Posts Tagged dogs

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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Playing Catch Up – Part III

We finally made it to the motel, with all the humans and cats still alive, and an hour later were ready to go to sleep. Another problem with this motel, besides the fact they had a firm check in deadline, was they had a very early check out deadline too. I signed up for this and agreed to it when I reserved the room, but because of the detour, it was a major pain in the ass. The next morning arrived way too soon.

Still, we hit the road again, and had a very easy 400 and change miles planned, to get us into Vegas. The drive went pretty well, for a pleasant change. Getting back to more familiar vistas was very welcome. I could feel myself getting more comfortable as we got closer.

Really nice to see some desert.

We made it to the La Quinta Inn & Suites Las Vegas Airport South. Unfortunately, and hour after arriving, we were still not settled into our rooms. As a serious chronic pain sufferer, the move and road trip had been taking a toll. Our rooms were kind of midway from all exits, and not at all convenient. In the 140 room, 3 story inn, they had exactly 3 luggage carts. All of them had been taken and squirreled away inside guest rooms. The staff tried to ignore my repeated requests for help locating the carts. I found out from a long term guest that this is constant problem, and yet, they had not instituted any kind of check out process for the carts. I walked all the floors, but the carts were not to be found in any public areas. After a lot of my annoying presence the staff made a half-assed attempt at finding the carts and also failed. We finally moved into our rooms by using the rolling office chairs to load our stuff up and take it into the rooms. I know that the staff thought we should just get off our asses and carry shit to our rooms, but we really had a very large amount of stuff that wasn’t a good idea to leave outside in the parking lot at that location, and we were really not in any condition to carry it in piece by piece.

By the time we managed to be in our rooms, it was getting pretty late. I needed to hit a grocery store because Indy had not been very pleased with the on the road meals I’d been preparing for her, and her general state of stress wasn’t doing well for her health. Also, the cats were not doing spectacularly. I wanted to get them all something special food wise to entice them to eating a really good sized meal. Then I arranged for the kid and my mother to eat dinner in their room and watch the dogs, while the husband and I went out and enjoyed Vegas a little. My first several restaurant choices were closing, so we ended up just driving down the strip to look for something. We decided to stop at The Cosmopolitan since their flash sign indicated a lot of late night dining options, and we’d never been to that hotel. The hotel has a very popular night club, and the hotel was crawling with young hip people and people who wanted to pretend to be young and hip. We went to The Henry for dinner and people watching. (Is it really a dress if it is so short you crotch is visible?) The meal was enjoyable. Husband had a Midtown Manhattan (Bacon Infused Makers Mark Cinnamon and Fig Infused Sweet Vermouth, Angostura, Fee’s Aztec Chocolate Bitters) which was very tasty, and prime rib. I had a Mambo Italiano (Garlic Roasted Vodka, House Made Bloody Mary Mix, Basil) which was also very good, and an excellent burger. We shared the
Millionaire’s Deviled Eggs (lump crab & truffle stuffing, thousand island dressing & caviar) to start. The next time I’m in Vegas, I think I’ll go try Holsteins. The menu made me drool, but it was way too noisy and crowded for me to venture into on a Saturday night.

The next day we got a late start. We were pretty wrecked from our trip so far, and the time zone changes had not been in our favor for getting on the road early. We headed out of town and soon were reminded why it is important to leave really early on Sunday morning. The traffic from Vegas to L.A. on Sundays is pretty nasty, often further hosed due to accidents or road work.

We dragged our butts into our house later than we expected when we first packed up the car, but we made it. It was really good to be home. We unloaded the crap from our car, and wandered over to a friend’s house for dinner. It was so good to spend some time with them, although in hindsight, probably a mistake. By the time we made it home we were exhausted, and then discovered that the movers had put our bed together wrong, so we couldn’t sleep on it without finding tools to fix it. We were way too tired to find the tools. So, our first night home we couldn’t sleep properly.

The cats were thrilled to be out of the damn car for good, at it was clear that they knew exactly where they were. They settled in immediately, although they were (and remain) annoyed by all the boxes in the way. Indy also recognized the place, I was wondering about that, since she was already had CCD before we left, but we did move into the house when she was “all here”. She even remembered that she isn’t allowed into the kitchen and dining room. Watson, of course, had no such memory of rules against entering the kitchen, which is the land where all good things come from. After a couple of corrections, he was going great.

Ahh, home, sweet home… for about 10 seconds, and then the overwhelming To Do list of getting our shit in order here comes crashing down on my shoulders. Lots and lots of stress, but really, it is good to be home.

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