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Posts Tagged ‘dogs’

J has been away for a little over 1.5 weeks and I’ve been going it alone. Since I can barely go it with him around, it has been a bit nuts. Not as nuts as when the kids were little, but enough. I bailed one skating lesson and one fiddle lesson, which actually doesn’t seem like a lot when you write it down.

But my crowning achievement was to utterly forget about the taping of the monthly TV show I do. It was a dreadful night for it – Maya at one place and Asher at another and me having to pick them both up before rushing off to the the show – but my guest couldn’t switch and I had no other guest. I tried to get it switched a couple of different ways and failed, but I’m sure the fact that I was up in the air about the time until the last minute didn’t help.

Ironically, it was probably the calmest night we’ve had, which should have tipped me off to a problem right there.

When I realized what had happened, thanks to the confused emails the next day, I apologized to my intended guest and to the woman considering being my replacement (which I have been looking for since realizing that adding the job to already over-full life just had to shove something off the plate, and since none of the kids were volunteering to go …), who had come to observe.

The replacement-to-be graciously accepted my apology and then, to my relief and delight, agreed to take on the job anyway. The guest was a snot about it. I briefly felt guiltier, but then realized that I didn’t anymore. I still feel somewhat guilty, because forgetting people who have come out to help is a bad, bad thing. But it wasn’t intentional, and even for a healthy person, which I’m not, I’ve had a lot on my plate, plus I did grovellingly apologize, so I actually cut myself some slack.

I’m either maturing, or becoming too tired to care what people I don’t know think of me.

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On an entirely different note, I thought I was being smart tonight when I buried the leftovers for dinner at the bottom of the dog’s pile of dinner kibble. I figure that he’d have to at least eat some of the kibble to get to the good stuff. I then went upstairs and when I went back down a few moments ago to get my laptop, I discovered kibble scattered all over the floor. As far as I can tell, he must have picked it up and then spit it out on the floor until he reached the leftovers. Outsmarted by the dog …

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I starting taking more regular walks again with Jasper. We both need it. I am pathetically deconditioned.

Today, I decided I would march around the path at the dog park, as I used to a year ago. I was going to barrel along, working up a sweat and raising my heart-rate. It didn’t go as I expected. Do you ever have dreams where you are trying to run and you just can’t get your legs moving? I used to get those a lot, although ironically not since the Big Nap. Trying to stride along quickly was like that. My legs just wouldn’t go fast. It was weird and annoying. I couldn’t work up a sweat. I did get a back ache, though.

I ran into another doodle mommy. Her guy, Oscar, is about a year younger than Jasper and they had a lovely time running wide circles around us. As we walked, kinda slowly, several other people all caught up with us and there were suddenly a great pile of dogs all chasing each other around.

Caught up in the mix were two young boxers. Oscar who, like Jasper, clearly doesn’t know his own size, was chasing one the boxer pups and bowled her over. She yipped like she was being murdered, but then popped up and was right back at him. This happened a couple of times. Now, when Jasper does this, I try to call him off, but if I really only worry about it if the other dog appears to be distressed, and a dog that throws itself back into the fray is clearly just a drama queen.

Suddenly, a large man turned to my walking partner and said quite aggressively, “You need to leash your dog now.” She asked why and he said that obviously her dog was hurting his dog and so she needed to leash him. She pointed out that his dog kept going back to hers and so it seemed unlikely that she was being injured. He announced that he did not see it that way and she had to leash him. She announced that she wouldn’t, and he was welcome to leash his if he were concerned.

We walked a bit ahead (still not fast enough to break a sweat, sadly) to get Oscar away from the boxers and were continuing our talk when we heard the man say behind us, “Wow, you really are a cunt.” Isn’t that sweet?

We wheeled on him and both told him that he had gone beyond the pale of even an uncivil discussion. He said he could use any words he wanted and we said not if he wanted to be taken seriously by anyone. And so on. At one point, it occurred to me that we were in the woods, an old, fat woman and a young skinny one, in a heated argument with a large young man. Maybe not so smart. But, really, who the fuck did he think he was?

Fortunately, who he was was someone who found himself actually cowed by two women who did not let him get away with using that language, and when my friend once again suggested that if he had a problem he could leash his dogs, he said something like, “Well, maybe I just will!” as though he’d won the argument, and went off to get his dogs.

We might stand up for ourselves, but we aren’t stupid, and when we reached the parking lot, we just hung out for a while until he had gotten in his car and driven completely away, before getting in ours.

I’d forgotten how much action there is at the dog park!

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So, it was a pretty average day today. I worked longer than I was supposed to, but it is fun and they got me a real desk chair, so I’m pretty happy about that.

I then went to get the dog before coming back to pick up the kids. We then took the dog for a walk around the block. I let Boo hold the leash, because Jasper’s a pretty mellow guy. He’s also a sneaky dog. He loped along beside her until we reached the house where, four mornings ago, he found an ancient dried chicken bone. Four mornings ago – how does he remember that? That time, I spotted it just as he did and pulled him away before he could get ahold of it.

Today, by the time I figured out why he’d suddenly started pulling Boo along, he’d reached the bone still at the edge of their lawn. It was about 4″ long and he scarfed it right in. I grabbed him and he clamped his jaws shut. Here’s what people who have never owned dogs probably don’t know, and those who do wish they didn’t need to – dogs have gaps in their teeth, so even when they are clamping those jaws shut, you can get your finger in between the teeth and into their mouths. Through the gap on the left side, I shoved the chicken bone out the gap in the right. The moment it left his mouth, Jasper relaxed and just started back on his walk like nothing had ever happened.

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Asher is in heaven over having a computer. He’s finding his written work much easier to get through and it actually, voluntarily, doing his homework. I was shocked speechless yesterday when he came home and, without any prompting, starting doing his spelling homework. Yay for assisted learning technology!

boy-and-computer

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There, a nice normal post on a nice normal day. Nothing else going on in the world.

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So, how’s it going with you?

Now much going on around here. The weather is nice, the hubby is working a lot, the kids are excited about the end of school fast approaching and I’m a blob. Same old, same old. I managed this:

 I used to bring up the wet laundry up in bags, making several trips until it was all upstairs, but now that I have the hernia, I don’t even do that. I make J do all the heavy lifting before he leaves and when he returns. It’s slow going.

Oh, I did get my hair cut and highlighted today. For a while, I’ve been trying to decide whether to keep it short or grow it back out. Then it got hot and humid and I had a few flashbacks to last year, when there was nowhere I could put my hair that was far enough away from my neck, and I developed a new appreciation for the shortness of it all. So I made the appointment.

People have been saying all sorts of nice things about my short hair, but I didn’t trust a single one of them. I mean, really, what else are they going to say? “I’m so glad you made it through your illness alive. Too bad about the hair, though.”

Maya was the only one who clearly expressed an opinion that I should grow out my hair, complaining when she heard about my hair appointment. I think that has more to do with wanted me to return to my former self rather than any real preference for any hair style.

I’m not the only one who got a hair cut this week. Check out this:

It is what it seems: Jasper’s hair. It was getting awfully long and shaggy and, while it was completely adorable, he clearly had the same feeling about long hair and hot weather as I had and I felt sorry for him. So I’ve been following him around for the past few days, hacking at him when he lies down long enough to allow it. I still have a few bits to get at – the back of his right leg, example, and his chest, but he’s still cute.

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I ran into a friend of mine today who I had not seen since I woke up from my Nap. He runs the Canadian Blood Services, so I told him I availed myself of his organization’s services several times while in the hospital. I have no memory of any of it, but when you get blood, they send you a letter telling you exactly what you got and when, and my list was long.

I felt oddly guilty when I got the letter, because I have never donated blood. It isn’t for lack of trying, though. I’ve been rejected several times, first for being anemic and the subsequent times for being on medication for Fibromyalgia. That one annoyed the hell out of me, because you can be on way higher doses of the same meds I took for the FMS for other conditions and that’s fine, but if it is if for FMS, they show you the door. The reason I was given was that if your FMS was bad enough to be medicated, you weren’t healthy enough to handle giving away a pint of blood. I complained to my friend, who said they were actually changing that and I’d be able to give blood soon. That doesn’t matter any more, because here’s the biggest irony: now that I’ve been given blood, I can’t donate it.

This frustrated me, much as I understand the reasoning. I think giving blood is one of the most significant mitzvah (good deed) a person can perform. It is easy, anonymous and life-saving. I can’t donate myself, but that never stopped me from nagging those around me.

So anyway, my friend told me that they are always looking for people who have received blood who might have a compelling story to tell. They like to roll people like me out at donor appreciation events, since it puts a human face on the good deed. Donors get to see concrete results from their actions when someone stands up and says, “I am alive because of you.”

I told him I’ll do anything he wants me to do. I can’t give blood myself, but if I can thank those who do, that is at least something. I think I’ll start now: if you have ever given blood, thank you. I really am alive because of you. And if you haven’t, give it a try. Go give blood. It’s easy. It’s fast. And they even give you cookies afterwards. Save a life, get cookies. It’s a good deal.

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I took Jasper for my longest post-coma walk today. We didn’t have time to go to the dog park, so I just walked him to the park near our house, which is very big. There are no dogs allowed, but we still take him because, well, it’s a stupid rule. I get ‘no dogs’ at the play structures, where there are many small children, but in a great big empty field?

On weekends, when it is busy, we keep him leashed. He is very popular, of course, because who can resist a great big teddy bear dog? Okay, some very confused people can, but not many. This weekend, we were at the duck pond in the park. The kids fed the ducks and Jasper sat and watched with great focus, either wishing the kids were tossing him that bread or wishing he could eat the ducks. We didn’t give him a chance to show us which. A couple bylaw officers drove by in their little van, slowing to stare at us, but didn’t stop to ticket us. Even the bylaw officers think the rule is stupid, obviously.

Today, there was no one at the park. I let Jasper off the leash, circled round the very bottom of the park, then started back through a field, still very near to one end. Very far away from the duck pond. Jasper turned into manic puppy and began racing back and forth, buzzing by me like a furry byplane at each pass. As I walked toward the exit, he was running in increasingly large ovals, orbiting me. He’d disappear into a stand of trees, then come tearing out the other side, running full speed. Finally, his loop got so large that he ran up the crest of a small hill very far away from me. On the other side of the hill was the duck pond.

He stopped and stared. I called him and continued to walk away. He looked at me. He looked at the pond. He looked at me again. Praying my strategy would work, I continued to walk away, shouting, “Jasper, this way!” Water and ducks or alpha mommy? Ducks or mom? What a choice for a dog to have.

He picked me.

Lately, when I pick the camera up to take a photo of him doing something cute, he immediately leaps up upon seeing the camera and does this:

How pathetic is that? And it’s not like he’s even in trouble, having wisely made the correct choice.

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I was up reasonably bright and early this morning because Asher had a play at school I had to attend first thing. The play was happy thing #1.

(Asher with two co-stars who are ‘on a bus.’ If he looks way taller than they are, well, that is because he is.)

We, the audience, got to experience the play three times in a row, as there were not nearly enough roles to go around. It was okay because the play wasn’t that long and the children were uber-cute, even the ones I wasn’t directly related to. As 8-turning-9 years old, they are right on the cusp of being too old for this sort of thing and yet not quite. They are still into it, and yet you can see hints of the grown-up people they are becoming, which I found utterly charming.

Asher was the narrator in the third play, sharing his duties with another kid. In the first two plays, the narrator was not a shared role. In fact, in the first play, the kid who narrated not only knew all his lines but every single line in the entire play. It was very entertaining watching him stand off to the side, lips moving silently as the other kids spoke their lines. It was like he was the puppet master.

Despite sharing the narrating duties, Asher still had a lot of lines, way more than I expected him to have in a play, especially a French play. He had about 10 lines, which is 9 more than I thought I’d hear out of him. It was the second-biggest role in the play. Needless to say, I love his French teacher. I always liked her, but now I love her.

I don’t actually just love her for seeing the potential to memorize that many lines in my space cadet of a son, but because she actually seems to be teaching them some French. That’s more than I ever got in my 11 years of French classes in the Ontario school system.

(Asher with the Other Asher (whose name also isn’t, in fact, Asher). They are buds, despite being dissimilar in practically every respect. Other Asher is, for example, extremely good at all sports. Except basketball. Asher is mediocre at all sports. Except basketball. But that is just because he’s so much closer to the net than the rest of them.)

The bad is that as a result of all of us rushing out in the morning, Jasper did not get enough of a chance to relieve himself in an appropriate spot (outside) and therefore did so in an inappropriate one (inside) – inside Maya’s room in particular. Thank goodness she’s at shul school and I got a chance to clean it up before she got to experience it first-hand. Her siblings will make certain she gets to experience it second-hand. They can’t wait to tell her.

The happy thing #2 is that a book I pre-ordered showed up today. Number 4 in the series Percy Jackson and the Olympians, The Battle of the Labyrinth, by Rick Riordan, is being released in the US today, but not until the 13th in Canada. And yet, the moment I pre-ordered it at the end of last week, Chapters happily mailed it out to me. Too bad Riordan doesn’t have the fame he deserves so I could sell it on ebay like people did with the rare early copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows.

Of course, we would have had to read it first anyway. It’s kind of killing me not to just read it without the kids, but they will kill me if I do.

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Here’s a bonus happy and bad, all in one. I have been on a waiting list for a pain clinic here that runs a 4-week intensive course to teach those of us afflicted with chronic pain to better deal with it. I had to fill out a form with pages and pages of questions about my condition and send it in, and the next step is to get an appointment with a doctor for assessment. I was led to understand it would be quite the wait for that appointment, but then I got a call yesterday telling me they had an opening this week. So yay for cancellations! But the appointment, at a hospital all the way across town, is at 8:15 am. AM! The 20 minute drive will be a good 40 minutes with the rush hour traffic and I have to be there at 8. 15. AM. I hurt just thinking about it.

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Ah spring. The snow is melting and it no longer over my head everywhere on the lawn. Plus, as I walked around the block with Jasper, we discovered many interesting things have been uncovered by the receding snow. His favourite: an old piece of bread, yum. My favourite: a dirty diaper. It’s my favourite because when I said, “Leave it!” he actually did.

I missed my dog. The children could come to the hospital and visit me, but not the dog. And when I came home for visits, the kids got that I’d come back again soon, but not the dog. He sat at the back door and cried when I left.

He’s definitely worse for wear after two months without me. Since J could not leave him at home alone all day, friends of ours took him and kept him for the entire time, except some weekends. They love him dearly and I felt guilty taking him back. The guilt is lessened by the fact that in a month they will be getting their own puppy, a red male mini-doodle which, as far as I can tell, will look like Jasper Jr. But even though they love him, they did not know how to brush him. His grooming brush has a special technique that I never bothered to show anyone else. As a result, he is filled with mats in his long, long hair. J wants to take him to a groomer and have him shaved, but I refuse. I’m fixing him, damn it.

Here Asher and my brother demonstrate what happens to people who sit on the couch Jasper considers to be his:

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