Hangin’ Around

Have you ever learned something and that one, simple thing solves a bunch of problems for you?

I dragged a bunch of pictures out of the back of my closet and took them in to be framed. They’ve been lingering for a long time and I’ve put it off because getting things framed can be SO expensive! I finally just sucked it up and did it and I love them.

I had an idea that I’ve been ruminating on for a while. I love art nouveau art work, especially Alphonse Mucha who did graphic design at the turn of the century. This particular picture isn’t actually by him but the size and color palette were right and I liked it so this is the one I got. I wanted something that just about covers the whole space on the wall.

I’m not sure if it was exactly what I was going for but let’s face it, I don’t think these things through very carefully anyway. I was going for a big statement piece and that’s what it is. I framed it very simply and it just seems perfect. Nothing is competing with the busy artwork.

I do like it though. She’s pretty and it is the first thing you see when you walk in. That’s kind of fun.

When I got this framed, the lady at the frame store told me about French cleats for hanging stuff. Everyone else has probably all known about these forever. I did not know about them and I was so excited because they actually solved about three problems I had hanging stuff.

It’s two metal plates. You hang the first one on the wall. There is a wee level that you slide in a holder on the plate to make sure you hang the first plate levelly. It makes things super easy. The top of the plate is bent a little forwards.

Then you attach the second plate to the thing you are hanging. It has a fold that slips over the top of the plate on the wall.

Not only is it super easy to get things level (something I struggle with) but they hold a lot of weight. So now I could hang this:

That wooden fretwork is heavy and didn’t have anything on the back for hanging so the French cleat was perfect. It’s up there good and solid and I’m thrilled to get it up off the floor for the first time in months. Ignore the pictures flanking it. I just needed to get them up but they’ll reside somewhere else eventually.

Another thing that has been languishing until I solved the hanging-heavy-stuff problem were the “medicine cabinets” my bathrooms needed. Have I mentioned the bathrooms in this house kind of suck? Well, they do. No medicine cabinets meant a box in the linen closet which migrated to my bedroom and all over my bathroom counter. So I bought a couple and when I went to hang them, the anchor actually popped right into the wall and disappeared. This house was built when they were throwing houses up and it lacks studs in some walls. That wall is an interior one between the bathroom and living room and there are not a lot of studs in it. I even bought a fancy new stud finder to replace my old one and confirmed that there was not a stud anywhere in that space above the toilet. Yay!

The medicine cabinet is heavy so I was afraid to hang it with just wall anchors in the drywall. The French cleats seem to spread the weight across the cabinet so I picked up a couple that would hang 100 lbs. each (which the cabinet doesn’t even come close to). It worked and now the bits of medicine cabinet flotsam floating all over the house are corralled and easy to find.

It’s a small thing that makes me super happy. Yay counterspace! Yay ugly box gone!

Joey the foster dog is going to stay here. He’s bounced 3 times which means he’s gone to 3 homes and been returned. It’s crazy. He’s sweet as can be and beautifully behaved. I feel like everyone else got three tries and now I get to keep him. He’s a doll and has fit in so beautifully with my pack. I did my official adoption tradition of getting him a new collar with his tag that has my address. When I brought it home and put it on him, I explained what that meant. Well he’s a dog so I don’t actually believe he understands me but he grinned the rest of the afternoon. Seriously. He sat there like this with the biggest smile. I’ve never seen him do that before or even since.

Congratulations Joey and congratulations us! Also, Coco looks like she could use lessons on how to sleep on a dog bed.

I Think Spring Might Be Here

It’s really wet, there are daffodils everywhere, and I have an overwhelming urge to change things. I wish I had the overwhelming urge to clean things but, unfortunately, I just want to spend money. I find that if I don’t find a way to channel this, I just buy something online that is ridiculous and expensive on a late Sunday night and regret it later. I tried to be thoughtful and focus on doing something I’ve been putting off, such as framing some pictures I’ve had for a good long while and updating my emergency bags. I also picked up a few things on sale that I’ve been needing and tried the trick of leaving it in the basket for a day or two before pulling the trigger and buying it. That actually did work. I went back and removed some things from the basket that seemed cool at the time but I just had to admit to myself that I had no place for them in the house.

More on these small tweaks when they get hung/placed/used.

We have a new foster! This is Joey. Joey boy has bounced (been adopted and returned) three times. The adoption group asked if I could foster him because I’m “patient.” OK, we’ll go along with that. Joey was supposedly a nervous, anxious boy who whined all the time and had nightmares. I’ve had spooky dogs and nervous dogs and we are a pretty chill house so I thought we might be a good place for him.

Isn’t he gorgeous?

As usual, I’m given this near-perfect boy who has some minor fears (like the slippery floors, but who isn’t afraid of that?) and is actually a loving and sweet big boy. He whines a little but he does it when things aren’t up to his standards (such as getting kibble for dinner instead of hot dogs). He likes a routine and doesn’t like change so he lets me know when his bed isn’t available and when he would like pets and kisses. He’s persnickety. That’s all.

His first meeting with the other dogs. Stryker was very impressed. You can see how big Joey is though! Stryker is a giant Golden at ~120 lbs.

I’ve lived with persnickety dogs before and they aren’t a lot of work. In fact, I find it pretty helpful if one of the dogs is telling me I’m late with dinner or if a blanket has gotten mussed up. It saves me thinking about it and realizing at 9pm that I forgot to feed the dogs. (man is that a terrible feeling!) The persnickety ones help keep the house running. Frankie didn’t like change either. I moved his bed from one side of the room to the other once and he stood at the spot where it used to be and whined and whined. He finally lay down on the floor where his bed USED to be instead of just walking 7 feet over to the new spot. He got over that tragedy though when he realized the bed wasn’t coming back.

I’ve actually gotten Joey’s whining down to almost nothing by simply ignoring it and rewarding good quiet boys. When they know they are being heard, they don’t have to keep doing it. I generally acknowledge him, make sure it isn’t something bad, and then either help him with his trouble (let me move that nasty old blanket for you) or ignore it and he has learned that if I ignore it, he might as well also. It hasn’t even been 48 hours yet and he has this figured out. He’s kind of awesome actually.

I haven’t seen any nightmares yet but Frankie used to bolt up and out of the room when he was sleeping too. You don’t have to do anything. They wake up and realize where they are and that they are safe and they just go back to bed.

Someone told me recently that a veterinarian was warning someone about working with rescue groups and saying that if a dog was returned there was a good reason. I kind of flipped out. My experience, 100% of the time has been the problem was with the adopter, not the dog. It doesn’t make the adopter a bad person. If someone is going to get stressed out when a dog is whining, they shouldn’t live with a dog like Joey and it is better for both parties to find a better match. Joey’s adopters brought him back to us which gives us the chance to find a better match for him. But never be afraid to work with an adoption group. Especially one that has a foster system like this because you get a really good profile of the dog before you bring it into your home. I’ve even been able to tell new families if their dog would be better to free-feed or have mealtimes.

I couldn’t live with a high energy dog that would be happier running every day. But I can handle the dog that has high standards and a little trouble with change.

The nervous dog in action. This is the way he is most of the time.

Of course, I cannot stop singing this song to him. I’m always a little surprised I don’t sound this good when I sing.

Blink and You’ll Miss Me

Just passing through to let you know I’m still here. All is good. The house is sorely neglected but the animals are pampered and spoiled. As it should be.

I did replace the rug in the living room. I absolutely loved my blue and white rug but it had become a victim of foster dogs potty training and it did not clean up well at all. The dyes in the rug ran when it wasn’t staining and it began to stink. Like urine. Not a welcoming smell in your home. This new rug is very jazzy and well outside my comfort zone but I do like it. I like the fact that it is very different for me.

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I may be hoping that the pattern distracts people if there is poop on the floor. “Look at that jazzy pattern while I swoop in with a plastic bag and Nature’s Miracle!” (note to self: buy stock in Nature’s Miracle)

As soon as I started trying to get pictures of this, Scarlet had to step in and “help.”

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My last foster dog, Mary, went to a really good home right before Christmas and I have to say; I miss her. She was a fun one.

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I’ve been dogsitting one of my mom’s dogs. Stryker is a really big Golden (~120 lbs) who is on the senior side (~11?) and so when she going to be on the road for a few days on her way to Arizona, we thought he would be more comfortable with me here rather than being cooped up in the car. He gets creaky. Plus, he loves me. He absolutely adores me (the feeling is mutual, big man) so we are having a lot of fun with him around. I have had him for a couple of months now and will get to keep him for the rest of March too.

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Everyone is terrific friends. Oscar loves having someone follow him around and Stryker has always been very taken with Oscar.

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We passed a bit of a milestone last month. Coco has now lived with us for a year! I’d say she has fully integrated into retirement and is a happy, happy girl. She doesn’t know any strangers, she only knows new best friends. Which is a bit of a challenge when people come in and she is all over them and trying to crawl into laps. Even dog lovers are overwhelmed. She loves so fiercely that I think she sets a great example for us all. When you love someone; love them 10,000%!

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Hug your loved ones today people!

And Now We Face Christmas

It has been so utterly boring these past weeks that I felt like I had nothing to share. Boring is good. Sometimes. Work is good. I like what I’m working on and who I’m working with. Family is good. Everyone is healthy and behaving. I’m good and behaving. Sometimes.

The knee has healed nicely. I had a brief setback when I tweaked something getting animals out to the car for a routine vet visit but even with how much that hurt, it was over in a few days. I think I’m just down to building strength back into my legs and core. I don’t think I’ll get to kickbox anymore which is really disappointing. But I’ve always loved regular strength training and swimming so I just need to get back into the habit.

I have a new foster. Her name is Mary. She is very sweet.

My favorite part of fostering is watching them figure out how their life is different and seeing them blossom. At first they are very cautious and tend to find a spot in the room and just watch. Eventually they start getting excited about food time, going out, and then they figure out toys. Mary has found the toy box and now really interacts with the toys by carting them around and play bowing to them.

She has certainly demonstrated that she feels secure here now.

I hosted Thanksgiving this year. You would be very proud of me though, instead of getting some unrealistic project going of something that isn’t really a priority, I actually did something that has been lingering on the ToDo list. My office has had a huge, ugly pile of junk that I’ve avoided. These are the last dregs of the old office that needed to be sorted and considered. The challenge was that every single thing had to be looked at and a decision made. So I spent almost two days going through each and every item. I got rid of about 4 bags of garbage and 10+ bags of shredded paper.

OfficeComparison

The picture on the left is the before picture but it is actually a little deceiving. The pile had grown significantly to be as high as the shelf top and the top of the monitor. In fact, some of the papers were resting on top of the corner of the monitor. It was about a 3x3x3 area of bills, papers, and general crap that needed to be dealt with. The two boxes beneath the desk were from when my bookcase originally collapsed but they were like those boxes you just dump things into when you move. You know, those last few boxes when you are just desperate to be done packing. Those boxes have been emptied and disposed of. Clearly, I need to tidy the bookcase but I’m so relieved to have that pile gone I could sing and dance.

Seriously, I was losing bills in that pile and you know how fun that is to deal with.

Now this isn’t a sexy project, or even a project that is dramatic to anyone else. In fact, I’m afraid the response I got was, “Well at least you finally cleaned in here.” *sigh*

But I do feel really good getting it done once and for all and I feel like it was a big barrier in calling the office done. Now I just need to paint the closet doors and seriously, it will be finished.

Mary found a throw rug and pulled it up on the dog bed to burrow under it. All that crap on the floor behind her? I dealt with that too!

Overwhelmed Finishing Projects

There isn’t much to catch up. I haven’t done any thing of interest or note in a while. It’s all just maintenance right now. Work is busy and there are reorganizations (as there always are) which increases meetings and calls so that sucks up a lot of energy. I’m stalled on a few things around the house because I don’t want to deal with them. It just doesn’t seem like fun which is kind of stupid because having these hang over my head is REALLY not fun so dealing with them would be the answer. But why be logical, right?

For example, my office. I had some momentum and then it kind of petered out. I had to hustle to empty out my living room so that I could have visitors again and things did not get put back. In fact, the whole step of painting and rehanging shelves so stuff could get put back did not happen. Now the mess sits around my desk marinating. Making me grumpy. I hate disorganization. My desk at work is always neat. But I get overwhelmed when there is so much to do. I need to just break it up into little doable chunks. It is the only thing that works for me. Instead, my desk looks like this:

Let’s examine a little closer:

As annoying as I find this, it is nothing with how grumpy this makes me:

The last two boxes to unpack.

When I was a little kid and had to clean my room (which always looked like a tornado had gone through. No exaggeration.) I made up a game. I would draw an aerial view of my room on my Play Skool chalkboard, draw a grid across the whole room, and number each grid.

You can make your grid as small or large as you want. Depending on how much work you have.

The blue shapes are the big furniture pieces that don’t move. You can make your grid as small or large as you want. Depending on how much work you have.

Then I write the numbers out on a piece of paper and cut each one out so I had a little pile of squares with a number on it. I would put those squares into a cup or something, shake it up, and draw one. That was the grid square I would clean. Only that one. I wasn’t allowed to go over the border. I also wasn’t allowed to just put everything from one grid square into another. As I completed a grid square, I could erase it (or color it out). That was the reward. I swear, that game was the only thing that got me through cleaning up my room. I think I’ll have to do the same thing with this office.

I used to be embarrassed about that elaborate game just to clean a room. Later I learned that being overwhelmed by a large project with multiple tasks is quite common. Some of us can only see everything that needs to be done and have trouble prioritizing the tasks. We become unproductive by trying to do everything at once and getting discouraged when we don’t see progress. So, weirdly, I came up with a great coping mechanism. I still do this when I’m having a hard time getting a chore kicked off. I may do multiple rooms if I need to scour the house or I may make a list of things I need to do such as:

  • Pack suitcase
  • Wash jeans
  • Clean out car

And then pull those out of the cup. The original grid is my favorite though. It’s the one that always works.

The foster greyhound situation keeps moving. The last foster I shared with you was Willie who was adorable but a handful.

This wasn’t after a bath or anything, he just liked hanging out in the shower.

Willie went to a great home and they immediately gave me Blackjack. Who is a puppy. It’s quite unusual to get puppies into the adoption groups but not unheard of. Blackjack is 10 months old so he is about full height but hasn’t filled out completely. He also doesn’t seem to know how big he is or where all his corners are. I imagine he grew faster than he could comprehend, as some of us do.

We haven’t told him he is too big to be a lap dog.

The gang gets along really well so he’s basically been pretty easy. Other than normal puppy stuff. “Don’t chew the table leg! Don’t chew the power cords! Don’t chew the futon! etc.”

Coming back from the beach. He was comfortable enough to “cockroach” in the back of the car. I wonder what it looked like to the cars behind us?

He has a new home waiting for him and he’ll go to it Thursday. I’ve asked for a break in fostering so that I have a chance to get my knee surgery and hopefully get rid of my pain and limp. I’m so tired of it and it really has kept me from doing easy things around the house like finish painting the trim.

I’ll miss this guy though. He is beyond adorable!

He has somehow trained me to feed him in bed.

Working it

Slideshow of Dogs and Other Nonsense

I don’t even know how to properly catch up so I’ll just give you some snapshots of what has been going on at Casa de Drew:

There have been foster greyhounds. So many dogs coming out of Kansas and Tucson and it seems like our group is taking in new batches of dogs every week or so! I’ve tried to help out by fostering and it’s been fun as well as sometimes challenging.

First there was Yadi. She was a very sweet, 7-year-old brood. She had been having puppies and now retired from that. Lovely girl who went to a wonderful home.

She was very confused by living in a house. She had been living in the kennel environment for 7 years and was worried about the house. She didn’t like that I fed everyone in the same room and she never understood what treats were so she wouldn’t take them from me. She was only with me a couple of weeks. She was just starting to understand dog beds (before that, she would find a nook under the counter or behind the door) because she had been kenneled for so long. She was also just starting to enjoy toys so I made sure I sent her off to her new home with the toy she liked and a blanket she had used here so she knew she would be safe in the new home. She is going to be loved to pieces by her new human.

Then there was Fire. I confess, it was really hard to let Fire go. I did tell them that if her new home didn’t work out that I would like to adopt her. She went to a great home though so I know she is going to be spoiled to death and she and her new human will love each other to pieces.

It may be kind of hard to tell but Fire is the supermodel of greyhounds. Absolutely gorgeous. She and Coco got along great but I would look at Fire, slender, petite, perfect features, even eye makeup, and then I would look at Coco who is big for a female, quite hairy for a greyhound, very large feet for a greyhound, and think, “I get you Coco. Most of us are you.”

Coco sunbathing

Even when Fire cockroached, she somehow looked graceful.

Coco, not so much.

Coco falling asleep in the middle of cleaning herself. She just snoozed like that with her leg on her head.

But they really were great pals and it was hard to let Fire go. Coco missed her.

The latest is Willi. He is a lovely gentle soul that seems to be a total klutz. I think he may have some vision problems because he can’t just observe something, he has to get right into it and smell it, nudge it, bump it, etc. He is always shoving me out of the way to see something first. But so sweet and kind that I took his muzzle off pretty quickly.

Coco and Willi’s first meeting. She was trying to get him to play. You can see he is a big boy and totally ripped because he is in racing shape.

We got Mom moved out of her house and found some stuff I’d done as a kid. I present…Self Portrait, 5-years-old.

We’re going to ignore the green stuff on the nose. It’s abstract art. Don’t look too hard at it.

Despite my complete neglect, my roses are blooming like crazy with flowers the size of my face. Which is pretty big.

I tried to spoil Mom on Mother’s Day weekend but, oddly, that somehow meant we were in a tavern at 10am one day. Well, the best laid plans…

The tavern isn’t actually empty, I just thought other patrons wouldn’t appreciate being on an obscure blog that is mostly about dogs and failed home projects.

Things, in general, are good though. Everyone is healthy and happy and when we fail, it is relatively minor. That is all we can ask, right?

Uh Oh, Coco

Coco continues to settle in nicely with only a few speed bumps. I’ve mentioned before that the challenge (and at the same time, the fun part) of helping them adjust to a home life is their second puppy hood and learning to live in a home environment. It takes a while for their personalities to emerge as they discover new boundaries and interests. I mean, they change  a LOT from when they first come off the track.

Coco is proving to be a kook. This shouldn’t shock anyone. Everyone in this house lets their freak flag fly. Except Oscar. He is always very concerned with being a good boy and gets genuinely distressed when he perceives that someone else is doing something they shouldn’t. I don’t know if that is a product of being abandoned but he is always trying to follow the rules. And set them.

Coco seems to have little concept of rules. Her whole life until now has been regimented so now it must just seem like a free-for-all (I assure you, it isn’t). She’s been seeking out those boundaries. Some journeys more successful than others.

That tongue is hanging out a little there…

One of her big discoveries was that she could jump up on the bed. She spent a few weeks wanting to get up on the bed and putting her front paws and elbows up but then would just move her hind paws up and down like she should take a really big step. I found it amusing that this world-class athlete didn’t believe she could do something as simple as jump. But she did eventually figure it out. And immediately started applying it in ways I wasn’t too happy about.

When I leave for the day I baby-gate the dogs into the family room/kitchen area. That’s where their food, water, dog beds, toys, couch, and TV are so they have everything they need in that single space. It leaves the rest of the house free for the cat to wander unmolested as well as protect my bed from being dug up too vigorously (thus ripping the sheets) and prevents accidents on the rug. I swear, it was right after the Coco-adoption-check cleared when she started doing interesting things. At first, I was finding her on the other side of the baby-gate when I came home from work. One day, I hadn’t even finished locking the door as I left when I heard her jump the gate.

Behind the Gate (that sounds like the super cool documentary I’ll make that pretty much consists of chewing toys and snoozing)

I even tried putting up two baby gates, one on top of the other. This made the baby-gate barrier about 5.5 feet high but she just immediately knocked the top one out.

A few days later I was on my way out the door and Coco was throwing a fit that I was leaving without her. I heard her clear the gate and turned around to see her standing on top of the table that is near the baby-gate (I was trying to decide whether or not to replace the existing buffet with this table so I had them side by side making this way closer to the doorway than it would normally be). It’s higher than the average table but there she was…standing on top. Jumping off this was a piece of cake and revealed the secret of her escaping the baby gate.

This is a reenactment with the table about where it was at the time of the incident.

Less than a week later, we came home to find Coco standing on the kitchen counter. Just standing there. She was trembling but I’m not sure if that was excitement that I was home or she was scared to jump down (she doesn’t love the laminate floors since she can slip on them when she does things like jump off of counters).

Only a few days after that I came home and couldn’t find her. She wasn’t at the baby-gate with Oscar. I didn’t see her anywhere in the family room or any of the other rooms. I was starting to get frantic and was fairly sure someone had come in and stolen her, when I noticed Oscar. The whole time I’m running around the house and calling her, he is standing in the kitchen with a funny look on his face. I finally looked up from the floor, where I’m used to seeing my dogs, and I see Coco on the stove. ON THE STOVE! This time I did have the presence of mind to quick take a picture. She was curled up funny like she had gotten up there, slipped around, and now was afraid to move.

The attractive Clorox wipes are always out right now because of the epic battle I’m having with the sugar ants. It’s like Game of Thrones around here.

She’s wearing a racing muzzle in this picture. They are very loose, she can still eat, drink, even pick up and toss a toy, but it prevents her from chewing and eating things that are bad for her. She has a tendency to chew and EAT her squeaky toys. I’m sure we’ll work that out as she settles into her new life but right now, for her own safety, I utilize that muzzle when I’m not here to take things out of her mouth.

Toys are fun! (to destroy)

Since her stove adventure, she’s pretty subdued when I leave for the day. She immediately goes to the couch as if to say, “I’d prefer to stay here all day if you don’t mind.” This is a relief as I thought I would have to put some kind of child safety locks on the controls for the stove so she didn’t hurt herself.

We seem to be entering a quiet period. This could be because she learned her lesson or it’s the eye of the hurricane. I’m afraid I suspect hurricane. She is the first dog I’ve had where I decided right away I needed to have pet insurance. Is it ethical to bubble wrap a dog?

I still don’t know if I like that table there (I don’t like that vase on it) but at least it is out of jumping range. I hope. Does she look like she is plotting to you? I think she’s plotting.

Coco

Without a big deadline hanging over my head, my life returns to regular priorities such as tracking down the entry point for the ants in the kitchen and searching for the source of the smell in the house (spoiler alert, it was the water in the vase. Holy bacteria, Batman!).

In the midst of all the living room work, I had a home visit from the greyhound foster coordinator. My hopes were really to fail fostering which means you’ve adopted the dog. It feels kind of soon after losing Frankie but I may never feel ready after losing that kook. He was truly a special furkid and losing him has been devastating. But the greyhound adoption folks were bringing in a bunch of dogs and were desperate for foster homes and I wanted to help.

So, a couple of weeks ago, they brought Ketner to stay with me. Ketner was a terrible name. It was her registered racing name; Bob’s Ketner. Clearly she was never called this because she didn’t answer to it. Or maybe she just disliked it as much as me. Anyway, I started calling her Coco.

She discovered the toys almost immediately and clearly thought they were OK.

Coco came right from a track and is nearly 5 years old which is the mandatory retirement age for racing greyhounds. Moving into a home environment can be bewildering and scary for these dogs. Everything they know has changed. Even if it is what we think of as all good changes, they just know it is different and they don’t know what to expect. The sliding glass door, even with stickers on it to make it visible, will still get bumped into. The screen around the fireplace and even the fireplace. WHAT ARE THESE THINGS? Mirrors are an enormous curiosity. Endless hours staring in there and then watching me through the mirror. Stairs are these evil things that go up to the sky. WHY ARE YOU MAKING ME DO THIS? All these new things are frightening to dogs who have only known a kennel environment.

The entire first day Coco watched Oscar. She watched to see what he did, how he navigated this strange world, and she watched to see if he was frightened of anything. He wasn’t so she stayed relatively calm. Until she saw the sprinkler head. That thing was clearly just plain evil and she backed away from it slowly.

At least at this point her ears aren’t always up in watchful mode.

It wasn’t until the second day that she kind of started noticing me. Or maybe it was after I gave them their evening kibble. She thought that was pretty cool. She proceeded to gobble up great big mouthfuls and then coughed it all out all over the floor. And then ate it up. Hey, it’s a process.

The second day she started watching me. She saw how Oscar got up on the couch and cuddled and watched that very intensely. Sometime during the day I was giving him big noisy kisses on top of his head and she came running over to see about getting some herself. That was when she discovered that she really liked the love stuff. REALLY liked it!

She started getting up on the couch but she would stand on it with shaky legs because it was a soft surface and she didn’t feel terribly secure walking. She was willing to risk it though as she glued herself to my side. I mean, she didn’t just get up to sit next to me, she would turn herself around to get as much of herself up against me as possible. She wanted all the loves and wanted me to just envelop her. She will sit there just looking up into my face.

It’s a little heartbreaking to see such a need for the loves and touching. This actually started to worry me because if she bonded so closely to me, would she have a hard time moving into an adoptive home? Would it tweak her to leave the first home she knew? I’ve seen that before with fosters. Most fosters do just fine and they love the foster home they come from as well as their adoptive home. But once in a while you get that dog that is too insecure for that switch. I was really hoping this wouldn’t happen to Coco.

The big question about whether or not she could stay here was how she would do with Scarlet Kitty. Coco was very curious about the cat but hadn’t shown a strong prey drive. Scarlet also seemed pretty comfortable and I was paying attention to that because Scarlet used to be a street kitty so she’s pretty smart. When do you know though? When can you confidently say that Coco is cat-safe?

This was the moment she discovered pillows and you can see how impressed she is with the concept.

After a couple of weeks I was starting to almost feel pretty good about the cat-safe question but I think I kept waiting for that definitive moment when I “knew.” When I could be certain that everything was going to be all right. I know. I say write that out loud and I see how silly it was to be looking for certainty. Coco is very different from Frankie. If I’m honest, what I wanted was Frankie back. That isn’t going to happen. I know that logically. I just tried really hard to be present for Coco. To give her what she needs. To celebrate little things like when she learned she can jump. She’s been wanting up on the bed but couldn’t figure out the jumping thing. She would just put her front paws on the bed and move her back legs like she was trying to crawl up but couldn’t get purchase on the mattress. Then she would cry and go back to her giant, soft, luxurious dog bed. Her dog bed that was, like 6 feet, away from me. It might as well be miles to her. But Sunday, she figured it out. She jumped, and she was up! All the beds are all hers now.

I also got a call from the adoption coordinator who felt like she had a prospective home for Coco. I realized that while I may not have made up my mind, Coco had. Coco had adopted us and it wasn’t an option to let her go somewhere else. Somewhere new that she had to learn and someone new she had to decide to trust. I may still be grieving for Frankie, but I didn’t want to grieve for Coco too.

So I told them that she wasn’t up for adoption anymore. She was already home.

Back on the Horse

I’ve been silent for a while and I apologize. not that anyone’s life was emptier for my lack of blog posting, but, I committed to myself to writing regularly and then I let it slide. True, I did have surgery and have made recovery from that my first priority, but if I’m honest with myself, writing wasn’t going to wear me out much.

The recover goes extremely well. It is weird to be limited in what I can do and lift. I’m not allowed to lift anything heavier than a gallon of milk. Which is SO easy to forget. I also need naps suddenly in the middle of the day. I chalk it up to healing and I’m lucky I work for an awesome company that lets me work from home so I can sleep when needed and work when I am awake.

On the home front, because I have limited energy and lifting capability, things are slow. But I’ve plugged away at small jobs in the office: replacing door knobs, measuring and cutting baseboard, etc. I’m ready to paint the baseboard and hopefully install it this weekend. I’ve had company for the last three weekends in a row and it just seemed rude to start that kind of project while they are here.

So I’ll just leave you with a few images of what we’ve been doing these past few weeks.

I picked up some shelving for either side of the fireplace in the family room. Just need to accessorize them.

Vicious dog keeping me company while I have to rest a lot.

My mentor and coach on the resting part. I don’t know what I would do without her example.

Completely Gratuitous Doggie Video

Things are slow around here. I’m recovering from the cold and our weather went rainy again so it’s been quiet. Lovely. I love being quiet, drinking chai, reading, puttering around the kitchen getting wee little things done.

The doggies have been equally focused on creature comforts. Frankie has claimed the guest bed as his exclusive bed and Oscar just likes to do this most of the day. It’s kind of sweet actually.