Twenty-Two Things I’ve Never Done

Twenty-Two Things I’ve Never Done

This post was inspired by the Pioneer Woman’s list of the top 22 things that she has never done and by Kat from “Mama’s Losin’ It.” We started counting down the days to my 40th birthday last May.  As the day draws ever closer, I took a moment to list the top 22 things that I have never done and briefly comment on the ones that deserve a few extra words.

Top 22 Things I Have Never Done

(in no particular order)

I am thirty-nine years old.

And I’ve never:

  1. Been to Greece (my all time one place that I must go before I die!)

2. Taken a Chemistry class (or Physics—nope, not even in high school and yes, I did graduate)

3. Hiked the entire Appalachian Trail

4. Had a puppy  (I have only adopted adult rescue dogs)

How Could They Say "No!"

5. Been to the state of Washington (Although I distinctly recall doing a report on Washington in 3rd grade and telling my class that I was going to move there as soon as my parents would let me.)

6. Gotten a tattoo

7. Been lifted and carried in a mosh pit (although I think that I broke a few toes at a Gogel Bordello concert in 2010.)

8. Learned how to drive a standard transmission

Don't Laugh! Yes, that's me behind the wheel of a Porsche (in the driveway.)

9. Seen the Grand Canyon

10. Riden the City of New Orleans (although I know all of the words to the song!)

11. Crapped in the woods

12. Sailed a boat by myself

13. Water skied (but both my 8 y.o. daughter and husband do)

Here is K water skiing for the 1st time.

 

14. Slept on a glacier

15. Met my favorite recording artist, Peter Gabriel

16. Had a Bat Mitzvah (although I am studying for one now.)

17. Sung a solo in a chorus or choir

18. Had the lead role in a play or other performance (Unless you count the 5th grade lead role of Little Buttercup in HMS Pinafore, which I do not!)

That's me in the middle (Bryn Mawr School, circa 1982)

19. Learned how to play an instrument

2o. Read War and Peace, Jane Eyre or The Fountainhead

21. Broken a window

22. Rolled down the window of my car (at a stop light) and asked someone if they could “Pardon me, do you have any Grey Poupon?” Although I have always wanted to do that and, for years, kept a bottle of it in the glove compartment of my husband’s car.

All-in-all, it’s really not too bad a list for almost 40 years of living. I am sure that I could come up with more but these are the ones that first came  to mind.  Now that I have listed them, they can now be added to the ever growing “bucket list” that I keep in my mind.  In the meantime, it’s back to studying my Hebrew for the ever looming Bat Mitzvah in May. Or maybe I’ll just start singing “Memory” from Cats and pretend to “bask in my days in the sun…”

 

Can you really teach on old dog new tricks?

Maya in the Snow

A month or so ago, friends of ours came over for dinner.  After several glasses of wine, the conversation inevitably focused on the dog and my frustration with her immense dislike of other dogs.  Of course everyone had an opinion on the best way to curtail this behavior.

If you have every had a pet who has a nasty habit, albeit humping strangers’ legs, barking incessantly at its shadow or scratching its butt by dragging it across the carpeted floor, then you know that any criticism is taken personally.  Well, at least I did/do. So, while offering advice and labeling it as “we were just trying to help” our friends innocently stepped in it with me, and told me that I needed to get a prong collar.

I am DEAD SET against these collars!  They look like a torture tool and I promised myself that I would NEVER buy one.  So, of course, I reacted defensively and passionately when they offered their opinion.  My reaction was so severe that I seriously thought my husband was going to kick me in the shins to get me to stop “attacking” our friend’s opinion. In the interim, when not recommending the torture necklace, they told me that spending upwards of $500 was too much to pay for one on one training for a “Dog Whisper.” The evening, needless to say, did not end well.

The next day, one of my friends called and, after asking me if I had recovered, suggested that I call a canine training facility in Grey’s Lake, IL: TOPS. http://www.tops-k9.com/ TOPS is well known for training police dogs.  If anyone can get through to Maya and tell me if she was a lost cause, my friend said that these trainers would. She urged me to stop contacting dog trainers and call TOPS.  But I still wasn’t convinced that this was the answer to my dilemma.

After taking Maya to PetSmart the next weekend and watching her charge at anything with four legs, I decided that I needed to call TOPS.  They set up an appointment with their lead trainer, Luis.  Last Friday, the family, the dog and I drive the hour north to Greys Lake and placed the fate of our dog in the hands of this stranger.

Would he be able to train our dog and allow us the ability to take walks during the light of day?  Or would we be destined to walk Maya at off hours and late at night to avoid any interactions with the neighbors and their seemingly friendly pets?

Let’s just say that the sign telling us to LEAVE THE DOG IN THE CAR PRIOR TO CHECKING INTO THE OFFICE told me that we were not alone.  It was a relief that there were other families encountering the same problem with their dogs that we were. So, I left Maya in the car and checked in. The trainer, Luis, was quite unassuming, grabbed a leather leash and, of course, a prong collar, and told me to get the dog.

To say that she was pulling and lunging as I took her out of the car is an understatement.  Maya was out for blood!  She wanted to attack all the dogs hanging out in the facility; and the blisters on my hands proved that she almost did. But the minute (the second really) that Luis put that collar and leash on my dog, and quickly but sharply pulled up on the collar, Maya stopped lunging and growling.  She was a different dog. She didn’t cry out in pain or growl at Luis; she just ceased being aggressive.

He took her into the training center, where yes, there were other dogs, and at first she tried to lunge at the other dogs.  With one quick pull (no yelling) and the command to sit, Maya learned to stop being (his words)” a bully”.  By the end of the hour, Maya could not only be in the same room as other dogs, she could walk in front of them without even giving the dogs a second glance. The prong collar worked and my dog was not in pain.  She just stopped the abhorrent behavior. And I purchased the collar and leather leash on the spot.  Thoughts of torture left my mind as visions of communal neighborhood picnics flooded it.  If the pronged collar meant that we would no longer be pariahs.

And so, it is time that I admit that I was wrong.  Yes, E & J, I have admitted it: You were both right and I was wrong.  Had I listened to your advice in the first place, I would have saved myself the many (now healing) blisters and embarrassing moments with my dog.  Thank you for getting me to the right place.  You saved me quite a bit of $$ and my ego.  And for these gifts, I am grateful.  What better way to show my appreciation than to publicly announce that I was wrong and should have listened to you.

Now, any recommendations for how to get the dog to stop crapping in the house? :)