4.29.2011

pupdate: diego es muy bueno

Diego is terrific. Tala is terrific. Only the mud is not terrific.

This is without a doubt the easiest new-dog transition we've ever had. After adopting dogs, we've had near-fatal health problems (Clyde, Buster), serious behavioural problems (Gypsy, Buster), not life-threatening but still serious health issues (Tala), dogs not really getting along (Cody and Tala) and probably a few other headaches I've forgotten. This time, so far, the transition is as smooth as can be.

Diego is very well behaved. He's house-trained, and really tuned in to our expectations. And he's so eager to please! What a big galoot.

Tala and Diego are getting along great. They have the occasional squabble over a toy, but they quickly sort it out. They love to tussle and play-fight. Tala has met her match when it comes to chasing squirrels; I think Diego hates squirrels more than she does! Diego will actually jump straight up, all four paws in the air, and bark furiously at the little creatures, high up in a neighbour's tree, while Tala just runs insanely back and forth, usually with a ball in her mouth.

So things are going swimmingly. Sometimes it seems literally so: we are drowning in mud. The $%&#*?! mud.

It has been raining off and on for weeks. When it's raining, our backyard is our own private lake district. When it stops raining, the lawn is squishy and thick with mud. The track that Tala has worn out around the perimeter is now a canal.

Within two minutes of going outside, both dogs' paws, legs and bellies are covered in mud. Sometimes Tala looks speckled in black from mud splashes! It feels like we spend half our day wiping them off and doing the laundry full of dog towels. A few times we've sprayed them off with Tala's friend the hose, but that requires two people and creates a small flood on the patio. Mostly we just keep toweling them off.

Don't ask what our floors look like. Mostly we just ignore it, then every so often we sweep up a half-ton of dirt, vacuum and mop.

It's getting very old. We eagerly await some dry weather!

On the other hand, if we didn't have a backyard and a washer-dryer in the basement, I don't know if I could be doing this. It was much more difficult in an apartment - but I had a lot more energy in those days!

And fear not, I have not lost perspective. I'm sick of the muddy towels, but I'm very happy.

We don't have any new pics yet, because of the incessant rain, but we have the camera at the ready, should the sun make an appearance.

29 comments:

Lorraine said...

There is joy again in Mudville. I'm so happy for you!

Amy said...

So glad they are getting along so well. The rain has to stop soon, doesn't it?

laura k said...

Thank you, Lorraine!

Thanks, Amy. I'm pretty sure it has to stop some time.

West End Bob said...

It's wonderful that the Four-Footed-Children are getting along so well!

Really great that they don't get distracted and

SQUIRREL ! ! ! !

;-)

johngoldfine said...

You can console yourself with this: if dogs refuse to go out in the mud, rain, snow, or whatever, they know exactly what they are doing and why. But if they ignore the mud and go out and play, then their opinion is that the weather is fine and all is well with the world.

David Cho said...

Diego being a very easy dog to have? Just like Noah! No training required. No discipline was ever needed. Everyone marveled at how well behaved he always was. Can you give him a middle name? Diego Noah :).

laura k said...

We have been thinking about what his last name should be... All our dogs have had their own last names. :)

We do have to discipline him occasionally. He's VERY exuberant and sometimes needs to be reigned in a bit.

laura k said...

Oh hey, I forgot to mention, he's about 70 lbs. Tala is about 58 lbs.

johngoldfine said...

No training required. No discipline was ever needed. Everyone marveled at how well behaved he always was.

Dogs like that are very special, very rare. You feel honored to share the world with them, and they teach you as much as you teach them.

johngoldfine said...

(This is going to be a comment without even a tinge of gravitas, I'm afraid. Talking about certain relief pitchers' facial hair and the favorite bodily placement of certain fans' root vegetables would offer more intellectual substance. [See yesterday's game thread!])

For some reason, most of our dogs are Welsh and in the most boring fashion possible, to wit:

Timothy Titus Llewellyn Lloyd Jones

Bocawoca Jones

Mr Scooter (Scootonius Rex) Jones

MaddyWaddy Puddinpie Jones

Miss Chloe McGillicuddy Jones

Only the latest arrival escapes the Welshness--with an adjective and an epithet:

Mad Max the Dogerminator

Lorraine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
johngoldfine said...

"You rein them in. You reign over them."

I find lately that I sometimes I have trouble recalling some common word I need as I write, and I either have to circulocute or get help from my wife. Everyone has tip-of-the-tongue moments--these seem to be a bit more persistent and obdurate though. Aging brain, I suppose.

A related phenomenon I have noticed in the past year: when I am typing fast I will occasionally type the incorrect homonym. It's not that I have forgotten the difference between, say, 'fair' and 'fare.'

But the part of my mind that handles the typing chores seems to override the part that handles homonym details. Putting it another way: I am hearing my words as I type them, and since the two sound identical, I overlook the incorrect choice.

Anyway, I like to ride horses with a loose rein when possible and also find that the more compatible and pack-y we grow, the less figurative rein I need with my dogs too. Sometimes it feeds my ego to imagine that I reign over them, king to their respectful and deferential subjects.

But when on my better behavior, I try to avoid thinking of it that way. It's not a boss/employer relationship, nor parent/child....

It is what it is--primates and canines deriving pleasure and benefit from each other's company and personality--that's the thing of it: it has no other easy analogy in our daily lives. The dogs and us: we're a pack.

Cats I do not understand at all, Lorraine.

laura k said...

With dogs, it's important that the person is the alpha, but that's different than reigning over, somehow.

John, I have the exact same issue, just as you describe it. I think it is definitely an aging thing, and in my case fibromyalgia also has cognitive effects.

It can be very disconcerting. When I'm writing, I try to relax, not tense up, give it time, and the word will usually come. When I'm speaking, though... it feels awful. I'm in a meeting, speaking about something I know well... and I can't come up with a simple word. I hate it.

I notice I often type (eg) "hear" for "here", then I notice it and go back to correct.

laura k said...

It's not a boss/employer relationship, nor parent/child....

It is what it is--primates and canines deriving pleasure and benefit from each other's company and personality--that's the thing of it: it has no other easy analogy in our daily lives. The dogs and us: we're a pack.


Right. It's unique. Closer to parent/child than any of the other analogies, IMO, but still not that.

allan said...

I notice I often type (eg) "hear" for "here", then I notice it and go back to correct.

I do this, also. In an email to L yesterday, I wrote "their" when I wanted "there". I have also made the mistake with one/won and where/were.

The good thing is we are still coherent enough to notice the mistakes before sending/posting.

Lorraine said...

I usually rein in my inner grammar police force, but somehow it seems librarians should be fair game.

laura k said...

I usually rein in my inner grammar police force, but somehow it seems librarians should be fair game.

Lorraine, until I saw this comment, I didn't realize you were correcting a mistake of mine. (Didn't realize I had typed the wrong word.) The "reign/rein" error was a typo along the lines of what JohnGoldfine mentioned - typing the wrong homonym.

Please do not correct my or any other commenter's typing, spelling, grammar or usage errors. It is a violation of wmtc comment policy.

Thank you in advance.

Amy said...

John, I recognize that phenomenon all too well. So annoying! I also have trouble with word and name retrieval. It drives me absolutely nuts. For example, I will have no real memory of players who are no longer on the Sox---where did they go? where did they come from? when did they play? etc. Except for a select few, of course!

laura k said...

I, too, have the kinds of memory issues that Amy describes, but those don't bother me very much, because I can always look up the information (and do, constantly).

But the inability to think of a simple word drives me crazy.

laura k said...

wmtc comment policy

Amy said...

It all bothers me because I used to have such a good memory for names, phone numbers, birthdays, trivia, etc. Yes, I can look stuff up, but every time I do it's a reminder that I once just had this stuff at my fingertips. And when I am standing in front of a class and cannot remember the name of a case we just studied a week ago or the name of a student, it is excruciating!

laura k said...

Oh Amy, believe me, I fully understand. I really do. I used to call myself a "walking phone book". (Phone book: anachronism alert!)

I am only saying that for me, on the hierarchy of annoyances due to aging or health, the worst is my recurrent inability to think of simple words.

Yesterday I used a thesaurus to come up with a simple antonym for defeat. I was looking for the word "success" and simply could not access it.

It feels horrible!

allan said...

I mean this as a general suggestion/rule:

Starting comments with "I don't mean to go off-topic, but..." or "I usually restrain myself from doing X, but..." is extremely annoying*, because a commenter actually can restrain himself. It's simple - don't type the words.

Or if you are going to go off-topic or post something you don't usually post, then go ahead and fucking do it. The faux excuse doesn't make anything any different.

(*: Not as annoying as "Now I'm not a racist, but...", but it's up there.)

laura k said...

I agree!! I find that quite annoying.

johngoldfine said...

Amy, one of your catchphrases for me has always been 'Who is this guy???' I think the last time I remember your doing it was with Scutaro--but I never realized you, er, actually might have forgotten.

;)

Anyway, as Laura says, I am forever nowadays googling stuff I used to know but which has slipped my mind. I almost wonder if I've subcontracted some of my brain's humbler clerical functions to google, perhaps so I can keep the channels clear for My Big Thoughts.

When I'm speaking, though... it feels awful. I'm in a meeting, speaking about something I know well... and I can't come up with a simple word.

It's even worse than that because sometimes I'll be talking, and four or five words before I need a particular word, I have a double realization: first, I become aware that I do know the particular word and second, simultaneously, I realize that in a second I won't have it. (Obviously the thought that I 'have' a word is an indicator that, in fact, I know longer do. I don't ordinarily have to inventory a sentence as I am speaking....) It is deeply weird, reminding me of nothing so much as a tiny petit mal seizure, a little breeze blowing almost unnoticeably across one's temporal lobe....

johngoldfine said...

As we were saying: "no longer do"

Jesus....

Amy said...

LOL, John, re the know/no mix up! I am glad you caught that because with Laura's strict policy, I knew I would be in serious trouble if I teased you about it! :)

I know that feeling. That, and the "it's on the tip of my tongue" feeling...you know you know something, but it just won't come forward. It has made crossword puzzles so much more challenging---and I refuse to Google answers when I do those. It just ruins the fun for me.

Oops, sorry for being so OFF TOPIC. I hope Diego doesn't mind.

(Sorry, Allan and Laura, as the queen of the off-topic post, I just could not resist.)

laura k said...

I just could not resist.

Arrrrghhhhh....!

:>)

laura k said...

I almost wonder if I've subcontracted some of my brain's humbler clerical functions to google, perhaps so I can keep the channels clear for My Big Thoughts.

I love the way you put that. There is something to it, I think.

When I was in my teens and early 20s, I knew tons of music information - I won't call it trivia - that I could no longer remember even in my late 30s. My interests changed, broadened, and I think the music info got crowded out by other concerns.

Some of our inability to access information we once knew must be down to brain over-crowding, so to speak.

Not all of it, of course!