Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The joys of being a homeowner...


On March 18, Matt walked downstairs to see the ceiling leaking. Turns out, the toilet that had stopped up on Tuesday night and we hadn't gotten a plunger kept running and overflowed, flooding the bathroom, the carpet outside the bathroom, and the ceiling downstairs.
We had a company come and clean up all the water, which entailed ripping up the vinyl floor & subfloor in the bathroom, ripping up the carpet padding, blowing air up into the ceiling to evaporate it, and running big dehumidifying fans to evaporate everything. Big headache.
Then, last week during my spring break, a contractor came and repaired everything, which lasted from Tuesday through Thursday.

However, we got some nice new vinyl flooring out of it! So I was happy. And the contractor is a super nice guy and only charged us what the insurance gave us. He was supposed to charge us $500 more, because we have a $500 deductible, but he didn't. Super nice guy. I even invited him to eat dinner with us the night he finished, since he wasn't done until 730. He's the kind of guy I would be friends with.

So yesterday, I walked in my front door and heard water running. "That's odd," I think, "is Matt home early?" But I didn't recognize the sound of the water. It didn't sound like the sink, or the dishwasher, or the washing machine. I walk into my living room, step onto soaking wet carpet, see the kitchen flooded with 1/2 inch of water, look towards the sound, and see water coming off the wall. (I thought it was coming out of the wall, but I learned today that it wasn't)

Commence running around trying to remember how to shut water off, call mom, remember that you turn water off at the street, try to find the water shut-off, don't know which one it is, try to find a neighbor with a tool to shut it off, then finally get a small wrench, cram my hand into a tiny dirt space, and after some grunting, manage to shut the water off to the house.

Followed by panicky conversations with insurance, home warranty, my mom, and a plumber who was too busy doing his taxes to come out to my house, so he lost the job.

My mom came over and took charge, set up the shop vac and started vaccuuming up water from the vinyl floors, and told me to get the steam cleaner to suck up water from the carpet. Oh yeah. duh. We filled and emptied the shop vac twice (TONS of water) and the steam cleaner 8 times. until it died. I hope its not dead forever. it was only the second time I had ever used it :(

By the time Matt got home, I was lighthearted (thanks mommy), and just looking forward to new vinyl floors and carpet. The hardwoods are slightly waterlogged too, but I'm not sure if they need to be replaced or not. I really like the hardwoods, so I don't care if they get repaired or replaced, just so long as one of those two happens. However, the vinyl is so light that everything shows up, and its not in great condition anymore. It has some stains and couple small tears from the previous owners. The carpet is old, and too light, just like the vinyl. It is really hard to get stains out of. As I was steam-cleaning the carpet the other night (for the first time ever), I thought to myself "Self, I would really like to get new carpets." Be careful what you wish for, huh?

So I stayed home today, since I have more leave days than Matt does. Plumber came and I told him that the water was coming from the wall, so he cut into the water-soaked wall, and there were no pipes. He realized that it was just the icemaker line that had cut off. He tested that theory by me grunting and groaning again with the wrench, turning the water back on so he could see where it was coming from. Yup. icemaker. did alllllll that.
He showed me how to fix it myself (he was stereotypical and said that my husband could fix it. bump that. i can do it) so I don't have to pay anybody to do that, too.

Now the company is over doing all their drying stuff again. Different company this time though.
It's crazy how far the water went.

This greatly inconveniences us, since more than half of the living room is soaked, and all of the kitchen and laundry room is as well. This means walking on plywood until everything is dry, not having any living room furniture to sit on, or a table to eat at (they will be stored in the garage) THEN an insurance agent is going to come assess the damages, THEN the contractor can come and begin making everything right. SO who knows how long it will be before we have our house back. Living in the bedroom may sound romantic, but I assure you, it is not.

When the drying guy first got here, he was saying that he could save the carpet and the vinyl. I think, "damn. i could have at least gotten some new floors out of this". But then the carpet was coming apart when they pulled it back, so he said we should be able to get new carpet now. And now he is going to have to pull up all the vinyl, which means we will have to get new to put back down.

I am clinging, CLINGING, to those final products where we will be grateful we had a water leak so that we could get these new floors.

UGH. Now I just found out that they may have to pull up all of the hardwoods. I really like the color of the hardwood. I dont want it gone. Im hoping they can repair it, or just pull up the damaged pieces, and maybe we have enough extra in the garage to replace the damaged ones.
Mostly, I just don't want to have to pack up and move everything in the dining room thats on hardwood. There is a lot of valuable stuff, and packing it up to move it will risk things breaking or getting damaged.

And the water went into the bathroom too. thats okay. i liked the floor in there, but im okay with new floor too. either way. its just another thing to add to the list.

I'm aggravated now. They have to come back tomorrow to finish the job, so hopefully Matt can take off tomorrow. I think it will be pushing it to take off two days in a row, during my new assistant's first week. Oh yeah. that's for another post, another day.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

I'm a proud momma!

Tyson is about 19 months old now, which means he is technically still a puppy for a GSD, but he is calming down, so that is wonderful! He is listening better when we tell him *not* to do things, and he is generally calmer in most situations.

I took him to doggie daycare today, since we were having house repairs done, and he wouldn't be allowed downstairs. plus, having strange men in the house really stresses him out!

The lady taking care of him just runs a doggie daycare out of her home, not like Camp Bow Wow where we usually send him. She is tons cheaper, and we went to the same church when I was little, so I like to take my business to people I know, if possible.
She is in a wheelchair or walks on crutches, so I was a little concerned Tyson might be too rambunctious for her. I think she was a little hesitant when she saw how big he was! He's almost 95 lbs, so she was surprised he was so big, and I was apprehensive leaving him with her, in case he got rowdy. However, she is a dog trainer (she trains service dogs) so I figured she could handle him.

She said he was an ANGEL. He got along really well and played gently with her 10 week old lab puppy, as well as her golden retriever. She said the Sherriff's Dept. comes over to check on her once a week, and they came today and loved him. She said he was very polite and a joy to have!!

Whaddayakno? That is just such a relief for me to hear. I feel like a proud parent right now! It is great to know that I can leave him at a strange house with a strange person and strange dogs, and he can still get along well. I know part of that is his genetics & temperament, but I can take a little credit, can't I?!

With German Shepherd Dogs, you have to work so hard to make sure they know you're in control, and for them to obey you in all situations. Now I know he is nowhere near as trained as a police or service dog....he still has some behavioral quirks that I can't quite get under control, but I am quite proud of myself and him!

Sunday, November 1, 2009


This year was the first year we've lived in our house, so the first year for trick-or-treaters! Also, it was Tyson's first Halloween.

I was planning on having him outside with me with his costume on to give out candy. Then I read that thats not such a great idea, because dogs might get scared of weird looking children and people in costumes, so its best to just keep them away.

Well, I wanted to give it a try, especially since we had such a cute costume for him!
It also has a hat with devil horms, but it wouldnt stay on. Every time he shook his head, it fell off.

The first TOT's (trick or treaters) rang the doorbell, which set him off barking at the kids through the glass storm door. But they werent scared off! haha! they wanted their candy!

Then I was outside when my neighbor and his little boy walked up. Tyson started barking a little because he allllllways barks at the neighbors. I think Tyson thinks that his property is like the Lion King- everything the sun touches is his Kingdom. :)

But after that, I stood outside with the bowl of candy (there were sooooooo many kids!!!) and he watched through the door, no barking or anything!!

Watching the kids outside.

He was soooo good!

I think I get too paranoid and too aware of all of his bad behaviors. I have to stop and realize that most dogs have the same bad habits. He really is a very good dog. I was reading people's status's on facebook, and a lot of people were saying the same thing about their dogs, that they go crazy when the doorbell rings. It sounds like Tyson behaved even better than some of the others!!

Im so proud of him :)

Monday, October 12, 2009

The No-No Can

We have implemented a new behavior modification strategy and it IS. WORKING! We have heard of success with a can full of pennies or a water bottle to deter dogs from bad behavior, but it hadnt worked before. He kinda liked the water spray bottle and would lick the droplets from his nose. The can of pennies would scare the cat and make him run, resulting in Tyson chasing him. Not good.

However, Tyson has been really into sniffing our food while we're trying to eat it lately. So, when he tried that tonight (apparently my homemade chili smelled really good!), I went and got the can'o'pennies and shook it at him twice. He tried to come over again, I shook it again. About 5 minutes later, he tried Matt's. I shook it at him again. He ran away, and stayed in the kitchen while we were eating in the living room. wooooooooooow!!!

When he was little, he thought the can was great fun and enjoyed barking at it. But apparently now that he's older, he respects it!

YaY! Even when we were done eating and still sitting on the couch, he didnt want to come over to us. hoooooooooray.

cabin fever!

These rainy days have not been good for us. We do not like being cooped up in the house! Can't go for a walk, cant run around in the backyard, can't go to the dog!

So instead, Tyson is annoying us by bringing us his toys, dropping them in our laps, and waiting patiently (or not-so-patiently) for us to play with him. He is pacing in front of us (note: there is not much room for a 90 lb. dog between the couch and coffee table), stepping on our toes, and almost knocking the tv tray table over. He likes to drop his tennis balls under the table and then army crawl under and get them back, not caring what is in his way (feet, tray table, cat, etc.)

Or herd the ottoman. Yes, you heard right. We are herding the ottoman now. I guess its the only piece of furniture that he can push around. He wedges himself between the ottoman and the chair (usually to try to get a toy he lost under it) and then walks around it, herding it this way and that, until he has a good walking space in the middle of the living room.
This is problematic because I.....oh, I dont to put my feet on the ottoman?! troublesome, when your dog is using his whole body to move it away from the chair.

Who. knows. Grrr.

This is what you get with a herding dog!!!

Well, its off to make some chili. This cold rainy weather is permeating my bones!!!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

First post!

Well, I would love to blog about my dog all day long, but unfortunately, people would get bored. So I created a separate blog juuuust for my baby boy, Tyson :) This way, I can write just about him and you don't have to read it if you don't want to!

I can use this to look back at patterns in his behavior, or hell, just to relive old memories!!

For the first post, I would like to post a variety of pictures from when we first got him until now. He has really turned into a great dog. We knew it from the beginning!
This is my husband holding him on the way home from the breeder's house in Charlotte. I guess I should pause here and say why we got a German Shepherd. My grandma always had German Shepherds. My mom had them when she was younger, and I have been around at least one at a time since I was born, until my grandma passed away when I was in 9th grade, and her dog passed away not long after. Matt, my husband, has wanted a German Shepherd since he was 12 years old. He met some of his uncle's girlfriend's GSDs, and never looked back. He got a "shepherd mix" puppy from the pound, but all that dog had was shepherd coloring. He looked like a dashchund with long black and tan hair lol. So when we got married, we decided that we would get a German Shepherd Dog. We got Tyson just before Thanksgiving break, so I could stay at home with him during the break to train him. We couldnt bear the thought of getting a puppy and then leaving him in a crate for 8 hours.

This is Matt's favorite picture of Tyson. His first night home :) He was a SOLID puppy! Look how thick his legs are!

This is my favorite picture of Tyson. Well, favorite puppy picture. This was his second day home, when I spent the whole day with him and he became *mine*.

Look! His ears are starting to come up! To this day, the one on the left is up really firm, but the right one is up, but still flops at the tip when he runs.

Tyson with me and my two Columbia besties. Well, make that Columbia bestie and Oklahoma bestie :) His markings are so handsome. Look at those ears, trying to get up, but flopping to the side!

Can you believe he is only 4 months old?? He was gaining 10 lbs for every month- he weighed 40 lbs.

This is in February, on the snow day. I made a snowball off the patio table and he enjoyed tasting it.

Haha what an awkward teenager! See that left ear(his left) still isnt up all the way!

And all the sudden he looks grown!

The following are my favorite pictures of him...They were taken on my iPhone while he was calmly laying on the ottoman (while I was sitting in the chair). Then a bird calling outside made him look out the window...gorgeous.

I think the last one really captures the beauty and majesty of this breed. He is so intent on what he is listening to, yet if I called his name, he would look at me and do what I commanded.

He just licked my is the good picture out of this photoshoot:
And I'll leave you with one more series of pictures, taken on our new Canon EOS Rebel- put it on sports mode and kept on clicking while my brother was playing frisbee with him.

Okay so maybe just one picture. That one took a long time to upload, since that camera takes such high-res pics.

To sum it up, this dog was supposed to be for my husband. I was never a dog person until we got Tyson. Now I am obsessed with my sweet boy.

There are great and not-so-great things about owning a German Shepherd Dog...but I'll have to go into more detail on the next post.

See ya around!