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,