Puppy Breath…

Oscar is teething. This has many components and can be truly horrible in those many components. He leads with his mouth for one, and if your hand or arm is extended you are going to get caught in it… and it HURTS. And you understand that this is not his fault… he is TEETHING! Teething also comes with chewing and general destruction although I have been really good about containing that destruction to things he is allowed to destroy. Namely chew toys, bones, balls etc. Although being a little bulldozer that he is, it is almost a full time job to contain that behavior in a positive light. I pull my clothes, throw rugs, trash and magazines out of his path constantly.

Another component is his frustration which exhibits itself in whining as he is chewing, growling, rubbing his mouth on things like the carpet or my leg, and general misery in regards to his mouth.

And the last component is his breath…………………

Oh lawdy! His breath is dank. Musty. Nasty…..

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I have pried open his mouth at times to see his teeth bleeding… I have pulled two molars out of his mouth as he was chewing them trying to swallow them after they came out…. But the worst thing of all the teething puzzle pieces is his breath. It sucks because if any of you know me at all you know I love kisses!!!! I mean, he sleeps with me… he sits with me… he lays on me and is always in close contact and that moment when you are nose to nose and he yawns……………………. UGH!!!

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Poor baby. I have read that this too shall pass… it is simply due to all the tooth movement and raw gums in his poor puppy mouth and I am happy to see the sharp baby teeth go away. So it is endurable.

Sort of.

It is absolutely crazy how fast he is growing. I got Cody when he was already 4 months old so I never had the puppy stage with him, he was Oscar’s weight now at 4 months. I am amazed at how quickly Oscar has become a dog and not so much puppy anymore. I joke that he was a puppy for a minute. He holds his own in the big dog park and is adapting really well to any situation. Like the car. Whereas at first he NEEDED to be sitting on my lap while driving… now he is his own lil man on his own seat…

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photo 2He leans with the car as we make turns and he looks out the window. It is hilarious.

He is also now big enough to eat out of Cody’s bowl stand. It was tough to see at first but he made himself at home and the cats are fine with it.

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And he is lovable. Absolutely lovable. He is breaking the biting habit and even though he has his moments challenging me and testing the limits… he balances all of it with pure love.

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And that is really all a Mommy could ask for… right?

(And now for something completely different!)

I needed this kind of love this week. Every week for that matter.

Monday morning I woke up to the news that a friend and business associate committed suicide in a horrible manner. By all standards he was enviably happy. Incredibly successful, beautiful wife, CEO of a quality company that does good for people and the environment and gives back, world traveler and mentor to anyone who needed help. I worked with Jody Sherman in 1999-2001 for Comedy World Radio Network, a startup in Marina Del Rey, California that created comedy terrestrial radio distributed all over  the US. It was a crazy fantastic fun ride. He is the second friend in one month from that company to take his own life and neither sit well with me. And they are two in a long list in my life to do this. It never makes sense and does not get any easier to deal with. I have worked in start ups mostly my entire career and I know all about the hours, the stress, the uncertainty of decision making, the money, and the confidence or lack thereof that it commands. And most of all this type of scenario attracts creative types like myself who are always at risk of depression. I am one of them and I have had my ups and downs. There are moments of brilliance held up with self doubt and self critiques more harsh than anyone else could possible offer. We have all been there.

It rattles you to the core when something so out of character and crazy like this happens. When someone takes their own life when all appearances speak of success and happiness it just rattles you to the core. And my circle who knew him are quite rattled. What was his check mate scenario? What was the last straw? Was he financially ruined? Was he diagnosed terminally ill? Was he being indicted for something we knew nothing about? Does it matter really and will we ever know? What I think really matters is that for some reason he saw no other way out. Did he think it through and understand the consequences of this action? I don’t think he ever did anything without playing out all the options and end game.

Jody Sherman

Jody Sherman

It is baffling….

But it also makes me appreciate the little things in my life. The stuff of a simple life that does make me happy. My animals, my beautiful home that is not at all perfect and needs work endlessly but is mine and screams ME, my friends, my loved ones, and the simple fact that I wake up every day to do it all again. I am not sure what it takes to go from contemplating a thought to pulling a trigger. All I can say is that I am glad I do not get it and hope that if any of my friends or loved ones get to that edge, that they know that I am here for them and would talk them down and tell them how much I care and love them and what is worth living for. Both Brian Putnam and Jody would be amazed I think at the outpouring of shock and love their last actions on this earth have caused. The emotions… the anger… the sadness… so many plaguing thoughts.

Life is a balance of good and bad and hard and soft and light and dark. In the middle of it all is you…

I am not religious. I am that trendy phrase of being spiritual and not religious. Spiritual in the sense of personal self growth. I am always trying to better myself in every sense and I am never completely satisfied with where I am. But I am never disappointed either. And in the middle of all that balance I mention above, is me and my journey. Every single thing that has or will happen in my life makes and has made me who I am, good or bad or light or dark. It is all growth. And everything is manageable. Even watching Cody pass which broke my heart in so many pieces…

Brian "Putty" Putnam

Brian “Putty” Putnam

Safe travels Brian Putnam and Jody Sherman… I hope you found your answer and I hope more than anything that you may finally rest.


~ by Michelle Sammartino-Zeto on January 31, 2013.

2 Responses to “Puppy Breath…”

  1. Hey Mim, I am so very sorry about your friends. It’s so sad to learn that someone you care about was taken to such dark place and you didn’t even know. Depression and addiction have roots that lurk pretty deep. That’s not an insinuation about your friends..just a comparison. The hardest part of both diseases is that the problems that drive them to the bottom can be smoothed over /solved and for a time there’s relief…but the hold that the disease has doesn’t wash away. Sufferers spend their lives treading some pretty dark waters. They use all the energy they have to try to just appear ok for everyone. In truth, they’re drowning and sadly, for some, they eventually just get exhausted and give up. I’m so sorry. You sound so sad. I wish i could give you a hug :) ~C

    • After Putty died right after Christmas a friend of mine posted a line that said “Depression is a liar”. That really resonates with me. The person that posted that line is a comedian and an artist and as I said all creative types especially really battle with depression. The whole idea that depression is a liar speaks so truthfully, in that you see things through that dark cloud that you mentioned and nothing is really as it seems. It looks like there’s no light, it looks like there’s no way out, it seems as if no one cares. But as the aftermath proves in both of these cases, there are hell of a lot of people who really truly give a shit.

      I am okay though Carol. I am sad and shocked for sure, but I’m also angry and confused and in a weird way glad to know that both of these tormented souls are finally at peace. Just like with our mutual friend Andrew, I of course don’t understand. But then again it would be a different universe if we could all walk in someone else’s shoes.

      I think I should take you up on that hug though, get yourself and your family down here for a visit!

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