Friday, October 31, 2008

Well the Alpha Rich Bitch fired me...sort of. She always pays me on the last day of the month and my check wasn't there today. So I called to ask where it was and she freaked out, accused me of all sorts of things. Now I believe that I should be able to ask a client where my check is without fear of firing. I do a job...I get paid. So she fired me for like the fourth time. Then rehired me for two days a week. After an intial freak out on my part and Mark's assurances that I needn't worry.... So nice to have someone to help!

I've decided this is a good thing. I wanted to volunteer at Echo Glen. This is what they do

Echo Glen is a coeducational juvenile correctional program for adolescents between the ages of 11-20. Echo Glen serves the youngest male offenders and females with special needs. The Canine Connections Program continues to be a strong therapeutic component at Echo Glen. We pair residents at Echo Glen Children's Center (at risk youth) with unwanted dogs. We give them an opportunity to experience responsibility, patience and conflict resolution skills, promoting emotional development. We provide skill building, educational, and vocational opportunities in kennel operations, grooming, vet tech. and training. Our residents continue to compare the dogs to their life--unwanted, negelected, abused and locked-up but involved in training and treatment. We consistently observe the youth transferring the cognitive behavioral skills taught to them by their counselors to their work with their dog. The student handlers are the dogs counselors. They write treatment reports and plans. It is our belief that this process only enhances the youths commitment to change. Participants learn to utilize behavioral therapy methods of positive reinforcement in shaping their dogs behavior. Canine Connections is a part of the Snohomish County 4-H dog program and is a part of the Issaquah School district. Students maintain 4-H journals and participate in the county dog program requirments. Prior to adoption, handler and dogs complete the AKC Canine Good Citizen and basic Obedience Test. Dogs are typically maintained in the program for 60-80 days. After this intense interaction with the student trainer, the dogs are "parolled" to permanent adoptive homes. The student/trainer conducts the exit interview with the new adoptive family, explaining the dogs background, training methods and offers advice in caring for the dog. The student trainer experiences a sense of accomplishment in a job well done. This interview helps in the "letting go" process for the handler. Research has shown that the bond between an animal and a human can have significant lifelong benefits for both. This program is a Win-Win for both students and dogs. The Canine Connections Program is committed to fostering this bond and achieving lifelong benefits for the juvenile offenders and dogs in their care. Canine Connections is a non profit agency relying on grants and private donations.

I couldn't do this before because she took all my time and I felt weird about that. I wanted to do something good with my time and I was babysitting rich dogs. So right after she fired me I emailed the program and now maybe I can.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

My Routine
Mark and I have a routine practically every night and I never realized, until tonight, how used to it I am. See he goes to bed very early around 8:00 or 9:00 and I go to bed around 11:00 or 11:30. He goes and I have an orgy of stupid television...Project Runway, Tim Gunn's Guide to Style, Stylista, The Real Housewives of whatever city, Top Chef, America's Top Model...well you get the idea. Mostly it's Wednesday night's.
Well it's 10:20 and he's still sitting here and it's bugging me. I can't stretch out and have control of the remote. I don't watch these when he is around because he gives me a running commentary on how dumb he thinks they are.
Still he sits. Twice now he's said he's going to bed but he's not..grrrrrr. The funny part is i get annoyed when he goes to bed so early too. So here I sit half annoyed but would never dare say anything because I've bitched when he leaves me so early. Sigh I am such a woman

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Monday, October 27, 2008

Baba and Grandy

Kristen your post made me think of this...

This is my Grandmother Barbara and Grandfather Hal, Baba and Grandy. He's been gone for several years now at the age of 97. It was time I think when he left. He had dementia and was incarcerated on the Alzheimer's ward at "the home" (their words, not mine) right before he died. He was constantly trying to escape. The famous story is the one my Aunt tells of visiting him, driving away in her car only to look in her rear view mirror to see him trying to climb the chain link fence. As you can tell he did climb Mt. Rainier. Maybe he thought he was there again. When he died we really weren't all that sad. He was very old, a bit cranky and didn't really know who we all were. it was time.
Unfortunately now I think it may be her time. She will be 100 at the end of January. Already the planning for the big celebration is starting. The emails, the "who's house are you staying in" etc. I however don't want to go. I'm sure this will make me the (again) black sheep of the family. The thing is that she has stopped eating and drinking and says she wants to go....I respect that. Her eyes don't work, she has no appetite, she can't sleep, can't hear and worst can't paint anymore, the thing she loves.
My Aunt has apparently had a conversation with her about what will happen if she continues on this path and my mom is pissed. She doesn't want my Aunt to talk to her about this, says it's like "assisted suicide" and is gunning for a fight with her sister. I agree with her but I think maybe her mother has found comfort in the fact that someone will talk with her about this. I think she should leave it alone. Her sister has spent the last ten years caring for their mother giving my mother the opportunity to live the life she does unfettered by her mother. Personally I think her sister should inherit all and after their mother dies be free to live her life knowing she did the right thing. I told my mom this and she disagrees.
So I don't want to go to a "party" with familial in fighting and an old sick woman who may or may not remember me. I did it with my father's mother and I hate that memory. I would prefer to think of her as she is in those photos young and beautiful.....but Ohhhhhh will I be in trouble:)

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Buster Cube

This is hands down my favorite dog toy. Actually it really isn't a toy it's more a puzzle. Since Lola was a very small puppy she has been eating her meals out of her buster cube. We had to take a short break when we lived with Hank

This is Hank. Actually he isn't this bad, it mainly amuses me to put up this picture. I LOVE moment in time pictures. Those pictures that happen by accident. Anyway Hank id some resource guarding over his food so I had to put the cube away.

So Lola ate all her meals out of the Buster Cube and loved it as you can tell by the video. I highly recommend these to all my clients. I believe it helps with boredom and makes mealtime more interesting. See dogs eat unnaturally with us. Animals hunt down, stalk, run down and then kill their prey. We just hand them a bowl and tell them to have at it. These toys stimulate and entertain them in a way a bowl of food cannot.

So it's called a Buster Cube and you fill it up with their kibble. At first when they roll it the food comes out very quickly but then it takes more rolls to get the food to come out. The only issue I have with the cube is that it can be very noisy. I would wake up many nights to hear it clunking around the house. Apparently there is something called a "Tricky Treat" ball that has soft sides but I have not tried it yet.

So to help entertain your dog get a Buster Cube:)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A Day in the Life

Okay starting from 7:30 in the morning up til 2:00 here are all my dogs. The first one (above the title) is on my street before leaving for work.

The famous Puggles and Louie:)

I was speaking their owner in this one. Realize now I talk baby to dogs. (note to self....stop that immediately)

Nora and Tango. Tango is a JRT who just came back from California after a long absence. He was sent there after almost killing two neighbor dogs. The neighbors yell at me for walking him. I can't quite make them understand that he isn't my dog and if they have any beefs they should take it up with the owners

This is Parker, he lives on Cougar Mountain. Up there I have encountered a Bear, Deer, Coyotes, Raccoons and even saw a Cougar print. I figure if one ever comes at me the dog will hopefully keep it busy while I run:)

This is Gizmo. He is 15 years old with no teeth, is deaf, partially blind, incontinent, has congestive heart failure, kidney problems and a fistula going from his nose to his mouth. He sometimes bites me if I startle him awake. His owner got him from one of her AIDS hospice patients who could no longer care for him. I charge much less than for all others because I think they are doing a great thing for caring for him in his old age.

That's a day in the life of dog walking. I do a lot of training (this is only in the morning) but those clients are temporary and I don't feel comfortable recording them. This is what I do. Lots of dogs huh? I wouldn't trade it for anything;0

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Hmmm all you guys ae comfortable speaking on camera me not so much :)

My first video. I got my Mino Ultra today:) So I have not quite figured it out yet...hence the lame little video but I will so watch out!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Queer Eye for the Straight Guy
I found a repeat of this on Bravo, my favorite network. I love this show! Actually I love all makeover shows or shows that have makeovers in them, always have. Extreme Makeover where the ugly ducklings become beautiful swans...even "The Swan" where they get all gussied up and then compete in a beauty pageant. The Biggest Loser I could go on and on. Something about seeing the joy in those people eyes when they see their new faces and bodies chokes me up.
I will admit it's kind of a guilty pleasure because I'm pretty sure none of it is a good idea. It just reinforces the idea that a persons value is solely wrapped up in their looks. I find myself falling into that belief myself. The funny part is I only have really high physical standards for myself, ones that I am constantly reaching for and falling short. I really don't care what those around me look like...I probably wouldn't notice.
You know how people say people notice, hair, clothes, figure? Well I don't. Sure I would notice extremes...very fat, very thin...manolos vs keds but all the in between I just don't notice. Mark talks of gaining weight and I'm like huh? Mark is just Mark and ten pounds wouldn't change that for me. Yet I worry that my ten pounds will change it for him.
So I'm not sure that these kind of shows I love are good for us. Physical perfection is a pretty lofty goal and pretty much unattainable. I can recognize this at my ripe old age but can everyone?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I need to crank about this whole remodeling process. See I can't crank to Mark because he seems to think I'm complaining and feels the need to remind me how hard he's working and how great it will be. I know all this and I think everyday how lucky I am to live here with him. Plus I know how absolutely fabulous this house is going to be when it's all done. I am a lucky lucky girl. I wouldn't change a thing.....well....except I'd make the house done...NOW!
I've never lived in a house while it was being remodeled and really didn't realize how big pain it is. I kind of feel disorganized and messy all the time. Those that know me well will say I am hyper clean and organized and they can't believe I'm living like this. Since January I haven't really had all my stuff in one place. Some is in storage, I had some in a crappy apartment I lived in for 5 months...well my stuff lived there I never did. Some was at a friends house and some is here. So finding anything is difficult...ok impossible. I used to have office space for my business but now I have a laptop on the coffee table, a filing cabinet on the porch and a printer that is constantly in different place.
I don't have a closet my clothes are either in storage or crammed in one dresser, ONE! I'm a girl for cripes sake. The bathroom has no walls and no storage. My kitchen has no counter space and four refrigerators (don't ask). You have to manually turn the gas on and off at the source when you cook.
There are only three vents in the house that work so in one room you freeze your butt off and the other rooms you sweat. I'm kind of surprised it doesn't rain between the two rooms. The dining room table is in the bedroom along with the chairs. Plastic is our doorways to the outside and it's getting cold. Oh and none of the lights work so now that it's getting dark early you have to take a flashlight to maneuver between rooms. As well as the wall outlets, extension cords are my friends.
Ok that did sound like complaining I guess. But can't I know that it will be great, appreciate the work he does (I SO do) but stil not like the slightly disjointed feeling this gives me? I want light and heat and a bedroom without a table....sigh.

Monday, October 13, 2008

So instead of Kilimanjero we've decided on a new vacation!! God I'm thrilled. We are flying into Milan spending a day or two there. Renting a car and driving to Lake Como. Then driving down the coast hitting Monaco, Nice and ending up in Barcelona. So has anyone been to any of these places and do you have any hotel advice? I used Frommer's almost exclusively for our trip to Peru and our transportation and hotels turned out perfectly. We like clean but we aren't resort type people. It can be Motel 6 in Europe, that's fine. Help!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

A Good Day
We had a good day today. I managed to talk Mark into taking the day away from the house and we drove to Roslyn for lunch. Toured the Suncadia resort...$900,000 for 1088 sq feet? Then drove the forest service roads to Stampede pass. When you get to the top the mountains are covered with power lines that snap and crackle. Here is Mark at the top. Hope your weekend was as good!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

The Election

To my blogging friends,

I guess the reason I defended the position that her picture is unretouched is because I'm becoming conscious of the enemy is always wrong mindset. You see I've always had a problem with that concept. Mostly when it came to religion...why is "our"religion the right one? Or even war...doesn't the other side think they are as "right" as we do? Isn't their cause as important to them as it is to us? In times like this I become hyper aware of this and try not to dismiss the other parties concerns because I don't like them. Maybe they have a point. It isn't completely out of the realm of possiblity is it? I do think Newsweek made Obama look slightly Christ-like with the glowy head thing. Personaly I think Palin's picture is fine but I do think that if the standard is to retouch extreme close-ups (especially of women, let's face it there is a different standard...we aren't allowed to have pores or hair. ) and they didn't then maybe they do have a liberal bent.
Not that there is anything wrong with that... I have a liberal bent. And for the record I do not like her or McCain, will not be voting for them but I think they sometimes they may be right.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

I realized I left out Aknot our Himalayan. Here he is with his weekly catnip dose :)

The Media

I have several blogger friends who are members of the media and we frequently disagree. Not in a bad way (I think) I just don't feel the same way they do on certain things. One of them recently posted on how he disliked the "blame the media" mentality and I said I disagreed. But maybe that isn't the right way to put it. There are some things I don't like about the media and in the interest of not taking up their comment space here they are....

The rush to judgement regarding people who are accused of committing crimes. Maybe calling Nancy Grace media is pushing it, maybe she is entertainment, but I find myself really shocked and offended by her show and viewpoint. It isn't just her but she is the example I will use. If there is a crime committed she decides her opinion, tells the whole world and will not listen to anyone. I wonder how these people can ever get fair trial with all the media coverage. How can they get an impartial jury? These pundits can make it seem as though there is no argument and they know the truth. Oh and this 4 month long Caylee Anthony thing?? Please why does this inflammatory woman still have a job?

The omission of huge stories because they aren't sexy enough. Cable news spends a huge amount of time reporting on whether or not Britney is wearing underwear and largely ignores Darfur. That's criminal. We switched to BBC news in the morning just to feel informed about global happenings. None of the American stations made us feel that way.

I have been arguing ad nauseum with a friend about how I believe the media makes mountains out of molehills. We watched a story about all the nooses being left on campuses around the country and the anchor called it "horrific". The next day the same anchor was reporting on a murder and called it "unfortunate" What? Now I agree lynchings are horrific. Hate crimes are horrific. Slavery was horrific but a noose left by a 17 year old drunk college student is NOT horrific it is something that should not be given that level of attention. Attention is what that idiot wanted and he got it. So did the three other idiots who left nooses following him/her. Report the big stuff.

The lumping together of all evils. Calling a slip of the tongue racism . Or labeling a stereotype racism. I think racism is a horrible thing. I also interpret it as trying to harm or hold a group of people down for their differences. I don't put telling a mildly offensive joke in that category. Again the action does not deserve the slightly hysterical reaction. I train dogs. I tell people that while dogs like positive attention if they can't get it they will settle for negative attention. That the best way to make an offensive behavior go away is to ignore it. Now if the behavior is dangerous or destructive of course you should address that but the small stuff? Let it go extinct. Don't let it be self rewarding. The best action is no reaction. It's no fun to jump on a person who isn't reacting. Sometimes I think that people in your line of work have to be so careful with their words that it reaches ridiculous levels.

That's my opinion guys...Go! Get me :) I still like you

Sunday, October 05, 2008

This is hands down my favorite Lola picture :)

Saturday, October 04, 2008

This happened to me when Lola was a tiny puppy. She weighed about four pounds and I had a regular human sized baby gate up in my bedroom doorway. I was down the hall in the laundry room when suddenly she appeared next to me wagging her tiny tail. I never quite figured out how she did it but I can see by this video it can be done:)

Thursday, October 02, 2008


This is Newton. He is a HUGE Persain cat. I'm not entirely sure how much he weighs but he is a weighty cat.

Here he is next to Lola who weighs about 20 pounds. They look the same don't they? Newton is my companion for the evening. Mark had a bad day at work and came home frazzled. I am learning that he is a man :) I've never lived with a man before, swore I wouldn't do it but here I am. I've learned with this man he sometimes needs to leave and have me not follow. As a woman I want to talk it all out...he doesn't he wants to retreat sometimes.
So Newton is my couch partner tonight. I'm learning about cats too. Who knew a cat could have room clearing gas? Hmmmm learning a lot tonight....yup. Boys, cats and gas....yup. Good times