Monday, April 30, 2007

Where did the Puppy Go?

Yes. This is my puppy at 15 weeks. No longer the pudgy, goofy little baby. This guy has attitude and a stubborn streak a mile wide. Today I cried. Big sobs. He was snarling. Biting. Acting like an aggressive, out of control dog. For the second day in a row. So we both had a time out. His was in the crate. Mine was a big cry. Then we went for a mile walk in the pouring rain. Both wet, cold and miserable. After I dried him off, Reny went into his crate (on his own) to just sit in the corner. I made chicken soup for G to eat when he gets home and the dog watched me. Reny and I are being cautious of each other. The crying upset him.

A co worker has just put a deposit down on a lab puppy. Wouldn't you think I was a good example of why you don't want to buy a puppy? I guess not.

I have a Book Sale meeting before work and then I'm working till 8 pm. Reny should be asleep for the night by then. One day at a time. I feel like such a rotten person. Who doesn't love a puppy? Me.

My friend J says this is all caused by me being a "control freak" and not being able to control the dog. Another friend asks what I would expect from a human baby of say 2 years (cause that's about how old Reny is and he's just saying "no"). Reny is certainly better than a human 2 year old.

There are more good moments in a day than bad ones. There has been no punishment. I worry that Reny is not as happy as he was in the beginning. Before "sit", "stay", "leave it", "ouch" (for biting), and the one he hates most "heel". Oh, and "drop it" when he mouths the leash. He is less eager to "come" because I usually want him to come back to me and leave behind assorted neighbors, stinky things in the woods and this morning--a corn cob.

So far, Reny has found 2 corn cobs and one chicken wing in the front yard. Someone's dinner? Where is this stuff coming from?? Crows? Garbage bags? Passing cars? All it takes is a little reinforcement-- and 2 corn cobs is enough--and Reny is looking, sniffing and quartering the front yard hunting for food. His parents, grandparents and great grandparents are all field champions. Reny is bred to sniff, hunt and cover the ground. You should see him track birds as they fly over. Wow. And he hasn't had any field training. I wish we lived near a big open field so he could run and "hunt". But would he "come" back to me?

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Puppy Training/ People Training

15 weeks. 30 pounds. Stubborn. Exuberant. Running full speed into the water standing in our wetland areas. Fearless. Learning to heel and walk nicely. Not jumping on people. Not eating soap. I should explain that last one. In order to "save" our perennials from the deer, we Mainers place metal sticks around the tender plants and attach a clothes dryer sheet filled with Irish Spring soap. Deer don't like smelly soap. Or so they tell me. Dogs DO like smelly soap. Sometimes Reny is wet AND soapy. Then I have to get a five gallon bucket of warm water and pour it all over him. Could we have had him for only 5 weeks?

Reny no longer looks like a puppy. He looks like a reduced size adult dog. I would take a picture but he is never still unless he's asleep. And he is VERY black. Taking pictures of a VERY black dog is near to impossible. I got an Orvis catalog yesterday and they had a black lab in several pictures. I could just refer you to the catalog.

Also it's been 17 weeks of the new "life/eating" plan. ( I would like to think I have also lost 34 pounds-2 a week, but I haven't done my walking so I don't think I've met my goal) Some days I am starving. And then in a day or two, not hungry at all. Still wearing the same underwear. My clothes--the old ones--look better on me now. I want them not to fit--but they still do and that makes me very sad. People who see me infrequently, still do not register that I look any different. Perhaps it's because I still wear all the same clothes? They don't see the altered seams or tucks. Or perhaps it's because people don't really "look" at others and "see" them. They just don't pay attention.

On our one sunny, hot day last week I wore sandals, short pants (capri) and a linen shirt. I felt light as a cloud. Like I could push off the earth's surface and float into the air above me. I almost wanted to try to do it.

I have obligatory borders to cut and sew onto the obligatory pieced quilt top today. Then I can pass it on to the next person and be done with it. And then I have no other obligations other than the puppy. And now that we have come to terms with the choke collar----Sigh---I can do a peaceful, positive one mile walk with the puppy. And really, he seems content with it. Like he doesn't have to work so hard thinking of bad things to do. He can just walk. And listen to me telling him how wonderful he is. What's not to like about that?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Deep Waters

It's still raining here in Maine. Will it ever stop? The side yards, low spots, are full of water this time of year, but this year there is so much more water and it is deeper. Good thing the pup likes deep water. My daffodils keep wanting to flower but then it snows again and they back up and wait. Nothing else even has buds. This picture is from March when it was warm and sunny.

My horoscope for today:
It's time to get more analytical about your emotional life. Examine your past patterns -- some people you've banished from your life share certain traits, and today you'll be in a good frame of mind to see these traits and understand their importance for the first time. Your own life is worthy of study -- your habits, your likes and dislikes, your goals -- all of these elements combine to create the person you are. Understanding them better will help you become the person you want to be.

Funny that the word banish was used. As that is exactly what I do. My mother as a prime example. She was so toxic to me that in order to save myself, I had to banish her. Do I really want to examine her behaviour? I worked so hard to get past the mean, hurtful, abusive and damaging things my mother had done to me from the very beginning. She felt her life would have been better if I had never been born. A mother's love.

Anyway, yesterday I got a call from a friend in California. She is also losing weight. But she is using Medifast and has lost 37 pounds in 14 weeks. I'm very proud of her. And she is sending me some of her larger clothes for me to wear now. So sweet.

I'm wondering if this weight loss thing is cosmic. Like syncronicity or however it is spelled. When thoughts are free wheeling through the universe and they "stick" to people who are receptive but pass over people who aren't open to them. Deepak Choprah thinks that the Impressionist movement may have been one of those universal things that stuck to artists ready for something new. How else to explain how so many (living quite far from each other) were painting in this new way, suddenly, without technology to spread the images.

Well, breakfast is over and Reny is asleep under the table so I guess I'll go and try to stitch a few blocks together--after changing the thread in the bobbin. Oy!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


I feel like changing my life. Again. I need more art and less of everything else. I would like more book reading but that doesn't seem to fit into my life anymore. I wonder why that happened?

I feel like a snake or lobster. Too large for their skin and needing to "shed" the too tight outer layer. Wiggling. Pushing. Struggling. To get out. This shedding is not painless. For every inch of the new, there is the loss of the familar. And familar is cozy, warm and safe. The new is cold, strange and scary.

Right now I am tied down tightly by obligations. Agreed to long ago. I must finish these things--I'm that kind of person--and I must be vigilent to saying yes to new obligations. These obligations always seem so benign when I say yes. Then as time passes and I have new interests the obligations weigh on me like rocks tied to my ankles in deep water.

Forgive me. But the puppy is one such obligation. There are days, hours when I resent having to watch him, take him out, amuse him. I am under the impression I have better things to do with my time. But what is better than the love of a dog?

Another obligation is piecing a quilt top for a sick friend. Easy enough but all the blocks are boringly the same and the finished top will be boring (for me). I just need to get past my own opinions and get the job done and pass it on to the quilter. Really. My obligation was only to put the blocks together. Not to create a masterpiece.

Another obligation is this huge house full of "things". I feel smothered by the outrageous consumption/purchase of things which has filled this house. Did we "shop" to fill our empty lives? So we didn't need to talk to each other? Deal with problems? Did we shop rather than separate or divorce?

Why do we have so much furniture? Why do we have 3 dozen champagne glasses and never have people here to drink champagne? Why six full sets of china and no dinner parties? Why 20 large vases and no flowers? Why 8 pairs of sweatpants? Why a dozen white linen shirts when one would be fabulous? Why 6 dozen white vee neck tee shirts? Yes! 72 of them.

I think I will start where I can. One large bag to Goodwill every week. Or one large box. I will slowly but surely empty this house of everything we have not used or touched in the past two years. Then I will get rid of things we haven't used in one year. And then work on the multiples. There is a huge Garage Sale at the neighborhood church. I could start there with a table rental. Sell my huge basket collection. Sell the teddy bears. Sell the bed quilts.

I need to go to rehab.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Ten Things to Be Happy About

I'm hoping I can think of ten.

1. The sun is shining and G will be home in one hour to take over puppy sitting. Not that I don't love that dog, but I got to tell you my house is filthy. I need to clean. Everywhere I look there is some kind of dirt that I should be wiping up.

2. It's not snowing. Well, here in Maine that is a reason for, not just happy, but jubilant. It's snowed three times so far this month. The dog loves it. I'm tired of shoveling. It's APRIL! It's supposed to be RAINING!!!

3. Aunt Purl had a damn fine idea on her blog---paper grocery bags in each room. And if you find something in that room that is "extra" or "unneeded" you plunk it right into the bag and at the end of the weekend--all the bags go to Goodwill and make other people happy.

4. I found "a" pair of pants in the closet to wear to work for the next month. They stay up around the waist and don't sag too much in the butt. Also two of my too small sweaters are now too big. I missed the window of opportunity on those items. But I'm going to still be happy.

5. While wearing the afore mentioned almost fitting pants and one of the formerly too small sweaters to last night's work potluck, I was asked if I "had lost weight or was terminally ill". I'm going to be happy that someone noticed.

6. At the potluck I passed on the baby shower cake and wasn't going to have any dessert but spotted Edy's low fat churned ice cream. 120 calories for half a cup. I adore ice cream. So I scooped a 1/2 cup and looked for a spoon. A coworker suggested I settle for a knife as that was the only thing left. So I ate my ice cream with a purple plastic knife. Makes it difficult to eat fast so I got to savor my ice cream.

7. Found a tick on the puppy. Got it off.

8. I get a haircut and new nail polish at 2:30 on Monday. I need pampering.

9. I'm happy to have the problem of figuring out which size to order. The 1X (14-16) or the Large which is also (14-16). All my clothes are 20 or 22. I have already tried on a 16W and it fit nicely but the zipper was iffy. Can you imagine an iffy zipper on a rush bathroom visit? I'm happy the zipper decided to be iffy BEFORE I bought the pants.

10. Tomorrow is Chinese Lunch Day. Sweet and Sour Chicken. Steamed Rice. One Dumpling. Heaven on a plate and only $6.95. Happy Dance.

So I thought of ten. And I've been up since 5:30 am and am SO sleep deprived. Last night we went to bed when the puppy did--8 pm. Aren't we pathetic? Don't answer that.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Nineteen Days

Nineteen Days. And our whole world has changed. His too. We brought home a fat, rambunctious baby and taught him to "sit", "come", and pee outside (not in the house). And now we have an almost 3 month old dog (Friday the 13th) who weighs 29.5 pounds and couldn't fit on any size lap. He also was allowed to sleep through the night. G also was allowed to sleep through the night for the first time in 19 days. G even had to wake Reny up at 7:15 this morning. Reny is napping now.

Isn't he just the sweetest thing? He looks at us with such devotion. I read somewhere that dog owners worked hard to always "deserve" the love and devotion of their dog. I can feel that now.

There he is at his window. He looks out over his yard and barks at all the robins digging for worms in the flower beds. We haven't had the "squirrel" moment yet but he has seen the deer visiting (and leaving even more deer poop for him to eat (ick)).

Now that Reny is becoming a "good dog" we'll only post his pictures when he is unbearably cute or handsome. This is my first dog and I am quite gobsmacked by him. Didn't expect that.

I managed to get our taxes done--on the fourth try-- I kept making beginner mistakes but in the end it was okay. A refund from the feds and a check for the state. I really hate sending money to the state of Maine. It's just wasted. Idiots.

Got my teeth cleaned yesterday. Made soup today (German Linsensuppe). So the decks are cleared for some "ART" while there is still snow on the lawn.

When the snow melts I have to start in painting the house shutters. I put it off for two years now and the house would look much better with green shutters. I was hoping Kay would visit and help with the burn pile and the shutter painting but she went and started working and is going to Zurich for training. She invited her husband to go to Zurich with her. I would have been a MUCH better choice!!! I do love the veal in cream sauce with Rosti potatoes.

Friday, April 06, 2007

It's a Dog Day

My new dog and my new shoes. And thank goodness I have these shoes! I've been outside more than ever and up before 6 am. This is so NOT my comfort zone. At least G is taking all the 3 am potty calls.

Each day begins between 6 and 7. I make G's breakfast and pack his lunch and watch the dog while G eats and gets ready for work. Then Reny and I do stuff. Chew toys. Chew bones. Chew me. Go outside. Come inside. Go outside. If he pees he gets a treat. Needs to go out to pee 47,000 times a day. And while outside--why not chew on some trees, rhodie leaves, my pants and various rocks and stones.

I have him locked in the crate twice a day. The first nap is when I shower and get on some fresh (undog) clothes. I also do some laundry. I have been cutting, trimming and sewing some little 9.5 blocks for a Friendship Quilt for a fellow quilter with newly discovered leukemia and chemo treatments. I made one block all wrong and have remade it twice--still wrong!!!! The second nap is when I watch some television and read blogs (HA!). The second nap is iffy. It's also when I normally get ready for and go to work.

Can I admit to REALLY LOVING my job lately? Now that my job is a reason for leaving the dog behind at home--I LOVE going to work. But I do have to remember to spray myself with Febreze before since G and I smell very doggie.

Reny is loving the Spring Snow and he is romping over and into all of it. So he is WET. My floors are filthy. But Reny doesn't mind the vacuum so I can pick up the big stuff every few days. He is a very nice dog. Growing larger by the minute, hour and day. 13 weeks and 25 pounds. Stout as they say in Maine.

G and I are exhausted. We've Tivo'd everything and hope to be able to stay awake to watch our programs is a few months.

What is everyone making for Easter dinner?