Wednesday, March 31, 2010

An Unwelcome Guest

The stand off continues. Cadie discovered a small bug on my kitchen floor, and it has freaked her right out. She won’t get within 2 feet of it. She reared up and tried to pounce, but then lost her nerve. She then got backed out of the kitchen, and was hovering about 3 ½ feet from the tiny spec of a bug that innocently crawled into the kitchen. I’m going to go an get it in a minute and move it out into the yard. She just cracks me up.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Nothing Bad can Happen to Me!

Day 1 of getting my life back on track and already I’m behind. I woke up this morning feeling terrible. I don’t know why, but I got out of bed 3 times before I finally forced myself up at 6. That means that I did not get a chance to fit in any exercise. I also didn’t leave myself with enough time to eat breakfast either, so that left me hungry and a little nauseous, which “forced” to go step out for a Timmy’s break mid morning.

The Timmy’s break is not on my diet, so that’s a further step back, also it means spending money that I don’t have, which puts me further off my financial goals. It was –also a pretty bad day at work. So all-in-all the first day of the Get-Your-S$%t-Together Plan of the GYST Plan was not a total success. Never fear; tomorrow is a new day, and a new opportunity to prove that I can get myself back on track.

I worked briefly with a woman who always told that there is a difference between a dream and a goal. A dream is a vague vision or idea of what we want, and a goal is a detailed plan of how we’re going to get there. Specifically a goal has a deadline. So I am going to put my head down and start to put a detailed plan in place so that I am living a different life by Easter 2011.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Don't Forget! You're Here Forever

I’d had a lot of people ask me recently about my motivation for starting a blog. It’s part of the plan. The last couple of years have not been good, as I hinted last week, things at work are bad, I ended an engagement in the last 12 months, I’m broke as a result, and my weight is sky high, and my grandmother has been undergoing some huge life changes, putting a terrible strain on my mother. All of these things together make me feel panicky. The blog is the cornerstone of the “get my s%&t together plan”. With so much wrong it became a lot easier to come home and find a reason to sit in front of the television and feel sorry for myself. It wasn’t all bad, I know that I’m lucky, I have a job, I have a nice, new place, I have great friends, and family, but Cadie was the best thing I had. She was the most consistent thing I had. On the worst days I would climb into bed and pray that God not take her, I even tried bargaining, saying that I could cope with the loss of anything else, but not Cadie, I need to keep Cadie.

And really, the proof is in the pudding. I come home ready to crawl into bed with my coat on, and then I see Cadie, then I walk Cadie, and watch her chase a tennis ball in the park like a mad man, and I can feel my shoulders relaxing, my breathing getting better, and my stomach starting to settle. I believe that were it not for Cadie I wouldn’t be sleeping at all.

Back to the plan, the blog fills a central role in the plan. By forcing myself to finish every day focusing on the one thing that has been consistently good, and thoroughly mine, I am retraining my mind so that I can take my next steps.

As I said, I am almost finished getting my home in order, and that is a huge relief. With this in place I can now refocus on getting my job, and more importantly, my career back on track. When I feel like I have a handle on this, I can start to worry about my weight, and the finances will improve, but this will take the longest time, and really I should start working on this sooner rather than later.

I have a couple of mantras, the fist is, Nothing bad can happen to me, the second is by far my favourite: Don’t Forget You’re Here Forever. I know it sounds awful, but it keeps me moving. There’s a story attached to it, one that really spoke to me when I heard it.

So that’s it. I blog because I love Cadie; I blog because I want something better for myself than what I currently have, and so far, this is easiest part of my plan, and I do it for her.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Weekend Plans

Cadie was really good for me on Friday, Saturday, not so much; I took her to the park first thing in the morning, but that wasn’t enough. So I called my friend Catherine and decided to head out to her place. The plan was that I could sleep while Cadie played with her good buddy Toby. So I got there, and before heading down to the basement to sleep C and I decided to have a nice, relaxing cup of tea. Then C assured me that she had everything under control, so I headed down to the spare room, shut my eyes and tried to sleep.

C and her husband B are great with the two dos, even though it’s super tiring to watch two puppies. Still there was a lot of running back and forth, thunderous running back and forth, which you would not expect given that neither dog weighs more than 20 Lbs. It wasn’t long before my curiosity got the better of me, and I was back upstairs with the pack. Cadie and Toby were all over each other. They bite at eyes, necks, legs, feet, tails, backs, whatever they can grab, and then they try to flip the other one. It’s hilarious to watch, but also a little nerve racking, because dog play doesn’t look civilized. Still you have to trust them, I mean you keep an eye on them, but C and I both know that they absolutely love each other.

Cadie is almost a year older than Toby, so she is closing in on 2, which means that she is becoming less and less of a puppy every day, which also means that she runs out of energy a lot faster than Toby does. Still it was Toby who seemed to run out of steam first, and he laid his head down on Cadie’s front paws for a quick rest. Being a puppy, Toby bounced back pretty quickly, the dogs headed into the back yard at one point and that perked him up again.

Ultimately it was Cadie who ran out of steam, first. C and I had been sitting together on the couch watching something quiet, I think it was an HGTV show, and we could see Cadie pacing around looking for a nice quiet corner to crash in. Well, she didn’t really find it. She grabbed a quick catnap, before her big, mean mommy came over and grabbed her, for a snuggle. Toby also wanted to snuggle, so in the end it was C and I watching TV with the dogs snuggling in for a mid afternoon nap.

Not long after that Cadie and I headed for home, she’s been lounging and sleeping ever since. So, really, the plan was successful.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Queasy Feelings

I woke up today feeling terrible. Not totally surprising since I dragged myself to bed last night, rolled over on my stomach and vowed not to move until the cramping past. It didn’t, and when I woke up this morning I also had a pounding head ache. I may never know if I had a migraine or food poisoning matched with a head ache and frankly I don’t care. I spent a couple of extra hours in bed, and tried to do as little as possible this morning. It’s always when you’re sick that you discover that you’ve let things slide. I was hungry and looking forward to lunch until I went to my kitchen, and like Mother Hubbard, discovered that my cupboards were bear. So once the abdominal cramping past I headed out to the grocery store. Not the way I had hoped to spend my Friday. Things at work aren’t good for me right now, so missing a day, especially calling in sick on a Friday, is not something that I really wanted to do.

The weather was fabulous. I know some people might say that it was too cold, and yes, it was cold, but I love the cold, and the sun, so the weather today was perfect for me, and for Cadie. After a good a meal and another short rest Cadie and I did head out to the park. It was good, she needed to blow off some steam, and I would have felt guilty had she not been able to enjoy some of it. If you get sick, you still have to find a way to look after them, and find a way to manage their energy is a way that works for both you and them. Otherwise, Cadie and I don’t have any trouble.

I love watching Cadie play fetch. She runs so quickly, but I noticed today that she still has a lot of puppiness to her, and I like to indulge that, especially in the park. Much to my surprise and delight, she came home from the park, exhausted, and has been sleeping in her chair ever since. The drop in energy was so striking that, for a while anyhow, I though there might be something wrong with her. That’s one of the problems with being the sole care giver to an animal or anyone for that matter.

I’m a bit of a hypochondriac, when I came and sat down to write I looked over and Uter seemed to be doing something odd. He just didn’t seem too active for lack of a better word. Now a reasonable person would conclude that Uter was simply resting. As my previous entries have shown Uter tends to doze at this time of night, so it was more likely that he was sleeping, but I had to reach in there and grab him. I really made a mess of it. Uter is now have a freak out, and is frantically trying to swim out of the tank. I need to learn to leave well enough alone.

Anyhow, I am starting to feel a little better, so I’m going to go and do some dishes before bed.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Spring Fever

What a perfect day in so many ways. The sun was out, it was nice and warm, and Cadie finally got some decent exercise. I took her to the park for a full forty five minutes, where she ran and ran and ran I threw the ball continuously for most of that time. When she got tired and thirsty she decided to lie in the grass and stretch out to her full length. It was so good to know that she has gotten all of that energy out. After super we headed out for yet another walk, so she’s had a very full day, and I couldn’t be happier. Now, just like last night, I have two sleeping, and happy animals.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Where's the Funny?

I am currently enjoying, what seems like a rare moment of peace. I am sitting next to a sleeping turtle, and I know that the dog is sleeping in her chair on the other side of the room. This moment, regardless of how short it may be is pure bliss.

I was thinking earlier today about the subhead of my blog, bright lights, big city, hilarious dog. I was thinking about how my blog doesn’t contain a lot of city glamour or hilarity. This will never be a story like Marley and Me. For starters my dog is trained and fairly well behaved, where I didn’t think Marley was well trained, and certainly I couldn’t have lived with that dog. For all of Cadie’s training she stills has her moments. The rain brought a lot of them to the fore over the last two days. I accept that we need rain, in addition to being a lover of animals I am also a gardener, and I value the rain; but Cadie just refuses to get her feet wet. So she steps out of the apartment building and puts the breaks on. She flat out refuses to go anywhere, and stands there, one dainty paw in the air, giving me the kind of dirty look that you usual see 14-year-old girls give their mothers when they catch them dancing to the radio. Cadie might be small, but she is a well-muscled dog, and if she decides that she’s not going somewhere then I can either give in, or I can pull and pull. I usually give in, because I’m afraid of hurting her.

Tonight however, I just couldn’t take it, two, almost three days of pent up dog energy, and cabin fever. I forced that dog out into the misty rain for a good thirty-minute walk. That did the trick. She has been lounging around ever since. Right now she is walking around me, just out of reach, trying to get me to go and snuggle with her on the couch. This is what I was thinking about today. I find this so endearing, and hilarious in it’s way, but it just doesn’t translate into dog hilarity for anyone who doesn’t also own a dog.

Still, even if the joke is only funny to me, I consider this to be another dog miracle, so I think I will go and join her.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Vacation's Done

So my vacation is now over, and I have to head back to the office tomorrow morning. I could not be more nervous about it. This will be, not only the first time that I leave Cadie alone in the new place for an entire day, but also the first time that I leave Cadie alone with the run of the apartment. So I’m freaking out right now trying to find all of the places where Cadie might get herself into trouble. Not to mention, as this is my first day back after week’s vacation I’m sure there is no way that I will get out of there on time, which means that poor Cadie will be alone for a much longer time than I would like.

So I’m sitting here, writing, surveying my domain and worrying myself sick about everything that is out in the main space. Because my place wasn’t totally finished when I moved in last week I am still missing a cabinet in the kitchen, which means that my garbage is open, this is by far the biggest problem. However, I have a solution for this one; I think I’ll just shove the garbage in the bathroom.

It’ll all be fine, I know this, I just have to leave the apartment and trust that everything will be fine; in all likelihood nothing will go wrong. Right?

As the vacation is coming to an end Cadie and I tried to get ourselves back on a routine. We did dog park as per the usual, and then later this afternoon headed out for a good long walk. I’m looking forward to getting back to work, getting back to a routine, but still I am going to miss spending my days with my dog. It’s been such a treat, but I guess that staying home with her permanently would be too much of a good thing, oh and I need to work. So I guess I should go and finalize the apartment so that I can have all the loose ends tied up before 7:00 am tomorrow.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

New Home, New Hair Cut

Cadie had a hair cut today. Salt’s mother and I are getting much better, and it’s starting to go a lot better. The first time she groomed Cadie my guess is that it took us about 4 hours, now we’ve got it down to a lean 2. And Cadie looks fantastic. A is a real stickler for detail, and she has done a perfect job as a result.

The weird thing about grooming Cadie is just how much hair comes off of her; she will go to bed tonight 3 inches shorter than when she woke up this morning. Because we were getting rid of her winter hair there were quite a few mattes that have left some bald spots, but that’s okay, a couple of days and they will fill in. The other thing I was surprised to see is that Cadie actually has a square face. The winter hair had grown in so thick, especially on the face, which it had started to appear round. I liked the fluffy round face, but I just love this sleek square one.

Now Cadie is all set for Easter.

Friday, March 19, 2010

A Nice, Lazy Day

For our last day of vacation I got up early and took Cadie up to an off leash park. I thought change of scenery. We headed out, and passed Salt’s mom, who was on her way to work. We waved, and laughed as we continued to head up to the park. Cadie was easily the smallest dog there. We took the trails and headed east until we hit a fairly significant mud patch. When it was obvious that the rest of the path was impassable we headed back. What we didn’t do was take the time to stop and throw the ball, perhaps if I’d done that she’d have been ready for a nap when I finally got her home. She wasn’t. I had a lot of calls to attend to this morning, so my attention was split, Cadie did not like this at all, she kept throwing tennis balls at me, and barking loudly. Lesson learned, no matter how else we start our day, the Chuckit is an integral, and indisputable element.

Aside from the morning romp, the day was pretty quiet, as I mentioned this hasn’t been a restful vacation, which is fine, I knew that coming in, but I wanted to get some couch time in before I head back to the grindstone. That is what I had today. Then this evening I had two friends over for dinner, Salt’s mother A and Toby’s mother C. It was great, the move gave me a lot more stuff, as I said earlier this week, I now have new china, that have used twice since I moved in. I also have some lovely crystal glasses, so we sat and dined, then Salt, A, Cadie and myself walked C to the subway. A great night.

Uter is also becoming more adventurous since the move, he is now coming up to the side of the tank to say hello, not just to me, but to A and C as well. Still Uter has his setbacks, right now he is trying to swim out of the tank. Five minutes ago, though, he was trying to grab one of the stones at the bottom of his tank, with his mouth and drag it somewhere. God love you, and your never-give-up-attitude Uter.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Cadie Under Attack

Cadie and I have not had a great couple of days. We were at the park yesterday, when poor Cadie was clotheslined. It freaked me out, so I ran after her trying to track her down so that I could look her over, and make sure that she was okay. She was; more stunned than anything else. She played on my sympathies long enough to get me to carry her a block or two on the way home. But on the whole she was fine. I also had a good day with the unpacking. I stayed up late and motored through the remainder of my boxes, I was so keen to get everything out of here, and restore some order. The last thing that I had to do when I went to bed last night was take my storage stuff down to the locker.

I woke up this morning and realized that I have no idea where the key to my storage locker has gone. So that pile is still sitting in the middle of my office. Disappointing, it’s true, but it’s the best I can do until my supper cuts my lock off the locker.

More troubling than the lost key situation is what happened to Cadie this morning. We got there a little earlier than normal, and were happily playing with our ball when I made the mistake of throwing it too close to a strange dog, who first kicked it under her hind legs, then sprang into action, grabbing Cadie by the throat, throwing her on her back and pinning her to the ground. Probably most upsetting in all of this is that the owner allowed his dog to get to the point of pinning my dog before he decided that he needed to intervene. Meanwhile, I’m shrieking and flying across the park. We finally got them separated; I was looking my shrieking girl over to see if we needed a vet, when the other owner told me that I shouldn’t “baby” her, because it would make her more afraid. But come on, I have to give her a good once over to make sure that she’s okay. This is not Cadie’s first attack; she was attacked by a crazy chocolate lab back in October. My fear is that she will develop and long, and lasting fear of other, larger dogs. My other fear is the cost of vet bills, the first attack cost me nearly $400.00, and I simply can’t afford that right now, particularly as the incident could have been avoided.

Earlier this week I wrote about a couple of women who scared the carp out of everyone when their two labs jumped all over each other in front of a young family. I would like to pick up this thread.

Immediately after the attack this morning my thought was that good dogs have bad days, and this was simply a bad day. I later learned that this dog has attacked at least 2 other dogs. This dog should not have been off leash, for that matter, this dog should be wearing a muzzle.

Strong words? Perhaps, but seriously, I think we need to talk about leashes. I’m no angel, and I will admit that I don’t always adhere to the strict letter of the law, but, I think we need to clarify something. Being off leash, be it in designated off-leash areas, or in community parks, is a privilege that a dog earns, and not a right that they have. If your dog cannot be trusted to behave off leash then they should remain on the leash. How do I define behave? If your dog is not under control, i.e. it’s running away from you, it’s attacking other dogs or people; it is not under control, this isn’t brain surgery. It is, however, terrifying to see your loved one at the bottom of a heap and not know if they are going to make it out in one piece. This dog, the one that attacked my little girl, has no business being off leash, it has no business being at a dog park, it should be in obedience school, and doing intensive work with its owner when it’s not in class. At the end of the day, I’m afraid. I’m afraid that this dog will hurt or kill another dog, and I’m afraid that this dog, which is probably quite a nice little creature, will suffer because its owner didn’t train the dog to have appropriate dog park behaviour.

The longer I live in the city the more annoyed I get with the people around me. My dad warned me this would happen, but I didn’t really believe him until this morning. As stated I believe that well-behaved dogs are a credit to their owners and to their breed, and I will defend their being off leash, even in non-designated areas. I just wish that people would think about the qualities that their dogs should have before thy head out to the dog park. If your dog is jealous about toys you should disclose this to your fellow dog-park goers, and you should be working with your dog to eliminate this behviour. If your dog is nervous and can’t cope with loud noise and fast movement, you should accept that dog park is going to upset them, and find another enjoyable activity to do with them. Dogs are living creatures, who want so badly to make us happy and proud of them, the least we can do in return is give them the skills to cope with their environment, and to be aware of their personalities and temperaments and gear your social activities to something that is enjoyable to you both. Dogs, like people have their limitations, but also, like people, they have to be accountable for their actions as their owners we have to be accountable for the kinds of dogs that we raise and take with us into the world everyday.

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Move Continues

.The move continues. I can honestly say that I have unpacked almost 30 boxes today, but I’m no where near done. In spite of that I’m pretty tired, and I know that I’m not going to have a ton of time tomorrow. But I think I have a plan, and I believe, perhaps naively that a plan will help you overcome almost anything.

Cadie is not fairing as well with the unpacking as she did with the packing. Every time I drop something, or make another loud noise she jumps and runs to hide in the bathroom. When she was very young we used to leave her in the bathroom while we were out, now that she is older, I am looking to let her have the run of the apartment, because she doesn’t like the bathroom. So, I can only conclude that she is not enjoying all of the chaos associated with the move. That being said, I think that I have another 2 days of pretty intensive unpacking to do. I am almost done with the closets and I am finished with the almost 20 boxes of books. One of my major jobs for tomorrow will be taking the empties down to the garage.

We had a rough start to the day, got up a little late, not too bad, but a little late. Then we headed out to the park, where we got rained on. Still, I’m dedicated to making sure that Cadie gets her exercise, particularly when I have a ton of things to do, that will keep me from hanging out with her. I figure that it’s not fair to expect her to sit still endlessly while I work, so I try to make sure that she is looked after before I dive, headlong into my chores.

That being true, Cadie got to go back to the park later this afternoon. This was great; the sun was shinning, the air was warm, it was a wonderful late afternoon break. The walk back was good too, except for one incident involving a couple of labs, and a family who, unfortunately just got too close to each other.

One of the real challenges in the city is the closeness to your neighbors. I love it, I’m a chatty person by nature, and so I like knowing that I can always find someone to talk to, even if it’s a stranger. The issue around this, is having space for larger dogs to run around and play. There is a growing tension between dog owners and non-dog owners in my neighborhood, mostly as it relates to the use of our path. The people with the biggest complaints are the joggers who get annoyed that they have to dipsy doodle around the dogs. I don’t have much sympathy for them, it’s not a track, if they can’t cope with city traffic, they should think about moving out. But I worry about the families. Dogs and families are synonymous to me. I get that there are lots of people who dislike dogs, but still, I think that dogs are a nice addition to most families. I wish we had better off-leash areas in this neighborhood, I think that would help ease some of the tension.

Anyhow, rant ended, my head is feeling a little better, and I’d like to knock off another 2 boxes before bed

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Cadie Scarlett Comes Home

So it’s all over, except of the unpacking. On the whole it went pretty well. WE worked pretty solidly all day yesterday, I was up early to make a huge pot of chili, and start moving some boxes, and get ready for today. My dad, my brother and Salt’s mother were over last night, and I was dismayed to hear that I did not appear to be prepared for today’s move. That didn’t last, they got me back on track, and I am pleased to tell you that the move was more or finished by noon today. I mean, it’s still a little bit of a disaster in here, boxes everywhere, and I have a lot of teacups that still need permanent homes, but this is fairly minor in the bigger scheme of things.

I am very fortunate, I will tell you the least of the reasons why, and then the most of the reasons why; I am very fortunate to have some wonderful antiques. They were obscured in the last apartment; however, they are now being properly showcased. More than that, I am very fortunate, not just to have antiques, but I have mementos of both of my grandmothers in my home. And while the one is still alive and only a phone call away, the other has been gone for almost 9 years, so it’s nice to have a space where I feel so connected to them both.

Secondly, I am most fortunate to have great friends and family. In all I had 9 people here to help me today, and over the weekend, help that was needed and appreciated. Moving is crap, no one likes doing it, even if you are moving to a wonderful new place, it’s still crap. I’m very thankful that I have the week to really put this place together, but I would still be wadding through furniture and other miscellanea if I hadn’t had such a great team this week. So a big, big thank you to all of those very dedicated movers, shakers, and readers of this blog.

Cadie is handling the move quite well. She was panicking a little yesterday, so she stayed with Salt today, while we did the bulk of the work. And I’m glad for that, she doesn’t need to be stressed like that, and I couldn’t have been able to do my part and still look after her. So a big thank you also goes out to Salt for being such a good paws pal.

As my dad and brother were packing up to head out I had a terrible accident. I tripped on something, God only knows what, and I fell, and hit my knee cap on the marble door jamb. I screamed out the foulest of profanities, in front of my new neighbors. At first I didn’t know how bad it really was, but now I’m convinced that it’s nothing more than a bad bruise, however, if it’s really bad tomorrow I will go to see the doctor. I did my best to reduce the swelling, I sat and watched TV with my feet up, and I made sure to cool the area with a pint of Haagen Dazs ice cream, it’s so great to see that modern medical treatments can be both effective and delicious.

Cadie has been very quiet tonight; she didn’t sleep well last night, and has already put herself to bed. I regret that I am going to have to wake her up, but, alas, it is bathroom break time.

So, off I go to enjoy my first night alone in my new home. Tomorrow is another day!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Last Night

I knew it was going to be bad day when I got up. The day before a vacation is never a good day. Still, I had to give it a shot; I mean if it hasn’t been today, it would have been yesterday. So I spent about 11 ½ hours at work today, trying to tie up loose ends, and came home to a world so wet the dog wouldn’t venture out into it. The good news is that I think I did a pretty good job, and I am comfortable being out of the office for the next week. The other good news is that I found a bottle of wine in my fridge. God bless you mystery wine!

It’s days like this that make you really value good relationships. People you can call who redirect your vision, and remind you of everything that you have going on for you. I have very good friends and family, and of course doggy. Tonight I also got the keys to my new place. Too bad I was half sloshed by the time the supper brought them to me.

I did manage to get my bedroom closet moved, as well as my new TV stand. And, as mentioned earlier I got some celebrating done.

This is my last night in this apartment, and it is bitter sweet for me. I’m going to miss the view, and the bright sunshine, but I am getting a new place that will be all mine.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Mystery and Science of Dog Food

Who knew that buying dog food could be so difficult. At 2 years old we have yet to find an adult food formula that Cadie will eat, and not give her digestive issues. When Cadie was a puppy she was on a chicken-based kibble diet, and life was good, she ate happily, and had good health. Since then we’ve experimented with 3 possible adult formulas, one beef-based kibble, one chicken, and finally, a neighbor gave me a sample of a lamb-based kibble.

My vet explained to me, when we were first trying to switch Cadie to an adult formula that the trick is to make sure that the kibble has the same meat base as their puppy formula. I thought this was a breakthrough, so I headed back to the pet store and immediately replaced the beef-based with the more familiar chicken base. This made it more palatable to her, and I didn’t have as much trouble getting her to eat, but I still wasn’t entirely happy with the final product.

Then a couple of weeks ago a neighbor gave me that sample, and I was thrilled. Cadie loved it. She stoof beside me licking her lips and wagging her tail while I was making her dinner. The digestive issues cleared up. I was convinced. So as a final sign off only I called my vet to tell her about the change to her diet.

Well…lamb alone, my vet tells me, does not have enough nutrients for a dog, and can cause heart issues. No problem, I decided that I would mix the lanb-based kibble with the wet chicken food. It’s delicious, Cadie loves it, I can’t keep it in the bowl. So far though, the end result is not encouraging. I might just be 3 for 3. What do you feed a dog like this?

It may not be ideal, but she is going to eat a little more of this food, probably until I speak with my vet, hopefully she can make some good suggestions, and finally get Cadie onto an adult dog food that will do her body good. As it is as soon as I get up from my chair she's sniffing around trying to get at my dinner

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Capturing the Moment

I am starving, I’ve been hungry since this morning, I have no idea why. I’m currently on my 4th glass of orange juice for the evening. Not surprisingly I am also feeling heavy. The apartment still looks like a war zone, I’m sorry to say that I have all but lost the willingness to care. The only thought that keeps running through my mind now is that I need to have the place in reasonable order for when my friends come to help me move on Sunday. My feet are getting colder and colder as the days go by, but strangely enough I am looking more and more forward to this move everyday. I am also looking forward to being off work for a week, but I kind of wish the Olympics were still on so that I’d have something to watch.

I am lucky enough to have a friend who has lent me her camera. Cadie and I skipped our evening walk tonight and stage a photo shoot instead. I think that Cadie is a born performer. She waited patiently while I was setting up the shot and then gave me a winning smile almost every time, they look so cute, and I can’t wait to get them uploaded. I also took some photos of Uter, they are less engaging. But he is less trusting, he saw me headed his way and he retreated into his shell. So I also have those photos which are more funny than cute.

A lot of my friends are quite good with cameras, and take fantastic photos. I’m more than a little jealous. When I was in high school I had made up my mind that I was going to be a photographer. I was the one who always had a camera in my hands, and photos from last weekend’s party. Aside from the playing I did tonight I haven’t taken a photograph since my trip to Greece 4 years ago, and even then I didn’t take many, and I was unimpressed with the quality. A good friend of mine went to China at about the same time, so when we got back we had a photo-viewing party and I was very embarrassed by the quality of my photos compared with hers. Mine were pale and washed out looking, she had the most vivid and fabulous photos. Did it make a difference that I was still using a 35 millimeter? At any rate I’d love to get back into this. In particular I would shoot a lot of video of Cadie walking down the street. It’s pretty funny stuff.

Anyhow the next thing that I am going to try to arrange is for some photos of Cadie and I to be taken. It’s been a long time since I’ve had even one of the two of us taken and I’d like to have something current. I have a lot of frames that need a good photograph.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Plans and Alterations

Moving is for the birds. I went to go and grab Cadie running harness today so that we could go for a jog, only to discover that I have packed it. I have narrowed it down to two possible boxes, but it would still take me a good 45 minutes to find it, so I have decided that Cadie will be not be coming for a jog now until after the move. Also, my home looks like a bomb has gone off here. I know that housekeeping isn’t my strength, but this is ridiculous. I took Toby’s mother down to my new apartment tonight to let her see what it looks like, and much to my despair, the new place has a very similar appearance to the old one. The bones of the new place are much nicer, but it is still dirty and has a lot of stuff sitting in weird places, just like my current apartment. I just feel like I’m starting to lose my mind. I mean it’s so bad that today I cleaned my desk to try to calm myself down.

Moving takes so much effort that poor Cadie isn’t getting the attention she needs either, I’m really anxious for the move to be done and over with. Things are going so much better at work, it would be nice to get the home life humming again too. Then I could really lower my blood pressure, get my head back together and start to work on the other problems in my life. One step at a time I guess.

One of the things that I didn’t include in yesterday’s blog was a close call that Cadie and I had. While crossing the street, with the right of way Cadie and I were almost mowed down by a crazed driver. I saw her speed up as she came flying towards us, I would have been safe no matter what, but it was close with Cadie. I gave her leash a good strong pull, and the crazy woman missed her by inches. I didn’t mention it yesterday because it upset me to the point that I was nearly crying, but now I’m much more angry about it, so I can handle talking about it. All I would like to say is that had Cadie not been on a leash I wouldn’t still have her with me. Still I don’t think we’ll be crossing that street again any time soon.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

A Dog's Life

Having a dog makes for a busy social calendar. Cadie and I were totally in-demand and on the move this weekend. First we were invited to Toby’s house, where we ate hotdogs and chewy sticks. Then we were invited to Salt’s house for pizza and grooming. All in all it was a great weekend, though a tiring one.

Friday night saw an epic battle between Cadie and Toby for possession of the chewy sticks. There were lots of chewy sticks for both dogs, but they just don’t share well. Toby’s mother and I tried to stay up and see this battle to its conclusion, but at 12:20 we had to pack it in and head to bed. The problem was that Cadie was three or four very satisfying chews away from finishing hers. The fact that I pulled her away before she was finished meant that she did not sleep that night, and if she doesn’t sleep, I don’t sleep. She spent most of the night sitting by the door hoping that I would let her out so that she could go and get her treasure. First thing in the morning, she ran out of the guest room and into the living room, where she looked frantically for her chewy stick. In the end my friend and I gave the dogs another 2 chewy sticks to keep them quiet. It didn’t work, the battle immediately started up again. Oh well, at least it was entertaining.

After a good long nap Cadie and I headed over to see Salt, it was much more subdued there on Saturday night. The dogs did share a treat, and then they both crashed out. It made for a very peaceful and pleasant evening.

Today was all about us, we had a good 2 hours out in the morning, a nice run around the park, and a good long street walk. The sunshine was so bright and invited that I really couldn’t face a day of sitting inside, so in the late afternoon we headed out for Yonge and York Mills, a good 3-hour walk tonight. And now it’s time for a nice snuggle before heading to work tomorrow.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

A Great Day for Cadie

It was a chilly morning, but that didn’t stop Cadie from “scampering” down the street. I had a later start to my work day, which in turn meant a later end to my work day, so I made sure to get Cadie out for her evening walk this morning, before I left.

I remember when Cadie was a puppy she used to get so excited about the smallest things, one time, we were struggling to get in before a huge thunder storm, or rather, I was struggling, and I was panicking, Cadie was just enjoying the day; the dark skies, the cooler air, and all the nifty things that went flying past her face, like leaves and candy wrappers. We did not beat the storm, and as it turns out, Cadie does not like rain. So I had to carry her the rest of the way home, she stayed relatively dry, while I got soaked. This morning’s walk was a lot like this one, just without the threat of oncoming rain.

As I said, it was chilly, but not so cold that Cadie had to wear her coat. So already she was in seventh heaven. But I was still surprised by what followed. Anyone walking along would have thought she was still a puppy, in fact many people said as much as we passed them.

Watching Cadie get so much joy from something as simple, and as basic as an early morning walk, was by far the best part of my day. The rest of the day was crap. I shouldn’t complain, and I have promised myself that I will not. The ugliest thing about a blog, in my opinion, is listening to people complain about their jobs. Let’s be honest some of us have terrible jobs, almost all of us have terrible days at our jobs, and only some of you have fabulous jobs full of great days. My point is two fold, first no one wants to read or listen to another person whine about their situation; and second, this is meant to be my escape from my job. The way that I can tell myself that I am something more than what superiors “see” in me; this is the place where my goals and aspirations matter.

Still, I find working so strange. I find it strange that in a world where so many people are dissatisfied with some aspect of their jobs that we haven’t found a way to fix this problem. I know that I have it pretty good. I’ve been able to keep my job throughout this recession; I have a nice home, and a wonderful dog, all possible because of my job. I have also been very fortunate to have received an excellent education, which has allowed me to think about my life in terms of a career, and not simply as a wage, and for all of these things I am very grateful. I guess I just find it strange that we can all get up every morning, pull ourselves away from where we really want to be and go somewhere we hate.

So to close on a positive note I would like to extend my congratulations to my mother, who has sold my grandmother’s home. My mother has been the project manager on this job, and it has been huge, so congrats Mum.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Turtle Tales

Cadie is not my only pet. I also have a nice little turtle named Uter. Uter, according to my youngest brother, is a Mississippi Map turtle, you can read all about them here .

My brother has a lot of turtles as pets, but Uter just never fit. Apparently Uter has very serious psychological issues. My brother has I think 4 or 5, a giant one, named Johnny Cakes, and 3 or 4 other smaller, and younger ones. Uter lived with the smaller and younger ones, but he never really fit in. He would freak out frequently. And by freak out I mean that he would try to jump out of the tank, swim out of the tank, and when that didn’t work he would bite the other turtles, which meant that my brother had to find a new home for him.

Instead of posting him for sale on Craig’s List, I took ownership of poor little Uter. Since then he has grown fat, and has had to adapt to living with a dog. For the most part Cadie ignores him, and he ignores her. It’s a bigger problem when we have dog friends over, they are fascinated by this little moving thing in the corner.

It’s funny though how quickly these animals can grow on you. It’s easy to look at a dog like Cadie and fall in love. She’s fluffy, with nice soft fur, and such full cheeks, and a very sweet expression that just wins you over. Uter is the polar opposite. He’s cold and wet, and hides whenever you come in a room. He seems to hate being at my place, though that seems to have improved as we continue to build up his tank. Everything being equal, I have to tell you that I looked at little Uter tonight and discovered that I love him, you know in the appropriate owner/pet kind of way. I like to think that Uter has become, if not fond of me, than at least less scared of me. He now comes over to the side of the tank, and floats next to me while I’m putting my boots on. And he doesn’t swim so far away from me when I walk over to the tank. I think too, that he is even starting to get used to Cadie. Tonight she went looking for him. Not for long though, it still makes me nervous to see a dog hovering around his tank.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Thoughts of Spring

The weather was so wonderful today. It’s the second day in a row when I really feel that spring is just around the corner. Cadie and I didn’t even attempt the trail today. We had a call late in the afternoon yesterday from a friend who warned us that it was stew. So we have been walking up and down the streets today.

Right after work we walked down Yonge St. to St. Claire, then came back up Mt. Pleasant St. After dinner we met Salt and her owner and headed north up Mt. Pleasant to the Yonge and Lawrence area, then came back south down Yonge Street. I love taking my dog walks on the street, because I love to window shop. As it turns out Cadie also loves to shop. She pulls me toward Bark and Fitz, and tonight she stood and stared into Global Pet Store. That’s where I buy her food, and when I take her in there the staff make a huge fuss over her. Cadie does love being the centre of attention.

As I said, I love those days when it is still winter, but you can definitely feel spring in the air. Today Cadie and I were invited to our first barbeque of the season. We’ll be barbequing outside and eating inside, but still, it’s always nice to be reminded that summer is right around the corner. And on that happy, warm thought I am headed to bed.

Monday, March 1, 2010

A Day to Forget

Today was an extremely aggravating day, nothing major, just a lot of little things. As I walked into the subway I realized that I had forgotten my Metro pass, which meant that I had to go back home for it. Now if that was the only thing that had gone wrong I would have been alright, the sun was shinning, it was 3 degrees, and I was excited to come home and get Cadie out for a good long walk. But after work I remembered that I had to go to the bank. I spent 40 minutes at one bank, then headed over to another bank to make a deposit that absolutely had to be done by 6 today. I was standing in line, waiting as patiently as possible until the banking machine was turned off. That’s right, the wonderful bank workers saw an ATM vestibule full of people and decided to turn off the machine. My all-important deposit was not made. So this is not good for me, but what can I do. I made the deposit later while we were out for our evening walk. I also broke a lamp while I was playing with Cadie, I am really looking forward to going to bed. I really wish I had a TV in the bedroom..

While the warmer weather is fabulous, it means that Cadie is in full spring mode, stopping to check every scent, and really dragging her feet. The only plus is that she seems to tire out a lot more quickly. Still, it’s too bad as I was looking forward to coming home and relaxing, which, of course, involves walking a well-behaved dog.

Everyone who looks after animals or children knows that they occasionally have days when you can’t figure out what happened. Days when you look at that impudent, impish face and think: “Who are you, and what have you done with my good dog?” On these days I call Cadie Changeling, and shockingly, she responds to it. I take this to be proof positive that my dog is laying on a hilltop somewhere and I just have to outsmart whatever supernatural power is holding her captive. It always seems to work, Changeling never stays long, so I know that Cadie will be back again soon. On the plus side we ran into Salt and her mother again, and both dogs were really excited to see each other, so at least that’s normal.

Finally, I understand that some of you are having trouble posting comments. I too have struggled with this function. I handled it by writing out my comment, and then selected preview, I then posted through that application. It might take some fiddling to sort it out, but I hope you will keep trying. If we really can’t make it work, I will look at moving to different software.