We went to the Fido Fest at University Village yesterday. Boy, was it busy! I had never been to U-Village before, and parking was insane! And after dealing with traffic (it took me an hour to make what should have been a 15 minute trip), I wasn't really in the mood to deal with it. Poor Swift and Kool were in the backseat, whining at all of the dogs they saw and wanting to be outside. I was supposed to be meeting some friends, so I was a little stressed out about being late.
We made it just in time to see our friends, Amber and Tag, prance across the stage for the City Dog magazine cover model contest. I cheered loudly for them and generally made a fool of myself. The announcer thought I was funny (I think), and I didn't mind. I like cheering for my friends.
The festival itself was kind of small, but the nice thing was that there weren't a lot of people around after the modeling contest. I think most people came for the morning event, which was a walk to benefit the Seattle Humane Society and left after the contest. That was fine with me. I got to take my time and see all of the booths, although there weren't many I was very interested in. I did get some treats to give to the boys, and I was tempted to buy some green tripe from the raw food booth. I should have - next time I will.
Treat time! Kool waiting patiently and Swift in action
(I apologize for the short post today. I have been very busy with work that I haven't really had much time to dedicate to writing. I'm really trying to keep consistent with my Monday 10 am posts.)
I feel quite honored to have received this award, even though I'm not much of a blogger; I usually post only once, maybe twice, a week. This award means I am supposed to share 7 things about myself, and pass on the award to fellow bloggers (the number varies based on different sources, so I'm going middle of the road - 7).
So without further hesitation, here we go:
1. My "real-life" job is an administrative assistant at E&J Gallo Winery. I feel very fortunate to work for such a great company and have such a wonderful job.
2. Because I know someone will inevitably ask, my favorite varietal of wine is Moscato, followed closely by Pinot Grigio (both whites, on the sweeter side).
3. I took a painting class this summer. It was a lot of fun, but at first, I wasn't too pleased with my painting. However, I put the painting up on my mantel, and the more I look at it, the more I do like it. One of my friends and I have continued to do more painting on our own time, but she's done way more than me. I want to go buy some materials to do it on my own soon.
4. I turned 30 this year. I haven't yet celebrated my birthday the way I wanted to - skydiving! (It saddened me when I found out I was too overweight to do it. More motivation to lose those extra pounds!) I'm going to do it next summer.
5. I grew up in NE Ohio, went to college near Buffalo, NY, and moved to Seattle, WA when I was 25. I've also lived in Quebec for 4 months, Paris for 1 month, and Tanzania for 3 months. I want to live in Paris for at least a year. I loved that city, and even though I was there 7 years ago, I still feel like I could find my way around the Latin quarter!
6. I love to cook! I didn't really learn how to cook growing up, so almost everything I know is self-taught. YouTube videos are great for learning how to dice onions, how to sharpen knives, or anything else you might need to know. I keep track of my recipes using a website called MyRecipes. It pulls recipes from several different magazines, and you can even add your own. You can post reviews, keep track of menus, create shopping lists, and lots of other things.
7. I love tulips, and I've wanted to plant some on my balcony for the past several years. I can never get my act together soon enough to get everything prepared. This year, a friend gave me a topsy-turvy for Easter. I know it's not tulips, but it was my first attempt at growing anything. Tomatoes aren't my favorite vegetable, but I was really excited to try them. The first one red enough to pick was a cherry tomato. It was so delicious - almost like candy! A few days later, I picked 3 more small- to medium-sized ones and made homemade pico de gallo. I diced half an onion, diced a jalapeno (left the seeds in), added 2 tablespoons of lime juice, and sprinkled some salt. I chilled it for a half an hour. It was very spicy and yummy!
(I just realized that each subsequent "fact" about me got longer and longer!)
I would like to pass on this award to the following blogs:
1. Bailey Be Good! Bailey is a female Belgian Shepard mix who blogs about life with her fur-sister Nala and human family.
It seems like a lot of friends are going on trips; some need dog-sitters, some are taking their dogs with them. It made me think of the times I flew with my boys.
This specific trip was a few years back when I took Swift home to Ohio. I was a bit worried about taking him on the plane. I had a dog carrier, but at the time, Swift was a little more vocal than Kool, so I was worried he'd whine or bark on the plane and annoy everyone. (Kool had done excellently the year before - no one even knew there was a dog on the plane.) Getting through security with Swift a bit of an ordeal. Luckily, I was checking my bags, so all I had was my purse and Swift's carrier. I had to take him out of the carrier (in addition to all the crazy other stuff we have to do - take off shoes, coats, etc) and carry him through the metal detector with me. This was before the full body scans - I wonder how that would work nowadays?
We got through without any problems, found our gate, and settled in to wait. Swift did a bit of whining because he could see me through the mesh, so I ended up holding the carrier on my lap while we waited. On the plane, though, I wasn't able to do that. But Swift seemed to know it was different and didn't whine at all on the plane. We actually had two layovers (because it was cheaper), and one of the layovers was a few hours long. Swift got really annoyed and kept whining. I took him to the family bathroom, so we would have some privacy and let him out of his carrier. I thought he might have to go potty, but he didn't. I let him wander around for a bit, but I didn't want to keep the bathroom occupied too long.
Eventually, I got sick of the whining and let him out of his carrier. He was doing pretty good just sitting on the floor next to me. I think he was happy not to be in that carrier. Of course, he was his usual charming self and tried to make friends with everybody. He did his little "prairie dog" stance. I was able to keep him out for about an hour until I got caught. Some random airport employee told me to put him away. I, of course, apologized and put Swift back in the carrier. That little bit of reprieve did more harm than good, though. Since Swift knew the taste of freedom, he wasn't having any of this carrier stuff anymore. Finally, we boarded the plane, and he settled down. All-in-all, it wasn't really that bad of an experience. It was just too long of a layover for him to be stuck in that little carrier.
Swift being a good boy, sitting on the floor
Swift the Prairie Dog
One of the most vivid memories of that trip is when I took a nap one afternoon while my mom was at work. I lay down on the couch. I had a zippered cardigan on, and Swift literally crawled inside my cardigan to sleep next to me. We probably napped for one to two hours. I love my little cuddler. I wish I had a picture of his head peeking out the top of my sweater...while I'm wearing it! He has never done that since. Sometimes I try to encourage him, but he doesn't do it. Maybe Swift just needed the comfort and closeness of his mama in a strange place.
I usually only post once a week on Mondays, and sometimes I'll add a Wordless Wednesday, but this week I am going to make an exception. I started this blog to talk about my dachshunds because I had so many stories about them, and I'm sure some of my "real-life" friends and co-workers got sick of hearing them. I figured, with a blog, I could write what I wanted and only people who were interested in reading my stories would read it. I began writing tons of posts, but then I slowly tapered off. I decided to make it my goal to write at least once a week, and I've been doing pretty good with that since April. Anyway, this Sunday post is special. This post today is not about my boys, but about that memorable day ten years ago. I want to tell my story.
Ten years ago, I was a junior in college at Houghton College near Buffalo, NY. My life was pretty good. I was an RA in my dorm, so I had lots of things to do and lots of friends. I was taking mostly classes in my major so I was enjoying all of my classes. Just a few weeks into school, on a Tuesday morning, I walked into my 9:15 class in the NAB, Old Testament Historical Books. A boy in my class that I didn't know started talking about how he didn't wanted to be there, because he had just seen a news broadcast about a plane crash. Then as he was watching, another plane crashed into the building again. Normally, I get a little sad when I hear about crashes and things like that, but for some reason, hearing him talk about it really upset me. All I could think about were the people in the building, and how horrible it was - such a tragedy and loss of life. Class began, and our professor announced we were having a quiz. The boy asked if we could pray. The class giggled, because it sounded like he wanted prayer for the quiz. However, he began to talk about how he had seen the planes crash into the Twin Towers in New York City on the news. A boy I knew, Richard, slowly stood up and said, "My dad works in the Twin Towers. Can I go call home?" The professor said yes, of course. We all watched him as he left the room. (I found out later that his father had stayed home from work that day.) After praying, the professor continued class as normal.
After we got out of class, there were notices posted all over campus that there would be a special assembly in the Chapel and that morning classes were cancelled. I had to go to work, but it was in the Admission building, and my boss let me go to the assembly - she wanted to go to.
In the Chapel, the RAs were asked to come up front so we could help with anyone needing guidance. I don't remember the details of the assembly, just that two of the freshman girls on my floor were by me and were crying. One was crying because her cousin worked at the Twin Towers, and the other was crying because of the tragedy. I could barely hold myself together. I think it was in the Chapel that it was finally announced that it was believed to be a terrorist attack.
Houghton decided not to cancel classes for the rest of the day. They wanted everyone to go on as normally as possible. I only had one other class that day (a missions class), and I remember Professor Paul Shea having us rearrange our desks in a circle to discuss the event. I didn't talk (I'm a bit shy in large groups anyway). A fellow RA sat next to me, and I watched her draw her feelings into a collage on a piece of paper.
After class, I kind of wandered around and ended up in the basement of the Campus Center. The college had set up a big screen so we could watch the news. There were a lot of people, but not tons. I can't remember if there were several TVs placed around campus or not.
After going back to my room, I sat on my bed, kind of depressed. I remember telling someone, "I don't want this day to end. When it does, it will all be different. We won't remember this event the same way and we won't feel the same way as we do today."
This is true. How often do we remember 9/11? How often do we think about those lives lost? We did for a while. Firefighters and policemen became the new "heroes." Communities gathered together, and people were just nicer to each other.
But it's been ten years. I know 9/11 didn't affect me nearly as much as other people. I didn't know anyone that died. I didn't know anyone that lived in NYC. I didn't know anyone who was there.
I hope that people whose lives were changed by 9/11 have been able to gain some peace in these past ten years.
I hope that we never forget the lives lost, the men and women who fought and rescued, and the government who tried so hard to make a stand for America.
I guess 9/11 did affect me in one way. I am much more patriotic now.
I adopted Swift and Kool when they were 1-1/2 and 4. They came with their names, so I didn't get a chance to come up with my own names for them. I had to adjust. It was actually a little difficult to get used to their names. It took me a while to get used to whose name belong to which dog. Most of the dogs I grew up with had two-syllable names, so the names "Swift" and "Kool" were definitely not something I was used to. So I started to give the boys nicknames! Here are some of the fun ones.
Kooly-Swift or Swifty-Kool
Super-dachshund (as I make them fly through the air)