Cats Never Learn…

•October 28, 2014 • 2 Comments

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A lot of people look upon folks like me who do not have children as if we have it so easy… all the time in the world to work on ourselves and be as zen as possible. Like we wake up when we feel like it, do some meditation and maybe some yoga, calmly start our morning looking at the birds and the sunrise…  and get ready for work.

Well, let me tell you about a typical morning, just like this morning, in my house…

Right now the weather finally broke enough to let some fresh air into the house and all the windows are open for the first time in about eight months. This in turn makes my animals go apeshit. Most of the house is closed up while we sleep except for the slider in our bedroom and the window to the other bedroom. This creates this wonderful cross breeze that is even more epic because there is a night blooming jasmine right outside the window in the front of the house that makes the whole back of the house smell wonderful. This makes my little black cat Albert lose his mind. Starting at about 4 AM.

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Let me backtrack a second. I purposefully feed the two cats a small amount of food before we go to bed so that MAYBE they will relax throughout the night and let us sleep for five hours. The open windows prove that this is pointless. So roughly around 4 AM we get to hear a little jingle of a collar, which in my blissful unsuspecting dreams I imagine is money in my pocket… or fairies… Which is then followed by what is clearly the result of a large leap of his ten lb body from the floor onto the screen door to catch invisible geckos, which produces a crash of metal and screen of the slider right in our bedroom. If you have never been woken up by such a sound it is quite startling to say the least. It is a wonder either of us have not wet the bed at one point when this happens.

This continues to go on periodically, mixed with meowing and small mews and some yelling from my husband and I,  for the next two hours until we finally get up out of bed. By that time the dog is completely restless licking his feet incessantly and yawning, flipping onto his back and kicking us as much as possible. Either myself or my husband takes the dog out to do his business and when we come back in both cats are howling and circling like sharks.

Just to refresh your memory, I have two cats and a dog. I have an old cat named Jimi who is 15, a small black cat named Albert who is 6, and a dog named Oscar who is just over 2 years old.

The howling is for food. I cannot leave cat food down on the floor 24 hours a day because the dog will eat it. Not to mention Albert has an eating disorder and he will continuously eat until he throws up. But I will get to that in a second.

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It is still pitch black outside, the sun is not nearly ready to wake up and neither are we. The cats plan it this way, I am convinced. While trying to make coffee and wake up, both cats are in my small tight kitchen circling around my feet, screaming bloody murder, running back and forth and beating the shit out of each other. They do this periodically throughout the day, as I work from home. Demanding food when, should I give in for some peace and quiet, most of the time Jimi will not eat it anyway. If Jimi does not eat it, Albert is at his heals waiting in the wings to jump in and eat it.  I will also get to that in a second.

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In a daze of exhaustion, I make coffee with them screaming, howling, looking at me with their faces practically turning inside out while yelling, walking into me, running back-and-forth darting in front of my feet desperately trying to trip me. I get the coffee brewing and open up the windows in the rest of the house with them again darting in front of my feet trying to trip me. Screaming. Have I mentioned the screaming?

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I have a small white board on my fridge that I take to sometimes to state frustration publicly…

And then the real frenzy begins. As I gather their food bowls the screaming and pacing and darting rises to an epic peak. This gets the dog all wound up too. He starts pacing and whining as well. It is a chorus of screaming and whining and pacing and darting. I prepare the food and simply cannot put it down fast enough for them to relax in any possible way. It proves too much for them and the cats start spinning in circles screaming and still manage to dart in front of my feet, as if preventing me from putting the food down is a way of getting the food down faster.

I will never ever understand.

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The food goes down and everyone starts to eat and for the first moment in the last four hours everything is quiet. Jimi eats very very VERY slowly. I usually put his food down first and he is always the last one still eating. He is old and has a little bit of cognitive failure where I think he THINKS he is hungry, but then loses interest in his food immediately. Albert is always there waiting for the opportunity to jump in and finish it for him.  Albert, the small cat eats as if his life depends on it and wolfs down his food at an epic pace. This proves to be his biggest downfall.

The rock of slow eating...

The rock of slow eating… HA!

The coffee is done, the animals are still eating and my husband and I finally sit after doing random chores like cleaning the litter box and taking it out to the trash before they pick it up early in the morning. But alas, it never fails it seems, that as soon as our asses hit the chairs, we hear the familiar sound of cat gagging. Albert has eaten too fast (there is a rock in his food dish that he must eat around in my attempt to try to make him eat slower).  He will now throw up the entire contents of his stomach randomly around the house. The dog gets upset and tries to eat the puke, Jimi gets distracted and leaves an entire bowl of food that the dog will try to eat as well. Albert is roaming around the house puking in random spots, and we try to corral him so that he does not do it on furniture or rug or in the guest bedroom where we have someone staying with all of their clothes and things out for the puking.

My husband and I kind of have this dance down at this point. One of us plays referee and keeps the dog away from the puke while attempting to keep Jimi eating while also trying to push Albert onto the tile. The other grabs paper towels and disinfectant and starts to clean up the random piles of puke. Sometimes this happens after Jimi has already eaten his food or at least as much as he will eat.  That is when the refereeing takes on a whole different level, adding the task of making sure he does not do any of his business in the house somewhere, like the carpet. It is a lot of protecting the carpet. Not because we care about the carpet but cleaning puke or poop off of carpet as opposed to tile is whole other level of Hell. You see Jimi is incontinent a lot of the time. I also think he does it territorially but that is a whole other matter. And it is not just relegated to urine. Let me tell you the smell of his poop could kill a small family. We go through incense in this house faster than an Indian temple. If we do not get to the poop fast enough the entire house will be become putrid with the smell of it. It is brutal.

Thankfully this time of the year the windows are open because when the house is all closed up with the air conditioning it is a whole other battle.

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This is a typical morning. As I mentioned Jimi is old and incontinent. He also has some cognitive failure where he walks in circles and screams for no reason, or to simply let the entire house know he will be heading to the litter box any second. Maybe. This is typical of an older cat in decline. Add to that Albert who has a horrible eating disorder. He has a one track mind and is CONSTANTLY begging for food, scoping out the kitchen, trying to get into cabinets that have child locks on them because of this,  and demanding food running back-and-forth in the kitchen at my feet ALL DAY LONG. I think this is a result of him being the runt of the litter and abandoned as a kitten. He has always done this. It is incredibly annoying. I cannot leave any food on the counter, especially bread products, chips, even bags of coffee. I cannot leave his food down for him in any capacity because he will continuously eat it until he throws up and then eat some more. He eats so fast that normally he throws it up anyway. Not only is this a waste of food but it also makes him ravenous all day long which heightens the crazy demanding of food all day long.

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And then we have my lovely dog. Oscar does not seem to understand the word NO. So when one of the cats is puking he runs right for it. It becomes a battle of all wills to keep the frenzy under control. He is also having an issue with the windows open now as well because he has this intense fear of people and noises. We are desperately considering putting him on medication of some kind. Like doggie Prozac to kind of curb his fear and open his mind a little bit. As a lot of you long time readers will understand, after Cody I have a huge issue putting my dog on any kind of chemical. But this seems necessary and possibly another lesson for me. It is about HIS quality of life. He gets so freaked out by people and noises that his heart races and he visibly shakes.

Yesterday I was working at the kitchen counter and the dog was sleeping on the couch. I heard some people coming to the door to drop something on my doorstep and started to get up from my seat. As I stand up behind the kitchen counter stool, the dog hears the noise, leaps over the couch, and barrels straight into me knocking my feet out from under me and I fell backward HARD slamming onto the tile on my back. I have not been hit this hard since I worked at a YMCA camp in Hawaii and was playing flag football with a Samoan. That time my tied shoes flew off my feet, this time my leg slammed into the stool and I landed hard on my back and my butt. Completely dazed I had no idea how I had gotten onto the floor! I have a nice black and blue mark on my left cheek to prove it.

Oscar never looked back, he barked like a lunatic out the windows and had no idea what he had done. There’s no way to control him when he does this. As much as I appreciate the watchdog in him it becomes too much. His fear level is so high that he is shaking and there is no way to reach him or bring him back.

Anyway, that is a whole other post.

Never judge a book by it’s cover folks… Suffice it to say the whole point of this post is that being childless with animals does not mean that you have this carefree, wonderful, relaxed, restful, full life.  Parents -count yourselves lucky that at least children grow up and start to learn behaviors that you have instilled in them and it gets easier.

Cats never learn.

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I Was That Crazy Lady This Morning…

•October 9, 2014 • 2 Comments

I am one of those crazy women who actually enjoys mowing her own lawn. I love the sense of accomplishment, I love the smell of fresh-cut grass, I do it right after my run and I love the little added workout that I get pushing the lawnmower. But this is not why I was THAT crazy lady this morning…

Now before I get into what happened let me backtrack a little bit…

It is a common sight in my neighborhood which is gorgeous by the way, to see piles of fast food trash thrown on the sides of the road. Being somewhat of a hippy child, and remembering when I grew up how littering was completely wrong in so many ways, it astounds me. I truly have a big problem with this. On many occasions I have brought it up with my homeowners Association, and they say they know it is the lawn workers who tend to toss the trash out when they’re done having lunch in the shade somewhere. But nothing ever seems to be done about it. Again another source of absolute frustration for me. But the landscapers are not the only ones who do this, a lot of the kids in the neighborhood do it as well. I have seen them dump beer bottles and trash before. However I am not stupid enough to walk up to a carload of boys and go absolutely bonkers. I do have some sense.

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So this morning as I was right in the middle of mowing and a group of high school kids apparently we’re going in at a later time today, walking to the bus stop at the corner across the street from my house. I watch this kid, a young and healthy good-looking kid who walks right by me,  toss trash right in front of me at the lake towards the ducks that were hanging out right there. I was blown away. I stopped mowing but kept the lawnmower going, and stared unbelieving at this kid, and then back again to see if he actually did toss trash like I think I saw. I just kind of lost it. I stopped the lawnmower, turned it off, and walked directly over to where the trash was. I picked it up, and walked directly across the street towards him with all of his friends staring at me as I get closer towards them. There was a young girl with her mouth agape watching me. As I got closer to him I said “Excuse me! Excuse me! I think you dropped this. I don’t know who you think is going to clean this shit up for you, but it is not going to be me!” And I handed it to him. He took it and said nothing and continue to talk to his friends. I turned and walked back to finish my lawn. After the bus came and picked him up I walked over and there it was, laying right where he stood.

What a cool guy.

Now, I am not one to make grand blanket statements about society in general just from one or two incidents. So let me tell you about another one that happened just recently.

My husband and I take our dog to the beach every Sunday, or at least we try to. We were there a few weekends ago and being that Oscar is scared of people we take notice of anyone that walks onto the beach anywhere near us. We watched this group of students, I believe that they were FAU students since that school is literally blocks away from this particular beach, filming something in a group. They had bags with them that were filled with trash. And I watch them throw trash onto the beach and film themselves pretending to pick it up. Making sure to fix their hair and their lovely hippy dresses while they were doing it. They staged and staged picking up trash on the beach that actually had trash on it. They buried their own, strategically placed it around, and then filmed each other picking it up while they said “we’re going to clean up the beach today!”

I took my own pictures of this fiasco:

 

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Now I ask you, is this what we want to teach our children? Are these the hands we want to leave the world in?

I am simply blown away about what I see here. Florida is one of the most beautiful places in the country. The amount of plants, ocean, beautiful blue sky, and wonderful wildlife should make you feel it is worth preserving. Instead of taking it for granted that someone else will clean up your shit after you.

Blown away. But more than that I am sad for our future. The blatant disregard for anyone that comes after you is apparent in so many ways and this is just one small example.

Damn.

Safe Travels Lucas…

•September 15, 2014 • Leave a Comment

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My husband just called me. He asked me if I was sitting down and I knew it could not be good news, but I had no idea….

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Our sweet summer boarder, Oscar’s best buddy and playmate, passed away this morning. He apparently was fine this morning giving kisses to his daddy and jumping around excited ready to go on a walk with his mommy. During the walk he collapsed, revived enough to get to the vet, and collapsed again. They actually took him to the emergency room of the vet hospital where they tried to revive him but they could not do it. They said he had something around his heart that was preventing the blood from moving and they could see blood around the outside of his heart. The vet said that this was something that he probably had for a long time and he might’ve had these episodes before although no one ever saw them.

And he just never woke up again.

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I am heartbroken. A total mess. He was such a sweet boy. Big old ball of love. Who loved belly rubs and to nibble on your neck. He had so much energy this summer while he was here for a month. He ran around the living room and played in the pool with Oscar. He did not seem ill at all. My Gate Keeper Of The Refrigerator Door…

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I know the family must be heartbroken as we are. It is a sad day in our house.

Safe travels sweet Lucas… We will miss you big guy…

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY OSCAR!!!

•September 5, 2014 • 1 Comment

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Today is Oscar’s second birthday. He is two years old but it feels like we’ve had him a lifetime already. He is such a part of the family, and is so incredibly spoiled I do not remember life without him. And then it feels hard to believe that we have had him two years already. Time sure does fly when you’re old. Haha!

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Hubby and I have been trying to break him in a little bit more with getting used to people. It is the hottest part of the year here in Florida and every Sunday for the last three we have been taking Oscar to the beach with us. Sometimes there are other dogs, but mostly there are other people. I think it has been very good for him to get used to seeing people walk by us, or come up and talk to us, and get used to it. As he sits in the shade under the umbrella in the tremendous heat he gets used to the traffic, but also gets exhausted. Being a completely black dog in the sun and heat in Florida is a little hard on him. We make sure to take him in the water constantly and of course he drinks a lot of water and chews on some ice as well. We try to get there as early as possible usually before 10 AM, so it is not so bad. Oscar is also getting more comfortable in the water as well, jumping waves and not afraid to go under. It is actually hilarious!

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Both hubby and I think that the method of taking him to the beach and getting used to more people is actually helping. Although he still has a lot of anxiety when he sees someone else, it seems to pass more quickly. Or maybe that is just wishful thinking.

He is a completely different dog privately then he is publicly. In private he is honestly one of the most sweet, affectionate, loving dogs I have ever known. He is gentle and smart and protective and playful.

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But in public to someone who’s never met him before, he comes off fearful, anxious and could even be considered aggressive if you didn’t understand that all of his barking is out of fear. I have had people who have met him for the first time claimed that he must’ve been abused at some point in his life. This is absolutely not the case. That is why it is so perplexing. And that is why we are working on it so much. But this is an old story for some of you diehard readers. And also a testament on how much of an investment it is to rehabilitate and train a dog. It is a long and intense labor of love and a test in consistency. Consistency is absolutely key.

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Anyway…

September is a very busy month for birthdays. It just so happens that not only is today Oscar’s birthday but also a niece and a nephew of mine as well. And Tuesday happens to be my birthday although I am not celebrating that one. So this weekend is a celebration of many birthdays but mostly Oscar’s. I am in complete denial about how spoiled he actually is.

But what is the point of life if you can’t spoil those that you love?

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He’s Baaaaack…..

•July 26, 2014 • Leave a Comment

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For the last week we have had our good buddy Lucas back visiting us for the next month. If you remember, Lucas is a large white Labrador whose parents go to Argentina every summer for a month. Last year Oscar was very young when he came and they got along great but because of Oscar’s weirdness these last couple of months we were a little concerned with how he would react to having another dog in the house now. Well, not really CONCERNED per se, more like curious. Oscar is a very dominant alpha dog. He falls into step with my husband when he is home, but for me there is a battle with Oscar over who is alpha quite a lot of the time. He really doesn’t listen to me very well. Mommy is optional.IMG_0367

Last Saturday we were expecting Lucas early afternoonish. So in the morning my husband took the dog out to the pool after he got back from a run. Oscar and Tim were swimming and suddenly there’s a knock on the door as i was cutting up mango. It is mango season here in Florida. I just had to throw that out there because it is my favorite time of year here. Mangoes are the most perfect food on the planet! Every single one we pull off of the tree and cut open is an absolute joy. It is ridiculous to me that something can be so outstandingly perfect and delicious! I am astounded at how much I enjoy them. It makes me feel rich. Who needs money when you can pick a delicious fruit like that off of a tree and eat it? I am slightly allergic as the skin has a somewhat poison ivy effect, but I don’t care. It is so worth it. Okay, sorry for the tangent I’m back now….

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So as I said, husband and Oscar are in the pool enjoying getting cooled off after a run. I’m in the house and I hear knock on the door. I was not expecting to open the door to Lucas, who ran inside and jumped around as if he remembered everything about the house and me. He was so excited to see me and jumped in circles giving me kisses and whining a little bit. It was hilarious and totally unexpected. His daddy came in and was shocked at the way this eight-year-old Labrador was acting. Very puppy like. I told them that Oscar and hubby were outside and so off they went. As soon as we opened the back door Lucas and Oscar were in the pool! Lucas’s daddy said that he never goes in their pool. He was shocked to see Lucas jump right in and sit on the step wading in the shallow end. We ended up keeping them outside almost all day. Lucas has a very dense coat, so getting him dry enough for the house was a challenge he stays wet for a really long time.

The two dogs have been roughhousing all week-long. Oscar pretty much tortures Lucas. He taunts him with toys, tries to get Lucas to chase him around the couch which works sometimes but not every time. Oscar can’t seem to just leave him be. Even when Lucas is just laying down Oscar has to get in his face and smell him or bite his legs or torture him in someway. We were correct in our assumption that Oscar would battle for alpha position even though Lucas doesn’t really challenge it in any real way. Something that Oscar has gotten in the habit of doing even to our small black cat Albert, he ambushes anyone who is walking through a door. So let’s say for example the cat has been out on the porch and wants to come in. If I start to walk over to the slider to let Albert in, Oscar runs over to the door and stands with his legs apart right in front of where it will open. I tell him to get back but he does not listen to me, and as soon as Albert sets foot inside the door Oscar charges him with his mouth open and chases him through the house sometimes getting his mouth around Albert’s neck. It is just play but it is rough play and with Lucas it seems a little bit more aggressive than it does with anyone else.

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Aside from that it seems like Oscar and Lucas get along pretty good. They don’t lay side-by-side or anything cute like that but they do play together. Anyone seeing it from the outside would think that they were actually fighting with the amount of growling and barking that goes on. It sounds absolutely vicious. But it is quite the opposite. Both are still wagging their tails as they are making all this noise.

I think Lucas is a good influence on Oscar too. Lucas is very well-adjusted, not afraid of the TV by any means (HAHA!) and may teach Oscar some good habits like not barking uncontrollably when someone comes to the door ane enters the house. We had some friends over Saturday night and Oscar calmed down a lot faster than he usually does. Win win!

I’ve always wondered what Oscar would be like if we decided to get another dog. And I think Oscar understands that Lucas is just visiting. But they seem to have fallen to step and it’s getting easier as time progresses. Lucas has made me really miss having a true Labrador in the house however. He is a big fluffy harp seal looking bear of a dog. He has those big dark eyes and that white fluffy for. And he’s so large and sweet. As soon as you look at him he wags his tail, he wants to be petted and rolls over immediately with his legs in the air and just wants to be loved. Oscar will be taunting him with the ball running around the couch and all of us wants to do is interact with me. As soon as I sit down on the couch he comes over and rest his head on my knee just wanting me to invite him up.

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So needless to say things have been interesting around the house lately. The amount of fur that blows across my floor is insurmountable. I am just getting ready to vacuum the whole house as I write this. Fun for the whole family! But this experience has been great for all of us, and it makes me want to add another dog to the house… a Labrador.

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A Birthday…

•July 15, 2014 • 7 Comments

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I woke up this morning, 6am with the sun, rolled over to the side and looked at the dimly lit picture of my sweet boy’s face that I have framed there. Today is Cody’s birthday. He would have been a young 9 years old. At 9 a healthy Labrador would be a happy and still energetic guy, maybe just starting to feel his age but also mentally perfect, that sweet and affectionate and always good natured dog that only a Labrador can become. It is not lost on me that we missed these wonderful years together.

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As I look around my house this morning I realize how much he is still a part of my life. My painting in the living room, my tattoo on my left foot of his left foot, the framed pictures hanging and placed everywhere, his ashes, his leash that Oscar uses now every day, and some of his toys that still have a life of their own. But some of the more important little reminders are in the things that are outside of my bubble, and maybe they are not so little after all.

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This week our tap water wreaks of bleach. I find this ironic that it is happening THIS week. This happens periodically here in Florida. The Palm Beach County Water Utilities Dept treats the water supply with large amounts of chemical “to flush the system and make it safe for drinking”. To me, this is poison. My kitchen faucet smells like a public swimming pool. I not only use this water for cooking but also to bathe in. Your skin is the largest organ of your body and absorbs the water you bathe in… How can this chlorine water be good for you? Your skin and hair? Brushing your teeth and washing your face, getting in your eyes. Let alone to drink it… This is why in my house, we do not drink our tap water here. Bottled water only in this house for us and the animals.

Thank you Cody for that lesson.

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They also just sprayed our neighborhood for weeds and mosquitoes. I was driving home from Publix early one morning last week with the windows of my car open (this time of year that can only happen before 8am) and i could smell this sweet orangish chemical smell. As i got closer to my street it got stronger. As i turned my corner there he was. A tractor-like contraption with a guy on the back with a hose pumping a cloud of the sweet pungent Agent Orange all over the canal embankment, and into the air. I could not close my windows fast enough! This set into motion Oscar not being allowed over anywhere near that area until after a heavy rain. These poor ducks, ibis, limpkins, herons and various other wildlife that call that area home… Exposed to this toxic unnatural killer. It saddens me…

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Cody changed my life. He caused me to think further than buying his food cheaply and conveniently at a grocery store. Trusting that some other entity or corporation had his best interest and health in mind when they made his food from scraps and filler. He caused me to think further about what went into his body, what he was exposed to, and in turn what I am exposed to as well. How i fuel MY body. He set me on this path to change my life and career. In this way I still honor him every day.

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I do not “celebrate” the day Cody passed. That anniversary was roughly two weeks ago. That was one of the hardest days and weekends of my life. I acknowledge it, and I did. Privately. But I do celebrate the day he entered this world to be my loving companion for those very special 7 years we spent together. He was my reason for living for a long time when i had no one else to come home to. My reason for getting up in the morning and seeing the day, exercising and experiencing, getting my blood moving, watching the birds. He was my reason for shopping, spoiling him with toys and treats. And my buddy on those quiet nights when all i wanted to do was chill out at home. He listen to me without judgment, and never left my side no matter where I went.

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I will miss him forever, but i know he finished what he had to do here. We were meant to find each other, affect each other, change each others lives. He showed me what it was to have unconditional love, and showed me how to care for something so selflessly that I did not know I had it in myself. He opened my eyes to things I was not aware of previously, and had his cancer not happened I still might be blindly walking through this life. I am so incredibly thankful of the time we spent together. Some beings do not need as many years as others to complete their mission, fulfill their destiny.

Happy Birthday Cody, I love you more than words can express and I miss you every single day… You are the best there is or ever was…

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Everybody Scares My Dog…

•July 3, 2014 • 2 Comments

I have been meaning to post for over a week now about our minivacation for my husband’s birthday. We took Oscar over to the West Coast of Florida to Bonita Springs. It was one of our favorite areas to go with Cody. They have a wonderful dog beach and the whole city is very dog friendly.

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We were originally supposed to arrive in Bonita on Friday night kind of late. We had an errand to do before we got on the road to the West Coast. So we packed up the car to the brim, loaded up the dog and started on our way pretty late, around 8 PM. On our way to do that errand I was just getting on I 95, heard an awful noise -we got a flat tire. Not just any flat tire, it was absolutely ripped apart and destroyed. We were right next to an offramp but there was no way I could ride on the rim of my car to even get down the off ramp. So we pulled over to the side of the road, on I-95, and my husband jumped out to attend to the tire. Talk about frightening. The traffic on I-95 in Florida is horrendous. It is 6 lanes. People like to think that they are race car drivers even going down an off ramp, where you really should slowdown. No one slows down.

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Had the car been empty this would not have been such an ordeal. But we were loaded to the brim as I said and the dog was in the car as well. I have mentioned before that Oscar is a little bit anxious. Okay that’s an understatement. And owning a Honda Element the tire is underneath the flat bed area in the back of the truck. So essentially we had to unload the entire back of the car, all of the contents, to get the spare out. On I95. Suffice it to say it really sucked. The dog was freaking out because my husband was outside of the car, traffic was whizzing by at light speed, the car would shake while it was up on the jack because of the cars whizzing by, and it took forever. Apparently the lugnuts were rusty or something and would not come loose. Ugh…

Once the spare was on the truck and we knew we couldn’t drive all the way to the West Coast of Florida on a doughnut. So we finished our errand and went back home. I called the hotel we were going to stay in, and postponed our check in until the following day. At no charge. Very nice of them on such short notice.

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Saturday morning bright and early my husband went and got my tire, we loaded up the car, loaded up the dog and hit the road once again. We made it over to Bonita before noon, and took the dog directly to the dog beach at Lovers Key. As I mentioned we used to take Cody here all the time and he loved it. Dogs everywhere and their owners enjoying the beach together. As it should be.

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We set up some beach chairs, an umbrella, had our cooler and let Oscar loose. And what did he do? He hid between us under the umbrella hiding from people and dogs all day long

We tried coaxing him out into the water, and he would follow us because we both went, but really was not playing around with any other dogs or people. It truly is so upsetting to see him not enjoying himself in social situations that he should be enjoying thoroughly. We do not shelter him, he goes to the dog park and has gone since he was a very young puppy. We stayed for quite a long time hoping that he would start to relax into things, but it never really happened. He got a little bit better later in the day as it started to clear out. But he never really completely relaxed at all.

Finally we went back to the hotel, checked in and got him into the room where he was pretty much a nervous wreck listening to all the sounds in the hotel. I brought his pheromones and doused his bandanna with it, hoping that it would calm his nerves. After my husband and I showered we decided to walk over to a dog friendly restaurant across the street, and Oscar tolerated it. Again, he never relaxed, but he definitely tolerated sitting outside with us.

When we got back to the hotel he promptly passed out from all of the stress. And slept pretty well throughout the night. Of course, on the bed right in between my husband and I.

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Sunday was my husband’s birthday. We woke up and walked over to a diner that was next-door to our hotel which is one of our favorite places to eat. We got breakfast to go and walked back to the hotel with Oscar to eat. Then we got all of our stuff together for our trek over to Sanibel Island. The entire island of Sanibel is very dog friendly. So again we got our camp together with our umbrella and beach chairs, cooler and the dog and found a great spot to plant ourselves for the day. And that is exactly what we did. All day.

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Surprisingly enough Oscar was so much better on Sanibel beach than he was at the dog beach. I think maybe the dog beach was just too much overload for him with people and their dogs running amok. Sanibel was very low-key and we only saw two other dogs all day long. We took him in the water with us, swam around with him quite a bit, sat under the umbrella and enjoyed the shade and the view all day long. I think all three of us enjoyed Sanabel much better than the dog beach. It was a winner.

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We stayed there until about 6 PM, got back in the car and got some dinner, and then back to the hotel where we all promptly passed out after baths and showers. We all had so much sun we were wiped out. I honestly have never seen Oscar so incredibly tired. He didn’t even have the energy to bark at the noises in the hotel.

The following day which was Monday, we checked out of the hotel and cruised around Bonita and Naples. We went to visit some friends and family, had lunch, and then started our trek home so we could be there a little bit earlier to unpack and unwind.

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All in all it was a very nice trip. We realize that Oscar is scared of everyone except for us, and I guess that’s okay. We are still working on it and find that exposing him to trips and situations like this weekend are helpful to get him used to being around people. I still think the pheromones are working, and he is no longer frightened to death of the television which is good. I’ve actually been noticing him watching TV at times, so I think his mind is putting it together that it is not frightening and not really a human that he is seeing there.

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I know that all dogs are different. Any dog owner knows that. This one is definitely different than any dog I have ever experienced before and I love him because he is so special. He is just going to take a little bit more time than the average dog to adjust to things…

But…  I have all the time in the world.

 

 

 

 

 

 
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