Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The ice cream man is coming!

When I was younger, nothing said "summer!" like the the arrival of the ice cream man.  When I heard that carnival-like calliope of children's music from blocks away, the desperate hurried scramble for money and my parent's permission would begin. What is more fun than a push-up?  There's nothing like orange sherbet on a stick.  While I am a grown woman now and can keep ice cream in my own freezer, the sound of the ice cream man still makes me smile.

Evidently it makes my boys happy, too!

My dogs were taking naps - Wyatt on the couch, Dyson on the floor.  When they heard the sound of the ice cream man approaching, they both perked up and looked outside - Dyson even jumping on the couch to look outside!  I'm sure it was the happy music that got their attention, since they are not familiar with the ice cream man.  Or are they more clever than even I know??  They do love their peanut butter puppy ice cream.......

I heard on the radio once that someone came up with the idea of an ice cream truck for dogs - it is a little truck that travels to bark parks and sells doggie ice cream and treats.  Seriously - why didn't I think of that??  What an awesome idea!

Enjoy your summer day!  Have some ice cream.  Maybe even give your buddies a taste!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Unconditional love

More and more I am noticing beautiful stories, links, pictures, etc about dogs.  We love our dogs, don't we????  And why not?  They love us so much.  They give us so much. In fact, they give us everything they have.  Every ounce of their being.  Is there anything more joyous than having a happy dog greet you upon your return home? Let's be honest, if your dogs are anything like my dogs, then they will greet you with a huge smile and tail wagging after you return from using the bathroom or checking the mail - I really don't have to be gone for very long.  They just love their people.

I am convinced that dogs are a gift from God. They love us all day, every day, unconditionally. If we are nice to them, they love us. If we're mean and mistreat them (because, unfortunately, not all dog owners are good dog owners), they still love us.  If we're sick, they love us. Been out in the yard in the middle of the day during the summer doing yard work and smell like it?  Yep - they love us then, too. In fact, can you ever think of a time when they don't act like they love us? Probably not. And if you can, then my guess it was a rare occasion. (My dog, Wyatt, acted like he didn't care for my husband and I for a day or two when we brought a new dog home. He got over it.)

You know what?  God is like that, too.  He loves you unconditionally.  We, as people, put conditions on everything, even those we love the most. It's really hard sometimes to understand that someone can love us even when we don't earn it, especially when we are stinky and mean and miserable.  Perhaps that is one of the reasons why He gave us dogs - to show us what true, unconditional love looks like. I hope the next time you see your dog, and he/she smiles at you, that you feel like it's a big ole hug from God himself.  Feels good, doesn't it?  Stand a little taller. Smile.  YOU ARE LOVED!!!

Every once in a while I'm gonna share with you how my dogs have changed my life; how they've taught me about God and about myself.  I hope you'll come on this journey with me!  And share how your dogs have impacted you, too.......

Have a wonderful afternoon, friends!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

I'm a mom, too!

Ok, no, I don't have human children. 

No, I didn't give birth.

Yes, I adopted. Dogs. From a shelter.

But YES, I consider myself a mom.  I wash them (albeit with a bit of difficulty), feed them, sometimes clothe them, give them special treats. I worry about them, take care of them when they are sick, reward them when they do a good job, discipline them when they do not. I teach them to respect other people and animals, hug them, let them sleep in my bed (my smaller dog, anyway) and protect them from harm. I love them like they are my children and treat them as such.(Harsh truth be told, my dogs behave better than some children I've seen - I'm just sayin'........)

Sound like you, too?  Yes, I AM one of those people who consider their pets as part of the family. And you know what?  I'm darn proud of it, too!  Feel left out of all the Hallmark card moments that seem to be happening?  Well, I'm here to tell ya - I love you!!  Happy Mother's Day!  You are valuable and doing a good job!  :)

Here's my Mother's Day gift - for this weekend when you go to my shop, you will receive free shipping when you enter coupon code "dogmom" at checkout.  This is good through Monday.  And going forward, I will try to have "Dog Mom Monday" - where I will feature fun shops on etsy that are a "treat" to other dog moms!

Share your thoughts with me, Moms!  You can talk to me about your doggies all day.... (In fact, I'd love to hear your stories!)

Have a great day, ya'll! And thanks for showing love to your dogs!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Who rescued who?

His name is Dyson, and I believe I fell in love with him the minute I saw him.  Before I even had the chance to interact with him, I knew he was going to be my dog.  This rescue, however, didn't even start with him.

It started with Wyatt.

Three and a half years ago my then boyfriend, Berry, and I were at P.A.W.S., looking for a dog.  My husband and his family have always been dog people. Me - not so much. Not that I disliked them, mind you, I just didn't grow up around them.  My comfort level was very low and I think I was a little nervous around them.  Months before, Berry adopted a dog while I was on vacation and called me to tell me he had bought a puppy - a beautiful brindle boxer. We named her Stanzie. She lived with Berry for only a short time, unfortunately.  She contracted Parvo from the vet recommended by the pound and we lost her 10 days later.   Berry was devastated.  I was saddened, but hadn't had the chance to bond with her as much as Berry. A few months later he was ready for another dog.  So this is where you find the two of us, at P.A.W.S.

We looked and played with several sweet dogs, but then we saw "Baby", as he was called at the time.  Dachshund-chihuahua mix, and the cutest thing I'd ever seen.  Trouble was - he wasn't available to be adopted until the next day.  We couldn't even take him out of the cage to play with him until the next day. But we kept coming back around to him, and he stole my heart.  "Berry, come back here tomorrow and get my dog." And he did.  Renamed Wyatt, it took a long time for me to get used to how our dating life changed - how our whole lives changed.  I wasn't used to dogs. I was a little like Lucy from Peanuts - you know- EEK!!  DOG GERMS!! I washed my hands a lot.  Wouldn't let him near my mouth. Wouldn't let him on the bed.  But little by little, he changed me. Softened me. Made me see what unconditional love really looked like, up close. Pretty soon he became "my dog" - followed me everywhere I went, curled up on my lap, comforted Mommy when I was feeling sad or sick.  I even thought about using him as a ring bearer in our wedding!

I loved Wyatt (and by now dogs in general) so much I named the next dog we would have - before we even talked about adopting another.

Enter Dyson. 

Berry and I both had the day off and decided - just on a whim, mind you - to stop by P.A.W.S. and look at the doggies before heading off to a vineyard for the afternoon.  We looked at several, and were in the process of walking a cute little buddy that we were debating on purchasing.  He was cute. He had potential. We were on the fence.  I'd figure we'd think about him, but would probably be back the next day to get him.  That's when I saw someone else walking the cutest little black ball of fur I'd ever seen. When we came back inside I looked and looked for him - no puppy! I was so bummed - I told Berry that there was a dog I had wished we could have seen, but I guessed he was in the process of being adopted. Then lo and behold, on our way out - there he was!  Just in a cage outside of the main room. He'd only been dropped off a day or two before.  He was shy even as a puppy, but once I got him out and held him - well, you know how that ended.

Dyson is like my special needs child.  He is very nervous around strangers. He hates change. He barks at everything and everyone - even those he knows until he figures out they're his friends.  We can't kennel him and have a hard time taking him to the vet - so we don't really travel much.  You'd think he was aggressive if you didn't know him, but he's just terrified of you, and barks for his own protection. We went through one hip reconstruction last year, which involved me hand feeding him and helping him drink, leg rehab & me carrying him up and down our stairs (17 of them, I counted every time) to help him go to the bathroom - did I mention he was 45 lbs at the time? - and Berry sleeping on the floor with him so he wouldn't get up and try to walk away, thus injuring himself.  Eventually we'll have to do it again, only on the other side (thank God we now live in a duplex - only 3 steps to get outside!!).  He brings out impatience in people and he's the tether that keeps me tied down.  And I thank God for him every day. 

I get emotional when I think about that dog - I know he was meant for me, for us, to love.  Both of my dogs have shown me what is most important in life. Yep, my clothes have dog hair on them - oh well.  My dogs now give Mommy kisses and sleep in the bed. I'll never have that chic, oh-so-turned out home that looks immaculate. That's what slip covers are for, right? I play more, I smile more, I laugh more, and I force myself to stop what I'm doing and spend time outside with my buddies. They've changed my life. They rescued me. I don't really feel the need to be a "type A" person anymore - there's too much joy to be had hanging with my boys. And yes, I do treat them like my kids.  They're spoiled. They sit on the couch.  If you don't want to be loved on by dogs, you're in the wrong house.

Don't tell my hubby - but I'm already thinking about names for the next one.....  ;)

Have a blessed day, friends! 

                                    (Dyson is a big boy now....)