Sunday, 27 May 2012

The Chiropractor

In my line of work, I get to meet many people from many walks of life.  Some people are quite fascinating.  I learn a lot from them.

The other day, I met a doctor of Chiropractic Medicine, I.E., "Chiropractor".  He was quite interesting.  He told me all about his he manipulates one's spine to work out kinks, cure sore necks, and adjust one's posture.  He showed me diagrams of the spine and neck and showed me how he uses his hands to align one's back.  Fascinating!

That night, after dinner, I took my lovely 13 month old doggy out for a walk.  The weather was mild and lots of people were out with their kids, walking their dogs, or even just sitting on their front porches.  My doggy loves an audience, and with so many people out, he just HAD to show them his chiropractic skills!!

In a split second, he went from walking calmly beside me, to whipping around behind me.  He tried to pull my arm out of its socket!!  He then whipped around in front of me...spinning me 180 degrees.  Once I got my bearings, I realized that he had the leash wrapped around his when I bent down to help him, he jumped back resulting in propelling me forward with my arm outstretched...At this point, I was sure that he had indeed dislocated my shoulder.  Fortunately, though, it wasn't my shoulder that was dislocated, but he had managed to sprain my finger.  Dozens of people looked on, but because I had a forced smile on my face, they couldn't see that I was in distress!!

In the evening, after a long hard day, I sat staring at this ball of fluff at my feet.  I pondered about his career as a chiropractor and thanked my lucky stars that he didn't want to be a yoga instructor!!!!

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Sunday, 20 May 2012

Menthol, Please

In exactly 8 days, I will have had my PWD for 1 full year.  It's been a crazy year, one of ups and downs, happiness and pain (mostly mine!), and much, much learning.

In this year, I've learned a lot about myself:
A) I'm a real softy
B) I can be a doormat to those big brown eyes
C) I'm way, way, WAY too interested in my dog's poop!!!

So now, I'm also wondering what this second year will bring.  The 1st year (AKA the puppy year), I learnt that my dog has the will power of a superhero.  This dog will never back down from something once he's put his mind to it.  I also learnt that just because something is under 1 years old, it doesn't mean that he's not strong.  In this year, I've been pulled, dragged, bitten, and thrown to the ground.  I've also had my thumbs and fingers twisted and times.

I've been told that the 1st dog year is equivalent to 7 human years, therefore, by all logic, my dog will be a teenager before this next year is up.  GREAT!!  I already have a teenager in the house.  He's a great kid, but my son is prone to mood swings, rolling his eyes, and listening to really loud music.  I have a feeling, doggy's teenage years will be just as tumultuous.  My teenage doggy is already picking up some pretty bad habits...between you and me...I think my doggy secretly SMOKES!!

Let me explain.  When hubby or teenage son walk our adolescent dog, he never strays from them, always dutiful by their side.  However, when I walk him, it becomes a game of "hold on to the leash", as he tries to get on every lawn, pee on every tree, and go into every public garbage can in the city.  Now doggy doesn't like all garbage, he's very particular.  But, doggy will pick up every single cigarette butt or discarded cigarette package he finds.  I don't know where this habit came from!  No one in my family smokes, yet, when out for a walk, in the evening, after his dinner, he likes to kick back and enjoy a smoke.  If this keeps this up, I'm afraid I'm going to have to lock up the brandy.

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Sunday, 13 May 2012

Would You Like Fries With That?

My doggy's favourite day of the week is Tuesday.  Tuesday is not only garbage day, but as an added bonus it's recycling day as well.

Because recycling is only once a week, the bins tend to overflow with stuff.  Well meaning homeowners, eager to help the environment, fill the bins to the brim with paper, plastic cups, wrappers, and bottles.  Now, this is a good thing when the weather is nice, but not such a good thing when it's the slightest bit windy.  When it's windy, the pretty streets are lined with garbage.  And, that's when doggy is happiest!!  Walking him down the street is a nightmare, because he picks up EVERYTHING!!!

Just this week alone, he picked up an empty paper coffee cup from Tim Hortons, a bunch of napkins from McDonalds, and a pack of empty Export A's.  His favourite thing, though, was a McDonalds hamburger wrapper.  He would not let go of that at all.  He put it in his mouth at the beginning of our walk, and did not drop it till we were back home 40 minutes later.  I keep having visions of the vet doing blood tests on my 1 year old and finding out that he has high cholesterol and the bone density of a 90 year old!

A few days ago, we got a letter in the mail telling us that garbage pick up would be down to one day a week as well....oohhh what fun my doggy will have.  I can hardly wait to see what other 3 course meal, followed by a cigarette my doggy will have next Tuesday!!

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Sunday, 6 May 2012

One, Two, Cha Cha Cha

I love to dance.  Ever since I was a little girl, I'd listen to my sister's Beatles' albums and move my little feet.
As I got older, still too young to understand that Disco sucked, but old enough to get together with my friends on Saturday nights, we'd practice our boogie moves in their basements till 8pm!! (Oh yes, I was a wild one back then).

The 80's and 90's was where it was at for me.  I would start dancing on Friday night and not stop till Sunday night.  For me, it was always about music and movement.  I still love music, I still love dancing, but now I can appreciate other types of dance.  I marvel at the Meringue, I love the Paso Doble, the jive makes me smile.

Now, as an adult, I've come to understand where dance originated.  Dance is an extension of life, and depending on the people and culture of that particular dance, it can describe the life, loves and ills of a culture.

Such was my discovery when I finally came to the realization that my relationship with my dog is very much like dancing the Cha Cha.  With my doggy, every time I make any headway, I just slide back to the place I was before.  With my doggy, it's like taking 2 steps forward-3 steps back (1-2-cha-cha-cha).  No matter what I do with him, any training, any progress-it barely lasts 2 days.  By the 3rd day, I'm right back where I started.

This became painfully clear to me, after I had my 7th straight PERFECT walk with him.  One week prior to our perfect walks, I had begun to step on the leash when he bit it.  I did this for a few days, and it looked like he finally started making the connection between biting the leash and lying flat on his stomach barely able to move. I took him out on a Sunday night, and poof, the magic had happened.  We walked perfectly together.  Then, the next afternoon it was the same...and the day after that as well.  From Sunday night to the next Friday, my walks were wonderful!!!  I was finally starting to feel good about having a dog!  For the 1st time in almost a year, I wasn't questioning why I had gotten one in the first place.  I was happy!!!

Then, Friday happened.  Friday was the day he was going to get groomed.  I walked him to the groomer-but since it wasn't the regular time I walk him, he was acting up a little bit.  He didn't bite the leash, but he was pulling so hard, I got leash-burn on my palm!!  I dropped him off at the groomer, and a black cloud immediately lifted off my shoulders-I felt free!!!  I remember having the very same feeling the 1st time I went out on my own without my newborn son-I remember feeling weightless.

I had a great Friday.  I had lunch with my co-workers that day-something that I hadn't done in a year.  I was never so relaxed.  It was the perfect Friday.  That afternoon, I got the call from the groomer to tell me that my doggy was ready.  I still felt good because I knew that things had been looking up between my doggy and me.  I knew I was finally able to handle him.

I got the the groomer, and my gorgeous doggy came out running.  He was so excited to see me!!!  He was jumping all over the place, he was nipping, licking, you name it.  Now, in retrospect, what I should have done is ignore my pooch.  I should have waited till he calmed down before we left.  However, I was too eager to show him off.  The groomer had done an excellent job with the PWD pet retriever cut.  He just looked too cute.

So, while he was jumping and nipping, I put the leash on him and left.  The walk was a nightmare.  There was so much leash-biting, pulling, and jumping, that it actually took us 45 minutes to walk 20 feet!!  This dog was in the zone!!  Absolutely nothing was going to snap him out of it!!! It took us about an hour to get home-the same walk usually takes about 12 minutes!

When I finally got home, muddy, bitten and in tears-I put him in his crate.  The second he went in, he fell into a deep, deep, sleep.

Two steps forward, three steps back...One, two cha, cha, cha!!!

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