Sweater Weather

{Push play and turn up the volume!}

Enjoying a gorgeous fall day with one of my favorite boys. Thank you, thank you, endlessly thank you, to our amazing friend Emily, the genius, heart, and hands behind both Our Waldo Bungie and Tiennot Knits Sweaters. She graciously offered to send Kingston his very own custom sweater. Knowing Emily, and that she is not the kind of person to do things halfway, we had pretty high expectations of this gift. However, when we received it, we were blown away. It was very clear that hers is a labor of love, and her products are of absolutely impeccable quality. They would make a fantastic gift for your own pups, or any pet lover on your list! Kingston truly adores his, and now waits at the door on chilly mornings until we put his sweater on.

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Do you know how difficult it is to take a photo of a dog who tries to be your shadow?

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if you are chilly

here take my sweater

your head is aching

i’ll make it better

’cause I love the way you call me, baby

and you take me the way i am

Election Day!

We will keep this post short and sweet, because we’d rather you be out voting than reading our silly blog! If you remember one of our early posts, which can be seen here, you know that Georgia probably wouldn’t judge you for not voting.

Georgia already has a bone to pick…

But as her foster parents, whomever you choose to support, we urge you to remember that if the economy improves, the condition of animal welfare in our country will typically improve along with it. Please, make a decision that YOU feel is best for our economy! If you were not planning to vote, please at least research this issue and make a vote that supports your position.

In more light-hearted news, I have to brag for a second. Last night, Foster Dad & Georgia were playing in the living room. It took Jonathan all of about 5 minutes to teach Georgia to play fetch. Not sure who I am more proud of! But I know that at least one of you out there can just imagine your kiddos throwing a tennis ball for our little lady.

Are you my forever family?

So thankful to live in a country where we are all free to vote in ways that support our individual beliefs! God Bless America.

Barking Stink Bugs

Gaige and Tonka are convinced that you all have forgotten about them, due to the apparent perfection of their foster sister. They insisted that I bring to you a story that is all about them. (Well, mainly Gaige, but she is the sassy one of the bunch.)

My dad, an environmental engineer and architect by occupation, raised us to say “Anybody can kill a bug, but only God can make a bug.” He taught us that if there was a bug in the house (which somehow, was very rare) we would transport it to live life in the great outdoors, rather than flushing it down the toilet.

My Daflop 🙂

Then I got married to a big, tough, burly guy… with aracnephobia. Seriously, the man who never hesitates to patrol the house with a gun in pitch-black darkness at the slightest sound outside our bedroom window, cannot bring himself to ‘dispose of’ the creepy-crawlies, be it humanely or violently. And “awhelnaw” could he just let them find their own way out of our home.

A few summers ago, we were on a family vacation at a stunning model home in the Outer Banks, and were getting ready for the day. I was sitting on the bed, probably perusing facebook on my phone, and Jonathan was pulling a T-Shirt on over his head… when I looked up at him in shock, mouth open wide, pointing at his face. Inside, I knew that I needed to keep him from panicking. But. There was a GIANT. SPIDER. ON HIS CHEEK! My greatest regret in life, thus far, is that I didn’t catch his reaction on video. For a muscley, 6′ 3″ tall guy, the limbs were coming from every direction, and the sounds he made… oh, the sounds he made.

Family vacay

While I would probably be described by many as a girly-girl, I must remind you that I did grow up riding horses, so it could actually be argued that I was in fact raised in a barn. Perhaps it is because of this that I have no real aversion to bugs, spiders, snakes, etc. (But birds? Don’t get me started on birds.) More often than not, I am the family member who is elected (what an honor) to dispose of any creatures that enter our home.

The one contribution that Jonathan has made to Gaige’s (limited) “obedience” training? That dog can track down a stink bug. Really, any bug, but I’m sure some of you out there can relate to the stink bug outbreak that plagues Pennsylvania, and many of the other eastern states. In Gaige’s case, she will sit her little butt down on the floor, front-feet prancing, tail wagging furiously, and she will bark ferociously at the offender. If it perilously crawls within her reach, she will nose-jab it, and grab it in her mouth, flinging it through the air to certain death. More often than not, she then swallows it quickly, taking one for the team, as those things cannot possibly taste any better than they smell. What a hero.

The tracking phase

Post-munching… stink bugs are an acquired taste.

More times than I care to count, I have been greeted by Gaige with freshly-munched-stink-bug-breath. Not to fear, we have checked with our vet, and the offending insects pose no threat to our canine companions.

Our dogs protect us from creepy crawlies. What can yours do? (No, seriously! We’d love it if you would share a unique story about your pooch.)

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday: Lions & Tigers & Pitties… Oh my!

“Roarrrr! Do you think they will really believe that I’m a lion, Mom?”

“Hey look! These ears are just like my real ones… always going in two different directions.”

 

“Trick or treat! … You’re laughing at me, aren’t you?”

Curious Georgia

Well, Friday was T-Day. As in ‘Tonka Day’. Yes, we have almost hit the two week mark of our time with Georgia, and so we felt that it was time to introduce her to our most dashingly handsome four-legged family member.

Mama’s Boy

I haven’t had a ton of opportunity to write about Tonk here, as we have chosen to focus mostly on our Georgia girl. I will, however, be taking the time to give him a few posts of his own sometime in the near future. He is just that awesome.

It was an easy decision to introduce Georgia to Tonka first, as opposed to Gaige. First of all, it is common knowledge that flirty girls typically have an affinity for handsome boys, in comparison to other female counterparts. Also, Tonka is (most days) a very well-trained, well-socialized guy. As much as we adore Gaige for her mischievous side, it can make things more difficult when it comes to introducing her to new dogs.

We are lucky enough to live beside my in-law’s very large property, so I took Tonka to a neutral spot on the farm, where he was sure not to feel very territorial. As I said, we really weren’t too concerned about Tonka misbehaving, but we wanted all of the odds in our favor. Jonathan brought up the rear with Georgia, both properly leashed. We each had pockets full of treats to reward positive behavior.

As I kept Tonka occupied with some basic obedience (this was a great way to test his skills with new distractions!), Jonathan made his way towards us, many yards away, with Georgia in tow. Any tail wagging was praised and ‘treated’, as was calm behavior. If she would have started to bark or lunge, he would have turned her around, away from Tonka. Thankfully, Georgia did nothing of the sort! She walked calmly toward him, and seemed generally disinterested.

Once we were sure both dogs were displaying positive, calming body language, we took them on a long walk together. They were side by side, but never quite touching, at least not at first.

Overall, it was a very successful first meeting! The dogs were given the ability to sniff at each other, tails wagging, and everything was kept happy and positive. Georgia seemed somewhat nervous around this big, black, male dog, but we tried to make her feel as secure as possible by ending things in a positive way.

Today, being Sunday, we repeated the walk routine. We were able to advance to having Tonka off-leash while Georgia remained leashed. She seemed to be more interested in being near him, and Tonka was ever the gentleman. When we came in the house, both dogs were let loose and were happy to share a water bowl.

Look at all of those smiles!

We will continue to do walks with Tonka and Georgia together, until she seems to enjoy his presence. Once they are more comfortable, we will graduate to off-leash play time, and eventually allow Georgia & Gaige to meet one-on-one. Only once both groupings of dogs have been successfully introduced, will we slowly start to introduce them all together.

Georgia also met her Aunt Jillie today! She is doing much better with learning how to greet new people. Georgia gets so excited to meet new people, that she sometimes jumps up. She is learning that the best praise comes when her little booty is planted on the ground. 😉

Do you have any tips for introducing and socializing your dogs, foster or otherwise? We’d love to hear them!

If you think you might know someone who would be interested in adopting our sweet girl Georgia, please share her story! Any questions about Georgia or the adoption process can be directed to me (Stephanie!) at sel1490@gmail.com.

Black Dog Fall

Ahhhhh. I wish you could smell our home through scent receptors on the computer right now. I advise that you RUN to Bath & Body Works and scoop up as many of these candles as you can. My mom gifted one to me this weekend, and it just might be my favorite present ever. Our house reeks of fall, in the most glorious of ways! Autumn is absolutely my most anticipated time of year. Growing up in my family, our holiday philosophy authorizes festivities to start essentially as soon as the calendar month begins with the letter ‘S’. Today is officially October, which means that we’re almost to November, and therefore it’s practically already December. No, I don’t want to rush through these months and start putting up the Christmas tree today. (Um, hello, have any of you been to Wally World recently?! Ridic!) BUT yes, I do cherish every second of these cozy days. I want to jump in a pile of leaves, wear tall boots & flannel shirts, sip hot apple cider, attend fall festivals, carve pumpkins, curl up in front of the fire place with a good book and thick wool blanket… all simultaneously, of course. (By the way, we don’t even have a fireplace. So sad.)

The very BEST way to spend a weekend!

My boys of fall

In true fall fashion, we are adding some color to our world tomorrow! I will be making the trek towards the State College area (PA fall central!) to pick up our little red-headed Georgia doll. We are looking so forward to our adventures with her.

We will spend tonight embarking on a fall walk… our last as a family of four! We plan to have some quality time with our pups tonight, to hopefully make the transition a bit easier for them. Tonka & Gaige will be sacrificing some time with us over the next two weeks, while we keep the dogs separate during Georgia’s transition. However, we hope are confident that this will help to ensure that the evolution to a 3-dog household is a seamless one.

We’d rather be jumping in the leaves too, Mom

Keep us in your thoughts, please! We may need some good vibes sent our way. In the mean time, enjoy all that this season has to offer with your pooches.

Fall into Fostering

Hello! Happy almost-weekend. Did anyone else wake up this morning, and suddenly feel like they’d fallen into fall?! I certainly did, as the following photos will attest. As autumn is my favorite season, there are no complaints from me! Fall boasts the perfect weather to enjoy the outdoors with your pups.

Tonka James, ever the dashing gentleman!

Gaige’s turn…

Vicious pitbull!

Daring you to steal her toy

They share well!

Run Tonka, run!

Gaige loves to steal from the fire pit

Best friends, always 🙂

While this may not be the excitement you were hoping for, I do have some good news. Drum roll, please! ….. We have found our foster! I will bring you all the background on our special pup with the next blog post. Please tune in then!