Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Doggone it!

Hi there, my ranting blog. I've been missing in action for quite a while as usual, and I'm back again with another lovely rant to help me blow off steam. The last time I wrote, I was toying with the idea of shutting down this blog and taking my grouses elsewhere. The idea is still tempting. I now have an idea to start an anonymous blog which I can rant about anything I want without the need to censor any expletives, since no one would know who I am and therefore it would not matter at all if I sounded like an an eternally ungrateful person with severe anger management issues and a cold black heart. I could therefore end every post with an "F***** it all!" and then chuckle to myself with amusement at the joy of getting away with such crass behaviour through the power of internet anonymity. Nevertheless, as fun as it sounds, it's probably also not very healthy for me and also not helping to make the internet a beneficial place to spend time. So I continue to rant here, to the people who care to know what grates me and able to forgive the fact that I now use this blog for nothing else but to vent. :P

Here's the rant of the year: Dogs dogs dogs. Why, do I hate dogs? No, actually I love them very much and I have two of my own whom I treat like my kids and one even helps himself to taking up half my bed on some nights. Unfortunately in the past slightly less than a year, I've become a bit sick of them too. All thanks to the one person in my life who I thought could no longer drive me crazy once I moved out of her house, but was proven very wrong: my mum.

In the past half a year to one year, she has gone absolutely bonkers in her desire to help stray dogs, particularly puppies. My family has been dog lovers all our lives, but that just meant we had dogs as pets. She, however, has in the past few months, picked up dozens of stray puppies from the shoplot area near her place which also happens to be where I work, an area where there have been many stray dogs since the time my family moved there about 3 or 4 years ago. But in those 3 or 4 years, she has never bothered too much about those dogs. Now she makes it a habit to go there every day and regularly feed the stray dogs, drives around to look for puppies to pick up, and even buy medication for injured strays who are too afraid to let her touch them, so she can only put the medicine on their food and let them eat.

This is of course not a bad thing in itself. Most people see her as being quite angelic for putting in the effort she is to help the poor defenseless strays. They don't really know what goes on behind the scenes and how her 'angelic' behaviour is putting a strain on people around me. Especially me. But also my dad, who has to live in a mini dog pound at his condo on a daily basis now.

Initially, when my mum started doing her doggy rescue work, I was ok to help out as I thought it was going to be a temporary affair. She found a litter of black puppies and wanted to help put them up for adoption, and I knew how to do it online coz' I'd done it before with some stray pups near my place. Then after those all got adopted, she found another litter of black pups. Then those got adopted, and she found ANOTHER litter of black pups. It got to the point where I thought she had a black puppy detector attached to her head. But she found other coloured puppies too, so it would have been a mostly black puppy detector.

If she was taking care of them joyfully and without complaint, it probably would not be so hard on my dad. But my mum being my mum who loves to complain about everything, just couldn't...not complain. Even before that she always went on about how tired she was everyday from school work and house chores, etc etc. And after she was taking care of puppies, she started complaing about how tired she was taking care of them and even bugging my dad to help her, scolding him when he didn't. Which of course isn't fair to him considering she's the one who wanted to take care of them.

And then she started wanting to keep some puppies, one of which was a very friendly mongrel female who loved licking people to death. I could already tell when she was small that she would grow to be too big and active to stay in a condo, and wondered why on earth my mum would want to give herself more work taking care of her. And I was right, coz' today after 6 months, she's a too-tall-for-a-condo, lanky and mischieous mutt who loves to try stealing food off the table, launches herself at people's faces to lick them, climbs all over the living room table and couch and pisses everywhere everytime anyone comes home coz' she's so excited and for some reason has yet to learn to control her bladder.

But that wasn't enough.

One day she found one single stray, very young male puppy with a bad case of mange near my office. She gave him a foster name, Pooch, nursed him back to health, all the time pushing me to help look to adopters. We spent several weekends taking him to this pet shop named Ohana at Kota Damansara where they hold pet adoption drives for indepedant rescuers, and we'd just sit there for hours hoping someone would want him. Eventually the shop owner found an interested adopter, who was a nice family of three, staying in a house with a nice big garden. It was the perfect environment for a growing active mongrel dog.

Except that once they took him and kept him a few days, my mum started missing him terribly and going on about how special he was to her. So much that she even cried and forced my dad to go take the dog back from the adopters who also liked the dog very much.

I was absolutely livid that she did that. She removed the dog from a big house with a nice garden and good family to a condo with limited space. She wanted to keep a third dog, in addition to one crazy old Shih Tzu and another relatively young mongrel female. Both she and Pooch would grow too big and active for a condo. Plus they would live for another estimated 10-15 years, while my mum is already in her 60's and losig energy everyday. In a few more years, she will probably not be able to handle them due to age, or touch wood, passes on before the dogs. And then I'd be left with the headache of having to get adopted two old mongrels who are not used to living outdoors, which very few people would be interested in. And because of that, I would most likely have to send them to PAWS or SPCA where they have maybe 2 weeks to get adopted, if not, they would likely be euthanized. That's the 'good life' she was condemning the two mongrels she loves sooo much to. But even when I told her the facts, which she knows herself, she still wanted to keep them. In a few years, guaranteed, they will become my problem. And I can't keep them myself as I already have my own dogs. In addition to that, it made the adopters as well as the shop owner of Ohana very upset. So upset that the next time I went back to the shop by myself to put up for adoption another stray pup which my mum had found, the shop owner didn't nothing to help me push for the dog to be adopted, like post on her shop's FB page like she did before. My wonderful mum effectively shut off a good avenue for gettting a precious pups adopted, because of her own inability to detach from one dog.

The only good thing about her taking back Pooch was that I used it as leverage to make her stop complaining to my dad about being tired or forcing him to clean up, because I told her if the dogs were making her stressful and tired, then I would gladly take them away and get them adopted by other people without ever telling them who took them. From then on, she stopped complaining about the dogs.

The bad thing is that she continues to display a lack of ability to emotionally detach herself from the dogs she rescues or helps. Like when some puppies died under her care because they had a deadly virus, she became very guilty and thought it was her fault, even though there was no way she would have known or prevented it. But she still gets emotional, which means I have to deal with her emotions, which of course affects me as well. Another example, she recently gave for adoption a black female dog she named Sheba which she was keeping for abut 2 months. She was a well behaved quiet dog, and of course, my mum got attached to her and just one day after she was adopted, my mum started showing signs of wanting her back. When I said she can't have another dog, I thought she'd understand given she apparently 'felt terrible' for taking back Pooch and upsetting a lot of people. Instead her response was "Why? Because I'm too old?". At which point I couldn't do anything but shut up before a blood vessel broke in my head, so I called my brother in the US, yes, that brother halfway around the world, to talk to my mum who absolutely refuses to listen to reason from me, the daughter who is right here with her.

Previously there was also a friendly female dog who I and my animal loving German boss like to feed outside my office. Eventually my mum found her and got attached to her too, then one day before Chinese New Year, the dog went missing and she became anxious and thought some Vietnamese workers had caught and eaten the dog. When I told her to relax and said maybe someone adopted her, she wouldn't believe it. Coz' that's what she tends to do, assume the worst instead of the best. And while assuming the worse, she lays blame on herself, or others. And so the 'best' part of that was when she asked me why I didn't choose to adopt that friendly dog instead of my current 2nd dog, Angel, since there were people who were interested in adopting Angel. In a way saying it's my fault that something potentially bad happened to this friendly stray because I chose to keep another dog instead of her. How the heck is that in any way fair to me? The friendly stray was eventually found perfectly alive, well and happily being kept by the shop owner of the shop just behind my office, just as I said.

In addition to the emotional stress, there's of course also the time burden added onto me by all her dog saving activities. I'm currently already super busy with work, so much that there is months old work due which I have not been able to catch up with. And because of super puppy rescuing mum, I have to spend time posting up new puppies for adoption, dealing with potential adopters, answering all the stupid questions they have which I usually have already explained on my posts, such as what what breed they are when, you know, calling them 'Mixed breed' strays is clearly not descriptive enough, and dogs only deserve to be loved if they are of a certain breed. I like to call that a special form of stupid prejudice called 'breedism'. Take note of that, Oxford Dictionary.

If that's not time consuming enough, I also had to take care of some dogs she found, not because she can't take care of them herself, but because I'm so damn afraid that she'll get attached to another dog and decide to keep it or get too emotional about letting it go to an adopter. Taking care of dogs of course adds more stress to me, ot just in terms of the massive time taken for clean-up, but also because they destroy things, and make noise which disturbs the neighbours when I'm not around. It's extremely tiring, especially with my current workload and having to take care of my own dogs. It got so much to handle that I eventually complained to my mum that I simply cannot take care of any more dogs, and she said ok, she'll just take care of them herself. Those kind of arguments also aren't good for our relationship, hence more stress.

Even that promise is something she couldn't live up to, coz' right now as I type this, she has a total of 12 dogs under her care, and had sent one white female puppy at the vet for a few days to recover from a fractured leg. And to reduce costs of boarding, she asked me to take care of the white puppy until it recovers. And I can't make her keep it because 3 pups at her place came down with Parvovirus, which is potentially fatal to young, non-vaccinated pups. I spent one and freakin' half hours at the vet waiting just to pick up the puppy, because the doctor is always super busy. And every time I go to the vet because of one of puppy rescuing mum's charges, that's the normal amount of time it takes. That white pup is now sleeping on my dog's mattress as I type this because earlier she was whining all night wanting to be let out of my back room. Which she will probably start doing again once I go to bed and the whole day tomorrow while I'm at work and the rest of the days I keep her, disturbing all my neighbours and causing me more stress.

My mum's insanity has made her the running joke among some of my family members, including her own brothers and sister. And while I initially thought they understood how stressed it was making me, it got round that some of them even said that I started her crazy dog saving behaviour because I was the one who started 'rescuing dogs'. Which, sorry to say about my own relatives, only showed another level of stupid which I don't have a word for yet, for making me their convenient scapegoat. The dogs I supposedly 'rescued' were not ones I found through active searching like my mum does, but pups that were at the area where I frequently walked my dog (when I used to have only one dog) and pups which were born right outside my house coz' the silly mama dog liked my dog so much, she gave birth right there. Under those circumstances, I thought it was only the right thing to foster the mama dog and pups and get them adopted, and I considered it a temporary inconvenience which I can live with. I had no idea it would give my mother crazy dog rescuing ambitions, and not once did I encourage her to try it herself, and certainly I did not want to become permanently inconvenienced by her activities. And yet because of that, I somehow became the one responsible for my mother going off the deep end by becoming the puppy saviour of the world. Well, I told those relatives exactly how I felt about that, and thankfully they got the point.

Another annoying side effect is now whenever I post anything on my Facebook page related to animals, I have a fear that some smarty pants will make a wise crack about me being the next animal rescuing Steve irwin or something along those lines. Which already happened once when I posted a photo of a Papua New Guinean cat begging for food and my uncle joked about me wanting to rescue cats. Needless to say, I did not find it funny, and he thought I was being too serious. Well, when you're not the one whose life is being turned upside down by your crazy dog rescuing mother, you would probably find a bit more humour in it, but I was unfortunately having a bit more trouble in that department.

All this is especially maddening considering before I moved out, I actually brought home my current dog, Friendster, and wanted to keep him in the condo. I said I'd take care of him, but at the time, she was like, keep a mongrel in the condo? How proposterous! Plus I can't even remember to feed the Shih Tzu or take care of my own laundry, no freakin' way in hell I could take care of my own dog (paraphrased quote). Yeah, fast forward couple of years later and I'm doing a pretty good job taking care of TWO dogs (who far as I can tell, have not starved to death yet) and doing my laundry, and taking care of my own house. And she has two mongrels in the house in addition to the Shih Tzu. Dogs which give her much more work in addition to all the work she used to complain about me not helping out much with even though I did do, just at my own time and pace which never good enough or fast enough for her. Sweet.

Seriously, all I wanted was a nice normal, peaceful life, you know, the typical female dream of getting a nice guy, getting married, having some cute kids and having a happy family, with a proud mum and dad. You know, the kind of mum that people gush about on Mother's Day, the one that patiently teaches you, listens to your troubles without judging, takes interest in the things you love doing, most importantly, encourages you to do the best in whatever you do. Not the one that's regularly impatient, take offense if you refuse to apply her advice, has no interest or even ridicules anything you enjoy doing and critisizes freely. And now doing crazy dog saving activities in what is possible some misguided attempt to redeem herself in her mind that she can still be a good parent after 'failing' with me, which is doing nothing to help our relationship and just making me more exasperated with her. And in her mind, I've become so much my own person that I'm nothing like her, which unfortunately isn't true coz' if I were nothing like her, I'd be more optismistic and hopeful and much less paranoid about getting into a marriage that would crash and burn, which has resulted in me being super picky with guys and being still single and increasingly jaded every day.

At the risk of sounding like an ungrateful kid, while I know without doubt that she does love and has loved me all my life, I do feel that most of my life has been badly screwed up by my mother and I don't really have any clue how to change that other than haul myself out of the country. Which I actually still don't really want to do. Coz' I'll miss Malaysian food and weather too darn much, and rebuilding a new social life elsewhere is a more daunting task than I'd like to try. And even if I did migrate, I'm pretty sure she'll find another way to drive me insane. Lol.

For today I shall implement the idea of my imaginary anonymous blog and say "F******* it all".

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