Hi everyone! I have some quick updates to give you. We have had a LOT going on lately!
We leave in less than two weeks! On August 6th, we are leaving RI to drive to California. Our overnight stops include: southern Chicago, Winter Park, CO, St. George, UT, Long Beach, CA, and then finally San Francisco. On the 14th my car will be shipped out of Oakland via Matson, a large transport company, and we fly to Honolulu on the 15th! We have most the road trip planned and ready to go – last step is to book hotel rooms in the above mentioned cities, except for San Fran (we are staying with a wonderful family I have known for years), and book a car rental for our arrival on the island, since it will take a few weeks for my car to arrive. We already sold John’s car, an older Toyota, and he has grand plans to get a scooter after we arrive.
I also sent out of the necessary paperwork/payment to the Quarantine Station in Hawaii, so that the dogs can qualify for direct release from the airport once we arrive. We shouldn’t run into any issues, but I can’t help but be a little nervous. The thought of those two having to go into quarantine at a facility is not a pleasant one! They get their health certificates on the 5th, which is the last piece of paperwork we need to present to the office upon arrival. Fingers crossed that everything goes smoothly!
We are still looking for a place to live over there. We do have a friend, Shawn, who lives on Oahu and is able to view properties for us, which is a HUGE help! He looked at a potential house for us on Monday and it is definitely an option, but we will continue to look into places this week and next. John talked with a few Hawaii realtors last week and they all told him that it was still pretty early to get a place, because properties get rented out so quickly over there. They advised we keep looking towards the end of the month, when our arrival is closer, to find the latest listings.
I am in my last week of work, and I am SO EXCITED to be finished. My job definitely has its ups and downs, and while I have learned a lot and worked with some great kids and families, it has been a mentally and physically draining year. I’m now looking into easy part-time jobs on Oahu to fit in with my school schedule. I do have some money coming from my loan disbursements that can be used for living and personal expenses, but it is only about $1000 a month and rent and my car payment will just about eat that all up! Some extra money coming in will be helpful, but it’s nice that I won’t need to work full-time in addition to starting grad school.
So, those are some of the major happenings as of late. As far as the dogs go, they are both doing great! They are both over the heat-related sicknesses they had and back to their normal selves. I actually had a PHENOMENAL walk with Lexi last night, just the two of us. We haven’t been doing much walking lately, but now that she is feeling better (and the humidity has given us a break) we are back in the swing of things. I have been playing around with a Gentle Leader (head harness) for a few weeks now and I really like it on her. We have used it a few times and she is not a big fan of it, but I mostly use it as a tool to reinforce loose-leash walking and keeping her attention on me when we see other dogs, rather than spaz out (aka pulling towards the dog, whining, being a nut, etc). The Gentle Leader is great because I can control her head, and thus get her attention back on me more easily. I use the Gentle Leader periodically to give her a “tune up” of sorts, and otherwise I use her Easy Walk harness on walks. Last night I had her in the Easy Walk and we practiced all of our usual skills, with great success! I barely had to remind her to stay by my side or give me her attention – with treats as a motivator she did it on her own! I even had one group of people compliment me on how well-behaved she was looking. Go Lexi! It was really a pleasant walk.
Okay, I think that’s good for now! I’ll have some more updates and pictures soon! John recently got a really nice Nikon camera, so I will have to figure out how to upload the pictures of it, since the dogs serve as his usual models and he has some really cool shots of them. Hugs and kisses from Lexi and Zev!