Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year's Eve!

Got another round of snow today - 10 inches. Five more on the way tomorrow. What a winter. Why do all the storms fall on weekends or holidays? I sure am getting gyped out of some good snow days! So unfair.

I shoveled a path around my garden - so the dogs can run circles around the yard. They were thrilled and spent most of the morning running at top speed. I also put a couple poles across the snow banks for some "winter agility".

Watching their Daddy plow the driveway.

Here is a video of Oreo running from Misty. It's hard to see Misty, as Oreo is way ahead of her for most of the time! He's got that youth thing going for him. Have to give kudos to Misty for even trying to keep up with him. Warning: video may cause dizziness.
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Hope everyone has a safe and happy new year's eve. Jeff and I will be eating lobster and staying in. I'll probably be sound asleep by 9:30.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

move over choppers...

On Christmas day, my Dad showed Jeff his childhood Lionel train set. What is it with men and train sets? Just being near a train set, instantly transforms grown men into kids in a candy shop.

OK, I'll admit, my Dad's trains are really cool. I loved playing with them when I was a kid. He has some cars that actually do things - like the milk man who puts the bottles of milk on the platform. My favorite.

Jeff was impressed by the heft of the control box. He loves how all the cars are made of metal, not plastic. Nothing is made in China. In fact, it is made in NY. Jeff loves the history of the train set, and could picture my Dad setting it up with my Paki in their dining room. Jeff wants to get it up and running, so that he can pass it on to Theo and Miles when they are old enough to appreciate the trains and their history.

Jeff brought the boxes of trains to our house, to see if he could get them up and running. He set up a small circle of track, put the engine on the track, and it was off and running. He called me down to the basement to check it out. I had to get down on the ground to take in a good whiff of the train. The smell brought me right back to being ten years old. There was a button on the controller that Jeff didn't know what it was for. To my own amazement, I remembered that if you pressed it once, the train stops, press it again and the train goes backward. I knew the big button was the train's whistle.

Since then, Jeff has done nothing but search ebay for tracks, and other train accessories.

At first, he was going to set up a track near the ceiling of his room, and have the train go around the room. After seeing the train, he now has bigger ambitions, involving several sheets of plywood.

Where to put it? Move over choppers, there's a new obsession in the basement.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Ghetto Agility 101 - part 2

Oreo and I have been practicing our hallway agility course for a week now. He is a really fast learner. When I say, "Let's go do 'gility", Oreo runs to the hallway. Oreo will now jump 7 inches high, go thru the tunnel, follow me to a bedroom, "look at me", sit and stay for five seconds and then we reverse. He does this sequence with about 80% accuracy, without treats. It is amazing!

Getting Oreo to sit for five seconds, the legal requirement in agility competitions, without feeding him treats has been our greatest accomplishment. He just learned that today, and has already mastered it. Jeff was very impressed when I showed him. Oreo has never been very obedient about sitting unless I had food in my hand. So, to see him sit and stay while I counted to five is huge!

I often find Oreo "practicing" on his own, by going in and out of the tunnel. He loves it.

Still waiting for the agility kit to arrive - where is it already? I am very anxious to start training Oreo on the weave poles. The snow is almost melted, and will probably be all gone by the end of the weekend. If the yard wasn't a giant mud pit, we could set it up outside.
All the research says that shelties need a job, due to their high intelligence and history of being herding dogs . Only the border collie is smarter than the sheltie. Hopefully, agility will become Oreo's new job, and he will finally retire from chewing furniture.

Here is a video of our hallway agility. Unfortunately, there is no sound - so pretend you can hear me saying, "jump, tunnel, over here, look at me, sit, stay, tunnel, etc..." Oreo usually runs this course much faster, but I was trying to slow him down so the camera could keep up. The faster he goes, the more excited he gets, which results in a lot of jumping up and down at the end.

I love how Misty kind of follows along, as long as she can avoid the tunnel!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Old memories lead to new ones

It was a year ago today, that we had Munchkin put to sleep. It seems as though so much time has passed, but the memories of those last days are still fresh. The pain can resurface when I least expect it. Choosing to put your dog to sleep can be the best gift you ever give to a pet, especially when they are suffering from chronic pain. Doing so, however, toys with your emotions. How can we ever know it was the right time? For a long time, my heart doubted my decision, even though my brain told me it was the right thing to do.

Every Christmas, Munchkin would plop himself down in my mom's kitchen, right in front of the oven. He could smell the beef cooking, and knew "the food lady" would soon be sneaking him meat and filling up his bowl with beef and buttered toast. That was Munchkin's last meal.

This year, my shy Misty, took Munchkin's spot in the kitchen. You can see where dogs' true loyalties lie - in their bellies.

Munchkin watching the "food lady"

Munchkin would always sleep on my pillow, or curled up next to me under the covers. Recently, Oreo has taken over that spot at night. Oreo curls himself up in a ball, snuggles up, and lets out a big sigh. Heaven.

During the last few weeks of Munchkin's life, he had difficulty walking on our vinyl and wood floors. He was in too much pain to hold his legs up on the slippery surfaces. He would fall and then couldn't get up. Jeff went out and bought lots of carpet runners, so Munchkin wouldn't fall so much. Now, I will be using those runners to help Oreo get better traction while using our indoor agility course. Oreo is learning so quickly, and I feel like our bond has grown so much since we started agility just a few days ago.

I hope someday my bond with Oreo will be as strong as the one I had with Munchkin. Munchkin was so in tune with my emotions. He watched and studied me. There was so much trust between us. He always knew when I was coming home, even if I had been gone for a few days. I gave Munchkin the best life that I could, and he enriched my life in so many ways. Munchkin was great with kids, the elderly, and everyone in between. Munchkin would sit at my Babci's feet while she crocheted, and Babci would sneak him crackers. Munchkin let kids grab his ears and yank on his fur. Munchkin made me the crazy "dog person" that I am. He was the best.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas Eve!

Here's to a safe, peaceful and fun Christmas!

Oreo has lots of presents, on top of his crate. No tree this year, as I am sure Oreo would have eaten all the ornaments! His best present will be arriving late this year. Check out what I just ordered for him (me):

I'm sure when it gets here, Jeff will say, "I could have made that". Then, he will get to work making me more jumps and inevitably start selling them on Ebay.

I also ordered a 9 foot long tunnel. Oreo loves his 3 foot cardboard tunnel, so I am anxious to see how he feels about a really long one, which is also bendable.

Today, Oreo's sole obsession will be all the kielbasa and golumbki smells in the kitchen. I almost lost the kielbasa to Oreo's high jumping ability when I had my back turned for 2 seconds. I heard the leap up, and Oreo was almost able to grab it off the counter, before I yelled, "No". Considering the fact that I had to try 3 stores before I was able to find the kielbasa, it could have been disastrous.

Right now, Oreo is barking at the stationary broom in the bathroom - just waiting for it to move. Do you think this dog needs an outlet for his energy? That agility kit can't come soon enough!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Happy Birthday Oreo!

Happy 1st Birthday Oreo!!!

Can't believe how much you've grown!
Here's to many healthy, happy years of balls, jerky, chases, running, jumping, attacking the vacumm, singing, digging, hiding, etc.

Ghetto Agility 101

Since the dog walking thing has become a thing of the past, due to weather and killer dogs, I have begun looking for other means to exercise my dogs. Oreo has learned to jump, so I decided to try training him for agility.

For the past two days, I have set up what my students would call a "ghetto" agility course in my hallway. Instead of a fancy, retractable tunnel, I have an opened up cardboard box. Instead of a sturdy PVC jump, I have some cardboard boxes holding up a swiffer broom. Thank goodness we order everything on line, which provides an endless supply of cardboard in all shapes and sizes.

I set the jump up across the whole hallway, so that the dogs have no choice but to jump if they want to get down the hall. I have it low enough so they can't crawl under it. This seems to be working. Both Oreo and Misty have done countless "jumps". Whether they are doing it because I am telling them to is highly questionable. The fact that I have jerky in my pocket may also be a motivator. Regardless, I get excited when I say "jump" and they do.

The tunnel is a little trickier. I couldn't get a box as wide as the hallway, so I have to be a little more diligent about my commands. It took about ten times, and Oreo will now "tunnel" on command about 50% of the time. 100% of the time if I put a treat in the tunnel. I am so proud when I say "tunnel" and Oreo goes right to the box and walks through.

Misty, on the other hand, is terrified of the tunnel, and will only go through if I push her. Oreo waits on the other side of the box with his head peeking in, like "Come on Misty, it's fun, go through the box."

When Oreo jumps on command, and then follows with an immediate "tunnel", I get really excited. This is the dogs' favorite part. I jump up and down, and sing their praises in a really high voice (which I am sure would be highly annoying to all of you). They lavish in my love and jump all over me.

We may never be ready for competition, but it sure is fun. Can't wait to start on the weave poles...hmmm...maybe some ski poles would work.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

good news

Woke up to some pretty snow this morning. I love it when it sticks to the tree branches. It always makes everything seem so peaceful and quiet.

I brought Oreo to the vet today for his recheck. Oreo now has a clean bill of health. His wounds are healing nicely, and we just have to finish another week of antibiotics. Getting him to take that is a challenge. I try hiding it in food, but he is on to me. He eats the food and leaves the pill behind. Even the ol' standby of peanut butter isn't working for him.

There were tons of dogs, of all sizes, at the vet, because all the employees were having a group photo taken, with all their pets. Oreo did a little low growling at the big dogs, but no barking. So, I saw that as a positive sign. Misty went nose to nose with the dogs, but made sure to keep the rest of her body as far away as possible for a quick escape. She does the same thing with people, so I think she is fine.

Now, I just wait for a check from the owners of the attack dogs....

Today, would have been Munchie's 15th birthday! Happy birthday Munch!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

instinct or brilliance?

It was warm enough today to actually stay outside for more than 60 seconds. When I got home from school, I brought Oreo's ball outside and started throwing it for him out in the snow. I have a large area of the yard shoveled, to make it easier for the dogs to get around.

Now, I have never been good at any sport involving throwing, catching, or hitting balls. In gym class, I would always set myself as far away from any flying objects as possible. Even then, I almost always ended up getting hit by the ball while trying to avoid having to catch it.

Today, I tried to keep Oreo's ball in the shoveled part of the yard, but of course some throws went astray into the thick snow. When that happened, Oreo would run for the ball, hit the big snow bank, and then look at me, as if to say, "Do I really want the ball bad enough to plow through this snow bank?" Then, I saw him do something amazing (at least to me, being the proud mother).

Instead of jumping into the snow, Oreo would get his belly on top of the snow bank, and then crawl across the top of the snow. He is light enough, that with his body weight evenly dispersed, he didn't sink into the snow at all. Now, as far as I know, Oreo has never taken a physics course. How did he know to use his whole body to scoot across the top of the snow? Other, dumber, dogs (and most people) would simply jump through the snow. My dog found a better way. Is it instinct, or brilliance?

Sunday, December 16, 2007

my good girl

Misty is my "good child". Misty does whatever I ask, never gives me any back talk, eats whatever I give her, has never been seriously ill or injured, and gives me hugs and cuddles whenever I need one. I tell Oreo to sit, he ignores me, but Misty sits obediently. I call Oreo, he ignores me, but Misty comes promptly. She doesn't chew anything but her toys. I can leave her off a leash, and know she will not stray too far from my side. Misty is a perfect dog. Loyal, sweet, docile, beautiful, tolerant, yet she knows how to have a good time.

I got Misty a few months after Munchkin was attacked. I had spent so much time at our vet, that when a woman was looking for a good home for her shelties, the vet knew I would be a good person to call. The minute I saw Misty prancing around our yard, I knew I had to have her. It was a little rocky for the first few days, but Munchkin took to her, or at least tolerated her presence. Misty adored Munchkin, although she was jealous of him at times. She was always pushing Munchkin to the side whenever I would pay attention to him. This earned her the nickname, "tank".

When Munchkin died, I don't know how I could have gotten through that sad time without Misty. She was hurting too, but her cuddles and enthusiasm when I came home each day made the pain a little easier. I didn't have to come home to a dogless house. That would have been heart wrenching for me. I am lost at home without a dog. It doesn't happen often, but when both dogs are at the vet I don't know what to do with myself. I guess that's how Misty felt when Munchkin died. Misty would wail and cry when we would go to work. She was so lonely without her brother.

Bringing Oreo into the house was a huge adjustment for Misty. She had a meltdown, and had to spend the day at the vet. That was the only big vet bill she has had, so far. After a couple weeks, she settled down, and learned to love her new brother. Misty plays with him and doesn't cry when we go to work anymore. She also keeps Oreo in line. My little babysitter.

Oreo is in love with Misty, just like Misty loved Munchkin. I often think Oreo loves Misty more than he loves me. I worry about how he will react when she dies. I worry about me too. How will I cope without my reliable, velcro dog?

Although Misty is my "good child", she has always played second fiddle to her brothers. Forever the middle child, never getting as much attention as her older or younger brother. She never got the good spot on the couch or bed when Munchkin was around. Oreo is so demanding of my time, that I sometimes feel I am neglecting Misty.

Munchkin was my heart dog. Oreo is my baby. Misty is my good girl, and she is probably the best dog I will ever have.

more snow

Here is a photo of the dogs first things this morning, during the snow/sleet part of the storm:

We didn't get as much snow as originally forecast - which is good for me since Jeff isn't here to snow blow for me.

Here is a video of the pups playing in the snow. As you can see Oreo isn't letting his injuries slow him down at all!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

calm before the next storm

Really cold today. The dogs could only stay outside for a few minutes, before their paws started to hurt from the cold. They need to put their boots on in this weather. More snow on the way for tomorrow, and ice too.

Here are some photos of the dogs in the snow:

Thursday, December 13, 2007

one last walk

How could this happen again? I take my dogs for what I knew would be their last walk for several days, with two snow storms on the way. We walk less than half a mile, when a huge St. Bernard comes charging across a very busy road and immediately takes Oreo in his mouth. I screamed at the top of my lungs, hoping the owner would rush out and control his dog. Then, another St. Bernard comes charging out. I kick and hit the dogs, desperately trying to free my precious baby from this dog's mouth. The whole thing was surreal. I feared the worst. I was terrified that if I let go of Oreo's leash, he would take off and I might never see him again. In hind sight, maybe I should have let him go to give him half a chance against this huge beast. At one point, Oreo did break free from my grip, and took off, only to have the big dog catch up to him again.

Finally, the owner of the two dogs came out, and several cars stopped to help me. I started screaming numerous expletives at the owner, and explained to the bystanders that this has happened to me before. Oreo looked OK, but he was shaking and growling. A woman looked him over and didn't see any wounds, nor did I, but it was still dark out and hard to see much. I just wanted to get back home. So, I started walking the dogs and noticed Oreo was limping. I yelled to the owner that I would be coming to him if I had any vet bills.

I picked Oreo up and carried him all the way home.

I walked into the bedroom and told Jeff what happened. His first comment was, "I'll kill those dogs." His second comment, "Oh my God, you're covered in blood."

I looked down, and the entire front of my white jacket was now red.

We checked Oreo out in the light and saw he had a few puncture wounds under his hind leg. I put some gauze on it and we brought him to the vet.

The good news is, Oreo will be OK physically. Mentally, I'm not sure yet. I hope this attack doesn't break Oreo's carefree, happy spirit. At the vet, he was growling at the receptionist's sweet collie, which Oreo has never done before. The same thing happened with Munchie after his attack. Every time we went to the vet, Munchkin would bark his head off at the big dogs. I hope Oreo doesn't carry this with him for the rest of his life.

As for me, I'm not sure I will ever be able to walk my dogs again. Happens once, you consider it a fluke, twice, and I just can't trust anyone's dog.

Walking my dogs has always been one of the best parts of my day, and now it's been ruined because of a couple irresponsible dog owners.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

a grain of salt

We woke up to an ice covered driveway yesterday. It was at least 1/4 inch thick. I had a two hour delay, but Jeff still had to get to work on time.
Jeff threw down all the bags of salt we had on our driveway, and hoped it would melt the ice before he had to leave.

No such luck. It didn't even make a dent.

Jeff ended up going out there with a garden shovel, and was able to pound away a few patches so we could at least get a few feet of traction as we made the slick ride down the hill into the road.

We both made it out without running into traffic. Jeff had a close call with the county snow plow. That could have been bad.

The temperatures didn't rise much during the day, so when I got home there was still a lot of ice on the driveway. Jeff decided to buy some more salt on his way home from work.

Jeff stopped at the hardware store near our house; a store we try to avoid. We sued the owner years ago when his dog bit me and practically killed my dog as we walked past his house. I hate to give him any of our money, but sometimes it's just easier to stop there, than drive the extra few miles to the Depot. It's also the only local place that sells chrome screws, which Jeff uses for his choppers. Jeff has literally bought over a thousand dollars worth of screws at the store. You pay big bucks for extra pretty screws and bolts.

To buy salt, you go inside and tell the cashier what size bags you want and how many. You pay, then bring your receipt outside where young, strapping boys load the bags in your car for you.

Jeff told the cashier he wanted five 50 pound bags of salt. He brought his receipt outside, and helped the boys load the bags in his truck. Jeff got inside his truck, and noticed the owner coming outside. The owner began yelling at the boys, and scolding them for not looking at the receipt and kept pointing at the cashier inside. Jeff could have driven away, but instead he rolled down his window and yelled to the owner, "Do you want to see my receipt?" The owner came over, looked at the receipt, which clearly stated that Jeff had purchased five 50 pound bags. The owner then said, "Oh, she told me you bought five 25 pound bags." Jeff said, "Can I go home now?"

What made the owner question the cashier about Jeff's purchase? I doubt he does that for every customer. He clearly thought Jeff was trying to get away with taking home more salt than what he paid for. I felt bad for the young boys, who got yelled at for doing nothing wrong. I hope the owner apologized to them, because he certainly didn't apologize to Jeff.

Ho, ho, ho.

Sunday, December 9, 2007


Some years, it's just hard for me to get in the "holiday spirit", and I don't think I'm alone. Often, Christmas becomes "Stressmas."

One of my co-workers hands out new desk calendars every year to a bunch of teachers. As she hands each one out, she says, "There, you're done." She can't wait to get all the various presents out of her house and off to the receiver.

While, she may come across as being a Scrooge, I think we all kind of feel the same way at times. Buying Christmas gifts is just another thing added to our every growing To Do list. We want to find the perfect gift for everyone, and that's not always easy. Advertisements are constantly bombarding us with "perfect gifts" for those fantasy people with perfect lives.

Another co-worker asked me not to buy her a Christmas gift this year, because she can't afford to buy me one. She is certainly feeling like it's "stressmas". I never bought her a gift with the expectation of getting something in return, but I'm not going to give her one this year if it will make her feel bad that she couldn't reciprocate.

I see students wearing the same clothes everyday, and know there won't be lots of presents under their trees. How stressful for them to see their classmates return after the new year sporting all their new clothes, latest cell phones, and mp3 players. Even in my affluent high school, it was like a competition to see who had the most new outfits after Christmas.

The two weeks before Christmas break are often the worst two weeks of the school year. Expectations are running high. Kids see commercials and Christmas specials depicting perfect family holidays, when their family doesn't even come close. Many have absent fathers, parents addicted to drugs, little food, no heat, and health problems. The stress of it all leads to fights, defiance, and sadness. I try to keep their home lives in mind when the kids start acting out. It makes me feel a little less stressed about my life, when I put myself in their shoes for a moment. Many of them experience far more "Stressmas" than Christmas.

Friday, December 7, 2007

how to sanitize a spoon

Someone hit my blog today by googling, "my spoon fell in the toilet how to sanitize it?"

They hit my site due to my blog about Oreo's orbee falling in the toilet, which I contemplated fishing out with a spoon.

I laughed when I saw what this person googled, but also felt kind of sorry for him/her. I wonder how the spoon fell in the toilet and how he/she fished it out.

My advice - throw the spoon out, or save it for guests you don't really like.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

scratch scratch

A few weeks ago, we began being awakened in the middle of the night. The bed was shaking, metal was clanging. No, it wasn't a train going by, it was our dogs scratching non stop. Their tags were clinking, their legs scratching furiously, and their teeth gnawing on their own skin. I would come home from work, and the living room would be covered with fur that had been removed by their toe nails from scratching so much.

Why were they scratching? I ruled out bugs, being it's November and freezing. No bug could survive. Misty has seasonal allergies in late summer, but all pollens are pretty much gone after a few hard frosts. Dry skin? Food allergy?

Off to google I go. Everything I read, said the primary culprit of dogs scratching is fleas. Well, I haven't had a dog with fleas since my first year with Munchkin. Plus, flea season is long gone. So, on to the second cause - allergies. Can't be seasonal allergies, but it could be food allergies. Dogs are allergic to all sorts of food, including wheat, corn, and even different types of meat.

I analyzed what new foods and treats I had been giving the dogs. I couldn't come up with any new ingredient that might be making both dogs scratch. Plus, most articles indicated that it would be very rare for two dogs in the same household to be allergic to the same thing.

I decided it had to be just dry skin, from the change in weather and the fact that we had finally decided to turn the heat on in the house.

I went to one of my favorite dog catalogs, and ordered some "skin and coat" vitamins and fresh salmon oil from Iceland. Both contain omega fatty acids, and are known to help dogs with allergies and skin problems. Unfortunately, they can take a month or so to become effective.

I resorted to giving Oreo Benadryl at night. This seemed to help a little, but it may have just been knocking him out, not helping his allergies. He still woke up at 4AM scratching. I've started calling Oreo, "Sas-scratch-iwan".

After a week on the fish oil, the dogs' coats were so shiny. I have never seen them looking so good. They loved the vitamins and fish oil on their food. I know the supplements are good for their overall health, but they didn't seem to be doing anything for their scratching.

Jeff was rubbing Oreo's belly one day, and found what he said was a flea. I was in disbelief. How could a flea survive this bitter cold? Had to be a fluke.

The next day, I was checking out Oreo's skin, and came across another creepy crawly. Then, I found one on Misty.

Yep, my dogs have fleas. In December. In Upstate New York.

Off to the cabinet for some flea control.

Another week has gone by, and the scratching has been greatly reduced as the fleas are slowly killed off. I've been vacuuming everything everyday and washing all the dogs' coats and bedding. I'm sure within a couple more weeks, we will have two scratch free dogs, and our vibrating bed will become stationary again.

Since I spent all that money on the fish oil and vitamins, I have continued giving it to the dogs. They like the taste and it's good for them.

Unfortunately, it seems to make their poop smell really good. Good enough for dogs to want to eat, especially when it's sat outside long enough to be frozen like a popsicle. Gross.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

vaseline, tabasco and toilet paper

I've been trying to give Oreo some more freedom, and time out of his crate when no one is home. Some days, he behaves like an angel. Some days, more like a devil.

Before I go to work, I exercise Oreo and play some games. I shut all the bedroom doors, and limit him to the living room and kitchen, which I try to dog proof as much as possible. I leave him plenty of dog friendly toys, many stuffed with yummy food. He eats those, but unfortunately Oreo seems to enjoy chewing on wood and electrical cords.

I have tried spraying the chew deterrents they sell in pet stores, such as bitter apple, on the furniture. Dogs are supposed to hate the taste. Unfortunately, Oreo likes the taste. I spray it, and he runs over to lick it all up. Yummy.

I did some googling for help. The sites said to find something the dog doesn't like and then apply that to the furniture. I know Oreo doesn't like green beans, but how could I adhere beans to wood and cords? Also, how would I keep Misty from eating the green beans - she likes them.

So, I put some cayenne pepper on a piece of cheese to see if Oreo would like it. He lapped it right up and came back for more. I needed something hotter. I squirted some Tabasco sauce on the cheese. He sniffed it, licked it, looked at me in horror, and then backed away. Yes! I found something he doesn't like.

Now, how to apply Tabasco sauce? I couldn't just pour it over everything in the living room.

I resorted to mixing it with Vaseline and then spreading it on all the furniture he has been chewing on. This is really kind of icky, and dog fur sticks to it readily. The room now has a tex-mex aroma whenever you walk in. Too bad it's Christmas time, rather than Cinqo de Maya.

The day after I applied the vaseline, I came home from work, inspected all the furniture, and found no bite marks! I lavished Oreo with praise and treats. Later as it began getting darker, I went to turn on the one living room light that hasn't had its cord chewed through, and nothing. Oreo had chewed right through the cord.

Jeff came home, and rewired all the lights. I spread my Vaseline concoction all over the cords.

I still wasn't convinced this would keep Oreo from chewing. So, when we went to work today, we left a roll of toilet paper on the floor. Dogs love toilet paper. Now, I'm sure no dog expert would recommend doing this. They would say we are teaching Oreo that chewing toilet paper is OK. Too bad. What do they know? I'd rather my dog eat toilet paper, than my lamp.

Well, I came home from work today. The lights are working, furniture is intact, and there was shredded toilet paper all over the living room. Mission accomplished.

For all you environmentalists reading, the toilet paper is made from recycled paper. Jeff and I tried to use it, but it was just too scratchy. I think we found a fabulous way to reuse it, rather than sending it to a landfill.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

don't be alarmed

Jeff came home from work the other day, stopped for a bit in the garage, and then came upstairs. The minute he stepped in the door, he said to me, "Don't be alarmed when you go in the basement."

Oh no, I thought, another dead mouse. Seeing one of those can give me nightmares for months. Even if I don't see it, just knowing Jeff put a carcass in the garbage can outside is enough to freak me out. The little critters dodge in when the garage door is open, and then can't get out. We have every nook and cranny filled with insulation to keep them from coming in. Unfortunately, they can't leave either. There are bite marks all over the seal on the bottom of the garage doors from them trying to gnaw their way out. Eventually they must conk out from starvation or dehydration.

I asked Jeff warily, "Why would I be alarmed?"

Jeff says, "Oh, there's another bike down there."

Doesn't he realize that I would never have even noticed another bike, let alone be "alarmed"? If he had only one bike, and then brought home another, I might notice. However, adding another to a collection makes it really easy to miss a newcomer. Hell, I came home from work the other day, parked my car in the garage, went upstairs and didn't even notice that Jeff was in the garage himself! He came upstairs an hour later wondering why I hadn't stopped to say hello. Honestly, I am so used to watching where I'm walking so I don't knock a bike over, that I had no idea he was even there.

snow dance

Oreo is doing his snow dance, in hopes of a snow day tomorrow, which means more "mommy time" for Oreo.
He'll be wearing his pj's inside out tonight.
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Saturday, December 1, 2007

look ma, snow!

We had a dusting of snow overnight. I heard the plows going by, and was anxious to let Oreo out to see his reaction. It would be his first encounter with snow as a "real dog".

I did bring him out in the snow when he was a baby, but I don't think he remembers that. He was so scared of being outside' everything was just too new. Now that Oreo has made the backyard his territory, I knew this would be a special moment.

Usually, in the morning, Oreo runs right to his "pee spot", goes, and then comes charging back in the house for breakfast. Today, I opened the back door, and Oreo peered out. He noticed the snow right away. He ran down the ramp and began circling the yard with his nose to the ground. He either couldn't stand still long enough to pee, or forgot why he went out there in the first place. I think he has a little ADHD. Oreo ran over to poor Misty, who was trying to pee in privacy, and kept nudging her, as if to say "Look, there is cold, wet stuff all over the yard." He did a few more circles, and finally realized his bladder was calling. He peed. Did some more circles, then stopped to pee some more. Finally, he came charging back in the house to tell me all about it.

Can't wait to see him when we get some real snow tomorrow!