Thursday, December 4, 2008

How Much More Trouble Could A Second Dog Be?

The original Theda bara-not a dog at all

Allie wrote a nifty post about her new doggie and so I decided that, like a proud parent, I will also share my story about Doug and Theda. Theda Bara Dog is the black lab lying on the couch and Douglas Fairbanks Dog(all dogs must be named after old movie stars)is the shaggy guy sitting on the floor.

And here is Douglas Fairbanks Sr. Not Doug's dad.

As I was saying. Or was I...? Theda came to live with us when we had three acres in the country in Michigan and expected to live there forever, so a great big lab would be just super!! Hmmm.
When we moved to SD, we had to buy a house because no one here would rent to us with a dog and two cats. When we realized how much time Theda would be alone when we work on weekends, and her with pretty extreme separation anxiety and all, we decided she needed a doggy companion. We had a back yard and spent a bundle getting it fenced in, and after all, how much trouble could a second dog be?
We went to the closest animal shelter, Sioux Falls, 150 miles away, and tried out a few pooches. Too many beautiful doggies for an easy choice, but there always are too many sweet critters in shelters. Anyway, we kept going back to Doug, who was living under the nom de guerre, 'Albert'. He was cute, soft, fuzzy, friendly and he didn't pull on the leash-a big plus since Theda pulls like a plow horse. We took the friendly guy home and he promptly terrified Theda, chasing her around the yard, nipping at her legs and working to establish himself as cock o' the walk, so to speak. Alpha male really. That lasted for maybe 24 hours when Theda realized that she was a good 25 pounds heavier(no fat) and had bone crushing jaw strength compared to Doug's marshmallow crushing jaws. Our incredibly friendly and gentle Theda has been flipping him over and kicking his 50 pound ass ever since. Doug has become her favorite chew toy and for a while we had trouble keeping his collar on as she apparently enjoyed ripping it off his neck. She also gnawed his rabies shot tag to bits. And it was metal.
While there is considerable rivalry for affection at times, with noses thrust roughly in between petting hands and petted heads, they seem to have grown quite attached, even when Theda is not clamped onto Doug's throat.

Oh, how much trouble could a second dog be? Anyone with two large dogs was smirking at me from the beginning. I will just say, Doug has learned to pull on the leash, I picked up at least 15 pounds of crap in the yard Monday, being with Doug has not cured Theda's separation anxiety as made evident by her habit of chewing the siding off our garage. Oh, and Doug, unlike Theda, runs away if we let him off the leash. Cest la vi, its all for love, nec'st pas?

"We HATES dem both" Artemis le Chat

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Huh, tagged am I?

As it turns out, Aliie of Allie's Answers has tagged me with a tell seven things meme. Never having done one and since Allie is two of my favorite blogs(she also writes Incidents and Accidents) I shall do this thing.

Here are the rules for ’social-networking’ tag:

Link to the person who tagged you.
Post the rules on your blog.
Share seven things about yourself - some random, some weird.
Tag seven people at the end of your post and link to them.
Let each person know they’ve been tagged and leave a comment on their blog and/or Twitter.
Let the tagger know when your entry is posted.

Seven Super Secrets Regarding Me:

1. When I was a kid we used to get fruit from a horse drawn wagon in Chicago.
2. I,too, was a lousy student in high school. I graduated in the bottom 1/4 of my class, but I graduated cum laude from university.
3. I moved from South Dakota to live on a tropical island for two years. Then I moved to Minnesota. Call me a masochist.
4 I have lived in seven different states(but moved back to two of them once more so all told moved to nine states), a US territory and one foreign country. I have never been in the military and I lived in the same state until I was thirty.
5. Since graduating from college I have been a teacher, an ordained minister, a social worker(case manager for folks with developmental disabilities), a counseling supervisor in a domestic violence shelter and I am currently a house parent at a boarding school for Native Americans.
6. My goal for my future is to live on a commune(check out the website of the Federation of Egalitarian Communities, and guess which one I am going to do a membership visit to in July).
7. I was profoundly affected by the Jefferson Airplane's song 'Crown of Creation'; especially the line "Life is change, how it differs from the rocks.."

I am tagging
Young Girl Old Life
Musings Of A Minor Mennonite
Chicken Blog
Chile Chews
Arduous Blog
Fr.Peters Environmental Notes

Monday, December 1, 2008

Single Wide Thanksgiving

Originally uploaded by louisbickett

We are "internal expatriates", though there technically is no such thing. We moved from our home state to South Dakota, which is dramatically different in its geography is not exactly a foreign country. In fact, we are still in the "Midwest" since we live on the east side of the Missouri River. Whoever made these rules deemed that THE WEST, starts west of the river.
Anyway, we are pretty far from family and friends and so are quite a few of the people we work with. A fairly large number of us come from Michigan. One such couple recently moved from their apartment to a single wide trailer with their three year old son. They decided to host all the 'foreigners' for Thanksgiving dinner. About 25 of us all told. In a single wide mobile home(plus their two new puppies and their pet sugar glider from Australia). It was not feasible to drive back to Michigan on our three day break, and we really like the people we work with, so we were delighted to be invited. I made a big pot of curry, to spice up the traditional fare. We had more food than 25 of us could possibly consume, and it was delicious. We were crowded but cozy. Clair and I were regaled with stories from one of our colleagues who has been an anthropological forensics person and doesn't seem to have a serious bone in his head. It was really wonderful fun and one of the best Thanksgivings I have had in years. There are way too many people in America ready to look down their noses at people who live in "trailer parks'. But here we were, having a wonderful time with gracious, generous, intelligent and amusing people. It is always amazing how much joy you can create with a tiny space, some folding tables, food and genuine hospitality. I give thanks for the generosity and kindness of Aaron and Melissa.