Monday, April 13, 2015

Simple Monday

Enjoy the simple moments... 

like taking the puppy to pick up your son from school.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Beach Time!

 Lucas and I took Sandy to the beach today. It was her first time. 

 I think she really liked it, even though, most of the time, she kept her back to the water and her face towards to the car.  I did get a walk out of her, finally. But, I forgot she was a puppy and would try to eat everything! There are so many disgusting things at the beach that the walk was not that enjoyable for me because I was constantly watching her and telling her "no. not yours. Leave it"...blah blah blah.   I finally just sat down in my chair to relax.

 She proceeded to dig a hole right next to me. She loves to dig and once she discovered the ease of digging in sand, she was all about it. I think she could have dug a tunnel all the way to Santa Cruz (we were in Aptos) if I let her.

Sandy's sand stamp. April 9, 2015. :)

By the way, I'm tired. Taking her to the beach wore me out. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Helping A Friend

I've never done a post like this before on the blog, but a friend of mine, Vicky, wrote to me and asked if I could post a story about a friend of hers that is dire straits. The friend, Brian, is also a beloved dog trainer, so it is fitting to share here. Thanks for reading and if you choose to donate...a big thanks from me.

From Vicky:

A friend of mine and I have started a fundraising campaign to help ONE OF THE MOST AMAZING COMPASSSIONATE DOG TRAINERS AND LOVERS OF DOGS who has had to endure devastating blows in his life recently. He has undergone bypass surgery last Dec., lost his roommate due to cancer along with the home that she owned (with acreage for his dog training/boarding/grooming business). His car was rear-ended in a recent accident, which totaled his truck. He has had to put some of his older dogs “down” due to these circumstances and is staying temporarily with some friends.

The health challenges, especially coming on top of loss of the property where his boarding and grooming business was situated, are circumstances that have made it now difficult for Brian to work at full capacity leaving his financial security in jeopardy.

For those of us who know Brian as a friend or have had the pleasure of working with him as dog trainer, know Brian is just simply one of the most generous and kindest-hearted GOOD PEOPLE you will ever hope to meet! If any ONE of his family or friends were in need of anything...he would do whatever it took to help us...because that's who he is.

Although Brian’s life has turned upside down, he remains positive. As friends of Brian’s we are trying to do whatever we can to help him get back on his feet and make life a little easier to help him find a home and rebuild his business.

I was hoping that you might consider posting a shout out on your Blog Full of Dogs site in the hopes that any dog lovers might be moved to donate even $5.00 to help Brian "jumpstart" his situation and rebuild his life. To make a donation, people can visit

Also, if you or anyone you know, has property in the country where Brian could rent a room and/or provide caretaking services in exchange for him being able to live with a few of his dogs, please do let me know.

Thank you so much for considering this information. I hope life is treating you well.

Very best, Vicky

Monday, March 30, 2015

Selfie with Sandy

This is it. The best I could get. Trying to get a selfie with a puppy is like trying to get one with a bird flying through your house. Of course, I was just using any excuse to get close my little baby. She is such a handful and it's like having a newborn again, but she's so much fun. I unapologetically love, love, love her. I hope that she "knows" that.  :)

Monday, March 23, 2015

National Puppy Day

On this beautiful evening, I plopped myself in my favorite spot in the backyard and enjoyed a small glass of wine in honor of Sandy on "National Puppy Day" 2015. I have to say, with her on my lap (and Buddy under my legs) and that liquid touching my soul, I didn't have a care in the world. Best 30 minutes in a very long time.

For her present, I bought her a new stuffed bunny. She loved it. Broke it's neck about 20 times. :)
And in case anyone is keeping tabs, I love that girl with all my heart.

I never knew, until I read this quote, that Meryl Streep is my soul sister. 

Well said, Sister. Well Said.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Sandy Update!

She LOVES to dig up the bulbs in the yard. This is her, "what, mom? I'm not supposed to bring these to you?" look. She hates to go for walks, which has been really hard for me. The first week was fine, but then all of a sudden, she's like, "nope. hate this. thanks for asking." Ugh. It is the one truly frustrating fact of life with her. I'm not sure what it's all about, but to be my dog, she has to love to go on walks. Can't wait to take her the beach for the first time. I'm hoping to go tonight. Maybe that will change her mind about the beauty of the walk, because the trail did nothing to sway her mind. 

We've decided that we will celebrate her birthday on my birthday, October 28. Because she and her litter mates were found on the streets, scrounging for food, we have no way of knowing her actual birth date. But, based on what we've been told about her age, she had to be born in late October. That fact didn't suprise me at all. She's a total Scorpio...soulful eyes, stubborn temperament, somewhat aloof, pensive (see her thinking in the picture above? It's a curse for Scorpios.) and sweet, sweet, sweet.  So far, her true Scorpio quality is her fierce loyalty to her family. I think she would take out a person trying to walk in to our house uninvited, no matter her size. We tell her she's "tough".  :)

Oh, yes and regarding her relationship with Buddy.  It's still a work in progress, but, as you can see, there is some improvement. I admit that when this little scene played out, I was a nervous wreck. I was sitting her on the couch we have outside and Buddy jumped up. I almost had a heart attack.

 But, in some circumstances, like sharing the outside couch, they have a tentative truce. Buddy still refuses to play with her, but as long as she's not nipping, barking or getting in his face, he settles down. But, she enjoys pushing his buttons. She knows he's gonna freak out, but she pushes anyway. They are in definite competition to be alpha, but I think Buddy is winning so far. She is puppy and came in to his pack and Buddy, being the lower man on the totem pole with Dingo, is standing his ground to be the boss. She definitely growls at him (with full hair standing up on her back) and doesn't want him to come near her food or her chew toys. At that point, we have to separate them, as Buddy will never, ever back down from a fight and I'd like to avoid that scenario, thank you very much.

This is one of my favorite times. Every day I go out in the backyard and sit on the couch with both dogs and just enjoy them and the sounds of life going on around me. The outside couch is the only piece of furniture the dogs are allowed on and it's a treat for me too because I get to have them close. Sandy is definitely my little princess and even with the work she brings to my daily life, she is filling a void in my heart that I didn't know I had. Our new relationship is a simple, uncomplicated, unconditional and innocent love and it's just what I needed right now in my life. Thanks, girl.

Meanwhile, I have to admit that I need a VACATION! I'm so burnt out right now on life and it's time for me to "Peace Out", people. 

Where am I going? I have no idea, but it has to be somewhere. I was supposed to go to Dallas the last week of this month for my oldest son's national soccer tournament, but in the end, he wanted his dad to go. No hurt feelings. I get it. It's a guy thing. So, they are going and it will just be my younger son and me (plus the dogs) at home for a week. But, Spring Break is coming up and I'm going to take that week off from all things work related to go do something. We all know Tahoe is first on my list, but my kids don't really want to go, for some reason. My version of heaven would be to go by myself, just one time. I would be in solitude happiness because, as much as I love them, taking my kids on any vacation still means work for me. Most people don't understand my fantasy of going away by myself. They think it's weird. All I can say is, if wanting to go on a solo trip, makes me a weirdo, anti-social, recluse or any other derogatory terms, sign me up. I don't care. It's who I am.

Of course, I must admit, during nights in Tahoe, I get a little scared. If have to take the dogs out, I try to focus on the most beautiful nighttime sky (nothing quite like it), but can't help but look over my shoulder for the many coyotes and Lord forbid, a bear! To be by myself means I wouldn't sleep, but I could take a wonderful nap each day. Ok, ok. I'm digressing. I'll share my fantasy for a solitary vacation another time. 

Happy Sunday!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Happy 13th Birthday to Lucas!

 Wishing a Happy 13th Birthday to my youngest son, Lucas. We celebrated tonight with family and this weekend is his celebration with his friends. Can't believe I now have two teenage boys in the house! Good times, people.

My sweet nephews joined us, of course!

As for the Princess of the House...well, let's just say that with a house full of people, she had to be contained behind a gate in a separate room. Sorry, girl, can't risk you going out the front door. Also gotta givie her my apologies on the blue leash. It's Buddy's, but I placed her pretty pink one somewhere and now I can't find it.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Along Came Sandy...

This is the first time I saw her face. It was on the rescue group's (Love and Second Chances) website. She was 3.5 months old and her stage name was Vesta. It was love a first "site". Even though I was "just looking" and mostly at Old Timers, I somehow came across this sweet face and then couldn't get her out of my mind. 

I inquired about her via email and then got a response that she was an International rescue, who was in Taiwan. What? I was somewhat disappointed. "She has to come from Taiwan? What does that even mean?" It meant that she was from Taiwan and was a rescued street puppy who needed a new home, just like rescue dogs in the United States need new homes.  She would have to fly to San Francisco and be picked up there, if we were approved as adopters. I didn't know how I felt about an International adoption of a rescue dog, but after reading about all the good work that is being done in Taiwan to rescue the many dumped and feral street dogs, I began to see things in a new light. A rescued dog is a rescued dog, no matter the zip code. 

So long story short, we moved forward, got approved and had a date to pick up the puppy at SFO on Monday, February 16. Of course, this was after very long discussions about the reality of having a puppy. It's not easy and I knew that going in. I needed to make sure everyone else knew that going in. We all agreed, even though we still didn't know exactly what we were getting ourselves in to!

 On that fateful Monday evening, we loaded up the car and headed out to pick up my little princess. 

Yes, I had her flight mapped on Flight Aware.

Once, she arrived at the gate (which took FOREVER, because of customs) we had to sign some paperwork, but we didn't take her out of her crate until we got to the parking lot.

Of course, I had water for her, as well as towels and wipes and THANK GOD I did because after so long in a crate, you can imagine there was a mess. It was so hard for me to think about the conditions in her crate that she had to be in for so long. Because of the late flight, there were no dog washing places open and, I must admit, that whole scenario was very stressful.  But, being her mama,  I just wrapped her in two towels (pretending not to smell a thing) and held her tight, so she knew she was safe. I held her in my lap all the way home. She slept so sweetly.

Now that I know her better, I can see the fear in her eyes here. Poor thing.

1st night home. 

Luckily, during our first week with her, Lucas was off from school and it allowed them to form a special bond.  

And she had quality time with Dominic too.

Buddy? Well, this picture sums it up. I really thought he would be happy because I know how much he misses Dingo, but it hasn't really turned out that way.
(I really miss my Dingo too. It's still so hard for me.)

She's trying really hard with him, but it's just way too much puppy for Buddy's Oldtimer, Terrier-self. He's not much for chaos or fun, for that matter. Plus, she's kinda rough with him and that's a big "no-no". 

This is Sandy.

So far, she is the smartest dog I've ever had. She will need a strong leader and lots of training and socialization. She is very willful already and I'm working really hard to understand and get to know her, so we can have a beautiful, long life together. 

Even though I thought I was getting a medium sized dog (50lbs fully gown), the vet says she's only going to be about 30 lbs. I was a bit disappointed, but she will still be a good guard dog, just not a big one. 

So Along Came My...
Yes, I picked the name. It took me forever, as I have all boys in my life and didn't even know where to begin for a girls' name. I tried to find a good girl's name from Taiwan, to honor her heritage, but none seemed to fit her or me.

But, then, it came to me like a ghost from the distant past. She will be Sandy, just like my Grandma Jessie and Grandpa Ben's dog, all those many years ago. I was looking at my blog and saw the sidebar picture of my grandpa and 6-month-old-me and, also, in that picture is their Sandy (my first dog ever) and right then I knew, that I needed my own.

Mama's Princess. 

Now, to be honest, as romantic as it seems, this transition of adding a puppy to our house has been anything but perfect. Getting a puppy is not for the faint of heart. It is so much work that I almost can't believe it. There have been times I've already cried and wondered what the heck I did! I know it will be worth it and we love her beyond measure, but the road is not smooth and I feel like I don't have a second for anything else in my life and the constant worry over her and her potty habits and her training and she and Buddy being in the same room has been immense.

But, in the early morning, when it's just she and I and we are having our snuggle time, I treasure this experience and hope to have many wonderful years and memories with my girl. 

Yep, every day of the week.

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