Monday, September 22, 2014

Life Skills


I am going to try to live the serenity prayer. I am going to focus on what a good dog Rocket is, how good with small children and even babies he is, how he loves all people of all sizes and temperaments, I'm going to think about how friendly he is with other dogs of all sizes and temperaments. I'm going to remember that he is fearless and welcomes wheelchairs and scooters and bikes without trepidation, I'm going to think about how good he is off leash and what good recall he has, I'm going to ponder his trick learning and be amazed.

He might end up being a very good therapy dog, I hadn't considered it in the past but it is worth giving some thought to as we move forward. I am not going to think about how he washed out of his Canine Good Citizen, Community Canine test  on Saturday because he was not able to perform this

 #8 Down or sit stay–distance (owner's choice).
Dog is on 20–ft line, owner walks away with back to dog, picks up an item (e.g., backpack, training bag, clipboard, folder etc.) placed on the floor/chair/ground by the evaluator and returns to the dog.

We got two of the ten done before we hit our Waterloo. I didn't even stick around for the rest of the test. I didn't know what the test would cover before hand, only that it was being given and I thought it might be a nice feather in Rockets collar. Seeing the requirements now, I don't think we are interested in sitting for this test again and we should not have tried in the first place. It all seems completely arbitrary and entirely too focused on obedience skills and  does not allow for dogs with special needs at all.  I do not believe that it covers skills a dog needs to be a good canine citizen in the community. It is the first year the AKC  has  offered it, and I hope that with feedback, which they are surely getting, that they will change the requirements and rethink the goals of test, how it is given, and how they interpret the dogs behaviors.

Other than that bitter pill, we had a good weekend. We went on walks and went to a Hispanic Festival downtown and that was very fun, we went shopping with Broskey and Alphagal and the littles and that was fun too. I did have to take the laptop to Brosky and Alphagals ICU for Sick Computers because it was infected and feverish and all out of sorts and that was sad making - Fortunately,  Broskey flushed it of its multiple impurities and toxins and sent it on its way. I am much relieved. I am also now running multiple anti-virus and  anti-malware programs to help keep it clean and happy.Yay!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Friday Cat Blogging








Answer the questions or ...

Not getting better


And then the week was over. I went eight consecutive days not getting back to the house "on time" For me this is unheard of and it made me  feel very unbalanced . I have a rut and I like my rut.

Do you know what makes you feel better after  failing miserably unsuccessfully trying to remove unwanted crapware from your computer? A doggy cuddle. I feel much better now, little dog didn't even have to wake up to make me feel much, much better. He's magic. I wish I could carry him around in my pocket and pull him out during the day when I need a quick dog hit. There are days I would spend all day face down in him. I wouldn't get much done but I would feel so much better and I bet I would be more productive, even face down in the dog. He's my Thunder Shirt.

Speaking of little dog, Friday starts the first day of  Project Dog Spy. I think I have focused pretty well. I decided that I was going to see how long he spends at the door and how often he goes there. I'm hoping this will help  . I just spent twenty minutes searching for my Dog Behavior Journal I am keeping for the behaviorist. I couldn't find it because I tidied and I was afraid I tidied it into the ether, which is what I do. I was trying to figure out why I would of hide the DBJ, its not shameful, its not full of secrets and its not at all interesting or embarrassing. I had no reason to make it disappear. And yet, I made it disappear. I wasn't anywhere I stash things in the name of Tidy. I think I am mildly ashamed that it is a proper journal that I bought just for the purpose. It was on sale damn it! Very marked down, it cost a total of $2.50! Its mole skin with dog images stamped in it and I bought it on purpose because there is no way I could keep track of the  notebook paper they gave me! There! out of the dog shame closet! I bought a tool on sale . Damn it.

If I had bought it for its stated purpose, some kind of  dog and dog owner address book and dog count

Next Tuesday I am having a video camera installed by my security company. They are also going to bring my system into the 21 Century, but really they are coming to instal a camera so I can spy on my dog with my cell phone all day. I could care less about a new key pad and the 21st century. They are going to make it easier to spy on my dog.

I did finally find it. It was not tidied away, it was on the coffee table. I needed the exercise I got from speed pacing the house and opening every drawer and every door. Totally necessary. I did find my book and I was able to make my notes and everything is fine. I wish the behaviorist had told me what to write and what to note, I'm not sure anything I'm making note of is relevant. I don't see any changes yet from his bump in meds, I would like to see some changes from the bump. perhaps it was not enough of a bump.

Maybe I should get him a thunder shirt

Thursday, September 18, 2014

everything takes time

The malware is taking  longer  to get off the  laptop than I had anticipated  and before I started that project, I decided  to work on getting the Dog Spy 2000 up and running. Getting it focused right to me forty minutes.

 It was then I remembered  we are  having a going away luncheon  for one of our coworkers  and Rocket will be spending the day in daycare.

M Dog Spy is a great tool, but it doesn't  have a fish eye and it only takes stills. My security company  is running a deal and I all ready know my  system is antiquated  and they can not fix it any longer. The new deal includes a we webcam. Mama  an upgrade.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Gah.


Groan. I found something yucky on my computer and I have to get it cleaned out and figure out where it came from and also The Mindy Project is back and I am so excited to have an actual scripted show to watch.

So.  Have a good day. Yay.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Cleaning out


I just spent forty-five minutes doing early work for my The Holiday That Must Not Be Named cards. I have an image, I have a vision, I need to find a card design I can live with. And a price, it has to be the right price.

Research is important part of the process. I can now say I have crossed last years discounted designs at Zazzle and this years  new designs at Tiny Prints off my list. Whew! That was so hard clicking! It did help me decide what image I want to use though, I had two I really liked and now I have one I really like. It wasn't a waste of time, it was more like home work.

Now its going to be 1) Do I buy individual photo cards, that can get expensive when you have a healthy list  and the the choices are very limited or 2) go online and find another company to make the cards for me, it is about the same price and the choices are better.

I also took a minute to clean out my email a bit. I had the opportunity tell E! how much I really loath Rich Kids.

While I was doing projects, I also  blanched and put up more tomatoes and peppers. I totally did not forget that they were waiting on me, no Sir. Now, the tomatoes are in the freezer and the peppers are in the refrigerator waiting to dry out a little before I freeze them. The potatoes are going to be put up next - as much as I recognize this is a good thing, I dread having to peel them, but it has to be done, peeled, cubed and blanched.  Good and good for me.

I wish the green beans had turned out. I did get one meal of them and they were really good, but  harvest for  the project was not a win. I would have all ready torn the vines down but it makes me sad to think about it and I am not used to garden fail on that level. It happens to everyone but greenbeans? How hard is it to grow greenbeans?! Who messes them up? Apparently, I do. Next year I buy the seeds from somewhere that is not Walmart.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Ups and Downs


We started the weekend on a down note. Rocket in addition to separation anxiety appears to also suffer from stage fright and ADHD. We did not do well at the Dog Olympics trick contest. At all. Not even in the top 3. It was raining which he does not love, the ground was wet, the grass was very long and it made rolling a lot more challenging,  and  it was held early in the day and he hadn't a chance to get climitized. It could have been a better day.

Another thing I have learned too late : If you are going to teach your  dog a trick, make sure to not use props and if you must use props, use small, light weight props . Lesson learned. next time I'm going to teach him a card game.

We were disappointed.  We did however visit all the vendor tents and we walked away with a lot of free stuff, so we started to feel better. We were very happy to see his favorite do store there and even more pleased that they had a selection of his favorite chew horns. I bought the largest chew horn ever, it must have come from a water buffalo.

We spent the afternoon licking our wounds. And then we went to Broskey and Alphagals and Rocket finally performed his trick for an audience! He was a super star. He also barked every moment I wasn't outside and generally paced around and was unhappy until I finally put him in the car. I am keeping a behavior journal for the behaviorist to keep track of episodes like this, also his distraction and nervousness performing for the crowd at the Dog Olympics.

Sunday we went to see the chalk art at Sparkcon.








The weather on Saturday was lousy and I think I they may have over expanded the event. There was a lot more projects, but they weren't at the same level as I have seen in past years. I blame the weather as well because you can't do chalk art in the rain. I'm hoping that next year is better and they dial it back a bit, quality over quantity.

On the upside - I got both yards mowed and the corn patch tilled up, we enjoyed looking at the art and Rocket got many compliments all weekend every where we went. I also am now in love with great danes.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Therapeutic Intervention

Hi Diana,
It was nice to meet you and Rocket today. He's probably the most 'normal' patient I've had in a long time and such a good dog! I've attached his discharges. Please let me know if you have any questions.
Dr. Hopeful


She spoke with me and observed Rocket for three hours! I haven't had a doctor pay attention to me for three hours since, um, ever?. She left me with a lot of idea and suggestions and a new Adaptil collar. 

It releases pheromones that are supposed to calm the dog, I've read a lot about them online but I hadn't really thought about using one, I thought it was actually clap trap .  They also sell thins like room deodorizers that you plug in and they mist the room with the scent periodically to calm the dog - also something she suggested that I could put into place..  Apparently, I am not the best judge of clap trap.

She also suggested a thunder shirt for him. I hadn't thought about  using one because he doesn't have noise sensitivity problems - Tunnel Vision anyone? They are cheap and plentiful and could be worth a try, especially for when we travel and he's in a different environment. I am willing to try anything.

Another idea she had was about his window, I see the window as a plus for him, but what if it isn't? What if its whatever that is out there is causing his late afternoon issues? She suggested putting a film over the window to allow light in but to obscure the view, I hadn't thought about that and I think its a good idea.

She also is a huge proponent of getting a camera and  finding out what he actually does all day. I have used  one in the past, see Dog Spy 2000, and I am going to re-borrow my Dads game camera and start this again. It is an interesting exercise.

Another question that is happening in the now is that she upped little dogs meds. He was prescribed his meds over a year ago when he was a puppy, today, he's an adult dog and his body chemistry has changed, I asked his vet to up his doses when I started to notice his anxiety beginning to become more pronounced  and she refused. I was told that the ( insufficient) doses he was on were all ready at the high end of what was available - That is not true! The behaviorist changed the doses very moderately and we're going to see how he is on these slightly higher doses and we can move them up higher if necessary.

She sent me a three page PDF full of ideas and suggestions. I haven't even read all of it, I'm going to print it out and get it and me to work. I am very excited and I feel really hopeful about Rocket getting better and being a happier dog. Yay!!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Food Desert


I've been hoping for a cost effective food oasis here in the Food Desert that is SE Raleigh. I was walking downtown last week, I had been planning to get pizza at a  new-for-me pizza place and I got pizza-blocked by Spark.Coms pay wall. As if I am their demographic!  I didn't even like the band! I would promise not to listen For reals!

Anyway. I was walking away, hungry, pissed and with a credit card and this nice young man stopped me and talked to me about food. Great timing for him and  relayfoods.com I am now signed up for a lovely half price fajita dinner set up that I can pick up my ownself Thursday after work at Wake Med.

I got a couple of reminder emails from them and I finally went to their website to see what they have - answer? Lots and lots. All of it, well, most of it very earnest and very expensive. Very, very. They have every diet choice but low carb! Paleo is close but you pay extra for the fad, I guess they are off the belief that all of us here in the Food Desert are rich Saudis.

I'm not rich, so while they aren't going to replace Wally or Sam's as my go-to grocery, they will be a good place to check  (they have sales) when I feel like rewarding myself.

Its fun though and they do sell very interesting soup bones and I will be taking advantage of that. They also sell lamb and I would like to eat more lamb, except that lamb doesn't show up at Walmart or Food Lion with any frequency. Relay has lamb. No goat though, I would think they would have goat. I would buy goat. I'm seriously thinking about buying two lamb kebabs but I don't know how one would cook it - I have a choice of 1) in the oven or 2) in the toaster oven. Do people eat oven baked shish kabobs? Is that even a thing?

No! I am not going to spend the money on lamb chunks and peppers! I have my own peppers and I bet if I go to Trader Joes or even the extremely nice Harris Teeter I can find chunks of lamb that I don't have to worry about the squerers bursting into flames. Because I would. The whole time.

Today Rocket is going to the Doggy Shrink to hopefully get shrunk. Think happy thoughts for him and me.

Tuesday


Well hello! I didn't just about run out of time to get this done! No Siree Bob!I had to run an errand after work  ( my repaired and strengthened blueprints had to be taken back to the printers - this time I got there very fast but I initially overlooked their  handy parking lot and did some waste of time driving around trying to find non-existent Glenwood Avenue parking. I successfully dropped off the prints and will get them tomorrow.

 And so I got home late and then I remembered I had no broccoli and TP and green tea and no dishwashing soap or dog treats and that was not okay and so that called for another errand and then after that, I had to walk the dog and then I had to feed the two of us and then I had to ride the exerbike and then I had to practice barrel rolling with the dog - Turkey Jerky is crack for Rocket, Wow! He is a huge fan, I'm hoping he will turn out to be a big enough fan that we can start making progress on turning him into a barrel walker instead of just a barrel pusher.

And then I had to watch TV and then the dog wanted to go outside three or four  for no reason at all, and then I had to unpack my new Farberwear pots and pans and they are quite lovely and then relized I hadn't really stopped moving since ten after five this morning and I decided I had to watch some more TV, gotta keep that DVD moving, and then I had to well, this.

Tonight I'm going to take my brand new Ikea catalogue with me to bed and dream of lovely, tasteful, useful things I need for around the house. Thank God the nearest Ikea is in Charlotte! Anyone wanna go to Charlotte?




Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Just Walk On By


I want to tell you how much I love my dog. I love my dog so much I marched up and down the same two block stretch of Glenwood Avenue , in your town it would be wherever the really terminally uncool wanna be cool kids hang out to find partners in uncoolness and go to latter day fern bars. I walked up and down this street wearing a bright red rain coat and carrying a bright pink umbrella and my houses' plastic wrapped ancient blueprints. Getting increasingly bezerk. In the rain. For a good twenty-five minutes because I stupidly took my GPS's word for it that my location was "on the right". I didn't just look a little bit crazy.

It was "on the right" but on the right two blocks further up the street. I was also really ticked because very few of the businesses along the way had its street number plainly visible. Rots of ruck when you are burning to the round Trendy McBarinsteins or Flash in the Pan Boutiqueasaurus. You all suck.

I did finally find the place, BTW, so easy to find! The GPS sent me around Robin Hood's' barn to get there and all it needed to say was "Its by that place you went that time" and I would have totally gotten it! Instead I drove around like an idiot and made myself crazed.

Super good way to present yourself to a vender. "Hi! I'm Soaked and Crazy! Lets Do Business!"

Fortunately, I was not the firs\t crazed client they have spoken to, and we quickly got down to business. It turns out I have two copies of my blue prints, one is a tattered mess best left untouched.. but the other copy is more or less okay. I was sent home with orders to tape up the torn areas and generally, making it a little more serviceable and tough enough to go through a scanner and not fall apart. I am to return tomorrow with my taped up copy and we will precede from there. I was told to take pictures of the plans just in case they don't survive the scanning process. Gulp.

I started this because the Vet School wants a floor plan for the house to see where Rocket lives and to point out potential problem areas for him. They said I could just free hand something and that would be fine. I can't do this. I have spatial problems and there is no way I could come up with am accurate floor plan. I thought of my blue prints and found a solution, to a point. Now I have to start a project with them so I can have these incredibly useful documents into the future. You have to measure all the windows in your house? I don't have to!

I did see something interesting in the plans, there is no upstairs, the  attic area is not plotted out at all nor is there any mention of hardware or specs for anything up there. I know the original owner used the space as an office and it had phone lines and a lighting and a bathroom and built in bookshelves, but I had thought they were all original to the house. They either did all that work  post 1949 or I am missing pages to the blueprints.Either could be true.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Good Weekend


Sorry about Friday. I went to a speaker from the Behavioral health department at the NC Vet School  Thursday night and she spoke about a book that was written by the Big Deal, Very Important National Veterinary Behavioral Health Something or Other and also about several case histories of dogs with separation anxiety and how the behavioral health people at the college helped the dogs and their people get their lives back and be happy. I bought the book.

I was very happy when I left there. I was so happy and hopeful about Rocket and his chances of  achieving  recovery that I totally forgot about Friday. I blame it on the short week, it never fails when we have a Monday off it just makes the rest of the week all wonky and it just feels longer and things happen.

Friday Cat Blogging will return this week.

On Friday I received Rockets life preserver and it is very rad. Its bright orange and has lots of handles and grips and it fits very well. He even agreed to wear it around the house for a while, so I see that as a good sign.

In addition to getting the life preserver, I did a lot of shopping this weekend. Lots and lots. I bought two pairs of office shoes! they are suede and slip on and will be great for the winter. I still need to get a black pair and a brown pair, I would have gotten those too but they didn't have my size and I was concerned about getting four pairs of the same shoe in different colors. I was afraid it would say something about me that would not be complimentary.

I worry about that.

So now I have two more things to shop for, Darn it all.

I also got my Birthday present! A very  awesome, very rad new Tablet! It is officially going to act as my E-reader, but it can also be my very awesome, very rad Tablet in its off duty as as E-reader

It is, for those of you who are interested in such things, it is an Asus Memo Pad MG8, isn't it pretty?! It is going to live in a very sexy, violet case. Thank You Mom and Dad and Broskey and Alphagal!!!

.

On my buying spree, I also bought new pots and pans, on sale, from Tuesday Morning. My new stove demanded new pots. I have old pots but they are hand me down and sad and old and nice enough, a good sale beckoned and I wanted new pots. It was hardly a huge investment in professional quality gourmet blah blah copper pots and pans as I have not lost my mind, but they are quite serviceable and have nice, thick, flat bottoms that are friendly to my glass top stove.

To make up for all this shopping, I took Rocket on three walks on Sunday, they weren't really long walks but one was along the Neuse and it was at the very least new and different. We encountered many, many spider webs and too many cans and bottles to count, but not a single person. I wish the trail had been better marked because it was a nice walk. We also walked to the post office and downtown.

I also slept really late both days and could have gotten more done, but didn't. And I'm fine with that.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Eating Out


I went to Burger King for lunch on Tuesday. Snuff with your rage, I needed an original BK chicken sandwich and onion rings. I didn't even remember the messed up my order and are  treasonous corporate tax cheats until after I refilled my drink and was headed out the door.

Why was I distracted from thoughts of appropriate punishment of treasonous corporate tax cheats and serial order foulers?

I ordered my food, which they got wrong, is it so hard to not put mayonnaise on everything? Did I ask for salad in addition to my chicken? I did not. I asked for a #8 plain and dry. It was not plain, it was not dry. I had to sacrifice one of my onion rings to scrape everything off it. Fortunately, the batter they use on the rings render them excellent mayonnaise scrapers. They stay firm and they stand up to  the oily wetness

I was not thinking about that either. I try not to think about how often  these places get my order wrong, if I were to spend time thinking about this, I would think about little else.  I eat at these places so rarely anymore, it would be great if they could not fuck up my order ever. single. time.

Instead of  serial poor customer service and treasonous corporate tax cheats, I was thinking how a staffer came out to my table, I was eating outside to escape the constant bleating and dinging and buzzing endemic to fast food restaurants and was finding the sound of bus farts,  jabber from packs of wandering under grads and  truck exhaust soothing in comparison. The staffer bussed my table, gave me a book of coupons and a handful of after dinner mints.

I was shocked. So shocked I didn't think to complain about my botched order or her employer's status as treasonous tax cheats. She bussed my table and gave me mints!  While I was eating outside! She took my trash away so I didn't have to.

She treated me like an actual real person dining at an actual real restaurant and I forgave Burger King for fucking up my order and being treasonous corporate tax cheats. One staffer doing the right thing. Who knew? I walked out of there with positive thoughts about them despite the fact I should be boycotting them for being tax cheats and the fact they inevitably fuck up my order.

One employee being nice. Instead of obsessing over my fucked up order and their status as treasonous corporate tax cheats I walked out of there thinking positive thoughts about them. The order fucking up, treasounce corportate tax cheats. Clearly, the good thoughts were for a limited time only... But I walked out of there and did not burn the store down. I  still see that as a win for customer service and sadly, for the treasonous corporate tax cheats and serial order fucker uppers.