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Or, you know, not.

I had my shoes, coat, and purse on, when I realized that the furnace hadn't kicked off in awhile. I yanked open the door to the basement, got a face full of steam and smoke, and slammed the door shut again.  First things first, I took Kiska out and put her in the car, so no matter what happens she is safe. Then I called my landlady - first time I have ever phoned her at work - and after some frantic phone calling on her part, the plumber who "fixed" the furnace this morning is on his way back. He is 20 minutes away, but I can't leave until I am certain the house wont burn down in my absence....

ETA: As per the plumber's advice, I waded into the smelly steam and pulled the breaker for the furnace. Then I went to my meeting, leaving the door open for him. Apparently he installed an incorrect part this morning and the furnace overheated and started making steam. It doesn't have power, so is theoretically safe, and I have the dehumidifier running to try and dry up the moisture clinging to everything in the basement. I am still not leaving Kiska here alone until we leave for Alaska on Monday. After the last couple car accidents I was feeling like she might be better off at home, but I am now officially over that idea. The world is feeling like a hostile place, and I want her close to me.
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In 84 Charing Cross Road Helene Hanff makes some outrageous claim about London being closer than the downtown used book shops, thanks to the wonders of the postal service. Tonight I can relate - I have been wanting a DVD player to hook to "my" outrageously large TV, and meaning to get to Target to pick one up.  However, comparison shopping in places like that makes me anxious and it's a whole 12 miles away.  During most of my life 12 miles is nothing (for example, I used to live on the other side of the magic Tarjay from here/school) and do the drive at least once but often twice per day; however, in my current bike-riding/walking paradigm it doesn't seem worth a special car trip.  Thanks to the wonders of teh intarweb and Amazon Super Saver shipping, it will now come to me.  I will likely end up taking the car to the post office (1.1 m, roundtrip) so I dont have to lug the box home, but I still feel clever.
In other news, Kiska has adapted very well to being an "apartment" dog.  We actually have a house, but no fenced yard.  It's hot and mosquito-y outside, there is lots of busy-ness around to distract her away, and now she is in heat, so our activities have been severely curtailed. On one hand I feel guilty that the super-jock dog now goes out just twice per day on her leash, with maybe one after-work pee break in the backyard, but I am also proud of how well she is doing on this regimen. She knows the schedule and hasn't had any accidents or emergencies, and limiting her activity this way seems to be providing the rest her hindquarters needed to heal.  I wasn't able to get a solid diagnosis despite taking her to the vet, but there has been something wonky in the way she moves for the last couple months, and it seems to be fading as she gets more rest.  This is good.
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Also, I seem to have a golden retriever superglued to my side.  I actually asked her out loud (yes, I talk to her. She knows a lot of words because of it too) last night, "Why are you being so neurotic?"  Then I realized that she has been accompanying me from room to room since I pulled the suitcases out of the attic yesterday.  Again: she is too smart for my own good.  Guess I can't blame her since about half the time she gets left, but I wish there was a way to say, "Chill - you are going too" in a way that she would get it.
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Kiska (species: dog, age: 2) has been running up to cars as they pull into the driveway.  She ignores me calling, and instead front rushes at moving vehicles, then barks their way up the hill.  I call it "trying to get hit by a car," and there doesn't seem to be a way to get through to her, so she is either locked in the house or attempting death by smashing.  She has also gotten into trying to slam her way out the door when the people leave with car keys in hand, and careening at anyone trying to get in. (She wont jump on you, but damn if she isn't an effective barricade as she bounces off your legs).

She is a dog. These are dog behaviors.  But her unwillingness to listen makes me so angry, and then I yell and slap at her (I am not beating my dog, but I am scaring the shit out of my dog, which is worse in some ways).  After the rage passes, she wants to come up to me but you can see the hesitation in her mincing circles and sunken body posture.  She is afraid that I am going to come unglued again and shriek at her, and the fact that I have become an unreliable, unpredictable adult in her life makes me profoundly sad.  I had grown-ups like that around when I was a kid and they are the ones I still distrust, despite being twenty-five years old and big enough to take the broom away from any aunts who get mean. 

I owe my dog an apology. I have a plan to keep her from rushing the door (putting her on a 'wait' every single time we come or go until she gets the idea), which is the less irritating habit. I still dont know how to deal with driveway thing, and am taking suggestions.

And this, internets, is why I am not entirely sure I am qualified to be a parent to actual children. The potential for damage is just too much.
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Anyone who claims animals do not possess object permanence has never worked the command "Leave it" with a tennis ball obsessed golden retriever. She has good self-control and will leave it where it lands, while we work on other things (her re-cert is coming up, so we are practicing).  She is noticeably anxious though, until she hears the magic word ("Okay").  Once that comes out of my mouth, she is off like a shot, to retrieve the ball I threw into the side yard five miuntes before.
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We are back in the Blue Ridge mountains - it was an uneventful, boring 12 hours of airport / airplane drive, then a late night drive home since I just wanted to wake up in my own bed.  Between the driving energy and the time difference, I didn't get to sleep 'til 4 am, and was up at 10:30 so  I am having a hard time getting in motion this morning.  I have everything out of the suitcases at least, and a plan to get through some errands and the resettling today. 

I gotta say, coming home to Elsewhere is always great.  I was amused this trip to find a men's electric shaver charging on the counter, next to a three foot edged sword (note: edged but not sharp, it's a dancer's sword).  The shaver belongs to the new roommate and the sword to the old one - it was just an interesting juxtaposition.  Kiska and Chewbacca-the-cat have met. It went well-ish - the cat ran and she chased him, but there was no aggression on either part.  She seems glad to be home too, and is eating one of Raven's rawhides.

RoommateHeather loves me enough to climb out of bed when I called late last night and plug in my electric space heater.  Thank goodness, since my wing of the house has been closed off for the last month and was still chilly, despite two hours of pre-heating.  I think I may need an electric blanket if I am going to keep from freezing to death... Maybe after I get my errands run today I will go find one.
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Also, Kiska does not have heartworm, and thus is unlikely to die a tragic premature death due to my "neglect."
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I just bought my generously sized golden retriever a miniature-poodle sized bed.  This cracks me up, but I haaaad to - after all, she keeps hijacking the miniature poodle we live with's original bed.  This way she can do her petite impression either in her new bed - leaving him his old one OR in his old bed - leaving him the new one.    She is defiantly curled up in the new bed in the back of the car as I type this. I am at school trying to get my reading for Wednesday's class done . . .
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Happy Birthday to my furbaby - Kiska turns two today!
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5:18 am.

Kiska is sleeping in my mom's room (where it is cooler). From my room upstairs I hear "Bark! Bark! Bark!" Then there is a beat of silence, and the house begins to shake.


It was not a huge or scary one (4.89 magnitude), I just think it is cool that Kis alerted before it arrived.
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Made some phone calls today.

The lawn service (aka:  Marvin) is done mowing my lawn and will let me know how much I owe him tomorrow. I need to send him a check.

The electricity is no longer in my name.

I cant get renter's insurance until I figure out the address for otherHeather's house, but the agent will call me tomorrow to move on that.


Kiska has a reservation to ride in the airplane cabin when we fly east in August. 

She passed her therapy dog test in October, but being Delta registerred is not the same as being a service dog. I inquired about having her fly in the plane then and realized I could probably take advantage of the ticket agent's lack of understanding, but didnt want to do something ethically questionnable. 

Then, on this last trip, I took her all over Regan National Airport with no problem and the women at the customer service desk in Seattle urged me to take her on the plane (after seeing her in her vest and checking her ID).  Between those successes and my continuing worry that the airline is going to kill my dog by leaving her on the tarmac in the heat for hours during a delay, it seemd like time to take her onboard.  So, I called and made her a reservation. We will ride in the bulkhead row window seat, with her curled up at my feet.  I won't tow a roll-on suitcase: I will carry a laptop bag and a shoulderbag with Kiska's stuff.  Not having the dog crate will make travelling so much simpler, and I think she will fly like a champ.
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Kiska and I got up early. I dithered around for a bit, then started hauling boxs (packed last night) out to the car. Kiska was on a down-stay in the living room while I marched in and out past her through the open front door, and all was well until this crazy squirrel who has been hanging around off to the right of the porch flipped out. Kiska could hear his claws on the brick and screen as he dashed around and broke her down-stay. I was able to get her into a sit-stay instead (I really did not want the squirrel to bite her or her to eat the squirrel), but while I was doing that, the squirrel RAN INTO MY HOUSE through the open door.

I put Kiska in the car, to reduce the potential mayhem, and went looking for him but cannot find him (or her, or it, or whatever). I am a little afraid that I am going to get close and have it lunge at me, teeth extended, since this is apparently A Squirrel with A Problem (a conclusion based on my recent behavioral observations).

Help! There is a squirrel in my house! Hiding, apparently!

I have both front and back doors propped open, and am hoping he has or will run outside. In the meantime, I think I am going to change the laundry then take a shower and put on jeans so I am more squirrelproof. Would it be bad to go drop a load of stuff at the storage unit and buy a bagel with the doors propped open?
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My dog has allergies.

I am dosing her with three benadryl twice a day, and it seems to keep her from choking and something called a "reverse sneeze" which is horrible to listen to and likey more horrible to do.
redzils: (Wading)
I am home alone, and it is lovely.

I had a fantastic evening last night hanging out with a woman doing her M.S. in Fisheries. It always amuses me that fisheries people seem to think I have been misfiled in the psychology department, since I do fieldwork in the summer. Anita and I walked the dogs in this big, fat grassy loop behind her house. We sat on her deck as the sun set and gorged ourselves on the feast she had prepared. I had a Tarot reading, which was hysterical (we were killing time until our movie, and apparently my love life is about to get very interesting, but I will not have money anytime soon). And then we went and watched a terrible movie.

I came home afterwards - to an empty house - and slept the sleep of the just.

Today is good. We had a raging thunderstorm this morning, but the sun is out now.
I lunched with a friend, walked Kiska around downtown, tied her up outside the Dairy Queen while I went in to get a Blizzard, then let her eat most of the Blizzard.

Around my one trip out into the world, I have spent the day in bathroom fix-up mode. The ceiling was peeling terribly, so I started by scraping all the loose paint off. I got to wash my hair in the kitchen sink, so I would be presentable to go meet Dana and buy paint rollers, then I came home and started painting. I have two coats of primer on (you have to wait an hour between coats), and plan to add a third and then the first layer of real paint before heading to the swing dance. I will add the second layer of paint (it needs a four hour lag between coats) when I get home, and wake up to a clean, well-painted bathroom. Probably one more day of washing my hair in the sink, and then the bathroom will be useable and, this is the exciting part, not disgusting.

I also have to change out the kitchen faucet since the water pressure is not improving. This is intimidating, and I decided to wait until the bathroom is back to full functionality so I have at least one functional source of water. I bought a faucet at Big Box Home Store, and everyone tells me it will be very easy to install. I am hoping that my slavish willingness to read the directions will get me through that adventure tomorrow afternoon or Sunday morning.

I can't work on it any sooner than that, as I am babysitting tomorrow morning, going to a dog party in the afternoon, and contra-dancing at 8 pm. I don't know where I developed this social life, but I like it.

The sink must be done by mid-afternoon on Sunday, as its my turn to feed Anita dinner. She specified that it's okay to cancel if the sink turns into a disaster, but I am sure it wont (and if it does, I can always wash the dishes in the bathtub).


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