Monday, August 30, 2010

Almost Three Weeks!!

Wow, so it's been almost 3 weeks since I posted last. My mind and life in general has been full of all the decisions I need to make in the near future. I had made up my mind to try and find a new home for the dogs and was really heartbroken about it. I went away with family for an extended weekend at my grandparents cottage in northern WI. It was the first time the dogs got to run and play in a lake and they absolutely loved it. Every time I saw how happy they were it just killed me thinking that I was planning to get rid of them after the weekend was over. But then I'd take them for a walk where they'd be yanking my arm off or waking up in the middle of the night and I'd remember the reason I felt I needed to find them a new home, because I was feeling overwhelmed.

When I got back from the weekend I spoke with my step-mom about the dogs. She knows how much I love animals and was just concerned I was making this decision too rashly. She didn't want me to do this and regret the decision 6 months down the road, so she offered to help me with the dogs by paying for boarding if I need it for part of the time I'm in between places to live. She also offered to pay for training to help me work on some of the training issues with the dogs. The fact that someone just offered help took a huge load off my shoulders. Part of me being overwhelmed was just feeling like I had so much on my shoulders and that offer of help took a load off without anything actually changing.

I haven't taken her up on her offer yet, but I did decide to take some steps to work on some of the things that were bothering me the most. I got prong collars for the dogs for walking them. Some of you may disagree with the use of these, but the second I put those collars on they were like new dogs! They immediately stopped pulling and stopped choking themselves and now we are all enjoying our walks together. I've been taking them for 3 or 4 walks a day, which has been great for all of us. One of the other issues was that they would wake me up in the middle of the night to go outside and I'd get up and take them out. I've known for some time that I shouldn't be doing that, so I finally decided enough is enough and I stopped getting up with them in the night. Literally, it took them like one day to adjust to the new schedule of sleeping through the night and waiting till the morning to go out. So now walks are enjoyable and I've been sleeping through the night for a couple weeks.

We've still got a few things to work through, but for the most part it's going well at this point in time. Once I'm living in Milwaukee, though, I'll have to see how they're fitting into my lifestyle down there. I want to be social and meet new people. The dogs can help that in the sense that having dogs just naturally causes people to approach you and talk to you. However, my dogs still jump all over people when they want to say hello and that's something I really want to put the kabosh on so that when I meet people or invite people to my place for the first time they aren't overwhelmed by the dogs. It's hard to handle this training issue with two young dogs. Controlling and training one dog would be much easier, but say one dog would have sat and behaved, if they see the other dog jumping...well you can guess what happens. It's just hard with two dogs and one owner to control that bad behavior the way I'd like. On the flip side, though, they'll be a hindrance to my social life. I can't leave them alone for too long or sometimes they get a little destructive, chewing on the corner of baseboards. I've started getting them big bones to chew on and kongs filled with peanut butter that I freeze when I know I'm going out for a few hours and that seems to have helped significantly. Hopefully with the bones and kongs and just time they'll completely get out of this bad behavior.

If I ever want to spend the night somewhere else, though, I'll always have to plan ahead and board them or bring them with or I just won't be able to do it. I can't just be willy nilly and do as I please when I please. I just have to decide if all the great things that come along with having them make up for the fact that I'm tied down a bit with the responsibility of caring for them. Things are going in the right direction in terms of me figuring out the issues, but only time will tell if everything will work out with me keeping the dogs but it looks promising.

Regarding weight loss I have not been tracking my food at all. It's hard when you're living in someone else's house, because you want to cause as little waves as possible so I've kind of been just going with the flow. They do try to eat healthy as well, but they do tend to eat out more than I would be at this point. So I've had pizza and burgers way more than I have in recent months.

That said, I've been walking the dogs tons so that still resulted in a 4 lb weight loss this past week! Two weigh-ins ago (I just added my last two weigh ins on here) it came in as a gain, but I think that was just the new scale and not an actual gain. Once I get my scale back I'll probably show a decent loss since my sister-in-law said the scale here matches her doctor's scale and I know mine is probably a few pounds lower. Regardless, though, I lost 4 lbs this past week which is great. Even though I haven't been eating as healthy as I could be I have been watching my portions. I used to eat until I'd feel like I was going to explode and all of a sudden I seem to have self control...what a concept.

Anyway, I look forward to seeing what my weigh in will be this Friday morning and if I have another decent loss. My friend's 30th birthday is this Friday, so I'll be driving down to Milwaukee to spend the weekend at her place and then I'll be driving back up on Sunday, possibly, to my sister-in-laws parents cabin in northern WI (weather permitting) to spend Labor Day with her family on the lake. For my friend's birthday Saturday night we're getting all gussied up for a night out on the town and I have a killer outfit. I'll definitely post a picture or two from the night once I get back. I might even check out some apartments in Milwaukee, so it's going to be a busy weekend for me.

Anyway, that's all for now. Sorry for the book, but it's been a while since I posted and I had to catch you up on the goings on in my life. I hope all is well for all of you!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

What Would You Do?

If you were me, what would you do? I love my dogs with all my heart and even thinking about this brings me tears, but I'm feeling overwhelmed with them at this point in my life. I got them when I felt I was settling down and had the help of another person. Now all of a sudden I'm back in the single world trying to care for 2 one year old extremely energetic dogs on my own and I just don't know if they fit into my new lifestyle. The last thing I want to do is find them a new home, but I can't help but feel like it's just too much no matter how much I'd wish otherwise. And a part of me feels like they might be happier with someone who's more settled than I am at this point. So what would you do?

And The Good News Just Keeps Coming...

I can't really go into details, but I found out something yesterday that added a whole new layer to everything I've got going on right now. It's just one more thing for me to be worried about. Please can life get easier sometime soon...cause I sure could use a break. I deserve it damn it! This song describes how I'm feeling right now.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Life is Crazy!!

Sorry I've been gone for so long! Life has been extremely crazy as of late. I was living in the house and just not happy being there. I felt really alone and needed to get away. My brother and sister-in-law suggested I move in with them in Appleton, WI while I figure out my next step and so that's what I did. I moved in this past Saturday and so far things are going well. The living situation is actually really good. They have a finished basement that already had a TV and couches. Then they had a pool table down here, but they moved it out of the way and moved the guest bed down here so I essentially have my own studio apartment. We set up my computer on a card table, so I can still work. And there's even a full bath down here. Oh there's also an empty unfinished bedroom down here, which has worked out great because if I want to go somewhere and I don't want to worry about my puppies messing with any of their stuff I can just put them in that room with some toys and I don't have to worry as much.

The hard part about living here so far is that they don't have a fenced in yard. The puppies are used to going outside and running around and playing and going to the bathroom whenever they want. Now I'm just walking them a few times a day and I'm hoping they'll get used to that routine soon. They've had a couple accidents (which they never did at the house anymore) and it's stressing out my brother and sister-in-law, so I really hope they adjust soon and stop with the accidents. Mostly it's been at night when I'm sleeping. I'll take them out before I go to bed, they'll usually wake me up once at some point in the night and I'll take them out again and then I'll get up in the morning and find an accident. I really hope it stops soon, because I don't know what more I can do to prevent it and I really don't want to have to think about what I'd need to do if they don't stop and they don't want the dogs here anymore.

Then there are the walks. They haven't been walked regularly for some time before moving in here. When you have a yard it just gets so easy to let them run around in the yard and not walk them. I started out walking them separately. At first it was awful and then they both started to improve. It's really a pain to walk them separately. I'd rather walk them together and take them for a longer walk rather than two shorter walks, so last night I took them for their first walk together. It's quite ridiculous looking I'm sure. They pull the ENTIRE time. They're choking themselves like crazy and it's like they egg each other on to try and go faster while I'm trying to maintain a steady walking pace. I'm not really sure how to get them to stop pulling when they're walking together. I'm sure there's something I'm doing wrong. I've been told to give them treats when they're doing things right, but one of my dogs is not remotely interested in treats when out walking so that makes it rough. Maybe I need to go back to walking them one at a time until they both get really good separately and then I can work on walking them together again. But then I worry the dog waiting behind will have an accident, which I'm obviously trying to avoid so we can keep living here. Oh well, we shall see. The upside is that my arms and shoulders are getting a great work out. The second day here my shoulders were soooo sore! Lol.

In terms of exercise these multiple daily walks have been my exercise lately. My brother and sister-in-law have a really nice treadmill down in the basement with me that I'm planning to put to use tonight for the first time. I'm also going to look for local Zumba classes. I'm bummed that I found that great place to take classes in Indianapolis only to leave without really being able to utilize it all that much.

I have to say that I'm a bit scared to see what the future holds for me. I just turned 28 and I'm basically starting over. However, I'm starting over and I still have a huge responsibility in having the 2 dogs. I'm nervous about where my life will lead me, but at the same time I'm excited to see how my life progresses over the next year or two. I'm worried I'm not going to be able to handle the dogs by myself. I'm already missing out on one thing I could have done had I not had the dogs. They're great at boarding facilities and doggy daycares, so as long as I can afford that I'll utilize those so I don't miss out on things I want to do where I can't bring them. Money is tight, though, so there's only so much I can do. Also, they're young and used to me being with them almost all the time, so leaving them home while I go out to do things always makes me a little nervous since they still chew on things from time to time when they're bored. I just try to make sure they have toys and dog bones and things to keep them busy.

Anyway, I went off on a doggy tangent again. My point was I'm a bit scared. I'm getting older and I'm single again and truth be told I really want to have kids and have a family. It gets scarier thinking about that when you're single and close to 30 and don't know where life will lead you. That said, I wouldn't change the decision that I made. I know I can build a better life for myself than the track I was on in my previous relationship. I'm hoping I find someone who inspires me to be the best me possible and pushes me to try new things and go to new places that I've always wanted to go to, but never had the guts. And I hope that I continue growing as a person to have the courage to make my life what I want it to be all on my own.

I've got a lot to figure out in the next few weeks and I'm going to try to continue eating healthy and exercising and hopefully I'll be able to weigh in this Friday, if my sister-in-law has a scale, since I didn't think to bring mine. Anyway, I'll try to post more and keep you updated on the goings on in my life.