Tansy’s First Christmas and Other Things

So…we made it through Christmas. Today was a day of *flop*. I don’t know why this Christmas was so exhausting, but wow. I must be getting old.

Photo of Tansy with Santa
Ho ho holy crap, Tansy stayed still for a photo!
Another picture of Tansy with Santa
Tansy must wonder What is this Santa stuff anyway?

I’m posting these pictures of Tansy with Santa for two reasons: first, so they can be up for all to see, and second, pleasepleaseplease tell me I fixed the sideways picture problem? Pleasepleaseplease? If it’s fixed, I’ll make another post explaining what I did.

Christmas was a good time, even if it was hectic. We saw everybody we wanted to see, Tansy got some romping time in the snow and lots of time with Trixeroo. We got some new and cool things, and good lord our kitchen is full of chocolates. It was a good time, and hey, the power stayed on! Yea! I’m not a jynx!

Leading up to this Christmas, I had nightmares about Tansy either causing utter chaos at family gatherings by jumping on a poor unfortunate older and more frail family member, running with Trix and damaging the Christmas tree, or getting loose on a romping session and getting injured. Thankfully all of those things can stay in dreamland.

Trix and Tans did run pretty hard in the basement, but no Christmas trees were harmed in the making of this play session. The only person she just couldn’t resist actually full scale jumping on was Steve’s sister, but she never caught me by surprise and jumped on someone who could have been hurt. And the romping sessions all ended well. I have to get the picture of her running in the snow with Trix off Steve’s mom’s camera. Maybe I can get the old one of Trix sleeping in the tree skirt too. One can hope.

One thing I noticed is poor Tans does not like it if people get loud and animated telling a story. A couple of times Brad and Steve were imitating people from their past and they got loud about it. Each time, Tansy ran downstairs. The poor dog, I would call her back up because I didn’t want her alone with a Christmas tree full of presents and ornaments…but I really think she was just trying to get away from us loud people.

I have also learned that that little blanket the Shoe Thief gave me as a travel bed will not work at all if it’s down on a cold floor. Trix would tolerate it, but Tans shows her displeasure, and doesn’t sleep much at all. Well…she does get colder faster. We already established this.

But considering how much of a maniac Tansy can be, I was impressed at how well she did. Hell I was proud. I was a little worried about Tansy’s first Christmas, but she was a trooper.

It’s funny. The first time I took her on a trip, which was to the NFB convention, she didn’t seem to wig out at all when I was packing…at least I don’t remember it. But man oh man, this time, when I packed to go in the first place, and each time we’d move our stuff from one house to another, she would watch me like a hawk! She seemed very very happy to get home yesterday, and slept most of the day. Today she seemed to be recharged…I wish I could have said the same for myself!

So Tansy’s first winter has arrived, and we’ve had a few challenges, but nothing like what Trix and I went through. Granted, that winter was a biiiitch, but I think between the lessons I learned from Trix, and a few natural gifts that Tansy seems to possess, it’s going to be a far less painful experience. Let’s hope I don’t jinx myself.

We have already tackled the salt problem with a few modifications to the usual solutions. I tried getting her to wear all 4 of the barknboots, but she would have none of this. It became almost dangerous, because anytime she had to think at all, she would sooner just bend over and chew on the front boots. I tried to get her to play in them, but that just was a giant session of “stop chewing your front boots!” She ate her food in them, but she was the most miserable creature I have ever seen…then she kicked her water bowl over! It was like she had no coordination at all with all 4 booties of that style on.

So I tried 2 back booties and Mushers Secret on her front paws, but this year they really seemed to lay on the salt thick, and it didn’t seem to be doing the job. She would still lift paws in the air, again in rather inconvenient places, and lick at them to get the salt off.

So what have we done? They have what they call disposable boots called Pawz. They look like little balloon booties, or kind of like rubber mittens. You slide them on their feet, and that’s that. They stay on pretty well, and keep all that nasty stuff off, but they’re thin enough that she still feels like she has contact with the ground. I guess their only downside is they probably don’t provide warmth, and I’ve heard that they can spring a leak without warning. But you get 12 of the suckers in a box that you pay $20 for, and so far, I don’t think she has a leaky booty yet. This just might do the trick. Maybe some day we’ll get the 4 barknboots to work, but until then, we can keep groovin’.

We were out one day when the snow came down really heavy, and the Tanseroo knew to walk where the sidewalk used to be, not target parking lots like poor Trix would do. I was so happy.

Also, we’ve had a fair bit of ice, and sometimes I’ve been caught without my Yaktrax. Still, I have not hit the pavement with a thud. Tansy seems to know that ya don’t mess with that stuff. Awesome! Poor Trix had to watch me fall a few times before she got it. Also, Tansy regards falling ice with a healthy dose of respect. Some was falling during the ice storm, and she got us out of the way!

By the way, I love those Yaktrax. I wore them when I took Tans out to pee during the ice storm…and there I was, standing on a big chunk of nothing but ice waiting for Tans to poop, then bending over and picking it up, and I didn’t slip or fall. I thought that would have made a sweet ad video for Yaktrax.

I hope this winter I can find a safe place for Tans to blow off steam outdoors. I would think the park would be a total disaster, and although she may enjoy it, I might end up broken. We’ll see what we can see.

So what else have I noticed that Tans has learned? In the house, she has learned that we don’t want her in the kitchen. The kitchen is off limits. She will come close, but she won’t go over the line into the kitchen. She tried to test that boundary a few times, but it seems she knows what we want. For some reason, Steve had called her Louie line-pusher when she would get over the line, so now, all I have to say is “Lou.” when she’s forgetting that boundary, or testing us, and she’ll back away. It makes me laugh.

She has stopped getting up to terrorize Steve in the night if he falls asleep in the living room and Tans and I go to the bedroom. It took a few nights of tying her down, but she seemed to get the message that you don’t get up and travel around in the night. Yea! That was easy!

She’s also figured out “Gotta pee.” I was amazed how quickly that came together. And she’s figured out what phone number means the buzzer…and has taken it to the next level! I would always tell her to go to bed when the buzzer would go off. Usually she’d be in the living room, so that meant her crate. Now, when she hears the buzzer has gone off, she will run from the bedroom and go in her crate! Very cute, but ya could have just stayed in your other bed. Oh well, it makes it easier to know where she is. Plus I think she likes looking out to see who’s there.

Another little thing to add about Tansy’s hatred of cold: she hates being groomed out in the cold. She’ll see me get the grooming pack, run away, and try to take refuge in her crate! I have to go get her, and then she goes, but she’s some pissed. It’s like she thinks I’m stripping away what little coat she has!

And I’ve noticed that I can skip grooming her for a couple days and when I do it again, no hair will come out, or very very little. She really is trying to hold on to all of it. Trix would just shed anyway.

I think that’s about it for general updates. I have a couple specific things I want to write about, but I think I hit all the major points. Can anyone else believe that I’ve had Tans for almost 9 months? I sure can’t. Please, time, slow down. But I’m definitely seeing her maturing, even though she still has lots of maniac in her. I wonder if she’ll still be a maniac when she’s Trix’s age.

Speaking of that, no one can believe Trix is over 8.5. It doesn’t seem possible since she enjoys huge long walks and she’s definitely got lots of bounce in her step. I hope Tans and Trix can enjoy lots more family fun together. I’m not ready for anything to change just yet.

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