Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Cindy Jae at the Zoo

Cindy Jae is finally starting to mature and settle down.

A bit.

We had a long group training session on Saturday and we confirmed that she is the most high-energy, stubborn puppy among them. BUT she also did much better than I expected. By the end, she was down-right compliant - listening and following commands with just a reminder or two. So I decided that more long training days were in order.

To that end, I checked the weather and found it was supposed to be a cloudy and cool kind of morning, but the warmest day this week. Which is perfect weather to enjoy an outside adventure without having to fight crowds, so off to the zoo we went - L, Cindy Jae, and I. After all, where can you encounter so many different sights, sounds, and smells in one place that's fun to visit?

The zoo people let us in without trouble and we went off in search of the new baby koala. Cindy Jae got lots of attention, but mostly from zoo personnel since there weren't many visitors and they were kind enough to stay back.

We went to the reptile house and aquarium where there were lots of different floor surfaces and temperatures in addition to all the sounds, sights, and smellss. Cindy Jae did very well, even when I had her sit-stay and went to the end of the leash to take her picture in front of the big tank.

We rode the tram across the river to the botanical garden. L loves riding the tram.

Whereas Cindy Jae was a bit more cautious.

Even in February, there were some beautiful flowers blooming in the gardens.

And look! Another sit-stay!

Back at the zoo, we visited with the flamingos. I was so proud of her for not barking or carrying on at any of the animals. I mean, she's not *supposed* to bark or carry on, but you never know with a high-strung puppy.

Just before we left, Cindy Jae had settled in so well that we decided to do one more photo op near a family of lion statues by the entrance. And we had another successful sit-stay!

And another!

And then we got really ambitious. This was the moment I was proudest of my little Cindy Jae. She did the much hated down-stay! And she stayed! Down! In front of a huge lion statue! While I went to the end of the leash to take pictures!

Now that's what I call a highly successful day!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

February can go away now

At the end of January, I got sick.

Diagnosis: Sinus infection.

1 round of augmentin. I feel better.

10 days later, augmentin is gone and the sick is back. Worse. Much worse.

4 pills of biaxin later, I decide that the horrendous allergy outbreak is due to the antibiotic and so I stop it. The sick and the hives both die down.

Then the sick is back. Even worse.

It took until almost 11 today to feel okay enough to drag myself out of bed and to the doctor.

I love this doctor. He gave me three prescriptions, including the strongest antibiotic on the market, and a steroid shot.

I have officially rejoined the land of the living. Praise. the. Lord. Because life doesn't stop even when mommy's sick.

Since starting the meds at lunchtime, I have taken the little one shopping for some warm weather clothing, let the dog and the little one play outside in the beautiful warm sunshine, swept, mopped, did lots of laundry, took the little one to dance, played catch with the big one, took them both to dinner, then took the big one to softball evaluations (so they can set the teams evenly) and took the dog with us, came home to more laundry, and now I can finally sit and rest. Tomorrow is housecleaning and and planning to have our new pastor and his family over for lunch after church Sunday. Saturday is a pancake breakfast, a puppy training session, and maybe gumbo at a friend's house.

Next week is getting ready for a trip down to Florida for the guide dog school's annual fundraiser. It's a big walkathon and there will be lots to see and do. We get to tour the school where Cindy Jae is from and where she will go for her training. We get to play with the puppies that are there. We can even do a blindfold walk with a fully trained guide dog. It'll be so good to see what Cindy Jae will be able to do if she succeeds. A bit of motivation to keep things in perspective the next time she wakes me up at 4:30am because she puked in her crate.

AND we'll get to see my aunt who lives in FL.

All I can say is this medicine had better work!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Things that are making me happy

1. Lemon Lavender candle from The Yankee Candle Co. - Because the dog spent Sunday morning puking. Lots of it. Until she finally heaved up a 10" piece of rope that had mysteriously gone missing a couple of weeks ago. After all that, I needed something to lift my spirits (and mask the various unpleasant smells) and the candle performed beautifully.

BTW, all 3 missing pieces of rope are now accounted for and I am amazed at the power of the labrador physiology. After all, could *you* send two pieces of rope - one an astounding 10" long - completely through *your* digestive and excretory systems? I didn't THINK so!

And yes, Mr. at Home bought for me the largest Lemon Lavender candle they sell. I love my wonderful husband!

2. The Miss Julia books by Ann B. Ross. - Because they are well-written, lighthearted, and make me laugh because I can just hear some of the older women I've known saying exactly the phrases that come out of Miss Julia's mouth. Whether or not you know what "step-ins" are, you would love these books.

3. My library card - Because after carrying a large fine for a long time (forgot about a couple of movies), I finally "got it out of hock" and can use it again. I've got 3 books checked out and 3 more waiting for me. My evenings are booked for the foreseeable future.

(Get it? booked? Cause I'll be reading books? I crack myself up.)

4. A new couch - Because Mr. at Home has "been cured of buying cheap futons" as he said and we actually found a couch we could both agree on. That was in our price range (because it was the deeply discounted floor sample). That is now sitting in our loft. It has the chaise end I wanted and the dissassembles-into-small-pieces-that-can-be-easily-carried-upstairs factor that Mr. at Home insisted on. Heck, he brought it home in our minivan. It is very comfy and we really like it.

5. The Olympics start Friday!! - Because I love to watch the winter games. We got Cool Runnings to tide us over until the real action starts and I think it's now K's favorite movie.

For the next 4 weeks, I'm going to be parked on that new couch with a book or the remote flipping between Olympic events while bathed in the scent of lemon lavender. Yep, it's a hard life I lead, but you're welcome to come join me anytime.