Sunday, December 4, 2011

Owning a Basset Hound

Something happened recently that got me thinking about writing up this particular post. Oh, it was nothing bad. One of former classmates I had from Ripon College was looking into getting a Basset Hound (Layla; you go girl and represent your breed) and wanted some feedback. I was more than glad to help out! In all honesty, owning a Basset Hound was one of the best decisions that Stu and I have ever done for ourselves. 

So...what is it like to own a Basset Hound? 

It is difficult to own a Basset Hound. You think you are disciplined. You think you have the upper hand. But before you know it, the Basset Hound is on the sofa in the living room, and it becomes a battle to convince this stubborn dog to give up the luxury of sitting up with humans. 

Let me see.....

Layla is certainly:
At times, languid
Playful when she feels like it

Layla has: 
Poop breath (no matter how much I brush her teeth)
Floppy lips
Droopy jowls
Ducky paws
Did I mention Poop breath?
Food fixation
Constant drool effect

Layla will never be: 

But you know what.....we would not have changed a thing about her....except maybe her poop breath. 

Since I have been getting a lot of inquiries about Layla's well-being lately; I am very happy to let you know that Layla has been doing wonderfully, and has made huge strides from the day when we got her. Layla no longer nips now that we know what triggers her grouchiness reaction. We don't allow her on the sofa anymore because it gives her a sense of entitlement and can cause her to be a bit more possessive. This is called resource guarding. The common myth states that resource guarding is not normal, however, this is not true. Resource guarding is an ingrained behavior in wild pack of wolves or dogs, and can show up in genetically dominant dogs. It can show up in passive dogs as well. 

To manage Layla's resource guarding; Layla is no longer a sofa dog, and is given a dog bed which she absolutely loves. From time to time; when Layla is being bratty, we do catch her attempting to jump on the sofa or sitting there, and we have learned how to safely remove her by either treats or leash. I prefer leash because she gets too smart for her own good and realizes that sofa means she can get treats. Um no. 

Her food guarding aka stealing food has completely reduced. Layla now sits at the doorway frame and waits for her food until one of us calls her to get her food. Her dog food is locked up in a dog bin and placed in a pantry closet. She has also reduced her street scavenging and doesn't do this much anymore. However, sometimes a poop is too tempting for her and she eats it. Gross, I know. This is her favorite munchies especially on the Farm. Hence, her poopy breath and ... just don't let her lick your face, okay? 

We are able to have food out in the open. Within moments, she walks away and lays on her dog bed. This is a huge improvement for her. We have guests over all of the time. Layla loves the attention from our guests especially if they are people that Layla has already met. For people she has not met; she barks for a moment then cautiously approaches them, and relaxes once she is sweet-talked. Yes, that's the secret. Sweet talk to Layla and she will love you forever. Layla like kids, to our surprise, and can tolerate them pretty well. When she feels she has enough; she walks away to relax, and it is when we tell the kids that she needs a "bed time". 

Layla sits at every curb when we stop during her walks. She does this automatically now. What a smart dog!  Layla enjoys getting petted and talked to by random people on the street during our walks. She prefers smaller or similar sized dogs to the larger ones. Large dogs makes her hair raise up. We are not sure why she reacts in this way, and realizes that she is simply not just big dog fan. She also does not like to be touched in a certain way which is touching/squeezing her lower back on her hip especially if one is standing behind of her. It makes her react negatively. It is a result of poor socialization and possibly abuse in her early life, we think. So we manage this by not pulling Layla away by her lower back and forcing her to remain calm around larger dogs during walks despite Layla's barking and dominant stance. Fear not; she talks the talk, but not walk the walk, if you get my drift. 

Some of mannerisms that you see above are not characteristically of a Basset Hound, such as being overly cautious around new people, not liking certain dogs, and resource guarding behavior. This stems from poor socialization, and some dogs are able to improve with management (this cannot be resolved permanently for that it is already ingrained in a dog) while some other dogs does not have their issues to be improved  even though the issues can be stabilized. 

Rest....are all characteristically Basset Hound...yes, that includes eating poop (to clarify; not own poop, but others).  

If you want to adopt a Basset Hound then keep it in the mind that you may be getting a dog with some issues or if you are lucky then a dog without any issues. If you do end up having a dog, any breeds really, with issues then please do not give up on the dog unless if the dog is extremely aggressive and dangerous. It will take from several months to a few years in order to see improvements in your dog. 

If you want to purchase a Basset Hound or ANY breed from a breeder then please check out the breeder's background and credentials. Make sure you meet the parents of the puppies. Ask for the AKC credentials on the parents. Question the breeder about vet care of parents, birthing care on mother and puppies, and puppies' vaccination updates. Look where the puppies and parents are kept. Ask about the genetically potential problems in the breed. If the breeder is able to answer your questions, allow you meet the parents, provide appropriate credentials then the likelihood that the puppies are not run by a puppy-mill breeder and have less issues in a longer run.

For Layla; she is still improving despite having come from a very long way in a few months, and we are proud of our Turdpants. Everybody who have met Layla have also fallen in love with her, and tells us how gentle & sweet Layla is. It is a continuing karmic message that we are doing a right thing by Layla. We wouldn't have traded her for any other dogs. She is ours. 

With a Barkingly plenty of Love,

Thursday, December 1, 2011

DIY Chalkboard

I don't know if any of you have heard of Pinterest. It is a really cool site where you find bunch of crafts and DIY (Do It Yourself) projects, pictures, interests, and many more. I found this really cool idea through Pinterest and it is how to make a chalkboard! 

I really wanted to make one. The result was amazing so I thought I would share it with you guys. The best part? It was super easy to make! 

What you need:
A frame of any kind
A cardboard type of material (it has to be hard)
Gorilla Glue
Chalk spray paint 


I got this frame from Hobby Lobby.
You can use any frame you prefer;
You can even get one from Goodwill
and cut out the old paint inside and keep the back cover
or purchase a bare frame like I did from any
craft store nearby. 

For the cardboard back; I purchased
a plain 18x24 picture frame.
I removed the black frame sidings, the plastic cover,
and kept the cardboard back cover.

You can purchase plain cardboard as long as it is
hard from any craft store or use the old
painting back cover. Up to you.

There are alternatives that you can use! 

Make sure that the cardboard fits the
back of the frame if you buy them

If you get an old frame with a painting
then remove the painting and keep the hard back.

With the chalk spray paint,
spray the front part of the cardboard if
there is any hanging nub in the back of it.

Do this outside or in a very well-ventilated area.

Leave it to dry for several hours. 

Make sure you have this brand called
Gorilla Glue.


You can purchase wood glue. I prefer
Gorilla Glue because it is really strong
adhesive and works really well.

Glue the edge of the frame.
If you are using Gorilla Glue then
apply thin layer. If you glue on too much
then it will seep out onto the board.

Let it dry overnight.

The result is this!

Like I said; it is really super easy to make and fun! You can use it to plan your weekly menu and hang it in the kitchen for your family to see, or decorate your kid's play room.



Monday, November 28, 2011

The Thanksgiving When Our Dog Ate.....

Why....hello guys! By now, we all should be finally waking up from our turkey coma, crazed shopping madness, and settling into jolly Christmas cheer. As for Stu and myself; we are also recovering from our mini-scare that occurred a day before Thanksgiving regarding Bat Girl. What happened on that day is a very poignant, classic, and hilarious all in one ....which will be always dubbed as in "The Thanksgiving When Our Dog Ate My Wedding Ring" for years yet to come. 

By now you are double-checking my earlier statement and seeing those words " ate my wedding ring". and wondering if you truly, really, did see what I typed. Yes, you read it right. Layla, our Bat Girl, ate my wedding ring. What? How did that happen? You may inquiry. Well, well, folks....come closer and I will tell you....

I was in the shower when I noticed a dark shadow creeping next to the shower stall. For a moment; I wondered why Layla was so keen on sitting next to the shower, and it was something she never really did in the past. I did not think much of it. I finished showering and stepped out. Layla greeted me. Her rump was on the blue mat, tail thumping softly against the cream tile, and her brown eyes stared at me rather expressively. Characteristically Basset Hound that she was; there was a long stringy, ropy drool hanging from end of her black lip down to her jowl. I chuckled at her mannerism and walked over to the toilet. Layla followed slightly behind of me. 

I went to my neatly stacked, folded clothes on the closed lid of toilet seat. I reached down to grab the first item which was my ring...and to find that my ring was not there. 

Okay. Maybe my ring fell off and slid somewhere around nearby. I quickly dressed and fell upon my knees. I spread my fingers, and began to feel around for my ring. Layla poked her snout against my side, and was probably wondering why her human was on her 4 legs instead of two. I searched with a remarkably calm restraint while texting desperately to several of my friends and Mom that my ring had gone missing. Armed with steady feedback from my posse; I desperately prayed that I was going to find my ring, and rechecked all spots several times. I even undressed then dressed once again to ensure that the ring didn't fall anywhere onto or into my clothes. No luck. 

I ran into the kitchen which was adjacent to the bathroom and moved my stove in case if Missy had gotten a hold of my ring and somehow pushed my ring under the stove. Nothing! I ran to the fridge; moved it, and to my growing ring! 

I ran back into the bathroom with a terrible dawning realization that my ring was, indeed, missing. Unable to hold my panic inside of me; I stomped my feet as if I was a child, and screamed strings of expletives which I probably mustn't repeat here. 

Suddenly, it dawned to me, and I turned my head so fast that I narrowly missed a whiplash. My eyes landed on the culprit. 

LAYLA!Did you eat my ring?????? Her eyes averted rather guiltily away from me. Crap, I thought to myself, and ran to my videophone. I grabbed the vet phone number and called the vet. I got a hold of a receptionist and explained my situation to her. Then she put me on a hold--which felt like an eternity, by the way. The relay interpreter tried his damnest not to laugh while I bit my nails short to the quick. The receptionist finally returned with a word from my vet. She gave me two options; bring Layla in for an x-ray exam which was going to cost me a pretty penny or allow my ring coast through her system and wait her to poop it out. She assured me that Layla was not going to be harmed in any way unless if she began vomiting or pooping blood. The interpreter disconnected me from the receptionist then smiled at me. Good luck, he wished and laughed. I chuckled and nodded my head then hung up. 

I sat back on the sofa, on the verge of tears because I was unable to get a hold of Stu, and on the verge of strangling Layla. Fortunately, I had a plenty of assurance from my friends via texting and phone call. I really did not want to spend the whole Thanksgiving hunting through her poop to find my bling. Imagine that! 

Throughout the whole chaotic mess; Layla snored softly on her doggy bed, rather oblivious that her human mommy was breaking down from worry and stress, and dreamed of only what dogs dreamed of. I ended my conversation with my good friend a few hours later. At this point, Layla began pacing around the living room, and I figured she had to pee. 

I went to use the bathroom first before taking Layla out. I went out the bathroom into the adjacent kitchen to catch Layla squatting next to the door. My first instinct was, crap, I had to take her out! Then my next reaction was this...oh let her poop, please, please, pwetty little girl, poop with all of your mighty and bring my ring out of your rear end!

With my anxious anticipation; she pooped, and my ring showed up among her smelly business. I cheered; jumped for joy and screamed gooooooooooooooooooooood girl! Layla picked up her ear and cocked her head. 

Unfortunately, next came a dirty up. Blah! Fear not; my ring turned up undamaged even though smelly and slightly stained. 

Kay, Here I come soon! 

Sure enough, Stu came home shortly after that, and laughed hard. Then he said, "Happy Thanksgiving! I'm thankful for Kay Jewelers making a ring strong enough to safely pass through my dog's digestive system!"

Yep, I think it is safe to say that this is a story to be reminisced every Thanksgiving. 


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Gobble Day

Layla is begging to go on the sofa as you can see in the picture. Silly dog. Unbeknownst to her, we will be heading up to Farm tonight, and it will be an exciting time for her. It will be our first married Thanksgiving, and our first Thanksgiving with the dog. I love the firsts, don't you? Okay, that might have been slightly sappy, but I admit it, I am a sappy person. 

I have been seriously lacking on It's a Deaf Thing posts lately. I apologize for that. It is crazy with so many holiday preparations, visits with friends and some family members lately. I will get back on that hopefully in December even though I may reduce the frequency of posting of Deaf themes on my blog. I don't want to bore people too quickly with this topic so I am thinking about reducing it to every other week instead of weekly. 

I am trying to convince Stu to get a Christmas tree this weekend, but it looks like it is a losing battle. Drat. It is not a bad thing though! I really want an authentic tree this year since our duplex does allow real trees. In the past; it is not doable because of apartment rule regarding fire hazard, and blah blah blah. I understand why. Anyway, I'm just super impatient because a tree will make it official for the Christmas season! 

I am excited about going up to Farm for Thanksgiving. Russ family makes a mean Thanksgiving feast. Yummy. I love turkey, stuffing, and all that yummy stuff. I also love this time of the year because I sit back and think of things that I am thankful for. I should be doing this more often during the year not just during Thanksgiving, you know. Maybe it is a good reminder to keep this up all year around and count our blessing. 

I feel thankful for Stu, the fact we were able to afford a beautiful wedding, our friends, family (both sides), our pets, roof over our heads, stability in our lives, our health emotionally, mentally and physically, afford things we need, support from everybody we love, and oh so many more. 

There is also some sadness during time of the year because I reflect on the loss of people we love due to death and lost in touch with. I try not to dwell on this part too much because I don't like sorrow. I guess this is a normal reaction especially during the holidays. This sorrow reminds me to be grateful for people who are still in my life. 

2011 has been a great year so far. I hope it is true for you as well, my dear reader. 

Take your time to appreciate what you have and what you do not have in your life. Take your time to tell someone that you love them. Take your time to turn your face up to the sky and smile. 

Have a great and safe Thanksgiving. 

Feeling thankful for YOU,

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Feeling Lucky

Notice something in the picture?


Here is a close-up.....

Layla managed to sneak past empty laundry baskets and plopped her 40-pounders butt on top of our sofa. She figured that it was okay to sit on the sofa when no one was around to watch and prevent her from trying. Of course, she was already aware that she was not allowed on the sofa, and often can be trusted to leave alone in the room. More often than not, she preferred to lay on her dog bed, but on some days....temptation was just too unbearable for her to resist....such like this morning. Stubborn Basset that she was. 

I wonder who taught her that it was okay to sit on top of our sofa? Looking at Missy Girl.........

Good news about Layla; we got an email from Kristin, and she had a wonderful message to share with us:

Greetings Ashley, Stu and Layla- 
Thank you for inviting me to your home to help assess your concerns with Layla. She seems like a sweet girl who could be easily managed in a calm,predictable household. I enjoyed getting to interact with her.
Sweet! The assessment report that was attached to her e-mail carried even more good news. We received many training tips to work with Layla, and we gained better understanding regarding her triggers. We felt less uncertain about being an ideal fit for Layla. 

Even more good news....we took Layla up north to the Farm. She loved it up there! She enjoyed scouting new scents around the woods and pasture. She especially enjoyed all the attention that was being lavished on her especially from our nephews and niece. We breathed sighs of relief when we saw that Layla interacted with kids beautifully. Of course, like every dog out there in every American household, she had to be supervised with kids until she gained our full trust to be around with the kids alone. 

Stu's family loved Layla. They laughed at her dopey facial expressions. They enjoyed taking Layla for walks. Layla especially loved our niece because she often had food smeared on her lips and Layla gladly cleaned up her face. Layla had her naughty moment though. She liked to jump on the kitchen table to scavenge for food. Fortunately, Mike and Bobbie were good sports and laughed at this behavior while I took her off the table. Silly Bat Girl. 

Bat Girl is improving, and is fitting into our family quite nicely. It makes us quite glad. I guess Layla is a good fit for us after all. I'm sure glad that we did not give up on her. 

On a lighter note, Wisconsin weather is such a finicky mistress. I associate November and December with first snowfall and having the snow stick to the ground. Unfortunately, the snow melted within two days after the first snowfall last week. What I want does not always merge with the weather. I miss the snow already which somewhat surprises me. I am not a snow person...but to get into holiday cheer...we can't have Christmas decor up without any snow outside on the ground, right? Well, snow or no snow; I'm going to put up Christmas decorations this weekend, and have our house ready for a Christmas tree by first week of December. Also, I plan on printing our holiday letter. I hope that I will figure out how to correct a problem with discoloration during printing. Time to bring out my tech guns and get this business down soon! 

My hubs is wonderful and I absolutely love him.

I was not having a great day yesterday--you know how some bad days gone bad, and everything kept going wrong? So my lovely hubs took me out for dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings (our favorite local haunt) & ran into our friends! It was a nice surprise. It was funny; we spent the night before with them to watch the Packs game. By the way, Packs kicked Vikes' butts! Sweet! Anyway, it was great to be able to say this, even after 7 years, that my hubs is one of my best friends. 

I also found a wonderful quote to keep me going through not-so-lovely days like yesterday; Life doesn't always work out the way you want it, but it does turn out the way it is supposed to be. 

How true is that. 

I am a lucky woman to have a beautifully chaotic family with our dog and cats, a great hubs, amazing family, 

and loving friends. 

Embrace and give big kisses to people you love,


Thursday, November 10, 2011

♪ ♫ It Is Snowing ♪ ♫

Yesterday, I looked out of our window and saw gentle floating snowflakes falling to the ground from the sky. Marveled, I stood there with a steaming cup of coffee in my hands as I watched the serene setting unfolding before my eyes. A warm fuzzy feeling started to spread inside my chest from my stomach. Softly, I began smiling. 

It is once again the time of the year in Wisconsin when you gaze out of your window to find beautiful winter land stretching beyond your eyes. It's time of the year to bring out Egg Nog, apple pies, green garlands, prepping your rooms to become into cozy winter home composed of white Christmas lights, take out your favorite thick blankets, and throw in holiday movies.

It's time of the year to pick up special flavors from Starbucks. It's time of the year to compose a holiday letter to send to your loved ones. The best part is... ♪ ♫It is snowing ♪ ♫ .....

It is a happy time of the year, don't you think? We feel hopeful about so many things.....out of them all to feel hopeful about is Layla. 

Yesterday, we met with a different trainer, Kristin, to discuss Layla's prognosis. The meeting went better this time, and Kristin was very engaging with us. She listened to us, gave us tips, and suggestions as how to manage Layla's issues. Kristin saw what a good dog Layla was, and felt that Layla's prognosis was better than what it was originally thought to be. However, Layla would always need strong owners and have her issues to be managed to ensure a confident, secure dog in our household. Overall, it was a good meeting with better result. 

There will always be unknown with Layla especially with the fact that we don't know her full previous history before we got her. Will she be great with a baby or a toddler? We don't know. Will she ever feel comfortable with many guests in our home at one time? We don't know until time comes. Will she ever become completely secure? Probably not. Will Layla be able to have her food scavenging issue resolved? Probably not, but it can be managed. Will Layla be able to heel better during her walks? Definitely as long as we work with her and incorporating positive reinforcement with treats. It is possible that we may have to crate  or separate her from time to time during social events involving food at our house. While, this is not necessarily ideal for us because we want a social dog that is fully comfortable with this kind of situation, but it is definitely not end of the world to have a dog that is closer to being a Marley than a Beethoven. 

Armed with more tips and education; we felt more prepared to how manage Layla, and became more confident with our decision to continue working with her. As for this time; we have decided to keep Layla a bit longer, and implement training with Layla to see if she can improve or at least stabilize with management from us. Then we can re-evaluate how far Layla can get and go from there. 

If Layla ends up not being a right fit for us in the end then we are going to do everything to guarantee that she will be placed with a right family with kids over age of ten or adults-only family. Fortunately, Kristin is very willing to help us out to ensure Layla will get the best outcome that she deserves whether it is with us or someone else. We hope that Layla can become a permanent addition in our family, and will work to achieve this. 

Yes, it is something we do feel hopeful about, and Layla has been very responsive to the training tips we have been using with her. Like I always say, what matters is the progression......not perfection. 

This morning; I found this little guy laying on the bath mat while I stepped out of the shower, and I suspected it was because he wanted to stay warm! Silly jolly Jinxy boy. 

Stu is officially DONE with football season for the year. While Stu is a bit sad to have football season to end; he is happy to get extra time to focus on teaching and spending time with the family, and has been talking about deer hunting soon. Let's hope he gets a deer this year! 

Holidays.......bring it on! I can't wait. 

Have fun playing in the snow this weekend & stay warm, 

Monday, November 7, 2011

*Gasp* You FARTED!

Who farted? Oops. 

The most common question I get from people is, "Is there anybody else who is Deaf in your family?" My answer is: Nope, I am the only Deaf person in my family.

Growing up, it had been loads of fun along with some frustration. I grew up with three other siblings in the household: my brother, and two cousins (I call them my own sister and brother even though they are my blood cousins--we are very close) along with Mom and Aunt. Alex, my brother, and I also lived with my Dad half of the time until we eventually moved in with him during our college years. 

What is it like living with a hearing family? I am very fortunate to have everybody to be able to sign. This is not very common. Many Deaf friends I have grew up in a very isolating environment because none or a very few family members signed. I do feel very empathetic toward them, but I can't relate with them on this issue. All of my happy memories are composed of love and laughter while signing to each other across the room. It outweighs the bad or the frustrations I had as a Deaf person growing up in a hearing family. 

One of my funniest memories is subtle communication or rather acknowledgement that something had happened and wanted me to be included. is.....farting! 

Of course, I can't hear if someone farts. I sit there, puzzled, and unsure why everybody is laughing in the room while the guilty one blushes or blames it on the dog. So my family, I won't name names but you know who you are, comes up with a subtle or rather not so subtle action to show me that they are farting. When someone feels a fart coming on; the person lifts the leg like a dog and makes a funny facial expression or blow their lips, and laugh at my reaction. I am able to join in with other kids and scream EWWWWW

Or this, even more gross approach, which is my brother's favorite...of course....which is running up to me then sitting by me while saying nothing. He knows that I am unable to hear it and takes advantage of the situation. A moment passes while Alex farts without my knowledge. Suddenly...I smell something really gross and I squeal in disgust as Alex screams/signs, SBD, SBD, SBD, SBD! Now, SBD is an abbrevation for Silent but Deadly. Thanks, Alex, I love you too.

Or sometimes, one of the kids or guilt party (family members) will blow a raspberry while farting. I think they take a great pleasure in hearing me squeal in disgust and run away. 

As I grew older; this tactic has been greatly reduced, but I do catch my friends or particular family members doing this, and we all laugh about it. 

You may be wondering is this behavior is only found in my family? Think again. Apparently, my family is not the only kooky, funny ones! 

Friday, November 4, 2011

Must We Wait?

How nice would that be to have a toilet paper on top of your head. You can just grab a piece of tissue then blow your nose on it. It would be very handy especially during time like now. Stu and I are sick with cold. It is Stu's fault. He must have picked it up from one of his students then ultimately giving it to me in the end. I am trying to overdose on Orange Juice, and take cold medication to clear up the foggy world I have been living in for past day and half.

Bat Girl has been doing very well. She has finally learned that she is not allowed on the sofa unless invited. Bat Girl does seem very receptive to the sign commands that we have taught to her. She is able to go into her crate with simple flick of my wrist. The new trainer, Kristin, is coming next week, and I am already having a very good feeling about her. On the other hand, Bat Girl is in for a big surprise. 

Right now; she is sitting next to the shelves that holds microwave because she knows that her bacon treats are on top of it, and she has been wanting it really bad. Nope, Bat Girl, nice try for attempting to guilt your doggy mom into giving you a treat. 

Stu and I have had a GREAT Halloween. We went to Lauren and Joey's place for a Halloween bash. Oh, it was so much fun to just chill, play card games, and relax. Stu and I went as zombies. Luke went as a Green Power Ranger (Ah, what a lovely memory of early 1990s). Lauren and Joey went as characters from Super Nintendo brothers (Peach and Mario). 

On Monday--Halloween Day--I went up to visit LS and her two adorable children. We went Trick N Treating together. It was a fun time because I haven't gone tricking n treating in so long. I realized that I had missed it....I missed the sight of children and some parents dressing up, the electric feeling in the air, the sky darkening while kids prance in their costumes to wary away the ghosts, and ... I guess it was just the feeling that I missed. It was a nice evening that I spent with LS and her kids. 

During the week; I got my new videophone and I was absolutely thrilled! My new videophone (VP) ran off wireless router, and I was able to bring it from one room to other. I loved being able to do this because it sucked to have an old one since it was connected to the land line meaning I was unable to go anywhere else when people called me. Anyway, I have been playing with my new phone by calling my friends and having  lengthy chats. 

Stu is also happy that his football season is coming to an end. He is a bit sad to have it to end because he really loves coaching, but at the same time; he is looking forward to having more free time to visit our family and do other things. His final Varsity game is this Saturday. Then he is officially done for the season!

I am very excited about Christmas coming up. It will be our first married Christmas together. Tacky, I know, but I am excited. Plus, we might can get a REAL tree this year! I am itching to decorate our flat with Christmas stuff, but It is only November 4th. It is kinda too early, don't you think. Plus I'm not sure if Turkey would appreciate Santa taking over his holiday....

Have a wonderful weekend,

Friday, October 28, 2011

Have A Spooktacular Halloween

So......this week has been a very emotionally-charged time for us. I am not sure where to start... I might as well spit it out and get this over with.

Do you remember that we had a consultation meeting with a trainer? Let me say this; it didn't go very well, and it left a bad taste in our mouths. To make a super long story short; the trainer we had, was either inexperienced or did not care enough to take on our case, used scare tactics to ensure that we were going to continue training sessions with her. The trainer had a very preset judgment of Layla. She made Layla out to be a vicious evil dog with incurable issues. At the end of the consultation; she simply said that we needed to either return Layla back to the rescue agency or put her to sleep. Naturally, it left us very bereft because we were not sure how Layla came from being a dog with manageable issues to a dog that was unsociable and a danger to people around her. Apparently, the trainer's image of Layla and our image of Layla differed GREATLY.

Fortunately; we had a wonderful group of loving friends, and family who strongly encouraged us to NOT give up on Layla and to obtain a second opinion from a different trainer. We ended up obtaining a different trainer who had more experience, and a willingness to work with us. This time around; we had a better feeling about this person, and finally can look forward to getting right tools to communicate with Layla. 

I could go into more details about why or what the trainer had done that did not meet our expectations. This trainer certainly does deserve some bad review from us. However, I feel that it is simply not necessary for me to rehash all of bad feeling about her and paint this person in a bad light. Who knows; perhaps that woman is good for some people, and happens not to be a good fit for us. The bottom line is that she did not connect with Layla and us. 

We are not giving up on Layla. She is too important to us and I don't think it is fair to give up on her this quickly. Currently, she is no longer allowed on the sofa since she has a need to "guard" the sofa. It is a work in progress. Layla is very stubborn and does not always quite come immediately when she is called to get off the sofa. I know she understands the sign command for come yet she is just stubborn. It does test my patience to be signing COME COME COME COME to her until she finally gets off, and it is a good thing I am stubborn as well. I don't give up until her BUTT IS ON the floor or on her dog bed. Occasionally, I do have to remove her with a leash, and put her in the crate for not listening.On the bright side; Layla knows where her makeshift dog bed is located at and that she knows that she belongs either there or in her crate if she want to rest. 

Since Layla is now no longer allowed on the sofa; the cats have reclaimed the sofa as their personal space, and we humans can't seem to win. It is either dog or cats that will reclaim the sofa. Not us human beings. Ah, a life of a pet owner. 

This weekend has my favorite holiday of them all! I am quite excited to be dressing up and attending a fun party that will be hosted by my little sister, Lauren and her boyfriend, Joey. I won't tell you what Stu and I are going as right now. I will be posting it next week. I don't want to ruin the surprise! All I can say is that there is an old prom dress, and tons of make-up. As for Stu; he will be going as himself (he's scary anyway) BUT with an addition though. That's all I will be telling you right now. 

Then this upcoming Monday (Halloween); LS has invited me to come up to spend the day trick n treating with her children. It will be nice. It has been years since I have accompanied kids while trick n treating. It will be cute to see all children dressing up and going out for candies.

I applied to two jobs in person today. One didn't seem that promising and other did. The job I applied to, that has some promise, was a family-run grooming/kennel business. They had a Deaf employee in the past, and seemed to be unfrazzled by my Deafness. So.....Keep your fingers crossed for me! 

Please do stay safe this weekend if you are going to party for Halloween. Get a DD (Designated Driver), okay??? Use protection. You don't want a surprise Halloween baby or STD. 

Lastly, use your head--really. You'd be surprised how many people lose their heads (no pun intended here) during the major holidays. Okay, Mom or Big Sister moment over! Have fun guys! 

Have a spooktacular Halloween,