It’s always something…

Many of you will remember the whole futon debacle of last year.  Ferris (aka destructodog) disemboweled not just one, but two futon mattresses during his teenage rebellious months.  Thank goodness with dogs the “terrible teens” lasts months instead of years.  I really don’t know how parents do it.

Ferris worked very hard on his project.

My solution was to have a futon free family room.  This meant no upholstered furniture, and I quickly learned, not any soft dog beds or pillows, lest our naughty friend get any ideas in his little tiny brain.

This is what happens to pillows, and yes that is Ferris in the middle of the mess. He tried to implicate Huck in his scheme, but it didn’t work. I knew who was responsible.

I had to resort to hard plastic dog beds with blankets inside to make them more comfy.  For almost a year now the family room furniture (and I use the term furniture very loosely) has consisted of plastic dog beds, crates stuffed with blankets, and a few spare blankets on the floor.  I had a plastic lawn chair to sit on, with another available if I had a guest willing to succumb to the mob of dogs.   Let’s put it this way, as long as any human brave enough to enter the doggie domain leaves the area covered in dog hair and saliva, the dogs feel their mission has been accomplished.

I did attempt to use a spare airbed that lasted about 30 minutes before it was flattened into a large plastic pancake (yeah, I know, dumb idea).

Really dumb idea

Earlier this spring I ordered a twin bed frame that sets up like a cot, and a child’s mattress – both were inexpensive, and with my Amazon points, cost me a grand total of about $25.  I figured at that price I could afford to experiment.  Fear got the better of me, and I let them both sit in boxes in my front hall for about 3 months fretting over whether or not I should risk having Ferris ruin another mattress, and dreading the possible issues with putting the frame together.  It had been several years since putting together the futon frames, but I remembered it involving tools and some swearing.

Last week I decided it had been long enough.  I was hoping maybe Ferris had grown out of his destructodog phase.  The bed frame took a whole 5 minutes to set up (boy did I feel stupid for worrying about that!)  The mattress is an inner spring, instead of foam or other more tempting to destuff material.  So far so good.  I have been closely monitoring Ferris when he’s in the family room, and he hasn’t seemed very interested in the mattress, other than napping on it!   It’s also usually covered in other dogs, so maybe that helps too.  The dogs all missed having a nice comfy bed to share, and now everyone is much happier, most of all ME!!!

Sharing the love

Ok, so you probably think this is going to be about sharing love with my dogs.  While I do enjoy doing just that on a daily basis, this is about something else.

I was recently invited to write a guest blog post for my very favorite Podcast – Experience 50 with Mary Rogers.  I was honored and thrilled to be her first listener blogger!

If you are middle-aged, and aren’t listening to Experience 50, then stop what you’re doing and go listen RIGHT NOW!  Ok, maybe finish reading this and then go listen, but seriously, don’t wait too long because you are missing out on something spectacular!  I love this woman.  She asks intelligent questions of her guests, and covers topics pertinent to all of us in the throes of middle-age.  Besides, just her voice alone is addictive, and her humor is hilarious.

Give it a try you won’t regret it, I promise!

https://www.experience50.com/

Summer

Wow, I haven’t posted anything since winter, how embarrassing, and here it is, nearing the last week of June already.   My, where does the time go?   Oh well, I suppose there’s no use fretting about it.  Time marches on!

I lost a few of the senior members of crew over the winter.  Losing a dog just plain sucks.  It never gets easier, no matter how appropriate the decision may be to say good-bye.  Because of my unique circumstances living with different versions of a rather large pack for the last 15 years, and prior to that, my career in various roles in dog welfare, I’ve been through it more times than I care to remember.

Everyone grieves differently, and I would never dream of telling someone else how to feel about the loss of a furry loved one.  Some people want to adopt another pet right away.  I’m all for that, as long as it’s clear that the new pet is not a replacement to fill the emptiness, and instead is a way to share love once again.  Some people feel that getting another pet would be disrespectful to the pet they’ve lost.  Some are so heartbroken they vow to never have another pet.  There is no right or wrong way, all I can say is to give yourself a little time to feel your feelings and do what you need to honor the pet you’ve lost, and then see if you can open your heart again.

I try not dwell on it, I grieve in my own private way, and move forward.  For me, having multiple dogs helps me through the pain.  We all still feel the loss, but we have each other to turn to for comfort .  Again, speaking personally, knowing my remaining dogs need me to be there for them, helps me to avoid wallowing in my grief.  As is often the case, I take my cues from the dogs – they live in the present, and life goes on.   Ok, enough sadness…

It’s been a cool and wet summer around here so far.  My flowers are doing well with all of the rain.  I’ve fed them a few times in hopes of more blossoms, but I haven’t had to water them much so far.

         

The dreary weather means dogs haven’t had too many opportunities to lay in the sun on the deck, but it we’re all hoping that changes soon.  Meanwhile, a warm blanket straight from the dryer on the floor will suffice.

Frankie, Huck, Tjarlie, Ferris, and Cubby

Happy New Year!

I must admit that I am more than happy to start the new year.  Don’t get me wrong, for the most part 2018 was just fine… up until the end, specifically just before Christmas week.

Thinking back, maybe I should have taken it as some sort of omen when I had no desire in the weeks leading up to Christmas to decorate the house, or bake, or do any of the usual Christmasy things.

My Christmas decorating this year consisted of bringing in the artificial Christmas tree in it’s bag from the garage, setting the bag down in the dining room, leaving it there for 3 weeks, and carrying it back out to the garage.

I didn’t even listen to any of my usual Christmas CD’s.   I did watch a few Christmas movies, but not all of my favorites, and most importantly, I skipped “It’s a Wonderful Life”.  Yeah, I should have known something wasn’t right.

Then, the week just prior to Christmas, I was slammed with a massive migraine headache.  I haven’t had a doozy like that for years.  It lasted 3 days, and just when I thought I was out of the woods, I got food poisoning (or so I thought).   It seemed to be subsiding, but then OH NO!

Just when I thought I was out…it pulled me back in (thank you, Michael Corleone). It slowly dawned on me that maybe what I actually had was the stomach flu.

Each day brought new and interesting adventures.  What will it be today?  Fever? Nausea? Diarrhea? Vomiting?  Maybe some sort of new combo we haven’t had yet?   Turns out, the possibilities were endless!  Can I eat today? NOPE!  Nice try – hahahaha silly girl, here’s more diarrhea for ya!

Are you feeling ok mom?

I began a very close and personal 10 day relationship with my toilet.  It was there for me when I needed it, every time, without fail.  “Come to me my weary friend, and rest your hot feverish brow on my cool white porcelain.”  I felt I was in good hands with the porcelain prince, and my beloved bed (a.k.a. my sleep nest).  My sleep nest is the only cure when I have a migraine, so over the years we have established a strong emotional bond.  Yes, between the two of them, I was well cared for.  We spent a lot of time together this Christmas season.

This may sound odd, but believe me, given the choice, I’d take the hell of that stomach flu over a bad migraine, any day.   The pain with a migraine is relentless.  At least with the flu, in between bouts of visiting my beloved porcelain prince, and napping, or more accurately, collapsing in a heap in my nest, I could tend to the needs of the dogs, cats, and birds.  I think it goes without saying that house work was LOW priority (but truth be told that’s nothing new).  General messiness, and floating dog hair is just kind of a given around here.

The dogs were incredibly good.  They were quiet, cooperative, there to cuddle when I needed it, and overall quite attentive to me.  Or maybe they just appreciated that I finally figured out what being a member of the pack really means… sleeping as much as possible during the day.  Whenever I would sit with them after stumbling out of the bedroom they would all gather around to carefully smell me.  People kept telling me “Oh, they know you’re  sick and want to take care of you!” 

Uhhh, maybe, or maybe they just liked it that after several days without a shower I was, let’s say, rather pungent…”Mmmm, you smell really bad mom, but you know, in a good way!  Let me take another whiff just for good measure.  Yep, stinky stuff, awesome!  You really are becoming one of us!”

I was still in bed on Christmas Eve, and all day on Christmas day too.  It was the suckiest Christmas ever *cue violins*

My totally pathetic Christmas dinner

POOOOR me.  Nah, not really.  I had everything I needed, including family and friends checking up on me by phone.  I just hunkered down and waited it out.  It was unpleasant, but I mean, it had to end at some point right?  RIGHT! And it did! Whew!  I am happy to report that I am now fully recovered, and it is all just a sad memory.

Lesson learned.  Next year I plan to start decorating for Christmas immediately after Halloween.

 

Everybody loves Nemo

This week we celebrated the 6 year anniversary of Nemo’s “gotcha” day.  The day that I adopted him from Wright-Way Rescue.  I have since adopted several wonderful dogs from Wright-Way, but Nemo was the first.

Nemo’s adoption photo. Awww, how cute and he was so little!

His litter had been given Christmas names like holly, wreath, candy-cane etc.   They must have run out of creative ideas because Nemo’s original name was Ornament…really? Ornament?   Ok, well not really a problem since I always change rescue dogs names when I adopt them.  One of our mottos here in The Land of Misfit Dogs is “new life, new name!”

I’ll admit I did name him after the fish from the movie Finding Nemo.  He was the same colors, and it seemed to fit him.  Nemo is very sweet, and friendly with people and dogs alike.  He is a favorite with people who visit.  You can see the sweetness in his face.

       

Probably the thing I love most about him is seeing how much the other dogs love him.

 

Truly, everybody loves Nemo…

 

Thanks!

I want to thank all of you who conveyed such heartfelt condolences regarding the loss of my beloved extra freezer.  It’s nice to know that in a world that sometimes seems fraught with apathy and unkindness that an appliance alliance prevails.

It’s a bit too soon to know if I will consider another freezer.  Somehow, it seems like a slap in the face to the behemoth.  I may just get rid of the stupid little fridge with the teensy midget freezer, and buy another side by side.  Truth be told, I probably need more time to grieve before I make any big decisions.

In other news…  I have a few new fur munchkins that I will soon share pictures of.  They arrived early last month and have been getting settled in, which includes being spayed, neutered, and updated on other vet care, in addition to acclimating to the pack.  All in all, so far, so good!

To be clear, I was not looking to adopt more dogs, but as we all know, sometimes fate has other plans.  I was contacted by an acquaintance, and told that sadly the owner of several small dogs had passed away, and lets just say, things were not good.  Long story short, they needed somewhere to go.  Not going to dwell on the details.   Remember, here in The Land of Misfit Dogs, we don’t rehash our sad stories of the past.  Instead, we focus on how wonderful life can be going forward.

As I said, the newbies are “littles” and I pretty much always have room for a few more of those.   I guess I have to stop kidding myself when I say I’m not going to take in any more dogs.  I think a more accurate statement would be, I’m not planning on taking in any more dogs.  Yeah, that’s it…that’s the ticket!  I’m not going to worry about it, things always have a way of working out.

For now I will leave you with a photo of my stellar boy, Rex.  I purchased a new camera a while back, and it’s taken me a little time to get used to.  I’m still fiddling around with most of the buttons and settings, but I’m getting the hang of it.  We all know how much I LOVE to take photos of my dogs!  I only have around 5,000 (or more) photos of my dogs.  NO I’m not kidding.   I’d like to get in the habit of posting here more, so maybe now and then I’ll just post photos!!

My happy boy

R.I.P.

I suffered a serious loss this week.  My beloved, quite large, extra freezer died.  It seems like just yesterday we were having a great time together.  Why, only a few short weeks ago, I had stocked it with a bunch of Stouffer’s frozen dinners, pizzas, corn dogs, fries, ice cream, pot pies, White Castle burgers, and just in case you’re thinking I don’t eat healthy, a few bags of broccoli and green beans (but not too many).  It was there when I bought the house, always there, large and beautiful, sitting in the laundry room, humming away.  It gave me great comfort.

On Monday I went to retrieve some bacon and cookie dough from my old faithful pal, and OH NO!  When I opened the freezer, everything was all melty and wet.  The light was still working, so it wasn’t a circuit breaker.  I spent the next half an hour putting soggy, wet, ruined food into trash bags and dragging them out to the trash can. *insert single tear rolling down cheek*

The recently deceased behemoth, rest well my friend

When I think back, it had been making some pathetic, funny noises, but I just kind of hoped it was nothing.  That’ll teach me to ignore a cry for help.  Now it’s dead, and gone forever.  Well, not actually gone, it is just sitting there in the laundry room… large, empty, and haunting me, because now the only freezer I have is the teensy weensy one on top of my refrigerator.  It has about the same amount of storage as a plastic cooler, and even less space for my own food, once I put the bowl of Kong and Tux toys stuffed with peanut butter and treats for the dogs inside.  And we all know, those are an absolute necessity.

Why is it that now all I have is a teensy freezer?  Funny you should ask.  That’s because this summer when my refrigerator died, I decided that since it’s just lil’ ol’ me here, I would save money and buy a smaller fridge with a top freezer.   I mean, after all, I had that HUGE freezer to store tons of food in!

Good idea in theory.  Not so much in reality.  It doesn’t help that I quickly developed a special hatred for that fridge.  I was used to a side by side, and not having to stoop down to reach into the refrigerator.  I kept hitting my head on the handle to that stupid minuscule freezer every time I stood up.  I often still do.  The dogs have started to think that “shit, ouch, dammit!” is just part of my ritual banter while working in the kitchen.  It just adds insult to injury that it is now my ONLY freezer.

The midget, mocking me with its smug smallness

Come to think of it, maybe the big freezer hung on as long as it could, but died from a broken heart after the old fridge bit the dust… I think maybe I need to get out more.

Home For The Holidays

I take the phrase “home for the holidays” literally.  I stay at home on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s.  I have wonderful, generous friends, and family who always extend invitations to join them in their festivities, but on holidays I want be with my own little furry family.  Sentimental? Silly?  After all, the dogs don’t know it’s a holiday, right?  Right!  Of course they don’t know, but I do.

As I’ve mentioned several times, I have an amazing family.  Like most families, we grew up with holiday traditions.  We all have fond holiday memories, and funny stories to share.  Over the years, as people married, and had children, as would be expected, new traditions were established.  My siblings now have their own families to celebrate with.  During my former life as a married person,  we moved around a lot, and often lived far away from family, so I too developed new traditions.

When I moved back to the Chicago area in 2012, alone for the first time in my life, I’ll admit, the holidays were kind of hard.   Partly because long long ago, in a land far away…I had gotten engaged in December, and married the following December.  That kind of ties a lot of additional memories to Christmas time.

That first holiday season back home, my always wonderful family invited me to share in their Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations.  I joined them, but I found that seeing my family carrying on their traditions just reminded me of what I no longer had.  It wasn’t anyone’s fault, it just was what it was.  Add to that the fact I’ve always been a bit of a chicken driving in winter weather, and my family is an hour’s drive away, plus my eyes aren’t what they used to be now that I’m a bit older, so night driving is tricky as well.  All in all,  I found that I couldn’t wait to get home to be with the dogs, and stay there.

Can’t you just stay home with us and cuddle?

The next year, I decided to try staying home with my own little furry family during the holidays, and it was AWESOME!  I invited a few single friends for Thanksgiving since I enjoy cooking.   The following week, I blasted Christmas music through the house, and tortured the poor dogs with my off key singing while I put up my Christmas decorations.  I baked, shopped on-line, and played in the snow with the dogs.  I was creating new traditions without even trying, and had the unexpected added bonus of beginning to glimpse some of the same magical feelings I remembered as a child during this time of year.  Feelings that I thought were long gone.

 
Nowadays, my family graciously accepts (maybe with a bit of an eye-roll) that I prefer to be at home with the dogs on the holidays.  They make it clear that if I ever decide I want to join them, I am welcome, which is a gift in and of itself.