We Need Worry, We Need Grace

Any guesses as to why there was no post yesterday? I’ll make it easier for you by offering a multiple-choice exam…

A) Work-related stresses

B) Family-related stresses

C) Health-related stresses

D) Dog-related stresses

E) All of the above

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If you guessed E, you’d be right! Of course, if you guys are anything like me, the only one you’re most concerned about is D. Thankfully, all is well now, but unfortunately we took a SUPER fast, SUPER emergency trip to the Pittsburgh Veterinary Specialty & Emergency Center this week for everyone’s favorite gentleman, Tonka.

Foster Dad and I took a day-trip on Sunday to visit some good friends and family in the Philadelphia area. Thankfully we have the best friends in the world, two of whom happen to live right here in Pittsburgh, and they offered to hang out with the pups for the day. They reported that all went well, but on Monday Tonka had vomited four times. This is very out of character for him, but as he seemed fine otherwise, we went about life as normal.

The next day, however, he was not himself. See, Tonk is the type of guy who is the life of the party. You know, the man every pup wants to date and every dog wants to be. But on Tuesday, he was no social butterfly. He seemed listless and uncomfortable, and wanted to be alone. As the day went on, he started to have a hunched appearance and wasn’t moving around normally.  I thought he might have had something going on with his spine, and had planned to make an appointment for the next day with the animal chiropractor we used. However, after dinner that night, his symptoms became extreme, to the point that he refused to move. Typically, Tonka is stoic to the extreme: I don’t think I’d ever even heard him vocalize pain at all to this point. While I panicked with a non-responsive dog in my arms, J called the chiropractor, Dr. Dave, as our regular vet was closed for the evening. Unfortunately, after explaining the symptoms, our worries were confirmed as Dr. Dave rushed J off the phone and told him to get Tonka to the emergency vet immediately. He suspected that we were dealing with pancreatitis. Essentially, this is a severe and sudden inflammation of the pancreas, and despite aggressive treatment, it can have a high mortality rate. The pancreas serves to digest the food, but in cases of pancreatitis, the digestive enzymes are released too quickly and begin to act on the organ itself, which causes a cascade of devastating events within the body.

I won’t bore you with all of the details, but after a terrifying 45-minute drive to the emergency clinic in which Tonka began to go into shock, we eventually got to the clinic and were seen almost immediately. Blood was drawn, radiographs were taken, IV’s were administered, and options were discussed, but thankfully pancreatitis did not seem to be on the table. After a few hours of pain meds, fluids, and nutrients, Tonka-Tue was on his way to recovery.

In the end, the worst part about the evening’s outcome was the astounding bill we had to pay, but I know I don’t have to explain it to any of you when I say it was worth every penny. Emergency scenarios of any kind truly put into perspective that we must always treasure our loved ones.

Some of you have been here long enough to have read the post in which I wrote a letter to Tonka about how much he meant to me, and why. It is one of my favorite pieces of all time. With so much focus on the rescues, as well as the girls who require a lot of management and reminders, it can be so easy to let my special guy fall to the side. The good dog, the easy dog, the quiet dog, the friendly dog… there is nothing about Tonka that is less than perfection, and yet, he suffers for it.

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As I write this, he rests at my feet, tail thumping with every deep exhale or pause from the keyboard. There is something so special, so intuitive about this dog. When a foster comes into our home, he looks at me silently as they bump into him or try to steal his food. He sits patiently for pets from children and tugs from babies, and finds the perfect spot to snuggle when tears are shed. While out on the trail, the other dogs blazing ahead for new smells and discoveries, it is Tonka who returns to me with regularity, to check that I’m not far behind. He will always choose me… over food, other dogs, or even rabbits and squirrels, but yet he is calm and confident when alone. When Gaige and Georgia bark or growl at strange sounds in the night, it is Tonka who bravely investigates in front of the pack, forging through the darkness without hesitation. Without any practice or refreshers, or even food as motivation, he will dazzle a crowd with his bag of tricks. He has slept without complaint for thousands of miles as my co-pilot, and watched protectively from just outside the dusty arena as I spent hours in the saddle, practicing and honing my skills. He has quietly occupied himself during my study sessions, even when I would forget to let him out or write straight through his dinnertime, and truly protected me when our safety was on the line. Never a complaint, never a bad day, never an accident or mistake, and certainly never accusations, guilt, or judgement. Whenever I look to him or snuggle him or praise him or acknowledge him, he doesn’t remember all of the times I’ve fallen short, but delights in the present and the attention that showers him. Couldn’t we all stand to be a little more like Tonka?

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Tonka’s greatest gift to me is the gift of grace. How many days do I waste with worry, wondering what if, second-guessing my approach or others’ perceptions? I wonder, have I spent my days wisely? I worry that I focus too much on the have-to’s, and then stress that I haven’t soaked up every minute. How many days end with feelings of failure? Well, none of them that also end with Tonka snuggles. He reminds me that I’ve done at least a few things right in the world.

So thanks for understanding why things were a little quiet on the blog front yesterday. My man and I both needed some extra attention… for him, to soothe away the sickies, and for me, to remind myself that to him, I’m always enough.

How Not to Fall in Love with Your Foster Dog

Any advice here people? It certainly is no secret… We all know I’m not good at this.

IMG_0469I can tend a bloody wound with stone-cold precision. I can cuddle the confidence into a scared dog, and train the structure into a wild one. I have soothed the fear from an aggressive dog and have mended the heart of an abused one. But what I have never been able to do is keep myself from falling head over heels in love with one. While hearing me wax poetic about all of the reasons I love our little K-man, Foster Dad said it perfectly, “Yeah, but I’ve never seen you meet a dog you didn’t instantly love.” Hmm. Well, that may be true, but Kingston is proving to be even more lovable than your average squishy-faced pup.

How do you not fall in love when your foster dog acts as though his world revolves around you? His dissatisfaction over short separations are marked with voracious naughtiness, while your arrival is celebrated with more joy than a little child hugging his parents after being lost in Disneyworld. Kingston’s is the exuberant greeting of a happy dog, twirling on two legs, reaching up to you for petting and kisses, happy beyond all measure just to see you at the end of a long day.

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How do you not fall in love when your foster dog is an expert snuggler? He hops up onto your bed with quick agility, perhaps not so much due to his coordination or athleticism as it is that he knows the sooner he gets settled, the more likely it is that he will be allowed to stay. He finds that perfect spot nestled up against you, like a missing puzzle piece. You snooze together peacefully, letting the rhythmic rise and fall of your hand on his ribcage lull you both to contented sleep.

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How do you not fall in love with your foster dog when you watch him discover the wonder of the world for the first time? Peanut-butter-filled kongs, squeaky toys, leaf piles, mud puddles and car ride adventures just to name a few, the way he delights in the simplest of pleasures reminds you to relax and do the same. The dog who came to you a sensible and reserved old man at only one year of age now displays puppy antics, complete with play bows, head tilts, and around-the-house-zoomies, his spirit as playful as a young dog’s should be.

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How do you not fall in love with your foster dog when he learns to have confidence by leaning on you? The world, once a scary and intimidating place, full of fear and pain, is now happy and bright since you have come into his life. Rather than reacting to the world around him, he looks to you for guidance and reacts with consistency, trusting without question that you would never put him in an unsafe situation. He becomes your shadow, latching onto you like velcro, in the very best of ways.

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How do you not fall in love with your foster dog, when the head that used to duck at your hand raised to pet him, eventually sidles up on your lap to lick away your tears? That head that used to duck in fear, now snuggles in under your neck during movie nights on the couch, letting out a deep and contented sigh. That head also holds his tongue, and boy, he knows just how to use it! He seems to know when I need to smile, and uses those precise moments to cover my face in slobbery love.

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How do you not fall in love with your foster dog, when he starts to forget the specifics of how he ended up so broken and tattered and abused and mistreated, and starts to remember only the new things you’ve taught him? When despite the past he has endured, his favorite pursuit is not a ball or some cheese or the cat, but is in fact making new friends. When although all he’s known is fear and pain, but he never resorts to aggression, even when it might be justified.

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How do you not fall in love with your foster dog, when he resembles a cartoon? Ears like swiveling antennaes, flickering this way and that, trying desperately to read the signals of the others in his environment. Wiggle-butt jiggling here and there in his best attempt at “twerking,” eliciting smiles from all who are lucky enough to meet him. He doesn’t walk anywhere, but constantly hops and jigs and skips and bounces along to his next destination, whatever it may be, his hind legs trailing along at a twisted angle. He has an uncanny ability to make the world fall in love with him, and that is something I could use a lot more of in my life.

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How do you not fall in love with your foster dog when they pass through the world with an accepting spirit that welcomes all they meet without judgement or exception? It is a trait I’ve rarely seen in a dog, and never seen in a person. He loves without restraint or restriction, and brings out the best in everyone he meets. How do you not fall in love with your foster dog when he believes that everything in life is better when shared? His kong, your bed, his dinner, or yours… it doesn’t matter. He knows that friendships are more important than possessions any day.

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How do you not fall in love with your foster dog, when they remind you of all the lessons you have yet to learn in life? Like the amazing power of putting your heart right out there and making yourself totally vulnerable to those you love. It’s something that we humans are so hesitant to do, but your foster makes it so clear that it’s the best way to live.

How do you not fall in love with your foster dog, when they come into your world without warning? One day you are the happy leader of a 3-dog home, minding your own business, until someone tells you about a pup that needs help. You forget to put your guard up, or build a wall around your heart, and before you know it, a sad little guy with his deep brown eyes and comical ears has burrowed his way into your life, sure to leave a permanent hole when he moves on.

How do you not fall in love with your foster dog, when his presence in your life restores your faith and pride in humanity? When a little underdog needed a hand, a community of so many people we had never met joined together to offer compassion, prayer, kind words, financial donations, and even things like food and toys and beds and sweaters.

The answer? You don’t. You fall head over heels, b. spears-crazy,  irrevocably in love. Just like the rest of the world, you are hypnotized by his bouncy, carefree spirit. You give away little pieces of your heart in order to mend his. It is an amazing thing when a sad little dog teaches so many people about resiliency, love, dedication, and the power of second chances. All I know, is that Kingston’s forever family will be the luckiest people in the world. ❤

Fostering is Hard

I try to keep things really positive around here, but I have recently realized that in doing so, perhaps I am not always as up front as I could be. I wanted to take a moment to be really, really honest with all of you.

Fostering is hard. While that may not be something I want to share on a regular basis, because I wouldn’t want it to turn anyone away from trying to make a difference, I also don’t think it is something that many are unaware of. One of those things that is often unsaid, yet understood. It is hard to bring a dog who is at its lowest into your home and into your family, fall in love and nourish it back to physical and emotional health, only to have to say goodbye and trust a new family to care for him or her as well as you could.

But there is more to it than that. It is hard to give up date nights week after week, because it would make more sense to allot those funds to a bag of dog food, not to mention that the dogs have been kenneled all day while you’ve been working. It is hard to deal with extra fur and even sometimes ticks and fleas. It is hard to take time off of work to drive to the vet, and set aside time in your evenings for training and communicating with the rescue and prospective adopters. It is hard to see your own dogs upset or sad or even angry to be isolated from you in order for you to spend time with your foster dog. It is hard to have friends or family members or acquaintances ask you if they can adopt the dog, when you know it might not be an ideal fit. It is even harder when people criticize you for not keeping your foster dog, when you know it wouldn’t be ideal for anyone involved. It is hard to disappoint others when you have to cancel plans because you need to make sure your foster dog gets his medications on time. It is hard to feel judged by others for the way you choose to spend your time and money, in the hopes of making a difference. It is hard to balance all the guilt and sadness and anger and other emotions… guilt toward all of the dogs, and deciding which ones get your time and attention, sadness for your foster’s situation, anger toward the person who selfishly put this burden in your life, and everything else that goes along with this job.

It is really hard when you discover that your foster dog has separation anxiety. It is even harder when you see evidence of his tantrums. It is hardest when you imagine what could make a dog panic to the extent that he is so destructive when you leave him for just a few hours.

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But you know what makes all of that not only easier, but actually worth it? When your foster falls into a deep sleep in your arms, and you realize that this is probably the safest he has ever felt. It’s easy when you watch him play with another dog, bouncing and smiling and play-bowing, his antics showing a pup much younger than his age might suggest. It helps when you see the light bulb flicker on during a training session, and you see a glimpse of the perfect family dog he is becoming. It is easier when you see him greet a child, and he becomes a gentle, wiggly thing, giddy at the chance to kiss the fingers of a person right at his own height. When you proudly watch him share his toys with another dog or politely greet a new person, using the skills you’ve shown him. And of course, you can’t help but smile at the simplicity and clarity of it all when you remember that this dog exists, in no small part, simply because you chose to inconvenience your life in exchange for the continuation of his. Not such a hard bargain, if you ask me.

IMG_2398We love you, Kingston! No matter how much fluffing you scatter around our house. ❤

 

His, Mine, and Ours

Gaige, through and through, is a Daddy’s girl. Maybe it’s because she (wrongly) believes that he was the one that saved her life. I’ve written about how we came to the ‘decision‘ to keep her, and also written about the bond that they share. Let’s just say that I know where I stand in J’s life, and that’s in a line behind quite a few other women (Gaige, Holly the Camaro, etc etc). I know that to get Gaige to do what I want her to do, I’m most successful if I just ask Jonathan to make the request. What a diva!

His

His

Then there is Tonka. I wrote a long letter to him here, where I explained our whole past and all he has done for me. He is my heart dog, to put it lightly. Some may call it separation anxiety, but I prefer to consider it mutual adoration. He mirrors my movements and shadows my steps, moving through life as though we were connected by an invisible string. A flick of my wrist or a nod of my head is often all that I need to communicate my wishes to him. From the beginning, he has been uniquely intuitive of my next step or impending mood. Talk about a confidence booster… he makes me feel as though I hung the moon! (Or at least keep the treats, right?)

Mine

Mine

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Helping me study

 

Finally, we come to Georgia. I think what we both love most about her is that she adores us both equally. She listens (or doesn’t listen) to us both at the same regularity (or irregularity). She sometimes comes to us when she is called, but it has less to do with who the caller is, than it does what sort of treat we have in our hand. You could say she is only food-motivated, but we prefer to think that she just doesn’t play favorites. She also believes that we each taste equally delicious, and kisses abound for both. Happy Gotcha Day to the only dog that loves us both with equal passion and fervor! You came into our lives (approximately?) one year ago today, and our lives have changed forever! You were the little brown dog we never knew we needed, but who desperately needed us. You have made our family complete, and only deepened our passion for helping the underdogs of the world. You are gentle and sweet, yet playful and goofy. No dog could we replace you, and we know that Gaige and Tonka agree. You are our clown, our cuddlebug, and even our home defender, and we wouldn’t trade you for all of the riches in the world!

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Ours!

Ours!

As always, many millions of thanks to A Positive Promise pit bull Foundation for bringing this superstar into our lives!

So, we wanna know. Do your dogs play favorites? Are you the queen bee in your house, or does Dad rule the roost?

(Disclaimer: We all love all of our dogs equally, and take equal responsibility and ownership for all 3!)

Dating to Find Your Doggy Daddy

As an old, married woman, it is safe to say that my ‘dating’ years are behind me, along with those wild nights out with all my single ladies…. actually, I don’t think it quite makes sense to say that they are behind me, because I never really experienced them. I turned 21 right around the time I started dating J, and let’s just say that at that time I had no interest in meeting my future husband, so you could argue that I don’t know much about dating. I have officially only been hit on in a bar one point five times. One of those times, J came to the rescue, and I experienced my first bar fight! The other, I was playing mom at my friend’s bachelorette party, and so I don’t think it really counts. He probably thought I was a wealthy old cougar or something. However, I have lots of gorgeous, single friends who are wading the dating waters, and I am lucky enough to be the first person they call to bail them out of an awful date, strategize the second date proposal, and compare the benefits of SITC living to domesticated bliss. I’m like a dating therapist, people.

Nevertheless, I wonder what life would be like if I were dating with dogs. I can only compare it with what I imagine life would be like when dating with children. There is that tricky dilemma of how much to talk about your dog on the first few dates, lest you appear to be a CDL (crazy dog lady, obviously). Then there is that important question, useful to predict your compatibility: admitting each of your ‘numbers’ (of course I mean max number of dogs people, get your minds out of the gutter!) Oh, and then, how long should you wait? I mean, you don’t want to rush things before introducing your potential mate to your four-legged partner-in-crime. Too soon, and you might appear easy, but wait too long, and it might seem as though you are playing hard to get!

Then there is the looming obstacle: what if your new beau and your pup don’t hit it off? What if he just isn’t “doggy-daddy” material? Maybe he is more of a ‘cat-person,’ or perhaps he believes that dogs belong outside (I wrote a post about one of those crazy guys, here). Rather, it might be your dog that doesn’t take kindly to having his or her relationship infringed upon… either way, what would you do? You need to think about it… is this a person that can handle dog hair on the furniture? Cold noses and wet kisses? Post-coital cuddles with Princess? If not, I’m sure you have already determined that they simply are not romantic material.

If you’re reading this post, you probably look at your social circle in a way that is similar to my own perspective: there are two types of people – animal lovers, and then there is everyone else. Or further, dog people and cat people. Now, maybe you have a severe feline allergy, or perhaps it’s just your dog that has an issue with kitties. Either way, my advice is to seek out the dudes you know will be dog-friendly… two dogs, one ball and all of that. I’m sure you’re sitting there thinking that you’ve already met all of the humans at the local dog park. If you’re anything like me, you’re probably pretty proud of the fact that you’ve finally managed to remember some of their names, as opposed to only memorizing the names, lineage, and social status of their dogs’. But in today’s society, where one in five couples meet online, why not take your search for a doggy daddy to the interwebz? Nowadays, there are plenty of online dating options out there for the dog-obsessed, and a simple google search may land you a ‘tall, dark, and handsome,’ four paws included: You Must Love Dogs, Date My Pet, Pet People Meet, Love me Love my Pets, just to name a few. Here, you can use your dog to your advantage, as either the ultimate wing-man, or the cock-blocker. For example, on a fabulous date with a fellow dog lover, and not ready for the night to end? Suggest that he bring over his cock…er spaniel, for a little late-night play date. Conversely, on an awful date and need a swift exit strategy? Of course, any dog lover would understand your need for haste if your pup is sick!

When you think about it, it makes sense. We’ve been spoiled by Fido’s unconditional love, and we needs someone who understands that level of devotion. Some might say that we’ve developed high standards, but if you’re amazing enough to deserve those standards, then why not?

What I mean by that, is that if finding a fellow single, attractive, sane, dog lover isn’t working out for you, you could just establish your online dating profile at a more ‘normal’ dating site like Match.com or eHarmony. There, you could highlight all of the reasons any man would be lucky to end up with a fetch catch like you:

1) Easy-going: As evidenced by the dog hair and slobber covering every surface of your apartment. No OCD, neat-freaks here! Not to mention all of the chewed shoes, destroyed remotes, and scratched floors… no one could accuse you of being materialistic!

2) Selfless: Comfortable putting your own needs aside for the sake of others. For proof, just reference your calendar, with a plethora of Sophia’s grooming, nail-trimming, training, agility, and veterinary appointments. (On second thought, maybe don’t admit this one.)

3)Outdoorsy: Basically, you just spend a lot of time at the dog park.

4) Reliable: You know, as in your commonalities with the United State Postal Service. “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays this courier dog owner from the swift completion of their appointed rounds potty duties.” Come to think of it, the regular 5 am wake up calls for Sam’s walks? Why, you’re a prompt and pleasant morning person! No lazy mornings spent in bed for you!

5) Generous: $100 bags of organic dog food, $200 monthly Nylabone and Kong budget, $50/day at doggy daycare… you are a giving person who would never place the value of financial security over the way you make your loved ones feel!

www.glasbergen.com Randy Glasbergen

http://www.glasbergen.com Randy Glasbergen

And if you’re still unsuccessful, there’s always dog dating sites. No, not like I mentioned above. I’m talking about dating sites FOR your dog. I mean, just because you’re not getting lucky, doesn’t mean that Ginger shouldn’t either, right? There are now a variety of websites created to accommodate the needs of your picky pup, whether you are searching for a pooch play mate or a breeding pair. (Just make sure your dogs are practicing safe sex, people!)

Disclaimer: These suggestions and tips are offered in jest. They are meant to make you smile as you wade the murky dating waters. In truth, the age old advice applies – be yourself, and you will find someone who will love you for it! (Unless you are a cat person. Then you’re screwed.)

More and More Every Day…

I would hope that by now, it is pretty evident that I absolutely adore my dogs. I take great pride in them, as well as in the way I care for them. In fact, I think the greatest compliment anyone has ever given me, is when they say; “Man, if there is a life after this, I want to come back as one of your dogs!” While I love pretty much everything about these four-legged fur balls with whom I share my life, there are just some moments that my heart swells with pride and affection. I bet you can relate…

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1) When they are content or joyful

Especially when I think about where Georgia and Gaige probably came from, it makes me incredibly happy when I see our pups enjoying their lives to the fullest. Whether that is when they are in hot pursuit of an animal in our open fields, or slumbering all cuddled together under our down comforter, I feel so great knowing that their lives are better because of me. I live for moments when I can bring them sheer and unbridled joy… ears-a-flying, tongue-a-slobbering, head-hangin-outa-the-window-style.

 

 

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2) When they depend on me

While I would never wish fear or anxiety on my dogs, I feel invincible when they come to me for guidance or reassurance. These dogs, with their powerful muscles and athletic limbs, turn to me when they need assurance that the world is a safe place. Whether it is a visit to the vet or when I have to tend to a wound, their trust in me is steadfast and pure. I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve it, but it means the world to me.

 

 

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Partners in crime

Partners in crime

3) When other people are lovin’ up on them

Of course I think my dogs are the greatest. Don’t we all? But those moments when someone else stops to recognize all of the heart and courage and beauty that they bring to this world? I think that’s kinda what dog ownership is all about. Whether it’s a stranger on the street, all of you friends here, or the people that mean the most in my life, when I see the bonds my dogs share with others, it reaffirms all of the pride I have in them. And if it’s someone fragile that they are bonding with? Fo’ gedaboutit. My wild, exhuberant dogs seem to have this switch… put them around a child or someone elderly, and they become like little lambs, gentle and sweet, cuddley and quiet. Try to tell me that they don’t understand us. I dare you.

 

 

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4) When they’re all together

If you’ve been following this blog for a long time, you may remember that it took us months to acclimatize the dogs to the point where they could coexist in the house. Georgia came to us a bundle of nerves, with little trust for anyone around her, human or animal. She even thought the cat was out to get her! The poor girl just had no confidence in herself or anything in her environment. But to see our pack now, you would never know that we had ever experienced any issues. These dogs have a strong yet intricate bond that ties them together. You see it in the way they move through the house, and the way they all snuggle in bed together, sharing their space and their favorite people. It’s in the way they play tug of war, growling and barking and enjoying all that it means to be a carefree pup. It’s even in the way they guard the house, communicating silently as each takes their post at a window until an intruder approaches. One of the three sounds the alarm, and the troops come running for backup. They’ve learned to respect one another’s space, but they’ve also become dependent upon each other. Take one away, and the others pout and whine. Our dogs are true friends. I don’t know if they do it because they know it is what I expect of them, or if it is because they have a need for the kinship of other dogs, but I do know that I love it.

 

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5) When we’re snuggling

Morning snuggles with the dogs are my favorite. Part. Of my day. Paws down! While we don’t usually allow the dogs to sleep through the night in our bed, once J is out of the house, they know that the dog bed rules go with him. One by one, they leap into the bed as delicately as is possible for 3 dogs with a combined weight of almost 250 pounds! They creep quietly along the mattress, careful not to disturb me, in case I might decide to kick them out. Sleepily I smile to myself, loving that their favorite place on earth is just wherever I am. Each selects their perfect spot, snuggled right up against me, but still somehow in contact with the others. We rest peacefully together, until I make the first stirs… maybe a yawn or stretch, or an arm reaching toward the night stand for my phone. Then all bets are off… they leap from their positions, shake off their slumbers, and grab for a toy. They know that once I’m up, fun begins, and they can’t wait to get their days started!

 

"If I don't look at her, she can't make me come inside..."

“If I don’t look at her, she can’t make me come inside…”

6) When they’re being naughty

Believe it or not, J told me early on that one of the things he had first loved about me was the way I treated my dog. He said that I was strict with him, and he admired my sense of discipline. At the same time, I was affectionate and spoiled him rotten when he was good. I think it’s safe to say that this is exactly how I approach my relationship with our dogs to this day. I hold high standards for their obedience, and think that discipline and structure are a vital part of their lives. At the same time, I think that if our dogs could speak, they would happily tell you that there are no dogs on this planet more loved and well cared for.

With all of that being said, there are some times that I just can’t get over how adorable they are when they’re bad. 95% of the time, our dogs are so focused on their ‘jobs’ and are incredibly eager to please us. But there are those moments where their instincts take over. They seem to forget all about any of the manners that they’ve learned, and take exceptional delight in the fact that they are dogs!

With Gaige, it happens when she is outdoors and doesn’t want to come inside (see photographic evidence, above). You can call and call and call her, but she pretends she hasn’t heard. She will trot slowly over to the furthest point of the yard, and plop herself down, staring at you in defiance. You will try throwing bits of hot dogs to her, shaking the treat bag, and bouncing around like a crazy person. All to no avail. Then when you’ve lost your patience, and decide to risk the late-night or early-morning walk in your bare feet, crazy hair, tee shirt, and underwear, she waits like a panther. You will stomp yourself over to her, muttering under your breath, and just when you think you are in arms’ reach of her collar, she will tuck her tail up under herself, and dash around the yard in sheer ecstasy, proud of her quick and conniving ways. If you can stay mad at her when she does this, you are a much tougher person than I!

 

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7) When they are there for me

Tonka, especially, seems to have some sort of wire to my heart. Not only does he know when I am happy or sad, but he often seems to be aware of it before I am. He will come to me with an expression to match my own. If I am hurting, he will cuddle up as close as possible, and stare deep into my eyes. I swear he is trying to speak to me. But when I’m excited about something, he bounces around my feet, grabbing the nearest toy to celebrate with me. Talk about selflessness… this pup has it in spades.

 

One of my favorite pictures in the whole, wide, world.

One of my favorite pictures in the whole, wide, world.

8) When I think about the past

Mainly, it’s when I write posts like this. I think about all of the adventures I’ve shared with these dogs. And even the lows. These dogs have been there for me through everything, displaying a loyalty not rivaled by even my closest friends. They were all brought into my life for different reasons, and I wouldn’t be who I am without each of them.

Wordless Wednesday: Organization & Inspiration!

Foster Dad is just TBE… The Best Ever!

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Eeek! So much more room for (blogging) activities!

Georgia: "I think you missed a piece..."

Georgia: “I think you missed a piece…”

Inspirational quotes and photos

Inspirational quotes and photos

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Where it all started <3

Where it all started ❤

Tonk's & Geege's puppy collars!

Tonk’s & Geege’s puppy collars!

Just what I needed… below is from Foster Dad:

Desk: $225

Chair and cover: $60 + $40

Labor: 3 hours

Happy Writer/Wifer: Priceless!

I feel like I am about to be so much more productive! 🙂 Stay tuned…

Happy May everyone!