Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving Was Here. Winter Returns Too.

Thanksgiving came and went quietly. I woke up early this morning...well actually Orville woke me early by scooting up next to my pillow, licking my cheek and giving me a pleading look. I stumbled upstairs and out into the frigid morning; always the doorman. A slept in for awhile since she has to be up early tomorrow for work. Later we ate breakfast and just did some household chores; very un-exciting, very un-holiday like. In fact with nothing cooking or baking in the house it didn't seem much like Thanksgiving at all. I tried several times to call Dad but was unable to reach him. I left a couple messages instead. My older brother is there visiting and I know they were taking Dad out of the rehab facility for dinner today.

Don't worry we didn't go without our turkey dinner and this afternoon went to the home of A's aunt and uncle and had a lovely time hanging out with the retirees. We were invited to her brother's home but we both didn't want to deal with their screaming, obnoxious, rude children and some equally rude adults. That could be an entire post in itself.

Tomorrow morning I will be up early but NOT to participate in Black Friday shopping madness. NO WAY! I know so many people who look forward all year to this one shopping day but to me it looks and feels like a nightmare. Instead I will haul myself up to put the beef brisket in the oven, start preparing egg noodles and baking bread. That's right, I'm the one cooking tomorrow; alert the fire department. No really I can cook but so seldom do because I don't enjoy it except for the rare special occasions. Mom is coming for a belated Thanksgiving dinner and dragging along her pet, aka well-meaning but annoying boyfriend. They usually don't hang around too long though.

The weather has turned here suddenly and we went from unseasonably warm 60's and sunny to unseasonably cold 2 degrees. Our last nice weekend it was nearly 70 degrees, the collie came to visit, we played ball with the dogs and they chased each other in the yard. There was still some green in our world.

One week later we woke on a Saturday morning to 10 inches of snow. We had to get up and pull out the shovels to clear the deck, stairs and patio just so the dogs could go outside.
Since then it has been nothing but cold, overcast, freezing rain, sleet and snow. I don't give a damn about the snow but I truly hate the ice and I still need the sunshine. I like to sit in front of the window and soak it in, even if it's all an illusion.  This weather means lots of indoor time and I end up curling up on the couch with a book or movie plus several dogs to keep me company. Since bringing in dog #8, the dynamics of the pack have changed and my Sia wants to make sure everyone know I belong to her at nap time. There are also 3 others laying by my feet.
Actually Cassie (dog #8) has been one of the more challenging fosters I've had in a long time. She is a sweetie with people but has problems with other dogs. She is food-aggressive, territorial, and possessive. She doesn't give the warning growl--she goes straight in for the attack. After the first few days she was here, I was ready to send her back! In 5 days I had broken up more dog fights than in the last 4 years I've had Chins. I thought she was going to have to permanently live in a kennel. It's just unusual for this breed to not get along. I was especially pissed when my dogs started acting fearful of her. I will not tolerate my dogs feeling uncomfortable or fearful in their own home. Her former foster offered to take her back, our foster coordinator was looking for another foster home where she could be the only dog (yeah right!) but after I had time to sleep on it (that's when I do my best problem-solving), A and I agreed that we've had worse and would not give up so easily. We came up with a plan to anticipate/remove her triggers and do some training to modify her behavior and help her gain confidence. She's been here 2.5 weeks and is coming along great. She seems to especially love her new best friend Jill.
Last night I had the rare treat of catching a group shot of the whole crew, minus Gizzy who has bad balance and is afraid of falling down the stairs. So here is a picture of 7 out of 8...and they are all looking at the camera for once. A very rare picture indeed.
Left to right: Popper, Jill, Cassie, Orville, Nifty, Sia
Front: Timmy

Hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend.


Ms. Moon said...

Oh. I love you guys and your pretty family! Sweetness.

crystal said...

Ahh the perks of cold weather, shameless animal cuddling while reading a good book!! Also, good job with the newest member, she sounds like a handful and Im proud of you 2 for giving her a chance!!

Jude said...

That last picture would make a great card.

Sarcastic Bastard said...

I love how all the dogs are looking at the camera together. Perfection!

Hope you two had a good holiday too! I also hope the month of December speeds its ass along, because I'm ready for the EVEN LONGER X-mas break.

Q said...

Great pictures! How did you get the dogs to sit still long enough for that picture??? You are offically the "dog whisperer"