Friday, April 9, 2010

The Story of Tolmi.....

I adopted Tolmi exactly three years ago as of Sunday, April 11th. This is the earliest picture I have of him. I was living in Memphis and for a few months visited Petco every Saturday I could to look at the dogs up for adoption from Guardian Angel Pet Rescue. I spent a few months deciding if I wanted that added responsibility of taking care of a pet. I have always had pets growing up. I can't remember a time when we didn't own at least one pet whether indoor or outdoor. My whole family has always been animal-lovers. My Dad used to take my sister, brother, and I to the Humane Society in Nebraska every Saturday when we were little. For some reason that humane society had horses as well as other animals. I remember we used to feed the horses sugar cubes!! I don't really understand why that was a good idea.....haha Anyway, my sister currently has two dogs, my brother has 4 dogs, 3 cats, a gerbil and a guinea pig, and my parents have two dogs, a cat, and take care of two horses on our land for a friend.

I remember seeing Tolmi at Petco that fated Saturday. haha I held him in my lap, and realized I was afraid to put him down because I didn't want anyone else to snatch him up. I talked to the couple fostering him, and they let me take him for an overnight just to make sure it was a good fit. We went to the park the next day and I snapped this picture of us. The couple fostering him called him "Lonnie," because he wandered up onto their "lawn" one day. When they saw him from far off, they thought he was a cat. When he got closer, they realized he was just really emaciated and flea and tick-filled. The shelter guessed he was maybe 10 weeks old only to find out from the vet he was actually 4 months old but extremely malnourished. My sister and brother-in-law sent me an early birthday present to pay his adoption fee. In the check memo, my sister wrote "For Lonnie from the Lawn."

I decided to name him Tolmi. In modern Greek, that means "boldness," or at least I hope it does...haha

A few weeks after adopting Tolmi, I got a job offer in Springfield. My parents were nice enough to keep Tolmi while I transitioned into my new place and job. This pic was from when Mom and I met up to make the hand off. He grew so much in one month. I could hold him under my arm with one hand when I first got him. Tolmi is a mix but most vets have called him a Catahoula/Pit Mix. Apparently, Catahoulas are bred in Louisiana to run down wild pigs.....and Pits, well you know how stout they typically are. So he's a strong guy!!! Here's rough and tough, protector Tolmi (left).

It's funny because I had a boxer before I had Tolmi, and they are so different! My boxer wanted to literally be in my lap every time I sat down on the couch. Tolmi is much more independent. He always wants to know where I am in the house so he'll run into whatever room I'm in, look at me, and then go to sleep in his bed in the livingroom or look out the window.

He LOVES to ride in the car, which has been so nice since I have had to travel with him so often. All I have to do is say, "You wanna go with me?" and he starts doing the kidney dance and runs to the front door. I have tested out other questions, and he does not respond the same..... If I say, "Hungry?" he perks his ears up like in the above picture and cocks his head to the side. On long trips, I pray aloud alot in my car. It's great thinking and reflection time. Although Tolmi isn't overly attentive, it's kind of insane how he notices when I'm sad. On several occasions if I happen to start crying in the car, he will move over closer to me, put his paw on my lap, and stare up at me. One time I remember him licking a tear off my face.......NOT EVEN KIDDING!!

I always think of what type of person he would be if he was a human, and I think he'd be a "cool kid," which to me is a popular kid in high school ya know. This is funny because I am the quirky, band nerd in high school kind of person so we're a funny pair, and he cops his "I am SO much cooler than you," attitude sometimes. haha He is very, very social and loves people AND dogs! I'm so happy he isn't aggressive with other dogs. Here he is with my parents' little Cairn Terrier, Skye. He could drag him around like a mop, but they're good friends.
Tolmi and I have been through alot in 3 years. Tolmi's independence gets the best of him in his habit of getting out of fences and running way. One time in particular, a friend was visiting and she opened the front door to put my guitar on the front porch. Tolmi ran out the front door, and I was so conflicted with letting her know I wasn't upset with her and being terrified that Tolmi would get hit by a car. Every time he runs away, I find that as I frantically shout his name and run after him I am simultaneously trying to prepare myself for losing him. As I run toward him, I am running away from him in my mind. I do this with people as well. If I know you are leaving soon, I will put unnecessary distance between us because I dislike "goodbyes" so much. I even avoid saying goodbye in big groups at social events. It's pretty ridiculous. I will stand at the door and just say my salutation into the room not directed at a specific person and then slip out. haha I'm trying to learn how to NOT anticipate the end of things in general. This is a perfect situation for the phrase "work in progress."

So cheers to me and Tolms!! Through the years, he has acquired several terms of endearment. (Tolmi, Tolms, Tolmzers, Tolmster, Tolm, Buddy, Boobers, Boobert, Boober, BuddyBear, Sweeta, SweetaBear, SweetaWeeda, Weedo (combo of Sweeta and Weirdo), SweetBear, Sweet) I never thought I would do the silly names thing, but all these names just come out of my mouth!! Tolmi has helped me learn alot about responsibility, patience, and love. He's snoring in his chair as I write this. :c) Adopt a dog from a shelter if you like dogs and can afford it. Tolmi has been a huge blessing to me!

I'm not really big on the "pics of dogs with their owners" thing, but my friend, Jennifer Rodick took this of us one day when she was doing a full photo shoot for me. I'm happy I have it because we are buddies, and it's good to have pictures with your buddies. ;)
Check out Jen's blog of her amazing pics.

I'm playing at the Bridging the Gap Event on Saturday 4/24 at 4:30pm. The event will be going on until 11pm, and proceeds go to the Potter's House. It will be held at the Bear Paw on the MSU campus. On May 1st and 2nd, I'm playing at the ArtsFest on Walnut Street. Saturday, I play from 1:30-2:30 and Sunday 4:00-5:00 at the Coffeehouse Stage. Come support the Arts!!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Headphones and Clouds

I often have this paranoia that my headphone plug will come partially unplugged from my iPhone and I will be left jamming out with my headphones in while my playlist is playing out for all to hear. Listening to music with headphones is a tiny escape. Because I'm plugging my ears from hearing the outside world, it creates the sensation that I'm not really there.

When I was younger, I used a similar thought process at night when trying to go to sleep. If I got scared, I would close my eyes and lay as still as possible. I convinced myself that if I couldn't see the monsters or bad guys that they couldn't see me either. I was safe because I wasn't seeing....

I'm kind of living in a cloud at the moment. I recently went to Malaysia, which requires a whole separate post but I flew through Beijing. There is so much pollution there that you can't even see the planes depart from inside the airport. I bet if you walk around in that pollution you can't see but a few feet in front of you at a time. The people we could see outside were all wearing masks over their noses and mouths. If I stay in this cloud, I have the excuse of being "undecided" or "unsure" or whatever other procrastination method I might use. If I take a step in any direction, everyone sees me step out of the cloud AND I can see the consequences of my choice. I kind of feel like I'm experiencing some sort of vertigo or "lost in the forest" kind of thing.

"she crawls out on a limb
and begins to build a home
and it's enough just to look around
and know she's not alone" from "up up up up up up" by Ani DiFranco

So you can find me in a cloud somewhere jamming out to some embarrassing pop song playing at max volume out loud with my headphones securely plugged in. I might even have my eyes closed thinking you can't see me...

I'm makin' a move soon.....I'll get out of this cloud yet!

Hopefully playing at ArtsFest! Stay tuned!!