Gypsy, not a Mermaid.

I feel like a gypsy lately. My life is filled with wonder, uncertainty, a little worry, and a little excitement. A lot of people write (or blog) when they’re under stress or crazy times. Not this girl. But, after a long hiatus, here I am! Back in black (and white).

I have been working up North for about two months now. Camp life is…different. I have adjusted well, and I am doing fine. It’s okay. That’s the only word I feel is adequate to describe it. If I was single (and had no doggies), I would be better than okay, but for now I will remain only okay.

There are certain pros, which help counteract the cons, that make the happy medium of ‘okay’ feel like the right word.

  • Working for 8 days and having 6 days off is nice (shh, I know lots of you work 14, 21, even more days at a time, but I’m just trying to live here, mmk?)
  • Having time every day for the gym is great.
  • Not having to cook, or make my own bed, great.
  • Money: great, gotta have money.

The cons are here, too. “Move to Alberta and get rich!”, they say, but they leave out a few important facts:

  • It’s easy to spend money when you’re home for 6 days at a time. You feel entitled. You feel like you’re on vacation. Dinner out? YES! Mini trip? YES! Hotel nights? Mmmhmm.
  • Being away from the man (and the pups) – boo…boo, boo, boo.. boohoo.
  • Missing out on life
  • Sleeping alone

Overall, as I said, it’s okay. I won’t complain about having a ‘good’ job, with a stead y income and a warm office, but with the dropping oil prices, uncertainty is rabid and who knows where I will be in a month’s time. There is talk of sending me to another site, back to the city, and I’m sure many closed-door whispers of layoffs. It’s funny how someone else can decide your future behind your back, secretly, hush-hush. But don’t worry, they’ll “figure it out”. Right now, being a mermaid is sounding pretty good.

Happy New Year, beautiful people.

Little Monsters make my life.

I had my first shift at the shelter last night. I’ve been there a few times for orientations, and to pick up our fosters, but this was my first day hanging out with the dogs in the shelter.

I’m in love.

Since it was my first shift, I had to stay with an experienced volunteer the entire night. We walked a very pregnant Momma, “Maggie”. She was tired. We had to entice her every step with treats. We finally made it outside to the grass and we weren’t sure we’d ever get her back inside.. it must have taken 45 minutes to go 200 meters. I wonder how many puppies she will have. Next, we did a bit of ‘doggy physio’ on a dog that was found with a badly broken leg. She had to have surgery to get her tail amputated and has about 20 staples up her leg. Her sad little eyes and underbite were magnified by the plastic cone around her head. Poor baby. We fed her treats, gave her lots of cuddles, and stretched her leg muscles out for her. She was unimpressed at first, but eventually realized that the pain in her leg was a fair trade-off for all the ear scratches. It’s amazing and beautiful to me how forgiving these animals can be, even after all they’ve been through. If only people could be more like dogs.

Now comes the part where I bring home another foster puppy (oops!). He was so sad, and all his brothers and sister’s were going to foster homes already. I couldn’t leave him all alone overnight in that scary kennel, could I? Nope. It was decided. I texted J and told him not to hate me..I think he knows what that means now. At the end of the night, little Sullivan and I packed a crate with all the supplies we will need for our short time together. We cruised home, with Sullivan whining periodically, and only stopping when I put my fingers through the tiny holes in the side of his crate. He is so, so small. Dont worry, little man, you’re safe now.

When we arrived home, J was sitting on the couch looking little more than unimpressed. I was prepared for him to be upset..but I had already decided that me and little man would do our absolute best to take care of ourselves, and wouldn’t ask J for any help (he loves puppies in moderation, and lately I’ve been giving him puppies in overload). I put the crate down and let the three current canine residents sniff him out for a bit while I walked over to the couch..he smiled at me. That same smile that I fell in love with, dimples and all. “Well, let’s see him,” he said, still smiling (although I could tell he was fighting it back ;)). God I love that man.

Welcome to your ‘for-now’ home, Sullivan! I can’t wait to meet your forever family.

puppy

P.S. If you think fostering might be something you’d be interested in, I highly recommend looking into it. Taking one dog out of a kennel, or run at a shelter makes room for them to save another life. Often times (as in our case) you are provided free of charge with everything you need: food, crates, toys, collars and leashes, even food and water bowls. All you need is to provide a loving, safe environment for the dog until they find their new family. Google it to find a rescue in your area! 🙂

Throwback Thursday, and the evolution of the crazy dog lady.

tbt
Throwback Thursday to my two favorite boys ❤

I never had dogs growing up. I had a cat: Tang. I remember one day in Grade 10 my friend’s cat had babies and I brought one home once they were ready. My Mom was..not impressed, but she let me keep him. He was a sickly little dude, and we spent a lot of money getting him all spruced up, but he’s now the best cat ever. I still love to snuggle him everytime we visit home.

When we moved to Alberta we rented the cutest little basement suite. We had our own little yard and patio, and it had the most wonderful pond. I was in heaven. Our landlord (the sweetest elderly gentleman who had just lost his wife) explained to us that there were no pets allowed in the suite as he was afraid of dogs, and cats were ‘dirty’. As time went by, we became pretty close with Roger. He would give us birthday gifts, christmas gifts, and I would bake him cookies. 🙂 He was great.

Once we started looking at buying our own place, we simultaneously started going to the animal shelter to “look” at dogs. Yeah, right. When we met Rein, she was a big giant pit bull, and, having little experience with dogs, I was a bit nervous. I remember asking Jamie “how do you know if a dog is going to bite your face off?”. He laughed at me. He had been around dogs his entire life–Rein was amazing, and he knew it. We met her, cuddled her, and I got a bit more comfortable, but I still had the notion in the back of my mind that if I made any sudden movements, she was going to rip me apart…Looking back, we probably shouldn’t have been visiting the shelter when we couldn’t even have an animal–it was emotional every time we left. We went home, and for the next few weeks I researched dogs and pit bulls, and rescues, and behaviour. I looked into dog classes, and dog psychology, and I read Cesear Milan books..I wanted a dog.

Two weeks later, we went back to the shelter, and there she was. Still in the same kennel, Rein sat further back from the glass viewing window then before, and she barely looked up at us. She looked defeated. My poor girl… we asked to visit with her again and the staff showed us her tricks. She could sit, stay, roll over, shake a paw, and she LOVED fetch. The way she interacted with the lady was amazing–that was her person. Everyone at the shelter loved her. I cried the entire way home that we couldn’t get her. Jamie said it was for the best though, she was ‘way too big…and scary looking’, and told me we weren’t going to go anymore until we had our own place.

That night I went to Roger’s front door, knocked, and watched him walk slowly down the stairs through the tiny front window. My heart was beating fast. I told him that I knew we weren’t allowed dogs, but I found one that was very special. And we could do a larger damage deposit, and it wouldn’t be long (he knew we were looking for a house to buy). There I was, standing on the front porch of a man who was terrified of dogs, asking him if I could bring a 75 pound rescue pit bull into his safe, beautiful little home.

“Oh, Ashley. Of course you can have a dog.”

I felt so guilty. I knew he wouldn’t say no…but I also knew I wouldn’t screw this up.

“What kind of dog is it, anyways?”

My heart sank. Oh no..here we go. I told him it was a pit bull…and guess what he said?

“Oh, I don’t know that kind.”

We went to the shelter the next day and adopted her. It ended up costing us $575 dollars as she needed a special class as an adoption condition (she was a pit bull, afterall). I didn’t care. We paid the money and were told we could pick her up in two days, as she needed to be spayed.

tbt3
Sleepy girl on her way home–see her bandaid?

When we went to pick her up, she had just finished surgery and she was so sleepy. I sat in the back seat with her and I was so happy. She made herself right at home, walked over to her bed we had for her, and layed right down. I spent the entire first night laying on her bed with her, rubbing her head softly (I still had no idea about dogs).

tbt2
Carpet is so much better than concrete, Mom!

The first few days of leaving her at home I was pretty sure we’d come home to a ripped apart front door, or a chewed up couch, but we never did. She has still never chewed a thing. She’s had a few accidents inside, but man does she feel bad (you can tell by the look in her eyes..and she cowers when you see it). She’s so well behaved, and so smart (we taught her to crawl, and high-10). I’m so glad Roger made an exception for us.

Fast forward to 6 months into home ownership…guess who came home with puppy #2? This girl!! Benjamin Button (Ben, for when we are in public) was just a tiny, tiny little baby (see first picture). Our family is complete, for now, until we are ready for babies (or another puppy..).

 

Monday, Monday, Mondayyyy..

I usually spend a good 2 minutes trying to think of a witty blog title, but today this just seems fitting.. because it’s Monday and that is all. I don’t like Mondays (surprise)… I’m just not destined to be employed (bahaha…I wish).

Friday I met up with my trainer. I weighed in at 2.5 pounds lost (nevermind that this morning I am back to my regular, static weight that just won’t budge), and I lost 0.9% body fat. I am pretty sure that the margin of error is greater than 1%, but I’ll take it.. small victories.

As for my measurements, someone please try and explain THIS sequence of events:

My last round of measurements (with one month difference in between):

  • Gained a 1/2″ around my chest.. I found a way to be happy with this (what girl wouldn’t be?!)
  • Lost 2″ around my waist (woohoo!!)
  • Gained 3/4″ around my hips (I have been squating like CRAZY and I had virtually zero bum to begin with…so I also found a way to accept this..)

This month of measurements (as taken on Friday with one month difference in between):

  •  Lost 1/2″ around my bust
  • Gained 1″  around my waist ( 😐 )
  •  Lost 3/4″ around hips

Okay, what in the hell is going on?! I swear I go into these weigh/measure/body fat days and I am feeling soo great, and then I come out wanting to cry (and being SO confused).  I don’t have a copy of my pictures yet, so I will post them as soon as she sends them over..but part of me doesn’t even want to look. UGH!

Part of me wonders if I am simply not working hard enough, do all these girls that look amazing really work THAT much harder than me? I mean, I work out to the point of absolute exhaustion and wanting to puke AT LEAST 4 times a week (I aim for 5-6), and I eat PRETTY FREAKING GOOD!! I dont want to make excuses and thyroid this, thyroid that..but I just don’t get it..

Well, I sucked it up and resisted the urge to go home and cry in my bed. I went home, got my gym stuff on and headed out. In order to combat my I HATE CARDIO attitude, I have been running to the gym and getting Jamie to pick me up after he’s done work. This gives me a solid 15-20 minute run, and a good 45-60 minutes at the gym. Friday night workout = lots of space at the gym. I was literally the only girl there. I was lifting hard and angry, I was sweating like crazy and I had a sad, empty feeling in my stomach. I had taken up shop in the corner of the gym and I was hoarding gym equipment in a cute little array next to me on the bench (in a way you can only do on a Friday night), when a guy started walking towards me. Oh god, I thought, I have too much stuff….I’m an ass. *panic*. BUT GUESS WHAT HE SAID?!?

“I don’t know how to say this in a non creepy way…but I saw  you here a few months ago and you are looking REALLY good. I have really noticed a big change and you must be working really, really hard.”

Seriously, I couldn’t wipe the stupid grin off my face. I must have said thank you 15 times.. I NEEDED that. I probably needed that worse than I’ve needed it in my entire journey. 70+ pounds lost and this was the time that I really, really NEEDED to hear this…and it happened.  I definitely took it as a sign that everything is going to be okay.

HAPPY MONDAY everyone! Thanks for reading.

Oh, and just because I love this picture, here’s Ben yesterday with his new bandana.. Can you say crazy dog lady??

ben1`21
Hi, I’m Ben and I’m a model.. 🙂