Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!!!



Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Quality


I almost didn't get this done. I came back from a bitter cold walk with Rocket, made myself some mac and cheese and bbq  pulled chicken, fed Rocket and then settled into my electric blanket and the TV.

Rocket not beign a stuiped animal, has learned that the best place to be is not on the quilt but under the quilt and he will burrow under if forced, it allows him to be surrounded by warmth and he and I like it better that way. I get all the benefits of electric blanket warmth as well as warm dog comfort. The dog figured out the wonder of being under the covers his first winter, I have been trying to convince the cat of that for six years to no avail.

I don't know if the cat is just that dim or his fur is just that thick.

Today on the Dog Spy 2000, I saw that the reason Rocket is so good beteeen six and noon is because Rocket is asleep between six and noon. He doesn't start passing and fussing and  peeing until at least a quarter to two. And then he's bouncing off the walls. The Prozac is  working but I need something with a slower release,something that might cover him for longer than six hours.

Today he peed on the bedding I left for him in the crate and then he pulled the sodden fabric onto the floor, ostensibly to steep, the plastic  floor of the crate being impenetrable and lacks the capacity to become as satisfyingly saturated as the hardwood floor.


Monday, November 25, 2013

Leaf Me Alone


A better weekend than last.

I went to the Raleigh Christmas parade, found it very similar to the one from last year, except this year instead of one or two helium balloons there were no helium balloons! Due to a worldwide shortage of helium. Instead we had an air blown  beaver. Merry Damchristmas!

I also raked the yard the old fashioned way - I would have vacuumed it but the leave coverage was too deep and I don't want to burn out my mower motor doing something stupid I could do by hand. The mower is pretty green but nothing is as green as a rake. It should be about reducing our carbon footprint, not making our lives easier. At least until we can vacuum the yard without putting the mower at risk.



I on purpose didn't get all the leaves up because the canopy is still pretty full on it and there is no point to expending  the time and energy and the creation of blisters, of getting the leaves all up, only to have more fall. I'll be more careful when the leaves have all fallen and then I pull out the mower and really clean everything up.  Until then, I'm not going to put the effort into it.

My plan proved its worth in a few hours



I mean, whats the point?  The city will come along and take the leaves but I don't know when that will be done next.I guess it gives me time to get this layer up and to the curb. The backyard is on its own, the leaf coverage will make for very nice mulch.  I bet the weeds that make up my front yard would also appreciate the layer of mulch but sadly, they don't rate the same care as my vegetables. Sorry weeds. And also, the neighbors don't have to deal at my mulchy back yard the same way as they have to deal with the leaves that escape from my front yard and colonize their yards. I'm just as much of  a leafe blown victim as they are - The hipsters haven't raked any of their hateful eaves from their hateful tree at all BECAUSE ALL THEIR LEAVES ARE IN MY YARD, ON MY DRIVEWAY AND ON MY PATIO.

I think I'lltake the dog out to pee. IN THEIR YARD.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Made with #Pixlr # - http://pixlr.com/mobile

Friday, November 22, 2013

Made with #Pixlr # - http://pixlr.com/mobile

Friday Cat Blogging



Bar Dog II


Rocket and I went to our second Cause for Paws fund raiser at The London Bridge Pub and Rocket tied with two other dogs for third place for Cutest Dog! He got the adulation of dozens and I got a neat tee-shirt!

Poor dog, by the end of the evening he was  just about zonked out! He spent the day at Daycare and so he hasn't really slept all day - he needs his beauty rest if he is going to be at the best at da club into the evening hours.

Such a good boy though and we had a great time.

Here he is checking out the competition




He took this "selfy" after I became suspicious that someone had spiked the water bowls!



Here he is at the end of the evening, totally chill waiting for the announcement of the winners. No stress here, note his total confidence in himself.



Thursday, November 21, 2013

Got 'er done


The sum total of my accomplishments for the day:

Ta Da!


whispered as to not tempt fate: thedogwasdryallday

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

He makes up his own challenges.


My new project is going to be getting the Spring tablecloth off the dining room table and getting the Autumn tablecloth on. Thus far I have been unsuccessful in this. I plan on getting this done before I put on the  Christmas tablecloth. I am ever hopeful.

Over the weekend I tilled up the gardens and winterized the outside of the house. I even took the hoses to the basement and stored them more or less neatly, better than last year when they spent the winter on the floor.

Monday I vacuumed/raked the living-room floor and swept and vacuumed the dogs room. I have made the executive decision hat he isn't going to be shredding anything else. It's messy and makes trash and I think he can play with his toys just has energetically and not make such a mess. But on the other hand, he doesn't play with his toys unless directed to do so and according to Dog Spy, sometimes the only thing he will voluntarily interact with during the day is cardboard.

Maybe instead of completely removing the boxes, I could limit his toy boxes in the future to only larger, hardier boxes that don't fall apart as quickly; additionally, boxes don't roll under the futon and disappear  into the land of the gone-and-forgotten-toys

In today's Dog Spy it was reiterated that Rocket Loves the Window. A Lot. Perhaps more than he loves me. He also wants his futon back, badly. Which is unhappy making for me.  Today, I watched him clearly spending time investigating chairs and how they are arranged there, and I  know that he will move on to more active experiments with them and that way lies educational destruction of private property and him getting himself back on the futon without my input.

My plan was to tart up the bedding in the crate, but I don't think its going to soft and cushy and up off the ground enough to make it as attractive an option as the futon. I fear if I don't physically remove the futon from the room ( really not an attractive option for me) I do not see him him ignoring it to spend the majority of his day in the crate.

On the futon he gets access to 1. Light,  2. Warmth, 3. A Good View Out The Window.  He's spends more time looking out his window than an old lady in a New York based sitcom. I can't deny him what little pleasure he makes for himself. Also,  my chairs work better when they not broken.

Today he peed once, but with great vigor.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

New Day for Doggy


Going into Day 6 of Operation Dog Spy, I made some changes to Rockets environment. I removed his beloved ottoman, covered the futon with chairs and moved the crate from one side of the room to directly under the window.

So instead of spending his day like this





He spent his day like this





He also had quite a few spells where he found himself inside the crate but didn't seem to understand why he was there.

He spent much more of the day in motion, I ended up with many, many more shots on Monday than I had the previous days. He didn't sleep as much and seemed to spend much of his day trying to figure out ways of getting a better view out the window. Challenge is good, keeping moving is good but I am a little afraid he was pacing, which is not good.

For Tuesday, I am taking some pity on the poor guy and I moved the crate back to its original location so that he can access the window easier. He really, really seems to need to get to it easily  for his doggy happiness and I do not want to take that away from him. I am already keeping him off his futon and the couch (only with permission and a 10 count wait) and the my chair (without me)  so he is feeling the pinch of  New Rules as it is. I don't want to overwhelm him.

Monday evening I took some of the behaviorists advice and started to teach him the names of his toys. I am sure he all ready has named these toys but I am teaching him the English names of them as well so he can be multilingual and get into a really good doggy secondary school. Today we started with Squeaky Toy


Squeaky is  sturdy rubber and shaped like a football and so far has held off being destroyed .We like Squeaky. Today I named it officially and showed it to Rocket. Then we played "Hide and Squeaky" and I tasked the dog to find the named toy. Every time he found or at the very least looked for it, he got a treat. I tried for "Bring me Squeaky", but this was a little outside what he was ready for so soon. I settled on him looking for and finding it with as little help as possible.Another task was having him Sit and Stay in the kitchen while I hid the toy, we were only some what successful with this but he showed improvement by the end of the game.

We spend the next week naming and playing with Squeaky until really recognizes that toy as Squeaky. Next week we name another toy and spend a week with it. Eventually we will name all the toys and he will have developed a little vocabulary.

Today he peed the floor twice.

Monday, November 18, 2013

I hate everything.


Very depressing weekend. I had to make the very painful choice to not send  out cookies this year. I really, really enjoy this project and it kills me to not be able to do it this year. I'm just too poor to be both Aunt Cookie and Santa. I just can't

I had made two batches and then got a bill and I called it quits. I don't buy "things", I feed myself and the animals and the car. I have not as much as CoL pay increase in years but at the same time, everything else has gone up in price and its not fair. Even worse, Rocket doesn't seem to like my cookies, I fed him a couple and he didn't seem to understand how to eat them. My house is filthy and the kitchen is filthy and the wasps are back and I make no progression in anything ever.

The dog won't stop wetting the floor and I'm transitioning him back to being crated all day for the first time since last summer and this is not the progress I wanted to make, its moving backwards and I do not believe that it is going to stop the peeing, its just going to change where he pees and now I'll have a dirty dog as well as a dirty crate.  I had to remove his ottoman out of the room and move the crate to the area in front of the window,I am hoping this will make him a little happier about his new lifestyle. I also made it so he can't get up on the futon while he is in the room for any reason. I put him in the crate while I went to church and he was miserable.

We are as one in our misery. At least we share that.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Friday Cat Blogging


Did list

Things I  did instead of writing an entry:

- Took the dog on an abbreviated walk
- Made some hard choices about the annual dog cookie bake-o-rama
- Vacuumed the front yard of leaves in the near dark
- Put a lamp back together after the dog knocked it over chasing the cat, did not kill dog.
- Vacuumed up broken light bulb, cursed dog and cat.
- went to  the really nice holiday open house held at my favorite nursery, bought only one thing.
- went to Wally World, bought more than one thing
- Remembered to put out trash and recycling.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

I spy

I have found an exciting new hobby. Some  people cook,some clean, some put tiny ships into bottles.I spy on my dog. I'm doing this to widen my knowledge base of dog behavior while also trying to figure out what is triggering Rocket to freakout and thus be able to make this behavior stop. And I've been curious as all hell about what he does all day.

I borrowed my fathers game camera and set it up in the office and waited to have the answers of the cosmos dropped in my lap.  What I learned:  Rocket sleeps a lot. He spends the early part of the day curled upon the futon but then he  shifts to the hassock  and spends the majority of  his day curled up there in front of the window. His day is punctuated by looking out the window and changing sleep positions.

I have not captured a freak-out or any obvious triggers. I know that possibly he is alerted by the phone ringing, but it doesn't cause behavior problems. I have also not captured when he pees - which he does one time each day or what causes a fully potty trained dog to do this

The behaviorist  came Tuesday evening and gave me a lot of good ideas, some I'll put into practice A) feeding him in the office room, B) spending more time myself in the office room with him, 3) Initiating a lot of new rules for him to remind him I am the Alpha,  C) Making sure he is always"below" me ,i.e when I am on the lounge which is somewhat shorter than the couch, he must be on the floor or on the actual dog bed in the room, D) He can be on the couch when I am on the couch or elsewhere but he must earn the privilege to be there,  E) Getting him new toys to cycle out with the old toys so he will actually have some interest in them. F) Teaching him dog tricks to bring us closer and give him more to do and make him more tired both physically and mentally.

He also had some ideas I am not going to do. 1) put him into a different environment in the house and  2) cover up his window so he can't see out of it.  I have mulled over moving the crate to block his access to the main window and moving his hassock to the other window as a possibility though.

From the images the camera has captured I know Rocket spend hours and hours either directly in front of tthe big main window or watching it from the futon and he seems fine with this. I don't want to cause waves in a calm sea by changing his whole world! I think he likes the warmth from the almost all day sun and he seems to really enjoy watching the neighborhood go by as entertainment and stimulation.

However,almostall day light and warmth is also available though the other window but there is much less to possibly over stimulate him. Although my spying has not uncovered evidence of this as yet.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Brrrr!

Rocket rocking his new winter coat.

Rocket tries really hard.


Rocket tries to learn a new skill and ultimately,within hours, did learn to get the toy from the box.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Friday Cat Blogging


Making the best of it.


Today was a good day! Rocket only peed on the floor! And he did it right before I got home so it was really easy to clean up! I was really heartened to come in a just clean up pee, I mean I was like over joyed that there wasn't anything torn up or in pieces or in the wrong place. I no longer have expectations, I'm just happy when I come home and I don't immediately  burst into tears or start screaming.

I also came to the conclusion that the instruction  I had been following, that when I come home in the evening that I should not immediately go to him but instead  leisurely go to the bathroom, change clothes and go about my business before I go and greet the dog. I think it works better for the both of us if I come home and rescue him right away - if only because the faster I can clean up the pee the better it is for he floor and for me. I understand the concept, but I also understand that not all rules fit all situations.

And my evening only got better when later when on my vets instructions, I went to clean out his ears -  it wasn't nearly as traumatic ( for us both) or as time consuming as it is when I try to put ear drop jell in! Yay! I haven't been sure that I am getting in any of the jell because he is such a terrible patient and I am a bad nurse.

Because I do not suffer in silence - Have you ever seen what lurks deep in your dogs' ears? Its not like what lurks in yours. We have nice, tidy,more or less clean places that get a little messy but nothing that is  too shocking. Your dogs'ears are shocking, there is no tidiness or cleanness in  a dogs ear. A dogs ears are actually tiny hellscapes. I believe now that when you area bad person and do terrible things to yourself  and others,  after you die you spend eternity deep in a dogs ears.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Weekly round up.


And how has your week been?

Monday we had our annual employee appreciation luncheon. Except there was no appreciation and the budget office cancelled our "luncheon", which which up until Friday afternoon consisted of  cold cut sandwiches and water. We usually get at least the cold sandwiches, but the budget office "reinterpreted" the standing rule and decided we really do not warrant being that appreciated.

Instead for the appreciation segment of the gathering, we were told with some pride, that the plan was to hire new people at much higher salaries then we were getting! The idea was to create inequality which would "have" to be corrected. ( Note, I am not kidding, this is a verbatim quote) Of course it will! Because the current legislature stands for even handedness and equality! They don't have a hard on at all  for creating inequalities!  They love inequality and want more of it for more people. They do not know their history and think people who do are libruls or communists or socialists or even fascists.

They do not under any circumstance want state workers to be happy. The legislature is full of ignorant teabaggers who think ( their fellow) state workers are a bunch of over paid losers who do nothing all day, they "know"we do nothing because they stripped the solitaire  off our computers -so for sure we do nothing all day. We  ( but not them) are over paid and undeserving. Of course they are going to leap to correct any problems that affect us ( and not them).

We did score two hours away from our desks for  a lecture on how great the DHSR and how those employees who were furloughed, did it for the team and it will all be worth it. We also learned that they are going to introduce a new platform that will help us stay connected. In reality, it is a very fancy phone tree. Period. Upside, the next time it snows we won't have to go to work to check our emails to see if  they sent us an email at work to tell us to stay home.

And the we had a really substantive mini-course on The Cloud. They hope to be able to use it for home based workers, or to increase the number of home based workers, but only if you want to be a home based worker -some people don't like it. Home based.

And then they handed out the service awards, which in theory we were supposed to hang around for but without the lunch bribe, I wasn't sticking around on my time to watch other people pick up their clocks or paper weights or lanterns. I  ate my own sandwich in my car.

Tuesday morning. I had the thought that whatever is upsetting the dog might be outside and if I made the outside go away, maybe the problem would go away with it. Surprise! It didn't! The dog destroyed my fifty year old blinds and  left my sheers in shreds. And he peed the floor. I need to stop having ideas, they are all wrong.

The doggy behaviorist coming next Tuesday. Today I took the Rocket to doggy daycare and for the first time in weeks didn't dread coming home.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Another experiment another failure,


If you ever want to Get In Touch with Your Feminine Side or Really Feel Like a Woman - Get a mamagram and feel every inch of your womanhood. God damn but those are"uncomfortable".

I don't remember it hurting quite so much in years past,or maybe the technician was just more through this year, she kept referring to them as "her" or "she" as  in "Can you shift her a little more to the edge?  or"How is she doing? I need to squeeze her a little more" 

The answer was every time"Do it! Do it! Do it! God this hurts! Just get your film please!

Because of my appointment, Rocket did not get his full walk. I feel bad about this, he worked so hard destroying the blinds in his window and shredding the sheer curtain, I thought he deserved a real adventure. I can't be too angry at him for this bit of terrorism, because I set him up. I had a thought that the reason he was freaking out in the afternoons was because the world of wonder out in the street was just too much for him. I decided that today was the day to free him from that over stimulation.

It turns out he really,really, really missed whatever drama goes on out there. I mean, like really, really. He was destitute without his eye on the world. The sheeris toast and while the slats on the  blind are a lot uglier then they used to be,  it still works. Sigh.

Next Tuesday a behaviorist is coming to tell me why all this is happening  and how to make him stop destroying my house and my trust.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Photoblogging Raleigh


I decided to leave Rockets crate open during the day to see if having a cave to retire to if he started to feel like he needed some safety would help with his anxiety. I took his nice bed out and instead stuffed a large pillow and blanket and an old sheet inside for padding.

He pulled stuffing out of  the pillow - it had pre-existing holes and he peed on the sheet instead of on the floor.

Tomorrow I'm going to keep the curtains shut to see if its something outside that triggers him in the afternoon.

To make myself feel better, here are some pictures I've taken over the past couple of weeks. I am working on a project , but these images are not right for it. I like them, but its not my project.










These were taking in Downtown Raleigh and along the Crabtree Creek Greenway along Capital Boulevard.

Monday, November 4, 2013

A first time


This weekend I decided that I was going to make the ox tails that had been taking up room in my freezer since last summer. I looked a lot of recipes and decided on most of one, and parts of another. I especially like ox tail soup because it requires a lot of tomatoes and I have a lot of tomatoes.

I also decided to make the soup/stew in my crock pot because it requires a lot of time to cook and the crock pot seemed like the best way to do that with the least amount dancing attendance on my  part. I want to be involved with the process but I don't want to   be the process.


All the recipes insist that it is absolutely necessary to brown the oxtail prior to putting into the soup. This was the first time I really examined my ox tail. It is also the first time I really understood why some of the recipes seemed to ask for what seemed like a lot of oxtail. I learned very quickly it is because there is not a lot of meat on an oxtail. Very little. There are a lot of bones in an oxtail, bones weigh a lot more than meat. Lesson learned - you need more than a pound and half of oxtail for oxtail stew.



Right before lift off. I made mine with beef bouillon, which made me feel cheap and lazy, my tomatoes which made me feel better about myself, and some store bought leaks which I had to clean. So I felt not that bad about them. I also added some crushed garlic and some basil and some port wine per the recipe.

I left it to cook for about ten hours. I removed the oxtail and picked off the meat. I made a note to go to the store and buy some more stew meat to fill in because the handful I ended up with was not going to do it. The meat is really good though and was very tender and flavorful.

I left the soup to cool in the refrigerator over night and removed the fat in the morning - also per the recipe. I thought the soup looked a little lumpy so I ran an immersion blender through it and smoothed it out. I turned my soup into a lovely spread.

Soup I'm fine with, stew I'm fine with  spread I am not fine with. I browned and added more meat and another cup of broth and a healthy splash of port and some cooked noodles left the spread to re-heat.


Victory! Liquid! It tastes really, really good! It has a lot in common with any beef stew because it is a beef stew, but there is certain oxtailness to it that makes it a little different. A big score. My next project is going to frog legs.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Friday Cat Blogging


November.


I had to break my not-going-home-streak because I forgot my lunch. Brilliant. So, three out of four days is not that bad, right? Today I'm totally not going home because I'm getting an eye brow wax and treating myself to Burger Yucky, in honor of , well, Friday and the fact that it is the first of November. All ready.

Thursday when I got home for lunch I was welcomed home by a pee free office which made me very happy  and in celebration, we went outside and he had a nice pee. We followed that up by a short walk. We came home, I ate lunch and I took him outside again and berated him until he peed again. I thought we were golden. Fools gold. four there was an extra wide stream I had to ford to get to his leash.

I also noted that he had chewed on the plastic covering of the futon as well. If I come home he still pees but he also chews the futon. If I do not come home at lunch he just pees. Yay. I thought my middle of the day visit was  causing him even more anxiety that he all ready deals with, because I seemed to upset him to the point he peed and ate my futon.  Me not being there means that he does not eat my futon but he still pees.

I need him to both 1) Not Pee and 2) Not eat my Futon.  At the same time.