It finally feels like October over here! We are enjoying some lovely crisp mornings and cooler temps and I don’t hate it. 🙂
This week would be reeeeeally nice running weather, but since I can’t run right now I’m enjoying the sunrise views while driving to studio workouts with Chelsea instead. 🙂 The above shot was in Georgetown on Tuesday morning when we were on our way to Definitions studio (via ClassPass as always – that’s my affiliate link for $40 off). I love Georgetown in the early mornings – it’s so peaceful and quiet, unlike later in the day.
We met up with our third workout musketeer, Kathleen, at the studio, and had a great workout as always! Here’s a reenactment of a couple of the moves we did, taken after class!
The move Kathleen and I are doing involved hopping over and placing the blocks on the pile on the other side – when you get low on one side, you switch and start moving the blocks the other way. It’s fun – feels productive and organized in a weird way. 😉 And the side to side jumping (unlike up and down jumping) felt fine, so I didn’t need to modify which was nice!
Post-workout and post-shower Kathleen and I grabbed spinach and feta quiches and lattes at Baked and Wired next door before heading on to our respective offices. Their quiches aren’t my fave in the area (pregnancy has made me quite the quiche connoisseur – my #1 is the veggie quiche from Buzz Bakery in Ballston), but it was still good!
I’m cancelling my co-working space membership at the end of the month so I only have a couple more weeks of working downtown – I’ll really miss it (I’ve been going to the same one in Dupont Circle for almost 3 years now!), but it didn’t make sense to pay for all of November when the baby could come early. And after that I’ll just have to play it by ear! It may make sense to do a co-working space closer to home… we’ll see. I’ll definitely have to figure out something though because I know I don’t do well working from home alone all day (this extrovert gets lonely and bummed out without people interaction/being out and about in the world), even though it would certainly be more convenient (and free).
Sidenote – I hope it doesn’t get cold enough that I actually need to button/zip up my jackets, because obviously right now that’s not an option! 😉 ALSO – I hadn’t worn or even tried on this sweater before (it’s a hand me down maternity one) and when I put it on at the gym yesterday after the workout I realized it’s a little bit see-through and I was wearing a black bra. Fail. Live and learn! The pants are also maternity – ones I got at Old Navy very early on in the pregnancy when buttoning up pants was already really uncomfortable!
And now, I wanted to share a dog update, because I know you guys have very kindly been following our journey with them lately. If you missed the back story, check out the “mood” section in my 32 week pregnancy update and my 34 week pregnancy update before reading on, or you’re probably going to be a bit confused.
Our sweet friends came back from their 2 week board and train program on Monday night. <3 As much as the peace and quiet at the house was nice over the past couple weeks (Zara especially enjoyed it), it was so nice to see their little faces again – we really missed them.
Look at them being so good staying “on place.” 🙂
For those who are local looking for something similar, we used the DC Dog Wizard for the board and train program and highly recommend him – he was awesome. He actually ended up keeping the dogs 3 extra nights for free to do a little more with them (we were supposed to get them back on Friday night) – it made me feel better that even he said these two in particular are a hard pair when together because they really feed off each other out on the walks in terms of bad behaviors.
So – in terms of the walks, they are MUCH better and actually heel to our left! Ashe is no longer dragging behind and wrapping you up in the leash as she wanders all over the place/is nervous, and Freyja is no longer tugging ahead/ripping your arm off. Scott, the Dog Wizard, spent hours with us on Monday night walking all around with them so we could practice the new skills, and it was definitely a TON easier. There were a few times when I was trying to walk them solo when things still got a little crazy passing another dog, but we also had a lot of instances where we were able to calmly pass other dogs with no flipping out (Freyja has leash aggression, and Ashe copies her if they are together – she doesn’t do it on her own). Matt and I were also both really impressed by their ability to go to “place” and actually stay there – that never happened before!
So, we feel a lot more confident out walking them now, and it’s much easier than it used to be, although I’m still not sure I’d feel 100% comfortable walking them totally on my own (and especially once I have a baby strapped to me) because if I lose focus for a minute and they do get out of hand, they are really strong and I can’t always control them once things have escalated, which makes me nervous. It’s also a lot to manage trying to keep both of them in line at the same time – the Dog Wizard uses a light vibration collar when training dogs, which they both responded really well to and don’t seem to have any negative associations with (we were really hesitant about this, but we tried the “treat only” approach for 4 months with all the other trainers and it worked for basic obedience tricks but not when out on walks/highly distracted or agitated). But to use the collar with both of them at once, we have to toggle back and forth between the dogs using a remote and it’s a lot, especially if things are starting to escalate because there’s another dog coming.
In a lot of ways, this training has made it harder to make our decision about whether to re-home Ashe, as I thought it might. She’s definitely better on the walks, and we had a Postmates delivery guy bring food on Monday night and we were able to get her to relatively calmly stay “on place” in the house (although the guy didn’t actually come inside), and Matt and I are both really tempted to try to make this work. But at the same time, Ashe’s territorial behavior in the house is still an issue because we won’t always be here to manage the situation, you know? I mean, I think it would still be really stressful and require a TON of constant monitoring to have people over to make sure she never got the opportunity to be aggressive. (We were supposed to have a friend stay here this week, but he ended up deciding on a hotel, so we won’t have that test run opportunity after all – probably for the best, though…) But what happens when we aren’t home? We’re going to need to have babysitters at some point with the baby. And I know my mom will be coming over to watch the baby some without us here, and she won’t feel comfortable with Ashe here too. And like I said before, what about if we need to leave for the hospital during the night? No one else can come to our house and let Ashe out/take her to dog daycare. And what if we want to get a nanny because we can’t get into any daycares? There’s no way we can ask a nanny to walk both dogs AND our baby at once – and it would make me nervous to have her alone with with them, too. Ugh.
We’ve been talking to the (amazing) rescue organization, Brother Wolf Animal Rescue, who we got Ashe from in Asheville. As I mentioned, we realized to our dismay that per our adoption contract if we don’t keep her we have to return her to them vs. finding her another home directly (I’m sure they do this because it’s better for them to manage the situation, but it still makes me sad that she won’t be settled in a new home immediately). This was also a problem because Asheville is 8 hours away, and we have a baby due in a month (but obviously she could come early). At first, the rescue organization said they could likely find a volunteer that would meet us halfway to pick her up, which was amazing enough – but they contacted us last weekend and said they actually have someone willing to drive ALL the way to our house to pick her up and bring her back for us. They are truly incredible – I’m so grateful to them for working with us, and it makes me feel a lot better that they are willing to do so much for one dog, you know? Obviously that means she will be well cared for during her time with them if they are willing to go to such lengths to get her back.
So, as of right now the plan is that the volunteer is able to pick her up from us on Sunday morning, and if we want to change our mind we need to let them know by tomorrow. Even just typing this is making me cry, as you can imagine. And I’m working from home right now so when I do cry, Ashe hears me and comes in to comfort me, which makes me cry even harder. You guys – I’m such a mess. I hate the idea of our sweet pup driving away from us so much, and Sunday feels so soon, and I hate that she will be so far away that we may never get to see her again. But we are really running out of time over here and Matt and I are both just so torn on what to do – it’s so tempting to say, no, don’t take her, let’s try to figure this out. And we would absolutely do that if we didn’t have the baby coming so soon. But realistically and more rationally we also know that our attention is about to be very divided, and all it takes is 5 seconds of us not managing the Ashe situation for someone to get hurt. And with the baby on the way there are going to be so many people in and out and situations that will be really stressful and hard to manage like the stuff I talked about above. But it’s so, so hard because she’s such a sweet, loving pup, and so wonderful in so many ways. We really love Freyja, and I know we will get more and more attached to her over the years, but right now she still feels a bit like my brother’s dog (which makes sense, since she was his for many years – we adopted her from him permanently when he headed off to grad school), and Ashe really feels like “ours.” I mean, I fell in love with her the minute I saw her in Asheville back in the spring, and I’ve only gotten more and more attached to her ever since.
I’ve been trying to make myself feel better by reminding myself how far Ashe has come since we got her back in May thanks to all the training we have done and the love and attention we have given her. When we first got her, she was so fearful and anxious on walks we couldn’t even go half a block with her many days because she was so scared and would lag behind us, especially if only one of us was walking her vs. both of us. She also wasn’t house trained, didn’t know any basic obedience commands, etc. I know that nothing we have done for or with her has been a waste because we have given her so many new skills and training that will only help her in her new home, and we also gave her a lot of love and fun adventures, too.
I’m a big believer that everything happens for a reason, and maybe we were meant to get Ashe this far, and to give her a really great foundation that someone else without a new baby and a big life change on the way can continue to build on. And who knows – if we never got Ashe, we would have known basically nothing about dogs when we got Freyja later in the summer, and we probably would have let her totally steamroll us and not done any training or obedience stuff with her because we would have been so clueless. We certainly wouldn’t have sent just Freyja alone to the board and train, that’s for sure, and that training was incredible for improving her leash skills and making walking with her a lot more enjoyable.
So, I guess all this rambling is just me trying to say, I guess things happen for a reason, and as of now even though we are really torn we are sticking with the plan for Ashe to leave us on Sunday morning. I have a feeling I’m going to spend most of the next few days and the weekend crying, but I think in the long run it’s the best decision for both us and for Ashe, and I know she will be happy without us. It’s just really sad in the meantime and so hard to not second guess it. I’m going to miss her sweet face and those soft big ears so, so much. <3
Hi guys… edited to add that I am going to turn off any further comments on this post. I understand and respect that some of you do not agree with our decision, and it is your right to have a different opinion. Trust me, everything you are saying is all stuff I’ve already said to myself.