Tuesday, August 26, 2014

This is what happens when I go to Taco Bell…

**** OK - I started this post over the weekend, but every time I tried to add pictures, my computer would crash. Grrrr!!! I managed to get one picture in there but that's it. So, please to enjoy this post, sans pics. Sorry. I'll try again later. ****

My blog posts will be just a little out of sync while I play catch up; I want to tell you about Amy first, and she is what happened last while I wasn’t blogging.

As I mentioned earlier, we had decided to wait a few months after Snoopy’s passing in May to get another dog. During the last weekend of June, while running my weekend errands, I was on my way to the Taco Bell in Centralia. About 10 minutes out my cell phone rang. It was Sis and she asked if I would be interested in taking a trip out to Long Beach, WA. Seriously? She had found a small red doxie online and I could tell she pretty much had her heart set on getting it. It was a three-hour trip and it was already 12:30pm. After some back and forth debate, I finally agreed to go. I got my tacos and burrito, ate them in the shade while watching all the cars around me filled with dogs (apparently there was a dog show somewhere nearby), and then went inside to call the shelter where the dog was and get directions. That is when I found out that they were only open until 4pm. By now it was 1pm. They assured me that they would wait for me. At this point I wasn’t really sure what the situation was; were we taking her for a trial run? Another couple had done that and only kept her for one night before returning her to the shelter. Sis called me again and I assured her I was on my way. I was skeptical and a little irritated about doing this. We had all agreed that we wouldn’t get another dog this soon, and I had made plans for my day that were now thrown under the bus to make this trip.

As I pulled out of the Taco Bell parking lot and headed towards the freeway entrance, I passed a young couple walking a young red doxie. He was so cute! I was struck by this and kind of took it as a sign that perhaps this would be meant to be. I took a deep breath, adjusted my attitude, and got on the freeway and headed south. I drove to Longview then took the Lewis & Clark Bridge across the Columbia to the Oregon side. I headed west to Astoria where I crossed the bridge back across the Columbia to the Washington side again.

The Lewis and Clark Bridge, Longview, WA
Photo credit: Gary Halvorson, Oregon State Archives

It was now 4pm and I had no idea how close I was to Long Beach at this point. Sis called me in a panic to find out where I was, and she told me that there were four other people waiting in their lobby to adopt her! I told Sis that no way did I drive all this way for someone else to get her; she agreed and told me that she had already paid the adoption fee over the phone. This did not surprise me in the least. That’s Sis for you!

I finally arrived at about 4:15pm. I was very impressed by the cat room the shelter had right off the front lobby: big windows for lots of sunshine, tons of cat trees for climbing and scratching and napping in, and lots of comfy beds to choose from. In contrast, the area where they had the dogs crushed me: cold cement floors with chain link walls, no windows, just a small bed with a thin blanket (fortunately it was up off the floor by about four inches), and a water bowl. It broke my heart, but at least everything was clean. In this chain link and cement cell was a tiny red dachshund. When the shelter worker opened the gate, this little girl ran right to me and jumped up on my leg, begging to be picked up. I picked her up, tucked her under my arm, and said, “Let’s go.” She looked up at me and gave me a little lick on my chin, and I was sold. We went into the lobby, I filled out and signed the paperwork, and we left. I have the bottom half of a large dog kennel in my truck that we use as a travel bed and I put it in the front passenger seat for her. It took her a good 20 minutes of travel to learn that she needed to stay in the bed and that I would not hold her while I drive. She finally nestled down into the soft, fluffy blankets we keep in there, and napped most of the way home. One thing that was interesting: she is terrified of bridges that have a steel covering. The flickering of the shadows going overhead freaked her out completely. Unfortunately, there were three of those on our way home. But we made it home without incident. Gigi, Sammy, and especially Mrs. Weenie almost immediately accepted her into the pack. There was about 20 minutes of intense sniffing and circling, and then she was one of them. She slept with me for the first week and a half; after that she wanted to sleep out in the living room with Les and the other dogs. It was really hard for me to hide my disappointment in this; she seemed to have bonded really well with me, never leaving my side and sticking very close to me when I returned from work. But since I have to leave the house five days a week for 12-14 hours at a time, and with Les being home 24/7, she bonded with him instead. I was really hoping that I would finally have a snuggle buddy of my own, but it’s just not going to work out if I’m gone all the time like that. They will always bond with Les since he is home and mostly sits on the comfy couch that was just made for snuggling. Even Sammy has become very attached to Les.

The name she came with is Amy, but this very obviously not her real name. We believe this is her shelter name because we have had her for almost two months and she is just now finally starting to respond to it. We don’t know anything about her past, but she does appear to have been abused both verbally and physically. She will cower from loud voices, your hand, and once I tried to shoo her out of the wash room using just the toe of my shoe and she went completely flat on the floor exhibiting every single sign of submission you can think short of actually peeing on the floor. I felt terrible!!! But when she feels joy, there is no mistaking it. The second day at our house she got the zoomies. She must have run through the living room into the dining room and around the kitchen back into the living room about a hundred times in 10 seconds! She was like a low flying jet! She was just in heaven with all the eleventy-million chew toys we have and took it as her personal mission to destroy each and every one of them. Fortunately, she hasn’t quite destroyed any of them yet, but give her time. She was only about seven pounds when we got her and she could squeeze through the baby gate we have in the hallway to keep the dogs out of the washroom and the cat’s food. Well, thanks to Les’s habit of feeding everyone table scraps, that isn’t happening any more. She is now closer to 10 pounds, and it has been made quite clear to Les that for every additional pound she gains, we will be taking it out of his hide. She is smaller than Bruiser, so gaining more weight will be very hard on her little spine and will open her up to possibly injuring her back. Especially since she jumps off the furniture like Spiderman on a mission. The only issue we have with her is that she does not. like. Luka. At all. We aren’t sure where this came from as she had no issues with her for the first week or so. We think this stems from her observing the other dogs behavior; Gigi and Luka are both alpha females, and Gigi has never wanted to give way to Luka. Also, when everyone is outside in the fenced yard and Luka is on the other side of the fence, the whole pack will race up and down the fence chasing her. They bark and just race as fast as they can. This is play, but I don’t think that Amy ever figured this out. However, when Luka is in the house, a squirt bottle filled with water works wonders in breaking down this behavior.

We had her examined by our vet and she is in very good health. She has an old injury to one of her eyes; there is a white, cloudy spot but it does not seem to affect her sight at all. We just love her and can’t imagine why someone would give her up. She is a delight, and we are keeping her.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

I'm Doin' It. But I'm Not Diggin' It.

Well, as you can tell, the promised postings never materialized. I’m so sorry. I will get them up, I promise. My internet at home is so stinking slow; it can take hours to do a simple posting so I usually blog from work. Unfortunately, all my pictures on my computer at home.

I’ve been a bad blogger lately. I have been trying really hard to be positive in my posts, but I just haven’t felt positive for a long, long time. I’ve been really down and so very unhappy, and I just can’t seem to shake it. I really hate my life how it is right now – home life sucks, job sucks, always broke, no love life, no friends, still fat, still struggling with the diabetes. I keep rehashing every bad life choice I have ever made, things that cannot be changed, and hating myself for not having a fully developed emotional spine and standing up for myself and what I wanted/believed while growing up. It’s completely irrational and unhelpful and unhealthy, and I can’t. stop. doing it. I cry in secret a lot. So - no positivity, no posts.

I did finally pull myself out of the piles of dirty laundry and candy wrappers that cover every surface of my bedroom and did something crafty last weekend. I told Sis that I was going to do something crafty that weekend even if it killed me! I made a mini-album from scratch and was quite pleased with how it came out. Not too shabby for my first attempt! Les thinks that I am a genius (bonus) and Sis said that she would never had guessed that was my first attempt at making something like that. It was a nice little ego stroke – sorely needed – and I felt like I kind of accomplished something. I had forgotten what that felt like. I’ll post pictures at some point in the future.

So, here is a run-down of life since my last post:

• Waaaaay back in December I mentioned that we adopted a feral cat that my mom had been feeding. Things were going pretty well; Cheddar was adapting to his new home, hiding behind the washer/dryer/water heater less and less, even coming to me (and only me) when I called him and let me rub his tummy. Then, one day, we could not find him. Anywhere. I was convinced that Jim or Les had let him outside on purpose because they are asshats and Cheddar didn’t like either of them. About 6 weeks after he went missing, Sis and I were walking around the back of the house where the cat’s outdoor enclosure was (and where Cheddar loved to hang out). And there was Teddy, out in the yard, OUTSIDE of the enclosure! The look on his face was priceless – like we had caught him with the family canary in his mouth. He immediately darted back to the enclosure, right through a hole where the chicken wire that made the walls didn’t come completely together. Now we know what happened to Cheddar. The enclosure is now no more; Les has plans to build a bigger and better one.
• In March I mentioned that I had joined a photography group on Facebook. I made it to week three, then quit. Sigh.
• In May I house/dog sat for my niece and her family for a week and a half while they went to Hawaii. Their dogs are SO CUTE! Peanut is a Chihuahua and Gus-Gus is a Boston Bull Terrier/Bulldog mix. I will post pictures of them.
• In May, we lost our sweet Snoopy. We decided that we would wait several months before getting another dog. On June 28th, I drove six hours and 250 miles (round trip) to pick up Amy from the Long Beach, WA Humane Society shelter. She is the sweetest little red doxie; she is Mrs. Weenie’s mini-me. I will post pictures and her story soon.
• July and August have been hotter than Satan’s armpits, with the exception of this week, thank God. However, September usually holds out for a few incendiary days just for giggles. I am grateful for the powerful air conditioning in the lab where I work; not so grateful that they set the thermostat to 50°. I have to run my little portable space heater under my desk all day while it’s over 90° outside. But still, not really complaining.
• Oh, and last week some loser got hold of my debit card number and started charging stuff to my checking account from Cancun, Mexico. God bless my financial institution; they were on it almost immediately. No problems with getting charges reversed, but they had to freeze my card and issue (snail mail) a new one. This was a HUGE problem for me as I do not carry cash. Ever. Because if I have it, I will spend it. On anything. And everything. It was a huge inconvenience, but it could have been MUCH worse. It’s all fixed and back to normal now, but for a week there I just wanted to stay home in bed with the covers over my head. Much less stressful.

So, that’s been what’s happening over the last several months. Sorry to be a Debbie Downer; I’ll try hard to find something good to write about. I’m thinking of continuing the A-Z thing; I was reading my past posts and I really enjoyed doing them. We shall see.

Thanks to all my readers for not abandoning me.