• Sleep? Are you there? I miss you.

    We’re two weeks into the Fall semester. So far, so good, but I’m beyond exhausted because pets.

    8 days ago, we found a litter of day old kittens with no mum. Two of them. That means I’m doing around the clock feedings, about every three hours. As soon as I get into a good sleep, my alarm goes off. But the amazing folks at LSG have sent or donated supplies and money to buy pretty much everything these guys could need until they’re weaned and ready to find their forever homes.

    10 days ago, Millie went to the vet and had to stay overnight to try to get a urinary sample. She was peeing on the kitchen counters. She has a UTI, so twice a day meds and I’m pretty sure she’s going to hate me forever… Lol.

    2 days ago, I set up an extra tall baby gate outside the kitchen. 1) to keep dogs out while cooking 2) to stop litter box raids 3) to give the cats a part of the house without dogs in it. It’s been a mixed result with the boys and the gate. Both Yuba and Tejón can jump over it easily, even though it’s almost 45″ tall. But I’m working on teaching them that good, calm boys who sit behind the gate get lots of treats. Might take a while though.

  • A Little Bit Closer

    My registration date for the Fall 2020 semester was finally posted, and I’ve figured out which sections I’m going to enroll in. I think. I’ll be taking CHEM151 and SPAN102 (again) so hopefully this next semester won’t be too bad. My registration slot opens on the 13th, so I’ve got a little less than two weeks to get it sorted out.

    Not much going on in my quiet quarantine life. I’ve been out to get a haircut, which I really needed, and tomorrow I’m getting tattooed. All the masks, all the time I’m out. I hate them but its at least a little protection for those around me.

    If I have time, I’ll load up some more stuff to be donated in my car to drop off while I’m out tomorrow. I have a few bags of stuff already ready to go, but there’s some big items as well.

    I have been buying snacks for us off Amazon when the prices are right, and today I got a huge delivery of what may have been too many snacks. We’re either going to be set on snacks for a couple months, or we’re going to need diets in a month. One of the things I got was a 12-pack of those little packs of Fig Newtons. I love them. They’re my all-time favorite cookie. Well, we left them on the counter and at about 10pm tonight I hear the very suspicious sound of a doggo chewing plastic. I go to investigate and first I find sveral mangled and empty Fig Newton packages. Great. Where’s the main package and all the rest?

    Yuba was curled up with the rest of his treat eating cushion, proud of himself for hunting down this tasty, sweet treat. The other day his sweet tooth led him to drink a cup of coffee.

    Anyway, 7 snack packs of cookies remain, unmolested, for human consumption. We’re all in bed now and I hope we won’t be up all night with upset bellies from eating too many sweet treats.

    What else did I get…. Another bar of Yardley soap, which smells incredible, has a thick, lotiony lather, and it also super inexpensive. Tejon thinks the soap smells amazing and I should let him eat it.

    I also got a really cool jigsaw puzzle which I hope we can manage to put together without the cats losing any pieces. Its double-sides, which a scene of succulents on both sides. Its going to be fun to put together! (aka hard)

    Ziggy is still doing poorly and I reached out to the people I bought him from. I really think its a swim bladder issue at this point but I’m only 5 months into goldfish keeping so what do I know? What I see is his body looks healthy, there’s no visible signs of injury or illness, he still had good appetite and chases his girlfriend around, but he can;t swim any higher than the bottom third and when he stops actively swimming, he just headstands. If there’s something I can do for him, I would like to do it.

    Right now though I’m going to take my meds, go pee, and finish this movie so I can be rested for my appointment tomorrow. Goodnight!

  • New Friends, Old Friends

    This is mostly going to be a photo dump. I’ve got some new goldfish friends coming probably on Tuesday afternoon. Two of which I selected the exact fish, and 2 which the good folks at King Koi & Goldfish will pick out for me.

    The tank of little orange and white pearlscales is where they will choose two little guys for me. The demekin and ranchu I specifically chose. I’m super excited to see them arrive!

    Here’s a berried mama shrimp, a juvenile shrimp, and the quick little blurs of some of the 15+ new platy fry I had born two nights ago. I finally stuck my arm in there and fished out the plant weight rings that no longer have plants in them, the dead root clusters from plants that did not survive, a bulb that was half gone, and I gave the tank a really good cleaning.

    I have so many mystery snails in there that my nitrate levels are way too high after a week, so last night I drained the tank to 30%, refilled it, and drained it again, giving it a 90% water change. That got my nitrates down to 5 ppm, so hopefully if I keep doing double water changes I can keep things under control and not lose any more platties.

    I found and removed 4 mystery snail egg clusters from the living room tank this evening and I need to remove the hood from the other two tanks and check them for eggs too. I do NOT need any more mystery snails! Ideally I would like 3 snails per tank and I have 15 with the goldfish, 5 with the cory cats, and there must be 40 in the the platties.

    Okay. one last photo. My boys were trying to tell me they wanted to come back inside this morning… LOL.

    They’ve got both their big heads shoved thru the window. Hey! Mama! We’re done with outside now, okay?

  • I Do Not Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas

    I just woke up from a terrible dream.

    Me and a couple other people answered an ad online to see a circus. Turns out it was in this old guy’s back yard. Bad things happened, he was holding me captive, there was sexual assault that I couldn’t remember because he was drugging me, and the other two people were in on it.

    Then we ended on a vacation together to this lake, which was ring shaped. I couldn’t leave to go home but I could wander around the lake so I did. My friend Kate was there, but she was severely physically disabled. We had a good time playing in the water.

    Then I was using a boogie board and I somehow shot up into the mud, up into the sky, and across the lake into the marshes on the other side. The water was really murky but really warm. Kate was over there too, and we weren’t exactly sure how to get back to the camps so we asked at a train station ticket booth. Right as we were about to buy tickets, I saw Yuba and Tejon in the street and they got into a big fight. Yuba came to me but Tejon ran off and jumped into the murky water, swimming away.

    It didn’t look right though so I ran after him, and then my mom was there and as I stripped down and jumped into the water, I saw the worst thing. A hippopatomus swimming towards me, with a scared and hurt Tejon in it’s mouth. It spit him out, and then grabbed him, and this time swallowed him. I just stood there, crying.

    Worst fucking dream ever.

  • Brothers : A Personal Essay

    Several months ago, I entered this essay to All Things Dogs in the hopes of receiving a $1000 scholarship for school. I didn’t win, but I couldn’t share this until now. Here you go!

    I had just moved back in with my mom after ending a relationship. We had gotten a puppy in the first year of the relationship, and we were together for seven years after that. He kept the dog. My heart dog. The best dog I had ever had. So when my mom’s dog was due to have puppies, I was doomed to fall in love. I did not want a puppy for a multitude of reasons but I also had a dog – shaped hole in my heart.

    For the record, I love dogs, but puppies are completely different. They’re little balls of chaos, with sharp nails, and needle teeth. I had vowed never to get another puppy, and to adopt an adult dog when the time was right. I had plans to go to the animal shelter and pick out a friendly pit bull with a happy grin, or a smallish terrier mix with an outgoing personality. That wasn’t what happened though. Instead I ended up with two German Shepherds.

    When the puppies were born, it didn’t take long for me to fall in love with one slightly fluffier little boy. I named him Yuba. He was calm, quiet, didn’t bite very much. My perfect puppy, or so he seemed at that moment in time. Out of the nine surviving puppies, this was the one I couldn’t get enough of. His sweet face, his soft coat, his gentle nibbles on my fingers. I didn’t realize at the time that the way he would hang back from the others and his super laid – back nature would be a sign of future behavioral problems.

    As time went on, the other puppies all found homes except for one. He and Yuba were both very shy, anxious puppies and would hide behind me when anyone came to see the remaining puppies in the litter. We called him Tejon and decided no one else deserved such a sweet boy. Tejon was now part of the family too.

    Tejony and Yuba were terrors for several months. The wild puppy stage never seemed to end and they seemed to be more destructive than any puppies my family had ever had before. They chewed holes through the drywall. They tore up most of the linoleum on the kitchen floor. Yuba discovered a taste for all things electrical cord, and I had to replace all my chargers at least twice. Tejon destroyed at least 6 remote controls.

    I hadn’t heard of littermate syndrome before, but I was about to get a crash course in it now. Yuba and Tejon started getting into tussles that weren’t play around 4 months old. A few weeks of this, and then they’d settle down to being best friends again for several months. Tejon was the more dominant dog, and Yuba wanted to challenge him at every turn.

    The next thing I discovered was that because the boys were literally together every moment of their lives, they were strongly bonded to each other, but only minimally bonded to me despite sleeping with me every night and getting lots of daily attention from me. This led to a lot of difficulties ranging from training being nearly impossible because they both have minimal interest in anything other than what the other is doing, and trying to work with them separately results in highly anxious dogs. Small things like “sit” and recall took much longer to teach them than was typical for a single dog.

    They work together as a team when they want something. When Tejon had an accident resulting in roughly 20 stitches across his ribs on one side, Yuba would help him remove his t-shirts, and plastic e-collar. When we upgraded Tejon to an inflatable e-collar, Yuba helpfully chewed it off of him and they punctured it together so it could no longer be worn.

    At about a year old, I had to buy a crate for Yuba to sleep in at night because he was anxious at night and would either wake me every few hours, or he would destroy anything he could get hold of. The first night he hated his crate. By the end of the week, all I had to say was “it’s bedtime!” and he was happily entering the crate on his own to lay down and sleep. The crate soon became another area of contention, with Tejon occasionally retreating into it for some quiet time, and Yuba challenging his being there.

    At around 18 months, they finally started to settle down and become the good dogs I knew they could be. They stopped destroying the house. They stopped chewing things up except for the occasional remote control. They greet me quietly and happily at the door when I come home from class. They’re the best of friends most of the time. They still have periods where they fight over dominance, which can be terrifying because at over 80 pounds each, it takes two people to break them up and put them in “time out.”

    Unfortunately, despite being sweet, loving, wonderful dogs to me and my family, they have some behavioral issues. Littermate syndrome will likely be an issue for their entire lives, and they never grew out of their puppyhood anxieties. Tejon isn’t too bad, but he won’t allow strangers to touch him. Yuba, on the other hand, is a bite hazard. He’s terrified of people he doesn’t know, and going to the vet requires a muzzle. I have to be vigilant whenever I take him anywhere because I need to protect him from his own fears.

    I wish other people could meet the boys I know, the Yuba that runs zoomies around the house at 8pm and then gives me kisses, and the Tejon who sprawls across my bed in the late hours of the night wanting his belly rubbed for as long as I can do it. It’s the sweet, social side of them I wish I could share with the rest of the world. They aren’t perfect dogs, but they’re my boys. My good, sweet boys. I wouldn’t trade them for another dog despite their behavioral problems. It does make things more difficult, but dogs are family and they have my unconditional love.

  • The Rest!

    The rest of the items that were so graciously gifted to me have arrived!

    More notebooks, pens (black ink), a thumb drive, a little sharpener, more stickers, a case for my Kindle, a calculator… I will be set with this stuff for at least 3 semesters. The only thing I’m going to need are scantron sheets.

    Monday is my registration date at College of the Canyons, and I’ve finally settled on a class schedule. I’ll be going for about 7 hours on Mondays, and about 4 and a half hours on Wednesdays. It’ll be tough, but it’ll mean 4 less hours a week I spend in my car driving.

    I’ve also got $105 towards my Spanish textbook from selling yarn and I may be able to sell a little more still. The goal of course is to not have to borrow from my mom – I already owe the Bank of Mom a lot of money.

    I’ve got a few short subsections of pre-algebra left in the Khan Academy app. It’s mostly scientific notation and while it’s not difficult, today just wasn’t the right day to try to slot through it.

    I took Moppie to the vet first thing this morning for her followup and she got a clean bill of health. Dr Debbie said she’s a bit anemic but it’s to be expected with all the blood draws this week and all the iv fluids.

    I planted pepper seeds a week ago and I currently have 4 tiny seedlings that have come up! I’m super excited about them, but since they’re going to be houseplants, I’ll likely have to manually polinate them. Pretty sure a paint brush will work for that.

  • Little Things

    I finished my exam, which didn’t take long. I’ll be driving in to turn it in this evening. I know I’m getting a good grade but I’m still curious about my other grades in the class and whether or not I might get a B. A B would make me so happy.

    I purchased and ordered yarn for my first sweater. The pattern seems to be more recipe than pattern, so I should be able to easily make a few minor changes. It’s basically a tube (it’s of the shoulder) with a cable across the chest.

    I feel so much better in the days since dropping the friend I wrote about before. I’m just so much less stressed and I’m not worrying about making sure they’re okay 24/7. I was basically babysitting them all day while they bitched about how horrible everyone treated them. At first I felt bad because it seems like they actually need a lot of help but I just couldn’t deal with them constantly playing the victim about every little detail in their life. It’s definitely better without them. I can get things done now.

    The kittens are growing like crazy and while the dogs are outside during the day the kittens have the run of the house. They’re basically complete little Psychopaths running around, jumping off of things, wrestling, climbing, getting tripped over, and doing all things cat. The littlest one, he’s so cute, has been a little behind the curve in learning to do all things cat. But he’s slowly catching up, wrestling with his brother and sister, and starting to climb and explore. I’ll be sad when they all go outside to become barn cats like we intended from the beginning.

    My doggos turned 2 years old on the 25th. It’s hard to believe they’re no longer puppies at all, considering they constantly act like puppies, racing around, playing, fighting, Wrestling, doing all the things that puppies do, pretty much 24/7 unless they’re sleeping or eating. I felt like a really bad dog mom because I totally forgot to wish them happy birthday and I didn’t even give them extra treats that day! The horror of it!

    I got a really cool backpack to tote around my stuff for school in the coming semesters. It was a little pricey but honestly good backpacks have always been a little pricey. I remember when I was in high school a JanSport would cost about $45 and that was in the mid-to-late 90s. I especially like the one I got because it has a special pocket that’s padded to hold a laptop, a smaller padded pocket for a tablet, it’s got pockets for water bottles, and as large as enough to hold a couple of binders or books. It’s also my favorite color.

    It’s currently 1:30 in the morning and I’m awake because after only getting 5 hours sleep yesterday, I went to bed at 10 p.m. last night only to wake up at 1 a.m. hot, headachy, and having to pee really bad. I went pee, and I’ve cooled down, but I still have the headache. Will likely take some ibuprofen in a little bit. There will definitely be an app in order this afternoon!

  • Tejony Update

    Tejony’s wound is mostly healing well. There’s a spot in the middle though that won’t close up, and it’s still oozing a lot of fluid. The fluid is mostly clear, sometimes times 3 with a little blood, and has no odor. But after 2 weeks it shouldn’t still be draining, so he’s on a second course of antibiotics.

    I’m hoping it’ll stop draining and start closing up in the center by the time he sees the vet again this weekend but I dunno.

    Other than that though, he’s eating, drinking, wants to run and play, and is basically his normal sweet self.