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Friday, November 15, 2013




Do you ever have those times where you are getting tons of things done, you are checking things off your list left and right and it feels really, really great. But then all of a sudden you stop doing a ton of things. Like you take a break because you earned it but that break seems to have taken on a life of its own and you find it won't release you? That's where I have been this week, maybe the week before that too. Of course when you have one of those wonderful spurts of being super productive, going back to normal can feel like you are doing less than you are. This down turn usually leaves me feeling very sloth-like. Which might be evidenced by the title of this post "things" because that's about the only kind of words my mind can muster at this point (i am probably going to reuse that word a lot in this post). I am hopeful, this weekend will prove to release me of feeling like even the smallest of tasks make me want to groan.

But speaking of things, while I don't feel I am on the same roll I was a few weeks ago of accomplishing the many extra things I want to do (you know those things that are above and beyond the things I have no choice but to do, or should do, or need to do), I have been doing a lot of something I haven't really done to this degree before, and that is care for a dog. It's a lot of work!

I am trying to be very diligent and committed to training her (i've also been watching the dog whisperer a lot and i don't want one of those dogs. i can't afford to hire caesar millan). She now sits, lays down and stays - but pretty much only when treats are placed in front of her face before hand (or when I get the leash out). Sometimes when she remember that she loves treats she starts wildly doing all of these things in front of me in rapid succession (it's pretty cute). Sometimes I think she's really smart and other times I can't figure out what exactly she's grasping from all of this. While she walks on a leash with me like a champ, she also started spinning in circles when we are inside. When she's not spinning she's wandering from door to door, from me to door, from door to the middle of the room. And this might go without saying now, but she never lays down unless she's in her crate. I told this to a trainer and he said it sounds like "stress response" and asked me to remove all stressors - which would be everyone in my house most likely. He also let me know it could turn into OCD if I don't deal with it "properly." So, the positive is she's feeling much better, but the negative is, if I don't train her right she might just spin in circles forever. She's also still sweet as can be when you force her to cuddle (ie give her treats on the couch while you pet her or carry her around with her head on your shoulder - she loves that) or for the 15 seconds between taking our 100th walk of the day, playing tug of war, getting treats, er, I mean training her and chewing. I am making it sound worse than it is, but I have been trying to figure her out and that is a big thing to do I have realized.

I also did two things this week I swore I'd never do: I bought an umbrella and I bought dog clothes. The umbrella, well, we just don't use umbrellas here so that's why I have not done so before. People do double takes if they see someone who has an umbrella in this town. But my new morning routine replaced my old one of waking up to have a little snuggle time on the couch with my coffee, to pulling on my boots and going outside to stand in the rain before my coffee. It's nice not to be freezing and soaking wet first thing in the morning. Though I am not sure how long that little nylon shelter will last me, it's become a source of many a battles already between M+L. And the dog clothes, same thing, having a wet dog first thing in the morning wasn't my favorite either. I thought it was hideous as I buying it but as soon as I put it on it became adorable, and now I fear myself. (also milo has taken to wearing one glove, 100% of the time, that's what that bottom photo is about. and hot chocolate, it's also about that because it's that time of year. yum).

Have a happy weekend. xo

18 comments:

  1. I'm sorry, but that coat? Oh my god. Adorable. Along with those eyes. When Lucy the Beagle came home with us, we learned pretty quickly that her cues were very, very subtle. It took some patience, but she figured it out, and we did too (I still think she needs prozac and we need to get on that), but my sense is just be patient. You haven't had her home with you all that long really, so keep the course and all that patience and persistence will pay off.

    And the one glove? Gracious. Aren't kids great when they do stuff like that? I love it.

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    1. Viva la Prozac! It's seriously made a different dog out of Fitz.

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    2. i know, that coat went from "don't do it. don't buy your dog clothes" to "must buy more! she looks so cute!" i am hoping she won't need any medications but we shall see. i knew it would be a learning curve. learning how to train her, learning how to read her, learning how to train the kids around her . . . and it has been.

      of course i knew that her coming home, post-op and sick as a dog (haha, i wonder if that saying comes from dogs with kennel cough?) her personality was a bit squashed and we'd see the real marla in time. i am thinking that's still happening. now she's finally feeling frisky and she's in a new place and there's kids and "if i spin in circles that lady with red hair will think i am going to poop on her floor and take me outside. again! weeeee!" but holy smoke she has me wrapped around her little finger already. and i just want her to be the happiest dog in town. xo

      oh and yes, that m+l, the things they do, like this, those are things that just fill me up with goodness. love it.

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  2. The colorful umbrella and the dog coat may sound a little too hipser-ish, but the end result is beyond cute and I just pinned it! She is too cute, with those puppy eyes (pun intended!). Working with dogs takes a lot of time and patience, but even if you don't see it right now, she will answer your commands without the treats, in a short while :)
    Enjoy the love!

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    1. i didn't even plan on it matching, but it worked out pretty well that way. i think marla is pretty smart from what i am garnering from other people. the fact she is responding to commands is really good and if she doesn't do them without treats for a looong time, well, that's normal. i can be patient because just look at that little face ;)

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  3. Aren't adopted shelter dogs SO MUCH FUN? ;) Yeah, she's got anxiety. The constant wandering and circling are her brain's way of handling the stress of being alive. I'm not kidding. Some dogs (like Fitz!) seriously exhaust themselves with the anxiety of just existing. He's treat motivated, too, but it took him about a year after learning all his tricks to be able to do them without the promise of food. And his brain will still short circuit sometimes and he'll do his whole trick routine (down!over!dead!up!speak!) without prompting because he just gets so excited. Dogs are weird. They're a lot of work. Do I adore Fitz right down to his little white paws and silly beard? Of course! Do I wish I didn't have to give him Prozac to get him to stop whining and shaking and pulling every time we go outside even if there is NOTHING THERE? Of course! But I take the good with the bad. We hired a trainer at $150 an hour for a few sessions and got some really helpful tips at dealing with his issues. I don't recommend that. Or well, she was great, but uhh, find someone cheaper.

    If you ever just need to vent about this stuff, email me! I've been through the trenches with Fitz! Adopting a shelter dog is so crazy, when you think about it, because you're just accepting all of their flaws and quirks straight off the bat. We've had him for two years now, and it's been a roller coaster of progress with his issues. There are good months and bad months. But then they look at you, like Marla in that adorable coat, and it all makes it worth it. She is a darling. My vet told me to imagine what it must feel like in their brain. If it's stressing US out, imagine how it feels for her to live with it. Poor girl. You're doing all the right things, being proactive, training, cuddling, etc. Patience, grasshopper. You are doing so good. So is Marla. And so is Milo rocking that single glove ;) xoxoxo

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    1. honestly i think a lot of it has to do with m+l. she definitely sees me as the pack leader (which is great). she wouldn't play tug of war with me until yesterday. she'd just drop the rope and come over and lick me if i pulled on it, like "sorry, you can have it? do you still love me?" and once she started feeling better i think she sees m+l as puppies so she nips at them, not biting, it's totally playful and gentle, but they'd go all spastic and start flailing around and i think marla takes that as "oooo, they love this. they want more." but they don't. so then i had to start training her on that, and them (they are harder to train!). that's about when the spinning started. and after i realized she'd spin by the door when she had to poop. soooo, with all that, i think it is anxiety. she wants to play, and she's learning so many things and she has to learn to play with the people she wants to play with most, who are constantly enticing her with all their antics and she want to run (but she can't go to a dog park yet), and she's still learning the whole 'walking on a leash' thing. so, yeah, that's totally stressful. xo

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  4. its true about umbrellas- sort of funny too because if you go to a place like NYC umbrellas are everywhere. I think I only use an umbrella when I have my hair and makeup done.

    Wet dog is the worst and my dogs love to get dirty.

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    1. it's so true. portland is so funny with the umbrella issue. it's all about the hoodies and beanies and coats with hoods.

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  5. oh, hello fellow sloth :) it's the same here. after a few very productive weeks, it feels like time, hours, full days are simply disappearing. and even though I'm doing 'things' no'thing' seems to get done. it's very frustrating and I have to try hard not too judge myself to harshly...

    as to your dog. we just adopted a cat. which is a whole different kettle of fish ;) he is still nervous around us, but stopped scratching us. and that's probably as much as we can hope for. he rules the house and everyone in it. it's that simple. thank god he's not around the whole day...

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    1. same here, i am doing things too but it feels really difficult!

      i've had a couple cats, which i shouldn't have because i am so allergic i can't breath around them. but they were hilarious. i had one that would climb on the roof and then drop down and claw at my window screen. i would see it all spayed and grasping the screen with it's little claws and hear this "yeeeeooooow" and then she's fall off and do it all over again. and the other cat would claw the heck out of me every time i moved a centimeter. xo

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  6. I was honestly so relieved to see another person admit that they've been slothful after a lot of hard work. My sloth time has extended for a few weeks and it's feeling harder and harder to overcome as the weather gets cooler here finally and it's so tempting to just bundle up and watch netflix, lol. Pets are so much work, I'm sure training her is taking much more time than you're giving yourself credit for!
    Hope your weekend is a good one!
    xo Mary Jo

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  7. Dogs are seriously an insane amount of work. I remember when we first got Gorbie I thought we were committing to having a child - it seriously felt like it at times. Of course now that I do have two human babies, Gorbie seems easy, but they truly are little members of the family and they too have many many demands!

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  8. Haha I have a new 10 week old kitten..hmm wonder if I will ever be buying cat clothes and today I wil be using an umbrella for sure.

    Allie of ALLIE NYC formerly Dressing Ken

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  9. your dog is so cute! we recently got a rescue and are in the same boat...he has accomplished learning to sit and stay, but still doesn't want to lay down. we have a lot of work to do :)

    Molly {Dreams in HD}
    http://dreamsinhd.blogspot.com/

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  10. At that very first picture, I was like CHRISTINE STARTED DRESSING HER DOG and then it was all over with those cute Marla eyes. Really, it's okay though. When it gets cold, Ike has a green and purple plaid blanket that he wears, that looks like a skirt. It's probably the most hilarious and adorable thing I've seen

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  11. Can you explain the umbrella thing? I am so curious about why no one uses an umbrella. There aren't a lot of umbrellas where we are either, probably because for 90% of the year the wind is too strong to keep hold of one. But I'm so interested as to why no one uses them in your town.

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    1. ha, it's a true story, people in portland don't use umbrellas. i can't say why exactly, for me it's just always been that way, you just don't do it. i think it just rains here so much, people have raincoats and hats and we run from place to place from car to place. having an umbrella would just be cumbersome to use everyday. plus portland is very casual, you can go to the nicest restaurant in town and people will be wearing cargo pants and teva's with socks (it's too casual in that sense!), so most people aren't needing to protect their high fashion outfits around here. downtown you see more because they dress up for work. but just around neighborhoods, never. however, when it snows here, even a slight dusting, watch out! everything shuts down, no one drives and frozen puddles become the source of 24 hour new coverage.

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