Wow, this page is badly in need of updating! I’ve had Harpo for almost two years now. My little “Boston Terror” is a ball of energy; she is the biggest dog in the dog park-if you ask her! But on our first walk in Bethel, a woman asked if she was a runt. Nope, she’s a Boston Terrier, and a big one. At 23.9 lbs, she IS a big girl, especially when you have to tote her down the ladder every morning.
My wonderful Gizmo passed away at the end of July. He fell to a very aggressive pancreatic cancer. It was a huge shock; right up until the day before he died, I was positive that he would pull through, and I would add this to my list of “things Gizmo survived”. He was an amazing companion; always happy and exuberant and chargin’ to go. I laid him to rest yesterday; we went up the haul road to the Koyukuk River and I spread his ashes in the same area where he had so much fun chasing sticks.
I miss him horribly.
And I know he would NOT put up with my tears-he never did! He was not one of those dogs who would rest his head on your knee and look up at you with drooping eyes, like he was wondering what he could do to make you happy. Nope, he would bring a stick or a ball or a frizbee; or if we were walking, he would just be so happy that you couldn’t help but smile just a little, and then pretty soon he would do something funny and you’d laugh. I don’t know what I would have done without him when I broke up the boyfriend. He totally pulled me through that difficult period of my life.
So I will dry my tears and just remember some of the things he taught me:
- There are no bad days, they’re all good, so be happy no matter what.
- Being obsessed is okay, but choose your obsessions wisely and rotate them depending on the situation.
- human food is better than dog food, so ask for it.
- you CAN eat bugs! but eat wasps’ heads first, then their tails.
- if the person next to you won’t throw your tennis ball, find someone else to throw it. if you can’t find someone else, go to sleep. or sigh deeply until someone finally throws your ball.
- greet everyone effusively, enthusiastically.
- tennis balls (frisbees and sticks) are more important than food and water. sometimes (see above about being obsessed).
- if the person closest to you won’t be friends, find someone else.
- share your toys, or get another tennis ball; it doesn’t matter which.
- car rides are always good.
- being outside is better than being inside.
- water is for drinking and swimming in. period.
- rocks are not fun to chase.
I guess it’s time to say something about me… I live in Fairbanks, Alaska, and love it even at 50 below (zero, that is). Well, not always! but most of the time. I am oh-so-single, and lovin’ it, after a protracted breakup with the last BF. My constant companion (except when it’s too nice outside and he refuses to come in!) is Gizmo, a huge black Lab. Gizzy’s six years old, but he’s still a puppy at heart, and never refuses the call of anything that is thrown, though he has learned not to chase sticks into the bonfire. I, on the other hand, have learned to toss things onto the bonfire only if he’s tied up. Whew, that was a scary few moments!
I have been sewing since I was… 9 or 10 at least. I can remember making doll clothes for my Barbies and trolls at that age. I must have started embroidering about the same time too, as by the time I was in high school, my stitching was fairly neat. I am mainly a crazy quilter, an avid hat maker, and a sporadic tailor. I love teaching crazy quilt classes in Fairbanks and wish I had more opportunities to teach.
Work… yes, we all work! I am employed at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, as a web designer. I am not a geek… I don’t have a computer science or engineering degree. My BS is in agriculture, specifically “Plant Science, Viticulture Option”, from UC Davis. You don’t need to know when I got it, but it was quite awhile after high school. One of those late bloomers, ya know?
I’ve done a lot of different things, from running racehorses (Quarterhorses, at tracks in AZ, CA, CO, MT, and NM) to fisheries technician. Oooh, that was a fun job! I collected fish from the intertidal zone in Prince William Sound, AK, in 1990 and 1991, for a research project that wanted to determine the impact of the Exxon Valdez oil spill on intertidal fish. Paid beachcombing! And after work, we could hike, pick berries, fish, sightsee, and just generally enjoy being out in the back of beyond.
I’ve also spent quite a bit of time playing secretary (or more politically correct, as an “Administrative Assistant”), collected data on various species of crop plants for different seed companies, sold fabric and notions at Cherry Tree Fabrics, salesclerk at the Prudhoe Bay General Store (yes, on the Slope, in Prudhoe), maintenance personnel at Toolik Lake Research Station (up on the Slope, but real close to the mountains), and I even worked at Pizza Hut, for about three weeks. Ew, I was glad that job didn’t last long!
I love to hunt and fish, and am looking for a .22 so I can bird hunt with Gizmo. The ex-BF took him a few times and says he is a great bird retriever. And there’s lots of grouse on the pipeline, where Giz & I hike on a regular basis. Moose hunting is my favorite fall activity. I love the whole shebang, from packing the boat to taping up the last piece of wrapped meat and putting it in the freezer. I’ve gone dipnetting at Chitina several times, and while the drive back & forth isn’t so fun, I love coming home with all that salmon! Packing it up and canning it or putting it in the freezer is a really comfortable feeling.