Monday, September 15, 2014

Ups and Downs

We started the weekend on a down note. Rocket in addition to separation anxiety appears to also suffer from stage fright and ADHD. We did not do well at the Dog Olympics trick contest. At all. Not even in the top 3. It was raining which he does not love, the ground was wet, the grass was very long and it made rolling a lot more challenging,  and  it was held early in the day and he hadn't a chance to get climitized. It could have been a better day.

Another thing I have learned too late : If you are going to teach your  dog a trick, make sure to not use props and if you must use props, use small, light weight props . Lesson learned. next time I'm going to teach him a card game.

We were disappointed.  We did however visit all the vendor tents and we walked away with a lot of free stuff, so we started to feel better. We were very happy to see his favorite do store there and even more pleased that they had a selection of his favorite chew horns. I bought the largest chew horn ever, it must have come from a water buffalo.

We spent the afternoon licking our wounds. And then we went to Broskey and Alphagals and Rocket finally performed his trick for an audience! He was a super star. He also barked every moment I wasn't outside and generally paced around and was unhappy until I finally put him in the car. I am keeping a behavior journal for the behaviorist to keep track of episodes like this, also his distraction and nervousness performing for the crowd at the Dog Olympics.

Sunday we went to see the chalk art at Sparkcon.

The weather on Saturday was lousy and I think I they may have over expanded the event. There was a lot more projects, but they weren't at the same level as I have seen in past years. I blame the weather as well because you can't do chalk art in the rain. I'm hoping that next year is better and they dial it back a bit, quality over quantity.

On the upside - I got both yards mowed and the corn patch tilled up, we enjoyed looking at the art and Rocket got many compliments all weekend every where we went. I also am now in love with great danes.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Therapeutic Intervention

Hi Diana,
It was nice to meet you and Rocket today. He's probably the most 'normal' patient I've had in a long time and such a good dog! I've attached his discharges. Please let me know if you have any questions.
Dr. Hopeful

She spoke with me and observed Rocket for three hours! I haven't had a doctor pay attention to me for three hours since, um, ever?. She left me with a lot of idea and suggestions and a new Adaptil collar. 

It releases pheromones that are supposed to calm the dog, I've read a lot about them online but I hadn't really thought about using one, I thought it was actually clap trap .  They also sell thins like room deodorizers that you plug in and they mist the room with the scent periodically to calm the dog - also something she suggested that I could put into place..  Apparently, I am not the best judge of clap trap.

She also suggested a thunder shirt for him. I hadn't thought about  using one because he doesn't have noise sensitivity problems - Tunnel Vision anyone? They are cheap and plentiful and could be worth a try, especially for when we travel and he's in a different environment. I am willing to try anything.

Another idea she had was about his window, I see the window as a plus for him, but what if it isn't? What if its whatever that is out there is causing his late afternoon issues? She suggested putting a film over the window to allow light in but to obscure the view, I hadn't thought about that and I think its a good idea.

She also is a huge proponent of getting a camera and  finding out what he actually does all day. I have used  one in the past, see Dog Spy 2000, and I am going to re-borrow my Dads game camera and start this again. It is an interesting exercise.

Another question that is happening in the now is that she upped little dogs meds. He was prescribed his meds over a year ago when he was a puppy, today, he's an adult dog and his body chemistry has changed, I asked his vet to up his doses when I started to notice his anxiety beginning to become more pronounced  and she refused. I was told that the ( insufficient) doses he was on were all ready at the high end of what was available - That is not true! The behaviorist changed the doses very moderately and we're going to see how he is on these slightly higher doses and we can move them up higher if necessary.

She sent me a three page PDF full of ideas and suggestions. I haven't even read all of it, I'm going to print it out and get it and me to work. I am very excited and I feel really hopeful about Rocket getting better and being a happier dog. Yay!!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Food Desert

I've been hoping for a cost effective food oasis here in the Food Desert that is SE Raleigh. I was walking downtown last week, I had been planning to get pizza at a  new-for-me pizza place and I got pizza-blocked by Spark.Coms pay wall. As if I am their demographic!  I didn't even like the band! I would promise not to listen For reals!

Anyway. I was walking away, hungry, pissed and with a credit card and this nice young man stopped me and talked to me about food. Great timing for him and I am now signed up for a lovely half price fajita dinner set up that I can pick up my ownself Thursday after work at Wake Med.

I got a couple of reminder emails from them and I finally went to their website to see what they have - answer? Lots and lots. All of it, well, most of it very earnest and very expensive. Very, very. They have every diet choice but low carb! Paleo is close but you pay extra for the fad, I guess they are off the belief that all of us here in the Food Desert are rich Saudis.

I'm not rich, so while they aren't going to replace Wally or Sam's as my go-to grocery, they will be a good place to check  (they have sales) when I feel like rewarding myself.

Its fun though and they do sell very interesting soup bones and I will be taking advantage of that. They also sell lamb and I would like to eat more lamb, except that lamb doesn't show up at Walmart or Food Lion with any frequency. Relay has lamb. No goat though, I would think they would have goat. I would buy goat. I'm seriously thinking about buying two lamb kebabs but I don't know how one would cook it - I have a choice of 1) in the oven or 2) in the toaster oven. Do people eat oven baked shish kabobs? Is that even a thing?

No! I am not going to spend the money on lamb chunks and peppers! I have my own peppers and I bet if I go to Trader Joes or even the extremely nice Harris Teeter I can find chunks of lamb that I don't have to worry about the squerers bursting into flames. Because I would. The whole time.

Today Rocket is going to the Doggy Shrink to hopefully get shrunk. Think happy thoughts for him and me.


Well hello! I didn't just about run out of time to get this done! No Siree Bob!I had to run an errand after work  ( my repaired and strengthened blueprints had to be taken back to the printers - this time I got there very fast but I initially overlooked their  handy parking lot and did some waste of time driving around trying to find non-existent Glenwood Avenue parking. I successfully dropped off the prints and will get them tomorrow.

 And so I got home late and then I remembered I had no broccoli and TP and green tea and no dishwashing soap or dog treats and that was not okay and so that called for another errand and then after that, I had to walk the dog and then I had to feed the two of us and then I had to ride the exerbike and then I had to practice barrel rolling with the dog - Turkey Jerky is crack for Rocket, Wow! He is a huge fan, I'm hoping he will turn out to be a big enough fan that we can start making progress on turning him into a barrel walker instead of just a barrel pusher.

And then I had to watch TV and then the dog wanted to go outside three or four  for no reason at all, and then I had to unpack my new Farberwear pots and pans and they are quite lovely and then relized I hadn't really stopped moving since ten after five this morning and I decided I had to watch some more TV, gotta keep that DVD moving, and then I had to well, this.

Tonight I'm going to take my brand new Ikea catalogue with me to bed and dream of lovely, tasteful, useful things I need for around the house. Thank God the nearest Ikea is in Charlotte! Anyone wanna go to Charlotte?

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Just Walk On By

I want to tell you how much I love my dog. I love my dog so much I marched up and down the same two block stretch of Glenwood Avenue , in your town it would be wherever the really terminally uncool wanna be cool kids hang out to find partners in uncoolness and go to latter day fern bars. I walked up and down this street wearing a bright red rain coat and carrying a bright pink umbrella and my houses' plastic wrapped ancient blueprints. Getting increasingly bezerk. In the rain. For a good twenty-five minutes because I stupidly took my GPS's word for it that my location was "on the right". I didn't just look a little bit crazy.

It was "on the right" but on the right two blocks further up the street. I was also really ticked because very few of the businesses along the way had its street number plainly visible. Rots of ruck when you are burning to the round Trendy McBarinsteins or Flash in the Pan Boutiqueasaurus. You all suck.

I did finally find the place, BTW, so easy to find! The GPS sent me around Robin Hood's' barn to get there and all it needed to say was "Its by that place you went that time" and I would have totally gotten it! Instead I drove around like an idiot and made myself crazed.

Super good way to present yourself to a vender. "Hi! I'm Soaked and Crazy! Lets Do Business!"

Fortunately, I was not the firs\t crazed client they have spoken to, and we quickly got down to business. It turns out I have two copies of my blue prints, one is a tattered mess best left untouched.. but the other copy is more or less okay. I was sent home with orders to tape up the torn areas and generally, making it a little more serviceable and tough enough to go through a scanner and not fall apart. I am to return tomorrow with my taped up copy and we will precede from there. I was told to take pictures of the plans just in case they don't survive the scanning process. Gulp.

I started this because the Vet School wants a floor plan for the house to see where Rocket lives and to point out potential problem areas for him. They said I could just free hand something and that would be fine. I can't do this. I have spatial problems and there is no way I could come up with am accurate floor plan. I thought of my blue prints and found a solution, to a point. Now I have to start a project with them so I can have these incredibly useful documents into the future. You have to measure all the windows in your house? I don't have to!

I did see something interesting in the plans, there is no upstairs, the  attic area is not plotted out at all nor is there any mention of hardware or specs for anything up there. I know the original owner used the space as an office and it had phone lines and a lighting and a bathroom and built in bookshelves, but I had thought they were all original to the house. They either did all that work  post 1949 or I am missing pages to the blueprints.Either could be true.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Good Weekend

Sorry about Friday. I went to a speaker from the Behavioral health department at the NC Vet School  Thursday night and she spoke about a book that was written by the Big Deal, Very Important National Veterinary Behavioral Health Something or Other and also about several case histories of dogs with separation anxiety and how the behavioral health people at the college helped the dogs and their people get their lives back and be happy. I bought the book.

I was very happy when I left there. I was so happy and hopeful about Rocket and his chances of  achieving  recovery that I totally forgot about Friday. I blame it on the short week, it never fails when we have a Monday off it just makes the rest of the week all wonky and it just feels longer and things happen.

Friday Cat Blogging will return this week.

On Friday I received Rockets life preserver and it is very rad. Its bright orange and has lots of handles and grips and it fits very well. He even agreed to wear it around the house for a while, so I see that as a good sign.

In addition to getting the life preserver, I did a lot of shopping this weekend. Lots and lots. I bought two pairs of office shoes! they are suede and slip on and will be great for the winter. I still need to get a black pair and a brown pair, I would have gotten those too but they didn't have my size and I was concerned about getting four pairs of the same shoe in different colors. I was afraid it would say something about me that would not be complimentary.

I worry about that.

So now I have two more things to shop for, Darn it all.

I also got my Birthday present! A very  awesome, very rad new Tablet! It is officially going to act as my E-reader, but it can also be my very awesome, very rad Tablet in its off duty as as E-reader

It is, for those of you who are interested in such things, it is an Asus Memo Pad MG8, isn't it pretty?! It is going to live in a very sexy, violet case. Thank You Mom and Dad and Broskey and Alphagal!!!


On my buying spree, I also bought new pots and pans, on sale, from Tuesday Morning. My new stove demanded new pots. I have old pots but they are hand me down and sad and old and nice enough, a good sale beckoned and I wanted new pots. It was hardly a huge investment in professional quality gourmet blah blah copper pots and pans as I have not lost my mind, but they are quite serviceable and have nice, thick, flat bottoms that are friendly to my glass top stove.

To make up for all this shopping, I took Rocket on three walks on Sunday, they weren't really long walks but one was along the Neuse and it was at the very least new and different. We encountered many, many spider webs and too many cans and bottles to count, but not a single person. I wish the trail had been better marked because it was a nice walk. We also walked to the post office and downtown.

I also slept really late both days and could have gotten more done, but didn't. And I'm fine with that.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Eating Out

I went to Burger King for lunch on Tuesday. Snuff with your rage, I needed an original BK chicken sandwich and onion rings. I didn't even remember the messed up my order and are  treasonous corporate tax cheats until after I refilled my drink and was headed out the door.

Why was I distracted from thoughts of appropriate punishment of treasonous corporate tax cheats and serial order foulers?

I ordered my food, which they got wrong, is it so hard to not put mayonnaise on everything? Did I ask for salad in addition to my chicken? I did not. I asked for a #8 plain and dry. It was not plain, it was not dry. I had to sacrifice one of my onion rings to scrape everything off it. Fortunately, the batter they use on the rings render them excellent mayonnaise scrapers. They stay firm and they stand up to  the oily wetness

I was not thinking about that either. I try not to think about how often  these places get my order wrong, if I were to spend time thinking about this, I would think about little else.  I eat at these places so rarely anymore, it would be great if they could not fuck up my order ever. single. time.

Instead of  serial poor customer service and treasonous corporate tax cheats, I was thinking how a staffer came out to my table, I was eating outside to escape the constant bleating and dinging and buzzing endemic to fast food restaurants and was finding the sound of bus farts,  jabber from packs of wandering under grads and  truck exhaust soothing in comparison. The staffer bussed my table, gave me a book of coupons and a handful of after dinner mints.

I was shocked. So shocked I didn't think to complain about my botched order or her employer's status as treasonous tax cheats. She bussed my table and gave me mints!  While I was eating outside! She took my trash away so I didn't have to.

She treated me like an actual real person dining at an actual real restaurant and I forgave Burger King for fucking up my order and being treasonous corporate tax cheats. One staffer doing the right thing. Who knew? I walked out of there with positive thoughts about them despite the fact I should be boycotting them for being tax cheats and the fact they inevitably fuck up my order.

One employee being nice. Instead of obsessing over my fucked up order and their status as treasonous corporate tax cheats I walked out of there thinking positive thoughts about them. The order fucking up, treasounce corportate tax cheats. Clearly, the good thoughts were for a limited time only... But I walked out of there and did not burn the store down. I  still see that as a win for customer service and sadly, for the treasonous corporate tax cheats and serial order fucker uppers.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Knee update

My knee looks much better today! I also learned that it icky yellow that had been covering it is called "healing" and now I am growing a scab. Scabs are good. I was also advised to stop wearing a bandaid at night and just change the sheets more frequently. I work with nurses.

Something is wrong with Blogger. Blogger is bloggered.

What does Rocket want to go for at Halloween?



a Rocket? perhaps too on the nose as well as unavailable online or in stores.

There are many, many, many other really cool costumes but they all require hat he wear a hat or hood and dog does not care for hats or hoods. Which one of these would you put him in? I know its early for this but they do not restock and its now or naked.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Party Animal

Partied hard all weekend and can't bounce back like he could when he was a puppy. Being a grown up sucks. Also doesn't want to share the couch.


The one nice thing about the alleged onset of autumn - I can disguise my grossly disfiguring road rash and attendant wounds with seasonally appropriate pants . Super awesome. Also, as an old person, I no longer bounce up when I fall, instead I scrape along the ground like a snow shovel. There is a reason old ladies wear either thick stockings and long skirts ot bedazzled sweat suits! No one needs to see this, I look like I got hit by smart car or a run- away segway!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Dog Star

I brought Rocket out of the Dog Trick closet today. I took him into the front yard! There were witnesses to his rolling. I felt embarrassed  when the neighbors commented positively on what we were doing and I don't know why. I should be proud, its work to get  a dog to do what he does.

I've worked with him all this time in the backyard before we graduated to the  driveway - blocked by the car in the driveway and after we graduated to the side yard, again blocked by the car. But twice a day day every day, for weeks? Didn't they notice something was going on? I hadn't thought that people afforded us that much privacy. I mean, we aren't invisible  and when he's on his back legs, he is just a little shorter than I am.

He still propels the barrel primarily with his front paws and he needs to be using his back feet to make the barrell move. He needs to use his back feet to move himself because there are other things he could learn to propel if he could figure out pushing. It would be neat if he could learn to push a grocery basket, I would have to score a grocery basket first but those are common out in the world, one of the a smaller ones would be better though, but those are new and the homeless people don't steal those because they are too small. I wouldn't even have to steal it myself - but that is in the dog trick future. I'm not sure I want my dog to be a prop comic, its too hard to perform on just on a whim.

I need to find the weird circus that performs downtown at festivals and see how they feel about dog performers. At this point he is not one of these yet, but it would be neat to try. I wonder of its circus-y if he walks on a balance beam, he could you know, he all ready jumps through a hoop and climbs ladders. Note to self, look up the weird circus downtown and see if they have any openings in several months. Perhaps this is hubris.

We would be an easier circus sell if he could ride on the barrell... That would be the ultimate trick. That wouldn't come in second to an obedient dog.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Garden Update 10 2014

I'm sure you have been very curious about Garden 2014. Its been a while since I've had an update and I am sorry.  The garden, over all, is doing well. Not as well as I would like, looking at you. under performing green beans!, but  its been a good year.

The corn has finished its run

It used to look a lot more lush and green but that was before it died. Now its waiting around for the fall when I am hoping, it is going to be transformed into Guy Fawkes and burned at Alphagal and Broskeys annual do'. Clearly, the morning glories are doing well. The corn produced well, not as well as it would have had I bothered to continue to fertilize it, as I should have, but I still got five or six ears and they were sweet and lovely. I will be planting corn again.

The green beans. I think I got a bad bag of beans. They aren't producing anywhere near what I have harvested in the past and it took me so long to get enough to bother blanching them that the ones I had, went bad waiting. I had to compost the whole lot of them. I am disappointed with the green beans and in the future I will not being buying my seeds from Walmart. I may not plant them at all next year and there is a chance I'll just plant some sort of flowering vine instead. Hurmph.

The tomatoes on the other hand, are at near record yields. They love he wet and humidity and have had a great year. I have given a lot a way and frozen a lot and feel really good about the rest of the season.

They don't look really impressive in this shot, but trust me, the peppers are doing well. They aren't as big and blocky and sturdy as I would like, but they are making lots of peppers so I can't complain. I think they may be suffering from too much rain and humidity. The ground just isn't able to hold on to nutrients and the plants are suffering. Again, I need to fertilize and I'm not. Its harder to do with the weed barrier in place but I need to get something I can spray on them through out the season. It may also be time to re-fill the garden with entirely new dirt and start anew. I would love to move the whole thing to the other side of the yard where it is much sunnier and a better home for the garden over all but I don't see that happening, I can dream.

Over all, a good year but not a great year, its been too wet and too many over cast days for proper garden health. Well worth it though and there is always next year.