Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Case of the Mysterious Spot

Day 1


M: Blue peed in the house last night.


M: I don't know. But he peed in the house. Does this mean he'll always pee in the house? Will we have to get rid of him?

E: Hold on a moment. Blue peed in the house? But he's housebroken? He wouldn't have peed in the house unless he really really really had to go! Did you let him out before you went to bed?

M: I did. And usually when he has to pee, I'll hear 'click click click click click' as he paces on the floors. But he didn't wake me up last night. I must have slept through it. Will he always pee in the house now?

E: Well... he doesn't WANT to pee in the house. He only does that if he has no other choice. Because he's housebroken. Since he's housebroken, he pees outside. Because he's, you know... housebroken. But I guess... if he's in the position again where he really has to go pee... and he can't get outside... now that he's peed there once, that will be "his spot." But it won't MAKE him pee inside. (pause) Are you SURE he peed inside?

M: Oh yes. I woke up and there was pee on the floor of the living room. I cleaned it up really well, but that's all I can do, right? It couldn't have been the cat. It was definitely Blue.

E: Okay. Well, I guess it's possible he's getting too old to hold it for the 18 hours you guys sleep per night...

M: That's your father!

E: ...so if worse comes to worst and it happens again, I guess you can always crate him through the night. I just can't believe he peed in the house.

M: If it were the cat, it would smell of ammonia. Right? Cat pee smells like ammonia.

E: Oh yes. Cat pee is unmistakable.

M: I knew it wasn't the cat. We'll see what happens.


Absolutely nothing on the subject.

Day 3


M: Blue peed in the house again!

E: What? I can't believe this!

M: Yes. Blue peed in the house. I don't know what to do. I let him out before I go to bed, and he still pees in the house. Stupid dog. I will just have to crate him overnight now.

E: Bummer. Poor Blue.


Absolutely nothing on the subject.

Day 5


Absolutely nothing on the subject


D: Oh! Did your mother tell you about Blue peeing?

E: Yes. She told me that Blue was peeing in the house.

D: Yeah. Yeah. She really blamed Blue for peeing in the house. So I went out and bought a baby gate* and put it up in the doorway. And in the morning, there was pee again. So I asked her, 'Do you really think Blue jumped over that baby gate? Do you really?'**

E: Oh yeah?

D: Poor Blue. He was the target of all those mean thoughts for some time. And it was the cat. The cat the whole time.

E: I'm glad you got it figured out. Did you give Blue treats to make up for it?

D: Did I give him...? Of course I gave him treats! He gets more treats than... well, than most dogs I would guess. He's a good boy. If he's got to go outside at night, he comes over and wakes me up to take him out.*** He's just a great dog. Look, he's coming over now. Aren't you Blue? You're a good boy. Good boy Blue.


More than anything about this story, I love the subtext. I never got to hear it, but I can imagine the silent (or not so silent - Who knows?) difference of opinion that was occurring with my mother immediately blaming Blue and my father immediately siding with Blue. I love that I got the entire story completely one sided from my mom until the resolution, which came from my father.

I also love that my father has learned not to argue. He probably said something once about how it may have been the cat, and then just let my mother disagree. But I'm certain he purchased the first cheap baby gate he saw. He may have even made a special trip. And now that he's right? I'm also sure he won't say anything about it to my mom.

Unless there's alcohol involved.

Alcohol and perhaps a daughter to stir the pot.

Good thing I get to visit in about 10 days, huh?

*I'm not gonna lie. The thought that flashed through my brain here was that he had purchased a nanny cam to catch the perpetrator in the act. Seriously. When my dad does something, he doesn't go halfway. I'm glad I was wrong. The baby gate makes much more sense. I forgot that my dad is sensible. Unlike me, apparently.

**Answer: No. Blue couldn't have jumped over the baby gate even if he had a trampoline and both cats helping him.

***This totally made me wonder if Blue is running some sort of scam where he wakes up both of them at different times in the night so that he can go out more than once? Maybe Blue is smarter than I give him credit for?

Thursday, September 22, 2011


I don't mind riding the bus. I really really don't. It takes me approximately 30 minutes to get to campus as opposed to the 10 minutes that it would take me driving, but it's 30 minutes of not having to worry about anything, 30 minutes to study some flashcards or (in one case) finish up a homework assignment that I had spaced on the night before or 30 minutes to just space out and listen to an audiobook before my day begins in earnest. The ride culminates in me getting off the bus and walking about a quarter mile to my building to begin my classes. No hunting for a parking space.

To be honest, that makes the whole process worthwhile. The walk is refreshing (check back with me in the winter) and, to me, hunting for a parking space is akin to pulling out my teeth one by one.

I'll admit, there have been a lot of changes in the last 6 weeks that have required quite a bit of adjustment for me. Riding the bus is, thankfully, not one of them. My only wish is that there was a Starbucks SOMEWHERE on my daily commute.

I have one day a week when classes begin at 8:30am. Which means I'm on the bus that arrives on campus at 8:00am. Every other day of the week requires an earlier ETA than that - sometimes MUCH earlier than that. So I'm usually on a bus that is not filled to capacity. The 8:00am bus is different. EVERYONE is trying to get on campus by 8:00am. I hate that bus ride. For the crowds. I hate the crowds in the morning. And the morning people. The morning people all chatting to each other about the day that is about to begin. The regulars that are all exchanging friendly hellos.

I am NOT a morning person, and, although a regular, I'm lucky if I can manage a wave to the people who are now familiar by sight.

My general rule of thumb is that I sit in a row that has two adjacent seats, and I sit on the seat that is closest to the row. This leaves the window seat empty for my book bag. As long as I can see at least two other open seats on the bus, I do not move over and open up the seat next to me. My rationale is this, A) There are other seats that are open and B) I'm not a morning person.*

Apparently other bus-riders do not appreciate this rationale.

On NUMEROUS occasions, there will be MULTIPLE open seats, and I'll have someone come up next to me and say "Excuse me, please?" The first time it happened, I was so shocked that I just moved over and put my book bag (my HEAVY book bag) on my lap. I spent the rest of the ride in stunned silence. There were SEVERAL other open seats. Why did this person sit next to me? I pondered it until I got off the bus and chalked it up to a fluke.

Until it happened again.

And again.

I'd say that at least three times a week, on a sparsely filled bus, people are asking me to move over so that they can sit next to me. All varieties of people. Young women, young men, older men, older women. It doesn't matter. It happens so often now that I've gotten borderline rude. When someone asks me to move over, I'll make eye contact with them, deliberately look at all the other open seats THAT DON'T REQUIRE ANYONE TO MOVE, then look back at the person before moving over and letting them sit next to me.

My friend Cory says it's because I have a "good energy." I don't see how this is possible first thing in the morning before I've had coffee. My friend Jessica suggested that next time someone says, "Excuse me, please?" I should say, "Yes? Did you need something?"

I am not pleasant in the mornings. This might happen. I'm about one more early morning away from telling someone "No. Sit somewhere else."

I'm just not sure I want to be "that girl." Thoughts?

*On the 8:00am bus, all bets are off. I'm usually wedged up against the window while a 500lb person squeezes into the seat adjacent to me, a mother with a screaming child sits immediately in front of me, and a toddler is behind me kicking my seat. I hate the 8:00am bus. Have I mentioned that?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Vet School Observations

I have SO MUCH to talk about and SO LITTLE time to do it. I'm so sorry to my two loyal fans who routinely harass me to post new blogs. It just occurred to me that during a boring lecture, it looks like I'm taking notes while I post a blog, so I should be able to post more often.

Just kidding. I think.

So here's a list of snippets that have occurred to me in the last 4 weeks (GOOD GOD! I've been a vet student for four weeks?!) and made me think, "I should put that in my blog." Sorry for the brevity.

- When you're walking your dog in the morning, and can look up and see the stars, it's a definite reality check.

- There is a WORLD of difference between undergrad and grad school. I was informed of this several different times in several different ways as I prepared to enter vet school. They definitely do their best to prepare you. But I'm not sure there's anything in the world to prepare you for 18 hours of advanced science credits. All new study habits are necessary. I'm still catching up.

- There aren't enough hours in the day for everything I need to do. Currently my laundry and house cleaning are suffering. (Of course, this isn't much different than when I was working, so maybe I just don't like to do those things.)

- I used to get up at 7:00am every day and get home by 5:30pm. Now I get up at 5:30am every day (on average) and am home by 5:30pm (on average.) Some days are longer and some are marginally shorter. I was looking forward to being a full time student with nothing but school to worry about. For some reason I thought this would be easier than working 40 hours/week and completing pre-requisites. This was an error in my thinking.

- The thought sometimes occurs to me that I can not believe the complete 180 my life has taken in the last 30 days. I wonder if new moms feel this way? Obviously the situations are different, but in one way they are similar. You KNEW this change was coming, but you didn't really KNOW how different it would be.

- I love my classmates. I really do. Some more than others, obviously, but everyone is really friendly. Still... I ache for my friends. A lot. I miss them every day when I need a pick-me-up or a weekly get together (like volleyball) to look forward to. It kills me that I have to limit myself to one social outing per month with Indy friends because I can't combine all of my friends into one big group to see everyone at once.

- I was considering going the "mixed" vet track (a little of small animal and a large animal) because I thought it would help future job opportunities. Then I had my first husbandry lab where I got to work with sheep. I was not at all intimidated by the sheep, but sheep are BIG. It may have hurt that I accidentally got stuck with the biggest sheep in the flock. After the difficulty I had restraining the sheep (um, I ended up riding the sheep at one point) and I realized that sheep are probably the smallest of large animals, I'm pretty sure I'm going to be a strictly small-animal vet. I'm willing to accept my limitations.

- I'm still stubborn as hell, so I did go back and work with the sheep again. I did succeed in restraining and examining the sheep. It's all about picking a size-appropriate sheep.

- So maybe I'm not good with accepting limitations after all.

- The boy seems to miss me. He couldn't be more attentive and helpful lately. I miss him too, but a part of me is glad we have this long distance arrangement. It's hard enough to get 2-3 hours of study time in before bed while living alone. I have to physically remove myself from the vicinity of the laptop in most cases. If the boy were here, I'm afraid my productivity would drop to zero during the week, and there just aren't enough hours on the weekend alone to keep up. This way I can study study study when he's not here and then spend time with him when he is.

- I was so proud of myself for weaning myself almost completely off of caffeine. Except for a random Starbucks run when I overslept, I was drinking only water or non-caffeinated drinks. Now? I may as well have an IV caffeine drip. I think this goes hand-in-hand with lowering my average sleeping time from 7 hours per night to 5.5 hours of sleep per night.

- I have a husbandry dog that I (and a group of 3 other classmates) am responsible for training and walking each day. He's a very handsome 90lb Labrador Retriever (in the AKC sporting group, btw) who is working on "sit" and "down." He's gigantic. So of course, when the boy met him, he fell in love with him. He will be up for adoption in April after we finish our course. I'm trying to explain to the boy that having two big dogs is much different than having one, but I'm not sure what success I'm having. I'll keep you updated. (On the up side, at least the boy would have ONE non-crazy dog.)

- We have a "Stool Evaluation" chart that we have to follow to record our husbandry dog's bathroom habits. It's a range from 1-6. The boy saw this and will now randomly text me a number telling me how his bowel movements are going. I guess it's the little things that come out of vet school, right?

- I have attempted to claim a seat in our main classroom. Apparently, I chose a plot in prime real estate because I have to battle daily to keep "my seat." I must be slipping because it seems that I have not yet put the fear of God into these young vet classmates. I need to get on that.

- I wear jeans and tennis shoes daily. This seemed like the best! thing! ever! when I was working. Now? I miss cute shoes. It's hard to wear cute shoes and a cute outfit when you're either working with large animals or going to anatomy lab at some point during the day. (Such a hardship, right?)

I'm sure I will have more to tell you later, and I really REALLY wish I could videotape or take pictures of my interactions with the large animals (for the first time ever) but unfortunately that's against the rules. Bummer because seriously. I rode a sheep guys. By accident. Horror!!