Dog Walking!

So, I started volunteering at the local Animal Rescue League in Pittsburgh.  Its one bus ride away from me, so its easy to get to, and its a good thing to get involved with.  I didn’t realize exactly to what degree I was going to miss having pets around, so its nice to go get involved with these other dogs. 

I finished my dog walking training yesterday.  It was a long time talking about a lot of things that anyone with a dog would know.  They also went over the techniques the shelter uses in training dogs, because every place does things a little differently.  And then we got to go walk a dog! 

My friend Ella and I volunteer at the shelter together, so we picked two dogs who were housed together.  They were dalmation mixes, but they looked more like pit bulls than anything else to me.  Most of the dogs in the shelter are pit bulls, which is sad.  They’re really not bad dogs.  And it’s a shame that theres such an influx of them when so many people give them a bad stigma.  Please, everyone, get your dog spayed and neutered.  If you don’t, you’re really just contributing to the ever growing problem and more and more dogs are going to find themselves in a shelter.

Anyways, we chose these two sister dogs, Angel and Eva.  Both dogs were all white, and Eva had a lot more black spot on her.  Angel, the dog I took, was actually deaf, so it was kind of cool that I had to find alternative ways to communicate with her other than speaking.  We took them out to the dog run and they raced around and chased balls and played.  We chased them and snuggled them and they loved us right back.  We worked a little on their obiedence and practiced sitting and a little laying.  Then, we took them for a little walk up the road and came back and had to turn them back over.  It was already closing time for the shelter.  Hopefully, the next time we go, we can play with some dogs a little longer and not feel rushed!

It makes me really want a dog.  I just want to grow up so I can have all the animals I’ve always dreamed of having.  I’ll rescue all the shelter dogs! 

Ella and I talked about how we would like to get an apartment instead of living on campus.  She can do it, though, because she has a car and much more money than I do.  I, however, would have no way of getting to school and it would be much simpler to stay on campus.  Simpler, but lonelier 😦

Maybe when Lance gets a little older and is in school, we can get an aparment together and get a dog!

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Where Has Lance Been?

Even I start to wonder that sometimes lol.  But, don’t worry, I assure you he is alive and well.  He just has been pretty busy.  That doesnt mean what hes doing is any less cool or not worth recording.  Actually, its the opposite!  But because he can’t get to it yet, I’ll give you the general over view and he can fill in the blanks once he gets time.

Lance has gone MIA because it is once again September!  And that means its band season!  . . . . .  Can you feel my excitement?  Actually, every year between the months of September and October, everything falls on the wayside for band.  Band becomes life, breath, bread, and water.  We eat, drink, breath, and sleep band.   And this year, even under new managment and partially non competition and show band, is still no difference.

See, one thing you’ll learn about Lance that you haven’t had the chance to do yet, is that when he commits to something, there is no half assed job in it.  Its one thing I love more than anything about him.  At the same time, its one thing I hate more than anything about him lol.  Mostly just because I’m jealous that everything else becomes equally as important as me!  For example, you will not see him skimping on a practice to come visit me.  You will not find him napping through a show because he’s tired or sick.  Lance just doesn’t do that.

So, right now, my boyfriend has done a little biting off more than he can sucessfully chew this year.  He usually takes a big mouthful, but for whatever reason inspired him this year, he decided to pack his senior schedule in like a sardine.   So, he now has band practice Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursday evenings from around 5 or 6 till 8 or 9 I believe.  He has football games Friday night and he has band competitions Saturday all day.   Sundays and Wenesdays he works at the Giant Eagle.  He also took AP Bio, AP Calc, Honors English, and Anatomy and Physiology for his senior school schedule.  So, the only ones who really see or even talk to Lance are those other sad losers who have devoted their life to marching around with turf turds in their shoes.  Which I will fully admit, I gave into peer pressure and joined when I was a senior just so I wouldn’t have to miss him the way I do now.

He has also, on Wenesdays, began his apprenticeship at the National Aviary, which is the one cool thing that needs to be written down!  I am totally jealous of his apprenticeship.  He literally goes and spends the day on the behinds the scenes stuff at the aviary.  He’s learning so much already!  And now, he is super super pumped about growing up and getting a job.  I have to admit, he definatly picked the cooler one out of the two of us!

At his last trip there, he said he was in the wetlands room.  He got to go into the kitchen and help sort out the bugs for the birds to eat.  Then, they went to the wetlands room with the guy who runs the shows there (I cant remember his name, Lance would know) and they did a show for the people who came to watch.  He said there is a conure who has a vitamin deficiancy and she hops up on a scale and takes her medicine like a little champ before snagging a seed and flying away.  Some of the other birds were hopping on people’s hands and the one bird knows how to poop on command!  The show didn’t last very long because the audience was stupid.  They were shying away and ducking from the incan terns and stuff like that.  Losers. 

After that, they got to go into the flamingo pet and let the flamingos come up to them.  He said you squat down in the mud and they come up and groom you!  So cool!  He said though, if they honk at you, you have to leave.  Thats their warning before they attack! 

Then, they all got to help train some birds.  Lance got to point train a bird who was afraid of even the trainer because he was too tall!  Being short isnt always a sin! He’s really excited about next week and what he gets to do then!

 

A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes

One of the things that keeps me most motivated in my life is what we have planned.  Lance and I have virtually planned every aspect of our lives, in several different ways.  We have spent hours upon hours debating about where is the best place to live, how large our feathered family should be, where we truly want to go to, and how we plan on living.  No doubt, many of our plans will change throughout the years.  Our opinions will change, God has other plans for us, and I’m sure that everything we want in life will not remain the same as it is now.  However, it’s still fun to dream about, it’s still fun to think about, and its one hell of a motivator to get me off my ass and writing a paper or studying. 

I think it would be fun to write about.  Then, when I am having a bad day, I can look back and see what the future holds.  When Lance doesn’t want to do his homework, he can look at what the future holds.  And everyone else can look and see that we are, indeed, going places. 

Someday, Lance and I are going to get married at the National Aviary.  We are going to have betta bowls as our center pieces, and my bridesmaids are going to wear blue and we are going to have the birds involved.  We don’t really like traditional.  We are not traditional, we are not really ‘normal’, so why bother trying to fit a mold that isn’t really us anyways?  More than anything, we are going to have a small, cozy, fun wedding.  I’ll have white lilies and our first dance will be a waltz.  We will smear cake in each others faces so much we wont be able to see, and we will spend the night wrapped up in each others arms, like everyone condemns us for doing now.  Its going to be a night of what we want.  Not what our mothers, fathers, sisters or brothers want.  Not what is expected.  What we want.  My friend Ella has already offered to be our impromptu wedding planner, as she is an interior design major.  She has promised to integrate water as a theme in our wedding, keep our mothers out of our hair, and make sure that my little sister showers and shaves her armpits for the wedding.  She has an eye for details and promises to make everything perfect.

Then again, if things get rough on the home front, and we don’t want to deal with everyone elses shit, we might just run away and elope.  Fuck that drama.

Shortly after, we plan to move out west.  Wyoming is our target right now, but anyplace that puts a few thousand miles between us and Pittsburgh is a good option.  Any place that serves elk burgers and beefalo steaks at restaurants.  Any place that has dry heat and antelope.  Anyplace that has animals to fix and animals to save. 

We want to have a farm.  Maybe we will just buy a plot of land and build a house on it, or maybe we will actually buy a premade home, we don’t really know.  But we want some property.  We wand a medium-sized house, one big enough to hold all the creatures that we want but small enough we arent struggling to clean it constantly.  Open floor plans are our favorite, with big windows and a cozy, homey feel.  Lance will have the Chevy Nova he has always wanted, and I will have the barn with a watering system and light to each stall. 

We will have cages from avianaccents.com or cages by design.  We will have the coffee table that doubles as a lizard tank and the end tables that house geckos.  Animals will be a part of our world.  Our birds will have huge fake tree play stands so they can be out throughout the day.  They will be socialized so we don’t have to worry about each bird being on its own.  We will accustom them to flight suits and they will travel with us.  We will have a large shaded outdoor pen with a play stand, so they can go outside without the constant fear of hawks.  We will wake up in the morning and prepare them a breakfast of fresh foods and sprouted seeds.  Lance will buy our seed mixtures in bulk and mix each birds foods according to its own needs.  We will buy our babies prior to weaning (something I never encourage anyone to do unless you are a very skilled handfeeder) and hand feed them ourselves.  After all, I will be a vet. 

We will have a room that is a grassland exhibit.  It will have finches and budgies, ground birds and cockatiels flying free in the room, just like the aviary.  We will have a bench that we can go sit on in the bird room and enjoy them.  We will rescue budgies from those huge petsmart cages where none of the birds are nice to humans, and set them free in our room, so they can live a life of freedom and friends. 

I will have one breeding pair of greater vasa parrots.  All of the babies will only be placed in homes I feel completely comfortable with, or they will stay with us until we find them one.  The pair will be monitored and separated when we do not want any more birds.  We will not shower the world with unwanted birds.

We will have fish tanks lining our walls.  We will have a tank of Xenopus frogs.  Our house will be unique.

We will have some horses.  Maybe not a ton, but some.  We will go for rides every evening together, and our animals will be well worked and responsive. 

Our dogs will go with us when we take rides.  We will have collies and shepherd and wiems.  Lance will have a set of hunting beagles to take out rabbit hunting.  We will rescue our dogs.  The one small dog I will have is a pappillon, a butterfly dog. 

Our feathered family will be large.  I’ll take a different parrot to work with me everyday.  Our birds will be out anytime we are home.  They will be a part of our family, as will all of our animals. 

We are not sure about having human children of our own.  Our christmas cards will consist of pictures of our feathered, furred, and scaled family, but may never have an actual child.  Or we may change our minds.  It’s hard to tell at this point. 

We will build my parents a house on the back acres of our farm.  They will live there for free, retired and happy.  Their sole job will be watching the feathered kids while we are both at work, and ensuring that they have ample time out to play and socialize, an agreement my mother has already embraced.  She can sit and play with the pets while we are gone, and take them outside to visit the horses, and all in all, just play with them.  Something my mom has always wanted time to do. 

My mom will probably also have her own bird.  Maybe a grey or one of my baby vasas.  She can bring him up to the house to visit the others while she is there.  They will have a golf cart or a gator to ride to and from the house.  They will be far enough back that they can feel like they are in their log cabin they always dreamed of having, but close enough that we can still be a family.  That is one thing I have always loved about my parents.  They have never once made me feel like I have had to choose between Lance and them.  They have just immediately made him a part of our family too.  And that’s how it will be forever. 

My dad will probably do something more handy in his time.  Maybe he will build something, or maybe he will fix fences for us or something.  But I know he will do something.  My father cannot stand to just take from everyone else, and he will find someway to show his thanks. 

Hopefully my brother will live close enough that he can come visit.  If not, maybe he will fly in for the holidays and send his children to come spend time with us in the summer months.  That would be nice.  Lucas and Lance will still probably play video games while the women do other things.  The boys are such controller hogs, I can’t see them becoming more giving in the future. 

Christmas will be big and noisy and fun.  We will all get together and everyone will cook.  The birds will all get some christmas dinner and so will the dogs.  The horses will get special peppermint bran mash and we will sit around and drink until everyone is silly. 

Sundays will be cleaning day for Lance and I.  We will clean the bird cages, the tanks, the house.  We will do it together, and take breaks to relax and cuddle.  We might take a picnic lunch out on horseback or just go out to eat after we are finished. 

Lance will have a huge garden where he grows all our vegetables.  He will drag me outside to help him weed, or maybe just to keep him company.  Other times, he will just go out alone to play in the mud, or maybe take a parrot along with him.  We will cook together, him being much better than I, but it will be fun instead of tedious. 

And we will get mad at each other.  And stressed.  And maybe yell and scream.  But after it all, we will still be together.  Forever. 

And I dare anyone to try and tell us we cannot get there.