January 4, 2012

I Hereby Resolvesunrise

Yep, it’s that time of year again when I must take stock of last year and set my sights on a new year when I must change my ways (not all of them) and set some challenging goals for myself.

This is not easy for a doodle like me to do. Not that I think I’m perfect. Quite the contrary. I think I have lots and lots of stuff to work on. Far from perfect, I have my work cut out for me in 2013.gang

Resolution #1: I will keep up with my weekly blog on a weekly basis.

Sounds simple, doesn’t it, but our lives have been so busy of late it’s been hard to find a moment to sit down at the computer and write. I keep telling Gretchen that I need my own laptop. She just rolls her eyes and says, “I wish!”begging

Anyway, our house has been very busy what with the holidays and our annual trip south to visit Uncle Paul and Aunt Patti and share our holiday with the family – Grandparents and my cousins — human and canine. Gretchen had a pet sitting stint at Carter and Kali’s, Ann took care of me and our two house guests – Monty and Griffey — and as I type, those two house guests are still here and I’m trying to steal amount of solitude at the computer to write.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANot that I don’t enjoy my friends, but I am a dog of habits and my habit has always been to get up in the morning and write. That habit has had to change since Monty and Griffey have a completely different routine. Griffey likes to sleep in, which is great for my writing, but Monty…well Monty likes to stare and he does so with such intensity it’s hard for me to concentrate. What’s he staring about? Hard to say. Sometimes I think he wants a walk. Sometimes I think he wants a meal. Sometimes he wants cuddles. So when we give him those things, I’m hoping that he is satisfied enough to go lie down while I let my paws click at the keyboard.

But he doesn’t. Nope he just keeps staring.

All this is to say that it’s hard to either find my routine or find a quiet hour to tell you about our week. Hence, I have not been very diligent or timely with this blog.

My apologies.

Resolution #2: I will delete, organize, and anything else it takes to reduce our photographic library from 15,000 photos to something more manageable.

suntimeThis resolution makes me tired just typing it out. 15,000 photographs is a lot. Yes, some of them are of our Christmas celebrations past and present, of trips to Eastern Washington where we spend timeUnclePaul with our friends at their cabin, or summer with the French relatives and all sorts of other fun times of our lives. But most of them — and by most I mean about 70% — are of dogs. Gretchen moved another 10,000 to an external hard drive and she’s ready to move some more, but I think we need to cull through them and really REALLY set out on this New Year with a firm resolve to label and organize a bit better than we have in the past so we can avoid this kind of overwhelming “pile” of photographic detritus!

Resolution #3: To get to the bottom of my allergy/skin problems.

twinsWhile I’ve had a wonderful holiday time with my dog friends and human family, I’ve been “dogged” by persistent skin problems and a resultant ear infection. My moms have tried everything from holistic treatments to antibiotics, from Benadryl to acupuncture. Currently I’m doing well though my ear still bugs me, but that too is finally clearing up. Still, the cycle has been that I get an infection, seek treatment, it goes away for about 2 weeks and then reoccurs and back to the treatments we go.

Yes, it’s frustrating (and expensive) so apparently the next step is to see a dermatologist, have a blood test, and find out exactly what I’m allergic to. Hope it’s nothing in my food because I’m quite happy with my current diet — raw turkey, veggies, and now occasional chicken hearts, turkey livers, and gizzards.

Gretchen’s hoping it’s a grass allergy as we’ve always suspected, but in one sense, that’s harder to treat because I’m around and in grass ALL the time. Food IMG_3520would be easier to shift and change, but since I’m finally eating like a real dog, it would be hard to shift my diet.bella

We’ll only know for sure which way to proceed once we have the blood test…which requires time to make a vet appointment and requires the results and analysis. Which leads me to my next resolution…

Resolution #4: I will practice saying NO (and encourage Gretchen to do the same).

I’ll be honest with you. I’m not the problem here. I can say no with the best of them. It’s Gretchen who needs the help, but I figure if I set the goal she’ll help me achieve it because she’sHenri/Bella like that — always trying to help me be the best dog I can be.

But this reverse psychological end around isn’t going to be easy. Gretchen’s a push over and a worrier, which makes for a deadly combination.

She got some good practice over the holiday when people would call us on December 22nd and ask, “Do you pet sit?” Yes, we’d say and then they’d tell us they needed two weeks of pet sitting starting December 23rd.finn

Our December pet sitting calendar has been booked for months. Finding a pet sitter a day before you actually need one isn’t the best planning (in my humble opinion) so Gretchen practiced saying NO, though she was much more tactful about it giving those unorganized pet owners the names of other pet sitters they might try. I doubt they had much luck because all of our pet sitting friends said this was one of the busiest holiday seasons they’d ever seen.

At this point, though, we’re definitely FULL with dog walking clients. We took on two more — Henri and  Bella — and while we have room for them, I sat Gretchen down and said, “That’s it, okay?” She agreed. Our days are busy busy busy and while I get to rest in the afternoons, Gretchen has work at the pool and sometimes her days are 10 hours of work in a 12 hour time frame and that is exhausting.

nappingOf course, now we occasionally go over and help out with Finn, a 4 month old puppy, but he’s not that much work. He’s just cute beyond belief!

So NO is my new favorite word and she’s going to have to practice it along with me!

Resolution #5: Help Gretchen pass her Acupressure Certification Test!

This is a big one for both of us. She still has two more hands-on classes to finish up, but we’re hoping by September that she can take those National Boards and call herself a Board Certified Acupressure Practitioner. I’m doing all I can to help — rising early to help her study, lying under the desk while she Skypesstudying with her study partner, Sue on Prince Edward Island, quiz her while we’re out walking, and making sure she has her priorities straight when it comes to studying. I get to say things like, “Do you really think you should be watching another episode of ____________ when you could be studying?”

But my favorite way of helping her study is to offer up my body for practice. It’s a tough sacrifice, but I don’t mind. Of course, with all the dogs who have been staying with us lately, I’ve been kind of pushed down the line of recipients. I’m trying not to feel jealous or anything. Griffey, for instance, is 15-years-old after all and she could really benefit from the work, but still, it would be nice to have a session every now and then just so I could fully quiz her on exactly which points she’s working and why.

c-manThere’s lots more stuff I need to work on this year, but from everything I’ve read, you should only choose a few goals to really work on. So I’ve pared down my extraordinarily long list to just these 5. Not sure how it’s going to go over the coming months, but hopefully I’ll stick with it and see some positive changes in my already positive life.

I did ask some of my dog friends to give me one highlight of their Resolutions and this is what they said:pushmepullme

Carter — To sleep in more.

Kali — To sleep on top of Carter more.

Monty — To work on being more serious.

Tyson — To help Monty with his goal.seriousears

Griffey — To share the couch.

Woobie — To continue to be the best Dog Nanny in the world.

Roux — To run like the wind! (Ambitious, I know, but I like the thought of it!)

I didn’t ask Bella and Henri since I don’t know them well enough yet, but I have a feeling it involves squirrels!

Happy New Year everyone and may 2013 be filled with wiggles, wags, joy, and peace for you and yours!



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