Category Archives: pets

Pet Project

I haven’t blogged about the newest addition to our menagerie: Xena, the Rottweiler, who joined our household in May.

Xena on her pillow

She’s closing in on six months and has integrated well into the pet dynamics although when the cats get wild and crazy, Xena can’t help but get equally excited. Xena is the most orally-obsessed animal I’ve owned: every walk is a challenge as she seeks to ingest any and everything she encounters. Seriously: she licks the dry street and sidewalk if nothing interesting presents itself (although blowing leaves, sticks and stones are best).

Amusingly enough, our geriatric, tiny Sheltie still rules the roost. One emphatic snarl from Goldie has Xena on her belly, signalling her submission. You have to know that Goldie happily abuses her power every chance that she gets.

Xena has been a real project pet: she’s more high-energy than previous pups in that she really needs not one, not two, but three brisk walks a day of a mile, preferably more. I’m getting a lot of exercise, which I probably need. So much walking that, in fact, my lovely exercise bike sits idle in the basement because, if I have twenty or more minutes to use that, why am I not walking the dog(s)?

Hrm. Ask me that again in the depths of winter when I’m bundled up and praying that my boots don’t slip on the icy mess that our sidewalks become after the first thaw/freeze cycle.

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Dealing with Derailment

This morning I was all prepared to polish off the last course prep tasks for my winter classes when I got derailed. Pet health issues again: trying to figure out what was wrong, booking an appointment with the vet and dealing with the logistics of how to get there on a carless day with much snow? That ate up a big chunk of the morning.

Now it’s afternoon and I’ve just gotten back on track with compiling the last course materials. I couldn’t do it right away after dealing with all of the above. I was too flustered and high on adrenaline. Instead, I substituted a few low-stakes tasks into the rest of the morning. My range and kitchen counters sparkle, there’s laundry on the go and I’ve virtually filed away some teaching materials I won’t need in the new year.

When I’m derailed, I’ve learned to accept that this task, whatever it is!, has taken over my life for a short term. I throw myself into doing what has to be done to deal with it, deal with the issue as far as I can at that point (which may, in the case of a semi-distant crisis only be an acknowledgement of the problem), calm down and, only once I’m calm, get myself back on track. Which is where I’ve been for the last hour and where I’m heading back to as soon as I hit post!

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A Dog’s Life

This past month has been an exciting time professionally. Helping to get the news out about Star Wars and History has been great fun. But real life has a way of intruding. In this case, it came in the form of our aging but much-loved Staffie, Ozzie, seen here sacked out on the family room couch with our cat, Sisu. Dog and cat snoozing

Ozzie has health problems, which we’ve finally nailed down with a diagnosis of Cushing’s disease. (Sadly, nothing to do with the awesome Peter Cushing who artfully terrorized us all as Grand Moff Tarkin.) Now that we know what’s wrong, we can begin the course of treatment, medication, which should improve his quality of life. The diagnosis also comes with the news that he’s likely to only be with us for another year and a half or two. We live with pets on borrowed time but we’re hoping to squeeze as much as we can out in the next few years. There will be more indulgent naps on the couch and snuggle time, have no doubt!

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Cause Kittens Don’t Keep

There’s a new addition to the household: Sisu, the six-month-old Siberian. Her name is Finnish: a word that means determination in the face of adversity. Consider her the ultimate stress-reducer for the professor in grading jail: Sisu is shameless about crawling into my lap whether I have a laptop or a pile of papers. It slows me down a bit but I don’t mind.

DSC01059

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Meet Odo

Sleeping Cat

Our menagerie has grown! Odo (in honour of Odo of Bayeux but also with a nod to Odo of Star Trek fame) is a Siberian cat. Ironically, despite his luxurious fur, he is essentially non-allergenic. He’s also a clown of a cat, prone to knocking items off of tables, shoving himself inside any cardboard box or book bag and stalking the pigeons that frequent the bird feeder outside our window. He gets along famously with the dogs and amuses me greatly. (Click to enlarge the picture.)

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