One Week In

Well it’s been one full week here and adjusting to life in the Pacific Northwest. There have been a lot of adjusting for all of us. The dogs are trying to figure out what is going on, from one home totally chaotic at the end to no home staying a pet spa during the day and sleeping in hotels before getting on the road, to a three day road trip, sleeping in better hotels. Walks consisted of rest stop strolls along a busy highway. Now they have been thrown into apartment living, with people and dogs always close by and walks are done always on the leash, sidewalks and groomed landscaping. So far no place to get off leash and run until totally spent.

I’m going from a home I didn’t like but knew every corner to homeless spending time driving around trying to get everything wrapped up before a long tiresome three day road trip to coming to rest more than eighteen hundred miles away from the city and state where I lived my whole life. Apartment living here means no real privacy because of the climate, there is no air conditioning so everyone has their windows and doors open. I got to listen to a fierce argument between the couple in the next building at eleven o’clock the other night. The downside to hearing the fight was that the couple fought in their native tongue and I didn’t understand a word. How am I supposed to eavesdrop when I don’t understand a thing said?

Poor Mitch, he probably has the hardest adjustment of all of us. He’s been out here displaced since mid-May and has had to find a place to live that would eventually house all of us. He had to find where to shop, where to get gas and how to get back and forth to work and home all by himself. We have one couple living here that have been good friends for a long time, Mitch works with the wife and I worked with the husband, that live here and have been so helpful for him, but it is still a huge adjustment.

Now I come crashing back into his life bringing all of my chaos and lack of organization. He has had almost three months of orderly boring routines and all of a sudden there are messes in every room in our two bedroom apartment. Even though we still have no furniture or most of our personal possessions, which it seems takes longer to travel from Missouri to Washington than a 1995 station wagon with two dogs, I have managed to upend every room. I can make more and bigger messes than the best, I am quite the pro, so you can imagine adjusting to me again is taking its’ toll on Mitch.

The biggest adjustment overall is that now we are retraining the dogs to be better leash walkers. With all of the people and dogs squished into such close quarters we constantly run into other renters and their dogs. Charlie and Orso have not done well in the past with other dogs walking in their path. We always found an escape there and here there isn’t an escape. We have not been consistent with leash training and other dogs in the past and now we’re paying for it. Oh I forgot to mention the bicycles, there are bicycle riders everywhere. It’s very popular here and that’s another problem for the dogs. They lunge and try to charge the riders. Bad, bad, bad. I am trying to redirect their attention to me when we walk by carrying dog treats and feeding them to the dogs as bikes, walkers, runners or dogs are around. Of course after one week I can’t tell if it is working or not. I think that Orso has gained five pounds though.

I have decided that I want to move to a house that is secluded without so many people around. Now I’m looking online for houses that are a ways out, maybe in the booger woods and who knows maybe I will find one before our furniture gets here.

The Spa Vacation is Over

Well today is the day.  This luxurious spa vacation is over.  Today I go back to work.  This is going to be fun, I keep telling myself.  I’m going to go back to a mountain of unread emails and scribbled notes left on my keyboard, saying “Welcome back I need this done before 8am” (I usually get there about 6:15am) or “Glad you are back, please look into this and explain how this could have happened” (the fact that walking is a going to be a challenge is beside the point).

Friends are worried and don’t want me to go in quite as early because no one else is there, that’s the reason I go in early, no one else is there.  I get more done in the early morning quiet.  But my new biggest challenge will be trying to get in the doors at work.  Early birds have to scan a badge against an electronic reader on the side of the entry wall wedged behind a concrete standing ashtray about five feet from the first set of doors.  The doors are unlocked for about three to five seconds, so I have to hobble from behind the giant ashtray to the doors in under four seconds.  No hill for a stepper.  Then if I’m successful there I have to enter a passcode on the keypad against the sidewall again about five feet from the second set of doors.  The floor is clear of obstacles here so I have a better chance of getting to the doors before they re-lock leaving me stuck in the entryway waiting for someone to come rescue me.

If I am successful there, then the rest will be a cakewalk.  Hobble through the building, open the first fire door, crutch myself up two flights of stairs and open the second fire door at the top of the stairs without knocking myself down one of the flights of stairs.  Easy peasy.

Once I’m through the door chaos awaits.  Maybe I should take my drugs with me.  Mitch assures me that this will be an adventure.  I think he secretly wants me to stay home.