103: Feeling Emotions

December 2, 2021

We talk about Thanksgiving, saying goodbye to Cadet (SO MANY TEARS), Claire’s new job and Joy’s new job!

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Girls Gone Wod

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This is Joy & Claire Episode 103: Feeling Emotions

Episode Date: December 2, 2021

Transcription Completed: December 13, 2021

Audio Length: 47:32 minutes 

Joy: Hey guys, this is Joy.

Claire: And this is Claire.

Joy: And this is Joy and Claire. One of these days, you should say, “That is Joy.” And I could be like, “That is Claire.”

Claire: Oh my gosh.

Joy: We could just confuse people even more. Isn’t it funny when people write us and they think – if you do a story, and they think you’re me and I’m you? That always freaks me out. I’m like, all this time you thought we were – just to be clear, I’m the tall one with the brown hair. Claire’s the shorter one with the red one.

Claire: Also sort of brown hair. I mean, my hair is getting browner. People will refer to me as someone with brown hair. I identify as a redhead personally.

Joy: Yeah.

Claire: I self-identify. I had to live my childhood life as a redhead.

Joy: Well, and I see you up close. It’s red hair.

Claire: Up close, it’s red. In pictures, it’s brown.

Joy: Yeah, I could see that. Yeah. Don’t take away the title of the redhead.

Claire: Do not. Exactly.

Joy: And neither of your children are redheads.

Claire: Not even a little bit.

Joy: Are you disappointed in that?

Claire: So disappointed. I will never get over it, as a matter of fact. They all have Brandon’s dumb hair.

Joy: Where does the lineage of redhead come from?

Claire: So both your parents have to have it.

Joy: Oh, got it.

Claire: It’s like the most recessive. Blonde is recessive, but redhead is even more recessive. So Brandon is blonde with some brown in his family. We thought he might have some red in his family, but apparently no. But both my dad had read hair when he was little, and my mom still has red hair.

Joy: Does she?

Claire: Well, it’s light to medium. Because she had red hair – I guess she’s kind of going grey, as it were. And my dad had red hair that got darker over his lifetime as well. But no, both of my kids have Brandon’s dumb hair. Brandon has this really straight, fine –

Joy: Is Brandon going to listen to this and be really offended?

Claire: I tell him this all the time.

Joy: Okay. His dumb hair.

Claire: His dumb hair. I’m like, “Our kids have your dumb hair.” His hair is great. Brandon has a nice, thick head of hair. But it’s the most unremarkable color. It’s just “bronde.”

Joy: It is very much “bronde.”

Claire: And it’s so fine and kind of fluffy. It really doesn’t have any texture. I have great hair, in my opinion, which I respect.

Joy: You have great hair. Own it.

Claire: Yes.

Joy: Own it.

Claire: I have great hair, and Brandon has less great hair, and both of our kids got his dumb hair.

Joy: People who don’t know Claire up close, which is not a lot of you, your hair is so thick. You have so much hair. 

Claire: Super thick. Wavy. It has a great natural wave. It really does what I want it to. It holds a curl. It holds a wave. 

Joy: You rocked an undercut like five years ago, and your hair still looks thick.

Claire: I literally shaved off half of my hair and still had more than enough hair.

Joy: Right.

Claire: Yes.

Joy: So how was your Thanksgiving?

Claire: First of all, I need to know from the public. Which part of the word do you emphasize, and from where in the country are you? Do you say Thanks-GIV-ing? Or do you say THANKS-giving? 

Joy: I’ve never paid attention to that. When did you realize that was a thing? 

Claire: My stepbrother says THANKS-giving? He’s like, “Hey, are you coming over for THANKS-giving?”

Joy: Oh, okay.

Claire: Most people I know say Thanks-GIV-ing. Like, “Are you coming over for Thanks-GIV-ing?” But he, it’s the “thanks.” He grew up in the south, and he says, “Y’all coming over for THANKS-giving?”

Joy: Well, that’s a southern lilt. 

Claire: Right, inflection. I had never – “Y’all coming over for THANKS-giving?” Thanksgivin’. “Y’all coming over for THANKS-givin.” The first time I heard it, I was like, “THANKS-giving? Thanks-GIV-ing, is that what you mean?” So I’m just curious. If anyone wants to write in with –

Joy: I’m going to guess it has so much to do with being southern. I always want to know how East Coast people say things. Because my dad’s from Jersey, and we have so many words from him growing up in Jersey. Anyway, I digress, but I’d love to hear –

Claire: Hold on. I have a dad lexicon question.

Joy: Okay.

Claire: I feel like all dads have this – and moms and grandmas and grandpas. What are the things that your parents say instead of swearing?

Joy: I love that question. My dad says “dadnummit.”

Claire: That’s what my dad says too. “Dagnummit.” Or “dagnammit.” My grandma, my mom’s mom, used to say, “I swan!” Instead of “I swear to God,” she’d be like – like an interjection “I swear to God,” not like an actual swearing to God. Where instead of like, “I swear to God, if you do that one more time.” She’d be like, “I swan!” She used it both in the negative and in the positive. If you were playing Bingo with her and you got a Bingo for the tenth time in a row, it was a positive interjection as well. She could swan that you got a bunch of Bingos.

Joy: I love it. I want to hear these so bad. So you can write in or voice mail it. 

Claire: I think we might just put this as an Instagram story today.

Joy: Instagram story today. That’s actually a great question. And I want to hear in different languages too. 

Claire: Or even just a voice memo.

Joy: Or even just voice memo it because I love hearing different language swear words.

Claire: Does your mom have one? I feel like my mom never really had one.

Joy: She does, but I don’t want it to be offensive. We grew up Catholic, but whenever she got upset, she would say, “Jesus Christmas.”

Claire: Jesus Christmas? That’s adorable. 

Joy: Yeah. I’m not saying she took the Lord’s name in vain, but when she would be upset, she would be like, “Jesus Christmas.”

Claire: To all the Catholics listening, you know we’re in the clear, right?

Joy: Not only that, my mom is a devout – I mean, guys, she grew up [emphasizing] Catholic. This is not just a cafeteria Catholic. She was very much a Catholic. So she is allowed to say “Jesus Christmas” when she gets upset.

Claire: She’s adorable.

Joy: I can still tell that she doesn’t like – because I have a massive potty mouth. Yeah. And I try very hard to not swear around her, but every once in a while it slips out and I can just tell it hurts her heart. I just want to be like, “Mom, I’m really a good person, I swear.”

Claire: She’s not mad. She’s just disappointed.

Joy: Exactly.

Claire: Okay, well, now that we’ve had two whole tangents, my Thanksgiving was good, We went to my dad’s house, I only ended up making two types of pie. I made cranberry curd and apple pie.

Joy: It looked great.

Claire: Okay, the cranberry curd was a little disappointing actually. It looked amazing. And Tilly warned me about this on Instagram stories. Tilly, our baking friend in Denver. She warned me that the flavor was not going to – she was like, “I made it, and the flavor was not as complex as I wanted it to be.” I fully agree with that conclusion, with that judgement.

Joy: Like it didn’t taste how you thought it would taste.

Claire: It just tasted very – eh, okay. That’s cranberry, I guess. It just could have had so much more going for it. I feel like I don’t really know what would give it that. It almost tasted like it needed – like, it wasn’t rich like you wanted it to be. It just felt very –

Joy: Texture-wise, or taste-wise?

Claire: The texture was fine. The taste was just very, eh, it was okay. My apple pie was very good. I still really want to make a pumpkin pie because I love pumpkin pie. But my stepmom makes pumpkin cheesecake, which I also really love. And that’s mostly what I ate. It was great. What about you?

Joy: Well, you know. I think I mentioned last week, we went to Westcliff for Thanksgiving. Scott got sick, so he had to stay home. It was so sad. But here’s the thing. I’m not putting any rumors out there, but he did get the booster shot on Saturday, and we were supposed to leave on Tuesday. I ended up staying until Wednesday to see if he was going to get better, but he thinks – I don’t know. We don’t know if was a reaction to the vaccine. But hey guys, get your vaccine. We don’t know. But he got very, very sick. Ended up getting bronchitis. And so I don’t know if it was just a weird –

Claire: I think there’s something to be said for – the vaccine, it’s like anything. If you have multiple things going on in your immune system at once, it can be a recipe for a tough time.

Joy: Yeah. So whether he got it in the public – but we’re very careful. Who knows?

Claire: Obviously he did not get bronchitis from the COVID vaccine because that’s impossible.

Joy: Right, right. Exactly. So just the timing was just very, very sucky because he felt a little bit off from the booster and then he got sick and had to stay home because obviously people didn’t want to get sick. And the doctor said, yes, please do not go around people. His cough just sounded horrible. Poor guy was sick over Thanksgiving. We felt so bad. He felt horrible because my whole family came to town, and he hasn’t seen them in a long time. So overall, that was just a bummer. But I had a great time in Westcliff. JT and I drove down to see my family, spend it with my nieces and nephew. I brought a bunch of Legos for us to do while we were there. I don’t know if anybody remembers last year. I posted the Lego VW bus that Scott got me for Christmas. You may remember last year when I was diagnosed with Graves’ Disease and I had to take medical leave, Scott thought that Legos would be a great way for me to pass the time. So he started just buying me a bunch of Legos. And I was like, no, no, no, I don’t want to be the Legos person now. You don’t need to buy me Legos from now on because I’m not going to do them forever. But I’m happy to do a set of Friends Legos while I’m sitting here on medical leave. Anyway, he bought me this huge VW bus. I took it out sometime in the spring to sit down and do it. And if you’re a Legos aficionado, this was way expert-level advanced, meaning you had to separate the pieces. Whereas the more beginner/intermediate, they put every phase bagged already for you, so you don’t have to go searching for the pieces. I don’t have that much patience to sort through all the pieces. So when I brought this bus in, my nephew sat down immediately, took it all out. He finished it in under five hours. I was like, you are amazing. He’s 15 years old. He just hunkered down, put his head down, got the whole thing done. It was amazing. We played a lot of games. We watched movies. We went outside and played. We ate good food. My parents were just so cute. And of course, yes, my mom did cry. We were doing what you’re grateful for around the table.

Claire: Oh, you had to know she was going to cry.

Joy: I can’t remember how she started this tradition, but one of the traditions is she puts these two little beans in front of you and you have to go around with this little cup. And you put the beans in the little cup and you pass it on. And every time you put a bean in the cup, you say what you’re grateful for. So everybody was putting their beans in the cup to say what they’re grateful for. And when it got to her, she just started crying. We were all – not like making fun of her, but we were all like, “Mom! It’s us.” It was just really cute. I told you guys she was going to cry because she was going to be so overwhelmed with just the family love. But it was so good to see my brother, my sister-in-law. I’m very lucky in that department because I get along super well with my sister-in-law, and my nieces are just adorable. They just love JT. My nephew is just the sweetest 15-year-old. I’m like, how are you so big. But yeah, overall, it was a really, really good trip. Other than we really missed Scott. It was a success. We saw some deer.

Claire: Saw some wildlife.

Joy: We got a lot of snow the night before Thanksgiving. The whole Thanksgiving day was building snowmen. My dad got to plow all the snow, so we helped him put the plow in the truck. I’m sitting there thinking, my dad is 80 years old. He just turned 80 a couple weeks ago. I aspire to be him at that age. He’s just amazing. He’s Ronnie Z. It was really good.

Claire: Also for those of us who celebrate Hanukah, it’s Hanukah right now. Which is awesome, so happy Hanukah. I don’t celebrate Hanukah, but I think it’s pretty cool. I’ve been talking to a friend who celebrates Hanukah. She’s like, Hanukah’s actually not a super major holiday in the Jewish religion. But because it’s so close to Christmas, it just sort of gets lumped into – and you get a holiday, and you get a holiday. So yeah, happy Hanukah if you celebrate Hanukah. So speaking of JT coming down with you to Westcliff and your little road trip, how is JT doing – give us the very short, however much you can tell us without feeling emotional about it recap of how drop-off went with Cadet and what will happen next.

Joy: Yeah. It’s funny, when you said that, I was like, oh God, don’t cry. If I cry, whatever. I don’t think I’m going to cry. I’m three weeks out from this. But I certainly couldn’t talk about it – I think we recorded like the next day for Great British Bakeoff. And I texted you. I was like, “Whatever you do, just don’t ask how I’m doing.” It was one of those moments where if someone asked how I was doing, I was going to lose it. Just don’t talk about it. Don’t ask me how I’m doing. And we’ll be fine. We’ll get through it. But for those of you, just to recap, we raised a service dog for the past 19 months. Her name is Cadet, and we turned her into advanced training on November 12 in Oceanside, California. We flew there with Cadet. We stayed overnight in Oceanside. Actually, we stayed a couple nights. But Friday the 12th was her turn-in day, and she will move on to advanced training. I’ll talk about that in a second. But getting there, I think what happened was, you know, being a puppy raiser – this was our first time actually raising a puppy from puppy stage to then turn-in. So I have all these puppy raiser friends who a month and a half beforehand are like, “I bet you’re feeling like the clock is ticking and the countdown has begun.” We really felt that. I know that I talked about this on the show too of I just wanted it to be over. Because the anticipation was so hard. You’re sitting there with this amazing dog, and you can’t help but think about everything that you’re going to miss about them. So when we got there – actually, back up. I was fine until we left the house. So everything was fine in terms of I was emotionally okay. I was amping myself up – this is what she’s meant to do, all the things you’re trying to tell yourself about the whole process. My parents came in to watch our house and our animals while we were gone and celebrate my dad’s birthday because it was the week of my dad’s birthday. So we’re packing up that morning to go to the airport and it hit me that she’s not coming back to the house with us. It was so funny – I can laugh about it now. I was holding it together just fine. We’re getting all of our stuff ready. We’re packing up our stuff, the usually rummaging around the house while you’re getting ready to leave. And all of the sudden, my dad’s rummaging around doing something and he says, “Yeah, do you have any plastic gloves around or rubber gloves around here?” You know when you get so emotional and you’re trying to keep it locked up, and I couldn’t anymore. All morning, I was fine. But that moment when he asked me that was when things were starting to just spill over, and I just started bawling.

Claire: He’s like, “It’s fine.”

Joy: “Oh my God, I’ll find the rubber gloves on my own.” But I just started bawling and after that moment I couldn’t stop crying. But my rule throughout this whole thing was just feel your feelings. It’s like the whole thing with my job. Just feel your feelings throughout everything that’s changing. So we made it to the airport, getting on the flight. I was so nervous to fly with her because she’s never flown before. She did great. But turn-in was awesome. We had a really good night that night with her. We stayed on the beach, so we got to do a nice walk on the beach with her. We ordered in. We just ate food in the hotel. We had a really awesome hotel room of course because Scott is Scott and picks great rooms. We had our own little deck, so we sat outside with her that morning. It was so interesting because the whole time I kept thinking, I just don’t want to lose it when we talk to her trainer. I knew we were going to meet her trainer, and this is the trainer that will be with her for the entire advanced training. I was like, I just don’t want to cry in front of the trainer. I want to be able to hold it together for the trainer. In my mind, I’m thinking, maybe Scott will be the one to talk to the trainer and I’ll just be the one kind of losing it. In my mind, I’m like, if all else fails, Scott can talk to the trainer and I will be quietly losing it in the corner. So we get there, and I just go into this manic phase where I’m super high energy. I think I did that because it was this protective – I just have to stay pumped up so I don’t lose it. And not only that – and I’m sure he would be fine telling everybody this. As we’re driving up to Canine Companions, the actual building, I’m having all this nostalgia because this is where I trained with JT. But I look over and Scott’s bawling his eyes out. I’m like, no. I think this is when I texted you.

Claire: Lock it up, Scott.

Joy: I think this is when I texted you because I was like, oh no, oh no. We are almost to turn-in and he’s bawling. I’m like, okay, so one of us has to be the one to talk to the trainer. It’s got to be me. Yeah, that was really hard. We walked in, and they have this cute little table set up with bags for the puppy raisers, like goody bags. They take her collar off, and you take her collar and they put the professional training collar on, which is basically just a blue CCI collar with her graduate training tag. It’s almost like a graduation gown on the dogs. You go take pictures, and then you go in and meet the trainer. The trainer, her name is Grace. She’s so sweet. I told her I was a graduate. And I got to see JT’s trainer. Her name’s Sarah. She’s amazing. The trainers are so, so, so, so cool. Talked to Grace for a while. Told her all about Cadet, her strengths, her weaknesses, how she is as a dog. And the whole time, Scott was just quiet. I kept turning to him like, “Did I miss anything? Is there anything else?” I was just a mile a minute. And he was mute. He would not talk. He just kind of looked at me like, no. And we all had masks on of course, so I couldn’t really see his facial expressions. They take the dog, goes off into whatever land of advanced training, and then we left. Yeah, it was the hardest thing. Truly, I think it was the hardest thing we’ve ever done. Afterwards –

Claire: And then you went shopping.

Joy: Um, yeah. We were in California. I love California. But I don’t really remember it. It was a blur because it was like the whole time you’re just thinking – shit, I don’t want to cry. [tearing up] I was just so focused on her. As much as I love California, I was like I’m so glad we didn’t freaking go to Disney Land. I would have been so distant. But afterwards, we got in the car and we’re just crying and sad. Scott was crying. I was like, “Let’s go shopping because I need to do something else.” So we went shopping. We were just both, I think, felt like we had been hit by a truck. You know that this is what they’re meant to do, but it was one of the hardest things I think I’ve ever done. The only way I can describe it is, you know when you go through a really bad breakup and you miss the person because you know they’re still out there. You want that person in your life. It felt like a really bad breakup, but also it felt like a loss, like a pet had died. That’s the weirdest place to be in because you know they’re still out there. Of course, being at CCI, I love them so much and I know they take really good care of the dogs. But yeah, it was really, really hard. So we went to Lululemon. We’re both crying our eyes out. The second we go in Lululemon, I’m like, just focus on the clothes. We actually got some really good deals. They had an amazing sale, like a popup store. Scott is getting – this is in his element. I think he locked it up. And then we went and got dinner, and Scott went for a run on the beach and I stayed in bed and just cried. The next few days were really hard, to come home and not have her there. That was really difficult. I think the overall experience is like, oh, now I know what to expect. I know it’s never going to get easier if we do this again, but it was so worth it. And now I know why people just puppy raise over and over again. You just need to have that energy around. JT is fine. I knew he would be okay because he’s JT and he adapts to everything. But he was kind of weirded out, and I think he could tell that something was up. It’s so interesting now being on this side of it to be like, now I get it. Now I get why all the puppy raisers texting me every day like, “How are you doing?” I was like, yeah, that was brutal. And one of my puppy raiser friends, she’s like, “Yeah, when we raised our first puppy, I thought I was about to crack in half when we turned her in.” That was the perfect way to describe it. I literally felt like I was cracked in half. I just laugh at how now I’m like, let’s do it again, let’s sign up for another dog. But it’s because of that dichotomy of being able to raise such an amazing dog, hopefully for someone who needs that dog. And then we immediately got home and turned in our puppy raiser application to do it again. I was connected with a couple other dogs in the community that needed help. Someone needed to puppy sit, so we puppy sat for a dog named Vespa. There’s a woman in a wheelchair just down the street from me who has a service dog. Her name is Olly. The owner is on bed rest right now, so she needs someone to walk Olly while she is down and out and recovering. I’ve been able to kind of fill that void. Even though we have JT. Cadet took up a lot of our time. That was something that was really hard to come back to. I freaking hate memories on Facebook and Instagram because every time I pull up a memory right now, it’s a picture of her. It literally punches you in the gut. So the next steps is we’ll get our first puppy report. We already got an introduction of here’s what the dogs are going to be doing. We all know that she’s going through advanced training, but we’ll get our first official report on progress of how she’s doing December 15. So we’re counting down the days for that. And that basically says, here’s her strengths, here’s her weaknesses, here’s what we’re working on, that type of thing. And then every month you get a report on how they’re doing. I do know within the first month of being at advanced training, they likely will select if the dog is going to become a breeder dog. So they will then just live with a family in California. Any dog that’s chosen as a breeder dog has to live in the California area next to a Canine Companions facility. If that’s the case and she became a breeder dog, she would live in California. We’ll find that out probably within the next few weeks. Other than that, we just keep getting reports to see how she’s doing, and then she could be sent home at any time, as I’ve said before. That’s where we’re at. The waitlist to be a puppy raiser again is probably 6-8 months. We’re not worried about the timeline on that. We’re not worried about a break, just because we’re both starting new jobs right now and we don’t want to raise a puppy right away. But that is the emotional rollercoaster of turning in a Canine Companions dog. Sorry, I didn’t think I was going to cry. I’m really pissed that I did.

Claire: It’s okay.

Joy: Emotions are normal.

Claire: Emotions are normal. That was a big transition that you’re still going through. Also, remind everybody what would happen if they decide that she is not going to continue with advanced training for whatever reason. I’m always curious, what are the types of things that result in a change of career.

Joy: Yeah, a change in career dog. So most of the time, it’s things that you can’t train out of a dog such a startle response or an aggression towards something. An example would be a dog who barks at statues every time it sees a statue or goes by a statue. One of the things I’ve always been concerned about with Cadet, which I feel confident they can work on with her. But any time I’d be walking and a loud, loud, like one of those loud cars with the loud mufflers or a very loud muffler motorcycle would go by, she would just stop in her tracks and wait for it to go by. So she didn’t get scared, but she would just stop like, “What is that? I’m not moving until that goes by me.”

Claire: Danger.

Joy: Yeah. And she would recover quickly. That’s usually what they’re looking for is how fast the dogs recover when they do get startled. Or are they obviously stressed. Because they never want to put any of these dogs in any type of situation where it’s going to be stressful for them because that is just not good for the dog. Something like that. They do a lot of startle responses. They do a lot of training around surfaces, so like if a dog won’t go over a grate. They train us a lot when we’re training puppies to go over a ton of different surfaces so they don’t get weird about their paws. Side note, the funniest thing to watch is a dog that has never been on sand. When they go on sand, they freak out. It’s really funny. They get all excited and weird about sand. But she was used to that. Yeah, just go to a lot of playgrounds and see how your dog reacts to sand. I would say those are the main things. If they just have something that it’s more like a personality trait and they can’t train it out of them, that is when they would say it’s going to be too stressful on the dog moving forward. There’s another thing they call kennel stress, which is the dog is not responding to the structure of training and it just really wants to be a pet dog. So that’s something that they are always monitoring, which I also love about them. They really make sure that these dogs are having the time of their lives, getting a ton of play, a lot of structure so the dogs know what to expect. There have been dogs who have been sent home for health reasons as well, so they do very thorough exams. They call that a medical release. Something that could be potentially a risk for a lot of vet bills or vet visits in the future, then that would be something that would disqualify the dogs. Things of that nature.

Claire: Alright, well, we’re proud of you, Joy. Can’t wait for your next puppy.

Joy: God. Lord almighty. Man.

Claire: I’m glad you have JT and JT is doing so well.

Joy: We are giving him so much attention. He is loving it. He loves Cadet, but he’s not moping around. He’s a dog that adjusts and adapts very quickly. I posted a really sweet. It’s kind of like a poem. I’ll have to post it again if people missed it. One of my really good friends raised a puppy, and she also has a facility dog. She works at the VA. She wrote this really awesome response to “how can you give them up?” It’s just so well said. It basically says, every single time when you tell someone that you’re raising a service dog, they’re like, “Oh my gosh, you have to give them away.” Of course, that’s the first thing people ask. I’ll have to post it again because I don’t want to cry again. But it’s really well said about why we do what we do. I think about it all the time. It has so much to do with how nothing is really permanent in life.

Claire: Right, it says like, every person, everything that you come into contact with will leave your life at some point. Sometimes you’ll know about it ahead of time and other times you won’t. As puppy raisers, you’re lucky to know exactly how that’s going to happen.

Joy: Exactly, yeah. So it’s really sweet. But that’s one thing where you’re kind of like, yeah – I thought about that a lot too when I was raiser her. Nothing is really permanent in life. It’s a good reminder of that. Anyway, if anyone has questions about it and if you’re thinking of puppy raising, I’m happy to answer questions. It’s one of the best experiences and hardest experiences.

Claire: As someone who – obviously when you first applied to become a puppy raiser, that was before the pandemic when you applied. But you picked her up literally a couple weeks into COVID. So Scott was home or you were home. Life looked really different than normal life during this puppy raising season. And now you have a new job, which we’ll talk about here in a second, where you are going to be working from home. Would you say that someone who does not work from home or does not have a little bit of a flexible schedule could be a puppy raiser?

Joy: It would be hard. I think Canine Companions would say otherwise. I’m just one puppy raiser. I’m sure other puppy raisers would disagree. I would say for your first time raising a puppy, maybe plan to be home the first two weeks where you’re home all the time. I don’t think they stated enough – and I knew it was going to be full time, but I don’t think they really prepared us for how much time it’s going to be for at least the first month even. Scott and I talked after two months in. Like yeah, if we were to do it over again, we would have taken the first two weeks off of work to be fully time, to get into a schedule and then figure out your groove. Yes, then it’s doable. But it’s a lot of time. It’s a lot of work. Especially because these are service dogs in training, you can’t just put them in a crate all day. You can for certain amounts of time, but they need a lot of attention. I would say for your first time, try to plan it to where you have some time off available. But then of course as they get older, just like with any growing thing, they mature, they need less attention, they are easier to manage and easier to train. But when they’re tiny babies, it’s 24/7. Cadet never got to be a good sleeper, so I was up every single night the entire time we had Cadet. She never slept through the night.

Claire: Do you think that’s something they would release her for?

Joy: No, not at all. Because the other thing I think is she was just on a different sleep schedule. I know it because we got into a bad habit of putting her to bed really early because we were just so tired that we would put her in her crate early. But then she’d get up early. We actually sat for a couple dogs, and some dogs will just go back in their crate and go back to bed. She was not one of them. She was just like, I’m up, we’re up, life is going on, what’s going on, it’s 5am.

Claire: That’s how River is. When she’s up, she’s up. That’s how Evie is too. Whereas – it’s funny. Brandon and Evie, once they’re up they’re up. Miles and I, we could go back to bed any time. River, once she’s up, she’s up. It’s totally a personality thing.

Joy: Yeah, it’s totally a personality. One of the dogs we dog sat, we put her back in the crate, she’ll sleep for another four hours. I was just like, oh my gosh, we did not get that dog. So depends on the personality, but I would say if you are thinking about puppy raising, prepare for it to be a full-time job for at least the first couple months. It does get easier. You get into a routine, just like with anything else. But I don’t want to sugar coat it. It’s a lot of work.

Claire: We occasionally will get folks who reach out and are like, I’m interested in doing this. I always have been so drawn to wanting to train a service dog. I’m inspired by it. But I would never be able to take my dog to work. Or, but here’s this huge roadblock in my schedule. What are other ways that people can support CCI?

Joy: You can see if there’s a volunteer chapter in your area. They have a lot of local chapters, so you can look on Facebook to see if there’s local Canine Companion groups. There’s a ton of them for Colorado, so I’m in all of those. You can support people by offering to transport dogs. You have to get on an official puppy sitter list if you want to watch a dog. And I would say that’s not usually a top thing that you can do to help because there’s so many people that can help out with watching dogs. The other thing is just spreading the word about Canine Companions. I would say obviously on the top of my list that I will always advocate for is educating people about not buying fake service dog vests, making sure that people understand how it impacts people with service dogs if they are using fake vests for a dog that was not trained to be a service dog. Those types of advocacy things I think are really important. Or you can donate. Donate money. They always need money. They’re a nonprofit.

Claire: So onto the next big life update. You started your new job today. We are recording this on Monday, as we typically do. It’s been a while. In the amount of time between you accepting this job and starting this job, I interviewed for, accepted, and started, and worked for a month at a new job. 

Joy: Yeah, I accepted it in September I believe and then I started it today. But really quick because I’ve been talking – how is your job going?

Claire: Yeah, sure let’s start with that. I feel like last episode I talked the whole time, and this time is Joy updates. So my job is going well. Like I said, this is the start of my fifth week. I’m working for an outdoor clothing brand. It’s just been really crazy to start at this time of year. My first day was November 1, so we’re three weeks out from Black Friday. The holiday season I think for most of the apparel industry, fashion industry, customer goods industry – literally, most of the industry, unless you’re in the barbecue industry or something, most of your sales are done – I think most of the places that I’ve worked that have had these type of consumer goods, 30-50% of your sales are done between the months of November and December. So it’s just been crazy to start during a time where that is really the focus. My role is supposed to be the person who sits at the top of – not at the top. My boss is all the way at the top. But who sits right on top of the strategy and the strategic initiatives and helps all the more specialty teams, like the email team and the website team and the creative team and the paid media team, helps those teams execute in order to meet the bigger strategic goals, execute the bigger strategic messaging vision. And I just haven’t been able to do that at all. Because by the time I started that big vision was so far out to sea already that my boss was like, “I don’t want you to worry about figuring out what’s going on with the holiday season because by the time you figure it out, it’s going to be over. Help where you can help. Support where you can support. But don’t stress out about not knowing every single thing that’s happening because it’s just not realistic for you to get up to speed at this point.” 

Joy: Right, right.

Claire: Which I’m really glad she set that expectation on day one. Because I would have been tearing my hair out. All of November I would have just been tearing my hair out. If someone has been like, “Okay, go. You have to own all this now.” So I’m really grateful that that was said. But overall, it’s really good. It does make a difference to get paid more. It really does make me feel less resentful if I do have to – like I have some stuff that came up over the weekend and I had to jump in on it. That’s annoying to have to work on the weekend. But at the same time, it was one of those things where it was like, okay, this is one of the biggest seasons of the year. There’s a lot of changes coming through. This is not a normal thing. I’m not just getting one-off emails on the weekend. But it definitely helps when you feel like, okay, I’m actually being compensated for this. But I think overall, I really like the brand, I really like the people that I’m working with so far. The office is really cool. I actually really like driving to Denver. I might be in the very wild minority of people who love commenting. 

Joy: You miss your commute. You miss your commute. And they have really fancy coffee there.

Claire: They have coffee. It’s so fancy. And that’s enough to get me down there. I’m going to go get an oat milk latte. For free? I think so. 

Joy: I will drive that hour.

Claire: I will drive for an hour. It is like 45 minutes to an hour away. That’s a lot each day, but there will never be a time where I have to do that five days a week, 50 weeks of the year. The expectation is I’ll be going into the office maybe 1-2 days at the most. Or maybe 2-3 days a week at the most. I’m fine with that because I don’t mind being in the car. I get to think my own thoughts and listen to podcasts and call my mom.

Joy: Yeah, it’s your quiet time.

Claire: It’s my quiet time. If you are someone out there who lives with small children, you understand that it is very hard to find those moments. I actually kind of love it.

Joy: Not even the bathroom is sacred when you have kids.

Claire: It’s really not. Not even a little bit sacred. So I’m really enjoying it. I think it was a really good move. I’m happy. It’s been definitely hard. It’s a busier job than my previous job was. I think I talked about that last week. That is hard with Brandon’s schedule. With Brandon working in the OR, he never gets off at the same time each day at all. He gets off anywhere between 4 and 6. That’s a big range when you have school pickups to deal with and karate and if I’m driving home from Denver. So that has definitely created a point of tension, and I’m really interested to see how we figure that out. 

Joy: I’m excited for you.

Claire: Thanks. Yeah, tell us about your new job. 

Joy: Let’s take a quick break and talk about our favorite sponsor, Ned. 

Claire: [singsong voice] Ned.

Joy: Guys, it’s the holidays. It’s the holiday. So do you have stressors around the holidays, Claire? Do you get stressed?

Claire: I’m a pillar of stress, Joy.

Joy: It’s this time of season where everyone has a million and one things to do, even though we’re still trying to social distance and maybe there’s not as many parties to plan for, there’s still a lot to do. I feel like if you’re feeling the extra stress. If you’re feeling like there are just too many things on your to-do list and you’re like, I’m just feeling it. At the end of the day, I can’t wind down. Might we suggest our favorite partners Ned and their products of CBD. I am advocating for the sleep blend still because I love it, love it, love it. And I love the people who are writing in like, “I can’t wait for hotel sleep.” So if you are having the same feelings as I am, I would love to hear your feedback. I truly still feel like I get hotel sleep when I use the sleep blend. But I’ve also been using just their CBD blend for the daytime, just to kind of destress. And a lot of people are also loving the mellow products. I don’t know what you’re still using, Claire.

Claire: Yeah, I tried them all the first time because I also take magnesium as a supplement that’s been recommended by my doctor to help with migraines. I was like, why am I taking CBD and then swallowing this giant magnesium pill. I could just take this mellow product. And I love it. I take it before bed. It’s really, really wonderful. It tastes delicious. It’s meant to replace a Natural Calm or something like that, that you would otherwise just drink before bed. I’m a big fan of it.

Joy: So let me just do a quick rundown of what is in their destress blend. It’s been in development for over a year. So it’s a one-to-one formula of CBD and CBG made from the world’s purest full-spectrum hemp. Features a botanical infusion of ashwagandha, one of my favorite words to say, cardamom, and cinnamon. And now for the holidays, Joy and Claire listeners get 20% Ned products. 20% off, you guys! With code JOY. When you spend more than $150, Ned is throwing in free gifts with every order.

Claire: Like chap stick. Guys, I feel like we don’t mention the chap stick enough.

Joy: We don’t mention the chap stick enough.

Claire: It’s like an angel on your lips just kissing your dry, cracked winter lips. I would spend $150 just in chap stick. It is expensive, but I literally cannot imagine a better stocking stuffer. 

Joy: No, I cannot imagine a better stocking stuffer. We have completely failed to mention how great their chap stick is. But yes, they are throwing in free gifts. Get that chap stick. helloned.com/JOY to get access. That’s helloned.com/JOY to get 20% off plus free gifts with orders over $150. Thank you, Ned, for sponsoring this show and offering our listeners a natural remedy for some of life’s common health issues.

Claire: Okay, so tell us about your job.

Joy: Okay. So really quick, I accepted a job. Full time telehealth doing therapy from the comforts of my home. Not unlike what I was doing with BetterHelp. But I will be working for a company full time, salaried, benefits, the whole shebang with the team. I started today. And the reason I started later was a lot of reasons. But when you’re in the therapy world, they have to do what’s called credentialing. They have to submit your license and get it on insurance panels and yada yada yada. That takes a lot of time. So when you’re working in healthcare, especially in the behavioral health world, that can take some time. I decided to start after Thanksgiving so we could turn in Cadet, I could enjoy Thanksgiving. It’s crazy because I had a lot of emotions around what the last six months have been like because of what happened with my last job. We’re running out of time today, and I’d love to talk about this maybe a little bit more next time. Talking about grudges, because I’ve been finding myself still angry over what happened. I’m holding onto a grudge. And I’m like, this just isn’t good energy. But at the same time, I’m still so mad. I’m so angry. I do want to talk about that at some point. I feel in a good place talking about it now. I don’t want to just gloss over it. I don’t feel like it’s giving them any type of power. It’s just more me being like, hey, treat people with respect and kindness. How do I also let that go and move on. Because it was a very difficult thing that I went through. I was really thinking, it’s so cool to look back over the past six months where I’ve really had this down time to reflect on my life and get priorities in order and think about what’s really important to me and get my health back. I think that I’m starting a new chapter with a company that really values – and I know it’s the first day. Not any job or every job is perfect, but I can feel the energy shift already of how much better this is going to be for me. The people and the culture and the vibe. It’s all really onboarding right now, and it will be for the next couple of weeks. I’ll keep you posted. I’m just really happy, but I’m also kind of like – I had this horrible nightmare last night. Horrible. One of those dreams where you’re like, oh my gosh, what the heck am I working out? But it’s very clear of just stuff that I’m still holding onto from feeling a huge grudge from the last team I worked on. So I would like to maybe do a “to be continued” on that topic of how you let go of grudges. But new chapters, new beginnings. I’m really excited about it. 

Claire: Awesome. Well guys, that about covers it. I feel like there’s just been a lot of updates needed lately. We knew November was going to be a big month, and it was, and now we’re processing it on the other side. I would also like to process the fact that the Baking Show is over. The Great British Bake Off series for 2021 has ended.

Joy: You had a birthday.

Claire: Yeah, my birthday was last week. That was fun. We did a lot of fun stuff. I had a good day. We went out to breakfast. Maxine and Brandon threw me a surprise Harry Potter lunch. But yeah, it’s been a big month. We’re going into December. There’s a lot going on. 

Joy: There’s a lot going on. I can’t help but think about New Year 2022 and reflecting. This always makes me think about the year. Maybe we can have some type of conversation around what 2021 meant to you. Or maybe expectations or throwing away expectations. Truly for me personally, when 2020 was over, I was like, thank the good Lord. 2021 is going to be great. We have a new president. Things are going to be great. All of these positive feelings. And then 2021 was probably one of the hardest years for me. I don’t want to set any expectations. Now I’m scared of 2022. But it was a good lesson of just being like, man, you really just have to surrender sometimes. That’s the best you can do.

Claire: Boo, surrendering.

Joy: Boo.

Claire: Alright, a few quick reminders. Please let us know what funny things your parents say instead of swear words. What was the other one we were going to do? I’m going to go back and listen to these. There was another one.

Joy: Jobs? No. 

Claire: Alright, you’re just going to have to rewind and figure out what it was because I already forgot. And don’t forget to check out Ned. They have so many great products. We talked about the destress blend. We talked about mellow. We talked about their just straight hemp oil. We talked about the sleep blend. We love all of their products. We love the people. We know it has a lot of integrity. Check them out. Get you some chap stick if nothing else because man that chap stick is so great.

Joy: And you’re supporting the podcast by supporting our sponsors.

Claire: 20% off. What’s not to like?

Joy: What’s not to like?

Claire: Alright, you guys. Thank you for listening. You can find us on Instagram @joyandclaire_. You can find us online joyandclaire.com. As a reminder, all of our episodes are available at joyandclaire.com. If for some reason you ever go to your podcast app on a Thursday morning and we’re not there, just run over to joyandclaire.com. You can stream our episodes directly from there. You can email us thisisjoyandclaire@gmail.com. And we will talk to you next week.

Joy: Bye guys.

Claire: Bye.

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