This year for Mother’s Day my kids bought me a Fitbit Flex. I got it setup late last week and have gradually increased my walking, both at home during the evenings and at work over part of my lunch hour.
Monday I headed out of my building and eventually ended up along the banks of Brush Creek (sometimes referred to as Flush Creek), which flows east along the south side of the Country Club Plaza. As you can see from the photo above, I will most likely NOT be retracing my steps on this route in the near future.
Late Sunday morning, taking advantage of the unseasonal warm fall weather, I cleaned the Bonneville inside and out. I did this in anticipation of treating my hubby and my dad to a birthday dinner later that afternoon.
By Monday morning, though, I had to re-install the seat protector in the back because we had a nine o’clock appointment at the vets for both Apollo and Lexy. They both behaved very well in the lobby, even though another young male Rottweiler was being picked up by its owner. He was quite rambunctious and excited to see his owner.
Yesterday, Terry and I celebrated the first anniversary of our adoption of Lexy. She got a special dinner and an ice cream treat.
I also took her on a short walk down Fawn Valley just as the sun was setting. She did very well and has improved immensely over the last twelve months in her obedience training and leash etiquette.
Lexy is calmer, more playful and very loving towards Terry and I. Apollo tolerates her and attempts to play tug-of-war with her occasionally, but she’d rather snag a toy and whip it around like a rag doll by herself while running full tilt around the great room.
While Terry was in the hospital last week, I had a Dickens of a time getting Lexy to go outside. I resorted to a dirty trick, knowing that you can get a Rottweiler to do just about anything if you cater to their stomach. I started feeding her and Apollo outside. That way, I lured her out there with her food dish and could leave both of them outside for thirty minutes while I got myself ready for work in the morning or to transition to the hospital in the evenings. I’d always find her standing impatiently at the back patio door, waiting for me to let her back inside.
Our weekend weather forecast called for sporadic thunderstorms, so I opted not to work in the yard yesterday. Terry and I did make it out of the house in the morning, visiting the local farmer’s market and our favorite grocery store. After we woke up from our lunch food coma, I got the notion in my head to relocate the plasma from the old bowed coffee table where it had languished for over five years.
Several months ago (yes, months), Terry had ordered a wall mount for the television. He was prompted to pursue this avenue because when Lexy joined our family, she glued herself (and her nose) to the front of the plasma. She’s the only pet we’ve ever had who actually watches television (myopically, like Mr. Magoo). Keeping a clear view through the dog slobber became a daily household chore.
Thus began an afternoon of rearranging furniture, cables, heavy objects and lots and lots of dust. Our new vacuum cleaner saved the day more than once. Eventually, we found the wall behind the coffee table and plasma.
Next, Terry and I had to find the framing studs behind our tongue-and-grove paneling in the great room. We could see one of them through the large return air vent. Assuming, correctly we hoped, that the builder followed code and the studs were installed every sixteen inches, we got out our measuring tapes, levels and pencils and dredged up our elementary math skills to hunt them down.
After finding three studs and drilling six holes, Terry and I positioned the wall mount, properly aligned and leveled. I held it in place while he drilled the six lag bolts (and washers) into place. This mount, properly installed, should be able to hold almost two hundred pounds. Our current plasma weighs in between one hundred and one twenty pounds.
Terry was concerned that I would not be able to lift 50-60 pounds from the floor to shoulder height. I wanted to argue with him, but I also didn’t want to drop a three thousand dollar television either. Per Terry’s suggestion, I returned the coffee table to the middle of the room and we lifted the plasma from the floor back on to the table. His reasoning was it was less distance (bending over) from the coffee table to the wall mount.
Six years ago this situation would have been a non-issue. Derek at one time set a school record for bench press. Had he still been living with us, he probably could have lifted the plasma by himself from the floor to the wall mount and not broken a sweat. As it was, both Terry and I may have strained our lower backs getting the plasma from the floor back onto the coffee table. I succumbed and gave my dad a call to see if he could spare a few minutes to help us wrestle the thing up to the mount.
Dad arrived just before the thunderstorm did. Our power had blipped once already. Lexy made a bee-line for the upstairs main bathroom, her ‘safe place’ when the thunder starts rolling. I urged Apollo to take a nap up in our bedroom so that the great room would be Rottweiler-free during our lift.
While Dad and Terry lifted the plasma, I held the old base down so it would slip easily away from the device. Then I moved quickly around the coffee table and took the center of the plasma to steady it and so that Dad and Terry could make sure the hooks on the back of the plasma found the bar on the wall mount. They also needed to secure the safety latches. Once mounted and adjusted, I re-installed the HDMI cable from the home theater system to the back of the plasma and struggled with the power cord for a few minutes. Then I pushed our ancient rolling entertainment cabinet back against the wall and crossed my fingers, turning on the home theatre system first, then the satellite DVR and finally the plasma. I heard audio first and then the plasma warmed up and we had a picture.
Things left to do:
New shelf for the center speaker.
Donate coffee table to Goodwill.
Donate entertainment cabinet to local dump
Purchase new furniture to house the electronics under the plasma
The first thing Terry and I noticed was that the plasma actually appeared smaller now. Sigh. Maybe it really is time to move up from fifty inches.
Bonus points to anyone who can guess what movie we found to test the new setup with? Hint: It’s one of my all-time favorites from the late 80s, but we only caught the last fifteen minutes of it.
Great big thanks to the two ‘Dads’ in my life a day early but never too late:
Terry (father of my children)
Dan (my dad for nearly fifty years now).
Terry started surfing PetFinder a couple of months ago, looking to adopt a female Rottweiler close to Apollo‘s age (he’s six). While Apollo seemed to be less depressed about Roxy’s passing, he still wasn’t eating enough or getting enough exercise. We visited nearly every shelter in the Kansas City metro area, and some in outlying cities (like Atchison, Kansas), but could not find many Rottweilers (regardless of gender). We’d almost given up on adopting, and had started looking at buying a puppy (gasp!) or a retiring female from a breeder.
Midway through the middle week of July, Terry saw a post appear on Petfinder for an abandoned female Rottweiler in Parsons, Kansas. The listing claimed she was six years old (a likely perfect fit for Apollo). Terry contacted the shelter, Proud Animal Lovers Shelter, and expressed our interest in adopting her (almost sight unseen). Alexis (the name given to her by the shelter) would be spayed that day and would need to recover a few days before she could be released to us. Terry arranged to pick her up on Monday, July 23rd.
I requested vacation (or PTO as it’s referred to now) for that Monday and made arrangements for my backup driver to drive the van. Parsons was about three hours south of us, between Pittsburg and Independence, Kansas, nearly a straight shot down US 59. Early Monday morning, Terry met me at my backup driver’s location so I could trade the van to her and become a rider in my own car as Terry drove us south to Parsons. Because the shelter didn’t open until noon, we took our time, and even a detour through Iola.
Upon arriving in Parsons, we drove around for quite some time trying to find the shelter. The street sign for Meade was very far back from Main Street, but after passing it for the fifth time, we spied it and found the shelter. We returned after a quick lunch at the local Brahms just after noon to fill out the adoption papers, pay the adoption fee (and make a donation in addition) and finally met Alexis. She had just had a bath that morning and was shedding a truly terrifying amount of fur.
While Terry finished the paperwork, I took Alexis outside wiht a borrowed brush and attempted to help her shed more of her fur. I was only partially successful. We said our goodbyes and thank yous and walked Alexis to the car. Unlike every other dog we’ve ever had, she did not jump into our car the moment the door opened. We had to coax her, with treats, and in the end Terry had to lift her into the backseat. We could only surmise her last trip, when she was abandoned in a drought scorched field in 100 degree heat, must have scared her and left very bad memories.
I drove the return trip home as quickly as I could, with only a brief stop in Garnett, Kansas by a small fishing lake to allow Lexy to stretch her legs. Except for the construction and delay of crossing through Lawrence on US-59, we made record time, returning to Lansing before four o’clock.
We introduced Apollo to Lexy (both of them on leashes) in the front side yard. Since Lexy only weight 75-78 pounds, Apollo outweighed her by fifteen to twenty pounds. They both seemed to get along (at least they didn’t immediately growl and attack each other). Terry took Apollo back into the house and I followed with Lexy through the garage.
The next obstacle we discovered for Lexy was how to climb stairs. Apparently, she had only been a kennel dog as she didn’t know what to do with stairs. We got her up the stairs into the main floor. Her first attempt at descending the stairs amounted to a flying leap from the top step, bypassing six or seven intervening steps, and splaying out on the tile floor at the bottom. I am happy to report that almost two weeks later, she now sails up and down the stairs, nearly as well as Apollo does.
Lexy had an eventful first week. Terry took her to our vet and his examination revealed a much younger dog. He estimated her age between two and three, not the six suggested by the vet in Parsons, Kansas. His reasoning: her teeth were damaged from chewing on either chain link fence or a chain (or both). Also, her paws were permanently splayed out, most likely from wire mesh on the floor of a kennel. We can confirm Lexy is much younger than Apollo because once she became more relaxed in our home, she began playing energetically with toys, shoes, food dishes, water bowls, laptop lap desks, … just about anything that wasn’t nailed down.
Six days after adopting Lexy, Apollo and her had their first major altercation. It happened last Sunday evening and it upset Terry and I so much neither of us could sleep and Terry took Apollo to the vet first thing Monday morning. Lexy had latched onto Apollo’s neck and would not let go, even with Terry and I both attempting to separate them. Apollo received a puncture wound and an abrasion. Lexy received no wounds, mostly because Apollo is a gentleman and knows when to let go. The vet examined Apollo and said he would be fine, giving Terry a prescription of antibiotics just to be on the safe side. He is doing well a week after the incident. Lexy has behaved better in the following week.
We put the baby gates back in the doorways between the great room and the kitchen, so that visitors would not need to worry about a Rottweiler frontal assault. We’ve started training Lexy, teaching her how to sit and lay down. I haven’t walked her yet, but come to think of it, I’ve only walked Apollo once in the least two weeks due to the near constant heat advisory we’ve been under for most of July.
We are so glad we found her and hope Lexy spends many more years with us.