a year with the pup

20

today marks a year since we adopted rufus. we've been very quiet on the writing-about-the-dog front recently, mostly for privacy reasons.

but there are some things we wanted to share.

like he's doing well. he's far less anxious, though he still seems to have a little bit of separation anxiety. we're weening him off the crate, slowly (still obviously wanting it to be an attractive option, but not a requirement).

and i'm really grateful for a late-night companion; while jb sleeps, i work; rufus hangs out with me and doesn't complain (too much) when there's some play time in the middle of the night. we send jb off to work then go to sleep for a few hours and get the next day going.

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What do you have? What do you need?

I had a moment on Wednesday night.

Maybe it was more of a Moment.

I don't know where it came from. I'm sure it has a little to do with the stuff I've been reading lately, but not a lot. I'm learning important things from some of it, but I haven't acted on a lot of that stuff; it's really just been information in at this point.

I was walking north on suburban dead-end street I live on, wearing comfortable shoes, shorts, a jacket and a baseball cap. My right arm was around the shoulders of the woman I love. My left hand held a leash attached to the black lab we rescued in January, who was alternately sniffing and urinating (you know, dog things). The sky was dimming, the air a little heavy with humidity but cool enough, by way of apology, to be comfortable.

And that was everything I needed. And I think it's everything I'm going to need. Ever.

That was it. My Moment. What was yours?

six months with the pup

six months ago today, we brought home rufus, a 75-pound, 2-year-old black lab. probably a mix of some sort because his body is a little shorter and wider than a thoroughbred lab would likely be.

we've learned a lot about each other, that dog and his humans. our biggest challenge is still his separation anxiety. it's gotten somewhat better, but we still have to put zip ties on his crate to keep him in when we're not home (otherwise he'll just tear the place apart – something he won't do if we are home). we can't leave him in the yard for a little while, and we can't leave him in the car while we run into the store for more than about the length of time it takes to pour a cup of coffee at a gas station.

we've yet to board him for a weekend; he's come with us on all our trips thus far. he copes ok if one of us is gone for the night; that happens very rarely, though, so it's not good practice for when both of us will be gone.

more than anything, we've learned patience, selflessness and to plan ahead (we have to make sure rufus has some time out of his crate if we're going to go out for the evening; not to mention bathroom time and food).

rufus has also grown accustomed to changing schedules, and he's picked up on various patterns (i take him for a walk in the morning, then we go to the office so that i can read and write, for example, or that we brush our teeth, go upstairs, take his collar off, and then he goes into his crate to go to sleep).

in addition, having a dog has given us a little more insight into what truly makes us happy: time with family, relaxing, reading, entertaining. if it comes down to 20 people, loud music and mediocre food and drink or time alone or with 2 or 3 friends at the house with a couple of bottles of wine and a couple of bricks of cheese, we'll definitely choose the latter.

what's helping you grow?

walk 34

tuesday, 4:25pm. 56°, partly sunny.

the weather widget on my phone says it's mostly cloudy out, but the clouds are positioned such that the sun can get through quite clearly.

i guess i'm an optimist. i've noticed rufus is, too.

in the wild, dogs (just like people in a hunter-gatherer society, by the way) have three categories of things, and they evaluate in this order. (1) things that will eat me; (2) things i can eat; (3) everything else. sure, you'd rather do the eating, but you won't do any more eating if you approach something that will eat you first.

in a suburban neighborhood, where we're walking together and not so worried about coyotes and man-and-dog-eating giants, we're pretty much looking at food and everything else. i'm guessing that's one reason for all the sniffing – especially if he's going to continue to accept his people as leaders of the pack (we're the ones responsible for "things that will eat me").

or perhaps the eternal optimist puppy always thinks there will be a chunk of steak in the tall grass.

rufus would rather be hanging out with jb and me than wandering around the house knocking down garbage cans and rooting through cupboards. win. but it means that every time we move from a spot, he springs up as though, i don't know, we're handing him food or something. this holds true whether we're lounging around watching tv and we get up to use the bathroom, or whether we're preparing dinner and we head to a cabinet. or we're sitting in the office blogging and i wheel my chair two inches in any direction.

spring is here for real, i think. time to enjoy it. tata.

walk 34

tuesday, 4:25pm. 56°, partly sunny.

the weather widget on my phone says it's mostly cloudy out, but the clouds are positioned such that the sun can get through quite clearly.

i guess i'm an optimist. i've noticed rufus is, too.

in the wild, dogs (just like people in a hunter-gatherer society, by the way) have three categories of things, and they evaluate in this order. (1) things that will eat me; (2) things i can eat; (3) everything else. sure, you'd rather do the eating, but you won't do any more eating if you approach something that will eat you first.

in a suburban neighborhood, where we're walking together and not so worried about coyotes and man-and-dog-eating giants, we're pretty much looking at food and everything else. i'm guessing that's one reason for all the sniffing – especially if he's going to continue to accept his people as leaders of the pack (we're the ones responsible for "things that will eat me").

or perhaps the eternal optimist puppy always thinks there will be a chunk of steak in the tall grass.

rufus would rather be hanging out with jb and me than wandering around the house knocking down garbage cans and rooting through cupboards. win. but it means that every time we move from a spot, he springs up as though, i don't know, we're handing him food or something. this holds true whether we're lounging around watching tv and we get up to use the bathroom, or whether we're preparing dinner and we head to a cabinet. or we're sitting in the office blogging and i wheel my chair two inches in any direction.

spring is here for real, i think. time to enjoy it. tata.

walk 34

tuesday, 4:25pm. 56°, partly sunny.

the weather widget on my phone says it's mostly cloudy out, but the clouds are positioned such that the sun can get through quite clearly.

i guess i'm an optimist. i've noticed rufus is, too.

in the wild, dogs (just like people in a hunter-gatherer society, by the way) have three categories of things, and they evaluate in this order. (1) things that will eat me; (2) things i can eat; (3) everything else. sure, you'd rather do the eating, but you won't do any more eating if you approach something that will eat you first.

in a suburban neighborhood, where we're walking together and not so worried about coyotes and man-and-dog-eating giants, we're pretty much looking at food and everything else. i'm guessing that's one reason for all the sniffing – especially if he's going to continue to accept his people as leaders of the pack (we're the ones responsible for "things that will eat me").

or perhaps the eternal optimist puppy always thinks there will be a chunk of steak in the tall grass.

rufus would rather be hanging out with jb and me than wandering around the house knocking down garbage cans and rooting through cupboards. win. but it means that every time we move from a spot, he springs up as though, i don't know, we're handing him food or something. this holds true whether we're lounging around watching tv and we get up to use the bathroom, or whether we're preparing dinner and we head to a cabinet. or we're sitting in the office blogging and i wheel my chair two inches in any direction.

spring is here for real, i think. time to enjoy it. tata.

walk 34

tuesday, 4:25pm. 56°, partly sunny.

the weather widget on my phone says it's mostly cloudy out, but the clouds are positioned such that the sun can get through quite clearly.

i guess i'm an optimist. i've noticed rufus is, too.

in the wild, dogs (just like people in a hunter-gatherer society, by the way) have three categories of things, and they evaluate in this order. (1) things that will eat me; (2) things i can eat; (3) everything else. sure, you'd rather do the eating, but you won't do any more eating if you approach something that will eat you first.

in a suburban neighborhood, where we're walking together and not so worried about coyotes and man-and-dog-eating giants, we're pretty much looking at food and everything else. i'm guessing that's one reason for all the sniffing – especially if he's going to continue to accept his people as leaders of the pack (we're the ones responsible for "things that will eat me").

or perhaps the eternal optimist puppy always thinks there will be a chunk of steak in the tall grass.

rufus would rather be hanging out with jb and me than wandering around the house knocking down garbage cans and rooting through cupboards. win. but it means that every time we move from a spot, he springs up as though, i don't know, we're handing him food or something. this holds true whether we're lounging around watching tv and we get up to use the bathroom, or whether we're preparing dinner and we head to a cabinet. or we're sitting in the office blogging and i wheel my chair two inches in any direction.

spring is here for real, i think. time to enjoy it. tata.

walk 34

tuesday, 4:25pm. 56°, partly sunny.

the weather widget on my phone says it's mostly cloudy out, but the clouds are positioned such that the sun can get through quite clearly.

i guess i'm an optimist. i've noticed rufus is, too.

in the wild, dogs (just like people in a hunter-gatherer society, by the way) have three categories of things, and they evaluate in this order. (1) things that will eat me; (2) things i can eat; (3) everything else. sure, you'd rather do the eating, but you won't do any more eating if you approach something that will eat you first.

in a suburban neighborhood, where we're walking together and not so worried about coyotes and man-and-dog-eating giants, we're pretty much looking at food and everything else. i'm guessing that's one reason for all the sniffing – especially if he's going to continue to accept his people as leaders of the pack (we're the ones responsible for "things that will eat me").

or perhaps the eternal optimist puppy always thinks there will be a chunk of steak in the tall grass.

rufus would rather be hanging out with jb and me than wandering around the house knocking down garbage cans and rooting through cupboards. win. but it means that every time we move from a spot, he springs up as though, i don't know, we're handing him food or something. this holds true whether we're lounging around watching tv and we get up to use the bathroom, or whether we're preparing dinner and we head to a cabinet. or we're sitting in the office blogging and i wheel my chair two inches in any direction.

spring is here for real, i think. time to enjoy it. tata.

walk 34

tuesday, 4:25pm. 56°, partly sunny.

the weather widget on my phone says it's mostly cloudy out, but the clouds are positioned such that the sun can get through quite clearly.

i guess i'm an optimist. i've noticed rufus is, too.

in the wild, dogs (just like people in a hunter-gatherer society, by the way) have three categories of things, and they evaluate in this order. (1) things that will eat me; (2) things i can eat; (3) everything else. sure, you'd rather do the eating, but you won't do any more eating if you approach something that will eat you first.

in a suburban neighborhood, where we're walking together and not so worried about coyotes and man-and-dog-eating giants, we're pretty much looking at food and everything else. i'm guessing that's one reason for all the sniffing – especially if he's going to continue to accept his people as leaders of the pack (we're the ones responsible for "things that will eat me").

or perhaps the eternal optimist puppy always thinks there will be a chunk of steak in the tall grass.

rufus would rather be hanging out with jb and me than wandering around the house knocking down garbage cans and rooting through cupboards. win. but it means that every time we move from a spot, he springs up as though, i don't know, we're handing him food or something. this holds true whether we're lounging around watching tv and we get up to use the bathroom, or whether we're preparing dinner and we head to a cabinet. or we're sitting in the office blogging and i wheel my chair two inches in any direction.

spring is here for real, i think. time to enjoy it. tata.

walk 34

tuesday, 4:25pm. 56°, partly sunny.

the weather widget on my phone says it's mostly cloudy out, but the clouds are positioned such that the sun can get through quite clearly.

i guess i'm an optimist. i've noticed rufus is, too.

in the wild, dogs (just like people in a hunter-gatherer society, by the way) have three categories of things, and they evaluate in this order. (1) things that will eat me; (2) things i can eat; (3) everything else. sure, you'd rather do the eating, but you won't do any more eating if you approach something that will eat you first.

in a suburban neighborhood, where we're walking together and not so worried about coyotes and man-and-dog-eating giants, we're pretty much looking at food and everything else. i'm guessing that's one reason for all the sniffing – especially if he's going to continue to accept his people as leaders of the pack (we're the ones responsible for "things that will eat me").

or perhaps the eternal optimist puppy always thinks there will be a chunk of steak in the tall grass.

rufus would rather be hanging out with jb and me than wandering around the house knocking down garbage cans and rooting through cupboards. win. but it means that every time we move from a spot, he springs up as though, i don't know, we're handing him food or something. this holds true whether we're lounging around watching tv and we get up to use the bathroom, or whether we're preparing dinner and we head to a cabinet. or we're sitting in the office blogging and i wheel my chair two inches in any direction.

spring is here for real, i think. time to enjoy it. tata.