Retirement and Dogs Part Five

Hating her coat plus bad hair day

Smoke Alarms: Argh

Let me say right now I’m all for smoke alarms, however the smoke alarm in my apartment caused me a lot of problems. I just going to reiterate there was a no-pet policy in this development. Why did I get a dog? Simple. I saw people out of my balcony window that had cats. I reasoned a cat is as much of a pet as a dog, so that’s it. Right or wrong that’s how I reasoned, also I hated coming home to an empty house. You know when you’re used to coming home to a person or a pet and that goes away, sometimes you just don’t get over that emptiness. Things were going as well as they could with me sneaking around with GG. I don’t know if I mentioned this, but is was around Thanksgiving, so it was cold out and this was another thing I didn’t consider when I got this bright idea for a dog. She had to go out for my sanity. It was easier to deal with her “I want to play because I’ve been alone all day” by taking her out for a few minutes. This meant coats, which meant dressing and undressing her. No fun, she hated clothes and to this day she still hates putting on clothes. Okay, smoke alarm. You know how every year usually a housing development will send someone to check the smoke alarm? I had a notice on my door one day that someone would be coming in to check my smoke alarm batteries. I panicked. Wouldn’t you? I had to think they only gave you about a week’s notice. I knew I had to go into my 007 mode to not be found out that I had a pet. I stayed home from work, that was no problem. The problem was that it was January and snowing outside. I couldn’t go out with her even to sit in the car. Well, maybe I could have, now that I’m thinking about. I could have cleaned the snow off the car and turned on the heat, and we could have sat in the car which was parked right outside my building. We could have watched the worker go in the apartment and come out. I just didn’t think of that then. What did I do? I put GG in her carrier, which I placed on the other side of the bed and closed the bedroom door. I turned music on and up loud. The smoke alarm was right outside the bedroom door so when he put up his ladder to check the smoke alarm, I stood right there and started some stupid conversation. I can’t remember what it was. I could hear GG barking. Thank God her bark was not loud. The smoke alarm guy would periodically look at the door, and I’d just keep talking. It only lasted about five or six minutes, but that was a nerve racking experience. I was so happy when he left that I took GG, and threw toys from one end of the livingroom to the other. I was so happy we hadn’t been found out. The doorbell rang and I was wondering who that can be? You don’t visit me without calling first. I picked up GG and practically threw her in the bedroom, no carrier this time, just put her in there and closed the door. It was him back for me to sign a paper to say he’d checked the batteries in the smoke alarm. I will always believe he came back trying to catch me in the wrong. I didn’t let him in because there was no reason he needed to enter the apartment, I stood in the doorway and signed. Wow, that was close. I got away that year with the smoke alarm check, but not so lucky the next time, but that’s another blog. Have a blessed and safe day.

Retirement and Dogs – Part 4


You can tell from my last post I was like agent 007 from the television show Get Smart. I did all kinds of crazy things to keep her from being seen, such as pretending she was a baby. I would wrap her in a blanket and hold her like a baby. When someone would start walking in my direction, I’d just say “bad cold.” That was enough to keep people away. You know kids though: that was harder – they didn’t care about measles. I used a different approach. With clenched teeth and a smile, I shook my head to say “no.” It worked, that’s all I know. The other method of getting GG out was putting her in a gym bag. I must say, this turned out to be the best way. I guess people thought I worked out seven days a week, because people would see me in and out, with my gym bag. There were hiccups along the way that were nerve-wracking for me. GG still wanted to run and play in the house, no matter how long I kept her out. She never seemed to get tired. It got so bad that at times, I would sit in my car because I just couldn’t deal with her playing. Yes, I would be sitting in my car listening to music trying to get the energy to confront her. Was I a bad parent? I didn’t care. I was away from home 12 to 13 hours a day. I commuted to New York from near the Poconos. I was being kept up way past my bedtime. I felt like a walking zombie. Pep talk time, Anita: you wanted a dog and you didn’t like coming home to a empty house. Well, GG filled all the criteria. I had to get it together and drudge back upstairs. The next bad experience I had was giving her a chicken bone. Remember, I said people I grew up with gave a dog a bone and kept it moving, well, that’s a big no-go. She was so sick, I was up all night with her. I thought to myself: “this is great – I have a dog for a few months and I’m killing her.” I was so stressed. She looked so pitiful and there was nothing I could do. I didn’t have any of the dog-lovers from my job’s telephone numbers, so I couldn’t call anyone that I thought might know what to do. I had to find a vet and quick. I didn’t care how far I had to go, or how much it was going to cost. I just wanted her fixed. Thank god for the internet. I found a vet about 10 minutes away. My first vet experience was OK, plus the doctor was good to look at. I thought it was love at first sight, but, I digress, I was there for GG, not for me to pick up a date. The vet gave her fluids and a shot, and told me to buy Pepto Bismol. I had to ask her to repeat the directions because I was now wondering if this vet, who I was getting ready to ask for a date a few minutes ago, had graduated from medical school. I reluctantly and I mean reluctantly bought and gave GG the Pepto Bismol. It took about two days before she was back to her playful self. I was so happy to throw her toy across the room for her fetch. The days would go by with our routine of sneaking her out and playing. I was still exhausted, but I no longer had to give myself pep talks, or sit in my car to get away from her. Things were going along fine until smoke alarm changing time. You’re going to have to wait until next week to find out what craziness GG and I had to deal with. Have a blessed week everyone.

Retirement and Dogs Part 2

The problem start mounting when you make impulsive decisions, you are usually unprepared for the results. I was very unprepared, and not very knowledgeable about dogs. I have a cousin who had a dog, but I really didn’t see her Shih Tzu often enough to know what was involved in her care. I grew up where people had mutts for dogs – you gave him a bone and go about your business. But high-end dogs take some care and thought. What kind of food should she eat, wet or dry? Do you know how many kinds of dog food there are? What about shots? You know what, let’s stop right here – I haven’t even given her a name. The next day, I was going to say “we”, but what did she do but look at me suspiciously..? I had more pee to clean up, does this dog do anything but pee, I thought? I gave her the food I grabbed at the store the night before, and sat trying to figure out a name. I wanted it to be easy and a reflection of her personality, whilst to be honest at this point I knew nothing about her. I thought maybe I’d name her DEE, but nope, that won’t do – my mom would kill me for naming a dog after her! Then I thought DD… Nope, still too close to my mother’s name. I went through the entire alphabet in my head, putting two letters together. Finally, I decided on GG. No Gigi for her, just two letters, easy to remember. I was a proud mama, I managed to give my dog a name. The next problem to tackle was actually buying dog food, and getting more training pads. I couldn’t take her with me, because I wasn’t supposed to have a dog – so what was I to do? I had no choice but to go, she needed things. As I was leaving for my quick run to the store a Cesar dog food commercial came on. I stopped in my tracks and just stared at the television, as if I never seen this commercial before. This time was different, GG needed food and the Cesar dog was cute. I went to the store so fast you’d think it was a matter of life and death if I didn’t make it in 5 minutes. I was in and out, and it helped that I knew the layout of the store. It was obvious I was a proud mama with all the toys I bought, with the training pads and dog food. I just hoped that nobody behind me in line knew where I lived. I rushed all the way from the checkout line to my car just grinning. Well, that smile got wiped right off my face when I got home… GG had pooped on the floor, torn up a training pad and dragged my shoes out of the bedroom. How can one little dog do so much in 20 minutes..? I was furious, and she got her first and only spanking with a newspaper. I’d learned a few things from the dog lovers at my job. They had said to crate train or put the dog’s nose in the pee, and then put the dog on the training pad. I wasn’t crate training, it seemed inhuman to me, so I chose the latter, which GG and I practiced all weekend. I had to go work in NYC. I left at 4 in the morning and didn’t get home until 5. I had forgotten all about this when I impulsively got GG. I never considered that she might be lonely being home alone for that many hours. I do realize now it maybe was selfish… There was also the issue of noise. I had downstairs neighbors and I know with those thin walls the floors were probably not much better. I wondered, did they hear her running or see her little head, looking out of the patio door? I was just glad her bark was weak and the neighbors were nice. The next blog will be “Off to work I shall go”.

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.