Day 5: home sweet home

I forgot to mention: that whole thing about Lucky not wanting to lie down in the car? I am apparently brilliant, because I found a solution for that. Somewhere in Nebraska, I figured out that she just wanted to be able to see what was around her because she was stressed, and that’s why she wouldn’t lie down, even though her eyes were falling shut while she was standing up. She has a little bathmat that’s sort of her “dog bed” for car travel, and it was on the seat next to our luggage, which was stacked practically to the car’s ceiling. So I moved Kris’s & my suitcases (which are about the same size and shape) onto her side of the car, put her bathmat on top of them, and with the extra few inches of height, she happily lay down and went to sleep in the car. I guess it was just the idea that she could open her eyes and look around if she wanted to, which made all the difference. She slept for a good portion of the remainder of the trip. Score me one point for figuring out a dog’s brain.

Also, file this bit under too much information: Sunday night, after we had spent over two hours outside of a service station in Utah and then run on the ice & snow after the dog? Kris got out of the shower and said, “This is weird. I have little red bumps all over my legs, all the way up to my waist.” She said it hurt, sort of like a heat rash. I figured it was probably just her skin’s reaction to the change in climate, since she tends to have really dry and sensitive skin anyway.

Then I got in the shower and realized that I had the exact same thing. It didn’t hurt until the hot water of the shower hit it, then it burned worse than razor rash. It had pretty much gone away within the next 48 hours, but when Kris talked to her mom (who’s a nurse), she said that it sounds like we had early symptoms of frostbite. Fan-freakin’-tastic. So when I made that previous subject line about frostbite? I really wasn’t kidding.

There isn’t a whole lot to say about our last day on the road. There was only a little over 500 miles left – which, after you’ve driven 2,000 miles in three days, really doesn’t seem like a big deal. We set off from Idaho and headed through Oregon and into Washington. That was by far the most beautiful scenery of the whole trip. I don’t think there’s anything quite like the Cascade mountains, it’s just amazing to see. By the time we were about ten miles away from home, I could feel myself starting to squirm involuntarily in my seat. Nothing obscene, just a little instinctual happy dance. This trip was the longest I’ve been away from Dave since he and I moved in together in January of last year, and I couldn’t wait to see him. I practically jumped on him when I first saw him. (I didn’t, only because he probably wouldn’t have caught me, and we both would’ve ended up with some serious injuries.)

That night, in spite of our exhaustion, we still went to the grocery store and bought lovely fresh things with which to cook dinner. We were both so sick of junk food from fast food restaurants and truck stops that the thought of a real, cooked meal sounded like heaven. And honestly? It was simple (spinach fettucine with chicken & broccoli), but it was divine. Although it was still at least a good two days later before our stomachs were somewhat back to normal.

To sum up how things have been since then, I’m going to do bullet points because I’m lazy and I don’t feel like trying to make these thoughts flow in some kind of cohesive manner:

  • Kris and I are both still pretty exhausted, and we’ve been going to bed around 9:00 every night. I think I’m a little better than Kris, energy-wise, only because I don’t have the emotional exhaustion of a major life transition to deal with. I remember what it’s like to move to a new state and try to set up a whole new life, and it’s not easy or fun at all.
  • Kris has had two job interviews already, one on Wednesday and one on Thursday, and they both seem pretty promising. So that kicks ass.
  • Lucky seems to love our house, because we can close the gate on our driveway and give her free run of our entire two-acre property. The dog will run and run and run, until she comes inside and passes out on the floor. It’s hilarious to see. She’s “escaped” twice so far (gotten out when we forgot to close the gate), but we got her back within a few minutes, so it hasn’t been a big deal. We really do have to train her to come when she’s called, though.
  • Lucky and the cats: Dave’s cats are terrified of her. They’ve had enough run-ins with other neighborhood dogs to be highly suspicious, and that’s fine. I think they’ll come around eventually. Lucky met Teenie for the first time last night, which is the first time Teenie’s met a dog in her nearly-ten years on this planet. Lucky walked right up and licked her smack on the nose. Teenie just stared at her, but she didn’t growl or hiss. I’m hoping that’s a good sign. Either that or she was terrified and didn’t know how to react.
  • The barking is outta control. She barks at any strange noise, any new person, and Dave. (She’s getting better about him, but she’s generally just scared of men.) And oh, all the new critters! In the four days since she’s been here, she’s now seen her first horse (next door), deer (we have two that like the grass in our yard) and a possum (shudder). So that makes for an awful lot of barking. And her bark is ridiculously loud. We finally bought her a bark collar last night. It seems cruel, the whole idea of zapping your dog whenever they bark, but apparently they’re considered to be humane by most sources. And honestly, Dave and I both touched it when it was in “test” mode last night, and it doesn’t hurt, it’s just kind of weird and annoying. So hopefully that will help.
  • Back to helping Kris ease through this transition and her panic over “oh god I moved to a state where I only know one person and I won’t have any other friends or a social calendar to speak of:” we have plans for both Saturday and Sunday nights. Saturday, a bunch of the girls are getting together to go dancing, which we haven’t done since last fall. That’ll give Kris a chance to meet some of my friends, who she’ll hopefully bond with, and it should be a lot of fun. Then Sunday, a few of the girls are getting together again to see the new show by Eve Ensler (the woman who did “The Vagina Monologues”). It’s funny, all the husbands were invited along for both events, and all of them declined. I wonder why? (Hee!)

    2 thoughts on “Day 5: home sweet home

    1. Hey, hey- You are totally starting to sound like a dog lady. šŸ™‚ Bella has a bark collar, as well, which I only started finding necessary in apartment living when she could hear other people’s comings and goings and vacuuming. I felt shitty about it until I found out that the Humane Society of America AND the ASPCA both endorse the brands sold at your basic pet store.

      Even better, Gwen’s aunt- a loving dog lady if ever there was one- has used them for years and her endorsement was what sold me on the idea. Most dog training techniques- such as crating and bark collars- seem “mean” by human standards. On the other hand, there is a great deal of scientific evidence that (with some exceptions, like Liss’s ex-dog Toby) dogs who have roomy, comfortable crates are more secure, confident dogs who know they have a safe space to retreat to. Bella has learned that when her bark collar is physically on, it is not “bark time.” It seldom even zaps her anymore, she learned from the conditoned response to keep her yap shut when I put it on.

      At the risk of being a mommy blog style troll spewing the assvice, here’s a tip for getting her to love the Dave. Explain that British men are adorable with their sexy, sexy accents. Then show her the BBC’s Pride and Prejudice DVDs and teach her the phrase “Colin Firth.” Nah, seriously, Dave should wear an old t-shirt for a few days and nights until it smells like him. Then, since Lucky is comfortable with you already, spend some quality time with her giving her affection with the t-shirt right there and having her associate his scent with cuddliness and treats. Have him slowly join you for “Learn to Love Dave Lessons” starting with one or two minutes a session and slowly increasing the time until she’ll probably end up liking him more than you.

    2. Hehe, how do you think I won Cindy over in the first place :))

      I do like the t-shirt idea, maybe put one in her kennel.

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