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Gotcha Day

It's hard to believe both that it has already been a year and it has only been a year since Mister Manfred came into our lives.

He was such a sad and cute little bundle when I was first handed him (I don't think he stopped shaking all the way home). We went to Operation Kindness (of course) but because of Covid they were not allowing you to meet the animals first - you had to make a choice and hope for the best.

My heart melted immediately.

Maybe because I so desperately missed Trixie (today is her Gotcha Day too). She came into my life 12 years ago and left me nearly 3 years ago when He Who Must Not Be Named lied to me and took her away forever. I still miss her and hope she is happy.

But I digress. This post is about Mister Manfred.

One of the things that immediately drew me to him was his obvious resemblance to Trixie. Which I did get some teasing about. But lots of people have a favorite breed of dog so why is it so off the wall that I would want a dog that physically reminds me of one I had loved?

Why is that odd?

At any rate, I immediately loved him. He was so snuggly from the very beginning. And he still is.

He's grown a bit (haven't we all?) - weighing in around 60 pounds now. He still has the sweetest puppy face. He has floppy ears that he likes to loudly shake in the middle of the night.

He did great at Dogwarts (aka PetSmart school) when he was 4 months old but he has terrible parents that are not consistent about his training. He's still very good at sit, lay down, and touch. He can catch food when I throw it right. He loves treats but the best part is he is even more excited about veggies and ice than his prepackaged treats (though he loves both, he isn't picky).

He's fully potty trained - it took him longer than we thought it would but he is a pro at using his doggie door now. He loves to be outside but doesn't love the pool. Which is funny because he loves to join us in the shower or to get splashed when we are in the pool or hot tub. He also doesn't love the rain but he does love the ice and snow.

He's a complex creature.

Since he's a Covid puppy he's used to us being around 24/7 and does not deal well with separation. Something we are still working on as I can't have him eating my couch every time we leave the house.

He is full of personality. He loves people unless they are walking in front of our house. But maybe that's just because he wants them to come in so he can say hi? His enthusiasm can be overwhelming but he is getting better about jumping on people if you tell him not to.

But jumping and lack of personal space is always his go to.

He loves to play with his toys but he also destroys almost every one of them within an hour. It's like he's on a mission.

One of my favorite things about him is he loves to snuggle. When he wants to snuggle, he will force his way onto your lap if you are not prepared. But in recent months, he's decided he wants to be under the blanket. So every night while watching TV I have to have a blanket in my lap - he will hop up on the couch and if I am too engrossed in what I am watching to notice him and lift the blanket myself, he will start pawing at it until I lift it so he can curl up on my lap. It really is the sweetest thing.

He also likes to crawl under the covers in bed at night. Which is also adorable, even if it does mean I have to wash the bedding every couple of days now because there is so much fur. And he gets too hot sometimes so he will pop out for a quick little break (and to flop his ears) but he always comes crawling back.

Yes, it can be mildly annoying. But it also is like I have the best of both worlds. He's kind of a cat dog.

We still struggle with walking on a leash. But again, I blame that more on his lazy parents than him. He's obviously smart and if we would just be consistent he would learn anything we ask of him.

I think it is adorable when he watches TV. The guaranteed to howl dog video works every time but only if we play it on the phone - he gets distracted if he can see the dogs on the TV. Also he will howl at Rob every morning but not me which is really cute.

He loves going to the Pub on Saturdays and seeing his doggie friends (and all his dog aunts and uncles). He hates the car ride but the second we get out of the car he is pulling us to the Pub. Not that I'm willing to test this theory but I think if we let him go he would lead us straight there. The only downside is he wants to play with them but it's hard to play in limited space and on leashes.

The cats still keep their distance. We keep them semi-segregated in Rob's office. By that I mean we have a gate set up but they can and do jump over it to get to the rest of the house. And he can easily jump over the gate but he knows he can only do it if we specifically invite him over. Shadow likes to stand at the gate and taunt him and will even call him over sometimes. But she's only brave when there is a gate between them.

Lilly prefers to keep her distance and only comes out at night. It's funny, because every night we turn out the lights and hear a firm plop of her hopping over the gate.

His birthday is December 17th but I feel like today is even more important to celebrate him. Because he has brought so much light and happiness into our lives in this last year.

Yes, our house is covered in dog fur. And you likely will be too when you come visit. But he's worth it.

Happy Gotcha Day Mister Manfred - we love you more than you love celery.

The day we got him and today - what a difference a year makes. #thenandnow


In unrelated news, I accepted a job offer last week! I am joining the Benchmark family. I start March 7th so I have one more week to enjoy unemployment. I will still be a loan processor only I think I will actually (finally) be appreciated. Stay tuned.


In other unrelated news, what did you do for your bachelorette party? TV and movies would have you believe it's all about getting drunk and kissing strangers - and I am certainly not judging that because I've been to bachelorettes like that and they can be a lot of fun.

It's just never really been what I was into.

For starters, I've never been into getting drunk in public. Aside from it being expensive, I've just never been able to let loose enough. Now a party at my home? That's an entirely different story - though still something I don't tend to do anymore (and rarely did before).

I can be a mean drunk. I don't like that side of me so I prefer to stay just this side of tipsy when I drink. You know, the I'm happy and relaxed and love everyone and everything is funny tipsy. Not the room is spinning passing out drunk tipsy.

I ask because it has occurred to me that I have now had 3 bachelorette parties and not one of them would be classified as typical.

My first was in 1996. I was 25 years old and already out of my partying phase. And while it might be hard to imagine it of me now, I was really into partying back in the day (only alcohol, not drugs...and not because I think I'm better than anyone or a prude, it just never appealed to me. )

For this one I asked a small group of my friends to join me at California Pizza Kitchen (my favorite restaurant at the time) and then back to my place to watch Desperado (my movie of the moment because I was enamored of Antonio Banderas).

I'm not even sure if alcohol was involved at all. It was low key, affordable for everyone, and exactly what I wanted. #noregerts

The next one was in 2008. I'm 37 by this point and I have changed a lot since the last time I got married. For instance, this time I wanted Tex Mex for dinner. Afterwards we went to Barcadia for drinks and Centipede where we inadvertently (I think?) met up with Daniel and his men. Then my ladies were ready to call it a night so I joined the guys at karaoke. Drinks were involved this time but no one got rowdy. And other than wishing my ladies had joined us for karaoke, it was perfect and exactly what I wanted.

And here we are in 2022. I am now 51 years old. And my bachelorette party? A weekend on the beach (or rather poolside) in Cancun. And it was 100% what I wanted. I would have loved for more of my friends to have joined us - though I had a great time with just Magan (though she probably would have preferred her own room so she didn't have to deal with my snoring. Sorry about that Magan.) - but between Covid and financial restrictions it made more sense to just make it for the two of us.

There was drinking - plenty of it - but I think they watered the drinks down since neither of us ever even got a slight buzz. Perils of staying all inclusive I guess. At least they were tasty. The property was older but in pretty good shape, the location was gorgeous, and the food was great. We spent little time on the beach because the actual beach chairs were reserved for VIP only and that was disappointing but we still had the gorgeous view and sounds of the ocean and didn't have to deal with sand in our suits.

Also there was a caution flag at the beach for the duration of our stay so we likely wouldn't have gone in the water anyway.

Our final full day there we took a catamaran out to Isla Mujeres - which has changed quite a bit since I was there last. But we managed to each get a massage on the beach and get some quality sand time in so it was worth it.

The whole trip was relaxing from start to finish. Which is exactly what I needed given my recent unemployment.

So February had it's ups and downs. Started with a real low - getting fired - but honestly the rest of the month was great. I finally got some much needed beach time, I found a new job I am excited about, and I'm ending the month with my favorite pup by my side.

Now if only Russia would go fuck themselves and leave the Ukraine alone, everyone could be happy.

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