Category Archives: animals

First therapy dog visit

I have run out of space for photos on this blog! To read about Sudo’s first therapy dog visit, go to my new blog, It’s Okay, I Have A Book. I’ll move the last year or so of content from here over to there sometime soon, but right now it’s past my bedtime.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under animals

New routines

At the end of the day, I gather up some of Sudo’s toys from where she has scattered them about the living room and put them back on her bed in our bedroom. In the morning, she carries them out one by one (“incoming,” we say to each other as she marches through with a yellow teddy bear in her mouth) and distributes them around the house. This is pretty much the extent of her “playing.” It’s not uncommon that we’ll throw a toy for her when she’s in a playful mood, she’ll catch it once, and when we throw it again, she lets it hit her in the face. Playtime over. Commence eighteenth nap of the day.

This morning, though, I noticed one of her toys in an unusual place.

Notice the stuffed duck on the chair.

Notice the stuffed duck on the chair.

“Ben,” I asked, “did you do this?” He came to look. No, he had not left a stuffed duck on his chair. “She left you a present!” I said. Ordinarily, she only deposits things in places where she might use them for a pillow later – her bed, the couch, the recliner, the futon, the floor. She’s pretty flexible but I don’t think she would try to curl up in a plastic folding chair.

A distribution of toys.

A distribution of toys.

Meanwhile, she seemed pretty much the same.

"Who, me?"

“Who, me?”

It kind of reminded me of the scene in The Boggart by Susan Cooper where the Boggart leaves a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on Jessup’s chair as a present, but Jessup misinterprets the gesture and thinks his sister booby-trapped his chair. He should have known better; Emily would never do such a thing.

"It wasn't a literary allusion. I can't even read."

“It wasn’t a literary allusion. I can’t even read.”

1 Comment

Filed under animals, unusual

Keeping an eye on the stray sheep

It’s indisputable that of the two humans in the house, I’m the dog’s favorite, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t keep track of Ben’s whereabouts too. When he goes outside to shovel snow (again), she watches through the window…at least for a few minutes.

Sudo looking out window

Brr, it looks cold out there. Why did he go out there?

Sudo ears alert

Where’d he go? (This is where she’ll hop from the recliner to the couch so she can get a better view.)

And he gets the third degree when he comes back inside.

Sudo legs crossed

Do you know what time it is, mister? Don’t walk away while I’m talking to you. You said you’d be home an hour ago.

All that vigilance really tires her out, though.

Sudo napping on couch

Whew, my eyes were open for five whole minutes there. Time for a nap with my stuffed animal friends.

You think shoveling is hard work? Try watching someone shovel.

Leave a comment

Filed under animals, weather

Even more snow days

The next time I have to go to work on a Monday, it’s going to be a rude shock. As of tomorrow, it’ll be three in a row, and next week is Presidents’ Day, so I already know we’ll be closed (but who knows, it could be snowing then too, it probably will be if the last three weeks are any indication). I’ve enjoyed the extra time at home to sleep in, read more (including all three books I mentioned in my last snow day post), and cuddle with the dog, speaking of which (whom?)…

Sudo is certified as a therapy dog!

Sudo and her new friend Daisy, certified therapy dogs!

After attending three workshops with Dog B.O.N.E.S. (Building Opportunities for Nurturing and Emotional Support), Sudo, Ben, and I are a certified therapy dog team. This does NOT mean Sudo can (or should) assist the blind in crossing streets, nor does it mean that I can take her on a plane as my “emotional support animal”; what it does mean is that we can visit places like assisted living facilities, nursing homes, colleges, and anywhere else where her presence might brighten someone’s day. Our instructors were great, and the classes were a very good start to what I hope will be a rewarding volunteer experience. (I think Sudo earned extra points for not trying to chew the tennis balls off the walker feet; unlike, say, golden retrievers, Sudo cares not a whit for tennis balls.)

I’m pretty certain she’ll enjoy visiting people who want to pet her. What she is enjoying less is this:

WHY IS IT STILL LIKE THIS?

WHY IS IT STILL LIKE THIS?

But until she learns to use the toilet – and I just can’t see that happening – three times a day we must rouse her from one of the below poses to go outside, at least for a few minutes.

Snuggling with stuffed alligator toy

Snuggling with stuffed alligator toy

Tucked under a blanket on the couch

Tucked under a blanket on the couch

Pretending that outdoors does not exist

Pretending that outdoors does not exist

Somewhat miraculously, Ben’s birthday outing was not snowed out. Six of us made it to Danvers to play indoor mini-golf, because nothing says grown-up birthday party like glow-in-the-dark monster-themed mini-golf. (Right, other grown-ups who read this blog?)

Par three? Are they kidding?

Par three? Are they kidding?

Cool, right?

Cool, right?

Both before and after indoor mini-golf, we stood around in the parking lot and ate homemade cupcakes out of the trunk of our car. This is also a very grown-up thing to do. (Hey, we knew enough not to bring outside food into the establishment. If glow-in-the-dark monster-themed indoor mini-golf can be called an establishment.)

Grown-ups!

Grown-ups!

While I was planning that classy outing for Ben’s birthday, he took me to see Nick Hornby. So yeah, I think we’re even.

What will tomorrow’s snow day reading be? Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug, Howards End by E.M. Forster (it was mentioned in Vanessa and Her Sister), another book from my TBR list? We shall see…

Last, and least, the rose bush got another haircut:

DSC07995

Almost a year old – it was a Valentine’s Day present last year.

 

1 Comment

Filed under animals, elsewhere, holiday, plants, seasons, weather

Snow days

The blizzard hit pretty much as predicted in our area. This morning I went out the back door and waded through snow above my knees. We took Sudo out the front instead, so there was only a little deep snow before the street, which had been plowed at least once during the night or early morning. Coming back in, Ben was going to dig a little path through the snow banked between the street and the front steps, but Sudo had had enough of being outside, and tried to jump straight over the snowbank. She kind of got stranded on her belly, since the snow was taller than she was, but she paddled on through, ran up the stairs, and tried to push the front door open with her face. She’d be shocked to learn she’s the same species as a husky.

sudoandben

snowdog1

snowdog2

In this one you can see how she’s squinting her eyes against the snow and wind.

Inside, we’ve been well provisioned, having purposefully created leftovers for the past couple days in case the power went out (it hasn’t). Fresh baked bread, North African stew, pasta with homemade sauce, chocolate chip cookies, and lots of tea and hot cocoa. And that’s just the food! We also have stacks of books. I finished God’s Hotel by Victoria Sweet (thanks Erin!) and am trying to decide what to read next – The Art of Fielding? The first in Tamora Pierce’s Immortals series? Vanessa and Her Sister? Decisions, decisions.

Back inside and ensconced in her armchair once again.

Back inside and ensconced in her armchair once again.

 

1 Comment

Filed under animals, seasons, weather

Camouflage

No question who this armchair really belongs to.

DSC07647

DSC07648

DSC07649

If you guessed “Sudo,” you are correct. Those adoption people were not kidding when they said greyhounds love soft surfaces.

1 Comment

Filed under animals

Puppy picture

My mom just found a photo of her Australian shepherd, Lucas, when he was a puppy:

lucaspuppy

There aren’t enough “awwww”s in the world, right? And you can’t even see his little pink belly.

There aren’t enough “awwww”s in the world, right? And you can’t even see his little pink belly.

One thing we missed out on by adopting an adult dog was the adorable puppy stage. (And greyhound puppies ARE adorable.) Of course, it’s also less work to bring an adult dog into the home, and when you adopt a greyhound from the track, you’re usually their first home/family, so they bond to you much like a puppy does, which is pretty much the best of both worlds.

1018141552a

Seven years old and still cute. Look at those ears! And those long, long legs. Perfect for jumping on furniture!

1018141552b

Enjoying some sunshine from the comfort of the couch.

Outside on one of the last warm days. She really wants to join us in the hammock, but that would be a disaster.

Outside on one of the last warm days. She really wants to join us in the hammock, but that would be a disaster.

2 Comments

Filed under animals