And Now, A Musical Interlude

Here’s Waylon Jennings with his classic, “You’ve Got a Homely Daddy That’ll Walk the Line”.

I can’t pin that one on my dad the way I can with so many of these. This one’s all on me, I’m afraid. I was a small child, but still.

But fear not, I can still go back to the dad well at least one more time.

As with a lot of these stories, we were piled into the van. My family didn’t do Carin style zillion hours long road trips, but we did drive around a lot. My mom had a Trisha Yearwood tape that was in heavy rotation on the car stereo at the time. I was not a fan, but I was outvoted by literally everyone else so I never said much about it. Now and then I would even join in on the family “She’s In Love With The Boy” singalong because hey, why not?

Dad almost never sang along. He sang, but he did most of his singing in the kitchen. In the car he was generally a listener. But not today.

Everything was going along just fine until we reached the line that says “It wasn’t very long ago When you yourself was just a hay seed plow boy Who didn’t have a row to hoe”. There was dad, singing is heart out loud enough to be heard over Trisha, mom and a couple of little kids. “you yourself was just a hay seed plow boy, WHO DIDN’T HAVE A MOTOR HOME!”

The rest of the song went unsung. None of us had enough breath to finish it. If the windows were down, everyone around us could have heard the laughing. They likely would have also heard poor dad saying “What!? What’d I say!? over and over again until one of us finally composed ourselves enough to set the poor guy straight.

Good times.


I may need to think twice about watching wrestling when Domino is around, because it appears he’s mastering the art of the foreign object.

He likes to come over while you’re sitting down and put his front paws up on you. This has evolved into a game with him and I where sometimes I’ll try to tip him over and then we both end up on the floor, flopping, running, and wrestling around. He does most of the running, to be fair. But whoever does what, he loves it. At least I thought he did.

The last time we did this, things were proceeding as normal. We’re having ourselves a grand old time when suddenly he stops, calmly walks over to the big bone Carin bought him a couple days earlier, picks it up, strolls back over to me, takes a mighty swing and just drills me right in the back of the head with it. I laughed so hard it took me a good minute to catch my breath. I laughed, but he got me a good one. Right behind the left ear. Kinda hurt a little, not gonna lie.

So far, it doesn’t seem to have knocked any sense into me. We wound up playing tonight when he got home from a Walmart run. And wouldn’t you know it, the friggin jerk tried it again. This time he went for the face, but I was ready for him. I caught it and held one end of it so he could chew the other. That’s another one of his favourite things to do, so he was happy.

He’s such a fun dog, even if sometimes our ideas of fun are juuuuust a weeeeeeeee bit different.

Sour Dispatch Kids

I have so many questions, and I’m pretty sure the answers to all of them are alcohol and Florida.

A “heavily intoxicated” Florida Man was arrested Saturday night for calling 911 to report that his girlfriend “wished to eat Sour Patch Kids” according to police.
An arrest affidavit does not reveal why Joshua Larson, 37, allegedly phoned the police emergency number at 11:45 PM with the candy dispatch.
When asked about the call by a sheriff’s deputy, Larson “smiled and walked away” from cops outside his residence in Madeira Beach, a city 10 miles from St. Petersburg.
Larson allegedly struggled with deputies as they sought to place him in handcuffs. An “electronic control weapon” was eventually used to take Larson into custody, according to the affidavit.

Yes, electronic control weapon is basically just a fancy way to say Taser.

And also yes, they did charge this fella with misusing the 911 system.

Shot Pocket

I don’t know whether or not I’ve ever eaten a Hot Pocket. If I think really hard I can recall something with little chunks of ham and gross tasting creamy cheese in it that I think might have been a Hot Pocket, but I can’t be sure that that’s what it was. For all I know it could have been some knockoff dollar store Hot Pocket with a name like Humidity Pouch. But if it was a Hot Pocket, what I can tell you is that if somebody were to eat the last one we had in the house, there’s no way I’m shooting him for doing so. They’re all yours, brother.

Police photo of Clifton E. Williams
Do they serve Hot Pockets in here?

According to WLKY, police said Williams became upset when he learned his roommate had apparently eaten the last Hot Pocket, and allegedly started throwing tiles at him. The roommate reportedly tried to leave, but that’s when Williams allegedly went back inside the shared home, grabbed a gun, and shot the victim in the rear end, arrest papers obtained by WLKY state.

The bullet recipient, who was not identified, was taken to hospital and treated for non-life-threatening injuries…from the shooting, at least. Who knows what all those Hot Pockets may be doing to him.

And because I know you’re all thinking it now, here you are.


I have a bit of time, so I thought I would write about how Domino and I are doing, and what I have learned about him so far.

He’s so good in the house, but he moves so quietly. He could get into a lot of mischief if he wanted to. Thankfully, most of the time, the place he wants to be is right next to us, or laying across our feet. When I have to get up, I feel bad for disturbing him!

At first, he wasn’t sure what the routine was, so would want to chase each of us around. But he’s starting to figure out how to settle when it’s not play time or go time.

He has learned that the kitchen is not a place where he should be, and he hangs out at the border. There was one time where he forgot and waltzed in, but that is the only time. Most times, he just parks himself at the edge and watches.

The bathroom is another story. He never drinks out of the toilet, but sometimes he just walks in there by himself and we have to tell him no…or sometimes he’ll try to chase one of us in there when we’re taking care of things. At least he listens well.

One weird thing he does is if there’s a tea cup or a water glass on the desk, he comes running over and swings his head at it, so we have to keep a firm grip of the tea cups so none get knocked over. Silly guy! At least he stopped sticking his face in the water glasses.

In terms of work, he’s working hard to try and learn the area. But he’s super unsure of himself. I don’t remember Tansy being this uncertain when she was new, but maybe I’m just forgetting. His pace is a little weird. I know he can go fast, because I’ve seen him do it, and when he’s sure of what he wants to do, he can move. But when either there is something that’s coming up that he’s not sure what to do about, or he just doesn’t like the cracks in the sidewalk or whatever, he will slow right down. He also slows down when he’s distracted by something, or when he has to poop en route. I’m not used to dogs slowing down when they have to relieve or when they’re distracted, usually they speed up, so I’m having trouble interpreting what his slowness means.

And about the upcoming obstacles, he slows down before I can even perceive them. If he slowed down right before showing me something, that would be fine. But he is super cautious and will see something several feet ahead of us and start slowing down. I’m blind, remember? So if it’s too far ahead, unless it’s making noise, I have no idea what the problem is! Also, if he gets too confused, he’ll just plant his butt. That hasn’t really happened since I got home, so maybe that’s less of a thing. This is all new guide dog stuff and we’ll work it out. I just notice it.

He also takes things very literally. I call him Domino Bedelia. One night, we went on a loop of the neighbourhood so I could show him what pace I like. So I took the clicker and every time he hit a good pace, I would click and treat. At one point, I clicked and treated. Then he wanted to slow down, but he knew he just got treated for going fast. I could feel the war on. “Slow down? Speed up! Slow down? Speed up!” I wondered why. Then I heard it. A car was in an upcoming driveway and was about to pull out. I realized the war was ” slow because car? Speed up because click! Car? Click! Car? Click!” The decision to slow down won out, and I praised the heck out of him. But he was willing to take me literally and keep the higher speed. I sometimes wonder if he gets the bigger picture. Probably none of them do at this stage, but I notice it a lot with him.

He is also a very good rule-follower. This is good in some cases, like when we’re in the house and I tell him to stay out of the kitchen. But sometimes rules need to be bent in the real world. For example, there is this crossing where the Light Rail Train (LRT) goes, and there is an island that you go over before you’re through the danger zone. When we hit down curbs and up curbs, he often gets treats right now. But in this case, I want him to stop very marginally and then keep going in case the bells and the lights start going off when we’re on our way through. But he wants that treat! So I hope he will learn that rules aren’t followed exactly.

He’s also very very very sensitive about my every move. Sometimes I think I’m sending signals that I don’t mean to because he’ll stop dead or look at me as if a treat should be on its way or something. Or if I’m not in the precise following position, he will think there’s something wrong. There’s a reason the instructor would say “Catch up to your elbow.” He was allowing me to pull him around if I got too far behind him, screwing up our line of travel.

I’m also noticing that my foot orthotics, or shoes, or both, need some help. Because of this, my feet are in a bit of pain. I also think that pain is causing me to limp a bit and he’s picking up on that, and that may be why he’s slowing down, especially if I’m on the return route. He is a very perceptive dog. If I can just harness that perceptiveness, I won’t have to say a thing! It will be magic!

And when he knows he’s got this, you can feel it through every bit of his body. That trot trot trot is glorious! But I can’t praise him too exuberantly because if I do, he’ll stop dead. “Cookie? Now?”

When he came home, I wondered when I would start getting new dog comments from the public. Would I get mobbed on the first day? Thankfully, the universe has been kind and they’ve been coming in at a slow trickle, gradually increasing to a steady stream.

I was trying to teach him where a crosswalk pole was so he could find it. We weren’t the fastest at it, and someone started telling me to “go now, the cars are waiting!” I know what they were going for, but I was going for long-term gain here. I’m sure the drivers can get over it. They’re in a car, they can make up their time. But if I teach the dog wrong, it’s a lot harder to get over.

Another one said my dog wasn’t as good as my old one because I had to feed him to teach him stuff and he was looking at me for help. Never mind the fact that she made that comment when we had been home for two days and this was his first try at this route.

Another one said he had a very human face. Can someone explain this one to me? Maybe it’s just because he’s yellow and I’ve heard that those ones have a more expressive face. There’s a picture of him in the Domino meeting post. Maybe someone can see what they’re talking about.

They also noticed he got excited if they asked him if he liked pizza. Someone else got him all excited about the word Pizza too. I wonder if someone called him Pizza Boy because he’s Domino, and the whole Domino’s Pizza thing.

But the funniest one I got was one guy said “Is that a new dog? The old one used to be black! Or did you dye it yellow?” Um…nope. On a related theme, lots of people wonder where the other one went, never mind that I’ve been walking around with a cane for 9 months. I guess it’s not noticeable until I walk out with a tall, yellow dog.

I watched my own graduation. That’s always weird. When it’s going on, it’s a blur. But when you’re watching it, it’s possible to notice things. One thing I noticed was that I said he was subtly playful. His play isn’t subtle at all now. He’ll be snoozing and then decide he wants to play right now! He’ll walk over to one of us and put his paws on us like he wants to climb us. It makes me laugh. He’ll get up in the morning and grab a bone or a kong. Sometimes he wants one of us to hold the bone while he chews it. Sometimes he wants to tug with the kong. Um, dude? There isn’t a lot of room there. He loves chasing that kong down and bringing it back, growling all the way. And his tug games have definitely picked up their ferocity. It’s fun to see the change.

Especially fun to see is the level of zoomies. He hasn’t done it often, but after a route where he felt particularly proud, he tore around our place, having a great time! If you had recorded it and told me it was a Tansy recording, I would have believed you.

He also does more flopping and shukhing in the mornings. I think he’s starting to feel at home.

We have discovered that he loooves fruit. We were chopping some up for a smoothie and he was very interested. I gave him some bananas and he frigging loved it! Then when we made another smoothie a couple of days later, he was very intrigued! He couldn’t take his eyes off Steve while it was being made, then he chased him around the living room when he was bringing it to me, then he watched him get his own and the nose was on high alert, just hoping some was for him. Sorry, Dom, no bananas for you today.

With Tansy, I seemed to only need to groom her every other day. But with him, it’s an every day thing…until I figure out what his hair needs. It doesn’t take me long, but I pay attention to his big bushy tail and his soft ears and the hair underneath them. I also do it at night so I have all the time in the world to pay attention.

I don’t know if Domino is as into music as Tansy is. I caught myself singing a few different songs to him while grooming him. I wonder if any of them will have meaning for him. The first was Sister Golden Hair. I was thinking about the way his hair feels, and I just started to sing.

The next was “Golden Years” or in his case, Golden Ears. I start to sing it while I’m brushing out his hair, under and around his ears looking for mats.

Another one I find myself singing is “Stand” by REM. Tansy used to know the “stand” command, but he doesn’t seem to know it. I’m trying to teach him but it’s going slowly. I found myself singing the song as I tried to show him what I wanted.

And I can’t remember how Tansy managed to learn “turn around”, but I’m trying to teach him the same. Inevitably, it’s Total Eclipse of the Heart” time.

I’m still learning how to get him to let me brush his teeth. He adores the toothpaste, but he doesn’t seem to like the toothbrush. I have tried the big end of the toothbrush and the finger brush, but he seems to be a fan of neither. Then I have to wipe off the big bunch of toothpaste on his shnoz. Maybe I’ll try the small end. Silly guy!

Now I think I’m down to the odds and ends. I found his family tree page and read about his litter. I also see that he’s the seventh Domino so far. Lucky 7? Anyway, I had this silly thing I would say to Trixie. I would tell her she was a trooper…no, wait, that’s your brother. That was because she had a brother named Trooper. Now I found out that Domino has a sister Dandelion. So if I’m picking up his poop and I think I feel a dandelion get snagged in the gift, I say “Gross! You pooped on your sister!” I hope nobody hears me and thinks I’ve truly lost it.

I was so happy that for years, I didn’t have any guide dog abandonment dreams. I thought I was over that. But I had one about Domino. I had a dream that I stumbled into this huge lecture hall. The floor was slanted like in a theatre and it was full of guide dog users. I squeezed into a seat and figured out that this wasn’t where I was supposed to be. So I stood up and headed back out the door, holding onto what I thought was my guide dog. But then I noticed suddenly that this dog was massive and his gait was totally different. Not only that, but his harness had tape on the handle! At first I thought I was nuts, but as we tried to walk more and more, it was very obvious that this wasn’t my dog. I was trying to figure out how I was going to walk back into that huge lecture hall and find him when I woke up with this compulsion to make sure Domino was in his bed. Of course he was. He was on tie-down there. Everything was fine. Let’s hope that was a one-off.

During his time with me, he has already amassed several nicknames. He already had “Dom” but I find myself using it, along with “The Domster”. I also call him “Ghost Boy” because of the way he moves like a ghost, silently floating around the room. But one day, I randomly called him “Droolio Iglesias” because of how much he drools! Good lord! I thankfully don’t have to wear a drool rag anymore, but it’s apparently visible. I was walking with someone who said he had a little bit of foam around his mouth. Foam? How long until some John Q. Public thinks he’s rabid? Give me time, I’m sure he’ll have a list of nicknames a mile long.

Wow! That post turned into a beast! But all in all, I think we’re going to be fine. I was out with a friend yesterday and he was telling me the things Dom was glancing at, and they were places we had been before. So he is putting things together. We’re just very very new. Plus, with me working from home, we tend to keep going to different places. So the poor guy doesn’t have one primary route to work on! But even so, he’s figuring it out.

Classic Baseball On The Radio

If you enjoyed that 1934 Yankees Tigers game I posted a couple of years ago, then chances are this YouTube channel I just discovered is going to be your jam. It’s called Classic Baseball on the Radio, and it’s exactly what you would think it would be with a name like that. Full length radio broadcasts of old baseball games. Yes, commercials included. New ones seem to be added pretty regularly, like this May 13th, 1979 meeting between the Jays and the Rangers that went up nine days before I sat here and wrote about it.

Unfortunately it’s not Tom Cheek’s call, but hopefully there are some of those floating around in here.

Have fun.

The First Two Plus Hours Of MTV’s Launch Day

I’m pretty sure that today is the first day in my life that I’ve watched MTV. I don’t remember seeing it on any of my trips to the States or during visits with the various friends and family who had the cool old big ass satellite dishes. And no, I’m not counting the useless Canadian MTVs that have existed in one form or another since the early part of this century. Those are dumb and you shouldn’t count them either. Why someone would choose to launch an MTV that basically wasn’t allowed to play music videos due to licensing and competition rules is anyone’s guess, but someone did. Yes, we did used to have competition rules in Canada, believe it or not. Actually, the history of MTV Canada is one of the better flashing neon signs advertising that we no longer do that I’ve seen in a little while. Essentially, through a series of acquisitions, Bell Media wound up owning both MTV and Much Music (Much was the service that the aforementioned rules were protecting) and running them both into the ground.

But anyway, back to real MTV.

It launched at 12:01 A.M. on August 1st, 1981 and these are its first two hours and 20 minutes of life…mostly. The uploader had to remove a couple of the songs to prevent the video from being repeatedly taken down. According to the description, April Wine and Cliff Richard weren’t happy with being included in a pretty important bit of history and wouldn’t change their minds even after the point was politely explained to them. This has me a little bummed out personally, because I’ve always liked April Wine and am taking my folks to see them as a combination Mother’s and Father’s Day gift a couple of weeks from now. You always hope that the people you’re giving your money too will be cooler, even if you know better.

Parts of this are pretty clunky what with the messed up levels and awkward transitions between segments, but it’s hard to overstate just how influential it ended up being.

I wonder how many of those dial position stickers they gave away.

Anything But Boring: My Meeting With Domino

Domino sitting in the Gresham lounge
Here’s Domino!

So, for the purposes of history, I’m posting a recording of my meeting with Domino. But I have to apologize for its quality. Without thinking, I recorded it while wearing my Aftershokz headphones which, while they’re pretty great, don’t record other voices in the room as well as the voice of the person wearing them. So the instructor is really hard to hear. Oops. But here it is, warts and all.

Also, I don’t know why, but his birth date as stated here is wrong. He’s a September baby.

Meet Domino!

God, I’m so obnoxious in these. But it still makes me tear up.

Anything But Boring: The Journey Home

So off we go. neerome! Wee! Can you tell I’m on the plane? Yup. Dom cruised through the airport with no trouble. Ok, he might have slurped a TSA agent but hey! He was petting, er, patting him down! We went through the metal detectors and only metal-covered Domino set them off. But when they swabbed my hands for explosive traces, they alarmed. So I got the full fondle treatment anyway. I blame kibble dust.

Domino was not pleased with his drastically-reduced portion this morning. He ate it, looked around to see if he had missed any, then poked me. “Ahem. Where’s the rest of it?”

Then we went to the fireplace room with our stuff and had a to go breakfast. I almost dumped over my orange juice on a low table with Domino’s harness handle. Thank god for fast-thinking resident advisors. One of us left at 7, so he speed ate his breakfast and was ready in time for his driver. It was sad to see him go. The newby and I, ah hell. We’re on Youtube. I think I can name names. Valerie and I rode together. Her dog was really giving her a run for her money but she’s got this. I’m going to miss all of our good times. We agreed to exchange contact info so that’s awesome.

We had a really nice driver named Jack. He was immensely helpful bringing our bags and helping us get airport help. Before we left campus, Domino pooped so that made me happy. I laughed a little inside. He pooped and the resident advisor said “Plant your feet!” Oh they’re planted! I am not turning the airport into an airpoort!

The dogs were smooth as silk. We got to TSA and I did the long leash sit deal and made it through beepless but I was still not saved. I set off the explosives alarm! So they took me to the side and touched me all over. Damn! And getting through beepless was supposed to avoid that. Like I said above, I blame kibble dust.

Then Domino just chilled out and waited to board. Then he got into my foot space nicely. At least my seat mates like dogs. I have a bulkhead seat, so woo. Apparently it’s a full flight.

United has that crazy safety video that I posted about years ago, the one with the barking dogs and the flight of the bumble bee-esque music. I still don’t know what’s going on. I mean, I get all the safety stuff, but all the extra fun stuff is still a mystery.

It appears Domino’s raisers found the blog. Welcome. Enjoy the wild ride. Safe travels back to Nevada.

What else can I say? I figured out why sometimes, I have to say his name before a command, and not just the command. He grew up in a house of multiple dogs. Of course he’d wait for his name. Got it!

The last few times I have flown, they have said that it’s a full flight, so who would like to gate check some bags? Then they said that if it’s a smart bag, you need to remember to remove the battery. This led me to wonder, What the heck is a smart bag? I guess this is a smart bag, although the person helping me through the airport said some smart luggage can move on its own and follow you like those Gita things I wrote about before. Wacky! And probably uber expensive.

This week is going to be a good mix of things. We’ll get this Humane society silliness straightened out, his food will arrive, we’ll go to the vet, we’ll do some LRT-learning, of course I’ll have to go back to work even though I’m still going to work from home for a bit longer. Then I have to get blood work, bleh, and Domino will charm Tansy’s old fans at the lab. Plus who knows what else we’ll get up to? The possibilities are endless!

Did I mention the dreams I was having a few months ago about getting the call and going to class? I had this dream about being out of shape. I had a vision of hobbling onto a city bus saying “Wait for me, I’m broken.” because I was so ill-prepared. Thankfully that never happened. My feet are a little sore, I have one sore toe, and my shoes look like they’re in rough shape but I am very much ok. I’m going to miss those foot soaks and I’m sad I never got to say goodbye to the one nurse. I mean, I like them all, but this one is so sweet. Whenever I say Domino’s name, I’ll hear her saying “Hi ho Domino!”

Just think about this. Right now, the dorm staff at GDB are welcoming a whole new crop of classmates. They’re all tired and scared and who knows what. I don’t know how they don’t zap out. Hopefully the next flock won’t have a loser who rarely finishes her meals and also eats slow.

When I get home, I’m going to read up on why Oregon is all about Bigfoot. Is it just because there were some sightings? It’s funny. There’s chocolate called Bigfoot Poop, there are restaurants called Bigfoot, it’s crazy!

They’re at the garbage collecting phase of the flight. That comes right before the descending bit. I thought we had more flight to go. I have no concept of time.

So my layover is short in Chicago. Domino, will you be able to hold it? I don’t know if we can get to the indoor relieving area and if you’ll be disgusted by it. Hang on, Domino! Hang on!

I should mention that because GDB did the paperwork for flying, all was tickity boo! They didn’t even ask for it.

Oh! Another thing I need to do soonishly is make sure Tansy’s Mut Muffffs will fit Domino so he can be reasonably comfortable in concerts. I wouldn’t take him somewhere where he wouldn’t be safe, but something that’s a little loud. We have to be ready to go to the April Wine show at the end of the month. Hey Domino, wanna schmooze with Tansy’s old pet store folk? We’ll take a great big walk and cruise down there and maybe they’ll get you all fitted. You’re a mut muff model!

Also, I want to apologize to Tansy. Apparently that God soap I used on her may not have been the best idea. It can really strip the oils out of the hair. Oops! I don’t know what I’ll use the god soap for now, but it won’t be for bathing Domino. I never noticed any problems but maybe I was an oblivious tool.

I can’t get “Bad Bad Leroy Brown” out of my head. It played while I was packing and it just won’t leave. And apparently, Domino might be a fan of the song “The Happy Wanderer.” I’ll have to test that one. Although if he’s anything like Tansy, maybe he’ll say that song is only for his raisers to use. “Back off! Get your own song choice!” Maybe he’ll like “Blow a raspberry.” Aww. I can’t find that song on Youtube. We’ll have to settle for the Happy Wanderer.

Bumpity bump! Slight turbulence. I think Domino wanted to stick his nose in first class. I think I caught him in time.

I can’t remember if I wrote this down when it happened, but when I just got him, we were snuggling around on the floor, and I bumped something and my phone started playing a song called “Lay Down Low,” and he did. Down he went. I’m sure it was a coincidence but it made me laugh.

So, the big questions we will have to figure out. Will Domino fit in Tansy’s crate? Will he like her bed? Or will he always be on the hunt for the phantom dog? It will be a while before we can solve that mystery for him.

We’re feeling more bumpy and the seat belt sign came on. I wonder if we’re starting to descend. Domino is just chillin,, deep breathing away.

Seat backs and tray tables up. We’re going to say hello to Chicago.

So I didn’t get to write the rest of this until a week later because stupid ol’ me let them put my backpack up where I couldn’t reach it so I couldn’t get at my display. So let me try and remember everything I wanted to say.

When we got off at Chicago, we never left the gate. That same gate was where we were boarding the next plane. I have never seen that before! Although awesome, it meant 0 chance for Domino to relieve in Chicago. We got on the plane and it was an uneventful flight. The only place where I failed was I didn’t ask for ice chips for Domino the one time they came around offering drinks. I forgot how short the flight was.

We arrived at Pearson in Toronto, and got the most overwhelmed assistance person I have ever seen. Not only was she helping myself and a fellow in a wheelchair, but she felt obligated to help every non-English speaking passer-by we found. If that has fallen into the job description of a mobility assistance person, something is horribly wrong.

We inched along at the pace of a snail, until the fellow in the wheelchair heaved himself out of the wheelchair and hobbled away at a glacial pace saying “At least I’m going somewhere this way.” Oh if only I had that option. I had to continue start stopping my way through the airport at a painfully slow rate.

At one of our many start stops, I noticed Domino expressing displeasure. He did that tell-tale wiggledy jiggledy I have held my pee for too long dance. She asked me what was wrong and I said “Well, he has to pee since he’s held it since 11 a.m. Eastern, so the longer we doddle along, the worse it gets for him.” She felt bad, but it did not help with our speed.

We finally got to baggage claim and my bag was there. Then after more ridiculousness, she did find the cab I had arranged. Pro tip: It works better if you look for “Carin” and not “Candice.” The driver was very nice, and found a spot on the shoulder of a highway for Domino to pee, and pee he did! I think Toronto got a brand new lake.

After that he cruised home without incident. I toured him around the house and he said hello to Steve and, after another pee break, settled down for the night. He’s growing to like Tansy’s bed, and he can fit in the crate but I can’t figure out how much he likes it. I think the first step is to get him a brand new crate mat. I think Tansy’s mat is a little ancient.

I always forget how exhausting the first week is. I could not shake off this drained feeling, even though I didn’t have to go into the office. But every day, it gets better and better, easier and easier.

We’ve been busy this week. We got his service dog tag from the Humane Society. It’s amazing what happens when you show up at their door looking at them with your jiggly eyes. Then doctor’s notes become irrelevant. We went to the vet where they cooed over him and talked about how awesome he looks. We went to the drug store, the mall, around a big neighbourhood loop and to the park. He has also met my parents and a big chunk of Steve’s family and of course everyone loves him.

Chuck, the field representative from the school, is coming to see us in a couple of weeks to make sure we’re all good. I’m sure we’re all good. We haven’t checked out the light rail train yet because when we got home, the buses were on strike and were picketing near the trains. But that is solved so we can get at that soon.

He’s been a wonderful dog in the house, no problems at all. But he learned pretty quickly that the kitchen is a place where he is not to go. But he drifts around like a ghost. I’m used to being able to hear the dog coming. He will just appear. It’s a good thing he’s well-behaved. He could get up to a lot of no good with those ghost paws of his.

He keeps making the dog across the hall go into barking fits whenever we have the audacity to leave the apartment. And I have heard Domino let out one bark when he was startled awake by some noise in the hall. That is the one and only time I have heard him bark.

And that’s about it for now in terms of updates. Stay tuned for more, whenever I can get them up here.

Anything But Boring: Day 14

So it’s graduation day. Ready or not, here we come!

You know, I should not have said nothing else exciting could happen. It wasn’t really exciting. It was more like irritating. I got the wash in and after the resident advisor made the machine actually go, I thought I was groovy. Then I came back to collect my clothes, and wouldn’t you know it, a pair of my underwear were at that spot at the bottom of the machine that short fat me can’t reach. So there I am, doing the bunny dance, trying to hike myself up enough that I can reach it. I didn’t want to call for help again, so I was going to get it, come hell or high water! After several minutes of hiking and grunting, I got it. Then I tried to get the dryer to go, and it would always go for just a few minutes. By the time I figured out that I was incompetent, it was too late to call anyone for help or so I thought. So I had to leave my wet clothes in there all night. Boo!

Luckily, this morning, the nurse fixed me up and de-wrinkled my graduation outfit in the dryer. I’m now wearing it. I should have taken Domino to the free run first. That would have been smart.

I’ve learned that Domino can make noise when he needs something. I’ve had him in the crate for a bunch of the morning while I did laundry and stuff. All of a sudden, he made this low eeee sound. I thought that maybe he’d need to pee since he only pooped this morning. I took him out and he pooped again. Ok. Not what I thought, but it was something.

We have lunch at 11 and then we meet puppy raisers at noon. Then the action starts. Oh! I should bring the gift after lunch. And get the second half from the instructor. And pay her.

I detached my drool rag. There’s no way in hell I’m standing up on stage with a drool rag hanging from my kibble pouch. Kibble pouches are ok. Drool rags are not. At least I don’t think so.

One of my classmates asked me what the theme song was for today. I couldn’t come up with one. But I’ve since come up with 2. Ain’t nothin’ gonna break my stride and we’re here for a good time not a long time. And then Spotify spat out a song comparing Canadians to Americans called “Stronger Beer” by Tim Hicks. Yes. Spotify is listening.

A half hour to lunch. Breathe! Breathe! Breathe! I will not slop on myself. I will not slop on myself. I will not slop on myself!

The instructor brought the other gift and we wrote in the cards. That makes me feel better. Plus I paid her back.

15 minutes to lunch. Breathe. This feels as intense as dog day! I never thought about that!

I feel like a graduation is like a wedding. All this preparation and then bam! It’s over!

I had a big entourage of puppy raisers. There was the lady who started him, (that means raised him when he was a wee thing) until he was 16 weeks old or so, her sister, then the other couple who finished him. They all seem like wonderful people. They all came into the room and then Domino went nuts. He went from one to another and then back again. One set of raisers gave me a pin that is half Canadian flag and half Nevada flag. I think that’s adorable. They also gave me a picture of Domino’s dad from last years GDB calendar.

Next, it was picture time. Of course Domino was photogenic.

Then we went into the dining room and there were snacks for them. Then I went back to my room and I took Domino to relieve. I said to myself “Grab a poop bag!” But I was so busy grabbing the gentle leader that I didn’t. And he pooped! I tried to get Aira to help me rescue it, but the connection went out. So I had to abort the mission. I could not afford to step in poop! At least he was kind enough to poop near the fence.

Then we all went to the visitor’s centre where the graduation happened. I didn’t have a speech prepared so I just let words come. We had joked that the newbie’s dog would misbehave, but mine was the brat. He just couldn’t hold it together.

I guess the stream worked well because a few people have watched it and commented on it.

After it was over, a friend came over who had come to see me. That was nice. She gave me a bracelet with a star and a paw print. Pretty cool. Her grandkids came and Domino licked the heck out of them.

So the puppy raisers and I are going out for dinner. That should be fun. And it’ll be time in no time flat.

I’ve been packing fiendishly. The part of the room I call dog equipment alley is cleaned out. There are just electronics and chargers, and some meds and toiletries, and of course Santa. I could never forget Santa. I have to weigh my luggage on the dog scale to see if it went over 50 pounds. I just don’t know.

I asked the instructor about Domino’s drawing and she explained how he made it again. They put drops of paint on a paper inside a Ziploc bag and then cover the bag with something yummy to lick off, and then they lick off the bag and the pressure of their nose makes the painting. Ooo! Domino is Jackson Pollock!

Domino just asked to go to the crate. He was snuffling around near the people-eating chair. I say that because I’m short and can barely touch the ground when I’m in it. It’s a very comfy chair. It’s the best people-eating chair one could ever ask for. But one of his beds used to hang out there. But I put it in his crate because I’m taking home the one that was in his crate. So he started nudging the chair. So I walked over to his crate and he just shot in there. Now he’s all peaceful.

He growls in his sleep too. It’s so cute.

I will be headed dinnerward. The newbie looks so relieved that things are over.

We headed to the car and they had their puppy in training in the back. I guess he’s Domino’s cousin and they were raising them both together for a while. We tried to go to one place, but it was super crowded and super nuts so we went to another one. We all met up and they all had puppies in training. So we had 4 pups under the table. The food was delicious even though, again, I couldn’t finish it. We had a really fun conversation. We even joked about songs. My classmates would be so happy.

Domino acted like a bit of a dork, but I couldn’t blame him. Everyone who had meant anything to him was there. But he was pretty good. I’m a little worried about his head collar. He seemed to have a bigger reaction to wearing it than he has done historically. But then again, the whole time he was wearing it, he was lying under a table in close proximity to friendly puppies. But when we were getting back in the car, he didn’t want to get in. I’m not sure why. I’ll keep an eye on that.

I weighed my suitcase and it’s well under 50 pounds so all is good. My backpack will bulge but it will get the job done. I have rounded up what I can. The rest I will hoover up in the morning.

Ready to start our crazy adventures together, Domino?