Is that dogshit I smell?

Running in circles

The status of my present lifestyle is recently divorced, renting an apartment that I share with my Scottish Terrier, dealing with worsening autoimmune disease and unemployment all within the last six months. My mental status is teetering, confused, discombobulated, anxiety ridden and disorganized. My physical status is fatigued, worsened by the brunt of too much stress and not enough sleep. My chief coping mechanisms involve too many cigarettes, too much coffee, trying to stay on my medication schedule and reaching out to friends to buoy my flagging spirits.

One coping mechanism I employ daily now is my mantra "things can always be worse". I have a daily reminder of that fact. A soul sister of mine, who I met when I moved into my apartment in June of this year, has lupus. Without compromising her privacy, she is beset by unpredictable, debilitating illness, with symptoms waxing and waning hourly, prohibiting her ability to work or looking forward to any plans involving fun. She is recovering from major surgery, back at her apartment now, which she shares with her adorable rescue dog, Charlie, and her cat. Since I am unemployed, I am attempting to help her in her dog-walking duties, with the operative word being "duty". Charlie is a much more cooperative walking partner than my stubborn, ill trained Scottish Terrier, MacGregor. Whereas Charlie looks for his directional cues from me, my wild man, Mac, makes recent photos of President Obama's forays in walking their Portuguese water dog rescue, Bo, look like a walk in the park. Due to all past encounters between Mac and Charlie involving aggression on both fronts, I must walk them separately. Happy to provide my friend with the needed respite from the stressers of being unable to meet Charlie's outdoor activities, I walk Mac early in the morning, get him settled back in my apartment and then repeat the process with Charlie. Embarrassed to admit, I look considerably more unkempt than my two canine charges. After a visit from my daughter yesterday that ended at 2:30 a.m., I fell asleep in my clothes sans shower and shampooing. Sleep caught up to me and I awoke to jump out of bed, take my meds and run out the door with my dog, anxious to progress to walking my neighbor's pet. It was close to midday before I managed some personal grooming. Although, I have a roof over my head I am beginning to look otherwise. Personal time is at a premium.

Just getting out the door

That's about right

What's that smell?

Finished with my morning doggie duties, I head for the nearby Walgreen's to pick up a few small items and a prescription refill. I park the car and check the rear view mirror for any obvious disarray. Realizing I can't achieve the major overhaul desperately needed, I reach to retrieve my purse from the passenger side of my Miata. I know I will inspire no "va va va vooms" this morning. As I reach for my purse, heavy with everything but cash, I catch a whiff of something unpleasant....like dog "duty". I check out beneath my nose to my right shoulder and spot the culprit. Somehow, at the top right shoulder of my jacket was a dime-sized, dollop of dog dung. Uncharacteristically, I remained unfazed, found a napkin on the seat of my car, wiped it off while talking to myself like some of the homeless I saw daily at my last place of employment on Locust Street, downtown St. Louis. The only difference being they often were shouting obscenities, oblivious to their surroundings. I thought of my mantra, "it could be worse" as I laughed at what my circumstances have handed me...literally, another heaping helping of crap. Oh well, it could be worse, I could be shouting. Memorable from the movie, Forrest Gump, was the line, "my mama always said, life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get". My mama used to say, "wish in one hand, shit in the other".

Forrest Gump, A Story of Perserverance

You just never know

Change is the one thing inevitable in life. Every moment holds hope. I just got a call from the employment agency working to help me secure a job. The offer sounds promising, exciting, as I await the details on an interview. If not this, something will change tomorrow that is yet unknown. Until we pass from this existence to the next, every person lives their life with unknowns, surprises, setbacks and, hopefully, the will to survive for whatever is next in store for them. Life is exciting, scary, fun and difficult, and it's all we got. And so it goes...

Play with gusto

48 comments

vietnamvet68 profile image

vietnamvet68 6 years ago from New York State

At least you haven't lost your since of humor and have managed to keep your sanity. If I found that dog crap on my coat I think I would have lost it. I use to tell myself the same thing when things were tough. That it could be worse.I wonder sometime where this country is headed.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Since crap is more and more a part of daily life, it struck me as hilarious, really. How ironically, friggin perfect. Really, there is no other way to look at something that is what it is. Letting it make you angry, bitter or crazy just kills you faster....which, on some days sounds o.k. Thanks for giving me some of your time, Vietnamvet68.


BobbiRant profile image

BobbiRant 6 years ago from New York

This is so funny. Dog doodoo is not something I would have taken so lightly. I agree with vet68, your sense of humor is still intact and that's good. You Have to have a daily mantra, I so agree. thanks for the smile, I loved it.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Dear BobbiRant, thank you for your time and comments. I'm back from my first round of dog duties this morning. Checked myself over thoroughly before doing anything else!!! My canine charges would definitely not make the grade for wearing thong undies, since their habits make the hygiene you strongly advise in your hilarious hub about men's fashion, impossible!


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 6 years ago from Toronto, Canada

I remember one morning my dog was bothering me while I was trying to sleep-in. I hushed her away, turned around fixing my pillow and fell back asleep. When I awoke later and I went to hop of my bed, I felt my right foot hitting something squishy and creamy ... I guess my dog had a bad stomach and she didn;t appreciate me not taking her out when she asked and thus, she left me a present by the side of the bed. I hopped on one foot to the bathroom and I had nobody to blame but myself.

I enjoyed your blog and welcome to Hubpages by the way!


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Poor pup! Hilarious recounting of that story though. I can imagine the hopping on one foot. Thank you for your comment and also your hardy welcome!


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas

This was fun to read and it held a twist at the end as I was pretty sure when I started that you had stepped in it. You kept my interest right to the end and then twisted the plot...who would ever guessed that the shit was on the shoulder. BTW my mom had the same express...it's a pretty good way to teach math! WB


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Thanks, WB, for stopping by. Your comment was hilarious in it's own right. I didn't figure anyone else's mom would calculate the world in the same way! And all these years I thought she was the only "mom" who said that.


epigramman profile image

epigramman 6 years ago

....you write like 'all four winds blowing at the same time' which is a pretty hard thing to do - but you do it with seemingly effortless gusto - and gusto is what you have plenty of ........


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Wow, that is the best comment I have ever or will ever have! You can't beat a compliment from someone you admire. Thank you for giving me your time and input. That means everything.


BenjaminB 6 years ago

No matter how bad life get's there is always someone who has it worse Amy. That is what keeps me from going off the deep end. Hang in there and things are sure to get better. After all you have the ability to write a great entertaining hub so you got that going for you :)


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Thank you, BenjaminB. You said it right on. My neighbor and friend is recovering from major surgery. I feel so lucky to be physically able to do her laundry, go to the store, take out her trash, and walk her rescue pup. This morning after walking my MacGregor, I took her dog, Charlie for the first of his daily constitutionals, enjoying the beautiful St. Louis Fall weather and felt incredibly lucky. I quietly went back into her apartment and felt so positive that I cleaned up her kitchen as a surprise. Thank you very much for stopping in and commenting. You made my day!


Bootneck profile image

Bootneck 6 years ago from Cyprus and China

Amy, you have humbled me with your positive attitude in the face of so much adversity.

On top of that your effortless writing has left me envious, and looking forward to reading more. Keep it up please.

Alan


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Truthfully, I feel my life has been charmed. I see so many souls that jump hurdles I cannot fathom. I received a check in the mail yesterday out of the blue that I had forgotten was even in the works. It sent me dancing with my dog, literally. If it gets much better, I'll lose my angst. My best paintings and writings seem to come from within turmoil. Thank you for your time and comments, Alan. I look forward to reading more of your adventures.


Gypsy Willow profile image

Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

You are an angel in disguise!


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

How sweet and funny you are. Thank you, mysterious, Gypsy Willow.


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 6 years ago from Minnesota

This hub was a mix of so many emotions. Sadness, pain, hilarious, etc... I found myself laughing one moment and sad the next. I really enjoy your writing and your unique style. I appreciate your great sense of humor. My dad also use to say that when you are having a bad day or sick that someone else has it worse. Thx for a great uplift:)


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Thank you so much, Minnetonka Twin. As I read your poem to your father, and now your comments to me, I realize how quickly hubpage friends feel like family. This has been an addictive, freeing experience. I just realized I am more honest here than anywhere in my life. I'm glad to have met you and look forward to getting to know you through your beautiful writing.


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 6 years ago from Minnesota

Thanks so much Amy-I feel the same about hubpages. I can't believe what a wonderful community we have here. It's on-line's best secret. I too feel so free here and it has been so healing for me. I also feel blessed to know you here. Peace and know were all in this crazy life together:)We all struggle with something.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

You impress me as a very kind, empathetic person. I love your open, expressive, honest style of writing. It conveys your depth of character. Double lucky for the world you have a twin. Peace to you also.


Neil Sperling profile image

Neil Sperling 6 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada

LOL - I love your way of showing us through all troubles you never lay down and quit. I admire you for that.

I have had many bumps too.... and now I mentor a few people 20 years younger than me.... I tell them often "the law of gravity always works".... then I take my keys out of my pocket and drop them to the floor. next I say "there is another universal law that always works too.... it is the universal law of shit." They laugh but look at me as if to say what do you mean by that? ..LOL -- Next I say "hey - shit keeps happening"

Life is 10% what we make it and 90% how we take it. It is obvious to me you have a strong mind and no matter what.... you take the bumps like the true winner and Gem that you are.

Good write..... the dog shit on the shoulder became humor. How wonderful you are!

Love - Light - Laughter

Neil


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Dear Neil, I have been in computer hell, but now all is well. Thank you for your uplifting comments. I have been having a rough go of it lately. More so than described in my "dogshit" hub. However, I'm sure I will step back and have a hearty laugh soon...We all have troubles, when it rains, it pours, but the sun will shine again, whether I'm laughing or crying, so I'd rather be caught laughing. Since I can't control the weather, I will succeed at controlling my reactions to whichever way the wind blows. Hugs to you!


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 5 years ago

You know Amy - this hub could have been worse! I loved it and your mantra. The videos you chose are "choice"! The dog in the first made the man so happy! The speed of sound was broken and then some playing in the snow. Great art! Great work!


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

You know what, "MD", I'm going to think of you that way, because your commentary just made me feel better than most of the doctor's I've seen. Yep, your are Dr. Feel Good! Thank you for the visit.


epigramman profile image

epigramman 5 years ago

...well I always return to the classics - and no one else could come up with a title like that - lol lol - when I first started reading you Amy - you were writing short stories based on your life - like this one - and I said to myself 'Holy Shoot - I've never read anything like this before - who writes like this anyway - and the rest they say is history - I've got bitten by the Amybug and have been addicted ever since ......


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

How cool of you, epi. This one is so ancient I'd forgotten about it. I may re-read to see what I was up to ions ago!!! That's one very sweet thing to do, Colin, and I thank you.


Judowolf 5 years ago

Amy, My wife had MS for the past twenty years and the ONLY way we survived this pain the ass disease is by laughing and living one day at a time. We now plan our lives a week a head and in some cases daily. It makes life easier and we do not worry about all the bullshit which cluttered our lives previously. Keep up the humor and your life will be grand.

Voted up and awesome

Wayne aka Judowolf


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Dear Wayne, thank you so much for sharing your story. I fought that mindset of taking it one day at a time, until even my obstinate nature had to concede. There is no other option, really. So, stressing over the unknown is futile and the only known is the moment we are in. I appreciate your endearing, brilliant comment and the time you gave me in leaving it.


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Amy - I could not pass up the title of this hub! LOL - so glad I didn't! You remind me so much of me:) my step dad - who I lovingly refer to as The Major (because he was a major pain in my ass) used to ALWAYS say that to me "wish in one hand - shit in the other and see which one gets full the fastest;) he said a lot of stuff like that. My sisters and I frequently shout out one of his sayings and break into laughter. Like - "you have to learn to fly straight before you can loup a loup;)!


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

That's hilarious, Real! It must be a St. Louis thing! I always love seeing you here, 'cause I know I'm going to get a great laugh. You are one smart cookie! Thanks for visiting, sis!


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Aww I knew you would give ME the smile - its why I came by. I don't want to toot my own horn but I was right! Lol

Have an excellent day. Btw - how is the job search - do you mind my asking what you are doing now? I keep hearing about your art (oh and btw - Wayne Brown was excited to tell me there was another hub person from St. Lou he highly reccomended - it was you:) I said I'm already onto her thanks! Lol) is there a hub you can direct me to so I could see it? Thanks!


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

"Tell Me Your Secrets" and "Don't Like Goodbye" both have my paintings. Thanks for asking, sis.

What job search? Seriously, Real, I never want to set foot in another office job ever. I write at AMS for a little cash and am still on unemployment. I'm hoping to sustain myself until retirement and when my ex retires soon, my portion of the 401K will get me through, I hope. Hey, thank you for telling me about Wayne. He's a major talent and I love hearing that he recommended me. Have a great weekend, Sis! Our weather is just too great to last so we better enjoy it while it does. North Dakota flooding is heartbreaking.


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

You have a great weekend too girlfriend. Well the plan sounds good and I hope it goes well for you, I never ever want to work in another office either.too much dam drama!

Your welcome - glad to let you know you're loved today:) gotta check out that art of yours:)


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Love to you, too, sweet sister.


RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 5 years ago from Tucson, Az

well Amy I knew you were a long lost soul to me when I read one of your comments on BobbiRants...and in the south all the sayings remain the same :) sometimes its piss other times its shit...maybe it depends on if the person is prone to contipation???????? lol I crack myself up!!


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Thank you for the hearty laugh, RNMSN! I needed that!


Jlava73 profile image

Jlava73 5 years ago from Cyberspace and My Own World

You made me laugh out loud. Thanks for sharing!


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Dear Jlava73, I'm so glad I made you laugh. Thanks for taking the time to read and letting me know you found it funny! Much appreciated.


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Still laughing about this one Amy - I hope you don't mind I am linking it to one I am working on:) love it!


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

You are so adorable, RealHousewife! Mind? Are you kidding? I'm honored. Thanks for your comment and I'm happy I made you laugh! Love you, friend.


A.A. Zavala profile image

A.A. Zavala 5 years ago from Texas

Amy, I can so se you doing this. Your toughened through the hardships of life, and didn't let an embarrassing moment faze you. I thought SHIT like this only happened to me.

Let me tell you how I f**k up. I had a job interview, and dressed up and had my spiel ready. I killed during the interview. We got up to shake hands, when I did something completely shocking and funny happened. But not funny at the time. As he put his hand out to shake mine, I put my hand in his to shake it. But I forgot to open my hand. I accidently gave him a doggie handshake! I stood there staring at him as he shook my paw! He had a funny look in his eyes, then thanked me for visiting. I never did get a callback...


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Dear Augustine, I have to say, that is the most hilarious thing I've ever read!!!! I'd have hired you on the spot. The fact that the interview was "killer", that ending would have sealed the deal for me. It is so HUMAN, as no matter how cool you were during, you were stressed and offering your "paw" showed you were in fact, "all shook up", in essense, you cared about the interview. Hey, it could have been worse, you could have been suffering the dilemma of the "Gas X" interview guy! Did you laugh when you realized you'd extended your paw??? Did the interviewer? Mac just woke up and got me up and despite the fact it's 3:44 a.m., I read this and laughed my ass off. Its adorably human. Hey, shit happens! Thanks for telling me.


A.A. Zavala profile image

A.A. Zavala 5 years ago from Texas

No, Amy, he did not laugh. I remember when it happened I had a shocked look on my face as I looked at our handshake. I remember thinking, wait, I wasn't thinking. After the handshake, he kinda of looked at me and said "Best wishes to you." He must not have been a dog lover.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

What an ass. You should have scared the shit out of him by sending him, instead of a thank you that agencies suggest, that you were disappointed to not have heard from him as you felt the interview went so well, until he reacted to your "disability". For all he knew, since he didn't find the humor in it, you could have had the dreaded "hoof and paw" disease at one time that left you with "woofer hand"syndrome. The agency that was sending me on ridiculously demoralizing interviews right after my layoff has stopped calling. I got a call from the woman that represented me, who didn't even say "hello" before launching into "what ever happened to the confident woman I used to know". I replied without hesitation, "she got run over by a bus". I'd rather dumpster dive than subject myself to the abject humiliation of an employer with half the brain matter I have.


lisadpreston profile image

lisadpreston 4 years ago from Columbus, Ohio

A cute story and a little dog shit never hurt Anybody!!! My being a dog lover who finds myself spattered with dog shit quite often, both physically and metaphorically, would have probably not even noticed it on you.

I am truly sorry to read of all that has happened to you. Hopefully things have improved since this hub was written. It is true that things could always be worse. But I wouldn't use that phrase as a Mantra! The universe is hearing "Always be worse" and that is what you will get. You appear to be a wonderful human being and my thoughts for you are to "Always be better". (smile) Thank you for sharing your life and hardships through humor. It gives us all hope and strength. And after all, laughter is the best medicine.

What I admire about you is that through all of the negativity, pain, hardships and illness, you didn't become bitter or filled with despair. Many do. Don't think for a minute that your strength goes unnoticed. It encourages and gives inspiration. Even to strangers.

I'm sending you a big warm hug and I don't care if you have dog shit on your shoulder!

Lisa


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Dear Lisa, Thank you for your fantastic comments. I can tell you are that rare person that really takes the time to listen and understand. I appreciate your visit and your words. Although I am still unemployed, I'm still alive and, therefore, still trying to improve my situation. My inclination is to remain hopeful, and I tend to rationalize in knowing that "it could be worse". And yes, it could be better! I know, for sure, I'm not alone.


epigramman profile image

epigramman 4 years ago

...well no one walks the walk and talks the talk better than you Amy - you remind me of a female Andy Rooney at times - (but of course way hotter -lol) , a little bit of Erma Bombeck, a touch of Charles Bukowski, a hint of Hunter S. Thompson and the personal author of one of the great love stories of all time - the Amy and Mac chronicles - and I know that Mac is beside you right now in doggie spirit looking up at you with these beautiful soulful deep eyes and asking you to take him out for a walk - and you know Amy those walks will continue until the end of time because great love affairs just never end .... with love and respect and admiration to from your three Canadian friends Colin, Tiffy and Gabriel - at lake erie time 1:10am and Colin has been a sleepy baby tonight - his 'movie' turned out to be 'sweet dreams' ...... just up for a water break and feeding time and 'that is my great love story' ....


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Wow, Colin, you named some impressive writers; Bukowski, Hunter S. Thompson (one of Megan's favorites), Erma Bombeck and that adorably cranky, Andy Rooney. I am honored. And, yes, I feel Mac with me all the time. I miss seeing him, taking him out for walks, and interacting with him. There will never be another sweet, little MacGregor just like him.

I am so happy that you treasure every moment spent with your two lovebugs. Indeed, a great love story, Mister C.

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