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438th Friday Blog Roundup

Thank you for all of the kind words about Cozy Jackson.  My office feels very quiet without him.  At the risk of rushing things, maybe foolishly, we’re going to go to the pet store today to talk to the ethical pet dealer.  An EPD differs from a pet store in that it matches the right animal with the right person.  There are very few animals in the store — mostly only small mammals — and she can tell you how the animal was bred and its lineage.  She won’t sell you an animal if she doesn’t think it’s the right fit at the right moment.  I started the conversation with her on Thursday when I called to tell her about Cozy’s death.  I let her know that we were thinking about moving forward with another pet just so I could gather her thoughts.  She knows us, so I trust her.  She didn’t think it was a terrible idea, especially if the kids create a memory book for Cozy and process his death.  She’s open to the possibility.

We are only considering another hamster, a guinea pig, or a chinchilla.  We’ve obviously had a hamster so know what to expect with that.  I once had a guinea pig, so I know what to expect with that (and think it’s the best option for our house/family).  I’ve never even known someone who has a chinchilla, so if you have, I’d love to hear about your experience.  The Wolvog came up with the chinchilla idea, and I’m not against learning about a new animal.  But it would mean getting accustomed to a new animal.  There are other pets we’d like but we don’t have the space or means to take care of it, so we’re sticking with those three possibilities.

So hopefully we’ll have a new addition to the family soon.  No new pet will ever replace the Cozy-sized hole in my heart, but my hands need to hold something.  I have a lot of love to bestow on a pet.


We went to a concert last night.  On the way, we listened to the band on CD.  While we were there, we listened to the band live.  Then we got in the car and drove home, back to listening to the band on CD.

When you’re going to a concert, do you listen to the same band on the way there and back?


And now the blogs…

But first, second helpings of the posts that appeared in the open comment thread last week.  In order to read the description before clicking over, please return to the open thread:

Okay, now my choices this week.

I loved Mrs. Spit’s post about the gratitude that has influenced her own decisions years down the road.  A small gesture from another person after her son died becomes an explanation for why she takes the time to tell people how she appreciates them.  I especially loved this line: “It was such a simple, such a small gesture. I think that she doesn’t remember it any longer, it was so natural for her and yet it meant so very much to me.”  That idea that even things we don’t remember could still have repercussions (in a good way) for someone else.

Miss Conception has a post about breaking her promise to herself that she would never put up a Baby on Board sign.  I love how she takes us through her reasoning, and it drives home the fact that we often make promises to ourselves without knowing how we’ll feel when we’re in the actual situation.  Perhaps it’s a manifesto for fewer cases of “I will never” and more understanding that sometimes the things that annoy us are someone else’s comfort.

Lastly, These Are The Things I’m Made Of has a beautiful post about the things she is missing with the loss of her son.  It’s a montage of all the probable moments, the summation of love.  She writes, “Taking you to the park by our house. Pushing your stroller as the redbuds pop and the forsythia tickles my nose. Counting daffodils.  The woman with a baby down the street who was supposed to be my friend. I pass her house every day. I’ve never met her.”  For me, it seemed like the perfect exercise of still connecting with someone who is gone.

The roundup to the Roundup: Maybe getting a new pet.  Do you listen to the band on the way to the concert?  And lots of great posts to read.  So what did you find this week?  Please use a permalink to the blog post (written between March 29th and April 5th) and not the blog’s main url. Not understanding why I’m asking you what you found this week?  Read the original open thread post here.


1 Ellen { 04.05.13 at 7:32 am }

I’m sorry about Cozy Jackson. This week I’m editing a vet technician book; its chapter on euthanasia and pet loss said that getting a small animal that is different (in looks, maybe species) than the deceased pet is a good idea. I remember that after my cat ate my golden hamster, I was very consoled by a beautiful new cream-colored hamster.

Chinchillas are lovely and oh so soft, but there’s the issue of chinchilla dust — you place a premium on a tidy home, so you might not like dealing with fine powder a couple of times per week.

2 serenity { 04.05.13 at 7:39 am }

I am having trouble making comments from my phone. Been thinking about you all.

And I love this: “I have a lot of love to bestow on a pet.”

I was seized with this manic desire for a puppy right after my D&E this past fall, even though I don’t particularly like dogs OR puppies. I think it was exactly what you described in your last and this post: you pour that extra love into the living people and animals in you life now.

Anyway, I hope you find a good wonderful pet today.


3 Peach { 04.05.13 at 8:29 am }

I’ve had, and loved having, chinchillas. However they are exotic, have very special needs and are higher maintenance than hamster or piggies. They have to be kept at cooler temperatures at all times, cannot get wet, and their diet can tricky.

4 Peg { 04.05.13 at 8:54 am }

Listen all the way there, and back, and a few days after.

I had a feeling you were crossing the river and coming our way to see a certain green band last night. Traffic was awful since we live 3 miles from the concert location but it was worth it to put a smile on your face after the Cozy stuff. Good luck today with the new pet search!

5 a { 04.05.13 at 9:11 am }

We used to listen to the band, at least on the way to the concert – maybe not as much on the way home.

Good luck in the new pet search. I hope you find something that’s the right fit…

6 Gail { 04.05.13 at 9:28 am }

I’m sorry about Cozy. I know that the loss of a pet is tough and am not looking forward to the day when my dog leaves us. I don’t know much about the small mammal-type of animal because I am allergic to all of them (hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits) and I have no idea what a chinchilla is, but I would guess that I’m likely allergic to it, too. Good luck!
As for listening to the band’s CD, I do this on the way to the concert. Actually, I usually put the songs on my ipod and then listen to that in the car (through the speakers) and have the songs on random for that artist. However, on the way home, I usually listen to the radio or something else and don’t feel the need to listen to the artist’s music again.

7 HereWeGoAJen { 04.05.13 at 11:28 am }

I have a very close friend with chinchillas and she does not recommend them as pets, unless you have some professional animal experience. (She does. Do you know who I am talking about yet? Email her. Or me. I did pet sit them for a week once so I am clearly an expert.)

8 Erica { 04.05.13 at 11:58 am }

I am fascinated by the idea of an EPD – it seems like such a good answer to so many of the problems with pet store animals. I was reading your posts about Cozy Jackson and thinking of James Herriot who made it clear in his books that he thought getting a new pet after a much-beloved on had died was a very good and healing thing. I hope your new pet, whoever s/he may be, is ready to soak up a lot of love.

9 k { 04.05.13 at 1:33 pm }

Am I the only one who wants to know what concert you went to? I totally listen to the artist on the way there and on the way home, and often for DAYS after, reliving the experience.

10 Mina { 04.05.13 at 3:25 pm }

You never replace a dead pet. You just find solace with another pet, because it is not natural to not share grief. We are made to love, not grieve, aren’t we? This is why grief is so overwhelming, because it is isolating. I am speaking strictly from the pet perspective here.

Thank you for doing this round up every week, Mel. And thank you for having included me last time, I went now to check and saw that I did not thank you at the time, which was very rude of me. But I am doing it now, hoping it counts.

And what concert was that? I am curious to know whom can you listen to for so many hours of just one day.

11 KeAnne { 04.05.13 at 4:03 pm }

I’m sort of weird in that I don’t like concerts and when I have attended them, I don’t listen to their music before or after because I don’t want to become tired of it LOL.

I’m so sorry about Cozy. Our three cats are truly parts of our family, and now that they are 14 and 16, we’re beginning to realize that we have only a few years left with them most likely.

And thank you for the inclusion last week! I always forget to note the amazing posts I read during the week, but here are a few:

Serenity’s post Gifts http://serenitynowinfertile.wordpress.com/2013/03/29/gifts/

Through the Ardenne’s post on Waiting http://throughtheardennes.blogspot.com/2013/03/practice-makes-perfect.html

12 loribeth { 04.05.13 at 7:16 pm }

I loved Mrs. Spit’s post too. : ) Here a couple of others I’ve read & loved this week.

Viva La Vida reflects on five years of post-loss living:

Msfitzita explains why — contrary to the popular view of childless/free people as globetrotters — she has (so far) preferred to stay close to home:

By the Brooke talks about how her grief has changed over time:

13 Delenn { 04.05.13 at 10:09 pm }

We have had 3 chinchillas (Claudius, Leeloo and their baby Delenn). We loved having them…often think about having them again. They are exotic, tho.

They are not often into cuddling like hamsters/guinea pigs (we have had them too…when I said I could sympathize about your love for a small pet, I wasn’t kidding!–we have had mice, hamsters, fish, 2 iguanas…etc.)

Apart from our cats, I think the pets I had the most affection for where the chinchillas. (If you search on my blog, you will see posts–unfortunately, mainly good-bye posts–not ones you would want to see right now perhaps…)

They do live approximately 10-15 years, prefer to chew on EVERYTHING. But are cute as the dickens.

If you want to know more or commiserate on the loss of a small mammal…email me.


14 Mali { 04.06.13 at 1:33 am }

I’m a cat person – don’t understand all these guinea pig/hamster people!

Now for Second Helpings. I actually remembered to note a couple of the good posts I’ve read this week. Wonders will never cease!

Loribeth is so great at picking things up and commenting on them. Here in her Easter round-up she found reference to the bubbles of parenting – and what it feels like to be outside those. http://theroadlesstravelledlb.blogspot.co.nz/2013/03/easter-blues-bubbles.html

And today she added a note about the difference between giving up and letting go. http://theroadlesstravelledlb.blogspot.co.nz/2013/04/giving-up-vs-letting-go.html

And in The Kooky Chronicles, Isabel wrote an Open Letter to Infertility that looks at both the negatives and positives of our relationship with IF. http://thekookychronicles.blogspot.co.nz/2013/04/open-letter-to-infertility.html

15 JustHeather { 04.06.13 at 12:00 pm }

I’ve only known one person with a chincilla, but only ever saw it once and don’t know much about it. I do like the idea of one.

I will listen to the band tons before the concert, most likely on the way there and even on the way home. Especially if it is/was Red Hot Chili Peppers. I listen to them anyway. 🙂 Hubby is sick of them still. haha

16 Mina { 04.06.13 at 1:49 pm }

Second helpings:
– Ana Begins has a lovely post about Luxury of Time – http://ana-begins.blogspot.de/2013/04/luxury-of-time.html
– I second Mali’s choice of Loribeth’s Giving up vs Letting Go – http://theroadlesstravelledlb.blogspot.co.nz/2013/04/giving-up-vs-letting-go.html
– a very valuable parenting lesson from Glum Bunny: Tiny pants:they’re like lunch – http://glumbunny.wordpress.com/2013/04/03/tiny-pants-theyre-like-lunch/ All it is missing is a pie chart, and you have whole Bunny in a single post. 🙂 I’m kidding, of course. Although pie charts are very much Bunny. At least to me. Now. Off I go. 🙂

17 Battynurse { 04.06.13 at 7:07 pm }

For a long time I wanted a chinchilla. I think they are so cute! However I’m not particularly fond of cleaning cages etc and the three pets I have is plenty.

18 Baby Smiling In Back Seat { 04.07.13 at 3:04 am }

Haha, I came to nominate the same post from Ana Begins that Mina just nominated. It’s that great.

I absolutely cram for concerts beforehand, esp. if the band has a new album that I don’t know well yet — often not just the ride there, but the whole day or sometimes several days before the concert. I don’t necessarily listen on the way home, though, depending on my date.

19 marwil { 04.08.13 at 7:32 am }

I stumbled on this raw and honest post from a young woman dealing with infertility,

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