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Sep. 1st, 2016

You're the best, around!

Something really...different is happening. I had the realization yesterday. I've never seen myself reflected back so much in another being. Kestrel has my heart, of course, she has from day 1, and so do many others, but I think she has my soul as well.

Could be the long nights we've spent together over the past five days. The night after surgery she screamed and tried to get her cone off for hours, I layed in bed with her restraining her legs and head and singing her songs until she would fall asleep for 30 minutes? Maybe an hour. And the cycle began again. She likes Simon and Garfunkel and the song from the Karate Kid.

You're the best, around!
Nothing's gonna ever keep you down.

Last night, she slept soundly. Every day will get easier, every day, every day...

Yes, we share a personality, and hard times certianly reveal them. We both have moments of happy, calm, fun. And in a second it can turn to screaming, crying, frustration, anger. We work ourselves up into a fury and then crash. We can take a long time to warm up to new things, but we're not afraid.

People keep telling me she looks like my dog, it's a funny thing.

(thanks again for the amazing photos, Heather!)

In 2008 I was 15, a freshman in highschool. Lonely, anxious, depressed, although those are words I can only use in hindsight. More than anything I wanted a dog, a dog that could fill some hole I felt I had in my life. What I got was Panic, and Panic didn't come to me to fit seamlessly into that role. He came crashing into me like a semi truck, clumsy and stubborn and destructive. He taught me patience, compassion, perservearance, and unconditional love. He was not the dog I wanted but I stubbornly held onto him and we slowly crept forward into the world together. I learned who he was, and he learned who I was. But in many ways it still feels like we're trying to figure each other out. I love him, oh man do I love that dog, and he loves me back, but he really isn't mine. Never was, never will be.

Kestrel is different. For one, I am not 15 anymore. That helps (a lot of things). I have no expectations for her, I have no role for her to fill in my life. And she fit, seamlessly, from the moment I saw her.

It's true, I was worried about how another dog might fit into thing. A lot of things have changed since I was 15, but always, always, there has been Panic. Our relationship is familiar and comfortable. How could I ever let another dog into our world? But there's no conflict for me, Kestrel feels like she's always been here with us--although the logistics of owning two dogs still needs to be worked out more.

This is a new chapter in our lives in many different ways. She is not here to fill a role, she is here to become herself in whatever way that means, and Panic and I will both have to expand to encompass her in our little world. It's true I have no expectations for her. Instead I have a feeling, an overwhelming feeling of truth, that she's going to do big, amazing things in her life. But first, lots of healing...

Feb. 19th, 2016

Daily Cry

Feb. 15th, 2016


It's cold here. I went home (for a job interview) last weekend and brought Panic back up with me.


We are taking an agility class about half an hour from here now. It's very good for us. Things are moving forward, per usual. 

Dec. 22nd, 2015

Festive Photos and Nerding Out

I'm currently nerding out over The Force Awakens, which I saw yesterday. I can't remember the last time I fell so in love with a movie. I would see it again (and again, and again) in a heartbeat. It's so easy fall into the hole of endless entertainment on the internet, but when you see something that makes you genuinely feel things, it's just an incredible experience.

It's no secret that I'm not the biggest fan of the holidays, but I have been doing a lot better with them. I am used to being extremely busy and surrounded by people. When I'm here, it's endless unstructured solitary time. It's such a huge contrast that it is often shocking to my system. I've been pretty sick since I got home, and instead of trying to force myself to do things that I consider worthwhile, I'm trying to just embrace what I have here--the unstructured time and solitude. Those things can be relaxing and recharging, but I'm just not good at not doing everything all the time. It's all about framing.

Today I took a lot of festive photos.

Toby is such a cute old dog.

Panic did not enjoy the snowman posing.

Happy Holidays to everyone, I hope they bring good things no matter what they look like for you. 

Nov. 22nd, 2015

Panic's Favorite Game

It's very serious.

I head to Louisville for Thanksgiving on Wednesday. It's the first time I'll have been back since mid-August. Maybe the longest time I've been away? 

Nov. 19th, 2015

Still Hanging in There

I've been wanted to write a post for awhile now, but I'm not really sure what to say.

Panic is doing well here overall--I'm happy to have him here all the time. We're taking an online class right now (with Tammy)! That is something I never thought I would do, but the format is actually really fun and it makes me realize how much I've missed training. We both have so much fun working on the exercises, and I love seeing other people's videos and their progress as trainers. I've never done much videotaping of my training sessions and that is quite eye opening. I'm not great at videoing though, the last two sessions I taped were a complete bust--Panic was completely out of frame for one of them and I accidentally deleted the other. Great job.

I'd love to take another online class after this. Any recommendations? I need some that don't involve any agility obstacles, maybe a tricks class.

As much as Panic loves running free in the woods, I know he gets just as much joy out of training as I do.

Oh yeah...I have a job interview tomorrow morning. For like a real thing for after I graduate. Yeah, that's terrifying.

Oct. 25th, 2015

Etsy still up and running!

I've let my shop fall a bit into the background this semester because I'm very busy, but things are easing up a bit and as we get closer to the holiday season I thought I'd throw it out there again for everyone. Here's the latest I've done, a lab named Murphy that passed away recently. He acted as a therapy dog at Cave HIll Cemetary in Louisville to people in the process of planning funerals and memorial services. Good boy.

Anyway, check out my etsy shop! Could make a great gift this winter! 

Oct. 18th, 2015

Building an Army of the Undead

Fall break has been a great time for me to experiment with making stuff. I built a loom earlier in the week to try my hand at weaving with plastic yarn I made from Walmart bags. This is...a slow and tedious process. But yeah, I kind of enjoy the tedium.

I came into my Senior IS with a very strong concept. I still have that concept, but as of right now I'm focusing on experimenting with a lot of different things that likely won't end up in my show. That is the beauty of an indepedent study, I have the freedom to approach it in any way I'd like. But I also continue to build up my army of undead pigeons (which I personally think are quite adorable).

Long live the pigeon. 

Oct. 16th, 2015


Last Friday I went and got Panic. I only intended on having him here for the duration of my fall break, but when I saw him this time after being apart since August something hit me like a sack of bricks. Panic has gotten older, and I can finally see it in him.

Four years ago I made the decision to come to Wooster, and while it was certainly the best decision I could have made for myself, I had to miss so much of Panic's life. Our agility career was cut short just when we were becoming a consistent team, and our relationship overall is not as strong as it used to be. My head was once fully in the dog world. There are a lot of passions pulling for my attention but the one towards dog sports is pulling at me less and less as the years go by. Sometimes we will go to a show, or I will watch a video or following a big event like AWC and feel that spark again, briefly but intensely. I miss it, I miss that intensity and that passion. But for now at least it's best to leave that spark alone. I don't want it to die out, but I will hold it carefully, presciously, in a corner of my heart. I know he misses it to. The sport itself, but there's something else there too. I haven't found any other outlet that forges such a bond as training and showing in agility does.

But enough about that--the point is that Panic is here and I've decided he will stay. When I bring him here he really isn't my dog anymore. He becomes a part of this community, just like I have. There are people I love and trust and that I know will help care for him if things get overwhelming, not that he needs to be cared for much. He's taking care of all of us way more than we're taking care of him. It doesn't make sense for him to be anywhere else anymore. Besides, the squirrles here are fat and lazy and so easy to chase.

Sep. 19th, 2015

The IS Process Begins

My Senior Independent Study Project will last the duration of my senior year and culminate in a gallery show in the spring. My concept is slowly taking shape, but I know it will change and develop as the year goes on. My current focus (which relies heavily on the Environmental Studies part of my education) is, broadly, Empathetic Engagement with Non-Human Animals, exploring our various relations to animals in regards to issues like human-caused extinction and farming. I might delve into animal companionship as well, but that comparison might prove a big too unweildy.

The process so far.Collapse )

This topic will be a challenge, but I feel committed to experimenting with how art can illicit a sense of empathy in a viewer. Empathy is a very power and very personal emotion. Realistically, I don't actually expect to achieve the goal of instilling empathy in anyone. It's impossible to control how a viewer will recieve art, but I can try my hardest to convey my intent as much as possible. 7 months for now we'll see how I did.

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