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My dog was the most miserable dog in the world yesterday.  Or so he would have you believe, what with the “why would you do this to me?” face and the “My life is so awful” eyes…

We gave him another bath.  =)  He *hates* it.

We went to the bark park with Dave and Claudia and their Kaiser after work yesterday.  Jake was hot and miserable (it’s very warm and muggy out) and sweaty.  We let him cool down a little on the 20-minute ride home, then we grabbed his short leash (the one we can’t use to walk him with because he constantly trips us), hooked his collar to it, looped it around this mysterious pole sticking out of the ground in the backyard (NO idea why it’s there, but works find for this purpose), and grabbed the hose and dog shampoo.

Once the hose gets turned on, he freaks out.  He knows what’s coming and really hates to be wet. 

After a few minutes of *really* hard struggling, he just gives up (as long as I’m holding onto him and he can’t get away – and by that, I mean straddling him and locking him down with my knees as I scrub).  That’s when he turns on the misery faces – he’s so morose, it’s almost comical.

(btw, Tom, good call – he doesn’t shake off as long as I’m touching him.)

I was struck, as I was torturing my dog thus, with how much his background must affect his happiness.

Kaiser, Dave and Claudia’s dog, has never known anything but loving touches, security, fun, and comfort.  They’ve had him since he was a young puppy, and before they got him, he lived with a family who took good care of him.

Kaiser loves water (he’s actually really ridiculous about HOW much he loves water).  He loves other dogs.  In fact, he loves everything.

We adopted Jake from a breed-specific rescue.  Before they found him, emaciated and starved for attention and affection, in a pound, he had been a stray.  Someone had lost him or thrown him out – whatever the case, all he knew for a long time was hunger, cold, and other horrible things.  I’m sure the only wet he really remembers is being soaked in the rain and not having a warm place to dry off…

No WONDER the dog doesn’t like to be wet.  No WONDER he is so mean to other dogs who want to love on us.  No WONDER he freaks out when we leave him alone for any long period of time.  I think that, as he gets older (he’s only 1 1/2) and as he lives with us long enough to forget some of being a stray and long enough to trust us like Kaiser trusts the Ebersoles, he’s going to be happier.

After we dried him off, we gave him extra loving to make up for the misery we’d put him through.  He’s back to normal – happy and goofy – again today.

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I am so excited!  This is the summer of home improvements – in our first home.

We moved into our house in October, so it was too late in the year to do any gardening, and too cold to do any real improvements to the inside (most of the inside work involves stripping wood or painting) or outside of the house.  But now it’s spring.

David has started going through a [rather long] handyman list.  He’s got some sort of schedule for the summer and has started going through it this week by:

  • Installing screen doors onto our deck from the dining room
  • Replacing the light fixture above the sink
  • Hanging MANY picture frames
  • Getting someone to build steps from our deck down to our yard (we had a small set at the corner, but now we have a deck wide set across the entire front)

I’ve been working, but I try to jump in and contribute, too.  I’ve started a couple of things that will take a while to complete:

  • Stripping the wood in the bathroom (painted a hideous dark yellow – over GORGEOUS wood)
  • Brushing rust from a second-hand wrought iron table/chair set

Also, we’re spending a lot of time outside – which makes me insanely happy.  I love the spring and summer!  We’ve had people over for cookouts, we’ve done some gardening (David doing the heavy duty weed digging and tree chopping, me doing the weeding and planting), and we bought shampoo for the dog.  David says it’s silly to spend money to have someone else wash our dog.  =)  After having done it once myself, I’m not so sure he’s right.  I did enjoy the experience, even if Jake HATED it.  It was funny – very funny – but I ended up SOAKED, and smelled like dog shampoo for a long time.

Anyway, the reason I’m not posting much is that I’m enjoying outside.  I spend all day in front of a computer – it’s good to get outside while the weather’s great.  =)



I’m getting ready to call it a night.  The house is clean and David’s winding down (he usually stays up later than me, but tonight I’m waiting for him). 

We had Pastor and Daisy over for dinner tonight – what a sweet time!  I love those two so much, and have been wanting to spend some time with them for a while (personal time – not time in passing after church or during a big event with folks surrounding, but honest-to-goodness quality time).  It was good timing, too, I think.  For us and for them. 

It’s been a rough week.  Janet, this funny, sweet old woman from church, died Wednesday.  It was unexpected, and we’re all missing her already.  The funeral was sweet – was joyful, in many ways – but it was still a funeral, a goodbye.

I was glad to have Tom and Daisy here – it was a chance to relax, to be in quiet fellowship - and to laugh!

We just moved the dog’s crate into the basement (it had been in the dining room, but I hated it there, in the room where we eat and have company) and tried to get him to go down and get in it, but that didn’t work out.  At first, he wouldn’t go downstairs.  Then he whined and whined.  Then it dawned on us stupid humans that the poor dog probably thought he was being punished.  Dark, quiet, alone… this is the most effective time-out environment for dogs, say all the books.

So we moved the crate back upstairs – now, it’s in a corner next to the piano.  Still out in the open, which I don’t like, but nestled into a relatively unobtrusive spot in our least-used downstairs room.  We’ll see if he likes this any better (I’m betting he will – he’s never really liked the basement).

Wish us sleep.  We may not get any (because we’ve changed Jake’s sleep environment).

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We’re back in Indiana.  And we’re exhausted.  We didn’t sleep at all on the long flight over the Pacific (something to do with the chairs and the screaming infants), so when we came home, after doing a few things, we crashed.  Hard.  Woke up to the doorbell – Dave’s parents came to drop off our dog (they watched him while we were away this time) and to report on his misbehavior.  He was angelic, they said, the first 8 days, and evil the second 8 days (messing on the carpets a couple of times, jumping the backyard fence, etc).  They looked relieved to give him back – and I don’t blame them.  =)  We’ll be keeping a close eye on him for the next couple of weeks – hopefully getting back to his routine and getting a ton of exercise will fix those behavioral issues.

Anyway, we’re back safe and sound for those of you who were waiting to hear. 

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