Thursday, March 29, 2012

Desmond's Escape: A Follow-up

here's desmond pretending to be wiped out after the incident
Last Thursday night, when I almost became a heart patient, I was left feeling not very good all weekend and into the week. Lucky for me, I have you awesome people to leave me a multitude of comments expressing support. So, thank you. Thank you all very much for being fabulous. It does not go unappreciated.

On Saturday, we went out to inspect the yard for escape routes. We fixed every hole or fallen slat to the best of our DIY ability, but I'm not happy with the results. We still need higher protection where the fence is on the low side, and there are some gaps at the bottom of the fence that will need to be filled in after we get our yard leveled out and re-seeded (we think a large portion of the gap will actually wind up blocked by the new, leveled land/grass). Although I cannot really build a moat (how awesome would it be if I could?), the best long-term solution is to get new fencing to replace what's broken.

Not to mention, it will look much nicer than what's there now, because we were only able to replace half the fence when we bought the house. So, at the moment, it's a mix of PVC, stockade, chain link, and picket (classy, right?). We want it to be all PVC.

Doing this would also, maybe, help keep the cat out. Currently, there are plenty of spots too small for Desmond but big enough for that feline foe next door. I'm sure the cat will still find a way in--it is crafty like that--but I will take what I can get.

The problem is that PVC fencing is expensive, and we can't handle this issue until at least next year. Meanwhile, I can't handle a year of paranoia, but that's not the point. For now, we're still not going to let him roam alone (no, I do not work for Travelocity, but I do loves me some gnomes). And I guess we'll put up the tie-out when it gets warmer and he wants to lounge in the sun.

It's frustrating, because it's really the cat's fault, and it wouldn't be an issue if the cat would stay on its own property. I have no idea what I can do to keep it away from my house, aside from begging the neighbor to not let his cat out without supervision/at all--which I have no intention of doing, of course. It bothers me for sure that cats are "allowed" to roam the town but a dog off-leash outside would be a big problem that people would freak out over. Not that I want Desmond seeing the sights like that, nor do I think it's cool for people to be out and about with their off-leash dog, but it somehow feels unfair. If that makes sense.

Meanwhile, had Desmond caught and hurt or killed the cat, I imagine I would have been deemed at fault, not the loose cat's owner, even though the cat is the reason Desmond left the yard, and it's the cat who always comes onto our property. I can see the headlines now: Loose, Vicious Pit Bull Mauls Pet Cat.

Do you think there's anything we can do to keep the cat out? Or am I barking up the wrong tree?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Answers Revealed: Three Lies and One Truth

so tired. so cute.
Last week, I told you guys some things that were possibly true or possibly false and asked you to guess which one thing was true. If you missed that post, you can read it here.

I know the suspense is killing you, so I'll tell you right now that it was number one that was true.

Yup. Desmond is a face humper. Well, I am pretty sure he's done it only to one dog--the love of his life, Jackie--but I'm not the one who usually goes to the dog park with him, so I can't be sure.

The remaining three items on the list are all false, to a point. Let me elaborate...

2. we have heard desmond do the doggie laugh
 
Unfortunately, we have not yet heard the doggie laugh from Desmond or any other dog we've encountered. I am pretty sure if I heard it, I would think something bad was happening anyway, so this is probably a good thing. 

3. desmond has been deemed too reactive to be my partner dog during my externship for Animal Behavior College
 
This is false as well, but I feel I should mention that it is really yet to be decided. 
 
I started the first phase of my externship on Sunday (I plan to eventually tell you about that). The first phase involves me attending a seven-week group basic obedience class, simply to observe the class/trainer. 
 
In phase two, which won't begin until after Memorial Day weekend, Desmond will be attending classes with me, and we'll both be acting as participants. Phase two allows my mentor trainer to assess my aptitude for training dogs. When I think about that part, I feel nauseous, but not as nauseous as I do when I think about phase three--which is when I teach or help teach the class. Whose idea was this again??
 
4. we taught desmond to ring a bell when he has to go potty 
 
Oh, if only this were true! We intend to teach this to Desmond--and we are fully aware this will likely lead to him ringing the bell when he wants to go outside for no reason at all--because he currently uses whining to tell us he has to go. And he uses whining for all other communications, as well as just for fun, so it's not always easy to tell when he needs to go potty. 
 
What's the hold up? My husband and I are in a vicious battle with one another over what kind of bell to get. I'm not even kidding. OK, well the battle isn't actually vicious, but we are not on the same page bell-wise right now. 
 
I'm very concerned about being able to hear the bell from across the house (our living room, where we spend most of our time, has a dining room, kitchen, and small hallway between it and the door). So, it has to be loud. Are jingle bells loud enough? Also, I want it to blend into its surroundings as much as possible. So, I don't want one of those big, plastic doggie bells that look like baby toys.

The other issue is that the hallway the door is in is very small. Just big enough to fit the door. Anything attached to the wall on either side would, essentially, block the door from opening (and it would look ridiculous). We're trying to figure out a way to either hang something from the doorknob (although I really don't want to hear bells every time I open/close the door) or attach something to the molding around the door on the same side as the hinges. 

Anyone have any suggestions?

On a different note, I do have some follow-up information about Desmond's Great Escape. Stay tuned!
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Friday, March 23, 2012

My Dog Ran Away Last Night

Please do not worry! Let me start by saying Desmond is home and safe and in good health (other than being particularly extra insane).

While I was home alone last night, Desmond took it upon himself to vacate our property.

We often let Desmond out into the yard--it is completely fenced in--to potty or just to hang out. Nothing like this has ever happened before.

Sometimes, if the neighbor's cat is in our yard, Desmond will take off after it. The cat jumps back over the stockade fence onto its property, and Desmond attempts to propel himself over after the cat. This does not work, because the fence is six feet high. All this does is make the fence sway toward the neighbor, and I keep making jokes about how Desmond is going to break it one day. It's not a new fence by any means (we were only able to replace half of the fencing since buying the house but we'll replace that one day).

But that's not what happened last night.

In fact, I have no real idea what happened last night, because everything was intact when I realized Desmond was not on the scene.

Let me back up...

Desmond always comes to the back screen door and whines when he wants to come in. After a few minutes of him being outside, I heard no whining, so I went to check on him. For the record, he's stayed out there for up to 30 minutes without incident.

I didn't see him. I called him and heard nothing. I turned on our brightest outdoor lights and still didn't see him.

Sometimes he investigates behind one of the sheds at the far end of our property, so I ran inside for sneakers (I was in my slippers) and then headed into the current dirt & poo pit (where our grass will be planted) to look back there. No Desmond.
 
Now I start freaking out and screaming his name. I hear his tags jingle (more on that later). I call him again. More jingles. Again I call. Now I hear whining and realize he's on the other side of the fence, in the neighbor's yard.

I keep calling him in hopes he will come back however the hell he got there, but now he just starts pacing and whining, almost like he's getting nervous because he can't find or see me.

I realize I have to run around the block to get him, because there's no other access (we're next to a park, neighbor is on a dead end), although I do take a second to contemplate whether or not I can climb onto our garage shed's roof and jump over--then it dawns on me that this may be how he got there (more on that later, too).

Let me pause here to give you a visual of the properties I'm dealing with.

The Google Maps version, which was taken long before we did a lot of work, so it's hard to see:

the black lines are all fences. the pink is our house. the blue is the neighbor's house. his property is set in a strange way (is that even legal??), so his front door does not lead to a sidewalk. granted, our property is L-shaped, so we're weird, too.
Here's my horribly-drawn, not-at-all-to-scale version that hopefully will give you even more perspective (you can click on these to see them bigger):

the garage is under the giant tree in the Maps version, and the retaining wall/pavement didn't exist when Google came around with their fancy cameras.


I take off out of my yard, leaving all doors wide open and lights on, but not before grabbing a leash. I sprint down my block, which is fairly long, around the side street, and back down the next block to the dead end. I can't figure out if I'm going to throw up or have a heart attack, but I'm pretty sure I'm wildly out of shape at this point (never too busy to criticize myself!). In fact, as it turns out, I aggravated an old hip/groin injury and am feeling it today.

I start calling him again and then this big black thing whizzes past me and up into a tree, and, for a second, I think it's my dog. But then Des comes flying after it and I know it was the cat. Now Desmond is trying to climb the tree, and my neighbor has come out of his house, and I'm about to just die from being horrified to the max.

I'm now apologizing to the guy and calling Desmond with every other breath. The guy is totally unaffected by the frazzled woman in pajamas in his front yard (which is good I guess), and Desmond stops harassing the cat long enough that he sees me and gives me a look that basically says, "Oh, hi Mom. Look--a cat!!" I grab his collar and start dragging him off the property while still apologizing to the guy. Then I stop at the dead end and put Desmond on his leash.

At this point, I'm entirely shaken and just want to get him home to check for injuries. He's all wound up though and wants to go for a run/find another cat to harass and proceeds to pretty much drag me down the block. I don't have the wherewithal to deal with training issues at the moment, so I just do my best to get him to pull me in the direction of home and I sort of run to keep up with him and not choke him, which works fine enough until we learn that the crazy barking dogs from across the street (you've heard about them here) are out in the yard.

They weren't out when I first ran like a psycho from my house to go get Desmond, but--of course--they were out when I got back. Desmond proceeds to go nuts in a way I haven't previously witnessed. He's basically doing flips in the air at the end of the leash. I start dragging him toward the house--which now does choke him, since he's not in his harness and also involves his whole body flopping and scraping against things it shouldn't.

We finally get home, and I collapse into a wreck, and Desmond gets some water and then plops down on the couch like nothing ever happened (not that that lasted...he turned into Captain Energy after about a 10-minute rest and would not settle down for the duration of the night. This continued into the morning.).

When I get in touch with my husband, we discuss possibilities of how the hell this happened. Joey reveals to me that due to some work recently done in the yard the fence may be a bit easier to get under than it once was. It never occurred to me that Desmond didn't somehow get over the fence until I heard this, but now that seems more likely.

At this point, I kind of want to sell all my valuables and get a new fence, plus a moat and perhaps some guards. I am in utter disbelief. I didn't think Desmond had this in him. And I also now have kind of no idea what to do. If he really did go under the fence, that's solvable enough, but what if he went over it? And how will we ever really know?

For now, obviously, he will not be out in the yard without supervision, which is a downer for any variety of reasons, but I guess we'll have to figure something out.

We have a tie-out, but Desmond is not a big fan of it, and I'd want a much longer one if that were going to be a solution to this problem. I don't want him to not have access to parts of the yard; I don't want him to get frustrated by reaching the end of the line; and I don't want him to snap his neck if he runs after something that comes into the yard. But I also don't want him to get tangled in a long line.

As a slight aside, an invisible fence is not an option, as far as I'm concerned, so there's no need to pass along that suggestion. I'd be happy to hear all others, though.

Taking him for a walk isn't the easiest activity, and now we have to worry about him in the yard (I am convinced that now that he knows he can get out, he will make additional attempts). This dog is going to give me gray hair before he's been with us a year. And I'm starting to think having a child will put me directly into a very early grave.

Thank goodness I start work with my mentor trainer tomorrow. I'm hoping she can provide some input. She also does behavior modification (I'm in school to become an obedience instructor, for the most part), so I may wind up hiring her for his reactivity if she thinks she can help him anyway.

The More-on-That-Laters:

Desmond's old tags (that we lost) never used to jingle. I loved that. His new tags, even after the tag silencer was put on, jingle enough to annoy me every day. I've been too lazy to do anything about it, but thank goodness. If it were not for his jingling, I might have taken off into the night--in the wrong direction--to look for him and then lost him. I don't want to think too hard about that.

In the drawn picture above, you can see where our garage shed is (in yellow) and the retaining wall we recently had put in (in blue). I suspect Desmond could have stood on the wall, jumped onto the garage shed roof (which is lower than the actual garage's roof), and then jumped down into the neighbor's yard. This may be a mystery for the ages.
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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Three Lies and One Truth

UPDATE: um, yeah, hi. i just realized i had the title of this blog post backwards--as Three Truths and One Lie. no no no. this list contains only one true thing. the other three are lies.

a big thanks goes out to 2 Brown Dawgs for commenting on the post in such a way that i was alerted to my error. THANK YOU!!

****

i came across this cute little game on Cindy Carroll's blog, Life Write Now (it's not a doggie blog, FYI), and thought i'd bring it over here to crazy dog lady land.

she says it's usually played as a conversation starter in business environments, and since we are oh-so-very corporate here at LWD, why not join in?

i will tell you four things about desmond. you guess which one is true. ready?

  1. desmond has humped the face of another dog
  2. we have heard desmond do the doggie laugh
  3. desmond has been deemed too reactive to be my partner dog during my externship for Animal Behavior College
  4. we taught desmond to ring a bell when he has to go potty

hit the comments to let me know your guess. in a few days, i'll reveal what's what. 

i encourage you to play on your blog, too. good times!

ready to say, "aww"? here's desmond lovin' up on his daddy:

awwwwww

and here's desmond lovin' up on his couch. and by "his" i mean "our". and by "our" i really mean "pretty much desmond's".
here's a version of that pic with a photoshop filter on, because it amused me greatly. oh, yes, desmond. you're a real work of art.




Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Sleepin Like a Baby


Sunday, March 18, 2012

My One-Day-Late St. Pat's Post


folks, it's 10:30 AM the day after st. patrick's day, and i am up and about and feeling fine. i'd like to give myself a big "woo hoo" for that, so, woo hoo!

moving on...
the quality of this pic is awful, but his face is hilarious

i posted on Examiner.com yesterday about some of the irish dog breeds, and i'd like to share that here. 


today, we're all going to St. Patrick's Day Goes to the Dogs at a local indoor dog park, so that should be fun, and i hope to get some decent pictures, but i had a hell of a time doing that at the Pints & Paws event (these events are both run by the same group, the Long Island Dog Owners Group, or LI-DOG) so who knows how that will work out. i hope to get another sweet doggie goodie bag, too! 

i realized this morning that we have nothing green for desmond to wear (and outfits are encouraged at these events), so we're going to head to Pet Supplies Plus to get his birthday surprise and hopefully something festive he can don today. 

doesn't he just always look like he needs a hug?

another Examiner.com article i posted this week was about the dog-sitting service we use for desmond, Goodnight Lucky. i recommend checking it out if you have any dreams of starting a dog-sitting business, because it's one of the best things i've ever heard of, particularly on the Island. 

Goodnight Lucky is one of Long Island's best dog-sitting services

one night after we let him out to go potty, we went back to get him and found him sitting in the dark like this. we're pretty sure he was stalking the cat who sits on the railing of our neighbor's porch. he wasn't moving a muscle other than his neck. crazy doggie.

on a semi-side note, if any of you are interested in starting a column for Examiner.com, please let me know. i'd be happy to provide a referral for your application. you don't have to write about dogs, either, so feel free to expand your horizons. 
squishy face!
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Thursday, March 15, 2012

We've Been Tagged!

a little while ago, Hawk from browndog cbr and Jules from The Daily Dog Blog both tagged me in the blogger Q&A game. i'm proud of myself for not waiting months on end to write this post. progress!


1.  Describe yourself in 7 words: 
desmond: hungry, vocal, lazy, crazy, anxious, zoom-y, king 
me: busy, organized, disorganized, social, homebody, impatient, well-intentioned
2. What keeps you up at night?
desmond: not being tucked in, not touching a human, thoughts of breakfast
me: snoring, both canine and human; any source of light; getting punched by paws; whining; panicking about things i need to do; worrying about not hearing my alarm; strange noises in my yard, real or imagined
3. Who would you like to be?
desmond: the town mayor, every dog's best friend, the keeper of all chicken bones and balls on earth
me: the independently wealthy version of me, so i can stay home with desmond and we can be ladies of leisure together (yes, i just called desmond a lady. he knows how i feel.)
4. What are you wearing right now?
desmond: a fancy leather collar gifted to me from Doggie Stylish, my new tags, lots of loose hair, an unimpressed facial expression
me: jeans and both my newly acquired Ruff House Rescue shirt and newly acquired glasses. ugh (on the glasses not the RHR shirt).
5. What scares you?
desmond: motorcycles, fireworks, paw cleaner spray, weird noises in the backyard (real or imagined), sometimes thunderstorms, sometimes packages, yelling
me: more things than don't... bugs, the dark, ghosts, weird noises (in the backyard and anywhere), walking alone, going places for the first time by myself, natural disasters, global warming, fanatics, getting stuck on the train, getting stuck in an elevator, running out of gas in the car, getting lost in the woods and dying of starvation, people who might want to rob/mug/murder/harass/burglarize me or my house and may be hiding in the bushes or casing the joint or waiting for me to come home alone one day so they can attack me in the driveway, identity theft, making small talk, destitution, getting laid off, losing our house, losing our dog, losing my husband, suddenly developing an allergy to food i love, not being able to turn around the trend of my pants not fitting, worrying so much about sunblock and getting skin cancer anyway, looking out windows at night, walking past open windows at night, desmond and an opossum/raccoon/cat getting into a fight in my yard, our very old garage collapsing, propane tank explosion, dryer bursting into flames. i could keep going. i'm completely nuts.
6. The best and worst of blogging.
desmond: there's nothing good about this. no one asked me if i wanted to be on the internet, and it takes up too much of mom's time. 
me: knowing i'm not the only crazy dog lady
7. The last website I visited.
desmond: as if. the last thing i did was push my head down on mom's arm while she was typing this. 
me: triberr. i love triberr. everyone should love triberr. 
8. What is one thing I would change about myself?
desmond: i'd be more into water. all my doggie BFFs are having fun without me. and i'd be cuter during human dinner. i'd make them see that i need their food.
me: i definitely need more patience and to loosen up a bit. i am very into my schedule and my planner and knowing what i'm doing ahead of time. way ahead of time. i have every weekend of my life figured out just about through july at this point. my to-do lists are mildly insane. i do not deal with changes in plans, lateness, lack of commitment/flakiness or spontaneity well.
9. Slankets--yes or no.
desmond: can i be under it? fine by me.
me: hell no! because a slanket is not a snuggie, and i'm loyal to my snuggie. don't go there.
10. Tell us something about the dog(s) that tagged you.
desmond: i have no idea who these doggies are, and this is a major problem for me. i'm about to start whining just thinking about it. and i will not stop until you let me greet them.
me: hawk lives a life that desmond could really get behind--being outdoors, being off-leash, and often enjoying the freedom of the no-collar lifestyle. cali is absolutely gorgeous and incredibly well-behaved and well-adjusted and she is living in a household that is just full of love. desmond is jealous. OK, OK--i'm the one who's jealous.


time to pass on the tag! if you've been tagged already, feel free to ignore me. :-)


Life with Arie
life with claire
My Brown Newfies
Take Paws
Barley & Ali 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Comfort is in the Eye of the Rester



Monday, March 12, 2012

Happy Birthday, Desmond!

our wonky baby is 2 years old, y'all! well, actually, now he's almost 2 years and 1 week old, but it's all good.

and i feel like we've been living with him for at least double that. nah, i'm just kidding. no, wait, i'm actually not. desmond's a unique dog, for sure. he's been a challenge, but we L-O-V-E him all the more for it. if nothing else, i owe him a huge thank you for showing me that i do not, in any way, want to get a real puppy. not now. not likely ever. you guys all go right on ahead, though. i can live vicariously through you. :-)

happy 2nd birthday, des! once you've recovered from your treats hangover, get some rest, because it's almost time for your gotcha day...

we took him to PETCO to help us pick out some of his last gifts, and i had big plans to document the trip, but he was all over the place, so this was all i got.

the birthday loot!
desmond making every effort to stay next to his birthday loot
checking things out
he was super pumped about that Pet Stages toy
he has since destroyed one of those blue rings
desmond also was really into these Charlee Bear treats. we first discovered them through Animal Behavior College (they highly recommend them for training), and he really liked them, so i thought we'd try a new flavor.
"yeah dad, gimme those treats!"
and we got him a new ball--the same one he had before and loved--because he's not too fond of his Kong ball, probably because he can't really chew on it

and because i have issues, i insisted that desmond needed a birthday bow tie. it's way too small, but i was getting desperate and running out of time to buy one, so i settled. 
oh, and we got him his very first polo shirt, which i think is absolutely hilarious
i freakin love this thing


here's a closer look at the rest of his loot:

i got this doormat through a Fab.com sale. it's so cute. i love it. we haven't used it yet, though, so i'm not quite sure how well it works.
a gambling tower treat-dispensing toy, which i am really unsure desmond will be able to figure out. we shall see...
i know he loves the little jacs, and it turns out he likes the other Bil Jac treats, too.
some of his favorite treats and his favorite ball. actually, these treats were also brought to our attention by ABC. they really know their treat stuff.
thanks to leslie at Bringing Up Bella, i learned about these awesome flags that slide onto your leash. hopefully, it will help some of the folks out on the street understand that desmond is a work in progress (funny--i actually typed the word "problem" first instead of "progress").
we recently lost desmond's tags--not his blanketID, though, cate. don't worry--so they had to be replaced, but we already had his Mets tag from last year (we lost the Jets tag) and had the good fortune of getting a new rabies tag anyway, so only really his microchip tag is not being replaced. in any case, it was the plastic microchip tag that was keeping the metal tags from clinking and clanging, so we had to get this guy.
you may be wondering how the heck we lost the tags in the first place. well, we had them on a little cloth fastener thingy--this one to be exact--and the whole thing fell off somehow. so it's desmond's fault. as per usual. PETCO didn't have the cloth one that day, though, so we settled for this metal version. it's OK, but i prefer the cloth one.

desmond seems pretty happy with the turnout, although he did not get any puppy cake. we do still have to go pick up our birthday surprise from Pet Supplies Plus, so maybe they'll be providing something yummy from the barkery.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

How Much Does Your Dog Hate the Computer?

mine hates it a lot. he also hates cell phones. if we had an ipad, i'm certain he'd hate that, too. 

when i'm on the computer, he often will come and shove his face all up in my grill and then settle down for a nice nap on the keyboard/my hands. he has pressed more than one inappropriate button with his chin.

but sometimes he simply stages a subtle protest.







please excuse my slouch and semi-fresh-from-the-shower hair. gotta keep it real, yo.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Playing Catch Up: Examiner.com Articles

it's been a hot minute since i've shared my doggie articles from Examiner.com, so while i'm sitting here in a minor panic over the backlog of posts i need to write or finish or plan or...whatever...i thought i'd put these up to make myself feel like i've accomplished something.

pathetic, i know.

in the hopper is my post about desmond's 2nd birthday (his first with us), which was tuesday. TUESDAY. who's a crappy dog mom? this girl! oh, and my "tagged" post. and those freakin videos. seriously. if i don't have those videos up by april, can someone slap me? donna of Donna and the Dogs may be closest from what i can tell, so i'll need her to come and take care of that. because she doesn't have enough going on anyway. ;-)

please enjoy these little write-ups. i've left out some of the LI events posts for dates that have passed, but i did leave the recent one in just in case someone finds it useful and included the one about the LI Pet Expo as well. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Pillow Pet

"i'm just hangin here with my turtle"

"no photos, please!"

Monday, March 5, 2012

Desmond's Photo Shoot

do you remember our christmas card? well, i have to tell you a little secret:

i photoshopped it.

the original version of that picture actually looks like this:



oh, yes, that's right--we took our dog to get his picture taken by a professional at PETCO. and let me tell you something else: i fully intend to hire a photographer to do a session of us and desmond at some point, when i happen to have lots of money lying around. i am not ashamed about this in any way.

i'm also not ashamed to say that although the $9.99 that was advertised for the portraits is what attracted me to this in the first place, we walked out of there having spent almost $100. suckers. that's what we are.

but i couldn't help it, because desmond was such a great model that he had various poses i couldn't resist when we all reviewed the pictures afterward.

don't you agree?

look at him sitting in that little dog bed. we tried to get him to lie down in it, as he has done with shea's bed, but he was too concerned with the very loud squeaker the photographer had.

how ridiculous is he? i love this dog.

i would say he looks regal here, but i know too much about him.

so, twelve gold stars for desmond on his stellar behavior during the photo op. he didn't even seem concerned with other doggies in the store that day, and i have never been able to figure out why (so i could repeat forever and ever whatever it was we were doing then). the whole thing was splendid and i think the pictures came out great. i'm not kidding about that family photo shoot, although it may turn into just me and desmond (and molly??), because i think joey would probably think this is too far over the line of crazy dog lady. one day...



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Friday, March 2, 2012

Awards Season at Life With Desmond

are you sad that the big Hollywood awards are over? let me cheer you up.

i thought this would be a good time to finally get around to posting about some awards we have recently received here on the blog. these awards are way better than all those other awards anyway, because we all actually have a shot at getting some. i don't have any awesome swag bags to give out, though. sorry!
Donna over at Donna and the Dogs gave us the Versatile Blogger award. thank you, Donna!



back in the fall, i posted about this award and so i thought that today i would use this opportunity to re-read my list from that post and update it:
  • i'm a copy editor by day. you'd never realize that from my mostly-lowercase typing, but it's true. don't worry: i will not ridicule you for spelling and grammar errors in the comments (i save that treat for my nearest and dearest friends only!) this is still entirely true, although i did say i was contemplating making the switch over to using normal-people typing on this here blog. perhaps i'll make that change when i do my redesign, which i still swear is going to happen...
  • desmond is my first dog with my husband, but i grew up with a white terrier mix named clarence. i hope to unearth some photos of him from boxes i never unpacked when i moved last year, so you can see how scruffy delicious he was. i have gotten absolutely nowhere with this and honestly forgot i ever mentioned it. yikes. sorry, clarence!
  • i have a very serious, untreated chapstick addiction. still fully in effect. i'm okay with it.
  • i'm neurotic/anal retentive/paranoid. my husband is in a wedding in cleveland on new years eve. we're both really excited about our trip, but we will be away for 4-5 days and kind of have no idea what we're going to do with desmond yet. i don't really want to leave him with a paid sitter for so long; we're not sure if he can be trusted alone in a parent's house; and taking him with us isn't that easy since we can't leave him in the hotel room alone anyway. i think about this daily, and i'm certain that's not normal. woo hoo! mission accomplished and no tragedies occurred (unless you count canceling our flight to drive home from cleveland to long island a tragedy. or  unless you count desmond's collar breaking as a tragedy. i don't.)!
  • if money--and laws--were no object, i'd quit my job to open a dogs-and-their-owners-only bar/restaurant/hotel/park. i'm still waiting for that lotto win...
  • i moved from queens to long island. a year and a couple months later, i'm adjusting to semi-suburban life and homeownership far more easily than i'd imagined i would. (i say semi-suburban because we are walking distance to many necessary goods and services.) we've been here now almost two years, and i love it more every day--but i do really wish friends and family lived closer. or we knew more people out here. joey joined the darts league and we met some cool folks that way, but i have contributed zero to our new social life, because i simply don't get out much. all my hobbies involve being homebound. i keep saying when we have a kid, i'll meet moms (and dads) we can befriend, but i ain't gettin' any younger, and i honestly don't see this is in my immediate future.
  • i have enrolled in school to become a certified dog trainer! hopefully sometime soon i'll have a post all about this--i have quite a bit to say on the subject. maybe i'll make it a series. :-) so, i rarely ever posted about school. that's because i wound up feeling like i couldn't, like it would be giving away for free what i was paying thousands of dollars for, which felt wrong and i didn't know if it was even allowed. if that makes sense. in any case, i am almost done!! i finished my last regular test a few weeks ago and will soon be starting my externship with a mentor trainer here on the Island. i'll be observing/participating in/helping teach group classes and observing private lessons and absorbing as much as i can about both training and business building. lucky for desmond, he gets to come with me to the group classes for the participation portion. this whole process will take anywhere from 3-6 months. after that, i start my shelter practicum, where i will work as a volunteer trainer at Ruff House Rescue, the shelter that brought us to desmond. 

we also received the Pawsome Blogger Award from Hawk at Brown Dog CBR and Pup Fan at I Still Want More Puppies. thanks very much to the both of you! i love that i can officially call myself pawsome now. :-)



and we received the Liebster Blog award from Haopee at My Dogs Love Me! huggies and cheese to you, Haopee. huggies and cheese!


the Liebster happens to be another award we've received previously, so let's do a redux again of whatever it is i said before, shall we? this is fun! for me, anyway. you're probably like, "oh my god, shut up already, lady!" sorry! this is what happens when i wait too long to post awards and then write my post after much coffee.

the Liebster is supposed to go to blogs with less than 200 followers. the blogs i chose that day were: Barley & Ali, Alfie's Blog, The Chronicles of Cardigan, Dog is God in Reverse, and Married with Dawgs.

these are still very much all deserving of lots and lots of followers, so i hope that they've seen their traffic grow in the past few months.

and if those awards were not enough, we also received something very cool and unique from Kristine at Rescued Insanity: a Shivie Award. the Shivie is to honor bloggers who deal with dogs that are, um, challenging. as Kristine puts it:

People who have sacrificed their very sanity for the love of a dog. That’s right, the 2012 Shivie goes to the brave souls who have endured life with a truly wacked-out canine.

so, a big big thank you goes out to Kristine for recognizing the effort, stress, frustration, embarrassment, endearment, compassion, and love that goes into and comes out of my relationship with desmond.

it's not easy every day, but having people like Kristine--and all the rest of you awesome moral supporters and misery-loves-company peeps--spending their precious minutes thinking about people like me and reaching out with recognition and input makes it SO. MUCH. EASIER. truly. this community of bloggers is blessed to have one another.

now then. the rules.

here's the thing: i don't wanna worry about the rules. this post is already way too long, is it not? how about i just shout out some of my most-recently followed blogs? and those blogs can have any one of the regular blog awards here (they cannot have any Shivies--i do not have that kind of authority).

then they can choose which of those three they like the actual real rules for (found in the links to my original posts and the links to the Pawsome posts) and write about that on their blogs one day. or not, because of these blogs have been around the block a few times and likely received these awards already (but i've only found them recently).

yeah. that's what i'm gonna do. and there are a lot of them. and you can't stop me. so there.

random picture of desmond before we call it a day? sure thing!

OK, folks, sing along with me for just one second: if...you're...happy and you know it...look forlorn

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