Category Archives: Sussie the Dog

John 16:33

“In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

But . . . the world has gone mad.  Especially the Democrats.

“I have overcome the world.”

The whole world?

“Yes, when one refers to the world one generally means the whole world.”

Well . . . okay then.

All us Tea Party patriots could use a little extra cheer right now, that’s for sure and certain.  Any major election is stressful for the civic-minded sort, but this ain’t just some run-of-the-mill major election.

We are no longer confident in our great nation’s ability to survive, let alone thrive.  For four years, we have fought without furlough in the trenches of a culture war.  Some of you have fought much longer, and I thank you.  If more of us had joined the fight sooner, things might not have gotten so grim.

Shoulda woulda coulda.  Here we are, and here I am, attempting to bring good cheer–which, by the way, is not in my nature.  I’m mostly predisposed to skeptical pessimism.  (Or pessimistic skepticism, depending on my mood.)

Anyways.  Good cheer.

Right.

I’ll make a list.

1) My dog is feeling much better.  Remember when I posted about Sussie’s severe moving anxiety?  I promised a final installment to the Trauma Saga, but alas.  She is now only a footnote.  Long story short, we had to drug the poor critter.  Did you know that dogs can take Xanax?  It merely changed her distressed barking from a frantic yelp into more of a sad hound serenade.  Still, the vet gave lots of good advice about desensitizing her to separation, and once we got our stuff delivered to our new house, Sussie was like, hey.  We’re home.  I can stop freaking out.

2) I’m officially on the band wagon.  You know, the wagon that we must use to haul Romney across the finish line.  As of today, I’ve got Romney/Ryan in my yard, on my minivan bumper, and plenty of extras to share with like-minded neighbors and homeschoolers.  I even signed up for the phone bank.   Mr. Belvedere is absolutely right on this point:  we shoulda woulda coulda got a better candidate, but we didn’t, and we gotta do what it takes to get Barack Obama voted out.  If we succeed, our work sure ain’t over, but at least we’ll have a chance to keep federal encroachment at bay.

3) Encouraging first hand accounts of conservative momentum have surfaced!  Mr. Saddleburr found a glimmer of hope when he knocked on some doors, and Insty readers have shared similar experiences.

4) Via Disrupt the Narrative and Be Sure You’re Right comes a website called Unskewed Polls.  When the polls aren’t skewed, they don’t look so bad anymore.  It’s like the Dems having to take off their beer goggles or something.

5) Obama for America’s blog posts are getting very few shares and likes.  Seriously, scroll down the women’s section of the leftist ghost town, and see for yourself how unviral is the President’s reelection campaign.

6) The ObamaFoodorama blog site has gone private.  Actually, I’m not sure whether this is good news, but I wanted to bring it up because I’ve linked to this Blogger site a few times, and those links won’t work anymore.  Annoying.  And intriguing.  The twitter account still says the blog is the “official blog of record & archive of White House food initiatives.”  Why did something official become private?

7) 41 million Tea Party members are preparing to vote.  That’s 31% of likely voters.  Yyyeaahh.  Turns out, that radical extreme right-wing thang might just be more mainstream than Maher’s worst nightmare.

8) The Coffee Party is still around to mock!  Because their movement is still so relevant and vibrant!  Or not.  I used zip codes from Tampa, Washington DC, Los Angeles, and New York City, but I couldn’t find a single scheduled event with their handy-dandy “event finder.”  Perhaps you’ll have more luck than me.

9) 110 days until Barack Obama leaves office.  And counting.

And finally, without further ado, item #10 in my list of good cheer:

10) Strong Bad is funny.  Really.  Watch.  If it’s not funny, then you must be viewing these videos without the company of a 10-year-old boy.  If you had a 10-year-old boy with you, then your sides would be splitting.

update:  changed ghetto to ghost town bc it makes more sense, if nobody’s there

Moving With Trauma Dog, Part 2

Part 1 ended with Trauma Dog returning from the kennel.  Unfortunately, Sussie’s little canine brain had surpassed its ability to cope by this point.

We were all done house hunting, but we still had three weeks before moving into our new house.  In the meantime, we stayed at an aunt’s house in Tampa.  Here, Sussie remained relentlessly tethered to my legs by some invisible and unbreakable cord, tied so securely that I accidentally kicked or stepped on her repeatedly throughout the day.

When she is suffering from this heightened state of anxiety, Sussie avoids going outside to do business.  That would necessitate momentary separation, after all.  This means that, for the better part of any given day, she is holding in either urine, feces, or both, and she will evacuate them the minute you leave her alone.

Historically, the only way to avoid her soiling the house when she is stressed is to crate her.

Don’t feel bad about this imprisonment.  It’s a nice, roomy crate with bedding, a pillow, an antler chew, squeak-toys, and a treat-filled Kong.  She is used to her crate.  She sleeps in it at night.  Dogs don’t soil where they sleep, I have been told.

Well.

She upped the ante, and started soiling her crate.

You tell yourself that you are in charge of the situation.  You tell yourself that a dog will not dictate your life.  But we were not in our own home.  We were the guests of a family member.  We can’t leave Sussie crated and barking like a maniac while the aunt is napping.  We can’t leave her roaming the house to find her own personal bathroom.

So I’ve let the dog dictate my life.

Still, my accommodations were not enough to avoid retribution.  When we left her under Uncle John’s watchful eye, he made the mistake of leaving her unattended while he showered.  Yeah, that puddle on the hall carpet sure showed him!

We had too long a gap before our house was ready, so I found a dog-friendly beach cottage that would transform our waiting time into a real vacation.  It was great.  We were allowed to tie her in the pool area and at the edge of beach, to minimize the need to crate her.

The pool area of the bungalows

Still, one must go dogless eventually, and I knew exactly what our gal would do the whole time.  The cottage contract spelled it out in black and white:  excessive barking would be considered a nuisance to our neighboring bungalows.

Thus, in the days before our beach vacation, we purchased a Thundershirt.  The packaging said 80% of dogs show decreased anxiety when sporting this little canine straitjacket.  But how do you know whether it’s working?

The eyecam.

I recorded Sussie while we fetched the magic shirt.  Later, I recorded her in said shirt while we went to the base pool for a few hours.  Guess which percentage our fair dog falls into?

That’s right, the other 20%.

She gave us a real show when we came back from the pool.  It was a drama, filled with tragedy and desperation.  She barked.  The whole.  Time.  I had been foolishly hoping that the panicked noise subsided at some point during our absences.  She’s barking when you leave, and barking when you arrive because she hears the car, but who’s to say what happens in between?

The eyecam says.  In retrospect, it would have been better to remain ignorant.  She barks, oh yes: a high-pitched, full-throated yelping staccato of panic, taking breaks only to bite the crate bars frantically, whine pathetically, or perhaps tear up whatever items were left to comfort her.

She even managed to get hold of the towel under her crate (my lame attempt to minimize any soiling mess).  She had to really put some weight into this endeavor, rocking and scooting the whole cage with every determined yank.  Her gums bled from the effort.  The towel inched slowly through the bars, and she savaged every square inch like a werewolf, leaving the tattered and blood-spattered remains in a heap and then curling around it despondently to rest for a precious minute before starting up her panicked calls once again.

Clearly, it was time to seek professional help.  Off to the vet Sussie and I went.

Continue reading this story . . . if you dare . . . in Part 3 . . .

Moving with Trauma Dog, Part 1

I often mention how I’m not a good juggler, but lemme take this rare hour on my own to explain what exactly is so difficult to coordinate.  We’ve taken this traveling circus to five different locations in the last few weeks.  Because we are not just vacationing, but also moving house, we’ve brought a vast assortment of stuff along.  We’ve driven our two vehicles in tandem, carrying inside them important files, valuables, various irreplaceables, bicycles, kitchen ware, bedding, bathroom necessities, as well as assorted pantry items that could not be put into storage.

I say all this without complaint.  I have always adored traveling and experiencing new places.  Having the ability to entirely remake my life every couple of years is a blessing beyond words.  The boys aren’t babies anymore, and we all love a new adventure.

Well.

Except the dog.

Remember Trauma Dog

“Trauma Dog” is not just the title of that post.  It’s one of Sussie’s actual nicknames.  She’s a sweet girl, and one can certainly understand why she worries.  At age three, the critter was taken to the Norfolk SPCA, where she spent the next year of her life languishing with a funky, milky eye condition that initially made my younger son recoil.

I saw past that funky, milky eyeball.  This dog exhibited signs of house training and absolutely no signs of hyperactivity.  She’s a low-maintenance breed, as far as grooming goes, and well past the puppy stages.  She wasn’t too big for me, and wasn’t too small for my husband. (“No yippy dogs!” was his mantra.)  She was just right.

The boys were instantly in love.  My heart eventually softened as well.  (Learn how she won me over here.)  Unfortunately, her eye condition required many trips to a specialist, where she often stayed all day and sometimes overnight.  Probably as a result of all this turmoil, she took several months to settle and relax in her new home.

Then, we promptly moved to Kansas.

We had never taken Sussie on a long distance trip.  She was wild-eyed with fear.  On the road, she refused to eat, drink, or do business.  She held her bladder from the time we left Norfolk until we arrived at our aunt’s house the following day.  Thirty-two hours later.

After a week in Tennessee, we moved straight into base housing in Kansas.  It took about three months for her to relax this time.  While in Kansas, we brought Sussie with us on long trips.  She grew used to them.  (Just let her hop in while you pack the van, and don’t worry about securing her with a leash.  She ain’t goin’ nowhere.)

I was pretty confident that she would handle this next move better, and I was right.

At first.

We stayed with the aunt in Tennessee to start.  No problem.  Shoot, Aunt Clara spoils the tar outta Sussie.  Then we took Sussie somewhere new, in Pensacola.  She did okay there, too, notwithstanding the cheeky house cat that kept stalking and ambushing her.  She began to exhibit distress at separation, but we didn’t need to leave her often.

Then we arrived in Tampa.  We knew we’d have to leave her for several hours every day while we house hunted.  So we kenneled her.

Ten days later, we picked up a wild-eyed Trauma Dog.

Then the real fun began.

. . . This heart-stopping thriller continues in Part 2 . . . if you can handle the suspense of Trauma Dog’s story . . .

Meet the .45%

A common theme heard in the No One household, as you can imagine, is how unbelievably, mind-bogglingly and stupendously spoiled some of “The 99%” sound when compared to the 1% who serve in the military.

Via my hubs, via his FB friend, via a random and completely adorable West Point cadet comes the must-buy fashion for the season:

The 0.45% T-Shirt.

The folks at that website, www.rangerup.com, included an anonymous essay that will knock your socks off.  I hope they don’t mind if I paste a large chunk here:

“I remember the day I found out I got into West Point.

My mom actually showed up in the hallway of my high school and waited for me to get out of class. She was bawling her eyes out and apologizing that she had opened up my admission letter. She wasn’t crying because it had been her dream for me to go there. She was crying because she knew how hard I’d worked to get in, how much I wanted to attend, and how much I wanted to be an infantry officer. I was going to get that opportunity.

That same day two of my teachers took me aside and essentially told me the following: ‘Nick, you’re a smart guy. You don’t have to join the military. You should go to college, instead.’

I could easily write a tome defending West Pont and the military as I did that day, explaining that USMA is an elite institution, that separate from that it is actually statistically much harder to enlist in the military than it is to get admitted to college, that serving the nation is a challenge that all able-bodied men should at least consider for a host of reasons, but I won’t.

What I will say is that when a 16 year-old kid is being told that attending West Point is going to be bad for his future then there is a dangerous disconnect in America, and entirely too many Americans have no idea what kind of burdens our military is bearing.”

The essay continues at length, so go read it.  And buy a shirt!  Looks like your ol’ blog bud Linda has just figured out half your Christmas shopping for you.

You’re welcome.

Oh, and read about the three guys behind Ranger Up–pretty awesome.  Internet searches did not reveal a prior source for the .45% essay.  Perhaps one of the three guys is the ‘Nick’ featured in it.

Oh, the internet searches did reveal that at least three other bloggers beat me to the punch, and they deserve a visit too, if’n you’ve got the time:

A Soldier’s Perspective, where blogger CJ speaks truth to power:  “You know, I get fed up with the Occupy Wall Street idiots. I’ve been going around and around with some of them on Twitter and am convinced that this has nothing to do with corporate greed and everything to do with individual greed.”

CJ is kindly and patiently suffering a fool in the comment section.  Anybody up for a game of whack-a-troll?

Eric at Threedonia will be proudly annoying liberal coworkers with this t-shirt on casual Fridays.  Ha.

And newish blog The World through the Eyes of a SheepDog scooped me too, dadgummit.  Good thing I like dogs now.

 Have a great weekend, everybody!

UPDATE:  They have it in women’s sizes too.

So, Do You Like Stuff?

Homeschooling is going well.  I need to get cracking on that Star Gazing Club I’ve agreed to organize for the base homeschoolers, and oh dear, my house is in a state.

But anyway, we’ve got stuff to share.  The internet supplements any curriculum quite nicely.  The other day we were covering science.  Both boys learn from the 4th grade book, because the 1st grade book is almost, but not quite, entirely useless. 

Really.  One of the recent 1st grade assignments is an “inquiry activity:”

You need:  rock, plant, water, clear bin.

What to do:  Look at a rock and a plant.  Write about how they are alike and different.  Put the rock in a bin.  Water the rock and the plant for a week.  What happens?

At least we got a good laugh.  Nothing says “inquiry” like watering a rock for a week.

Anyway, we were learning about inherited traits, and how farmers can breed larger pumpkins by using the pollen from big-pumpkin-bearing plants to pollinate other big-pumpkin-bearing plants.  They couldn’t remember seeing a truly giant pumpkin, so to Google we went.

This video captivated the boys.  They watched it, giggling, over and over . . . .

 

Another assignment (I forget which subject), made reference to a “jack-in-the-box.”  My younger asked, “what is a jack-in-the-box?”  The internet search landed us slightly afield, but it was well worth the trip:

 

We’ve enjoyed delving into some classic fairy tales, too.  Missy S. warned that the stories in our curriculum may be quite watered down.  I realized she was right.  I would have no idea whether it was the case, being almost, but not entirely, ignorant of the classics myself.  So to start, we’ve obtained a 1963 publication of Hans Christian Andersen tales.

These tales are wild, unpredictable, and violent.  I’m telling you, they are as violent as Southpark.  Heads get chopped off, schemers get away with schemes, and innocent lasses are left heartbroken.

No surprise, then, that the boys are thoroughly entertained.

I’m just as entertained, since I have no idea how the story will end, or whether the bad guy will get his comeuppance.  Sometimes I’m wondering exactly who the bad guy is, because it’s hard to tell.

Big Claus and Little Claus is a favorite.

Finally, the boys want everyone to see Sussie begging.  So I’ve uploaded her onto YouTube.  Have a good one, ya’ll.

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