Thursday, December 29, 2005

Good & Bad

Ah, the day from hell started off as...the day from hell. Our dog sitter didn't show up. Nope, not at all. Evil kev went to his house and banged on the door and after 45 minutes we had to make a decision. We had to leave our dogs unsupervised.

Might not sound like a big deal, but Chinook has huge separation anxiety issues. We got him at the age of 11 months, just over a year ago now, and he'd been abandoned. I took one look into those big brown eyes and was a blubbering idiot. And I remind myself of that often, because he has numerous bad habits. In addition to trying to bury bones on my bookshelves he has also tried to bury one under my butt when I was asleep, de-stuffed coats and stuffed animals, shredded every blanket he's ever been given, and refused to sleep in the $150 doghouse we bought him. Only a few days after we got him, we had all sorts of things happening. Tickets to see Ian Rankin. Tickets to see Val McDermid. Tickets to the Sting/Annie Lennox concert. It was during that event that he pulled down every drape and ripped them to shreds. He has since pulled up the linoleum and wrecked the floor, chewed the handrail to bits, ripped up the old carpet, de-stuffed my weight bench and he tries to make our cats Chooky-snacks. One time when he got past me upstairs he went after Buttons. I grabbed him and put him in the bathroom, where he proceeded to jump against the door. We have an old house and he knocked the metal slide lock across, so when I'd locked up all the cats and went back for him I couldn't get the door open. I had to bodycheck it open, and let me tell ya, it ain't as easy as they make it look on tv.

Oh, and the other thing Chinook does when he's stressed is has diarrhea. You starting to get why I was worried?

Well, off we went, leaving the dogs unmonitored. We were late, obviously. And my Rodeo broke down.

But on the up side, the in-laws have finally figured out the way to their cold daughter-in-law's heart. Cold, hard cash. We cleared $175.00, plus evil kev got new jeans, I got a new sweater, we both got calendars, and we got an electric wok. We did awesome!

And the dogs survived. Downside is that kev is still at his Dad's doing that male-bonding thing over vehicle repairs. Some people might say it's time to give up already on the '91 Rodeo, but this is my baby. We drove it to the arctic circle and we've driven it to the coast and it's great for 4x4ing, which is sometimes necessary where we live, and it's actually been a low-maintenance vehicle. We've probably spent less than $800 in total in repairs on it in the past 3 years, including this problem. I love my Rodeo.

So I can't really complain. And there's even as up-side to kev being gone for a few days. I get to go read in bed undisturbed.

Though I'm re-thinking whether or not John rates as a 'top shelf' author now. Considering the British definition of the term. How would John rate in porn? Hmmmm...


M. G. Tarquini said...

How do you leave your dogs unmonitored? Don't they need to go out?

We board all our animals at the vet's when we leave. We used to just board the dogs and leave the cats home, but one of the cats is a terrorist and scares the others and it gets pretty dry here in Phoenix. One summer, though we had a lady stopping in to check on the cats, she didn't notice that the one was dehydrating. I guess the other cat was keeping her from the water bowl. We found her in the shower looking unhappy. She had to go on IV's. Since then - the animals either go with us or get boarded. Gets too hot here in Phoenix to trust that air conditioning won't go out or something else happen. Was a lot easier when we were in Philadelphia.

Our vet is a mensch and knows us to be suckers for animals so he gives us a nice discount for boarding them. Even so, it still costs something close to the national debt each time.

We have to get a new used SUV. We have a suburban, but it's needed way too much repair lately. We're looking for another used model, something not so big. We need an off-road vehicle in this state, but we don't do cross country travel anymore, so it can be smaller and not quite the gas suck the suburban is.

otherwise sounds like you had a great few days. Me? I got a chest x-ray that shows my lungs are clear, but I'm still sick as all get out. The doc's worried I'll crack a rib with all the coughing. He's putting me on steroids for a few days. Whatever this is, it's hitting the city hard.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Yeah, the dog thing has been a pain in the arse. We left them in a kennel once - good facility-wise - each had a nice big run area side by side. Came to pick them up after one night and she told us we should put Chinook down. Said he's too high-strung and if we ever brought him back she was charging us more money.

So we tried the dog-sitter thing. Worked well last time. And we do pay enough that it hurts.

We built an enclosure for our dogs a few months ago - outside, 6 foot high fencing so they can't jump out (huskies are jumpers), bottom of fence edged with concrete blocks so they can't dig out from under (huskies and diggers) and a 6x6x4 custom doghouse that they refuse to sleep in, but Noot will poo in it.

So we left them outside in the pen. And we had to adjust our plans to be back home that night within 10 hours of departing. Which made it a crazy crazy day, considering we first were to see kev's mom and then his dad. But under the circumstances, I found it very stressful. I worried all day. We'd fed them before we left, left them plenty of water, so that was all good.

It's just that they're such valuable dogs and I've caught people in our yard taking pictures of them and trying to get ahold of Noot. We lock them in their pen, but still...

So, we now have a huge 'holiday' dilemma. Because we know this person we hire to dog-sit. And I don't think kev would ever ask him again after this. But we live in the sticks and I can't imagine going away for a week and putting the dogs in a kennel, especially after Chinook's previous experience.

I hope you feel better soon mg! Sounds like you have Stuart's bug. I hope you have someone pampering you.

JamesO said...

And I thought Dachshunds were destructive...

Whenever we go abroad we have to fly out of Edinburgh so that the beasts can go and stay with my parents. This means a seven hour drive there, and a seven hour drive back when we return. But I couldn't put them in kennels and it's much, much cheaper than getting a dog-sitter in. Generally we just don't go anywhere - we've got no friends anyway so it doesn't matter;}#

That said, we got in a few months ago, having been out for all of five hours, to find that the Dachshund had managed to pull out one of his claws and left the kitchen looking like it had been used for filming the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. A little blood goes a long, long way.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Sometimes, if we're going in the direction of the city, we take the boys to daycare and go out for the day. They love daycare. And the doggie daycare is really really good.

It's also really really expensive.

And we have nobody in the family who can take them. K's mom lives in an apartment. K's dad let their cat get eaten by a coyote. Which may have been more merciful than the state he was in alive. And my sister has 3 kids, works and their yard is too small and cluttered with stuff the boys would like to chew on.

But at least I still get to come to the UK on my own in July.

M. G. Tarquini said...

A kennel that told you to put your dog down!


The bug is slowly loosing its grip. Isn't stuart in Scotland? I'm in Phoenix. That's a heck of a long way to travel. My kids are taking care of me. The husband when he gets home. I'm mostly snoozing. Which is what I'm going to go back and do in a few minutes...

Sandra Ruttan said...

Phoenix - I'm hoping to get to Arizona next year. I've always wanted to see Arizona.

Yeah, evil kev was really pissed about that kennel. They do much better at daycare, but Chinook can still get ancy if he doesn't get his mommy fix. Kev had some problems when I was in Scotland last summer, so now I don't know what we'll do when I go back over there.