Friday, May 22, 2009

I'm surprised I remembered the password to this thing.

And what have I been doing the past week?

Somehow, in the past week, this:

was joined by this:

Yes, friends, we adopted ANOTHER dog.

Well, actually, we're fostering him, just to make sure he works out.

(Also, because he's scheduled to have a little snippity-snip next week, kwim?)

I think he's going to. Work out, I mean. Poor Delta was so used to having a buddy, she was getting a bit lonely in the backyard. And she wasn't acting out, as such, but she WAS barking a good bit. And she DID escape from her pen twice on Sunday.

And so we just thought what the heck - two is just as much trouble as one, right? That's what people who are trying to get me to have another kid tell me, anyway.

Having these dogs is almost like having another kid, though! No, we aren't up all night, feeding every two hours - or changing diapers - or anything like that, but they're pretty time consuming all the same.

I realized one day this week that when you have animals to care for, there is no such thing as staying in your PJs all day and not leaving the house! I have to go outside and feed them each morning, and usually Jason comes along a little later to take them for a walk. Even though they're outside, we figure it's good for them, and for us, to get out and walk a couple times a day.

When Jason goes out of town this summer, I'm not sure what's going to happen to the whole "walking" thing - I'm not at all sure I can walk two dogs which weigh more than my kid, all by myself.

Just like kids, these two have very different personalities. Delta was obviously a pet. She is very social, and she loves to be with us. Her favorite thing in the world (besides tumping over her water bowl or playing in the water hose spray) is fetching a tennis ball. She could do it for hours!

Lucky - that's what we found out the other dog's name is - seems to be very different. He belonged to a member of our county's planning commission who passed away earlier this month. The widow is a cancer patient, and she was unable to care for his dogs so she asked the shelter to take them. We are surmising that he must've been mostly a "yard dog" and not had a lot of interaction with humans.

He doesn't like water, and he doesn't like riding in in the car - things Delta adores.

He does seem to have solved the barking problem - she barks a bit, and then she settles down. I was concerned about her being left alone all day, but I feel much better with Lucky back there. He hasn't been aggressive with her at all, besides getting, well, a little too friendly with her in the beginning. I was told that once he's, ahem, worked on, that shouldn't be much of an issue.

Anna Marie is beyond thrilled to have not one, but two dogs - and I've got to say, it isn't so bad. It's good for her, too, because she can go back there and get them out of the pen and play with them - and not spend so much time on that DS!

Hopefully all of us - the dogs and the humans - will adjust to our new reality soon, and they won't take up so much of our lives that we don't have a chance to do much else!

Friday, May 15, 2009

The bill for the first 24 hours

Adoption fee for a shelter dog: $35

First trip to the vet after adoption: $110

Look on your kid's face when she realizes the dog she's petting is going home with her: priceless.

(Note: no Mastercards were harmed in the making of this blog post.)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

What I did on my summer lunch break

Y'all, I adopted a dog.


In all the years we've been married, we've never owned a dog. Part of that is due to location - we've always rented, and couldn't have inside pets, and never had a fenced in backyard. And really, I'm not much of a "dog person," but I've tended to like the larger, more mellow dogs more than the smaller, yappy ones.

But, something has happened to Jason in the past couple of weeks. I put a "pet of the week" ad in the paper, and I mentioned that there were two female Labrador Retrievers, both spayed, who had been surrendered by their owner because he was going into the military.

I may have said, "Man, if I had a fenced in backyard, I'd go get those dogs."

You know, in passing.

Last Sunday, Jason and I may have had a conversation about dogs, and how we have an enclosure in the backyard that would make a good dog pen.

And last night after church, Jason might possibly have asked me to call today and see if the labs were still there.

I never in a million years thought that those two dogs would still be unclaimed after two weeks - but they were. Well, at least one of them was. The other has been paid for by an elderly woman in the next county, but she hasn't picked her up yet.

I was instructed by Jason to tell the ladies at the shelter that if she didn't come get the other dog, to give us a call.

We almost got two dogs today, y'all! TWO!

Jason still feels really badly about the two being separated, since they've been together their whole lives, so I can't guarantee that we won't end up with another dog in the near future.

Anyway - on my lunch break, we went to meet Delta. We paid for Delta, and then we left so Jason could get the pen ready, and bring the van.

After school, he came by to get me - and Anna Marie had no idea what was going on. When the tech went to get Delta, she was a bit hesitant. But - once she got down on the floor, and saw how gentle the dog was, she was fine.

Delta had a little trouble being convinced to get into the back of the van, but she rode through town with us just fine. Anna Marie is playing with her now, while Jason finishes getting the pen prepared. I hope this will give her something to do besides play that silly DS all summer!

For a larger dog, Delta is very gentle. She hasn't jumped up on us at all, and she's not been a "barker." I just hope she can adjust to the relative quiet of our neighborhood - that shelter was loud!

I think we'll enjoy this new "adventure" of dog ownership. I just hope Jason knows what he's gotten the rest of us into!

Monday, May 11, 2009

So, now that I've lost all my loyal readers

(You know, due to not posting. Out of sight, out of mind!)

Really? A week and a half I've been gone? Really?

Because it doesn't feel like that long. Four, five days, tops.

I hope all you gals had a marvelous Mother's Day, whether you:

A. Are a mother,
2. Have a mother, or
D. Are a bad motha (shut yo' mouth!)

Mine was, well, it had its moments. Like the moment when I opened a card from Jason, to find the exact same gift I'd gotten my mother, an O'Charley's gift card. You know, so my mom wouldn't, as Amanda said, be trying to figure out how to feed all of us on her $25 card.

(I still don't know where or when he bought mine. I bought mom's Friday night, at Sam's. He's being sneaky!)

Or, the moment when I got into an argument with my sister over whether a 30-45 minute restaurant wait was reasonable on Mother's Day.

(For the record, we waited exactly 30 minutes for a table, which was just about how long we'd waited to eat Mexican the week before. You know, when it wasn't a holiday.)


Or, the moment when I got what I'd actually asked for, a pair of New Balance I'd found at Sam's for $35. They're sharp, but I'm doing the responsible thing and saving them for gym-only wearing.

Just like "they" say you should. Whoever-the-heck "they" are.

I guess the best "moment," though, was when Anna Marie handed me her obligatory handmade cards. One of which said "Thanks for being a 1st place mom!" Complete with a medal she'd drawn all by herself with my gel pens.

Because of all the words I could use to describe my job as a mother, "first place" isn't one that readily comes to mind.

The sermon at my church yesterday was entitled "Jochabed's Mothering Seminar" and focused on Moses' mom. She was a lady of great faith, and courage, but she was also a lady of great influence. She didn't just raise Moses to be a great leader, she raised Aaron and Miriam to be leaders as well. The Children of Israel were delivered out of slavery because one woman feared God more than she did Pharaoh.

We have such an awesome responsibility, and while I can look back over the past seven and a half years and see how far I've come both as a person and as a parent, I don't know if I'll ever feel like I'm doing enough.

But, does any mom, or dad, or aunt, or anyone who has influence in a child's life ever feel like they're doing enough?

I guess that like anything else in life, it's the little things - making a French Toast casserole tonight, and making sure she's brushed ALL of her teeth, and that she's done her homework - that add up to the big results.

Seeing how she'll turn out - well, that's the scary part. And the exciting part. All sorts of emotions wrapped up together.

The challenge is trying to take advantage of all the little moments in between the big moments, when all those moments seem to go by both excruciatingly slow and mind-numbingly fast at the same time.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Call Noah.

I think we may be in need of a loaner.

After threatening to rain for several days now, the proverbial bottom has dropped out.

(Ever wonder exactly which bottom has dropped out? Me too.)

And, while I'm glad I don't have as much stuff to do as I did last Saturday, still, I shall have to exit my domicile at some point. Yesterday, through some strange chain of events, I was DONE with my deadline work by lunch.

I know, weird, right?

So, while I thought that Anna Marie was going to have to skip her dance pictures - half an hour away, at 4 p.m., requiring lots of costume changes, hair, and makeup that precluded Jason taking her - I was able to leave work at 3 p.m. and participate in the "festivities."

Two and a half hours later (or, a bit after 6 p.m.) we were done.

"We're running a little behind," the dance teacher says. And by "a little" she meant "about an hour."

Funny thing is, since they're charging $50 for five small photos, I probably won't even be buying them. The main reasons I even went were to get her costumes, and because they take a couple of group photos.

Anna Marie did treat me to a private tap performance once she got into that costume, though, so I guess that was something.

Anyway, Anna Marie had requested a dinner at Red Lobster. I was trying to get mom and Amanda to come down, but they convinced me to drive to their neighborhood - and dine at Pei Wei. And somehow, when I left that restaurant, I was minus one red-headed kid.

Hmph. Funny how that happens!

Jason, by the way, had weaseled out of the whole shebang by promising to "clean the office" which is code for "pile everything on Melissa's scrapbook table." I walked in alone, and he said, "Did you leave her at Red Lobster?"

"No, I left her at Pei Wei. With Gramma."

I've just received a breaking news alert, that Gramma and Anna Marie are in the area where I'll likely be having to pick her up, so I suppose I'll have to get Jason up (yes, it IS after 10 a.m.) and get a move on.

That is, if Noah has a spare ark on hand.