Wow, I have so much to tell you. I have a ton of photos too, but I'll have to sort those out and post them in some sort of order. Of course, I've been so busy I'm spinning (not the kind that makes yarn either). We worked late last night, and Anthony worked REALLY late last night getting a client's job to the printer. The client, of course had changes at the final hour. Don't you hate that?
We also had another client call and ask if we could get photos of their new product on the shelf of WF. In New Jersey, By the 20th. OF THIS MONTH!!! I wasn't willing to call the formulation completed (my plate) and the graphics on the labels have been converted to CMYK but I still have an entire set of labels to do and get off to the printer (also my plate). Then we have to make the first batch, get it to WF and convince them to take a photo and send it to us so we can send it to the client. Everything takes longer than clients think.
In the consulting world it's called managing expectations, but Anthony has trouble saying no to clients. Sigh. Why am I telling you all this? Just so you can see that I'm a posting slacker for good reason.
Anyway. The new puppy that adopted us last week has been officially named Suleiman the Magnificent , Sulei for short. And magnificent he certainly is - to have survived the cold and neglect he experienced in his first months of life! Part of the reason we are so behind is that both Saturday and Sunday he disappeared with the four dogs who live next door and form his "pack". Saturday he was only absent for two hours, but that was an hour of crying for me. Sunday, on the other hand, he went for a walk with our neighbor's house sitter, a lovely woman, and disappeared with the other dogs. She assumed they all went home together, but when she got there, Sulei was missing. She called us and asked if he had come home? "No", I asked.... "Isn't he with you".
That's when She and Anthony went back out to search the ridge line. Then Anthony went out to search the neighborhood just below us in the car. Then she came over for some tea and cookies, bringing these lovely tulips. Then they went out again and stayed out for over an hour in the cold, snow and dark, calling and searching. Needless to say, not much else got done on Sunday except that I got a lot of quality crying and sniffling in.
About an hour after Anthony got back, Sulei yelped and scratched at the front door. I can't even tell you what a happy reunion THAT was. It's truly amazing how fast a wiggly warm little puppy body can insinuate itself right into the deepest recesses of your heart. And this one in particular. So you want to hear the real story? The dirt? Of course you do, and even if you don't I have to tell it.
Technically, Sulei is not a stray. He belongs to the people in the trailer across the street from us. We first met him on December 28th when Chan was visiting. She and I had gone to the Folk Art Museum, lunch and a few other places. We came home with groceries. Our neighbors dogs were out in the freezing snow (they have thick coats and access to inside, so don't fret) and greeted us as we came from the car, arms loaded. I stopped to pet and hug each of them calling out their names and telling them to come along (inside out gate) for a cookie. As they ran ahead of us, I heard a horse little cry back up the driveway. The tiniest, little black ball of fur cam stumbling and crying towards us. He was shivering so hard he could barely walk. Chan dropped her bags and scooped him up.
After warming him and feeding him inside we fretted about what to do. We knew all our neighbors except for the people in the trailer who had never come over and in fact were seldom at home. Anthony went to the surrounding neighbors to inquire about the little guy. He found out that the puppy did indeed belong to the people in the trailer and so, with trepidation and many tears on Chan's and my part, he reluctantly returned the puppy. The man at the door said that the puppy must have gotten out when he was unloading the truck and they were just thinking about going to look for him.
Right. That was two hours ago. It was below 10 degrees outside.
We didn't see the puppy for about a month and figured all was well. Then one day about two weeks ago he reappeared. Thin, with a dull coat covered with dandruff. He joined in with our neighbor's "pack". We assumed he was going home at night and so didn't worry - until the neighbor told us the truth - he had been attempting to sleep in her house. Her husband and son had carried him up to the trailer several times to no avail. No-one was home to take the little guy in.
She was fretting because she already has four BIG dogs and a very small house. She was at a loss, this little guy wasn't housebroken. So, what could we do? I couldn't bring myself to confront the people in the trailer as this style of dog rearing is common to the native population and they wouldn't think anything was wrong with leaving a puppy outside in the freezing cold to fend for itself (our humane society even has a plea on it's website to take animals inside in freezing weather). So we took him in.
Eventually, I will have to go across the street and deal with this issue and I'll tell you the truth - I'm terrified. One of our neighbors has had a similar thing happen with a pretty pit bull female. She confronted the people and said she'd love to have the dog. Their response? "She's our dog - what do you mean you want her"? SO the neighbor ended up paying for vet care and spaying, which the owners seem to have no problem with, but they won't turn over the dog. Hence, I'm afraid to ask for Sulei. Until I can work up the courage, we let him outside to play with the big dogs, and he comes back here after every play session.
No-one from the trailer has ever come looking for him. I can only pray that they never do and maybe I won't ever have to go over there. Maybe.
I hadn't really intended to tell you the whole story of Sulei - but I'm so enraged about it all that it just slipped out. In truth of fact a disproportionate number of pets in New Mexico are abandoned and neglected. It's a cultural phenomenon and an enormous problem with no solution in sight.
But, I did promise you Fruit and Tips and I won't renege. Tips:
1. When housebreaking a puppy, the easiest way to accomplish it is to monitor feeding and drinking times. Puppies have small digestive systems and will invariably have to "go" within fifteen to twenty minutes after they eat and drink. If you carry them outside at that point - they'll "go" outside!
2. When they do have and accident, and of course they will, don't yell at them, yell at the mess. We yell at the pee, which is the only accident Sulei still occasionally has (he's very smart and hates to upset us). He hangs his little head and goes to his sleeping place to hide. We then pet and hug him to reassure him.
3. Puppies chew EVERYTHING. Substitute a toy to distract them. Soft toys that squeak are great for this.
4. Sulei has discovered a place in the wall that apparently is over a mouse run. He started digging and chewing at the spot and even made a small hole! I tried the usual bitter apple sprays - but they wore off in a few hours and we was back at it. I racked my brain until finally, a light bulb went on. I mixed straight cayenne pepper in a little egg white and brushed it on the spot. the mixture dried nicely and it stuck! Sulei went after the spot (which is at the corner of his bed) and came out sneezing and licking his lips. He hasn't touched it since that I know of!
OKAY, Now for the Fruit. Check this out - this company, Ripe To You sells bergamots! The fruit! Seriously - I never knew you could buy the fruit, I've never even seen one - I thought only the peel was used for the oil that is sprayed onto tea giving us Earl Grey! I'm going to order some Seville oranges and make marmalade! YUM!!!
ps... I was goimg to put in more photos, but my internet connection is NOT cooperating, so I'm going to call this post done. Hopefully I'll be able to get more photos up into flickr.