Retirement and Dogs Part 1

I decided to do this blog because, as all people would probably say, my dogs are special. I have two dogs, GG and Mason, who are both a handful. Since I retired, it seems like I work harder than ever before for the government. If you are a government worker, you can probably relate to how hard I have worked. I want to start this blog at the very beginning, when I got my first dog.

I was just out of a relationship and I hated – and I mean literally hated – coming home to an empty house. I had coworkers who were always talking about dogs, so with me hating coming home alone and them filling my head with the wonders of pet ownership, I decided to get a dog. I had just moved into a new apartment, unaware that I wasn’t supposed to have pets, as it wasn’t something I originally had to consider having not yet had the idea to get a dog. After months of going back and forth and seeing the people that lived across from me with a cat, I decided that if they can have a cat, I can have a dog. I did inquire with management, who told me no pets. I think there was a double standard there, as it seemed that they could rationalize when it came to cats, but not with dogs. I wasn’t hearing it. I was sitting at work one day a week before Thanksgiving, bored crazy, and I decided “today I’m getting my dog!”. A coworker told me where to go, which was way out in Brooklyn. I lived way up in New Jersey, close to the Poconos. I was not to be deterred by distance. I took the train to Brooklyn. I didn’t know what I was looking for exactly; just a small dog that didn’t molt all over the place. There were a lot of people looking at dogs and a lot of dogs looking for a new home. I saw this group of Shih Tzu’s, all different colors and so small. I was in love, but which one? The one I chose ran to me when the owner of the store took her out. I had already fallen in love when the bad news came. She had a hernia and they planned to treat it, but I wanted my dog now and I didn’t want to make that trip all over again. I went back to the small group of Shih Tzus and picked another. When the store owner let her out, she walked in the opposite direction to me. Stubborn, I decided to take her anyway. I purchased a carrier that looked like a purse for the long trip back to New Jersey. She slept most of the way and I guess people kept looking at me because the carrier kept moving. ‘What now?’ I thought to myself. We finally arrived at my car after what seemed like hours. I was tired and I was hoping that she was too. I hadn’t prepared at all for this dog. I had no food, no training pad and no permission to even own a dog. It was dark and she was asleep. I ran into the store which fortunately wasn’t too crowded, as I had to leave her in the carrier while I picked up few things for her. Finally, I arrived back home. I let her out the carrier so she could get familiar with her new home. She peed on the floor and almost fell down the stairs that lead into the living room. I was tired, and my reasons for getting the dog went out the window after cleaning up the pee and baby-proofing the stairs. The problems start mounting the next blog.

Women In The Military

Women in The Military

Women have always had a place in the military. The women in the military in 1943 belonged to an auxiliary unit called Women’s Army Corps or WAC for short. They didn’t do any of the dangerous or hazardous jobs that men did. The jobs that they did were mostly clerical and nursing, or any of the behind-the-scenes jobs that needed to be done. None of the jobs they performed put them in a position to make high rank, which would have meant more money. This unit was disbanded in 1943.

Then, in 1978, women were integrated into the main body of the services. Women being integrated meant that they had to undergo the same physical and mental testing as men. I was in one of the first classes of this new Army. The group of women that I went through basic training with didn’t hear about this change until we arrived at the base in South Carolina. We were caught completely off guard. There was weapons training, which involved shooting and taking the weapon apart and also night fire, which involved bombs going off and the pretense that you were getting shot at. In addition, there was the physical training of a timed, 2-mile run and ‘no-mercy’ drill sergeants barking orders, which was an everyday occurrence. There was also the issue of the men not really wanting us there, and they made it known in any way that they could. We wanted to be equal, but had no idea what being equal truly meant. The way to pass the testing was to be friendly with the testers, if you couldn’t make it on your own. Women did whatever they had to do, so that they could pass and not be sent home, which was the ultimate failure. The jobs that women got were still clerical, nursing, and anything not on the frontline. The ranks were still below the men, even when the man was doing the same job. The high ranks were reserved for men on the frontline or the decision makers. The women were still not satisfied with their roles.

The Military’s Reasoning for No Women

There are many arguments as to why women should not be put on the frontline. There was the fact that the composition of a woman’s body made her not as strong as a man physically. The men didn’t feel comfortable having to depend on women in life and death situations. It was thought that women would freeze or emotionally breakdown in life or death situations. There was the thought that fraternization would take place, and the military was not prepared for women having babies. The biggest reason was that women were needed for reproduction; if too many got killed, it would stunt the growth of our population.

The military and corporate America had a lot in common in the way that women were treated. Corporate America believed that a woman’s place was in the home and most of the available jobs were clerical in nature. Women were always kept below men and they were never put into any decision making roles. They to had to do whatever was necessary, not only to be employed, but to stay employed. Women were tired of the limited thinking of men when it came to their trying to move ahead in their careers.

With the military, women wanted inclusion, because they were ready to die for their country just like a man. The military provided the best job around, and women wanted to be part of it. Soldiers were provided a free education, job security, and the chance to see places that you only dreamt of.

Times Change for Women

The voices for true equality for women in the military kept getting louder and louder. Women started proving themselves more and more physically and academically. They took their weaknesses and made them into strengths that couldn’t be ignored. They no longer had to be friendly to testers to pass, because now they could pass on their own merit. They now relied on their own intelligence and built up their strength at the gym.

Today, there are women in some of the frontline jobs that were previously closed to them. They proved themselves worthy of inclusion in the military in the Desert Storm and Iraqi campaigns. Michelle J. Howard is an admiral, and the highest ranking female, in the Navy. Ann Elizabeth Dunworth was the first female to be awarded four-star in the Army. These are just a couple of the leaders who helped women march to total equality in the military. They aren’t finished, but they’ve come a long way since 1943.

Commuters Dream

Commuting A Rough Life

Commuting Reality Check

The fact is, commuting is not for everyone. Even if it allows you to have a larger house where the kids can have grass instead of concrete to play on, it’s sometime not worth it. I’ve commuted to New York for the last 15 years, and as much as I hate it, sometimes I’m still drawn to being out of the city. Commuting definitely is not for everyone because by the end of your day, you are drained. I’ve seen what happens to people when they realize that their new home also comes with commuting and the large costs involved with that. I’ve seen people move back to the city within a year, or find a babysitter for the kids and live in the city during the week.

Commuters and Realtors

There are many people who get so caught up in what a realtor is saying that they don’t realize the realtor isn’t saying anything about commuting. I sold real estate, so I know they say very little if anything about commuting. They are there to sell you a house. Do you really think they care about your commute?

The perfect scenario of a home buyer: the couple gets up early on a Saturday morning and packs the kids in the car for the 90-to-120-minute drive to meet their realtor. The realtor meets them with a Kool-Aid smile on her face, and thoughts of hundred dollar bills in her mind. You ride around from house to house, listening to descriptions of each house, community news, and the big selling point for most married house hunters, which is the wonderful schools the area has.

Finally, you head back to the city with so many houses on your mind you don’t remember which was which. You get back to your neighborhood, look around, and before you can make it out the car, you’re dialing the realtor to buy your dream house.

Commuting Revelation

You move in over the weekend, and on Sunday morning, you realize you have to go work the next day. You call the realtor and ask that important question that never entered your mind until now: “How do I get to work from here? This is where the reality of what you have done finally hits home. The cost of two monthly tickets is hundreds of dollars plus the transportation fare once you get into the city. This is a big problem for most people because they have no budget for that big expense. The only thing you can do now is start calculating how to cut down expenses to accommodate this hefty transportation cost. The next awakening comes from not knowing bus or train schedules. This can mean that if you have to be at work by 8:00 a.m., you have to get up at 4:00 a.m. to catch a 5:00 a.m. bus. What an awakening! The only good thing is that one of your mothers is living with you, so you don’t have to worry about getting the kids ready for school.

Commuting Nightmare

When you get to the bus station, there are lots of sleepy commuters like yourself waiting for the bus. Ten minutes before bus departure, you start to line up single file to load onto the bus. Thank goodness there are two of you so you don’t have to sit next to someone who smells like garlic (I know some people take garlic for medical reasons) or who just didn’t bathe. The men can be the worst sitting companions because they like to spread their legs so women big or small get scrunched into the corner of their seat. Also, there is always one person who must have gone to bed at 6:00 p.m. the night before because he/she wants to talk the entire ride to anyone sitting in the adjacent seat. When you get that person, all you can do is close your eyes and pretend to fall asleep as soon as they start. You’ll know the person ahead of time because he/she is walking around the bus station trying to start a conversion that will last until the bus comes. There are situations on buses like arguments about reclining seats too far back or sitting in someone’s seat even though there are no assigned seats. This is your 90-minute trip in, and going home is no bargain either, because then you have to deal with the traffic. There is usually traffic no matter what time you want to leave the city, and this can add another 30 or 40 minutes to your trip.

You might be OK for the first week, but by the third week, you’re thinking, “How did I get into this predicament? Oh yeah, better schools, and better quality of life.” I have an issue with the “quality of life” statement, however, because you’re usually too tired to really enjoy that dream house or do anything but lie around the house when the weekend rolls around. If you have kids, there goes the lying around the house, because they need some of your time.

Commuter’s Dream

It doesn’t matter if you commute by train or bus; they can both break down and have you sitting for hours. There are people who will say the train is better, but what they don’t say is that it may be a little better for $30.00 more than the bus. The next time you think about your dream house, don’t forget that commuting is part of that dream.

Do you feel commuting is worth it?

Has commuting enhanced your quality of life?

Online Dating

Online Dating Worked For Us. We Got Married.

Is Online Dating for You?
The question “How do I meet someone?” has been around for many years. You used to go to church to meet someone, or there would be someone in the neighborhood. There were always limitations to the number of people you could meet or even date using those means. You stayed in the familiar and didn’t venture too far from there. The answer to that question came years later with the computer age. The computer age gave you the ability to venture across states and even countries.
Careful As You Go
Dating online can be nerve-racking and exciting, but there can also be heartbreaks and frustration. It is what you put into it and as long as you keep a good perspective about the people you meet. I’ve been using online dating for over 10 years. I know how easy it is to get caught up in the fantasy that it provides. It can be used to target people who have a problem meeting people, or have limited friends. People who are inhibited can use online dating as a method to let their adventurous and flirtatious sides out. The unpopular can now become popular and the weak-minded can become strong.
The biggest problem with online dating is you never know who the person you meet really is. The person could be someone with mental or relationship issues. You sometimes won’t find out until you’ve been on a few dates. The men who are married and I say men because in my experience it has always been men that are married that play games. Again, you usually don’t find out until you’ve emotionally invested. Then there are the men in jail that will do anything to make their time go by. They seem to always be able to find someone to become a pen pal with, and it is usually a lonely woman. They use them for money, visits and anything to make their time easier. There are some who propose marriage just to have conjugal visits. It’s a game to most of them and they have no interest in keeping their promises once they get out. The women they entice are left with broken hearts, and in an emotional mess. There is no surefire way to prevent any of this from happening to you. The best way not to become a victim is by taking it slowly, and ask questions over and over again. There usually are signs, like not being able to call the person except on a cell phone. You should ask to meet his family and friends. Does this person work is a question you should be asking yourself, if he’s at home or out in the streets during working hours. There are so many horror stories of dates gone bad and women never making it back home. You don’t want this to be you. Always let someone know where you are going and with whom. You should provide a telephone number and any information that someone can trace to that person. If he has a car get the license number and the make and model. If the person has scars or tattoos let it be known. You might want to take a picture of the person. I know this seems extreme, but you won’t feel that way if you get into a situation and need help. This is not to say women won’t do the same things that men will because that’s not true. Women can have just as many games as a man does, and for some reason it seems a lot worse…

The First Date
You should always put your best foot forward when you’re going to meet someone for the first time. You should make sure your appearance is a good indicator of who you are. What I mean is, if you’re a jeans kind of person, don’t go in formal attire. This also applies to where you meet for the first time. The meeting place should be in a public area but not so noisy to the point that you can’t hear each other. A movie is the worst place to go because you can’t talk and there is no interaction at all. When you first meet, smile, don’t go with the grumpy cat look on your face. If there is an attraction you will both know, because body language speaks volumes. I do suggest that if you don’t find the attraction, you don’t tune the person out. There are many people that are married today just because they gave their date a chance to develop. Since there has been conversation between the two of you there should be plenty to talk about. If that’s not the case, look around you and find something that can break the ice – usually the menu will do. This is not the time to blank out or act like the dumb blonde. Don’t make your date feel like it’s a run to the finish line, as this can be picked up on immediately. No matter what your feeling is after meeting, be polite and always let the person know friendship is available. There is no point in cutting the person off, because you never know what role that person can play in your life down the road.

What your take in online dating?

Share your experience. ( it’s usually funny in hindsight)

What Comes First The Dog or The Baby

What Comes First

The decision to get a dog or have a baby should be discussed before you get married. There are some people who think having a dog is just too much work with the feeding, walking, and not to mention the expense. Those very people might have the same feelings when it comes to having a baby. They don’t want to be bogged down with the responsibilities that children require, or being constricted in their lifestyle. The idea of having children or dogs can be a deal breaker for some. You need to get it out in conversation so your view is known ahead of time. You don’t want surprises after you’re married.

Dogs Are Like Children

Dogs are like children in so many ways. The emotional traits that dogs have like people are that they hurt, and cry when they are in pain; they exhibit happiness and give you unconditional love. You can dress them in the latest fashions to take them on a walk. A dog’s actions can be amusing and funny just by them being themselves. There are many breeds, each with their own characteristics. People like mating different breeds to make what is called a “designer dog”. An example of that would be mating a Affenpinscher and a poodle to produce Affenpoo. The biggest difference between dogs and children, is that dogs can’t talk or express themselves in any form.

The dogs pictured are GG who is 12, and Mason who is five years old. They are Shih Tzu’s which means “little lion,” and years ago, they were the dogs kept by Chinese royalty. They are like siblings fighting over toys and hiding things from each other. They are called lap dogs because basically that’s all they want to do: sit on your lap and be rubbed. They thrive on attention from their owners.

Dogs Are Expensive

The expense of keeping a dog healthy can be overwhelming. They require shots on a yearly basis to fight diseases, and monthly heart, worm, and flea and tick medicine. Their medical visits can easily cost a hundred dollars or more. There are times when the veterinarian will help with the cost of medicine by telling you what human medicine is safe to give to your dog. My vet has told be about Benadryl for allergies and Pepto Bismal for upset stomach. If your dog needs dental care, that expense can run to over five hundred dollars.

They also require grooming to look good, but more importantly, it helps keep them in good health. Grooming is a great expense because it should occur every four to six weeks, which adds up over time. You can groom your dog yourself to help with the expense, which is what a lot of people do.

Children: A Needed Discussion

Children are all different in looks and temperament. They show the emotions of crying when in pain, they exhibit happiness, and most give unconditional love. They are amusing and the funniest when they are not trying to be. The needs of children can be overwhelming to new parents. The expense that is required to raise children can stretch the budget of any new parents. The medical expense for shots and illnesses can add up as the years go by. There is the clothing expense, which seems to grow as they do. Children from birth to adulthood is an expense that some parents are ill-prepared for, especially if they are unexpected.

Dogs and Children: The Comparison

The comparison between dogs and children is unbelievable because of so many similarities. The conversation of having a dog or/and children is a conversation that truly needs to take place. The attention they both require will take away time from you and your partner. Dogs and children both need attention, both will have medical expenses, and both need guidance until they reach a certain age.

When you introduce them into the family, you need to be at a place where you can devote the time, attention and love they both require. You want to have a happy child as well as a happy dog. The solution might be to have a dog or child at different times. There are many people who might think it’s a no brainier: have the child and forget the dog. What they don’t understand is that not every couple should, or needs, to have children. There are couples who have lifestyles that don’t allow for kids, or they just don’t want to make the huge sacrifice. For these couples, having a dog is as close to a child as they want to get. Dogs have no issues with fitting in, expectations, or need the level of attention that children do. In a lot of ways, dogs are less trouble in the long run than children. I hope you see how important this conversation is before marriage. Don’t assume one way or another that you know what the other person wants.

What comes first for you the dog or the baby?

Would you get rid of your dog for a baby? 

Let’s Talk

This is the post excerpt.

We don’t talk and conversate anymore. I want bring back the art of conversation. My blogs will be to stimulate conversation not just with me but with each other. If you have a topic email me and I’ll write a blog to get the conversation going. The sky’s the limit on topics. If you have something on your mind let it out relationship, gay matters, politics, religion. You had a argument with your spouse or the kids aren’t listening put it out there right here. Let’s get started.