Archive for February, 2008

One in the bed

February 29, 2008

It’s another hard night trying to get to sleep. Bill has been in LA on business since Sunday and it’s bad enough being on my own, but it’s this time of night that I really miss our Gingernuts. Whenever I went to bed before Bill, Genghis would always seek me out and keep me company. Sometimes I’d be harsh and have my mind set to keep him from jumping on the bed, but he’d come alongside and place his muzzle right by my face and nudge me so longingly that I’d have no choice but to invite him up for a cuddle. He’d then eagerly bound over me and wheedle his way right up close tucked into my front and make me give him a good belly rub. In return he’d drop hair all over the place and up my nose, and slowly start to push me off the bed as his legs would stiffen, splay out and stretch, but together we’d drift contentedly to dreamland. Until hubby would want to climb under the covers himself and not be amused to find a stinky, dirty mutt in his place. At least his side would be warmed for him?!

Right now every time I close my eyes I want to remember the lovely moments, but instead I’m reliving that last day and racing across Moreland Ave to be with Genghis lying on the side of the road. I am exhausted though and oh I hope I can push those thoughts away and get to sleep soon. Sam will be waking up at seven, hungry and ready for a big day, and I’ll have to leap back into action with or without getting any shuteye. Looking after a toddler on your own is so tough, I’m glad Bill being away is only temporary. I have no idea how single mums manage at all. Come back Bill!

We didn’t do too badly today. Yesterday was pretty rough on Sam as we didn’t leave the house and I wasn’t feeling so great so he had a lot of independent play time (yeah, that’s what I’ll call it!). This morning however we both got up bright and early, had a wide awake breakfast, and vowed to make it to a playgroup in EAV and meet some new mums and toddlers.

This was almost thwarted thanks to my stupidity a couple of days ago when I forgot to close Perdie’s sunroof.

We had a tremendous rainstorm that night and I got soaked and chilled to the bone having to run out in my jammies in the thick of the icy, heavy rain to close the roof way too late for it to do much good as the interior was already sopping and seemingly full of half a tree. I hoped the seats would have dried out some by today, and although I was right on that count, the water had evaporated from the fabric and condensed on the interior windows, where it had then happily frozen solid. No cursing in front of Sam, but I’m sure you can imagine the scene and how overjoyed I was as I tried to defrost the interior of my car. Eventually we did make it to the playgroup before everyone had gone and Sam had a grand time playing with the other toddlers, of which there were a good number.

Then after a midday nap for Sam, Brandie, Tricia and I made an impromptu plan to take the kids swimming. We decided to try out the MLK Natatorium and see what it was like. We were impressed. We were practically the only people there and all the lifeguards and staff were very nice to us. I think the facilities were basic, but nicer than the Y. The staff even let us stay in the pool longer than technically allowed because the children were having such great fun. Sam was screeching and cooing and really loving being in the water. A lot of the time he was determined to be independent and would only let me hold him by one hand. He had difficulty keeping his bottom up, well actually he just didn’t really get that concept, preferring to tread water and get around vertically instead. Best of all it completely tired him out and dead on eight o’clock I put him to bed and he said “night night”, closed his eyes and was out for the count. Yeah! Compare this to last night when I was about ready to tear my hair out because he was still rolling around in his room, wanting his mummy and making noise gone midnight!

Bill has the camera in LA with him so no new photos for Dandad. Instead here’s one Rebecca took for you when she took an excited Sam and I to visit the Power Hall at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester:

TARDIS

Night night!

22 months

February 27, 2008

I just got my regular email informing me about the development of my toddler. I checked the date and oh yes, he did indeed turn twenty two months old today. I can’t believe that in a mere two more months he will be a fully fledged two year old. Today’s email made laugh:

“Your toddler can probably hop off the bottom step of a staircase by throwing one foot forward and letting the other follow. But true jumping, where both feet leave the ground at the same time and then land squarely, is a skill that requires excellent balance and may take a few more months to master. You can help her practice two-footed jumping by putting some pillows on the floor and letting her leap onto them from something low, like a child-size footstool.”

If you know Sam you will also know that his is always jumping all over the place and living up to his nickname of Froggy!

Sorry about the update hiatus, will try to get back on track, but for now it’s bedtime.

**edit**

Jump Dandad!

Oh yes, as Dandad points out, we have pictorial evidence that Sam has been very adept at jumping for some time now. Here he is on New Year’s Day leaping amongst the waves with Dandad at Widemouth Bay. Mummy couldn’t join in because unlike the happy bouncing boys she didn’t have a stonking pair of wellies and had to keep her shoes dry.

Though, actually on closer examination, this was taken before Sam was given a cracking pair of pirate wellies by his Dandad and he’s just wearing his little trainers here. Sam insisted on staying out in the cold on the beach and dashing into the water long after the rest of us had had enough. Dandad had to keep chasing after him and pulling him back to shore. Oh, but look! Dandad isn’t being very sensible here either, he’s also not wearing his big wellies and he had no excuse! You can be assured that any further trips to the seaside were well accompanied with galoshes on both Sam and Dandad’s feet.

Anyway, we were concerned that our little boy’d be frozen cold and soaked through after his watery escapades, but Sam was as happy as could be and pitched a huge fit when we decided that we really ought to remove him from the elements and get back into the warmth of Entity. We had to drag him back to the car screaming. Nanna and I were convinced he’d need a good drying off and a fresh set of warm clothes but when we came to strip off his little Goose Fair special rain suit he was quite toasty and aside from a pair of slightly damp socks, perfectly watertight beneath.

Keep on running Gingernuts

February 10, 2008

Genghis died this afternoon. He was hit by a car. I can’t stop crying.

Genghis

Genghis was with us for almost four years, in our thoughts for five, and will be part of our hearts for a good deal longer.

He used to belong to our neighbours but could be found living on the street. We’d often see him lying around in the road or padding around the hood with fleas in his eyes. We would feel sorry for him and sneak him out some of Quince’s treats, and want to look after him if he was out in a storm. We ended up taking him in on March 4th 2004 during Operation Ginger Dog.

Poor little red dog had been picked up by DeKalb Animal Control and his owners had just signed him over. We were greatly upset when we heard this and raced to the pound to rescue our friendly neighbourhood mutt. It took a couple of tours of the crates before we spotted our little friend and I was so worried that something had happened to him already, but he was so nervous and confused he was backed up into a corner where we could hardly see him. Our joy at seeing our boy was deflated when we were told he couldn’t be adopted immediately but instead had to first stay in the pound for five days. We trustingly put our names down as adoptive parents and vowed to be back for him.

Four days later we knew our Ginger Dog was the luckiest dog in the world.

The day before we had arranged to adopt him I called the pound to check up on him and was frustrated to be told that I couldn’t get any information over the phone. Rudely I was told to come in the next day as instructed to ID him again. Bill picked up a collar at the pet store on the way home from work that evening, the plan being to drive to Animal Control first thing the next day so we’d be there when it opened and could lead Ginger to safety.

Imagine our surprise then when we were driving down our road and saw a neighbour walking her dogs, and trotting along with them was a very familiar hairy ginger beast. The neighbour obviously also had a soft spot for the mutt and had gone looking for him at Animal Control that day too. She was told that he was due to be euthanized that very evening unless she took him home. I am so mad to think that we’d have gone down the next day as agreed only to find him already dead if, despite not having room for an extra dog, she hadn’t rescued him immediately in hopes of finding him a family. Ginger’s story turned into a happy one when she found out that we were wanting to adopt him and give him lots of love, a warm home, a nice older doggy brother and a well fed tummy. We were overjoyed to have our Ginger safe and sound.

Once home Bill put his foot down about his name and Ginger became Genghis because Ginger is a girl’s name in the States and no one else would think he was a boy dog, much less Biggles’ best mate. He also got the nickname Gingernuts (a type of British biscuit akin to a ginger snap) as at that time (pre-snip) he had the biggest balls we’ve ever seen on a dog.

The poor boy turned out to be heartworm positive so we had him treated and got him through that nastiness. Once cured he was neutered and became Gingernonuts. We always hoped that that would help to cure his wanderlust but Genghis was a street dog at heart and that never ever changed. Through all his time with us he was constantly intent on escape. Genghis was a rogue and a scoundrel who would not be tamed.

If there was the slightest weakness in a fence he could find it. He tore straight through the “pet proof” screening on the front porch. He leapt through open windows. He clambered over the baby gate and even snapped an aerial cable dog run in two. He managed to prise open the back door once when the catch hadn’t quite caught. One time he pushed through the screening and escaped through the window in Sam’s room. I walked into the room to see Sam following his best friend and plummet out of the window after him. That resulted in a trip to casualty for Sam.

After each of his escapes he would always eventually show back up, generally covered in seeds and smelling like he’d rolled in a sewer, but he would never come home to us. Instead he would always return to the very neighbours who were incapable of looking after him and who gave him up to Animal Control. He didn’t understand. Ungrateful little mutt.

He would also grow wiser and more sneaky with each escape. At first we could tempt him back with a car ride but soon he would merrily scamper away from Bill and I and lead us a merry dance, while happily cavorting with anyone else he would meet.

He was a trying dog and we couldn’t take him anywhere. Even Camp Leslie wouldn’t let him visit after he started a peeing contest in their house amongst their dogs.

Many times we would curse our escapee but we could never do it to his face. We’re not sure what happened to him before we first met him, but the slightest swear word would send him into nervous shakes and I would find him curled up as small as could be, pressing against me as hard as he could.

He was the most affectionate dog you could hope for and he would often behave like a cat and rub up against your legs seeking attention and snuggles. Whenever I was alone in bed he would come and join me, snuggle right up close and give me lots of love in return for tummy tickles.

He would still lie down like a puppy with legs outstretched behind him. We would love it when he would do the butt dance and happily wriggle around on the floor while on his back.

Sam loved him a lot. “Gengee” was one of his first words, even before “mummy”. When Sam was still nursing I would lie back and tell Sam stories all about the adventures he and Genghis would have together. Genghis could make Sam shriek with laughter. Genghis was always camped out underneath Sam’s highchair and tickling his feet with his lush red hair.

Best friends

Quince was also a great fan of Genghis, though he would hate to admit it. You could just see it in the way Quince would hump him and Genghis would gnaw on his leg.

I can’t believe we’ll never hear Genghis’ awesome howl ever again. Genghis was a bit of a singing dingo dog and had the most amazing mellow tuneful howl. We would gather around and have family howling sessions just to get to hear his beautiful voice.

This afternoon Sam and I went for a walk to Brownwood Park. I couldn’t take both dogs and the stroller so I was going to just take good dog Quince with us, but had a change of heart at the last moment. I felt sorry for Genghis and wanted to give him a bit of a treat and extra exercise as, being such a sneaky dog, he isn’t allowed the run of the back yard like Quince is.

It was a beautiful day, nicely sunny and we had a lovely walk to the park together. He caught up on all the pee mail and made friends with a loose dog whose owner then came driving past asking if we’d seen her. We met up with Bill playing tennis at the courts then headed over to the playground so Sam could have a run around.

Genghis was such a good dog and sat by the stroller watching. Sam would play on the equipment and then run back to give Genghis an unprompted hug or give him his ball to play with. It was great and I was so pleased I’d brought him. That is until he suddenly slipped out of his collar and took off out of the park.

I called Bill and we set off to find him as he was collarless and out of his neighbourhood. Driving in Richard’s car we almost caught him as he was tempted to jump in for a ride until he saw Sam and I in the back seat. He then hightailed it towards the busy Moreland Ave with Richard following him on foot, before we knew it he had excitedly run straight out into the heavy traffic and got clobbered. Our poor gorgeous mutt was dead on the side of the road when we got to him. It was absolutely awful. All I could do was stroke that lovely greying muzzle and tell him how much we love him. Stupid, crazy, impossible dog.

Bill and Richard managed to wrap him up and bring him back home without Sam seeing. He’s now buried at the bottom of the garden in the woods he loved so much and we can’t stop hurting. We’re going to miss our little rogue so much.

Keep on running Gingernuts, it’s all you ever wanted to do.