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.
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! 🙂
Before the wedding, I was getting a bit obsessed with ‘getting fit’. I was working out to exhaustion, eating specifically according to my ‘plan’, and working with a ‘coach’. I say coach in quotations because, looking back, I should have listened to my husband: she had no idea. She made me cut out foods that I loved, and I listened. I’m not talking chips and cookies here, either. I’m talking organic, unsweetened coconut milk in my smoothies. But she told me it was bad, so I listened. She made me stop eating carbs at lunch, and I listened.
Guess what happened? I was cranky, upset, hungry (at times), over full (at other times)..but most of all, I wanted coconut milk, and carbs at night. BADLY.
I was so worried about the wedding. I was so, so paniced. The used-to-be fat girl inside of me kept worrying that when I got my wedding pictures back I would regret it. This was a once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing. If I hated the way I looked in my wedding photos, I’d always regret it.
The big day came, I had my hair and my makeup done, my Mom laced me into my dress, and I put on my earings. Guess what? Not once did I think about what size I looked. Not once. For me, this was a miracle.
I went the entire day, and I felt like a princess. I was so happy, and so surrounded by people I loved. It was magical. And I didn’t think about my size. Not once.
On our honeymoon, I walked around in my little bitty bikini…and I rocked it (at least I think I did). I ate way too much food, and I had absolutely anything and everything I wanted for two whole weeks. I didn’t worry about a carb, a fat, and a protein with every meal. I didn’t have 6 meals a day or stop eating carbs at lunch, I just ate. I just lived.
After 14 days of this craziness, we flew back home. I mustered up the courage to climb aboard the scale to judge the damages. Pulling the blue glass scale out from beside the bathroom sink, all those feelings came back. I hadn’t even weighed myself yet and I was thinking “you shouldn’t have eaten all that”. Guess what? I lost 4 pounds during our trip.
I joked with J that the ‘burger’ diet was good for me, and he smiled. He loves seeing me confident in myself, I can tell. “I told you,” he said “you just have to eat when you’re hungry, and stop when you’re full. I know you’ll never let yourself go overboard”. I love him.
So that, my friends, is my new plan. Since we only really buy organic fruits and veggies, grass-fed meats, and whole grains, I should be good to go. Noted that this ‘plan’ probably wouldn’t work for someone who’s taste buds are in a loving relationship with oreos and lucky charms, but I think I’ve got this in the bag.
I am going to up the workouts now that we’re back, and I’m going to eat like a normal, healthy person. Lots of fruits, lots of veggies, and carbs whenever I damn well feel. If I want ice cream, or frozen yogurt, I’m going to eat it..just not for five consecutive days. I am excited to see what happens next. I want abs, and we all know those are made in the kitchen. Come on kitchen, get cooking! 😉
I feel happy…and I feel healthy. I could get used to this wife stuff.
I keep thinking maybe I have bitten off more than I can chew…but how could that be? Maybe it’s a reasonable amount to bite, and a fair amount to safely chew, but the swallowing isn’t really working for me.
In reality, I’m not doing any more than the average person, but wow, I am exhausted. This, my friends, is a whole new level of tired for me, it’s not the ‘Oh, I need to get 8 hours tonight” kind of exhaustion, but it’s more like “I need a week where I don’t have to do anything but sleep, and all my responsibilities are being taken care of by someone who has the same motivation as I do”…haaaaa. Ya think that’ll ever happen?
The best way I can explain this is emotional exhaustion..but it’s almost past that point. It’s Monday, I just had a full two days off to relax, and I simply cannot fathom sitting here at work all day.. I won’t make it. I have a pounding headache, and my eyes can barely stay open, nevermind focus on anything. I have no patience, and I am uninterested in doing my work. What the hell is going on?
People with children, I have no idea how you do it. I cannot imagine ever having that ability. You are amazing.
I am trying not to be a whiner. I am 25, I don’t have kids (see above point…and again, HOW do you do it?), I work full-time (but who doesn’t?), try to work out at the gym daily, and I have dogs (too. many. dogs.). I have a husband, and a house which is way too big for us (no one informed me that even if you don’t use your two spare bedrooms, they still manage to need cleaning..or they end up as storage areas for everything you don’t want to deal with). Still, sound’s do-able, right? It’s a moderate work load. So why is it that I am so exhausted? I honestly don’t get it…and trust me, I’ve tried to put on my big girl panties and get it done. I can’t. Not without crying and having a break down about how everything is just too much. Every day I try to think of something to quit to lessen the load: my job (please can I win the lottery and be a puppy rescuer?), the gym (but I know that will make things 10X worse), the dogs (hahahaha…kidding, never). None of those things are reasonable. I need to get it together.
Since I was diagnosed hypothyroidism/ Hashimoto’s, I promised I’d never use it as an excuse. I will not gain weight, I will not say I can’t lose it, I will never be too tired to get out of bed, or not have the energy to stay awake at work. Nope. Screw you, Hashimoto’s. But I’m starting to think that might just be the cause of this problem…
Ahh, I need a snuggle, and my naturopath. I missed my appointment this weekend, too, and now I can’t get in for another two weeks.
Why? Because, well, this happened:
Yeah, that’s a cast, for his broken knee. I cried like a uncontrolable baby when they told us the x-ray results. How could I let that happen?! (Again, people with kids….? HOW?!). Oh, and did I mention that I am IN LOVE with this little guy? Did I mention that the day after this little incident occurred, we had someone coming to meet and adopt him, and I was happy he would be leaving so I didn’t get even more attached? Oh, and now he has to stay with us for 6+ weeks while he heals? Oh, and did I mention that he’s SO snuggly, sweet, and possibly even cuter than before with his little yellow cast? Great, just great, Sam. Please don’t make me keep you, Dad will be so mad.. ❤
Thanks for listening. 😉
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.
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).
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..).
I’m addicted to books….
But there’s a bit of a loop hole. My Grandma is addicted to books, and I remember her saying on some occasions “this book is no good.. I can’t wait to be finished with it.” Well, I can tell you, I would never get to that point. Call me a quitter if you will..it’s probably justified, but I can usually tell after about 15 minutes if I’m going to finish the book..I’m very selective. Just ask the stack of “attempted” books on my bedside table.
For this reason, I rarely buy books new, I am more of a garage-sale/library/raiding my Mom’s bookshelves kinda girl. This approach usually prevents me from getting my hands on any of the “top 40” of the book world, but I figure if they’re that good, I’ll come across them in a few years at a yard sale.
Last night I headed out to the library while Jamie had his boy time (his best friend/ best man is staying with us right now–bro-mance!). I only had 45 minutes before the library closed, so I stumbled around, looking through the non-fiction categories (I don’t do well with fiction..I’ve maybe read 5-6 fiction books in my lifetime). I stocked up! I walked away with 5 books about marriage, love, and/or sex (all the current themes running my life right now).
Then I drove to my little spot, parked the truck, opened the windows, hung my bare feet out and layed back in the comfy seat. The first one I opened, I read the first page, and before I knew it I had been sitting there for three hours and was on page 76. Whoa. Nice work, Dr. Ruth…I brought the books to work today (shhh) so I can get all my reading, with pay!
I’m going to be a marriage professional before you even know it… What are your favorite books?
Last night was just like our average, every day night. I got home from work, went to the gym with my fiance (I can bench 65 pounds, but I still can’t do a pull-up!), came home, did our Costco run, ate dinner (yay for green smoothies with protein and flax..lately I have not been feeling solid meals for dinner) and relaxed for a bit. Oh, and we had our first dance class for the wedding. I definitely have two left feet and a very, very hard time ‘following’. Apparently I need to let go of all control…not something I am good at. But all in all, it was a great night.
After we got home and I showered, I perched in my usual, comfy spot on the bathroom counter and begun on the ever so tedious task of plucking my eyebrows (which had been neglected for far too long). Well, guess what? They’re falling out. The edges used to be full, and now they’re falling out. They’re pencil-thin and it’s not from plucking. This made me sad. My skin is also getting even drier. The inside of my nostrils is cracked and raw and has been for months, but now it’s spreading to my cheeks and forehead, as well. This has been one of those symptoms that no doctor can explain. It could be from the Hashimoto’s, and it could be from any number of other causes. Oh well, all I know is that I look like a lizzard and it hurts.
I ran downstairs to my fiance and asked him the question he has to receive at least 3 times per week… “Is it too late to call Grandma??!” (she is in another time zone). Grandma is my go-to for times like these, she always seems to understand. I think we are ‘soul sisters’, or whatever you want to call it. She just understands me. Even when I’m being crazy, she has a special way of making me feel like she knows exactly what I am going through. Well, despite his answer of “probably”, I decided to take the risk. Sure enough, Grandma was sleeping. I’ve made this mistake before and had her groggily answer the phone, knowing I’m the only one who would call that late, but luckily this time I did not interrupt her. Grandpa and I had a quick talk, but I didn’t want to keep him from his Baseball game he was currently watching on PVR (oh, to be retired..). I called my Momma and gave her my sob story. She worries about me and told me to go to the doctor. Blah, the doctor cannot do anything for these crazy brows. I said goodnight, got off the phone, snuggled my fiance while I felt sorry for myself for a bit, and forced myself to walk upstairs to bed. Goodnight eyebrows, you a-holes.
I woke up this morning and felt great! I wasn’t bloated, or tired. I actually felt skinny (yayyy for no bloat!). So I thought, what the hell, painted my eyebrows on (hehe) and jumped on the scale. Afterall, I’ve been WORKING MY ASS OFF at the gym AND eating out of tupperware. Oh scale, I hate you. I hate, hate, hate you. Every time I think maybe I lost a pound or two you squash my hopes and my dreams and bring me back to reality. I can feel like an absolute supermodel looking in the mirror, and as soon as I see that stupid number I feel like a beached whale. Psychological abuse, I’d say. I know, I know, it’s ‘just a number’. But why can’t it be a number that is 10 pounds less?! So, I concluded that I need to stop weighing myself…which I probably will until two weeks from now when I am feeling SO great that I must have lost weight.. 😉 and so the vicious cycle begins again!
Today is going to be a good day. I am waiting for a cab to take me downtown to our office’s annual client barbeque for a “Stampede celebration”– I live in Calgary, so this is a big week for us! It is supposed to be almost 30 degrees and I will be downtown all day mingling and watching others enjoy delicious BBQ steak (while I eat salad and lean turkey breast from a tupperware container)…but hey, I won’t be at work! Enjoy your Tuesday, everyone!