We spent last week at a beautiful home on the sandy shores of Cape Hatteras, NC.
Can I say that again?
We had such a wonderful time. Filled with great friends, good food, relaxing evenings, and pockets of seashells.
We were lucky to take one of our dogs with us. Xavy baby had an awesome week at the beach! Really, it is too bad we couldn't bring both dogs, but Mocha can be a little fearful of new folks, and is riddled with anxiety on a good day, so we asked the folks SHE LOVES the most if they would watch her while we were gone. My in-laws gladly said yes, and took great care of her!
Xav was made for the beach. Absolutely. Just 6 months shy of his 11th birthday, he scamped, bounced, and ran around the beach like an 8 month old pup!
Xav also made a little girlfriend while we were out there. Lexi.
The first day we were on the beach there were lots of folks, but none really close to us, Xavy is a good boy and he was off leash the whole time. He would run in and out of the surf, dig in the sand, stomped a few sandcastles, and the kids tried to bury him more than once. He's patient, but not that patient.
Mid-day Xav noticed a lovely puppy accross the beach playing with her owner. He kept looking at me, looking at the other dog, me, dog, me, dog. He looked at me once more and then started to dash off. A quick STOP! and he did, begrudgingly walking back to me, pouting.
They continued to stare at each other across the sand.
We went home and Xav settled in with the kids all snuggling with him on his dog bed at one point or another.
The next morning we headed out to the sand again, ran right for the surf and did some fishing along the shore. After about an hour the adorable pup showed up. Again, Xavy longingly looked across the beach. I finally gave in. I asked M- to keep Xav on our side while I went to meet the pups parents.
Me: HI. I was wondering if my dog can come meet your dog, I wanted to che... some people ar...
Dog Dad: YES! We were wondering the same thing!
Me: He is dying to come over here! (to XAV) Alright Good boy, come on!
Dog Dad: She is dying to get over THERE!
Me: Oh, My name is Jenn, nice to meet you. That's Xav.
Dog Dad: My name is Pete, nice to meet you, I think we are gonna need to keep an eye on these two! (deep belly laugh followed by pointing toward the dogs) She's Lexi.
Me: Oh Boy, I think you are right!
When I turned around the sniffing pleasantries had ended, and they were barreling at each other, full steam ahead, and rolling around in the surf and sand.
Each day we were out there Lexi and Xavy stared across the beach and froliced in the surf.
Ahhh. Puppy love.
I don’t think I’ve ever been more thankful for my husband than I have been this year. We celebrated 4 years of marriage this past September. I am so thankful not just because he is the most loving, supportive, generous, kind, and thoughtful man, not just because he’s a complete genius, and turns out to be kind of a handy-man type (not to mention a sexy beast), but because of the way he loves and accepts me.
Bossy me, weeping me, laughing me, inappropriate me, DUH! me, silly me, and all the other facets of ME!
The more time we spend together the more attached I get to him, which isn’t to say he’s perfect, obviously, he’s still human. He still does, says, and thinks things that make me want to kick him in that sexy beast. No vices, no bad habits; just a deep love for spicy food and a real audiophile. He always stays calm and collected and believes that shouting or blaming will never solve problems.
So, I’m thankful that I have THIS partner in THIS LIFE.
I am so thankful for my two pups.
Xav, and the calm he brings to every day, so stoic, a protector, sometimes the clown, always zen puppy. I love the scent from the top of his head, can’t capture the scent in words, it’s just…clean and refreshing and I soak it up every night before I drift off to sleep.
Mocha, the spastic, unruly, jumping, barking, limbs all flying akimbo at any moment, little brown dog. She is a pain, a handful and simply a JOY. Everything is exciting, new, and interesting. Sometimes I wish I had a cornflake for a brain, just to have the enthusiasm about things she does.
So thankful for my dogs; these two fierce protectors, these doorbell barkers, trash truck warn-ers, UPS driver chasing, making grown men squeal like toddlers at first sight, bed warming, fur shedding, sirens in the night furbabies.
If not for these pups I would never sleep when M- is out of town, never get out of bed on days off, and never know the joy of going outside at 2:45am in freezing weather just to sniff around.
Xav and Mocha have become quite the team since losing Harper, a team I never knew could get along, snuggle, play, and romp together as beautifully as they now do.
I am thankful for the unconditional love we share, what I give to them is nothing compared to what I receive from these two.
--THREE-- thru --SEVEN-- coming tomorrow
Tell me about your dog that has broken out of his kennel three times in the past week.
Then, tell me he "ran off somewhere"
Then ask me what you should do.
After I suggest more exercise, making his kennel a den for him and not a jail, and possibly working with a trainer to give your dog some confidence, and you some training, stare at me blankly and say "But, how am I gonna keep him in the kennel? He breaks out."
When I look back at you and AUDIBLY blink, because I'm so dumbfounded you said THAT, you say, "Maybe I should attach a choke chain to the side of the kennel so when he pulls it chokes him and he won't be able to break out and run away."
Next time don't act so surprised when I respond by saying "Maybe you shouldn't own a dog."
One year later and the pain is still fresh.
One year later and I still miss you.
One year later and the hole in my heart is no smaller.
One year later I am able to remember the lessons I learned.
One year later I am practicing more patience.
One year later I am living more fully.
One year later I am not having any regrets.
One year later I am loving fully for as long as I am able.
One year later I realize that loving the way I loved you is the only way to live.
One year ago Harper died, a piece of my heart died that day too. One year later as much as it hurts I can smile and be thankful for the time we shared.
How can one animal mean so much? Be such a vehicle of learning and a catalyst of self improvement? How does one animal make us laugh, cry, dream, and live more fully? I can't answer these questions, I just know one animal did; Harper.
So last night M- and I watched a little tee-vee. He turned on some weird show about this guy and his brother who run some kind of alligator farm. Well, this guy was called by a local exotic animal rescue group. They had a male lion that was sick and they needed help tranquilizing him. The poor lion was lying on his side and just looked so pitiful and sick. His eyelids were weak, his limbs akimbo, and his fur dull and dry.
He looked just like Harper the last time I saw him.
The weird thing is, when Harper was a just a little pup I used to think he looked like a lion cub, a little chubby, similar coloring, and his nose, looked just like a cub’s. I tried really hard to just think of this lion as separate, not connected to me; but my mind wandered and I couldn’t get Harper out of my head.
I cried. Why does it still hurt so?
To add insult to injury I have been thinking of my Aunt who passed away a year ago, I guess I’m kind of an emotional wreck right now. I’ve been trying to hold it together, but this week has really been a challenge.
Lo and behold I was cleaning off a little cabinet in the living room and found a picture of Harper stuffed among a pile of books. And as if that weren’t enough while cleaning off the top of the fridge I found ANOTHER picture of him! At first I was taken aback, but then my heart started to warm. Harper may be gone, but he will always be with me.
2010 was a year with too many good-byes. But for those of us with dogs, loving friends, and family, our hearts will be broken time and time again. It’s a chance we take when we open our hearts to that which is outside ourselves.
None of that would ever lead me to love dogs or people less. It just makes me more passionate about the friends, family, and dogs I do have.
...A chill north wind was blowin but the Spring was comin on
As I wondered to myself just how long I had been gone
So I strolled across ol Main Street walked down a flight of stairs
Stepped into a hall and saw all my friends were there
A neon sign was flashing welcome come on in
It feels so good feeling good again...
---Robert Earl Keen
This song sums up how it's been lately...feeling good.
Not sick anymore.
Making art again.
Learning every day.
Preparing for the rest of my life.
--with a little help from Xavy Baby.
Woke up on time.
Recieved an internship at a local Council Against Sexual Assault.
Worked out at the gym.
(You don't want to see a picture of this!)
Recieved my DODOcase for my new iPad, that's a fun surprise in the mail!
Look what came in the mailbox today! Oh, wait! Yesterday, but I just got it today.
Is that not the freaking cutest pendant you have ever seen? And the puppy! The scarf, his spots...perfect!
Stephanie, you are awesome!
If you haven't already, check out Stephanie's sites...she's funny and writes about her life at Manifest Green, and she is crafty and writes about that too at Black Fawn Art. She also participates in Art Every Day. Stop by and send her love!
that by putting something here, on the blog, above the last post, that he dies all over again.
But, I have to do something. I have to keep moving on.
Soon, one day I won't grab 3 cookies from the doggie cookie jar each day. I'll just get 2.
I was adopted by an adorable, loving yet sometimes aloof puppy, Harper, Mr. Friendly, Harper-Harper-Bo-Barper, my Handsome Boy. Yesterday he died. With him, a piece of my heart and soul feel like they died too.
When I walked into the home of the family that had been fostering Harper, I met a few really nice dogs, but one was so sweet, calm, and confident, even at 12 weeks old, that I knew he was the dog I had been looking for.
Let me tell you something only a few people know. I got a dog (actually 2, but that’s a story for another day) to use as a tool. Yes, a tool.
I was depressed, pretty severely, in counseling, but refusing medication. If I wasn’t working I would stay in bed all day and all night, or just mope around the house; I was a terror for my roommate, making her life a living hell. I didn’t care about anything, my friends, my house, myself. I just wanted it all to end. I wanted to NOT FEEL LIKE CRAP every day. I could see no way out.
I decided that instead of self-medicating, I should figure out a way to change things. After thinking about it, I thought to myself, “What is going to make me get out of bed?” The one and only thing that came to my mind was a dog. A dog? Well this is going to sound strange, but I knew I wouldn’t want a dog peeing on me, my bed or the floors and to combat that, I. WOULD. HAVE. TO. GET. OUT. OF. BED. I got a dog so that I could mentally/emotionally/physically get out of bed.
The boys (what everyone who knows them, calls them), Harper and his brother, made it okay for me to walk around the neighborhood again, smile at strangers again, make new friends, hold my head high, and laugh again.
I have been lucky to be surrounded by a loving family and have married a wonderfully supportive husband, but sometimes, just sometimes, I can tick them off; that’s expected, we’re all human. What Harper gave me was permission to be me again, nothing I ever did or said could make him upset with me, angry at me, or even cold towards me. While we had dogs growing up, and they were fun, I never experienced that special unconditional love for a dog and from a dog, until Harper.
So, yesterday morning, after a tough surgery the day before, a good nights rest, and fighting the good fight, his body said enough is enough.
Enough will never be enough for me, but I realize that if this life we live is a delicate balance between black and white, yin and yang, birth and death, summer and winter, wanting and needing; the proof of the immense pleasure he and I shared can be found in the heartache I am feeling because of his passing.
Just a regular day 'round here at Chez CD. My summer classes started last week so today after work, class and the gym (YES--THE GYM!) I have been hunkered down doing homework. Kinda glad I wasn't missing much outside today.The HEAT has been unreal for the past few days, then on top of it we got a big afternoon thunderstorm. The pups have been hunkered down in their favorite spots most of the day. Xav, on our bed wrapped in a blanket like a burrito, Harper, on his dog bed in our room and Mocha napping on top of my feet since I got home.
Simple, quiet, lazy day afternoon.
The last day of December...time to think back on all the days of 2009. Good days, not so good days and awesome days, we had them all. Over all 2009 was a great year for us!
Thanks for all of the great times, and the support during the not so great times! Happy new year and best wishes in 2010!
Music by George Harrison, "What is Life"
Okay, to tell you the truth, I just looked at the clock and realized
it is after midnight... I still consider it Christmas Eve-eve. But
really it's Christmas Eve!!!
I spent the day with my husband, traveling around and tonight, sewing for fun. I made a dog toy, to be discovered Christmas morning, by a handsome puppy.
( the other two pups are getting bones, they don't love soft toys so
much.) I also made a little owl, using wool felt and fabric scraps.
The owl came out pretty well for no pattern and no hand-sewing ability what so ever. I really need to work on that, as well as piecing parts together in the right order. I had a time of doing things inside out and flipping properly, then barely left a hole big enough to stuff it full.
I was thinking the folded over top bit would double as a beak, but I'm not sure if it doesn't look like a LOOOOONG nose. I'm gonna try shorter next time around.
In the end I learned a few things and came up with other ideas too, it was good! More practice is definitely needed. Trial and error, my favorite way to go.
Only 3 days to go!
In honor of 9 ladies dancing, the dogs got dressed up in their finest winter gear! These photos are dedicated to my friend K- from San Francisco...by way of Atlanta for the holidays!
My true love gave to me... seven inch snowdrifts, that are growing!
I totally missed the 6th day of Christmas...well I was present, but I was too excited about the snow that came down yesterday to post anything.....plus we were stuck in the car for about and hour and a half trying to drive what usually takes 9 minutes. I was beat, full of margarita and just wanted to cuddle up and sleep...so 6th day passes without Crafty's fanfare.
As I write this I think we actually have about 16 inches of snow. Now, I know you folks in MN, ND, Canada, NY, CT and MI (among others) are totally accustomed to this, but I assure you, Fredericksburg is not. We don't have the plows and manpower to help the roads, and the residents do not get this kind of snow often, so they are not smart snow drivers.
And you know it's totally official when CNN shows up in your town to report! Look here!
Classic Halloween mystery for Scooby and friends today!
When Scooby and the gang meet a famous designer by the name of Christoff Gut, he invites them to his village to view the leaves and their many colors. However, when they arrive, they find that a school administrators' ghost is haunting the village and that it is an ancestor of Christoff's. Along the way, while investigating the mystery, Scooby and the gang meet the local eco-goth rock band, the Ruther Glenns, and with their help, they eventually find that there's more to this mystery than it meets the eye. When they learn that Christoff has teamed up with his ancestor to seek revenge on the citizens of the village, they must work with the villagers to stop Christoff and the ghost.
Alright, so maybe it wasn't sooooo dramatic, but you know what I mean!
M- was dressed as Daphne, and L- was dressed as Shaggy. Scooby Doo even made an appearance! Scooby was a hit! EVERY KID on the block wanted to talk to him, and help him solve the latest mystery... too funny.
So, I've never been to a dog show before today. L- a friend of mine has 13 dogs, some Scottish Deerhounds and some Whippets. She LOVES, breeds, trains, and shows them. They are more than just dogs, they really are her family....and of course her dear husband N-.
The two dogs she showed today were Serena and Blaze.
You can find more about these beautiful girls, and their family lines here, Altnamara's Deerhounds, as well as check out L-'s creative endeavors!
Copy of the letter written to Lab rescue, after they accepted, then rescinded their offer to take Mocha into their program with me as the foster dog mom.
Got it. We'll start looking for a home for her. Thanks.
I have tried to work with XXXXXX to place a rescued, abused Labrador Retriever named Mocha.
I realize Mocha has minor issues, but with the accepted faxed release form and the email cited above I expect you as a group to help us find a suitable home for this puppy. I have been honest with everything I have sent you about Mocha, and feel Mocha has been penalized for my honesty. Just because she isn't the 'perfect' dog you are going to deny her a great home? Now that does not sound like RESCUE, it sounds like doggy discrimination.
She is not a vicious dog, is not aggressive, does not bite and would not harm anyone, therefore she deserves a chance. She needs help, she needs rescuing.
It's not that I don't know how to help her, like Silvia insinuated in the previous email, with all of the obvious suggestions, it's that I can not keep her. When I took her in, and spoke with Silvia I told her I would foster the dog for a reasonable amount of time until a great home would be found. I have worked with other rescue leagues such as Mid-Atlantic Great Dane Rescue and never encountered an organization with such a myopic view of a salvageable dog.
This isn't a situation where someone went out and got a dog and it is not 'working out'. I
rescued her from an abusive situation, and now am coming to you for
help. If you were me and saw the abuse, you couldn't have have turned
a blind eye. I didn't.
Portion of the mission statement directly from your web-site: "Lab Rescue of the Labrador Retriever Club of the Potomac is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization (Non-Profit Tax I.D. 52-1880024) with a two-fold mission: (1) we rescue, foster and place homeless, abused, and/or abandoned Labrador Retrievers (and Golden Retriever-Labrador Retriever mixes) ..."
Together we need to rescue Mocha and provide the best outcome for this dog.
This group of people does not have every dogs best interest, they have their own interest in mind, and whatever is easiest. Since writing this letter I have received no reply, but really what can they say? I would suggest going through a different group before adopting from, or donating time and or money to this group.
I have done nothing creative as of late. I am sorry, but it is just So Darn Nice Outside right now! I have been spending every light hour...more thanks to daylight savings time,(thank you very much!) doing stuff out with the dogs and M-. especially since Mocha has come to stay here for a while. A puppy is energetic. A lab puppy is insane!
The Dogs and I went on a World Water Day Walking Event this morning. We walked it with some co-workers and it was a great deal of fun. It's nice to see people you enjoy working with in a different setting. You can see some of the other sides of them, it was nice.
Afterwards we went to my M/FIL's house to join M- on a pond dig. They had a lovely pond before this winter when a very hungry bird and his bird friends ATE all of the FISH!!! Okay I know this is a natural cycle, but man, those fish lived there for YEARS with no problem, and then in a matter of days they were all eaten! MIL decided to start fresh, fix a tear in the liner, and generally make it much bigger. M and FIL dug out a giant hole, and dumped the dirt in some small dips in the yard and around some tree roots that were coming up.
Seems simple right? Yeah, but there were 6 dogs there watching. Slowly they all had dug a hole somewhere in the yard, Would they help in the pond area? Oh no, that looked like too much work. So now M/FIL have a few (read:6) new holes to fill! Monkey see, monkey do!
Mocha taking a break from all the circles she ran around everyone today!