower than they were then. I don’t know, but I’m glad for it.

I am an imperfect witness, not a bumbling guide stuck with the horrible responsibility of having taken someone I loved on a journey to a brick wall on a dead end. Maybe I’m getting to be okay with nothing being perfect and not being in control and just appreciating the long moments I’ve had to absorb the profoundly ordinary in all of its individual rarity and treasure it and bask in my blessings. My dad is one of a few people I’ve had telepathic experiences with (even if they were probably more accurately described as intuitive communication or whatever) so maybe I thought I failed by not knowing what he was trying to tell me at the end or that I failed by crying and possibly making him sad or worried during his last minutes of life. There’s a lot less pressure with a dog and it was more okay with me that we were all together but alone at the same time.

The Incredible Machine

The Incredible Machine

Like with my dad it took a number of minutes for her to stop all the way. “She’s not breathing anymore but she still has a very faint heartbeat”. For like four minutes. When we were kids Daddy bought us lots of National Geographic books. One of my favorites that may have impacted my worldview more than any other was “The Incredible Machine” about how humans are all electrical and mechanical and stuff. I never absorbed facts and information the way my sister could (it’s amazing how we had the same books at home and the body of knowledge her brain constructed out of them is so vastly different — and more vast in general — than mine) so what I retained from it is just a philosophy that I might not find in it if I were to read it today, but that might have been the first book I ever read to give me a celebratory nontheistic way of looking at life that was deliciously SPACE AGE eighties-style, like 3-2-1 Contact and synthesizers and stuff.

While Nico was dying it started raining and we were glad it waited until then, not starting until after her last three walks and other quiet time outside. That night the smell of the evergreens after the rain was magnified to supernatural proportions and for a minute I enjoyed imagining that Nico bestowed an enriched sense of smell on us as a parting gift.

Then I stopped wasting brain juice on that and just focused on vacuuming up as much scent as I could with each inhalation, tasting wet green dogless walks in the future moonlight, just me and my girlfriend.

*****

Delia and I have been living together for almost eight years (the first time she told me she loved me was the day my dad died). It’s a significant chunk of time as far as human measurements go but also . . . brief. Losing Nico is another transition for our relationship and maybe I have the feeling like I will contribute more as a partner now. Nico was rooted in so many years of history and two other serious relationships for Delia so she was never really “my” dog; I don’t mean that in a bitter or unloving or detached way . . . it was my way of copping out of taking care of her fully so that I didn’t clean up as much poop or let her in and out as often or get her food ready. I’m excited that we’re entering another stage together and that it’s happening now.

Pair of Trillium

Pair of Trillium

I can’t complain . . . I really can’t complain or regret this loss or wish for any of it to be different. I can’t say that I wish we didn’t have to go through this or that she could have lived forever. Of all the ways of dying and lives and chunks of years of experiences out there to be had, I’d say this death and these years and our lives have been blessed, relatively comfortable with relatively little pain, and filled with pleasure. Am I still bursting into tears? Yeah, but I can’t complain.

I totally have spring fever. We can go anywhere! Do anything! The light in our house looks different. The pretending-to-be-a-grownup feeling is back when I go into my office. Maybe just because everything is intensified after so many intense days? I don’t know, but this is the first time in all these years we can leave the doors wide open and not be afraid that Nico will run away. It’s not that a husky doesn’t love her people, SHE’S JUST PROGRAMMED TO RUN AWAY FROM YOU!!

*****

Check out Delia’s post with more pictures of Nico and background. Contrasting pics of her in her younger days really shows how much she changed physically over the years, plus it’s really interesting to read/see more about Delia!

*****

Note: I feel EXTREMELY fortunate we had a way to pay for her to be ushered out so gently with at-home euthanasia; not everybody is so lucky. Humanely ending an animal’s life is really expensive for most people and doing it yourself is something most people aren’t equipped for (and legally/socially is a prime example of some really interesting double-standards, misunderstandings and class differences in our country). Anyhoo, if you love your pet and can afford to do it this way when the time comes, I’d recommend it as being well worth the extra money (if you can swing it) to have that special time at home and is worth finding out in advance what vets (or other people?) can help you with this when the time comes. I also feel extremely fortunate that my dad died in hospice which is much more like dying at home than like dying in a  hospital, but better than dying at home maybe. I loved it, and think it’s hugely important to be able to spend time with your dead loved one for hours, if you’re lucky enough to have that option and the kind of death you get to see coming.

See Me at Seattle Foot Night!

On Thursday evening, April 1st I’m going to be at Seattle Foot Night if any of you locals want to spend quality time with my feet:

Take off Trixie's shoes at Foot Night!

Take off Trixie's shoes at Foot Night!

These pictures are from my St. Patrick’s Day/birthday gallery in my members-only area (you can see some more previews here):

Trixie's sexy shiny metallic green toenail polish

Trixie's sexy shiny metallic green toenail polish

I hope it’s not too late to entice you into meeting me and my feet; I know there’s still room to register for the party so if you can make it please do! I’d hoped to FINALLY get up our website with information on how to get private time with us before this so I could schedule one-on-one time with folks the next day, but alas . . . didn’t quite get there. Foot night is a non-nude, foot-worship only event so you won’t be seeing anything like the upper half of this picture, so stare hard while you can:

bare feet and bald pussy

bare feet and bald pussy

When we eventually do get around to doing private sessions with people, it will be easier for people to get time with me (and/or Delia) if we’ve already met at an event like this.

From the new gallery I'll post this week for members

From the new gallery I'll post this week for members

If you *are* going to Foot Night and you know you want to spend time with me there, let me know if there’s something special I can bring (pantyhose, stockings, boots, shoes of certain styles, colors, etc.). I’m not going to bring a whole closet-load of fetishwear, but I’d like to fulfill as many requests as I can especially if they have to do with kicking dudes in the balls! JUST KIDDING . . . I will probably refer all CBT types to other women there who know how to do those delicate kinds of things properly/safely ;-).

Meet me at Seattle Foot Night!

Meet me at Seattle Foot Night!

Note: I’ve got a few more free foot pics here conveniently arrayed on one page.

*****

Note: I know it’s been WEEKS since I blogged and I hate that my most recent post sounded so gloomy and was just left up there for way too long, raining on my indie porn parade. There’s so much other stuff going on, both good and bad in both mild and major ways. It’s hard to keep up with all of it and portray life with any kind of accuracy.

The best news is that after about a month of not having a single uninterrupted full night of sleep, Delia finally moved our dog’s bed OUT of our bedroom and every night has been putting up a little big barricade (huge vintage guitar amp and a big cardboard box) so she can’t come traipsing down the hall and pushing against our door to be let in.

There has been no crying and she hasn’t given us any depressing sad glares of accusation like we’re traitors. In fact, I think she’s as grateful for the change as we are. She can pace around all night if she wants, eat food, drink water . . . whatever. By the time morning comes she’s exhausted herself and sleeps all day.

I’m just IMMENSELY grateful to be able to sleep through the night once again. It was a really good reminder to be extremely thankful that we never wound up pregnant.

Bad Dog! (PICS)

While I’m “busy” reflecting on and reconciling my laziness and aspirations, allow me to reassure you that I do still make porn with the assistance of my lovely girlfriend Delia, and sometimes it’s quite jolly, as evidenced by these still images snagged from the video I posted for members this week:

Do creampies make YOU smile too?

Do creampies make YOU smile too?

There are so many things I want to blog about, like the realization that threatening to shoot our white trash neighbor’s friend’s scary pit bull doesn’t exactly make me look “classier” than they are, but I gave myself a headache screaming “the house with the broken-down fence on the corner of Hemlock and Clinton! THE CORNER OF HEMLOCK AND CLINTON!!!” at the animal control phone dude who kept telling me to call back when I got a precise address. So now I’m just too exhausted and blinded with fear and rage to do a damn thing.

And no worries, the FIRST address I gave him of our much-nearer neighbor at the corner of asshole and why-is-half-of-your-mattress-still-decomposing-in-our-yard was correct; they’ve now been warned by the deputy who politely called me back to let me know the in-tact dog’s name is Bashful but I’m going to keep calling him Pitballs because I can’t get the scary sight of that dog’s big swinging nads out of my head. In fact I kind of enjoyed describing the dog as “a big brown pit bull with big swinging balls” to the animal control dude. I was like, “did you tell your deputy about the dog’s big swinging balls? There’s nothing else like them in this town so I think he’ll know him when he sees him”.

After that I drove around the neighborhood with the window rolled down, hollering at everyone I saw, “EXCUSE ME . . . are you missing a pit bull with big swinging balls? Because he found out I’m having my period and decided to come over to our place.”

While I was doing that I formally introduced myself to a lady who told me how she’s been walking through our backyard for years now. I was like, “oh no!!! We don’t like it when people do that because we’re usually naked on that side of the house with the big picture window.” She was like, “I know! But don’t worry about it . . . my meter man’s seen me naked a hundred times!” I didn’t know how to explain that this doesn’t make us anywhere near even, but whatever.

Speaking of porn and dogs, Delia wasn’t sure what words she can use to describe the video she’s going to post for members on Saturday. I told her it’s safe to tell people that I call her fans naughty puppy dogs, but she probably shouldn’t mention the way I discuss their “doggy dicks” (referring only to her human pets/fans/members).

I told her, “don’t type ‘doggy dicks’ anywhere on our sites” or our payment processor will probably sic their censor bots on us but playing it safe just seems so absurd to me now that I’ve stared into the jaws of death, sitting trapped in the car while that menacing dog paced around displaying his obscene genitalia. I’m going to take a bath now to wash off the stench of my own fear.

If you’re not already a member and you want to become one so you can see all of our perfectly healthy and harmless homemade porn videos, JOIN HERE.

Our Senile Dog

Nico is getting senile. We think her vision and hearing have both become impaired. The good part is she seems in good spirits most of the time. I guess it’s both fortunate and unfortunate that she wants to go in and out of the house about fifty times a day and has taken to WHINING and barking madly if we don’t comply with these requests. You think fifty is an exaggeration? Okay, at least twenty-five times a day. AT LEAST. It’s insane.

Sometimes I do lose my patience with her and feel so frustrated not knowing if it’s our fault for giving in to her or if she has genuine need (or perceived need) to go outside so often. This morning after she woke Delia up WAY too early to let her out and back in she then ate and pooped on the floor. She never does that (poops inside). I think she’s just totally confused and can’t get comfortable so she paces around. Then when she goes outside her rope gets hung up on rocks or stiff tufts of grass and for some reason she can’t pull free of those tiny hangups anymore and just starts going apeshit for  us to come out and rescue her.

Lately she can’t find the doors she wants and we’ll see her in the bedroom waiting at the closet door or the bathroom door (this makes no sense). Last night she was stumbling around in the dark doing god only knows what. This makes me wonder if it’s not really a vision problem, but something else; if it were her vision, wouldn’t she still have the layout of the house memorized?

So I asked Delia, “do dogs get Alzheimer’s?”

Delia’s response: “no, but they do get Barkinson’s.”

*****

In other mundane, un-sexy news of real life, we had to take one of our beater cars to the shop today. It is going to cost over $900 to fix it. We can’t afford it, but the main reason I felt compelled to go ahead with the repairs is that we’ve been really lucky with our vehicles for the past couple of years (aside from getting pulled over for having a stolen car, but that’s a totally different story) so I felt like it was time to pay tribute to the gods of car or whatever. We got this car for free and it should continue running reliably after this so . . . yeah. Goodbye, thousand dollars. Or rather, “hello, maxed out credit card that I was trying to clear room on to pay taxes”.

I also found out my mom went to the hospital last night. She’s (relatively) fine — it was an anxiety attack. One of those things we know is a serious problem for her but that she is in denial about. The only treatment she’s ever had for it was years ago when her way of describing the problem was that she had trouble sleeping. So our pill-happy family doc/gp prescribed her Xanax. Which she became addicted to.

Fortunately she kicked that addiction all on her own. Unfortunately, she has never talked much about that and never did anything else that I know of to deal with her problems that she doesn’t really acknowledge. It’s not that my mom is reluctant to talk, or to talk about problems, but getting to the root of matters and deciding to make really important changes that start with herself? Not so much. Instead she’ll be like, “if I could just catch my breath for a couple of days and get that goddamned garage cleaned out it would help so much!”

How do you get a woman to realize that her problems go ever so much deeper than A FUCKING GARAGE? You can try, but it’s extremely ineffective.

So last night at the hospital she was prescribed Ativan. An anti-anxiety med that’s even MORE addictive than Xanax! And the doctor flat-out lied to her about what it was. He said it was a muscle relaxer she should take when she’s feeling dizzy.

Someone tell me again why pot and prostitution are illegal. I think someone misfiled RATIONAL THOUGHT in this country.

Anyway, I have a billion related and unrelated thoughts on this stuff and life in general and my direction in life and wants and desires and loves and blessings, small and large, and ways I’ve been ministered to online and off in beautiful ways and inspirations and insecurities and religion and porn and coming out and staying in and spycam projects and activism and writing and music and dancing BUT there are so many awesome books and six feet of girlfriend to go to bed with that I’ll leave it at that.

Spider Season (PICS)

Normally I love fall, but it took so long for winter to go away this year that I’ve actually been apprehensive about letting go of the summer. Fortunately, we’ve had an extended Indian summer. Last week I *thought* it was over one night when I found myself craving heat, but this week it’s back. Sunny yesterday, sunny today . . . and clear for viewing the full moon last night and crone moon tonight.

It’s also been spider season with one lady in residence in our line of vision from bed in the corner of our sliding glass door:

Spider Lady & Half Moon

Spider Lady & Half Moon

She’s been there every day and I know we should get rid of her big egg sac or we’ll have shitloads of spiders in our bedroom, but I haven’t been able to do that to her. I love seeing her there at least once a day and/or night. It doesn’t seem like the best place to have a web with us sliding the door open and closed and some of her anchors being attached to it. But I guess there’s no spot to weave a web that is completely invulnerable.

Lamp-lit spider on web.

Lamp-lit spider on web.

Our dog’s much better after her trip to the vet’s. The x-rays didn’t show any arthritis but part of her spine had some degeneration, probably from aging in an area of past trauma which Delia thinks must have been from a time when she was a young dog and made a quick break out of the door of their house straight into the side of a moving car on a busy road, bounced off said car, then ran back inside never appearing any worse for the wear.

There have been times in the past nine months where Nico has seemed so old and uncomfortable and tired — and she IS old. Fourteen, I think. Everyone thinks she’s a puppy because she’s a runt of a husky and looks so young, up until recently when you see her walk, especially watching her from behind and her whole hind end just takes so much awkward effort to move. SOMETIMES. But if she’s excited? She’ll still bound and bounce and run around the house like crazy, even though, to me, her yips of excitement sound tinged with pain. I don’t think anything but the most debilitating pain can stop a husky from doing her husky things, so when we started noticing her having real problems has been at night when she can barely lie down and whimpers/cries like a squeaky wheel, circling around and around before painfully lowering herself down.

Anyway, the vet put her on prednisone, a steroid, which seems to be helping quite a bit. We took her on walks in the woods the past couple of days, which she loved even if she’s slowed down a lot since I met her and Delia seven years ago. Now her pace is really pleasant and companionable. She still runs ahead a little bit, but there are times when she actually walks right beside us, or takes breaks so she’s always close by.

Watching her yesterday on the trail looking so much better than she has in a couple of months I thought about how long it took for my dad to die and how unprepared I was for that. How there were so many times where I was impatient for it to happen already, for all of us to be put out of our misery of waiting, and then having days where he was present and I was so happy he was still around and it didn’t seem possible he was anywhere NEAR ready. At least, not nearly as ready as I recently had been. I feel that way a lot with Nico where I can’t help contemplating the convenience of her death one day when she seems uncomfortable, lethargic, and droopy-faced, then feeling overjoyed the next with how well she’s doing — how alert and happy she is, how it’s so not time yet — how YOUNG (for her age) she looks.

My ninth grade (and seventh grade) English teacher did something pretty fucking progressive and unheard-of for kids as young as we were in a public school: she taught us a section on Death and Dying. Practical planning stuff about funerals and wills, the Kubler Ross stages of grief, and of course literature like some story about a brave young man  with a brain tumor (title escapes me, but not the memory of how much I disliked that book) and one I’m forever grateful for being exposed to and having TAUGHT to me (not just read on my own), The Plague.

I remember all of us talking about what we wanted to happen to our bodies after we died and everyone laughing when I said I wanted to be dressed up like the Chiquita Banana Lady and thrown into the woods to rot and be scavenged by animals. Since then I’ve changed my mind, partly because I loved my dad’s funeral including seeing him all dressed up in his coffin that we picked out with special things tucked in to go with him, including stuffed animals that were ours, but that he kept after we outgrew them. I was shocked by how much I did not want his eyes to be plucked out for harvesting; I’d assumed he was ineligible for donating because of his glaucoma (which he was, but they weren’t aware of it so the question was posed to me anyway) and I was just totally unprepared by the topic even coming up even though of course we are all listed as organ donors, but MORE unprepared by how viscerally opposed I was to having his body — especially his eyes — taken out of him when I’d been looking into them MINUTES before that.

So. Aside from it being illegal to throw costumed dead women into the woods, I realize people have emotional, albeit irrational, attachments to the bodies of loved ones and I’ve even become attached the IDEA of my own dead body and perhaps want a more traditional type of ritual to accompany me to my final resting spot. Plus I’m extremely fond of coffins.

I asked Delia if she knows if people can come to our house to put Nico to sleep when the time comes so she can be at home and we can bury her. Delia said she’d prefer to take her to the vet’s. When I heard that I experienced another one of those irrational, emotional reactions (especially since Nico is really DELIA’S dog, not mine) of not being able to bear the thought of taking her to a place she’s afraid of and have to die there. I know it’s over fast, but having done that (thankfully only once and with a kitten we’d hardly had for any time at all) the drive there is just too fucking sad and crying your heart out in a clinic standing around in that sterile setting is just not the ideal to me. I am so glad my dad died in hospice where we got to hang out with his dead body for a few hours afterward (I probably wouldn’t have understood it before, but that is incredibly comforting and helpful, not to have to be seperated physically from each other right away), but obviously a seventy year old parent is pretty different from a fourteen year old pet.

We’re all smart enough to know that television and movies are inaccurate and unrealistic, but I personally never realized how much until my dad took years to die, and then again especially during the days and hours surrounding his actual death. I felt and still feel very unprepared for the process of death by aging and protracted illness. My mind is still boggled by the concept that all of us, if we are lucky, have to watch our parents die. I don’t feel like I was taught to expect that or how to process that even though I’ve probably been given more tools and experiences to deal with that than most post-baby-boom American kids have. I’d had friends who lost parents way too young and I knew it was devastating to them and in some cases they even talked about it a little, but not nearly enough to ever intimate exactly how huge that loss was. I and my dad were not too young, it wasn’t a tragedy, and it’s still hard and has taken SO LONG. I mean, it’s still not over for me. I’m still shocked by the revelation that death is never over or never not coming and that it’s VISIBLE and active for So. Many. Years. I’m trying to accept that with Nico . . . even to use her as practice and I am flummoxed at how ill-prepared I still am . . . how disbelieving, impatient, sad, and scared I am in spite of feeling that’s not really in my nature. I feel like I’m the kind of person who should be able to embrace aging-towards-death gracefully, with serenity instead of blubbering.

I don’t even know how my mom has handled the past thirteen years, seeing her own dad’s decline and death, living with and taking care of my dad/her ex-husband (they continued to have a fond and extremely helpful dysfunctional relationship even after his death), packing up the house she grew up in and moving her mom out of it and into first one home, then another, and now a third offering an even higher level of care. I really do not fucking know. I don’t think she really knows either, but I know it’s a lot harder for her than she’s gotten help for, and my distance from her doesn’t help. What I still idiotically fail to GRASP is how this is THIS LARGE a part of life. Because tv never taught me that and even though my family has always talked openly about these things and plans for when we die, I still can’t remember exactly what I’m supposed to do with my mom’s ashes and I still can’t believe that IF I AM *LUCKY*, I will live through many more loved ones’ deaths. I read so many young adult books about death — GOOD books about a girl whose dad was shot about a kid with Lou Gehrig’s disease about drug addicted kids . . . about pretty much every kind of unanticipated death you or someone you know could have but not so much about the deaths we all aspire to without any proper planning.

What is the life span of a spider? I have no clue. I am still trying to brace myself for the day this season when I look out the window and in the cracks around the sides and she’s not there and doesn’t come back.

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