Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Quick, irrelevant post

14 COOOOOOMMENTS! Now you speak up!
Does anyone want to hear about the last half of the trip across Canada?

I don't want to be a spoiler, but we MIGHT have made it back here alive. It's hard to know, though.

I should be writing funny things and being consistent and stuff, but I have been too busy drooling over shoes I will never, ever, ever own... and laughing at dogs who have been shamed.

See? Irrelevant and random.

Exhibit A:

Aaaaah mah gaaaaaaahd. This photo doesn't do them justice. Jimmy Choo, I love you.

These shoes made me wet my pants a little. I saw them, in person, in my size, in Vancouver. I had to resist like hell to not try them on. I knew it would result in me having a 4-year-old-esque temper tantrum in the middle of Holt Renfrew, stomping my feet (carefully, mind you, in these babies), and crying and whining until my mother-in-law could convince my husband over the phone that these would be a sound purchase at $2,195.


Jimmy Choo's Kani heels from the back. GOOOOOORgeous.

Now, before you think I've gone all Fashion Blog on you (hahaha, okay, we all know that's just silly, you have SEEN me before, right?), please note that I WISH I would be paid to pimp this shizz out. In my DREAMS. I've been searching online trying to find a knock off pair of Kani's. No luck so far. C'mon eBay sellers, make a girl's day, wouldja?

These shoes are one of 12 pairs available in Canada. They were runway. They are at Holt Renfrew, and I would cut a bitch for these babies.

Finally, if you haven't seen the best website ever in my sidebar over there ---->, you need to go to Dog-shaming.com.

Exhibit B, a sampling:

Oh. Hai. Lovez my head wrinkles. Ok. IMAGE FROM dog-shaming.com

Yeah, that's right. Dogs looking guilty as hell, or cocky as hell, after destroying and/or eating something. It is hilarious. I check it every single day, and I always laugh. It makes our crazy dogs seem so much better behaved. (SEEM... seem).

That's it for today. If you find those shoes as a knock-off, let me know!!!


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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Who Wants To Eat Off The Floor?

21 COOOOOOMMENTS! Now you speak up!
Goddamn Blogger finally got wise to me and switched me over to the new layout/scheme.

I hate it.

Anyway, yeah, so who here wants to eat off the floor?

It is so sparkling clean that we totally can.


We are renting a house.
The owners decided that a house that had been owned/occupied by an ill elderly lady for YEARS, until her passing, and then left empty for another year didn't need to be cleaned.

At all.

Before we moved in.

I never actually saw the place before we paid for it. My father in law took a gander and knew that the size of the house, and the fact they would accept dogs, was enough to make it work.

And we were damn lucky to find a place that would allow two big, stinkers. And the dogs, too... nyuck nyuck. (I searched for months and months trying to find a rental house that would accept dogs, and all but one other owner said no. So we had no real choice. The yard is great for the dogs, and we need the space in a house, but DAY-UM).

But I knew my feet felt icky on the floor.

I busted out the Swiffer wetjet, bought new solution, and swiped an area of floor downstairs about 2 feet wide by about 8 feet long.

I think swiffer pads now come in an assortment of colours. I unknowingly picked out "filth".

All I could think of was:

"Holy hell this place is so disgusting, I can't live here even temporarily, dear lord I feel dirty and this place is creepy and there are spiders and ewwww and it's so nasty, and I hate cleaning and ahhhhhhhhh"

along with:

"I have to take a photo and blog this shit".

So, there ya have it.
My mouth is watering already. Pull up a cushion and a fork, we're having mud-spider carcass for dinnah!

Now, to take nice, long, hot bath.

You know, after I spend an hour scrubbing the SHIT out of it with bleach...

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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Holy Shit, BC spiders. #iwantmymommy

26 COOOOOOMMENTS! Now you speak up!
Holy hell, Batman.

I want to take you back in time for a moment. Imagine a young, lethargic, hopeful, bedwetting me.

I was young (once), and I wanted to hang out with my sister and her boyfriend. Said boyfriend (who may or may not have been a car thief, who am I to judge?) brought over a movie to watch.

ME: Neato Bandito!

And I was invited to watch with them.

ME: Wowzers! Totes cool!

And so I watched. And I regret that shit to this day. The movie?

SOMEONE GRAB THE RAID!!!! Don't let the pretty pastels fool you. This movie has scarred me for life. (Image via)

I checked every ceiling corner of every room that I entered for at least the next decade. No word of a f_cking lie. I would get goose bumps and freeze if there was even one small spider in a corner.

Eventually, I grew to be able to squash the smaller ones with a shoe or kleenex box. Go ahead and snicker at the overkill, but I am NOT taking any risks with bites or rogue spiders skittering across my shaking hands!

Then we moved to BC. To a house with a lot of cracks and nooks and crannies.

And this:

"Good morning!

How are we doing today?

Gonna have some cereal are you? Yes?

Let me scare the shit out of you and reduce your appetite!"

Holy hell, Batman.

My mind's immediate interpretation of the scenario:

"Grrrrrrr RARRRR! THTHSSSS! Rawr, Rassum, Frassum, RALARRAGHSHFGHG!  Heeey... nice toaster."

Screaming ensued.

My dogs are TERRIFIED of me right now.

I don't know how I am gonna do this... and once the rain comes...


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Monday, September 10, 2012

Day 3 Cross Canada: Thunder Bay, Ontario to Winnipeg, Manitoba

5 COOOOOOMMENTS! Now you speak up!
The next morning after the stair incident (and subsequent damn luckiness that no dog or person sustained any broken bones), we had to get Schultz back down the stairs.

We both showered that morning in overwhelming anxiety, and loaded our continental breakfast plates up with dread and a serving of intense fear. (Okay, okay, that might have been me. I think the Hubs might have actually had muffins and yogurt).

By the grace of Northern Ontario's angry Moose Gods, we somehow managed to get him down and out of the stairwell, safely to the boulevard to pee, and into the SUV.  A group of bikers made many comments/references about making sure we had control of him. Another man wanted to approach our Dane (fully decked out in a cage muzzle, remember), but mentioned something about the smaller dogs around us being Schultz' breakfast.

We headed out for the long, loooong, loooooong boring drive to Winnipeg.

I think this was to indicate we crossed a time zone in Winnipeg. Either that, or I am passed out at the wheel. The latter is the more likely scenario.

We hit so much construction - a Provincial highway improvement initiative translated into more areas than I can count that were reduced to one lane. One lane in total. So one side of the road would be given a green light, and we got to sit, idle and enjoy all the fumes surrounding us in the beauty of nature.

The sign holder wouldn't make eye contact, but would carelessly swing the sign back and forth, sometimes flipping it to slow, simply because she wasn't paying attention. Pretty dangerous/confusing, dumbass.

No, we're not in England, we're in the only open lane on Hwy #1 in Northern Ontario during the season between spring and fall: construction.

Just when I thought we had reached the end of the long day, it turned out that we got to sit through EVEN MORE construction along the city streets in the 'Peg. I was ready to snap. People cutting in, cutting me off, sitting. Waiting. Seething.

I've had enough of these motherf_cking cars, on this motherf_cking road: my summation of my emotions of having to drive an additional, unplanned hour after a full and tiring day.

We headed to the home of some of Hubs' relatives who were kind enough to offer their yard and home for a pit stop/run/stretch/dinner/hotel break for a few hours for the evening. They ordered vegetarian gluten-free pizza!! They even played with the dogs outside and let us do laundry there, which was so appreciated. (Trust me - when I am stressed, I "stress sweat", and it's an ENTIRELY different universe of stink. Potent enough to kill vampires.)

Sharing a drink, or using this bowl as a chin rest. Hard to tell.

The dogs were once again fairly well behaved, until the mosquitoes started to swarm us. From there we moved inside, where Ella tried to steal all the toys of the resident dog, and Schultz bumped into furniture and seemed generally out of sorts and stressed.

Background: We knew that Schultz' vision was getting poor. We knew he had trouble seeing some things, usually in low light. But as stuff was moved out of the house (before the drive), he started walking into light coloured walls (occasionally, not constantly) where large, dark pieces of furniture used to sit. Again, I thought it was worse because of the low light in the room at the time, but I knew it wasn't a good thing.

Then add in to the equation his stair terror. Add in falling off a low deck because he didn't know where the stairs were. Him stressed out in a strange house... not because of the noise or the people... but because we realized that he couldn't see most of it, if not all of it.

As he hunkered down once again, terrified to go over two small wooden stairs to the exterior door in an unfamiliar building, the gravity hit us that he must actually be blind. Really and truly blind.

I know there are bigger issues out in the world. I know there is unbelievable human and animal suffering around the globe. I most certainly get caught up and overwhelmed in my own life, but I do realize that major, awful things are happening right now in the world.

That being said, in that moment, we realized just how scared and how fragile our little fur baby was. His memorization of our old house hid how bad his vision was. Our vet explained a few months earlier that he had cataracts and that his pupils were fairly dilated, trying to allow as much light in as possible.

The blue-green sheen in his eyes was showing us the truth all along.

But when he trembled and pulled back when four of us tried to coax him down the stairs, it really became real. I know I have a flair for the dramatic, but it felt like my heart was breaking right then and there in Winnipeg. A part of me knew it was inevitable, but I really didn't think it had progressed as badly as it had.

With the help of the Hubs' family, area rugs were moved to provide traction for him (Schultz, not the Hubs), peanut butter was brought out, and kindness was showered on him as we tried to lift his 140 pounds over those two stairs.

S & S - If you are reading this, thank you for your patience and kindness.

We made it back to our Winnipeg hotel in good time, as traffic had cleared and we avoided construction en route. I was able to keep the tears at bay until we were in our SUV.

I cried for him, for his fear, for not being able to fix it or console him enough. I cried for my Hubs, who has such a bond with Schultz, because I could tell his heart was breaking, too. I cried remembering how hard it was in Scooby's senior years. I cried remembering the difficulties our blind cat (Mr. Grey) had when he was with us. I cried with fatigue, with hope, with sadness, with helplessness.

We got to the hotel, and I unloaded while the Hubs watched the dogs. I snapped at Ella. I snapped at the Hubs. I was mad at myself. And then the angry turned into what it really was - sadness and fear/anxiety, masquerading as outward anger. I cried on the hotel room floor beside Schultz, with Hubs sandwiched between us.

Everything is darkest before the dawn.

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Day 2 Cross Canada: Sault Sainte Marie, Ontario to Thunder Bay, Ontario

10 COOOOOOMMENTS! Now you speak up!

 Some stressful stuff with the dogs closed out Day 2 of our drive across Canada.

Arrival at the hotel. You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.

On day 2, after the roach motel stay, we were in Thunder Bay, Ontario. We were staying at a pet-friendly hotel, in a room on the second floor. We were near an exit door, which is good for us with the dogs, as we need to spend as little time in common spaces/stairwells/corridors as possible.

If you are not familiar, we have a 2 year old yellow Lab cross Ella, and an aging Great Dane, Schultz (he's about 7-9 years old). Both are rescue dogs. Schultz was abused badly before we adopted him and he has certain extreme behaviours and aggression triggers that we can't seem to help or overcome with him. If anything, I think he feeds off of my anxiety and that I have made it worse for him. If only Cesar Milan knew I am simply not capable of "calm, assertive".

Now he wears a wire basket muzzle that he can pant, drink and bark safely out of. It's the best way to keep everyone from trouble, though we regularly get dirty and/or terrified looks from people. I understand that it must be intimidating to see him coming towards you...

Schultz got the cargo area and Ella had to share the back seat with our clothes. She consistently moved the bars on the barrier to always end up nose first in the centre arm console between us.

When we tried to get him down the stairwell at the hotel for a bathroom break in the evening, he was absolutely terrified to traverse down the tile stairs, and he resisted and splayed his legs out to hold steady.

There was no elevator, so we knew we had to get him down. We assumed this would happen with a little reassurance and cooing. He was not having it. We had to move him ourselves, as gently and kindly as possible.

Somehow, we made it to the landing. Half way there.

We had to move quickly to get him out of the stairwell before others could come in and have the shit scared out of them. Plus, Ella was waiting for me in the room and you're not supposed to leave the dogs alone in the room at any time. I was high strung and my heart rate was up.

Following the landing on the landing, he braced himself with all his might. And his paws slid. And as we moved to the first stair, something went wrong.

He wouldn't move any more.

He couldn't move any more.

And he was in full panic mode. It took a minute for us to realize that his foot wouldn't move because it was stuck in the steel stairway framework. Somehow, he pushed his foot hard enough, and just awkwardly enough, that it somehow got stuck below his back ankle.

He was full out shuddering and we couldn't figure out what to do. My normal panic reaction is to  forget where I am and piss my pants  cry, but I knew I didn't have the luxury this time. We needed to free him, and fast. "Man, I wanna cry, holy shit what do we do? I really need to cry. What do we do?" : A brief glimpse into my brain functioning during panic.

Then a man came charging through the main floor stairwell door. Me and the hubs both shouted out. I  begged  asked the stranger to please give us a minute. If Schultz even started to bark or jump in the position he was in, he would break his leg. The man waited for a moment, cursed us, then went another way. Thank you strange man at the hotel in Thunder Bay. We owe you one, for real.

What could we do? We tried pulling on his leg. The stair depth was too deep and his leg was at such an awkward angle, it wouldn't come out. We both tried various angles. I was in full fledged panic, and feeling so bad for him because he had no idea what was going on.

If we broke his leg, not only would it be horrific, but where the hell were 24 hour vet clinics in Thunder Bay? What do we do with Ella? How can we ensure he doesn't get hurt?

So I actually thought under pressure. It may have been a first for me. Nothing short of a miracle.

I climbed under the stairwell on the right side. The stair was sealed off, so we were screwed. I tried climbing under the left side. Lo and behold, there was his foot pad and all his Great Dane toes. I tried to be as careful as possible as I pushed one shaky toe up and out, along with the others. There was still a risk of his leg twisting or breaking, but we had to try.

We were fortunate. His toes came out eventually, with the Hubs engineering the front, while I pushed below the stairs. That sounded really dirty... sometimes you really shock me with the way you think, people...

He was free... but he still had several more stairs to get down. It was f_cking terrible. When a 140 pound dog is terrified and shaking, and you can't soothe him, it's pretty easy to feel like a shitty owner.

I had to basically push his bum down, while trying to keep his paws going forward. The Hubs was so good at staying calm-sounding and reassuring Schultz, while he led him down the front of the stairs.

I ran ahead to check just outside the door, then cleared them to exit, and ran back upstairs to get Ella.

And now for something completely different: The moose look REALLY angry in Northern Ontario.

Outside, with Ella on leash around my waist, she darted to the right. The leash slipped up over my hips onto my stomach and back. Without warning, she darted left, as if the flower bed had the opposite magnet to her within it. Maybe she saw nail clippers... Who knows? I flew after her, totally unprepared, and she did something painful to my lower back. I ended up bawling my eyes out right there on the boulevard. 

Not five minutes later, as we tried to get to the grass behind the hotel, she saw something else interesting, and as I tried to run her forward, she went full stop, and ran the other direction, making direct contact with my shin bone via her skull.

I dropped and was in a LOT of pain. I was bawling as the Hubs tried to calm Schultz down (a lady had come out of the hotel with two small yapping poodles), offer to take Ella, and make sure I was KO  ok. I imagine he was pretty stressed then, too.

I'd like to think that my getting hurt was the trade-off to the Universe for Schultz not breaking his leg.

After several minutes of being unable to get up, I couldn't take the mass of grasshoppers jumping on and around me. The pain was intense. Between my back and my leg, I couldn't breathe quite right.

Fast forward to sleeping in one position all night in my clothes, and I was much better the next day. My shin still hurts, and that was over a week ago.

So pretty in Northern Ontario. But it really smelled like dogs.

We still had to get Schultz up the stairs, and back down the next morning. The dread hung between us like one of Schultz' massive drools...

Anyone have a towel? And an appetite still? No? Okay.


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