Friday, March 14, 2014

FitDog Friday: How My Pets Keep Me Sane

I'm not a huge fan of decorative things on cars, but if I ever come across one of the "Who Rescued Who?" car magnets in a store, I will totally put one on my car. 

Who am I kidding? I'm going to break down and order this on Amazon before the year is over.
On many levels, I understand that I rescued Barley. Despite her loving, snuggly nature with humans, her reactiveness would have made it hard for her to find a permanent home with just anyone. Her super smarts would have made it hard for her to adjust to life in the kennel in the shelter. From a young age, I was taught that pets are a lifetime commitment and that you have to be ready to take on that responsibility before you bring an animal into your life. So, I know both my pets lucked out with me--Soth with his FLUTD problems is the type of cat that regularly ends up in shelters and Barley's got many reasons for ending up there being a high-energy breed and a reactive dog. As I've said many times, I loved Barley from the moment we went to the meet and greet room at the shelter together.  BUT, I have not always liked her. It took working with our first trainer to learn how to understand my dog and strengthen my bond with her to learn how to like her. 

Anyone who would leave these lovies in a shelter is serious missing out.
Soth recused me first. I was almost 2000 miles from my family, almost all my closest friends were moving away, and I was in a town that never felt like home. I needed him. Probably more than he needed me since he didn't have FLUTD back then. Almost every day for the last almost 5 years, he has greeted me at the door when I've gotten home from anywhere. He is the best napping buddy in the universe. And he has the cutest grumpy old man face. If I didn't have him, I might not have survived my last year in New Mexico with any shred of sanity left.
What's not to love about coming home to this face?
This past week has been incredibly stressful to put it mildly. I have a huge event coming up next week at work and the finishing touches are not falling into place as smoothly as they usually do. I've lost my sleeping in days this week due to Soth's annual vet checkup, a 7:00 a.m. dentist appointment for me (having to be at an appointment before the sun is up is for the birds!), a car appointment this morning, and an eye doctor appointment tomorrow. I am not a morning person, so not having a single day this week to not set an alarm is a much bigger deal to me than it might seem to the average person. Then on Wednesday, we got several more inches of snow dumped on us. On top of all of that, I've had a never-ending stack of papers to grade.

Soth has been feeling great lately, so he's been extra playful and has enticed me to take many much breaks to play hair-tie soccer, chase with jingle balls, and battles with ribbons. He's given me a reason to put down the red pen or to close my email, which has had an extraordinary number of mind boggling emails late, and just have fun for a few minutes.

Today was the worst day yet. Earlier this week, my car started giving me trouble. It wouldn't accelerate with it's normal ease. I'd stop at a stop sign or light and it would feel like it was going to stall--and I my stomach got the same queasy feeling it got when I was 18 and first learning to drive stick and stalled at almost every light/stop sign. It never stalled, but the RPMs would skyrocket while it worked on getting up to speed. So on Monday, I contacted the dealership to make an appointment since it's still under warranty. They didn't seem all that concerned that I wouldn't be in until Friday, so I figured that it was just the hypochondriac in me that was exaggerating how bad things seemed. This morning, when I tried to leave the parking lot, my car rebelled. It did not want to back out of my spot. I eventually got it to go forward a little bit and then I could get it to back up after a little coaxing. 

A few minutes after I left the house, I realized I had left my thermos full of coffee on the counter. Failure number 1. Then it started getting harder and harder to get it in gear at stop lights, so I prayed hard that I would only hit green lights. For a few lights, I did. Then I didn't. My clutch pedal went down and wouldn't come back up. I put on my emergency blinkers and the cars around me kindly gave me plenty of room. I lifted the clutch pedal with my hand and tried again. I got my car rolling enough to get it to a parking lot on the other side of the intersection and called AAA, who hasn't had to rescue since I got a car that was impossible to lock the keys in the trunk.

An hour later, a tow truck showed up. Then it broke before they could get my car on the truck. An hour later, another tow truck came.

During this adventure, my low tire pressure light also came on. By the time the first tow truck arrived, I had a flat--and I just bought 4 new tires 2 weeks ago. The nice tow truck guy used his handy dandy portable air pump to fill my tire back up and I guess I"ll be figuring out what the terms of my new tire warranty are soon.

Two hours after my appointment time, my car and I arrived at the dealership. Of course, I was only 12 miles away from the dealership, but AAA only covers the first 3 miles of towing, so I had to pay for that. Then I sat at the dealer for 1.5 hours and they told me that my clutch is shot and not covered under the warranty because it's a "rare part." Let's just say clutches are not cheap.  They gave me a rental car to use for the foreseeable future, so I still have transportation, but I am not pleased.

Luckily, I had my happy go lucky pup to lift my spirits when I got home. Despite the nasty weather on Wednesday, we had sun and almost 50 degrees today, so my girl and I got out for two decent walks today to enjoy the good weather. Seeing her smily face trotting along beside me helped clear my mind a little bit and prepare me for writing a complaint letter to the car manufacturer that was not unnecessarily nasty but still conveyed my frustration with the warranty issues (and the fact that my car is not even 3 years old and the clutch is worn out!).

It's hard to be too mad at the world when you have this face trotting alongside you.
We're now at 123.19 miles for the year so far and with spring break right around the corner and more hours of daylight in our lives, I think we're going to be right on track for where we should be for our yearly goal at this point by the end of the month.

So as the Thompson Square song "If I Didn't Have You" suggests, this life would kill me if I didn't have these lovies. They are my heart. Having them to insist on taking walks in the sunshine or to kick hair ties across the floor with keeps me sane. 


  1. Hi Y'all!

    "Whoa is you". Oh dear, oh dear. I don't think my Human could have survived your week. Thank Heavens for us pawed ones. I don't know how a human without one of us survives.

    Y'all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

    1. Yes! You four-legged friends definitely make weeks like this one survivable! It's a lot harder to be cranky when y'all are wagging your tails and pouncing on toys.

  2. I'm sorry life has been so rough lately :( I'm glad my niece and nephew can help ya out! Love you! (and them!)