Settling In

After this past weekend, I feel like I can take a deep breath and really settle into a routine with Kramer. A week or so after bringing Kramer home, I dog-sat Spike, a 70-pound English bulldog. At only one year old, Spike had a LOT of energy and a very small space in which to expend that energy. I only had Spike for roughly 48 hours and then five days later, Spike came back…for an entire week.


I’m not going to lie, it was a stressful week. Three dogs, with Kramer still learning the ropes of being a true pet, in a small space was pure chaos. The best way to describe Spike is like Tigger (from Winnie the Pooh) on steroids. He’s got a phenomenal and hilarious personality but it’s not a personality meant for small spaces with small(er) dogs. If he wanted to walk in the evenings, his energy was tolerable. If he didn’t want to walk (and there was no making a 70-pound dog walk against his will), watch out. Anything in the apartment was fair game – burrowing in the couch. Playing fetch. Eating my coasters. Body-slamming Kramer. Humping me. Chewing his Nylabone.

Fortunately for him, he’s adorable which made up for a lot of the chaos.

But back to our routine. Kramer is really starting to get the hang of being a pet. He has never had a true accident inside – every time he’s peed indoors it’s been marking, not because he had to pee. He’s never gone #2 inside, which I consider a true miracle. He has quickly caught on to the post-pee/poop treat routine. After coming inside, I find him waiting (not-so) patiently in the kitchen by the fridge where I keep their treats.

Kramer is still blanket obsessed and it’s the cutest thing ever. He must have a blankie with him at all times. Starting last week, I allowed him up on the couch to see what he’d do. As long as he has his blankie with him, he’s content to lounge around gnawing on it while Lucy sleeps (as usual) and I read (as usual).


He is very much a pug; he barks (a lot) and follows me everywhere but that’s all typical stuff I expect from a pug. He sleeps just fine in the crate at night and I’m assuming he does the same while I’m at work during the day. He just chewed on one of Lucy’s many beloved Nylabones yesterday and while I thought Lucy’s head was going to explode – she doesn’t share well – it was another sign that Kramer is quickly learning to enjoy the good life.

I finally scheduled Kramer’s neuter and dental surgeries for Sept. 11. I’m super anxious for both – he has an enlarged prostate which is contributing to the marking and constant peeing outside but that’s reversible with the neutering (another reason to spay and neuter your pets!!). His breath also reeks so the dental will be much-needed.


After two surgeries, there isn’t anything we need to address before he gets listed for adoption. As long as the surgeries go well, he should be able to hit the available page pretty quickly after the procedures. Which is sad. Obviously, it’s much easier on me with just Lucy to look after, but so far, the two fosters I’ve had on my own (Lady and Kramer) have been phenomenal. They’ve been two of the simpler fosters I’ve ever had and have been great additions, even if temporary.



Happy Easter!

The Easter bunny visited Buddy (and Lucy, by default) on Thursday afternoon. I got home late from work so we waited until Friday morning to open the goodies from Buddy’s S.N.O.R.T. Easter bunny!



Of course I had to hold Lucy back.

Of course I had to hold Lucy back.

There were lots of Buddy-sized goodies: mini tennis balls, mini treats and more.


Buddy loved his mini tennis balls.


It was a nice surprise as we get ready to drop Buddy off for surgery on Monday morning. Very anxious to get the whole ordeal over with so these two can get back to snuggling.


My Buddy & Me

Since we’re back to a one-dog household things certainly are a lot more quiet around here. Snowy was much more of a barker than Lucy; I loved opening the garage door when coming home from work and hearing Snowy go nuts. I don’t get any sort of reaction from Lucy when I come home!

Lucy does seem to be coping pretty well with Snowy’s departure; I think she was a little lonely but for the most part her behavior is pretty much the same. I do still feel guilty, though, that she lost her buddy and since I was able to leave work this afternoon (Friday) around 4:30, the sun was actually out and it was above freezing, we took a walk around the neighborhood.

Normally Lucy resists any form of a walk without a buddy (of the dog variety) to walk with but today she bounced right along; she must be more stir crazy then I realized!

Then I said the magic words – “car ride!” – and we made our way to Petsmart to get her nails clipped. Oh, and she got a super discounted Valentine’s Day toy, too. 🙂

Yes, another pillow destined to be shredded in minutes.

Yes, another pillow destined to be shredded in minutes.

As we were driving home from the store and she was resting her head in the crook of my elbow like she always does when I’m driving, I realized how truly happy Lucy makes me.

Car ride buddy

Car ride buddy

It probably sounds pathetic, but she makes my life so much better. I look at her cute, wrinkly face and it instantly puts me in a better mood. I don’t have a ton of close friends out here – most are back home in NJ – and when Marty isn’t home it’s just me and Lucy so it’s a good thing I like her. 🙂

On an unrelated note, the elephant in the room: will we foster again? I asked the very same question after Cindy (Nellie) was adopted in July and I said we were taking a break until the fall season was over. That “break” lasted six weeks so I won’t make any guarantees at this point. Do I want to foster again? Yes, absolutely, but we’re going to wait until the seeming right dog and right times match up and take it from there.

I did get a picture update of Snowy (Violet) where she was sharing a bed with her doggie siblings and she looked so content and happy, which makes the past five and a half months totally worth it.


It’s Valentine’s Day!

As I do with most holidays, I got the doggies small “gifts” in honor of Valentine’s Day. It’s quite obvious I love them to death and it is Valentine’s Day so I had to show them a small token of love!

I purposely got very, very cheap, stuffed heart pillows. No matter what I pay for stuffed toys they don’t last longer than an hour…maybe two if we’re lucky. Sometimes the dogs are efficient enough to destroy them in minutes.


Yeah, these lasted for roughly five minutes, no joke. Oh well, they were a very happy five minutes.



And Snowy literally sulked for a good 10 minutes after I had the nerve to take the pillow away when she was about ingest the squeaker.

Sulky Snowy.

Sulky Snowy.

The girls and I are on our own tonight – yes, on Valentine’s Night – because Marty is working all night but I’m soaking up snuggle time as it looks nearly certain that Snowy will be going to her forever home on Monday morning. I fully realize it’s happening but I’m still kind of in denial and trying very hard not to think about Monday morning too much.

For tonight I’ll pretend Monday morning isn’t happening and enjoy Valentine’s Day with my girls. 🙂


Winter Stinks

This winter has been brutal, made more-so due to the fact that we have two dogs. We haven’t seen the grass in well over a week and what had been a semi-pretty coating of snow is now a thick coating of ice which makes it treacherous to take the dogs out. Not to mention treacherous to do your business while balancing on said ice – just ask the doggies. It’s actually kind of hilarious to watch Lucy insist on walking on the ice only to get frustrated and scared every time her paws break the ice and sink into the snow.

The view out our front door.  That would be a four-foot high pile of snow.

The view out our front door. That would be a four-foot high pile of snow.

I can tell Lucy is getting chunk(ier) and the dogs are both stir crazy at times. I feel badly but combined with the dangerously low temps and icy sidewalks and roads, it’s very hard to get them out for decent walks.

Fortunately on Saturday we had a surprise package to break up the cabin fever!

The mystery package

The mystery package

Snowy’s future forever family sent her a care package when we thought we battling a cancer diagnosis. Fortunately we’re only dealing with recurring UTIs but the care package was appreciated nonetheless.



The girls were each given a soft, fleecy blanket and a nylabone. It was such a sweet gesture and both dogs were very happy.


Snowy is going to be a very, very happy girl in her forever home.




What I Want to Remember

I write a lot about problems, stories and events surrounding my dog(s) and it’s fun to look back every once in a while and read about what we did on a certain day or what it was like to travel with Lucy as a puppy, etc.

Baby Lucy

Baby Lucy

However, one thing I noticed after Cindy (Nellie) was adopted was how much I didn’t write about. What I mean is I forgot to write about the things made Cindy, well, Cindy. I wrote all about her vet visits, health problems and how sweet she was but I didn’t really capture the small details during her time with us. As someone who loves writing, that makes me upset at myself as my goal of writing should be to capture the real essence of something, in this case a dog.

For example, one of the things I remember most is how when she was lying down, she’d exhale so hard her cheeks would puff out. Or how she’d practically sit on a person’s feet so they would pet her.

Paws crossed like a lady.

Paws crossed like a lady.

But sadly a lot of the specific details don’t go much beyond that. So before Snowy leaves us, I wanted to document for myself what it is about Snowy that makes her unique; the small details I don’t want to forget about after she’s gone:

– Snowy’s nubbin. Most bulldogs’ tails don’t wag because they don’t really have tails. Lucy just wiggles her entire butt. Snowy’s little nubbin, though, shakes and shakes and shakes! Sometimes all you have to do is just talk to her and her nubbin starts going.

– She’s not really a snuggler in the same way Cindy was. Don’t get me wrong, she must be near a human at all times but if we’re on the couch, she’s content to just lay with you, not on you. She’ll certainly let you snuggle her and occasionally she’ll rest her head on my lap but mostly she just wants someone near her.



– Her hoppy dance. She is just so freaking happy when someone comes home that she hops around on her back legs. It starts with a big head bob/swing to get her momentum going and then she just hops and hops all over the place.

– Her version of “play.” Snowy doesn’t really get, or care to get, the whole idea of fetch or tug of war. She’d rather grab a chew toy and run up onto the couch with it and then repeat that process over and over until pretty much all the toys are up on the couch.



– Mealtime. Her food bowl NEVER winds up where it started. Sometimes it only moves a matter of feet, sometimes it winds up in a different room!

– Her belches. They could rival the belch of any human in both volume and length. And smell. And they happen after every single meal, without fail.

– Her love of the outdoors. Minus when it’s so cold outside it’s dangerous, she loves being outside and loves going for walks. However, when she decides she’s done with her business, she sprints to our front door to wait for us to let her in. She has some serious speed.

Yay, people and grass under my paws!

“Yay, people to pet me and grass under my paws!”

– Her ability to sleep sitting up. I know it’s common for dogs to look like they’re dozing while sitting up, but Snowy is the master of it. She’ll sleep sitting up and snore while she’s at it, no less. A true master.

– Her distaste for healthy treats. Lucy will gobble down carrots, bananas, green beans, etc. Snowy curls up her lips the minute a healthy treat approaches her mouth and if I happen to get it actually in her mouth, it gets spit right back out.

– How sweet she is. There is not a mean bone in her body even though, after all she’s been through, she has every right to be a cranky, angry dog.

"I know, I'm pretty darn perfect."

“I know, I’m pretty darn perfect.”

Obviously we’ll miss her beyond belief but I know she will thrive in her forever home because that’s the kind of dog she is!


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.



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.


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.


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!!




Feelings of Guilt

Things have been quiet around here lately because things are anything but quiet at work. The fall student-athletes reported for preseason almost two weeks ago, classes started Monday the 26th and we have seven home games spanning this Friday and Saturday, all of which I have to work. And that doesn’t include all the road contests I have to write about.

Repeat that process until May.

So, it’s about this time of year I start to feel guilty because I see a lot less of this face:

"Are you abandoning me?"

“Are you abandoning me?”

And we have a lot less time to play:

One of Lucy's three beloved Kongs

One of Lucy’s three beloved Kongs

I will not deny that I am a crazy dog lady. I do not have children and the way my life is going, I’m not going to have children any time soon, if ever. That’s certainly not why I got Lucy – to fill that hole – but because I don’t have children, Lucy means a lot to me.

Professionally speaking, these haven’t been an easy past couple of years and when you combine that with the hours I work, it makes it very difficult to spend so many hours away from Lucy; “guilt” would be an understatement.

I also struggle with sometimes feeling selfish for even getting Lucy in the first place. I got her when I had this job and worked the same hours I do now so this isn’t a new development. I guess combined with some overall unhappiness with life in general, the feelings of guilt and selfishness seem magnified this year.

I don’t know exactly where this post is going except to say yes, I am a crazy dog lady; yes, Lucy is just fine on her own but yes, I do feel both guilty and selfish.

Hopefully she forgives me and just to help that process along, Lucy will be getting extra treats, extra toys and more than extra attention!


She’s Gone

This afternoon Marty and I dropped Cindy off at her “furever” home.

Cindy's new parents (cropped out their faces for privacy in case they didn't want their faces plastered on the internet!)

Cindy’s new parents (cropped out their faces for privacy in case they didn’t want their faces plastered on the internet!)

Because the last two adoptions fell through I didn’t say much leading up to today. However, this home truly is her perfect home. This family has two other dogs – a male English bully and a male chocolate lab – and all of their dogs have been rescue dogs, including many bulldogs (even a mill momma like Cindy).

Here was Cindy on her last night with us:


And this morning Cindy and Lucy got in some final “snuggles” (in quotes because Cindy promptly hopped off the couch seconds after I snapped this):


Marty drove back early this morning from spending the week on vacation with his family and made the two-hour drive with me, which was appreciated more than I can say. I would have been fine on my own, but it helped a lot to have him with me.

Cindy’s new family was so happy to welcome her into their home, as were her fur brothers! Cindy was a bit uncertain about the whole thing but I could tell she adored her new parents (as you can see in the picture). I think it will take a while for Cindy to get used to two new dogs; it took nearly two months for us to feel comfortable keeping Cindy and Lucy in the same room when we weren’t home, but she did indeed get used to Lucy and the two have gotten along very well for the past few months.

Her new family has a large basket of toys and just like the past six months we’ve had her, she had no idea what to do with the toys but she did know she wanted to stand in the toy basket!

"I'm supposed to play with the toys, not stand on them?"

“I’m supposed to play with the toys, not stand on them?”

As usual all she really wanted was a spot to lay down and relax and she will have plenty of places to do that in her new home.

We brought "her" pillow with her so she had something from our home.

We brought “her” pillow with her so she had something from our home.

She followed Marty and me to the door and I’m not going to lie – I was close to losing it when she did that, but I held it together until we got back in the car and started to drive away. And then I lost it.

There’s lots more to say about this whole experience – how hard it actually was, how Lucy’s reacted, whether we’d do it again, etc. But that’s for later. Tonight is the definition of bittersweet for me; I am so happy Cindy found a home that really, really wanted her but I am also really, really sad that she’s no longer here with us. Six months is a significant amount of time to have a dog and Cindy truly became a part of our home. It’s going to take a little while to adjust to life without Cindy, although it certainly helps that she’s found such a wonderful family.


The Best (and Worst) Toy

This toy:


has been simultaneously the best and worst toy. Lucy adores this toy – she can easily spend an hour chewing away at it. She had gone through two or three when we brought Cindy home and after a few weeks when Cindy got comfortable being here, she decided she loved the toy, as well. Never mind that it made her gums bleed (chewing on a bone with your gums will do that and don’t worry, she never, ever appears in any pain and it’s not a lot of blood), she became very possessive of it. In fact, 90% of the times that Cindy snapped and lunged at Lucy over the past few months it was because Lucy had the audacity to walk within five feet of the toy while Cindy was “chewing” on it.

So, I bought a second one so we’d have one for each dog. And that worked…sort of. Cindy was still quite possessive in the beginning so we had to make sure that the girls chewed their respective toys in opposite corners of the room. She still snapped at Lucy from time to time but the incidents seem to have decreased over the past few weeks.

And of course there’s no other toy that Cindy shows any interest in whatsoever (and we have plenty). Thus, Lucy tends to get a bit protective from time to time.

One is good, two is better

One is good, two is better

"All for me!"

“All for me!”

We’re going on probably over a month without any snapping incidents of any kind whatsoever (knock on wood!). It appears it only took Cindy five months to get used to the fact that Lucy was here first and isn’t going anywhere 🙂

On a totally unrelated note, Marty and I were both up at 5 a.m. this morning (well, I’m always up at that time, Marty never is) and for some reason Cindy decided today it was just entirely too early and put herself back to bed after doing her business.

Yes, she sleeps in a bed on top of another bed. A story for another day.

Yes, she sleeps in a bed on top of another bed. A story for another day.