Two Fountains

For all her interest in water, Yara never seemed too keen on the idea of swimming. She was always quite eager to explore any body of water, especially if it was moving, but the few times I gave her the opportunity to swim she just wallowed around and got her belly wet. Or more aptly, as was the case at Crossings, got super muddy and then required a bath at Sarah’s. This was a huge departure from Dolly who practically lived to swim; she was particularly fond of my father’s pool. We actually built her a ramp so she could get in and out herself and she made good use of it! Of course, Yara never gave much of a thought to snow and now that she’s retired she seems quite keen to play in it so perhaps this will change once said pool gets opened this year. Anyway, I wasn’t sure what to expect with Uschi in this vein. Turns out yesterday I would find out exactly what her opinion on this swimming thing was.

Uschi, in harness, sitting in front of King Memorial Fountain (aka: the Moses statue) in Washington ParkWe had a very jam-packed day, but since we were in downtown Albany and it was not raining for the first time in weeks we detoured a bit into the parks to get where we were going. Washington Park was of course one of those detours and it was actually almost eerie to walk through it as it was pretty much empty with the major exception of a landscaping crew mowing lawns and such. I’m actually really glad that we took that extra trip out a few weeks back because the tulips have already been dug out (and are traditionally sold in a bag sale) leaving most of the flower beds very empty and what isn’t gone is already past its prime bloom. Since it was so empty, I thought I’d attempt to get a photo of Uschi by King Memorial Fountain — the Moses statue, as most people refer to it. It’s proximity to several street entrances and the dog park make it a very high traffic area, so I’ve had limited success in the past getting photos of the dogs here. Anyway, something about the water being behind her seemed to make Uschi a might twitchy and so she wouldn’t sit still for very long. I did get the photo to the right, but as you can see from how she’s positioned it’s pretty obvious she didn’t sit like that for very long. Since there wasn’t much else about to photograph I didn’t bother torturing her beyond that.

Uschi, in harness, with her front paws on the fountain the in Lafayette ParkLater, we walked through Lafayette Park which was always one of Yara’s favorite spots as we took often took our lunchtime constitutional there. Uschi didn’t seem too impressed with this little park, but I brought her over to the fountain, which was Yara’s absolute favorite place, and she immediately got up on the edge to take a closer look. And then all of a sudden she was in the fountain! I spent a few moments debating dragging her out by her neck or just letting her have at it. As it was she was already soaked and it was nice and sunny so I figured after our lengthy work day she deserved a bit of fun. I didn’t let her stay in long, but she got to paddle herself a few circles before hopping out and thoroughly drenching me. Then we had a nice romp in the grass to help her dry off. She seemed especially pleased with this and got SUPAKRAZY excited and actually tackled me to the ground at one point!

It was a fun day! Now I’m left with the task of finding somewhere I can take her that she can really get her splish-and-splash on. It also dawned on me that Uschi has now taken the coveted title of Dog-dini away from Yara; who would have thunk it?

New Boots!

First things first: I am picking up my holiday cards today and they will be dropped in the mail by Monday. So if you haven’t yet provided me with an address and wish to receive one, please do so by the weekend. Thanks!

Yara in her boots, sitting beside the holiday decorations in the foyer

Anyway, as I’ve stated before there is no shortage of things upon which I can and wish to blog. However, as irony would serve, those exact things are keeping me from doing so. And you all know this is true because I never got around to posting my annual guide dog anniversary wrap up. I intend to get around to all of these things when I actually have more than five seconds of continuous uninterrupted time. Or rather, when I have such time available again as clearly I’m free enough to write this post.

According to the calendar it’s not yet winter, but NYS doesn’t care about such trivial things as the date and thus there is cold weather and snowfall. Knowing that I’ll most probably be tromping around in such unfriendly temperatures with a new furry companion I have been steadily preparing myself. I bought a new and very warm winter coat and impulsively picked up a new scarf and hat. But what I really needed was a new pair of boots and I’ve had my heart set on these Uggs since I tried them on at Macy’s last year. I’ll be the first to tell you I don’t understand clothing prices, especially shoes. I’m always appalled when I see anything higher than $50 and have serious qualms about spending more than that on any wearable product. I find no point in pouring money into something that will likely sport a hole or stain within a month’s time. But when I put those boots on for the first time I basically felt like I could die right then because there was no way my feet would ever be that comfortable again. So, yeah, I finally bought them and I pretty much want to be buried in them; if there’s an afterlife, my feet should certainly be this comfy and warm on that side.

But of course with winter also comes the holiday season, the season of giving. Meaning I couldn’t leave Yara with chilly footsies. So, she got herself a set of Bark’n Boots. I was pretty much sold on these boots because of the Vibram sole, which thanks to my own snazzy boots, I can truly attest to the awesomeness of.

Details such as this, however, are completely lost on Yara. Granted her reaction was not as severe as Dolly’s. If you’ve read Hyperbole and a Half’s most recent post about moving with a dog you’ve got a pretty good picture of how Dolly reacted to wearing a set of boots. I’ll just say we made the mistake of putting the boots on her while in the kitchen, so not only did she feel we’d unduly punished her for the entire world’s sins, but we also stranded her on the linoleum floor. I’ve been wary of attempting such a thing ever again, especially with a dog who is so sensitive about her feet, but Yara’s reaction wasn’t so severe. It was just as humorous, though! At first she seemed to be entirely in shock that I hadn’t actually removed her feet. This realization came while I was putting the third boot on because she wasn’t able to stand on one foot and rather than fall over into the coffee table, she tried using her booted feet to remain upright.

Of course, this understanding was not complete enough to recall the proper method of walking and so she spent a good twenty minutes or so clomping about like a lame horse while I laughed myself into a bellyache. I was in no condition to attempt a video yesterday when this hilarity was initially occurring, so of course today she’s pretty much remastered the art of walking. Here’s a very short video of some horse clomping, though:

Coordination seems to be her biggest hurdle with the boots. In fact, she actually tripped up my porch stairs while wearing them. Only my dog would find walking up slick stairs more difficult with treads than without. Ever the escape artist, she also got out of them twice during the initial hour of her wearing them.

By the way, my first attempt at getting the above video, Yara decided the best method of traversing the room would be to leap across it. Another attempt got me a video of her stretching in that famous way of hers, though, generally she puts herself even lower. Perhaps she felt less confident of her ability to right herself in the boots?

So, in the end, I think these boots are a holiday present for us all. ;-)

On Going Stuffs

I am beside myself with interesting tidbits that I wish to share, so it stands to reason that I’ll no doubt forget half of them before finishing this post. It doesn’t help that I’ve been interrupted about every third word. Also I’m finding myself distracted by my own levels of revulsion at some of the antics going on around me at work. Not surprisingly the annoyances are not “work-related” in the least, which only compounds my irritation. I’ll not even bother to go into all of that here; truly you aren’t missing much, I assure you of that.

In a move similar to my awesome thriftiness in book-buying via eBay, I scored myself a new bed from a fellow neighbor who’s moving next week, for a whopping $1001! I’ve already rearranged the bedroom to accommodate the new, larger bed and make space for my old bed once it’s been dismantled. And after a rather confusing phone call, Dad confirmed that he is coming “sometime” to pick up the old bed, which is rightfully his and well worth keeping as it’s part of a set.

Oh, and if you’re curious, yes I am still working on whittling down my to-be-read pile. Though, at the rate I keep acquiring new reads, I’m mostly treading water as it were in terms of making the pile smaller. But it’s so hard to ignore all those good reads out there waiting to be snatched up. Also, my completest (or compulsive) nature requires that I obtain any future editions in a series . . . though, admittedly there have been series I’ve given up on as the later contributions have proved lackluster2 or just plain awful.3

Actually that specific issue has caused me a bit of glee, in a macabre sense, as I get to justify adding to my box of library donations and free up some much needed shelf space for all those books that don’t suck. The only sad thing is the “box” is actually getting to the point where I may need a small caravan to transport it to the library. Kind of sad since it’s only up the street from my office.

And, since a post wouldn’t be complete without some anecdotal Yara, I must tell you that she continues her Dog-dini escapades. She’s now gotten out of her harness 25 times! [EDIT: Sorry, 26 times. She wiggled out again while I wrote this post.] Yesterday she practically broke my heart with her cuteness while we were at work. I’ve mentioned a fair few times how she is most content when she has a toy of hers to carry around. This has transcended to become a need to show off her toy to others, specifically people she knows well. So, yesterday afternoon she was underfoot pawing around under my desk and emerged with a tennis ball that was lodged behind some file boxes. And how proud a pup was she to have discovered a “new” toy, so of course after she nosed me all over to show me, she ran off to show my friend Sharon (who sits at the end of my row of desks) . . . except Sharon wasn’t at her desk and this was most clearly defeating to Yara because she practically crawled back to me, ears laid back, tail tucked under. Poor girl. I did tell Sharon about the incident when she returned and she made a great show of being excited about the newly discovered old ball when Yara did finally show it off to her.

In EPI-related news, she’s still being pretty good about consistently eating, albeit very slowly. I don’t really know what’s up with that, but I have noticed that since the very first time I started adding the enzyme to her food she’s had occasional fits of dry-heaving. I mentioned it to Dr. Gundersen once and we theorized it was probably from all the powdered meds not being fully absorbed in her food and causing grit to be in the back of her throat. And while these small “fits” have certainly decreased since she was taken off the other meds, she’s still been having them now and again. The last few weeks I’ve noticed it fairly often, but kept forgetting (until just now) to call the vet about my slight concern. Since she’s not actually coughing anything up there isn’t a major rush to bring her in straight away, which is good since my current vet is on vacation this week.

And while I am sure there were many other things I wanted to share I am hereby giving up battling the 400 thousand interruptions that have plagued me while writing this all out. I leave you with this — NYC trip in TWO MONTHS! W00T!!!

  1. This includes the “tip” I’ll be giving the super for graciously helping to move and put together said bed.
  2. Jeff Lindsay’s Dexter books have sadly fallen into this category. I’m all for demons and supernatural, but it just is a strange turn for this crime fiction.
  3. Not even worth mentioning these names.

Canine Entertainment

I’m happy to inform you that things have mostly settled down at work. In particular, this issue has been resolved. It’s a long story, as I’ve mentioned, but suffice it to say it’s been decided that it’s really a non-issue. I have various thoughts and opinions about all of it, however, instead of going on about all that I’m going to babble a bit on how my dog is crazy and fun entertainment.

I’ve mentioned before that Yara is a Houdini, or Dog-dini, and has managed to remove her harness several times. Well, “several” reached a grand total of 18 yesterday. As I tweeted, she got out of her harness and then after I put it back on her, she took it off walking back to her bed. But there is a small possibility that she has grown bored with these antics, as this morning she stuck her foot on the back of my shoe and ripped my sneaker right off my foot! Really, I don’t make this kind of crazy up.

Recently she’s also had some humorous moments wherein she’s fallen over while shaking herself off and chasing her tail. I nearly hyperventilated from laughing so hard at both of these.

Also, one of her new playful pastimes has been what I first took to be her jumping and running around her toys, rather than run around with the toy. I noticed later that what she is actually doing is strategically attacking the toy by pouncing around it and then lunging at any exposed part. I’m thankful she hasn’t decided that this would be oh so much fun to do to her mom because I’m of a mind that it wouldn’t be all that enjoyable on the receiving end. It is, however, astonishingly amusing to watch. I think she’s realized that we just don’t have the floor space for a good long run in our apartment.

The silly doesn’t merely occur out of harness, by the way. She’s always had this strange desire to make herself work harder. When we first started working at VESID she once delighted herself by showing me every car on the street when we would take our lunchtime walk. Another day she brought me to every door we passed. And still another day she decided that I should know where every manhole in the street was located. Lately, her new thing is to insist we should be going to certain places like the convenience store across the street from my apartment. At the mall this past weekend, she brought me to Friendly’s, The Apple Store and Foot Locker, even though I didn’t want to go to any of those places.

I’m sometimes very curious what goes on inside that furry head of hers.

Quickie Update

1. I’ve been sick for two days now. Thankfully, not with another migraine, which is shocking as I broke my only pair of sunglasses last week. My back hurts. And I have the hiccups. But enough about me. . . .

2. Yara has been eating somewhat better. She’s rather consistently eating her entire six cups of food daily, but she does sometimes refuse some or all of breakfast. I don’t know why. Yes, I’ve tried pretty much everything known to man to entice her to eat.

3. That said, I don’t think she’s gained any weight. My wallet is praying this is true because feeding her has become exponentially more expensive given the amount I’m feeding her now. Either way, I’m convinced she’s not going to “fill out” anymore and have already requested Fidelco to give me a smaller harness body piece because she literally jumped out of the front of it Monday. Her vet appointment is next Tuesday, so we’ll see what the official word is.

4. Patty and Tom have been emailing me puppy pictures of Yara and they are so adorable it’s almost painful to look at them. Also, I have a bunch of other photos to post, including some more from the photo shoot at Penney’s. These will have to wait until another time, though.

5. Bed time; night!