Monday Madness

December 6th, 2016 No comments

Yesterday was the puppy’s first vet visit. We brought along all the paperwork L had given us on her and because puppy had reacted to her 8 week distemper vaccination, the vet didn’t want to do one at 10 weeks. Instead we’ll do that one at 12 weeks and she will give her meds beforehand to reduce the chance of a reaction. In addition, we went over her general health, got a bunch of info, and had all of our questions answered. Total cost was only $60 and half of that was a fecal test to check for worms (which came up negative). It’s nice because the regular vet visit is only $32 which is half of what it costs to take the rats in, plus this place is literally 5 minutes away.

After dropping the puppy off at home we went to Savers where I actually found a few things.

Clothes from Savers

Pictured above: a black sweater hoodie ($3), a Calvin Klein merino wool sweatshirt ($5), and two comfy pairs of fleece pajama pants which were only $2.50 each.

We hit Costco for lunch, samples, and a few things on our list, plus some comfy socks not on my list (but definitely wanted).

Costco Items

Finally we stopped at Petsmart where they had holiday toys on sale so we got a few for the puppy’s stocking plus a few other items including a coat which she did not like. She refused to walk outside with it on. She just sat there until I took it off. LOL

Petsmart Loot

Categories: Pets, Photos, Shopping Tags:

Puppy Update

December 2nd, 2016 No comments

Life with a puppy has been interesting. And by that I mean fun and frustrating. She’s currently 10 weeks old and potty training has had its ups and downs. She has peed on the carpet several times and even though she has gone to the door to let us know she has to potty, she’s not consistent about it yet. This morning she peed and pooped in her crate even though I had taken her outside where she had peed just an hour before.

The first week was the worst simply because it felt like we had no free time to do ANYTHING and the house was cluttered and dirty. Once we cleaned up a bit we both felt better.

Now things are in a better routine. She usually wakes us up once in the night to go potty. She sleeps in a crate downstairs and I bought a $17 V-Tech baby monitor so we can hear when she needs to go out. We didn’t want to keep her in the bedroom for now since at first Joe seemed to be having an allergic reaction to her. He has gotten better since then but I’ve noticed after handling her I develop a bit of a cough. It might be to the overly scented shampoo I purchased, however. I didn’t realize it was baby powder scented! It is really strong too!

The good news is other than the $150 we gave the woman we adopted her from, and some canned food, pretty much everything else we’ve purchased for her has been on Amazon where we have/had credit, so there were minimal out of pocket costs. In addition to the carrier and crate we got these cute food bowls.

Dog Bowls

We also bought a large exercise pen which connects to the crate. We put that up in the kitchen when we have to go out for longer than an hour. She barks a little at first but then calms down and goes into her crate to nap. We are using the webcam that was in the rat room to monitor her and I leave The Cure playing softly to soothe her.

Overall I’d say this experience has been both rewarding yet something I wouldn’t want to repeat. It’s cool that we have a hand in shaping her behavior since we got her so young but it’s a lot of work! I turned to Joe last night when we were trying to watch tv and she wouldn’t stop barking in her crate and said, “Yep, my decision not to have kids was the right one. At least with her this should be over in six months”.

But I still love her so much. Look how adorable she is! At some point we’ll figure out her name. I told Joe people on Facebook are getting frustrated that we haven’t chosen one but hell, parents get nine months to choose a name, we should get at least a couple of weeks.


Categories: Pets, Photos Tags:


November 26th, 2016 No comments

Thanksgiving was pretty interesting this year because:

a) Brother B didn’t show up (I heard he was working but he’s dropped off the face of the earth recently so I’m not sure what he’s been doing).
b) My uncle showed up (can’t remember the last time that happened).
c) We brought the puppy over and my mom even let her (briefly) into the house!

We didn’t want to leave the puppy home alone for several hours so I asked my mom if we could bring her and set her up in the garage, so that’s what we did. We put her crate in there with blankets and toys, and put my heated foot mat underneath the crate and my free-standing oil heater (which I bought recently to use at work because it’s always so cold in there) near the cage but far enough away she couldn’t touch it. We also brought an iPod radio and I left The Cure playing in there. She was so good! We’d go out there every 1 to 1.5 hours to check on her and let her out to potty. The heaters helped keep her warm and even though she came from Arizona she seems to like the cooler temps anyway.

She was a nightmare on the car ride there, though. We put her in the small travel carrier we used when we flew home with her but unlike then she was not calm and she whined and tore at the carrier 45 minutes of the hour ride. Ugh! She was much better on the ride home, though. She whined for less than five minutes. I hope she gets used to it so we can take her on rides without her roaming freely in the car where she can hurt herself.

Incidentally, she’s lying on the back of my computer chair now chilling while I blog. Joe is out on a job interview (fingers crossed).

My Uncle B visited for well over an hour which is unusual for him. He has a house filled with animals (including a squirrel, a horse (there’s a stable on his property) and a wolf). His wife, who passed away last year, worked in a shelter and was a huge animal lover. He delighted in showing us recordings of his African Grey Parrot who loves to curse. It was pretty funny!

After my uncle left we played a few games and then my mom put a blanket down on the living room rug and we brought the puppy inside to play. My dad got down on the floor and played with her and Brother J was getting into it too. He’s not really a pet person (or a dog person since he had a bad experience with one when he was little) but by the end of the evening he was really digging her and even came outside to say goodbye to her. It was cute! I made my mom mad saying I am going to name her Princess Fluffybutt Fuckface the 3rd. Hehe

Oh, and we didn’t have her inside long because my mom started having breathing issues. I feel so bad for her that things bother her so quickly and easily. She actually used to have a dog before I was born – a St. Bernard named Diamond. He died when I was too little to remember him, although I have photos.

It sucks that we can’t bring the dog over when we visit unless we keep her crated in the garage. It would be so much fun to have her in the house, plus good for her to meet new people since when I took her on a walk after work the other day she got scared when she saw the mailman (cue stereotypical mailman joke).

Categories: Family, Holidays, Pets Tags:

Arizona – Saturday & Sunday, November 19 & 20

November 23rd, 2016 No comments

Saturday was puppy day. Wait… what?!?!

It all started on Wednesday morning when one of the neighbors was walking by with this little puppy in her hands. I was inside getting ready to head to the zoo when Joe spotted her and asked what she had. Then he poked his head in the trailer and called for me to come outside to see the puppy. Unbeknownst to us this would set off a chain of events that ended with us adopting a puppy. I know, I can barely believe it myself.

Basically the puppy was an 8 week old, female Schnau-Tzu who the neighbor was originally only watching for another neighbor who ended up in the hospital. The woman was a breeder/horder and the puppy was later given to the neighbor by mutual friends to help her get over the loss of her own dog in September. Except as much as she liked the puppy she wasn’t ready to move on or for the responsibility. She asked if we knew anyone who wanted a dog, or if we would be interested ourselves. We thought about it for a day or so and on Thursday decided to adopt her. We didn’t actually take her until Saturday though because we had so much going on we wouldn’t be able to watch her anyway.

Saturday morning we went back to the Mesa Swap Meet to look for a collar and leash but it was a total bust so we ended up at Petsmart where we purchased those items plus two cans of puppy food. (We also ordered a travel carrier on Amazon which was delivered to M’s house and she brought it over that afternoon).

When we got back to the trailer Joe’s sister, T, was in a mood for some reason because immediately she was all “where’s the puppy going to stay? I don’t want her on my bed. I don’t want her messing up my rug and if she has an accident you’re going to clean it up”. I was flabbergasted with the way she was talking to us since a) we didn’t do anything to provoke it and b) she was implying we are inconsiderate assholes. Joe got so mad that he started yelling at her and they really got into it and she left.

Then we went out to breakfast with Joe’s parents and when we came back we went to the neighbor’s house to get the puppy. We gave her $150 (to cover previous vet costs) and borrowed her crate and some other supplies. We also got info from her on what vaccinations the puppy has had and her birthdate which is September 21st.

Basically we spent the rest of the day hanging outside and playing with the puppy. I just about had a panic attack that evening telling Joe I’m not sure if we should have agreed to the puppy since it’s so much responsibility, plus the costs involved while he’s still out of work. As a result I ended up not sleeping most of the night and we were up at 2:30 am to ensure we made our 6 am flight home. Since Joe and his sister weren’t speaking M drove us to the airport.

They tell you to get to the airport two hours before your flight. What they don’t tell you is Southwest doesn’t open their ticket counter until 4:30 am on the weekend so we arrived earlier than necessary and had to wait. We used the automated kiosks (which an employee had to turn on one by one) to print the tags for our bags but we had to visit the counter to pay for the puppy. It’s $95 each way even though it’s a carry-on just like anything else. For whatever reason my boarding pass had the TSA pre-check so I got to bypass the regular security line and not have to take off my shoes. I walked with the puppy through the metal detector and she got a lot of attention from the security guy as well as another passenger who went through the line behind me. Both made a remark that she doesn’t even look real but more like a toy. Here’s a few pictures I took a few days after we got home for your perusing pleasure.




Isn’t she adorable? We’re still trying to pick an appropriate name for her.

Our boarding positions were A 32 and 33 which was awesome: we scored seats in the exit row where there’s only two plus extra legroom. Once everyone had boarded I went up front to use the bathroom and say hi to the pilot (since just like on our flight to Phoenix, the other pilot went into the bathroom right before I got there). When I tried to get out, the stewardess was on the phone and wouldn’t let me past her. When she hung up she said they had to move us “a few rows back” because we weren’t allowed to sit in an exit row with a pet. Well, it was more like several rows back on the other side of the plane and Joe was not happy. I had to grab our carry-ons from the overheard bin and move them as well. We went from choice seats to the crappy ones in the back surrounded by kids. Oy! That’s on me for not reading the pet policy though; it does state you can’t sit in an exit row. Oh well, lesson learned. On the bright side I was so tired from no sleep and taking two Xanax that at some point I fell asleep. Also, the puppy behaved perfectly. She didn’t whine or have any accidents, so it could have been worse. She was good about not having to pee until we got back to the car and I was able to put a puppy pad down so it didn’t get on the floor mats.

I wouldn’t say I’m over my fear of flying (I’ll always fear the worst case scenario) but I don’t think I’m going to panic months before our next flight like I did this time around. There’s definitely something to the whole exposure therapy thing since this was the first time I’ve flown two years in a row and I’m getting a little more comfortable with the idea even though I still really hate take off and any time they bank the plane to turn since it’s always at a lower altitude. We’d like to visit Joe’s parents more frequently so there’s a good chance we’ll be flying again in six months or less so it will be interesting to see how I feel then.

Two things –

We met a really nice woman at the airport who was flying with her dog too. She was very helpful answering my questions about how she handles letting the dog relieve itself before the flight although our puppy wasn’t interested in doing that anyway.

Our plane home was the sporting Southwest’s special Illinois livery. I couldn’t see much of it other than the word “Illinois” as we boarded since it was still dark out (I specifically scheduled day time flights because I didn’t want to fly in the dark but forgot that it’s still dark at 6 am in Phoenix. Oh well, it was’t that bad). I mentioned the design to the pilot and he commented that it’s ugly, LOL. Then I looked it up on Google once we got home and he wasn’t wrong. Ew!

Southwest Illinois Livery

Categories: Family, Pets, Photos, Vacation Tags: ,

Arizona – Friday, November 18

November 19th, 2016 No comments

Friday we headed over to Arizona Mills in Tempe so I could check out the Arizona Sea Life Aquarium while Joe met up with a friend for coffee. The aquarium was definitely geared toward kids so despite me doing my best to take my time I was done touring it in 45 minutes. I thought I got some decent photos by messing with the settings on my little point-and-shoot, but most of them still came out crappy. Here’s a couple of the decent ones. Funny that they both happen to be species of fish in Finding Nemo.

Blue Tangs

Moorish Idol

I spent the next 45 minutes or so killing time. I went to the food court and posted a bunch of Yelp reviews and then walked around the mall. Joe met up with me when I was looking at a store called At Home which is like Garden Ridge here.

After a quick walk around the mall we went to Corleone’s for Philly cheesesteak sandwiches. They were almost as good as I remember from seven years ago.

Later that evening we met up with M and her family to see the Lights of the World Festival. Trying to find the parking entrance was a nightmare, however. We were driving all over the place able to see the festival in the distance but unable to figure out which actual road would take us there. On top of that, no one seemed to speak English so stopping and asking people who were standing around wasn’t very helpful.

To add insult to injury, once we did find the correct road, we had to pay $10 to park in a completely dark parking lot. Yea, that’s right – they hadn’t turned any of the lights on at a light show. WTF?!!? We were both so pissed. I posted on their Facebook page and they just deleted it so I posted it on my page and tagged them. A few days later their response was “#fixed”. No apology or anything. So despite how cool the light show itself was I would never attend one ran by that company again since they have the worst customer service and planning skills. How no one thought to put up some signs directing traffic to the entrance is beyond me.

Anyway, here’s a few of my favorite displays from the festival.

Lights Of The World Festival

Lights Of The World Festival

Lights Of The World Festival

Categories: Excursions, Photos, Vacation Tags: