just saying

My dogs are awesome. The dynamic we have is awesome. Yes, we butt heads (especially Azzie and I) but it’s getting much better, after my conversation with my friend Nicole (dog behaviourist) about how I’m not going to change Azzie, just have to learn to work with her in a way that works for all of us (Gina included, because she is affected by the stress) We’ve had a wonderful few weeks recently: Gina not stressed, Azzie behaving (95% of the time) and me being less riled up and angry/frustrated/annoyed all the time. I’m sleeping better too.
I love my dogs. My girls.


So, I’m both incredibly excited and quite (selfishly) uncertain about Odin joining our family.
I don’t want this beautiful relationship I have with my girls to change because he arrives. I really don’t. But I also want him to join it, to become one of our family. To feel the love of a real home, where he can be a dog, be happy, be SAFE and healthy, have a “pack” of his own. A leader (me) that takes care of him in all things. That he can trust implicitly. I think that he will fit in just fine, but I also have moments of “why must it change?!” which is actually how I felt when Azzie arrived. And look at us now! I couldn’t live without the Spaz, and I am pretty sure that Gina would be devastated if we didn’t have Azzie around anymore either. I know it’s selfish, and probably a lot of me not wanting “change” things that are “working” how they are. Is that bad? Does it make me a bad person?

I feel bad for thinking it, but I can’t help it either.  It’s double sided coin. I am excited, happy to welcome this poor stray boy into our home. But I am also feeling a little bit… uppity about it. My girls and I have JUST worked out our differences, JUST settled into a happy, healthy relationship. And now it’s going to change. Not sure how it will change – I think most of the resistance will be from Azzie. She thinks she’s top dog, and she’s very demanding and likes to be center of attention. Gina is just so gentle and laid back she doesn’t mind what happens as long as nobody causes kak with her. She is, in truth, top dog – but she’s so subtle about it that Azzie doesn’t even realise it :)

Clean slate, fresh start.

Due to some technical issues, I have unfortunately kinda “lost” my old posts and media.

My techno-whiz friend Vanessa (of The Vanessa Macleod Creative Agency ) has done what she can to save my archives (all the way back to 2006!) and they will be available as she gets the chance to import them.

But for now…

It begins again, from here.


So this is my first “proper” post on my new host.

A small update, I suppose, as I try and remember what I last posted about and what has happened since then!

First things first – just over a week ago (Saturday 24 November 2012) my husband and I made the decision to adopt/rescue another Bernese Mountain Dog. She was being moved from foster to foster and was already 7 months old and we wanted to give her a good home.

Her name is Azerenka Victoria – we call her Azzie.

She is a gorgeous girl with enormous paws (larger than a Great Dane’s, actually) and lots of puppy manic energy.

She’s learning fast – very intelligent, like the rest of her breed – but we are in the middle of house training her. Yes, 7 months old and not house trained. She’s from a litter of 11 so she was initially used to fighting for every scrap of food or treat or anything, and she never had her own toys.

She’s come a long way in the week or more that we’ve had  her – no more hoarding of toys, no more snapping at Gina when it came to food, no more panicked hoovering of her food to the point where she can hardly breathe.

She’s calmed down, has learned “sit” and “wait” and “uh uh” and “no” and “good girl” and is happily going in to her crate at night.

She has, quite understandably, quite severe separation issues, but we will work on those once we get her house trained – she’s growing DAILY, literally, and soon she will be too large for her crate, so we need to work on the house training first! Right now my husband are exhausted, as we have to take 2 hour shifts to take her downstairs to pee or poop (or both!)  – slowly extending the time by a few minutes each night. But it’s slow going – we don’t want to have any accidents, so we go backward in our training with her.

Gina has bonded quite well with her – after the initial posturing and figuring out who is in charge – G is starting to stand up for herself (a lot of that confidence is from playing tug of war with my husband – he goes on hands and knees and uses his teeth like a dog) and there is no more tension between them. Sometimes Azzie oversteps a bit, she’s a puppy – but Gina very clearly and quickly puts her back in place, without drama. She’s a gentle soul, our G-Girl, and she’s being every bit the “big sister” – including bad habits! But we’re working on that too.

One thing at a time, and baby steps!

Secondly – SNOW! SNOW SNOW AND MORE SNOW!!! It’s WONDERFUL!!! Bloody cold at night, when husband and I do our shifts taking Azzie down… but I’m still enjoying it immensely! My only issue is that my snow boots don’t do well with lots of water – they handle snow fine – so I get soaked, cold feet when we walk out in the slush, or in the wet grass. Meh. So I’m going through a lot of socks!


Thirdly – due to the new puppy and our tiring schedules with her, husband and I have not been swimming, and I have not been running since we got her :( We can’t leave her on her own yet, as she barks (LOUDLY! She has a HUGE bark) and we don’t want her to be a nuisance. We’ll work on that later. I told husband he needs to go though, on his own. I will give him his training schedule and he must just do it. However, with all the snow and icy weather, the roads (especially the very long, steep hill up to the swimming pool) are pretty dangerous, and Helga sometimes gets so cold she doesn’t want to close her door… Plus, husband is so tired from our up and downs at night that he is just not up for it.

We’re hoping that as we get the time extended between pee breaks, for Azzie, we can start finding a bit more energy for other things!