Wednesday, September 29, 2010

What A Difference A Day Makes

This week, I'm finding myself singing that song over and over and over again.  Each day has changed drastically from the one before it...each day has become better than the one before it.  I am seriously loving this week.

Sunday, the day after such an eventful Saturday, found me tired and dragging.  I went to church, but then I just came home and crashed.  I tried reading, but Cody, Tommy, and I all ended up asleep fairly quickly.  Hans was sneaky, though, and snapped a picture.

This may not seem very comfortable, but it really is.

After our little snuggle and sleep-fest, Hans and Cody and I went over to visit our friends, Chip and Jean and CJ for dinner and a movie.  The  movie (Bordertown) was OK, but the dinner (Fajitas) was fantastic.  It was a fabulous evening, and the entire day seemed to kick off a great week.

Cody was in a really cuddly mood, and CJ, who's normally cuddly was tolerating Cody's exuberance.
 Monday would have been simply decent had it not been for one simple thing.  IT RAINED!!!!  For some of you (especially those in the MN region) rain my not seem like such a big deal or a great thing.  Here in VA, though, we haven't had rain since Hans and I went to MN back in August.  My back yard was nothing but dust (and concrete which desperately needs remedying).  That little bit of rain, though, helped the grass to turn green again and my flowers to grow.  I like the rain.  Plus, my day went well, and I was able to end it with a training session with one of the pups I fostered.  It was a pretty good day.

Tuesday focused on one thing.  Tuesday (YESTERDAY) was my last day at WEE Shop.  As I closed up shop and said goodbye, I felt a huge stress leave my shoulders.  As much as I enjoyed my time there, it was definitely time to leave.  It was definitely time to leave the mall atmosphere, something I've never really enjoyed.  It was definitely time to focus on my business, and my home, and me.  I am quite certain I made the right decision.  I had nightmares of having to fight mall traffic at the most popular mall in the area during Christmas season, and I was dreading it.  I will almost definitely be avoiding the mall this Christmas, just as I have for the past few years.  Phew!  Anyway, to celebrate, Mom took Hans and me out for a late dinner at Applebee's, and I was able to introduce Mom to the joys of half-priced appetizers.

Today, I had blocked most of the day off.  Mom and I had a trip planned.  You see, back in August, Mom had the horses moved to a horse retirement farm in Winchester.  Chapos is in his 30s and his age is showing, and Mom wanted him and Sunshine to have room to move and run.  So, today, we drove up to Winchester to see how they were doing.  While Chapos is definitely showing his age, both horses are doing as well as possible.  The farm is beautiful, and the owners are very nice.  After receiving a tour of the farm (which consisted of me holding Cody as he was both extremely excited and terrified of the horses), we wished the care-takers well, and went into the city.  There, we found a wonderful store called Country Treasures.  I just loved the smell and everything in it.  I also found the MOST ADORABLE RUG!
Isn't it ADORABLE?!
Anyway, after doing a little walking around, Mom and I decided to head home.  Coming home, the skies, which had been gray and somewhat promising all day finally decided to open up.  It started raining again!  The rain was heavy enough that I was forced to cancel all my evening appointments, something my tired eyes appreciated.  Again, a great day.

Tomorrow is Thursday.  So far, it holds the promise of wonderful, exciting things to come.  I really hope this week continues on this path!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Yesterday and Today

I was stressed.  Yesterday I was strung out.  My to-do list felt like a hundred miles long.  I got up early to get started early, but by noon I hadn't even got a quarter of the way through.  I looked at my list to determine the most important, and decided that I could get those few items done.  First, though, it was time for lunch.

To help me relax, I decided to take my lunch outside.  The dogs needed some time to play, and I needed the brief time in the sun.  Merlin was a bit cranky, but what else is new?  Out we went!

And that's when it happened.  Something that really didn't help my nerves.  Tommy went near Merlin's kennel, and what I didn't realize was that there was still some food in Merlin's kennel.  Merlin ran over to his kennel, and even though Tommy tried to get out of the situation Merlin attacked him.

The good thing about being a trainer is that I know how to break up a fight (actually that was learned from growing up with so many dogs, but that's another story).  I separated the dogs, and assessed the situation.  It was bad.  Ok, so it could have been worse.  Merlin was still cranky so I focused on Tommy.

Tommy's ear was bleeding, and he wasn't putting weight on his paw.  I got some antiseptic and went to work.  The ear actually wasn't too bad...just a scratch that probably won't even leave a scar.  I thought the paw would be just a simple thing too, but he still wouldn't let me touch it.  It obviously hurt a lot.  Then I got a glimpse of it, of what was causing him so much pain.  Merlin had left a deep puncture in between the pads of Tommy's paw.  I called Hans to please come home from lunch.  I need emotional support.  By this point I was running an hour late for the day.

Hans came home, and was a huge help.  He helped me bandage Tommy, and he helped me assess Merlin...who was still really cranky and who initially had to be muzzled (by the time we got to cleaning him, though, he was appreciative).  I hadn't seen anything bad on Merlin at first, but upon closer inspection I realized what Tommy had done.  Tommy had savaged Merlin's ear.  If the bite had been a few centimeters over, I would have taken Merlin in for stitches, but as it was all I could do was clean it up and let it heal.  Now, I'm keeping it clean and applying disinfectant just to be on the safe side.

So, all that made me fall far behind for the day.  My appointments ran late, and I was an hour late for dinner with friends.  Stressed is not the word to describe what I was going through.

Of course, today was Bark in the Park, so my stress carried over to today.  I felt unprepared and disorganized.  Hans, being the great husband that he is, had helped to gather everything together so I wouldn't have to worry about that.  As fantastic as that was, though, it left me feeling like I didn't have a clue. 

Still, though, we got to the site on time and set up and were ready to go.  Just to make sure Cody was good and tired I threw his frisbee a few times.  I didn't want to got too long because he's had such a rough time with his paws lately.  He did great, but when he came back I saw that his healing pad had been rubbed raw again.  "CRAP" is the thought that went through my mind.  Luckily, though, Hans had thought to pack a mini first aid kit, and the vendor next to me (now known as My Hero) found some Hydrogen Peroxide.  Now we were really ready.

  The event went wonderfully!!!  I met some great people, saw some old clients, and just had a good ole time.

There were two highlights of the day though.  First, our former foster dog, Boomer (now Abbey) was there.  She is doing wonderfully with her new owner.  She's not the same scared, timid dog who first came to live with us.  In the few short weeks since she was adopted she has put on some much needed weight and has become a happy dog.  Hans and I were tickled to see her excitement over seeing Cody, and we were even happier she recognized us.

Second, Greg McQuade from Channel 6 news (CBS) was the M.C. there.  We first met him when Cody was in Annie, and we saw him again last February at Pet Expo.  He stopped by to visit, and suggested I email him regarding an event that's coming up on the 23rd (I'll talk about that later) AND that it might be nice to have Cody and me back on the program (maybe for the holidays).  HURRAY!!!!!  That was a great end to a fantastic day!

Actually, I lie.  The best end to the day is that both dogs are tired and happy...and snuggly.  We all came home and took naps, and it was very cute.

The first nap.  Hans took this one when I wasn't looking (obviously).  Also, a dog's ear makes for great shade.  The too-short Elizabethan Collar is so Tommy won't lick his paw.

The second nap.  We have officially started allowing Tommy on the couch...mainly so we can capture moments like this.  Aren't Tommy and Cody adorable together?

Friday, September 24, 2010

A Lot of News

Cody has injured his paw yet again...this time at the dog park!  I can only figure that the ground here is so dry that it's similar to running on concrete.  This one doesn't seem quite as painful, but it is problematic.  I'm keeping him fairly quiet, but I'm having a lot of trouble keeping him from licking the sore spot.  Poor Cody is now in the cone of shame.  :(

Of course, this leaves me concerned.  Yes, I'm worried about Cody's paw, but that's will heal easily.  I'm concerned about the lack of rain here.  It hasn't rained since some time in early August (at least not a good rain).  My yard is starting to look like a scene from the dust bowl, and when the dogs run around we're all lost in a cloud of dirt.  I want to bust up the concrete in the back yard and plant grass seed, but water restrictions are preventing us from watering anything enough to actually sustain growth.  I was hoping to plant new flowers in the front last week, but again the lack of water stopped us.  They're calling for rain this weekend, and I can only pray they're right.

In Other News...
Bark in the Park is TOMORROW!  I'm way more nervous than I should be.  I'm scared I don't have enough supplies for all the people.  Last year's crowd was a bit smaller due to some rainy weather, but tomorrow is forecast to be 90 degrees and sunny with low humidity.  I'm also worried that I'll forget something super important.  I suppose the most important thing to have is myself and a few cards, but you never know.  I'm also worried that I won't be able to get everything done.  I have a list about a mile long and only a few short hours left to do it in.  Of course, I'm procrastinating and blogging, but it is a bit of a stress relief.
Coming back to Cody's paw, I'm also worried about him going tomorrow.  I'm debating if I should bandage his paw as a safety precaution, or if I should just take bandages along.  I'm not really worried about infection because I'm keeping everything clean and treating with a topical anti-biotic, but I am worried about re-injury.

I'm also worried about getting Cody enough exercise before the big event so he's a bit more mellow tomorrow.  Last year I took him to the dog park, sent him to doggy day care, went jogging every morning, and let him play with Mom's dogs.  Not only that, but he had a fairly late night and an early morning (something none of us enjoyed).  By the time the event came around Cody was TIRED.  By the end of the event he was trying to pull me back to the table so he could lie behind it and fall asleep.  I'm trying to keep him as active as possible, but I don't want to push it.  I'll take him for a walk today, but it's not quite the same.  Tommy has done a good job of wearing him out so far, but even so I'd rather he not play that much.  I guess I'll just have to play it by ear.

Woof, Wag, Walk
And in more news, Hanover Parks and Recreation is having a dog / pet event on October 23rd, and they've chosen me to be their obedience demonstrator!  I'll be doing two demonstrations.  For the first, I've asked a few past clients to join me, and we'll all demonstrate what our dogs have learned.  I'm still waiting to hear back from a few clients, but things are lining up nicely so far.  In the second demonstration, I plan on demonstration how to teach your dog a good stay.  So many people start off thinking their dog should hold a 30 minute stay from the get-go.  It's frustrating!  I'm going to follow that up with a stay competition and award a prize to the dog / owner duo with the best stay.  I'm so excited!!
Well, wish me luck for all my events tomorrow (and for the next month), pray that Cody heals quickly, and really pray for rain.  Thanks!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Someone convince me out of it.  Someone tell me I'd be crazy to do it.  Someone take it away!  Someone tell me I can't adopt this dog!!!

On Saturday, Sadie was adopted.  I knew she wouldn't be around for long because she was small, young, and really sweet.  Her being adopted, however, means we are left with Tommy...the sweet, loving, cuddly, playful year-and-a-half old pup.  It means Cody has a playmate who's perfect for him, who he enjoys, and we have a dog in our house who doesn't come with multiple issues.  It's very relaxing.

I spend most of my mornings and a good portion of my nights / evenings watching these two play.  Generally, we try to send the dogs outside, but at night we'll watch them run around the rec room until they're both tired and have fallen asleep.  When we go to bed, we crate Tommy, and he falls fast asleep...and sleeps through the ENTIRE night.  When we wake up in the morning, either Hans or I will get up and let Tommy out of his crate.  The plan is usually to let him and Cody out and to feed them, but this morning Tommy jumped up on the bed and snuggled into the crook of my arm.  I normally only let Cody on the bed (occasionally accompanied by his friend CJ), but it was so cute and funny watching Tommy. 

Cute and funny turned into warm fuzzies as Tommy made himself comfortable and Cody snuggled up on the other side of me.  Really, is there anything better than to be able to lie in bed with a dog in either arm while your husband showers?  Occasionally, one would look up at me and lick my nose.  It was pretty cute.

So, now I'm in trouble.  As much as Hans loves Tommy too, he's still the voice of reason.  "Sweetie, Cody enjoys being an only dog."  he'll say.  Or, "If we adopt Tommy, that's one less dog we can help later."  Why does he have to be so smart? 

While I doubt we'll end up adopting Tommy (even though I really want to), he definitely has a home here for as long as he needs it.  I certainly won't be kicking him out any time soon, and I don't think Hans will be either.  The best part is, with as good as what he is, I'm not nearly as hesitant to bring in a new foster, one who might need a little extra help but who would be good with Cody and Tommy.  Like I said, I'm in BIG TROUBLE!

Monday, September 13, 2010

The New Dogs

Well, today has been a good day.  Boomer has officially been adopted, and she seems extremely happy.  She's following her owner around, giving kisses, and constantly wagging her tail.  She seems very relaxed, and her new mom just adores her.  She also changed Boomer's name to Abbey, a much better change if you ask me.

I also heard from Shadow's new parents the other day.  She's doing quite well, and her parents are loving her.  She desperately needed a home that could cater to her.  It was important for her to have someone who could spend time with her and love her unconditionally, but still know when to tell her no.  So far, it seems she's found it.  Hurray!

Of course, with the two dogs gone, this means that Cody has had the house all to himself for a whole week.  He absolutely loves it.  He really missed being an only dog, and he has been so much more relaxed this week.  Now, though, that's all changed.  We just got two new foster dogs.

One of the fosters is actually one of the puppies we fostered before.  Her mom is leaving the country for an extended period of time and had to return Sadie (formerly Sally) and her adopted brother Tommie.  We didn't want Sadie to go to a kennel, and we certainly couldn't take her away from her brother, so we took them both in.

I was worried Cody would be upset.  I was worried it would all be too much for him.  All my worries, however, were unwarranted.  They all get along great.  Sadie is young, submissive, and friendly, and Cody pretty much just ignores her.  Tommy is about Cody's size and very playful.  What's great, and very different from Shadow, is that Tommy knows when to stop.  He plays, and then he falls asleep.  Cody likes this.  Actually, Cody wanted to keep playing long past the time Tommie wanted to stop.  Tommie was patient, and Cody learned that he could be a very fun dog.  Hurray!!!

Now that I've told you about our new dogs, tell me what you think.  Are they cute, or what?

 Sadie's the pup in the background.  Tommy is the black and tan in my hand.

See?  They do sleep!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

High Heels

Can someone answer a question for me?  How do women wear high heels?

I just don't understand it.  I love the look of high heels, and I have a few pairs that I really love, but I can never wear them.  They're just not comfortable.  Yes, they make my rear look good.  Yes, they show off my legs and strengthen my calves, but at the same time they make my feet hurt.  They make my back ache.  They make me want to sit down, take my shoes off, and chuck them across the room.

Am I walking wrong?  Am I simply buying the wrong shoes?  What am I doing wrong?  I used to think it was simply because I was overweight, but I've lost weight and it's just as painful.  Surely there would be some improvement if it was due to weight.  I have noticed I can handle high-heeled boots (well, at least better than regular high heels).  Otherwise, though, I tend to hate high heels.

So, let me ask you this.  Are the majority of women in excruciating pain, or at the very least very uncomfortable, but suffering through it on a daily basis just so they look good?  If so, I don't get it.  If not, then could one of those women teach me how to walk in high heels?  It would very much open up my shoe options.

Thank you!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Things I Brought Back From MN

This morning, I woke up.  I kept my eyes shut, not ready for it to be morning yet.  As I breathed in, though, I smelled this wonderful smell.  It smelled of yeast and warmth.  Total tastiness.  It was the freshly-made bread from the bread maker.

I've never owned (or even used) a bread maker before, but when Hans and I were in MN I found one in a yard sale when I went out for my jog.  I actually passed up on it, but when I returned to the house I mentioned it to Hans.  He got excited, and when his parents heard about it they wouldn't let me pass up on it.  They actually got it for me for my birthday.  I thought, "Cool.  Now I have a bread maker.  I wonder when I'll use it and if I'll like it."  Oh boy do I like it! 

I had warm Johnnie Bread with Honey for breakfast this morning.  It was wonderful!  Now I have some Bennie Bread going in the bread maker.  (For those of you who don't know, Bennie Bread and Johnnie Bread are delicious breads made by the monks at St. John's and St. Ben's.  They sell the mix so people far away can still have fresh, delicious bread.)  I am very much looking forward to having fresh bread tomorrow morning as well. 

Yes, I'll probably enjoy making bread by hand from time to time.  It's good stress relief, but the truth is the bread maker is so much easier, and I can have it fresh first thing in the morning.  This is great!

The other thing I brought back from MN were some mad disc golf skills.  Ok, so I think I left the skills in MN, but I did bring back a love for the game.  Hans and I went out with some friends for a game of disc golf.  This could very easily become my favorite new thing to do on a Sunday afternoon.  It will probably become even more fun with more practice.  I mean, really, I never once made par!  Oh well!  I still had fun.

Oh, and that reminds me, as we were headed for the course I received a very important call.  THEY LOVE SHADOW!!!!  They want to take her home.  Shadow actually has a forever home.  I'll be seeing them tomorrow to finalize and to say my goodbyes to Shadow (sad face), but I'm certain she'll be happy, and that makes me happy (smiley face). 

So, all in all, it's been a good day.  Oh, and if you're wondering, Cody's paws are doing marginally better.  We're keeping them wrapped when we're not around so he doesn't chew on them.  Other than that, we're keeping them disinfected and giving him lots of loving.  And I think Cody's very much enjoying being an only dog again.  He's being super-lovable, and he seems much more relaxed.  Of course, now he's going to need more play dates to make sure he doesn't get too bored (CJ, do you think you're up for that?). 

Yay for good days!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Note-worthy News

First of all, let's all take a moment to give a collective, "Aww.  Poor Cody."  Yes, the poor boy is on bed rest again.  I took him for a training session last night, and we spent a lot of time on the tennis courts.  I guess I didn't realize just how long it had been since he'd been on such a  hard, rough surface, because when we got home Hans noticed that his paws were torn up.  They were REALLY torn up too.  Well, it was actually just the front two, and of those only one is really bad.  Still, though, it's obviously causing him some severe discomfort.  I've never given him any aspirin for pain, and tonight I found myself giving him baby aspirin just to help him get some rest.  He's sleeping now, but it's not a deep sleep, and he's waking every few minutes when his paw twitches or throbs.  For now, it's bandaged, has had some ice on it, and seems to be ok.  I just want Cody to stop hurting. 

Also, Shadow is currently meeting her possible new parents.  She'll be with them until Monday, and if all goes well she'll stay with them forever.  I'm really hoping this is the right fit.  They seem perfectly nice, and Shadow seemed to like them.  The problem is, I miss her.  Yes, I love the quieter house, and yes it's easier to take care of Cody with Shadow being gone, but somehow the house is too quiet.  I missed the two-dog greeting I'm used to getting.  Yes, I'm sure I'll get used to the quiet house soon enough (probably by tomorrow morning), but for now, for tonight, I'm missing Shadow.  I'm also really hoping her new family loves her as much as I do.

Lastly, I haven't mentioned WEE Shop in a while, and that's for a reason.  Today, I let my boss know that it is time for me to leave.  I wasn't planning on leaving so soon, but Impawsible Pups has grown much faster than I had anticipated, and I need all that extra time to devote to my business.  It's something I've been thinking of doing for a little while, but I didn't want to talk about it at all for fear that I'd say too much.  Now, though, it's time for everyone to know that I will be leaving soon.  My boss was wonderful when I told her the news, and it's a very amicable parting.  Now, though, I just have to make sure I focus all my attention on my business and it does wonderfully.  Here's to high expectations!

Well, there you have it.  Note-worthy news.

Friday, September 3, 2010

At Least I Woke Up

Have you ever had one of those dreams where you're woken up in the middle of the night?  Until last night, I could say I never had.  None of my dreams ever involved me waking up as part of the dream.  Last night, though, I had this weird dream where I was on a cruise, sleeping soundly (something that should have alerted me this was a dream in the first place) when I was woken up by some sort of alarm.  The dream took on some really weird turns there, involving fathers, father-in-law-in-law, and Jeff Foxworthy, but ended happily with me falling back asleep. 

I curled up under my blankets, closed my eyes, and felt myself drifting back into sleep (in my dream).  Then, of course, my alarm went off!  In real life there could have been two hours between these two events, but it certainly didn't feel that way.  Waking up for real almost wasn't a possibility.  I just wanted to continue that blissful feeling of staying in bed.

However, I did get up.  It took a little while, but I made it.  After my rant yesterday, I decided I had to get up.  Also, Hans was a good motivator.  I stumbled around, had a glass of water, and Hans and I took the dogs for a walk. 

I had intended to jog, but after the time off and feeling so tired I decided to just walk.  It may not have been what I had intended, and I may still want to do more, but at least I woke up.  That's a good start.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Two to Three Cups A Day

Things need to change.  Things need to change. Period. 

Before we left for vacation, things were changing.  I was running daily, and Hans was running with me.  We were kind of watching our diet, although that last week was mainly frozen meals and the last of what was left in the fridge. 

Going on vacation, I made it very clear that I wanted to stay active, but that I wasn't going to worry about what I ate.  I was headed to MN for the food, and I was going to enjoy it.  Well, that's all fine and dandy, except now I can't seem to get back into it.

Returning home, I said I'd start running with the dogs again.  I said I'd go grocery shopping and start cooking.  I said I'd start doing what I used to do.  What am I doing?  Sleeping!

On vacation I got used to sleeping.  I was very much lacking in sleep before we left, so sleep was needed, but now that I'm back I want to continue sleeping in and napping during the day.  That's not working out so well for me.  I'm not getting the exercise I need, and neither are the dogs.

I think a big part of the problem, though, is also my diet.  I know I'm not fueling my body the way it should be fueled.  I need to find the right balance of protein, dairy, fruits, veggies, fruit, and fat.  I also need to find things that I like, that are extremely satisfying, and that are fairly easy to make.  I need to find foods that pack easily, and that don't necessarily need to be refrigerated or heated.

I have considered rigging my car up with things you would find in a truck stop like a mini fridge, a portable griddle, or a portable crock pot.  As great as that sounds, I doubt I'd be able to stop the car long enough to prepare a meal.  I've also considered living like I'm camping and eating dried foods.  I'm a fan of jerky, and snacking is always fun for me, but I'm also concerned that could get really old really fast. 

I should start carrying a cooler with me at least.  Right now, even if all I have are sandwiches, after sitting in my car all day that can be kind of rank.  Of course, I won't need a cooler in a few months when the weather cools off again.  C'est la vie!

So, I have two questions for you.  1) How on earth do you get up in the morning?  What's your motivation?  2) What's your favorite meal?  It can be hot, cold, easy, hard.  Just tell me what it is.


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Back Home

Well, the trip is over.  How am I feeling?  I want some freakin' cheese curds!!!!

The End of the Trip

The last few days of the trip were a blast!  Hans and I kept a pretty full schedule, although that wasn't what we had planned at all.  We learned how to play disc golf, toured a brewery, and went to the state fair.  Yeah, and we ate lots of cheese curds.

We didn't end the trip in MN, though.  Just like we did on the way out, we stopped in WI to visit our old roommates on the way back.  This time we set it up differently, though.  Before, both of us had stayed at Dan's apartment, but this time we decided to pretend we were in college again.  I stayed with Jackie, Hans stayed with Dan.  We stayed up late chatting, and Jackie showed me Skype (yes, I'm behind the times).  The next morning we all met up for breakfast, said our farewells, and left.

Now That We're Back

Well, the first thing I realized is that I never should have expected to have gotten any work done on the trip.  It didn't happen.  Luckily, I scheduled this week to be a slightly lighter load, so I have some time to catch up.

The other thing I realized was just how much I missed my friends.  Before this trip, I hadn't seen Jackie or Dan for two whole years.  To make matters worse, I am admittedly horrible at staying in touch.  I tend to not call or email unless it's to make plans to do something.  So, seeing Jackie and Dan was a wonderful moment.  Somehow, we easily fell back into that fun banter we always had in college.  I just wish I could see them both more often.

Anyway, like I said, we're home now.  I'm happy to have a little break before having go back into things full swing, and that's exactly why we decided to travel when we did.  I'm also happy to be back and to be in my home in my familiar setting.

Well, I know this post is getting fairly repetitive.  Let's just say, that I had a wonderful time, I'm happy to be home, and I can't wait until I have the chance to do it again!