Chilly

It snowed here last week. This week, temperatures fell into the single digits, and it’s been a bit breezy, so this morning, according to my local newspaper’s twitter, it was 6°F with a wind chill of -6°F. A bit chilly.

Oh, and remember when I blogged about the cold? About how I was missing it? (I also wrote about how Greta wasn’t a fan, but more on that in a minute.) I’m over getting bundled up to go outside, of having to remember the proper footwear so my feet stay warm and dry and/or I don’t slip and fall. I’m over trying to remember gloves to keep my hands warm but still having to take them off to be able use the doggie doo-doo bags. And I’m definitely over the icy roads. So, except for being able to bake stuff without turning my house into a sweatbox, I’m pretty much over this winter stuff. I’m ready for it to get warm out again.

Greta, on the other hand, is sticking to her original assessment regarding cold weather. She doesn’t like it one bit.

When it first snowed, she didn’t want to go outside because it felt too much like rain, and my little desert dog is not a fan of rain. Once it stopped snowing and a path was cleared, she had fun bouncing around. She was so spry and energetic! Then, just like that, she decided that she didn’t like it anymore.

The snow itself she still likes. Just not the cold part.

I have a nice warm sherpa-style doggie coat that I put on her before we go outside. When we get out there, she stands on the pavement with one front paw and the opposite back paw raised so they won’t touch the cold pavement. She looks at me pleading to let her back in the house. She runs to the door every chance she gets. She does everything she can think of to go back to the warmth of the house, except going potty. That she saves for inside.

Usually, whenever one of the household humans (aka Mister or I) puts on a coat, pants, shoes, or even just walks near the front door, Greta gets all excited because she thinks she’s going outside or for a ride in the car. Normally she loves outside, and car rides are the Best! Thing! Ever! But this morning, after freezing her little paws off, she heard me getting ready for work, came out of my office to see me putting my coat on, let out a big sigh and walked back into my office to go back to bed. She is so over this weather.

After consulting with my imaginary internet friends, Mister and I are going change up the way we do positive reinforcement. She currently gets treats for going potty outside, but lately, with all the winter gear we have to take off before getting to the treat jar in the kitchen, it would seem that Greta sees her treats as reward for coming in the house – sort of how a snow-covered child gets a cup of hot cocoa and some cookies after playing in the snow. The time lapse is too great for her to associate the treat with potty. So we’re taking the treats outside. Last night, she got a treat once we got out of leash range of the front door. Then it took her a couple minutes to go potty, and she headed straight for the door as soon as she was done. But I stood in the same spot and called her back for a treat, and she actually came back in the snow to get it. So hopefully we can re-train her brain to think of the cold outside potty as a good thing.

Until then, I know both Greta and I will be thinking of warmer, cozier things.

A Bigger Bed

Ever since we got Greta, Mister and I have been complaining that our bed is too small. She’s a small dog, but she sure takes up a lot of space!

Part of the issue is that she is so small. Neither Mister nor myself are small humans, and with a little dog sharing our space, we were afraid to roll over for fear of breaking her. The other part of it is that Greta somehow seems to morph into a giant dog when she’s sleeping. Have you ever tried reclaiming some of the covers from under a tiny sleeping dog? It’s not one of my successes in life, that’s for sure.

For over a year, we put off buying a bigger bed since we knew we’d be moving in the foreseeable future. When we did move, into our tiny trailer, the bedroom barely had room for a queen sized bed, so getting a king in there just wasn’t going to happen.

Then we got the new place. The master bedroom in this house is bigger than our bedroom in the Las Vegas house was, so it comfortably fits a king sized bed. So we bought one.

Don’t mind the unmade bed.

That extra sixteen inches of space makes a world of difference!

Mister and I felt like we were miles away from each other, and at first, we were. We were so used to sleeping on the edges of the bed so as not to squish the dog that for the first few nights, we slept on the edges. Greta kinda loved all the extra space, and spread out sideways to take advantage of it.

Eventually, she started curling up between our pillows, and Mister and I stopped hovering on the edges of the bed. After a fair amount of time with the new bed, we both feel like we’re sleeping in the middle of the bed, but we’re not getting into turf wars with each other.

I never want to sleep in a smaller bed again.

House Update

The new house is coming along nicely. We’re hoping to be able to start moving in next weekend.

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In other news, poor Greta is nursing a broken paw. She got spooked by a noise and darted under Mister’s foot just as he was taking a step. He’s pretty upset about the whole thing. Now we’re dealing with Greta in a splint for the next 6 – 8 weeks.

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That’s about all for now. More updates later!

Doggie Dentist

Since it’s recommended that dogs get annual dental cleanings, I had planned to bring Greta in to our vet in Las Vegas before moving so that she could get that done. Greta had other plans, and to avoid further traumatizing her that day, we decided to postpone the cleaning.

When we got to New Hampshire, we ended up having to find a vet that does boarding fairly quickly, because we had to go to California to visit the in-laws. The nature of the visit didn’t really allow for us to bring Greta with us, so I ended up at the animal hospital just down the street from where we live.

I knew I’d need to get some bloodwork done for her, since heartworm, fleas, ticks, and Lyme Disease aren’t really issues for pets in Las Vegas, so Greta needed to be tested for all of that. I was a bit shocked at the costs. Apparently veterinary care is one of the few things that is way more expensive in New England than it was in Las Vegas. I also wasn’t satisfied that I wasn’t told all of the costs up front. For example, I was told that the Lyme booster would only be $20 for the tech to do it. I wasn’t told that it was also $30 for the medicine itself. And the boarding was more expensive as well. I wasn’t told until I dropped Greta off that there was an additional $9/day for them to administer her eye drops.

But I was in a hurry due to the upcoming trip, so I paid and left. Then I decided to find a new vet.

I called another vet that my mom had used when she lived a lot closer, and the dental cleaning estimate was about the same – but over the phone they told me of any additional costs. Happy with that level of customer service, I booked Greta’s appointment, dropped her off, and went about my day.

A little while later we got a call from the vet letting us know that Greta’s loose tooth “just fell out.” I was pissed. When I checked her in I told the vet specifically not to pull it. She had a loose incisor in the center of her bottom jaw. It’s been like that since we got her and it has survived previous dental cleanings. (Plus, it was really cute because it stuck out just a bit.) So the “just fell out” story was bullshit.

Mister picked Greta up that afternoon, and spoke to a different vet than I did when I checked her in. He listened to them tell him how it fell out, and then proceeded to politely decline their version of the events. He accused the hygienist of being too heavy handed and either scraped it out or just yanked it out. Either way, she no longer has that adorable little tooth showing when she looks at us.

Later that evening, Mister and I talked about it. He wasn’t pleased with that vet’s office at all, and I specifically wasn’t pleased with the way they lied to us about what happened. I would have been ok with it if they admitted to being too aggressive. We talked about the experience of the vet down the street, and decided that we did like the care they gave Greta, and we’d just have to stay on top of them to avoid any hidden costs. I’m not too keen on finding yet another vet in the area, and I do want one that offers boarding should the need arise, so that rules out another recommendation we had. I wish I could bring her back to her vet in Las Vegas, but that’s not really going to happen.

I’m bummed that we don’t have Greta’s little tooth to look at anymore, but she’s still the cutest dog ever.

Big Dog and Little Dog

Greta has now met all of my extended family living nearby and their pets. Everyone was eager to meet her, and Greta, being the sweet puppygirl that she is, didn’t disappoint.

On Easter, we went to my mom’s for dinner. Greta had been there once before, so she came out of her shell a bit more even though there were more people. She likes my mom’s yard because there’s lots of different blades of grass to sniff.

That evening, we stopped in on my aunt, uncle, three cousins, and Gram. They have a medium sized dog who is just as attached to my aunt as Greta is to me. They sniffed each other’s butts and went to their respective Moms. There was one point when my aunt’s dog came over – Mister was petting her and Greta was sitting on the other side of Mister, and she started a very low, barely heard growl. Greta’s a bit possessive when it comes to her humans handling other animals, so Mister had to pet Greta too.

Last night I took Greta over to my other aunt’s house. Mister was hanging out with my cousin and his friends doing boy stuff involving engines, but I figured I’d go over for a bit too. I was a bit apprehensive about Greta meeting Thumper, my cousin’s German Shepherd/Anatolian Shepherd mix. Yeah, Thumper’s a big dog. And friendly – too friendly. She doesn’t quite realize how big she is.

Thumper came out to meet Greta, and was really excited. At first Greta was excited too, because she could tell that Thumper wanted to play. They sniffed a bit, but Greta couldn’t reach to sniff Thumper’s butt. Next thing I know, Thumper was completely on top of Greta – who could still stand up because Thumper’s so big – and I think she felt attacked by Thumper’s over enthusiastic friendliness. Greta got on her back and started moving her paws about in an attempt to get Thumper away from her. After that, it was decided that they were not going to be friends.

I went into the house and chatted with my aunt for a bit, while Thumper and the guys stayed outside. Greta met the cat, who’s bigger than she is. The cat will usually chase dogs, probably because he’s used to holding his own against Thumper, but since Greta doesn’t know that she’s supposed to chase cats, so they were cool with each other.

After awhile, Thumper came back in the house and had to get right up in Greta’s face again. Greta was in my lap, and started growling a bit when a ginormous dog face was all up in hers. Those two are definitely not going to be friends. But really, how can anyone not love a face like this?