Lady GaGa: Pro-Zombie!!!

Note:  I started writing this shortly before Shelby’s rapid decline in health that led to his passing 1 year ago today.
I finish and post it today to honour his memory.   I know its lacking, but that empty indelible space his passing left in my heart is especially noticeable today.


I know…its pretty shocking…but I’m afraid that the evidence is overwhelming.

Yesterday morning my iPhone alarm thingie came on.  My “Divas” playlist was on and Lady GaGa’s “Monster” was playing.

Then it hit me…

“That boy is a monster…”,  “then he ate my heart and he ate my brain“!!!!

Zombies would be considered by some to be monsters, and its a widely accepted fact that zombies prefer brains over anything else!!

OMG…I had always thought that this song was about an encounter with..ummm…hmmm…okay, let me tell it this way…

One day in the boardroom where the IT department gathers for lunch I was telling my co-workers of an incident where I was banging along with Rage Against the Machine’s “Know your Enemy” when I glanced up to see a guy from Finance staring at me in horror.

I don’t particularly give a rat fu….fornicate what anyone thinks of me with very few exceptions, so I wasn’t particularly bothered by his look of horror, I waved and went back to programming.

So sitting down I mentioned this, and the finance guy’s reaction.  I mused that perhaps it wasn’t a big, burly middle aged guy singing along with his iPhone, but maybe he wasn’t a Rage fan (because, well….they are a protest band).    I put forward the idea that perhaps I should try someone else, like Lady Gaga.  My co-worker looked and asked, “Bad Romance?”,   I thought for a moment and said, “Naaa…Monster.”    She did this humorous sort of combination spit take, choke on her food thing that would’ve been great for YouTube.

When she recovered she said, “People will think you’re gay.”

I pointed out that I have  a collection of fairies in my office, and a pink lunch bag, so people probably already suspected that.

“Good point”, was the response.

Umm…what was I talking about?

Oh yeah,  Lady GaGa….”Queen of the Zombies” maybe?

As I lie in bed pondering this realization, Shelby the Pro-Zombie Cocker Spaniel realizes that I’m onto his compatriot and tries to distract me by telling me he needs out…like RIGHT NOW!!!

Too late little buddy…the jig is up.


One Year….

They say time heals all wounds,  but today I’m calling bullshit on that.

One year ago my friend,  my little buddy,  Shelby the Pro-Zombie Cocker Spaniel passed from this mortal coil to the next.   Right now, as I type this the pain in my heart is as fresh as the day it happened.    It makes no sense I know for my brain to be wailing, “I MISS MY DOG!” with my sweet princess, Colorado,  Queen of Spazmania sitting not 4 feet away looking at me as if I’ve lost my mind (oh how diametrically opposed that happy crappy is right now).

But I do,  I miss him.  Shelby’s quiet, stoic companionship filled a void in my life.   I can’t describe it…but as I explained to my shrink one session not very long ago…its like with any good friend.   They can be in the room with you,  not saying a word,   not even in sight,  yet you know they are there…..and you know when they are not.   The realization that presence will never come clattering in, announced by claws on hardwood again is painful.

But life goes on.  It has to,  I have to.   Tomorrow the pain won’t be so bad.  I’m dedicating this to my little buddy, Shelby.   I miss you old friend.


Shelby: Pro Zombie Cocker Spaniel
Shelby: Pro Zombie Cocker Spaniel



7 months and change….a Colorado Update…

Shelby was my “little buddy”,  Colorado is my sweetie-pie…but I sometimes refer to her as the Queen of Spazmania.   As I’ve said,  she isn’t a replacement for Shelby but rather a new companion.

I love her to pieces and she’s become a very big part of my world.   I look forward to coming home to her enthusiastic greetings,  most of the time seeing her peering out the kitchen window as I walk to the door.

I think we’re good for each other.   She’s much calmer than when I got her,  but,   if I spend too long on the computer,  or watching television she lets me know in no uncertain terms that she will no longer tolerate not being the center of my attention.

She has a clear way of communicating this by dropping a tennis ball or her rope at my feet and pawing me.   If I don’t immediately stop what I’m doing she starts her “bounce and bark”.   So yes, she’s bossy but I love the look on her face when she’s waiting for me to throw whatever toy she’s chosen to play with.

She’s great on walks,  I can take her by people and dogs with nary a flinch (most of the time).

I just took this pic of her (sorry for the “green eye” lol)…that’s the flash on my camera…


You’ll recall when I first got her I mentioned that Colorado saw nothing wrong with getting me out of bed between 5 and 6am to go play fetch…

This is her in the morning now 🙂


I still miss my little buddy, and always will.  But there hasn’t been a single second that I’ve regretted taking this enthusiastic and loyal lady home with me.

Shelby’s Obit

Meeting Colorado

Random Colorado Update

4 Weeks Later: A dream..

This morning at around 6:30 my pager woke me up.  A user needed help signing in and sync’ing up with our single sign on system.

That took about 20 minutes and I went back to bed.

I woke up from a dream at around 8am.

I tend to dream vividly. Hi-def, Dolby 7.1 type dreams.

In my time seeing Dr. N and Roberta I’ve realized that dreams are messages from my subconscious.   Which makes perfect sense, its not like Steven Spielberg is beaming them into you brain at night, and if he was, he’d have nothing on me.  Dr. N has surmised that my odd and vivid dreams are a manifestation of my creativity.

My more vivid dreams are usually milestones in the progress I’m making.

Before I woke up at 8am I dreamt I was in a car dealership doing IT work.  Which is odd, considering that I work in a hospital.  Odder still was the fact that most of my co-workers there,  are my co-workers here.

We were standing around talking,  I forget about what, but I know that some guy came down and asked if I could help out with a sql server problem.  I didn’t know who he was but I remember watching him walk up a flight of stairs wondering what the hell he was thinking, wearing tight green polyester pants and a lumberjack shirt to work.

There was also cake.  I reached around someone to grab one of the last pieces and came away with a napkin instead.

There’s a lot of carrying on and good humour like there is in my work place.   I eventually take my leave.

When I leave the building I am walking to the road beside an old stone church.  Another one of my co-workers is crouched down,  trying to peer into the windows (I do not think this is odd).   I greet him.  Shelby comes running up barking…his “pay attention to me” bark.  He is scrambling around trying to see inside the church too.

I give him a pat on the head and he runs out ahead of me like he did when we were in off leash areas.

He gets to the sidewalk and turns around.  I see him squat to do his business and say, “Hey!”, and point down the street. He takes off out of sight.

I turn the corner and he’s standing on a little embankment beside the sidewalk.   He’s wearing his red leash that I haven’t seen in a while.  Although its not tied to anything I know that it means he’s going no further.

I stop and give him a pat.  I note how warm he feels.  The same thing I noted when I gave him one last pat on the head after he died.   He’s looking up at me with his doggy smile and happily wagging his tail.  I can tell he knows that he’s staying too.

Wordlessly, and even a little bit happy I turn and head down the sidewalk, leaving him behind.  In my dream it is a beautiful summer day.

I wake up and remember my dream and marvel that I am not in tears.

Then I open my eyes, and all that changes.

I eventually went back to sleep for a bit and woke up and had forgotten all about it.

Just before I started to write this,  I was leaving the kitchen and stopped to straighten his picture that’s on my fridge…and I remembered.

Although this dream has significant and positive symbolism.  Today, well,  right now,  I am sad.  I miss my little buddy.

3 Weeks later…

So,  this past Friday was the 3 week anniversary of Shelby’s passing.

Some people have been asking, so I thought to post an update here.

I still have tearful moments but the time between them grows longer.

I miss him.  Every fucking day I miss him.

Of my 2 cats,  Gus is the only one effected.  He hung out with Shelby and at times I had to break up the inter-species love fests.   Gus has become clingy and for the first time in his 10 or so years of life I’ve heard him purr.  Not much, but occasionally I’ll hear him purr when I’m petting him.

I don’t think Socks has noticed to be honest.

What’s interesting is that is in the past few days I’ve caught myself on the verge of buying Shelby treats.  I was in the pet food aisle buying kitty litter and cat food when I found myself selecting treats for Shelby.

Yesterday when I left Joe’s Diner,  I caught myself heading across the parking lot to the pet store to pick up the glucosamine cookies I always get him.

Interesting…ingrained habits that took 3 weeks to manifest again.

Outside of these bumps I’ve grown accustomed to him not being here.  The massive hole his passing left in my heart is still there and has been the subject of conversation with both my shrink and my therapist. I finally figured that out last night I think.  I need to digest and discuss with some people before I decide whether to post the results of my musings here.

But the short story is that I’m fine.   I’m able to function.  I don’t have to struggle to keep myself from running to pound and adopting another dog just to fill the void.

Thanks for caring,  and to all my friends,  flesh and virtual,  thanks for being there.   I’ll continue to make you laugh, and make you think and make you wonder if I’ve suffered brain damage 🙂




“So how long is it appropriate to wait before I start posting satire?”, I asked my friend, Gord, over breakfast this morning.

Its been a good day.   A sharp pain woke me up.  It was one of my cats, Socks, way of letting me know that I was petting her wrong.

I saw that the closet doors were closed, and I remembered.   There were no tears, only a moment of ummm…terror maybe.   I heard Gus meowing in the kitchen.  Socks had my left hand clawed into her and I heard rustling at the foot of the bed.   “Did I dream yesterday??”, I wondered.    I figure Gus must’ve either been closer to the bedroom than I thought, or had run from the kitchen to the bedroom because he lept up on the bed.

There have been some moments of sadness, brief and fleeting and one flash of overwhelming grief where the only thought was, “I miss my dog!”.  But those were very brief.

I wondered if fate played its hand today.   Last night when I realized I was hungry I went out in search of something to eat.

What I really wanted was a Cajun Burger from Downie Street Burger, an upscale burger place (if I have to tell you what street its on, you are more blind to the obvious than I am)   But, the lovely lady who runs the place, Nancy, and I have traded dog stories, and last time I was in I grabbed two burgers for takeout.  One for me, and one for Shelby.

I remembered watching Shel tear enthusiastically into his burger.   Of course he lacks the table manners my mother beat into me, so he was finished long before  me and sat at my feet (and yes, I gave him bits of mine).   He went into the kitchen and got a drink of water then started sniffing frantically around the loveseat.   He then dropped to his belly and started scrabbling.  Alarmed I leaped from the couch, and as I reached his side he comes up with part of a patty in his mouth.  He tore apart part of his burger so enthusiastically that he tossed part of it under the love seat.   That is a good memory.

Last night things were raw, and I couldn’t face telling anyone else of Shelby’s passing.

I had actually forgotten about that until this morning.  Gord and I were walking into Jessi’s Deli and I saw Nancy sitting at the counter by the door.  She waved and asked after Shelby, and, of course my face betrayed what happened.  I waved Gord on and sat down next to her to tell her what happened.  We spoke for a moment and as always, sharing with someone who understands is always a good thing.   She remembered that Shelby had had one of her burgers, and it was then that I remembered the story I just related.

As I was re-reading and pondering, I focused on the bit in Shel’s Eulogy where I said, “I was honoured to be by his side”.    Honoured…why did I type that?  Why did I leave out the part where I knew the moment he passed when I felt a sudden feeling of peace, and happiness.

There’s always been something special about Shelby.  He always seemed a little more in tune with surroundings.   I remember watching him chase squirrels in Lake Ontario park in Kingston when to my horror I realized that he was going to catch one.   I was about to lunge forward and yell, but he lifted his head, and slowed down and  was content to run behind it and bark his fool head off at it when it got up a tree.   It was all about the chase.

His was a beautiful soul, and his passing into the next life was a monumental event.

If you’re one of those who feel that perhaps I’m reading too much into this and are sitting there rolling your eyes or thinking derogatory thoughts.  Well, f*** you.   this is about me, not you.

There is also a part of me that remembers all the black times in my life,  when I was mired in depression and I’d feel a paw slapping me on the thigh, or feel Shelby settling his chin on my lap.  Or other times when the fact that he was home, depending on me, kept me grounded.

I’m a better man today than I was back then, in a better place, and better able to deal with the crap that life sometimes deals out.

So, maybe Shelby, my faithful, loyal companion saw that I would be okay without him, and that it was okay for him to move on.

I think its time I find myself a girlfriend.  I don’t remember how one goes about doing that though.


This will be the last post where I focus on Shelby’s passing and the aftermath.   I will mention him from time to time I’m sure though.  And like I said, I have one or two draft posts I wrote before his health declined sharply.  I will post those eventually.