Saturday, June 01, 2013

Back in the saddle

You might have noticed that I took a pretty long hiatus from blogging.

After graduating last summer, I started a new career. As a public auditor. At a Big Four accounting firm.

It's a great career overall, but it's the type of work that can require some very extreme hours. During the worst stretch of busy season, I was putting in over 80 hours a week (and weekends) for six weeks in a row. I worked over 100 hours near the end of one job.

At any rate, when I finally close my work laptop at the end of a 12-hour day, the last thing I want to do is go home and get on the computer again. And to add to reasons not to blog, my company--like many companies, but particularly because of the type of work we do--would prefer that their employees maintain a fairly low profile (or no profile) in social media arenas.

So blogging has been at the very bottom of my priority list. And I probably won't post very often, as long as I'm working at Big Four.

Mind you, I knew what I was getting into, going into this career. This is why I stepped down from and pulled out of all of my volunteer activities last fall. I would like to say that I miss those activities, but thus far I've been so busy, I barely have time to do laundry, much less lament the death of my social life.

Moving on to more positive things!

At long last, Dozer's terrible allergies are almost entirely under control. He hasn't been to the vet for over a year (aside from his annual checkup) and he did not need a cortisone shot this spring. Miraculous!!

The key has been to limit him to Instinct rabbit flavor dog food (and NOTHING else); to bathe him WEEKLY without fail with a vet-prescribed chlorhexidine (antiseptic) shampoo; and to give him one cetirizine hydrochloride (Zyrtec) pill EVERY evening. Additionally, we keep his living areas as clean as possible, by washing his beds and vacuuming the floors once a week; and we call pest control to treat the yard at the first sign of fleas.

Dozer is turning 13 this year. He has lost most of his hearing. It's been more of an adjustment for us than for him, because he knows signed commands just fine--it's just that we have to remember to use them! He's quite good at reading body language and facial expressions, though, so the only real trouble has been when he's not looking at us or he's not in the room. We have to remember to go find him and tap him on the head to get his attention.

He had to wear this inflatable "tire" for a while because he wouldn't stop licking a bump between his toes. At first he didn't like it much, but soon he discovered that it made a great pillow no matter where he was. No complaints after that.

Star is doing great. She LOVES Dozer. Even though he's a grumpy old fart.

Star knows how to cover herself up with a blanket. She actually can disappear entirely under a blanket, which has led to more than one instance in which Byrd and I couldn't find her anywhere, and we both started to panic.

As you can see in the photos, she also likes to sleep with Dozer's head in her stomach, and her head hanging off the edge of the dog bed. I have a lot of photos like this. These two photos were taken several weeks apart.

Since Byrd and I are working so much, we hired a pet sitter to come by during the day to play with them and walk them.

And, though I don't have time to foster dogs right now, we are "fostering" butterflies again this summer.

Both the Eastern Black Swallowtail and the Pipevine Swallowtail are our guests this year. So far, we've "grown" about two dozen butterflies. The caterpillar castle has been pretty busy.

Well, until next time-- I hope all of you are doing well!


Anonymous said...

I am very glad to hear all is well. I was actually looking through my blogs that I follow and thought about you and your family just yesterday. I live in Texas too and again am very glad to hear all is well. I've missed your posts.


Dennis the Vizsla said...

hello dozer and star its dennis the vizsla dog hay nice to see yoo agin!!! hay dozer i am sorry abowt yore eerz not wurking so gud my sister trixies eerz hav pretty much stopd wurking too but its ok we she gits along fine withowt them!!! hi star!!!! ok bye

Kristin Nicole said...

Your dog is absolutely beautiful, and it is so great that you have been able to get this allergies under control. Congrats, and keep blogging.

Hanna's Mom said...

My pit can cover herself up in a blanket as well! It is funny because when she gets hot at night you just hear her walk out of her bed and shake it off, then she just turns around and goes right back to sleep. It must be so hard to have hands, but they make it work! Do you only have one bed for the two dogs? We are thinking about getting another dog soon and have a giant dog bed but are not sure if they will share or not. Any thoughts?