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The things we do part 2

Everyone has things in life that they regret doing, or maybe not even regret but question after they have done it. I spent a lot of time going back and forth about a decision to put portraits of 3 of my dogs on my arm. Now most rational people would say that’s a dumb idea, who puts portraits of their dogs on their arms? Dumb people like me I guess. You have to understand that my dogs are my kids, not just my kids but my laughter, my struggle, my sanity (most of all) and my love. I know people think I’m the crazy dog lady who would rather have a litter of puppies rather than a baby but I look at people with kids and wonder how they live with out a dog (or 2).
Recently, well almost a year ago that feels like yesterday still with the pain in my heart, our first dog, (my husband and I together), Marvin passed away. We had to put him to sleep and it was all my fault. The girl who loved her dogs more than life its self feed him a giant bone and left him unattended for 10 minutes. In those 10 minutes he ate the entire thing and shattered my heart. We spent 2 weeks on a rotation of vets and emergency vet stays with Pancreatitus and a heart condition and liver trouble, all from a stupid bone. We had to let him go on August 23, 2011. It was the hardest decision I’ve ever made. He was in so much pain, and spent his last days locked up in a vet hospital cage instead of laying in the sunshine of the patio door like he loved to do. I have had countless nights since that I have cried myself to sleep because of his loss. I had a dog growing up, but Marvin was my baby, my responsibility, and my companion. I’d be lying if I said that it’s all better now, that I don’t cry every once in a while about him, more than I should, most people would say for a dog. We adopted a dog while Marvin was still alive, an Australian cattle dog named Foster and she went though the same grieving process. I opened my heart to another Cattle dog named Astro just 6 months after Marvin passed away, not to replace him by any means, but I still had a lot of love in my heart and If I could save one more dog from a cold cage than I would.
Now you know the back story… and my insanity. I wanted to pay tribute to the creatures who keep me sane, drive me crazy sometimes, teach unconditional love and forgiveness, are always there when I need a friendly face and have given me a reason to get up everyday. 3 Portraits of my dogs went up on my arm this past Sunday, 1/4 sleeve, shoulder to elbow. It was bigger than I intended for clarity and detail. Once I make a decision I run with it. I forget about what other people will think or maybe I don’t care, or maybe I just think I don’t care. After some comments like “oh wow”, not “OH WOW that’s awesome!”, more like “oh wow you are a moron”. Tone- It’s an important thing. And “are those your dogs?” No moron cashier, I just picked some random floating dog heads to drop a bunch of cash on. But my favorite so far is the “oh let me see it!” and the awkward silence and nodding that follows. They are good tattoos, they are good portraits and it’s not done yet.
Tattoos use to be taboo, only sailors and inmates had them. I know more people who have at least one tattoo then people who have none. Yes I’ll still have a job, and yes I can still get another job. If an employer doesn’t like it then maybe that’s not the place that’s right for me, and if I really have to they make these things called long sleeve shirts. At the end of the day I get to take my babies with me everywhere. Marvin is always with me and now I can look down and see his face. I guess I don’t care if you like, just ignore it if you don’t agree with it. When it’s filled in it will be a piece of living art and a tribute to the things that mean the most to me.
Everyone has stuff they do that is questionable or regrettable but I don’t regret any of my tattoos, they each tell a story of a time in my life and come with a memory.

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