Welcome to the Misadventures of Widowhood blog!

In January of 2012 my soul mate of 42 years passed away after nearly 12 years of living with severe disabilities due to a stroke. I survived the first year after Don’s death doing what most widows do---trying to make sense of my world turned upside down. The pain and heartache of loss, my dark humor, my sweetest memories and, yes, even my pity parties are well documented in this blog.

Now that I’m a "seasoned widow" the focus of my writing has changed. I’m still a widow looking through that lens but I’m also a woman searching for contentment, friends and a voice in my restless world. Some people say I have a quirky sense of humor that shows up from time to time in this blog. Others say I make some keen observations about life and growing older. I say I just write about whatever passes through my days---the good, bad and the ugly. Comments welcome and encouraged. Let's get a dialogue going! Jean

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Walking the Mighty Schnauzer

These past few days of rising temperatures and sunny days have elevated everyone’s mood and made it easier to move from point A to point B and beyond but I suspect it will take more than a week of good news from Mother Nature to melt all our snow. And with each layer that melts more dog poop in the Levi’s pen is revealed so I’ve had to add picking it up to my daily list of things to do. It’s not an easy task for someone afraid of falling on the icy snow pack but I have my trusty garden hoe to dislodge the frozen “logs” and my long handled pooper scooper. I also have ice fishing cleats on the bottom of my boots so eventually the job will come to an end without any broken bones. 

Sometimes I can’t believe how much Levi’s life is going to change after we move. For one thing, he’ll never get to pee or poop in private again because I’ll have to walk Levi each and every time and follow along picking up his poop as soon as he drops it. Now, his walks are sporadic and never in winter or at either end of the day. Not in the winter because I’m afraid of falling on icy sidewalks---did I mention heated sidewalks in my future?---and not in early morning or late at night because I don’t like to be dressed in street clothes any longer than I have to. And on rainy days? He’s stubborn about going outside in the rain and I’m sure his avoid-mom-dragging-him-out antics are going to amuse my future neighbors. His German roots makes him stubborn but I've been known to throw a hissy-fit right back at him.

Levi’s life this summer is going to be confusing for him as deep cleaning and maintenance people start coming in and out of the house. I’ve even started packing some stuff so when the time comes to list the house I won’t have to do so much depersonalizing the place. However, my once empty library shelves have filled up again with boxes of stuff packed and ready to list on e-Bay. It’s been a long haul getting rid of collectibles on e-Bay but with the local auction house I was using going out of business I had no real choice except to give it all away which would have been a financially stupid decision. By mid-March I'll redirect my energy to selling off art and the pieces in the garage that are earmarked to sell on Facebook Market Place. Spring is going to be busy. I also have to dismantle my shipping and packing area in my garage. Spring isn't even here yet and already I sick of the work it will bring.

Levi’s also going to be spending the spring and summer getting himself on a schedule for his body functions so we'll be doing a long walk daily---at five---and short ‘quick pees’ at 10:00, noon, 3:00, 8:00, 10:00 again and midnight. A ‘quick pee’ in dog talk means Levi gets to go out to the streetlight in front of my house and mark it which actually takes forever and a day for him to read the pee mail other dogs have left behind. (He’s not allowed to use mailboxes even though the other dogs in the neighborhood do which, I think, is rude for their humans to allow. Who wants to get a whiff of urine when they grab their mail?) This schedule isn’t too far off from when Levi usually wants to go outside but it’s me that needs the schedule more than he does. It's too easy, now, to just open the back door and let him do his thing. 

But I am looking forward to those heated sidewalks. I hope they aren’t so warm that I’ll have to start putting boots on Levi. He’s a nudist and hates wearing sweaters so I imagine trying to corral him to put him in boots would be like catching a greased pig. We used to have a poodle who wore boots and loved getting dressed up. I could have put her in a risqué bustier, fishnet stockings, high-heeled boots and red lipstick she would have paraded them up and down a runway like she owned the place. Poodles really are show offs. (Ever have a dog eat a tube of lipstick? It's hard to get mad when they look so silly and you're more worried about the color of their next bowel movement.)

I bought a neat dog walker’s cross-body bag---I'm used to just stuffing some baggies in a pocket and taking off. It’s got a place on the side where poop bags are dispensed and I added a jump ring on the other side where I can hang a full bag of poop using a bread bag clip so I can remain hands free. It has pockets for keys, a cell phone, hand wipes and treats. Another jump ring could give me a place to hang a water bottle and the bag came with a collapsible bowl. In this neighborhood there are lots of dogs that can turn Levi into the Barker-in-Chief so I'm also going to carry my anti-bark gadget. He sits sweetly when little kids approach but another dog has him pulling my arm out of its socket and we’re going to work on that over the summer. The director of the continuum care complex where I’m moving couldn’t tell me how many dogs will be moving in to my building but Levi won’t be the only one, she says. Oh, well, I’ll worry about that bridge to cross when I get there. Now, I have to come up with a $1,000 to cover the cost of some elective surgery for Levi---removing a large, fatty tumor between his tail and his rectum and while he's under they'll clean his teeth, too. I’m pretty sure my income tax refund will cover it once I get around to filing my taxes---but it's going to cut into my fund for a new La-Z-Boy, computer desk and bar-cart-turned artist-in-residence-cart. Oh, yes, I've been online shopping! ©

 

Not sure I'll ever take walks long enough to need a water bottle but this flat, reusable bottle will work great if I do.

I've already tried walking with a full bag of poop attached this way and it works great. The trick is to use a bread clip that is too big to past through the jump ring.    

36 comments:

  1. Gadzooks! I'll be so glad when you're finished with all of this work. I could never do it.

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    1. I don't remember a time in my life when I didn't have a lot of work to do.

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  2. My poodle thinks that she and her breed are willing to dress up to honor their circus dog cousins lol. It’s great that you are planning ahead with Levi for all the changes. We didn’t think to try and it took months for our dog to figure out that the entire development wasn’t her territory to defend. What helped with the barking at other dogs was making a few dog friends so now she is more looking to see if it is one of her friends. Like your dog walking bag.

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    1. My girl poodle was more baby and dog. My mom used to yell at me, "Put that dog down, she has legs!" And I was in my thirties. She really LOVED dressing up. I think it's the attention they get.

      Once we get closer to the move I'll take Levi out to the place a few times to walk around before the actual move. Levi's barking-I-want-to-play excited barking.

      I wish the bag was a little bigger but all the dog walker bags I saw at Amazon seemed to be around the same size. When he sees me put it on he'll know he's getting the long walk of the day and not the quickie across the street.

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  3. You are a great planner. I'm sure Levi will get with the program and enjoy his new schedule. I mean, does he have a choice?

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    1. Planning as always been my strongest suite and that worked out well in the bridal business.

      Levi will do well. It's I'm worried about. LOL

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  4. That's a neat dog walking bag. You are doing a great job in marketing your collectibles. I can't remember... when is your scheduled move?

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    1. Thanks, I wish it was all behind me. The complex is supposed to be done at the end of August. Timing the listing on my house is going to be SO scary. It has to sell so I'll have the money to finish paying off my unit. But I don't want to sell it too early so I have to live in limbo some place else with my stuff in storage.

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  5. Which as I adore dogs and have always had one or one in the house since 1990, I have not adopted a dog after moving..especially as a not early riser. Well see if I break down.

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    1. I have never in my entire life lived without a dog in the house. I keep mourning the fact that Levi will probably be my last. But I may try to foster. One of the couples that's moving into my building fosters but I'm sold on the idea.

      Dogs don't have to turn you into an early riser. Levi never gets up in the morning until around 10:00. I'm not sure if that's because I take him out at midnight just before I go to bed or the fact that when he was a puppy his needs had to come after my disabled h7usband's so he got used to waiting for his time.

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    2. I am still considering it. But a backup dogwalker would be a requirement for me...

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    3. This place has dog walkers for hire in the old section so I'm pretty sure they will plan them in the section.

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  6. Every now and then, I come across a sub-culture I didn't realize existed, and your dog-walker's thingie reminds me that "Dog Walker" probably qualifies. By the time stuff to support the culture starts showing up on Amazon, it's a "thing." That's not a criticism, of course. One of the great advantages of a cat is the litter box, especially when the cat's fastidious about its use, as Dixie Rose was. I like dogs, but I'd never have one, precisely because of the complexities you've described. Besides: I just like cats.

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    1. When Levi dies I'd love to have a cat but I was highly allergic when I was younger with hives and asthma attacks I'd have to get retested to see if I still am. Sometimes you do grow out of allergies. I suspect that I have with cats but I still get hives from touching horses and dachshunds as I've have recent contact with both. The only think I don't like about cats is them getting on top of counter tops and tables.

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  7. You have a plan for everything. I don't think anything has escaped you.

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    1. I hope not! I hate last minute meltdowns that could have been avoided with a little planning. But I'll probably still have one or two before it all settles down.

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  8. The days have been flying by so it is good you are working on all of this now. Hope Levi cooperates and adapts to the pee/poo schedule! :)

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    1. I'll adapt probably better than I will. Right now, he's the one who asks to go outside and I want to switch that so I'm the one doing the asking. In the nice weather months he likes to ask to go outside just to lay in the sun and he'll need to learn to do that at my future patio, where peeing and walking he'll have to use a different door.

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  9. Ooh, do not envy your dog walking schedule. Like you I just open the door when Callie gives me the stare and let her in after two barks. I guess the walking will be good for you and my goodness, heated walkways? Wow.

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    1. I actually need the exercise more than Levi does. Everything he'd run around inside the house for a good 7-8 minutes and I looked up why dogs do that and here's what I found" "It's normal in dogs. In popular terms, it's called “the zoomies.” In technical parlance, it's Frenetic Random Activity Periods, or FRAP for short. ... Dogs often get the zoomies when they are very happy and bursting with energy."

      I'm looking forward to an improved life style health wise---I'll be forced to walk and they chef there is into cooking healthy so I'll be eating better. Plus having a free gym right across the hall is going to game changer too.

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  10. The walking schedule sounds perfect for YOU!! Get him a rain coat! All of our dogs have had them. AND ... you can always get velcro diapers for night time when you want to give up that midnight outing. Bosko is 16 and can't hold it for ten hours at a time, so he wears one just at night. Easy on and easy off. From Chewy.com I think.

    The raincoats really worked. And our schnauzer loved sweaters when he got older.

    Counting down the weeks now!!????

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    1. Levi had a rain coat left over from another dog and I gave it to the humane social because he absolutely refused to move an inch wearing it. He's a little better with sweaters but still would rather avoid them. I hate that time in our pet's lives when we have to worry about accidents! But at least they have good products now like belly bands.

      I'm not counting down the weeks, that would scare me but I am counting down the things I no longer will ever have to do. Like snow shoveling and replacing light bulbs, etc.

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  11. There is always so much to do...............

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  12. I'm glad you have Levi! I think your move will be much easier because he'll be with you and the two of you are family. Your line about "pee mail" just killed me!

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    1. He'll definitely be a conversation starter and him making us pass by the door to the gym so often during the we're bound to see a lot of people. I probably should have gone for the other end of the building near the other door but that unit shared a wall with the trash compactor and I thought it might be like an ice machine in a motel being noisy and smell on top of that.

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  13. It’s about time someone came up with a bag specifically for walking the dog. Something I will certainly look at buying when (if) I get another dog. Schnauzers have to be the stubbornness dogs alive. Thankfully they have many other redeeming features to make up for this 😁

    Deb

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    1. I've had Levi for 13 years and I'm still looking for those "other redeeming features." LOL The only time he's sweet and affectionate is when little girls are petty him. And he's got a real bromance going with his groomer---the guy baby talks to him and Levi eats it up. He can do some cool circus tricks but Levi only does them for the treats. When he's outside sometimes he won't come in unless I say 'treat' and then he's like a speeding bullet. And as many times as I've tried to teach him to say, "I need water, Woman!" he just gives me that evil Schnauzer stare.

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  14. And that is why I have a cat! A different kind of companionship to be sure but the body excrement is infinitely easier. I don't suppose you could teach him how to go in a box?

    I love that Levi is a nudist!

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    1. I use to have a poodle who would pee on a 4"x4" post on a boot tray if we had to be gone a long time. Small dogs can be trained to poop inside if they are younger than Levi. At least with dogs, they don't use their paws to cover up their droppings then walk around on your counter tops. LOL Though Levi has been known to use his nose in fresh bark and new snow to cover up his.

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  15. Ah, dog walks. Our dog has been gone for six months now, and we're both starting to talk about dogs again. There is a particularly cute 6 month old golden doodle in our new neighborhood that I think is perfect. But DH is a lab guy forever. Neither of us are keen on raising a puppy, but he somehow started following a breeder on FB. Go figure. Turns out he emailed them to see how/when they rehome the breeding dogs when they're finished. They have none of those available again for two more years. I kinda feel like we might come across a rescue or some other "opportunity" before that, but time will tell. I can say living in this (muddy, melty, icy, snowy) construction zone makes me glad I'm not trying to clean that off paws five times/day.

    I think the market around here is still really good. I predict your house will sell quickly for a good price! And by next year at this time you will be settled and happy. :-)

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    1. Fingers crossed on the market of houses. I'm hearing the same thing.

      I'm actually keener on raising a dog from puppy-hood that getting one with unknown behavior habits. Though labs and golden doodles both have just great temperaments it would be hard to find an older dog that was screw up from poor training. A rescue might be a better bet than a retired breeder. I'd wonder if the breeder would bond as easily with humans. Levi lived in a pet store for 5 weeks, the last of his liter to go, and I think that is part of the reason he's been more aloof than other dogs I've had. I know it's part of the reason he's a late sleeper. They didn't open up until 10:00. You'll know it when the right dog comes along at the right time.

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    2. Interesting! Our last dog was a rescue and the vet estimated he was about 8 months old when we got him. He had some ingrained habits we were never able to break (although in fairness, I can't say "we" tried that hard). The upside of a puppy is that you know exactly what they have been through. Interesting about Levi...I bet you're right.

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    3. The only rescue dog we ever had hated men--this was back when I was a teenager. My dad worked nights and my mom had to pick him up in a bad neighborhood at 1 AM. It took my dad months before that dog would stay in the same room Dad was in. My mom wanted a scary dog to take with her when he collected my dad. The dog had been abused and, boy, did she become devoted and protective to my mom and me.

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  16. This is why I liked Cats, they hide their poop and bury it for you. *winks* I am a lazy Pet owner, a Dog is too much like raising a Child and I've had 2 Generations of that already. Now that we have no Pets for the first time ever, I'm getting very used to it. I don't know how I'd like carrying a fresh bag of poop... but I do remember the Yellow Snow from back when we owned Dogs and lived in Michigan. I think Frank Zappa once wrote a Song called Don't Eat The Yellow Snow.

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    1. You carry a bag of fresh poop proudly so that everyone in the neighborhood knows you're a responsible dog owner. LOL I've always had a dog and for me, the good outweighs the bad. But having to walk one every day will be something new for me. We've always had a fenced yard or an overhead wire, pulley and chain system so they could be turned out at the back door.

      Every once in a while I'll see a joke sign around about not eating the yellow snow. At least I think it's a joke. Maybe little kids around dog parks need the reminder. LOL

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