Cranky Me

Stand back everyone I’m going on a rant. Run, don’t look back, save yourself, I have passed irritated and have reached flat out cranky. I am working on three days of sleep deprivation and am pretty sure there will be a fourth and a fifth and so on. The reason for this new state, the weather has finally cooled off enough to allow us to open the windows and turn off the air conditioning. Refreshing you would think, but no, our neighbor has a Chocolate Lab puppy that is about nine or ten months old, a sweet loving and totally out of control monstrously large puppy. The neighbor’s will put the puppy out on a run I think just to get some away time from him. And what do puppies do when they are bored and have no one exercising, training and loving on them, puppies find ways to entertain themselves. They chew on inappropriate things like the deck, and furniture, dig up the yard and most of all, bark. Lucky us, the puppy is tied up outside our bedroom window.

The first night the puppy barked for an hour. He would bark nonstop for about five minutes, then stop for about five minutes lulling me into the false sense of relaxation, thinking that the neighbor had enough of him yapping and took him in. No such luck, he was just resting his vocal cords. This on and off barking continued on and on so that when the neighbor finally did take him in for the night, we were both so keyed up, neither one of us had any restful sleep. Getting up at two thirty in the morning for our work schedule makes for a short night anyway, but add only maybe a couple of hours of sleep and we have the start of short tempers. The second night we went to bed earlier because of the prior night’s lack of sleep and hoped for the best. The puppy started off again and barked his on and off routine for about forty-five minutes making another night of misery for us. Last night, he barked for an hour and a half. Mitch finally broke down and called the neighbor and left a message.

That was the whine, here comes the rant. I love dogs, but a barking dog grates on my soul. I cannot stand listening to a dog barking nonstop. If the dog starts barking go and check on the dog and find out why he’s barking. If it’s an intruder, shoot him and let the dog eat the intruder, the dog won’t be barking while he is eating. If nothing is wrong and the dog is just bored, get up off of your duff and go play with him. Run him around the yard throwing a ball, put him through some training drills or walk him. Anything to exercise his body and brain, but don’t leave the dog outside on a run to make the rest of the neighbors miserable.

I would be mortified if a neighbor called me to complain that my dogs were causing any inconvenience for them. I just don’t understand people anymore. What has happened to manners and thoughtfulness? The saddest part about the whole mess is that the puppy will probably be the one to suffer the most from our sleep deprivation. He will probably be kenneled more and for longer periods causing more out of control behavior or worse turned over to a shelter because the owners don’t want to deal with the problem.

Okay so much for my rant, I’m still tired and cranky, but I feel a little better getting that off my chest. Mitch and the dogs thank you too for letting me vent. Cross your fingers for us that maybe just maybe we might get a decent night’s sleep soon. That or pray for cold weather so we have to close the windows and turn on the furnace.

My Poor Charlie

Poor Charlie, he’s having a bit of a struggle getting used to this total disruption into his world.  Most dogs prefer a routine.  They like a schedule, getting fed at a certain time every day, taking their walks at the same time daily and knowing that you’ll be there for loves are their whole world.  Charlie is the poster dog for routineness.  So these latest events, my surgery, Mitch walking the dogs alone in the evenings and our close friend walking them in the mornings and not at the usual 4:30am pre-surgery routine has thrown Charlie for a real loop.

He’s become clingier, staying very close to me or if I’m not in bed, laying in my spot.  He has started growling at all of us.  Charlie has always been a bit psychotic, but now he’s going round the bend.  He was lying in his bed by the bedroom door when Orso walked in from the living room.  Charlie growled at Orso and wouldn’t let him in the bedroom.  Orso sat in the living room looking very pathetic waiting for me to get out of bed and crutch over to the doorway, blocking Charlie so that he could come into the bedroom.

Last night I came into the bedroom to find Charlie lying in my spot all cozy and had no intention of moving.  I told him to go and nudged him, he responded by growling at me.  I looked down at him and thought, “Are you kidding me?  Not me! Huh uh!”  So I told him “off” in no uncertain terms and gave him another nudge, to which Charlie responded by getting up, giving me a deep open throated growl, jumped off the bed and when to sit in his dog bed looking very unrepentant.  I’m pretty sure that he was thinking, “How dare she make me move.  I was there first.”  I think he was plotting to eat me in the night while I slept.

Charlie doesn’t handle change well and this is clearly apparent with his behavior.  When we brought Orso home for the first time Charlie wanted to kill him and tried a few times.  That took hiring an animal behaviorist to get back to a harmonious house.  I’m not sure how to fix this new wrinkle.  I’m at a total loss.

Short of tranquilizers, for him not me, I am not sure what to do.

Daylight Savings Time

Daylight Savings Time is going to be the death of me.  This is a government plot to totally screw up everybody’s body clock and thus take over the world.  I haven’t had a decent night’s sleep since Friday night, the night before this madness took over.  The dogs are all out of sync, they don’t know whether it’s time to eat, go for a walk or bedtime. 

Mitch’s work schedule mandates that we go to bed very early in the evening in order to be up and bright eyed at 2:30 in the morning.  Now with Daylight Savings Time, I feel like I’m going to bed in the middle of the afternoon and by the time I finally fall asleep, it’s time to get up and start all over again, sans bright eyed.  I know, I’m whining, sorry.

Daylight Savings Time started in World War I in order to conserve energy, but in adding more light to end of the day we sacrifice the early morning light.  In fact most farmers are against Daylight Savings Time and I’m with them.  I get up very early every day, albeit our schedule demands it, but I’m also an early riser naturally.  I figure that if someone wants more daylight hours, get up an hour earlier.  Why can’t the world change just for me?  Now I’m really whining, sorry.  But I’m the one here suffering from massive fatigue and sleep deprivation, so I get to complain.  Mitch is not the least bit out of sync; he can sleep through a nuclear blast.  Notice that now I’m getting cranky on top of the fatigue.

I see a trip to Walmart for some over the counter sleeping pills in my future.

It’s Them or Me

It’s them or me, and my money is on me. I’m the one with the opposable thumbs. I have the power to reason through a problem. I have tenacity. I also have osteoporosis. I was diagnosed in the fall of last year. Me with osteoporosis, no way. I’ve taken calcium religiously for decades. I was devastated when I found out. I’ve always thought that I was unbreakable. No matter how many times the dogs knocked me down; (and they knocked me down a lot) I would get right back up with nothing more than a few bruise to show for it.  Well there was that one time I tripped over the dogs on a walk and tore the cartilage in my knee.  Mitch had to walk home get the El Camino then come back and get me sitting on the side of the road.  Not now.  I have 5% bone loss, which I was told is significant bone loss. So now I’m taking my weekly dose of Fosamax and have realized that I’m quite breakable.  I’m now afraid of falling and breaking something.  I don’t like feeling this way.  I don’t like fear. 

I’ve not taken the lunging or the yanking the dogs do while walking seriously until now.  It’s been a source of entertainment and fodder for my stories.  But now I’ve realized that together the three dogs are much bigger and stronger than me.  I was five foot two before osteoporosis and losing a half inch, which makes me a great boat anchor dragging behind the leashes, but little more than that if the three choose to charge after the object of their interest. 

Basically they’re good dogs, fairly well behaved, but tend to feed off of each other’s emotions.  If one gets excited about seeing someone, the other two join in and I can’t hold them back.  Not anymore.  So now the serious training begins.  I know labs are hardheaded and stubborn, Orso especially seems awfully thick at times, brilliant other times.  We call him “Box of Rocks”.  Charlie is just hardheaded and willful.  When it comes to a battle of the wills, he will not budge one iota.  The thought of violence is often considered with him.  AJ is soft and submissive, but when no one expects it, he will instigate trouble then stand back and let the other two get yelled at.  Sneaky.

Training three dogs at once is a challenge.  One at a time would be easier, but I don’t have the time to work with each dog individually.  So three at a time is our only option.  I’ve given Mitch the ultimatum, “It’s either they get trained to exhibit patience and not lunge or we can’t have the dogs”.  And I have no intention of not having the dogs.

So it’s them or me.  Bet on me.