There’s this high school in Chicago with anĀ  incredibly large lawn right down at the end of our street. It kinda like the “old skool” schools that remind me of Rydell High from “Grease.”

Official Clubhouse for the DEC

In any case, the huge lawn of this school also serves as a dog park. It comes in pretty handy when we’ve gotta take our Kozzy-girl out for her “business.” But not so great when there’s a whole gaggle of other dogs out there as well.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, our Kozzy is not exactly the most socially adept dog. Both with strangers and with other dogs. With us, she’s the sweetest affable dog around … but with others, she’s such a nervous nelly; which in turn makes her aggressive. So yeah, she’s not exactly welcomed at the dog park.

In fact, Hubby & I have a name for the group of pets and their owners. We call them the DEC. Or the Doggy Exclusive Club. Of which Kozzy & her owners are not members.

But thanks to unyielding patience on both our parts and the help of tips from watching “The Dog Whisperer,” Kozzy has made a breakthrough tonight. That’s right, peeps; I think Kozzy actually made a doggy friend. And it happens to be this fluff-ball of a puppy that belongs to the family in the apartment building a few houses down. It’s a good thing this furball is the antithesis of Kozzy; he’s friendly and verrry non-aggressive. So much that Kozzy actually let him sniff her and let Kozzy sniff him … all without any growling or barking!

I KNOW! I was sooo amazed!

Of course, after that … I just had to test out the DEC. And, unfortunately … the amount of pets and pet owners at the park must have overwhelmed our Kozzy. Which, of course, resulted in Kozzy being overly anxious and overly aggressive. But … at least I managed to calm her down before heading back home.

Despite that little hiccup at the end, I am so proud of my Kozzy-girl. It’s taken awhile, but I think she’s finally adjusting to city life!

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And now for the Daily Lenten Special:

Good Deed Du jour: The first Wednesday of the month is typically “Free Inservice Day” at work. It’s where our Clinical Trainers arrange for some sort of vendor to come out and present on a healthcare-related topic. With that comes free Continuing Education Units (CEU) to keep up with our Nursing License and Certification for Case Manager. Oh, and lunch is usually provided as well. However, the amount of food that’s provided is usually waaay too much for me to eat in one setting … so I tend to either share it with someone or bring it home.

Today I decided to give the other half of my chicken pita sandwich and cookies to someone else who needed it. And that would be the homeless guy that happened to be sitting outside of the Borders Bookstore on Michigan Avenue. I’m sure this guy probably gets a lot of handouts throughout the day, but at least I know that I’ve given food to someone who could use it.

And here's my Kozzy-girl!!

Gratitude Du jour: Even though I already expressed gratitude for having Kozzy in our lives; today I am thankful for all the things that having to care for Kozzy has taught me. While patience is the number one thing that Kozzy has taught me, there’s another important lesson I’ve learned for her. Because of Kozzy, I’ve learned how my emotions and moods affect others. With humans, it’s not as blatantly obvious to see how an anxious or bad mood can affect other people around you.

With pets … dogs, in particular … they can pick up on emotions right away. If I’m happy and excited, then chances are Kozzy is the same. And when I’m angry or anxious … well, you bet that Kozzy starts exhibiting her anxiety. And because of this exercise, I’ve learned to be more conscious of how my disposition affects others. So thank you Kozzy, for that lesson.