Tuesday, February 20, 2018

A Fellow Runner Would Know


One of my classes this semester is Creative Writing, and it kind of makes me feel like I am back in elementary and middle school! It's not as easy as I thought from the start, but I am enjoying it. When I was younger, I would whip out poems, stories, plays, and basically anything at any time whether for an assignment but more often for fun. Now it is harder for me (as for all kids since the school system has changed so much...that's for another discussion...) to make up things rather than base it off of real-world knowledge. We all need this, though. Over the semester I hope to be able to share some of my writing! I've already tweeted a couple haikus at Alexi Pappas, based on her "bravey" trend. Writing poems again has been more fun than I imagined.

This one is the ballad for my folder in class. Ballads have a specific rhyme scheme abcb stanzas, alternating between iambic tetrameter (4 stressed syllables) and iambic trimeter (3 stressed syllables). It also must tell a story with characters and setting. This made it a little tricky, but it's a fun challenge! For some reason, the first story that came to me was someone in the park, so I ran with it (no pun intended), and kept going on to make it funny--something personal and relateable to my running friends and community.

A Fellow Runner Would Know
I have this pain inside my gut.
A twist, a turn it does.
My thoughts, they run; my heart does race.
I start to get a buzz.

The trail keeps going on ahead;                                         
I’ve gone so far this way.
I could turn back, but it’s still long.
“I have to stop!” I say.

No one hears me except the trees.
It’s miserable to wait.
I look around and find a spot.
I step behind the gate.

Bladder empty, ready to go,
I feel much better now.
I turn around and hear a sound—
I was seen by a cow.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

The Chloe Chronicles


Our newest family member Chloe recently celebrated her birthday around Christmas time, December 3rd, and now we are celebrating her year anniversary of living with us! I never got around to sharing too much about her, but this seems like a fitting time! Sadly, because of school and being out of town, I missed a lot of her little puppy days, but Mom gained her new baby girl. Though I was far away, she kept me updated on all the funny stories! She grew so fast, and is bigger than I would have imagined. I must say, she is the most unique dog I have ever met.
A lot of these are my pictures, but some are from Mom while I was away.

This is the story of Chloe in her first year in the family!

The day Chloe came home just so happened to be one of the few days that I came home for the weekend during second semester last year. Dad had texted me during class that morning and asked if I wanted to come home to go ski the next day, so I decided it was God telling me to take a break from life where I was (second semester was especially hard to get through), so I threw a bag together and headed home after class. It was a late night, but I finally got to El Sazon to meet Mom and Dad to eat, as we had made that our tradition for nights I came home. When we got home, I heard a funny noise in the basement, walked in and...a puppy!? What?!

It was not planned for Chloe to join us and me come home the same day. Dad asked me to go skiing before he ever even got the idea to get her. It just worked out perfectly! Later in the morning, he saw a post on Facebook by our local animal shelter that they had a new litter of black lab puppies ready to be adopted. Knowing our other dog is getting old and that we were moving to the lake soon, he sent the link to Mom and asked her if she wanted one. He went to pick one up on his lunch break. Chloe chose him more than he chose her, and that was the beginning of her loving personality! They decided not to tell me and let it be a surprise when I got home!

Little did we know from this first night that her crying and need for attention would only increase, but I wanted so badly to spend time with her (and for her to stop crying!) that I spent the night downstairs with her. I let her out of the pen to sleep with me, which was cute and all, until she jumped off the couch, pooped on the floor, and later I stepped in it. As if getting maybe 3 hours of sleep wasn't enough! 
As you see, she did not like the sound of the vacuum, nor did she want me to leave. Neither did I.

Look at those puppy dog eyes! "Aren't I so cute? Love me!"

The Mom-Chloe bond begins!

She still likes to go for your face...

Frisco probably hates us now for this. Like people say stress takes years off your life, it's surprising Frisco is still alive! Poor thing is almost tortured by his new sister, and he seems so much older than even just a year ago!
The best/worst thing? Ya know how people joke about dogs chasing their tail? Chloe doesn't chase her tail, but she grabs onto Frisco's and pulls him across the yard! The fur on his tail is almost all gone now!

The bone may have looked big for her, but she devoured it quick enough.

Always wants something in her mouth...

This was the first picture Mom sent me when I realized how big she was getting so fast.

Cats and dogs may have funny stories about getting in fights, but there is nothing but love for the kitties from Chloe.

Getting this picture from Mom almost made me cry last year--I'm a daddy's girl, and I loved seeing him and Mom having a good time!

How this happened, we do not know, but it was one of the funniest things to ever see out our back door.

My shoes were also big toys for her, but she can destroy a shoe in a day. I was also mad that Mom gave her one of my prettiest pairs, but oh well.

Car ride and vet anxiety...it took Mom and me both holding and carrying her the whole way for her first trip! This was on my spring break, and we wondered how on earth they would do it when I wasn't there. She is not a one-man job!

Girl can eat. A lot.
And it is absolutely hilarious to watch her try to get on the deck through the railing! Then she gets stuck and can't wriggle herself back out!

She loves to help Mom with all her chores. She (and Frisco) do not always appreciate her help. Poor Frisco probably hates her. She never leaves him alone! They bark at each other for hours straight sometimes, and I tell Mom and Dad that the neighbors probably will be glad when we move. I've never seen him get so angry and growl like that until we got her! She loves to play, but he does not. Chloe does not understand that he doesn't like her in his business, nor does she understand when we yell at her. We have to pull them apart and put one of them in the kennel all the time.

Sun bathing?

Let's take a moment to see the struggle that led up to this cute picture at the end.

The end picture was my goal from the start, but I knew it would take a while to get there. Proof that photography is hard work.

In the chair, under the chair, next to the chair...everywhere!

I worked hard this spring and summer when I was home to get her used to walking on a leash, but it was way more difficult than you could imagine. It was more like she was walking me. Mom tried, too, and she would call and text me to tell me her stories. Sometimes our neighbors would watch for entertainment! It also cracked me up (and made me happy) that she would pull her so hard and fast that Mom would actually run across the yard!

She has been doing better, but you can never turn your back for long! Mom and I both get pummeled on a regular basis. As of the end of summer and into fall, she could go outside of the yard and through all of the neighborhood! 

This picture was much less of a struggle than the other one! Partially because the railing kept her from doing too much damage.
She got a little eye gunk for a while, so Mom and Dad had to give her drops...which you can imagine was entertaining as well. It took them both and all the strength they had. But how cute is that medicine bag from the vet?!

She was amused by my cutting open and gutting that orange thing.

Causing trouble...she will get into anything she can. She chewed up parts of the deck, steps, air conditioner, etc. Dad had to build several things to keep her out of or from destroying important things. Here is where she broke the hose reel and drug it across the yard.

One of her good walk days! Once she did take off after a squirrel, though, and I almost face-planted. I couldn't hold her back nor could I run fast enough to hold on, so I just dropped the leash and let her go, praying she would come back.

Doing a rep picture project for Serengetee in one of my new shirts, Phoebe and Chloe both decided they wanted to be in the pictures, too, so I featured them and the brand.

For Chloe's birthday (and Mom's aching arms) she purchased a ball-thrower! Look how much energy Chloe was putting into going after that thing. She is that enthusiastic about everything she does.

For Christmas she got a new bone! That didn't last long.

Phoebe was also interested.

But really, who needs to make purchases on dog toys when you have a runner in the family with tons of old shoes? I think she liked that better anyways. Shoes can be chewed through in a day or two. I'm not a total cheapskate, though. I also bought her and Frisco some new treats, shampoo, and itch spray!

Chloe also got to play in her first big snow this January! As if she needed anything else to entertain her...I couldn't pass up the opportunity to go out and play with the pups in the snow, so I put on some relaxed clothes before I took my shower (because I knew I was about to get dirty) and went out to play! During this time when there were several days and nights with temperatures in the single digits, we kept both dogs in pens in the basement at night. Poor things were all cramped up, but we didn't want them to freeze.

This is a rather scary sight to see coming at you! I made sure to brace myself for impact.

She may look and sound vicious, but it's all in love. She just doesn't understand how strong she is.

Along with being strong and loving, she is also very entertaining and photogenic!
She barks constantly, drives Frisco insane, wants to put everything in her mouth...but she has been a blessing to our family, and I can't wait to see how she loves the lake when we move this month!