#Wowzah: I texted "Go Fuck Yourself" to someone & for the first time in my life, I meant it
Will get back to the story I promised I would finish earlier, but something happened Monday that shocked me, and got me thinking about things in life that are truly worth "fighting" for.
Cardinal life rule:
DON'T FUCK WITH FAMILY.
She's right in the fact that I am not being "mature" in my approach, but where I come from, you protect the pack - and she fucked with mama bear.
I got Buster Brown (el dog-arino) almost two years ago. He was tied to a tree for the first two years of his life, and came to me through my spin class. His foster mom happened to be in class one day, and knew I was interested in adopting a big dog (as I was single on an island, and the transients were known for not making things safe).
I had lost my last dog Rocky Balboa (two name dogs are a theme apparently, much like their owner; no one has ever just called me "Jen" always, always, "Jen Friel" - one word) back in 2012 and questioned if I could ever get a dog again. He died suddenly of a stroke, and while I didn't want to "replace" Rocky (as nothing ever could), I longed for the love and companionship of a four legged friend. My objective was protection currently, and (if I have kids) a family dog later.
The foster in my spin class begged over and over to at least see the dog, and finally one day after class, I found out where the dog was crated so instead of going through the rescue, I went directly to the shelter to meet the dog first. (Frankly, I didn't want to waste my time.)
35 lbs of a bag of bones came in, as I got down on the ground choosing not to make eye contact to seem like a threat. The dog then knocked me over and started grunting and humping as the owner of the shelter began to cry. He's never done this before.
I'm literally under the dog at this point, thinking, well, I wanted a sign and I got one.
What's his name? I asked.
Buster Brown, he said as the dog continuously kissed me claiming his prize.
Well, I said, looks like I have an emaciated dog that slightly resembles a boxer by the name of Buster Brown.
You look like a Buster Brown, I thought.
That day, I went to the rescue to fill out the paperwork, and less than 24 hours later (after references were checked, and my landlord gave the thumbs up) - I took Buster Brown to his new home.
Buster and I hit it off like gangbusters (no pun intended), and the rescue put me in touch with the woman who actually rescued him (from said tree).
She had really wanted to adopt Buster, but her husband said no, so they had to send him to the shelter. Apparently (I found out later) he was coming to get Buster the night I adopted him.
Wanting to be kind, I would send daily photos of Buster to the rescue mom (and foster). I'm a MASSIVE animal lover, so I figured it was the polite thing to do. I even let them see him often, and hosted "dinners/ get togethers" so they could all see his growth, and how strong he was becoming.
Working with Buster in the beginning wasn't easy. He chased EVERYTHING; I had to train him daily, and there was no job that I took more pride in. Dogs are a HUGE commitment/ responsibility that I take EXTREMELY seriously.
Buster got acclimated to island life, even frequenting bars and becoming a bit of a local celebrity. (Everything is outside, so I would bring him with me on social excursions to get more comfortable being around people.)
A few more months went by, and I slowly got myself into a relationship. (We were friends for almost a year before we started dating.) With island rent being higher than Los Angeles, it didn't take long before I started to crunch numbers and figure out logistically it made sense to combine dwellings. Looking back, I shouldn't have, and at 31 I definitely don't plan on living with a guy ever again (unless I do end up married) - so I downsized from my 1500 sq foot 2 bedroom 2 bath (that Buster and I lived in sans roommates) and into my beau's bachelor pad. He knew how much I disliked the place, (no boundaries, not even a private bathroom) but considering the alternative of spending so much money on a place I didn't actually live, it shockingly started to make sense.
On October 13, 2014 (I don't actually remember the date, I have the timestamps on the text messages), I had invited both the foster and rescue mom over to play with Buster as I wanted to host a "happy hour." I went to the store and spent all afternoon cooking (yes, I do cook, when I feel like it), and at 5 they arrived.
My ex lived on a commercial property so we were able to find a picnic table by the water, as I poured glasses of wine and greeted the guests.
They were SUPER pumped to see Buster, and even each took him for walks around the property.
My (then) boyfriend came over at one point and mentioned how much he loved Buster.
Does he sleep in bed with you guys, asked the rescue mom?
No, I said. I never wanted him in the bed in the first place, but being single (at the time) with a king size bed felt super lonely.
I hear you, she said. She then referenced a "chair" that I own that Buster had staked his claim to.
Is it in his place? she asked.
No, I said. We kept all his furniture, but he has his bed and he's super happy, I said not even thinking about it because I had this ridiculously happy (now double his weight up to 70 lbs) puppy now resting at my feet.
We bid our farewells shortly after, and the next morning I woke up to a thank you text:
I remember reading that text and being a bit surprised. What is she talking about? My (again then) boyfriend LOVES Buster, and so does his whole family, they even let me bring him on trips.
Confused, I shook it off and thought nothing of it reading the rest of her messages:
I meant every word of what I said. Love me, you love my dog. I have made a commitment to Buster to take care of him for the rest of his life, and my word is my honor. Guys come, guys go, but Buster is my dude. Don't even have to question that.
The next morning, I got a call from the rescue asking if everything was OK with Buster?
Since they had never "checked in" before, I wondered why the sudden concern?
I played it off like everything was fine (because truly he was fine), and as I hung up the phone I turned to my bf and said, she wants Buster back. It then clicked, when I saw the rescue mom walking Buster the other day, she praised the training he had received and all the hard work I had put in. She has 4 or 5 other boxers, but was worried that Buster might have psychological damage from being tied to the tree. Now, mentally connecting the dots, I realized that's why her husband might not have "allowed" her to get another dog.
Something in the pit of my stomach wasn't right, and this next text message confirmed it:
I frantically called her all morning, and finally (at lunch time) she called me back.
I excused myself from the table (was having lunch with my bf), and walked outside to take the call. She informed me that I was an "unfit dog mother" and Buster's well being was not being taken seriously.
I am going to have to file a report on what I saw, she said as I began hysterically crying.
Are you FUCKING KIDDING ME, I shouted! Lady, you are barking up THE WRONG TREE! (hilarious how many puns there are when describing how one gets "unleashed" with anger ... hehe.)
I fought and shouted back to her saying I do not EVER stand to be threatened, and she is not going to even BREATHE near my dog ever again.
This bitch had fucked with the wrong uh, bitch.
I hung up the phone (which would have been so much more gratifying if I was on a landline and could actually SLAM it down) and RANNNNNNN from the restaurant back to the apartment HYSTERICALLY crying.
Still to this day, I have never been REMOTELY as upset as I was that day.
She had threatened to take away my dog, my dude, my baby!! WTF?! Who does this?!?!
Logic wasn't entering my brain, as I forgot that I didn't even have keys (since I left them on the table), so I sat outside the door in almost a fetal position sobbing.
My bf found me, as he attempted to console.
What happened?! he asked shocked at how upset I was.
She wants Buster, she wants to take my dog!!!!! She never wanted to give him to the rescue in the first place, and now that she sees he's not only so well behaved but so AWESOME - she is going to try and take him back.
Thankfully, he was logical in this moment, and he said Jen, no one is going to take Buster from you. Don't let this woman get to you. Let me see what I can do.
He opened the door as I ran into the bedroom with Buster sobbing.
Within a matter of minutes, he had contacted not only animal control (to see if there had been a report filed), but also three of the board of directors for the rescue explaining the situation, and trying to find out if there were any actions against me. (Perk of being on an island - you know everyone.)
He came back into the room, as I was still sobbing.
Jen, he said, you're fine! Animals are considered property (which I knew), they can't just take him from you. They have to follow a chain of action, and I've already informed them that this woman is in the wrong. She did this to upset you to see if she could get him back. It's never going to happen.
I then (through some research) found out that not only does she not have a direct affiliation to the rescue (more of a passionate helper), but also the number one search result on her name was a lawsuit that had been dragged through the courts for years.
She's litigious, I said to my bf. I should never have been so kind to them. It's one of two people (or both) starting all this shit.
Jen, he said, you are kind - that's who you are and I hope you don't ever change. People are people, and she's jealous of how great of a job you did in training Buster, and now she wants him back. Period end of sentence. You have nothing to worry about, he reminded me (yet again). You did nothing wrong, and they can't come and just "take" Buster.
It took me about a full week to truly calm down, and not look over my shoulder wondering if they would just "dog-nap" him.
I was even afraid to continue his daycare (which I sent him to for socialization), since she knew the owners. How could I GUARANTEE that she wouldn't say or do something to get him and leave town.
My parents even offered to look after him for a bit and put him in a "puppy protection program."
I thanked them (since they spoil him rotten as well), but knew this was something I could take care of.
Months went by, followed by a full year, before I put it out of my mind completely.
I never forgot how upset I was that day (how COULD anyone), but decided to let it all go, and move on.
Until, this past Monday, when I (again) woke up to a text (does she not take into consideration people sleeping?!!)
I was so shocked to read her text; shocked that she wanted back in our lives, and shocked that she had the AUDACITY to reach out in the first place.
My hands were shaking with anger as I replied back:
I looked under the "details" of our messaging, and in total look how many photos I had sent her of Buster:
A few more hours went by before I got another response (which also surprised me, am not sure I would have responded to such a stern message):
I was SHOCKED at myself for writing that (knowing the intent and depth of the meaning behind it).
It's not personal with this woman, it's primal.
I couldn't give a toss however she chooses to live her life, and genuinely do wish everyone well; but one thing in life you don't do is fuck with someone's family. Buster is not just my "dog," he's my fashion expert, best friend, co-worker, snuggle bunny, therapist, and protector. I PULLED A CAT OUT OF HIS MOUTH!! I have done things in life with him and for him that I NEVER knew I could do.
I mean look at this face ...
I talked to my friends about it later that day, and said how shocked I was at my own behavior.
Have you ever said to someone "go fuck yourself" and actually mean it? I asked my buddy.
No, he said. As a kid maybe, or as a joke to a friend - but never with meaning behind it.
Me either, I said while getting into my car.
I drove down the street heading back home thinking about what is worth "fighting" for in life?
I thought back to my upbringing, and everything came back to one thing, and one thing only - family. (Which doesn't extend solely to those you are blood related to.)
Family is the only thing I would fight for, hands down. In that moment, I was grateful to my parents for how they raised us.
My parents had disharmonious lives with their siblings, but both made a conscious decision when it came to my brother and me that they wouldn't allow that tradition to continue.
My brother was around 4, I was somewhere over 18 months old (but talking like a 4 year old, apparently it was creepy) and my parents sat us down saying "THIS IS IT!" No more siblings, so you guys figure this out and take care of each other.
We continued to fight like cats and dogs (as all siblings do), but somewhere in the back of our minds either on that day, or sometime it was repeated after us - we truly did start to have each other's backs.
Before starting kindergarten, my father pulled my brother aside and said, I don't care if you get a detention or suspension for defending your sister - but if I found out, you were there, and knew what was going on & did nothing to stop it? You'll have me to deal with and I am WAYY worse.
My brother filed that away, and kindergarten turned into first, and I could FINALLY take the big kid bus with my big bro.
One day, we were waiting in the bus line for our ride back home, and this girl started picking on my brother.
Now this wasn't just "a girl" this was "THE" girl, Becky S. She was a BEAST standing at over 4 feet tall in the third grade. I would be shocked if I had hit 3 feet at that age since I was picked on for being a peanut and perpetually the smallest (or second smallest) kid in the class.
Here I am in first grade with ducks, and third grade in the following photographo:
Anywho, the teasing continued as one of the neighborhood boys also got involved taking his books and taunting him.
STOP IT!! I shouted trying to get involved, and find a way to my brother (a crowd was now gathering).
HA HA, Becky teased as I could see my brother get visibly rattled. (Dude, she scared anyone.)
I tried and tried to get through the crowd and get to my brother, but my efforts failed.
I then RANNNNNNN around the circle and looked over at the big concrete blocks they had placed to set a boundary for the kids, and road. I looked over at how close they were to the crowd and "went for it."
I climbed up onto the concrete block and all 3" something of me pulled my best WWF (which we watched religiously) off the top of the ring Royal Rumble style move into Becky.
I had to have been on straight adrenaline since I vividly remember feeling no pain, as she fell to the ground stunned.
NOBODY MESSES WITH MY BROTHER, I said shouting but VERY serious!!
The crowd then broke up, as I walked over to my brother. He thanked me, but also said, Jen, the playground is different. I can defend you, but a big brother getting defended by his little sister?
I never got in trouble with the teachers for my actions, and my parents were proud (yet shocked) of how I handled the situation. My poor brother did get picked on for having to have his "little sister rescue him," but at the end of the day this story still makes me smile.
You don't mess with family, man, and I am SO proud of how we were raised that that is STILL TO THIS DAY the only thing that will ever elicit that type of response.
Lesson learned: Don't say something mean, mean what you say.
I meant EVERY WORD that I texted. I didn't take any "cheap" shots, or assault her character. Again, it wasn't about her, it's about the herd. Family takes care of family, and whether that is blood, or designated it is (in my opinion) the only thing worth fighting for in this world. (The rest is all bullshit ego and men pounding their chests as a display of "masculinity.")
If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything.
Or, in this case, you know where you stand, but need a booster seat because you're too short to see the table.