Today, I rolled out of bed about 8:30. I made a pot of coffee and toasted a blueberry bagel with neufchatel. I read my local paper, then the rest of Real Simple Magazine (I became a recent subscriber with my unused airline miles), then I played The Sims on my kindle fire (I’m a firm believer in spending large chunks of my paycheck on technology so I can play free games). I unloaded the dishwasher, folded a load of laundry, and turned Dave Ramsey on at 1. It was a leisurely morning, like most mornings as a teacher on summer vacation. Next week I’m attending an AP Institute, and that pretty much ends my summer vacation, so I’m enjoying the laziness while I can.
However, my decadence and selfish activities of summer are slightly curtailed, as over the weekend we added a new member to our family. Meet Annabelle, our 1-year-old blue heeler/beagle rescue pup:
My husband and I have always grown up with dogs. In our two years of marriage, I’ve managed to keep a philodendron alive, so now we’re ready to kick it up a notch with a dog. If this works out, we might go as far as having a real live baby, but let’s not get too carried away.
Anyway, we adopted Annabelle from a family my husband knows from work. They have two very little girls, and while the parents loved this beautiful dog, she apparently had “too much personality” for the girls. They adopted her from a shelter after their older, smaller dog had to be put down. When we picked up Annabelle, the mother called to her little girls and asked if they wanted to say goodbye. I heard one of them call down the hall, “No…” Instead, they asked when their old dog could come back.
So this poor, sweet baby is on her third family and she’s less than a year old. She’s been with us three days now. The first 24 hours were a little traumatic for her; she was in our house a grand total of five minutes before my husband scratched her belly and she promptly peed all over the floor. Thanks to Cesar Millan, we now know that submissive urination is an instinctive reaction when dogs feel intimidated and scared. Thankfully, Annabelle has seemed to have adapted well to her new home, but my husband and I were pretty nervous that we had adopted a dog with psychological issues we didn’t know how to solve. We didn’t like walking around playing the “Drool or Pee” game over every wet spot on the floor.
It’s a stretch of a metaphor, but it reminded me of the struggle of a teacher; I have students who have serious problems, but I don’t have all the knowledge to understand them or the tools to help overcome them. I don’t think Cesar Millan could help much (unless you’re Eric Cartman), but thankfully there are many other wise people who write books and blogs and make videos and work in my school to help. I look forward to next week; I’ve heard the AP Institutes send people home totally on fire to do some fabulous teaching.
On my to-do list for today: take Annabelle for a walk, then finish the last chapter of The Great Gatsby.
One bonus side effect of getting a dog: I now have something to tell stories about in my classroom since, ideally, my car problems are mostly over.