Saturday, April 23, 2011

Coda and the Stairs

The stairs in my house are really narrow and kind of steep. I mean so narrow and steep that when I was buying a bed I had to run home real quick to measure the stairs and make sure it would fit up them. I had to get a full instead of a queen because of that! And even then it took three delivery guys angling it just right to get it to fit. I don't even want to think about when I move out. As I said, narrow and steep.

When I first got her, Coda was afraid to go up and down the stairs, she would get her momentum going and not stop for anything. She still does this, only now instead of having to coax her up and down the stairs, she insists on climbing them with me. I'll be walking down the stairs when all of a sudden I hear this herd of elephants coming behind me and these lyrics pop into my head, "move bitch, get out the way, get out the way bitch, get out the way", so it's either make way or let her plow me over because she is not stopping.

So if you hear that I ended up in a full body cast from falling down the stairs it's because I didn't move out of the way fast enough and Coda took me out.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Coda's First Trip to the Vet

Coda went to the Vet today. She was such a good girl I couldn't believe it. I could see immediately that my training every day with her has started to sink in because she listened to me when I made her sit and behave around the other people and animals.

She only had to get two shots today, I wanted to have her tested for heartworm and get her last round of distemper shot taken care of. This was the first time I had ever been to this particular vet clinic, and I really liked the vet there so we will definitely be going back.

Next week though is going to be the big one. On Wednesday she's going in to be spayed. I know it's a routine procedure but I can't help but feel a little worried about the whole thing. I just worry that after the surgery, getting her to stay calm is going to be a challenge. She has so much energy and loves to play that I don't want her to go and pull any of her stitches. I guess we'll have to cross that bridge when we get there.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Michigan Weather

One thing about Michigan weather that everyone seems to forget is that it sucks. Just when you think summer time is on its way, Mother Nature hits you in the sweet spot and runs away laughing maniacally.

This morning I woke up around 6am to let Coda outside. I noticed it was a bit chilly and could see my breath but nothing really out of the ordinary for a Michigan spring morning. I let Coda back in and we both lay down for a little while longer, me in bed, Coda on her blanket next to my bed.

A couple hours later I'm disturbed from my dozing by a strange noise. As I lay in bed trying to figure out what that sound is, I decide to get up and look out my window because for all I know it could be someone breaking into my car or something. I pull back the curtains on my window and this is what I see:

A week ago Sunday it was 80 degrees outside and today it's snowing. Fuck you very much Mother Nature.

And now I'm going back to bed to sulk.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Coda ate Jesus

A few days ago I was awoken early by the lovely sound of someone knocking on my door. I groggily stumbled downstairs to see who it was. I opened the door and saw two women in there Sunday best and knew immediately what they wanted. Coda, forgetting her manners when greeting people, tried pushing through the door to lick them to death, but they didn't know that.

After eying Coda for a moment I could see they decided to make things short and sweet, stuck the pamphlet through the screen door inviting me to the service and hurried off. Pamphlet in my hand, I looked down at Coda with her ears perked up and tongue hanging out and decided she didn't look particularly ferocious. I shut the door and tossed the pamphlet down onto an end table because that was closer than the trash and I just wanted to go back to sleep.

Later that day as I was getting ready for work I saw something laying in the middle of the living room floor and when I picked it up this is what I found:

I couldn't help but laugh that the only thing Coda chewed off was the head. But of course chewing on things that are not her toys is bad so when I showed her the pamphlet she gave me this face:

How can you scold that? So she got away with that one and I have started calling her Hell Hound in the process.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


Blog, meet Coda.
Coda is ridiculously hard to take pictures of because she is so black.

I couldn't get a picture of her standing up but Coda is a pretty big dog.

She likes to wait for you to rub her belly.

Coda likes playing fetch and eating snacks, especially her ham bone. She likes crawling under my bed and sniffing EVERYTHING. She's very nosy and must know what you are doing and what you might have in your hand. She is very smart and catches on quickly.

Coda does not like loud noises, walking with the leash (we're lead training right now and she does not appreciate not being able to pull all she wants), being told she can't get up on the furniture or jump up on you.

Since I brought her home last Friday, things have been going really well with Coda. Aside from a few puppy antics, Coda is incredibly well behaved. When I got Coda I knew she was supposed to be house broken but I took that with a grain of salt, luckily I need not have, she has yet to have any sort of accident in the house. I also figured I would have to crate Coda when I went to work and was astounded when I left her home alone for 7 hours straight (after I made sure there was absolutely nothing of value she could get into) just to see if she would get into anything and she didn't.

Day one with Coda was interesting. Obviously, she was a bit anxious not understanding what was going on and the excitement of leaving the Animal Control Center and meeting new people didn't help. But once we got home and it was just her and I she calmed down a little. She quietly explored the house, leaving no inch unsniffed. I put her crate together which she hated immediately and frankly, after living in a cage for the past few weeks, I can't blame her.

After a few hours I started to pick up on Coda's quirks. For some reason she likes crawling under my bed. I've never seen a dog do that before so I'm not sure what that's all about. I thought at first maybe she was scared and hiding from something, but when I got down on the ground to check on her she just laid under there, tongue out and tail wagging. Another thing that I can only guess Coda picked up from her previous owners is that she will not sleep anywhere but in front of the front door.

Something that surprised me though, once I got Coda home she barely barked. When I saw her at the control center she was barking up a storm in her cage and would get the other dogs barking too. I figured with some training I could teach her to stop but that wasn't necessary. The only time she does bark is when she thinks she hears something close to the house, which I am very grateful for since the neighborhood I live in is not the best, but it's not the worst either.

The first night was a long night because she would not settle down. I crated her thinking she would need it until I could figure out if she was going to destroy my house, it took a while but after a couple hours she fell asleep. I set my alarm to get up in the middle of the night and let her out, not knowing if she could hold it through the night or not yet. When I let her out I decided since it was pretty warm out I would sit on the back steps and make sure she went to the bathroom before I let her back in. I could hear a train passing by and Coda was wandering around the yard when all of a sudden the train blew it's horn and all four of Coda's paws came off the ground. I have never seen a dog jump so high from a flat standing position like that, and let me tell you it is really funny to see.

After I comforted her and stopped laughing Coda and I went back inside. When she still refused to go back into her cage I decided to just let her sleep where she wanted and see how she did the rest of the night. As I expected she slept in the living room where the front door was, but when I came down in the morning I found her in an arm chair after I told her she couldn't sleep on the couch, the brat.

The second day was interesting as well, on top of everything I also learned that Coda is a dominant dog. I kind of figured she would be, since she pulled on the leash so much and was quite adamant about not doing anything she didn't want, such as going back in her cage or giving up the ball in fetch (which I taught her to bring the ball back, now she just won't give it up). She made it quite obvious she wants to be the boss and I made it quite obvious that was not going to happen. Which is subsequently why she hates lead training. After the first time I took her for a walk and my hands and wrists ached from her pulling so hard I knew there was no way that was going to happen again and bought her a Halti collar. She fought it very hard at first but after about half an hour she was walking without pulling anymore.

Coda also decides when she wants to listen, she knows commands such as "sit" and "down" and "come here", but if there isn't any incentive for her to comply she pretends she doesn't hear you. We're working on that. With all that being said Coda is still a great dog. She's very social and loving and will sit in front of you all day if you just keep petting her. She made me laugh the first time she flopped down in front of me, belly up and feet in the air, waiting for me to scratch her stomach.

So far the things Coda and I are working on is:
-Lead training (going very well)
-Getting her to listen to and obey basic commands EVERY time not just when she wants
-And teaching her not to jump up on people (she doesn't jump up on me very often anymore but she gets very excited when visitors come over)

Coda and I will continue to work together and hopefully make some better progress.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Conversations With My Mother Pt....I forget.

Over Gmail:

me: hey, are you in your office alone?
Mom: No, I have someone coming in to work on my computer. Why? Need me to call you?
me: no, I was just going to send you something really funny but inappropriate for work to read.
Mom: oh that is ok you can send it. I look at porn most days.
me: WHAT?!
Mom: lol my job kiddo, porn pops up almost every day reading isn't going to get me into trouble

For those of you that don't know, my mom works at a software company and tracks down where malware and spyware are coming from. Which basically means she gets paid to surf the internet all day. And for your educational information most malware comes from porn sites.

What a fun conversation to have with my mother at 9:30 in the morning. What's even better is that after my initial shock, I just shrugged it off and we continued with our chat.

The link I gave my mom to read was this one. After she finished reading she messaged this back to me:

Mom: I so would love to respond with comments about bragging that my daughter is a lesbian and the reactions I get from previously sane folks lmao. much like her once I find out it bugs them, I fuck with them.

And yes, just reconfirm my mom does brag about me being gay in that whole "My daughter is an honor student!" "Yeah well, my daughter is a LESBIAN!!!" kind of way. It's true, I've seen her do it.

P.S. Someone needs to make a bumper sticker that says "My lesbian daughter could kick your honor student's ass."

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Puppy Hunt Begins

Ever since I moved to Michigan and away from my family dog, I have wanted one of my own. There's just something about having a dog in a house that makes things so much better. The lovely greeting at the door when you come home, the whining when you're not paying enough attention to them, the playful pounce onto the bed even when they know it's off limits. I miss it all.

So, what did I start planning the day I moved out? Finding a dog. I've been searching CraigsList, Petfinder and websites for local rescues. A week ago I saw that a volunteer from the local animal control posted on CraigsList pictures of the dogs they have available for adoption and I was a goner. One of the dogs looks like a black lab/border collie/retriever mix. They had her listed as 10 months old, friendly and already house broken. I wanted her immediately but I waited.

The next day I checked the site again and she was still available. I waited some more, still there. It was the weekend so when Monday rolled around I checked again and she still had not been adopted out. The entire time I made myself wait, it was for a reason. I was evaluating my situation, could I be responsible enough to own a dog? Would I be able to properly take care of it, walking, feeding, vet checks, etc.? Was I really ready for a dog? Oh Hell Yes I was!

Finally, this morning I broke down and visited Animal Control to see her in person and get a feel for her personality. Immediately I could tell that she was energetic and playful as she pressed up against the cage waiting for me to pet her. I asked one of the volunteers if I could take her out of the cage for some one-on-one time, and I was told there was a fenced-in area outside where she could run around. When walking her out on the leash I noticed she would need a bit of lead training, but that was to be expected.

As we got outside I noticed it was a little muddy out but I really didn't think anything of it. I should have known better. We got into the fenced area and already she was jumping around excitedly because she knew she was going to be let off her leash. (I can only imagine being kept in those cages the level of stir craziness those dogs must get to.) I reached down to un-clip her leash and before I was even able to stand all of the way up, I was covered, head to toe, in mud. In all of her excitement and jumping around she had splashed mud onto her legs, and then onto my pants. The moment I let her off the leash she jumped on me dragging her muddy legs from my shoulders all of the way down to my waist before running off to play.

Looking down at my coat all I could think was "Well, at least it's black and it'll wash easily." After that I added teaching her not to jump up to the list of training she would need. When she was done running around and came back to me I checked her for aggression by playing with her ears, gently pulling on her tail and rubbing her snout to see if I would get any negative reactions. For me that was a necessary test because I have a 7 year old little cousin who loves dogs and I couldn't have a dog that would snap when touched in a place it is protective of. She calmly sat there while I patted her down.

After letting her run around for a little bit and throwing a ball for her to chase (notice my use of the word "chase" because she does not fetch them, she only chases them) we went back inside and I felt my heart strings tugged when I tried to put her in her cage and she didn't want to go back. She kept trying to get me to play with her but she listened and climbed back in. Trying to force myself not to jump at the first dog I liked, I checked out a few other dogs. One in particular was such a sweetheart and if I hadn't been allergic to him I probably would have seriously considered adopting him.

I went home and changed out of my muddy clothes and thought about adopting the dog some more and finally came to a decision. Tomorrow morning I'm heading in to adopt my very first dog of my own! It's exciting because I've wanted one for such a long time, but I also wanted to make sure I was being responsible to the prospective dog as well. Before I head to the control center I'm going to pick up a cage because one thing I couldn't determine was if she's a chewer, but I'm betting she is with the lab in her.

I told my mom about the dog I liked and she asked me if I picked out a name yet and mostly I hadn't, I do like the name Coda, but I also want to see what sounds she responds to best. When I mentioned she has a white stripe on her chest in all of that black fur my brother goes "oh, so she's like a reverse skunk, you should name her Flower!" For those of you unfamiliar with Disney cartoons, Flower was the name of the skunk in Bambi. I immediately vetoed that idea.

Since it's getting late and I have some puppy proofing of my house to do before I pick her up in the morning I'm going to end things here. I have no doubt I'll be updating with lots of pictures later this week.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Getting Settled In

It's been just over two weeks since I moved into my house and I am freaking loving it. Getting the house set up has kept me super busy on top of working full time. So here's a little recap:

Day 1 (Friday): I got the key and immediately went in a cleaned everything out. I may be messy and disorganized but I am CLEAN, meaning I scrubbed, shampooed, vacuumed and swept every conceivable surface.

Day 2: My uncle and I moved my stove and fridge in and all of the big stuff I had, book shelves, boxes, etc.. Needless to say at the end of the day my back was killing me from all that heavy lifting. I also got my very first house guest in the form of a bat. My uncle and I searched high and low trying to figure out how he might have gotten in but couldn't find anything so the only thing we figured was with the door open so much he must have snuck in without us noticing.

Day 3: I had to work that morning but after I got out I loaded my car up with more boxes (how the fuck did I fit so much shit into my room?!?!) and my sleeping bag to crash on the floor. Someone asked me the next day if it was scary spending the night alone in a new house, and honestly I wasn't bothered at all, I just remember thinking it was really quiet.

Day 4: I worked all day and started unpacking when I got home.

Day 5: See Above.

Day 6: Word of me getting my own place had spread through out the family and my great-grandma's brother had an entire living room set he was getting rid of. I said yes without even seeing the couch and chairs, I figured free was free, but I couldn't help laughing when I went to pick them up with my uncle. They were a vintage 1960's living room set. The couch and two chairs were a horrible puke green color with that futuristic stylization that the 60's were famous for. I loved them instantly. The best part was when my uncle looks at me and goes "I don't think these were ever sat on. Do realize how much this is worth?!"

Day 7: More work and unpacking with some grocery shopping thrown in.

Day 8: I went to Sears to pick out a bed for my new house. It was exciting because I had never picked out a bed before and naturally I had to test them all out. But after nearly a week of sleeping on the floor all of them felt heavenly on my back, luckily I found just the one.

Day 9: I had the day off so I decided to tackle the majority of my errands. I scooped my great-grandma up and we hit the stores. I needed basics that you never really think about until you don't have them; dish soap, garbage bags, ketchup, cooking utensils, etc.

Day 10-13: Work as usual.

Day 14: My bed was delivered! The funny thing was I was dressed for work when they came to deliver it and when I answered the door the Sears guy looks at my uniform and goes, "Traitor." I couldn't help but laugh and told him, "if only we sold mattresses." After they assembled the frame and left I flopped down on my bed and didn't want to move. I cursed having to go in to work but once I got home I swan dove onto my bed and didn't leave it until the morning.

Day 15 (Yesterday): For the past two weeks I had been hard core stalking the CraigsList furniture section and found some amazing finds. I got two brand new end tables that matched my book shelves perfectly for $15. A dresser for $30. But my favorite so far has been this real wood maple kitchen hutch. I love when people just want stuff gone, this lady asked $65 for it and I offered $35 figuring I would get an email back that went something like "Hahahahahaha...fuck off." but instead she said Sold! and told me to pick it up Saturday. When I got there to pick it up I couldn't believe she let it go for so little, I don't know much about furniture but looking at it I knew enough to know that she probably could have sold it for a couple hundred. Now it's sitting beautifully in my kitchen making my other cupboards jealous.

Day 16 (Today!): I went grocery shopping again. I think I've shopped more in the past two weeks than I have the entire past year. Now that I have my own kitchen, I have to stock it. Since I have become quite adept at cooking and would even go as far as to say I enjoy it I've noticed there is a lot my kitchen is lacking and it's making me mad because it's hindering what I can cook. One thing I did buy the moment I moved in was a CrockPot. I think everyone should learn how to use a CrockPot, it is a fucking life saver when you have to work all day and just don't have time to cook. All you do is prepare your food, drop it into the cooker, put it on low and leave for work. When you come home you have amazing-ness all ready for you to eat.

So far it has been great having my own place. I love it. People keep asking me if I'm lonely by myself and I just shake my head because clearly they don't know me and my hermit-like ways.