Thursday, 26 July 2012

26th July - Aargh - I can't keep up with life! Bring on the summer :)

Life is moving so fast. Can someone please stop the rollercoaster for just a minute to let me get off. Every day I start with a mass of good intentions, and by evening I am a dribbling mess wondering why item two on my 'to do' list didn't get done. And so it is with this blog, I want to write every day, but kids, dogs and my garden all seem to be stealing my time.

My days start around 5.30 on average, which is the point I realise Alex has snuck into our bed at goodness knows what time....the early morning sun wakes me, and I reach out expecting the long arm of Dave and instead I feel a little soft Alex all snuggled up. More often than not at this point I realise Tom has also wriggled in next to Dave, and there is a cat on my feet and a dog on the floor - so much for the marital boudoir, which appears to now be shared by six of us by morning. What was the point of the big house move last year to get a four bedroom house, when apparently one bedroom is all that is needed? So I stir at this early hour, and muddle through till Dave rises at 6am, and graciously takes over the chaos of the zoo. I pretend to still be asleep if I can get away with it till 7 when Dave leaves, and I reluctantly spring (!) into action.

More often than not the early start is on the back of a couple of disturbances in the night. And last night was no 3am I woke up to a sound. An odd sound I couldn't make out, so I put the light on and listened. Not the usual boiler noises, or kids, this was more of a banging with a scratching sound. So I wandered into Alex's room, where Lucie was sleeping soundly on her bed on the floor. The sound turned out to be her in full dream mode, and her paws were going ten to the dozen as in a top sprint, scratching against the wall, and her tail was wagging and thumping on the bed. What a racket. So I woke her up to ask her to dream more quietly. I didn't expect Lucie's dreams to keep me up...she will be sleep barking soon.

I am very happy at the moment, and I suspect it is a result of being very active, and also enjoying the time of year we can get outdoors. Not that I am a sun lover - just as well in Lancashire - but I do think we all need a dose of Vitamin D, and warmth on our skin at least 4 hours of the year. We have had Lucie for two months now, and I can hand on heart say it is the best thing to have happened in years. I enjoy her company, the walks, and most of all the optimism she has given me in going out and about with my family. It is a huge commitment, and at times downright irritating dealing with a princess with a stubborn attitude - but having a go at Lucie being awkward would be the pot calling the kettle black - so I'll cut her some slack!

The last time I wrote I was due to go to Sheffield for a day. I was sharing our experiences as part of staff training for new recruits at Support Dogs. And I also caught up on some practice work for myself. I had such a great day, just being back at the training centre, and seeing Lucie on great form. Yet again, Michelle helped me deal with another area I was struggling with. This time it was reinforcing the 'leave it' command, which was getting ineffective, as Lucie felt sniffing around for a snack was fair game. A few tips in place, and we are now getting back on track.

I feel now we are finally settling into a routine with Lucie, and the initial ups and downs are being ironed out. For me it has been trying to strike the right balance between letting her be a dog, chilling and playing, and maintaining the standards and respect to work. She continues to try her luck, but my boundaries are much clearer now I know what to expect of her. It has got more relaxing as I have grown in confidence.

Alex seems to be getting more engaged with her all the time. In his own discreet way, he is letting her into his world. A little more touching and interaction each week, and they really seem to be edging closer together. I am keen not to rush them into 'being together' and hope they seek each other out as and when that company works for them.

And so now it is the school holidays, and usual routines get thrown in the air, and we see what fallout will come. But for me I am feeling uncharacteristically optimistic this season, and think we will have some fun and enjoy the break. A time of year traditionally I fear and go underground, but with the help of a light summery rose wine, my garden being more safe and habitable (long story - don't ask), I think we can relax and get into the summer groove.

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