Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Blog Hop: Firsts

Here are the rules:
Answer one or all of the prompts. Link back to Living a Dream's post. Visit other blogs. And don't forget to ask a question of everyone else!
 This week we are asked about some of our "firsts". This might include:

  • pony
  • pet
  • child
  • riding lesson
  • job
  • home-cooked meal
  • speeding ticket
  • ??? You decide! Anything goes!
I'd love to hear (and see) you first blog post. Who, or what, got you started in blogging? When was your first post? If you care to, link to it for us!

First pet:
My first pets were a string of parakeets, all named Tweety, Featherbrain, or Fly Away Home (that was a movie about geese that came out when I was little).  I don't really remember them, but I've been told that I sat on one of them and killed it. Um...oops? Toddler me was not the brightest.

First riding lesson:
I'm not sure that I remember the exact lesson, but I began my riding career at age 11 at J-Mar Stables in Monkton, MD. I was not a natural. My instinctual position was the fetal position, hunched over and bouncing like a potato. I do remember that we always stopped by Grohl's market for goodies after the lesson though since it was so far away from where we lived and we got hungry.

First job:
I was a veterinary assistant at a cat and dog clinic about two miles from my house. I couldn't yet drive when I started, so on my first day, I walked to work in a long-sleeved blouse and slacks...without having eaten breakfast or drank anything...on a summer day...in humid, stickily hot Maryland. I was fine for a few hours, then colors started looking weird while one of the Vet Techs was trying to teach me how to fold surgical drapes. I asked to be excused to go to the break room, and all of a sudden I was laying on the floor in the arms of the guy my age they had hired at the same time as me. He caught me so I didn't hit my head as I fainted.

Maybe it would have been romantic if he wasn't so creepy/insistent. It took me weeks to get him to stop offering me rides home. (This sounds mean in hindsight, but he was seriously annoying.)

I thought it was going to be a dream job that would be my first step towards being a veterinarian. I'm one week away from graduating with an English degree, so it didn't quite work out that way. Aside from changing my career plans later on, I was terrible at the job. Although I was pretty strong for my age from karate classes, I was still only 5'4" and barely 100 lbs. Restraining panicked Mastiffs while they got their shots was not my forte, and cleaning up an endless supply of animal body fluids gets old reeeeealllly fast. Unless it's horse poop! Then it's a great way to get moving in the morning.

First blog post: Here. I started my blog trying to ride on the coat-tails of Gentle Giants being featured on SnarkyRider. It worked at first! But now my pageviews are nowhere near that level so after graduation I'm dedicating myself to the pursuit of internet fame.

First car:
I walked home from the bus stop one day my sophomore year of high school, pressed the code for our garage, and inside was my mom and a white Ford Focus. It was a great surprise :) There were of course some stipulations--I had to chauffer my little brother home from private school and occasionally I traded cars with my mom when she needed better gas mileage. Not a bad tradeoff for a high schooler. Although these days, that car needs to earn its way back into my graces since it's been so finicky and problem-prone lately.

Tales from the Trail's question:  In what way are you spoiled with regard to horse ownership?
I don't own a horse but I feel pretty spoiled to be able to ride for free. I am so happy that I've finally accrued the skills (more or less) to ride rescue horses and to exercise theraputic riding horses.

My addition: First horse show.
Mine was a totally surreal day that did a 180 from awesome to terrible. I was 12 years old, and a family friend took me to a 4-H show on "SoCo" AKA Southern Comforts (it was years later before I found out that was a liquor! I just thought it was a nice name.), a big old chestnut TB gelding from my lesson barn. In the pictures I look so nervous and pale (no scanner here so will post some later). I got two third-place ribbons out of three classes. I didn't place in the jumping class because SoCo picked up the wrong lead, but I didn't expect to place at all in my first show! I was ecstatic and I couldn't wait to show my mom when she came home from work.

When I came home, there was a white van with the Mapaw Husky Rescue logo on the side. My heart dropped. My mom had threatened to return the dog we had had for the past 6 months, but I didn't think she would actually do it. Sonic was an incredibly smart Wooly Husky (again, will post photos after this week). He knew Sit, Shake, and even Go Upstairs/Downstairs. I would often set up jump courses out of brooms and chairs in our yard to burn off his energy--he would have made a great agility dog. However, he had severe separation anxiety and had broken out of 3 metal crates, scratched up one of our doors, escaped multiple times (he could unlock the basement door) and done a number on our carpets. I still think we should have just kept working with him or medicated him, but I think my mom's point of view was that she wanted a dog to lessen stress, not add to it. It was still really sad so I remember my first show day with mixed feelings.

Sorry my responses were a little depressing this week! I have a lot of tragic pet stories but I figured people would have interesting memories from their first show day.


  1. Welcome to the hop, Carla! I started a response, then began visiting links you had in your blog hop response... and I got lost! Wow! I think I've been reading interesting things for over an hour! (I'm in love with the Gentle Giants cause!)
    It is so nice to meet you. I love...no, make that LOVE, your header. And, yes, collegial is a perfect adjective to describe you!
    I really enjoyed getting to know you through your responses. Your firsts were quite amazing. I bet the boy who caught you in his arms thought he was in heaven! I think the presentation of the car was so wonderful. It's one of those things folks dream about!
    I also had a rescue with separation anxiety and I also gave her back to the rescue folks. Later I found out we could have tried medications and to this day I have regrets. I loved the dog and hated 'giving up' on her. However, I often feel that those types of experiences shape us and equip us to better deal with future events in our lives.
    I hope you can join us on more hops. I try to put the week's hop up Thursday evening and keep it up on Friday. The button on my sidebar (unless I forget) will link to the most current hop.
    Can't wait to learn more about you and all that you do!

  2. I just thanked you over on your blog, but WOW! What a wonderful surprise to have such a nice comment waiting in Blogger for me. I will definitely be answering more blog hop surveys since after Friday I am done with school!

  3. Welcome to the blog hop! I saw your comment over at Dreaming's place and came right over.

    I'm sorry that your first show has such bittersweet memories, but am thrilled you placed! I've never shown and really have no desire to, but I love hearing about other people's experiences.

  4. Welcome to the blog hop!
    Crazy how in college we tend to take a completely different turn than where we started. I started out as a Microbiology major and ended with a Psychology major! My first show was last weekend, no ribbons for me, but we had fun!