Somewhere between Lexington and Bowling Green, Kentucky yesterday it occurred to be that I today was the 2nd anniversary of closing on my house here in Memphis. I know it’s a true fact because I pulled the stack of paperwork out of the file this afternoon and checked because it didn’t seem quite possible. Add to these two years the addition six months when I was spending three weeks of every four in a hotel here and I’m at a bit of a loss to identify where, exactly, the last 30 months have gone. I know I’ve been doing stuff but the two year mark kind of snuck up and surprised me. If you would have asked me five years ago where I would be living, Memphis wouldn’t have even shown up on the list. Ask me where I’m going to be five years from now and I wouldn’t even want to hazard a guess. For the time being, I’ve found myself to be reasonably happy to knock around down here. Ask me again in August when its 110 degrees and I’ll probably give you a different answer, though.
Traveling with two dogs create all sorts of new and interesting challenges but no regrets. First among them is having no real time to sit down and blog properly. It will have to suffice to say that the pups have been doing famously and are taking all the new scenery well in stride. Even my mother, who is no fan of dogs has warmed up a bit to having them around. Our holiday is coming to an end with the drive back to Tennessee on Saturday but it has been leave well spent and one of the most enjoyable Christmases I’ve had in recent memory. I hope everyone has had as good a christmas as I have. I’ll be back on a more regular writing schedule in a few days when I’m back to work and into the routine.
That’s strike four and they are outta there… Asshats.
Two Saturdays ago I went to the local truck accessory store and ordered a tonneau cover for the Tundra. It’s one of the flip models that still gives access to the bed without dragging the entire cover off the truck. At $900 installed the price wasn’t awful and the salesman doing the ordering said they could have it there on Tuesday. Not wanting to take a day off to do the installation, I scheduled the appointment for last Saturday, thinking that would allow plenty of flex time in case the parts were delayed in transit. And of course that’s where the plan went off the tracks.
I show up at 9:00 on Saturday for my appointment that should have taken about an hour to finish up. At 9:45 I see the truck back in the parking lot – without the cover. The sales guy comes over with that “yeah, we’ve got a problem” look on his face and tells me that the warehouse only shipped the box of hardware and not the cover itself. Strike 1. I’m annoyed by this point, but he promises that he’ll have them overnight ship it on Monday and they would be able to do the installation on Tuesday afternoon. Tuesday rolls by and at noon I call to make sure the second box has actually arrived. No way I’m driving halfway across town for no good reason again. This time, the story was that their truck from Texas had been stuck in the overnight ice storm, but that they were expecting it any minute. At 5:00 I called back and was told that they still hadn’t located the truck, but that they promised they could do the installation today at 1:00. Strike 2. I call back at noon today and ask about the missing truck and now get a story that my second box is actually on a truck in California and it probably won’t be in until next Monday. I’m steaming by this point and at times like this that it’s good telephones haven’t evolved the capability to let callers reach through the phone and bitch slap people on the other end. Explaining in as calm a way as possible that I was leaving on Saturday morning for the holiday and that I would just find a dealer in Maryland and have one waiting on me up there next week, I told them to just cancel the order and recommended hiring someone in their warehouse who knew something, or anything really, about warehouse or inventory management. Strike three and they’re outta there.
At 5:30 this evening, the store manager called back and really, really promised this time that they would have the item on Friday and could install it in the afternoon and that they’d knock $100 of the cover and $50 off the installation. They only thing I’m holding my breath for at this point is strike 4. Here’s a tip, don’t try to cry the blues about how hard it is to manage a warehouse in December to someone whose job description at one time included “Serves as a senior supply manager.” I’ve been doing it for almost six years and to be honest, logistics just ain’t that hard.
I’m beginning to feel like I’m turning into an all-puppy-all-the-time blogger and I suppose that’s been true lately. Keeping up with Maggie hasn’t left all that much time for anything else. Free time essentially becomes an opportunity for a nap and I try to indulge in that as often as possible. In keeping with the theme, I’ve been told by my new puppy guru that I’ve been approaching the entire housebreaking too much like a dumb human and not enough like a smart dog. So at her advice, it’s back to the drawing board with special high intensity crate training, no more roaming the kitchen during the day, and way more treats for doing her thing outside. As far as the poo eating, I’m promised it’s just a phase and sweet Jebus, I hope that’s true! The plan now is for me and Winston to wear her out so if you’ll excuse me, I’d better get back to my second job…
If anyone is interested, Maggie is has a pretty good grip on “sit” as long as there is a treat involved and started working on “down” tonight. I’m taking my comforts in the small victories at the moment.
So I’ve been a busy little beaver this weekend. Keeping up with the pups is, as always, a full time job unto itself, but I’ve finally managed to finish my Christmas shopping and get it wrapped. Winston went to the groomer’s for a bath and nail trimming last night and I cleaned the house and caught up on email, filing, and getting some pictures organized today. I even managed to steal seven hours of sleep last night so I’m feeling downright fantastic. Of course now I have to start thinking about what I need to do to get on the road back to Maryland next Saturday, but in light of my other successes this weekend, I’m deferring all trip planning until at least tomorrow. It’s Sunday and after all, it is a day of rest.
There are some things that you’re never really prepared to handle. It never really occurred to me that dogs eat poo, but based on a quick Google search of the topic, it’s very apparent that they do. I’m sure that’s a behavior that can be adjusted with some serious training. If Maggie were just eating off the ground, it would be bad enough but she has taken to following poor Winston around like he was a warm, furry, four legged soft serve machine. And yes, that’s exactly the mental image I was trying to get across. I’ve been disturbed by it all day so you might as well be too!
With Winston pushing a healthy 11 months this week, I had forgotten that occasionally puppy parenthood throws you a bone when you least expect it. I got home this afternoon to find only two small puddles and not a pile of poo to be seen in the entire house. Maggie is 9 weeks old now and I know this is only one small triumph in the greater battle, but when you spend all day anticipating the worst, occasionally you’re pleasantly surprised by the best. And that’s why it pays to be a pessimist. 😉
I was thrilled this afternoon when I got to the house and found no poo in the breakfast nook where I have been keeping Maggie since she got here. Definitely some pee, but I can totally live with that on the linoleum for a few weeks right? All was right with the world and I put my little angles out and headed back to the bedroom to change before cleaning up the kitchen. That’s when I saw it… the giant pile of poo in the middle of the living room floor. So not only did she get over the gate once, but she climbed back over it and was sitting happily back in the kitchen when I got to the house. Knowing that Maggie is an escape artist, I suppose it was inevitable that she would find her way over the larger gate in the kitchen just as she had found her way over the last one. I had hoped it would take her more than two days, though. I know shit happens, but I would really rather it happen on tile or linoleum. So for tomorrow, we go to Plan B. Now I just need to figure out what that actually is…
Sometimes I think it’s a good idea that I live 800 miles from home. It’s the kind of mileage that gives one a minimum safe distance from family. I knew that my mother was going to have a small conniption when I broke the news to her that her second grandchild was also a dog. But I hadn’t planned on the rather blistering email invective that I got outlining all of the reasons why a second dog was a terrible idea and that a lab makes it even worse. I suppose it serves me right for convincing her that she needed to be part of the e-revolution in the first place. Now mother has never really been a big fan of the kind of animals that live in the house, where I have always been the one trying to drag strays home. That’s definitely not something I got from her. The reasons ran from “you’re too impulsive” to those dogs need more room than you have to she’ll destroy everything in your house. The real kicker was arguing that it would have made more sense for me to come home telling her that I got some girl pregnant. So much for logic.
So here I am, sitting here at the keyboard second guessing myself. It’s amazing that at 30 a guilt trip from my mother still has the old magic, no. But the kids seem to love playing together and I know I’m giving them both better homes than many other dogs out there. So chime in here, readers, have I done the right thing?