After a couple months with Dallas, I'm sure our regular readers are curious as to how she's been doing.. so here goes.
We've squashed most of the behavior issues we saw early on in our relationship, and she's now a mostly-perfect-angel, so long as she doesn't have a raw-hide bone to protect. I've been teaching her tricks, which she picks up on really quickly. It only took her a few days to learn "stay", and with just a few minutes work she learned to shake, rollover, and dance. Rolling over is sometimes a challenge and she ends up doing a lay down and then sit up while spinning on her butt move. It's hilarious to watch.
We came upon a bit of a surprise this weekend while in duluth with her... apparently our vet was wrong and she isn't actually spayed. After cleaning up a bit of a mess on Emily's parent's kitchen floor, we had to shuffle her into the car and rush home, get her diapered up, and try to reinforce that we're not evil people for strapping a disposable diaper on her. I'll be calling the vet monday to find out if we can Spay her in the current condition or if we have to deal with this cycle and do it afterwards. In the meantime, it's quite hilarious (sorry dallas) to have a dog wearing a diaper.
My friends Melissa and Rob welcomed their first-born on February 5 at 10 pm. Zander Aron Lucas is 7 lbs 14 oz delivered by C-section. Melissa named me godmother, and I was honored and surprised to hear that the baby's middle name is after my own middle name, Erin. I talked to Melissa last night and she said that she's tired and a little overwhelmed, but she's happy, the baby is healthy, and so far "a good baby." I can't wait to meet him!
I've been going through my "office" today and I found all sorts of treasures of mine from long, long ago. I found a post card from the Mainzer Dressed Cats collection of art by the artist Eugen Hartung. This collection features cats dressed in people clothing, doing people things. Some of these cats have dogs as pets. This particular postcard that I have is called "Farmer's Market" and shows about six cats in dresses, in the process of buying or selling produce at this particular farmer's market. One cat has a dog about to break off his leash to chase something, and another dog is standing guard as a police. However, the funniest part of this postcard is that the two cats on the left side of the picture are in the middle of some sort of argument. One of them has a paw full of green onions raised over head, and the other has carrots, and they look like they're about to beat each other with their vegetable weapons after they realized that hissing just wasn't enough.
Anyway, this whole painting/postcard thing got me thinking to when I was a child growing up in South Minneapolis. I would go over to my neighbor Mary's house almost everyday and she'd make us some iced tea, and we'd just talk. Somedays she'd host a popcorn party where she'd invite all the neighbor kids over and we'd sit in lawn chairs in her back yard, each of us with our own wooden bowl of fresh popcorn. She had this little envelope with a smiley face on it, and in it she'd leave me little things to take home. One day she left me that post card.
After last week's short "ease" back into work life after taking the week between Christmas and New Year's off, today felt long and unfair! What's even more unfair is that our work calendar has no more free days off until Memorial Day, which makes winter feel like a true enemy.
It's strange to come home everyday to a dog. With having Dallas comes new responsibilities that I hope I don't grow to resent. I have to plan my mornings to begin a little earlier now because she tends to dawdle outside when I let her out. And all I want to do when I get home is eat and chill out, yet poor Dallas has been cooped up inside all day and needs a brisk walk to shake the doldrums out. It wouldn't be so bad if she didn't act like such a bratty toddler when we try to put the leash on. But I know she is just so excited to get going that she just can't be patient enough to let us get her, and ourselves, ready. All in all, however unfamiliar this new chapter in our lives is, we love Dallas and are very happy to have her.
She did really well with our New Year's guests. We hosted a last-minute New Year's Eve get-together, and despite an initial bout of nervousness with every arriving guest, she calmed down and soon became everyone's best friend. At about 10:30 PM Dallas looked a little tired and "lost" so I put her to bed. She actually took a good nap and came back for more partying. On New Year's Day, Rob's mom and Aunt Shannon and family stopped by for a brief visit, and Dallas loved them too.
Rob and I got ourselves a dog for Christmas, thanks to Rob's aunt Denise. She is a yellow lab with a bit of husky mixed in, and though she's pretty much full grown, she's still under a year and very playful. Even better, she is a total sweetheart and enjoys her new surroundings. We're calling her "Dallas" after the Wisconsin town where Rob's grandpa's farm is.
Dallas loves her big backyard and will bound through the snow, and even lay down and roll around in it. The playset intrigues her, and she's pretty sure there's a way to get up on it but hasn't figured it out yet. We've taken her on a couple of walks and found out that she is very strong. I'm afraid to walk her alone for fears of her running off with me sliding behind her with the leash in hand.
Tokyo and Penny are NOT happy at ALL. Though Dallas is curious, she has mostly ignored them and will leave them alone when they swat (Tokyo has gotten a couple of good punches in). However, the times the dog has wanted to play and chased after them have not done well for diplomacy. The cats now spend their time in Rob's office and the laundry room where the food is.
We suspect that Dallas didn't have much socialization in her previous home, so our next challenge is to get her used to people. She's recently met a neighbor on one of our walks and seemed frightened of him when he put his hand out. Hopefully we'll have enough visitors in the next few weeks to have her comfortable with people other than us.
A few weeks ago I put out one of the bird feeders my parents got Rob for his birthday. It was disappointing not seeing any birds on it, but the seed was mysteriously going down. This morning, though, I saw the creature responsible for the disappearing food. Mr. Squirrel hopped across the top of the fence and reached all the way over to the hook, gripping his back paws onto the top and hung himself upside down so his could reach his front paws to the opening. I'm not surprised in the least that he is the feeder's main patron, but I'm happy that at least someone is getting fed. Little stinker.
This week has been one of the busiest weeks at work in a long time. Today was a quieter day except for this morning's mouse incident. While cleaning my cube, I noticed what I thought was a piece of paper behind my file cabinet, but after leaning in a little closer I noticed it had a fuzzy pair of ears. It was a tiny dead mouse stuck on one of those glue traps. Naturally, I recoiled and sounded some sort of vocal alarm to warn people that there was something gross under my desk. It caused quite a stir and a few admin ladies started to gather around. I asked one of my guys to get rid of it for me and he came over with an arm load of paper towels, gingerly wrapped it up, and offered it for dinner to everyone he walked by on his way to the trash can.