Monday, June 15, 2009

Coming home: The good, the bad and the just plain frustrating

The good:

• The light ocean breeze that freshens the air and keeps warm temperatures bearable
• The ease with which most of the critters have adjusted to their new surroundings now that the furniture is in place and familiar smells surround them
• The peacefulness of a sleepy community, where the sounds of songbirds are more evident than the sounds of traffic
• The pleasure of watching Charley play – yes, PLAY – with Else’s three dogs and Sadie on a walk through the beautiful Swallowfield delta area
• The antics of Allie who stands up to open each kitchen and bathroom cupboard, paws on the top, walking backwards, then pops in to see what is inside and pops out the next cupboard door - over and over and over again!
• The incredible friendship of Ellen, who took care of ensuring the housecleaners and carpet cleaners did their job at the rental house in Mission and in doing so, had to deal with foul-mouthed disrespect from the next tenant who had chosen to break into the house (damaging a window) in order to start moving in two days early. Above and beyond, Ellen, thanks so much.
• The wonderful friendship of Ann and Ken, who loaded their pickup to the gills with the items which movers don’t take or which were needed immediately, followed me over here, and stayed for three days feeding me, helping me unpack and organize and set up, breaking down all the boxes and rolling all the newsprint, and all they got in return was one fast-food meal out! Friends like that are more precious than gold.
• The amazing welcome from my new dog-loving friends and neighbours, who presented me with a huge hamper of an unending selection of local products from blackberry wine to chocolate bars, goat cheeses and free range eggs and apple butter and honey, a book on local history and a plant and some treats for the critters, a cloth embroidered with a pot bellied piggy, and even a beautifully framed painting that looks like Crofton Lake, and a bottle of Scotch (which wasn’t locally produced but which a certain someone knows is “my drink”!), and even more items too numerous to mention. Oh my doG, what a welcome!
• The never-ending support of Else and Bjorn who helped get the house ready, took care of furniture deliveries, arranged for some of the renos, introduced me to people and places, and continue to help orient me to the community
• The relief at looking around me and seeing I have only SIX more boxes to unpack and a little bit of re-organizing to do, just three days after the moving truck arrived! (WHEW!!!!)
• The joy of sitting in my own backyard, watching the family of birds in the birdhouse someone has hung under the roof of the shed, looking at the dozens of apples growing on my tree, seeing the blue of the water over the fence, hearing the barking of seals down by the dock.

The bad:

• The laminate flooring, recently installed by the seller, that causes Belle and especially Oliver no end of grief as they become spread-eagled on it and unable to move. Even area rugs and runners are not sufficient to stop poor Oli from becoming stranded and panicky. Looks like the new carpet I put in the bedroom will have to be extended to the hallway, living and dining rooms. $$$$$ - Le Sigh.

• The difficulty Oliver is having, possibly with his vision and/or with Canine Cognitive Disorder (doggy alzheimers), as he runs blindly into fences and walls, gets stuck in closets and bathrooms, and wanders about like a little lost soul. On the day we moved, when the dogs were released from the room where they’d been waiting while the movers filled the truck, Oliver had a full-out panic attack tearing around in distress for 45 minutes, unable to be restrained or consoled until all the critters were in the car and we were on our way. If he doesn’t show improvement in a few days, we shall have our first introductions to the local vets. Meanwhile, he is happy to sleep in the crate by my bed and I keep him by my side as much as possible. And, trooper that he is, he has learned EXACTLY where the treats are kept!

• The heat. Even though it is pleasant outside, the house is like an oven! This may be the year I buy my very first air conditioner – to keep the critters comfortable, of course.

The frustrating:

• Having missed the ferry by ONE car length, despite arriving at the terminal a good hour in advance on a Thursday afternoon, and having to wait three hours with four dogs and a cat in the car! It took us eight and a half hours to get from Mission to Crofton – not a pleasant trip!

• Having Shaw forget to transfer my email service when they transferred my account, and then spending over an hour and a half being transferred, put on hold, transferred again, put on hold again, trying to get the problem corrected.

• Having the furniture company neglect to let me know the couch I ordered was discontinued, and having them send a completely different couch (but covered with the fabric I ordered) in its place. And then having to wait five days for the unsatisfactory couch to be picked up, go to their store to get the refund, and start couch shopping all over again. (And meanwhile, trying to keep Allie from clawing the one they did deliver).

• Having the appliance company deliver the washer and dryer that replaces the wrong one they sent three weeks ago, only to discover the side of the washer is all bashed in and has to be I wait another couple of weeks to be able to wash my clothes at home.

Conclusions: The good far outweigh the bad and frustrating. Soon I shall pull out the camera and begin to capture some of Charley’s, Sadie’s, Belle’s, Oliver’s, and Allie’s marvelous adventures.

We are home.


Janice Gillett said...

Good thing you got a bottle in your welcome wagon!!!

Welcome home jean lol..welcome home everyone!

EvenSong said...

Jean, glad you and the crew are settling in, in spite of all the frustrations! You've got your basket bottle, what about some "Rescue Remedy" for Oliver? It's helped with Sandy overcoming her anxiety about driving past the dogs that attacked her a year ago.

p.s. Laminate should come up pretty easily. Craig's list? Or, how much is there? I'm shopping. ;-D

Black Jack's Carol said...

I'm glad you're home, and that the "good" list is so much longer than the others. Moving does bring its challenges. I don't know about you, but for me, those last few boxes always seem to take forever.

As for the new appliance and furniture problems.. yikes!

When my last dog became less steady on his feet, I even had to put carpet in the kitchen! All the best with that challenge, and with the rest of your settling in adventures.

Jean said...

EvenSong, thanks for the reminder re Rescue Remedy! I often suggest it to others, but then totally forget to use it on my own dogs when the need arises - DUH!

As for the laminate, Living room is about 23x12, dining room is 10x13, and hallay about 3x12, I'm debating between having it replaced and selling the laminate, or leaving it be and putting near-wall-to-wall inexpensive carpet on top of it for now. After all, a cheap indoor-outdoor may not look fancy but it is perhaps a good choice for aging dogs who sometimes have accidents through no fault of their own, and can be tossed out and replaced as need be without lifting all the baseboards etc every time.
Interestingly, the vinyl I had put in the mud room poses no problem for the dogs, so that might be a good option too, if I can find something "livingroom-ish".

And Carol, yes - those last few boxes are still sitting there. I think it is because they are a mish-mash of all the stuff I didn't know where to put in the first place!

Life With Dogs said...

As long as the pro list outweighs the con, you're doing alright! :)

Karen said...

Jean, how about some non slip baby socks as a short term slipping solution?

I am going through similar events with my dear old Gillis as you are with Oliver. His dementia is progressing and he's pacing and wandering a lot. He's having sporadic incontinence issues and constantly wants to be on the opposite side of the front door. I've nursed humans suffering dementia for nearly my who working career and always said I wouldn't let my dog go through what humans have to endure. It is so, so, so hard.

Anonymous said...

When we had our laminate installed in the basement we went thru the same thing with our senior dog. Our vet suggested dog booties with the non slip bottoms and we tried them and they actually worked..lot less money then replacing the laminate and also easier clean up ..the wrap around the dogs foot with velcro so stay on well.


Anonymous said...

Jean the booties may be a good idea for both Oliver and Belle. They have some at the SPCA mini store in their size, and cheaper than the pet stores.

PS Just to top of Jean's moving adventure. We were happily driving to Duncan when my van got rear ended as I stoped to make a turn. Yep the driver was checking his text messages and didn't see us stop.

Jean said...

Thanks for the ideas! I have a set of purple dog booties here that may work if Oliver will refrain from eating them - never thought of modifying the feet rather than the floor, at least as a temporary measure! :)