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!

1 comment:

  1. Hey Tania,

    Congrats on the loss that's great! It's wonderful you're walking your dogs, but I have to admit I'm disappointed to read that you've turned to a prong collar :-( As an owner of 3 young large breed dogs myself I can totally understand the difficulty in training/walking issues, but I strongly feel that it is the wrong way to go. If your dogs pull when they see something of interest ie: another dog/cat/rabbit or another human and they get pronged when they pull they associate what they see with the pain the prong gives them. It can cause huge aggession issues later on, especially given that your dogs are so young. I understand you have the right to do what you want but I wanted to share my opinions and just suggest that you take up the offer for classes or trying one of the many other options available in harnesses or muzzle harnesses. It is a much more humane option.There are also tons of great training books and video's available.

    I can see that you truly love your dogs and are only trying to do right by them. I hope I haven't offended you.