I am enjoying my first week of retirement. This morning I decided to take Zeke and Shelby for a walk down the road and back for some exercise and some training. We walked down to the township park which is about 3/4 of a mile away. On the way we stopped occasionally to practice sits, downs, and stays. The picture above was taken while practicing stays in front of the local church. They had this pretty garland up for Christmas and I thought it made for the perfect photo opportunity while we were working on holding a sit. The pups did very well, especially considering that the recycling truck was emptying dumpsters just a few houses away. Shelby was not a fan of the grinding and banging but she did hold her stay.
We live in a small, rural community and apparently people are active in the morning. I never knew this because I was at work. On our way home a lady opened her front door to greet us as we passed by on the street. When she first saw Shelby, she thought her dog got out because she has a sheltie too. Once she realized it wasn’t her dog, she opened the door anyway to introduce herself and say hello. We talked for several minutes and I’m sure we will talk again as we had lots to say.
The dogs and I walked a short distance farther and another lady driving by in a van stopped to say hello and introduce herself. She said she knew where we lived and that I had visited another nearby homebound neighbor with two of the shelties before. We visited for a couple minutes then went on our separate ways. I learned that she also lives nearby.
What a lovely morning getting to meet two neighbors that I had never encountered before. I think that I am going to like this different life outside of the work environment. It is foreign to me but that just means it is a new adventure.
This is Zeke shortly after we returned from our walk and training. When the lady stopped in the van, he wasn’t sure if this was ok or if he should protect me. I told him it was alright and as the lady and I talked, Zeke relaxed. He was a good boy. This was a relief because he can sometimes be reactive to people or dogs that he does not know. But his response this time was just right. All the activity and decision making apparently wore him out. He needed a nap, so crashed on the living room couch with his head on the pillow.
I can’t wait to see what adventures tomorrow brings!
On my last day of work before retirement, I was given a couple of precious gifts from my coworkers. These gifts showed that they really did know me and appreciated who I was. One was an oversize mug (yay, lots of coffee and tea) that says Rescue Mom. Along with some kind words saying how she loved that I fostered and rescued dogs and to keep helping those puppies. Never fear, that is my plan! The best part of this gift was that this lady “gets” me and likes me for who I am.
The other mug was from a coworker who had helped me make sure that customers were fulfilling their requirements and doing what they were supposed to do. The words that I was to be missed were greatly appreciated. One of the Bible quotes on the mug he gave me seemed selected for me at this time of change in my life. “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way in which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.” How appropriate, as I enter this new phase of my life and decide where my life will take me after retirement.
I will remember these coworkers and their care and their support of me every time I use these mugs. Their kindness goes far beyond the day and the simple act of giving these gifts. They gave me a bit of themselves to take with me. May you all be blessed with such kind words and acts in your lives.
Zekie’s life just got immeasurably better. I am retired officially as of today. Zekie suffers from severe separation anxiety that we have never been successful in treating. We tried training, behavioral therapy, holistic medicine, prescription drugs. None of them have made a difference. We have only been able to contain him, and that has not been without extreme challenges.
Now Zekie won’t have to deal with me leaving every morning and being gone all day. At least not unless I get a job sometime down the road. Any time that I go away should only be for relatively brief periods of time. I can also be here to work on more extensive training with him and see if I can get control of some of his other behaviors.
He is an extremely smart dog. This has not always been to his or our benefit. Yesterday I went out to the pasture to bring the dogs back inside. Zeke grabbed the frisbee and was taking it to the house. I asked him, what are you doing? He stopped and looked at me. I told him, leave that outside. He put the frisbee down. I told him, go put that back in the pasture. And so he did. He picked the frisbee up, ran out and put the frisbee down inside the pasture fence, then followed me back to the house.
If a dog is that smart, there must be some way that I can communicate to him that we will always come back, that he is not being abandoned. It is just up to me to be smart enough to figure it out. But while we are working on obedience training and emotional health for Zekie, I get the pleasure and joy of hanging out with him and the other animals everyday.
Life is good. Peace be with you.