First of all: Happy Thanksgiving, friends! I hope you are all enjoying the holiday, in whatever way is meaningful to you. Thanksgiving has always, always been my most favorite of days. Typically, we visit my family in Virginia, which is so special because it is the only time of year that we all get together in one place. I honestly feel like every year, I have even more blessings to count than the year before. This year is no exception, and I truly believe I am the luckiest person in the world. Sure, in a perfect world there are things I might change about my life, but if we choose to look at our lives from a perspective of thankfulness, it is so much easier to be happy and grateful and satisfied.

Along those lines, I spoke earlier this week about our struggles with Kingston’s separation anxiety. Well, I actually flew down to Virginia on Sunday, while Jonathan stayed in Pennsylvania with all of the pups. He just drove down to meet me last night, with Tonka and Kingston as his copilots (Gaige and Georgia stayed home with our awesome pet sitter). I have to be honest friends… until they finally arrived, I had been experiencing some pretty strong separation anxiety of my own! This is the first time visiting my family without either my own pups or my parents’ dogs around. However, as the saying goes, how lucky am I to have someone to love, who makes saying goodbye so hard? It certainly makes for super-sweet reunions. Can you all remind me of these words when it comes time to say goodbye to Kingston? Ugggggh.

Here are some photos of our time together thus far. For the record, Kingston helped us rescue a little lost Shi Tzu we found during our morning walk. The poor thing had just had surgery and had the cone to prove it!

Happy Thanksgiving, friends ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope you know how thankful I am for all of you.

He was enthralled by the dog show… Maybe his vision isn’t as poor as we thought!

Even the pups have place cards!

ALL of the boys practicing their knife skills.

My mom is a professional dog spoiler… She calls them her grand puppies!


Surgery Report

Ok, so we have good and bad news to report. I think it is best if we start from the beginning.

Foster Dad left early this morning to take the pup (Kingston? Tripp? Still can’t decide!) to Butler Veterinary Associates, the clinic where the surgery would be performed. He told me that the little guy kept whining and looking out the back window for me the whole drive ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

F.D. reported that everyone at the clinic was incredibly friendly and knowledgeable. He met with Dr. Harvey, the veterinarian who would be performing the surgery. He really liked him, as he was incredibly experienced and very open, describing his findings along the way as he examined the dog.

The bad news is that the surgery was more difficult than the doctor expected. He told Foster Dad (sorry, I just love being able to say that again!) during the pre-surgical exam that the break most likely occurred longer ago than we were originally told. There was an incredible amount of calcification, and this was confirmed once he had opened him up… he said he has never performed a surgery to that extent at his clinic. Further, there was already some nerve loss, as the dog’s reflexes were not where they should be. The muscles had already started to contract and atrophy, so we may have a long process of rehabilitation ahead of us. During the exam, he was not sure whether they should risk doing the neuter during the same procedure, but luckily the doctor was able to take care of that as well. We really didn’t want to have to put such a young dog under anesthesia more times than necessary.

The good news is that he made it out of surgery just fine. He went in for surgery around 1:00 PM, and as of this moment (4:30 pm) he was out of surgery but still not awake. They were originally hopeful that we would be able to bring him home tonight, but they are pretty sure that his pain levels will be such that they should keep him on a morphine drip overnight. We will speak with the doctor around 6:00 this evening to get another update, and will let you all know if he shares anything unexpected. Otherwise, he will be coming back to the AFM5 residence sometime tomorrow.

We are so thankful that this little pup was brought into our lives, and so blessed to be able to help him. However, please know that we never, ever could have done this without all of your support. You all are his angels, and I made sure to tell him before I left that he had to come through this, because there were so many people out there who loved and cared for him without even having met him. ๐Ÿ™‚


Less-Words Wednesday: Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

It seems that the majority of the photos that I take of our dogs, feature them snoooozing away! Don’t let the photos fool you, however… these pups are usually going a million miles per minute! Nevertheless, they are ultra-adorable when they are asleep ๐Ÿ˜‰ Don’t believe me? Take a peek for yourself!

photo 1

This might just seem like your run of the mill sleeping dog photo… but I will have you know that Georgia was pacing around the bedroom, because the beds were in opposite corners. She dragged the bed over himself, so they could all sleep together ๐Ÿ˜‰

photo 2

On the way to the vet!

photo 3

And on the way home

photo 4

Puppy-dog yin-yang!

Puppy Love

I firmly maintain that puppies are one of life’s greatest pleasures. I don’t think there is anyone that can look at a little wriggling pack of baby dogs, and not forget their worries for a little while!

I wish I could convey through the screen just what a joy it has been to have two young pups in our house with us this week! If I was a better photographer, I’m sure that I probably could. Sure, there have been plenty of moments where it has been challenging to manage so many dogs, but to be sure, the benefits far outweigh the stress!

I have been trying to pinpoint just what my favorite puppy feature might be. Is it their round little tummies, freckled & full from their kibble, and soft as the inside of your favorite sweatshirt?


Through play and cuddle, they inspire us to attain embarrassing levels of baby-talk.

What about the puppy piles? All pretzeled together in slumber, limbs spewing from odd angles, unable to identify where one body ends and another begins. Sleepy dreams create little nose wiggles, paw shakes, and even low, ferocious growls or cuddle-inducing whimpers. Maybe it’s their distinct puppy smell, their breath rolling over you as they reach to sleepily lick your cheek after a long nap.


Or, it could be their clumsy antics, floppy joints tripping them up while running and playing and wrestling together. They mimic the behaviors of older dogs, not knowing that no one is fooled by their performance.


It could be their giant paws, floppy and soft, suggesting much about their future size!


It might be their ‘puppy-dog’ eyes, full of trust and love and loyalty, inspiring visions of future adventures together.



These two babies just happen to be brother and sister, and are such good pups already! I can only imagine what wonderful dogs they will become. They both love toys, and are more interested in people than any puppies I’ve met before. They are thought to be mastiff x boxer x lab crosses.


Gunner is all boy, and dressed all in black. He is mischief, trouble, and action all rolled into one, and reminds us of Gaige! He even shares the same diamonds on the backs of his feet. He is forever playing rough and picking on his sister.


Xena is the female, and all sweetness! She is much more docile than her brother, and her personality and build remind us of Tonka. She is long, lean, and lanky, and such a little lady! Both pups are crate trained, very smart, and pick up on things incredibly quickly. They’ve only been with us since Saturday morning, and by Monday they were already automatically sitting before things like getting their dinner, and being let through the door. They are learning quickly not to jump or bark for attention. I’m pretty sure that these two would play all day and night if they could!

One thing I had forgotten about was just how sharp their little puppy teeth and nails can be! Ouch! haha


Look at those teefers!

Look at those teefers!

If you are anything like me, thenย this post has probably only increased your need for a puppy in your life, rather than quenching it, but you are also probably no where near ready for the addition! If so, then check out a few videos we wanted to share with you. It is all the cute, with none of the commitment ๐Ÿ˜‰

I think that is his way of telling me that he would like some more water. Please.

I think that is his way of telling me that he would like some more water. Please.

This video was actually recorded by the same person who was the videographer at our wedding! Megan Bowers of Pictory Productions is ridiculously talented, and when she and her fiance got a French Bulldog puppy this past summer, they knew that they had to document all of his firsts. I think they do a divine job of capturing life with a new pup… from his perspective! Meet their little man, Harold,ย here.

I don’t know anything at all about the person who recorded this video, or the dog who is the subject, but I do know that Bernese Mountain Dogs are my favorite! This video shows BMD puppy, Nilah, and her first (courageous!) introduction to a lemon!

And this one went viral at some point, so you may have seen it. However, if you think you’ve seen a cute puppy howling, and haven’t seen this, then you ain’t seen nothin ๐Ÿ˜‰ This thing literally makes me melt!