Friday, January 25, 2013

Friday Five 01.28.13

1. Winston is settling in well and we are welcoming the changes to our lives that accompany him. But boy, he is definitely a puppy and definitely an Aussie puppy. It takes quite a bit to tire him out and if we don’t manage it, we pay for it with a crazy puppy. For the most part, that is a fine thing. A. and I are off our butts much less as a result.

And truly, he is a very good dog. He is energetic and wants to play all! the! time! He isn’t mischievous and has picked up on the house rules very quickly. He does sneak in some towel chewing and unravelling every now and then, however. I was afraid he’d sneak off to chew on A.’s collection of elk and deer antlers, but he has sniffed them, liked them once, and moved on. I suppose I am relieved as A. really does like the antlers. But if I am being honest, I certainly would not have minded if Winston had decreased the size of the collection. (They are so pointy. And without bodies. They are weird.)

2. When A. and I are gone all day it is a bit too long for Winston to entertain himself. I got home to find him digging and mighty fine hole to China, and his white hair was COVERED in mud. Belle just smiled and wagged her tail in this lovely, graceful rhythm she has when she is pleased. I am thinking she may have started the hole, and then let him get in trouble. Fantastic!

He was so damn happy I was home that he ran around the house like a lunatic, flinging mud everywhere. Belle just casually strolled in, smiling all the while.

I am thinking of tethering a tennis ball (somehow??) to the fence. I will put PVC pipe around the rope so that Winston can’t get himself wrapped up and choke himself. He is such a spazz that is a definite possibility. That should be a fun toy to keep him entertained, right? He will also have a kong outside, and maybe another ball. Maybe I will “hide” the kong with treats and he can sniff it down. Any ideas on how to help a puppy entertain himself would be appreciated.

3. Belle is starting to warm up to Winston. Sometimes I catch them curled up on the sofa together at the end of the day. Winston follows her around with the sweetest puppy dog eyes. He LOVES her. They are playing together more, and she has even been caught giving him kisses.

I think she might play with him more if we get her feeling better. She is starting to show signs of arthritis in her front legs and elbows. I hate to even admit that. I feel like I am failing her or something by just saying that. She has always been such an active and healthy girl that it is hard to see her slow down.

But, by letting myself admit she is getting older (13!) I can see to it that she feels her best. We are starting her on the usual glucosamine and chondroitine and some other pain pill. The pain pill can’t be an anti-inflammatory, however, because her liver enzymes are a bit high. So, we are starting her on some livers meds, too.

Hopefully the combo will loosen her up and make her feel better.

4.  A. got a job! It is here in town, so we are not moving anytime soon. I have mixed feelings about the job and that we are staying put for a while. The people at the company he is joining are known for loving their jobs and staying on for years. Hopefully this means it will be an atmosphere A. will enjoy. But it is not in his field. It won’t necessarily help him build skills or meet people that could eventually lead him to his field, either. I really want him to work in his field and know what it is like to enjoy going to work, you know? Plus, the work he wants to do is important and he would be so good at it.

I would still like to move. I like living here and am getting more involved with matters of the community. I volunteer on the Design Committee for our local Main Street program (LOVE. IT. I so wish I could do this for a living!). I am happy to be here long enough to see some of our projects completed.

I love the little diner downtown where A. and I have Friday dinner. We are becoming regulars, and it tickles me pink.

But I want the adventure of a new place! We have been considering Boise, ID. Though most of Idaho scares the shit out of me, Boise seems pretty great. And it has FANTASTIC fly fishing in any direction.

A. is relieved to contribute to the household income and I can’t fault him for feeling uneasy the last couple of months. (We were doing just fine, but he was still anxious.) I really liked being the sole breadwinner. I loved that A. did not have to go to a job where he was miserable for 8-9 hours a day. Man, the weight that used to be on my heart was heavier than I had realized.

I became more sympathetic toward the stereotypical 1950s husband. A. conquered a whole list of maintenance items, did most of the laundry, kept the house up and had dinner ready when I arrived home at least three nights a week. It was awesome coming home and having nothing to do but relax. It would be easy to get used to that kind of treatment. It would also be easy to take that for granted.

5. So, yeah. Things are changing. As they always do.

Happy Friday to you!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Your Name is Winston

Winston never sits still long enough for a clear picture.
Meet Winston.

Our new nine-month-old puppy.

A puppy. An Aussie puppy. Sweet geezus.

Oakley, (Winston) found his way to us after two different homes and the pound. He is only nine months old and already so many homes! He is super sweet and affectionate and trusting. I can’t believe the spirit of this little guy.

His first owner (and I mean owner, not parent) was a student at a local automotive tech school. These students are in town for 8 months and then they split, as soon as their for-profit, extortionist schooling is finished. So, already this did not bode too well for Mr. Fluffypants. He was left alone in the house constantly and received very little training. He wasn’t even housebroken completely. The story goes that Oakley managed to turn on a faucet while home alone.

He landed in the pound.

This is not a no-kill shelter. This is not a good situation in which to find yourself.

A former co-worker of A.’s, Doctor,  adopted Oakley. He and his wife are great puppy parents. They cared for him and got all the necessary shots, exams, and had him fixed. They took him to an obedience class, and loved on him. But Oakley is a busy, busy little dude. Doctor and Wife are rather quiet, very tame, sorts of people. Active, but gentle. And their little King Charles Spaniel is very timid and didn’t take to Oakley’s rambunctiousness at all.

Doctor called A. to see if we would be interested in adopting Oakley. Doctor worked with A. throughout Buster’s illness and passing. He knows how much A. loves animals. He also knew we were starting to look to add to our family.

Belle and Oakley met and seemed to get along fine. They were both tickled during our introductory walk together. We decided to go for it!

Belle is warming up nicely to him. She’s made sure he knows she is the boss around here (she’s already taught us) and is even starting to run around and play with him. YAY!

After a couple of days with us, A. and I decided that the name Oakley really didn’t feel right. While we didn’t want to give this little guy a third name, we just couldn’t live with Oakley. A.’s first suggestion was Winston, and boy if that didn’t sound just right.

Your name is Winston.