Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Adopting Dogs: Give Them Six Months to a Year to Adjust

I've got something on my mind that I need to put out here. First, a disclaimer. I have had dogs pretty much all my life with the exception of my time living in Arizona due to the extreme heat. I am not a trainer. I don't claim to know everything there is to know about dogs. I feel I only know a little, even after all these years of having dogs and many hours of training.
I learn something from every trainer I've ever been tutored by. When we first moved to eastern Washington, we waited a year before we adopted our first girl from the humane society. She had just dropped a litter of puppies and was looking really haggered but when I saw her looking up at me from the other side of the kennel, I knew she was to be mine. They told me she was between 4 and 5 years old. I didn't want a puppy.
 Our border collie is also an adoptee from the humane society and my youngest belonged to a housesitter who was moving and couldn't keep her. 
The point of this post is that each of them had major adjusting to do. It was in a class I took my first girl to that the wonderful trainer said to me ... "give her 6 months to a year, you will have a different dog".  She was so right.
When we brought the 2nd dog home (the border collie), she was also between 4 and 5 years old. The second day, there was a fight in our back yard and I was ready to take her back to the humane society. Luckily, our neighbors at the time encouraged us to give it a week. Give them time to adjust. I did.
Our 3rd addition has been the hardest. She has terrible separation anxiety, which as gotten better but I believe will never disappear completely. The first two years were hell! She cried like she had been stabbed in the heart every time we let her outside by herself. She hated the leash with a great passion, and she is the embodiment of why they call female dogs bitches. And, she is oh-so-sweet most of the time.
It has been a lot of work to keep these dogs. They each have quirks and mannerisms that need to be paid attention to. I cannot feed them together. I cannot leave toys laying around due to aggressive possessive behavior. There have been some hair flying, blood-letting fights (about twice a year) that have left me quite shaken. 
But hear this ... I did not give up on them.
If you are thinking of adopting a dog, let me tell you that it is a big decision and it requires follow through. You have to be willing to see past some of the behavior at the beginning. You have to give them a long time to adjust and trust. You have to take time to get to know their quirks.
The key to successful pet ownership, in my humble opinion, is time and training.
That's all.
love, susan

Monday, March 27, 2017

Good Riddance March ~ Life List

Looking Out My Window It's still dark but the forecast is for a sunny day and 60 degrees. It rained all yesterday. Wouldn't you know it will be sunny on a workday Monday? Phooey.
As I Ponder I had a great weekend but it wasn't quite long enough. I hooked up with a new friend who has an animal rescue team. We met at the park so I could photograph her latest rescue, Buddy. I never turn down an opportunity for a dog photo shoot. She then hooked me up with another family who is rehoming two dogs as they have had a major life change. What I love about this new friend I've met is that there is no judgment of people and their reasons for having to rehome their animals. It's all about moving forward and taking care of the business of finding great placements. Love that!
What I'm Learning Dude, I took guilt free naps again this weekend.
What I'm Creating I have A through W posts done and scheduled for publishing every day (except Sunday) in April for the A to Z Challenge. I have about 8 hours into this project but I'm excited to have it almost done so I can focus on reading other people's posts during the month of April. I have met some really great online bloggers through this challenge in past years.
What I'm Reading Didn't read a line last week.
What I'm Watching  We watched 13 Hours on Netflix yesterday. Great movie, hard topic. We watched two other movies yesterday in our Sunday rain movie marathon.
What's On My Camera This is Buddy. He was found wandering around on a country road. It's hard to believe nobody is looking for him. He has the sweetest disposition.
Quote I Want to Share
“You can say any foolish thing to a dog, and the dog will give you a look that says, ‘Wow, you’re right! I never would’ve thought of that!” ~ Dave Berry
A Peek Into My Week This week is going to be busy. I'm having coffee with a friend after work today, pho with a work friend on Wednesday, dog class Wednesday night, potluck with friends on Thursday night, birthday celebration Friday night, catch up with an friend in town on Saturday. Work, eat, sleep times 5!
A Final Thought Every year I feel like a survivor at the end of March. This winter was brutal and March has not been much of an improvement so I am glad to see it behind me. April. Now April is going to be exciting. I'm going to Nashville with a friend later in the month. My winter life has improved since I started adding things to my calendar to look forward to. It was a simple shift in my thinking and it works.
love, susan

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

A to Z Theme Reveal: Pictures from the Past

Hello everyone!  I am getting ready to participate in the AtoZ Blog Challenge  next month. 
My theme is PHOTOS FROM THE PAST. I will post a photo every day in April representing A to Z a favorite moment I captured on my camera with a short paragraph about it. My hope is to inspire anyone who loves photography to get out there and document your life and bring it back to share on your blog.
I hope you'll follow along on this venture and leave a comment when you feel like it.
love, susan

Monday, March 20, 2017

First Day of Spring Life List

Looking Out My Window 6:17 am and it's still dark. Thank you daylight savings time. It's still crisp in the mornings but spring has arrived. Everything is comin' up!
As I Ponder We had a great weekend but now it's over. My old dog "Missy" and I attended the annual Pooch Walk fundraiser for a local pet rescue. Our registration number was 730! There were hundreds of people and dogs of every type. Missy was a little freaked out at first but she got into it once we started walking. When I was registering, she slipped out of her collar and my heart did flip flops for a minute. Time for a new collar, I guess. Luckily, she didn't bolt.
What I'm Learning Ever since I got back from Hawaii, I've taken naps on the weekend when I feel like it, guilt free. Screw guilt!
What I'm Creating I'm gearing up for the A to Z Blog challenge that starts in 2 weeks. The theme for my blog this year will be Photos from the Past. I have thousands of digital photos that I'm going to sift through to find my a to z posts. The posts will be short paragraphs with a little bit about the photo.
What I'm Reading Never picked up my book last week. Oh, well.
What I'm Watching Could be I didn't read because I watched a little bit too much Netflix. I watched "Blow" starring Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz. This movie was done in 2001. The only thing that held my interest was Johnny Depp. Not a great movie, in my humble opinion. Watched a couple episodes of Shameless because I am shameless.
That's me in the middle!
At the pooch walk on Saturday.
What's On My Camera Oh man, you'd think I could find something besides squirrels to photograph but you'd be wrong. Not feeling it yet. Winter just about took all the life out of me. I'm pretty sure my inspiration will be back any day now.
A Quoted I Want to Share (from the movie "Blow")
Fred Jung: [to young George as they leave the bank, after declaring bankruptcy] Sometimes you're flush and sometimes you're bust, and when you're up, it's never as good as it seems, and when you're down, you never think you'll be up again, but life goes on.
A Peek Into My Week It's light now until at least 6:30pm so I'm hoping to put on my walking shoes and get my girls out for an evening walk every night this week. I'm ready to be outdoors. Dog class on Wednesday night. Maybe a haircut.  Eat, sleep, work, repeat 5 days in a row!
A Final Thought It sure was a hard winter. I'm still recovering from the worst winter blues I've had since we moved here 8 years ago. I don't really see myself growing much older here. I need to be someplace a little sunnier, ya know?
love, susan

Monday, March 13, 2017

Happy Pi Day ~ Mid March Life List

Looking out my window It's still dark because of daylight savings time. Boo hiss. It is warm enough that I went outside barefooted in my nightgown to call in my barking dog.
As I Ponder My weekend was filled with laughter, tears, and more laughter. I went up to Mt. Hood with a sisterhood of 5 other women I'm close to. It was the kind of weekend you see in the movies.
What I'm Learning It's not so scary to tell the truth about myself. In that sacred place this weekend, we got down to the nitty gritty about things. Things that are not for public consumption, but truths that can be taken out and handled with care. If my truth helps only one other person, it becomes an asset.
What I'm Creating Time. I'm creating time. Can you create time? I think so. I got two loads of laundry in this morning before I go to work. I won't have another load until the end of the week. If I work it correctly, I should have a fairly clear schedule next weekend to do something fun with the hubby.
What I'm Reading I got a little distracted this last week. Still reading True Notebooks. My daughter-in-law lent me a Kindle book on minimalism this morning and I only have 14 days to finish it so that's my priority.

What I'm Watching We watched a good movie up at the cabin called How Do You Know with Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd, Owen Wilson, and Jack Nicholson.

What's On My Camera I took a couple of pics with my cell phone at the cabin. You can see there is still snow. When we arrived Friday night, it was less packed down and difficult to get from the car to the cabin with all our junk.

A Quote I Want to Share From the movie we watched:  We are all just one small adjustment away from making our lives work.

A Peek Into My Week Doctor appointments and dog class on Wednesday night. Maybe with changing to daylight savings time, I'll be able to go out for a walk with my dogs after work.

A Final Thought I had so many great moments over the weekend. Each of us 6 women are at different places in our lives but we all have similar struggles and joys. I tend to want to focus on the joys these days. We've got some hard days ahead but there is no purpose, that I can see, in future tripping. At my age, I'm just doing this life one day at a time. Making plans but not planning the outcome.

love, susan

Friday, March 10, 2017


I've always loved the word altruism. Way back in the day when I worked in the mental health field, I was part of a team that met every morning for 30 minutes to check in, debrief, make a plan for the day, and discuss case management for clients who were chronically mentally ill. It was during that time that I heard the word used. I had to look it up as it was not a word used in any other part of my life, ever. One of the social workers explained it in terms I could understand. He said to think about sitting at a table with several people, a lovely meal in front of you, and the only utensil is so long that you cannot bring the food to your own mouth. The only way to consume that beautiful meal is to feed the person across from you, and they you. That's altruism.

In my writing jounal this morning, this word came up as I am getting ready for a special weekend with some beautiful people in my life. Altruism.  It isn't just for special occasions or when it is convenient. It is for every occasion.

Food for thought.

love, susan

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Going Old School

Mama's Losin' It
I'm linking up with Kat over at Mama's Losin' It  (Writer's Workshop) with a prompt she provided. I'm recovering from a  case of writer's block so I need all the help I can get. I do love me some lists so I chose 8 Things I've Accomplished This Week. Here goes:

  • Ordered a desk calendar at work.  I hate to admit it but I'm going old school with a desk calendar. Too many things going on in my office and the electronic calendar is not cutting it for me. It kills me to go backwards technology-wise.
  • Wrote every day in my journal. I've been journaling for years and usually don't have a problem jotting something down every day. The events of this winter have killed it. Earlier this week, I wrote a letter to my Utah pen pal and poured out my heart. It was like magic. I broke free and started writing in my journal again.
  • Ate a salad for lunch every day. Doing food prep on Sundays helps keep me on the narrow path of healthy eating. Yay me!
  • Got my dog to class. We had not been to class since late November due to inclement weather in our area. Felt good to get out of the house. My dog was less crazy at the end of the hour.
  • Made a doctor's appointment. I had been putting that off far too long.
  • Started prepping for the A to Z Challenge This is a blogging challenge for the month of April. I've done it a couple of times but skipped last year. Decided to join in this year. It will be good for me. It's a great way to meet other bloggers and add some new blogs to my roll. Here is the link if you are interested A to Z Challenge 2017.
  • Wrote letters to two pen pals Thank goodness for pen pals who hang in there with me and my long stretches without writing.
  • Posted this in Writer's Workshop Thank you, Mama Kat!
love, susan 

Monday, March 6, 2017

Hello March, I've Missed You! Life List

Looking Out My Window It appears it will be a nice day but when I let the dogs out this morning, there is still a chill in the air. The wind blew all night. This is how the weather shifts out here in eastern Washington.
As I Ponder This morning while journaling, I could hardly remember all the things I did this weekend. That's a sign of a good weekend, me thinks. A friend asked me to go dog walking Saturday morning. Loved that! Hubby and I drove out to Heppner, Oregon (86 miles) to attend an annual spaghetti feed Saturday night. A friend at our table won the grand raffle prize ... a big screen TV. It was good fun. Yesterday, I did a lot of food prep for this week. I also took a hot bath and squeezed in an hour nap.
What I'm Learning Last Wednesday night I went to dog class. When I got home, I was a bit energized by the class so I decided to go grocery shopping. I think I'm going to change my shopping day to Wednesdays instead of early Sunday mornings. This will free my weekends. I am also incorporating my son's idea of doing laundry during the week. I did that last week and only had to launder sheets over the weekend. This frees me up to do fun things on the weekend. I hate housework.
What I'm Creating Since that photo organizing project that took me a month, I haven't picked up any new projects yet. The most creative I've gotten has been in the kitchen. When I was preparing my salads for this week's lunches, I scoured the cupboards for creative ideas. I added craisins and black beans to my salads. I'm taking crackers and pecans to work to add when I get ready for lunch. I like a colorful dish!
What I'm Reading I decided to leave Insomnia by Stephen King for another time. So I'm reading True Notebooks by Mark Salzman. Mark is a writing teacher who goes into prison to teach hardcore juvenile offenders. He is surprised by their writing.
What I'm Watching I saw movie on Amazon Prime called "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot". Excellent movie starring Tina Fey.

What's On My Camera Dogs. What else?

In the Kitchen I love when the weather gets warmer. My tastes change. I crave vegetables, cottage cheese, anything lighter. This week we'll be cooking out of the freezer as I prepped a lot yesterday and froze individual servings for 2. Tacos, curry stir fry, anything that will go on a tortilla. No bread in the house. So sad.

A Quote I Want to Share
Take it easy, don't let the sound of
your own wheels drive you crazy.
(Lyrics from song written by Jackson Browne and Glenn Frey)

Peek Into My Week Work. Eat. Sleep. Dog class. Shopping. Haircut. Mt. Hood on Friday with my chick friends. WOO HOO!!!
A Final Thought Last week I wrote to a pen pal who lives in Texas. I noted that I had not written in my journal since December 29th. There have been many things going on in the lives of loved ones that is too painful to face. I am the queen of denial. So when I wrote that in my note to her, I decided it was time to put pen to paper and get back to journaling. Grief visits when it wants. Putting it aside won't make it go away. That's that. Funny how the tools I have to survive are always there when I'm ready to pick them up and use them. Huh.

love, susan

Catching Up: A July Life List

It has been a whirlwind couple of weeks. We were in Alaska last week for 8 days and before that I can't even tell you what happened.  T...