Sunday, October 05, 2008

We're Movin' On Up

... to the East Side.


We have been incommunicado for a week, blog readers, because the Food Lady has been packing, cleaning, moving and unpacking again. Last week, 3WAAW, Nutz and the Food Lady too, moved to a bigger, better apartment. I wasn't kidding about moving to the East Side!

Our new home is more than double the size of the old one. We lost our magical private deck, but gained floor to ceiling windows, and a gas fireplace, and in-suite laundry! We are no longer quite so close to ocean, but as the Food Lady's car (right now parked in one of the *ahem* two underground spots that come with the condo) can always drive us there.

Another view of the place from the other side of the suite.

Such a lot of hard work, moving is! And the dogs don't know what to make of the new place. It's so different from the old place, but it has all our furniture in it. They are a little weirded out. Mr. Woo snapped at a friendly neighbor dog in the parking garage, which is something Mr. Woo never does, unless he is feeling extremely stressed out.

Mr. Woo is not the only one who is stressed out. As if moving is not bad enough in and of itself, I had the additional fun-and-good-times experience of losing Donut in the move. I realized on moving day that her carrier was on loan to my sister and I foolishly thought that I could just carry her to my car in my arms. The punctures on my thighs and my scratched up hands and wrists will remind me for some time that I was WRONG! My 5lb kitten morphed into something like a oversized Smilodon and clawed her way out of my grasp just as I reached my car, then she vanished in an instant. Seconds after it began to rain. Argh!

I found her about 5 hours later, wet, oily and very scared under a garbage bin in an alley. This was after I had run all around my old neighborhood crying, calling all my friends and recruiting people to help me look for her, finally having to leave to escort the movers to my new place and convinced I would never see her again. Poor Nutz - a nice guy (with 5 cats!) working on the leaky condo next door helped me get her out from under the bin, and she went into a crate in the car with Mr. Woo, who cleaned her up for me.


And Donut was not all I lost. I also, sadly, said "farewell" to our friend Sporty.

Sometimes I forget that my job as a foster home is prepare the doggies for a new and better life somewhere else. It's especially hard to remember that when they were almost dead when you got 'em, and made a miraculous recovery, and stayed for 3 months ... and thought the sun rose and set wherever you were standing too :(

If I had not been in a position where I had to move, I would have put exactly 0% of my efforts into finding Sport a new home and he would have lived out his life with me. But it didn't work out that way - in a city that is experiencing a housing shortage for renters, there was just no room for Sport in my apartment hunt. Finding a home for my own dogs was my priority, and Sport just was not my dog. No potential landlord wants to hear the sentence "I have 4 dogs."

Fortunately, the foster home who sprung Sporty from the shelter for me a few months ago had told me at the time that if they had not been leaving for Australia within days, they would have just kept Sport. And so they were delighted to have him back - fatter, cleaner and way less stinky - as a permanent guest who will spend the remainder of his retirement with them.

Bye bye, old buddy.

To make up for the endless days of packing and cleaning and moving, during which the only words directed at my poor dogs were "OMG Would you please get the f*ck out of my way!?!" I loaded them in the van and hauled them to Bridgeman Park for a good two hours of play time today. It's beautiful in the Fall.

Mr. Woo has still not forgiven me for upsetting his life, and in every photo of him that I take, he looks extremely pissed off:

Or else he just won't look at the camera.

Tweed, bless his heart, tried to make up for Woo's bad manners, but all he managed was

Portrait Fail:
(I've enlarged the expression on his face so you can't miss it)

I also caught him in his favourite "I think I'm about to sneeze" pose:

As well as snapping a private moment between him and his licker!

And Piper's 24/7 thought bubble, as usual, simply reads


Ummm .... Ball?

Oops. Another private licker moment, caught on (digital) film!

This is what Mad Teeth (tm) look like without a ball in Piper's mouth!

More Wootie cold shoulder:

But finally I got a family portrait!

So now you know why I have been neglecting our fans this week. In fact, I had to (steal) internetz to post this week's entry as my internet is not hooked up yet and won't be for several more days! But now that we are mostly settled in, I should be back to more regular updates.

If the bike ride home from work doesn't kill me, that is ... more than 30 continuous uphill blocks. Oh dear. If I don't make it, I bequeath Tweed to you!


The Food Lady.


AKDD said...

Hey, your new digs look great. I'm sorry you don't have Sporty (although VERY glad he's back amongst other friends. I thought for a minute he was the BIG lost.) And BAD Donut, NO CATNIP! Do NOT scare Food Lady like that! Okay, now that you're found, all is forgiven. Poor Donut. How scary that must have been.

I'm pretty sure that Woo will forgive you. Someday.

Mutt Gal said...

Hi! I'm one of the many strangers who follows your life on your blog. Congrats on the new digs! Silly Donut- why do can't pull weird stuff like that? HELLO- don't you think staying with the family is a good idea, nut?

I too was a little worried to hear you'd lost Sport, but am happy for his new retirement situation.

I'm really looking forward to more frequent blogs again (presuming, of course, you don't croak on the bike ride home).

Carol said...

Aaack! I almost fainted about lost Donut and LOST Sporty. Glad to hear they are both well.

Fancy digs! More room for bicycles! No bird killing for Donut! New backdrop for photos! Great legs from climbing the hill home! Exciting!

dp said...

New place looks fantastic! Welcome to my old hood?

Booker the Treeing Walker said...

What a wonderful new apartment! We are glad that found a place that took the dogs you DO have permanently. Can you go visit Sporty? And of course, cats will do those stupid things just to add stress to everyone's adventure. Great dog pics, as always. The family portrait is the very best.

b13 said...

Beautiful place. Too bad about Sport :( That is heartbreaking... but he's going somewhere good!

Tweed is such a smiler :)

Tatyana said...

the condo looks marvelous - those huge windows! Major envy!

But i'm gonna miss Sport! :\

Anonymous said...

You scared me Food Lady - I thought Sporty (and possibly Nutz) were the "big" goodbye. I must say I will miss pictures of the old geezer (and how will you feel losing the "my dog is older than your dog" contests?) SO glad you found Donut -amazing how a teeny tiny kitty can turn into a horrendous tornado-scratching machine when they want. And it's usually never a good idea when they decide to do that.

Enjoy the new living space although I did think you were moving to Santa Barbara :-) And while Piper has perpetual "Where's my ball?" face, Kat has perpetual "I'm working" face. Funny how they look the same.

Black Jack's Carol said...

30 blocks uphill?? Yikes, you're going to be the most in-shape food lady in Vancouver. Added bonus to what looks like a great move.

Phew, you had me worried about Donut and Sport. Glad to hear Donut was no worse for wear. As for having to let Sport go, I think all the time about how difficult it must be to foster. Congrats! You have given him the best possible chance for a happy retirement.

And yes, that family pic was a beauty among so many winners.

The Growing Oshika Gang said...

(1) Your new place is gorgeous. Congrats!
(2) You have a book called 'strip tease' on your bookshelf. Do tell!?!

riosmom said...

How could you possibly pack, move, unpack and have your new place looking so great in one week? With three dogs and a cat to care for! Bad Donut but cats always need to add to the excitement. Will you get to see and photograph Sport and keep us updated on how he is doing? Tweed probably is handling the move well because Sport got left behind. Congratulations on the new digs.

The bad news is that I have a friend who bicycles everywhere and I can't agree with Carol about the great legs - my friend's legs look like a line backer's. Hee Hee

Tristan - I'm a Heavenly King said...

Hey FL,
I was totally freaked about O'Sport. Thought that was the BIG goodbye. Scary.Scary. Strange but true. I realized how attached I am to your dogs even though all these are virtual. So sad though to hear he's not at the Casa de Food Lady anymore. He had great times there, I would love to believe. Tweed must feel relieved. His temp shadow has disappeared. Haha. Sigh. Why can't life be more perfect? He's a 16yr old dog. He can't do much harm anymore than 3 others, can he? Isn't it possible to bargain for a tiny living space for the old dude? He simply adores you. It's written all over his face. Don't let him go.........

dogpainter (michelle) said...

Hey glad to see you lot havn't fallen of the face of the earth after all! I'm glad you found Donut (that was lucky!) and that Sporty has found a forever home, but will miss seeing his gorgeous face:(

Now if you those 30 hills get the best of you, can I put my hand up for Mr Woo? I'm sure he's like Australia;)

MaisysMom said...

Holy crow I was getting teary eyed about Sport.. staring at his photo a long time before my reading continued... Very nice digs.. love the wall colors. I am quite surprised that you can find anywhere to rent with that many pets. I have 2 dogs and I have to pay pet rent every month per pet. The family portrait is beautiful....

Fenway said...

What a suspenseful post!!! Arrgh...lost Donut, goodbye Sport. My angst and then relief at the happy endings zapped my nerves.

The Tweed photo with the close up is a classic WTF look. He obviously thinks you're nuts with the moving.

I checked out Mr. Woo's expression in the family portrait. He also doesn't quite trust your judgement.

But I think the new dog digs look terrific.

MaskedMan said...

Moving - Oh, how I truly loathe that activity. Even just across town is bad enough, but then a little drama to liven things up? Too much.

Empathy on the flail-ex. My son allowed Suka to slip out the door this morning, and even though we had her back in the house in less than ten minutes, the pulse-hammering near-panic adrenalin load is more than I would care to repeat. 'Nutz is lucky to have survived being rescued... As is my son.

The Border Collies said...

Oh hai! Thanks for all the comments folks!

You have a book called 'strip tease' on your bookshelf. Do tell!?!

Ha ha! It's a novel by a man named Carl Hiassen who writes these really awesome and really weird sort of anti-hero quasi-detective novels set amongst political and social greed and intrigue in Florida. "Strip Tease" was actually made into a very bad movie starring Demi Moore, but it's a really entertaining book.

"How could you possibly pack, move, unpack and have your new place looking so great in one week?"

Ahh .. I have a secret weapon called MY MUM! She is a dynamo, and if it weren't for her I would still be sitting in my old apartment wandering around with an old hat in one hand and lamp in the other crying about how packing is too hard ;-)

"Isn't it possible to bargain for a tiny living space for the old dude? He simply adores you. It's written all over his face. Don't let him go........."

Hey listen - it's nice to know people are attached to my dogs like I am, but a guilt trip I don't really need, ok? I moved because I had to, not because I wanted to, and I am already over the dog limit for the new building and I am trying to keep a really low profile ... in and out through the garage always, dog always on leashes etc. I am NOT Sporty's owner - I am also not the relatives who left him to die in a shelter! I am the person who pulled him out and made him well, but it was time for him to move on. So let's remember what I've done for him, rather than focusing on what I've done 'to' him and keep the guilting to a minimum ok? It was hard enough to part with him, and I really don't need to be reminded of that regularly.

I am quite surprised that you can find anywhere to rent with that many pets. I have 2 dogs and I have to pay pet rent every month per pet.

Join the club! Believe me, I was looking at total dumps that 50 other people were looking at too, and it was getting very depressing and I was rapidly running out of time. I found this place because I was very aggressive about apartment hunting and it happens to be in a neighborhood that is up and coming but is not yet too popular.

As for 30 blocks up up-hill, I am really afraid! REALLY afraid! I think I may need to actually throw my bike on the bus rack for part of the way home, as I anticipate that climb is going to be very hard!

Echo and Bella too.... said...

I am a fellow rescuer who enjoys your crazy family and am very sad to hear about the Sport man. However, to those of you who have never fostered a dog in your home, (as i have 100+) please keep in mind that these are not our dogs. We are simply providing a safe haven at this point in time along their path of life and preparing them for their furever homes. Sporty has been fully prepared to move into his retirement home and when he and the Food Lady meet at the Bridge, he will thank her for doing so. I hope your Nutz induced scritches are healing nicely...:) The family looks fab. My thighs feel your virtual pain..UGH!You go girl!

riosmom said...

I am a Hiassen fan too and enjoyed "Strip Tease". No need for you to feel any guilt about Sport - you gave him back his health and a wonderful three months. He will bond with his new family and be happy there because of all you did for him and because of who he is. I will miss hearing about him and seeing his pictures but I am happy to have gotten to "know" him.

While Mr. Woo and Gracie don't look at all alike, they have very similar expressions when being miffed or just being snotty. I laughed out loud at his pictures and said "Gracie! Look it's you!"

Much happiness in your new home. That hill will get easier and the bus rides shorter with every day.

Becky said...

Lucky Sport! Am I right in remembering that his new forever home is with the folks who, in trying to get him to eat, bought one of each kind of dog food and offered it to him on a spoon? These are clearly the kind of people who will dote on him the way he deserves. I know he'll be happy there.

Congratulations on the new place -- it looks good. I'm sure Donut will realize the error of her ways once she's realized how much more space she has to prowl around in. Although she'll never admit it. Cats just don't do that.

Sheri said...

Big congrats on the new condo! It looks great and I'm sure Woo and everyone will get used to it soon. I love Tweed's expression! It is wonderful to see all the great expressions on Tweed, Woo and Piper's faces that I wish I could capture on Cailin and Scout, except that they are sure a camera was designed to steal their souls.

Tristan - I'm a Heavenly King said...

Hey FL,

Sorry there. Didn't mean it as a guilt trip. Yeah, we all saw what you did for good o'Sporty and we are all very proud of you. I was just sad to see him go. Sorry that it came out sounding otherwise. Hope he finds happiness @his new home. :)

Cavewoman said...

Wow, packed and unpacked in a week and already your books are fully shelved. I'm impressed. I'm glad you found Donut. And I'm glad to hear Sport found a great home. Someday I hope to be in a position to foster, hopefully this will help me get used to it.

lin said...

Congratulations on your new digs! They look quite posh. Glad you got Old Sport off to a good home; he was very lucky to have spent time with you. Just an FYI in case you ever have to move Donut w/out a carrier: pillowcases work in a pinch, some cats actually prefer them to carriers. Unless they have Wolverine-type claws, they usually can't do too much damage.

Caroline said...

FL... Glad you found a place, and such a nice one at that! I had a terrible time a couple years ago in North Van when I had my dog.
I am a huge Hiassen fan! Laughed when I saw Strip Tease on the shelf. Another good, wacky Florida guy is Tim Dorsey and for just all around funny with huge imagination, a guy called Christopher Moore.

Jean said...

Congrats on the new digs! May I borrow your mom next time I have to move??? Pleeeeeeaaase????? It's my least favourite job and the sheer terror of moving keeps me where I am (until the landlord decides to sell it, I suppose).

My heartbeat came to a screeching halt when I read that Sport was gone.......and shouted with delight when I read that he is back with the people who originally helped him out. Now that is a truly happy ending! Thank you for taking such great care of him and for sharing him with your readers.

And Nutz - you silly cat!!!!!!

saratogajean said...

Portait Fail = awesome


Natalie said...

Wow!! That's a lot of work... I'm so so happy you found what looks like a really nice place and can have your three dogs.

And you did a fantastic job rehabbing Sporty so he can have a good home.... wonderful job!! I'm sure letting him go must have been very difficult, though. There's a reason I don't foster. (Well, two: husband is the other.)

BAD Donut. Isn't it amazing how crazy a tiny little cat can throw out when pissed off? They scare me sometimes when they do that. I'm SO glad you found her and got her back. Yikes.

Buzz's Food Lady said...

CONGRATS on the new place! Since you are over your dog limit, I will be expecting Piper in my mail very soon. : ) Please tell her that I have balls and we can borrow tiaras from the neighborhood girlitas for her to wear.

Thanks for taking such great care of Sport and finding him a lovely retirement home.

citydog said...

Oh, man. Our old girl bloated and had to be put down last week, and when I started the part about Sport I promptly burst into tears. Glad he's just gone on to his forever home and that you don't miss him too much.

Gorgeous new place and superior unpacking skills! Congrats.

cruznk9 said...

Great place. Finding somewhere nice is always difficult with pets but you're lucky you can have them in that situation. It usually isn't allowed in my neighbourhood (Australia). I'm sorry that Sport couldn't go with you. Is it possible to get updates on him? I've grown rather attached to the old boy just reading about him and he looks a lot like my old boy.

Hornblower said...

Congrats on your new place. Looks lovely.

So no more birdie hunting for Donut?

I'm glad to hear that Sport has gone to his forever home. You did good.

Melanie said...

Nice place! How are the dogs settling in?

See everyone, it IS possible to find a place that is not a total hole with three dogs, but it requires being aggressive as well as creative. I managed to do it in San Francisco, a city that appears outwardly to be dog-friendly but that in reality allows dogs to live almost nowhere.

When I hear all the whines from people who say "I have to get rid of the dog because I'm moving" it makes me want to hurl.