A Christmas Miracle

We survived seven days, four long car rides and 11 hours of driving with two adults, two (gaseous) bullies and a car filled to the brim with gifts! And it was all totally worth it as we had a truly wonderful Christmas in New Jersey with my family and Marty’s.

I’m not going to lie, Marty and I (ok, mostly me) were pretty nervous about spending an entire week on the road with the dogs. Lucy would be fine, I knew, but Snowy is still a bit skittish around new people, not to mention the fact that she still regularly craps and pees on our carpet.

Both dogs far exceeded our expectations! Snowy was so much less skittish, had ZERO accidents and she and Lucy were great buddies on the trip, cuddling together in the car and in their bed.

Bully totem pole.

Bully totem pole.

We started the week in Northern New Jersey with my family.

"Helping" my dad open gifts.

“Helping” my dad open gifts.

Inspecting the loot.

Inspecting the loot.

Even though Lucy was still playing her usual game of “I’m afraid of Grandpa (my dad),” both dogs did great. Snowy was immediately comfortable, well-behaved and did tremendous during our 15-person Christmas dinner at my parents’ house. My aunt practically had a new dog as once she started petting Snowy, Snowy became butter and sat there for a good 10 minutes in pure heaven.

Me and Snowy

Me and Snowy

We hit the road the day after Christmas for Christmas Part II in Southern New Jersey. I have no idea how the dogs’ gas didn’t kill us during the car ride as they had some of the most toxic farts I’ve ever smelled, but we all made it there alive.

Marty has three nieces and a nephew and both his siblings live close to his parents so we got plenty of family time in. Marty’s youngest niece adores the dogs and literally ran Lucy ragged over our two-plus day visit!

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Yup, she took over an entire recliner.

Yup, she took over an entire recliner.

After that visit, we decided to confuse the doggies even further by traveling back to my parents’ house to celebrate my mom’s 60th 39th birthday on Saturday night. By then the doggies were too tired to do much of anything, let alone crap in the house (ahem, Snowy).

We hit the road Sunday morning for our last 2 1/2 car ride of the week – and year! – and now we’re back relaxing on the couch while Lucy and Snowy snore away.

It was a tiring but fantastic holiday week!

A Travel Slideshow

Marty, the doggies and I all loaded up the car this morning to make the 2 1/2 hour drive to my parents’ house in Northern New Jersey. For a change I was the passenger not the driver so I got to take some photos during our trip.

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Telling secrets.

Telling secrets.

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Lucy the pillow

Lucy the pillow

Snowy's large rear end shoved Lucy into the corner.

Snowy’s large rear end shoved Lucy into the corner.

We’re now here and relaxing for the afternoon. Snowy is a little unsettled but we’re here for 2 1/2 days so I’m sure she’ll get comfortable soon. So far so good!

On an unrelated but still holiday-ish note, Cindy (now Nellie) is thriving in her forever home! She is going to have one wonderful Christmas with her new family. She got her picture taken with Santa and even has her own ornament on the tree. Hearing her updates makes me so happy because she found her absolutely perfect forever home.

Merry (Early) Christmas

As is the norm, Marty and I celebrate an early Christmas together as we’ll be hitting the road tomorrow for a week with families. It’s easier for us to do our own mini-Christmas here and not lug all our gifts to each other only to have to lug them back after the holidays.

That means the doggies also get an early Christmas! This was Snowy’s first “real” Christmas in life outside the puppy mill so she got a stocking just like Lucy does every year.

Give us the stockings, woman.

Give us the stockings, woman.

Inspecting

Inspecting

The girls each got one nyalone, two tennis balls (two of which Lucy destroyed in less than 15 minutes) and two large peanut butter bones.

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Already hoarding both nylabones.

Already hoarding both nylabones.

Getting super ticked off at the picture-taking.

Getting super ticked off at the picture-taking.

The best bone-chewing position.

The best bone-chewing position.

The girls just rotated on and off the couch – one goes up, the other goes down, etc. – so it was next to impossible to get them together in a picture. This was the best I could do.

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After 10-15 minutes of play time, it was Marty’s and my turn to open our gifts. Snowy was quite intrigued.

"I'm just going to stare at you like a creeper."

“I’m just going to stare at you like a creeper.”

The girls are still playing with their new toys and we’re enjoying one last relaxing night at home before a week of travel.

Lucy and Snowy say Merry Christmas!!

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Tis the Season

After last night’s women’s basketball game, I officially have no more home athletic events until January 6 which means…I get to have a life for a few weeks!

This afternoon I used my first free evening to (mostly) finish up Christmas shopping with Marty. We then decided to be super productive and wrap all of our gifts, minus the ones to each other. While you’d never know it based on her ability to be in the exact wrong spot at the exact wrong time, Lucy has been through the gift wrapping process before. Snowy, however, has never experienced a real Christmas.

She made that very evident with her idea of “helping” us wrap gifts:

She likes to stand only in the boxes I'm attempting to wrap.

She likes to stand only in the boxes I’m attempting to wrap.

You can see in the background of that picture Lucy was just as helpful.

After all was said and done, though, we finished with a large pile of neatly wrapped gifts for family and friends.

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This afternoon we also finished up buying a few small things for Lucy and Snowy’s stockings. I’m not going to get into it, but Snowy has me at my wits end because we just can’t get her housetrained; instead I’m going to focus on the fact that this is her first real Christmas and I’m making sure it will be extra special for her.

PS – I will apologize in advance to all family and friends who find dog hair mixed in with their gifts. Lucy and Snowy wanted to give you pieces of themselves this holiday season.

Didn’t See This One Coming

Today I woke up and had no idea I’d soon be spending the morning at the vet.

A very sick Lucy.

Within five minutes of Lucy eating her breakfast, it (and some nasty-looking foreign object) came right back up. I figured no big deal – she’d eaten something she wasn’t supposed to, it came back up and that was the end of it.

Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong.

Five minutes later she puked again. Drank water. Puked again. Went outside and ate grass. Puked again. Then she got the shakes. Clearly whatever had exited her little tummy was still making her sick. One panicked phone call to the vet later and we were on our way to get her checked out.

Several hundred dollars, multiple xrays and two meds later and I think she’s ok. The vet agreed she showed the classic signs of an obstruction so they took her back for xrays. The xrays (thankfully) didn’t show anything but as the vet explained to me, oftentimes a non-metal object can be difficult to detect through xray, especially if it has been recently swallowed. Our vet felt pretty confident that Lucy didn’t have anything stuck but we won’t really know until roughly 24 hours have passed. If Lucy can keep a bland diet down (rice and chicken) tonight (and for the next three days), then it looks like the xray is accurate.

She was given an anti-vomit injection so if we feed her tonight and she starts to vomit again, we’ll be making a trip to the emergency clinic because this injection is supposed to work really, really well. Obviously, then, if she does puke again, something is still wrong. Lucy also came home with probiotics to get her system working properly again.

So pathetic :-(

So pathetic 😦

Let me tell you it was one scary and stressful morning! I had to bail out of an early-morning department meeting to rush Lucy to the vet and my whole morning routine went out the window – I’m lucky I even remembered to eat breakfast! Lucy and I got home around 8:45, I went to work a little after nine, Marty watched her until a little after 10 and I checked on her at lunch. No more puke, from what I can tell, but I do have a very, very sleepy and sick puppy on my hands.

Lunchtime snuggles

Lunchtime snuggles

Happy Three Months

It’s been three months to the day that we’ve had Snowy. Admittedly she’s been a longer foster than we anticipated but I wouldn’t trade the past three months for anything. We’re having a blast fostering her and love her so much!

"Whatcha doin'?"

“Whatcha doin’?”

She is going to make her future forever family very, very happy. She’s a sweetheart and if she can find a home where someone is home the majority of the day she’ll think she’s died and gone to heaven. She would also be the perfect dog to bring to work if that’s allowed and I guarantee she’d be the hit of any office.

"I still love you even if you put this cheesy collar on me."

“I still love you even if you put this cheesy collar on me.”

She has come a very long way since we’ve had her. She’s not nearly as skittish as she once was and is so openly affectionate and happy once she gets to know you. We’ve tried to expose her to lots of different situations and while she’s almost always timid at the beginning, she has eventually gotten comfortable no matter where we’ve taken her.

For a dog who came from the circumstances from which she did, as with Cindy, her resiliency amazes me. I would do anything for her and in return I get incredible joy from watching her blossom in life outside the puppy mill.

Decked out in their holiday collars.

Decked out in their holiday collars.

The Forgotten Dog

Who could actually forget this face?

"I'm nothing to you anymore."

“I’m nothing to you anymore.”

With all the Snowy talk over the past three months, it might seem like Lucy isn’t get her fair share of attention but that isn’t the case at all! Lucy is still our number one and every day I am so thankful we made her ours. She is such a fun doggie and I know I can’t imagine life without her around!

Snowy is full of issues (eyes, housetraining, etc.) so she gets more mention on the blog right now than Lucy but Lucy still gets more than enough attention from us.

In fact, she’s helping me write this very blog post…

"Type a little faster there, Mom."

“Type a little faster there, Mom.”

She has (again) been an absolutely tremendous foster sister. While she hasn’t quite been able to get Snowy to understand she’s supposed to do her business outside, Lucy clearly loves having Snowy around. Snowy doesn’t really get “play time” in that she won’t really play with Lucy but Lucy won the battle to get Snowy to cuddle with her barely two weeks into Snowy’s stay with us.

The night that I scarred Snowy by bringing out the measuring tape, Lucy was the first to comfort her with ear kisses after I managed to coax Snowy back downstairs.

I try not to think about it but I’m pretty sure Snowy’s future adoption will hit Lucy hard. Snowy’s energy level is almost as high as Lucy’s and they get along really, really well. It also looks like we’ll have Snowy for as long as we had Cindy (now Nellie) – six months or so – and obviously Lucy has grown attached (as have Marty and I).

But long after Snowy is gone we’ll still have Lucy and she is the best bullie I could have asked for. She’s a weird one but a bundle of cute fun and there’s not a day that goes by that I regret adding her to our home!

Hi!

Hi!

The Stress of Holiday Travel – Part I

Hard to believe, but one week ago Marty, Lucy, Snowy and I were in the midst of our 36 hours of Thanksgiving travel. As I mentioned before, I was pretty stressed out about traveling with Snowy for a whole bunch of reasons. For the past two weeks or so she had reverted back to leaving messes on our carpet pretty much every day. We think it’s due to separation anxiety but the last thing I wanted was to take her to visit families and have her make a mess everywhere.

Plus, she was in heat and we found out that some of the blood spots we were finding on the carpet were due to a small cut on the pad of her paw. Not exactly a great formula for being good house guests.

But, we figured that if separation anxiety was the main cause of her messes then we could keep that under control on the trip since she’d never be left alone.

Travel buddies

Travel buddies

As we were almost at Marty’s parents’ house I realized I’d forgotten to pack carpet cleaner so we made a pit stop to pick some up. I also packed Snowy’s disposable diapers. We hadn’t gotten the reusable ones from S.N.O.R.T. yet and I knew we needed something in case she was ever left alone.

All in all the trip wasn’t as stressful as I thought it would be. Snowy had zero accidents, slept in the guest room with us and we had minimal need for the carpet cleaner I insisted we stop to buy; there were a few tiny spots from her paws but that was it.

I did put a diaper on her during Thanksgiving dinner so we could eat in peace and not wonder what she was doing in the family room by herself but other than that it was totally manageable.

See, Mom? I'm an angel.

See, Mom? I’m an angel.

We’re a little worried when we take a longer trip over Christmas as we hope to spend upwards of six days in New Jersey visiting friends and family – at some point Snowy will be left alone and that’s when I’m worried her separation anxiety will kick in. Hopefully we’ll have her reusable diapers by then which will ease my mind a bit.

Just a cute picture of Lucy resting on Snowy's paw.

Just a cute picture of Lucy resting on Snowy’s paw.

But, this most recent trip was not nearly as stressful as I’d imagined it would be so I’m optimistic we’ll manage Christmas travel just fine.