Wednesday, January 11, 2017

In Other News (2.0)...


The sad thing about being a pet owner is pets do not live as long as humans do. The sad thing about some humans is that they're totally fine with leaving a perfectly good animal to rot at an animal shelter. There is a silver lining in that there are so many pets in shelters for animal lovers like me and many others to adopt that we can have an animal that's perfect for our lifestyle... even though that still means there are pets left behind. This problem could be easily eliminated if more people chose to spay or neuter their animals, but I digress. Last year I had to put my beloved Dorkie to sleep, and it's safe to say I was not in good spirits for the rest of 2016. But even though I was heartbroken about Keisha, I still kept an eye out for dogs that might fit our household- on the small side, terrier-like (because I like dogs with spirit), and good with other animals.

On New Year's Eve day, we went to the local shelter because they put up a listing for a similar-sounding dog. When we walked into the dog kennels, I wasn't so sure the dog would be a good fit- she acted a bit aggressive, and Torrie, my schipperke-kelpie mix, throws off a bad vibe for those sorts of dogs. I asked to see her anyways, despite the shelter volunteer telling me she had allergies, wasn't housebroken, and was going to be a "challenge". Once she was in the meet and greet room, I knew she would be perfect for our household. "Princess" as she was known, had a sweetness reminiscent of Keisha, and didn't seem interested in going to bark at the other dogs once she was out of her kennel. Though she wasn't yet spayed and couldn't go home with us that day, I signed the adoption papers without qualm (though the volunteer seemed convinced that I'd be bringing her back- perhaps because I had my cane?).


After leaving the shelter, I began preparations for "Princess" (who my mom and I decided should be called Leia instead). Since she wasn't housetrained, I prepared a crate with potty pads. Because she was still in the puppy age (they think she's a year old), I cleaned up my room to puppy-proof it. By the time we got home on the 3rd with her, I was prepared for any outcome- if she didn't like George, if Torrie didn't like her, if she was actually a vicious little attack dog who put on airs of being a "nice" dog.

Leia was drowsy, but because she was so calm we decided to do introductions that night (probably not a good idea for some pet households). I brought in Torrie, who thought Leia was a weird dog but was good with her and left her alone. I let George out. George thought Leia was an alien and wouldn't stop looking at her. Even in her drugged-up state, Leia thought the same of George (what a strange looking dog), and she never stopped looking at him when he was in the room.

Leia with a stolen toy

Now...

Leia remains convinced that George is a small dog like her, and wants to play with him the same way as she does with Torrie. Because George thinks he is a dog (most days) he's fine with that, but is a bit miffed that he's no longer the "baby" of the family, nor the most energetic of the bunch. Leia does have allergies, but she is housebroken and hasn't pottied in the house- I think it may have something to do with the fact that Leia was being used as someone's breeding dog and thus hadn't had proper vet care, leading to no one noticing she still had a puppy from her last litter inside of her. Once her reproductive organs were removed along with the retained fetus, she has an easier time holding her bladder. Apparently Leia's former owner had called the shelter about her, but never came to get her. Personally, I'm glad about it, because Leia is the perfect fit for our household, despite her allergies (which has her constantly attempting to scratch at her spay sutures).


I have no real idea of what exact breed Leia is- at the shelter, they said shih-tzu mix, but I had a shih-tzu and he didn't look like her. I believe she's best described as a terrier on stilts- she has a coat that's almost wirehair, but not. The hair on the top of her head is shih-tzu-like (in other words, like human hair), but she has a smooth coat alternating with a semi-wire coat over the rest of her body. She's about 13 pounds, the same height as George (who is a medium sized cat), and she looks like a true mutt. She actually has Siamese-like coloring, with a gray body and black at the extremities and face. Right now her coat is medium length (in the areas she hasn't chewed), but I'm not sure if it'll grow any longer- the hair at the top of her head is actually quite long. As an amateur dog groomer, she does present a challenge, but I plan on simply bathing her until I figure out how she's supposed to look without the chew spots. Also, despite her odd, mismatched appearance, she's really cute. She becomes less cute when she whines, but perhaps that puppy-ish trait will disappear with time.

If you're in search of a furry friend, I definitely recommend looking at your local shelters and rescue organizations- there are many cute critters to choose from without funding animal breeders' bad habits.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Fortnightly Update #26: A New Hope


I've been a bit busy with dog-related things since I brought home a new dog on the 3rd, but I'm trying to get back into reading and blogging again for the new year. I hope you all had a great time over the holidays.

Recent Acquisitions (or the Piling of the-Piles):

the-pile Additions:

None!

the-invisible-pile Additions:


The Last Painting of Sara de Vos by Dominic Smith
I tend to like books about art and paintings, so we'll see how I like this one. Usually in books that are centered around a painting, I can deal with multiple time periods and storylines.


Kushiel's Dart (Kushiel's Universe #1) by Jacqueline Carey
I've been avoiding this book, but I'm just curious enough about it to read it. Something tells me it's not my thing, but I've been wrong about books like this one before.

Currently Reading:


I'm actually not reading much lately, but I've been trying to finish Lotus by Lijia Zhang. I'm smitten with the cover and the idea that it's based on the author's own family history.

Finished These Books:

I haven't finished any books since 2016, but some stand outs from the last month of last year were:


Not My Father's Son by Alan Cumming
Not your normal celebrity autobio (or at least, I didn't think so) Not My Father's Son made me alternate between cringing and wanting to shut it (because of the abusive portions), and speed reading so I can find out what exactly is going on with the Cumming family dynamic. I will never see Alan Cumming in the same light again, and it's a good thing.


Of course, even though this was online for free for quite some time (and I read most of it) I bought the ebook to have for my library and to see the final edits. This series is well worth reading for those of you who like snarky and sweet paranormal books set in a bit of a sci-fi version of the universe/our earth.

In My Life:

Princess Leia, who looks like a mini wolfhound or a gray and black Dorkie on stilts
On New Year's Eve day, we went to the local animal shelter (you know, the place we got that cat/criminal mastermind George from) and found a dog who seemed like the right fit for our little island of misfit pets. Her shelter name was Princess, but my mom and I don't really approve of titles for names, so she was redubbed Princess Leia, or Leia for short. I'll be whipping up a post about her shortly, but it's safe to say she will continue to be part of our household.

Happy 2017!


Saturday, January 7, 2017

Month in Review For December 2016: Thank God It's Over


I haven't been around the blogosphere much (at least for me) in the latter part of 2016. I was a bit afraid of what might happen if I flung around too many positive aspirations, as last year seemed centrally interested in my downfall. However, I think I can start again this year with a degree of optimism that I didn't feel confident in last year. It's a new year, I have a new doggie, and my appointment to the University of Utah neurology department is less than 30 days away.

Statistics:
 Total Posts: 5
  Total Critiques: 0

Most Popular Posts of December:
SFF: The 5 Books You're Excited to Read in 2017
Fortnightly Update #25: The Odd Case of the Cat Condo

Flashback Post (From December of a Previous Year):
An Ugly (Dog) Sweater Holiday Card, and Where to Find My Guest Post

Pageviews for the Month: 1491
Comments: 8

Reading Challenges Updates:


Travel the World in Books Challenge



Applicable Books:
None!
Total for 2016: 17 of 15 Books, 11 of 5 Countries (Completed/Overachiever Status)


Reading Stats:



Books read this Month: 6

Book Stats:
Has a Diverse Main Character: 1
Doesn't Have a Diverse MC: 5
Female Main Character: 5
Male Main Character: 1
Pair and/or Group of Female/Male Main Characters: 0
Genre:
 Sci-fi: 1
 Historical Romance: 3
 Memoir: 1
 Graphic Novel: 1
Published in 2016: 3
Published in 2000-2015: 3
Self-Published, Small Press, or Other: 1
Traditionally Published: 5
Series Books: 3
Standalones: 3
Ebook Version: 6
Paper Version: 0
Favorite of the Month: One Fell Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles #3) by Ilona Andrews
Least Favorite of the Month: Wicked Intentions (Maiden Lane #1) by Elizabeth Hoyt (I felt the ending was fumbled)
Most Interesting of the Month (or Book I Learned the Most From): Not My Father's Son by Alan Cumming (I'm not a fan of celebrity memoirs, but this celebrity memoir was well worth the read)
From the-pile: 0
From the-invisible-pile: 0
Recently acquired: 6
Added to the-invisible-pile: 3
Books bought: 0
Pages Read in 2016 (according to Goodreads): 31,899 pages

Ratings:
5 Stars: 0
4-4.5 Stars: 2
3-3.5 Stars: 2
2-2.5 Stars: 2

Author Stats (1 = 1 book read by x author):
Male: 2
Female: 3
Male/Female Team: 1
Diverse: 1
Not-so-Diverse: 5
Living: 6
Deceased: 0

Planning to Read in 2017:



I'm hoping to finish Lotus by Lijia Zhang before January is out, along with some other books, hopefully. I've been attempting to stop a hyper, allergy-ridden terrier mix from scratching her spay incision for the past four days, which has been an adventure in the use of "NO! STOP!". Being on a hair trigger for that phrase is really not conducive to reading.

Upcoming Posts:


I'm hoping to do a Best of 2016 booklist, along with an introduction post for Princess Leia. One must have a careful balance of book and dog posts on their book blog.

Happy Reading!


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