The preferred activity around our house lately has been watching the Australian Open. For those who don’t know, this is the first of the four major tennis tournaments of the year. The tournament spans two weeks and we watch as many of the matches as we can. It is down to the semi-finals now so we don’t want to miss anything.
So this is how I watch tennis. Claire the foster dog is in my lap. She is very snuggly and this way I know where she is at all times. This saves me from jumping up every few minutes to see where she is and what she is chewing on. So far: the earbuds to my iPhone, underwear, slippers, numerous paper napkins, and a pencil. Usually I get to her before much damage is done. And really it is my fault. Claire tries to be good. Given her past experience before she came to our house, she just doesn’t understand why some things are toys and some things are not. And she looks so heartbroken when I scold her for chewing inappropriate things. It’s as if she is saying, “awww, I got it wrong again.” She is learning now if I tell her no-no that she should put the item down and that will be the end of it. I am at fault for letting her have opportunities to mess up. We will get there.
Cassius lays beside me and puts his head on Claire. He wants to emphasize to us all that Claire may be on my lap, but I am his mommy!
And Baxter is on the couch because we are and, well, the couch is soft.
A better way to watch television is not to be found. Retirement rocks!
Not only am I enjoying retirement, so are the dogs. Zekie still has separation anxiety, but it doesn’t rear its ugly head as often because I rarely leave home. This makes us all happy.
I am still in that adjusting and recovering from years of work phase. It takes me until 10:00 am each morning to finish drinking coffee. An acquaintance who retired a few years ago and understands, asked me “oh, you mean 10:00 pm?” So I guess I am doing ok.
In the last photo, you can see not just Zekie is enjoying this new life. Claire the foster dog and Cassius the greyhound are also on the couch with me passing the morning. The others were hanging out nearby.
Retirement is a new journey and I am ready for the ride.
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.