Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Scaredy Cat

The other day Truvy and I set out earlier than usual in an effort to beat the grotesque humidity. We did our normal loop around town, however, as we inched our way up the remaining incline, I was feeling overheated and felt it best if we shortened our route. As we walked along I noticed a black cat sitting still as a statue at the edge of a driveway. Truvy didn't even notice him. Her eyes were trained on several squirrels scurrying among the trees. I quickly glanced at the cat and in response, he puffed up his shiny coat. While Truvy and I were already in the street (because there were no sidewalks) I steered her into the middle of the road. I wanted to communicate to Puff-Kitty we had no interest in him and he was safe. Oddly enough as Truvy and I continued, I felt like something was following us. I looked over my shoulder and there was that cat. I couldn't believe it. So much so, I actually said aloud, "I can't believe he's following us." At this point Truvy turned and noticed the cat. She cocked her head in curiosity, but the manner in which he walked --low to the ground, I felt an urgency to pick up our pace and keep moving, but in that instant, he pounced....not in the cute way that cats jump on a toy mouse or bat a feather tether toy -- his back arched, his mouth opened and were claws out. In response, Truvy yelped and jumped backwards -- trying to get away. I got tangled up in her leash and landed hard on the pavement. As I scrambled to get up, the cat lunged again. I felt like we were in an episode of the Twilight Zone. My arms and legs swinging wildly as I tried to shield the two of us. My voice shrill. Was anyone seeing this? I wondered. Truvy and I nearly ran down the rest of the street, stopping only to cross the road. I looked back and in the distance could see a small, dark furry figure -- still except for a flitting tail.

Since this experience, Truvy has become afraid of Natalie's black, stuffed toy dog. I've tried several desensitization techniques, but she isn't buying it. She barks at it and backs away...refusing to go in her room. I don't blame her. The experience shook me up, too.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Deep Thoughts From Noah #95

Noah: Mom, I have nothing to wear.

Me: How can that be? I've done all the laundry.
(I head upstairs to his room. Not only is his dirty laundry basket half full, but he has dirty clothes strewn all over his bedroom floor.

Me: Noah, you need to bring your dirty clothes down so I may wash them.

Noah: Oh. I forgot.

Me: Why are all of your clothes on the floor?

Noah: I don't know

Me: Noah, you have to have a better reason than "I don't know."

Noah: Well...because if I put them in the laundry basket I was afraid they would overflow.

Me: Touche

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Truvy's Birthday Pawty Wrap Up

I think it is fair to say we are a little over the top with our pup...and I'm okay with that. Her entry into our home required more than a year of planning, research and 100+ allergy shots. However, nothing prepared me for the level for which I would love her and the positive affect she would have on our entire family. Steve and I spend more time together and we both have better health (Steve's lost 20 lbs!) thanks to daily walks. Noah's confidence grows as he practices commands with her and is always happy to take her out for potty breaks. Natalie just loves having a furry companion to sit with her while she reads.

While I was hoping to train her to become a therapy dog, I think she may be better suited as a circus dog. She knows lots of tricks -- sit, down, stay, spin, rewind, peekaboo, shake, left paw, right paw, high 5, high 10, take my arm and walk and most recently -- jumping through hoops. Her favorite games are find it, Frisbee and tug.

We socialize and board her at Silver Maple Pet Center. Each month they celebrate birthdays. They threw Truvy a fun-filled pawty with more than a dozen of her friends. When I picked her up, pet attendant, Lauren said, "I just wanted you to know -- Truvy now has a boyfriend."

Say what?!

Everyone -- Meet Don.

Natalie has been dreaming about Truvy's birthday party for months. She didn't think a "friend" party  was enough. She wanted her to have a family party, too! She found a recipe for a layered dog cake (Ask me if she's ever made a cake for her ol' mom...hmmmm). She made a photo prop (I taught her well!) and we invited my friend Christy, her daughter, Jessie and their pup (4.5 month old, Teddy -- Truvy's half bro) over to celebrate. We nearly melted under the 90+ temps, but did our best to keep cool with popsicles and iced tea while we watched the two dogs romp around the yard. Jessie presented Truvy with a large, decorated birthday cookie which the two pups happily shared. We took lots of pics and made lots of memories.

Nat was so fired up  -- after the party she opened up an Instagram just for Truvy. I don't have an account, but it seems our dog does.  #groovy_truvy

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Top 5 Teachings from Truvy

1. Have fun. Fun is where you find it. Truvy has joy because she seeks it out...whether it's watching bunnies and birds on her perch, hunting toads in our yard or making friends at the vet office. She doesn't wait for adventure to come to her.

Much of our adult lives are focused on work -- things we have to do; commuting to a job we may not enjoy, paying bills, doing home improvements or training-up kids. Life can get bogged down by all the stuff we have to do that we forget how to fit in joy...unless it's something scheduled -- like a birthday party or concert. Instead incorporate fun into your day...every day. Perhaps instead of looking at your phone or checking Facebook, you read a book on your lunch hour or take a short walk. Listen to music while house cleaning. Encourage your children to dance while they straighten up their rooms.

2. Rest. Truvy is an active pup. She loves our walks around the neighborhood and catching frisbees  in the yard each day. She's never turned down a rowdy game of tug, but she also knows the importance of recharging herself with a short snooze or just sitting on her perch and watching the squirrels and birds in our yard.

In our fast-paced world of instant messaging, 24/7 shopping and work days that stretch into the night -- it's easy to forget to stop and take a rest. Don't feel guilty. A nap doesn't have to be a 2 hour thing. Set a timer for just 15 minutes, close your eyes and be still. Step outside and take in the sounds and smells around you. It's likely you'll have more energy and creativity to complete your work after a short break.

3. Be Generous. Truvy is a fluffy bundle of generosity. She gives with her entire wiggly self -- no holds barred on kisses. She's never met a lap she didn't like to plop herself down on. She is happy to share her time and space with everyone.

Be giving of yourself -- with your time, your talents and your words! Facebook and texting are okay but they are no substitute for real, face to face time with a friend or family member. Communicate with real words -- I like you, I love you, I care for you, I'm thankful for you...Also, don't be stingy with affection. Give hugs freely.

4. Be Present. Truvy is a busy pup! But something she doesn't do -- she doesn't multi-task. She loves to eat, play, run, jump and receive belly rubs, but she doesn't try to do any two things at once.

While multi-tasking seems necessary, it also can be a real kill joy. Eating or drinking while looking at a computer screen or your phone prevents you from truly experiencing the flavors, smells and textures of what you are consuming. Driving and texting will not only kill your joy -- it may kill you.  Put your phone away. Watch your child blow out the candles with your own two eyes, rather than viewing the experience through your camera lens. I admit I have been guilty of focusing on documenting an experience rather than just enjoying the moment. Multitasking doesn't always help you accomplish more and sometimes it makes you resentful because you are hurrying your way through life.

5. Forgive. Truvy loves everyone and everything except trips to the groomer. When she returns from having her hair trimmed and fluffed, nails clipped and glands expressed -- she usually puts herself on her climb and mopes. She hangs her head over the edge and sighs loudly. I think in an effort to make me feel bad. Seve (ever the instigator) plays along. I'll hear him say things to her like, "Oh, did that mean mama of yours make you get your hair cut?"  "Poor Truvy". While I'm usually the one she follows around like there is an invisible string attached to me -- on grooming days, she gives me the cold shoulder. However, when all is said and done and it's time for bed. She always finds her way back to her spot on the floor, next to my side of the bed. By morning all is forgiven. She doesn't hold grudges.

Forgiveness isn't always easy and time doesn't heal all wounds. But, holding grudges...withholding love and friendship...holding onto pain and anger just leaves you empty and often sad. Forgiveness doesn't mean you are letting someone off the hook for hurting you, it just means you have allowed yourself to let go of the pain. Sometimes forgiveness leads to renewed and improved relationships. Other times it offers you an opportunity to just move forward.