I started TCA 15 days ago, and oh my, what a 15 days it has been. Our days are long ones, usually starting at 7am and officially ending at 6pm. However, we’re expected to put in at least two additional hours working with our dogs each night. I think my body is still in shock. Oh, how I miss my naps!
I am enjoying being here, learning and being challenged. I have met some interesting people from all over the country. There’s Jacqui from New Hampshire with the coolest accent, Jessica from Utah, Kristy from Georgia, Jim from Fargo, Patrick from Louisiana, Shannon from D.C., the two Laura’s from New Jersey and Wisconsin as well as some fellow Texans among the group and last, but certainly not least, is my roommate, Mai (pronounced My), who is Egyptian, but came here from her home in Guatemala. There are 17 of us in all.
We started out with 18 but we lost one 7 days into it, which was a blessing for us all. I predicted that outcome, but even so, I was shocked at how quickly she dropped out. She was my other roommate, and had she returned from her overnight stay “with her aunt” in Waco last Monday, Mai and I had already decided that we had to let the school coordinator know that we couldn’t continue to live with her.
Within 15 seconds of meeting her it was obvious to all that she was loaded with issues and not someone you’d want to be around 24/7, or even 24 seconds for that matter. She provided some great material with her shocking stories and behavior during week one, but she also made studying and getting any peace and quiet in the house impossible. She accused me of going through her pockets on her coat when I was just pulling the sleeves out after finding it lying on top of the stove and was going to place it neatly on her counter space. She was a 50-year-old train wreck to put it nicely. I wish her well, but she was making life miserable for us here in the house.
I brought Jaxon and Sam with me, and was also assigned a rescue dog to train and care for. It’s a bit overwhelming to have three dogs to work with, especially with the fast pace in which we move. I’m living in a 4-bedroom mobile home on-site. I do a lot of walking to and from class and to the kennels and training center. I don’t have my vehicle. I had to leave it for the family. That has taken some getting used to but I catch rides into town with my student neighbors when I need something.
I had kennel duty last week and it nearly killed me. I was up at 5 and cleaning kennels until about 7:30 then had to start my day. We all have to rotate on kennel duty and some people got stuck with it twice but I only got it once. I’m so glad I got it over with and out of the way.
We will be going on a class field trip at some point to Sea World, where we will get to see a dolphin ejaculate on command. I guess that’s something most people can’t say that they’ve seen and I’m not sure they’d really want to. We use clicker training and dolphins have been using it for quite some time and they can actually train a dolphin to do that for reproduction purposes.
There have been plenty of funnies since I’ve been here. Let’s see. I locked myself into the kennel with my rescue dog the first day. I have since learned how to open it from the inside, but was afraid I was going to have to crawl through the doggie door and holler for help or sleep with my rescue. Luckily, Mai showed up just in time. She was upset that she didn’t have her camera.
Then there was the morning after Mai made me some of her Guatemalan tea that is a great laxative for those of us who aren’t always regular. She warned me that it takes about 12-hours to hit and so we had to drink it early or we’d be reliving the scene from Bridesmaids during class. I was out walking my rescue on this 360-acre spread when the rumbling in my tummy started. I thought I’d have time to get him back to the kennel and make it to my trailer, but ended up bringing him back to the house and barely making it to the bathroom. Then, 15-minutes after class started round two hit me and Mai said I walked very slowly and strangely to the bathroom, which made her laugh. When I sat back down I whispered, “I hate you” to her and it wasn’t because of how she said I walked out. I didn’t know that until later. Funny how I vow every morning I’ll never drink it again as I sit here sipping on a cup now. We are on an every other day regime of the Guatemalan tea.
Besides the crazy roommate stories, which I don’t have the time or energy to share in detail, I guess another funny and my biggest blonde moment thus far would be having one of my fellow students inform me yesterday that my rescue dog, Boots, was not a male dog, but a female. I thought she was joking but she said she saw his paperwork and he’d been spayed, not neutered. I rolled her over and sure enough……I’m not really sure why I thought she was a he or why I never really checked or looked closer at her paperwork. So, for the past two weeks I have been giving Boots atta-boys and telling people what a gay name Boots was for such a husky boy dog. I’m still reconditioning myself to say, “Good girl”. I guess I really need to be more observant of certain things!
Well, that’s all I’ve got for now and I’m too tired to proof this or to organize the pictures, so this post is going up as is. Mai is the one mixed in with the scenery photos and Boots is the black and white dog, and if you’re reading this then you should know which is Jack and Sam.