Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Such Is Life

Life has definitely been crazy lately. I hate the unknown. I hate not knowing where I'm going to be living once (if) the house sells. I hate not knowing how I'm going to manage taking care of the dogs on my own. I hate not knowing how long it's going to take me to meet the right person and start the family I long to have. At the same time I can't wait to see what my new place will look like. I can't wait to develop new, healthy habits where I walk my dogs regularly instead of just allowing them to play in the yard. I can't wait to meet the right person that's going to make my life what I know it can be and to start a family and be the amazing mom I know I'm capable of being.

This breakup has been huge for me as a human being. I've become unbelievably confident in who I am as a person. I've learned so many things about myself that will not only benefit my future relationships, but will benefit me in my future life. I've always thought of myself as a strong confident woman, but now that strength has improved tenfold. I'm just very optimistic about what it is I have to offer the world and what the world has to offer me.

This is silly, but sometimes I watch The Dog Whisperer and Cesar Millan says that you don't choose dogs based on what you want out of a dog, but dogs choose you based on what you need or something like that. Anyway, I have to agree with this. I love my dogs to death but they are athletic dogs that need lots of activity. And I'm someone that can lack motivation to work out. My dogs will need regular walks once we're in Milwaukee since I doubt I'll have a fenced in yard where I can just open the door and let them run out and play with one another. This will get me out there getting regular exercise whether I like it or not and I'm grateful for that since I need that extra push. Especially since I'll be living somewhere I've never lived before, so it'll get me out there exploring.

The only issue is my dogs absolutely suck walking on leashes. I know the main reason is because they don't do it regularly, but they just choke the heck out of themselves and it is sooo frustrating. I've tried so many different things. I've tried harnesses that would tighten under their arms when they pulled. They seemed to help for a little while, but it never fully resolved the pulling issue. That also kept them from choking themselves, which I of course liked, but now they've grown out of them. Then I tried just plain old walking them with a collar on a leash and shortening the leash to try and make them walk by my side, but they'd still just pull non-stop and choke themselves. Then someone suggested I try a gentle leader which is a collar that also wraps around their nose and then the leash is connected under their snout, so if they try and pull it pulls their head to the side and then they can't go where it is they want to go since they're constantly getting pulled to the side so the theory is that they learn to stop pulling so they can go where they want to go without their head getting pulled to the side. Duke would just roll on the grass to try and get the thing off and poor Dot made herself bleed trying to get that thing off.

Also, to put it into perspective I took the two dogs, by myself, to the groomers to get their nails clipped. They aren't huge dogs, ones in the upper 40's and the other is in the mid 50's, however they are extremely strong! Even at the intermediate training class at PetSmart the trainer commented on how deceiving Dot's size was given how strong she was (she's the smaller of the two too). Anyway, the two dogs basically pulled me all the way from my car into the groomers in the back of a PetSmart. First off it was tiring trying to control them, second off it was embarrassing.

To try and solve this issue once and for all I'm going to have a dog trainer come to my house and teach me how to walk my dogs. It sounds silly, but I obviously need help. In a few months (maybe less than that if I'm lucky) I'll be moving to Milwaukee and I would love to be able to walk my dogs together. It'd be much more fun to explore if I didn't have to worry about leaving one of them at home and then I'd have to go back switch dogs and take the other one out for a walk. If I want to take the dogs to a groomer or the vet I'd like to be able to take them both at once rather than having to make separate appointments just so I can manage one dog at a time. Overall, I'm just looking forward to the training sessions to cover the few issues they have and just help me to learn how to be a great pet owner and fully turn them into the great dogs I know they can be. They have such a great temperament and are very loving, so if I could just get this major issue and a few others under control, then I know I will have no issues taking care of them on my own.

Regarding my house, I have officially put it on the market. The realtor came by yesterday and I signed all of the necessary paperwork. Now we just need to fix some minor things around the house, have our cleaning lady come and do a good deep clean and stage all of the rooms and then have my agent's photographer come and take pictures. After that we'll start to move out some of the bigger furniture items that Steve's taking with him to his new place. Then he'll take the cats with him as well (and I'll have the cleaning lady come again to take care of any cat hair issues and do another good clean), so that when people want to look at the house there won't be cats or cat boxes in the house to deter them from making an offer and I'll just have the dogs and dog hair to worry about so it won't be too bad. Then once the house sells I'll take two of the cats off his hands and move me, the dogs and the two cats up to Milwaukee.

In the meantime I need to work exercise back into my routine. With all of the craziness I have allowed myself to completely stop exercising. I've done a fair amount of cleaning and packing, but not enough to make up for the regular exercise I need to be getting. I'll get it all figured out. I hope you are all having a great week!


  1. Tania...since you watch the Dog Whisperer, have you tried his collar that he uses? I think it's called the "illusion" collar. Do you use his tactics? I LOVE his show. It's amazing how affective he is with those dogs. He has books, videos etc...

    I'm glad to read that you have remained STRONG if not STRONGER!! WTG!!

  2. I actually haven't seen an episode where he uses that collar. I don't watch it a ton, just occasionally. I checked out the collar and I'd be willing to try it out if the trainer doesn't help me figure it out without it. I also have one of his books. I definitely need to take a good look at his techniques in the book and see if I find something to help me with that and a few other small issues.

    Thanks so much! It definitely isn't easy, but it feels good!

  3. Practice with the dogs on a regular basis and it will get easier. I had to break my hyper Lab from jumping all over me and everyone who walked by. It took a good solid month, but in the end, it is fun to go on walks now! I know what you mean about the unknown...I am in that boat right now. I want to move, but to where?

  4. You are so good at putting one foot in front of the other, moving on. You're handling so much. You have a plan. You're not gaining. I'm kind of in awe. I hope you take some time every now and then to pat yourself on the back.

  5. You have such a good attitude about moving on.

    My dog is an asshole when it comes to walking on a leash, so I don't have any advice to give on that. He just refuses and you basically have to drag him. He makes sounds that probably make the neighbors think I am torturing him.