Tag: germany

Steps Forward – An Update

Steps Forward – An Update

Steps Forward I felt it was time to have a little update on life in the “milburbs” and things happening. First off – Odin has made some remarkable progress with meeting new dogs and making friends. Besides our friend Max, who is his absolute BEST […]

Two Sides

Two Sides

Heading into winter, my favourite season of the year, there are two sides to it and I embrace both equally passionately: The Cold and Dark, and the Warm and Comfy.  I am just as happy to be out in the cold air, in a dark […]

Adventures in Americaland: Part One

Adventures in Americaland: Part One

The beginning of our Adventures in Americaland aka the USA

The Big Day finally arrived and dark and early on a Sunday morning, we gathered our dogs, our bags and our passports and we got into the taxi and we headed off to Frankfurt airport. Dogs were surprisingly well behaved, despite being tired and anxious. They slept most of the way, as best they could, and there was no silliness from Azzie. She wanted to say hi to the driver, but he was a little wary of her – she’s a big girl. Other than that, no incidents. It was just on 2 hours to the airport. We arrived safe and sound, the sun just starting to think about coming up.

We grabbed some baggage carts and with the help of our very cool taxi driver, got the dogs to where we needed to be. Dogs were excited to be in the airport, with all the people, but generally behaved very nicely. Azzie barked at some other dogs, and at a very scared baggage handler, but other than that – all good. She was all over the place, of course – wanting to say hello to everyone and sniff everything. They were very thirsty too, but we couldn’t give them water as there was no way for them to go to the loo. They were also very hungry, as they’d only eaten the night before, quite early – also because they wouldn’t have a chance to go to the loo before the flight. We did take them for a 30 minute walk before the taxi arrived, in the wee hours – and they all went to the loo. We had to brace ourselves when the time came and we headed away from the dogs in their sky kennels – they were loaded up and there was nothing more we could do, as we had to go check in ourselves (it took an hour to sort everything out for the dogs and we still had to sort ourselves out!) and we were running very close to boarding time.

We were drenched in sweat from all the walking around, as we wore a few layers – it was pretty cold in the early morning when we left Baumholder – so we found a place to freshen up quickly, and then headed through security and customs and got to our gate to board just a few minutes before they called first passengers. We got unfortunate seats (the two middle seats in the middle section) but generally alright fellow passengers on our left and right. Food was good. Flights was VERY smooth (barely any turbulence, thankfully – I worried about the dogs in that) and we got a good tailwind and the flight was shortened by at least 45 minutes, which was great!  Tried to sleep, as I was extremely tired – I never sleep the night before a journey like this – and I think managed about an hour straight, and then about 10 minutes on and off for the next few hours. Watched some movies, some tv shows, listened to some soothing music. Then we landed and we DASHED out as fast as we could to get to our precious fur children.

The dogs did pretty well in their kennels. Only Odin had an accident (but I don’t think it was fear induced, as it was “normal” poop, and he had managed to stay out of it for the flight. It was just a tiny bit) in his kennel, while Gina and Azzie managed to totally fold and bend up their kennel pads – Azzie’s was completely on its side while Gina had managed to fold hers in half and push it up against the door. They were SUPER excited to see us – much whining and yelping from Azzie, and Odin managed a tail wag for us – and after a LONG LONG wait in the “agriculture” line (for live animals etc) we MADE it and headed outside ASAP so the dogs could drink some water and have a piddle and a poop. They were VERY polite and waited so patiently for us. I was very proud of them all. Once they settled outside (which was, thankfully, quite pleasant in the low 20’s Celsius) with me and our extremely helpful airport concierge (I don’t even know what else to call him – he was awesome) Alex, next to the doggy “relief” patch and they had some water and lots of treats (I couldn’t get to their bowls at that point) we waited for husband to go get the rental car. It took a while, as we’d booked it for 4pm and we were out early due to the faster flight time. Eventually, he managed to find his way back to where we were waiting (Atlanta airport is quite confusing!) and we piled the dogs in (after I cleaned up Odin’s paws and bottom after his kennel accident) and loaded up their kennels and our bags, thanked Alex (tipped him well, don’t you worry) and we were off! We got OUTTA there as fast as we could. We found a secluded parking lot nearby and I fed the dogs and we stretched our legs and chilled for a little bit while husband reorganised the bags and the kennels in the back of our minivan. Then we went to find ourselves some food and husband’s first stop was Arby’s! Food was good – of course we were SO hungry by that stage that anything would have worked – and we devoured our sandwiches and gobbled down our water.

We then set up the GPS (my clever husband had already downloaded the maps before we left Germany) and we were off on the 2.5 hour journey to Augusta. Dogs settled in the back – lots of room, even with the kennels and bags) and were all sleeping heavily after just a few minutes of smooth travel.

Husband and I were quite refreshed though, thanks to the good flight (despite being cramped in the middle seats) so we were fine to drive. It was starting to get dark, so the few photos I got were a little blurry after a while, and I gave up. It was full dark by the time we got into Augusta and we tried to find the location of the motel/hotel that I had found online that took big dogs as well… but it wasn’t where it was meant to be…

We drove around, tried a Holiday Inn – they said no, but the kind receptionist gave us the address of the DoubleTree hotel and said that he was 99% sure they took big dogs and more than two of them. We found the DoubleTree with no issues, and yes… yes they took us in. By this time we were ALL exhausted and that bed, and that hotel, shall forever remain in our hearts as the Best Place Ever in Augusta. Three dogs? No problem. Three BIG dogs? No problem. We got a suite on the ground floor, near the entrance/exit doors and we lugged just one bag each up, and the dog food and bowls etc.

I fed the dogs again, just a little bit to prevent tummy issues, and I took them out one final time before bed, for their bathroom break. All good. Then we slept. And slept. And slept some more. Odin and Gina were so tired they couldn’t even make it on to the bed, but fell asleep on the floor and stayed there for the first part of the night. I moved a footstool over to the bedside so they could jump up on the high bed (which was SO COMFORTABLE!!!) and by the time the early morning came (and we were still on German time, remember) all three were on the bed, snoring their heads off, legs in the air. We were up very early, so I took them out, then we all had some breakfast. Husband I took it in turns, to keep the dogs company, to go to the breakfast buffet. It was delicious. I brought the dogs some well cooked bacon, as a treat for being so awesome.

We checked out around 0930 and headed off to the military post to get the lay of the land kind of thing, and then we met the realtor (a British lady from London, weirdly enough) at the little house that was going to be ours.

We are still waiting for our HHG (household goods) so our home is a little “minimal” but we’ve made do and found some awesome bargains at the thrift shop (Microwave AND an awesome set of pots and pans) and we have a very nice blow up bed that husband bought on our first day. Dogs are settling in nicely and so are we.

I think I will stop there for now.

Next part will talk about our trip down to the Real South, the tip of a hurricane, and our awesome car that we bought yesterday (9th) and other little things.

 

A gorgeous morning walk and a little Odin update

A gorgeous morning walk and a little Odin update

A gorgeous morning – still cool enough that the dogs could enjoy themselves, but the sun was out and it warmed up slowly. By the time we got back to the car, it was starting to get quite warm, so we were just in time. […]

I have trouble letting go

I have trouble letting go

Say you picture in your mind, just for interest sake, a thread or piece of string. Then you picture a pair of scissors cutting that piece of string or thread… can you SEE the thread being cut and the two separate pieces? If you can, […]

counting down and a lovely morning walk

counting down and a lovely morning walk

When you spend so much time on your own, you tend to lose track of the days, dates and holidays.
Apparently today is a holiday. “Good Friday”
Which means everything German is closed and pretty much everything American too.
I was going to go to Ramstein to buy some much needed things for Odin’s arrival, but I then thought about it and realised that because it’s a holiday, it would be very busy and I’m not a crowd person at the best of times. So I will go tomorrow and hope it’s quieter.

Countdown to his arrival…. 4 days…
I’m going to start taking my Rescue Remedy today I think. Just to keep me on an even keel until then and when he arrives. For his sake, my sake and my girls.

On the note of our morning walk – absolutely GORGEOUS morning out there – still nippy enough to need my hat and gloves (at first) but the sun is shining and it’s crisp and lovely.
Dogs were AMAZING! Azzie constantly made EXCELLENT decisions (don’t eat that poop, don’t go racing off after the deer, into the brambles, don’t chase that bird, don’t zoomie into the thick brush, once again don’t eat that crap) and was an utter joy. Gina’s tail remained up, and waggy, the whole walk 🙂
What an awesome morning for it.
Both dogs pooped – both excellent.
If this keeps up, I might make it a policy to feed them one marrow bone a week.
But we’ll see how this goes first before I make decisions like that 🙂

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was sitting here and I realised what was different

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 […]

and then it all changes again

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 […]

WoRMS and walks and ribs

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.

clown-fish

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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quietly growing up

quietly growing up

I think Azzie is, very gently, very quietly, growing up… She’s nearly 3 years old, which is apparently when BMD’s reach their emotional maturity (it takes them a long time, compared to most breeds) and she’s recently been … different. She’s calmer in new situations, […]