Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Life

My life has been spinning and not in a good way.
A way that seems like I've had too much tequila and the room is spinning kind of way.

Where did we leave off?
Oh yea, doggie mode. Well the new puppy will be here in a few weeks. She's cute as hell as her picture shows you. I can't wait. She isn't ready to come home until the 26th of this month. Then they are keeping her to train her for 4 weeks.
We have a week off and are heading to the Bahama's and we will pick her up after that trip.

Work has been busy and we've had some doozy customers of late.
What makes someone call YOU for a service and then immediatly are rude and combative.
Amazing to me. Karma will get 'em.

Went to the shore this past weekend. It made me happy to have our lake home. The traffic, the noise, the crowds - all of it was not my idea of a relaxing weekend at the shore.

Rick was asked to do a job for someone who owns a home at the shore. We said no and he kept throwing money at him and we kept saying, NO that it wasn't about money. It is a 3 hr drive one way and we don't go there. He called back again and said we could spend the weekend at his home and gave us a link to view it and the rest is history.

We envisioned a quiet off season weekend. It was warm (low 70's) and we thought we would be able to enjoy some wine and surf and have a nice dinner out etc. Play tourist kind of thing without the tourists. Boy were we wrong.

We got there late Friday and Rick reglazed the tub and tile surround. At 7ish he was finished and he got cleaned up and we went to catch some dinner.
Now back in my 30's a tourist trap was fun to me. The over crowding of all places. The millions of people. The 3 hr wait for a table for dinner and the t-shirt shops galore. But not so much anymore.
Imagine if it was like this in off season what it will be like come summer?!!!

After dinner we went back to the house.
It was a cute little house and only a block to the ocean so a very nice location.
We walked down to the ocean after dinner to walk off dinner and it was really nice.
When we got back to the house we decided to get ready for bed.
There was only 1 bedroom with a bed bigger than a twin size. All the other beds were either bunk beds or twin beds and neither of us noticed the size of this bed.

We came in and plopped our suitcased down on it and went about our day. There were so many pillows on the bed that I, nor Rick, realized the size of the bed.
Now here we were ready for bed & realized that once we took off the dozen or so pillows it was a teeny tiny bed.

Now normally for me that isn't a big issue. All 5' 2" of me has no problems with a short bed.
But dear ole hubby is 6'2" and it was an issue all night that became mine as well.
The bed was so small Rick’s leg hung over the bed from mid calf down. It was lumpy, bumpy and most uncomfortable. While my legs did not even hit the end of the bed it was an issue for me when this 6’2” lug next to me is going diagonal on me.

It was a double bed. Not even a queen. It was a fitful evening so I ended up going to one of the twins sometime during the night…..I then felt like I was on a thin mattress and felt the pea underneath. I got up and moved to the other twin across the room and it was no better. I felt like I was in the Three Bears fairy tale trying all the beds. I couldn't sleep on this.
I finally got up at 4am and stayed up and watched a MASH marathon for God’s sake!

By 6am Rick was up and said, “Let’s get the hell out of here” So we gathered our things, showered and left. The shower was a hoot. The big shower Rick has just done the tub and tile surround so it could not be used. The other shower was so small that only I could fit into. Rick was taller than the shower and his head was above the shower door and even funnier is that he could not turn around.

We laughed our asses off about this because at this point what else can you do but see the humor in it right? First the bed now the shower.
I was brushing my teeth when all of a sudden I see him get out of the shower so that he could turn around and back in and wash that side! Honestly we couldn’t stop laughing. We imagine the home owners are possibly little people or as Rick said that morning, “circus people” I am even laughing as I write this it was so funny to me – well, at least if you weren’t trying to sleep it was funny.

So we headed home by 8am – stopped at a coffee house and hit the road. We were home before noon. That night we got into our bed and were happy to have room and be encased in our tempur pedic.

My God when did we get so old?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Doggie Drama

As I said in a previous post a few weeks ago my husband and I have decided to adopt a Labrador Retriever. My hubby has had quite a few Lab's. He loves their dispositions and traits. We wanted a dock dog who would love jumping into the water and fetching....like this.


I have never had a Lab but we would dog sit our neighbors and I saw quickly how easy it is to fall in love with a Lab. They are such people pleasing dogs.

We thought that we would go to Lab Rescue. On paper rescuing a Lab dog from an awful fate sounded like a great idea. We thought we would be over the puppy hyper stage and be into the adult dog phase. We knew that an adult dog that needed rescuing would have it's own whole new set of problems but we thought we could handle that.

So we waited and waited by the phone to hear from one of the 2 Lab Rescue Groups to call us and say we have been approved. Finally last week we got a call. After several hours of discussions of what we were looking for that would be a good fit for our family we were told of 2 dogs. We were also supposedly told of their personalities and issues. We saw pictures and we decided to go with the female yellow Lab named Custard. She was at a foster family and we were to go see her and pick her up on Sunday at noon.

We arrived a bit early because well, we were excited to meet our new family member.
We were taken to a side yard of gravel and when the foster mom opened the side door 8 dogs came out. The smallest was Custard. These dogs were jumping on us and all vying for our attention and love at once. (red flag #1)

Custard came over to me immediately and started to lick me and of course I melted. But to me she didn't look like a Lab. (flag 2) I asked if she was a Lab and the foster mom said, "I think she may have some golden retriever in her." Hmmm.....she looked more like a hound dog and lab mix to me. But what do I know when I can't even get this poor dog alone.

We never could get any one on one with her. We were surrounded by dogs. The foster mom did nothing to assist us either with pulling her other dogs away. (flag 3) We asked questions and she didn't seem to know much which to me was a red flag number 4. How can she not know this stuff? My husband by this time was already in love. I was thinking we should go home alone and think about this or go see dog number 2.

We were told Custard liked to go to the garbage can and eat so we had to be sure it was kept locked up or away from the dog. She was an abandoned dog and this was her way of getting food for a long time so once she realizes that meals will be regular she will stop this habit. (oh God, I was picturing Marley!) We were told that she had her shots, was spayed, had a clean bill of health from the vet and were given her records. Rick wanted to take her home. So we did without further examination or play and against my better judgement.
There goes my husband again quickly falling for a blonde!

As soon as we got her in the house she peed on my expensive wool dining room carpet. I laughed and said, "we're home!" But she was excited and it was a new place to her so I figured it was to be expected. She had never been on a leash so we thought we better get started on that and go for a walk.

We put on her leash and we tried to go for a walk. OH MY GOD. It was everything you thought it would be. I had Rick take the reigns. She got better after the 5th walk so we knew we were on the right track.

We wanted a more mellow lab but this was ridiculous. She did not do anything let alone fetch. (flag 5 )

Come to see that her teeth were mere nubs. Probably from living on the streets eating cans to get to food or God knows what. She had a K-9 broken off to a nub as well. This dog did not fetch because she couldn't. She liked to lay and be loved. Lay around all the time 24/7 was her favorite thing to do. (flag 6) She also had other medical issues. We noticed that if we touched her right hind quarters she would wince. (flag 7)

We live on water 1/2 the time so a water dog was essential to us. She won't go near water and if she is close that caused trauma. (red flag # 8) We took her to a pond near our townhome and all I can say is - Oh boy this wasn't good!! For any of us. If we threw a tennis ball she would lift her head and look at it and then put her head back down. All the while never even getting up. (flag 9)

We live in a townhome with 3 floors when not at our lake home. That first night we went up to the tv room on the 3rd floor to hunker down in the theatre seats to watch some TV. We noticed she had a very difficult time going up the steps. She was in pain. (flag 10)

On the way down the steps to go to the 2nd floor to bed she almost lost it on the 2nd step. She put her front paws out and caught herself and then wouldn't go any further down the steps no matter how much we tried. So we picked her up and brought her to her new bed in our bedroom.

She would never get anywhere near her bed. We tried to put her there and she would run the other way cowering as though we were going to yell or punish her. We thought perhaps that was because a previous owner did punish her if she went on furniture so now she was afraid to even use a doggie bed.

We picked Custard up at noon and honestly by 2pm we knew this dog was not a good fit. But my God we were in love. She was the sweetest dog we have ever been around. She wanted lots of affection and would give lots - if you came to her. She didn't move much and while we were told she was 5 she appeared to be a lot older. Not in looks but by her personality. Perhaps from her hard life? I knew by that evening that this dog was not going to stay with us. She can't go up and down our stairs. What will happen when we get to the lake house on the weekend? We have steps there and we have a backyard of water which would cause severe trauma.

Oh we were so upset about all of this.
First it was our fault to take her so quickly. We should have demanded to have alone time with her. They tell you that if you like them take them immediatly becuase someone else could scoop 'em up. You know the ole fear factor of our last administration!
2nd it was unfair to be told this was a good match when we had to jump through hoops to explain our wants in a dog and our qualification to get a dog and they not listening to any of it. Knowing that this dog was going back to her foster family was breaking my heart.

When I laid my head down on the pillow I looked at her sleeping on my side of the bed and I was so damn sad. Aah, but a few hours later I awoke and she was not there. I was concerned so I got up thinking she may be in the hall - Nope. I went down stairs first and turned on the light. Well at least I was thinking as I was groggily going down the steps that she went up or down steps wherever she is.

There she was with the pantry door open and the garbage can and all it's contents sprawled all over our maghoney kitchen floors. As I yelled - No Custard, she got up and looked at me with her sad eyes and cowered away. She knew this was wrong. This of course made my hubby wake up. We put her out on the enclosed patio while we cleaned up the coffee grounds and other fun and assorted garbage all over the kitchen.

Rick and I were on our knees and he said, "Does it make you feel any better now that she is going back in a few hours?" Honestly it did not. This poor thing that is so loving was abandoned and I feel like I'm doing the same thing to her. So instead of it making me feel better I just had another good cry!

The following morning was heart wrenching for us both. I know logically this was not a good fit and was the right thing to do. She can't do the steps and we can't have a dog like that or one who doesn't move. Logically I knew, emotionally was another story!

I did call the volunteer and told her everything. This dog needs medical care. I asked if she knew that she had a problem with steps. Imagine my surprise when she said, "No I haven't met this dog yet and I was going by what the foster mom said and that was never mentioned." Gee maybe if she spent some one on one time with the dog she'd know. She has 8 dogs a shit load of cats and horses. C'mon! This is not a good foster parent for this dog. When I asked about lab traits she passive agressively said, "well imagine that, we take a lot of dogs that aren't labs" Then call yourself Dog Rescue not Lab Rescue.

At this point I was livid. I said, "This dog needs to be with a family that doesn't want to play but a companion, perhaps some seniors, someone that lives in a 1 level home and that will just love and adore this sweet thing and give her structure and love and lots of both."

For several days we were a wreck. We hear that she is going to be at an adoption event at PetsMart this weekend and that there is a senior couple coming to see her. I hope this dog gets a wonderful home with them. They will not have to worry about running, jumping or any type of play other than rubbing her belly and loving her.

But my beef is with Lab Rescue. We went there for a lab number 1 and to recuse one from being euthanized. They should do a better job of matching people since they make you go through all this stuff anyway. This should never have happened if they had spent time with the dog and had matched her properly with the right family.
This was a big emotional lesson to learn.....for Custard as well as Rick and me.
So after several days we decided to get a pup after all. It took us a long time to find the right breeder. We did not want a puppy mill dog. We actually found this breeder prior to the rescue process but thought that a pup would be too much for us. Not now. We will take our little pup home on June 11th and I can't wait. They are ready at 8 weeks to go home but we are having them train her for 4 weeks. With us going down there for some of that training as well. This is a picture of a sibling from last year by the same parents. Cute isn't she?

Our new pup will be a girl and her name is Izzy. I'll post pictures as soon as I get them. I will get them next week.