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Archive for the ‘Bentley’ Category

I’m in a weird state of wanting and having so many things to write about – but somehow I just haven’t made the time. I have a feeling in a few weeks I may be writing a lot more again.

I’m currently 33 weeks and 2 days pregnant. Holy moly time flies when you’re pregnant. I’m officially in the getting uncomfortable stage. There are still moments/hours where I forget I’m pregnant (seriously, sometimes I feel so normal) but now there are more and more moments (usually at night) where I feel very much pregnant. I can’t always catch my breath, can’t get comfortable, piercing back pains (mid and upper back, not lower like I expected), hip pain, feeling super hungry then super full, and lots of tossing and turning at night.

I’m also sort of over all the pregnancy comments and advice at this point. I take it all in stride, and truthfully it’ll probably only get worse once I have a newborn but it’s funny how much and what people comment about. The amount of people who will negatively comment about what I choose to not eat/drink it so surprising (I guess I expected it the other way, people telling me not to eat or drink things versus questioning when I don’t). It’s funny because I know people who have gone on such restrictive diets – be in juice cleanses, paleo, whole30, whatever the case to lose weight (in a healthy or even not so healthy way) and choose not to eat things because it doesn’t make them feel good or impacts them in some way (the amount of dairy free, gluten-free, caffeine free, etc. friends I have has I swear doubled) – and yet when I say no, sorry, I’m not drinking any alcohol, no I’m not eating lunch meats, etc. it becomes almost an argument. “you really can’t have any? Would once really be that bad? Is this little bit of cheese really going to do anything?” It’s like…giving up some unpasteurized cheese, runny eggs, or a glass of wine for 9 months – is nothing compared to making sure this is a healthy baby that I don’t hurt in any way shape or form. More than ever I care about what I am putting into my body because it’s not just about me. At the same time too, I would never ever judge anyone for what they decide to do or not do when pregnant. I would never, ever forgive myself it anything happened as a result of that one time. If they comfortable doing something – it’s their body and their baby – it’s not something I would ever comment on! I mean… do you know how many nights in a row I have eaten rocky road ice cream? Maybe someone should comment on that, ha. 🙂

I have these moments where I feel so lucky, blessed and excited (borderline impatient) for this little girl to arrive. Then to be honest I am having more and more moments of fear. It’s so soon! I just can’t fathom how things will change. How the Husband and I will change, how it won’t just be “us” anymore, how it will impact Bentley, how tired I’ll be, if I’ll feel alone at all, what if I don’t feel the immediate connection with her and I’m not a “natural” mom? What if I completely feel lost and depressed by staying home for 14 weeks – and not working – something I have done since the age of 13 without break. What if I take out my tired/frustration/fears on the Husband and we totally crumble? What if all we can talk about – to each other and everyone else – is diapers and poop and babies?

Things with Bentley have been a little crazy over the past few weeks – but somehow I think it all worked out for the best. Long story short, we got a call two weeks or so ago that right after Bentley was dropped at his daycare, he bit another dog. Apparently a dog was jumping on him, the owner saw Bentley growl at the dog, the dog kept jumping on him and Bentley turned his head and bit the dog. He bit her right on the head so it caused an open gash and that dog had to go to the vet. Unfortunately, the daycare owner said he just can’t watch the dogs that closely – and that Bentley seems to want to be able to have personal space throughout the day at different times and since this is one open room for 30 dogs, that doesn’t work and unfortunately now that he has bitten another dog, he just isn’t allowed to return. In other words, my dog got expelled!

I had some immediate reactions when I got the call. First, like a failed parent, I felt embarrassed. Then upset. Then, and maybe I’m rationalizing it, a little annoyed. I mean he admitted to seeing Bentley show a warning sign – and still did not separate them. Then totally overwhelmed – we were about to go away to a wedding in Baltimore the week after, and where would he stay if not at his normal daycare? Then I took action, as fast as I could. First the Husband picked him up, and the owner reiterated the story – and apparently seemed sad about it since they like him and he’s been going there for a year now, but quickly we started realizing – maybe he doesn’t love it as much as we thought. And maybe a place with that many dogs and no personal space isn’t the best place for him anyway, especially with his aloof shepherd qualities. And so I quickly found an alternative for boarding – a place actually closer to us that my Aunt brings her two dogs (who would also be boarded at the same time since she and my uncle were coming to the same wedding). In the end Bentley had his own kennel and run, and was taken out twice a day to play with his Westie cousin dogs, and walked by the Mom and daughter who own the place. He got rave reviews and came home happy and exhausted.

In terms of a daycare – I think we are realizing – maybe he doesn’t need 3+ days of daycare a week. Instead, we have found a new place that he is doing a trial at today, also closer to home, where we can bring him if he likes it maybe 1x a week just to get his zoomies out and keep him socialized. I was completely honest with the woman about what happened at the previous daycare and so they will begin with “day boarding” – where he gets his own room, toys, and will be taken out on 5 short walks a day and will meet dogs one by one through a fence or in the play yard if they see it as a good fit. If he enjoys being around the other dogs, then he will join playtime with a maximum group of 7 dogs with the same temperament. All dogs have “nap/quiet time” in their own rooms from 12:30-2:30 which I think is a good break for him anyway. So we’ll see how it goes. Overall reducing his daycare will save us a couple hundred a month!

I have to admit, one of the best things about keeping him home – while it makes me feel bad that he sits in the house on my non WFH days from about 11am-6pm alone – is that the Husband and I are actually spending more quality time with him. He used to come home from daycare so utterly exhausted he would go up to the bed and sleep. Now we play more outside (he loves to sprint through the yard, but only if we are outside watching), we’re doing tricks and training again at night – lots of puzzles, he seems to enjoy being in the house more and is almost always by our sides, and he’s already being a bit more social with people when they come over. It only takes about 10-15 minutes of sprints outside to completely exhaust him, something I can easily do in the mornings before work and at night when I get home. To be honest, I forgot how much fun I have when we play and do training, and most of the time, he seems content to just be around us.

I’m going through a strange phase at work. One minute I’m pushing hard, focused, and getting so much done (I think preparing to be out) and then moments of pure impatience, frustration with little things, and just wanting to get to the point where I’m going out on leave. I know I will want to go out feeling like I got everything I could done, so I need to spend the next few weeks really focusing on work.

I’m also going through a phase where I really want to make an effort to make plans and spend time with friends and family while I can – but more specifically – positive people who also make an effort too. I’m sort of tired of trying so hard when it’s not reciprocated or leaving hangouts feeling negative or mentally exhausted and drained, especially when I have some new (well not new, but not my regular core group) making a good effort to see me. I have dinner with a handful of girlfriends this Wednesday, dinner with two old college friends who I don’t see often but one is about a month behind me in her pregnancy, on Thursday, a full day of brunch and my sister’s dance show on Saturday with my Mom, my Mother-in-law, Sister-in-law and two family friends, then mid next week dinner with my old boss and coworker. I’m also trying to keep some time free on weekends for organizing and cleaning in preparation of the baby. The Husband and I also have a full Saturday birthing class coming up, as well as a night where we tour/go through the practice triage process in the hospital, a friend’s birthday that I’m hoping to spend some time with her celebrating, my baby shower later this month (with a few college friends making it a big girls sleepover weekend – the highlight of my month!), and more. I think January is going to fly by!

Funny story, the Husband and I had a wedding down in Baltimore over New Year’s Eve. It was actually so fun, even at 8 months pregnant and sober, and I loved getting all the extra family time for the few days (with moments of course of I NEED SPACE). My cousin, who was the one getting married, actually shares a friend with B (yes, that B). Ironically, this friend and his wife are pregnant, so my cousin sat them at our table, also with my sister and cousins. Somehow they ended up sitting right next to the Husband. I didn’t actually put two and two together until halfway through dinner – and I never said anything to him or anyone about it. What is sort of funny about it though is that there were SO many glasses on the table (4 per person, plus any glasses people brought with their own drinks from the bar) so when the husband sat down at one point he hit a champagne glass that went flying and COVERED this guy (he might as well have thrown it directly in his face). He took it very nicely, and I could tell the Husband felt so bad (but at 230lbs, 6’3 and a regular bull in a china shop he just can’t be near that many glasses). I have no idea if he connected who I was, but hopefully he doesn’t think it was on purpose. Well, actually I don’t really care as I’ll never see them again. 😉

My dreams lately when I do sleep, are crazy. I think my fears and anxieties are coming into play in my sleep because I have had countless dreams of fighting with friends, including a fist fight with my best friend from home (which is hilarious to think about in real life because it would never, ever happen). A number of dreams and scenarios of the Husband either cheating on me (and me seeing it, ugh) or him not paying attention to me and me feeling really sad and alone. It doesn’t take much to see what my dreams are getting at, but man I wish they would stop. As it is I’m practically an insomniac at this point and when I do sleep, to wake up feeling like crap after a dream like that really isn’t fun.

Somehow over the Holiday time off the Husband and I watched 4 movies. Gone Girl, the Good Lie, the Equalizer and This is Where I leave You. I read Gone Girl so had been dying to see it, but as always the case, it just wasn’t as good as the book. I swear in the book they did a better job of making you hate them equally, while in the movie, you have far more hate towards the wife. The Husband also figured out the plot far earlier than I did in the book – be it his detective skills or the hints were just easier to pick up on. The Good Lie was a great movie, based off the Lost Boys from Sudan and it definitely made us remember how damn lucky we are in America and with what we have. The Equalizer was silly – the Husband liked it because it was Denzel and it was a revenge type of movie – it was predictable but entertaining. This is Where I Leave You was my favorite and just my type of movie. The kind that is a little dark, funny, makes you laugh/cry and sort of is just an honest look at regular life and being an adult.

I think from now on I may just write more. My posts may not be put together, grammatically correct, or even make any coherent sense – but I miss writing so much. I miss pouring out my thoughts, memories and experiences even if they are just for me to reread one day.

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I can’t believe I’m into my third trimester of pregnancy already. I swear, sometimes I feel like time is just flying.

At 29 weeks and 2 days (7 months, 1 week and 2 days) pregnant I’m…

Feeling pretty good still. Although for the first time I’m starting to really feel pregnant. My stomach feels expanded, my left rib hurts, my back is sore and I’m falling asleep on the couch by 10pm every night but then waking up with crazy insomnia.

Loving the kicking and movement. As strange as it is (it really is odd at first) it’s been fun to share the movement with everyone else. The Husband can feel it at night when we’re sitting on the couch and she seems to be the most active and riled up. Sometimes she even keeps me from falling asleep because I swear she’s doing jumping jacks.

As excited, and happy and blessed as I feel and truly can’t wait to meet her I’m having these crazy strange nostalgic moments. Like sometimes I get almost sad thinking, it’ll never be just Husband and myself again (ha, or Husband, myself and Bentley). I’m also having these (more so fleeting) thoughts of I’ll never quite get to schedule things the way I want anymore – like just going to a flywheel class when I want to, or staying late at work. I know it’ll all work itself out and we will create a new normal, just like with Bentley, but it is interesting to go through this set of emotions too.

Also, I never even posted about the amazing babymoon weekend we took to Stowe, Vermont. If I could recommend one thing to do during pregnancy, this would be it. Let’s just say it was a lot of eating, sleeping and just relaxing and it was magical.

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I’m also going through what I imagine is more nesting. Which I L-O-V-E. Hello can I just be that productive all the time? I hammered out 72 Christmas cards just because I HAD to the other night. I am constantly organizing, purging, cooking and cleaning and slowly feeling like things in the house have a place, and I love everything that’s actually in the house. The only struggle I’m facing now is that with being more tired the last week or so, it’s hard to do all the things I want (need in my mind) to do.

I experienced my first cold while sick and that was probably the most brutal thing ever. Everything hurt, and not being able to take a darn thing was really frustrating.

To be honest I’m also getting a little scared. Scared that I have no control over when I’ll actually have her. For all I know I could go early in the next 6 weeks – but then I could be late and that means I still have 11 weeks left! Scared that being out of work for a few months will make it hard to return – like I won’t be as good at my job anymore. Scared that I won’t get to see my friends as much and miss out on a lot of things. Scared that I’ll become one of those Moms that only wants to talk about babies, and baby things, and gives up her life. I know that’s not me and who I am, but I can’t fathom what this all will be like. I’m scared that I’ll go crazy with too much family time and help after her birth (everyone keeps scheduling trips and planning times to stay with us and help but didn’t really ask us what help is needed, and add in that the Husband’s parents want to stop by daily…) I know I can’t picture it and maybe I’ll appreciate the help but all I can envision is not getting a second alone with my daughter, bleeding out of many orifices, and trying to walk around half-naked to feed my child and then there are people…everywhere.

I’m scared that Bentley will feel so out-of-place. I’m so tired of people saying once we have this baby he will just become a dog or we’ll “forget about him” because I can promise you, we won’t. I love that dog fiercely and while I know he isn’t my child, whether it’s difficult or not – that dog is part of our family and will always have a place with us. Maybe not as big of a place in our bed though…

MUST be squished between us. (He appears much smaller than his 60lb body actually is.)

MUST be squished between us. (He appears much smaller than his 60lb body actually is.)

And truthfully, I’m most scared of messing her up. I constantly watch women and girls now – I can see these glaring insecurities, jealousies, unhappiness, and unfavorable traits and how do you make sure not to do something that will totally mess up your child’s life and cause issues like that? What if I say or do one thing, and it spirals into an eating disorder, or a need for the wrong attention? What if the Husband isn’t as active as I want and that takes a toll on her, and one that unfortunately I can’t fill because she needs her Daddy.

Somehow though, even among the fears and discomfort, it all just feels so right now, more than ever. I just cannot wait to start this chapter of our lives.

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Not proud of myself.

I’m not proud of myself today. In fact, I’m actually feeling lower than I have felt in a long time.

What I’m about to write is not in hopes of getting comments to excuse my behavior. Nor is it to make myself feel better. Instead it’s to remember. To document and learn from this moment.

I could sit here and write up the whole background – the flurry of excuses – I was sick for a few days, high anxiety after not feeling baby girl kick for a day or so – exhaustion – the Husband working late every night and not helping around the house at all – cooped up in the house working from home for 13 hours straight – pouring cold rain that Bentley wouldn’t even step out to go to the bathroom in. It really doesn’t matter though. We all have bad days, but that doesn’t give us the excuse to mistreat others.

Around 7pm Bentley went into wacko mode. I’m talking he slept solidly from Wednesday night to Thursday morning then spent all Thursday day quietly laying with me while I worked on the couch. By 7pm he wanted nothing more than to play with me, grabbing toys and trying to entice me. I’ll be honest, I just wasn’t up for it. I kept saying no and nudging him away and he’d try again.

Next he went to more extreme tactics. One of his favorite things to do when he wants attention is to find something of ours in another room and come barreling in where we are with it in his mouth pretending to chew and throw it around. The comical thing is he doesn’t actually chew it – if he wanted to he’d hide with it – instead it’s strictly to get our attention. So a few times he grabbed things and I would get up and take them away and say no. Finally, he tried to grab my computer cord so I grabbed his collar, said no and told him to sit. He quickly sat, I think secretly hoping he’d done enough to engage me to play. I looked him in the eyes and just kept saying no and let go of his collar. Next he over excitedly leaped onto me and bopped his nose into my glasses.

I know it wasn’t malicious. The Husband and him play too often like this where he’ll have one of his toys and hold it above him and entice Bentley to jump on him and rough house but it’s a no-no with me.

I was set off. That pounce on my belly made my blood boil and I reacted. I screamed at him. I grabbed him by the collar and rushed him upstairs and into his crate, slamming the crate door closed.

For someone it sounds like nothing – I didn’t hit him or continuously scream at him. For others, I’m sure it sounds worse than I’m even thinking – I screamed and lost my temper with a dog who trusts me and was just trying to play.

Rather than just let him out, I knew I needed to calm down. I sat on my floor and I immediately began to cry. Out of shame mostly.

For the first time I realized there’s a meanness in me. I was cruel and mean to Bentley and I didn’t need to be. I reacted in a way that I am truly ashamed and embarrassed of, and most of all my heart hurts thinking about how he felt.

I think I cried harder last night than I have in a long, long time.

After about 5 -10 minutes I let him out quietly, and sat on the floor. At first he started to run back downstairs, but he stopped when I didn’t follow, and came over to me and just looked at me. One quick lick away of my tears, and a semi-snuggle against me before he tried to entice me to play again I hope means he hasn’t totally lost trust in me.

The truth is, would it have been that hard to play with him for 10 minutes? Would it have been that hard to grab his leash and take him on a quick walk around the block, rainy night and all?

We all make mistakes. No one can be the perfect parent (be it dog or human) ever. But at the same time, acting and responding in anger is something I truly don’t want to do. The way it makes me feel hours and even a day later hurts enough inside that I know it’s a priority for me to work on.

So today I will say I am not proud of myself and I’m ashamed of how I acted. But I promise myself, and Bentley, and my future daughter, that I will work on my patience and temper.

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Tuesday afternoon I treated myself to a prenatal massage. I was a little nervous not knowing exactly what to expect and if it would be comfortable or not and was surprised to see that I was still lying face down for the first part – just on top of a bunch of pillows with a sort of belly area in the middle. The first half of the massage was pretty good, although without her being able to put pressure on my lower back (where my pain is right now) it was less pain/muscle soreness reducing and more relaxing. About 20 minutes in, I was practically in a sleep state when I felt the softest flutter in my stomach. The only way to explain it is like butterfly wings moving down the inside my stomach for just a second. In my head I immediately thought, oh my God I feel the baby, but seeing as this is my first, wasn’t really sure. The massage continued on, and while I love a good massage, I’ll be honest and say I’m not sure it was worth the money in the end. Anyway, last night as I was going to bed, about 20 minutes after trying to fall asleep and just lying there, the flutter happened again. Just once, and so softly, but I swear I felt it. I don’t think I have felt it since though…

Tuesday night while Husband and I were grilling dinner (buying that grill has been the best purchase ever) I was playing with Bentley. At one point I had a stick in my hand and was pretending to throw it so he was running while looking at me and BAM into the deep end (10 feet deep) of the pool he fell. Now I know what everyone is thinking – dogs can swim – all dogs can swim – but I swear mine can’t. We have tried to get him to slowly go into ponds, oceans, etc. and he’ll wade but whenever he gets deep he sort of panics and thrashes versus swimming. So he fell in and I immediately went over to see him bobbing under and above water with his butt and back legs completely sinking. I pulled him out and he shook himself off and then went playing along and…I cried. He’s shown no interest in the pool but the idea of him falling in really freaks me out. The next warm day I’m taking a page from Caesar Milan and getting in the pool with him and showing him how to get out via the steps at the shallow end. Last night he kept trying to get out of the side but the water isn’t high enough, and I worry after 10 minutes of that … who knows.

I’m loving our house. I still don’t quite feel settled or unpacked by any means, but the progress between the renovations being done and the painting is amazing.

I’m ridiculously into the show Big Brother. It’s a show that has apparently been on for like 10+ years and I have never once watched an episode until this year and somehow I found myself hooked. It’s so stupid and silly and yet… it’s the one summer show I’m watching.

When we got married and got all our wedding presents, aside from gifts cards, rather than take them to our apartment at the time, we kept them at my in-laws. We have just started bringing them all over to our house and OMG it’s like Christmas! All new dishes, pots, pans, grill set, pillows, and more.

Tall decaf non-fat cappuccino with one pump cinnamon dulce…oh my word delicious. My new favorite drink that I can pretend is caffeinated.

I am finally starting to feel like a human again. Happy, energized, excited, and (mostly) non-nauseated!

90’s on 9 (satellite radio) or Spotify best of the 90’s playlist = sure fire way to find me singing and dancing as I apparently know the lyrics of every damn 90’s song.

This is my first weekend in months that I am home, I have minimal plans (aside from a shopping date with a friend and my first haircut in 7 months). TGIF.

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Our plan Friday night was to go home and veg and that didn’t quite happen. As I walked to the train I ran into the Husband’s best friend’s wife who mentioned she and her husband (who also happen to live a few miles from us) were around that night and wondering if we wanted to do dinner. We ended up going to this delicious small Italian restaurant near our homes that is BYOB. 4 hours, a ton of pasta, 3 bottles of wine, and frozen yogurt filled with toppings by a tipsy person (me), we were back at home. It was a super fun night, full of giggle fits. It felt like for the first time in weeks that I was really letting go. I swear the New England winter this year really got me down, and that all just seemed to disappear on Friday night.

Saturday morning I headed over to my friend’s new condo for brunch with a few girls from college. One, who now lives in New York, is 5 months pregnant so it was fun to see her and ask her all sorts of inappropriate and awkward pregnant questions that she willing answered over a delicious egg casserole. I won’t lie, my baby fever hit hard after talking with her. She’s having a great pregnancy, aside from being a little tired the first trimester, she’s glowing, happy, excited, gained maybe 8lbs (I swear just in her chest) and just sounds so happy and thankful to be pregnant.

Saturday afternoon the Husband and I drove about 35 minutes with Bentley to a dog park that we heard rave reviews about. We normally steer clear of dog parks, at least the smaller fenced in kinds, and stick to hiking trails that allow dogs. This one though is a huge open hill area, with a short loop around it, surrounded by water. It was wonderful. It must have been 60 degrees and sunny, and we just walked around as Bentley played with all sorts of dogs (except small ones… when really small dogs bark or snarl at him he whines and runs away). He made besties with a great dane the size of a horse and a pitbull and I made besties with a 7lb cavalier puppy and a 5 month old golden puppy that just wanted to rub against my legs. We even got Bentley to try out the water for the first time and it was far more successful than I imagined. He didn’t swim per say, but he loved racing around in and out of the water and a few times we tricked him by throwing rocks into the water. We all left covered in mud, smiling and on a vitamin D high.

 

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Post beach day.

Post beach day.

Sunday morning I was up early, running around to CVS looking for tape and more wrapping paper as the bridal shower gift I got was HUGE and I was having a hell of a time wrapping it. Around 11 I was off, and spent a good deal of the afternoon at the shower. To be honest, it’s not my favorite thing to spend a day at a bridal shower, especially when I only knew 3 people there, but I sat with my Mother-in-Law and chatted for a while and played along with games and present opening and made the best of it.

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I was home sometime after 4 and the husband and I ordered take-out (someone take away the pasta from me, please!) and proceeded to watch a marathon of the walking dead episodes. It was so nice to sit on the couch with the windows open, fresh air blowing in, Bentley snoozing at our feet and just relaxing. Somewhere in there too I made one hell of a chocolate chip ice cream sandwich. I should have gotten into bed early, but oh well, we stayed up to finish season 3 until almost midnight. It was worth it!

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I actually feel refreshed today. Happy. Excited. And SO THANKFUL that it’s warm and sunny.

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A good week

This has been a tough work week. Long, long hours –and a lot of feeling like I can’t do anything right. I was trying hard to get good sleep too, only to be woken up by Bentley every few hours. He’s had a strange few nights this week where all he wanted to do was sleep in our bed even though he normally loves his crate. For two nights we allowed it because we didn’t want to hear his whining, and never should have – I hardly slept that little bed hog– and then he thought it could be the norm – so much so that when it was bedtime he would run upstairs ahead of us and jump on the bed and pretend to be asleep…I kid you not. I ended up letting him whine it out at 3am last night for about 10 minutes before he fell back asleep in his crate. We plan to be careful about allowing him in our bed because there’s no way all 3 of us will be sleeping there nightly.

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Anyway, you know what has been keeping me sane? My workouts and eating healthier. I’m not just saying that, I mean it 100%. I’ve been following my training plan and tracking my eats (and portions) in MyFitnessPal.

I’m also currently taking part in a DietBet with Chris Powell and his wife that started this past weekend. The whole concept is interesting, but one that speaks to my wanting to win, socially motivated and loving free money self. Essentially you put in $30 and your goal is to lose 4% of your weight in 4 weeks. If you lose your 4% target, you’re guaranteed to get your $30 at a minimum back. In this case, the pot is $116,490 among 3,885. Now it’s unlikely (and unheard of) that everyone who enters actually loses their 4% target, meaning those of us who do, get to split their money. Usually they say you get anywhere from 1.5x to 2x your initial buy-in. Either way it has seriously kept me motivated and made me think twice before grabbing a pre-bed treat.

As for my workouts this week? I’ve hit them all so far! I’ve switched around the days slightly (I decided to use yesterday as my off day instead of Saturday since I worked out Sunday – Wednesday and my legs just felt dead). Even with losing an hour of sleep (painful) I pushed myself to get in a few workouts before work, and still hit my other workouts after work.

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…yes AM.

I can’t believe how much better I feel after only a week. I feel better in my clothes, I feel more energized, I feel excited about training and most of all, I feel more sane.

It’s been a really good week…and a great deal that I made with Becelisa. 😉

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A few weeks ago, I was sitting at home with my recently neutered and in pain puppy, and I found myself looking at Bentley and thinking about all the little things that I have learned in under 6 months of having him.

I’m a worrier.
I’ve always known that I am a silent worrier, but being responsible for a life, has amplified that trait. I find myself being ridiculous and sometimes checking on Bentley while he naps, just to make sure I can see his belly go up and down and know he is breathing.

When they hurt, you hurt.
Bentley’s neutering procedure wasn’t quite standard. He had only one ball descend, which meant our vet ended up having to fish his second (and apparently larger) ball out of his abdomen. He was shaved and stitched and not allowed on long walks or day care for a minimum of 10 days, all without the help of any drugs. He was moping around, whining, and looking rather helpless in his inflatable cone. If it was someone else’s picture I’d laugh, and yet I would have done anything to make him happy and healthy again.

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I know it’s quality time over quantity, but it is and it will be a struggle.
I have come to realize that doggy day care on week days is the best thing for the whole family. Bentley gets to play with other dogs, I’m at work and I pick him up after tired and happy. And yet, I can’t stop feeling guilty when I need my own time, and have to ask for help outside of work hours.

Everyone makes mistakes.
There are a 1,000 different schools of thought around raising a dog. For a few weeks we were following advice from a german shepherd site, which pretty much seemed to blame puppies for trying to be dominant and forceful ways to clearly make yourself known as the alpha. The whole way of training made me uncomfortable and so we brought in a behaviorist. In meeting with that behaviorist for 30 minutes we realized how quickly Bentley responded to positive reinforcement and training, and how wrong we had been doing it. We still feel guilty about those first few weeks, but have learned that everyone makes mistakes, it’s forgotten quickly, and what we have done consistently for the last 5 months is more important.

I’m still not a patient person.
I’ve never been a patient person, and having a puppy didn’t magically make me one. It’s an effort to stay calm, and it’s constant work to not get frustrated or mad, and sometimes I lose it. I’ve had to learn, slowly, to become more patient, but I didn’t magically become this naturally patient person just by getting a puppy.

The Husband, while he tries to be secretive and nonchalant about it, has fully committed to being a good dad.
I still laugh knowing that the first day we took Bentley to daycare the Husband “just happened to get a sandwich from the place next door to the daycare, and just happened to go visit Bentley playing outside and watch him for a few”. Or that the day Bentley ran from the dog walker and was lost on his hike, the Husband immediately left work and headed towards the mountain to help find him. Bentley was found before he got there, but it was sweet to realize that he reacted quickly with his heart.

I am, and probably will always be, a cheesy proud Mama.
Bentley excels at training, he is incredibly well-behaved, especially whenever we hike off leash, people always comment on how good-looking he is, and damn – it just makes me so proud. I can’t help but brag about him.

My God, they are expensive, even more so when you’re not good at managing money.
The Husband and I are aren’t horrible, but we’re not fantastic with money. Even though together we make a lot, we spend quite a bit too. Between the necessities, the vet trips, the vet er, and the non-necessities (where we could have and still could cut back) of healthy treats, dog beds, toys, day care, dog walker, training classes, galore – this pup has easily already cost us in the thousands. We knew having a pup would be expensive, but we are quickly learning he will be just as happy if we spend a little less.

Sometimes they need you, more so than they want you.
The truth is, there are days where Bentley just needs us, more than he wants us. Sure he loves us, and seems happy with us, but there are definitely days where I think he’d take hanging with his dog friends over us but needs us for shelter and food. I’ve learned to become OK with that.

There will be moments, quiet and special moments, that will erase the bad right out of your mind.
The reason I have become ok with the above is that there truly are moments that take away all of those tough times. When he burrows into me, or follows the Husband around, or comes over and places his head on my leg and falls asleep, or just sits in front of us and gives us that big goofy smile – those moments, make it all – the hard work, the money, the tough times – so worth it.

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