Year of the Shark- January Recap

A full month has passed since I declared 2018 The Year of the Shark time flies when you’re busy sharkin’. Looking back, I feel like I’ve actually accomplished a lot over the past month. Here’s a recap of what I’ve been up to.

I took the GRE. While working on grad school applications, I just decided to take the plunge and take the GRE so I would have scores if I need them. I signed up and gave myself a whopping six days of prep time to re-learn all of the high school algebra and SAT vocab that I haven’t used in 15 years. But I took it, I did well, and I was very happy with my results.

I passed my CEN. Apparently January was the month of test taking for me, because once I took the GRE, I started studying for my Emergency Nursing Certification.  Again, I didn’t give myself nearly enough prep time for the test, but I wanted to take it by the end of the month to hopefully include the certification on NP apps due at the beginning of February.  I studied feverishly for about a week, took the test, and passed- barely, but I passed! Phew! I’m off booze at the moment, so I indulged in a celebratory pizza in lieu of a cocktail, with my Mom.

Mom came to visit! It’s always a highlight of any month when Hazel is in town. Unfortunately, this time I was hunkered down studying for the CEN, but she kept me supplied with cups of tea while I trudged through page after page of the intricacies of emergency nursing. She also did some serious organizing, painting, yard clean up, and of course, spoiled the Ginger Hounds.



I went to a last minute Mardi Gras Ball, which is always a fun time. A bunch of my friends were going and a last-minute ticket was offered to me, so I snagged it. My friend Diane even had an extra dress that just happened to fit me- it was meant to be!


Terry, myself, and Jenn



Louisiana froze. Like, really froze. This is a big deal for us southern residents. We had freezing rain that left a solid inch of ice over everything, and then a pretty sprinkling of snow on top of that. Our temps stayed below freezing for about 48 hours, which has to be some kind of record for us, as usually if we get any kind of wintery precipitation, it is gone within the hour. Needless to say, this northern girl was loving it. Alas, although I fared well, it was not all fun and games for many, as freezing temps were accompanied by freezing (and busting!) pipes, school closures, road closures, and a citywide boil-water advisory for 3 days. The Ginger Hounds loved the cold weather and the crisp smells of winter, something they don’t get to experience too often.


Ruby and Pepper in Louisiana snow









Now looking forward to February, there is lots coming up. Mardi Gras is coming which means GLITTER, GLITTER, GLITTER! (Have you ever googled how to glitter your dog? Because I have…). NP applications will be submitted, hopefully I will figure out my triathlon schedule for the upcoming months, and I’m sure there will be some adventures with the Hounds.

Until then, keep sharking, my friends!

Hello! My Name is Pepper and I’m a Bad Dog

Hello, my name is Pepper and I’m a Bad Dog.  My person has started back to nursing school for the semester, which is very annoying, as now she has something else to focus on other than me.   Today she spent all (!!!!) day with me and even took me on two very long walks.  This afternoon she organized her supplies for her clinical skills tests.  When she left to run an errand for 5 minutes this evening I decided to check them out.   I just wanted to see what was inside all of that sterile packaging.  Turns out plastic IV lines are really fun to chew on.  I hope I didn’t swallow a needle.

My person was very angry when she came home.   She yelled a lot.  I think I will go outside and play with my tennis ball until she calms down.

I will try to be a good dog tomorrow.



Oswald Hates Nursing School

Hello All and Happy Friday to everyone.

This has not been a good week for me, not a good week at all!  I had heard rumors that my Butler may be pursuing a new career path and would soon be starting Nursing School.  I, of course, could not believe this was true because why would she ever change careers when taking care of me is so personally fulfilling to her?  I swear the human mind is an intricate machine that I have yet to understand and her reasoning processes seem so primitive.  Anyway, I digress…

So she began her new endeavor this week and even had the nerve to ask if I was excited for her! Obviously I’m not. A.  I am not an excitable dog and B. if I was to bother getting excited it would not be over something as trivial as this.

By Day 2 I realized this “nursing school” situation was a horrible idea.  Butler now leaves early in the mornings causing me to push forward my breakfast and walk schedule almost a full hour, which in turn pushes forward my morning yawning and stretching, and so on and so forth.  This also means that my post- walk schedule has shifted. For example, I now find myself considering my first morning nap as early as 8 am, as I have already lapped the house, stolen a bone from the puppy, and rearranged the couch pillows to my liking by then.

To make matters worse, one morning this week Butler didn’t even walk me before she left and I had to take my morning walk with the house Maintenance Man!  He walks far too slowly for me and does not know my proper morning route.  It was a disaster, just terrible!

(Editor’s note:  The Maintenance Man aka Boyfriend has been Oswald’s owner for 10 years, so he is in fact familiar with Oswald’s basic needs…).

If the schedule changes weren’t bad enough, yesterday was the breaking point.  When my Butler returned home from this “school” she attends, she announced that she was going to “practice” on me.  I tried my best to glare  in such a manner that would dissuade her from this task, but there was no stopping her. She pulled out her stethoscope and checked my heart beat and respiration rate right there in the middle of the living room.  Honestly, where are we?  A a field hospital?  I should have at least been relocated to a real bed first….

Alas, I am not sure how I will suffer through two years of this inconvenience.   Clearly I will have to think of ways to sabotage this “school” situation.  I’m sure it won’t be hard to think of some ideas and I can probably execute them while throwing blame on the Puppy.   I think there is a phrase which applies to situation such as these, something about two stones and a bird…?  Or two birds and a plane…?  Oh, it doesn’t matter, but I will keep you all posted on my progress.

I did however manage to try on her stethoscope while no one was looking and I think it makes me look rather well educated. I may consider adding “Doctor” to my title….

Keep warm out there!


Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

We (the dogs and I) have been very lazy over the last week or so, but I fear all good things must come to an end and life is about to get really busy really fast!

As a random non-canine life update, I found out that I was accepted to nursing school and will be starting in January.  Goodbye teaching, hello nursing!  That was nice news to get and it was encouraging that my frantic scrambling over the summer to finish prerequisites and solidify transfer credits paid off.  But, alas, once I start school I won’t be able to spend all day with my boys.  Oswald will likely only notice my absence when he needs something, but I’m a little worried that Rupert won’t be a fan of the separation as he has all but mastered the role of being my shadow around the house.

What I didn’t realize when I applied to nursing school is that apparently you have to have more vaccines than if you wanted to visit west Africa!  There is also the drug testing and the background checks and the finger printing and the insurance policies, so I’ll have a lot to keep me busy for the next couple of months.  Really, I was just excited to get to wear scrubs, but everything else sort of took away from the fun of that.

Also, I’m running my first half marathon in six years this coming Saturday.  I can’t say I’ve trained as well as I should have for this one, but New Orleans summer weather just isn’t very encouraging when you are trying to convince yourself to go for a run.  Unless you’re a hardcore running addict, like Rupert, 90-something degrees and 80% humidity doesn’t really put you in a running mood.  I checked my time from six years ago and I ran a 2:24.58 back then so I’m curious to see how I compare now.  I’m running with my friend Pam, though, and we are really out to have fun for this race so I think we might take it slow and steady and focus more on looking cute than shooting for a stellar time.

I’ve been trying to find the motivation to head out this afternoon for a casual 3 miles to loosen up, but my running coach isn’t being very motivating for once.

Rupert sleeping

He has apparently settled in for some pretty serious napping, and I do not dare test the theory, “let sleeping dogs lie.”

So for now I’ll just keep googling “really cute nursing scrubs” and continue to postpone all of the things that I actually need to accomplish.