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What's a Central Asian Village Dog?

Turns out, that's what Lucia is.  I sent in her DNA to a research company (Embark)  to see if she had any breeds that stand out.

The results confirmed what I assumed, but wasn't 100% sure about.  She was adopted as a puppy while I was in Vladivostok, so I knew her heritage would be mostly a mix of breeds.  But I guessed she had traits of German shepherd and some kind of terrier.  Embark's results verified what I was thinking.  You can see all their details here.



1st year back

  Lucia shade

One year has passed since Lucia and I left Russia.  The months passed quickly, as they often do, and leave me to wonder what I really accomplished during my first year back.  Most of it was spent with friends (old and new), working on home projects, and getting use to the new assignment in DC.

Now that one year has passed, I have to start thinking about what I want to do for my next assignment.  I'm still enjoying my time back in the U.S. so staying in DC may be in my future for a few more years at least.

Lucia has adapted to her new life in the U.S.  So much so that she's finally more relaxed around groups of people.  The first few years in Vladivostok were tough for trying to walk a dog everyday.  So it was mainly my fault for not getting her acclimated faster to other people.  As a watchdog, she does a fantastic job if a stranger comes through the yard.  But out in public I've had to work with her on what's acceptable behavior around other dogs and new humans.  

A year ago she wouldn't allow a strange child to come up and pet her.  Thankfully, she never bit anyone, instead she just moved away and stayed clear of new people.  But over the last few months she started allowing children to pet her without moving away.  Definitely easier to deal with now than trying to explain to a child why a dog doesn't want to be touched.

She adapting to riding in my car more now.  In Vlad, car trips were akin to see the Vet.  Now she knows a car ride will usually take her to a new place.  She's learned where her spot is in the car also. The FJ's suicide doors confused her originally but now she's figuring out which door opens to the back seat.   

12 days

Ages 4 and up
The two week anniversary of my quit approaches.  My cravings are fewer but more desperate now.  It's as if the early days weren't not taken seriously by my subconscious.  Now that several days have gone by my mind is supplicating, more earnestly, for more nicotine.  I feel like a dissociative identity disorder has taken over.  My reasoning wins every time as I process how bad I would feel if I broke down and had a cigarette.  The feelings of guilt and depression would last long after the short term pleasure I derived from smoking. 

In healthier news-

Hostess files for bankruptcy, for the second time.. in two years.

This wouldn't of happened if they'd just kept my local stores stocked with vanilla Zinger cakes.  I blame everyone that praises the inferior Twinkie with its higher cholesterol rating.  Unfortunately, every time I walk past a Hostess sales rack, I'm mocked by the limited selection of devil's food and strawberry/coconut varieties.  Am I the only one that eats yellow vanilla Zingers?  So Hostess, maker of the whitest white bread and purveyor of the junkiest of junk food, serves you right.

And in Foreign Service news -

U.S. Embassy Moscow's new Ambassador sworn in.

Having left the Russian Federation last year, I only experienced serving under Amb. BeyrleMcFaul will have some big valenkis to fill.