Archive for category Pets

Indy

Indy and the Kid and London

16.5 years ago we brought home a puppy from the German Shepherd Rescue. She was my husband’s first dog ever. We got her before our daughter could walk, and she helped to raise our daughter. Indy was a very sweet and a little neurotic. She was family, and we loved her very much.

This week we had to say goodbye to her. She was damn old for a dog of her size, and she lived a very good life, but I still am very sad. Our daughter, who doesn’t remember a day without her, until now, is totally devastated.

Indy and the Kid

The house feels so different without her. I miss her. She was such a good dog.

Hearth

I’m so fucking busy this week, I don’t even feel like I have enough time to grieve. It’s just a tight ball of pain and loss and sadness sitting like a rock in my gut, and I just need to keep on keeping on.

Really, it isn’t even about the time to grieve, it is about having the space to grieve. It is about having the space to just be left the fuck alone, collapsed on the floor sobbing and snotting until I am a desiccated lump. Maybe next week.

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When It Rains

Today I took Indy and Watson to go visit a friend. The friend has a big interesting yard with lots of things to smell, and since Indy spent time there before she developed CCD, she still recognizes it and gets a lot of stimulation out of being there, without any anxiety from being someplace unfamiliar. It is a nice safe dog park experience for her, where we don’t run the risk of running into a dog who might knock her over.

She even has a boyfriend next door. There is this sweet looking husky mix who lives next door, and they interact through the chain link fence, and he likes her and whines for her attention and she plays flirty little games with him, as if she is young again.

Today Watson wandered over the the chain link fence to meet the strange dog. He made friendly puppy body poses, but the other dog was suspicious of Watson. The other dog felt a bit territorial. So, he hiked up his leg and peed on the chain link fence. Except, you know, chain link fences are more air than substance, so mostly he peed on Watson.

“Eew, no. Watson, don’t just stand there. Stop peeing on my dog. Come on.”

Watson sniffs the chain link fence, and takes a step back, so the dog circles and lifts his leg and pees on the fence, and Watson, again.

“Nooooooo. Don’t pee again! Watson…”

Unluckily for me, dogs don’t mind being peed on as much as I might hope they would, so Watson had a great day, despite, or perhaps even partially because, he was peed on three times.

The afternoon was spent with dogs running and playing and sniffing and exploring, and finally I made my way home, to walk right into an educational clusterfuck.

See, one of the things about the online charter school is that they help educate students by locking the students out of their curriculum whenever the student does something it deems a lockout offense. For instance, if they fail a quiz, they are unable to move forward until they’ve spoken to a teacher and figured out what the problem is. In theory, this sounds kind of reasonable, but since the teachers often take a long time to respond, it really slows things down.

On Wednesday evening the kid spectacularly failed a chemistry quiz from the future. She finished her lesson, and the online program served up a quiz for a completely different lesson, that she had not yet been exposed to, so she didn’t know any of the answers. She guessed her way to a 42%. She couldn’t NOT take the quiz, because once you start the quiz, you have to finish it and submit it, or you automatically fail it anyway.

She immediately sent an email to her mentor teacher and her in person science teacher, because she already knows that they respond more rapidly than the online teachers do. She sent screen shots proving that she had not been given the correct quiz (in case it was a one time glitch), but of course, nobody replied until Thursday morning. The local teacher reported the problem to the online school, looked at the content of the lesson, and gave her a quiz that actually quizzed her on her current lesson material. She got a 100%. He then submitted the corrected grade to the online people.

By this morning, the online school still had not unlocked her chemistry class, so she still couldn’t do her chemistry work. At that point the local teacher stepped in an unlocked it for her, even though that is not the “procedure”. She was left unable to work on her class for more than 24 hours.

When I arrived home today, she had been locked out of ALL of her classes. Her teacher sent her an email telling her she would be locked out because she hadn’t turned in a form (where we initial a calendar saying what days she was doing schoolwork, even though the online program actually keeps track of all logins and the amount of time spent), but she had turned in the form on Monday. She was working on schoolwork, so she didn’t get the email until a half hour later, at 4PM, and by then nobody would reply to her phone calls or reply to her emails. This leaves her unable to do any schoolwork for the entire weekend. She started the school year late, so she is “behind” on schoolwork. Meaning, she is doing more than the required standard student minimum each week, but she is not currently at the point she should have been at had she started on day one and been completing the minimum each week. She is on track to complete everything by the end of the semester. Each day she is locked out makes a big difference, because then she has less days to cram this extra work in to. Plus, she has a friend coming in from out of town on Monday, whom she hasn’t seen in more than two years. Without being able to work this weekend, she basically cannot spend time with her friend on Monday.

It sucks.

That is what I walked into the door to discover, as I directed her to try emailing different people, and I emailed and tried to call people, and basically just frantically tried to get her back into her school program before the day was totally gone and there was no chance.

We had no luck, and finally she sat dejectedly down next to Watson for comfort. She snuggled her puppy and told him how frustrated she was. Then she said, “You always come back from his house smelling so doggy.”

“Oh,” I said, “he got peed on.”

“What?”

“Yeah. Three times.”

“You couldn’t have told me that before I hugged him?!”

“I was distracted by all your school stuff.”

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Sleeping Arrangments

I’ve started sleeping downstairs. I’m not sure how long I’ll be doing it for. It isn’t very comfortable, so I am looking into a sofa bed, or some other setup that works better mid-term than our curved sectional.

Indy is okay. Hell, she is great, for her age, but the decline is inevitable. At this point she needs help to get up some of the time. Not every day, but some days, several times a day. The stairs are also a concern for me at this point, although she still chooses to go up and down them. I’ve put a gate up at the bottom and am restricting her stair activity. I especially don’t want her to take a tumble down them at night while we are sleeping, so I restrict her at night. She gets lonely though, and she has started needing to go out in the middle of the night sometimes. Overall, it just adds up to me feeling mentally better if somebody sleeps downstairs with her, despite having no first floor bedrooms. We definitely will not retire in this house.

My preferred option for a sofa bed is the MÅNSTAD. In looking for reviews of it, I found this adorable video on YouTube. I love the dog.

I think we’ll move a bed from the guest room downstairs and try dressing it up to look kind of like seating. It won’t be as good a solution as the MÅNSTAD, but will be far less expensive. That will save some money for more throw rugs, which also help Indy out. Hard floors are not easy on old dogs. I would like to walk a line between helping her out and keeping her company, without crapping up the look of the house so badly that it further depresses me, as if watching her age doesn’t depress me enough. meh

She is still generally happy, and quite enjoys walks and being near her family. One thing she doesn’t enjoy is getting a bath, but she is in desperate need of one, so next week that needs to be crammed into the schedule. Today, there needs to be nail grinding.

It sucks that her organ systems are doing so well while her nervous system is slowly failing.

She is such a good dog.

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Ice Ice Baby

Our Watson is totally obsessed with ice cubes. He loves them. He comes running from anywhere at the sound of the ice dispenser. We joke that it is because he was born in Minnesota, in the middle of winter, but who knows, maybe it isn’t a joke.

Whatever the reason, he absolutely loves ice. The only thing that limits the amount of ice that he would eat, appears to be us.

My husband is a hobbyist mixologist. I am a lush  guinea pig  lush. A cocktail is poured in our house more evenings than not (for health reasons, of course).

My husband goes over to the bar and picks up a shaker, and opens it as he crosses to the kitchen, where he fills the shaker with ice from the handy little dispenser in the freezer door. He then walks back over to the bar to start crafting a drink, and on the way he gives Watson an ice cube or two. Watson was always there to get one because he heard the ice dispensing.

Except now, he shows up at the sound of the shaker being opened.

Our dog is learning about bar tools.

Last night, my husband offered Watson two ice cube treats, one in each hand. He just did it because one had slipped, and he’d grabbed it with the other hand. He leaned down with both hands held out, each offering an ice cube. Watson froze like an ice statue. His eyes darted back and forth looking at each ice cube, and he was unable to decide which precious hunk of ice he should eat. A puddle of drool appeared on the floor as he salivated in anxious anticipation of tasty(?) ice, but which one should he take? His poor puppy mind was blown.

It was not purposeful, but of course now it is a great new game: offer Watson two things and see which one he picks. Hey, a little introspection and learning about your own priorities is a good thing, even if you are a dog. Be decisive, little Watson. Meditate. Know thyself.

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Wagging Tales

Things have been a little coney around here.

First, Watson got neutered. He was sentenced to a cone for two weeks.

One week later, it was time for Mindy to get spayed, and she was sentenced to a cone for two weeks.

Watson was released from his cone, for less than a week, when he injured his foot, and got reconed.

Mindy got deconed and had to wait for Watson to be free.

They finally got to play together again.

Then, Mindy hurt her side, and had to be reconed.

So, they are back to not being allowed to play with each other again. This is especially sad for us humans, because their playdates really help to burn puppy energy. The energy they instead use to destroy things, like, cones for instance.

Rather than tell you more boring things about my life, I shall instead link you to some of my favorite dog related stories.

Mostly, I am gathering them together so it is easier for me to find them again in the future, but hey, maybe you’ll enjoy them too.

Yeast Rolls

Sweet Potatoes

IQ Test

Dogs in Elk (retold in carvings)

Dogs Don’t Understand Basic Concepts

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