Thursday, February 23, 2012

Dog Day Afternoon

This post is about dogsitting or dog sitting...whatever I'm doing it. My husband's friend/attorney is out of town doing something lawyer-y. I hope he's having fun...and refrains from attaching his phone to his belt at all costs. Anyway, his lab, Lucky is in our care.

Lucky is a hunting dog. She is playful, hyper and loves to be outside. I have a Chihuahua, Fergie. Fergie (named after The [former] Duchess of York <- important to clarify) is a small, loud, bully. No matter how big or small the animal, Fergie will play the role of intimidator.

I found this website which offers great advice about dog training, I specifically was looking for information on how to introduce the two dogs. This post was very helpful. In short: walk them together, in single file, taking turns leading (so the can smell each other), let each dog smell the other's excrement and on the last leg of the walk have the dogs walking side by side. Fergie went from barking (at Lucky) like a whacked out maniac dog to not even caring that she was there.

When we got home from our walk, Fergie went back to barking, like a whacked out maniac dog. I bribed him with treats as Lucky tore up a stuffed animal and several chew toys. I was nervous that Lucky would eat the couch next, which I thought might be okay because I really want a new couch; but then I thought, she could choke and die which would be bad so we texted her owner to find out that she is not house trained, she is kennel trained. So, Lucky went in her kennel for the night.

The next morning, as I slept in bed, my husband returned from dropping off our son at school (it's a trade off, he does mornings and I do...nothing), Lucky was whining in her kennel, so he took her out for a morning walk. Fergie disapproved, loudly:

Today, I was home alone with both dogs, Lucky decided she wanted to go outside. It was raining. Her kennel is in our basement. Our basement stairs are steep and slick, she is a lab. She would not walk up the basement stairs because her nails were making her slip. I did not want to pull her up the stairs because she would choke, which would be bad. Sooo, I carried her up the stairs, did I mention that she's a lab? While I carried her up the stairs, Fergie stood at the top of the stairs, barking like a whacked out maniac dog. Fun times. I finally got both dogs leashed up and ready to go outside.

Once outside, Fergie looked at me, lifting one paw at a time, he did not want to walk in the rain. I snatched him up, unhooked his leash and put him back inside the house, while Lucky was trying her best to drag me out to the sidewalk. I'm glad Fergie didn't want to walk because Lucky wanted to run. Lucky dragged me, in the rain, half way around the block, I was running, for my life, I don't run, unless I'm being chased (or dragged by a big dog). She stopped, I caught my breath, she shit on the sidewalk, I cleaned it up as I thought about how "smart" I was told she is. The rest of the way home, our pace went from mall-walking to jogging to running for my life as she tried to drink from every puddle she came upon.

There's a difference between a dog person and a *small* dog person.

Friday, January 6, 2012

It's a Small World (after all)

2012 is flying right by, I hope it's been a happy year for you so far, unless you're a jerk. According to the Chinese zodiac, 2012 is the Year of the Dragon. This means nothing until January 23rd and then I think it means Americans are supposed to go out, eat greasy Chinese food and get wasted on flaming volcanoes (it's a drink, you perv); mark your calendars! It's also the last year of your life, according to the Mayans, so enjoy!

I rung in the new year on a flight from Guatemala City (coming home from Costa Rica), it was better than it sounds. You see, we (me + my family + a bunch of people I didn't know) flew on Taca Airlines for this trip (the previous three years we've flown on domestic carriers) and flying in a taco was awesome. I'm writing this because, typically, you only read angry posts about travel and I wanted to write about our excelente airline experience.

Taca Airlines (based out of Lima, Peru) is the most efficient airline I've ever flown on. You can check-in online, avoiding long airport lines (even if you're checking luggage, they have a special line just for online check-ins), all of our flights left on time (well, we left 15 minutes late from O'Hare...but if you know O'Hare, that's considered "on time") and most of our flights arrived early. On board the Airbus 319 and 321 they pleasantly served free food and beverages, including alcohol, which is really all you need to know.

This was our fourth year Christmasing at Jaco Beach, Costa Rica, it was a truly lazy vacay, lots of sun, food and drinks. I love being lazy, I'm an expert at it. We enjoyed long days at the pool where we met people from all over the world including a family from Fort Dodge, IA who also have a summer home on Lake Okoboji where we apparently dined next to each other, last Fourth of July. It was nice having other Iowans there to watch sad bowl games with.

Here are some pictures to prove I went on vacation. I'm not in any of, I guess you'll just have to take my word for it:

Quetzaltepec Volcano in San Saldador (airplane view)


We visited the marina at Los Suenos, where we ogled yachts.



Jesus on board!

Oh...and I almost forgot. I saw a UFO and I took pictures!

First attempt, laying on our rooftop, I got the other rooftop.

Final attempt (before it disappeared) I swear, there was something in the sky.