Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Weather or not ...

... it's been a challenging summer for Allie.

In July alone, 22 of the month's 31 days had temperatures above 90 degrees, and August hasn't seemed any better. Those temperatures are too high for safe, much less comfortable, for our usual long walks, much less our customary fetch sessions up at the local middle school. We've been doing plenty of indoor playing, but still--indoor sessions of fetch, tug or hide-the-toy just aren't the same as chasing a ball in a wide open school field.

And even if the weather had been cooperative, my schedule hasn't been. Between writing two books, doing a goodly number of paid blog posts a week, the usual articles, and some traveling, there haven't been enough hours in the day to get through the items on my to-do list -- including those rousing play sessions. That same schedule has been making it tough for me to write here--going more than a week between posts here is embarrassing.

I'm not complaining for my own sake. I'm grateful to have the work (and will be even more grateful when I'm paid for it), and the heat hasn't bothered me nearly as much as it's bothered a lot of other people. But I feel for my Golden girl. Yes, she's getting older, so she doesn't need as many of those fetch sessions as she used to, and the sessions aren't as long as they once were. Nevertheless, I know that the next time we walk anywhere that approximate our route to the local field she'll try to pull me there--and no matter how legitimate the reason is, I'll still feel bad if I have to say no.

But this won't go on forever -- just another two weeks for the book work, and hopefully not much longer for those steamy days. Hold on, Allie. It won't be much longer.

(And for those who are wondering how I'll handle the heat with Allie when we move to Florida, I can tell you right now: I have no idea.)

Monday, August 9, 2010

A moving experience

We are going to be moving--not right away, but within the next year. This past weekend, Stan and I traveled to Lakewood Ranch, Florida, to put a deposit down on some land and begin building a house (the finished dwelling will look something like the one pictured above).

To say that we're excited is an understatement. Now that we've put down the deposit, the die is cast--and we're beginning to think about all we need to do to leave the house we've lived in for more than 20 years and begin a new phase of our lives. (And no, Julie probably won't be with us. She's finishing college next spring--how did that happen?--and beginning a new phase of her life.)

But while Stan is focused on crunching numbers, I am focusing on how to make the move dog-friendly--specifically, how to move Allie along with ourselves and our inanimate stuff. This will be no easy matter. Nevertheless, I am somewhat amused that even now I'm thinking about:

  • where Allie's crate will be located in our new house. Not totally decided on that yet.
  • how to keep Allie from freaking out when we leave the only place she can remember living in.
  • how to find pet-friendly hotels/motels for two nights on the road when we drive from northern Virginia to southwestern Florida--and making sure that pet-friendliness extends to include a 70-pound Golden Retriever.
  • where Allie will be when we do our final walk-through of the house.
That's just for starters. Am I a planner or what?