Life and Pets

Good Morning!

I’m sharing what’s left of this fine morning with you dear folk. While I “tackled” the pot of coffee that Gary left for me earlier (this is a ski day), I have spent almost two hours looking through emails and Facebook. That, of course, is after caring for the few pet guests we have at the Pet Hostel, namely dogs Tango and Lika, and Shadow the cat.

One of the things that I did online today was take a short quiz to determine my biological age based on age, activity, and present weight/height. According to the website (or somesuch), I am 80 years old and my BMI is off the charts. I need to pay a load of money via credit card or Paypal in order to rectify this heinous situation, though the diet, delivered by email, is on sale “for the next 15 minutes”.

I actually know, from years-ago- building a website from basic “code”, how that kind of thing works, from the quiz to the “sale” that will last only 15 minutes. And I know from life and psychology, how the messages can work on your mind. I woke up thinking that I can’t lose 30 pounds before Helen’s birthday party on March 2, not if I want to stay healthy, strong and actually live to 80 years old. But I also woke up thinking that I’m okay just the way I am at the moment, and I can keep fighting the battle of the bulge by making small changes.

So, after the website suggesting I’m old before my time and that I’m morbidly obese, I need to talk myself back into feeling “okay”. Since I get to chat with you, and I’m energized with caffeine and a feeling that all is right with the world for the moment, this should only take a minute.

One of the dogs that we are boarding for only a couple of days turned out to be a bit of a problem child. Lika’s owners asserted that the dog, a young highly strung German Shorthaired Pointer, has been “kenneled” lots. I’m not suggesting that this is untrue, but as the owners left the driveway at 8 pm., Lika started to vocalize in every way that a dog can do.

After Gary went to bed, he politely got up again and asked if there was anything I could do about the dog. I tried! I fitted Lika with a “Thundershirt” (a cozy Tshirt made just for stressed doggies), added blankets, covered her with her own blankie, gave her a heating pad (though the building was warm from the heated floors), fed, watered and gave her another potty break. I coaxed, cajoled, and reassured her. I certainly did not strike the dog, but I might have raised my voice and also pleaded with her while I cried. Every time I tried to leave the kennel building, Lika would start yelping and barking, pacing and panting. I was actually worried that the pup would have a heart attack.

So, after several trips to the kennels, and considering sleeping on a cot next to Lika, I instead moved her into our house and slept on the couch near her. I covered her and plugged in her heating pad, and admonished her to stay put and be quiet. Every time she whined, I shushed her.

Then, I started thinking that the electric heating pad under such a guest would not be a good idea, and I unplugged that. Lika had quit panting with anxiety and seemed will to accept her situation.

I think we both got a solid four hours of sleep that night. Lika remained “tucked in” and didn’t whine very much at all.

During the day yesterday, I discovered that Lika didn’t mind an even cozier space in the building, a 4′ by 4′ kennel, only 4′ tall. I piled all the blankets in there, along with her food and water, and voila! It’s her den. With plenty of “bathroom breaks” and often, my company right beside her, she has been a model guest. She would be welcome here again, now that I am better trained!

It is a privilege to board dogs for Monica. She is a model doggy owner and client. Her two elderly indoor dogs are Lucy and Archer.

Lucy is a dog that Monica found out was impounded by our Village and transported to the SPCA in Prince George, many years ago. Knowing that any pit bull cross would be likely to end on “death row” at a shelter, Monica drove the 3 hours to the city to rescue her. Lucy is a senior dog, but happy and well adjusted, with the most wonderful life.

Archer is a cocker spaniel cross who was boarding at the Pet Hostel when he had a different owner. Those clients instructed me to find a home for the dog, then 18 months old. I phoned Monica and a couple of other friends, not to target anyone in particular, but to help spread the word. Archer was not mistreated, but the original owners had decided they were too busy for a young dog. This puppy was calm and trainable, and I’ve always been grateful that Monica came to see Archer and fell in love with him.

Now Archer is an old guy, and because of diabetes, he has had to have his eyes removed and gets insulin injections twice per day. He still loves his life and is aware of his surroundings and of being adored at home and also at the Pet Hostel. Many people would have been unable or unwilling to provide the veterinary care that Monica has afforded the wee pet. When Archer no longer seems to be enjoying life, she will help him “on his way”.

I took care of a third dog belonging to the same loving owner/rescuer, but Tilly is an outdoor dog, and I kept forgetting to take my camera when I visited and fed her.

We are also boarding a beautiful creature for a new friend, a miniature panther named Shadow. Okay, Shadow is actually a glossy, jet black house cat, shy and reticent. I haven’t got a photo of her yet. But the cat is eating and using the litter box, and lets me pet her, so we’re good!

I have a kennel for cats that is six feet tall and 4′ by 8′. I invested some money in securing the “lid” and now I think it could contain a jaguar! Because we have no space that is only for cats in the building, I also hang “privacy curtains” on the sides of the space … we always want the cat to feel safe, even if we have only calm, cat-friendly dogs boarding.

Yesterday was a challenge of a completely different kind, unrelated to Pet Hostel activity.

My renters at the vacation home had an issue with their toilet seat. I had ordered one from the business in Prince George from which we had bought two Toto toilets with identical seats, but freight was going to be $35. I decided to wait until I knew that someone would be going from there to here, but I was getting messages from my renter that her disabled brother had fallen twice off the throne and actually had injured himself.

I felt terrible that Richard had fallen, but couldn’t understand it. The toilet seat only seemed to have a “wiggle” of about an inch to the side, when I visited and inspected. I had not argued about replacing said seat at any point or price, but I felt that Jeanne was being histrionic. Still, I managed to find a ride (I traded freight for dog boarding) for a new seat and went over to install it.

I don’t want to say too much in my public blog. Often I do say too much. In my imagination/reveries/plans, the switching of the toilet seats took about 20 seconds. Then, when I got there, I was actually flummoxed. The Toto toilet has no easy access for replacing the nuts on the bottoms of the bolts, and the style of attachment was slightly different. Thanks to YouTube and to a local plumber, we got the new seat installed and the renter reports that it is solid and safe. It actually took both brains of the plumber and I, and four hands (one hand had to be small and very dexterous) … the process would be very hard to describe. With the exertion and the um … annoyances, my heart was pounding for hours, and I tweaked my back. I’m fine today though.

I must get on with my day! If I have time, I will visit Welcome Home and have even more coffee, or maybe lunch, not ketogenic probably. 😉

Hope your day is pleasant, healthy and safe. If not, I send positive thoughts and vibes. Love you all.

~ Ann


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