My girl, Floss

I have a dog. Introducing … Miss Flossie Murdock. I never had one before, so I’m taking her pretty seriously. She’s been very hyped up for the past week (and a bit), and I assumed she’d had a hard life. I think she has – for such a young dog – but her wily ways have become clearer to me over the last few days, so I’ve been giving her a good think.

She’s a terrible drama queen. I thought I was the Queen Mother of them all, but she does a fine job. She works herself up into a panic, and either freaks out (leaping round the place, or totally digging her feet in), or sits with huge eyes, looking tiny and shaking. She hasn’t done that last bit for a few days, but I don’t doubt but that it will reappear at some point.Floss on her first day

Half the problem is that she won’t listen. She can’t listen when she’s in that state, and when she’s feeling happy, she doesn’t listen out of arrogance. She is very stubborn. One thing she has learned really well is when we’re on the edge of a country road, she has to ‘sit’ and be calm. Rush hour* meant the road was busy today, and we had to do it more than a dozen times. She would throw herself onto the undergrowth if there wasn’t enough ‘edge’ to sit on. It was amazing how calm she was.

She loves, loves, loves to run, so I have twigged that walks need to have a running component. This was a huge success today, though I’m not sure my body was prepared for it. She’s also got a great sense of timing, and can turn on a sixpence. If I can get her to concentrate long enough to obey basic safety commands, then she might have a lot of fun doing agility type games with me. I need a ramp in the garden.

She acts every day like she hates the kitchen. I guess she thinks it’s her pen. So when I make her come in, she doesn’t want to. She then spends the rest of the day either watching me and moving from one ‘safe place’ in the kitchen to another (from behind the chair/under the table, to the top step by the back door), or lying on her bed crashed out. And at night, while I’m downstairs, she doesn’t even stir when I drop something on the floor. Until I go upstairs. Then she gets busy.

So far, victims of Floss’ Quality Time include the kitchen table, her own brush, my diary, the handle of her extendable lead, the garden bench (which was rotting anyway), a seat belt, and the rubber strings that link my car boot door with the boot shelf. Some of it was boredom, and some of it was punishing me.

Floss looking at the hills

She’s a lot of fun so far. Fun is now my survival technique. She’s a grumpy little sod unless she’s having fun. The best thing ever is a waggy tail first thing in the morning. It’s the only one I see, and she only does it out of guilt, I’m sure. She’s coming on in leaps and bounds, just a bit carried away with herself. I spend a lot of time ignoring her, so that she doesn’t feel she’s under scrutiny all the time.

We’re getting used to each other, and that’s what counts.

The first day of the rest of my life; or, decision-making is a nightmare whichever way you look at it.

Decisions. Small ones made constantly, which shoes, what toothpaste, coffee or not? But big ones … Which job, which town, a child or not? Not chores in an irksome way, but still procrastinated. Change is the problem but remaining undecided can force a person into the fork in the road with the life changing choices, and repercussions. And that means Change is on the whim of the Fates; it’s better to take it on your own terms. You have to jump sooner for that. That comes naturally to some people.

So having held it off for a while, it becomes time to face the positive changes needed.

I have long decided to become a full time freelance writer, keeping on a minimal amount of carework to be on the safe side. I prepared for the change, joined a few more online writing agencies and opened my net a little wider. Those preparations had moved me closer to making the jump. I started getting too much writing work to be able to continue with both jobs. I turned most of that work down so that I didn’t drop my understaffed colleagues in the proverbial, and waited for the company to employ someone who could do my work for me. That was a 3 week wait. One more to go.

Having pushed even one step closer, you find yourself so near to the results of the decision that you could touch it. Except you can’t. One more week to go.

It’s not just the change which is hard to swallow, it’s the having decided to face it, and then hanging around waiting for the day to come.

Monday 11 August 2013 will be the first day of the rest of my life. Wish me luck!