Tag Archives: dogs

“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.

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


I’m in kind of a reflective mood lately.  Maybe it’s the time of year, maybe it’s the doings of my therapist (yes, I have one) or maybe I’m just getting old.  Whatever the reason, I’m happy about it.  In fact, I want to actively spend more time reflecting.  It doesn’t always need to be about something big.  Small things matter too, people. So, I’ve been reflecting on the last couple of weeks and I’ve come up with my “learning list.”

Bowel movements make everyone feel better –

In this case I’m referring to my dog’s bowel movements, but I do think (and know thanks to Dr. Oz) that they are important for everyone.  Jack managed to get one of his toenails ripped off last Sunday, which has turned him into a total gimp.  Before we took him to the vet to get him hooked up with some pain meds, the poor little dude didn’t want to do much of anything.  Which meant no walks.  Walks are when Jack poops, so no walks meant no pooping.  We tried and tried to get him to just go in the backyard but he would just stare at us and eventually sit down in the snow. On Tuesday he basically pulled Rob out the door to walk, and thank God, because he took a massive dump.  A dump which we celebrated.

Spending time with someone you love is therapeutic – 

My sister, Jessica, has the most challenging life of anyone I know.  Having a sick child with difficult behavior issues (this is an understatement) requiring 24-hour supervision would send most people to the nuthouse immediately.  Not Jess.  Nope. She’s a warrior.  And despite her crazy life, she manages to listen to my problems, support me and make me smile.

Playing and laughing with my nephew brings incredible joy –

Dylan, my 9-year-old nephew, and I don’t get to spend a lot of time together.  When I’m at their house, I’m usually watching his sister (the one requiring 24-hour supervision).  That and he doesn’t like me telling him what to do, so we clash a lot of the time.  Last week my sister had an appointment and Stevie was asleep, so Dylan and I actually got to play.  And it was so fun!  I always have stories to tell after I hang with Dyl.  This time he told me about a deaf kid in his gymnastics class, so I was like, “Oh, that’s cool.  Maybe you can learn some sign language.”  Dylan responded by telling me that he already does sign language to the kid and then proceeded to flash me some gang sign to prove it.  Pure awesome right there.

So there you have it.  Don’t worry, these sappy posts won’t continue.  I’ve got plenty of negative, sarcastic script just waiting to be written.

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

My Boys










I love these guys.  It’s as simple as that.  They are two of my favorite people (ok, one is a dog) to spend time with.  They both do things that are incredibly annoying and frustrating, but I suppose they would say the same about me.  The two of them are going to be spending a lot of time together (“bachelors,” as Rob told Jack this morning) when I’m on the road.  I just hope Jack keeps his partying ways in check.

Good Vibes

You know what?  Being positive is kind of awesome.  I am definitely not the world’s most positive person.  I blame all the cynics in my family (these cynics make for great material though).  And myself, of course.  I’m all about personal responsibility lately.

After all the stress and anxiety about Jack, I finally feel like I understand what I have to do.  After reading and researching, I have learned that so much of your dog’s behavior is directly linked to your behavior.  Dogs can totally sense your energy.  And my energy was shit, to be honest.  I was just so anxious and always had knots in my stomach worrying about whether Jack was going to bite someone.  Listen, I am not 100% cured of that, but I am so on my way.  I feel this renewed sense of leadership and confidence, which is exactly what he needs.  He needs pack leaders! Rob is already an amazing pack leader, but I have a feeling that six months down the road I’m going to be right there with him.

Plus, I just want to be calmer and more balanced in my life.  Not just for my dog but for me.  And for my family and those people that I love.  Holy shit, I should start doing motivational speaking or something, right?!

Ok, this might be too much positivity for some of you.  So, on a more depressing and negative note…. Actually, I have nothing.  Can you believe it?  I seriously can’t even think of anything negative.  Of course, it is only 8:00am.

Camping Rehab

We took Jack on his first camping trip to Zions for Memorial weekend.  We took him for a few reasons: 1) We didn’t really have a dog sitter available, 2) We needed to find out if he liked camping (we are a camping family) and 3) We thought it would be a lot of socialization/rehab for him.  And guess what?!  It turns out he loves camping and he is making HUGE steps in his rehabilitation.

Rob knew that this camping trip would require a lot of him.  I’m just far too nervous with the whole biting issue, and I know Jack senses that when he’s meeting someone for the first time.  So, Rob did all the introductions (which means lots of treats for Jack).  And other than some snapping at our nephew, Dylan (getting used to kids is going to be awhile) and then a weird incident with our brother-in-law, Heath, he was a rockstar!  He was off the leash a ton and the majority of the time came right back when he was called (he also looked at us and kept going the other way a few times to be a shit).  No, he’s not done with his rehab, but he is so on his way.

Once I know that Jack is calm and OK around someone, then I am too.  I am so grateful for Rob and his calm nature.  Perhaps with a prescription of Xanax I could be mellow as well.  I’m just the worried mom though, and I’m learning alongside Jack to take a deep breath and relax.  Just look how chill the guy is here.

Jack chillin’ in the trailer

Doggy Mommy

Rob and Jack made my Mom’s Day today.  After Jack’s usual 6:00am wake-up with many kisses and jamming his paws on my neck, he and Rob presented me with a hot cup of coffee, beautiful flowers and a poem.  Rob says that Jack came up with all the words, but Rob helped him write them (he doesn’t have thumbs, remember). Some of my favorite lines:

Think of the things

That I’m much better at

Like not biting dad

And putting up with the cat

Know this Mom

That I love you a lot

You can tell when I’m scolded

And run to my spot

And I know my actions

Have made you cry

But I’m trying hard

To be your Good Guy!

This is the third poem that Rob and Jack have given me, and I cherish every single one of them.  This one made me laugh and cry.  It also made me feel hopeful.  I have been so anxious about Jack lately, but I know he will get it.  We just need to practice.  Today we let him off the leash at the park and he came right back every time!

And he always puts a smile on my face.  Like a few minutes ago when I was putting some laundry away and set a couple of towels on the floor.  Anything that is soft and placed on the floor is an invitation for Jack to lay on.  Which is exactly what he did.  I love my boys!

I Need a Hug

We’re experiencing some stressful stuff with our little Jack.  He has proven to us that he has some real fear aggression issues, and although I know we’re going to do everything we can (with the assistance of a trainer), it’s really hard for me.  Today I got to my sister’s house and immediately broke into tears.  She’s the best sister in the world, so she let me cry as much as I wanted.  Stevie on the other hand told me, “Stop crying Aunt Sonie, it’s annoying.”  She’s not much of a comforter.  She did give me a couple of hugs afterwards, but I’m pretty sure she had an ulterior motive.

It might sound ridiculous to be so emotional, and I know that for the sake of Jack, I need to keep it together.  I love this dog so much though, and I worry.  I worry about the future for him and us as a family, I worry for other people that make him nervous and I worry that I might not be the right person for such a nervous dog.

I welcome all comforting thoughts and comments.  I need them.  Jack needs them too.

The Daily – Poop Talk

Jack has this thing where he really likes pooping in bushes or on large rocks.  He gets his butt so high up and right against the bush that the poop ends up all over his butt hair.  And remember, he’s white.  Oh, and he doesn’t like me trying to get it off with a wet wipe, so if we don’t immediately bathe him, he ends up with pieces of poop stuck to his butt.  Here’s a visual of when it’s still wet.  I’m pretty sure that we’re going to have to take scissors to it now that it’s dry. Di-freaking-stugsting.