It’s National Dog Day!

In our home it’s always Dog day! But today’s the perfect excuse for all of us dog lovers to brag on ours.

CJ & Esme got to hang out with me at work today, meeting and greeting people and their dogs. CJ loves the people, Esme loves the dogs.

How did your dog(s) spend National Dog Day?

Freddie Mercury doesn’t really give a crap! He knows cats are superior.

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We’ve finally found our niche, Part II … From Urban to Rural with dogs

If you haven’t already, check out Part I before continuing. Or not.

As we turned down our little Neck that would lead us to our new home, my eyes widened and my jaw may have dropped a little bit.  It looked like heaven.  A house here, a field there and there and there, another house here, a thick grove of trees on both sides of the road, a little house there, another field, and then we came upon our little bungalow.  It was, and still is, the cutest little place on a property that is magnificent!  I could hardly wait to let the dogs out to run in this wide open area!  They already had some of that at my parents’ house, but this was home!  They would get to run here every day.  But…

…crap!  There are deer all over the place.  Foxes.  Raccoons, opossums, muskrats (all things my dogs would love to chase!)…and TICKS.  I already knew there’d be fleas and was prepared for them.  But the ticks.  Yikes.

I arrived, with the dogs and cats, to our new home in early December.  The weather was cool here, with highs in the 50s & 60s and lows in the 40s and 30s.  It was really pretty nice considering what it was like when we left Northern Illinois.  There were deer everywhere.  In the midwest we contend with deer all year long.  In California, we didn’t have to deal with deer, or many other wild mammals for that matter, at all.  Those critters stayed in the mountains and foothills near the area we lived.  When we’d go hiking in the foothills we’d come across a jack rabbit here and there, maybe evidence of a coyote, but otherwise all of the wildlife we’d happen upon was avian, arachnid or reptilian.

Neither ticks nor fleas, or mosquitoes for that matter, were an issue for us in the desert.  Probably one of only 4 good things about living in the desert, in my opinion.  We didn’t have to worry about flea and tick prevention, and heartworm prevention was not a top priority either.  I would keep some Frontline Plus on hand to use if I knew we’d be making a trek up the mountains or to the East.  I’d have Heartgard Plus on hand to use if we would be traveling to the midwest.

After being on the Eastern Shore of Virginia for one entire week I learned that I had trained my dogs well in terms of their recall.  Nearly every single time we would let them out to eliminate or explore, there would be some critter worth investigating.  All it took was a “EH!” and they’d stop dead in their tracks.  So the wildlife issue was not an issue at all.  But the tick issue?  We were not only finding ticks on our dogs, but we were picking them of off ourselves every day.  Yikes!  Thank goodness I stocked up on some Frontline Plus before I left California.  It worked well.  I’d find a few well-fed ticks on Chompers and C.J. every now and again, but mostly they were dead or dying.  But they’re still just freaking gross.  Chris found one on him one day in a place that you would’t go searching for one.  It freaked him out so much that he had me shave his head shortly afterward, worried that there might be ticks hiding in his mane.  He had long hair for the majority of our time in CA, got a decent hair cut just prior to his interview here in VA, but he had never ever had a complete buzz cut.  Welcome to the boonies city boy!

Chris already had a job lined up prior to our relocation.  I had sent out resumes to all of the local veterinary clinics once I learned we’d be moving.  I had gotten a response from only one of 5 veterinary clinics on the Eastern Shore before I left CA.  They wanted me to fill out an application.  Chris went and picked one up for me, as I was still in CA and wouldn’t be leaving for a few weeks.  He filled it out to the best of his ability.  When I finally arrived on the Eastern Shore, I called and scheduled an interview at the animal hospital.

Just a few days after I arrived I visited the animal hospital that I had been in contact with.  I had a nice tour of the facility, met all the staff and then sat and chatted with the practice owner for a few minutes.  It all seemed promising, then I was told they didn’t have any positions open at that time but they would keep my application on file for 6 months.  I was a bit bummed, but I still had plenty of unpacking to do to keep me busy for a little while.    It really was a shame because the practice was less than 3 miles from where we were renting.  It would have been an ideal place for me to work!  Alas, I had to keep searching.

A month had gone by and, though I wasn’t desperately in need of employment, I was ready for a job.  I had settled into the house, unpacked what was unpackable for the short term that we’d be living there, learned to navigate my way from home to all of the important places:  DMV, grocery story, post office, hardware store, etc.  I figured out right away that I’d be spending a LOT of time shopping on Amazon.  I continued to look for work that I might be able to tolerate.  My heart and soul wanted to continue to work in the animal care field, but after having been ignored or denied employment at every veterinary facility and animal care facility (SPCA & Animal Control) I started to pick up applications for factory work and retail work. Then I received a call from the animal hospital that seemed interested in me from the beginning.

There was a recent and unexpected opening at the animal hospital and they hit me up because of my experience (ie:  I wouldn’t require much training).  I hadn’t had any other offers at that point so I took the position…as a Receptionist.  Did I want to be a receptionist?  No, because I’m a technical person, not a people-person.  But I did know how to field phone calls and triage patients at the front desk quite well, and I really needed a job so I took it.  The pay was okay, and it was more than the nothing I had been making, so I was all in!

Something was meant to be, because I was a receptionist there for maybe 6 months until I got repositioned as a veterinary assistant.  I double-dutied for the longest time, but now am able to keep to the technical stuff more, which makes me happy-er.  I am still willing to fill in on occasion when needed as a customer service specialist.  Truth is, whether you’re a receptionist, a vet assistant, a licensed vet tech, or a veterinarian…you’re still a customer service specialist!  I just prefer that title to be lower on my list of responsibilities, if you get my drift.  I went into animal science for the animals.

Again, I digress.  So I got a job!  And it was something that made me happy.  I am still there, if that tells you anything.

To be continued…

The Power of Positivity is Real

I’ve always been a believer in the Power of Positivity. This past week enhanced that belief a million-fold.

On Tuesday my 13 year old “Lab” mix, C.J., woke me up at 2AM to go outside. It was too dark for me to see what he was doing, but with his Noxgear Lighthound vest I could see that he was back in the trees where he would normally go to poop. I saw him stop for a few seconds, then went zooming from one side of the grove to the other. He’d pause again, then go back and forth again. This went on for a good 5 minutes or so. When he finally came back to the house, he was panting and went straight to the water bowl. I tried to go back to sleep.

When I woke up at about 4AM, I found a small pile of diarrhea on the rug next to the back door. Poor C.J. was having some stomach upset. He ate readily around 6AM and didn’t have any other bouts of the Big D.

I took him to work with me that day, as I typically do on Tuesdays anyway, and he seemed to be his normal self. Then one of the girls came to me to let me know he had explosive watery diarrhea. I was trying to figure out what it could be that was going on with him. I had a lightbulb moment while talking to a coworker about life-fails. She was telling me about how she spilled piping hot coffee on her over the weekend, and that sparked a memory of a jar of bone broth exploding all over my kitchen that Sunday. Before I could get it all cleaned up, C.J. was over there licking up what he could on the floor. It had to be dietary indiscretion or, worse (and I hoped not), pancreatitis. After talking with the veterinarian we decided to go conservative and treated for dietary indiscretion. That meant small and frequent meals of a bland diet.

By Wednesday morning, C.J. was still having watery diarrhea. He had a few accidents in the house. He was still with appetite and acting normal, with the exception of letting us know he had to go out frequently. He ate breakfast that morning, then vomited it up shortly thereafter. Back to work he went with me for monitoring and so that I could let him go outside to eliminate frequently. He seemed okay, but by midday he had vomited one more time. This time it was just phlegm. We gave him an antiemetic injection at that point and continued to treat for dietary indiscretion.

Thursday morning I woke up to the sound of C.J. pacing around the house. When I walked into the dining room there were about 6 or 7 piles of watery, bloody diarrhea on the floor. C.J. was also acting very puny, lethargic and was breathing rapidly with a rapid heart rate. I thought to myself, crap, it IS pancreatitis. I took him to the vet clinic before I went to teach my class at the YMCA that morning and let my coworkers know what was going on.

When I arrived at work that day the bloodwork had already been run on C.J. It was unremarkable. His pancreatic enzymes were normal, his liver values were normal, there was nothing really to indicate pancreatitis, or anything else for that matter. C.J. was definitely not feeling well and was dehydrated and still breathing fast as if he was severely uncomfortable. We placed an IV catheter and started him on IV fluids. Even though his bloodwork was normal, we proceeded to treat him supportively, as we would for pancreatitis or a viral infection like Parvovirus.

By lunch time C.J. had worsened. He would barely lift his head to acknowledge me when I went to check on him. I ended up spending most of my lunch hour in the kennel with him, loving on him and telling him he had to get better. That’s when the worst thoughts started going through my head. My heart started to sink and I couldn’t help but to start crying. I had this feeling that this was going to be the end. I was NOT ready for that!  I had my cell phone with me while I was hanging out with C.J. in the kennel and took a picture of the two of us.  I posted it on IG & FB to let friends and family know what was going on, and to plea for positive vibes to be sent his way.

The people I work with are amazing.  They discussed amongst each other what to do.  We could x-ray him and make sure there’s not something going on like a tumor hidden somewhere, an enlarged/shrunken/abnormal organ, etc.  They offered to help me get him ready for transport to a Veterinary Specialty facility that had a boarded internist, they would take care of Esme and Freddie Mercury until I returned, and would make sure my shift was covered at the animal hospital.  I decided to start with x-rays.  I was hoping to find something to validate my suspicions and to help us come up with a treatment plan for C.J.  We x-rayed his chest and his abdomen.  For a 13 year old large breed dog, that boy had some absolutely beautiful x-rays!  With the exception of some evidence of arthritis in his caudal spine, he was in pretty stellar shape.  Still no answer as to why C.J. was in the predicament he was.  I opted to continue to treat him supportively, at least over 24 hours to see if he’d improve.  If he didn’t, then I would either take him to the internist or make some other more final decisions.

Because it’s what I do and I am well-trained in animal nursing care, I was able to bring C.J. home with me to convalesce.

It’s not the first time I’ve had to “hospitalize” one of my pets at home on IV fluids and medications.  The first one was Chompers when he got into bread dough and I had to treat him for alcohol toxicity.  Yes, he got drunk!  Then there was Lazarus when he had his poop problems that set him into a downward spiral.  So far, my recovery rate was at 100%.  I really didn’t want to ruin my perfect record.

I set up my at home ICU, which is just a dog crate set up to be as comfortable as possible.  I borrowed an IV infusion pump from work to keep C.J.’s fluids in check.  I managed his IV catheter, monitored him constantly, administered all of his prescribed medications IV or orally, and spent the night with him.  He was confined to his Intensive Care Unit while I made myself as comfortable as I could on his dog bed just outside the facility.  It was a really long night … for me.  Every noise that came from him or his kennel alerted me.  If he sighed, I was wide awake, ready to reassess his respiratory and heart rates.  If he moved I was wide awake making sure he didn’t need to go out.

Friday morning C.J. seemed a little happier.  He acted like he might be interested in food.  I offered him some canned bland diet.  He turned his nose from it.  I snatched a sliver of turkey cold cut from Chris’ sandwich that he had prepared for lunch.  C.J. ate it without gusto.  I then offered him a venison jerky treat.  He ate it.  I started to wonder if he was having an aversion to the canned bland diet since that’s what he ate the last time just prior to his first bout of vomiting.  I decided to head to the grocery store to get some chicken breast and white rice.  I boiled the rice and the chicken breast (separately).  Once they were cooked and somewhat chilled, I shredded the chicken breast and offered C.J. a tiny bit of the chicken.  He ate it!  I mixed the rest of the chicken with the rice.  After an hour or so I offered C.J. a couple of tablespoons of the chicken and rice mixture.  He ate about half of it.  About an hour later I offered him another 2 tablespoons.  This time he ate all of it.  An hour later the same was offered, he ate most of it.  I continued to offer him a few tablespoons throughout the evening.

I had to work Saturday morning so I brought C.J. with me.  He was definitely improved by Saturday morning.  He was more alert and active, but not quite himself yet.  He ate a little bit of the chicken and rice for me in the morning.  Not as much as I would’ve liked, but he ate some.  He had not vomited since Wednesday, and I haven’t seen a bowel movement since Wednesday either.  I was anxiously awaiting a poop from C.J.

Yesterday (Saturday) afternoon C.J. pooped!  It wasn’t formed, but it wasn’t watery like it had been.  I call that “progress.”

This morning C.J. was ready eat like usual.  I am not ready to go all-out regular diet yet, so he had a mix of bland diet & his regular food this morning.  He ate all of it.  My heart is put back together.  I followed him out to the trees to see him poop.  He pooped and it was still soft, but formed!  Not liquid!  He is definitely on the mend!

I can’t help but believe that all of the positive vibes, prayers and well wishes that friends, family and acquaintances sent had something to do with C.J.’s recovery.  We still don’t know what exactly was going on, but we do know that he is better and that is all that matters.  Thank you to everyone who was looking out for him.  It is appreciated more than you may ever realize.

JUST SAY NO! to the Retractable Leash

Having worked in the animal care field for over 20 years now, I have learned a great much about animals and their health and well-being.  I am fairly well acquainted with most pet toys and gadgets too.  Some are great, while others make me think “what in the heck were they thinking when they developed this thing?”  Retractable leashes are one of those gadgets that make me cringe.  I truly hope they, along with chain leashes, go the way of the dinosaur.

Retractable leashes are leads with plastic handles that contain a reel system.  As a pet advances, the leash unreels and the pet is able to move farther from the handler.  If the handler wishes to stop the pet from being able to advance, the handler typically has to push a button that “locks” the leash to prevent it from unreeling.  The only way that the leash can shorten is if there is some slack between the leash handle and the pet.  The first 12 to 24 inches of most retractable leashes is a flat nylon-type material.  The rest of the length of these leashes is typically a thin cord.  In some cases the entire length is a thin cord.

I can understand only one benefit of the retractable leash.  Oh.  Wait.  I lied.

Why am I so down on these ever-so-popular gadgets?  Let me tell you!

  1.  They teach your dog to pull.  If you have a tiny little teacup chihuahua at the end of a leash, the pulling isn’t usually a big deal.  However, if you have a 75 pound lab or a 120 pound mastiff pulling at the other end of a leash, you’re going to have some pretty serious control issues there!  Teaching your dog leash manners is crucial in any case, but especially when it comes to muscular breeds or large and giant breed dogs.
  2. The locking mechanisms are not trustworthy.  As your pet pulls at the retractable leash to check out the flattened squirrel in the street while a car is approaching, are you going to trust that little plastic latch to save your dog from being struck by that oncoming vehicle?  I sure wouldn’t.  And for good reason.  I’ve seen what happens in such a case far too often.
  3. The thin rope cord is dangerous to you and your dog.  Imagine, if you would, the following scenario:  A woman is taking her 60 pound pointer for a walk in the park when a squirrel crosses the dog’s path.  The dog begins to chase the squirrel so the woman attempts to press the “lock” button, but the momentum created by the dog is able to overcome the lock!  In a panic the owner reaches and grabs for the leash.  BIG MISTAKE!  There are cases of dog owners losing fingers in cases similar to this.
  4. At the vet clinic:  All too often I see pet owners come into our office with a dog on a retractable leash and that dog begins to explore the entire waiting area!  We see both healthy and sick patients at the office.  I don’t want your healthy dog fraternizing with another waiting sick dog, or otherwise.  Also, your dog’s roaming creates a snag-line to other patrons or staff members!

These are my top 4 reasons for banning retractable leashes, but I could easily come up with 20 more reasons to ditch them.  Folks, if you have a dog, you need to properly leash train that dog.  If the dog pulls or is too “strong” for you, please talk with your veterinary staff about head halters or no-pull harnesses.

TIME: The only thing ALL of us don’t have enough of

Time needs to slow down. No, really. I’m serious. It’s going by WAY too fast.

A lot has happened since I last blogged, which is why I haven’t blogged in so long…no time! If I could just get another 8 hours added on to every day I just might have enough time in a day to get everything done that I both need AND want to. Unfortunately, that will never happen. So I’ll just have to keep on doing the best I can.

SOULBODY

In May of this year I stumbled upon another group fitness opportunity, thanks to some info provided to me by my Pound Master Pro. It is called Soul Body Body Barre. After hearing about it I immediately had to learn more. I went to their website and looked around, watched the videos and knew that I had to learn how to teach this! A mindfully intense, full-body workout that pulls from the practices of barre, yoga and pilates, and incorporates a lot of body weight training. This particular class uses a ball and a body bar in pre-choreographed routines that are suitable for any and all fitness levels.

As soon as I heard about a training opportunity that was within a reasonable distance for me, I didn’t hesitate to sign up.

About a week prior to training, the instructor emailed information about the class, along with an instructional video to teach us the structure and choreography. I immediately got to work. I printed out my notes and started the video. I made it through the warm-up with no problem! Then the first real track came on. I made it through, but had to modify my technique drastically, and honestly started to wonder if I could teach a class like this. Then the second track, and third, and so on…Wow! That was one intense workout! I had a lot of work to do.

Well, to make a long story short, I went all-in and busted my tail to complete my training because I couldn’t WAIT to bring this to my community! After taking the certification course I had to submit a video of me teaching a full-length class as my “practical exam.” I had a month to submit a video after the certifying course, but I jumped right on it and one week and one day later my video was recorded! It did take me 2 takes to get one, but I did finally get it.

I have to share this little side note with you. After I completed the “final cut” video, I packaged up my laptop and when I got home the file was GONE. No joke. I panicked and just about totally lost my cool. Are you kidding me? I had to get some volunteers to be my class “guinea pigs” two days in a row, had a nearly perfect take and it didn’t save? I was almost in tears. But I took 5 minutes. Did some breathing exercises. Then went back to my laptop. I was able to find a cached file with the full length video. IMMEDIATELY saved it to my desktop, to my external hard drive, and to drop box! Crisis averted.

So I submitted my video. Within a day I received an email that I had passed! Celebration time! I was now certified to teach the class and couldn’t wait to do so! Now, to find time to teach the class. It was, and still has been, very difficult to find times to make this class available due to my current full-time job that has irregular hours, and I was already trying to find more time to make Pound available. I was also teaching a SPIN class on days when I was available too. And there’s all the running.

sbbodybarrelogo

Now you see why I need more hours in my day? And I don’t even have (human) kids.

We have managed to fit my classes into the schedule, but they each only happen once (sometimes twice) a week. I hope to one day be able to free my schedule up to be able to offer more fitness classes at regular and at a variety of times. I’m working on it…

CHOMPERS

Our oldest dog, Chompers, had to be put to rest on July 15th of this year. He had just turned 14 a few days prior. Chompers has had orthopedic problems his entire life, starting with Osteochondritis Dissecans when he was a 6 month old puppy. He has spent his entire life on joint supplements! About 2-3 years ago he started to slow down some and was diagnosed with arthritis in one of his front legs. He’s been on pain medication and NSAIDs since then. Eventually his back legs started to show a lack of proprioception (neurologic issues). We managed him by keeping him comfortable with medications, light exercise and lots of love. In June he really started to decline and by the first of July his back end was giving out on him altogether at times.

We had to make the decision when we were home with him one day and had to witness him have an episode where his back end gave out on him. He struggled to get up and was panicking because he just couldn’t. I started to wonder how often that was happening when we weren’t home. It would be selfish and unfair of us to not allow him to have a dignified farewell. So, after much discussion, we planned his peaceful departure.

The day of, things couldn’t have been more obvious that the time was right. That morning, Chompers was not able to use his back legs at all. I spent the entire day with him, loved him, cried over him, and took in every last bit of him that I could. He was my heart dog and I was dreading this day for years!

Chris came home and, after he spent some time with Chompers, we headed to the animal hospital. Things couldn’t have gone more peacefully. It was sad, yes, but it was also a great relief knowing that he was no longer in any pain. He will always be my “heart dog!”

I cannot begin to say enough words about the company who took care of Chompers afterward.  I entrusted Agape Pet Services to have Chompers cremated with his ashes returned to me.  As I sought the perfect urn for Chompers on their website, I saw this glass crystal cube that you could have your pet’s image etched into it.  It looked really neat and I already knew which picture I wanted to have etched!  My all-time favorite picture of Chompers from back when he was 4 years old.  I had to have it.  And I found the perfect urn.  The company was great to deal with, ordering was easy and everything was absolutely perfect upon arrival.  Thanks for taking care of my boy Agape!

The etched crystal & Urn


RODAN + FIELDS

It’s now been a few months since I’ve been teaching both Pound and, recently renamed, Soul Body Barre Unhitched. All of my time is spent now working my full time job at the animal hospital, teaching group fitness classes, trying to squeeze in some miles whenever I can, keeping current on my class choreography, every day chores and the dealings of life, and occasionally I’m able to sneak in some entertainment with my love. No time to spare. I need more hours in my day!

Then a friend starts talking to me about her business as a skin care consultant with Rodan + Fields dermatologists. It sounded quite interesting, especially the part where she said she was able to free up some time from a job to do what she really enjoyed, which is teaching a Spin class to people with Parkinson’s disease (pretty cool, I know!). She asked me if I was familiar with R+F and I said of course, they’re the Doctors responsible for Proactiv. She started to tell me more about the business and asked me if I’d be interested. At first I was not. But then I thought about it some more. If I did this, I just might be able to free up some hours myself to be able to do what I really WANT to do. Even better, I could earn more money to help pay off bills, to be able to afford to visit my family in the midwest more often, and to fund my many hobbies (like running). And, what a great complement to group fitness this would be! Helping people feel their best on the inside AND outside! The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I had nothing to lose to give it a try. I know R+F, and I know they’re product lines do what they claim.

RodanandFields LogoSo, yes, I am now trying to launch and grow my own business and I’m loving it!

I love my job, don’t get me wrong, but over the past several years my passions have changed. I am still very passionate about animals. But I have become more passionate about making others feel their best through group fitness and run coaching, nutrition advice and now premium skin care. My ultimate goal is to, over the next 5 years (give or take) flip-flop my job and my hobbies.

It seems to be working a little bit since I now have time to sit down and write a blog post!

By the way, if you’re interested in learning more about Rodan + Fields, feel free to contact me!

So that about sums it up.  That’s what I’ve been up to, and if all goes well, you’ll be hearing more from me soon!  Until then, hug your pets and live your best life.

5 weeks to my first half marathon

Only 5 weeks left until my first Half Marathon (finally)! Today I ran 12+ miles, of which my running buddy CJ was able to finish the last 5 miles with me. He is almost 9, so I only allow him to run with me for up to 10Km. More than that is just too much. And when the weather gets warmer, unfortunate for him, his distance gets much shorter. Today he joined me at mile 7 and we ran for 5 and walked the last half mile.

Not only am I preparing for my first half marathon, but two weeks from today is when I go to get my POUND certification! I’m really excited about this because I really enjoy Pound, and I am looking forward to sharing the fitness phenom with others.

I’ve been asked to teach Pound at my local fitness facility during the month of April. It’s so soon! There’s no way I’m going to be ready to teach a class by April! But I have been working on songs and routines and think I might just be able to come up with something in a month. Playlist is set, now I just need to get the routine set…in my brain…so set that my nerves won’t F*%k it all up when class time rolls around! So I agreed to do it.

Why do I do this to myself? I’ve got a half marathon I’m training for, I’ve got tons of fundraising to accomplish for the Run for the Animals between now and my half marathon, and now I have to learn a Pound routine and have it ready to go by April! And there’s a trip to visit some friends in PA smack-dab in the middle of all of this. Oh, yeah, and I have a full-time job. I do this to myself because it helps to motivate me to get stuff done! Yes, sometimes I get stressed out, but nothing so serious that a beer or three can’t take care of.

Oh, yeah, and I’m still taking classes for my AFAA certification too. But I have until November to get that finished…

We are given this one life. I am trying to make the most of it. For myself and for others. That’s what makes me go. If I don’t get all of it accomplished on my schedule, I hope that I am given enough time to accomplish whatever it is that I am here to do!

Snow Day #2!

We got hit here on the Eastern Shore of Virginia for the second time in 2 weeks with a measurable amount of snow.  This time it was the really thick, heavy, wet and pretty stuff.  The kind that is perfect for making snowmen and for snowball fights!  Although we didn’t do any of those things here at home today.

I love the snow when it's pretty like this!

I love the snow when it’s pretty like this!

The Eastern Shore of Virginia just doesn’t see this kind of snow regularly, so they don’t have all of the necessary manpower, equipment and funding to deal with the snow like they do in the midwest and northeast.  That’s why things shut down even if we only get a few inches of snow.  It’s safest for everyone.  This time we got about 6 inches here in Accomac, with more on the southern end of the shore.

Health care workers, including Animal health care workers, can’t take snow days.  There are people and animals that need tending to no matter what else is going on in the world!  I don’t mind it one bit.  It’s what I do and it’s what I love.

I work only a couple of miles from home, and I have a 4×4, and I have a lot of experience driving and dealing with loads of snow being from Northern Illinois.  So when we have days like this, I usually (not always, like last week) am the one that can make it in to take care of the animals.  I was able to make it in safely this morning, took care of all of the boarding dogs and cats, and our one sick dog.  Then I called to inform our already scheduled appointments that we were going to be closed for the day.  Most of the clients were not going to even try to make it anyway, but many of them would try if we were open.  Unless it was a dire emergency, it was much safer for our clients and staff to stay home.

Another coworker, Jessica,  lives about as close as I do and has a 4×4 as well, so we split the workload for the day.  She agreed to go in to take care of the critters this evening.  When I finished with the morning’s rounds and got the schedule in order for the rest of today and for tomorrow, it was time to head home.  That’s when my snow day began for real!

When I returned home it was still snowing pretty heavily.  Chris and I went out for breakfast and coffee at the Club Car Cafe in Parksley.  After that we went to the grocery store, because the best time to shop at the grocery store is during inclement weather!  NO LINES!  Awesome!  I got my grocery shopping done for most of the weekend!  Then we came back home and started having fun.

CJ loves the snow; Chompers does too but his decrepit body does not.  I didn’t go for a snow run today like I did last week, only because today was a crosstraining day for me anyway, and I am off tomorrow.  Tomorrow is supposed to be about the same as today, sans the snowfall, and the road should be plowed by then so the “fair weather” runner in me chose to keep with my original plan of running on Friday.  I choose my battles.

Chompers loves the snow!  But his body doesn't any longer...

Chompers loves the snow! But his body doesn’t any longer…

The kind of fun we had today was playing frisbee in the snow with CJ, going for a snowy walk down the lane, and just hanging out and having fun together as a family.

All the boy wants to do is play with his aerobie!  He doesn't care if it's snowing or raining...

All the boy wants to do is play with his aerobie! He doesn’t care if it’s snowing or raining…

Mine and CJ's snow tracks

Mine and CJ’s snow tracks