Sunday, March 21, 2010

Introducing Bailey

This is Bailey. She is our new dog.

Bailey has a story. It begins with C. He works in a town next to ours out of a residential area. He used to go into work everyday and see this stray dog. He would come home and tell me about how he tried to make friends with her and would offer her food, but she would never come to him. He said that if he could catch her, she would come home with him and be our dog. She was a great playmate for the outside dog on the corner and often slept in random yards if the grass or snow was high enough. C had seen her all around town, once she was trotting up the middle of main street with a dead rabbit in her mouth. Someone called animal control because she became more aggressive and defensive - chasing kids and chasing people away from the mailboxes. They set traps. They couldn't catch her - she always took the bait and eluded them. Finally, animal control called in someone to dart her with a tranquilizer.

She woke up in a strange kennel and went berserk. She wouldn't let anyone near her. It was a kill shelter and their only option was to euthanize her since she was not compatible with adoption. The guy that walks the dogs and cleans up the shelter saw something in her and begged for her life. They allowed him some time to work with her. She transformed into a totally different dog. She became calm and docile, and would walk on a leash very well.

C knew she had been caught. He saw the man walking her down the street one day and stopped him and asked after her. He came home and told me the story, ending with - and we need to go see the dog at the shelter. On Wednesday last week, we went to the shelter and they were able to let us see the dog. She was shy at first, then responded to me and began wrapping herself around me and plopping herself in my lap. She was a little more wary of C. The vet tech told us that they all loved this little dog and she was super sweet, good with other dogs, and hadn't show any signs of aggression since her initial reaction to being caught and kenneled. They were all surprised by the transformation. I accused C of setting it up so that the dog would crawl into my lap - he says that he had nothing to do with that. He began asking about adopting her and they told him that they were concerned about that, because since she had been at-large in this town, they couldn't adopt her out here - which is great, because we live in the next town over.

The plan was to get her fixed and microchipped on Friday and pick her up that evening so that we could have the whole weekend to acclimate her to our life and our dogs. When C picked her up, it turns out that she was already fixed (they found the scar), but that she had some broken teeth, so they had performed about $600 worth of dental work on her (pulled broken teeth and such). We were grateful and I had been concerned about that because we could tell she was missing some teeth upon meeting her - it's a rough life to live wild. So, she came home with some painkillers, antibiotics, and soft food.

C introduced her to our crew, which was a little touch and go for awhile. No one was hysterical or tried to bite anyone, a huge plus for our dogs. Bailey (we had to rename her anyway due to the name the shelter assigned her being my mom's name), came in and jumped on the couch, curled up next to me, and went to sleep. We, of course, have a lot of concerns about her past and introducing another dog into our pack, but so far, she has fit right in. I don't think our dogs realize that she is a permanent addition yet, but they will.

C, multitasking, and the two heelers watching for any scraps that may fall. We can't be sure what type of dog Bailey is, but we think that there is a lot of red heeler and maybe some sheltie or border collie? It became clear to us that she was someone's dog previously, because she knows houses: she knows where the door is and how to whine or find us to go outside, she knows how to beg (and is fond of people food as that is what she lived off of for months), knows that the trash is full of yummy things (we are trying to prevent her from getting into ours), knows how to jump up on the couch and bed, curl up and sleep at our feet and knows that she HATES baths. When I was giving treats to Bella and Boris, Bailey came over and sat right down, wanting her treat too. She tends to show Boris some teeth when he gets in her face and Bella has given warning growls a few times when Bailey is too close. For the most part, she is already house broken and is both eager to go outside and to come back inside. She is fairly clingy like Boris - follows us from room to room. I think she is still figuring out her place in the pack, but that she really likes being here. She may have to get used (again) to being an inside dog and that will come over time.

She looks just miserable, doesn't she? We do need to put a little more weight on her!
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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spring Snow

Happy Spring, Everyone!
We got snow. Drifting, freezing, flaking, icy, slippery, cold snow. The white kind, unless you look in the backyard. I was super surprised to wake to the blanket of snow on Saturday morning. Perhaps because it was over 60 degrees on Thursday and Friday. It is the KS weather.
Following are pics of the most recent snowfall.
Which, if you live in this state, you are probably sick of.

From the front door, towards the street. Those are antlers on the bench. Squirrels like to nibble on them. Just sayin'. Oh, and the cream colored house across the street is getting a much needed face lift - which means one eye sore down, only five or six on the block to go!

Front steps with only my tracks. We don't like to leave in the snow. And really, why leave the house if you don't have to?

Pink Christmas pants from sister B, snow boots that I had *almost* put away, and sunk down into the snow practically to the top of said boots. Fun times.

The dog tracks, porch, truck. Lots more snow than I was expecting.
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Sunday, March 7, 2010

Laudable Accomplishments

Both C and I have achieved something cool relatively recently. I wasn't sure if I mentioned it or not. I don't have any pictures of these accomplishments, so you'll just have to believe me!
C received his license in December, which means that he is now an official LS - Licensed Surveyor. This is wonderful because now he is recognized by the state board and can sign off on his own work. He can make more decisions and is actually more useful to his company (not that I am sure that is possible). Therefore, his company is now compromised of THREE licensed surveyors and an instrument/draftsman. What this means when they bid jobs is that, without exception, the hiring clients know that a licensed surveyor will be in the field making on-the-spot decisions - and this is very desirable. I'm so proud of C for taking this step because the testing process is difficult and very inconvenient. He had to have eight years of experience and a degree (which is going to be a problem for future surveyors in our state, as C was the last graduate of the only now-defunct program in our state) before he could even sit for the first part (eight hours) of the licensing exam. The exam is only given every April and October, and since he passed the first part, he was able to take the second and third parts (combined eight hours) six months later. The percentage of people that pass any part of this exam the first time looks to be less than 50%. He passed the second part by a small margin, so he had to wait another six months (and study) before he could take the third part again. That occurred this past October (so it was a year and a half process in all) and we received his license in December. We are all so very proud of him for achieving this goal! I'm still looking for the perfect frame for his license, even knowing that it will probably just go on the wall at his office.
My almost-accomplishment has been in the works since November or December as well. While I was looking for a new job during those months, I stumbled upon a teaching opportunity, and even though I knew it would be more of a second job type thing, I applied. Since then, I have gone through a phone interview, a group interview, a panel interview, a four week certification course, a certification test, and am now, finally, at the last segment: teaching the course. It depends on how well I teach as to whether or not I get the job, but I have to teach the five week course for them to accept me as faculty or to tell me thanks, but no thank you.
I am teaching an in-person class for a university that is better known for it's online aspect. I am set to teach a humanities course to undergraduates beginning Thursday. My master's degree is what has enabled me to seek this position and I assume that my charming wit and personality are what has kept the hiring faculty's attention for this long. I've been absorbing massive amounts of information about how to teach (facilitate) a class and tons of procedures and policies. I'm also in the midst of cramming the subject matter into my already-spinning brain. I admit that I am anxious and stressed out about teaching, but I think that there will be adequate pay-offs if I make faculty and the intangible rewards will be great.
So, we are both moving up and around in our fields - trying to accomplish things and always trying to fix up this life of ours!

Jeep Progress

So, C has been hard at work on the old CJ Jeep. He's got the whole thing painted, inside and out, the dash is back in, and he did the conversion to disk brakes. Which means he's been holed up in the garage quite a bit and online buying parts a lot. Random heavy packages have been showing up at my door and when they are that heavy, I know that they aren't earrings, clothes, or shoes.

Yellow glory - I think C might have already downloaded all of the glamour shots to his PC. It is John Deere yellow, with black accents either in black paint or bed liner. And that is C's wonderful pipe bender in the foreground - he used that to make real nice front fenders.

Disk brake conversion in progress. C says this was a real good update.

Wasn't sure I had this picture - take a close look at that front fender. C bent the tubing that runs right up the inside, did some welding, and painted it in bed liner. They are both super tough and have that open look to them. We're the only ones with those front fenders! You can also almost see the hood detailing that C added for me. I wanted something special, something more custom out of the paint, so there are two super narrow triangles (I call them teeth) that start at the black painted "bug guard" on the nose and run along the bump in the hood. It looks really cool. Actually, the whole truck looks really cool - thanks to C!

Dash is painted and back in, so C's got some wiring left and some assorted other tasks and then, hopefully we can drive this thing. He's got a little money set aside for some good tires and a winch (all Jeeps need a winch). I'm sure no one is surprised by what C has done - he's just getting better at taking nothing and making something cool. Love him for that!
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