Heartbreak

Nov. 16th, 2010 04:58 pm
wordinista: (Rain-lit window)
This absolutely broke my heart.   If you'll all excuse me, I'm going to go have a little cry and cuddle my dogs now.

Hero Dog Mistakenly Euthanized at AZ Animal Shelter
wordinista: (Default)
Some recent pics of my pupperdoodles. :)  (For newer folks, Darwin is the red merle, and Sydney is the black tri-colored.)

WARNING: NOT EVEN REMOTELY SAFE FOR DIAL-UP.  IN FACT, LOOKING IN THIS POST'S GENERAL DIRECTION WHILE ON A DIAL-UP CONNECTION COULD AFFECT INTARWEBZ SPEEDS.  YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

Pups behind cut! )
wordinista: (Darwin XD)
...Okay, so they're saying there might be snow flurries in Jacksonville.  At some point this week, we can expect a low of 19 degrees.

I AM NOT COMPLAINING ABOUT THIS.  Let me just say that right now.  Well... there might be complaining at 6 am when it's doggy-potty time.  But, in general, I am not complaining.  I DO wish we'd gotten this weather back around Christmastime.  That would've been nice.  Buuuut, I am stocked with tea and cocoa, so I'm pretty much set. 


In other news, I have been playing the utter hell out of Dragon Age: Origins.  And something hit me today while I had the dogs outside.

Darwin is totally, absolutely Alistair.  And Sydney is absolutely Leliana.  And Kisa?  Morrigan.  So very Morrigan.

Darwin:  Smarter than he looks, acts dumber than he is.  Loyal to a fault.  PROTECTIVE.  Goes from goofy to fearless in 1.5 seconds.  Likes cheese.  Goes totally Templar in the presence of cats.

Sydney:  If she weren't colorblind, her nickname would be Princess Pretty Colors.  'Nuff said.

Kisa:  INSTIGATES. INSTIGATES. INSTIGATES.
wordinista: (Default)
This is the fourth year that my favorite Australian Shepherd community has been doing its yearly calendar, and it's the FIRST year that the calendar is going to be available to the public! ALL proceeds go to the Australian Shepherd Health & Genetics Institute, Inc. to support research into canine epilepsy. It's a beautiful calendar -- I buy three every year. :)

You know you want to~~! Order HERE: www.theaustralianshepherd.net

AND the board has been featured in an ASHGI press release:

Australian Shepherd Health & Genetics Institute, Inc.
Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: 11-30-09

Gifts that Keep Giving

Here are two great ways to do your Christmas shopping and support ASHGI, too! Avoid the malls, the crowds and the traffic an benefit ASHGI at the same time! Do your shopping on line by purchasing Aussie Board Calendars or books from Dog Wise.

Aussie Board 2010 Calendar
Proceeds from the 2010 Aussie Board Calendar will be presented to ASHGI for cancer and epilepsy research. They'll only be taking orders until December 7, so get your calendar soon! Ordering deadline is December 7, so don't delay!

To order: www.theaustralianshepherd.net/CalendarOrderPage.html
To view Cover: www.nwdog.org/COVER%20test.pdf
Sample Page: www.nwdog.org/November.pdf

ASHGI thanks the members of the Aussie Board for helping us support important breed health research.

Dog Wise Books
If you access Dog Wise's site from ASHGI's Recommended Reading page (www.ashgi.org/reading.htm), Dog Wise will send ASHGI a donation for all purchases you make, whether or not the specific items are listed on our page.

The Australian Shepherd Health & Genetics Institute, Inc., founded in 2001, is dedicated to educating the Aussie community about genetic and health issues and supporting research into those issues. It serves all Aussies, no matter what their purpose, the goals of their owners, or where they live. ASHGI works both independently and in cooperation with researchers, breed clubs, canine health organizations and foundations that provide grant funds for canine genetics research.
wordinista: (ARGH!)
ARGH.

I have been in contact with a woman who has been TRYING to get her adoption application processed for ARPH (an Aussie rescue organization). She has been getting the fucking run-around since JANUARY. JANUARY. I know the FL chapter of ARPH has been going through some crap (the main rep stepped down, and I have no idea if anyone's replaced her or not, and the local rep, who was my main liasion, also resigned due to bureaucratic stupidity). So this woman, who was a fantastic potential adopter, by the way, is now completely discouraged and probably rightfully disgusted with ARPH.

THESE DOGS NEED HOMES, PEOPLE. ALIENATING POTENTIAL ADOPTERS IS NOT THE WAY TO GO ABOUT PUTTING SAID DOGS IN HOMES. WHAT THE HELL. GET OVER YOURSELVES AND RETURN A FEW FUCKING PHONE CALLS.
wordinista: (Default)

While I myself am not a huge fan of the breed, it's more to do with aesthetics than reputation (I prefer dogs of the shaggy and floppy variety). All the same, I saw this video on the [profile] breedists_nocommunity (there are no bad pets, just bad owners!), and loved it, so I had to share!

wordinista: (Yes 'ampersand' is a real word)
I am a firm believer that dogs are a girl's best friend.  It is a by now well-known fact that petting your dog (or cat; let's not discriminate here) can lower your blood pressure.  And this is a good thing! 

HOWEVER.

Dogs that run joyously away from you and leap -- also joyously! -- into trees and underbrush while you are ALL THE WHILE attempting every single recall trick in your considerable arsenal?  NOT SO GOOD FOR THE BLOOD PRESSURE.

Oh, Sydney.  Honey.  The joy-related deafness is such a problem.  And here I thought she'd never ignore me if I had food in my hand.

I think I need a little lie-down now.  Jebus.
wordinista: (Loev)
1.  Agility class = awesome.

2.  Thundery, rainy mornings with a forecast for a thundery, rainy day = awesome.

3.  Feeling the writing bug making a return-trip after a too-long absence = awesome.

4.  Morning cuppa of perfectly brewed, deliciously strong English Breakfast tea = awesome.



So far, it's a good day.  I woke up to thunder and rain (and Sydney seems finally to be over her thunder phobia), and while it's not actively raining out NOW, it's dreary and overcast and tonight's class was cancelled, so I honestly have NO WHERE TO BE today.

Last night's class was fantastic -- it's like after a year and a half of lessons and practice and a lot of me being completely unconfident and uncoordinated, something has finally clicked in my head.  I fret less about the placement of my body and the timing of my commands.  Yes, I still screw up, but I no longer get frustrated and furious with myself for screwing up.  (One day, during a private lesson, I was getting really pissed at myself for not getting this stupid tiny detail right, and Darwin fed off of that frustration, eventually shutting down and and basically avoiding me completely.  THAT was a serious wakeup call for me, let me tell you.)  It's a fairly mixed class, with some dogs more advanced than others, and for the first time, I'm actually one of the more advanced students.  And after doing private lessons for so long, I didn't really have any way to gauge my own improvement, but being back in a class environment has really shown me that, yes, I HAVE improved, and that was really kind of an amazing moment.

One woman in the class has done trials before, but has a very young dog, so while SHE knows what she's doing, her dog is very exuberant, but not very disciplined (she's a lab -- very happy-go-lucky and wants to be BFFs with every dog in the class).  So she knows what she's doing, and has been offering me a lot of helpful tips.  I think she was surprised when she found out I wasn't interested in formal competition, because she said to me:   "You have a fast dog and long legs!  You could WIN!"  I laughed -- I'd never heard it put quite that way before.  I'd never given much thought to competition, but we'll see.  There are a lot of expenses when you get into competition, so I don't know.  (Which reminds me, I have the Incredible Dog Challenge saved on the DVR...)

Sydney's had some tummy issues lately, so she went to see the vet on Monday and it turns out she has a touch of bacterial colitis.  She's on meds and seems to be doing better (no upset tummies is a good thing!) -- I told her that this is what she gets for litterbox diving.  (Sigh.  Why must dogs be so cute and wonderful and yet so gross?)
wordinista: (Sensitive Pisces)
This morning was not shaping up to be my morning. Sydney was more interested in the garbage men than actually pottying, and Darwin caught the scent of the neighborhood cat in our yard, so he was more interested in THAT than pottying. I was physically incapable of opening a can of tunafish, and when I went to throw it away, I discovered the trash was full and needed to be put out into the bin. I snapped at George and the dogs, and right about the time that the cutting board started to slip out from underneath my (VERY SHARP) knife and hands as I was trying to cut up pieces of mango, George decreed that we would stop for breakfast and that I should put the mango away and step away from the knife.

We stopped at Starbucks at the craziest point in the morning, on a day they were shorthanded, and while one of the baristas was busy setting up a new pot of coffee to brew. I got some raspberry/peach/yogurt/granola parfait thing and something for George and drinks for both of us. I realized belatedly that I couldn't eat the parfait while driving (though George did offer to spoon-feed me and make airplane noises -- I declined). So after I dropped him off, I parked in some shade and ate my breakfast and then headed to the park for walkies.

It was the Best Walk Ever.

This was not necessarily because the pups were being particularly well-behaved (though... they were, actually), but had more to do with a bit of a chance encounter with a group of about four special-needs kids who happened to be on an outing to the park that day. I am by no means an expert when it comes to identifying various conditions, but I could tell one little girl had Downs Syndrome, another little girl seemed to be autistic (judging by what -- admittedly little -- I know of behaviors), one little boy was in a chair (he seemed to be largely unaware of anything going on, but I fully admit I know jack squat about these conditions), and the final little boy seemed to be a bit more functional, and it is my guess that his condition was a bit milder than the rest.

Anyway, the pups seemed curious, and they're both really very good with kids, so I figured no harm could come of asking if the pups could say hello. The teachers with the kids seemed a little hesitant, but said as long as the dogs were well-behaved, they could see no problem with it. (Darwin almost ruined everything when he started to woof at the chair, but he got over it quickly.) So we went over and I sat on the ground, and made both dogs sit. The final little boy I mentioned above was ALL ABOUT THIS, and Darwin took to him instantly, licking at his hands and face, and eventually D stretched out and lay down against this little boy's leg. Sydney was amazingly good, and was very, very gentle, licking the kidlets' hands when the teachers told them to let Syd sniff first. The little girl with DS was petting her (the teachers kept reminding her to be gentle, but Syd just let her do whatever, and eventually rolled onto her back and asdfjk; SO CUTE I NEARLY DIED).

The other little girl seemed kind of afraid of them at first, but was eventually coaxed over long enough to pet Sydney (Darwin was busy being BFFs with the aforementioned little boy), and it was Syd who was recruited to say hello to the little boy in the wheelchair; she sniffed and licked and nuzzled his hand and arm, and then Darwin came over and followed suit.

All in all, it was about 15 minutes of sitting down and sharing some puppy therapy, and it was completely awesome. I'd been giving a little thought about training Syd to be a therapy dog, and seeing her interact with those kids today is making me think more seriously about it.

The rest of our walk was phenomenal. We stopped and talked to some people, and it seemed the more people complimented them on being well-behaved, the better they behaved. XD

Now we're home, and the dogs are sacked out after a long walk and a good meal, and I am left with enough warm fuzzies to last the entire day. ♥
wordinista: (Clever Puppy)

Been thinking about trying Sydney out with agility, since it would be scads more convenient to book an hour lesson for both dogs, rather than set up a whole 'nother day for a herding lesson. Vickie said it'd be fine if I took Syd out to the course just to see how she took to some of the equipment. A sort of "test drive," if you will, before I commit to lessons for her.

So I did that today.

AHAHAHAHAHAHA. HA HA. HA. HA.

I am sorry to say, I don't think Lil' Miss Syd was made for agility. I will say, however, that if anyone were watching us, they would have had the best laugh of their lives. Syd on the agility course is COMEDY GOLD. For instance, I was teaching trying to teach her how to run through the tunnel obstacles (which is, as the name implies... a tunnel). How you do this is you get the dog all amped up and excited, run to the tunnel with them, give a certain hand signal, which the dog is SUPPOSED to understand instinctively (Darwin did, anyway), and yell "Go tunnel!"

So I did! And she went! Yay!

Except when I ran to the other side of the tunnel to yell her name encouragingly -- also what you're supposed to do -- she didn't come out the other end. I then looked to my left to see her peering into the tunnel over my shoulder. "Whatcha lookin' for, Mama?"

She DID go through the tunnel once out of... I'd say about ten tries (the rest of the time she went in about halfway, turned around, and came out). And she only went through because she was chasing Darwin, and I suspect she was biting at his feet all the way through the tunnel.

...Which is -- surprise, shock -- instinctive herding behavior.

So, yeah. Gonna call the herding instructor. I hate sheep. ;_;
wordinista: (sleepy kitty)
Possibly my least favorite part of doing Aussie rescue: calling complete strangers and checking references for adoption apps. The up-side is that once they realize that (a) you're not calling to sell anything and (b) you just want to talk about their friend and how completely awesome said friend is with dogs, things smooth out very quickly. (Trufax: Friday I chatted on the phone with someone for, like, 30 minutes. It only took about five minutes to get through the reference-checking part. Clearly I am a motor-mouth.)

Am in a much better place since my last entry. I found an iphone app that helps you log not only what you eat, but how much exercise you do as well, which is really awesome. I've also gotten in touch with a local yoga school, and they have a six-week intro program coming up -- one starts at the end of this month, and the other starts in the beginning of March, so I will more than likely look into that too. The doc's office is going to schedule an MRI for my hand, and then will decide what treatment will be the best option for me. (Am a big chicken and am hoping surgery will not be necessary.)

Took the puppers for a walk at one of my favorite parks today -- it's really nice, paved, about 3/4's of a mile around (we made it around 5 times in an hour). It's pretty popular for folks who actually walk their dogs, which means that the people who walk their dogs there tend to have well-behaved dogs. There is a slight problem with the squirrels being a little bold, and I swear that a couple of them were actually taunting Sydney. It was a nice break from our normal route, which is littered with stay-at-home dogs who come out and bark at you like you're a tasty treat.

It's been a pretty awesome day apart from the fact that I (a) am crampy and (b) have class tonight.

Sunday was a nice chill-out day. I slept in, which I haven't done in I don't know how long, and George and I went out for a little drive, then came home and collaborated on dinner together, which is always a lot of fun.

Saturday we packed up the dogs and went to watch an agility trial -- sadly, because of a busted water main, which delayed the getting-ready process, we left kind of late, and made it there towards the end of the trial. We did get to see some dogs run the course, though, and I got a height card for Darwin. Height cards are something you fill out with the dog's AKC info (this was an AKC trial), and then the dog's height is measured by two different AKC judges. The dog's height determines at what official height he'll be expected to jump in an agility ring. Dogs 22" tall have to clear 24" jumps. As it happens Darwin is 21 3/4" tall, which means he only has to clear 20" jumps (this was suuuch a relief for me). He was a total charmer for both judges, and I should be recieving our official height card in about a month.

I... guess this means we might start trialing at some point? I guess so.
wordinista: (Fallen)
Trying Alton Brown's recipe for "Overnight Oatmeal," which will use up the last of my steel-cut oats. I'm very excited about this. I didn't have chopped apricots, so I'm going with golden raisins instead, and also grated a little fresh orange peel into everything, which ought to go well with the cranberries. There's a version of this recipe that's halved, but it doesn't specify what size slow-cooker, and a lot of the reviews complained that the recipe burned when left on "low" overnight. It's my hope that this other recipe, which is doubled and specifies a slow-cooker size, was a way to correct the initial oversight.

If I wake up to a burnt, gluey mess, I'm sure y'all will hear about it.

Today, George and I went out to run a quick couple of errands, and while we were out and about, decided to check out the new (and by "new," I mean "opened within the last year") dog park at the new local regional park.

Now. Let me say at the outset that our town is not exactly known for... being smart about things. And generally tries to get by with doing as little as possible. We who live here are used to being disappointed. A lot.

Imagine our combined surprise, when we pulled into the park, that it was really freaking huge. No, really. And there was grass. And parking. A LOT OF PARKING. And a lot of restrooms.

The dog-park was amazing, oh my god. It makes the one we went to yesterday (the one we drove 1.5 hours to find) look like crap on a cracker. It was enormous, possibly a full acre, set back far enough away from the soccer fields (fields, PLURAL) and the baseball diamond (did not check to see if there was more than one), and anywhere else there might be a lot of crazy screaming people. There were RESTROOMS (honestly, it's like most places think if you take your dog somewhere, you automatically will simply not experience the urge to relieve yourself at any given time). There were two separate entrances for large dogs and small dogs. There were some really nice clean-up stations. There was parking, there was a lot of grass (I have had too many unpleasant experiences with dirt or mud), and, oh my gosh, it was just so clean and nice, and it is BY FAR this town's best kept secret.

I kind of want to start using it while it's still relatively unknown.

There was no attendant, but there was a little office-type thing that suggested to me that there is an attendant on duty SOMETIMES. I'll take it.

I'm totally taking the pups tomorrow. OMG.

Driving up to Sanford yesterday feels like even more of a rip-off now. XD

And now! Pictures of the Element!!!
Cut for images! )
wordinista: (Well Read Fandom)

Isn't it the most awesome thing ever when you wake up feeling yucky, and then proceed to have your ass kicked sideways for the next 24 hours by what is either SOME KIND of food poisoning or a stomach bug?

Yeah, thought so.  I was a most unhappy bunneh yesterday, and I still have no idea why.  But today I woke up feeling perfectly fine, aside from being a little headachey/lightheaded from not eating anything yesterday.  I'm just glad it's over.  Yeesh.

Today was... hmm.  We took a little outing to this one dog park in Sanford, FL that got rated something like #2 in the country by Dog Fancy magazine, and was... disappointed!  There were no attendants, which basically means people have to be responsible for their own dogs, which... ha, is so unlikely to begin with.  There was one yellow lab that was intent upon mounting Darwin, who -- understandably -- was having none of that.  And the dog's owner never once showed up to correct his damned dog.  No attendant also means that the whole "your dog must have up-to-date vaccinations and tags" thing kind of falls back on an honor system.  As does the "no aggressive dogs allowed" rule.  It was a big space, though, and we found a reasonably unpopulated corner where Darwin and Sydney were content to run around like knuckleheads, which was great until another dog decides to join in, and promptly gets ignored, and then tries to mount Darwin, and then Darwin's like "WTF GTFO" and I look around for an owner so I can say "PLZ TO KEEP YOUR DOG FROM TRYING TO HUMP MINE KTHX."  And then of course I don't FIND an owner, and end up having to snap, "OFF!" at some strange dog, which just isn't my job, thank you very much and it's one thing when it's a young yellow lab that Darwin outweighs by 25 pounds, but it's entirely another when it's a husky that is a head taller and twenty pounds heavier than Darwin. 

So, after about an hour of this, we left.

An hour.  After an hour-and-a-half drive there.  Sigh.

I mean, it was a nice day, and we got out of the house and all.  So there's that. We get so few brisk days that it would have been a shame to miss out on that.  And at least now we can say we've been to this supposedly amazing park, and maybe I would have been more impressed had we gone there on a weekday when it was less crowded, but overall?  Solidly meh.  There's a beach down in Jupiter that's supposed to be dog-friendly, so that might be next on the list, weather depending.  We shall see!  (I did order this, though, which might make the search for weekend day-trips a little easier.)

Anyway, we stopped on the way home and picked up dinner, then watched Leatherheads, which actually wasn't as bad as I'd been bracing myself for it to be.  AND THEN we did something totally uncharacteristic and went out for ice cream, which was both delicious and also sort of felt like I was tempting the gastro-gods, but all seems well so far.  Tomorrow is the Superbowl, and I have no real stake in either of the teams playing, except I kind of want the Cardinals to win, because they're such underdogs, and I find the Steelers to be vaguely annoying.

And now, I believe I will get back to re-reading one of a few favorite books!

wordinista: (ded of tired)

Wednesdays are a pretty weird day for me all around, because they're Darwin's agility lesson.  So last week, I walked him before the lesson, and he was a slow-ass (so slow that Vickie commented on it).  Today, I did NOT walk him, and not only was he zooming around the course, I managed to get over... whatever the hell block I had in what *I* was doing, and the result was a really fantastic lesson where we actually FELT like a team.  We had our lesson, and then I stayed behind for another 15-30 minutes or so to practice a few things, and we were actually able to run through a series of four obstacles (tunnel, tire jump, high dogwalk, another tunnel) in rapid succession.  Granted, normal courses have way, WAY more obstacles than that, but we were having trouble chaining together two or three things, so this is fanbloodytastic progress.

However, running around for an hour tuckers me out as well, and by the time I got home to Sydney (who had NOT had her exercise), I was -- pardon the pun -- dog tired.  So!  I fed them, got a shower, and gathered Syd into the back of the truck (...it's kind of closer to a truck than a car, really, and it feels weird to refer to the Element as a car, but I digress), called ahead to the meat market and explained that I'd have my dog with me and could they please pack my order up ahead of time so I could just pick it up -- we picked up the order, dropped some lunch off at George's office, and THEN went for a 45 minute walk at the park before heading downtown for a 2:00 vet appointment.  Sydney now can has booster shots, a shiny new tag, more heartworm meds, and some Frontline (well, the Frontline I actually got at the feed store, because it's cheaper there, and they're dog-friendly).

I'm now  home, and am COMPLETELY EXHAUSTED. Holy cow.  Both dogs are sacked out on the floor, and I am giving serious, serious contemplation to a little nap as well, because damn.  I've been going non-stop since 7:30, and at a pretty fast clip besides.  I've had some lunch, at least, and... yes, I think a little 20 minute power-nap will help things along quite a bit.

And, yes.  Pics of the Element are coming. Promise. XD

*kerflump*

Jan. 19th, 2009 02:56 pm
wordinista: (ded of tired)
Dear Grampa:

It would please all ever so much if you could perhaps stay out of the hospital for at least six months at a time. Really.

Love and Kisses,
Your Grandbunneh

SO! Today I was supposed to meet up with the ARPH rep and do a dog (two pups, actually) transport to Orlando. Over the weekend, a potential adopter surfaced and is interested in adopting both, so no doggie-transport today. Instead, I tagged along for an in-home interview of another potential adopter/foster home.

First, though, I met Rosie, the rep. We hit if off immediately and were showing each other pictures of our dogs on our cell phones. Huge amounts of dog geekery everywhere. She's around my age, which made it a little less awkward, and she's... spunky. There's no other word for it. She is absolutely, beyond a shadow of a doubt spunky.

After the interview, we decided to go and grab some lunch together. Unfortunately, the moment we sat down and we both checked our phones, I saw five calls from George.

This, I know from experience, is a bad sign.

So I called him back, and Mom answered, and she explained that Gramps was going to the hospital again and George was driving her and then went into an in-detail account of Gramps' symptoms, which are largely flu-like, except a bit more intense, and she hasn't been able to get them under control.

Rosie drives me back to the car, we agree to do lunch some other time, and I haul ass to the hospital.

I'm home now, for the time being -- the pups need to be let out and my body had been starting to digest itself. Now I've eaten, and will take the dogs out.

Not the kind of excitement I really enjoy on my Monday, y'know?
wordinista: (Shigure ~ Okay!)

The weekend has been full of peace and quiet and yummy food and good movies and oh my god, I got a solid EIGHT HOURS OF SLEEP Friday night.  Granted, we had to overnight he dogs at daycare to GET it, but after so many nights of interrupted sleep (Sydney wakes up anywhere between 4:30 and 6:30 AM for a potty break), it has resulted in a v. v. rested bunneh.

Saturday George and I went out for a drive, and it was a beautiful day for it.  We went for a little drive down to Sebastian to this little pet specialty store we know, and then went looking for a place to grab a little lunch.  The store is great, but the owner is kind of obnoxious -- she has this way of asking you seemingly innocent questions, and then when you answer her, your answer is inevitably "wrong," and she then treats you to a lecture about The Right Way to Do Things.  She sort of gives me flashback of my mother in-law, who used to do the exact same thing. (I assume she still does, but I have no way of knowing.) 

Cut for annoyances and dogstuff and annoying dogstuff )

Aaaand, let's see.  We watched The Dark Knight last night and it was every bit as awesome as I remember.  And we watched Wanted this morning with breakfast, which was an amazing movie.  George is watching Prince Caspian, which I have... not very much interest in.

So anyway.  Today I'm catching up on some laundry, coloring my hair, and hopefully working on some writing.  I'm having one of those Everything I Write is Tripe days, and the best way to work through it is to just write and accept that it'll probably be sucky, and then go back and work it a bit.  Like clay.

And Monday!  Monday I'm helping the local ARPH rep transport some Aussies to Orlando, so I expect that'll be interesting.
wordinista: (Possess those shores with me!)

Well, rather than let myself get filled with indignation, however rightous, and just complain and be angry over all of these dogs that have been dumped at shelters or simply given up, I've decided to do something, however small, about it.  The other day I submitted a volunteer application for ARPH, an Australian Shepherd Rescue organization.  I spent an hour this morning talking to the area rep, who seems really nice, and lives in the next town over, so I'm really feeling good about it (and also, loose plans for a puppy playdate this week!  Yay!).  We don't have the space to be a foster home for dogs, but I can scan the shelters and notify the rep if an Aussie's at the shelter, and then she'll go about trying to find a foster home for it, and it looks like she's going to need some help getting the organization a bit more established in this area (I was already aware that there wasn't a lot of representation for Aussie rescue in this part of Florida).  So, if nothing else, I think it'll be a great experience.  A lot of folks on the Australian Shepherd forum I frequent do a lot of work with ARPH and STAAR ("Second Time Around Aussie Rescue"), so it's been on my mind for a while now.

I had thought about volunteering at the animal shelter, but given that I burst into tears when I just read stories of dogs that have been given up or abandoned, I'm pretty sure that's not a very good fit. But I have resolved to bring a donation of SOME sort down once a month -- kibble or cat litter or toys or towels (Sam's Club has ginormous bags of kibble and cat litter at really reasonable prices) -- simply because kicking irresponsible owners in the shins... is probably not the most sound plan, leaglly speaking.  And our local county-run shelter is just... it's a depressing place.  They have a lot of land, but the drainage is utterly nonexistent, so with a bit of rain it gets converted into swampland.  It's overcrowded and ... "dreary" is probably the best word for it.  Probably because it is SO overcrowded.  (Seriously -- they have kitty overspill in the lobby. The rooms where the cages are kept are full, so they've set up cages wherever there's room.)

I know ARPH is breed specific, and part of me feels a twinge of guilt, because ... well, who's watching the mixed breeds' backs?  But this is... I think this will be a good way to find out if I CAN help, and if I want to be more active with volunteer work.  I'll see how it goes, and then take it from there.



On a completely unrelated note:  my panettone recipe continues to thwart me.  I think I just made another batch of panettone-biscotti (panetotti?).  Which isn't a bad thing, but I still cannot figure out where I'm going wrong with this recipe, and I am nearly out of the orange confit I made specifically FOR the recipe.  Am considering trying one more time -- later, once I'm not completely tired of fruited bread -- and going off-recipe to see if my hunch is correct.  But for the nonce, I'm out of bread flour and vanilla extract (I'd also like to pick up some Fiore di Sicillia from The Baker's Catalogue for my next attempt), and at least the house has something sweet in it.  Even if it's something botched.

I also finished reading Fangland by John Marks, and I have a lot to say about it -- not all of it good -- but I need to collect my thoughts a bit more.  The first half of the book was really quite good.  The second half tried my patience and pissed me off and made me want to smack the author upside the head with a nice, hefty hardcover edition of Dracula.
wordinista: (Possess those shores with me!)
So far, 2009 is off to a good start. In fact, I just noticed the other day that from Thanksgiving through until New Year's Day, I had been walking around with all this tension, as if something inside of me was waiting for some huge calamity to strike right when I started feeling too happy and complacent. Considering that 2007 ended with having to have Bronte pts and 2008 began with my uncle's dog being hit by a car, there are probably excellent reasons for my anxiety. In fact, 2008 seemed to have more than a few of those sucker-punch moments. LUCKILY the holidays passed with very little drama (there was a bit of drama, but it didn't have anything to do with us, directly, so it doesn't really count).

The first bit of good: I managed to write a 250-word abstract that is nearly ready to be submitted to a literary conference. It needs a bit of polishing, because I am sort of out of the game a bit when it comes to the high-end intellectual-type speak. But I did write it, and am going to submit it, and given my tendency towards procrastination, this is definitely something.

The second bit of good: DARWIN'S WEAVE POLES HAVE BEEN ASSEMBLED AND SET UP. FINALLY.

It took about an hour this afternoon, and then Darwin ran through them a few times. IT WAS MOST EXCELLENT FUN, and he didn't want to come inside. George brought Sydney outside for a bit while Darwin was doing his thing, which leads me to the "ow" portion of this post. Because George asked me if I could try and get Sydney to try the weave poles. Since Syd will do anything for a scooby-snack, I figured it wouldn't be too hard to try them with her. However, I misjudged just amped up the promise of food makes Sydney, and she made a break for the target (aka: the thing in agility that holds the incentive treat). Normally this would not be a huge deal, but I wasn't ready for it, and the leash was wrapped around my hand.

*cough*

Wrapped around my hand in the same manner my agility teacher told me never to wrap it. Aha.

So when Sydney bolted, she pulled the leash. And I wasn't ready for it. So my right index finger got pulled out sharply to the side, until the knuckle popped. (This happens also to be the hand/finger I have been having arthritic-type problems with.)

Oh my god, it hurts.

Needless to say, it wasn't long after that that we came inside, because omg OW. ;_;
wordinista: (sad bunneh)
Why do my dogs only seem to get sick at 3 in the morning when a full night's sleep is actually necessary and I actually have Something to Do and Somewhere to Be? (Or, conversely, they get sick after I get home from being out of town for four exhausting days, which also sucks a lot.)

But seriously, Sydney, what the hell?

I have had approximately 3.5 hours of sleep, and I have been up for 2.5 hours with a sick puppy. Her stomach is gurgly and she's generally uncomfortable -- it's the same schtick that we went through back in September, but this time did not head down to the 24-hour vet clinic, because, I'm sorry, spending $200 for an ER visit, a mystery shot, and anti-nausea meds is just not an option right now. (Note to self: see if Dr. Young will refill the anti-nausea meds the ER Vet gave us last time, as a precautionary measure.[Tried to use them sparingly, but a certain cat thought it might be great fun to knock the package off my desk so Sydney could demolish THE LAST TABLET IN THE PACKAGE, leaving me to throw away a punctured, pasty mess.]) I did, however, drive out to CVS at 4:30 in the morning to fetch Pepto Bismol tablets. It's been about an hour since she was dosed, and my god, I think the storm is finally passing.

She seems to have been having a lot of GI-related problems lately (including the anal gland issue, I'm pretty certain), and now I'm wondering if it might be time to change her food. A friend from the Australian Shepherd community I frequent recommended The Honest Kitchen, and it does seem to be geared towards dogs with various sensitivities, but oh my god that is some 'spensive food.

That said, if I knew it would handle her GI issues, I would gladly pay it, because I would really, really love an uninterrupted 8 hours of sleep. The thing is, I don't know if it actually would help her. I'm pretty certain there needs to be some sort of food change, though. Because I cannot survive on 3 and 4 hours of sleep.

...Oh, for Pete's sake. Stomach is making gurgly noises AGAIN. (Or maybe not? IS THIS OVER? CAN I GO BACK TO BED FOR. *looks* A WHOLE HOUR?)

I'm so tired. :(

Well, at least my final is nearly finished. If I can wrap it up this morning, maybe I can get some sleep a little later. I'm kind of afraid of the answers my brain will come up with on this amount of sleep, but I think this is the only way I'll be able to get more sleep later. And sleep is important. V. Important.

EDIT: Ngh. ER Vet would not refill the Cerenia. Instead gave me lecture on potential presence of parasites and how Cerenia only masks the symptoms, and I should really take the dog in. Screw you, lady. I think if Sydney had worms/parasites/whateverelse, then there probably would not have been a gap of three months with no stomach upset at all. She has her checkup next month anyway. I'll talk to Doc Young about her tummy issues then. For now it would seem her stomach has finally -- FINALLY -- settled. She was playing with Darwin a little bit ago, and is now fast asleep in the office with me -- FIVE HOURS LATER.

omgsoverytired.
wordinista: (Daaaarwin!)
Thanks, guys. Just... yeah. Thanks.

The bout of emo passed, and things seem much brighter today. And I learned that one of the best ways to deal with tears is to let your goofball of a dog lick them away and then proceed to crawl all over you like a 50 lb lapdog, with his back end a-wiggle. (I'm not kidding; it looks like he's doing the hula sometimes.)

I seriously need to figure out how to post video of Dawin and Syd. Seriously.

I love my dogs, and someday I will write about that in length, instead of depressing reminiscing.

Loev puppies. So much. ♥

Profile

wordinista: (Default)
wordinista

April 2011

S M T W T F S
     12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
242526272829 30

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 25th, 2017 12:55 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios