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Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Brand New Start

The calendar says it's February 25th, but my heart says it's spring! The last few weeks have been emotional, and trying, and difficult, but now I feel renewed in my heart, knowing I did the right thing for Rainy even though I still miss her so. I received a few pictures from her new family and she's now sleeping on the big bed with her brothers, and sleeping in Dad's lap, so I know she is happy and has someone special taking care of her. I will try again when I'm ready, when the situation is better and I've thought it through a lot more. But for now, I'm restarting my life out of the doldrums because spring is in the air!

Yes, there's still snow on the ground (and another nor'easter threatening the east coast), and yes we are all watching the Winter Olympics, but spring is really coming. The other week, pitchers and catchers reported for spring training; now the entire squads are there, preparing for a spring and summer filled with cheers and hits and great catches and perhaps no-hitters. Spring always leads me to want to declutter and organize and freshen my home, and this year's no different. So I've started spring cleaning, I'm trying to get some of the clutter out of my life. I'm planning on trying new things.

Spring is in the air and soon the birds and the flowers and the sunshine will tell us so in ways everyone can hear. But in these last waning days of meteorological winter, can you hear spring calling? What is it telling you?

Monday, February 15, 2010

You Took a Piece of Me With You

Last week I posted about the conflicted feelings I was having about having Rainy here. After much thought and prayer, I decided to surrender her back. She was a sweet and adorable puggie, but she was too much for me to handle and just wasn't a good match. We went to the NIPRA Valenpug party, and met Stubby and Gen and Foo, and Rainy had a fantastic time running around with all the other puggies (and a few non-puggies) and crawling on anyone who happened to be on the ground. As it turns out, yesterday she found what may be the perfect home for herself. There was a couple who had two boy puggies and had planned to adopt a little girl pug. They had the home visit and everything was set, but the foster decided to keep the little girl. They saw Rainy and decided she was just the little girl to take home. They even had a Valentine picture taken with all three dogs. Seeing how much Rainy loved to run and play with the other pugs, how very much she was enjoying herself, I knew a multi-pug household would be good for her. It was a very difficult decision and there is most definitely a piece of my heart that went with her, but in the end, I know I made the right decision...for me, and for her. I will always treasure the two weeks she spent with me.

The drive home was difficult. Though I knew it was the right thing, I was hurting. And I also thought about what I would post, how I would tell everyone that Rainy now had a new home. When I first starting following the pug blogs, I found Shelby's at Go Pug Yourself. The next one I found was Salinger. From there, I followed people who commented, and followed his sidebar blog list to find so many other great pug and other dog people. In many ways I was also concerned that I had betrayed you guys, that you would think I had given in too soon, that I should have taken more time to become a good pug mom. I only hope you will understand that I did what I thought was best, what I felt I had to do. You have welcomed me into your blogs when I didn't have a dog, when I was looking and thinking and learning. I'm going to take a break from looking for a dog, to give myself time to reassess what I can handle, what type of dog might be good for me, but I hope you will still allow me to be part of your little group, even as an honorary dog mom, as S-dog's mom put it.

I heard from the NIPRA rep, that they had heard from Rainy's new mom, that she had a good night, not a peep out of her, and that she was settling in with her two new brothers rather well. I think that she is where she was meant to be and perhaps her journey through my life was what was needed to get her there. I will always treasure the Valentines some of you sent Rainy, and she will always have a place in my heart.

Friday, February 12, 2010


So we've gotten two more Valentine cards in the mail -- from our friends Melissa and Emmitt, and from Coco! While I'm still struggling with a final decision on Rainy, if she needs to go back or not, she is enjoying the cards and I'm sure will have a great time Sunday at the Valenpug party. She came from a foster with three other pugs (though one was hospice), so I suspect she is used to their company and will therefore really enjoy seeing other pugs. It's just that I can't get another pug to keep her company full time. I know I have to do the right thing for me, and the right thing for her. Meanwhile, she's wishing everypug and everycritter a Happy Valentine's Day and hopes that there's treats in everyone's future!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Are We Taxing the Right Things?

I was reading an article in today's newspaper about a proposed tax on soft drinks that doesn't seem to be going anywhere now, mostly because of those pesky special interest groups and industry lobbyists. And I just heard on the news that there may be a link between sweetened soft drinks and pancreatic cancer. With increased soft drink consumption being linked to increased obesity, a claim that of course the industry refutes, doesn't it make sense to tax these items? The other day on CNN, a Cafferty File question asked if food should be taxed to raise money to help out cities that are having trouble with their finances in these troubled times. Now here in Chicago, we have a 2.25% tax on food right now -- some other places have a higher tax, some have a lower tax, and some have no tax at all on food. But doesn't it make sense to tax things that are "bad" for us? Is there really anything wrong with taxing a six pack of Coke, or Pepsi, or Mountain Dew? And what about a lot of other items that have been deemed unhealthy? A while back I read an article about a special tax on candy that I think was going into effect on January 1st. But it was a complicated formula to figure out what was candy and what wasn't. If I remember correctly, something like a KitKat wouldn't be considered candy, because it contains a cookie. There was a whole complicated system that said if something contained flour it didn't need to be taxed as candy, but the whole system was putting more work on grocery stores and other places that sell candy to figure out which pieces gets charged and which ones don't. The whole situation doesn't seem to make much sense. They (those unknown, unseen entities) tell us to eat fruits and vegetables, and whole grains, yet those items are taxed in many places. Wouldn't it be better not to tax those things we all should be eating to maintain a healthy body and instead tax those items that aren't so good, like candy and processed foods? I know it's a confuzzled mess, so tell me what you think. Are we taxing the right things? Or can we do better?

I'm Conflicted

As a rule, I take to things very slowly, very deliberately. I research, I plan, I prepare, so that when I make a change, I'm comfortable with it, I'm ready. Back in April of 2007, long after most of the online group I chatted with had gone to high speed internet and updated computers, I was still running Windows 98 on dial up. For years I looked at a small SUV, and thought it would be something I liked. Every so often, people in chat would ask if I'd gone out looking for that car yet, and I'd say, no, I'm not ready. After my old car which worked like a real charm was 10 years old, I was finally ready and in 2004 I bought my Rav4. The move to my condo was even more deliberate -- something I'd worked on for 11 years. Yet within a matter of a year or possibly less, I've made a decision that has profoundly changed my life -- and I don't think I'm ready for this.

It's been just over a week since I've brought Rainy into my life and especially in the last few days I've wondered if I have let my heart overrule my head. I read about pugs, I followed many pug blogs, I had some idea what to expect, but it feels as if I'd known with my heart but not knowing with my head, too. The first few days I had her here I was trying to get a potty routine down since I knew that was the issue with her and we've seemed to have succeeded on that front. But now I want to live my life, do the things I used to do that I haven't done for at least the last couple of weeks, in getting the things I needed for Rainy and in bringing her home and having her here for the first week. I want to go out to the library for hours and read and do research. I want to run my errands and not worry that I'll be stuck in traffic and get home late. I want to go away on weekends and not have it cost a bloody fortune to travel and have someone take care of her. I want to be able to drive to Florida and not worry about leaving her in the car when I have to make a bathroom stop. I want the option of laying in bed and getting up whenever I feel like it at least a couple days a week. I had thought out being a pug mom with my heart, but not with my head. I didn't plan and get ready for the reality of what she would bring. And I don't think I'm ready for this.

So I'm conflicted. And I don't know what to do. I know other people can do this, but as my family knows, I'm not always "other people." Mostly yesterday and this morning, I've been thinking about what to do and feeling very unsure about my life as it now stands. Is it possible to live my life, the way it was, the way I want it to be, with her here? And if not, do I admit defeat and return her? My head says I'm so not ready for this, that I really hadn't thought this out very well, that I've made a major mistake. And at the same time, my heart says Rainy deserves better than to be returned yet again, she deserves her forever home and if I returned her now, there would be a hole, because she would take a little piece of me with her.

I'm not asking for advice, because every situation is different. I just wanted to get this down, to get my feelings written out so that maybe in the coming week I can look at them, and dig deep inside to try to figure out what to do, what's right for me and what's right for Rainy. I talked to a family member in Florida last night and I felt momentarily better - I think it's hard trying to do this on my own, without the support here of family and friends and that is only adding to my apprehension and anxiety. I only know I have to live my life, even if it means crating Rainy when I'm gone and not worrying about it, because it's not healthy for me to have my life revolve around her so completely. Maybe I did the wrong thing in getting a pug. Maybe a less velcro dog would have been better. All I know for sure is that it feels like I made a mistake, that I got in over my head. I am trying to tell myself that it's only been a week, that she's made major strides in just this week, especially with potty. But right now I'm conflicted, I don't know how I feel, I don't know what to do and I was unsure about even posting this. I guess for now I will have to try to get parts of my life back, pray on this for guidance and try to live with this for now as best I can.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

More Mail, For Me?

Rainy got her second Valentine's card yesterday, from our friends Pugsley and Lola! The card has their lovely picture on it, and then there was a little addressee thingie that said To Rainy From Puglsey and Lola, and it was held to the card with a bone shaped paper clip!! How cute is that! You can just barely see it at the bottom of the picture under the card and addressee thingie. Thanks you so much to Pugsley and Lola! And since they're part of the Indy Bloggers, I had to point out that Rainy is sitting on a blue blanket -- Go Colts!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Questions, Questions, Calling Puggie People for Answers

As promised, I've got more questions for all you pup pawrents out there. It has now been one week since I brought Rainy home and she's kinda sorta gotten into a routine with potty. By recording when she pottied, I figured out when I needed to watch for signs that she needed to go, so that part is going pretty well. She doesn't seem to mind pooping right on the concrete of the balcony and pees sometimes on the pee pad, sometimes not, but thankfully all her potty is done fairly close to the drain on my balcony, so I can wash it down quite easily. I got a boot tray and tape a pee pad to it which seems to be working. But now we've got a new question.

When I've been out of the house I've crated Rainy. She used to be very reluctant to go in her crate, but is getting a little tiny bit better because there could be a treat in there (well, at least some kibble). She sometimes cries a little when I've just left the condo, but today I didn't hear her cry at all when I was leaving. The issue seems to be when I come back. Now I have no clue how she is when I'm not there, but when I come back, she goes crazy! She spins so in the crate she rocks it around and is oh so very excited when I let her out. I've started to not make a big deal about letting her out, because I read you don't want them to think that getting out is the best part of it. Anyway, my question is twofold, perhaps. Does this get any better? Is this just because she is still realizing this is her home or is this just what a pug will always do? I know they are velcro dogs, but seriously, this little one is going to drop from excitement when I come back. What do you do with your pups when you're out? Or perhaps I should phrase that a different way: What did you do with your pup in the early days, those first few weeks he/she was a part of your family? Once again, Rainy's not a puppy -- she's a year and a half -- but I just hate to leave because it seems like it probably stresses her out a lot. I also crate her when I shower and today she cried, softly at times and a little more loudly momentarily. I just hate to put her through the stress, but I don't trust her inside yet when I'm not around to leave her loose.

Any suggestions, comments, ideas, whatever would be appreciated. I'm trying to learn what to do as a first time dog owner, but I'm also dealing with a crazy little puggie here! Thanks in advance, peeps!

Oh, on another note, Rainy got a very nice Valentine card from Pugsley and Lola!! Thank you! We'll try to get a picture to post tomorrow!

Friday, February 5, 2010

You've Got Mail!

So I went down to check the mail yesterday, and left Rainy waiting by the door. I came back to an excited pug, but I think I was more excited than she was. "You've got mail, Rainy!" She looked at me a bit confused, not knowing if "mail" was another word for "cookie" or not. I opened the envelope and pulled out a lovely Valentine's card from our friend Stubby! I tried to explain to Rainy that she'd be meeting Stubby very soon, and that he was much more experienced at this whole life thing. She will be so happy to meet her friend, I just hope Stubby is ready for a tiny whirling dervish! Thank you for the card, Stubby!!!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

A Little Birfday Shout Out

Hi's there fellow doggie bloggers. There's a little puggie I wanted to tell yous about today, because today is her birfday! Pyrite is fives years old today! Looks likes she's gots enough cake to shares, so I'm goings over to get me some! Maybe you can go say happy birfday to Pyrite! And I knows yous won't forget to grabs a piece of that cake!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Worshipping at the Pantry Door

So, Rainy's been here for three full days now. This morning, I had to leave her crated while I ran an errand. I put her in her crate with Mr. Turtle, and gave her a small treat, then left. Oh but did I feel guilty! I was gone for about an hour and 15 minutes, but was worried the whole time about how she was doing. I heard her whining when I was putting my shoes on outside the condo door (we had been out and shoes were all wet). I took care of one thing I had to do, but came back rather than making some additional stops, figuring I'd take care of them tomorrow. I wanted to see how she was, worried pugmom that I am. She was fine when I first opened the door, and just started fussing and getting excited, moving the crate a bit, when I bent down to open it. She bounded out and gave me a wonderful greet. We sat on the floor and played, we went out to the balcony, but she apparently didn't have any business to take care of, and then I pulled out something for myself for lunch. Rainy kept walking around me, and walking around the kitchen island, and I kept asking her what she wanted. She kept walking past the pantry and sniffing at the bottom of the door. After a while, she just stood in front of the pantry door, apparently the alter of all the is holy!

Monday, February 1, 2010

We Have the Sweetest Friends!

So a little bit ago, my buddy Stubby gave my mom this award. In the meantime, I arrived, so, yeah, I'm taking credit for it, well, because that's what pugs do! BOL! We also received this award from Pugsley and Lola! Wows are we lucky!!
As with every award, there are some rulez -- I's not sure what this rulez thing is because i's just learning a lot of new things, but here's what Stubby told me:
1. Copy the image. (check)
2. List 10 things that make you happy and try to do one of them today.
3. Tag 10 bloggers who brighten your day.

10 Things that make me happy:
1. Eating! Come on, I'm a pug!
2. Sitting with mom at the computer
3. Sitting with mom on the couch
4. The Food Network -- again, I'm a pug!
5. Mr. Turtle and the blue fuzzy man
6. Going for a walk -- not the getting ready or the coming back (I's been making mom carry me up the stairs and I's don't really like that door that closes into a box and makes my tummy fall)
7. Eating! Did I say that already?
8. Sleeping
9. Snacks -- hey, it's different than dinner
10. Snoring

10 bloggers who brighten my day -- I's not sure if these bloggers has this award already, heck I's not even sure what the heck a blogger is, but here goes!

1. Puglet and Dutch over at The Daily Puglet
2. Winston over at Two Cats and a Pug
3. Bunny, Lilac and Blueberry over at Tales and Tails
4. Clover and Chewy over at Sunshine & Mud Puddles
5. Gus and the Foo over at Utterly Chaotic!
6. Sophie, Dixie and Harley over at The Misadventures of Pug(s) and Bugg
7. Hank and Molly over at I Tell Ya What
8. Arliss and Tonka over at Arliss the Pug
9. Miss M and Mr. B over at Two Pitties in the City
10. Stella, Gunther and Betty

There are so many other bloggy friends my mom has told me about, but I's thinks a lots of them already has this award, and well, I's learning all about following the rulez, so this be a good place to start.

Abouts following these rulez, well, I's getting the hang of a couple of things. Last night, just after mom went to bed, I pooped in my crate, but she heard me moving around and she smelleds it (BOL!) so she cleaned it out right aways before I got to sitting in it. Thens I was good the whole rest of the night! When moms got up, she took me out of the crate ... and I gave her the bestest greet of alls time! Then she picked me up and put me on the balcony, where I danced more and gave her more greets. Finally I turned round and round and round and round and pee peed on the pee pad! Mom was jumping for joy and hugged me big time!! Later this morning, mom crated me for a little while so she could get dressed (why she needed different clothes, I's don't know -- the clothes she had on was just fine by me!), and when shes was done, she took me out of the crate and I gave her greets again, and she took me to the balcony again, and afters a little bit, I pooped outside! Mom jumped for joy again and hugged me! Maybe things will alls work out aftersall.

"I had you big time"