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Nov. 8

The trail. I thought I had left early enough, but nope. In fact Sis drove a good portion of the way to behind me. And how do you think Josie reacted to these interlopers going along with us? She didn’t. Much ado about nothing as usual. I am queen.

Josie fell right into place beside my right side, while Sis walked Lindy on her left. We chatted as we went. Marveling at how well both dogs were doing. She had her dogs out for a run earlier in the morning, hoping Lindy would be more tired than usual and therefore easier to keep focus. Soon we got brave, and put our dogs side by side. Still no reaction, no explosion, no fury resulting in bloody torn flesh. Hmm.

And there it is. Stable, balanced dogs. Both our dogs, on leash, under our control, mentally calm. We looked like the people walking dogs on a YouTube video that you wish you were with the dogs you wished you had.

After awhile, Sis left Lindy off leash and still they were fine. They really weren’t too interested in each other, all they wanted was to keep moving. At the end as we neared the parking lot, an older gentleman was being walked by his little foo foo. His dog growled and snarled a lot like Josie used to. Lindy began to growl a little and I needed to tug on Josie a bit in the opposite direction to let her know that dog is none of her business. I caught her at the first sign of interest.

We have plans for Tuesday. She wants to bring both her dogs. She was most concerned about Lindy’s mean streak causing an issue. Benny shouldn’t be a problem unless he becomes something of a pest. He’s just a goofy, playful large pup who doesn’t seem to know any better. I suspect he’ll get the hint real quick not to mess with Josie and go off to play with Lindy. We may even go to a different trail. I got to thinking the trail I love to go to is near my house. Sis has to travel about 30 mins to get there depending on traffic. She has a trail near her place about 15 mins away. For me to go to that one would take about 30 mins. too. I’ve suggested we alternate. It’s only fair.

I’d have never thought my Josie would be such a princess. Mentally stable, trained dogs, she has no problem with at all. One that lunges at her, barks and growls, yeah, she’s going to be handful. Come to think of it, if someone wants to beat the crap out of me, and someone is holding them back, I still wouldn’t think too kindly of the aggressor especially if I had done nothing to provoke it.

Ahh, what a day, it was wonderful.

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Nov. 7

Sis wrote today, we’re set up for the trail tomorrow. I appreciate the comments I have gotten, and you know who you are my dear, and your advice is NOT going unheeded. However, this first time I will take almost my entire dog training arsenol. This will work. If anyone ends up angry or disapproving, I assure you it will not be me ha! Totally forgot what I have in my stock. It means wearing the carpenter apron, but that’s okay since I find myself running out of pockets anyway haha.

I am now looking forward to this so much so, that I will leave early enough to be there at least 15 minutes early to have us walking around the parking lot area and chillin’. Bring it! Sis has said several times both her dogs need more formal training if only to make household boundaries a bit easier, but hey, don’t wanna do that? don’t have the time? don’t want to let your supposedly beloved sister who loves your dogs almost as much as you do, well pfft. Rots of ruck!

I got this.

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Nov 5

Not only has Sis read the material I sent, she has offered several days for us to attempt exercises designed to acclimate Josie to strange dogs. It will take a bit longer than a few times, but it’s a decent start. Jos, being a bit older as well as not the sharpest crayon in the box,  needs a bit more time than typical as well as more patience. I have both which is why we’ve done so well together. Even if we can get her accustomed to Sis’s dogs only, that would be fine.

Her suggestion is to start with Lindy, her smaller dog who is quite aggressive towards unknown dogs. Lindy will attack a new dog to teach them she’s in charge, and then lets it go. Sis is willing to to keep Lindy from attacking Josie (gee thanks). To be brutally honest, I would pepper Lindy first! Sis needs to understand that.

Then she goes on to say she’s not worried about Benny because he’s submissive, and once another dog puts him in his place, he backs off. Again, she misses the point that there will be no “putting him in his place” at all. I will not have Josie used to bait him, not have her threatened by Lindy and I will not tolerate Josie’s own aggressiveness. The point is to keep her mind in a stable place. Sure it’s okay to get excited, but she needs to learn not to act on it, period. It’s not a dog park. It’s not social hour. My dog has a job, and that is not to be interfered with on any level.

I have yet to answer her email. My hope is by putting down some thoughts in this post, I can head off some bad feelings.

I can take the high road and accept this opportunity to further Josie’s training which will only serve to better her on our walks through the neighborhood and perhaps even enable us to visit *gasp* Petco or a dog walk fund raiser someday.

OR

I can take the low road and point out Benny will be depressed if she takes Lindy out by herself. (Which backs up my suspicion that she does not trust me with her dog/s.)

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Nov. 4

Boy am I dense. Seriously dense to an unhealthy level.

I haven’t posted for quite awhile because, well, nothing different or much has been happening. The few issues that have come up are upsetting, very negative in nature, and who wants to read about that anyway? What I’ve concluded very recently, as in the last hour, might be negative, but there are positive aspects to it as well even though few in number.

Sis and I went to a newly discovered rails to trails that I simply love. I feel a sense of calm there that I didn’t feel at the one beside the river. The fact that it’s a mere 15 minutes away from my house doesn’t hurt either. The two times we’ve been there, we’ve been with her dogs while we walk together and enjoy pleasant conversations. The area is so conducive to peace, negative topics rarely enter in.

Recently she turned me onto the Garmin Forerunner 10. Connected to the internet, the route walked is mapped using GPS and Bing maps along with pace, elevation, calories, etc.. It doesn’t monitor heart rate and some other features a hardcore runner or cyclist would want. This model is perfect for the average person.

GARMIN_Forerunner10_orange_violet_small-1Definitely got the violet, pretty no?

The part of the trail we walk is about 3.29 miles. The walk I take Josie through the neighborhood is 2 miles. Although I walked her on the trail today, and she seemed to do alright, I would still prefer she not walk so far. I had come up with an idea of taking one of Sis’s dogs to the trail one day, the next day take the other dog, alternating them. And then take Josie through the neighborhood later in the afternoon. After all, with BIL being a professional student successfully disabling Sis’s retirement, she doesn’t always have the time to run her dogs, and this could be a way for them to get out. Well, it didn’t hurt to ask, but wait, yes it did. It did hurt. Although the trail regulations clearly state all dogs must be on a leash no more than 6 feet in length, she lets them run and leashes them up when other people approach. She walks Lindy and gives me Benny to walk. I thought she was alright with the way I was handling him based on the compliments she continues to give me re Benny & Josie. So it came as a big surprise when she told me “no I don’t want you to walk one dog because the other dog would get depressed if they’re not out together.”

In the past she has taken her stepdaughter’s dog with her crew for exercise and training. Stepdaughter had gotten a dalmation puppy about 4 months ago. Sis no longer takes the dog because she says she has fallen in love with her and wants the dog so badly she feels it’s cruel to give the dog the wonderful life she can provide only to take her back to be put in her crate where she spends most of her life.

Which brings me to my epiphany. It’s okay for Sis to take her stepdtr’s dog, leave the other one to be “depressed” (seriously? anthropomorphism much?!), but it’s not okay for me to take one dog one day, the other the next. How can I not feel it’s me? Even though we both subscribe to basically the same training methods, how can I not feel that I am not good enough? After all the shmoosing she has done to soothe my wounded ego after my past and present failures, how can I not feel very confused? The answer is simple. I am not a (insert surname) P______r.

Throughout last summer, she had several house guests at different times, all on BIL’s side. I stepped aside even though she’d have been with me anyway. She gracefully backed out of plans with me as well. All in the name of P______r. Therefore, if my name would be P______r, I feel certain and without a shadow of a doubt, I could take her dog for a walk. The only other way this would be debatable would be to believe she is the greatest dog trainer to ever grace this planet. At least I own up to my mistakes so I can improve and make my life with my dogs better.

So there it is, the answer. I’m just not good enough. Same shit, different scenario. Fuck you P______r.

 

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And part II, because you know how obsessive I can be –

I’m depressed how else can I explain it. 2 weeks now Sis and I go to this trail. She says it’ll be okay with Jos, but how does she know how she is? She knows all about my dog’s personality and quirks because she knows everything about dogs? I want this introduction to be done in a structured as calm a manner as possible or I will turn around and go home. She is not fucking up my dog. Well we have over a week to think about it so I sent her some reading material, not that she has time for it.

It’s all about her dogs running the trail because she’s all that even though it goes against the regulations. Even so I want a nice time for Josie. If I meet with any resistance, I will go home. Josie gets upset, I go home. Her dogs run off leash and it freaks out Josie, I will go home.

I lay down these rules because I advocate for her, and equally as important, it’s not all about Sis’s dogs. The second I get a feel for that, I’m so gone.

I’m pissed and depressed. Even pissed at myself for writing to her in the first place. Sending her stuff I know she doesn’t have the time to read and learn anyway. She would have to actually give a fuck first. Fuck you. and the dog you rode in on!

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Fri. 10:50 p.m.

There have been some issues of late. My husband has had all of his teeth extracted. I knew they were bad. He was seeing the dentist a few times a year to have fillings replaced. What he wasn’t telling me was his teeth were breaking off and not holding the fillings properly. He told me the day after surgery, he felt much better because they had been causing him pain. He’s healing well and will be getting dentures at the appropriate time. Fortunately, his boss allowed him to switch his vacation week so he didn’t miss any work during the post-op period.

I’ve had a falling out with my neighbor, Doomsday Donna. I knew it would happen eventually, but I guess I thought with all the errands I had been running and the help both husband and I were giving her and her friend, that wouldn’t happen. I admit it. I tried to buy a friend. I tried to buy a friend with good deeds. I was wrong; friendship comes from the heart. People show me that time and time again, but still I couldn’t stop myself.

Josie is still doing well on her walks. We see Ava from time to time. The doberman is still responding to the sound of the baton, and as long as it doesn’t decide to challenge, we’re good. Our walks have been very nice and for the most part uneventful. Beautiful, crisp, chilly autumn air. Lovely leaves. Singing birds. I’m attuned to my environment more as I continue to scan the homes and yards for potential distractions.

This month is the 20th year anniversary of my Father’s passing. I was a “daddy’s girl.” He taught me violin and organ and then bought me a piano. I sat beside him on his favorite Lazy Boy and on the back porch steps, and he explained clouds and weather to me while studying for his pilot’s license. Before he passed away, he and my Stepmom would travel to reunions of the squadron he was part of during WWII. As a child, I loved looking at the coins he had brought home from India and would take them to school for show and tell. My Mom and I spent hours looking at photos he took while he was there. Perhaps part of the sadness is I have no one to share his history with.

The weather has turned much cooler of late, and the rain is bringing down the leaves. Still, marigolds brighten up the front garden, and the Montauk daisies are standing strong and are so cheery.

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