Dog day of summer

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Today was roofing dayand dog day. I cannot recall how much I’ve said about the roofing project, if anything, but it all started with the basement flooding incidents I shared in June. No—the roof didn’t leak, but with the gutters and downspouts being practically useless and causing water to seep into the basement window wells and flood the basement, I had some gutter guys give us estimates on replacing them. One guy’s company also does roofs, and when he was here, he climbed up to look at ours, and said, “You have massive hail damage and your insurance will pay for a new roof,” so we were sold. Sure enough, our insurance company concurred that we needed a new roof, and cut us a check for one, minus the deductible. So, long story short, as of this evening, we have a great new roof, but no gutters yet, as they got torn off today and will be replaced Monday. So as not to have to endure all the noise and chaos while the project was underway, Rick and I took the dogs and escaped to the mountains—what a gorgeous summer day! We stopped in Indian Hills, Buena Vista, Breckenridge, and Georgetown, driving south on 285 through South Park (of the animated feature fame), with some of the most incredible scenery on the planet. I always feel like I've landed on the moon when driving through South Parkit's worth a trip to Colorado just to see it. When we drove through Fairplay on the way from Buena Vista to Breckenridge, we got to see "Burro Days" in full swing, but we didn't stopperhaps you'll understand one of the reasons why not as this entry unfolds...

While there are no really enlightening thoughts to impart about today's adventure, here is perhaps the most important lesson I learned, and I will share it with you: Just in case you are ever tempted to be too busy/lazy/unconscious to socialize your dogs, to rarely take them out in public, and hardly ever expose them to new places, I can tell you, you may be sorry! I sure am. I used to be the girl with the canine sidekicks that went everywhere with her—SO well-socializedbut since moving to Denver, getting married, and having a house with a fenced yard, I have taken my dogs out and about with me almost not at all—at least nowhere near as much as I used to back in North Carolina as a single gal. Our Roly, the elder dachshund (6 years old), has always been a dream dog as far as trips go. Could be because he came from Dachshund Rescue and was shuffled around from home to home and lived at the vets’ for awhile and got to ride around with the rescue lady because she felt sorry for him being cooped up all the time. Anyway, he is a really calm car rider and basically easy going. The biggest problem we ever had with him on a trip was when we drove to Arizona, and there was no grass after we left our house in Denver till we got to the golf course at Rick’s dad’s house outside Phoenix, a 17-hour drive away. Everything was landscaped in pea gravel (which, you'd think, due to its name would be conducive to pee-ing, but not so). Without grass, he refused to let go and…go! Other than that, and being a little bit too eager to get out of the car when we arrive somewhere—okay, so you have to catch him in midair as he leapshe’s a great traveler.

Lilah, however, is a different story. She is totally neurotic, and seems to have entrained Roly to some degree with her neurotic behavior. One must wonder why his strengths and desirable qualities don’t rub off on her, instead. Let me just say that it was a long day with Lilah in the car (and out of the car, too)! When we first got her in 2002, I took her out and about early on and she did great, but I got lax as work on the book intensified, and have kept them home with only an occasional foray out, therefore, she is unused to being out in the world, and seems to have forgotten any familiarity she once had with car rides and trips to the park, etc. Now, when we take her places, she starts crying the moment she gets in the car and stops only for brief blessed interludes, which makes for a lot of crying on an 8.5-hour trip! She did pretty well with settling down when she was worn out from taking a walk—I don’t think Rick fully understood why I kept wanting to stop and walk the dogs, until it dawned on him that the only time Lilah would stop whining was when she had burned off some nervous energy with exercise!

The other thing I want to share is that Young Living’s Peace and Calming essential oil blend is a great anti-anxiety therapy and frequency lifter. I had brought it with us in hopes that it would calm Lilah, but it turned out to be great for calming us humans. It got knocked over somehow—a divine accident in my viewand quite a bit of it spilled in the cup holder of the console in the front, and the paper towel I soaked it up with acted as a diffuser and it filled the van with its fragrance all day. (Fortunately, it has a lovely, non-intrusive aroma.) While it didn’t seem to have that much effect on Lilah (though, who knows how crazy she might have been without it?), I noticed that even with all the potential stress and physical gymnastics I had to do with wrangling the dogs (reaching over seats to clip their seatbelts to their harnesses, unclipping them with them trying to lunge to get out, untangling leashes, etc., etc.) and with Lilah’s whining, I never really got ruffled or anxious! Amazing to me! Both Rick and I were quite placid and centered all day, and managed the “dachshund circus” calmly and efficiently for the most part, something that didn’t seem a likelihood at all when the day got underway! (Peace and Calming is great stuff for the dentist’s office, too, by the way.)

Anyway, we made it, I’m still peaceful and calm, and happy to have a new roof. I think I’ll take the dogs out for an adventure Monday when they install the new gutters and downspouts!

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This page contains a single entry by Julia published on July 31, 2005 3:33 AM.

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