Saturday, October 13, 2007

Well, Well, Well

Another dog post. Skip on by if you're bored to tears.

All week, with Jerry at our feet, we've been researching dogs, breeders, shelters, etc. Do we get another dog? Do we wait? Maybe we could wait and get one in spring, giving us one winter free of freezing our tails off walking a dog and taking it outside. Do we get a shelter dog? Do we get a purebred? What do we do?

Jerry's still doing fairly well. Right now he's begging me for some food. We go to the vet again on Monday to get his prescriptions refilled because he's not hurting, he's happy, he has a healthy appetite, everything is working right. Looking for or even thinking about a new dog with Jerry still here is horrible. We are guilt ridden! I'll look online a bit, look down at old faithful, then apologize to him. He doesn't know what we're doing, but it just seems so wrong.

Then again, maybe not. We've never not had a dog. We've spent the week scouring our dog books for breed, looking online at petfinder and rescue organizations, and breeders.

Today we called breeders. Bob talked to one for over an hour and handed the phone to me and I talked to her for a long time. It just felt right. We are going to sleep on it, but I think tomorrow we are going to call her and put down a deposit. She's about three hours from us, so we will try to go to visit soon.

We debated back on forth on breeds. For some reason we like herding dogs. We like big dogs! We're NOT a small dog family. ***So to someone in particular who may read this blog that I know (and love) in real life who has a poodle who was just bred, PLEASE do NOT send us a puppy. We love your dog, we know her pups would be precious, but we don't want a poodle.***

We narrowed our choice down to a Border Collie, an Old English Sheepdog or a German Shepherd. I really wanted an OES. Really bad. But Bob and Thomas did not. That's okay. Someday I'll have one. We are going to get a purebred German Shepherd. Big surprise? That was my second choice and Bob and Thomas' first choice.

If this works out, we'll be getting a bitch. (ha ha, I got to say that word on my blog and it's not swearing, and still G-rated.) Grow up, Frankie. She will arrive in December. Bad month for a new puppy. Everything you read says don't get a dog near Christmas. However, it's just the three of us and we will puppy proof. I think it will be good timing in our case.

That gives me time to puppy proof the house. I look around and think how spoiled I am. I don't have a toddler and I don't have a baby puppy. Jerry doesn't get into anything except Kleenex. Nothing is baby proof here anymore, so I will have my work cut out for me. (Why did I sell that baby gate at the garage sale?)

Then we'll have to research. I've never had an 8-week-old puppy. I've had older puppies. Oy! (Minnesota slang thrown in for emphasis, I don't really say that.) My blogging friend Elisheva from Ragamuffin Studdies just recommended Cesar Millan's book Cesar's Way. I think I will buy it. We love to watch his TV show. I have a whole host of dog books that I got out tonight, stacked on the table and told Thomas to start reading. He decided to go to youtube instead and watch videos on clicker training. lol (By the way, there are some excellent clicker training videos there. Thomas was amazed at what he watched.)

We will make this into a homeschooling project, just as Elisheva has.

The past couple of weeks I have cried myself to sleep almost every night. Bob has dozed off on the couch every night (I'm sure for my benefit) and Jerry and I have snuggled in bed. I'm coming to terms with it, but I don't like it. My mom once told me that death was a part of life. And she died shortly after she said that, too. She was right, though. We have loved Jerry and given him a good life. We will be picking up a tranquilizer from the vet on Monday so that he will have a peaceful death.

But now we have something to look forward to. Hope. ? Is getting a new puppy hope? I guess not, but it is something to lift our spirits. It's something to look forward to. It is something that we can share our love with.

One final comment. It was a tough decision to choose a purebred over a rescue dog. Please don't give us grief over that. We have adopted three cats from shelters. Two have already passed, and one is 13 and still with us. We have adopted dogs from the shelter. We have adopted one stray dog and one stray cat. We have gone above and beyond with rescuing dogs and cats. We donate to our shelter when we can. I'll be donating several cans of the expensive special liver food that Jerry won't touch to our local shelter. I have been a foster mom for cats before. To be honest, that didn't work out because I ended up adopting those that I fostered. I don't feel guilty over choosing one purebred dog.

And one other thing. The puppy we get will already be named. The breeder we have chosen does that; however, she said we could choose a nickname. he he So we need to come up with a girl name. Any ideas?

Friday, October 12, 2007

That Great T-Shirt

I bought the t-shirt from Great Homeschool T-shirts. They're fairly cheap, and if memory serves me, they go on sale for five bucks at the beginning of the traditional school year every year.

I also bought a tote bag from them which we have used and used.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Thomas had a birthday

He's now 12. His request was for a double-layer cake. After I had baked the cake, he decided HE wanted to decorate -- and make two cakes instead of layered. Okay. (Mom felt a little torn because I really like making his birthday cakes every year. Oh well. It did turn out cute! THEY did turn out cute.)

Can you guess what he's into now by the theme of the cakes? Bob gave him permission to watch the show. Ahem. I've been watching with him and honestly, aside from the language and the sexual content, I actually like South Park. OMG, did I just admit that? There have only been a few episodes that I flew into a tirade over. I ranted and raved that is SICK and real people aren't like that. Thomas just looks at me in a funny way and informs me it's all a joke, mooooom, and of course people aren't really like that. Whew.


(Thomas' back-to-school picture above calendar! He's growing up too fast.)

See Frankie's Credit Card. See it smoke. Tons of vet bills and a calendar, too.

Awhile ago I was visiting a new-to-me blog, Bonni's. It's one I'll read daily. =) She had a photo of her calendar on her blog. I fell in love with it the second I saw it!

I'm not one to make spur-of-the-moment purchases on anything unless it's vet related or books or crafts for Thomas, but I just simply HAD to have this calendar.

I ordered it. On the spot. Didn't ask Bob. (He would have just said NO and hell no anyway.) It arrived only a couple days later in a great big box which Thomas took off with.

I have never loved a calendar more! I haven't used the stickers yet, but it's big, it's got cute critters on it, and it's perfect! It's so Frankie.

Thank you to Bonni for sharing her photos. May I blame you for smoking my credit card? lol

I just snapped this pix of Thomas and Jerry Lee tonight. Jerry is a trooper and hanging in there.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Back in the Saddle Again

Monday I was so emotionally drained I did nothing. NOTHING. It was wonderful. I turned my brain off and went into a vegetative state. Bliss. I did make Thomas clean his room, which took awhile. Once the bed was changed, Jerry Lee and I snuggled while Thomas worked. He enjoyed the company.

We decided that because Thomas' birthday had turned sour, we would take him to dinner. His request was Subway. To get to Subway, we had to drive by the scene. The owners were out in their driveway, talking to someone. No sign of the dog.

They never called us. We asked them to let us know how the dog was. I asked Bob if we should stop and he said no. And with that, I released myself from it all. I hope the dog is okay, but I just had to let it go.

Today we started school again. Thomas was very crabby and cranky. I assume it's all the stress of life in general right now. At one point I thought it was comical because he was acting like a drama king. He finally settled down and got into his routine.

Thomas is working his way through a geography workbook. We are currently studying Africa. Today he was working on rivers and we got stumped. The description of a river he had to find was that it bordered Zaire and another country. Zaire--yes, I have heard of it. No, I couldn't find it on our map. Thomas couldn't. Grabbed a different atlas and still couldn't find it. Google to the rescue. I don't know much about geography, especially Africa. Wasn't I surprised to find that Zaire is actually The Democratic Republic of the Congo. Then we had to read more about the country formerly known as Zaire.

The daytime hours ended with ceramics class. The teacher pulled me aside and wanted me to know that Thomas was very creative, an out-of-the-box thinker and very polite in class. I smiled, said thanks, and that I was very proud of him. Three things that I try to foster!

Jerry Lee is doing well, all things considered. He's getting skinnier, but he is still not exhibiting any pain. He still has pep in his step, surprisingly. I think it's getting closer, as he's getting bony. Last night I opened his can of Alpo (a treat I rarely gave him before he was sick, now a daily occurrence) and darned it all if Snowball didn't pounce on the food. The two shared the bowl for awhile, then Jerry stood back and gave me a look. If he could have spoken, I know he would have said, "But mom, I thought this was just for me!" I scooped the cat up and Jerry continued to eat, licking the bowl clean. Who knew cats would love Alpo.

That's our life today: the good, the bad and the ugly. The happy and the sad, too, I guess.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Can things get any worse??!!!???

Today is my baby's 12th birthday. We celebrated by doing everything he wanted (within reason, that is.)

We were coming home from the park to check on Jerry and then were going to go to a movie. I'm driving on a busy residential street and this dog comes tearing out of its driveway straight into the road.

I slammed on the breaks, but THUD.

I hit the dog. The car behind us nearly hit us. Bob jumped out of the car, I could hear the yelps of the dog. I started shaking. I had to flap my arms like crazy to get hte car behind me to back up so I could back up. I saw Bob carrying this dog to the owner's house and it was limp. I thought it was dead.

I parked the car, checked on Thomas who was bawling, and jumped out of the car. The dog was lying there twitching as if it was having a seizure. Then it stopped moving. I turned around and started bawling. I knew I had to face it, so I went up to the dog.

All of a sudden he jumped up and started running in circles. Bob grabbed him so he wouldn't dart into the street again.

The owner saw it happen. I apologized profusely. I told her I was so sorry, but it just darted into the street. She went into the house so she could find a vet's office that was open. Her husband came and and we all sat around the dog.

He had blood in his eyes, and a pea-sized patch of hair missing from its head. His leg at first appeared to be injured. He calmed down and was walking around. I told the man that I was so sorry, between my sobs, and that the dog just darted out of the driveway. Actually, it sprinted.

Then their daughter showed up. She was about five. She was bawling. She said their other dog had just died and that they just got this dog. Oh my God. Between the little girl and myself, we had enough tears to fill a lake.

I think this was one of the worst things I have ever experienced in my life.

Bob gave them his business card and wrote our home phone number on the back and asked them to call when they got back from the vet. (They found one open about an hour from here.)

As we were leaving, the woman came up to me and put her arms around me. She hugged me SO tight. I was still shaking and crying and she said, "You are forgiven." She then said, "This is how good friends are made."


We then went to the movie and I cried all the way through. The Seeker wasn't a tear jerker. I'm glad the theater wasn't too crowded.

When we came home, I apologized to Thomas for ruining his birthday. He said something about accidents happen and it wasn't my fault.

He's right, it really wasn't my just was.