Well, I finally made it through the kitchen remodel and can cook again (2 months no sink/counter was a real pain), a large chunk of writing jobs (so grateful for them!), am almost through the achilles trauma (seeing doctor today), and am finally sitting down to write a Happy Tales for you and the Cayman Humane Society, and will be forwarding that to you shortly. It’s tricky because, as a writer, I so want it to be good, to be funny, to be, well, worthy of publication! In the meantime, here’s a little update:

First, I apologize for being so out of the loop for the last two months, I’ve had so much on my plate, it was all I could juggle. All extras like socializing and personal writing just got put on the back burner.

Second, Jingle is fantastic, she’s sitting next to me on the sofa while I work on my laptop. I don’t know if I told you earlier that she passed her beginner obedience training and we’re now on to intermediate. It’s been a bit tricky for me, because I had to hire a dog walker due to my achilles injury, so we’re not getting a chance to work on “heel” training the way I’d like, but she’s so smart and is doing really well with “recall” and she’s a star at “wait”, “leave it” and “stay”. I practice that with her inside the house and she’ll stay planted as I hop from kitchen to living room and back again. I’m trying to work on fetch, and she does get the idea of getting the toy, but she’s just not bringing it back to me. She brings it to her rug, which naturally, I think is adorable, which is probably why she’s not getting it. LOL I tend to gush over her cleverness. And she is very clever, even the trainer says so.

Zuzu, my cat, and Jingle are starting to work out their territory issues. At first, Jingle didn’t even seem interested in Zuzu, there was so much going on and everything was so different, that she just sort of sniffed and then ignored her. But now Jingle loves Zuzu, and always wants to play with her, though Zuzu is not always as eager to play with Jingle. ;-D.  Zuzu’s only 6 1/2 lbs and I think she was a little freaked out by “that big black thing” for a bit. Now though, they are starting to play, and Zuzu has proven that though she’s small, she’s a scrappy “fighter” and has gained some hand. And slowly Jingle seems to understand there are times to just leave her alone. But when the mood strikes them, it’s a riot to watch them play. Zuzu will actually run and act all offended, but then she’ll stake out a place and taunt Jingle as she passes. And they are just like kids and get jealous if they see I’m giving attention to the other. They will both line up, Zuzu on the kitchen counter and Jingle on the floor, and be ready to perform little tricks to get treats. If one is getting treats, the other will always right there, wanting some too. 

Jingle has also started sleeping under my bed at night (it’s antique and rather high off the floor), and Zuzu will sleep with me under the covers when she’s cold. It’s probably my favorite time, to have all the critters, snoozing happily with me. 

And Jingle has lots of friends! In addition to Chloe and Reid, the Irish Terriers next door, she met Teddy, a Westie, at dog obedience class, and my friend Claire’s dog Kenny the corgi. They have play dates in our fenced-in back yard. Sigh. My garden has been given over to the dogs, and next spring I will have a lot of work re-seeding grass and moving plants. I want to make it dog friendly, which means it probably won’t be winning any garden prizes! Jingle has worn a dirty groove through the plants and grass, where she likes to run, and she does have a taste for digging! Oh, well, eventually, I want to bring in some training aides like jumps and tubes, because I think Jingle will be fantastic at agility training, which she’s gotten a little taste of in obedience class. She LOVES to run. She and the Irish Terriers love to tear it up, it’s a joy to see them play. And once I get back to walking and playing sports again, I’m going to try and introduce her to the idea of running alongside a bicycle, since the doctor is telling me I won’t be able to do the 6 mile walk/runs for a long, long time.

And I’ve become a nutty dog person, who stands outside on cold or raining mornings in winter coat and pajamas to make sure she goes potty. I have left parties at 12:30 a.m. as opposed to staying out late for another drink, because I know I need to get up to take care of the dog. But she is so good, and for the most part, she’s settled into my routine. Though the past three nights she’s taken to getting up and going downstairs and barking at the boogie man at 3:00 a.m, I’m hoping that it’s just a phase!

And the best part is seeing her walk around with her tail held high, a fully furled sail, that says she’s happy, confident and reminds me how far she has come from the scared, tail-tucked-under puppy she was in August. And that’s such a wonderful gift. I feel like I’ve done something really good and worthwhile. I’ve given this incredible dog a happy, safe home and in return I am showered with love, affectionate kisses and is a wonderful companion who is teaching me many lessons about life, about forgetting the past, about staying present and about what’s important in this moment.

So thank you for having the confidence in me and entrusting me with this magnificent creature. I feel very blessed.

Here’s another cute picture. This is Kenny the corgi. They had a swell time together, and it’s nice to know if I need to travel, my friend Claire will be happy to have Jingle at her place.

All good wishes,
Stephanie & Jingle & Zuzu