A few months ago, I told the American people I did not trade arms for hostages. My heart and my best intentions still tell me that's true, but the facts and evidence tell me it is not.
~ Reagan, Mar. '87
Breakfast: Fat Free
The Elegant Gathering
TODAY on TV
Everybody Loves Ramond
OK--WELL MAYBE ONE MORE...
8 June 2004
I said that I wasnt going to turn this into a dog journal--and Im not...really! But these are settling in days for Sheila, so my brain is see-sawing back and forth between bonding with Sheila and doing transcription, so if I don't write about Sheila, this could be a very boring entry.
As the time passes, Sheila will continue to keep her own blog on the left here, but today let's talk about how she's settling in.
In a word: wonderfully.
She's already territorial, barking when strangers come to the door or the mailman shows up to drop off mail. I have to admit that after 30 years of living with dogs, once Kimba became deaf and no longer barked when there was activity at the door, I have felt very slightly uncomfortable at home alone. It's nice to have a watch dog again--especially one who sounds impressive.
The floor looks like it did when we had toddlers--littered with toys. Fortunately she doesn't have too many. But they told me that she liked to play with toys and wasn't destructive if she had toys to play with. So far that has proven to be true (well, except for a pen I didn't realize I'd dropped on the floor). Today I bought her a small "toybox" (actually a dishpan).
I guess we are settling into some sort of starting routine for our day.
I wake up without an alarm. Yesterday it was 6:15 and today 5:30. Based on how these two days have gone, the schedule will have to be modified depending on when my internal alarm goes off.
Yesterday we discovered the culvert where they let dogs run off leash (see Photo of the Day). I was a little leery about letting her off leash, since we haven't perfected the change of names or the coming when called, but she really, really needed to run--and, hopefully, a playmate. As it turns out, the culvert is just perfect because it's bounded on one side by a stream (she seems to be nervous around water), and on the other by a hill with a fence at the top, separating the culvert from the bike path. So she can't really go anywhere, I thought. We had a good walk yesterday, ending up around 8 a.m. but that was definitely getting too hot for a comfortable walk (for me).
Today we went at 6 and that was much better. It was starting to feel a bit warm when we ended up, but it was quite comfortable walking--and she got in a good run today trying to catch dogs on the bike path or on the other side of the stream. She didn't exactly wear herself out, but she definitley got more exercise than she has thusfar.
I discovered that there is an entrance to the culvert halfway down, and unfortunately Sheila discovered it too, about the time some joggers were passing by on the path, so she was crazy to get up there to join them, and naturally I wasn't fast enough to catch her. But, miraculously, I called to her--called her "Sheila"--and she came back. On our way back to the car, I tried to create a diversion so she wouldn't notice the opening and that worked.
I had thought I would schedule my day to get up, write the morning pages for The Artists Way, make coffee and take Sheila out. Now I know that the order of things will really depend on the time I get up, because 6:15 is about the very latest I'd want to leave the house, to avoid the heat. Of course we are nearly to the longest day of the year, so as days get shorter, the schedule can be readjusted.
She pretty much sleeps most of the day, but has become my shadow. I have to be careful not to automatically roll my desk chair back when I get up from the computer, because she sleeps right behind the chair--and, unlike Kimba, she's big, so I could hurt her if I get up too quickly.
She gets an infusion of frisky around dinner time (just like a little kid), so that's when the toys help. We're working on "drop it," which she sometimes responds to, but usually doesn't, preferring to engage in a tug of war. She's pretty much frisky from dinner time until we go to bed, though can be cajoled into quieting down so I can watch TV or do some typing.
I've been reading up on Australian shepherds and she pretty much fits the characteristics to a T, and I've learned that she will be much happier with a "task" to do, so I'm going to start scheduling training into our day as well. I think. It's also comforting to know that she doesn't need excessive exercise and is happiest when she is part of "the pack" (which explains why she is my shadow as I move around the house).
It's fun getting to know her. She's such a strong, heavy dog that training is really going to be a must with her if I'm ever going to be able to confidently take her out off leash, or do anything else. But for right now we're just getting to know each other and that will come down the road a bit.
The airwaves are filled with tributes to Ronald Reagan. I've had to turn it off. I have no love for the man and I find it difficult to listen to the worshippers who claim that "he may be the greatest president of the 20th Century." A man I heard interviewed tonight said "This country has had only three great presidents: Washington, Lincoln and Reagan."
Anybody ever heard of FDR? Truman? Wilson? Theodore Roosevelt?
JFK? ...or even Clinton, for that matter.