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.

Retirement and Dogs Part 7


Another Year Another Smoke Alarm Check

The time was passing, and there were really no incidents that caused me problems. GG was on the job of being my matchmaker, and I was in a daily routine. All was good. I had forgotten that, each new year meant another smoke alarm check. When I saw the notice in front of my door, I knew it couldn’t be good. I went into the house slowly. For some reason, I could feel myself sweating. I hadn’t even read the notice and all of this was happening. I greeted GG half heartily, and put the notice on the table facedown. I would let it wait until I took her out. I bundled her up in her coat and put her in the carrier. I didn’t worry about people seeing her anymore. I think I just didn’t care. It was cold, so we didn’t go far; a short drive to the little shopping mall, and in ten minutes, we were back in the warm car. I drove home like a person taking their last walk to be executed… very slowly. I realized that I might as well get this over with. I’m now trying to understand what I was so afraid of, and I actually can’t tell you. When you are doing something wrong, anything out of the ordinary kind of spooks you, because you figure you’ve been found out. We finally got home, I undressed GG, showered and changed, and got our dinner. I settled in for the night, so much so that I almost forgot about the dreaded notice.

I sat at the table and read it. It’s smoke alarm time again. I had 7 days before someone was coming in. My thoughts were going faster than I could process them: “What was going on at work that I needed to be there?” “What was I going to do with GG?” GG was bigger and didn’t like to be in her carrier. She barked more loudly now and her playfulness had gone up a notch – no, make that 10 notches. I sat there for what seemed like a hour, but when I finally came to my senses, only 10 minutes had passed. I tried to go to sleep, but I couldn’t, and this time I couldn’t blame GG; it was the notice.

I want to tell anyone who has just gotten a puppy and has to work, to plan on not sleeping much. I had been sleep-deprived since getting GG. I got more rest on the train back and forth to work than I did at home. Whenever I fell asleep, I would feel this little paw hitting me in the face. She wanted to play, and it would be 1am in the morning; she didn’t care. She thought that she was being helpful by being my alarm clock, except the time she thought I should get up was nowhere near the 4am I had to get up. Anyway, back to the smoke alarm.

I had a big problem. I couldn’t take off work that day, because I had a supervisor’s meeting. I just had to pray that she would be quiet. The days went by quickly for some reason. It was a probably my imagination; before I knew it the dreaded day had come. I decided to leave her out of the carrier and leave the television in the bedroom on. I left for work, not knowing what was going to happen when I got home. It was a long day at work and the clock didn’t seem to move. Finally, it was time to leave work and get the train home. When I got home, I don’t know why, but for some reason, I opened the door slowly and walked very slowly up the stairs. My heart was beating fast. I guess that I thought management would be sitting in the living room with GG. When I got to the top of the stairs, I started looking around for GG. I forgot that she was in the bedroom. She was hiding under the bed. I had to coax her out. I did wonder if something had happened, because she seemed scared. I held her tight and started our at  home play session. She snapped out of her fear, and I forgot all about the smoke alarm check. We went back to our routine and all was good… or so I thought.

It was about 2 weeks later, and again, there was a notice in front of my door. I wasn’t worried this time, because there wasn’t anything going on that I needed to be at work for, and I had started working from home. When I got into the house and read the notice, I sat down on the first chair I reached. GG had been discovered, and management wanted to see me. I was pissed at the same time as I was scared, because there were people who had cats. The next day, I went to the management office, and of course, they said they had a policy of no pets, and my dog would have to go. I informed them that there were a number of people who had cats and even dogs. They weren’t hearing that. I left without saying yes to giving up GG. I went home and researched the pet policy in all of their developments, and discovered that cats weren’t allowed either. If they were going to say I had to leave, then what about the people with cats? I wasn’t giving up GG, but I wasn’t stupid either. I thought it was a race thing.

The next day, there was a knock at the door. I put GG in the bedroom. It was the man in charge of the development. He went on tell me about the development’s pet policy, and I told him about the cats. I threatened to call the newspapers and report their unfair pet policy. While I was threatening him, GG was scratching to get out of the bedroom. I may have been wrong, but don’t pretend like other people aren’t doing something wrong and you’re going to ignore it. We came to an agreement that I would leave, but I had 6 months to find another apartment. He asked me to keep her out of sight, because he didn’t want other people getting pets. I agreed. I didn’t care what I agreed to. After he left, I wasn’t hiding her anymore. The hunt for a pet-friendly apartment was on! But you’ll have to wait for the next blog. Be safe out there.

Retirement and Dogs Part 6

Another hated coat- she is giving me her pitiful look

     GG Million Dollar Match Maker

Things were routine after the smoke alarm incident. I would park as close to the building as possible, run in, and get into my 007 mode. I hadn’t done any dating since I had gotten GG; she took up most of my time. I got up at 3am and didn’t get home until 530 or 6pm. It maybe wasn’t so much that she took up all of my time, as it was that I was tired by the time I got home and I still had to do everyday things to get ready for the next day. I realized that I was a little obsessed with her, because she filled a void in my life. I decided that maybe I should start seeing a real person that could respond back to me. It is very easy to become attached to your dog, because they really are like children, except they can’t talk. They can make the same mess has a child, with toys everywhere, and they demand so much of your attention. It was time to join the real world and date.

The way to date at that time was using It was the hot way to meet people. I did a profile and the dating began with conversations on the phone. This was not always smooth, because as I was talking on the phone, she was bringing toys for me to throw, which was a distraction. You have to imagine this: you’re talking to someone you don’t know, trying to lead or participate in a conversation, and there’s your dog, standing in front of you with pitiful eyes and toy in mouth. What was I to do but throw the toy? I soon realized that it was best not to come in talking on the phone or to take any phone calls, until she had been taken out. Did this solve the problem? No, but it did help a little.

I made sure that anyone I was going to meet knew that I had a dog and we were a package deal. I think some people thought that they could get around this, but they soon found that I was not joking: no Anita without GG. My youngest daughter, as I thought of GG (my daughter hates when I say GG is her sister), did not like men. I realized, over a period of time, that whenever I took her out, if a man spoke to me, she growled, and if a man came to fix the cable or something, she would bark her head off. No, nothing had changed with my development; still no pets. So when men that worked for the development came, she still had to be out of sight. Anyway, I’m saying this to let you know that all of the people I dated were women, so there was no reason for her to bark or growl.

GG put her matchmaking skills to work whenever I had someone over. It was she and I, so whenever a woman would come over, she would bark, but it didn’t have much force to it. The man bark was loud, with her jumping a little off the floor, almost like: bark, jump, chest out. Okay, not the best picture. The woman bark didn’t last continuously, like the man bark. The way I figured out if she liked or tolerated another person in our space was pretty ingenious for a dog. She would, however, get into her worst behavior; I mean bad. She would jump on the person, sit between us and lay her head in my lap, or bring toys for me to throw, and when I didn’t respond, she’d sort of shove her toy at the person. She was, I guess, demanding that one of us stop talking and play with her. If the person stayed over, GG was in between us, or sleeping on their head. I mean, some women were like, “Put her in another room,” or I would hear them talking to her in a rough voice. I will only say that I am not with any of those people. GG knew the best person for me, and she would not let me settle for anyone else, no matter whether I liked them or not. Yes, it was hard sometimes to chose GG, but now, in hindsight, I know that she was looking out for me.

The next blog will be about the smoke alarm incident that almost had us homeless. Until next time, be safe.

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.