Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Well, it will be tomorrow.. but still. Where has this year gone??
This month has not been my most stellar, but I'm not down about it. I've been nicely busy, giving of my time and efforts to causes that I believe in. Next month I hope to add myself as a cause!
I'm just checking in briefly as I make my way through a busy workday. I hinted at big doings coming up on Thursday and I hope I'll be able to share with you soon what-the-what. It's nothing major, to be honest, but it makes me happy, so it's worth mention.
I hope you're all keeping well - from the recent round of blogs, you do seem to be. That makes me happy, too.
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Thank you everyone for the well wishes and welcomes for Ben as we are reshaping our family with him as a member now! I really appreciate it!
I started out writing this blog and it took a turn which, while not bad, seems to be happening a lot lately and I decided to save that for another time. If you guessed that it veered off into ‘shelter volunteering’ land, you’d be right! Let’s see if I can do a blog that doesn’t revolve around that or our furbabies LOL
I’ve been doing relatively well! I’ve been here and there. Keeping up on some of my Spark teams, not on others. I let some go, and have settled comfortably into the ones I’m still on. The end of BLC was a ~huge~ relief – it literally felt like a ton of stress was lifted from me after I posted my final weigh in and left the team.
I’ve been more mindful about what I’m eating. Meat and veg. Eggs and veg. Veg and veg LOL It’s working for me. I’ve also kept up with my full-fat greek yogurt and berries and hemp seeds for breakfast, and just this morning had a baked apple and peach with some honey greek yogurt. Delish!
When I’m on a meat and veg kick, I feel better and function better. I make sure I get a sweet potato in if not every day, then every-other. I have not kicked my Dove Dark Chocolate Promise habit, and that’s alright. One or two squares is usually enough if I’m not dealing with TOM – at that point, most bets are off! If I can get past that point, I can settle back into a yummy eating habit again and lose bits and pieces of pounds that eventually add up - or subtract down? Either way!
Suz mentioned in her blog that her tummy has shrunk – as in, she cannot eat the same capacity of food that she could in the past. That’s is fabulous and something to celebrate!
I’ve noticed that my “I’m full” trigger can easily be overridden, which is not fabulous. I can reach a point in eating where I know I’m satisfied and I’ve had enough, but.. but my mouth and mind override that ‘full’ sensation and I keep eating. It’s a literal over-eating. I suppose awareness of the situation helps, but actually heeding that feeling and stopping is a much better solution.
I don’t literally over-eat all the time. It’s usually when I’m being ‘bad’ and eating something I ordinarily would not. Pizza and sub sandwiches with chips come to mind as foods that I will over-eat. Even after the food has been chewed, the actual volume of food that I’m swallowing is astounding when I think about it and I can only imagine what happens to my poor stomach, stretching the accommodate that much stuff.
My fitness of late has consisted of walking dogs, our own or the kennel kids, and little else. I’ve got a Half coming up in 33 days and I’m at the same point as I was last year – not prepared but still going through with it. I swear, if I or one of you could figure out what happens to motivation and come up with a fix for lack thereof, we’d be rich!
I am looking forward to the Half simply because my wunnerful friend GetFit2Live will be in town for it as well! It’ll be good to see Denise and her hubby again, and hopefully share a meal with them and others in the Portland area before the Half. I need to send out an email to that team to see who’s going to be there.
So that’s where I am right now, which is much better than where I was at the beginning of the month. Mostly. I think. I feel pretty good at least. We’ll see how I finish out the month.
Oh. Para asked about the recent Pet First Aid class I took recently (not veering into my shelter world totally, promise).
If you have a vet clinic or Red Cross locally who offers a Pet First Aid class I highly recommend taking it! Our class was free and it was a brief hour and a half. The lady who taught the class has been doing so for many years and was great at explaining the various types of situations we might find ourselves facing – cuts, broken bones, dehydration, seizures, strays, poisoning, etc. It’s knowledge that is valuable to have and will hopefully “go to waste” and we won’t ever need it.
We took this class as part of my training for emergency sheltering preparedness through our organization (or, so I’m veering a little bit more). In short, when I’m certified, I can be called up on and deployed by FEMA to disaster areas (think the tornado in Joplin, or even Hurricane Sandy more recently) to assist in the care and sheltering of rescued animals. I know I’ve said this before, but it certainly feels like I’ve found my purpose in life. I cannot save every animal – and there will always be animals that need saving – but I can positively impact the lives of those animals I come in contact with.
Enough on that. It makes my happy, breaks my heart, and gives me yet another reason to take better care of myself. Keep on keepin’ on, right?
Monday, April 15, 2013
Long - Pic Heavy
It's official - we have crossed the line from animal/pet/companion animal advocates/lovers to full-blown, lost-our-minds, whack-a-doo, borderline-animal-hoarders crazy.
Mr. Bentley James Bailey, also known now as Bennie, BenBen, BeeJ, Benjamin, etc, joined the Bailey pack Saturday afternoon.
That link and picture does not do our Ben justice.
Bill and I had both walked Ben separately during our shifts at the shelter, but neither one of us talked about him to the other until this past Friday. There was a cute little Shih Tzu girl by the name of Mary Jane who was also available and looked a lot like our Maggie, and Bill was lobbying to bring her home.
I liked Mary Jane (who has also been adopted this weekend, just not by us) as she was very sweet and affectionate but having gotten to know her, knew she didn't have the right kind of energy or attitude to fit in with our kids.
Bill offered to take me out to dinner to a Mongolian Grill not far from the shelter and "talk about it" LOL In other words, he was going to take me to the shelter to see Mary Jane and work on me about her.
The man knows the way to my heart - puppies and grilled veggies prepared by someone else! LOL
Before we got to the shelter we agreed that Mary Jane was a bit of a princess and we already had one princess who would not put up with being dethroned.
Ms. Heavens To Maggatroid "Maggie" Bailey
"Go away, I'm getting my beauty sleep!"
Plus, white dogs are nothin' but trouble and we promised Millie that if we ever got another dog, it would ~not~ be a white dog.
Ms. Magnificent Moonlight Millicent "Millie" Bailey
"Mama, you promised! No. More. White. Dogs."
Bub, of course, is up for anything.
Mr. Zerbert Ray "Bubbie" Bailey
We decided to swing by the shelter anyway, just to check out the new batch of babies who had just arrived and become available. As we were driving to the shelter, Bill asked if I knew a dog by the name of Bentley.
Yep, I know him and like him a lot! He's a sweet older boy, a little chunky, very vocal and affectionate. Why?
Well, Bill had walked him and was struck by what a good boy Bentley is.
And you know, I said, he has a great playful personality and doesn't act like he's an old man of 7.
This is true. Let's go see him.
The rest, as they say, is history. Or almost.
We went in as volunteers and took Bentley out for a walk. He was very excited to see us (anyone, really) and eager to go walking. He's a great walker and listens very nicely. We then took him into a run to see how he did off-leash as well. That's when we learned he loves to give hugs!
He climbs up in your lap, face to face, and puts his front paws on your shoulders and wiggles as close as he can, then lays his head on your shoulder.
That was it. Bill knew then that this was his boy (Bill got the first of our many many hugs) but we had lots still to discuss, and I was still hungry for Mongolian!
We had dinner and discussed the pro's and con's of adding another dog.
He's cute and obviously loves us because he gave Bill hugs.
End of discussion.
There are a few cons, but the biggest hurdle really was going to be whether or not our dogs accepted another newbie. It's taken us a while to reach this point.
Bubbie has been working on learning how to greet dogs properly. When he's gone out with me for walks or runs, he's focused on what we're doing and listens to 'leave it' 95% of the time when a dog comes into a field of vision. If the other dog starts barking or trying to get to him, Bub can be a little harder to dissuade, but does leave off the distraction and keeps going.
Millie is much better about meeting other dogs on our walks when she's by herself. She's a pleasant little girl who may not be all happy-bouncy-let's-play right off the bat but she can greet appropriately.
Maggie is a cranky lil grump*ss and likely always will be. She doesn't like having her space invaded and must control everyone and everything within her kingdom (which exists anywhere within her hearing range). She is getting better about listening to 'leave it' about other dogs and is small enough I can drag her away from any incident.
I knew if our three were going to successfully meet Bentley, we had to set them up for success!
We walked their little paws off Saturday morning!
A tired dog is a happy, well-behaved dog. We walked them in familiar territory early in the day, then again in a new-to-them area so their noses and brains would get a workout as well. They were happy and engaged and curious.
The shelter at the best of times can be an intimidating place for animals and we have experience with how our kids act when we visit there. We were fortunate to get a staff member who was willing to make it the best meeting possible for everyone and helped us work it out so our kids weren't freaked out by all the sights and smells and sounds.
While it was not love-at-first-sight for Bub and Maggie with Bentley, Millie met him politely then went about her business sniffing out other things. Bentley was such a pleasant boy and nice and polite, either ignoring the others or sniffing them up and taking their queues to heart when told to 'back off'. We all felt the meeting went well and we got the stamp of approval from the staff!
Ben became our fourth kid, and we couldn't be happier.
We kept him leashed and attached to our hip, literally, all Saturday and most of Sunday, so we could monitor his location and keep an eye on everyone as they figured out how to get along. Ben has a big pillow to himself for now, and the girls huddled together on the other pillow, keeping an eye on him. Bub followed me around as I took the pictures, which is why he's not in these shots. I expect he will make himself at home with Ben on the round pillow soon enough and will endear himself to his big brother quickly!
We replaced the leash Sunday evening with a smaller softer 'grab' leash that doesn't make a racket as Ben moves around the house (his proper leash has a poo bag holder attached, and a swivel hook to attach to our pants as needed). It's just a soft white length of rope and as soon as we put it on Ben and let him move around, always within our sight, Bubbie figured out a new game to play.
It's hard to see, but Bub has figured out that he can grab Ben's grab leash and pull on it and Ben will follow him. He's walking his own brother!
The boys are getting along pretty well. There's boxing and wrasslin'.. always within our sight and always supervised.
Maggie, queen of the universe, does not like the wrasslin' and stalks around grumbling about it because
1) no one asked her permission to wrassle
2) they're making too much noise
3) they're not wrasslin' with HER
That's my girl!
Millie will bark because she hears Maggie fussin' and barkin' but seems to feel ok about Ben being a part of the family.
There's about a one month honeymoon period when you bring a new dog home where they are the bestest, sweetest, how-did-you-live-without-them-before dog you ever did see. And then they get comfortable and like any relationship, things gets REAL LOL we'll see how that goes. For now, this is what we know:
Ben appears to be a terrier/poodle mix, and between 7 and 8 years old.
*We've decided his birthday is in October since we have no real date, so now his birthday is the same week as Maggie, Millie, and Bubbie.
Ben has chronic dry-eye and will likely be on cyclosporin the rest of his life.
* We are unfortunately familiar with this, as this is the same condition Millie has, and she's also on this medicine for the rest of her life.
**edited to add this link on chronic dry eye..**
Ben's a few pounds over-weight.
* Millie takes after her mama and is also fluffy, so we all three will work on our weight issue together!
Ben has been through the shelter system three different times now.
* We are his last forever family, with all the power of my being I swear it.
Monday, April 08, 2013
In my opinion, this blog needs to be read by many of us.
Plynsn316 just laid it all out there, shared her efforts on her journey, and most of all, shared the fact that she's still going. "And I continue." is one of my favorite lines of the blog.
Go. Read. Think about the fact that if you're struggling, as I am, you're not alone.
I really appreciate her story and her efforts.
I'm down, but not out. I continue as well.
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