I figured I’d just sprinkle her newest musical selections through the post.
It has been so long since I’ve written a big random post about Tansy. I mean I wrote about her lump removal, but there is so much more to say. It has been a year since I’ve done a Shmans deluge. Of course I have amassed a large pile of stuff. Here goes, in no particular order.
We have zoomed past Tansy’s 8th birthday and we are chugging towards her ninth. We have also zoomed past the seventh anniversary of when she came home. I am convinced that is impossible, but it is correct. I have a coworker who started working with us while I was getting Tansy and he says he’s been working here for 7 years.
The last time I wrote one of these, I mentioned our couch-shopping adventures. When the couch finally arrived, Tansy and I were on our way to work, so she didn’t see the old couch leave and the new couch replace it. When she got home that night, I swear she thought the new couch ate the old couch. She wouldn’t come super close to it, and would give it lots of stares. She has finally forgiven the new couch and will happily hang out next to it to watch shows about animals and cops.
She has had a lot to learn in the last few months. When the Ion trains started running, our route to and from home drastically changed. But she accepted this pretty well. One day, when the trains were still being tested, one arrived at a station and its doors opened, and she tried to get on board! Not quite yet, Shmandaloop, not quite yet. Once we started riding the train, she got pretty good at little things like pointing at the exit door when it was time to leave. She’s had less than perfect luck finding the card validators on the platform, but they are kind of random and hard to find.
She continues to spawn lumps, but thankfully they’ve all come back benign…sometimes I’m worried that I haven’t found the precise correct one because there are too many. I have now written down all the lumps with their names and generally where you find them.
Once again, she had her one barfing incident in the year and it was July. I didn’t even hear it! That was embarrassing. Thankfully somebody told me, or who knows how long I may not have noticed it there. Yuck!
Also, back near Christmas, she somehow broke her rabies tag. But it wasn’t broken off. Somehow, the two plates had broken apart and the one with all the information fell off. At least that tag could be easily replaced, unlike the saga we had with her microchip tag.
No matter how many times I travel with a guide dog, I still have new, weird experiences. On my way back through Customs, when I was returning to my own country, I got asked why I didn’t declare Tansy because she’s an animal. He seemed to know it was a guide dog, but he was getting mad. I said I didn’t declare her because she left with me and came back with me, and had been my guide dog for over six years. “It doesn’t matter,” he screamed, “She’s an animal!” Then he just decided to stop. This made me wonder what was the real story. Was I supposed to declare a guide dog, even though we had also left the country together? I have asked a lot of people, and everyone seems to think he was being ridiculous, but I’ll probably be a little bit nervous every time I go somewhere that involves crossing the border.
Shmans did something funny once when I was at the doctor’s. I went to put a requisition away for later, but I put it away next to her food dish. Then the doctor said “Tansy is watching you very attentively right now,” and I had to laugh. Shmans was hoping I would pull out the dish and feed her. The doctor thought she was keeping an eye on me for my safety. Nope, this time she was hoping for an early meal.
Last year, we went to see Brad for his birthday and we went for a stroll. I brought my cane so Brad could take Tansy for a walk. Everybody who saw us asked Brad if Tansy was his new dog. It was kind of cute. They were all so happy to see him with a dog.
I always said I couldn’t imagine Tansy as an older dog, but I think it’s happening. First, there are the things she’s crankier about. I forget why, but for some reason, Brad tried to ride on Steve’s back. Immediately, Tansy went nuts, leaping at Brad. It seemed like she wanted to rescue him, as if she didn’t think he was safe up there.
Also, this past summer, our company conference was in Florida and I actually had a chance to swim. Apparently, the whole time I was in the water, Tansy was giving me unhappy looks as if to say “Get out of that water, you fool!”
And this winter, Steve and I babysat a friend’s guide dog for a few days. He’s younger than Shmans, and reminds me of the way Shmans would try to play with other dogs. He would not stop, and oh how he would hump Shmans. Well, she did not approve and told him so. She almost sounded like Trix when she would tell Tansy off. At one point, he tried to follow her to another room and she turned around and left. That poor dog’s tail got so droopy! It was like he said “Do you want to play with me?” And she responded with an emphatic “No!”
She actually seems mortal! Long trips make her tired for longer and she spends more time resting. Even short trips knock her out for longer.
When she gets to play with Steve’s great aunt’s dog, she actually does more lying down than bounding back and forth and being a rambunctious crazypants.
She is more picky about places to relieve. Those relieving boxes are no longer tolerated unless they’re just right, and even I don’t know what just right is. But once, embarrassingly, when she was loose in Steve’s mom’s yard, she just walked over to his uncle and took a big ol’ crap right at his feet! Seriously dog, what was that?
Before our lives came to a halt, she would do a lot less running through the house squeaking toys. She would just come home, maybe squeak a toy for a minute and then flop over. Now that we’ve had some more rest, she’s back to her old routines of doing laps of the apartment squeaking toys. Tug has made a resurgence too, and bugging us to play with her is a thing she’s started up again.
I’ve also noticed that her ears have more wax in them and sometimes she needs baths sooner than I expect. I can’t figure out if that’s random, or if that’s an older dog thing.
But young dogs still think she’s hot stuff. She’s met at least 3 younger guide dogs in the last year who thought she was awesome, and one of them got in trouble for barking at her!
It seems she really zones out sometimes when she never used to. One time, someone came on the bus we were riding with a big walker, and Shmans didn’t move in time and got her paw run over by the walker. That would have never happened when she was younger. That did teach her an important lesson and when she does choose to lie down, she will sit up faster if a big walker or wheelchair comes on.
She also has this thing about sliding forward when I’m in a bathroom stall, so much so that her nose and front paws are sticking out! That’s not supposed to happen. People shouldn’t be able to step on a paw when I’m in there, or say hi to her.
Tansy’s night time behaviour just keeps getting weirder. When she was younger, every now and then she would think it was playtime in the middle of the night. Now, as I’m getting ready for bed, Shmans will get up and leave the room. But she won’t just come out and flop in the living room and be quiet. No. It’s go out. Shake off. Poke Steve in the back. If he’s facing her, lick his face and shukh in his ear. Grab a toy. Squeak it at him. Walk around. Come back to the bedroom. Get up again. Come out to the living room. Shake off. Repeat! Now, if he ends up falling asleep on the couch, I have to shut her in the bedroom so she will leave him the hell alone!
In Shmans’s younger days, I said she did nothing stealthily. Recently, she licked someone’s leg in the elevator and I didn’t even feel her head move. So either I’m losing it, or she’s learned to be sneaky. I almost hope it’s the latter.
In the old days, the kibble pouches closed with Velcro, but now they have a magnetic clasp. But I’m not sure if the magnetic clasp is a real upgrade, because when it gets old, the magnet bit moves out of the spot where the opening is, and then the pouch no longer closes properly. The annoying part is you can feel the magnet, but it’s sewn in so you can’t get at it to move it back to where it should be. It just taunts you. This happened to the last kibble pouch I had. Eventually I got a new one, but it was a pain until I finally admitted that there was no saving this old one.
As the nephews grow older, their feelings about Tansy, and vice versa, continue to change. The Seppa-Tebby-Tebby nephew doesn’t mind her, but isn’t thrilled by her either. If she licks him too much, he objects. Last time I saw him, he expressed his displeasure by saying “No thank you, Puppy. That’s not very kind!” at increasingly loud volume. The oldest of my brother’s kids really doesn’t care about her. I think if he could, he would ride her like a horse. I’m not sure how the younger one feels. But my sister’s little guy is the funniest and saddest. Ever since he was a baby, Tansy has gone nuts at the sight of him. She seems to absolutely adore him and want to jump and leap and kiss him. But he’s not so sure about these bursts of energy and gets nervous. The last time they were together, he would keep his distance, and apparently Tansy would look longingly at him as if to say “Come on! All I want to do is play with you!” Poor Shmans. She is so misunderstood.
And that’s about it for this round of random Shmans details. I hope you enjoyed the ride, and the musical interludes too!