Fetching Odin and Day One

Day finally arrived and I was a complete nervous wreck. Luckily my friend Ciara was calm and cool as a cucumber and she helped me so much I can’t even put into words how grateful I am.

So we began the long drive in the late afternoon, in my little orange car and headed toward Cargo City. We got updates from my husband on the way (His flight left. He’s landing in 37 minutes. He’s landed!) and when we got to the flight center for the company that did the shipping of Odin (after a rather roundabout run around, dodging 18 wheelers and one way streets: yay Germany – we found the place) we were told we had to wait another 40 minutes for his paperwork to arrive at the flight center. So we went across and waited at the KFC across the road. It was nice to stretch our legs though, after the nearly 2 hour drive. Good traffic flow though – no incidents or staus.

We went back and the paperwork was there and then we were told we had to fetch him at the OTHER cargo center, at the Lufthansa Animal Lounge. I paid the dues, and then we used GPS and followed the signs (because the GPS was very confused – a lot of work has been done in the area and we ended up on roads that the GPS didn’t feel existed – thanks to Ciara’s calm voice and no-drama attitude, we got where we needed to go without getting lost) to Cargo City North. I got another security card for the booms, and we headed up to the admin office for some more waiting and some more paperwork and another round of dues payable. Apparently they felt he had been there 24 hours… I tried to explain his plane had only just landed, but gave up. *shrug*

That finally sorted out, after another 15 minutes or so, we headed down to wait for Odin to be brought out to us (back in his crate – they do take them out though, for a walk around and a piddle break – Lufthansa is our airline of choice when it comes to dealing with animals: they are TOP notch.)

Ciara had a a quick ciggy and took a few photos of me feeling like an expectant mother, waiting for Odin to be brought forth from the Animal Lounge.

DSCN1573I was super nervous, but very excited.

Then out came a gentleman (who spoke NO English) who helped us get him out the crate (he was very gentle with Odin) and then also helped us fold down the crate and pack it in the car. It took a little more space than I had expected, so the comfy arrangement I had on the back seat for Odin didn’t quite work out, but I put down a big poofy bed for him and within seconds he was out like a light. Occasionally stirring to look at me, look out the window, lick something, and then go back to sleep.

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Long trip back, into the twilight (a spectacular sunset) and then into the darkness.

We arrived home around 9pm, finally. I went upstairs to fetch the monsters while Ciara attempted to get Odin out of the car. No go. He was not budging. He was either too comfortable or too scared. So I brought the girls down and told Ciara to hold them while I got him out. She moved off, so they didn’t see him initially. I got him out the car and by that time they could smell him and they were also super keen to see me, as they were very happy and excited I was finally HOME. Unfortunately they were a little TOO excited and they literally dragged poor Ciara OFF her feet. She fell on hands and knees and bashed herself up quite badly ๐Ÿ™ I felt totally awful. She’d been SO helpful and this is how the idiots repay her.

But up she jumped! Bit worse for wear, bleeding a bit, but she’s a tough chick and actually APOLOGISED to ME for letting them go. I was like.. er… WHAT?!

Yeah, so the introduction was not as smooth as I hoped – Odin did growl a bit, but not his fault, as the girls overwhelmed him a bit. Azzie of course barking, and letting everyone know what she thought about all this hoohaah. Gina was sweet though, when she saw Odin was scared. She licked his face and sniffed him gently (including his rather nasty looking scar on his back leg where he had the surgery to fix the femur) and then left him be. Azzie of course does things her way… she sniffed, barked, barged into him, sniffed some more, then snipped at him when he tried to sniff her (of course) barked some more and then I handed his lead to Ciara and took the idiots myself. We then went for a 10 minute stroll just to let them get acquainted and to stretch his legs and for them all to piddle before bedtime.

We headed up to the apartment and Ciara cleaned herself up in the bathroom, applied Savlon (it’s a wonderful cream from my home country – it fixes EVERYTHING) and some plasters (bandaids as the americans call them) while I busied myself settling the dogs. I went and got everything out the car and brought it all up.

I started setting up Odin’s crate then realised they were all probably very hungry so I fed them first. Ciara went home, poor girl. Exhausted and battered. Her dogs were pleased to see her, I’m sure. I fed Odin in the laundry room initially – just to keep them separated, just in case – but he was concerned with where I was and what I was doing, so he ate a bit and then came and looked for me. I was sitting with my girls while they ate, trying to reassure them it would all be ok. Gina ate, but Azzie was on a hunger strike apparently. Too miffed at me for one being away so long and two, bringing home this THING! I made sure Gina got all the food she wanted (she’s not a heavy eater, despite her size) and then I went and sat with Odin while he finished his food. He asked for more, so I gave him the rest of Gina’s. I left Azzie’s untouched and on the counter.

Just for his safety and the sanity of the girls, I put him back in his crate for the night. He was a bit reluctant – can’t blame him. Probably thought he was going to be shipped off somewhere else again! But eventually he went in and settled down quietly and nibbled his treat (he’s very gentle and eats surprisingly slowly for a stray) and was quiet and happy and slept all night through. No incidents in his crate either!

In the morning, I took them down (individually, as usual – Azzie, then Gina, then Odin) and he piddled on the grass (I told him he’s a good boy) and then we went up on the grass behind the buildings and he pooped, finally and I made a BIG fuss of him and gave him a treat. He was very happy after that – full of waggy bodied joy and perked ears. We went back inside, I went down to feed the stray cats (can’t ignore them – despite being utterly exhausted) and came back up and all was still fine ๐Ÿ™‚ I put him back in his crate (and he went very willingly this time, with no trouble) and we all settled down for a nice nap until it was time to get up and go for our morning walk.

We took it very slow and easy (it’s a bit warmer this morning, so my girls were struggling a bit too) and a walk that normally takes the girls and I about 35 minutes, took us almost an hour. But well worth it. Azzie was much happier with him outside and ALMOST played with him on several occasions… remembering only at the last second that he was NOT her friend and she DIDN’T like him (yet…) so I’m hopeful for the future. It’s only Day One.

 

He did very well on the lead! I put his little harness on and he didn’t pull, didn’t hide and wasn’t scared. In fact he was quite happy to wander around from one side to the other (like Gina does) and sniff things. He had fun I think, and the girls got a look at him in the daylight. He was very good with the gate guards too – wary, but fine.

I’m tentatively hopeful. Of course Azzie is the painful one – very dramatic, very possessive of me, and always wants to be center of attention. Gina’s fine – she’s an utter sweetheart. She handles him the same way she did Azzie and Azzie was far more of an asshole that Odin is ๐Ÿ™‚ He LOVES Gina. Wants to walk with her, sit with her and eat near her. DSCN1596 DSCN1595 DSCN1599 DSCN1606 DSCN1609 DSCN1611 DSCN1614 DSCN1618 DSCN1619ย  DSCN1624 DSCN1636 DSCN1638

DSCN1622Everything is going to be ok.

 

 

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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.ย  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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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.

 

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…