Rufus the Floofus

Rufus is here! His name still feels a little uncertain – Tim was having a hard time remembering it,  but it’s the one we both agree on and at this point he seems to know it and respond to it.

He’s extremes. Extreme PUPPY! Then extreme puppzzzz…. Wild and crazy then straight into a hard nap. He’s exploring his world and he’s whip smart.

He’s already figured out the stairs – both up and down, he may not know the word Sit, but he plops his butt down at my feet when I ask him to as well as offering sits without me asking for anything. I’m using food lures, but I can get him to sit, stand, come and down already. He clearly prefers to do walkies mostly in arms rather than doing the walking himself, and he also does a lot of Gromit-y things. Tim says they’re just dog things, but Gromit was my first, so that’s who he looks like. 

After a couple of attempts at bringing “special things” to the litter box, he now brings all special things to his mat – the same mat Gromit always used for all his special things. “All tags must die” seems to be a motto they share – any tag or perceived tag on any object Must be removed or destroyed. He seems to prefer lying on the stone bathroom floor over other places in the house, like G did, he lies down if you chat too long with a neighbor….  

He’s also clearly not Gromit – where G had a rule that he “couldn’t” take anything out of his toy box except maybe once a year and would stand with his head over the box and cry till you came and helped, Rufus is a toy box raider and has quite a group of friends from there on the mat. I don’t remember the wildness that Rufus shows in Gromit when he was a pup – probably a really good thing since G was much larger! Rufus will get really riled up and just start biting everything, including me. Not sure how much of that is my fault, though, so I’ll be trying to play with him a little lower key today and use 10-30 second time outs if he gets too nuts (thanks to Tim for the reminder of those as a tool!)

Last night there was sleep! My back and hips have been real trouble for about a week and between time and the chiropractor, they are finally settling down some. Rufus is also starting to settle in. The first couple of nights there was very little sleep – especially the first two nights when he spent a lot of time ‘singing the songs of his people’ and generally sounding like he was being tortured. So, so hard to just let it happen, but pretty essential to get through it as quickly as possible. You’re not supposed to look at a dog when they’re behaving in a way you don’t want them to since the attention rewards them, but sneaking a glance when he was in the middle of pitching a fit the second night, he actually didn’t look particularly upset at all, even though the sounds were reflecting the full gamut of upset emotions. We keep the top of the crate open and it’s by Tim’s bedside so he can reach in when Rufus is being quiet and help reassure him. He slept on Tim’s hand most of the first night and we all got some good sleep between bathroom breaks last night. I needed it! I can think again 🙂

At the moment, he’s asleep, adorable and recharging for the next round.

One of my friends, @justaskjimvo posted to instagram about building a VO booth in which he pointed out that he has a basement (in Northern California?!) and it jogged a wonderful memory for me of how much my dad used ours when growing up back East.

My dad was a very creative man in a job that apparently didn’t use enough of that part of his heart. He used to have a photo lab in our basement, made beer and wine down there (which once exploded, much to my mother’s chagrin,) and built our old Heathkit Stereo there, too. He also taught me how to build a lamp and radios as well as working with me though other science-y let’s-test-the-water-type projects. 🙂 He passed away when I was 11, so this was a wonderful inadvertent gift.

Sometimes you’ve gotta “do it for the cookie,” or in today’s case, the latte and pb&j. This weird thing happens when I haven’t done something consistently for a while: I kinda’ forget that I can do it. In today’s case, it’s about riding my bike. 

I don’t forget that I have the capability to stay upright and move forward, nor if I think about it, do I forget that my body has bike skillz that my head doesn’t even realize and has been totally able to save my ass from real trouble in the past. It’s more that I get really worked up, scared even, about getting started on the ride (or big run or open water swim!) After years of chronic pain and not always moving consistently because of it, I don’t always trust my body to be able to keep on keeping on once I’m out there in the middle of the ride, and I don’t want to have it fail and leave me on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. 

I suppose that most of this isn’t particularly connected to current reality, but it’s a mental hurdle I keep having to get over to get out there lately. More and more, though, I’m starting to remember that I just need to show up and see what I’ve got on the day. I’m not meaning to sandbag (though I’ve certainly been guilty of lowering other people’s expectations over the years,) but I definitely need to stop putting myself down and just put myself out there instead to see what I can do. Adventures (and snacks!) await.

Finding my voice again…

Seems funny to start a blog that way, but even when you talk for a living, sometimes it can, well, I can feel like I don’t have much stuff to say that feels like it needs hearing, if that makes sense. So I guess I’m on the hunt for that with this blog. It may not be earth shattering or always scintillating, but I’ll keep showing up and see what I find on the day.

More as it happens…. 😉