It is now May of 2013 and somehow the last six months just slipped away, falling down the slippery slope of life. Isn’t that always the way?

Not always, of course. It’s just a phrase I like to throw in to pretend I’m saying something profound when I’m not.

We spent much of the winter running a doggie hospice, which in itself was exhausting, but what else are you going to do? When the dog in question gets to be 15 and just can’t keep up her end of the agreement, made when she was 3 or so, which was that she would live forever, and starts her slow decline, it’s just what you do.

When we made that agreement, she and I, she promised she would keep up her end of it. Her promise was unspoken, because she was a dog, and dogs, even in my world, don’t talk, but still, I’m pretty sure she made it.

Or maybe not. She probably just promised to do the best she could, and so she did.

We are not alone in this – I know far too many people who have lost loved ones this year, one way or another.

I’m not supposed to equate the loss of a pet with the loss of a human, because everyone knows that pets are not on par with humans. And so I won’t. Anyway, they’re so different. Pets are often furry, and humans are sometimes not. Sometimes they are. Not usually. Depends on the human. (I realize that many people have non-furry pets, such as fish and snakes and the hairless varieties of dogs . . . ) Pets are nonjudgmental. So are the humans I hang out with, mostly. If they start being judgmental I do my disappearing act (patent pending). Pets, unlike humans other than my husband, can sleep in my bed with me. This comes in handy when the next ice age hits Portland and our heat has been turned off.

Will come in handy, I should say. It hasn’t happened quite yet.

Pets are also predictable. Every time I come home, whatever dog(s) are around come running, as if I’m the great benevolent dictator, which I am. On the other hand, I’ve had people run out of rooms upon my entrance, as if they had just remembered a very important meeting. You know the feeling, right? You walk in somewhere, see someone you know, start to walk over to them to say hi, and he or she gets a wary look in his or her eye, as if I’m about to hit him or her up for money, mumbles something about having to be somewhere, and rushes out, clutching his or her pocketbook as if his or her life depended on it.

This never ever happens with pets. Unless I’ve threatened to give a bath, but even at that, they can’t get far, since they have yet to master the intricacies of the door knob.

(And isn’t this something to be grateful for? Dogs who can open doors is not something we need in our world, though it does sound fun.)

Pets are awesome, if you’re into that sort of thing.

So we survived the failing health and death of a much loved dog. There goes months, right there. It’s exhausting, knowing the end is coming inexorably, even if slowly. Then there’s the work. So much work to do. Fortunately a few clients have been accommodating in removing themselves, thereby freeing up more time for me to work on newer clients. I think everyone should change whoever’s doing their books every so often.

I’m thinking of having someone else do mine, but so far I haven’t found anyone who will work for free.

So between dogs and work and putting things off (like mammograms and dentist visits and healthy eating and more time on the bike), it’s been about all I can do to get this far.

Oh! And I gave up writing. Just stopped altogether. THAT was a huge time suck. It’s amazing how much time can be spent on NOT doing something.

It may not be a permanent thing though. Sure, I said it was, but I say a lot of things that aren’t true.

(For example, last week I said I was going to accomplish A, B, C, and D, but I only got as far as A. This week I plan on completing B, C, D and E.)

I’ve sort of decided that I’d rather have less work and more time to write, though writing can be work, can’t it? It IS work. But it’s work that doesn’t involve the IRS, at least not the way I do it. (Which is to say, not profitably.) So I’m working on that idea.

We’ll see. I had so many things I wanted to do, and then I found out, much to my disappointment, that I couldn’t do all of them, at least not all at once. But that’s always been my way – big ideas, little follow through.

Maybe I’ll just start with some little things first.

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