Tuesday, February 21, 2017

We got Lenny...



We got an early surprise. A day earlier than expected the rescue organization called and asked if we could take our puppy home. COULD WE? Of course we could. So, dear readers, we got Leonard. Lenny for short. He's 8 weeks old, sharpei, boxer, bull dog mix, energetic and a wee wee machine! As expected, Arnie - our big male cat - loves him. He thinks he's a great playmate though they are still negotiating the terms of play. Mama Belle - our female cat who runs the house - merely tolerates him and has let him know that she is in charge, no matter what. Lenny watches her move through the house respectfully and leaves her alone.

Night one went relatively smoothly, mostly because he was pretty tired out from all the excitement. We are crate training him and though he yelped for a about ten minutes at bedtime he did settle down and sleep for nearly 4 hours. I got up to take him out in the middle of the night and he yipped some more at going back in the crate but settled down again and slept until morning. No accidents in the crate and he appropriately used the pee pee pad when he did have an accident. Day Two and we attempted some daytime crating. Not so successful. He knows I am home so he barks his fool head off. However, he did settled down eventually and nap for a couple of hour in his crate so I call that a win. Gave me a chance to get a nap too since I was up in the middle of the night with him.

Day Three - crate training was a bust. Bark bark bark whining crying...sheesh! Nothing I gave him or did helped him settled in and it seemed it took forever for him to even almost calm down. By midmorning I was at my wit's end. I hadn't had any solid sleep in three days and this was getting to me. My husband came home early to give me a break. I got in a nap. We carried on.

Tomorrow we start again. We have made his crate comfy and inviting and give him treats and reward good behavior but he's dead set against being in there. Tonight we're trying it with a crate cover and tomorrow we're getting some pheromone spray to see if that helps settle him down.

He's a sweet puppy. I couldn't be more in love. And I know that we'll get through this with patience and love. He'll learn. And so will we!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Meet Leonard...

This is Leonard. In two weeks he'll be coming to live at our house. He's a mix breed pup from a rescue. Let me tell you about him...

For over a year now, Alex and I have talked about wanting a dog. We've looked at the local shelters and even went to the horrible PetLand store and played with the puppies there just so we could play with puppies. We really didn't have a particular breed in mind or even that our dog had to be a  puppy. We just wanted a dog! And we knew, deep down, that we would definitely get one from a shelter or rescue.

So, the time came when we were able to finally buy our own home and we realized that this was our time to finally get our dog too. Now, we did have some criteria in looking. Whatever dog we chose had to be friendly, playful, outgoing, have some energy but so much that he bowled either of us over and, above all, he had to get along with our cats. We have two cats and their comfort and acceptance of this dog and he or she of them was the most important factor.

The first dog we considered was a terrier/staffy mix at the local shelter named Mr. Wiggles. This dog was so sweet. Big and energetic and so friendly. He loved us and was well trained. He was a top contender for a long time but, unfortunately for him, we met him just before we could actually move into our house so we weren't able to adopt him. He did get adopted though! Just not by us.

I kept looking and found a rescue online on Facebook called JR's Pups and Stuff. This rescue doesn't have a shelter but rather does everything by foster home. I signed up there and hoped for the best. I also signed up at TinyPaws Rescue and we looked at another local shelter. While we waiting, we moved. Then, finally, JR's called! We had a "home visit" via FaceTime which was more of an interview really. The representative asked us a lot of what we knew about dogs and our home and who we used as a vet etc. That night we were notified that they had accepted us as approved adopters and we were free to check out all the dogs they had available. Oh my gosh, there were so many! Big, little, young, old....they have hundreds of dogs brought from all over the country from high kill shelters and puppy mills. We found four that we liked. Two, Sweetie and Midnight, were a full grown bonded pair and we would have gladly taken them both in. But the foster mother never responded to our inquiry so we moved on. The other two were puppies from a litter brought up from the southern US. The pups were all named after Mammals and the two we wanted to see were called Giraffe and Cow! Ha! Well, it took about 30 seconds to know that Giraffe was the one. He snuggled under my chin and made sweet little grunts and gave me puppy kisses. He rolled over and had Alex rub his little pink belly too. We were in love. We told the foster he was the one! Since he is only 6 and 1/2 weeks old we have to wait to bring him home. He still has to stay with him mama for a while longer. On the way home we decided that a face that serious needed a serious name and he was christened Leonard.

The next two weeks are going to be the slowest two weeks ever, I just know it. I wish he was here right now! I feel like a little girl waiting for Christmas to come. A really great Christmas...where you get a puppy from Santa!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Dayum...it's been awhile...and there's NEWS!

I just read my last post here - the one about talking about buying a house. Welp, we did it. We bought a house and closed on December 30th and moved in January 2nd. We started 2017 with a whole new place and it's been great!

Honestly, I never thought that I would own a house in my lifetime. That seemed like a dream for other people. It was just too big and scary to think about, me being a home owner. But with Alex at my side and our realtor, Carrie, helping us through it we just kept our heads about us and made the best choice. It all went so smoothly too. I had heard horror stories about house hunting from co-workers and friends. But we were diligent in what we wanted and knew what we could do without so when we started looking we weren't easily swayed by glitz and glamour. We wanted comfort and a home and that's exactly what we got. A beautiful three bedroom home, hard wood floors, huge windows and a fireplace. Located right in the area we love. It takes me about a minute to get to work and Alex can walk to work as he likes to do.

After moving in, the period of adjustment was almost nothing. It immediately felt like home. Like we were meant to be there.

I know there are times in my life that I look on and remember as being the happiest times and this is one of them - the day we walked up to that door, keys in hand, unlocked that door and walked into our house. OUR house - forever.

What's not to love about that?

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Dreaming big...

Awhile ago, Alex put the idea in my head that maybe we should buy a house or a condo. I've been thinking about that a lot. I think I take a look at the local homes for sale ads about three times a week now. If you had asked me a year ago or so I would have told you it was impossible but now I feel ready. I feel we are in a good place for it both mentally and financially. Well, financially we still have a little savings to do but we're on the way and this is a big dream that I know will happen sooner rather than later.

Another happy side note to this big dream is that when we do get our own place we will be able to get a dog. I know that sounds so funny and almost childlike but I have wanted a dog for so long now. And just like the time I spend looking at homes for sale I also look at dogs available for adoption.

I'm feeling very grown up and responsible. And also very ready to move on with life.

That's really good!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A woman of a certain age...

That's me. A woman of a certain age. I always wondered what I would be like when I was older and now - here I am - older. Not old, just older.

I have a pretty amazing life. I have a husband that is unparalleled when it comes to being the best husband in the world. Seriously, I would put him up against anyone in that category. He does so much and I know that sometimes that stresses him out but I hope he always knows how much I love and appreciate him for everything he does. He is, quite simply, the best.

My job is pretty good too though I admit I'm kind of over the whole getting up and going to work thing. Really, I would love to retire sometime soon. I'm not burned out and when I work I give it my all but there is other stuff I would love to do and having to adhere to a daily schedule of someone else's making is tedious to me.

My family is, of course, awesome. I know I have been blessed with an amazing support system and the fact that we are so close is brilliant.

I guess I am comfortable at my age. I'm confident that I know what I do is important and that I am competent in what I do. I know people come to me for advice and guidance because they know I understand how this stuff works and I will always be honest and supportive. I have cultivated a kind of wisdom, I think. That's funny! I never thought I would have that but I do! Wisdom. I see younger woman who work with me trying to inch their way in and doing it in a way that, though temporarily puts them in a good light, always inevitably ends with their true colors showing. Woman spending too much time trying to impress the management and not enough time just doing their jobs. And sometimes, those same women, try to place an unflattering spotlight on me to get their needs met.

Being a woman of a certain age, I am also very level headed and being confident in my own abilities, I never allow their actions to make me question my own worth or competencies. And, much to their dismay, that attitude goes a long way to impress my own boss. Oh, the drama-rama!

Yes, at a certain age, the need for drama goes away. Life becomes deeper and better and you just get on with it. They will learn it too as we all have to. I have to admit, it's kind of fun watching it from the other side.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

That feeling you get when you really, really, really want something....

I remember when I was a little girl going into a store called Wilson's at Christmas with my Dad. They had this huge display of toys and it was AMAZING!! Every possible toy a kid could want. Every toy that was being advertised on TV. It was all there. But the one toy that caught my eye was the most beautiful walking doll. She had long straight brunette hair and wore a blue dress with flowers on it. She was about three feet tall and if you held her hand she would actually walk next to you. I wanted that doll more than I had ever wanted anything in my life. I dragged my Dad over to her to show him and made sure he knew how much it would mean to me to get that doll. But we weren't there to buy toys that day so, sadly, I went home without her. Still, I thought of her every day and wished secretly that Santa would somehow know how much I wanted her. Imagine my surprise when Christmas morning came and there she was under our tree!

Now, I am having much the same feelings about something else. A dog. I want a dog so badly it's become almost an obsession. I spend at least an hour each night looking at adoptable dogs on line and wishing and hoping that one day soon I will be able to have one. The thing is, right now, I live in an apartment that doesn't allow dogs. I'm not real picky about the kind of dog I get either. I know I will adopt one from a rescue or a shelter, never buy one from a breeder or pet store. I like them big or small, hairy or smooth. Doesn't really matter to me! Dogs have such great personalities that I'm sure whatever it looks like, it will be great!

I just really, really want a dog. I want it soon! I wish someone would surprise me with a dog!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Life...or something like it...

I don't remember what I thought my life would be like back when I was a kid. I know I had a lot of big dreams and all of them were probably unrealistically focused on being famous for something or other. I'm sure that was my way of just wanting to be somehow different and special. As I grew up, those feelings changed. I think because I started to realized I was pretty okay the way I was.

These days, I feel a lot of need for change. I had a strange, brief brush with my own mortality at the end of last year and I'm watching my sister fighting the battle of her lifetime right now. As I see this and as I ponder what I went through, I start to feel restless. Like there is something more to life than this 9 to 5 or, in my case, 7 to 4 existence. I feel a little removed from my passion.

Then again, what is my passion? Now that's a good question...

I love the people I serve in my job. I work with services for people who are diagnosed with severe and persistent mental illness. They are, by far, some of the most interesting, courageous people I have ever met. And there is so much we, as a society, should learn from them and do for them. So, I guess that part of my job is one of my passions. But I am also far removed from them too because I am in an office all the time being an administrator. I don't doubt that what I do has some importance but it is not as close to the people as it once was when I was case managing.

I also love animals. I would love to run an animal rescue and take care of those animals that others have discarded. I believe strongly that we are the caretakers of this planet and the animals are where we need to be most conscientious. I have no doubt that in another life I was probably a "crazy cat lady"! Ha! But I can't do that and continue to work my job to pay my bills so there's the catch.

I love to sketch, draw, and paint. I draw all the time. I sketch nightly, filling up paper with ink and pencil drawings of whimsical doodlings from my brain that quickly come and fill up the blanks. My favorite is black and white drawing but I also love to dabble in colors and I can do it for hours on end, losing myself in the time and mystery of it all. So that is definitely a passion.

How does someone follow their passion? How does one make a passion a life's goal? When does it become the seed that grows into something bigger and takes off becoming the integral part of life itself? I feel like I need to find out soon because continuing to do the same thing day after day is becoming mind numbing and soul sucking. So, yes...soon....I hope....