Day 6...

My desperate text to the Trainer: I thought we were doing a little better. But Elsa keeps eating everything and licks everything else. Last night we were watching tv and she threw up about a 1/4 cup of unchewed kibble from hours earlier. She was licking the door of her crate. She threw up two more times during the night but just mucus stuff and just now. She seems fine but zoomie and is licking everything again. Carrying her and her crate and quick movements from the biting and jumping at the cat and people - my nerve pain is at a 10 and I’m in tears. I don’t know what to do.


Another Day Last Week:

A new mystery - not puppy related. My barn smells like kerosene. I just found a puddle sort of spot that smells like it - it's oozing IN to the barn from the outside wall...? Don’t know where it’s coming from and can’t investigate. Puppy is whining from the kitchen. It's making me really dizzy. Should I call the fire department? 200 year old wood soaked in kerosene. Shit. Last thing I need.

I posted on Facebook asking for help.

Nasty, large wood sealer metal can corroded and leaked all over shelves, cinder blocks and floor. Funny story… got to meet three very nice men. “An HVAC guy, a policeman, and a fireman walk into a garage…” not sure what the punchline is? But the fireman said “my wife told me about your post on Facebook, so I came to check on you”. 😂

Last Friday...

Everything is all timey-whimey! So tired and the pain in my body has spread... again... but puppy is sooooo cute. And zoomie. And teeth like a piranha. My body seems to be her favorite treat. I'm kind of afraid to be near her. There's 2 days of Open Studios in Lowell this weekend, and the first time that Lilah is with me... I'm hoping we can make it down there on Sunday. With the dog? I get one thing done per day... this post might be it today! But Lilah's AP test is today, so I had to drive her up to New London at 7am and go back by noon. With the puppy. And somehow we ended up at Dunkin' on Main Street where Elsa met a tiny service dog in a dress. Her owner said the pup is just as Zoomie as Els when she's at home, but as soon as she puts on her dress and vest "she's all business". Fascinating.

I'm sooooooooooo tired!!! Example of this pup's total cuteness.... vet visit yesterday... she was so happy to have so much attention, and spray cheese to lick off the exam table, she didn't even flinch at all the needles stuck in her!?

[Amanda suggested to me: "Maybe next time the doctor wants to stick a needle in YOU, you request a drizzle of salted caramel on the exam table!"]


The vet sat on the floor "playing" with her while checking all her parts. When she stood up, holding the happy pup, she says, "would you mind if I borrow her for a few minutes? Our receptionist is having a really awful day and this puppy is exactly what she needs right now."

Turns out - ALL the employees needed to meet her. The receptionist was smiling when we left. Elsa Bear is definitely good at her job!! If she didn't bite everything in site, we'd get on perfectly.

She likes to run! I can't keep up with her! She needs puppy kindergarten to get out her zoomies and stop trying to get Minou to play with her. Closest I could find was one in Concord for $50 a day. Not just daycare. They actually play and train all day. But I'd have to take her in the morning and go back again in the evening. I'd need someone to help with one direction. And money... I've used up all the money I saved from Theo. And the checkup and vaccines yesterday were almost $200. We go back for more in two weeks, then another in four weeks. I can't follow thru on anything before she's awake and needing to go out... HAHAHHA!!!!! I can hear her waking now!!! Too funny - I have soooooo much comic material that I will never get to. I think I need a puppy nanny for a few hours after lunch so I can focus. I have some really good ideas too...


I lost track of how many times I said: "Elsa! Let it gooooo!!!!"

Yes - this "BOX MAY BE HEAVY" - She's about 2-3 pounds heavier than when she arrived here. She can drag the iron chair... the only thing that I could tether her too!


The Velvet Moose ice cream shop opened for the season and Lilah was at work. UPS delivered the puppy stroller! Took a while to get the wheels on, Elsa found it very amusing to watch me struggling. Brat. But despite the Dog-People (you know who you are!) making fun of me for getting a stroller... it's AWESOME! I thought we'd only get as far as the end of the driveway - but we went ACROSS THE STREET! to visit Dan, then we went on an adventure DOWN THE STREET! And then INTO TOWN!

OMG - we were actually moving in a straight line and not sniffing every blade of grass. Elsa held her head up sniffing the air and listening to the birds, and the kids laughing in the playground, and sniffed the wonderful smells as we passed the restaurants... and she was so calm.

We made it all the way to the Moose, visited with Lilah and Stefanie, and got a LOT of attention from every single person - "OMG! She's so cute! She's like a fuzzy baby in her stroller! Can I pet her? Can I feed her? Can I hug her? Can I have her?"

Next time I'll put out a tip jar. I think Elsa could earn her keep by being Cute.

And on Sunday:

Lilah, Elsa and I drove down to Lowell for the Western Avenue Open Studios! I'd thought the kid would drive part of the way home, or I wouldn't have attempted it. Turned out, I had to drive both ways, and that was not on my list of Self-Care That Must Be Enforced (but never is).

But... it was a gorgeous day. We had an adorable puppy in a stroller. We were at an amazing, art extravaganza (that I HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED INTO!) And this was the first time my kid had been able to see the LOFTS - the live/work spaces that I'm on the waiting list for.

There's a long list of things a puppy needs to be exposed to by 16 weeks in order to be an effective service dog. We checked off quite a few: exposure to cars, buses, all kinds of people, sounds... and many even odder things, not on the list, like: freight elevators, a GIANT rabbit, all kinds of artwork, groups of women squealing in adoration at the shock of realizing the baby carriage held "an adorable PUPPY!" And a few grouchy men who called her "Spoiled" (or maybe the criticsm was aimed at me?) - but then they came over to pet her any way.

WHEN I get my studio space - I'll make it all Teddy Bear and Geeky Girl art and products, and Elsa Bear can sit on the counter and charm everyone and I'll just take the money and smile, if anyone happens to look my way.


I can't remember Monday.


I can't remember Tuesday.


That was yesterday! I remember this one... I drove Elsa to Weare to Really Special Animals Doggy Daycare! Oh I love this place - I wish it were closer to my home though. For locals, they have a MAGIC DROOL BUS that picks up and delivers the pups. I might need to move to Weare. It's about a half hour drive each way... and that means I did it four times. That alone would have been all my energy for a day. But - I had a DAY OFF!? So I did the only logical thing and PACKED it full of all the things I couldn't do in the last two weeks.

Neurodivergent folks have very weird, and individual, energy management systems (or lack of said systems). So, let's say I start with 20 Energy Points per day (dependent on sleep, previous days etc.... it's complicated). Every action I take USES UP a certain amount of energy points, and some actions can recharge or ADD points:

• Wake up with 20 Energy Points

• All the morning puppy stuff, putting on my clothes, etc. (-15 points)

• I drove (-5 points) from Warner to Weare with a sleeping puppy and the mountains were beautiful and I felt so hopeful and excited! (+ 10 points) The people at the daycare were so nice and Elsa was so excited to be there, and there were big dogs walking on treadmills (!), and artwork on the walls, and it was nicer than any daycare my children ever attended! (+10 points)

• I drove from Weare to Concord (-5 points) to the Imaging Center to get the contrast for my CT Scan (tomorrow morning... it took TWO years to get this scan?!), I ran into my doctor outside and chatted about the scan and the puppy. I felt awkward and nervous (-15 points). The secretary was nice, gave me the contrast drinks, said to drink them cold so they taste better, and assured me they wouldn't make me puke. (+ 2 points) There were no chocolate chip cookies at the hospital cafe. (-2 points), but I got a few little bags of potato chips and a cranberry muffin (+5 points).

• I ate the muffin in my car, then drove to Millbrook Gallery for my meeting with Pam Tarbell, which I passed as always and had to turn around... and her big, hyper dog greated me before I could get out of the car. It's claws hurt my shoulders when it jumped on me. (-15 points)

• Her cute, footstool sized, fluffy white dog (who I love) - Ollie - greeted me calmly and Pam put the other dog somewhere... else. (+5 points)

• We had a really nice chat about my latest Genius-Super-Cool-Idea! and Pam told me my art was really great (+15 points). But she didn't have any advice or help and was upset abot her own art troubles (-15 points). It was nice to see her, and I was proud of myself for practicing being Social. (+10 points)

• I drove home (-5 points) and stood in my kitchen eating one of the bags of chips (OMG - yum?!) as my lunch and trying to think of what I could accomplish in an hour... (-/+0 points) I moved all the things from HERE to THERE and THERE to HERE that I couldn't do when the puppy was here because she'd cry if I left the room. (+5 points) Then moved her big, fancy crate out of my bedroom into Lilah's old room (-10 points, damn that hurt.) Then vaccuumed my bedroom (+5 points) and vowed that she would start sleeping in the other room! (+2 points)

• I realized I could here my phone ringing and I was late for my call with my lawyer - and ran downstairs (-5 points) and called her back. I love talking to Amanda (+10 points) but I am very frustrated about the number of situations I've accumulated where people owe me large quantities of money and there is "nothing we can do about it." (-20 points). Amanda said she'd help me run a "YART Sale & Open Studio" - on JUNE 10th!!!! (+10 points) Told her my cool idea about trying to get RISD and Hasbro Childrens Hospital interested in my TOY EXHIBIT! (+10 points) Realized how many phone calls and extra trouble I was creating... (-10 points)

• Drove back to Weare (-5 points) stopping at 5 Acres - the landscaping and pet supply store - for dog food and more toys (aka - things to chew on other than ME!) (-5 points) Elsa was happy to see me, but seemed to prefer to stay with the other pups. (-5 points). Found out the first day was FREE!! (+5 points) Tried to juggle carrying Elsa (did she get heavier!?), her new daycare toy, her lunchbox, and the folder of paperwork - which I put on top of the car so I could open the door. (-5 points) Driving home to Warner with my eyes crossing and realizing I had OVERDONE it and was not feeling OK (-15 points). [Four hours later, looking for the folder... oh shit!? (-10 points)]

• Puppy dinner, Minou (cat) dinner, reheat food for me, puppy outside stuff (-5 points). Why is she still so ZOOOMMYYY?! She should be EXHAUSTED! They promised, it's in the ad. We can hear a car pulling in to the drive, Minou runs and hides, I try to fence Elsa in the kitchen so she doesn't jump on Linda. (-5 points)

• Linda will watch Elsa tomorrow when I'm getting the CT scan (+5 points). She takes Elsa outside to make friends and I see them running up and down the drive. (+5 ponts) They seem to like each other a lot. (+5 points). She points out that Elsa could really use some grooming. (-5 points. Damn. She's right. Another thing I have to figure out.) Elsa smells like Fritos.

• I honestly have no recollection of the next 3 hours. (-10 points), but Elsa slept in a different room from me, and we both got about 7 hours of sleep (+10 points) not counting all the times I had to pull Minou off my pillow and head (-5 points)

In order to prove my... point... I need to go add up all those points (also, OCD)... I'll be right back...

It came out to -53 points. I'm not going to double check my math, but you get the idea. The numbers just don't work. And every day is like this.

The next day (Today!?)...

Masking with your Pets (emotional masking, not the Covid masks)

This is what is (sarcastically) known as a "Social Hangover" day. It is 10:56am. I've been up since 6:30am. In that time, I've been out with the pup three times, did all the morning stuff, had a mini meltdown, texted my friend about how awful I was feeling because I wanted to call a friend, who I know I'm not supposed to talk to -- during which I realized my pup was crouching to poop in the kitchen! I grabbed her (trailing poop), tried to shove my feet into flip flops, while pulling open the door (which I forgot to unlock), tripped over her leash and dropped her - she took off running across the driveway towards the road. I sprinted in the flip flops and lunged to step on her leash just as she got to the road, slipped on the wet, icey (?!), morning grass, crashed on my knees and twisted my shoulders... and sat there in the wet grass, crying, while she finished her poop-in-progress.

Inside, the cat was investigating the foreign poops. I cleaned everything with her nipping my ankles. Minou taunting her - and me? "Seriously, mom, I thought you learned your lesson with that big oaf, Theo!" Me having a jumbo sized meltdown. During which I washed the dishes, threw out Lilah's flowers, and made my morning smoothie. I was leaning aginst the sink trying to breath - and noticd the dog was suddenly very quiet - she was sitting next a huge yellow puddle. I love my Pergo kitchen floor. Cleaned it up and took her outside to run. Pretend everything is OK. It's not about you. And yet it is, right? I should be paying attention. I just... don't have any attention to pay with.

Am I actually looking forward to the CT scan tomorrow?! I just have to lay there. For one hour, just... nothing.

I figured I'd sit here and write this post, since this chair only works as a tether if I'm sitting on it. I think she fell asleep? Oh please!?

YESSSS! Asleep!!  I can't move or she'll wake up. My legs are numb. I have to pee. And I'm hungry.

Oh look!

11 - 11:11 My wish....? I wish someone would come over ever day to play with Elsa so I can go into my studio and FOCUS on art and selling stuff (I need to earn some money so my puppy can go to school). AND since it's got three 11s - I also wish someone could pick her up from her daycare for me. I know I can handle driving it once, but not twice in a day. Next week she also has training in Concord, and then a puppy kindergarten (also in Concord). I definitely need more help.

It's takes a whole village to raise a (puppy). But only one (puppy) to raze a village.

Update: As I finished writing this, I heard her wake up. I turned to say hello, and saw the big puddle spreading...