What’s in a name?

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So, Vader is officially going through a name change.  We’ve decided that Thor will fit him rather appropriately, thanks to his gigantic paws, which are the size of my palms.  He’s currently sleeping on his bed in the living room, dreaming he’s a sprint car, as Shawn says (in other words, this means he’s snoring…loudly).  Gee, you’d think he’s comfy or something!  🙂

Thor has handled being home alone while we’re at work like a champ.  He was happy but quiet when I came home around 2:30.

So I suppose I owe y’all a little bit about myself and (maybe) a little about Shawn.  For starters, I turn the big 3-0 this year, and it’s definitely a very scary thought.  People dismiss me and tell me that 30 isn’t so bad, that they will be some of the best years of my life (thanks for shattering the whole high school being the best four years of your life thing), and that I’ll survive because age is just a number…only it isn’t to me.

Anyway, I’m not from the Lone Star State but moved here because I had a fantastic career opportunity that turned into the best decision I’ve made in my life so far.  Once I had been here for a few weeks, I met Shawn, and we had started dating.  We’ve been together now for almost three and a half years.

I have to admit, he’s pretty cool.  For a guy.  He’s smart, ambitious, and he’s weird, which is a huge plus.  He’s not geeky in the same way that I am, but he has his moments.  He’s a little younger than I am, which sort of bothered me at first.  It took a little while to relax into the idea, but let’s face it.  No one cares too much about the difference once you’ve gotten your college degree out of the way.  He races cars on the side, which is pretty awesome most days.

So anyway we’re both engineers, and people actually think we’re interesting.  Personally, most of the time I think we’re boring.  But maybe that’s me, who knows!

I’m not really much for talking about myself, so that’s all you’ll get for now.  I’m pretty tired.  (No, I don’t really care that it’s not even 10:30.)

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Days two and three (ish)

Subtitled “Because I’ve had a super busy week and have been derailed by nearly everything.”

I’ve been absolutely intending to write some more about the dog, myself, and maybe a little bit about my boyfriend (depending on how entertained he would be based on what I would be writing about him).  Things have been crazy busy on my end for whatever reason, and the adjustment period has gotten a little out of hand, as it were.

So!  Without further ado, days two and three (ish)!

On Monday, I had to go to work (on very little sleep, might I add), leaving Shawn to work at home all day with Vader.  All seemed to go well with a couple of minor incidents (chewing and a couple of accidents).  Apparently Vader likes my Vans and got a little bit of a tooth on them, but Shawn said he was able to get the shoes away from the dog fairly quickly (I’m currently wondering where the other half of my pair is, as I was dumb enough to leave them out, thinking “He won’t chew on my shoes.  No dog has ever chewed on my shoes!”).  Vader has also decided to christen our game room…multiple times.  Not sure why he seems to like the room as much as he does or what scent he may be picking up in the room, but he also did this on day three, which is curious.

I was very jealous that I had to be at work while Shawn was able to hang out in bed after a long, rough night of Vader settling in.  I had my revenge, however, as the next night, Vader decided to wedge himself between the two of us on the bed so we couldn’t cuddle with anyone but him (this dog is not only intelligent but also very crafty…suspiciously so).  He would alternate who was touching his back and who was touching his paws.  He did get up to go outside a couple of times, but he woke us first!  Then, last night, Vader once again wedged himself in, but he hardly gave Shawn any room.

I did feel sort of guilty about this because I had shoved Vader towards the center of the bed, and he had shoved Shawn sort of off the bed.  At one point, Shawn informed me that he had rolled over and had about fallen off of the bed.  If he hadn’t caught himself by sticking his leg out, I may have been awoken by a very large “thud” noise (maybe).

Tuesday Shawn was once again home with the dog, and I trudged my not as tired as Monday self in to work.  Again, I was jealous that he had had all the time to bond with Vader while I only had the evenings.  That’s okay, though, because Vader knows who his mommy is and loves her so very much!  (Is he smart or what?!)  (More on this in the next couple of posts when I get some more bonding/snuggle time.)

Monday after work, I bought the dog a crate.  I worked with him on it a little bit to see how he would react, and he was pretty positive toward it.  He was quite opposed to my closing the door, however, which we tried on Tuesday.  Shawn and I had a long “discussion” about crate training.  He and his family have had a lot more dogs than my family and I have had, but none of them were crate trained.  In fact, I’m pretty sure he thinks crate training is the work of Satan himself because who the heck wants to be stuck in a crate all day without a potty break?  Not cool.

I totally understand that, but I am in the camp of Vader getting his own space/room.  He needs a place to go where he won’t be disturbed and can relax.  Besides, the dog is a brainiac, so I’m pretty sure he knows it’s his space.

So Tuesday evening we decided to put a baby gate at one of our kitchen entrances and put the doors back on to the other side and tie them shut (we have an older house, and it used to have two half doors on the kitchen that were sort of like French doors, only not as nice and scenic).  We left his crate in the room with the door open, a comforter lining the bottom, and his toys inside.  We also left the cover off the dog door that had been installed on Monday.  After being nervous as all get out to leave the dog alone for only twenty minutes (Yes, twenty.), we went for a walk in the neighborhood.

What we returned to was a happy dog, who decided to go hang out in his crate shortly after we returned.  I didn’t say a word.  I just looked at Shawn.  My expression may or may not have been on the smug side because I think he told me to hush.

Yesterday (Wednesday) was Vader’s first day home alone.  This is a day that we, as his doggie parents, had been absolutely dreading.  You know, that sinking feeling you get in your stomach…that kind of dreading.  We once again left him penned up in the kitchen like we did the previous evening, fed him, and went on our not so merry ways to work.  My brain was preoccupied with all the things I had going on at work, the dog, what I was doing that evening, the dog, whether or not I was hungry, the dog, and what I was going to do for dinner since I wouldn’t be home until 10:00 that night.  Did I mention the dog?

Well, Shawn’s dad and brother were awesome enough to stop by and check in on the “little” guy around lunch, and they played with him for a little while and just spent some time with him.  The reports were super positive.  No accidents, plenty of water still in his bowl, and a happy dog.  Shawn returned that afternoon to find an exceedingly happy dog.  I returned that night to a barking dog!

Let me tell you how exciting the barking was!  My goodness, does Vader have a wonderful bark.  What an amazing sign – this means he’s settling in and is getting more confident in himself and his surroundings.

Anyway, that’s a sort of “quick” update on the last few days.  It seems a tad on the loquacious side, but I’m not picky!  For those of you following that may be remotely enjoying my ramblings about my adorably smart dog, thank you.  This is really my first experience at all of this.

The next post will be a bit more about myself (maybe).

How did we get here?

This is just the beginning of our story.  Vader hasn’t been home with us for much more than 24 hours, and he seems to be settling in on the okay side of things.  By okay, I mean he hasn’t obliterated anything of mine (that I know of at the moment).  However, he did try his luck by attempting to chew on a couple of shoes.  Let me tell you how glad I am that I wore the new kicks to work today instead of the old ones!  Vader did get caught with his mouth on my lovely pub height kitchen table.  Well, hey, what’s Monday without a little gnawing on the table, right?

Let me give you some better back story.  Vader is a two and a half year old (we think) Doberman Pinscher.  He’s currently underweight with long, gangly legs that are slightly pigeon toed.  This gives him the cutest, most clumsy looking run this side of the Red River.  Vader is a black and tan with natural ears, a docked tail, a shiny, thick coat, and soulful brown eyes, which makes being mad with him exceptionally difficult.  We met him yesterday at a doberman rescue nearby.  After much deliberation and time with a few other dogs as well, we decided that Vader was the One.

While on the eventful ride home, complete with getting more than halfway to the closest PetsMart and saying forget it (despite it being around the corner from where we were, a place that was seemingly impossible to get to due to a rather large accident on the highway), Vader decided he wanted to be close to us.  He would attempt to put his paws over into the front seat, which I took to mean that he wanted to be in the front seat.  With two full size adults and a gearshift, a large dog would have only made things more chaotic.

Once we got him home, he was so excited and curious that he didn’t really seem to know what to do.  We’re both sure he realized what was going on, but it seemed like he wasn’t sure what to think of things yet.  He trotted around the house and into the yard.  We opened a window next to the back door so he could get used to going outside by himself.  Our next door neighbors have Chihuahuas as well as a couple of other dogs, and we had to make sure the fence was covered.  However, this didn’t prevent them from communicating.

The first night was a little rough.  I had company in town and had to wake up at 4:30 to get them over to the airport, which I’m usually fine with.  Unfortunately, however, Vader decided that he wasn’t sure how to settle in.  He laid on his bed, which he ultimately chewed a corner off of, and slept for a little while.  He woke up coughing, which freaked us out (we were thinking he was getting sick, so Shawn hopped out of bed to get him to the bathroom).  Since he wasn’t getting sick, Shawn took him outside.  Well, after this (at 2:30 am), Vader wouldn’t settle down.  He kept chewing on his bed and was keeping us awake.  I genuinely don’t think he knew what was up.

Said bed that Vader snacked on was a nice memory foam bed that I had just bought him that day.  A corner had been chewed, but nothing more.  He does seem to enjoy slumbering on it and takes up all 4′ by 6′ with his insanely long legs.  (Please see Exhibit A)

All in all, he seems like an adorably clumsy dude.  Let’s hope day/night two is better.