photos and bitching

some chihulys (chihulies?) in the water

while i was in st. louis for thanksgiving, my parents and i went to see dale chihuly’s glass in the garden at the missouri botanical garden.  i’d seen a chihuly exhibit before, but it wasn’t nearly as expansive as this one.  my dad and i both took a lot of photos, while my mom looked at glass and plants and pointed at things for my dad to photograph.  i think the photos i took are some of the best i’ve ever taken, so i thought i’d share.

(i put up some new jewelry at i like beads, too, which i also thought i’d share.)

some leaves in the water

for the past few months, i’ve been bringing maude to work about once a week.  i ask ellen, the human resources person, for permission a day in advance; she always says yes, but i like to make sure that she knows beforehand and that there won’t be any clients in the office or anything.  on the days i bring maude in, everyone seems happy to see her.  throughout the day people take breaks to come say hi and pet her, and even the people who don’t pet her say “hey, maude,” when they walk by.  the other day one of my coworkers gave maude a dog bed she’d knitted herself.  for her part, maude enjoys the attention, but mostly she likes just sleeping under my desk or sitting quietly in my lap.  to me she’s the perfect office dog: a nice distraction for people who like her, and easy to ignore for those who are indifferent.

(i do, in fact, consider it impossible to not like maude.  anyway i’m not the only person who brings their dog in.  a few other people bring theirs in sometimes, too, but maude’s the only regular.)

today ellen came over to my cubicle to talk to me.  i took off my headphones and she leaned in close and spoke very quietly.  maude didn’t even wake up from her nap.  ellen told me that they’d figured out that the lease our company signed with the building means that i’m not allowed to bring my dog to work.  “i’m really sorry about this,” she said, “but i wanted to tell you in person before i sent an email to everyone.”

“thanks for doing that,” i said.  “i really appreciate it.”

“we’ll miss her,” ellen said.

“do i have to take her home right now?” i asked.

“no, don’t worry about it today,” she said.

after ellen sent the company-wide pet policy email, a lot of people came over to talk about it.  “this sucks,” someone said.  “she was a really nice break from work.”  a fellow chihuahua owner sent me an email:

since you and i are both blind, we should be able to bring our dogs in as seeing-eye chihuahuas, right?

to which i replied:

as a seeing-eye chihuahua, maude would probably just lead me towards expanses of grass, discarded food on the ground, and other dogs’ butts.  i am much less interested in those things than she is.

someone even suggested that we all wear t-shirts that said “TEAM MAUDE.”  at the end of the day, i ran into a coworker as maude and i were walking out the door.  he bent down to pet her, and then he stood up and announced, “maude is leaving the building!”  a few people came over to say goodbye.

“take a look around, maude!”  i said.  “it’s your last day.”  at which point she ran out the door and into the hallway, because she knows that after work is dinnertime.

i made a lot of jokes to hide it, but i’m really disappointed.  that i can’t bring my dog to work isn’t anyone’s fault, and it was a luxury anyway.  but when ellen told me maude couldn’t be there anymore, i very nearly cried.  i couldn’t help it.  i was happy to go to work on maude days; working my tolerable job with a dog in my lap made my job seem, well, tolerable.

as a dog rescued from a puppy mill, maude didn’t always like people.  when i first brought her home, she didn’t even like me.  to see her get comfortable coming to the office, to see her interact with so many people and be okay with it, showed me how very far she’s come since i adopted her two and a half years ago.  after i’d taken her to work with me a few times, she knew where we were when we arrived, and she’d wag her tail as she followed me to my cubicle.  i was so proud of her.  i am proud of her.

as i write this, she’s asleep in her hand-knitted dog bed, and she has the hiccups.  if you haven’t seen chihuahua hiccups, you haven’t seen anything.