Sunday, September 22, 2013

July the Oneth

 I've been taking Tucker to puppy kindergarten and he's learned to sit. Nothing else yet but wow, can he sit.  He is such a brave guy.  Every time there's a commercial on tv and he sees a dog, cat, cow, chicken, pig, toilet tissue bears, frog - whether real or animated - he barks at them for the full 30 seconds and at the end of the commercial THEY GO AWAY! He actually does that for me, I guess to keep me safe from all those strange critters that are in his house on the big black box.  What a guy!

I learned I've been feeding all my critters wrong. I believed that free-feeding was good.  They always have food so they know they don' have to gobble it down all at once, in case there may not be more coming. WRONG. In order to train the pup, I'm to carry baggies full of food with me all day long. When one of them does something correctly, I give them a few morsels of kibble. Aha, positive reinforcement. But when one gets, all four want. It makes no difference to them that someone just sat. Or did a down. Or is being quiet. I want what he/she got and I want it now, too.

It wouldn't be so confusing if Sadie or Gigi weren't always underfoot. Mister K still gets his food up high so the dogs can't get into it but even he is learning that if somebody does almost anything, kibble will hit the floor so he dives in with the rest of them.

It certainly makes vacuuming fun. Carpet everywhere but kitchen and bathrooms. I don't like putting food on the carpet but "if that's where you get the behavior you want, that's where the kibble needs to go immediately".

So my dilemma is do I want a nice clean carpet and a spazzy puppy with no manners or a not so clean carpet and a puppy that still isn't getting the hang of it but might learn someday?  And no, moving out to the garage isn't an option. Although..... concrete sweeps up beautifully. Nah.

I'll give this a few more days - hoping they don't all starve to death if they should misbehave (not my furkids!) and probably go back to free-feeding. I understand the premise of them doing good things to earn their food.  I'm just not sure I completely agree with it.

Summer Puppy / Kitty Treats

Wash 5 lb of potatoes thoroughly.  Using a fork, poke multiple holes all over the potatoes.  Place them in a large stock pot, cover with water, add bouillon cubes to flavor and boil until tender. Remove from heat and drain. Once cooled, cut into bite size pieces appropriate for your furkid's mouth, fill a freezer bag and pop them in the freezer. During hot weather, these frozen treats will almost disappear; they're nice and cold, flavored and you don't have to thaw them.

Once again

Sometimes, good intentions end up being just that...and only that.  My execution of plans is dictated daily by health issues.  I'm proud to be an Army veteran of 13 years; but the VA is the only medical I have.  There are constraints on what services are available, the system is so overwhelmed by the vast numbers of vets that appointments are often unavailable for at least 6 months and the wait can be mentally, as well as physically, devastating.

I had to get a good grip on myself before I felt comfortable enough to return here.

But here I am. I can make so many others feel better just by laughing at what goes on here...

My puppy is now a year old and, from his early, sad beginnings of 21 pounds, he is thriving at 91 pounds.  He's such a love, full of the devil and lots of things he shouldn't be eating.

My memory foam pillow, with the wonderful cooling layer, is now chunks of foam and lots of little sticky blue gobs.  Most of the binding on his quilt is missing so I have to believe it was also eaten since there is not a trace of it anywhere.  Yet.  It could still show up somewhere in the back yard.  Another pair of slippers bit the dust. The couch is almost void of stuffing so that's something I'm excited about.  Once all the stuffing is gone it will come to an end.  I hope.

No idea where he found the ball point pens but my carpet has some lovely blue ink stains in the living room and the hall is decorated with red ink.  Those took a whole lot of time, chemicals and hand scrubbing to eliminate.  This was done after we brushed the teeth that were rather purple with the colors combined.

The excitement never ends.  Pulled into the driveway, pressed the button for the garage door and it opened. Off loaded my things, pressed the button again and, while the door did close, it was so fast I barely saw it.  The rails that held it to the ceiling tore away, the cables snapped from the door, it's crashed and I have yet another project.  Naturally, I don't have the standard 12 ft door.  No, I have the 16 footer that's special order.

To get to the repairs necessary, I have to rearrange everything in the garage.  I had nothing else to do, of course.  It gets 30-45 minutes a day because that's all I can handle physically.  Yes, I'm a certifiable dizzy broad.  Have fractured/broken bones, scars and bruises to prove it.  Two years of tests and still no diagnosis.  It has certainly changed my life. :-(

Also underwent a real adventure having new windows installed.  The primary reason for doing this was to replace skylights (which I discovered they didn't do after I signed the contract).  So one garden window, patio slider and seventeen windows later I'm still "dealing".  After-market locks will be installed to compensate for the windows installed without them. Brilliant solution for the garden window, which is very difficult to open and close, is "just spray it with WD-40 and it'll work fine."  Caulking will be mended in places where it is raised, has air pockets or just didn't seal.  The lifetime, transferable warranty turned out to be a limited period of time and non-transferable. I hope the letter they sent amending the situation will be honored. Had to fight to get these things done and they still have yet to finish.  Buyer beware is taking on a whole new meaning for me.

Still trying to achieve a diminishing household content.  To actually survive, I probably need only one-third of what is here.  But I can't bear to part with so many of the remaining items.  In my next life, I do not want to be sentimental or retain my mom and daddy's philosophy of hanging on to everything because you never know when you may need it.  Children of the depression.  Attitude, passed on.

Today and tomorrow, I will be patient, but persistent, with the VA.  This is no kind of life for anyone.  When the simple task of walking causes injuries, it makes every day a challenge.

I will maintain a positive attitude and laugh often.  Which isn't a problem. I have three dogs and a cat that are all a little wacko.  Their antics and habits are truly laughable.  They make every day worthwhile.

I  will continue to toss, donate, recycle and downsize.  Sooooo much stuff.  And it can't all be good stuff.

I will continue with my plans to move back to Hawaii.  I want this to be my very last winter in the rain, cold and snow.  Makes my bones ache. It's not fun.

I will come back to this blog without feeling diminished in any way.