Breaking Booties (By Oleta Renee)

You’ve seen me in them multiple times this week, and yes, it’ll keep happening… It’s the same comment every time. “Aw, that dog has little shoes!”

There are two problems with this… no, three.

  • 1. They are called booties, not “little shoes’. I make this distinction because
  • 2. ‘Little shoes’ sounds cute. They are not cute. It’s easy to become confused, I’m sure, considering my high level of fashionality, but they are part of the job. They protect my paws in extreme temperatures (both hot and cold), and from salt and chemicals on the road in freezing conditions.
  • 3. Also, they are highly uncomfortable. We dogs are built much sturdier than you humans, and while getting salt stuck between your paw pads or dancing on street corners because of the heat is definitely unpleasant, I almost prefer it to wearing such a ridiculous form of attire. During booty season, Shea is fond of telling me, “Oleta, it’s really not that bad. I wear shoes every day!” But here’s the thing… I don’t!
  • Admittedly, there is one slight benefit to wearing booties. They give me all kinds of traction… which means wherever I want Shea to go, she goes. Now, I don’t take advantage of this very often. Usually, it’s helpful to keep both of us from sliding on ice, and so much more fun than slipping around on the slick tile in those college buildings of ours… at dinner time though… we’re goin’ home, and with my four-paw drive, there’s not much Shea can do about it. Hey, don’t judge me… this is a give and give relationship. Shea gives me booties, I give her attitude. Fair is fair.

    That said, booties are part of guide work, and I love my job, so as much as I detest them, I will keep wearing them for the sake of keeping Shea safe… don’t tell Shea I said that though.

    P.S.
    The title of this post is, yes, a play on the show title “Breaking Bad’, because my chosen career is so bachelor of arts (BA) in general, but it’s really more about my sincere desire to actually break my booties. Just thought I should clarify. Until next time, over and out.

    A Second Journey: Freezing Fridays and Saint Andrews Saturday

    Friday was our day off for the week. I got up late (like 9:30!) and spent the day exploring Airdrie a bit with some of my team mates. We went to the grocery store, and had lunch at Greggs. Greg’s is a wonderful land of beautiful breads and flakey pastries. There is this incredible British invention called the “pasty” which involves a flakey pastry outside with a meat or other savory filling. Think pigs in the blanket, but completely enclosed, much more delicious inside, and puffier pastry. It’s also incredibly cheap, which suits we college kids on the mission team just fine. They also have a variety of sweet breads, so I got myself a chocolate donut in honor of national donut day back home in the states. Greg’s is always a good choice… always.
    Anyway, we then wondered about the town, stopping in on a charity shop (thrift store), music store, and pet shop. I got to play a rosewood whistle, which was gorgeous, and tried to play a low D tin whistle, but discovered my hands are much too small. I could just barely manage a low G, but I’m afraid anything lower might be beyond my whistling capabilities. I also troubled the shop owner to tune one of his violins for me, and I tried to remember how to play that instrument, as it’s been probably years now since I’v touched my viola.
    My favorite part was the pet store. My intention was to pop in to see if there was something I could get to bring back to Oleta, but I found myself spending 20 minutes petting the shop owner’s giant, fluffy, and awfully sweet bernese mountain dog. He nearly pushed me over he as leaning on me so, and I definitely just wanted to stay there and hug him all day. I did explain to the owner that I was going through serious dog withdrawal, and thankfully he understood. He even offered to get me a chair so that I could sit there and pet him all day. I’m not going to lie, I was legitimately tempted to take him up on it, but I restrained myself. Eventually, I managed to pull myself away, and actually took a look at the things on the shelves. The selection wasn’t vast, but there was a collection of collars, so I purchased a red tartan collar for Oleta. I wasn’t sure of the size, but the owner gave me his address and number, and said he would send a different size for free if it turned out not to fit when I got home. I think it will fit just fine, but that was very kind of him.
    In the evening, a couple from the Airdrie church drove the team and some of the CY (youth group) to the final Edinburgh mission night. Peter discussed the elder brother from the story of the prodigal son, and tied all three of the characters together. He emphasized the elder brother’s pride, his hatred toward his younger brother, and the disrespect, even disdain he shows his father. His attitude drives a rift between himself and his family members, and we do not know whether he responds to his father’s plea for him to humble himself and return to the celebration for his younger brother’s salvation. We do know that if the elder brother were to repent and return to the family, the celebration surely would increase ten fold.
    The service was followed up by tea, coffee, and biscuits (as usual in Edinburgh), until the team and CY headed back to the van. On the way back, we stopped at the Firth of Fourth for a walk on the beach, though Emma L and I mostly clung to each other and shivered, as it was absolutely freezing!
    Saturday was similar to Friday in the whether, though a tad bit sunnier. It was our reformation tour through Saint Andrews. At the beach there, which we visited for lunch before starting the tour, the wind was blowing so strongly that I could recline in it without falling backward. The tide was also coming in quite quickly, which is why about 53 seconds after I found the edge of the water, I realized I was actually standing in about an inch of the stuff. Surprisingly, my feet did not get wet at all. Kudos to you, my dear old leather walking shoes.
    Sand was another question all together. I had to dump it out of my shoes when I got home later, and the wind kicked it all up, which meant that as we attempted to return to the bus, our mouths and ears and hair and every other part of us was graced with a film of white grit. We are still finding sand everywhere.
    Anyway, it was a wonderful tour, the details of which I may recount at a later date, as I really need to get y’all caught up so that we can talk about this week!

    Scotland Trip: We are here!

    Guess where I am! I’ll give you three guesses… it might have something to do with the title of this post.

    We are here, safe and mostly sound in the lovely country of Scotland! I am quite tired, even after my five hour nap today, so I am keeping this short. I just wanted y’all to know that yes, we did make it! I can’t believe it! Perhaps it will sink in tomorrow. I will also give a more detailed account of our trip in a post tomorrow. For now, here’s a list of some new words I’ve noticed, just for fun.

    1. Lovely: this word is of course used in the U.S., but here it is MUCH more common. It’s really a nice word. “Have a lovely time here in Scotland.” “The weather has been lovely.” “oh, that’s lovely.”

    2. RIght: sort of our equivalent of “okay”, or “let’s see”. Right then…

    3. Hi-ya: I guess we have this phrase in the states, but you don’t hear it much. Here, everyone seems to be using it, especially to answer the phone, or at the grocery store register.

    4. CHeers: a salutation, sort of a combination of, “see you, thanks, have a good day”

    5. Aye: a word for yes. I knew people used this word, but I did not think it all that common. On the contrary, I have heard it multiple times from people today, throughout the airport and about. Pretty cool. It sounds so old fashioned and lovely.

    The weather today was quite nice, sunny during the day ann in the mid 50’s. I was comfortable in my short sleeved shirt, though in the evening the temperature dropped, the myst started falling, and I had to put on my long sleeve shirt and jacket. Because of our northern latitude here, the sun stays up much later, and didn’t set until somewhere between 9 and 10 tonight. Weird! I felt as if it was 7:30 or so and it was really 10. We will be here during the longest day of the year, June 21. It will be interesting to see when the sun finally sets that day.

    I reckon the sun will be up earlier than I’m used to as well, so perhaps I should get to bed before I lose all chance of a good night’s sleep. Until tomorrow.

    Cheers!