Tag Archives: dogs

You want a perfect dog? I suggest a stuffed animal.

23 Jan

Chase curled up.

Chase curled up.

Mylo curled up.

Mylo curled up.

I LOVE my dogs. I think they’re amazing and I think they’re perfect. I love that they’re always excited to see me, I love that they sleep in bed with me, I love that they follow me around in the house and I love that they think they’re lap dogs. But in reality my dogs are far from “perfect”.

Can we share this couch?

Can we share this couch?

Some examples?
For starters, Chase has strands of slime coming from his mouth anytime that food is around. He likes to wipe them on Mylo or unsuspecting humans. Sometimes he shakes his head and they land on himself. Either way, it’s gross.

Next, when Mylo drinks water I’m pretty sure that when he’s done he purposefully takes an entire mouthful and then procedes to walk all over the house spitting it out. This is also his favorite time to do a drive-by lick, which is annoying enough without the extra cold and wet tongue.
More?
They SHED. Constantly. I mean, ALL OVER.
Sometimes they get sick all over the carpets.
They jump on me when I get home from work. They cant contain their joy.
They accidentally knock stuff over and purposely rip apart toilet paper and other garbage.
They need exercise even when it’s cold or rainy. Without it they bounce off the walls.

And this is them as ADULT dogs.

Dirty sandy fun.

Dirty Sandy fun.

When Mylo was a puppy he could get into ANYTHING. No matter how much we puppy-proofed if he was alone and un-crated for more than 10 minutes he’d find SOMETHING to get in to.
When my husband and I first started dating Mylo was 6 months old and one day, while I was at work, he had diarrhea ALL over the bed while I wasn’t home-and not HIS bed, my husbands bed (this is consequently how he got his nickname “Stinky”).
Mylo has never been able to have any toys other than Nylabones and Kongs because he destroys EVERYTHING.

He looks so innocent sometimes..  Notice the wet hair from swamp water.. "Stinky"

He looks so innocent sometimes.. but notice the wet hair from swamp water.. “Stinky”

When Chase was a puppy he nervous-peed until he was about 1 year old. He weighed 80 pounds far before he quit so when he nervous-peed we ended up with a lake on the floor.
He ate my favorite pair of boots (which I foolishly left on the ground) and he still thinks that we are murdering him anytime we try to cut his nails. In order to avoid murder he thrashes around like a mini-dinosaur. It’s very irritating.

Dirty dogs.  But you can't be mad because they're so cute!!

Dirty dogs. But you can’t be mad because they’re so cute!!

In spite of all of these things Mylo and Chase are great dogs. They are well behaved in the house (except for their initial excitement when we come home or someone new comes), they are fantastic with other dogs, they love people, they listen off leash, they walk decently on their leashes and they know their basic obedience commands. They know what’s expected of them and they know what they can get away with. They always know they’re going to be in trouble for doing something wrong, but they’re DOGS. They slip up. They’re young and hyper and it’s our job to continue to work on their obedience.

For those people looking for a “perfect” dog I strongly suggest you think again. A real dog lover understands that “poop” happens. Literally. All dogs have their own quirks and flaws. When you love them you adore them for their flaws and you are willing to work with them on bad behavior. When you’re really ready for a dog you’ve accepted the fact that your house will not stay hair free and your clothes will not be goober free.

If you can’t love something that spills water, is a messy eater, sheds, drools, or occasionally eats a shoe I suggest a stuffed animal. 🙂

And, for those of you who read this.. lucky you! You’re the first to know that the PFYT family just got a new foster dog!! Stay tuned to meet Mocha, a sweet and rammy 4 month old pittie female.

Snuggles on Sundays

4 Dec

This is my attempt at a “Wordless” Wednesday post.. even though it is Tuesday. 

My favorite day of the week is Sunday.  It is the only day that both my husband and I have off so we typically get a lot more time with the dogs than any other day. 

There’s something so precious about dogs in snuggle mode.  They curl up in teeny balls, or wind together in the most precious positions and I don’t know about yours, but mine turn in to limp noodles.  They will be my pillow or my leg warmer. They will be little spoon or lay completely on top of me.  They aren’t too picky.  

Here are some snuggle photos from Sunday.

Mylo curled up.

Mylo curled up.

Chase curled up.

Chase curled up.

Sophie and Chase.  So cute.

Sophie and Chase. So cute.

Sophie and Mylo.

Sophie and Mylo.

Sophie and Chase again.

Sophie and Chase again.

I was very foolish to believe that it would be easier to give up a foster puppy that it is to give up adult fosters.  Look at her sweetness.  She’s pretty much irresistable, even to Mylo and Chase.

11 (because I apparently can’t count) Things I’ve Learned from Fostering

16 Nov

1. The earth will continue spinning even if my couch covers are never on correctly.

I am a slightly anal and compulsive person.  I was a math major in college, this probably explains it.  I like things centered, I’m not artistic, I don’t like clutter.  Living in a 900 square foot house with three dogs sometimes has me reeling.  I can’t even count how many times I adjust my couch covers a day.  I just can’t STAND when they are crooked and

Do you think they do this on purpose?

apparently it’s impossible for a dog to get on the couch without screwing them up.  I have learned  I am learning that nothing bad will happen if I wait to fix them until tomorrow.  I will not have a heart attack.  The dogs will not judge my crooked couch covers, and the husband thinks I’m crazy for caring in the first place loves me no matter what our couches look like.

This same lesson applies to the dog hair situation in my house.  No matter how distraught I feel about it NOTHING bad will happen if I skip vacuuming for a day.

2. Caring means Sharing.

Sharing dads lap.

This is a lesson that everyone in our family has had to learn.  When we have a foster dog Gene and I share our floor space, our couch space, our bed and our time.  Mylo and Chase are forced to share their food, their dog beds, their toys and, most importantly, their humans.  At this point I’m proud to say that I’m pretty sure we would all pass kindergarten with our sharing skills.

 

3.  Accidents happen.

Milk gets spilled, injuries happen, rugs get peed on.  This is just part of being a dog mom, and also a regular mom, I suppose.  Things get chewed on, windows get broken.  It’s

“But MoooOOm. It wasn’t my fault!”

important to remember that you love your fur-babies and not to get too upset about material things.

4.  Judging a potential adoptive family is about what’s best for the dog, not about what you personally think about people.

I find it very hard to not be too judgmental when I meet prospective adopters for my foster babies.  See, I KNOW how happy they are at my house.  I know what their life is like with me, and I don’t want them to have to give anything up.  Dog people all have different views and different ways to treat their dogs.  Many people wouldn’t agree with everything that I do, just as I don’t agree with things that other people do.  This doesn’t necessarily define either of us as bad dog owners, just different.  (There certainly ARE bad dog owners.. I’m just observing differences between good ones).  Sometimes dogs do best in single dog homes, sometimes they do best with other dogs around. Some dogs are trustworthy off-leash, and some dogs aren’t.  Some dogs couldn’t live in the city (exhibit A: my lab Mylo) and some dogs do just fine.  I have to work really hard to remember that simply because people may be different than me doesn’t mean they won’t be a great home for my foster.

5.  Adult dogs bond just as fast as puppies.  Maybe faster.

Many people have the belief that it’s necessary to get a dog as a puppy in order to have that indescribable dog-human bond.  I myself always wanted puppies.  Since becoming a foster, though, I have had 8 adult dogs come into my house and I have learned from these dogs that it’s JUST as possible to form a bond with an adult dog.  They are more mature and more capable of forming relationships.  They want to learn from you and they are experiencing a new life with you.  This is a good way to start a relationship.  The other benefit of getting an adult dog?  They are typically potty trained, and are usually through their chewing phase already.  Also you know what they’re going to look like!

 

6.  Dogs who have never been given anything don’t expect as much.

Gene and I have both noticed that the dogs who have had awful or neglectful upbringings tend to me much less obnoxious clingy demanding endearingly-needy than our boys who have been spoiled for years.  They tend to be more appreciative of extra attention, treats, toys, and even the simplest of things like heat and a place to lay.  My dogs think that it is their  “whoever is in charge of doggie Heaven”-given right to lay on the couch, get at least one rawhide a week, play fetch once a day, sleep in bed, and the list goes on and on.  Sometimes it’s pleasant to lay down and snuggle next to a dog who hasn’t experienced that before.  The look in their eyes is priceless.

7.  I’ve learned to appreciate my own dogs even more. 

One of the things that I appreciate the most as a foster parent is that my perma-dogs ALLOW me to be a foster parent.  Over the past year I have fallen more and more in love with my own dogs for being so amazing and polite about letting strays into our family.   I love the time in between fosters when it’s just the two of them (which isn’t often) because this time makes me love them all the more for sharing the rest of their time with whatever foster we have at the moment.

8.  Money donated is money well spent.

I don’t have a lot of money.  I have a mortgage, insurance bills, cellphone bills, dog food bills, my own food to buy, ect.  Everyone I know can relate to this.  But somewhere along the line I started donating.  Not a lot, maybe $5 here, $10 there, but nevertheless, donating.  Once I started this I could no longer sit in a tanning bed, or buy a new shirt, without a twinge of guilt.  I always feel like maybe my money could be going somewhere better.  I don’t think anyone should donate outside their means, and I think everyone should splurge on themselves every once in a while, but I do think that once a month, or maybe twice a month, skipping that latte and sending $5 to a charity of your choice will make you feel amazing. I suggest you all try it!

9.  Fostering has brought me to a new level of contentment with myself.

I have always been a pretty happy person.  I love my family and my friends.  I am fortunate enough to be married to the man of my dreams and now I have his family as well.  I have always been happy enough with myself as a person and never really felt as though I was missing something.  Now, however, I have discovered how truly happy a person can be if they are doing something that they really believe in.  Having a passion gives my life purpose, and joy beyond words.  It makes me a better child, friend, dog-mom, and wife and I choose to believe that “A family that saves lives together, stays together.”

Family

10.  It never gets easier.

I have fostered, and given up, 9 dogs and I am on my 10th.  One would think that at some point it would get easier to say goodbye, but this never happens.  Each dog is so different and touches my heart in different ways.   Each dog thinks they are here to stay.  They fall in love with our family and they don’t understand that we are not their forever home.  Even when I say I won’t, I fall in love with them as well.  Often ours is the first good home they’ve been in.  Every time I find an adoptive family I worry that my foster will feel like I am just one more person that has abandoned them.  I wonder if they ask “why do you keep those two dogs (Mylo and Chase) but you won’t keep me?” My grief over giving up a dog is not typically sorrow for my own loss, but worry and fear about the rest of the dog’s life.  You can’t tell them what is happening; all you can do is give them a hug and a kiss and drive away.

Sometimes I wish Chase would drive me home.

11.  Broken hearts do indeed mend. 

My heart begins to break as soon as I even start THINKING about sending my foster away, and continues to rip until I am actually driving away.  At this point all I can do is hurt.  I have learned, though, that despite the immense pain I feel at that moment in time I WILL feel better.  My heart begins to heal, and while it’s left with a jagged mark, that mark fades with time.  In order to heal myself I spend time with my own dogs and I wait anxiously for updates about my foster-baby.  Knowing that I found them a wonderful home goes along way towards helping to heal my heart.

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