Winnie and the Car Ride
Is there anything more funny than to see a furry friend sticking their head out of a moving car window with their hangy jowls and ears flapping in the wind? Winnie had an appointment at the groomer’s today, and, since we have been in deep winter hibernation the past few months, she has not been on a car ride in quite a while. She could barely wait or for me to crack the window before she smashed her nose on the glass and tried to force the window down herself. It made me laugh out loud to see her head take flight as we picked up speed. She tried persistently to catch the passing air in her mouth, and her nose was working overtime to take in the smell of all the restaurants we passed. I saw fellow drivers look over at our car and smile at the sight of Winnie’s performance out of the passenger window. In her own special Winnie way, she reminded me and everyone we passed that you should try to experience every moment with as much joy and excitement as possible. In other words, you should stick your head out the window and enjoy!
Winnie and her Grandma
I am a very lucky person in that my mom comes to my house 2 days a week to watch my son, Ryan. Winnie considers herself very very lucky because she has a companion to spend time with every Tuesday and Thursday. Ever since my mom has been coming over on a regular basis, however, Winnie has been acquiring some rather strange new habits.
My mom started bringing in bones and treats for Winnie in grocery bags.
Whenever my husband or I return home she pushes and smushes her snout into whatever bags we might be carrying.
My mom started “dropping” pretzels from the container on to the floor.
Whenever we pull off a lid from a tub, Winnie comes sprinting into the kitchen.
My mom started putting out pillows for Winnie to rest her head on.
Whenever we sit on the couch or the bed, Winnie cries for pillow.
When confronted about these strange new habits my mom responds with her favorite saying “Whatever happens with grandma, stays with Grandma.” I think Winnie would happily agree.
Winnie may not be the direct focus of this post, but even she has been affected by the many sleepless nights that have been occurring at our home lately.
My son, Ryan, is 5 months old and, up until he was about 3 and half months old, he was the perfect little sleeper. As long as he was swaddled and bundled up tight he would sleep long stretches through the night. Now…things have changed.
Ryan has realized his own strength and the Miracle Blanket is no longer working miracles and he is able to break out of even my husband’s tightest swaddle. As a result, we have transitioned into a Merlin’s Magic Sleepsuit. Unfortunately, Ryan does not find Merlin so Magical.
We are to the point where we do not know if we should run down the list and purchase any pajama or blanket that could give us some sleep or tough it out till he learns to sleep soundly on his own.
On the bright side, my husband and both know we will miss these little midnight parties with our son. We know there will be a day when he does not want to spend time us and we will be trying to drag him out of bed to start his day.
Also, I have a new discovered love and appreciation of coffee.
Winnie and the New Neighbor
Winnie and I were lucky enough to be able to squeak out of the house this evening for a walk. The weather finally improved and the snow and ice was finally in a condition where Winnie’s paws and legs didn’t get sore from managing the elements. Winnie enjoyed a brief petting and surprise treat from a neighborhood friend, and it was overall a great feeling being outside with my furry girl. Then we came across a new neighbor…
The woman approached us, and Winnie and I both assumed we were about to make a new friend. Unfortunately we were wrong. The woman, instead, announced that I should not be walking a pit bull in a neighborhood with children. Winnie and I looked behind us thinking she must be talking to someone else, but she was, indeed, addressing her annoyance at us. Caught completely off guard, I explained to the woman that Winnie was a lovable mutt and her only problem was that she is too friendly with strangers, and I actually wished she’d be more protective of me and my family. As we walked off, I thought of a million more things I wish I would have said to the woman, but I realized maybe she has her own fears and issues with animals. I hope that by showing her that we are responsible dog owners and nice people we can change her first impression of Winnie.
Winnie and the Middle
Winnie does not have any impressive tricks that she can perform when guests are over or we encounter people out in public. She was never able to learn “shake” or “roll over.” She will never be able to balance a treat on her nose or head. The only interesting task she can do is play a game called “Middle.” If my husband and I sit next to each other, we can announce the signal word “middle” and Winnie will somehow find a way to sit in between the two of us. We have tried to make this game very challenging for Winnie, and she still always finds a way to shimmy or squeeze her way into the right spot.
It had been four months since Winnie last relapsed, but today she had a major slip up. Since learning that chewing carpet was a MAJOR no-no in our home, Winnie matured a bit and grew a liking to ripping up little bits tissue and toilet paper. My husband and I thought she had out grown this addiction as well, but when we brought our son, Ryan, home for the first time she had celebrated his arrival with a paper party and had chewed up an entire box of clean-ex.
Today, I came home to what I can only describe as a Fat Tuesday toilet paper parade. When walking through the door, I knew something had happened because Winnie did not greet Ryan and I like usual. Instead, I found her crouched behind two pieces of furniture with big puppy eyes. I immediately began looking through the house when I found an explosion of little white bits all over the bedroom.
Winnie, being the over-the-top drama queen that she is, chose to punish herself for the next hour and stayed hidden behind the furniture in “timeout.”
Winnie and the Guest
Winnie has a very important ritual she goes through whenever a guest comes to our house. She never changes her ritual or deviates from the specific order of events. Today when our babysitter came over to pick up my son, Winnie began her ritual as usual.
- Winnie must be acknowledged by the guest with some type of greeting and a pet.
- Winnie sniffs or attempts to sniff guests as only dogs like to sniff (Reader, you know what I mean.)
- Winnie shares current rawhide she is working on with guest. She prefers to be complimented on the hard work she has put into chewing raw hide.
- Winnie shares her red bone or red ball with guest. This is a test to see if the guest is willing to play tug-of-war or fetch. We usually advise all guests to ignore the red bone or ball. If the guest is nice enough to want to play with Winnie, she will torture the guest with nonstop attention, and she is usually put into a bedroom for being a pest or her red toys are put away out of her field of vision.
- Winnie pouts on the couch for not being paid attention to enough. The pouting has significantly increased since the addition of our new baby, Ryan.
Winnie and the Glamour Shot
We chose Winnie because of her glamour shot my husband found while searching the Internet. She was a teeny little puppy sitting on top of a photographer’s backdrop, cocking her head to the side, saying “Pick me!” She didn’t quite sit right in the picture and instead of sitting like how you would expect a dog to sit she tucked her hind legs side saddle like a little lady. Without giving much thought, we filled out an application for adoption and the next day we had our furry daughter.
Had I examined the website closer, and not been taken over by the cuteness in her pictures, I probably would have put more thought into adopting her. She was described as being four different breeds (Boxer-Lab, Bull Dog -Lab, Pit Bull-Pointer) either on purpose or by mistake. There was a warning in her bio stating she would most likely be seventy-plus pound and the rescue organization labeled her and her brothers “Clearance, Must Go!” I didn’t know a rescued animal could be put on clearance, but our Winnie was.
Now, four years later, Winnie is considered a member of the family. She completely changed our household and, most days, I’d say for the better. Winnie definitely shows how powerful a picture can be.
This is my second attempt at the Slice of Life, March writing challenging. Honestly, my first attempt was not what I would describe as successful. My consistency for writing every day was less than stellar. I did learn a few things about myself as a writer. I realized that I have extreme difficulty just sitting down and finding something to write about when given the option to write about anything. Somehow certain topics or ideas just didn’t seem good enough, and I would find myself just staring at an empty computer screen. I also realized that sharing my writing with an audience is a little overwhelming, and I would find myself feeling anxious wondering if what I wrote was good enough.
In order to address my writing “issues”, I have come up with a plan. I have decided to give my blog a focus. This way, when I find myself staring at an empty computer screen, I’ll have some type of direction and starting off point. The new focus of my blog is the only furry member of family, my dog Winnie. With a new baby in the house, Winnie has been a bit neglected, and in order to reconnect with my furry daughter, I dedicating my blog to her. She is an endless source of inspiration. I know focusing my writing on her, but allowing myself the freedom to go in another direction if I want to, will help me be successful in this challenge.
To address my anxiety over sharing my writing with an audience, I have decided to put myself out there and give this writing challenge another try. The more you do something the less scary it is, so my goal is to write and post every day. If I am consistently asking my students to write and share their work, it’s only right I do the same.