WOOOOOWEEEEE

HO-LEE-CRAP it’s windy out there! I felt like I was back home in Cape Town, doing a working ride with Mandy on the horses! Just _walking_ along relatively flat ground (just a few hills) was exhausting! Even Azzie was tired! Both dogs just plopped down immediately when we got home. I made their food and set it down for them and Gina just looked at me and rolled over onto her side – too tired to eat. Azzie ate a little bit but she was also tired and went and hopped onto the couch in her towel and fell asleep straight away.
And we got soaked – along with the gale force winds, came heavy rain.
Didn’t take any photos – it was just too wet and cold and windy to bring my phone out.

Hopefully they will now settle for a few hours and we won’t have to go out there again for a while!

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.

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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 :)

rain, rain and more rain

Last two days have been cold, very windy and POURING with rain.

Makes walking the dogs a bit of a mission, but they’ve been great about it. Medium length walks in the morning and then short 20 minute walks during the day – just for a piddle, poop and sniff.

Azzie does NOT like rain in her face, so she’s been easy about going back home :)

I’m hoping they’re relaxed enough after this morning’s walk to just chill for a bit. I really don’t feel like going out there again any time soon! G didn’t poop on the walk, but she can hold it a while – she’s good about that.

No word from the lady in Ohio about fostering Odin, so it’s pretty much settled that he will be coming here in the next week or so.

I’m nervous, but also excited. I want it all to go “right” – for all their sakes. I love my girls, and I want them to be happy, but I also want to change Odin’s life for the better and I know that being part of our family will be awesome for him. He’s the perfect addition and I really hope it all goes well. Going to dose myself up with rescue remedy, and try and think like Cesar Milan :)

I’ll update closer to the time, of course, and give a day by day storyline for the whole shebang. With photos. I’m terrified. I don’t know why. But I am also glad for him, and for us, and for my husband.

 

was sitting here and I realised what was different

The time!

Today is the 29th! So now Germany is back on “normal” time – YAY! Seriously. There’s no point to DST anymore. They should scrap it.

I wondered why I felt so unusually rested this morning – I got an extra hour of sleep (thanks to my dogs being so tired after yesterday’s long walk)

Dogs were doing well so I decided (probably ridiculously stupid of me) to give them their marrow bones that they were meant to get on Gina’s birthday back in February – but they were sick, so I held off. They’ve been well for a while now, so I decided to spoil them before Odin arrives, as I only had 2. I was going to wait until Azzie’s birthday mid-April.

Gina LOVES her marrow bones – she sat and stared at Azzie until she was “done” and went to get water and then POUNCED on Azzie’s bone.

I know it will probably affect their tummies, but I just thought it would be nice for them. They’ve not had a marrow bone in YEARS (literally) because they’ve been so sick all the time. But now I have medicine, if it does affect them, and I’ll deal with any issues that might arise, as it was my decision to give them the bones.

Husband called to check in and update me on Odin’s progress. Our “baby boy” (as my husband calls him) is doing very well. He’s a very quiet, gentle and well behaved dog (the vets love him so much he’s actually been allowed to stay there, instead of heading back to the awfully cramped and dirty kennels – for the rest of his time there before he flies – and that’s still being decided as to his destination) and he even takes his tablets without any food or prompting. He’s a very good boy. I think he’s going to be just fine. His stitches come out today as well and my husband says he is much more agile and full of energy – he jumped up onto the stairs instead of my husband having to pick him up all the time.  So that’s excellent news! My husband was also told to pick a birthday (he’s a stray, so they can only roughly estimate his age) so my husband picked March 1st. :) That’s between Gina’s and Azzie’s, so it’s perfect.

Whether he comes to us straight away, or goes to the States first – I am looking forward to meeting the little guy.

 

and then it all changes again

I think I’ve waxed on about this point many times in other posts – military life means that you NEVER EVER know what’s going to happen from one day to the next.

My husband got news last night that his dream career in the army has COME THROUGH! Finally! The paperwork made it, at last, to the right place and got approved. After YEARS of struggling to get this done – being shut down and blocked by his unit over and over again – he finally jumped through the right hoops and crossed the t’s and dotted the i’s and IT’S HAPPENING! (He just told me now, this morning – there were things going on yesterday that made him wait to tell me as he didn’t want to stress me out more than he felt I already was) But of course now this means EVERYTHING changes. All the plans we were making for our travels back to the States are now, once again, in limbo. Does he leave in a couple of months? When does the school start? Where do we go? Or do we have to wait another few months here in Germany? And is it “we” or is it just him? Will HE go back for training and we stay here? Or do we all go together to the training place (not sure where/which one) and then move again when he is done and gets assigned to his new unit?

Plus we will most likely have a third dog, by that point. Odin will, as far as things are going now, be going to join us. It will be complicated – I will be doing the whole thing on my own, as my husband will still be away. And now this?

Interesting times. It’s all an adventure, right?

 

I’m watching Crufts 2015

Don’t judge me.

I watch it every year and every year I get all hyped up watching the agility and think “Azzie and Gina can do that!” Well, at least Azzie can. Gina likes to JUMP things, but not so keen on climbing things, so perhaps she could just do the jumping.

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But now that we can’t go back to the dog park for spring/summer, due to the POOP everywhere and my dogs getting sick from it – not sure where we can do it. There’s only one other dog park (less traffic, so not as disgusting, or dangerous, as the main one) and nowhere else really that is enclosed – which is important when training them.

Ah well. Maybe when we move back to the States we can find a local group, and we will most likely have Odin then as well and I think that kind of thing would be great for him to learn to interact and get his confidence up. But we’ll get to that. We haven’t even left Germany yet! I do get ahead of myself sometimes.

Dogs

Our dogs are doing better – slowly coming right. With no dog park visits their immune systems are becoming stronger and they are feeling healthier and happier (especially Gina) and we’ve been walking further distances and longer durations.

I’m being very careful to keep everything the same and not change anything drastically (or even just a little bit) – they get the same food, the same treats and the same amounts etc. I’m dropping their meal size just a little bit (at the request of the vet – two of them now! My girls are FAT!) each time though, but not enough that they really notice (less than 10%) so they don’t get silly about being hungry all the time. Azzie has in fact curbed her appetite quite well, and I’m letting Gina decide when she’s hungry – sometimes she misses 2 or 3 meals a day – but she’s been very good about eating her breakfast.

We’ve had some WONDERFUL walks the last few days – weather is changing, but thankfully still cool enough for us to walk at our “usual” time and for long durations. Azzie is still working on the “pacing” of her energy usage :)

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In other dog news: Odin (the dog that my husband is “rescuing” from his awful situation) has now been diagnosed and he will be having his surgery (dislocated femur, torn cruciate knee tendon – they are pretty sure he was hit by a car) this week. Will cost a pretty penny, but my husband is adamant that he wants to do this. Then Odin will be flying to the US, to be “fostered” (and while I’m grateful that he will be safe, at least – I can’t say that I wouldn’t be happier with a different situation – but it’s impossible right now for us to take him until we get there) until we move back to the States (just a few months, if all goes well) and we can HOPEFULLY make him part of our furry family. He deserves that much. Of course I know that while my husband says he “shares a special bond” with Odin – we all know who will be walking/feeding/training the dog, right?

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WoRMS and walks and ribs

Was reading an article about the WoRMS catalog (World Register of Marine Species) (http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-31851525) on the BBC, and while I am quite happy about their achievement (finally sorting it all and finding out what was duplication and what really is extinct) I was quite sad that the catalog dropped nearly 50%. I personally do not think that that is everything to find in the oceans. There are still so many places they’ve not gone, because at the moment it’s just not feasible (pressure/depth/light/etc) that I think there’s still so much out there still to discover. Humans need to keep exploring.  Space. The oceans. We are a curious species.

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We also need to TAKE CARE of what we have already discovered :/ But that’s a whole different rant.

This morning was another awesome walk in the gorgeous German countryside. We walked with our buddy Ciara and her pooches and it was ICY cold to start. We had a rant, a chat, some conversations about things that only _we_ get. Dogs were brilliant – well behaved. I think they enjoyed themselves – the company. Their “mini-pack” of awesome. Sun shining, with a few clouds every now and then, crunchy frosted ground, an ice cold breeze, a good brisk hike.

and now – my weird totally NON-body-dismorphic-disorder moment (I don’t have issues, seriously) this morning: I found that, finally, after this latest (HEALTHY) weight loss… I can feel/see my ribs along the BACK of my body now as well. This might seem like a weird triumph, but when you’ve been “just slightly overweight” for a year or more it’s quite a warm and fuzzy moment. And I can see my vertebrae too, at the top of my spine. It’s not skeletal, it’s just there now, when I stretch or bend. It makes me feel like all the hard work is finally paying off and is becoming “visible” and that makes me feel good. This is how I _used_ to look – when I was fit and thin. I’m not bulimic, anorexic or anything else up that alley – I love food, i have a healthy relationship with it. I’m neither scared of it nor angry with it. It fuels me, fills me and keeps me going. Sure, I sometimes eat too much chocolate and pasta is STILL (and always will be) my food-nemesis, but I’m in control and I will never “give up” food. :)

 

Have a nice day!

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What do people do?

This question has flitted into my brain quite a lot during my life.

When I was at school – I wondered what people did during the day, while we were all at school.

When I began working – I wondered what people did on weekends when they weren’t working.

And moving here, being a “house wife” – I wonder what people (other stay at homes like me) _do_ inside their homes during the day. And on the weekends, when everyone is inside and I walk by with my dogs… what are they doing? Do they have hobbies? Are they watching tv? Sitting at their computers? Studying? Playing games? Sleeping? Eating? What do they DO?

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I know I am not what you would call a “normal” example of what people do behind closed doors, so I’ve always wondered. Pondered and thought and tried to catch a glimpse of people through their windows. Not out of voyeurism, but simply to see what “normal” people do with their lives when out of sight of other people.

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What do YOU do?

 

On other topics: The dogs and I had a lovely walk – if a little bit anxious for  Azzie, as there was range fire coming over the hill, but she persevered and while she had an anxious demeanor, with a lowered tail and a worried expression, she did have a lot more moments of happy running around and rolling in the ever dwindling snow drifts left over on the path. Between kabooms, anyway.

 

the quiet afternoon

Finally, the range fire stopped and Azzie could breathe normally, and relax enough on the walk to poop! Poor girl. She was also finally hungry enough to eat something. G ate as well. I thought they would want more when we got back from our second walk of the afternoon, but neither was particularly enthused by the bowls I put out :)

So nice to see Azzie relaxing – able to sleep! She’s relaxing on the balcony with Gina, as well. Much happier. I feel very relieved.

A friend of mine also talked me into starting up the Javascript course on codecademy.com again. I logged in (actually remembered my login after all this time) and saw that I was actually quite far into the course. But I remembered nothing so I started all over again from the start. First part is pretty easy, so I got far quite quickly. Left my friend behind and he’s been on it for months!

And I’m also still busy with my Linux courses – going well!