Friday, October 30, 2009

Doggy Anxiety - Need Advice!

Buster and Belle are going to be turning 10 this winter. You would never know it. They haven't slowed down a bit. They still play rambunctiously with each other multiple times a day, they go for mile-long walks without any sign of tire or strain. Their eyes are clear and their hearing seems a-okay. Hooray for muddled mutt-DNA!

I want them to stay this way for as long as possible, obviously. So, as winter approaches -- or rather, as WINTER CONTINUES UNTIL THE END OF FREAKIN' TIME -- I'd like to keep them inside during the day when the temperature drops below 20 degrees or it is really windy.  Give their joints a little break. (Belle might not like this plan, actually. She loves the snow and cold. She will lay down with her legs spread clear out and her belly in the snow. Weirdo.)

The problems are these: Belle likes to tear apart tissues in the trash and Buster eats everything in sight. (Case in point: we left them inside today and they found wheat berries, fermenting meusli, and sunflower seeds. This ought to be fun later.) They break out of the laundry room to do this.

So clearly, we have some separation anxiety issues here. (They exhibit none of this behaviour when either A. or I are home.)

They don't seem to get stressed out when they are left outside, however. The don't dig, they don't whine, they don't try to escape. They bark their fool heads off at The UPS Truck, but they do that all the time. (What is it with that big, brown truck that makes them go batshit crazy?)

We started Buster on doggie prozac a few months ago to help with his increasing fear of thunderstorms. He became even more high-strung on the drugs! Any quick movement or loud noise sent him shaking. We took him off the meds.

However, maybe, this is about routine? They know the drill - when we leave they go outside. Maybe we just need to condition them to another routine, where they stay in the house alone? If so, do you think crate training would be worth a try?

The current strategy I want to put in place is this: begin gradual and consistent desensitizing and re-conditioning about being left inside alone while very, very gradually introducing crates as an awesome, safe place to be. I don't plan on leaving them in the crates alone until well after I feel like the desensitizing and re-conditioning have settled in.

Perhaps I should put Buster on the anxiety meds again? Maybe he will get better with them since it isn't thundering right now?

Boy, I should have started this in May. Oops.

Thoughts? Advice? Help!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Boo Humbug

We have loads of snow. It is hard to say how much exactly because the 30 MPH winds are drifting it everywhere. Bah.


I have two Boo's to deliver and they are currently trapped in my car, which is trapped at the mechanic's because all roads in and out of town are closed and the parts for the repair are stuck 66 miles south. I was so excited to go Boo-ing, darn it.


It is still snowing. Good times!


Happy Thursday to you!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Forecast: Quiet

I came home Saturday evening from a fun visit with my friend, AGR, to discover that I had no phone or internet. Turns out, the line to the house was cut somehow, and they will try and fix it in about a week.

So, I am currently being naughty and posting from work. Shhhh!

We are supposed to get up to two feet of snow in the next day and a half. What do you expect the changes to be that the phone/internet line be put in before the storm?

Yeah, so all things internet will be light for a bit.

And, I am preparing some work projects so I can work from home, without an internet connection because two feet of snow? My little Civic will just whimper and refuse to move.

Stay warm! May winter not be so eager to greet you as it is here!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The tires are the things on your car that make contact with the road.*

So. That job I mentioned? Thanks for all the support! I am going to apply.

I met with the fella currently in the position for a beer last weekend and we talked shop. (He is also a graduate of my grad program. Go, American Studies in the public sector!) The job sounds 70 percent amazing and right up my alley. A solid 10 percent will be a challenge, and that is exciting. That other 20 percent? Well, it involves me traveling. A lot. Now, this isn't hop on a plane, stay in fancy places, eat at yummy restaurants, work while on the plane, etc. kind of travel. This is get in a car, drive by yourself for four, five, maybe eight hours a day, stay in Super 8's kind of travel. It is not productive travel. It is staring at a road, often times in bad weather kind of travel. Without a decent radio station.

Plus the other stuff, salary vs. cost of living, etc, etc. 

I am going to apply. But I have some thinking to do.

In fact, I um, decided that I am going to talk to Former-Soon-to-be-Current Thesis Advisor #1 about this. Hear me out. FSTBCTA1 is excellent at networking and has particular interests with scholars working in the public sector. This is exactly what drew me to this particular graduate program and to this particular job opportunity. He can help me look at this potential job within the frame of the big picture. If a couple of years (but no more, ugh) of travel (and networking) means setting myself up for some great opportunities in the future, it might be worth lugging around a binder of CDs, investing in some snow tires, and hitting the road.

Of course, I might not even get an interview, and all this scheming and plotting will mean nothing. Whatever.


My car is sucking my bank account dry.

Fucking cars.

Between the 60K-mile maintenance work, worn break pads, a faulty visor (Honda paid 99% of that one!), and a mirror broken by a TUMBLEWEED,  I've put damn near $800 into this car over the past three months. 

I woke up this morning from a dream where I was talking to my mechanic and he told me the funny noise was my breaks. That dream played out in real life about an hour ago. I am psychic! Move over, Allison Dubois!




One of the few things A. and I genuinely disagree on is public transit. It kind of breaks my heart. Plus, I AM RIGHT.


* Can anyone guess the artist of the song with this lyric? Hooo boy, that song brings back memories.

Happy Tuesday to you!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Friday Five

1. Someone tied up their two dogs to a tree next to my office for over three hours. The young dog, still a puppy, barked the ENTIRE time. I finally went out there to make sure the dog was okay. She was; she just was stressed out that her owner was gone.

I left a note to let the owner know the dog wasn't handling being separated very well and was barking incessantly. I was trying to be diplomatic. Personally, I was am kind of concerned that they left their dogs there at all. I get that things are laid back here, but those dogs were clearly lonely. What if someone gets tired of the barking and goes out there and smacks her? Leaving your dogs unattended means they can get treated in any number of ways by any stranger that passes by. I am not okay with that.

I left my name and number on the note. (I hate when people leave anonymous notes. It seems so chickenshit.) I haven't heard anything. I wouldn't imagine I would get yelled at for having pet their dogs. They left them tied up in a very busy, public place, unattended for three hours. But you never know.

I wasn't too worried that the owner would beat the dog for barking. Both dogs were happy and carefree; neither of them showed any shyness or hesitancy toward me when I walked up to them and pet them. I really don't think the dogs are being beat. I just think the little one has some separation anxiety issues. Unfortunately, those issues make her very, very loud. This is a campus; someone is going to get fed up and call Animal Control.

Would you have left a note?

2. We are supposed to get about six inches of SNOW today/tonight and it is supposed to drop down to SINGLE DIGITS tonight. This is going to be one helluva long winter.

3. I have decided to apply for the job. I am meeting the person currently in the position for a drink this weekend to discuss the position and the organization. I am having some issues with this, but that is another post for another blog.

4. A. came home after four days of hunting (well, one day of hunting and three days of hanging out at his mom's wondering if the snow was going to break so he could continue hunting). One of the three fellas in his hunting party got his first bull elk.

It has snowed all week in his hunting area and he is losing hope that they will be able to get back in to the back country before the season closes. If we move from Wyoming this will be his last chance to hunt in this area, and it is his favorite area bar none.

I hope the storms break for a bit.

I was still anxious as he left for his trip, but much, much less so than normal. Yay, for modern chemistry and mood-altering drugs! Oh, and therapy, too.

5. To remove my make up at night, I have started using straight up olive oil. It is awesome and I can't recommend it enough. There! My secret is out. Do you have any strange/brilliant/unusual beauty routines or tips?

Thursday, October 1, 2009


I am still fighting this cold. This is getting ridiculous. I've taken to shaking my fist -- clenching the latest tissue to meet my snot-filled nose -- at the sky in total despair. I feel fine, but I am still snotty and have a bit of a cough. Today dawned an interesting (and gross) new symptom: I am so stuffed up I cannot blow my nose and yet it runs continuously. I basically have a tissue stuck up my nose at all times to keep this under control. Gross.

I am back at work, as I don't think I am still contagious, but who the hell knows. I wash my hands constantly, taking great pains not to touch any goddamn surface with my hands on the way to the sink in an effort to be a courteous walking petri dish and have gone through nearly an entire bottle of hand sanitizer. I am ANNOYED. 

I should just be grateful I have paid sick time, understanding co-workers who prefer I stay home rather than spread the ick around, and that this wasn't any kind of flu, swine or otherwise. Feel free to kick me in the butt.


A few days ago it was HOT outside, in the 80s. (That is pretty toasty at 7,200 feet.)  That weather is gone. The wind has taken to destroying our world and will once again. The wind is holding steady at 40 mph, with 50 mph gusts. It is barely in the 30s. *whimper*

Yesterday, A. was travelling back home from Fort Collins, CO, when a tumbleweed THE HEIGHT OF THE CAR came crashing into the car on the highway. It was considerably windier yesterday, with gusts well past 60 mph. Thankfully, A. didn't swerve or get all tangled in the damn weed. However. IT BROKE THE DRIVER-SIDE MIRROR. The mirror is totally cracked.

Yeah. A tumbleweed. 


Er, a job I have been pining after for a few years is opening up in December. In many important ways, I am totally qualified and would excel in this position. It would be a challenge and I would love it. However, I don't have experience in some other important areas, so I might be wasting my time. Do I apply? Also, it is non-profit (of course!)  and is sure to be a daunting workload.

Have I just jinxed this by writing about it? Gah.