Behaviour Is Relational or Diva Dog Emerges

The four-footed one spent part of her day running errands.  Errands which happened to be spread across the city so she had to help run those errands in the vehicle.  She doesn’t mind car rides, just not ones with multiple stops.  Especially if those stops aren’t centered around her. Today’s errands were not centered around her, but she wasn’t left out.

I did not go with her on the errands so I got to hear about the adventure afterwards.  Now I should say when she is in the vehicle with me she either likes to look out the windows or she curls up on her car seat, yes she has one, and rests.  Regardless of which of these she does she is very quiet.  At least she is with me.

Beloved said she barked, growled and moaned the whole time.  She refused to stay seated or curl up for a rest.  Instead she tried to bounce around, not that she could in her harness and seat, but she still tried.  Whenever Beloved hopped out at a store or pharmacy, she apparently went into full diva mode.  Beloved expected to come back to the car with glass shattered either from her load noises or people breaking the windows to “rescue” her.   Thankfully that did not happen.

Even when they stopped for her and he let her pick out her own treat the diva mode came out quickly.  As in as soon as the treat was consumed.  She never does anyone this with me. And yes I have the radio on so that couldn’t be the reason, which was what Beloved proposed.

I a it has to do with her relationship with each of us separately.  At any rate the lesson learned today, according to Beloved, is that the angel has lived up to her breed’s nickname of devil dog. The real lesson learned is that she isn’t ready to go on errands with him alone, not yet anyway.

Why Choose A Permanent Pity Party When You Can Choose Gratitude

Sometimes, especially when I’ve missed the signs that tell me I’m not doing enough self-care and it comes down to a friend or loved one insisting that I stop and rest, it’s easy to get lost in the resentment or anger of having to pause.  I know these people mean well and are telling me to slow down because they care about me, but it still reminds me that there is something that makes me different.

The other day was one of those moments where Beloved, after taking a looking st me insisted I go and rest.  At the time I felt a bit off, nothing too bad just tired and achy with a wee fever.  A smart woman would respond to these symptoms and deal with them, but I am not that woman.  After a wee disagreement, I gave in to go and rest with the four-footed one.

Beloved came into the room to take my four-footed one outside and accidentally woke me up, although I wasn’t fully asleep.  I was in that light state of sleep where you could go deeper into sleep or wake up.  I woke up and checked what time it was as I was a wee bit confused.  We had only been resting for an hour when Beloved came in.

By this point my face was proudly displaying the full butterfly rash of very active lupus.  My hands and feet had become very swollen and I was not at my best.  So I went back to sleep leaving the four-footed one in Beloved’s hands.

I was and am grateful to have people in my life who can insist I get proper rest before I realize I need it.  I am appreciative of the fact that I have people in my life who take care of the things I can’t manage all the time.  I’m blessed to have a good medical team and access to medication to help manage my lupus.

I’m grateful to wake up each morning and have some type of adventure, even if it remains only within in the house.  Some days my gratitude is for simpler things, such as the couch, a stocked kitchen and not being in the hospital.

It would be easy to get lost in the negative and throw a huge week-long pity party.  It would be easy to complain and keep a list of what I cannot do.  But why bother with any of that when I have so much to be thankful for, so many people to appreciate and so much gratitude in my life.  Yes I have a chronic illness and yes it has altered my life, but there is still much to appreciate.  Lupus does not run everything in my life and I can choose how to deal with it.  I choose gratitude.

Sounds Of Summer Readiness

Summer is almost officially upon us where I’m living.  That means warm weather, bright sun, lots of being drinking and dining al fresco.  It means wonderful flowers and amazing storms.  It means children out of school and having fun.  It also means the incessant droning of lawn mowers, edgers, leaf blowers, sanders and construction.  These noises are from 8 in the morning until 10 in the evening as long as the weather stays decent.  Day in and day out.

My neighbourhood has decided to get an early jump on the sounds of summer, from loader music to sanders running four hours at a go (decks being fixed etc.) and sometimes you can’t even hear the birds for everything else. I wouldn’t mind, honestly, if there was a little less of the noise and more of silence.  Today has been one sander after another being used on a deck a few houses up from mine.  The sanders are accompanied by the random banging of hammers against wood.  For background noise I have a little loader running back and forth in the alley delivering dirt and dropping it in piles.

i understand people want to get everything done so they can enjoy their summer outside.  I get it and confess to being guilty of the whole lawn mower and edger cycle.  But can we all relax a little.  Summer is longer than a week so let’s enjoy all of it from bird song to lovely sunshine, children on their bikes to the distant hum of a lawn mower now and then.  Let’s just not make it an all day every day noise battle!

A Wee Something Just Because or Do The Spoiled Slope We Go

I will not deny that the four-footed one is a bit on the spoiled side, just a touch mind you, but spoiled all the same.  I’ve no one to blame for this except myself.  It’s a slippery slope where you think we’ll she could use a stuffed dinosaur and that’s about it.  But then she loves the dinosaur so much and it survives her most destructive behaviours so surely she needs the dragon from the same company as well.

Yes my dear friends it really is that slippery and it happens that quickly.  And it’s not just stuffed toys with delightful (if you are her) squeaky noisy things in them.  Oh no, it becomes a few different treats for training, which at some point slide into a treat because I’m having a human treat.

Of course we aren’t on this journey alone.  Oh no Beloved comes along bringing new toys all the time as “just a little something for the wee pup”.  And the training food/occasionally treat suddenly becomes a means to ensure she comes to him.  Which pretty much means that currency she believes everyone should be carrying treats in their pockets for her.  She has been known to pout upon encountering someone who is lacking in the treat department.  (This whole thing puzzled Beloved until we accidentally washed a small plastic bag full of treats when his jeans went in the wash.  Up until this moment he seemed oblivious to the fact he always has dog treats in his pockets.)

Needless to say I currently cringe when people come for a visit because my spoiled, and much-loved pooch is anticipating “just a wee something”.  So we have to work on this, when I get the energy to do it.

Walks, Water, What More Could A Dog Ask For

The four-footed one has discovered the joys of a sprinkler on a hot, sunny day.  Specifically the joys of running through the cool water.  Now if only she’d learn to enjoy it in her own yard rather than stranger’s!

It started with a slow stroll on a lovely afternoon.  Plenty of water for both of us, we each have our own, very different water bottles so there is no confusion, and sunscreen for me.  Not a huge walk and certainly nothing that prevented us from stopping to smell all the different flowers out in bloom.  We were basically enjoying our time, smelling the flowers, listening to the birds and enjoying each other’s company.  A nice, peaceful afternoon.

And then she heard it.  The distinctive ticking noise of an automatic water sprinkler.  A new noise that simply had to be investigated in a hurry.  Never mind the flowers or different types of grass to check out.  We picked up our pace to check out the noise and sample the water on the pavement.  Surely this would be enough for us to satisfy our curiosity I thought.

As soon as this thought popped in my head, there was a tug and she was off to run through the closest sprinkler.  Not once, nor twice but several times.  Until she was soaked and a good portion of me was as well.  Before we left she tried to drink directly from the sprinkler because being soaked after running through all that water is thirsty work.

At least the home-owner got a good laugh at her antics from the comfort of his shade, dry deck.

 

Waking Up To Someone New

I woke up face to face with a pink dinosaur with a yellow horn on her nose. Peeking around just behind her was a green and purple dragon, his red tongue resting on her head.

I didn’t climb into bed with either of these two.  As a matter of fact I climbed into bed alone, the four-footed blanket weight had curled up against on the bed, but not in the bed with me.  I haven’t slept with any stuffed animals in a number of years.  Perhaps my four-footed companion felt I need additional company.  She managed to sneak them into bed while I was sleeping thanks to medication and such.

Needless to say I was a bit surprised to discover my sleeping companions.  Waking up to someone new in bed who,wasn’t there when you crawled into the bed is shocking and disorienting.  Waking up like that while dealing with the side effects of strong mediation to tame lupus was enough to keep me in my bed a little longer.

Of course when I got out of bed the four-footed one decided the dinosaur needed to come with us.  So we moved into the comfortable chair to do some reading/resting, the three of us.  The four-footed one on my lap with the dinosaur resting on both of us.

Some days you just need a little dinosaur in your life, and if you are lucky, a four-footed companion takes care of this for you.

A Yard To Die For or Gardening To An Early Grave

My neighbor has a yard that is to die for.  Everything is just perfect and neat, always trimmed and never a stray limb from a tree to be found.  Maintaining his of lush lawn, heavenly perfumed flowers, and graceful shrubbery requires diligence, time and a great deal of physical effort.  And it almost killed him, literally.  He suffered a heart attack while uprooting a small juniper the other day.

I didn’t know what happened to him until this afternoon when I noticed it was his wife out dead-heading the flowers and pruning a few branches here and there.  Normally her husband is out and about doing these tasks while humming some piece of classical music.  Naturally I asked after him and she told me he had suffered a massive heart attack while tending to the dying juniper.

Because I wasn’t home I didn’t hear the ambulance come to scoop him up and whisk him away to the hospital.  Because I was out the following day I didn’t get a chance for our friendly chats about how the welfare of my plants.

The cardiologist told her that whatever he was doing in the way of yard work had to stop.  Gardening should be calming and soothing and yes even healing.  The need for perfection and order was creating too much stress, add to the mix heavy manual labor in an older person and, according to the cardiologist, you have all the ingredients for the perfect storm of a health crisis.

My yard is not one to die for. The grass is cut and edged, he flowers are cared for, but not dead-headed.  I like the way the branches from my small tree are randomly poking about here and there.  In other words I will never win a medal for a perfect oasis of a yard, but I also will get to enjoy my yard without working gardening myself into an early grave.  Nature provides her own version of perfection and we have a small agreement about this.  Nature agrees to help me with the watering (I’ve been known to forget this stuff) with I keep the lawn cut and let her do her own brand of artistic expression.