Category Archives: pets

A Hiking He Will Go

A friend of mine runs a dog hiking business.  At one point in time she also did dog sitting and maybe still does, but the hiking is the really cool part.  I mean isn’t that cool?  She hikes packs of dogs (I’m talking about 8 dogs every day!) Monday through Friday on different trails all over the valley.  I saw some pictures she’d posted on Facebook one day and asked her if she ever hiked smaller dogs. Her reply was that she hikes small dogs all the time and they love it.  Of course they love it; they get to explore and hike off leash with a bunch of their buddies!

So anyway, we started chatting about Jack and she said she would love to take him on a hike and see how he does.  And you know how he did?  He did freaking awesome!  Rob told me to try not to “shoot anxiety out my forehead” when she was on her way over.  Which I didn’t really think was very nice, but it’s true and funny, so I said I’d do my best.  I pretty much instantly felt calm when she came in though. She’s been doing this for years and has worked with a few dogs with similar issues, so I trust her 100%.

They saw a few other hikers on the trail and Aimee simply told them that Jack was still learning and to not reach down (sudden movements towards him or reaching down when he hasn’t warmed up to you have been triggers for him in the past). The results?  “He was a rockstar.”  Those were her words, hence the quotation marks.

Jack is now hiking three days a week and loving it.  He is beyond exhausted when he gets home, but I honestly see a mellowing in him and feel really hopeful that he’ll continue to progress.  He’s already come so far, and this is just one more step in the right direction.  One day when I feel he’s ready, we may just take on another dog so he can have a buddy.  We may, I reiterate.  Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Trucking along!

Trucking along!

 

Taking a little break in the shade.  I know he's panting, but doesn't that look like a giant grin?!

Taking a little break in the shade. I know he’s panting, but doesn’t that look like a giant grin?!

Cooling off in the water.

Cooling off in the water.

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“Weather” We Like it or Not

I know I sound like a broken record, but ENOUGH with winter!  Yesterday morning we woke up to it snowing AGAIN, and even though I knew it was coming, I was still pissed.  Winter is just too damn long in the great state of Utah.  Winter is fine for December and January, but then I am done.  Done, done, done and done.

You know what would be really sweet?  To live some place where when you wake up in the morning your boogers haven’t turned to concrete in your nose from the insanely dry air.  That would be rad.  Picking those things out is not easy, people. They get so bad that it hurts to flare your nostrils the littlest bit.  Think of it as trying to pry off a piece of wax that has been sitting for way too long on a sensitive surface. I’ll let you come up with your own sensitive surface.  It should probably be one that is covered with hair.

Speaking of hair, the winter weather has not deterred Jack from digging deep into the snow, finding a turd and then rolling his hairy body in it.  He surprised me with a poop neck just this afternoon. Here’s a picture Rob took of him in the summer. Don’t feel bad for him because we’ve exposed his secret to the world.  I’m pretty sure he could care less.  Considering he is rolling in his own poop, remember.

He just can't help himself.

He just can’t help himself.

Poop Talk

At our house we talk about poop.  Some people are very private about stuff like that, but Rob and I are all like, “How was your poop this morning?”  We talk about the quality of our poop and our dog’s poop; if he pooped, what he pooped on and if it was a decent poop.  Jack, the dog, not Rob.  Having a good quality bowel movement everyday is important.  For everyone.  You can google it if you don’t believe me.

When Jack doesn’t drop a turd on a walk we’re all concerned.  Rob will come home and look all worried as he says, “Well, that was weird.  He didn’t poop.”  On his afternoon walk it’s common for him to do what we like to call a “double pooper.” Meaning he goes twice.  And listen, the second one is never good.  It’s always a runny mess.

Today, Jack tried to wrap up his poop before he was actually done which means that a couple of extra pieces dropped out after he had left the squatting position.  And do you know what he did when he saw those little nuggets drop out onto the sidewalk? He ate them.  He seriously ate them.  I seriously threw up in my mouth. Unfortunately, there was yet another turd that hadn’t made its way to the ground. Instead it had become what we refer to as a “dangler.”  It was stuck in his butt beard.  It’s more of a butt mustache, really, but the point is that there was a piece of crap stuck in it.  He just kept sitting down and looking at me, and I was like, “What am I supposed to do?”

Because I am a good mom though, I tried to use the end of the poop bag to brush it off.  It worked eventually, but I did not like doing it. The little dude needs to make a clean break next time.  I am not interested in cleaning up butt mustache danglers.

Now, seeing Jack poop is a daily thing.  The cat, however, that’s a much more private matter.  I mean I clean up all of her poop out of the litter box several days a week, but I don’t watch her in the act.  The other day I walked in on her in her litter box and I honestly apologized.  It was so awkward that I was like, “Oh, sorry.  I didn’t know you were in here.”  Cats are different about stuff like that, I just know it.

Chicken Bone Graveyard

I walk Jack every afternoon, and I’m used to him finding little treasures along the way.  Mainly other dogs’ turds and the occasional Dorito.  There is this one house we often pass along one of our routes that produces something really special though. Chicken bones.  Yep, chicken bones.  Not like one time we saw one chicken bone there.  Jack has sniffed out multiple chicken bones at this house.  I was telling this to Rob and Em the other day and Em was like, “Yeah, I know which house you’re talking about.  He found a chicken bone there once when I walked him.”

Chicken bones and dogs don’t mix so I’m always yanking him away right before he snatches it up in his mouth.  But I’m just really confused about why there are always these bones in the front of someone’s yard.  First, they obviously have a chicken wing addiction.  Second, they have decided that their front pine tree is the perfect place to discard of the bones.  There’s something strangely eerie about it, really.

I think it’s time I organize an undercover investigation.  That or we just set up some cameras one night and wing it.  No pun intended.

It’s Me Against the Ice

The freezing rain from yesterday is still manifesting itself all over everyone’s driveways and sidewalks.  Which is why I knew I had to come up with a way to fight back.  I couldn’t stand the thought of Jack being cooped up again without an afternoon walk.  Luckily, some brain power kicked in and I remembered Rob and I bought these clamp things last winter for hiking in the snow.  Let’s just say the ice has met it’s match.  I didn’t even come close to wiping out once. Neener neener neener!

Who's tough now?

Who’s tough now?

Operation Socialization

My dog has some issues.  If you’re familiar with this blog you’ve read about them in entries such as this.  That was a dramatic day for sure.  I’m kind of dramatic though. Yes, Jack either wasn’t socialized as a puppy or he suffered some sort of abuse/neglect.  He was a stray and was rescued only minutes before being put to sleep, so we know nothing of his history.  He is such a lover though, and I know that the nips and bites he’s taken at people are out of fear.  He is beyond skittish and simply doesn’t know how else to respond. And he deserves to learn how to respond. He really has been doing great, but I want him to have more exposure to new people.

So, we’re going to have people over at least once a week for him to meet.  Some of the people he’s already met but doesn’t see on a regular basis.  Others might be brand new.  Is this scary for me?  Absolutely.  I’m really excited though.  I’m excited for people to see how great he’s doing and get to know him.  I’m excited to face my fears head-on.  I’m excited to actually have people over.  I love cooking for friends and family and yet I never do it.  I mean I cook for our little family every night, but I’m talking more along the entertaining lines.

I’m determined to make 2013 a year filled with happiness and success.  What I need to remember is that things aren’t always going to go perfectly and that’s OK.  The ups and downs are all part of the journey.  My therapist would be so proud to hear me say that.  I’m also going to remember all the stellar things about Jack, because they far outweigh the negative ones.  Like take his report card from doggy daycare last month.  He stayed a couple of nights while we were in Deer Valley with the family and he got an A freakin’ +!  They couldn’t say enough good about him, how much he loved playing with his friends Winston and Nixon (great dog names, by the way) and how sweet he was.

So here’s to new adventures!

Jack playing with his cousin, Noki

Jack playing with his cousin, Noki

The Travel Log

Hi there!  Remember me?  I’m back to give you an update on all things Sonie. Why? Because it might be somewhat entertaining, and everyone loves to be entertained.

First, let me start by saying that my anxiety level has definitely decreased.  For one, I’m trying to imagine the worst thing that could happen in my anxiety-ridden state, and most of the time, it’s not that bad.  Since most of my anxiety involves Jack and his unpredictability, the worst-case scenario is he takes a little bite at someone.  Is this good?  No, but he’s never done much damage.  Plus, it’s been over 4 months since we’ve had an incident!  Many people have come to the house and he’s been nice to everyone.  And camping this weekend he hauled ass towards one guy walking by the campsite only to sniff him and get some attention.  Do I want him charging towards people?  No, but we’re working on it.  Oh, and he was a freakin’ rockstar hiking off-leash.  Yes, he chased the cows (which, by the way, cows can move a lot quicker than I thought), but he did come back.

Now that we have the Jack update out of the way, let’s talk about work anxiety. Actually, I don’t have much work anxiety.  Is traveling to Switzerland to deliver a 2-day training course to big wig pharmaceutical folks intimidating?  Hell yeah.  Am I capable of pulling it off?  Absolutely.  And I did.  I spent 3 days in Basel, Switzerland on very little sleep, but I pulled it off.  After taking three planes, one train and one taxi, I arrived.  The hotel was very nice (should be when it’s over $300/night), but what is it with the Europeans pushing two twin beds together and calling it a queen? It’s cheating is what it is.  Also, when I order a coffee, fill it up.  I don’t want to pay for a cup of coffee that is a quarter full.  I’m going on three hours of sleep!

What a whiner I am.  The people there were so nice.  In fact, on the train back from Basel to Zurich, the ticket dudes totally let my fellow training friend off the hook when her ticket wasn’t valid.  They even blew kisses to us when we got off the train. Now that’s nice!  I’m telling you though, trains CANNOT be trusted.  I can’t tell you how many wrong trains I’ve been on (did it this trip, in fact).  Would it be too much to ask to make an announcement?

Obviously we made it, but it was much more difficult than it needed to be.  The last thing you want is a bunch of angry Americans arriving at the airport only to discover that they can buy a Swiss army knife right before boarding their plane!  So in case security confiscated yours, you can still purchase one so you can stab all your fellow passengers.  Ok, maybe they make you ship it to yourself?

I’m always stoked to get home.  Part of it could be the whole not sleeping for 20 hours thing that really makes me want to crawl into my own bed.  I also knew I had a long weekend with my boys to look forward to though.  Rob was able to take a couple of days off and the three of us took the trailer out for (probably) our final camping trip for the season.  It was gorgeous with the fall leaves and we basically had the campground to ourselves.  Two different families attempted to take the spot next to us, but Rob death stared down the first group and cranked up the music and danced for the second.  Both attempts worked and they moved.

A view of the Rhine River

The boys on a hike in Mt. Nebo