July 3, 2014 – Finally an update from Tennessee

The move went well. We still have to go back to NH for one more load. Had I known, I would have hired movers.

Oreo did really well in every hotel. Of course everyone just loves her. I forgot to put her Therapy Dog in Training vest in the car and it was packed in the U-Haul for part of the trip, but once I got it and put it on her she had no trouble whatsoever going anywhere with me. Now I just need to find a certification course here in Tennessee so she can complete her training and upgrade to Therapy Dog proper.

She gets along so well with my landlord’s two German Shepherds. They’re puppies though, and play a little too rough for her, so she stays attached to me for now. I still need to find a better plan for grocery shopping, since there’s no delivery service here and I don’t have a regular sitter/daycare yet. So far we put on her jacket and go to Walmart’s food section in through the garden section, quick as we can. I’ve left her in the cabin for a few minutes at a time and so far she hasn’t chewed the doorknob to get out.

Gotta run, going to pick some blackberries.

Oreo in the cabin.
Oreo in the cabin.

June 20, 2014 – First excursion to businesses with Therapy Dog vest

Oreo did so well this morning! We went to FedEx and she just laid at my feet while I sent the package. The proprietor just gave Oreo a glance and didn’t say a word. We then went to U-Haul, and Oreo hesitated at the deck stairs, which didn’t have risers, but then hopped right up. She did good for the first 30 minutes, but just when I thought we were done and she was in the car, they realized the hitch they’d sold me wouldn’t work, so she sat in the car for almost 30 more minutes before getting antsy. I can’t blame her; I was antsy to get out of there too. Note that neither of those businesses had ‘no pets allowed’ or ‘service dog only’ signs. I’m not trying to pass her off as a service dog; she truly is a therapy dog in training.

Therapy Dog in Training
Oreo is a Therapy Dog in Training

Also, there’s a company in Tennessee I’ll apply to so I can drive patients to their doctor appointments, wait for them, then drive them home. While we’re waiting, Oreo can do more therapy-dog stuff. As soon as I get down there I’ll find a trainer for her next steps in certification. I’m so proud of her, she was really seriously working once I put that vest on her.

June 16, 2014 – snore snore

Poor Oreo is bored to pieces. We’ve gone on no runs. We’ve been to a couple of baseball games, no excitement (besides the ballgame itself). I think people are confused by her new ‘Therapy Dog in Training’ vest. I think they think it means she’s a service dog in training so they should ignore her; the people who usually fawn all over her kept their distance last week. Hmmmmm…. we’ll leave it home for the All-Star game next Friday.

But, we move to Tennessee next week, so that will be exciting. She got her K-9 Float Coat and it fits beautifully. She wasn’t thrilled to wear it, but she will be once she associates it with jumping in the lake. I’ll get a picture of her in her Float Coat tomorrow.

June 9, 2014 – Nice run at Mine Falls

Weather was nice, mid-60s, overcast. Two nice people and one crabby pants Botox Queen letting her little dog Roger run loose .25 mile ahead of her. I told her to leash him and she smirked at me (at least I think it was a smirk, hard to tell with all that facial paralysis) so I asked, “What’s his name?” “Roger,” she managed to squeeze out between frozen, over-sized lips. “Well, Roger’s going to be reported if you don’t put him on a leash.” Ha! Take that, plastic-woman. (Although I must confess I’ve had ‘work done’ as well…many moons ago.) These days I don’t even color my hair or polish my nails; too much animal testing in beauty products going on for my conscience. Anywho, back to Miss Oreo…

She seems to be showing her age lately; droopy skin and lips, a little bit of a wobbly gait. So she ran alongside for the brisk five-minute warm-up walk. She was really pulling hard, probably because it’s been six days since we last ran. But then I put her in her buggy for the 25-minute jog (minus the minute and a half I spent chatting with Madam Injection). She’s happy as a clam, sacked out right now on the cool, clean rug.

Nothing exciting from my nephews’ two games last Saturday; there’s another game tonight but hopefully it will just be a relaxing night out. Oreo’s Vet’s Best peppermint oil flea and tick spray worked great keeping the mosquitoes off both of us.

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June 3, 2014 – Finally some nice weather!

We finally got some good weather yesterday and today, and what a difference it has made in people! We went for our run this morning and people actually said good morning back to me! Usually they either just stare or make some snide comment abut Oreo riding in her buggy instead of running. One lady in the parking lot actually did approach and ask if it wasn’t better for the dog to run rather than ride, and when I explained that Oreo has three legs and can run about a mile before riding she turned to her friends and said, “I have to get out of myself more,” meaning to keep an open mind I guess. She was really nice about it. Our total pace was 14:07, but that includes the warm up and cool down walks. Our run pace was actually 13:03. And neither of us was too winded. 🙂

Last Saturday we went to an adoption event for Don’t Dump That Dog, the rescue that pulled Oreo up from Kentucky. Oreo was a little traumatized thinking she was going to stay there, but after a good night’s sleep she realized she’s stuck with me and went back to her happy, silly self. There was an ADORABLE pittie tripawd there named Emma. SUCH a sweet personality. She deserves a really, REALLY good home, and her foster mom is doing an excellent job with her. People local to New England can apply to adopt her at DontDumpThatDog.com (donations are also gratefully accepted).

Oreo sporting her donation vest.
Oreo sporting her donation vest.

May 25, 2014 – Wounded Warrior 5k

IMG_0555Today was a smashing success! I LOVE Millennium Running, they put on very organized race events. The runners were sooooooooooo nice! They of course loved Oreo, and we walked around a bit saying hello before the race started. Once I brought out her buggy we got a few raised eyebrows but they were accompanied by smiles. I was offering everyone rides back to the finish line for $5, ha ha.

We started at the back of the pack but quickly overtook the walkers. One runner lady was so funny, she said, “You know it’s bad when the three-legged dog passes you!” Ha haaaa! She was so lovely, and came over afterward to chat.

The highlight for me as a runner was when the blind guy passed us. His wife/partner was in the lead holding the top of his metal cane, and he was behind her in tandem holding the other end. Talk about inspirational! And, they were waiting at the finish line cheering us on! His wife/partner was yelling, “Go, Tripawd!!!” and the whole crowd started cheering us with her, “Go, Tripawd! Woooo hoooooo!!!!” Cameras were everywhere, and we’re both such hambones I know at least I was posing, and couldn’t resist a queenly wave. 😉

The highlight for me as a tripawd mom was after we put Oreo’s buggy in the car and were heading back to get snacks. A lady in the parking lot hesitantly asked me how Oreo was doing on three legs. I said great, and told her about a couple of Oreo’s escapades. She opened up to me and said that her eleven-year-old Husky just had a tumor removed from her front leg on Thursday, and the vet was talking about possibly amputating the leg. The lady said she was bawling and bawling, envisioning horrific scenes of her poor three-legged dog. Then she saw Oreo. She was so relieved! I directed her to Tripawds.com by showing her Oreo’s gorgeous bandana. I missed all the award ceremony but it was totally worth it to bring a little peace to that wonderful dog mom.

I’ll post pictures as soon as they’re ready. I may have to chop my head off though; I had taken my hat off partway through and who knows what I looked like. Oreo was the star of the show anyway. 😉 Oh, and my pace was 13:13. My first run last year was 15:32. We came in 197 out of 261, and were 21st in our age category (which I’ll never win because if anyone ever yelled my age over a loudspeaker I’d die of embarrassment, ha ha).

May 23, 2014 – Last run before the 5k on Sunday

Oreo at Mine Falls 5.24.14The drizzle kept almost all the annoying people away. 😉  I MUST finish my run before 8:45am when the gaggle arrives and blocks the exit with their dogs and themselves. Oreo doesn’t mind much; she loves everyone. She did stop smiling until I got her away from the chatty man and his long-leashed dog, then she poured on the cuteness once again.

I did read everywhere that if I get a tripawd then everyone, seemingly EVERYONE, is going to want to stop and talk about her, even in New England. Plus she’s just so beautiful, they’d want to engage us anyway. My pretty princess!

The Wounded Warrior 5k is on Sunday, and I can’t wait! I think I’ll give her a brisk walk before it starts, then put her in the buggy. Don’t want to risk tripping up any runners.

I thought about going to Concord, NH with her today for the March Against Monsanto, but I’m too leery of what kind of crowd it will be, and whether we’d be safe. We’ll do the Meditation Moment at 9:30pm instead, in the relative safety of our own home.

May 21, 2014 – Mine Falls, Nashua, NH

Oreo in buggy at Mine FallsOreo’s gait has been a little wobbly lately, so she gets in the DoggyRide after only about five minutes of brisk walking. She loves it, although she did try to jump out after the groundhog today! We’re signed up for the Wounded Warrior run on Sunday, and I may just start her out in the buggy from the start, we’ll see.

Today’s trials included a woman who, even though Oreo was sporting her pink collar and bright-pink Tripawds bandana said, “Oh, how handsome.” “PRETTY!” I replied. “She’s PRETTY!”

Next her husband let their Golden go long and nearly tangled the leashes. This was at the foot of the bridge. In the center of the bridge, like Billy Goats Gruff, were two small dogs, one on a long retractable lead all the way out. I called, “Would you retract your leash please?” He started to nonchalantly, but as I got closer he left it out and his dog charged at Oreo, teeth bared, jaws snapping. I don’t care if it was just a beagle, I yelled, “I TOLD YOU TO RETRACT YOUR LEASH!” And I am loud, man. His buddy tried sticking up for him. “He’s trying to…” Yeah, he managed to quick as a wink once I yelled. Sheesh.

I tried to shake it off, and God placed two angels on the trail. The first was a lovely-on-the-inside homeless lady, who smiled a big smile and said how cute Oreo is. That’s more like it. Then an adorable little boy wasn’t listening to his mother and started running toward Oreo. She had her hands full with a stroller and a baby and couldn’t hear me over the traffic so I gave body language with nodding and smiling, “It’s okay!” She visibly relaxed, and the little boy patted Oreo very nicely, then looked me square in the eye and said, “Good morning.” What a sweet lad.

At the end of the run I had to make my way through a gaggle of grannies who were waiting to walk/run en masse. I only had to ask one to control her dog so I could get through. Oh, and then there was the Irish guy on the trail who commented, “Now that’s the life,” when he saw Oreo riding. I think I may have accidentally said, “Yeah, lop off one of your legs and see how you like it…” but hopefully I only thought it. LOL!

Friday we’re going earlier to hopefully avoid all that nonsense! Naturally Oreo smiled the whole way through. She’s such a sweetie.

May 17, 2014 – loose dogs on the trail

Oreo with squeaky WinnieOreo and I encountered two loose dogs on the trail today. They had been at nephew #1’s ballgame, barking like mad at every dog that walked by. When I saw the dad hopping boulders over white water with the 4- and 7-year-old girls, one dog already loose, I knew it wasn’t long before the other one got loose and charged. Sho nuff…good thing I have extraordinarily long arms. I had both big dogs by the collar (his and mine), screaming at him to come and get his dog, “and the little one too!” Wouldn’t you know he turned around to the four-year-old and blamed her because she wasn’t listening to him so he got distracted and let go of the leash? Honestly…

Besides that fiasco, and the other one where Oreo was about to jump in the water for the first time but a little girl threw a rock in front of her and the splash scared her back (what is it with the kids today?), the trail was gorgeous!

I sprayed Oreo with her Vets Best peppermint oil & cedar extract spray, and the mosquitoes didn’t bother her at all. When we got home I vacuumed her as I do whenever we go in the woods, and no ticks showed up in the vacuum container either, so that stuff really works! I put Badger brand citronella & cedar anti-bug sunscreen on myself, so the two of us must have smelled like a Yankee Candle gift shop walking through the woods, ha ha! But, the bugs left us alone, and there were swarms of them out there.

The water was just beautiful, and so loud coming over the rocks it was enough to drown out any worries in my mind. There were two bridges, and we crossed one; it was small and had a chain-link fence surrounding it, nothing to write home about. The second one was so elegant; dark wood arching gracefully over the river, and it had brass-looking handrails on either side. I thought well, Merrimack certainly isn’t hurting for money if they can afford a fancy bridge like that, ha ha!

Oreo spotted a squirrel in a huge oak tree; how she saw it among all those bright-green baby leaves is beyond me. I was watching out for the moss, mushrooms and wood anemone so I didn’t ruin anything. There were a lot of tree roots to step over as well; I could see where the water level had been high in the spring but after receding has left the roots exposed.

It really was very peaceful, and we’ll go back there again sometime soon. Maybe next time we’ll bring a lunch and spend some time just relaxing with nature.

May 14, 2014 – other nephew’s ballgame

Oreo tired

There were too many kids crawling on Oreo today so we had to move our seats. Now she’s zonked out after all the excitement. There was a small patch of woods between our ball field and where some men were playing, and when Oreo saw them through the trees she started barking, and put her paw and chin protectively on my leg. Awwwww! My sweetie. My SIL was quite surprised; she’s never heard Oreo bark before!