Retirement and Dogs Part 14

Mason my problem child

The tension in the house was at a all time high. My partner, K, wanted Mason out, and so did GG. I just couldn’t do it. My partner and I were arguing at home, but that wasn’t enough, so she’d call me on her way to work to argue some more. It was crazy. Sure, I could have her find a home for him, but I came to need him. You see, when she decided to go to Afghanistan, I would use Mason as a watch dog. He was probably three years old. Mason did not let anyone walk past the house without barking. The person could be two blocks away and he’d start barking, so it was somewhat comforting to have him at home. I did understand that he was a good watch dog from afar, because as soon as someone saw him they would see this little Shih Tzu with a big mouth. Mason couldn’t leave now, so if K’s intention was for me to do something with him, that backfired on her. I know what you are thinking: why not just find him a good home with kids, and an adult who would be at home all day, or a senior. I don’t know why I was so against it, except that I didn’t see anyone keeping him for long, and he’d end up in a shelter somewhere. We paid a good amount of money for him, plus three couches and French doors to keep him in blocked into the kitchen, and a crate. We are not rich people so the expense of Mason was enormous. GG still had very little interaction with him, but he continued to try to get her to play tag with him. My spouse would watch all kinds of dog training shows and nothing worked. He was untrainable. How did I come to that conclusion? Well, my partner took him to Petsmart for dog training. I didn’t attend, and my partner said he was a embarrassment. Mason wouldn’t follow any commands, and even pooped on the floor. He barked at all the dogs, and was a disruption to the class. Untrainable. She was, in so many words, asked not to bring him back, and maybe he would benefit from one-on-one training. We just couldn’t afford anything else that pertained to Mason. There did come a time when I thought “Mason has to go.” He was costing us a fortune. I was only given the cold shoulder by GG, whenever he came near me. What I mean by “cold shoulder” is that I’d call her, and she’d look at me and turn her head. Again, I couldn’t get rid of him with my partner leaving. What would you have done? I did my best to deal with him and stopped arguing. She was leaving, why should she care? I don’t know how many of you take your dogs to the vet, but it’s expensive. The vet we use cost $300 just for shots for one of them, so that was doubled. The groomer is $160 for the both of them, and there’s no tax deduction for it. I’m telling you this in case any of you are thinking of getting a puppy. I couldn’t believe one dog could do so much damage, not just to our home, but to my relationship with K and GG. The biggest problem was that we were both working, and Mason more or less had to teach himself. He was like a latch key kid on his/her own, while his/her parents were at work. GG didn’t care for him and was happy, being the only dog, so teaching Mason wasn’t one of the things she had any interest in doing. I was in unfamiliar territory because I didn’t have any of these problems with GG. GG learned quickly how to use the weewee pad and not destroy the house. When people came to my home there was no smell. They didn’t know I had a dog until the person saw her. Mason on the other hand had us buying stock in air freshener companies, we were buying so much of the stuff. You think that’s it, not by a long shot. Be safe and look out for part 15 next week.

Retirement and Dogs Part 13

Mason with his stupid grin

It’s been a while since I posted on WordPress. My mother passed away just before Christmas,and writing was the last thought on my mind. It still hurts, but somehow I’ve decided to use writing as a healing tool. It is one step at a time these days, and some steps are easier to achieve than others.

Mason, as you have read in my previous blog, is a handful. GG hated him, and my partner and I were at our wit’s end over what to do with him. There was no leaving him downstairs at night, since he would somehow manage to get upstairs. The mess he would make was unbelievable, or maybe I was tired after my commute to work and back home. We tried to have a routine for him by taking him out when one of us came home; but it seemed that whether he went out in the mornings or evenings, there would still be a mess to clean up in the mornings. This dog had more poop in him than a dog park. It was unbelievable. The neighborhood kids for some reason loved him.They were always asking about walking him and GG. I decided to help this young lady with her dog-walking business by letting her and a friend walk them. I paid them a few dollars until I discovered they weren’t really walking them at all; they would take them to her porch and sit. That was the end of helping the kids with their dog-walking business. I was back walking them in the evenings when I came home. I say me,because as I wrote in a previous blog, my partner would make up all kinds of excuses as to why she had to work late. I know, because in one of our usual Mason arguments, she let it slip out. Can you believe this? I couldn’t. I’m getting up at 3am, and getting home at 6pm; and she didn’t want to walk or clean up, so she just didn’t come home until she was sure I was. Well, once you say it, there’s no way to take it back. Once I knew what she was doing, that came to a stop; and fast. I wasn’t having it, because Mason was out of control. Well, she topped me by volunteering to go to Afghanistan for a year. I’m not going to say Mason was the only reason, but he did play a part in that decision. I was on my own with these two. I don’t know how many of you have dogs, but walking GG and Mason was tactical. The first thing you had to do when taking Mason out was survey the area to make sure there were no people or pets there. The problem came when he saw people that spoke to me. He would try and jump and bite the person. If he saw another animal he would bark like crazy,pulling me and the leash in the direction of the other animal. I would end up holding the leash up high so his feet were no longer on the ground, they were moving in the air, trying to get to the other animal. GG just tries to stay out of his way. It’s a crazy scene. The only way to avoid this kind of problem was if someone was coming down the street, I would walk in the opposite direction. When there were animals or people coming from both directions, I was screwed. We still to this day act like police surveying the area before we can leave the house.

Mason would try to play with her, but GG was having it. He would hit her with his paw trying to get her to chase him. She would just go sit down in another area. He would push her out the way when coming from outdoors so he could come in first and then look behind himself to see if she was chasing him. She would just mosey along. The thing Mason did that bothered GG the most was he hid milk bones all through the house. I wondered if he thought a famine was coming, and wanted to make sure he had food. GG would watch him hide the milk bones.wait for a while, and then would go get the milk bone. That would make him so mad. We realized that leaving him downstairs was not going to work, so we would all go up together. Mason would have bothered GG all day; so, when she got to the top of the stairs first, she would bump him with her nose and he would would go tumbling downstairs. He eventually knew what was going to happen, and he’d wait for her to go into the bedroom before he would come upstairs. It was funny, but then again not funny, because he could have broken something; but I understood GG’s frustration, because we were all frustrated with Mason. I’m glad to be back blogging; it’s a relief I desperately need. I will be posting to the Unique Things blog this week also. Retirement in Dogs Part 14 will be published this week, so look out for it.

Retirement and Dogs Part 12

Mason believes in his comfort never mind anyone else

Mason Did What?

I’ll start by recapping my last blog. I was on my way to having that fantasy we all dream of as children. The marriage, kids, and white picket fence, however in my case the marriage was a relationship with a woman, the kids were dogs and the white picket fence was a cement floor patio. It was all good never the less. I was finally able to get another dog for company for GG. We named him Mason. Mason was a fluffy little crossed eyed dog that deceived my partner with hugs and kisses. GG ignored him no matter how he tried to cozy up to her. She would just move to the other side of the room and watch him. I wonder if she was waiting for him to touch her toys so she could drag him across the floor like a mop. I thought I got the evil eye for leaving her on the weekends to go out but the look I got now was worst. Mason didn’t do much but sleep and try to snuggle with you. I made sure when GG was looking I didn’t touch him for long because the evil eye was worst than the why is he here look. Every look of hers seemed to get worst than the one before or maybe it was my imagination. I didn’t crate train GG so I figured it was no need to do it with Mason even though my partner K thought we should. Well, we let them have run of the house while we were at work, this was a big mistake. I would get home first and ever time I walked in the house the mess was worst than the day before. We forgot boy dog peeing everywhere, torn training pads and chewed furniture legs. It was horrible. I figured out that K was staying at work just so she didn’t have to clean up the mess. Why didn’t I think of that first. Our relationship was going to hell with arguments about Mason. GG would just look at me with a who told you to bring him here look. I could scream. We took Mason to the vet to get fixed, which I hoped would stop some of his bad behavior. The vet said he was still kind of young for the procedure but she would do it because he was well endowed. What the blank did that mean. Was she saying he was a baby making machine or what. I just looked at her with a blank look not knowing what to say. We slept upstairs with Gg.  She slept at the end of the bed on top of the cover. We bought Mason a crate after awhile because the stress of coming home to a mess was to much. We were going let him sleep in his crate at night. Mason cried all night and me having to get up at 3am for my commute made me not a happy camper. We tried putting him in his crate during the day but his crying was so loud we thought someone would call animal control. I mean he was loud and it probably seemed louder at 4:45am when I left for the bus. We had a nice comfortable couch I mean those cushions were so soft your butt sank right in. We had to throw it out because Mason thought it was his fire hydrant. The couch was maybe 2yrs old only and K was not happy. Mason had one paw out the door. We then decided not to crate him but to put up a gate across the kitchen entry way. We were hoping he would not cry if he wasn’t confined, well one night we were upstairs watching television and out of nowhere Mason was coming up the stairs we had for GG to get up and down from the bed. I can’t tell you to this day how he got over the fence and up the stairs. I’m only beginning with Mason’s escapades. You’ll have to read next week for more of his shenanigans. Have a safe week

Retirement and Dogs Part 11

Mason older picture

Just Because

I’ll give you a short recap of the previous blog. GG and I moved in with K, who I was in a exclusive relationship with. We were trying to find common ground, or maybe I should say, compromise. We were going out on weekends and GG was left at home alone. I felt guilty, because she wasn’t my first priority and I had yet to find the balance between her and the relationship. I thought getting another dog for company might help; at least then she would have company. I would bring up another dog, and K would shoot the idea down. I was excited when I asked and finally got an okay. We went to PetSmart to look at their dogs. There were some cuties, but after hearing that they dealt with puppy mills, I thought we should go to the Puppy Barn. Many years ago, I got a golden retriever from them, and my experience was good. The Puppy Barn had all kinds of puppies, and I knew I wanted a king Charles or another Shih Tzu, and preferably a female.

However, I figured I’d let K pick the dog, just because it was her first experience buying a dog, and I figured she’d be more involved and invested if she thought mentally that this was her own dog. I had no problem with that, I just wanted company for GG; those sad eyes of hers were killing me. Puppy Barn, here we come. The first dog she picked was a boy, who was lovable and loved to lick you. We named him Rudy because he seemed like a lover. Rudy had a cold, so the attendant at the Puppy Barn told us to let them have a doctor look at him and to come back on Monday. We were on our way to Atlantic City for the day, so Monday was good for us. The ride to Atlantic City was full of excitement, it was Rudy this and Rudy that. I didn’t realize that all of the excitement was coming from me. I should have known it was too good to be true, and it was. K had all kinds of doubts. The trip to Atlantic City was no longer a fun trip, and by the time we got back home, Rudy was no longer a reality.

As the days passed, we were tense with each other and I only paid attention to GG, which K hates. I’ll be honest, right now K was  and still is jealous of GG and it was obvious to me. Finally, about a week later, she agreed to get Rudy and bring him home. The ride to Puppy Barn once again was full of excitement, and this time I made sure it wasn’t just me. When we got to the Puppy Barn and inquired about Rudy, we were told that he had been sold. I could have cried. K saw how upset I was, and suggested we look for another puppy. I let K take the lead, walking around and holding puppies. She seemed to melt with each puppy she held. We walked around twice, looking and holding. I was still going to let her pick the puppy and name him/her. We kept coming back to a stall that had Shih Tzu’s in it. There must have been about 6 puppies all playing together, with one curled up by himself in the corner. K picked him up and he started licking and K was in love. The puppy was a boy, but it was her choice. The Puppy Barn checked him out and gave us our going home package and instructions. We had a new addition to our home.

He was cute and fluffy and seemed to curl right up in my arms for the drive home. I’m bad with time, but I’d say that GG was about 6 years old now. I couldn’t wait for her to see her little brother. Our little family was complete in my eyes. We were two gay women, with two dogs and a house; no white picket fence, but we had a patio. We finally got home, and I carried him into the house. GG was on the bed, so I took him over to her to introduce him to her and she looked at him and moved far away from him. I was like, “Okay, let’s all sit together and name him,” but she stayed away. K decided that his name would be Mason. When we looked at him closely, we noticed his eyes were crossed. Maybe all of this was a sign of something not good. What was worse than his crossed eyes, was the fact GG refused to acknowledge him at all. Mason would try to snuggle up to her, and she’d move away from him. What did I do? This was just the beginning of the story of Mason, the dog from hell. Have a safe week.

GG being uninterested

Retirement and Dogs Part 10

GG The Best Dog in The World

To Be or Not To Be

I’ll just give you a quick recap from last time. GG and I moved into a new apartment, and I had met someone that she approved of. All was good. GG and I were good. The dating I was doing was exclusive, and progressing at a good pace. I’ll just call her K, for the sake of the blog. K worked in the military full-time, and was in the process of buying a house when we met. She was also taking care of her two, very young, sisters. We all got along well, the girls loved to play with GG, and I was happy. There is always a storm brewing somewhere, so let me sweep you up in mine.

I hadn’t been with kids in a very long time. My daughter was grown, and it was enough to pick up after GG. My heart was heavy when K and I talked about moving in together. The reason was, at this point in my life, with commuting and work, did I really want to raise two little girls? It was hard not to seem cruel, especially knowing the situation that they were in. I had to be honest, with not only myself, but with K: I just couldn’t do kids. I’m not going to go any further about that situation, but it’s not as cut and dry as you might think. Anyway, once the situation was settled with the girls, and GG and I moved in, another storm started to brew. This time it was how dating and living together are to different animals.

When you date, you put out the best in you, which is sometimes somewhat fake. It happens to all of us. We start being attentive, hanging onto every word the person has to say. You take the time to dress in your nicest clothes. You say and do, not what you want, but what you think that person wants to hear. This is why some relationships don’t last; you get tired. Faking is hard work, and getting to know someone is harder work. I think that, if we are honest, we all have done it at least once. K and I were no different. We went all-in emotionally. The problems were finding that common ground for balance. I was used to thinking about no one but myself and GG, and she was used to thinking about herself and her sisters. I did certain things for GG, and those things I refuse to budge on. I didn’t give up my apartment, just in case this didn’t work out. I let the lease run out. GG and I were moving into someone else’s home, and if things didn’t work out, we’d be on the street looking crazy. No, I wasn’t taking any chances, especially since we both stopped faking it and were now showing our real selves. There was no more getting dressed up, just to sit around the house. We had to learn, and one thing I can say is that we were in it to win it, because we didn’t get give up. There were times we’d come close, but never pulled the trigger on our relationship. We were raw and open. The only thing I felt guilty about was leaving GG alone so often. K and I went out on the weekends, leaving GG alone, and I felt guilty.

I would broach the subject of getting her company, but K always shot it down. She wasn’t really a dog person, and GG was enough for her. Don’t get me wrong, she was good with GG, and would walk her and make sure she had food, but she was not a “GG is my daughter” type of person, rather she had a “GG is a dog, and should be treated as such” approach. I ignored that, because I know it takes time and patience to change people. The guilt of looking at GG’s sad eyes when we went out was heartbreaking. K and I had been together for over 2 years, and again, things were good. Finally, one day I suggested that we just go look at dogs at The Puppy Barn. I was shocked when K said, “Okay.” I mean, I was ecstatic, because any other time she’d say, “No!” and I’d leave it alone. A relationship takes compromise. That’s why I left it alone, because she contributed a lot for Gg’s up keep and even played with her at times. I know that all of you pet people know the up-keep is expensive, and K never complained. The next blog will be about my good life going to hell. Have a safe week.

Retirement and Dogs Part 9

GG My Matchmaker
WooHoo New Home and New Love. Final! I was out of that apartment and no more sneaking around with GG. The new apartment was on the third floor, but came with a fireplace. I was ecstatic. I was still having my telephone dates, and checking out when I had time. This day and age, how do you meet someone? It’s all about the dating apps, and fumbling through meeting this person and that one. It’s not easy, because there are so many people that misrepresent themselves. Let me tell you a very true story that was told to me by someone I dated. The person went to meet a person in a public place, and could see her from afar at the designated meeting place. She didn’t like what she saw, so she got in her car and drove off. She called the person and told her that something came up and left it like that. I do feel for people who have to go the online dating route, but thank God it worked for me. Okay, let me get back on topic.

I saw a posting that I thought was interesting, and I whipped out the fill-in-the-blank document I used as an introduction. Wait, follow me closely, it was interesting. In fact, I wondered whether this person was sleeping with someone she shouldn’t have been and had two children that she was pretending were her sisters. I would rush home, take GG out, and hit the phone with my good friend. We would laugh and say all kinds of crazy things that we’d made up about this person on match. I was still talking to the person online. Why? There was something about her that intrigued me, not just the sister thing. We talked and talked, and finally I had to ask her about what my thoughts were. She explained that they were indeed her sisters, and how she ended up with them. Talk about egg on the face. We talked as friends for awhile, then it was time for the big reveal; we met in person and talked. She was younger than me, so I danced around the age issue for awhile. The more we talked, the more we liked each other, and finally, we started dating and I met her sisters. When I met them, any reservations I had about their relationship to her was dismissed. The being that actually needed to approve was GG.

GG tried some of her tricks, such as sleeping on top of her head, and bringing toys for me to play with to interrupt our conversations. The one thing that GG did that annoyed me was constantly barking whenever someone came over to visit, or just to fix something in the apartment. She didn’t do that with her. Life was good. It was very good. GG barks constantly when someone comes into the house, to this day; however, whenever it is a man, she follows them around and does her matador dance. The matador dance is when she scrapes her feet on the floor like a bull, and I mean her little feet be moving. I think that maintenance man at the old apartment scared her, and she now has this dislike of men.

No more for me! We were dating exclusively, and GG liked her, though she did continue to sleep over her head. The one thing that was messed up was losing a friend, because I didn’t have the time to sit on the phone 10 times a day anymore. I worked long hours. My days were 12 hours long, with commuting and taking GG out. I just wasn’t as available to my friend, and she resented that. It’s a shame when your love life and friendships don’t mesh.

I didn’t have to hide with GG, so we’d usually go to the park. I’ll tell anyone that the way to meet people is to buy a dog. A dog is an icebreaker and conversation piece all rolled into one. You should try it! Get a dog and go to where the dog people are, then let the dog off the leash and just sit there. Someone will start a conversation. All that you need is one person to start the conversation, and all others will follow. You are on your way. You can thank me later for that advice. Well, that’s it for this blog. Next week, I’ll tell you about GG and I moving in with my new love. Have a safe week.

Retirement and Dogs Part 8

GG in her stroller

Things Pile Up. No Joke.

If you didn’t read my last blog then you need to so you can understand how I got to this point. I was stressed. I needed a pet-friendly, reasonably priced apartment for me and GG. You ever try to find a reasonable apartment in New Jersey? Then you understand why I was stressed. I was also trying to date, and GG was turning the people down faster than I could get to know them. This was her job, matchmaker, and she took her job seriously. I had one person come and stay an hour and that was it. What did she do? She showed off with her barking and bringing toys for me to throw. The action that embarrassed me was her squatting and pooping near the person’s shoes. I was embarrassed beyond talking. I could only apologize and suggest we do this some other time, since I needed to not only clean my floor but also her butt. I was furious with GG in front of the person, but after the person left and I thought about it, I realized she was telling me a big no. I knew she really didn’t like that person because she hadn’t pooped in the house except for when I first got her. I started to have telephone dates than actual go-out dates. I figured at least I could get to know the person before GG gave her yay or nay. I had six months to find a new apartment and with commuting to New York from New Jersey, which was a two-hour ride each way by train or bus, I was exhausted. I can honestly say I met some nice people and some are still my friends to this day. I didn’t drive much. I hate driving because I have no sense of direction and also, I had strange things happening to me health-wise. Let me give you an example or two. I would make the wrong turn in places that I had been to a hundred times, or one time, I drove up a bridge on the side that was really for driving down. It was scary some of things that was happening. I started seeing a doctor for these things plus painful muscle pains. The diagnosis was fibromyalgia. This was just something else to put on the pile of things that I had to worry about. It was hard worrying about my health and finding an apartment. I was in overload. How I dealt with it all and kept my sanity I cannot tell you. My telephone dates helped a lot, because talking to a real person was a lot better than talking to GG, who would look at me with big cute eyes but could not respond in a language I could understand. The people who I met, at least a couple of them, helped a lot by taking me out to look for an apartment on the weekends. I already knew that there was nothing romantic going on, so I ignored GG’s shenanigans. I can tell you, as good as a relationship is, having good friends is just as important. We sometimes forget about our friends when we have a relationship but sometimes we lose our friends because they don’t understand that priorities have to change when you’re in a relationship. It’s sad either way. I spent much of my weekends looking at apartments and it was frustrating. I only looked at pet-friendly apartments, but there were other things to consider since I was alone. I needed to be close to transportation and I had to feel safe. I figured I’d know it when I saw it, but my time was running out. Let me share something strange about my little matchmaker dog. She seemed to know when someone was just a friend and nothing romantic was happening. I know it’s weird, isn’t it? It could be just that most of the time when someone was taking me apartment hunting or even just going out for a meal they never came into my apartment unless they were going to the bathroom. I guess that made her job easy them not staying. Finally, I found an apartment with fireplace that was pet friendly. I was beyond happy that I was finally leaving that dog-prejudiced development. GG finally gave the OK for a person. You’ll have to wait for my next blog to find out about the person GG okayed to come into our lives. Be safe everyone.