Let it go

I had a moment of deep disappointment yesterday: it’s been over 4 months since I did the photo shoot for the military working dogs and their handlers and I’ve not heard a word from them. I mailed the “liaison” a number of times (on both email addresses he gave me) and sent him the link to the photos, and asked for suggestions for their calendar and photo book. In that time I also created a DVD with all their images on them, and told them I was happy to get anything printed that they wanted to put up in the office. I also spoke to the base PR person, and he said he would get back to me when he got back from leave. Nothing. I sent him more mails, he said yes he would get RIGHT back to me, he said he loved the photos! STILL nothing.

Weeks went by – no response. I mailed again – simply asking for favourites from the handlers now, and went ahead and used my best judgement on the calendar selections and created it. I sent them the link to it. Still nothing.

I also saw one of the handlers when he was out with his dog (who was one of the dogs I took photos of!) and asked why I’d not heard anything – he said that the liaison was PCS’ing (leaving the post, leaving the country, changing stations) and hadn’t shown them anything :( I said I’d given someone at the kennels the DVD and he said nope, he’d not seen it. So all the work was for naught. He promised to speak to the liaison, but I still haven’t heard anything.

I got mad. I got sad. I felt miserable. I felt used. I felt invisible.

 

And then… I just let it go.

Let. It. Go.

The only person/thing I can control in this universe is ME. So that’s what I decided. Their loss, their issue, their problem, their choice. My choice is to carry on and look ahead to the NEXT opportunity.

Simple.

Let it go.

 

meh

Been thinking some more about my deadline (Friday) for deactivating my Facebook account (and other sundry peripheral social media accounts) and pondering what would, in fact, be the best option.

Complete deactivation? Or simply a very pared down version – remove all “likes” and peripheral groups that I do not interact with in any way? Check it only once a week, to forward on animal rescue group posters etc?

I know I don’t have a large audience, with this blog, but I know there are some thoughtful and intelligent people who might be able to offer some comments on this matter.  I know of a few people who have bandied about the idea of “quitting” Facebook.

I want to, I really do, but I know I would feel badly that the good work I can do with networking lost/found dogs and dogs looking for loving homes would be stopped. I know of at least 4 cases where my “share” has led to a happy ending for the dogs (and cat) in question.

 

On a completely different tack – I love the clothes that Lucy Liu wears on “Elementary” – I am pondering a “style change” for myself – I’ve been “this way” (whatever _this_ is) for so many years I don’t even know what I was like, style-wise, before. Of course, the head injury doesn’t help with my recollection of my past. I simply.. CANNOT remember.

I know I borrowed clothes from “friends” – because I could never afford to get my own clothes, and I wore a lot of handmedowns. But other than that – I have no recall of that time.  Probably a blessing in disguise, right? I did, after all, grow up in the eighties.

Thankfully, I know I couldn’t AFFORD to be trendy, so my fashion sins are fewer than my acquaintances.

 

On another note: IT’s SNOWING!!! FINALLY! Been snowing for hours, but nothing is sticking yet, as it’s still too “warm” for that. Hoping it continues overnight, so we can have a nice blanket in the morning for the dogs to play!

Dame Mix-a-Lot

Nothing to do with big butts, promise. Mine is being carefully kept in check by energetic walking and playing with my dogs, 3 times a day, and a run every second day. I’m also going to get back into my yoga… might have to do it in a separate room, of course, because according to Berners: if you are on the ground, you are on their turf and they pile on top of you in a big happy furry love flop. Not so nice when you’re trying to go from Downward Dog into Plank etc.

Our Dog Food Adventure unfortunately came to a painful end, after Gina developed a horribly inflamed stomach and colon and was pooping blood and had almost permanent diarrhoea for 2 days. She was so stoic and polite about it, that I don’t really know when the problem started, and only saw that something was wrong when it got that bad. I felt terrible for my poor, gentle girl. But she’s all fixed up now, after 2 weeks of various medications to soothe her stomach and colon lining, to put back the good bacteria in her tummy and some antibiotics to kill any nasties that decided to take root while she was under the weather. I switched her to “sensitive stomach” prescription diet and she is doing impressively well on it. Stomach is settled, good poops, she seems more energetic and full of vim and vigour – but that’s also because the weather is finally turning to Berner weather: icy cold, lots of rain, lots of puddles, mounds of fallen leaves under every tree! Azzie also had tummy issues with the diet I had them on – but nothing as severe. She had ups and downs and it was highly unpredictable which way her tummy would go each day. She also developed an itchy problem. So I switched her over to “sensitive skin” prescription diet and she is doing remarkably well too :) Besides the occasional “dietary indiscretion” which causes some tummy woes, she is in excellent health. The itching subsides during the day, but I think there is something else she is allergic too (besides GRASS, which she LOVES to roll around in when it’s wet!) in the other food or treats that they get, so I’m in the process of elimination now to see when the itching stops – until then, she gets a Loratadine 10mg tablet every evening to help her relax enough to sleep. (Vet approved, don’t worry, and the absolute mildest dose I can give)

So unfortunately, the Dog Food Adventure is over – some dogs do very well on raw diets, some do very well on “human food” diets, but my girls just need to stick to something tried and tested. They are now very healthy, and very happy, and this makes me a happy furry mommy.

What else…. hmmm *thinks*

I’ve put all my items up in my shop again, but haven’t had any clients ordering vintage clothing so far…

I am strangely both happy and sad about that. The perfectionist in me grimaces at the idea that I will get an order and I would not get it PERFECT first time, in time, so I don’t WANT any orders! But the vintage lover and creative side of me says PLEASE! Bring it!

I tried making stuff for myself (I have a fabric stash… *hangs head*) but I just seem to lack the inclination. I did finish a nice wiggle skirt, done in black micro suede, but as usual, I did it “my way” and it came out nothing like the way it was meant to. It’s like when I make for myself, my perfectionist self wanders off to a back room and ignores me until it’s “all over” and she can come out and say “told you so!”

I do want to make some casual tops and some yoga pants, just for fun. I have some GREAT patterns. Some are not “vintage” inspired – they just looked simple and useful.

 

I was pondering trying NaNoWriMo this year. I just wish my brain could stick to one idea. I have so many “snippets” but I just can’t seem to “see” further than the scene that I initially write.

My husband is away, again. I miss him terribly. Very little contact, so it’s very quiet in the evenings for me and the girls.

I read. I watch my tv series. I watch movies.

He might be going away again, quite soon after he gets back from this one.

Not sure how I feel about that yet.

I just take it day by day. Try and fill the hours after sundown.

 

I’ve also, after much thought, decided to go back to being vegetarian. (lacto-ovo, for now, in case anyone cares about the technical stuff) after many years “break” from it.

I initially decided I wanted to be vegetarian at the age of 16. It lasted 10 years, and then due to various things, my diet was NOT up to par, and I became anaemic and under weight and very weak and had terribly low blood pressure (even more so than I normally do) and I finally saw the doctor and she said I _have_ to either fix up my vegetarian diet (which I did not see happening, due to the circumstances at the time, which I won’t go in to now) or start eating meat. I chose meat. Now I will admit that I like the taste of meat – I am a meat eater, no doubt – and that’s not why I chose to go veg last time, nor this time. I simply couldn’t handle the inner mental/emotional battle that I seem to have with myself about eating animals whenever I think about it too much.

I’m not going to evangelise to my husband and force him to come over to the “Veg Side” – we have tofu – this is not an activist thing, or a soap box thing. It’s a personal thing and has nothing to do with him. I will continue making him DELICIOUS food, with meat, and I will also make myself delicious food, without meat. Simple as that. More work, but that’s totally OK. I’ve been eating meat-less for about a week or so now, and I must admit, I feel great. I’ve lost 2 or 3 pounds (the bathroom scale is set to pounds, to help me learn the silly American way :) and the stove is set to Fahrenheit) and I feel lighter. Of course it could be my imagination, the weather, and the exercise :) I’ll take whatever I get, really!

 

I’ve also tried to start incorporating meditation in my day. Just 10 or 15 minutes to start. Some days I forget, or I just don’t “feel like it” – but the days I do make a plan, I feel calmer and more patient (especially with the dogs, and annoying people)

It will take time to reach a proper meditation level to feel any REAL benefits (like yoga) but I know it works, as I used to do it a lot when I was on my own. It would take the form of a silent ride, sometimes, or a walk with the dogs in the rain, with not another soul around, or a longer than usual run with music in my ears and the wind blowing me forward.

I have rediscovered Debussy (not just Claire de Lune) and the dogs and I spent an afternoon relaxing (they were snoring, happily) while we enjoyed his music.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

another hodgepodge

I’ve been doing all these “things” to try to (almost) force myself to blog more… I added myself to a website “circle” all about sewing, I added an author link on G+ and I linked my blog to some other web groups as well…

I’m also still trying to keep the “blogging tribe” experiment going… I did warn them that I am a sporadic blogger, but I really want to be a more consistent one. Not necessarily daily/scheduled but at least more than once a month!

Thing is, I don’t really have that much to blog about – my daily life is routine: get up, take dogs down, come back, make breakfast for dogs, me, husband, get dressed to go, walk dogs, come back, clean house, feed dogs, do laundry, walk dogs again, do more household Domestic Goddess stuff, feed dogs again, chill for a bit, walk dogs, make dinner, chill, take dogs down before bed, then off to bed… and the next day I do it all again.

Right now, husband is away for a few weeks, so I have even less to do, but I am trying to keep up the schedule, for the dogs and to stop myself from vegging out.

So I have set myself a few goals for these 3 weeks of “alone time” and I will do my best to both blog about it and also complete said goals. Or just blog about not completing them. Failure is always an option. I’m a starter, not a finisher.

This hodgepodge post is to “catch you up” to where I am right now: sitting at my awesome (and quite neat at this time) desk, with dogs lolling around in their spots, licking ice cream from their sweet white furry lips. All the fans are going, as it’s heating up already. Going to be pretty warm today (29C) despite the fact that it’s already August and it should be cooling down rapidly. *shrug* Germany has not exactly been “normal” as far as the weather goes, this year. We had snow and negative temperatures, in May, so I’m not really counting on this “summer” to end too soon. The whole week is going to be a scorcher. So husband left one of our air conditioners (the big one) up in the apartment for me, and of course there’s the kiddie pool downstairs and the bath upstairs, to keep the pooches cool. I really need to invest in those cooling mats. I think the dogs would like them. Or a cooling vest. They did well this morning on our walk, though – we stuck to the shade, took lots of little breathers under trees, and I gave them lots of water. Azzie is on the bed – it’s her new favourite place. I worry when it gets quiet though – she really is like a toddler… you’d rather there was noise… or you know they are up to something!  I’m going to go check on her in a second, when I am done with this post.

The Dog Food Adventure is going well. I’m going to bake some eggshells today, and grind them up – a major source of calcium and other nutrients – I’ve gathered quite a large amount. The girls LOVE their “meats” in their meals now. Gina loves the ground beef (93% lean) and Azzie loves her chicken. Azzie eats anything I put in her bowl, but I have to be sneaky with Gina. She has, however, been eating her veggies (carrots and green beans and a small amount of potato) in the stews I’ve made for them. I’ve also ordered something called “Longevity” by Springtime Inc. It’s a powder that you put on their food, once a day, which apparently is so good for them that there are now 19 year old herding dogs running around like 4 year old pooches, amongst other success stories. The Bernese Mountain Dog group that I am on swears by it – especially for big dogs like ours, so I am looking forward to that arriving. It helps to heal previous damage as well – so I am hoping it will help Gina’s back left leg to heal properly. I want to start running with both of them.

Bahrbach Pfad - 3

As for my running – I ran a proper race! Only 5km, but it was my first actual race (for myself, not for my school) in over 20 years. I was pretty proud of myself. I ran 95% of the way – only walked (briskly!) up the very long, steep hills, and only for a minute each time. I finished in a time of 33 or 34 minutes (not too sure, as I was so excited about actually doing it that I forgot to start my stopwatch until I was at the end of the first street!) which was a pace of around 6:25 or 6:35… either way, I was pleased as punch for actually DOING IT!  My husband was proud of me too – but he laughed at my time :) That’s ok. My goal was to just FINISH it and finish strong. I sprinted to beat another runner, at the end. Unfortunately my husband didn’t see my epic finish, as he was standing off to the side with the dogs, because they were worried about me “running off” without them. Silly girls. Next time, I will take them with me! So we all need to get fit again. Apparently you can win a prize too, if you are the first to cross the line with your dog!

Rule #1 Cardio - 1 (1)

My sewing has had a pause again – I did complete 95% of a black micro suede wiggle skirt, but I made a miscalculation on the amount of fabric I needed, so it was shorter than planned, and I have to still do the kick split at the back. I will post photos when that’s done. One of my goals in this “alone time” session is to make something new. So I’m looking at my patterns, and my fabric and trying to decide what. I might make a nice comfortable top, or maybe some yoga pants.

I haven’t done yoga in weeks and weeks. Makes me sad. It’s almost impossible to get down on the floor to do anything, without the dogs getting all excited and literally climbing all over me. Gina crawls under my Downward Dog, and Azzie thinks my Bridge pose is so she can sit on my chest. So it’s been complicated. I really do want to get back into it – and that’s another goal for these 3 weeks.

They are doing construction outside our buildings right now and since yesterday we’ve had to move our cars to parking places across the road and quite far down. Annoying, but hopefully it won’t be for long. Thankfully the buildings where I am parked are not full, so there are free spaces still. I left a note on my car windshield so that anyone whose bay I am in can come find me if they need me to move one of the cars. I’m polite like that. Can’t say the same for the rest of the people around here. There is a serious lack of respect for others, sometimes. And, as you know, don’t even get me started on the dogs stuck inside all day. *deep breath* *counts to ten*

So that’s a catch up, for now.

Our Dog Food Adventure

I am part of an excellent and highly informative group who all own Bernese Mountain Dogs. 95% of these people (breeders and just regular owners – not that you could call Berners “regular” dogs :) but that’s another story for another time) feed the BARF (or Raw diet) or what we call “human food” diets.
I’ve been wanting to try the Raw diet for my girls for a while, but it’s complicated and I’ve never really had the time to sit down and work it all out. Plus, being overseas, it would get very expensive, and we also don’t really have space in our freezer/fridge for all the extra meats etc.
However, I DO know that my Gina especially, LOVES eating _real_ food as opposed to dry dog food. We have them both on an excellent organic brand (Castor&Pollux Organix) which they have done well on, but Gina sometimes just leaves her food and doesn’t bother eating it. It bores her, I suppose. So I started trying to entice her back to her bowl by adding some chicken (cooked breasts) and rice (brown they don’t digest so well, but white seems fine) and she tucked in to her food with great enthusiasm… for a while… I still added about half the amount of dry food that I would normally feed, and made up the rest of the meal with chicken and rice. She loves it, Azzie devours it (I have to hand feed her sometimes when she’s really hungry, as she just sucks it all up like a vacuum cleaner) and they both seemed happy like that.
Then a while back we had a braai (bbq/cookout – whatever your culture wants to call it) and I bought them each a large juicy steak. My husband cooked them on the fire (no salt no added anything) and made sure they were rare.
I chopped up the steak into small cubes and fed them each about 5 or 7 pieces in their food.
Gina’s reaction was almost COMICAL in her zeal. She licked her bowl CLEAN. It was wonderful!
So for the next few days they had little bits of steak in their bowls and they were super happy… I thought this was a good time to start thinking about either a Raw diet, or what I’ve read about – the whole food diet.

wholefoods
Carefully balanced meals (“stews” and other things) for your dogs weight and calorie needs, made from “human food”
I downloaded a book on my Kindle – with much recommendation from people in my BMD group – called “Feed Your Best Friend Better” by Rick Woodford.
fybfb

So today: our adventure begins…
With their “lunch” (half a bowl of rice and chicken, usually) I added some scrambled eggs (no salt or pepper or anything else) – just a small amount, to see how their stomachs react, and also to test out their eating reaction :)
Gina, of course, sniffed her bowl and each piece of egg before eating it, but she also finished her bowl and licked it clean (with only chicken and rice, no steak!) and of course Azzie went back to double check there was nothing left over…
Now they are both snoozing in their spots – happy pups.

_RAC6841 _RAC6847

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A good start!

I love my dogs and I want to be sure they are getting a balanced diet filled with all the nutrients and good stuff they need – and I want them to be HAPPY about food time as well. We share everything else with our dogs, why not our (good!) food?
I will be doing my best to keep this adventure updated… so if you are at all interested in feeding your dog Raw/wholefood instead of commercial kibble… keep an eye on this story!

Furry mom moment #656372

We got up at some terribly early hour this morning and got everyone ready to go.

Azzie was THRILLED to go for a car ride – Gina was her usual serene self.

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Open windows for the slow parts of the ride and then we were on the autobahn and on our way.

It’s about a 35 to 40 minute drive and Azzie was finally settled by the time we were 5 minutes out, of course :)

She’s my wild child.

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So we got there early (as suggested) and waited for them to open the doors. Got in first, first in line, so we sat in the waiting room and filled out forms and Azzie and Gina said hi to the other waiting patients and then _kinda_ settled a bit.

I was then asked to go to the exam room with Azzie for her quick vitals check. Gina gave her a nose kiss before she headed off.

Azzie calmed down enough for the tech to check her pulse, but her heart was still pounding from all the excitement. I did tell them she gets very excited and they just need to give her a moment to settle…

I said they need to do all the finicky stuff when she’s out, otherwise they will have a crazy little bear on their hands!

Only thing they can’t do while she is sedated is taking blood… Good luck with that, I told them.

Luckily, they are true professionals with years of experience and the vet herself was taking the blood, so I am not worried. Hopefully they can give her something to calm her before they start all that kind of stuff.

The vet finally arrived (she had been stuck in traffic) and she checked Azzie over quickly and explained what she was going to do, etc.

Azzie was very respectful of Dr Gundel – a little unsure as well. But I have heard great things about the Dr and I was very happy to hear we would have her as our vet. Then Dr G said it was time for me to go and for them to go take blood and get Azzie ready for her surgery. My heart nearly squished its way out of my mouth I had such a sudden rush of fear/worry/anxiety for my precious little furry child. Is that what moms feel like? As Dr G led her away and I walked off down the corridor I felt like crying! It was crazy! I felt so bad for the poor little tyke – head down, tail down, slinking along. She went semi-willingly – there was no lead tugging – so I am hoping she is not too traumatised. My poor baby.

So today I will be keeping my phone close, but hoping that I hear nothing – because that means it’s all good.

We will see her again later this afternoon.

Hope she forgives us!

 

 

 

Quiet days

My husband and I have spent today waiting… the story of what we were waiting for is too long and complicated to go into, so I will just leave it at that. Let me just add: I hate bullies.

We put off a whole bunch of things – just in case we were called. It annoys me when people who should be more responsible about time just brush it off. My husband and I are very serious about being prompt and on time. Usually, we are early for everything.

But anyway…

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While we waited,and during the quiet hours of the quiet day, we played games with the dogs – we just finished a game of “find it”, where my husband hides some pieces of chicken (or any other “high value treat” that your dog loves) around the house, while I kept the dogs focused on me in the kitchen…

It took Azzie a few tries, but she got the idea pretty quickly. Gina, of course, is a seasoned professional at the search game :)

It’s excellent for their minds and it really tires them out. It’s great for when you can’t get out to take them for a long walk, or play outside.

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Gina is already in bed… our bed.

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Azzie is fast asleep here in the lounge with my husband and I. She never strays too far from us these days. These dogs really are “family” dogs. She started out very insecure – not surprising with the way she went from foster home to foster home – but she is growing into a confident, happy young dog now that she feels safe with us. I think she is realising that we are not going to send her to someone else. We are her forever home.
She’s come such a long way.

I would not give either of my beautiful Berners up. There would be violence against anyone who tried to take them from me.

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Strangers in a Strange Land.

I am an Army wife. I live on an Army post with my Army husband.

He is American. I am not. We live in Europe. We are both foreigners here, except when we are on our little “piece of the USA” which is the little post up in the mountains where we live. Then I am the foreigner. It’s a strange concept to me sometimes, but not a terrible thing. I like being different, and I don’t really need social interaction much, as I live with my best friend anyway! :)

If we were living in the USA, I think this would be more of an issue than it is here. Here, there are many “foreign” wives – wives who are not American, I mean. I have met many German spouses living here – so they are only foreigners when they are on post, like me – and I have met many Russian, Spanish, French, Italian and other European spouses. We (the “foreign” wives) seem to be drawn to each other in many ways. The language issue – not so much in my case, as I do speak English as a first language – seems to be the biggest barrier for making friends with the American wives. Another major thing is the cultural issue. Americans are very different to the rest of the world – it’s not a bad thing or a good thing, it’s just a fact of life – and this stands out very clearly in a place like this. They stick with each other and tend to gravitate toward each other in the same way us “Ausländers” do. Perfectly natural, anthropologically. Trying to explain these cultural differences is very difficult when you can’t see it in person. It’s little things and big things.

The unfortunate attitude toward family pets is the one that gets to me. It’s not everyone, for sure, but it’s an upsetting amount of the military/American population living here. They don’t seem to understand that dogs need space. Dogs need to interact with other dogs. Dogs need to WALK. Dogs need mental AND physical exercise. Big dogs need physical exercise, small dogs need mental challenges and lots of exercise. A large majority of the people living on this post (and I’m told, generally everywhere) don’t seem to get this idea. They seem to think it’s perfectly acceptable to keep a big dog (there are many Golden Retrievers, Labradors, GSD’s that I have seen/heard) in an apartment and only take them out twice a day to pee and poop. And that’s it.

And then they wonder why their Chihuahua is nasty and nippy and attacking visitors, or their Labrador chews on their furniture and shreds their socks, or their poodle is pooping on their bed, even after going outside. It boggles my mind that, despite so much evidence for exercise and social interaction as a correction for this, they just don’t see this correlation. It actually pisses me off. I offered my services, when I first arrived, to walk dogs for people who were just not getting the time (babies, half day jobs, etc) to do it themselves – but I had no responses. It was quite surprising to me! I wasn’t even charging much!

As I said – it’s not all of them! I know quite a few who walk their dogs regularly and take them to the dog park to play almost every day or on the weekends. But they are, sadly, not as many as you’d hope. But, in comparison, I know FAR more “foreign” pet owners (especially the Germans – they love their dogs) who are truly dedicated to the well-being of their pets. In fact, I don’t think I’ve met ONE foreign spouse here with a dog, who I have not seen out walking with them daily.

Of course the rest could just be inside and I’ve never seen them because they never get out! *shrug* I am open to convincing arguments…

The number of pets (cats, dogs, rabbits, you name it!) that are abandoned on army posts when the family leaves, is disgusting. It’s not surprising that the local rescue centres and adoption agencies generally won’t ALLOW Americans to adopt animals from them. They refuse. If you are in any way affiliated with the US military, they won’t let you even look. They’ve had enough of cleaning up after them. This is sad for the wonderful people who DO care for their animals and DO want to make a difference.

The reason I am ranting away is because recently we have been trying to catch a stray dog running around on post. Initially I thought it was a friend’s dog, but thankfully, he is safe and sound still. So this big, stray dog (and he’s most likely a mountain dog, like mine) has been “loose” for about 2 weeks or more now. Sightings have him looking thin, bedraggled, matted and dirty… and very scared. 2 Weeks and there have been no posters put up (and you CAN get permission for a lost dog poster) nor any postings on the local animal support websites or Facebook pages (and there are quite a few) and the MPs have only now gotten involved because someone actually piped up and said she’d seen him digging in the garbage and was worried for the poor boy and she posted this on our local animal support site. So now that more eyes are involved, the search and rescue operation is now in full effect. But, TWO WEEKS? How can any caring soul have just done NOTHING when their dog went missing? They could have told neighbours to be on the look out, or told the MPs, or asked for an email to be sent to their unit to keep an eye out.

If it was intentionally left out, so they didn’t have to deal with the cost of flying him/her home to the US, what does that say about them? How does a HUMAN BEING make a conscious decision to just abandon a trusting, loyal dog? Or their cats (so many are just left in the buildings, or in the stairwells, or just kicked out into the cold completely) and even rabbits? German animal shelters are no-kill shelters. Surely they could have tried taking the dog to one? The Germans won’t refuse any animals if they have space. If they are full, they suggest somewhere else. They _love_ their animals and they are RESPONSIBLE for them through their whole lives. There’s a sad lacking of that in the military community. Everything seems to be disposable. And that’s very sad, to me.

Once again, it’s not all of them – but it’s a scarily large number and it breaks my heart. It gives the good military people (and that’s 90%, seriously) such a bad reputation and it makes things difficult for them to do any good.

Ok. Rant over.

I just needed to get that off my chest.

My thanks to all my friends (foreign and “domestic”) who love and care for their animals – AND other people’s animals – and are trying to do the right thing, always.

I hope we can catch this poor bedraggled pooch before it’s too late.

Jetlag, notions, exciting times ahead

I have to say I am so incredibly excited about what’s to come in my business life…

Just before we left on our holiday, a wonderful lady got in touch with me via my Etsy shop saying that she had found my shop and was very keen to strike up a mutually beneficial relationship: seamstress and serious client.

She is looking to get one or two new items every season, and LOVES the idea of her garments being tailored to her exact measurements (she struggles to find well fitted items, just like I do, for our “vintage” body shapes) and even better: SHE LOVES VINTAGE!!!

So we’re in the process of ironing out the details and I am going to complete the dress I started (before Azzie arrived and put everything on pause while we trained her and settled her in with our beautiful Gina) a while back and start putting up photos of it (with images of the detail work, as best as I can show it) on my Etsy site and this website. She is busy purchasing vintage patterns for things she wants made, and is also sourcing fabric and notions for them all. She’s also had some interest from other people she knows and they will see how our first collaboration turns out…

I am so nervous, but so thrilled that this chance has happened! It’s exactly what I was hoping for, dreaming of, and I am keen to get started and show my skills and attention to detail and my meticulous nature at work…

In other news:

Azzie has settled in nicely, and her training is coming along very well. Gina has taught her some very good lessons in behaviour and strangely, Azzie has even managed to show Gina some things (not all bad, either!) as well. The time they spent together at the pet hotel (2 weeks) has also brought them a little closer together, and you can see they are starting to form a good bond: Azzie just needs to learn to calm down, as Gina does not like a “stressed” or overexcited dog. No dogs do, really. Azzie has, however, come a long way and we are very proud of her. They have both stuck by our sides since we picked them on Monday and you can feel the love (and relief I suppose – I think perhaps Azzie thought she had been dropped off yet again, at another foster home, so she was even happier to see us than Gina – if that’s possible!) coming from their big beautiful eyes. You can tell that Azzie is doing her absolute best to be on good behaviour, and please us as best she can. She’s growing up into a sweet dog. Gina has grown up in a matter of weeks too… It was her 4th birthday on the 27th February (a few days before we picked them up) and she’s definitely left the “pup” days (even for a Berner) behind her. Luckily, Azzie is still keeping her a happy girl by forcing her to react in a puppy like way to her antics.

They were pretty unfit so we’ve been trying to take it easy, but also get them back into a routine for their walks. So they are both pretty exhausted the last couple of days…

 

A mental raccoon moment

*rustle rustle*

Hello :)

I realised I haven’t posted in a while and I wanted to gather myself a bit and put down my thoughts from the last few weeks.

 

* Azzie is coming along very nicely. We seem to have sorted out her tummy issues with careful application of 100% pure pumpkin for when it was very bad (yes, I will swear by it) and boiled chicken and plain rice (white or brown, it doesn’t matter – they both work) – first as total meal, and then adding her dry food very slowly. Now she is eating her full portion of dry food, but still with chicken and rice (just a little bit) which I am slowly removing, once we know her stomach is completely settled and stable.  I think they both got a bug, which they passed back and forth between them for a few days. So I washed all their toys, bowls, Kongs and bedding and blankets and it seems to have gone away… We’re taking it slow, and we’re sticking to one brand of food, too. I don’t think our search for the “right brand” helped her puppy tummy, either.

As far as her training, manners, behaviour are concerned: we are impressed. She sleeps through the night, no issues and she is learning very fast. They are highly intelligent, these dogs, and she’s definitely on a par with Gina, despite her young age. We’re working on a few bad habits (that she picked up from Gina as well) with both of them, but we see progress every day, so it’s a positive thing. I’m trying my best to use positive training – but I would say I use a mix of it. I’m not 100% positive reinforcement, as much as I would like to be.

I adore Azzie, and I am learning to love her (I will admit we butted heads a lot in the beginning and we still do sometimes – she’s very stubborn) but I must say that it was much simpler with just Gina. She and I were tight. Close. Amigos during the day and when husband went away. I just hope she doesn’t feel like she’s been usurped by Azzie, because I still love Gina far more – that’s being honest. I don’t dislike Azzie – not in the least – and I wouldn’t want to lose her now – she is part of our family and we stick by her through everything –  but I think that it was such a huge undertaking, such an enormous jolt to our quiet little lives, when she arrived, that my … id? my ego? my… nature?… something… it’s still settling. She’s only been with us just on 2 months now. It feels like forever though – and not always in a good way, to put it bluntly. I was so used to my calm, gentle, well-behaved G-Girl, that it was just an attack on my senses: this wild, stubborn, enormous pawed, white toothed monster who took whatever she wanted, ate everything, lay where she wanted, didn’t listen to anyone, pushed Gina around and jealously destroyed toys that Gina had had for years if we paid too much attention elsewhere. At least _that_ has eased off.

She is lovely though, and her personality is finally emerging and she’s calming down and settling in with us and I know she is happy now she has a family too – and I would never take that away from her. I would never want to! She grows on you :) I am sure that in a years time we will look back and laugh (and sigh in relief) that all this “crazy” is over and she’s a sweet, kind,  gentle, CALM, little munchkin – like her big “sister” Gina.

* More snow! We’ve had a few days of snow now, and apparently a few more to come… which is awesome, as I love the snow and so do my dogs! Husband is not so keen, but he knows the dogs love it, so he grumbles less when he takes them out and they play around like hooligans in it :) You can’t help but pick up on their enthusiasm for the weather… it makes you smile.

* My sewing should pick up again as soon as my sewing paper arrives – tracing paper for patterns. I tried wax paper and it worked, for one brand, but every other brand I tried is too slippery to write on, so I had to give that up and just buy proper stuff online.

My material for my pencil/wiggle skirt arrived, so I can’t wait to start on that either.. that should (SHOULD – without puppy interruptions, of course) be a one day thing, maybe two. I just really want to COMPLETE something now… I’m tired of sitting here in seamstress limbo…

Starting with this one Just need some snaps

 

* I was asked to take photos at another military ceremony (a promotion for an awesome man and great officer) recently and I was honoured to be asked. Photos came out well, despite my Speedlight giving me issues. I know that I have grown as a photographer, when something like that doesn’t phase me and I still manage to get the job done! The Viper Pit has honed my skills, for sure.

* I’m missing home terribly, recently. My friend Steph says it’s probably because everything is settling into a “normal” routine here, and I finally have come down to earth and feel the distance because I am no longer focused on other things (my green card, viper pit, school, moving). I miss my mom. I miss my beautiful dogs back home too, and my gorgeous cats. I even miss my brother.

* My husband is moving forward nicely in his school, and I am exceptionally proud of him. He’s almost completed his Maths module and has seemingly discovered a strange love/hate relationship with mathematics that he didn’t realise he had. I think I felt the same at one point, when I was in school, but after my head injury my brain is just too scattered sometimes to focus as one should. I’ve managed to keep up with him, so far, and managed to help him figure out some steps a few times… but mostly I just feel a bit pathetic and lost. It’s a horrible feeling for me – I’m not saying I was a genius before, but it’s times like that when I become aware of how much my thought processes have been scrambled from my head injury, and because I have not had to “use” those processes necessary for mathematics and more “logical” thought (which is surprising, for someone who is, generally, very logical and rational) I seem to have “lost” the pathways necessary for it. I’m very sure that with repetition and practice I would get it back, with new pathways formed in my brain, but I am a little scared that if I try, and it doesn’t come back… I am scared of how I would feel. I would feel humiliated. I would feel “less’ than I was before. I think I avoid “trying” so that I can’t disappoint myself.

That’s being pretty honest with myself. I didn’t think I could put that down in writing. There it is.

I need a cup of tea and a headache tablet.

 

Stay strong, TBI sufferers. There’s always hope, and we have more strength than we know.