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The Dangers of Procrastination...and getting a new job...EVENTUALLY...

Saturday, July 23, 2011

I've been meaning to write a blog about procrastination for a while now.

I've been putting off writing a blog about procrastination and the one thing I desperately want to change in my life: my job. I was so excited to start my job in animal poison control 4 years ago. I had heard so many great things about the company I work for, and I was ready for a change after 5 years in veterinary emergency clinics. I would still get to use my emergency skills and we had great management (you know, actual leaders, not just "bosses"). My supervisor did not hover or really "supervise"--she recognized that we are professionals and don't need to be "supervised." It was a genuinely respectful and great workplace. Between calls, my awesome co-workers and I would chat and joke; sometimes my belly hurt after work from laughing so hard all day. Since we were well-staffed and I had competent and efficient co-workers, work hummed along smoothly most of the time. I had pride in my job and my company. I felt we offered a great service and I was happy to be able to help animals and their owners.

Two years ago, my supervisor decided she didn't want to be a vet tech any more and moved to New Mexico to pursue a career in writing. At first I thought this would be okay, because at that time my company was a close-knit family. Going to work felt like going home. Everyone had each others backs, and we had great support from management. If a caller was being unreasonable (yelling, swearing, screaming, threatening, etc.), it was our policy to tell them so and hang up on them. Sometimes if a caller was really bad, our managers would call them personally and tell them to never call again. It was our policy to not tolerate abusive callers.

The changes in middle management over the past two years have ruined my job. (Then again, there's probably a reason they're in the middle, and not at the top). They put one of the most incompetent vet techs at my work in charge of all of the vet techs. My "supervisor" has lied about things (therefore making others look bad), and even when shown concrete proof, our company's founders have taken no action. The micro-managing has been relentless, and the more we push back, the more we get micro-managed. The changes in middle management drove out most of my awesome co-workers (or, a lot of them got fired). Now I have almost no one at work I have any desire to talk to.

My "supervisor" has set up our lives to revolve around our jobs now, which goes against our company's old philosophy that work should never consume our whole life. Our schedules are completely erratic. While they have been good about putting me on evening shifts only, they refuse to do a set schedule. I may work 9 days in a row and then get a day off, work 3 days and get 2 days off, work 7 days and get a day off--we rarely get 2 days off in a row. Our schedule is treated as though we are just letters in a box that can be haphazardly rearranged, rather than realizing that those letters in a box on a timetable encompass entire lives. My "supervisor" says, "There's just no other way to do it," which I have translated into smart-person speak: "I don't have the brain capacity to figure out how to do that." The biggest kicker is that while this is supposed to be my full-time job, they often scale back our hours. Instead of my "guaranteed" 40 hours a week, I may get 20-25 sometimes. Needless to say, these cuts have meant financial disaster. I'm caught up for now, but I won't be if they mess with my hours again.

We also don't get breaks at my work (which is actually not illegal), and a couple of co-workers and I have offered solutions to this so we can get away from the phones for a bit during our shifts. My "supervisor" says, "There's just no other way to do it," which I have again translated into smart-person speak: "I don't have the brain capacity to figure out how to do that." In talking to the company's founders about these issues, I have offered solutions and offered to handle the schedule and breaks myself (with the help of another co-worker), but they don't do it. It shows how much they truly do not value us.

My current "supervisor" will only hire people who will suck up to her, so needless to say, they need to be be pretty meek and dumb (some of my co-workers and I lovingly call them the "B-squad"). The newer veterinary technicians, for some reason, have been assigned to handle the most difficult cases that require skills in emergency medicine, fast thinking, and confidence. Because these sheeple have no confidence in either talking to people or in assessing even the simplest exposure, they are a lot slower on the phone. They ask me about almost every one of their cases. So not only am I handling a lot more cases than a lot of my co-workers (often 40-50% more cases), I'm ultimately handling their cases, too. This gets extremely tiring by the end of day.

It now goes in our permanent record if one of those yelling-screaming-swearing-threatening-nut
bag callers complains to management. Even if they are 100% in the wrong, we get reprimanded. The middle management seems to believe that if our "customer service" skills are excellent, then no caller will ever get angry or complain. We're asked how we could have "handled it better." I guess the response of, "Well, let's see, I could get a time machine. Then I could go back to the time before the caller's parents met, prevent them from conceiving, therefore preventing the a-hole from being born in the first place. Then they could never get a dog that they can't take care of, only to yell at me for charging for our service, which clearly proves that I don't care about animals," probably wouldn't go over well. We didn't used to worry about crazy callers, because we knew our company would support us. Now, we cringe when we hear anyone complains, because we know that middle management is going to ask us to reflect on the call and try to "think of ways to do it differently in the future." I suppose not picking up the phone in the first place would be a really good start. Whereas our company used to operate on respect and open communication, the middle management is trying to run it on intimidation and dictatorship. The problem is, they are too weak and dumb for me to take them seriously. Instead of being intimidated, I'm just pissed off. I used to be so proud of what I do, but the middle management has made sure that we can't feel that way any more. They don't set up our workplace so we can be successful any more, it is set up to try our best to avoid mistakes (most of which are beyond our control, such as crazy callers).

The biggest recent change is that I've become so apathetic that it is really starting to affect my performance. It's not that the way I talk to callers is different, but I'm no longer a caring individual helping each caller individually. I'm a machine churning out cases as fast as possible to pick up the slack for my co-workers, counting down the seconds until my shift is over. I feel like I'm no good at my job when I don't care. It's become very clear that my company is not only not going to get better, it will continue to get worse. Since my company has made it clear that they don't care, then why should I care? I'm tired of feeling like crying at work. I'm tired of crying when I leave work, after working for 8 hours without a break and then still being there late because we're understaffed (of course, we're just reminded that we're "not being efficient enough with our time"). It is really too bad that the company's founders are making no attempts to *actually* change things, because they've turned a job that I used to care about into one where I simply count down the days to my next paycheck. The fine line between exhaustion and total apathy has been crossed. There was a point a few months ago where I was thinking that I'd rather be dead than keep doing this job. I have never had that kind of thought because of a job. That was the true signal that my job is very, very bad.

"Oh, you hate your job? Why didn't you say so? There's a support group for that. It's called EVERYBODY, and they meet at the bar."
-Drew Carey

Wow, that's a whole lotta whining. When I sat down to write this, I didn't realize what a list of cons would pour forth. It wasn't meant to be a whine-fest nor to sound so angry and be so long, but I'm going to leave it. If I start to think, "Oh, maybe it's not that bad," I need to come back and see this. The sad thing is, I can't think of any pros to my job, other than my paycheck. Even the grateful callers don't touch me the way they used to. I'm so bitter and apathetic that their words don't sink in. That makes me sad. I love animals, I love helping people...I want to care. My workplace has made that impossible, so it's time to get a job where I can be the caring person I want to be. I've spent a lot of time convincing myself that maybe it is just me, but seeing it written out tells the truth: it's not me, it's them. I've procrastinated and have put my life on hold long enough. I deserve to care again. For whatever reason, working through my problems on SparkPeople has produced results, whether it be weight loss, finances, or living a more fulfilled life, so I'm going to let the magic work on my job situation.

I graduated with a self-designed Bachelor's degree in kinesiology and psychology last December. My original intention was to go to school for a Master of Public Health in Community Health Education, but I just can't justify accumulating any more debt for education. I have used this as an excuse to not pursue a different job. I've come across jobs for which I would be qualified to apply for with my degree, but quickly dismiss it with the thought of, "I'm sure I wouldn't get it anyways." I've come across a range of jobs in health and wellness, and even healthcare organization, that seem interesting. I need to start aggressively applying for them.

I knew I wanted to get certified as a personal trainer, too, and I have all of the materials. Although I am aiming to get a job in wellness and health education, I know having personal trainer certification would be an asset and open a lot of doors for me. Between preparing for and taking the exam and the daunting task of applying for jobs, I've gone through the excuses:

*Registering for the exam is expensive.
*Studying is time-consuming.
*No one will hire me while I'm still overweight.
*Changing jobs is scary.
*Looking for jobs is hard work.
*What if I look like I don't know what I'm doing?
*Changing jobs is hard.
*What if the world ends because I changed jobs?

Each excuse ticks away more minutes of my life that I should be using to pursue my dreams. I need to stop glancing at my personal trainer materials and think, "I'll get to that...eventually..." I need to stop listening to friends telling me, "You'd be so good at helping people turn their lives around," and then think, "I'll get to that...eventually..." I need to stop coming across a job that looks interesting, and set it aside thinking, "I'll get to that...eventually..." I need to put a stop to the excuses and stop thinking, "I'll get to that...eventually..."

This shows the disastrous consequences of putting things off, so I better get started:

“If I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.”
-Mahatma Ghandi

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PAMELA6289 8/2/2011 12:40PM

  Wow. Thanks for hitting me over the head with my own procrastination on the job hunting front! I'm right there with you.

It's easy for me to see the error in your thinking when you don't think you'll get hired or you don't think you have the time for job hunting or getting certified, but not so easy to see the error in my thinking when I think the same.

Thanks for once again holding up the mirror, Erin! You rock my world!

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GEMINIAN1 7/25/2011 2:45PM

    'I've been putting off writing a blog about procrastination' emoticon
You laughed so hard you had a stomach ache??? At work???
How awesome is that?
Oh wait ... there's more.

Yuck to the erratic schedule; how are you supposed to plan your life?

Love the translation into "smart-person speak" ... too true.
I've had experiences with that.
I'm not liking what you have to say about management expecting you guys to have some sort of "magical control" over the callers.
I've had jobs where I'm counting down the seconds until the day is over; for me, it's time to go ... when it's to that point.
Yes, yes, yes, I hear you; when they don't care it IS *very* hard to care.
You're not alone (((hugs)))
Could they put anymore stuff off on you?
The mad callers, the schedules, the understaffed?

Changing jobs is scary / hard?
Where you're working at is scary hard.
No one will hire you ... hog wash I say, total hog wash.

My advice would be, "What's the harm in trying?"

Is this the Blog that you were talking about that's making you set your Page to "private"? I'm asking because I don't see anything "wrong" / "out of line" or whatever with it? What happened? I'm confused.

Hang in there, lots of love and hugs coming your way ... :-)

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KKINNEA 7/25/2011 12:48PM

    This all sounds tough but I know you can start chipping away at some of the stuff you need to move on with those small steps - you can do it!

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HEALTHYL1 7/25/2011 12:29PM

    This reminds me a lot of how I felt about my old job. I kept telling myself any job is going to have its bad sides, but this job was making me so unhappy! I finally quit about 5 months ago, and am a lot happier at my new job. It still is a job, but I don't dread going there like my other job. I worked in a hospital lab and we got a lot of the same bad middle management issues. I can't believe I worked there for 5 years! They also don't care that over half the staff has quit over the last few years. When you feel like your job is making you miserable, it probably is! Time to get a new job!

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PAMMY222 7/24/2011 1:43PM

    emoticon for getting that off your chest! How cleansing!
I have also been in that situation; hired by a fabulous manager who required we work as adults and treated us accordingly. Then she moved to another department (oh, no) and a "middle manager" was put in charge of our little group! What a little nazi! A little power really went to his head! He not only wanted us to do our jobs, but wanted us to work hard at making him look good! What a crock of s*&!.
It does take a lot of courage to make a huge change like a full-time job/career. Please stop beating yourself up about procrastinating, take small steps! emoticon
emoticon I also agree with the others about being a personal trainer. You walk the walk, not just talk the talk. I would hire you too.
Good luck!

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EMRANA 7/23/2011 8:50PM

  It's not whining, my dear. It's valid. I read every word and I am sorry you're dealing with this.

I don't even know what to comment on first. So many deal breakers in one job! The worst to me is incompetence. A situation does NOT have to remain toxic just because someone doesn't have the ability to do their job. I've worked with people like that, and it seems that the higher the incompetence, the worse the micro-management. It's like they're paranoid someone will discover how unskilled they are, so they keep making issues out of everyone else's performance to keep the focus there instead. Ugh.

I also hear you about the hours being cut. I think it's great that you have alternative career plans, that will definitely help for the long term, but for now, I think whatever you can do to get out of that toxic place is an improvement. If you can't even count on a regular paycheck, there's really no reason to stay and add that stress too. Even if you took a pay cut temporarily on a full time salary, it's better that than not knowing how many hours you have next week. That's already a pay cut. My husband has been going through that since February and it's obnoxious.

Sending you emoticon and understanding.

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APED7969 7/23/2011 6:48PM

    Having worked at a vet tech (or nurse as we call them here) I know how crap a job it can be. You have to put up with sh*t from the clients and sh*t from the vets. And since you're doing poison control everyone is in a panic. I can't stand when people are in a panic, it doesn't help them, me or their pets. In fact it usually slows things down because I have to get them to stop freaking out. Anyway if I were you and had a degree to do a job I really wanted to do I would be applying for every single possible job I could possibly apply for. And if there aren't a lot of jobs that you want coming up because your current job is that crap I would also be applying for any better or similar paying vet tech job at clinics in the area because there is a good chance they could have some positives like better coworkers or management even if they aren't exactly the job you want right now.

I would line that job up and then I would quit your current job with minimal notice. Prior to leaving your current job I would also let the appropriate workplace authorities know about the fact your current workplace doesn't allow breaks. I would do this because I can be slightly spiteful and would love to give a bad workplace a final F you. That and I really think it is wrong and surely has lead to less than ideal advice for pet owners and that makes me a bit sad.

Now that I've told you how I would live your life I would also say I would definately hire an overweight personal trainer. I would expect them to be able to keep up with the workouts they suggest but would not care if they were overweight. I think I'd much prefer that to the super fit scary looking ones.

Good luck in finding a new job! Work is not supposed to be like that. Looking for a new job is hard work but sticking in a crappy one is a lot harder.

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JENNSWIMS 7/23/2011 4:59PM

    Your job sounds sucktacular. Mind you, this is coming from someone whose job sometimes entails watching people die, so when I say that, your job is BAD.

First, I would totally hire an overweight personal trainer with a brain over the skinny total nimrods that my gym hires as "experts" in personal training. What a joke.

I'm always a big fan of education, even thought it is expensive. Just make sure the pay at the end justifies the expense. An MPH could very well justify the expense. Does your area have any of the NP programs where you become an RN during the process? That would be awesome.

I don't think you should let your current weight deter you from personal training. After all, you are just going to get smaller. Lack of time, sure. Lack of money, sure. Pounds? No way.

I hate to admit it, but this blog made me LOL. Not at your pain, but the descriptions of the asshattery were delightful. Time for a new job!

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KRAWRS 7/23/2011 4:14PM

    Wow. I could have written this blog myself. These words especially were relevant for me: "It now goes in our permanent record now if one of those yelling-screaming-swearing-threaten
ing-nutbag callers complains to management. Even if they are 100% in the wrong, we get reprimanded. The middle management seems to believe that if our "customer service" skills are excellent, then no caller will ever get angry or complain. "

I have been doing a similar line of thinking. I have been doubting... it seems the past few jobs, I get really fed up after about 1.5 years and want to quit. So I think, is it just me? Do I get bored or something? Then I realize that I've kept jobs for 5 years, 6 years, and if it weren't for there not being enough work, I have one job in particular I would have been doing for more! Then I realize that no, its not just me, the job and I just aren't working out. Working in customer service in the healthcare field has made me less compassionate in the same way you have become apathetic, even towards the grateful callers. That's not me... and that's not you. Something needs to change.

I've been passively looking for something new too. I hope we both find it... and do go after what you think will make you happy! You deserve it!

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LEIGHHANNAH 7/23/2011 4:01PM

    I hear you. A bad manager can completely cause major dysfunction in an organization if there are no checks and balances to keep them behaving. Ive seen it happen over and over. Luckily in my job, managers are usually on their way up to somewhere else, so the worst have only stayed a year or two. Leaving a job is hard. You'll know when you've hit your limit. Good luck to you.

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KAY-SUPREME 7/23/2011 3:57PM

    I can relate to this 100% -- and I'm as fed up with things as you are. I've recently begun submitting my resume to various places and have hopes of going back to school for some of the same things you're talking about.

It's scary, but we have to be happy. Otherwise, we'll end up in the bar with everybody else who doesn't have the balls to change things.

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ANDREA409 7/23/2011 3:47PM

    Personal trainer?? DO IT. How awesome, girl!

When I was a vet tech, the environment where I worked was much like you described. I had finally found a job where we were all respected and got along. Not easy to do in an all-female bunch. They became my family, and I loved those women.

A year into it, new management took over, and we lost all that we had fostered. It became about money, as it tends to do in business, and less about animal care. I started having bad, bad anxiety and dreaded going to work. Everytime a client came in or the phone rang, I braced myself for a battle. We were all on edge.

I was the second to leave. Since then everyone else has left except one. Sometimes it upsets me that we had to be broken apart in that way, but I took it as an opportunity to better myself. I went back to college and got my 2nd degree (in biology). I know now beyond a shadow of a doubt that I want to work in science. Can't imagine doing anything else. So, for me, it turned out to be a good thing. Even though I still miss that family like crazy, and it's three years later.

Comment edited on: 7/23/2011 3:50:06 PM

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    After years and years of not wanting to finish my bachelor's degree (my original degree was Liberal Arts - Theater; educated to be unemployed :) ), I finally bit the bullet and will now be working toward my bachelor's degree in Accounting, so I totally understand procrastination.

It is the absolute worst when a job you love turns bad. That happened to me in my job before my last one. I was so miserable, but I couldn't quit because my husband wasn't working. When I got laid off, I was upset at first, but soon realized what a weight was lifted off my shoulders.

In this economy, it is much easier to find work if you are still employed - so even in a miserable situation, it's making you a more attractive prospect.

I wish you well in your search!!

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BECKY3774 7/23/2011 2:53PM

    WoW!! I hope that you feel better now. You obviously needed to vent, because that is a lot to keep bottled up. I commend you for sticking with it until you find something more worthwhile, and I'll be thinking of you and keeping my fingers crossed that you'll find a new, exciting, rewarding career that will make you happy! emoticon

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Why shouldn't I eat the cake?

Friday, July 22, 2011

I don't ask myself that question very often.

Every month, my work gets a huge cake to celebrate everyone who has a birthday that month. I can usually take or leave cake, but chocolate cake with chocolate frosting is one of my favorite foods. This month, they got a beautiful chocolate cake with fudge frosting and chocolatey buttercream filling. It had bright flowers adorning the fudge frosting. It was an impeccable cake. I walked past it while at work, watching it whittle away as people kept eating it. I wanted a piece. Not the whole cake, which was how I used to feel, but just a piece. I kept telling myself "no" because I hadn't planned on eating the cake today. Although I usually have something sweet every day, I normally avoid eating "unplanned" foods. But then it dawned on me: I almost never eat cake. I have almost 600 calories left for the day. I really enjoy it, and I don't want it just because it's there. So why shouldn't I have a piece?

I made a fresh pot of coffee, cut a corner piece with lots of frosting (you know, the piece you used to fight siblings for as a kid), and took the cake and coffee to my desk. Of course the phone started ringing when I sat down, but I didn't shovel the cake down during the brief periods between calls. I waited for a lull, sipped my coffee, and let each bite almost melt in my mouth. It was perfection. I loved every single bite, and I didn't want any more. The old feeling of wanting to continue to eat everything else in sight was not triggered.

An old picture of me going after a chocolate cake.

I have learned I don't always have to tell myself "no." "No" can be just as naughty as "can't." Why should I always say "no"? If it is a food I truly enjoy, I should just have some. It's not the same as the mindless grazing on foods that aren't that great. I also won't sit there obsessing about how I want something, only to end up eating everything in sight except that particular food. So why shouldn't I eat the cake? Why shouldn't I have some chocolate every day, or ice cream on a hot day? My sweet tooth seems to have been tempered by learning to just say "YES!" every once in a while.

Heck yes, I spent 500 calories on a Buster Bar!

But Dugan helped me finish it. Good dog!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PAMELA6289 8/2/2011 12:34PM

  I Love this: "No can be just as naughty as can't"

Awesome wisdom, and I'm a sucker for frosting too! Sometimes I'll just eat the frosting off the cake. Yum!!

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GEMINIAN1 7/25/2011 2:21PM

    I love how you talk about not wanting to eat the whole cake anymore and that you didn't hurry up and eat it, you waited until you could enjoy it, you even made some coffee.
I just loved this Blog.
It shows the differences that may seem small; but, they're really huge.
I got a emoticon out of the description you put under that T-Rex!!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ANATASHIKI 7/23/2011 6:55AM

    you did very good , I don't eat sweets usually but when I really crave them , or salty things I eat some because otherwise I'll spend all my time thinking at that food and end by eating the whole box of chocolate instead of some little pieces . and if it doesn't fit in my calorie range I do extra cardio or eat less the next few days( that's a trick from a nutrition spark quiz) so the week's calorie total would stay the same. this should be fun, not prison for life. forbidding yourself things you love is also an unhealthy relationship with food.
emoticon emoticonkori

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HIKINGSD 7/23/2011 3:58AM


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    You definitely CAN have your cake and eat it too! emoticon

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GETFIT2LIVE 7/22/2011 6:31PM

    You got it! Learning when to say 'yes' is as important as when to say 'no' to food. It's called being a grown-up when it comes to food--there are no off-limits food for me any more. Mmm, chocolate cake, sounds mighty good right now!

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CORDIA72 7/22/2011 5:11PM

    Way to go!

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ESILBO 7/22/2011 3:48PM


TODAY, emoticon

Comment edited on: 7/22/2011 3:49:11 PM

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SKYFROG 7/22/2011 12:30PM

    Hot days do need something to keep us cool- that's why God made Otter Pops!


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KRAWRS 7/22/2011 11:41AM

    You did this JUST RIGHT. Weight loss isn't about deprivation, it's about moderation and control. Taking control over your own destiny! So yes, eat some cake! Just not ALL the cake and not ALL the time and not just because its there. Beautiful!

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PAMNANGEL 7/22/2011 11:10AM

    Good girl!

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IFDEEVARUNS2 7/22/2011 11:01AM

    If I couldn't have foods I love in moderation, I couldn't do this. Dark chocolate, cheese, wine, but just a little.
Job well done! emoticon

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CAALAN23 7/22/2011 10:16AM

    To not have the foods we love is punishment and no one willingly puts up with punishment for too long. Not a lasting situation there.

LOL, I'm trying to decide if Dugan looks a bit like T-Rex. Maaaybe!


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FREECANDY 7/22/2011 10:12AM

    Yes, I could not agree more. When I start cutting out everything that I love, that's when I start to struggle. My motto has become "I can have whatever I want, but I can't have as much as I want whenever I want it."

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PRANA_DANCER 7/22/2011 9:42AM

    You aren't realistically going to go the rest of your life without cake. I think you made a great and mentally healthy decision to allow yourself a portion and to savor every bite!

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TAICHIDANCER 7/22/2011 9:40AM

    Exactly! We're not dieting, we're changing our lives. So all things in moderation. Good for you.

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LISADAVIDSON68 7/22/2011 9:37AM

    Isn't it exciting to feel in control? Good for you.

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ELOMBARDI- 7/22/2011 9:06AM

    I love the dinosaur picture! I laughed really loudly at work, which confused a few people, haha. But you're 100% right!

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MERRYCAKES 7/22/2011 8:31AM

    Love it! That photo of the dinosaur reminds me of me, hehe. I need to steal that strategy! :)

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MARVEEME 7/22/2011 7:57AM

    You gave me, and my husband, our belly laugh per day. Thanks for this post. He was wondering why I wasn't paying full attention to him, until I read your description of the cake......then when I showed him your Buster Bar pictures, we both had a laugh.


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BILL60 7/22/2011 6:41AM

    Well done. You make us proud.

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ABB698 7/22/2011 5:00AM

    Everything in moderation, that's how we have our cake and eat it too! :) My weakness is Carrot Cake emoticon

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WILDLOTUS16 7/22/2011 4:58AM

    You are right. It's ok to indulge!!!

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AMPERSANDWICH 7/22/2011 4:33AM

    I loved reading that this well-deserved treat DIDN'T trigger you to want all the food everywhere forever... that's the point I can't wait to get to. When I can have delicious moments with my old favorites and not have it lead down the rabbit hole of ravenous desire for more more more. You are awesome, keep it up!

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LIOCORO 7/22/2011 4:08AM

    Mhm ... that cake sounds delicious. I bet I would've taken a piece, too ;) And your picture of the "old you" made me laugh, seriously. :D Dugan looks like he enjoys having a sweet tooth, too!

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DMT1956 7/22/2011 3:45AM

    you are doing great

tracking and planning


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Huh? I said WHAT?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A vet tech friend of mine had worked with a bird rescue, and needless to say, the birds were not always coming out of the best situations. There was a beautiful Macaw that became homeless after its owners were arrested for running a meth lab in their house, and the bird was surrendered to the rescue group. To the owners' credit, the bird was in fantastic shape. The parrot did not have any health problems and they had actually taken care of him, unlike so many of the birds that came to the rescue. However, the bird had picked up many choice phrases from being in the environment he was in. The parrot would cheerfully bob its head, piping in with, “Are you clean? Are you clean?”, “Where's the s**t?”, "Gimme the money first," “Where'd you park the car?”

Makes me wonder a bit what comes out of my mouth without me even realizing it. After reading LIFEASAFATGIRL's blog yesterday about fat friends who are saboteurs, I started to think hard about whether I even know what I'm saying half the time. I have been on both sides of being fat and lean, and have spent most of it on the fat side. Since I've never had friends who are just eating buddies, I don't feel like my direct circle of friends has saboteurs. The biggest thing I've learned throughout the past couple of years is that a saboteur is a saboteur; if they're bashing weight loss, they've probably been bashing other things for a long time. Weight loss is often accompanied by greater wisdom in our lives, and I believe we just start to notice these jerks when they start to nay-say our efforts. These are people who probably never think before they speak. They should win not only a "Thanks for trashing my weight loss!" award, they probably also deserve a "Wow, you're a total baboon's ass!" award.

We'll see how it goes this time around. I am a lot more guarded about with whom I discuss this journey, so I am much less open to saboteurs. My close friends and family members know I am losing weight and about SparkPeople (although most do not know about my SparkPage), but I don't have any more toxic people who are close to me who are going to try to sabotage my efforts, whether by giving unsolicited "advice" or by being mean. I have made a point to be pretty distant from most of my co-workers, which is really the only inescapable group of saboteurs I have in my life. I still fend off toxic co-workers who seem to think they are my friends, despite the fact that I've essentially told them to their faces that they are not. They haven't been saboteurs about weight loss because I refuse to discuss it with them, but they make some of the most eye-rolling comments sometimes. A few weeks ago I had asked if anyone could cover a shift because I was asked by my boxing coach to be the time-keeper at a kickboxing tournament. One of my co-workers-who-thinks-they're-a-friend asked what I needed the day off for, and I told him. He started laughing. I asked, "Sorry, is that funny?" His reply was, "No, that's just really cool, and I can't picture you doing anything cool." Dude, go back to the schoolyard, you're not coming near me.

Sometimes people are more direct about trying to ruin weight loss. I had a co-worker at my last job who had seemed to feel downright betrayed that I had lost weight. She treated me worse and worse as I lost weight. At one point, she had remarked, "Us big girls need to stick together." She was such a toxic person that I was not friends with her, but if she had been my friend, I wouldn't have cared what she weighed or what I weighed. Apparently it mattered a lot to her, though. I guess is she was too shallow too accept me being thin, then I'm glad I never let her get too close.

I have a theme amongst my group of friends, and that is that no one is neurotic about their bodies. I suppose this has been a good influence on me, since our lives don't revolve around trying to look a certain way, and therefore I've never learned that my worthiness as a friend is based on my body size. One of my best friends, Kacy, is tall (almost 6 feet) and gorgeous. She is also my "sexy friend." She exudes self-confidence and has great fashion sense. She has always helped supervise my shopping, whether I've been fat or lean, because she helps me pick out clothes that actually look good on me. I've gotten most of my dating advice from her. Our relationship is not based on being fat or thin, it is based on who we really are.

Me (in grey shirt) and my girl Kacy a few years ago.

I realize on the other hand that I don't have the right to be the mean friend, either. Since I've tried to be conscientious of how I treat others, having been bullied for a lot of my life, I certainly hope that I have not been that toxic person. I suppose it's very possible that words have just spewed from my mouth without my brain's prior knowledge. Since I have friends who are very open, they would just call me out on it right away if I ever did say anything stupid, and for that I thank them. I will never hold my friends to some kind of standard, and I now have friends who treat me in kind.

I am extremely lucky to have my group of true friends who accept me for who I am, and I hope I return the sentiment. Weight related or not, real friends love us for US, not for who they think we should be. I may not always know what I'm saying, but I try not to just parrot other people. I try to think about what I say to others, and I also think about what is coming out of their mouths. And if what's coming out is something stupid, then they can cheerfully go on saying dumb things...just not to me.

Thanks to LIFEASAFATGIRL for getting me thinking. If you haven't checked out LIFEASAFATGIRL's blog, she is fantabulous!:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PAMELA6289 8/2/2011 12:32PM

  You have never been anything other than a wonderful, sensitive, supportive friend, silly girl!

Yay for recognizing and kicking the toxic azzhats to the curb! You go, girl!!

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UTMIZ_2000 7/24/2011 10:04AM

    Abusive coworkers suck the life out of you. I'm glad you have a healthy mental attitude and are keeping them at arm's length while you look for a new postion.

The macaw could have a career at a comedy club. So glad it was in good health.

Thanks for sharing all this with us. Somewhere here on SP someone needed to hear this.

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SUNPANTHER 7/23/2011 2:00AM

    I wish I could click on 'like' 20 times!

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ABB698 7/22/2011 3:07AM

    The Macaw is hilarious and I'm even more impressed you took a look at yourself from something as simple as where a birds dialect comes from. :) Kudos to you for ridding the toxic people. Sometimes that's hard when the toxic people are family (which is a current struggle for me). I've given up talking about SP with these particular family members (Not in my household, dh and kiddos are my biggest supporters) and just have to bite my tongue when I watch them load their plates with sodium and sugar and preservatives, and know that there are LOTS of people out there that ARE proud of me for succeeding on my journey and more importantly, I feel healthy and happy so they can take their negativity and add it to their own plates because I'm rubber and they're glue....HAHAHA :) Point is, you rock. Thanks for saying it like it is and good on ya for sticking with winners like Kacy and us awesome SParkers! :)
Have a fab Friday!!

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GEMINIAN1 7/22/2011 1:15AM

    No way! I hit "I Liked This Blog!" *before* I clicked "Post Comment" and I totally deleted my comments in doing that. Bogus.

I would totally adopt that Macaw; seriously.
If he didn't have a name, I'd name him some famous Gangster name.

Sorry to hear about the BS from co-workers; like there isn't enough BS from the job in and of itself?

Nobody knows about me and SP, except for my DH.
emoticon Blog.
emoticon Picture.
emoticon take that saboteurs.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HIKINGSD 7/22/2011 1:02AM

    Great blog! Eliminating toxic people from our life's make our life's that much richer. Good for you.

I would like to state my opionion about sharing concerns with friends. IMO if a friend is hurting themselves (whether it's drugs, alcohol, smoking or food) I will say something. It would be done in a caring and compassionate way, but I will say something. To me, if I did not say something I would not be a friend.

Congrats on your progess emoticon

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FANGFACEKITTY 7/21/2011 7:41PM

    Great blog & so true. I think we all come to that realization at some point in our journeys and start removing the toxic "friends" - and sometimes family - from our lives. Until we do we can't really leave our old habits and selves behind.

And thank you for sharing the link to LIFASAFATGIRL's blog, it was very good.

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WILDLOTUS16 7/21/2011 6:57PM

    That macaw would make me lol. As for the blog you posted, it's true. No one should have to be subjected to sabatage but sometimes we need to cut out those people who do that and not just talk to them and say hey that's not cool. Some people dont understand and they never will. About your prior coworker who was angry with for losing weight. Ummm what the heck...I cant imagine a "Friend" Doing that. Obviously she has deep issues in her self that need to be adressed. Anyway this was a great blog, Kudos. :)


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LEONALIONESS 7/21/2011 4:22PM

    I would say the only time a real friend can comment on weight is if their friend is OBVIOUSLY suffering from an ED to the point where they are visibly, painfully emaciated and ill or showing the emotionally and mental symptoms of severe calorie restriction. If a friend is showing symptoms of an ED, I think it's completely appropriate to speak to them and try to help.

I say this as someone who is struggling with EDNOS and I know my friends wouldn't hesistate to say something if I started to look skeletal or was obviously sick/killing myself or if I go back to being so unhappy and so mentally ill.

But otherwise, yeah, it doesn't matter one bit what my friends weigh. As long as they feel comfortable with themselves and are happy, it's all good. (And yeah, those with EDs are neither of those things and that's also why I think it's okay to step in in those instances).

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LETTINGGO85 7/21/2011 2:44PM

    great blog -- For me the only person in my day to day life that knows about my weight loss is my BF. It is not that they wouldn't be supportive (they would). But having everyone know just adds added pressure for me, easier to let people see the loss than be participants.

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FREECANDY 7/21/2011 2:41PM

    I'm with you. Sometimes I read about the horrible friends that people have and I realize how lucky I am. I don't have any saboteurs or toxic/mean friends (or family). Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that I don't know any assholes because I certainly do, but they're on the fringes of my life and that's where they'll stay.

As far as discussing my weight loss, I really don't do it much outside of SP. I'll tell my boyfriend when I have a particularly successful day at the gym or when I reach a weight milestone and if someone asks me if I've lost weight/how much I've lost I will tell them, but that's pretty much it.

Comment edited on: 7/21/2011 2:41:58 PM

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BRDGT262 7/21/2011 2:10PM

    Love this blog, I pretty much relate to everything you have said about true friendship and the people I choose to talk to and be friends with. There are some ignorant people out there! And you are right if that girl was getting upset cause you were losing weight, she was just being jealous, and if she thinks you should stay the size you are to make herself feel better, WHATEVER!!! You seem to really make some smart choices when it comes to friendship, your friends are so lucky to have you in their lives!!! Cute picture! :) Oh and the birds words...that is just messed up!!!!

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CAALAN23 7/21/2011 12:19PM

    LOL @ the poor macaw. Very interesting.

It's always amazing to me the people who will say mean things or actually sabotage someone trying to do better. I can understand feelings of being left behind but that is a personal choice. They could choose to follow along and do something for themselves instead of bringing people back to rock bottom. Very selfish.

Glad you have a solid support system through this. Keep up the great work and intuitive blogs.

Have a great day!

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THREADS3 7/21/2011 12:10PM

    Our family has done parrot rescue in past years. Had to do a lot of travelling...

Our temp is now 90 degrees and rising...the macaws are all healthy, happy and mouthy! They all speak perfect english...I sometimes hold up the phone to our lead talker Max(ine) whenever bill collectors would call they would get so frustrated with her! "Hello...! Hello!! Hello!" Maxine would yell into the phone. The bill collectors STILL haven't figured Maxine out yet!! LOL

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Yes, you CAN be too exhausted to exercise

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Yesterday was just a plain bad day at work. I was exhausted before I even walked in the door, so putting on my empathy voice was a challenge. It was extremely busy and the phone calls were non-stop. We do not get breaks (and are actually penalized for being logged off the phone for "too long" to go heat up a meal or something, and we can NEVER be logged off the phone to actually eat a meal), and so I am glued to my chair talking to frantic (and often, frantic, crazy, and mean) pet owners for 8 hours. Yesterday I almost started crying at work. I'm like a little kid. When I get tired, I cry (and scream). I didn't cry at work, and instead opted to hit the candy drawer and eat several unplanned mini Kit-Kat bars and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. I put a stop to the mindless unplanned eating, and altered my nutrition tracker so I didn't end up going over my calories for the day. I told myself I could cry and scream when I got in my car. And that's exactly what I did. Then I came home and did 20 minutes of Pilates; my body was craving some kind of soothing movement. When I was done, I laid on my mat sprawled out for at least 10 minutes, almost falling asleep.

I got 7 hours of sleep, but I woke up feeling spent. I debated whether I should work today or if I should skip it. No, I was not wrestling with, "Aww, I don't wanna" or "I don't feel like it"--I am genuinely exhausted. I was whining in a blog earlier this week about my 2+-week work stretch, and how my job is exhausting me. Combine that with a little TOM and 120 degree heat index, and you have nap time. My workout plan today was to do an STS upper body workout (Cathe Friedrich's Shock Training System), and then walk to the beach, swim, and walk home. I got tired just thinking about it. I decided that STS is the priority today and decided to go for it, knowing that I would probably be lifting lighter.

My workout today caused to me to come up with many new variations on the "F" word, and I alternated between being near tears and giggling (gosh, isn't TOM just grand?). I had to take longer breaks between sets and I was lifting 30-40% less than usual. I made it through all of those damn push-ups, though (there are at least 100 total in the workout I did), but just barely. And that walk to the beach? And swimming? Well, I'm sitting here writing instead. I actually really WANTED to do it, but it would not be good for me. As my old Muay Thai coach used to say, "Today is not my day."

Yes, we CAN be too exhausted to exercise. I think beginners confuse exhaustion for a lack of motivation. I know I made that mistake, and it ultimately made me feel like a "failure" and I quit. After working out with athletes for several years (and--AHEM--becoming one), I have drilled it in that not every workout is going to be spectacular. Sometimes working out is a plain ol' bad idea. Part of becoming an athlete has been learning when to push myself and when to back off. Working out when exhausted came be counteractive and detrimental, so I don't do it any more. I actually have a rule now that I will not do a workout if I have gotten less than 6 hours of sleep the night before. I listen to my body, and it has been good at telling me when I can go for 3 hours and when I need to sit in my recliner staring at the T.V.

Today was borderline, but I know myself very well now, and I was able to modify to get through it. I also know that any cardio activity would wear me down too much, so I'm not doing any today. I may do some Pilates or yoga when I get home tonight, depending on what my body wants. My brain is just along for the ride for the time being. Sometimes even the biggest pep talk can't make your muscles do something that they can't do. Without getting into a boring physiology lecture, let's just say that the muscles physically can't perform at the top of their game when we are exhausted. The term muscle force production essentially refers to the amount of work a muscle can do at any given time. Force production can be affected by stress, lack of sleep, hormones (yes, ladies, you are not imagining that muscle fatigue around TOM), poor eating...the more that is thrown into the mix, the worse off a workout will be. The nervous system is not as capable of activating the muscles when we're exhausted, and there aren't many great ways to overcome that kind of fatigue. This is true during both strength training and cardio activities. There were many factors playing into the exhaustion I'm feeling today, so my muscles were already "pre-fatigued" before I even picked up a barbell. So although I was lifting 30-40% lighter than I would if I were well-rested and not overworked, the work performed by my muscles evens out in the end.

Needless to say, trying to force ourselves through true exhaustion sets us up for failure on many counts. We may feel like a failure and give up. Our immune system may not respond correctly to the stress of exercise, and inflammation becomes chronic, and the cycle of exhaustion continues. Eventually, overtraining syndrome may set in (unless we quit completely before that point, that is). Sometimes when you're body and mind are telling you that you can't do it, they're actually correct. I'm glad I can cut myself some slack now--then again, I think it's funny that now an "off" day for me involves doing a 1-hour long strength training session.

Time to get ready for another night at work. If your pet gets into something tonight, please be nice to whoever you call.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AUTODIDACTICUS 9/29/2011 10:21AM

    The middle paragraph ("Yes, we CAN be too exhausted to exercise . . .") is a golden nugget. Thanks for your contribution! I'm really (not) feeling it today!

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OWENSAUNT1 7/21/2011 9:19AM

    This is exactly the kind of PRACTICAL everday advice that I LOVE SP for. Your approach is so matter-of-fact. Thank you for reminding us to maintain our focus and that every workout doesn't have to go exactly as planned, as long as we listen to our bodies and keep trying. You so totally rock!

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ABB698 7/21/2011 3:42AM

    I have sympathy exhaustion for you, just reading about how you are always tied to your desk! I'm glad you are in tune with your body and know when enough is enough. Good for you, sometimes going through the motions doesn't give us the results we need. I applaud you for knowing yourself so well, and confirming that this is a journey, not a destination. Hugs and happy pet wishes for your night.

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LIOCORO 7/21/2011 3:33AM

    Oh dear, your work schedule sounds awful and I'm truly amazed that you have the willpower to get through it. I really hope that you'll have a day without too many nasty phone calls today and maybe even a few minutes for yourself.
As to the workout - I had the same feeling in the beginning, like, skipping a day of really hard workouts = slacking, giving up. I work out so much usually and a day without seems like holidays to me. Yet, just as you did it, an "off day" and a day, where you just sit around all day long are different. "Off days" are active days ;)
Listen to your body, sweetie, and don't let that stress tear you down!

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CORDIA72 7/21/2011 12:00AM

    Stress, lack of sleep, and TOM are three of my biggest adversaries when it comes to keeping to a regular workout routine. Those three really suck all of my creative and physical energy right out of me. If there were a cure I would take it but I'm learning that small changes like eating more iron rich foods around TOM help me in the energy department. And as for combatting the stress/lack of sleep i've started to set my alarm clock to go off an hour earlier than usual so that I can begin doing yoga in the mornings before going to work. It used to help out tremendously in all three of those areas when I did it before so my goal for the rest of this month is to do just that, yoga in the mornings an hour before I have to get up and go to work.

Thanks for sharing such a great blog!

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SMILINGTREE 7/20/2011 10:02PM

    Take care of yourself. An off day, particularly in the middle of an almost inhumane work schedule, should not include a one hour ST session. Although I respect your knowledge and admire your dedication, I am still offer the uneducated and unsolicited suggestion that perhaps you should consider taking a nap or reading during your workout time tomorrow?

As usual, thank you for being so open and honest in your writing. It is a pleasure to read your posts.

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EMRANA 7/20/2011 9:55PM

  Another fantastic blog. Yoga has taught me a lot about listening to my body and not expecting the exact same results every day. Spark has also helped ~ as well as your blogs! You need to compile these into a book someday.


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FANGFACEKITTY 7/20/2011 9:01PM

    Duplicate post

Comment edited on: 7/20/2011 9:06:07 PM

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FANGFACEKITTY 7/20/2011 9:01PM

    Thank you for posting this. It is hard to stop feeling guilty when I don't do the workout I had planned but I have really been trying to pay attention to what my body says and to tell the difference between it saying "Not a good idea today" and the Old Me saying "I don't wanna". Today was a "not a good idea" day after all so I stopped halfway through my running and will take it easy on my knee for the next several days. Had I not read your blog earlier today I probably would have just pushed through and risked really injuring myself.

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ERLYWA 7/20/2011 6:21PM

    I have no idea how it is legal that you aren't given breaks at work. And even if it IS legal somehow, you need a different job! That is ridiculous to think that people don't need a few minutes to themselves every few hours. I work in a call center(insurance) and have worked call centers for over 10 years now, and there is no way that people can be productive and empathetic without rest/food breaks. Crazy!

Having said all that, I think you are doing an amazing job of listening to your body. Sometimes we all push when we should rest and it is soooo counterproductive. Good job!

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    Thanks...I learned something new today...have a good night at work, I hope people aren't too bad.

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TRUANGEL1 7/20/2011 4:41PM


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Kaleigh Needs a Hero: The High Price of High Expectations

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Kaleigh the Rottweiler

I have been a foster parent for many animals over the years, and have had surprisingly little trouble placing animals in new homes. Sometimes I have worked with rescues, sometimes I've "happened upon" the animals and taken them in. I started working with a Rottweiler rescue a couple of years ago that pulls the dogs out of dire situations, such as Rottweilers in shelters that are going to be euthanized that day, or dogs that have been seized from dangerous situations. I have had Kaleigh the Rottweiler for over a year. She had been seized from a breeding operation in Missouri, and was transported to Rescued Paws here in Minnesota. After having her for about 8 months, I toyed with the idea of keeping her permanently, but I can't afford to keep a second large dog. I told the rescue that I wouldn't be able to keep her, and she went back up for adoption. Many months passed again, and once again no one was showing interest in Kaleigh.

One day while at work, one of the new staff members was mentioning how she wanted to adopt an adult Rottweiler. The woman is a veterinary student, so unlike a lot of the people I've dealt with, I thought she would know something about canine behavior. She looked at Kaleigh's profile and said she was very excited to meet her. She talked about how she had tried to adopt a Doberman Pinscher a few weeks ago, but that the dog was too aggressive with her guinea pigs and the dog was too neurotic. That's understandable, so I didn't have many reservations with that. She asked me a lot of questions, such as how Kaleigh gets along with other animals (fine, but some dominance around other dogs), how far she can run (I have no idea, I haven't been able to run since I've had her), how she does in her kennel (great, she loves it), etc. Kaleigh sometimes gets a little too excited when she's around new people, but is overall a great dog. She met Kaleigh, and wanted to take her in a few days to see how things would work out. Kaleigh was picked up a few days later.

Her biggest concern was that she has guinea pigs, and she wanted to make sure that any dog she adopts "gets along" with the guinea pigs. That's fine. I thought she meant not attacking their cage or something like that--lots of people have rodents and dogs in the same house, they just have to keep the rodents out of reach and put the dog somewhere else while the rodent is out. The more I thought about this woman, the more reservations I had. Within 18 hours of taking her, she sent an e-mail saying that Kaleigh had an accident in the house, and that she was showing mild interest in the guinea pigs, and that she hoped this “fascination” would wear off quickly. She seemed mystified why Kaleigh would have an accident. I told her that, ummm, many rescue dogs may have a couple of accidents when they are in a new environment, but that I did not expect her to continue to have accidents. She wrote me again the next day stating that Kaleigh was still somewhat interested in the guinea pigs, and would bark when they squealed. The cage is at eye-level, so it is very easy for Kaleigh to have access to them. She said that, "oddly enough," Kaleigh did not seem interested in them when she couldn't see them. She was concerned, too, that Kaleigh seemed interested in following the guinea pigs when they were running around inside of their clear plastic ball.

Other vet students at my work expressed their disappointment in her behavior to me, and said they thought I should get Kaleigh out of that environment. On one hand, she would talk about how she would roll over in bed and there would be Kaleigh, staring at her adoringly and wagging her nub of a tail. On the other hand, she expressed concerns over how Kaleigh was not adjusting fast enough. Other people had suggested that she simply put the guinea pigs' cage up higher and to kennel Kaleigh when the guinea pigs were out. She had said that she didn't want to do that. I decided to write her an e-mail saying I didn't think it would be a good match and that I needed to take Kaleigh back.

She beat me to the punch and wrote me an e-mail saying that it was just not going to work. She wanted a dog who would ignore her guinea pigs completely and she could not picture Kaleigh doing that (she had her for a full 4 days). She also expressed disappointment with Kaleigh's running abilities; she took Kaleigh for a 5-mile run and Kaleigh seemed very tired afterwards (even though she did complete the run). I said, well, yeah, she's never been running (I wanted to say, "Did you run 5 miles the first time you went running?"). I told her frankly that I thought she would have problems with any dog if she is unwilling to make any changes to the environment, and that she may want to reconsider if she actually wants a dog (let alone a rescue).

We are not the only ones who pay the price when it comes to high expectations. Others suffer, too. It is not that Kaleigh is suffering by living with me, but instead of having a new home, she was dumped within days because she wasn't deemed good enough. We cannot demand of others, animal or human, what cannot be delivered. As far as I'm concerned, it is not Kaleigh's loss. Kaleigh followed her everywhere and instantly accepted and trusted this human being who she did not know well at all. This is why we love animals; they take us as we are, a lesson many humans could stand to learn.

Just like the rest of us, Kaleigh cannot be something she's not. If that woman wants a guinea-pig-ignoring, running-5-miles-a-day from birth dog, then she will probably have to raise one herself. I am never going to try to convince anyone to adopt any particular animal, but it was very disappointing to see someone expect such perfection from a living being. I understand not wanting to adopt a particular animal because they have deep-seated behavioral problems, but when all it takes is minor changes to the environment, why not make room for a loving and beautiful animal? Kaleigh is about as far from neurotic as any foster animal I've had, and I hope she gets a good home soon. She is 100 pounds of gentle love. Kaleigh is laying at my feet right now, as she always is, happy for no apparent reason. I'm glad she is oblivious to the stupidity of humans and only sees the good. She deserves a hero--someone who loves the entirety of her being.

Kaleigh's Petfinder profile:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GEMINIAN1 7/22/2011 12:26AM

    This story has me in tears.
I need to get a Kleenex so I can see.
Animal stories touch my heart. I just love 'em so much.
I'm sorry that it didn't work out with the new person.
I'm so grateful for you.
I hope that something works out.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
emoticon for taking care of her.

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FLORIDASUN 7/20/2011 5:15PM

    Lucky Kaleigh that she has you as her adoptive momma until she finds a forever home. I always think that our animals are our angels just hanging out with us in their little fur suits. I LOVE my Keanu cat, he is my little brown boy and I much prefer him to many of the crazy people I know. This gal who is studying to be a vet might need to change her field...she sounds way too self involved to be a good animal doctor, she sounds much more like a good bet for a plastic surgeon...then she can truly focus on the superficial things in life! emoticon

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SYZYGY922 7/20/2011 1:43AM

    I do not know this woman, but I do not like her one bit. Poor Kaleigh, having her life disrupted for nothing. She seems like a sweet girl. It's entirely possible to have dogs and rodents in the same house (I had a dog and a rat at the same time!) but you have to rearrange the space so that the dog doesn't have access. That's common sense.

My neighbor keeps getting cats, but she doesn't seem to understand how cats work. I don't think she's had many, but she yells at her cats (which is weird...kitties don't care) and she gave her last kitten away for basically no reason. He was kind of aggressive, she said, but when I suggested she get him neutered, she acted like that was a novel idea and it had never occurred to her! At least SHE isn't a vet student. I dunno. Some people need instruction manuals with their pets.

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AIRPEACH 7/19/2011 7:26PM

    Wow, that woman sounds seriously self-absorbed. I think Kaleigh sounds just about perfect for the person who would just give her the space to be the big, sweet dog that she is.

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APED7969 7/19/2011 5:57PM

    Sorry to hear it didn't work out. Just because she's a vet student doesn't give her common sense, I know that personally! Although you'd think she'd realise it is really dumb to take the poor dog out for a 5 mile run the first time. Thank god Kaleigh was just tired. I took Mack, my older dog out for a 6mile run/walk (we have been working up to that sort of distance over the past few months) and he ended up with a super sore elbow. He had ample pain relief and is now on sasha's blend and is on a two week minimum rest plan much to his disappointment now so I'm not that bad a mother I swear.

Hopefully she learns from this and adopts a puppy because there is no way a normal large breed adult dog is not going to be interested in guinea pigs if they can see them. I'm fairly sure Mack wants to eat any small rodents or wildlife and probably kittens that he sees at work but we just accept that and keep him away. I hope the right person turns up soon for Kaleigh or you win the lotto and can keep her!

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CORDIA72 7/19/2011 5:44PM

    I loved this blog. I hope Kaleigh finds a good home with a family who will love and appreciate her, even if she can't run 5 miles.

Thanks for sharing!

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EMRANA 7/19/2011 5:38PM

  What a beautiful dog Kaleigh is! I wish I could shower her with kissies to help make up for that lady not appreciating her. I adore rotties.

I'm still stuck on the image of devoted Kaleigh waking up in bed. I'd love to share my bed with her, and a hammock too!

Kaleigh, sweetie, I hope you find a truly marvelous home with someone who will adore you as much as I would!


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KLONG8 7/19/2011 4:56PM

    Some things happen for important reasons. What the vet student wanted wasn't really a dog. Can you imagine a dog (or cat) who wouldn't be "interested" in something running in a wheel at eye-level? Jeez. And then saying "let's go running" and run that dog into the ground? Kaileigh Sweetie, hang in there. Your forever family will show up.

Thanks for taking in these dogs who need help.

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GABENSEBSMOM 7/19/2011 4:27PM

    Poor Kaleigh! If I lived closer, I'd take her in a heartbeat. My boys love dogs. She looks like such a sweetie. I think the lady was the neurotic one. Most dogs just want someone to love completely. All the dogs I've had have been loyal to the end.

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MARTY728 7/19/2011 3:51PM

    Great blog! Kaleigh looks like a sweetie.

I have 4 dogs living at our house currently. Three of them were rescues from others. The fourth is our youngest daughter's who is home for a few days recovering from getting her wisdom teeth removed.

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GLC2009 7/19/2011 3:38PM

    aw, she is so cute. what a love. we are possibly taking in a foster dog this week. i find the idea of finding new good homes for animals very stressful. i'm glad it's not something i have had to do very often.
i am assuming if we get this foster dog, it'll be the spca's job to find a new home, not mine.

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ARCHIMEDESII 7/19/2011 3:00PM

    Kaleigh sounds like a great dog. That veterinary student was certainly an odd duck. At least, you'd think someone going to veterinary school would have a better understanding of animal behavior.

Many people love the idea of keeping a pet, but don't realize the responsibility that goes along with them. Dogs do require quite a bit of care. That's why I always liked cats. They're independent and will ignore you until it's time to eat. LOL !!!

The woman sure seemed to have some strange ideas about dogs.

I hope Kaleigh does find a good home soon.

emoticon emoticon

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CAALAN23 7/19/2011 3:00PM

    That just rips my heart out. Kaleigh looks to be a very sweet and loyal companion.

Maybe that lady just needs to stick with rodents and train one to follow along on the run in its ball.


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CDGOLDILOCKS 7/19/2011 2:56PM

    This makes me want to cry. I wish I could adopt her, but I already have two fur babies as well as two of my own babies. I believe dogs needs time and attention from their people, and I believe that dogs are like children. They get jealous, they whine, they want to play. Why people treat dogs like an accessory (like a coach purse you carry with you) I will never know. Kaleigh looks like a wonderful companion. I hope she finds the perfect home.

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SMILINGTREE 7/19/2011 2:19PM

    All the way through the story I kept expecting to read that Kaleigh ate a guinea pig. I am SO glad that is not what happened, although, poor girl. She just wants to love somebody.

When I was a teacher, I saw (lots) of other teachers treat kids like that - as if they should have been born knowing exactly what to do and when. Some folks are just clueless.

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SHARON-MARIE 7/19/2011 1:51PM

  Great analogy from a real-life experience!

Thanks for writing,
Be blessed,

. I hope you can find someone worthy of Kaleigh's love - I wish I didn't live so far away from y'all (Dallas); but alas, someone in Minnesota is going to be so very blessed when they adopt her. She's absolutely beautiful, and her PetFinder photo shows her gentleness through her eyes.

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LIOCORO 7/19/2011 1:43PM

    Sadly enough, I know exactly what you are speaking about. And having had animals for all the time I can recall from my life and even before, these things make me so sad. Kaleigh looks adorable and reading this crunches my heart because I miss my dog so much. If I just had the space here, I'd consider getting a pet again.
That woman you described sounds horrible, I can't really believe how she can be like that concerning who she is. I would've assumed - just as you did - that she should know better.
I really hope that you'll be able to find a good home for her, she deserves it. And btw - that petfinder link doesn't seem to work? At least for me it doesn't, saying "this animal is no longer on".

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