A significant day in my life passed yesterday with very little fanfare.
My 32nd birthday was overshadowed by a series of unfortunate personal events.
On Saturday, our house flooded due to a plumbing problem. On Sunday, I dropped my phone in the toilet. On Monday, I fell down in a snowdrift.
The third incident actually had very little bearing on anything, other than it caused me to re-enter my workplace on the afternoon of my birthday with a wet behind. And it makes for a kind of funny detail.
But the first events – especially number 1 – were disappointing, costly and inconvenient, to say the least.
As I type tonight, a 32-years-and-1-day-year-old dog mom, industrial fans and dehumidifiers surround me, humming loudly, slowly drawing the excess moisture from our floorboards. The constant noise is soothing to Zach but sets me on edge.
I don’t know what it is about white noise, but it’s always bothered me. Even the modest motor in our bedroom fan sometimes delays my sleep or startles me in the night.
The motors in these monsters are way louder. But I think I’ll live.
They’ve done an amazing job so far of evaporating the thousands of gallons that poured through our kitchen, gathered in the subflooring and rained down hard on some of our most prized but little used musical gadgetry. The sight in our basement Saturday night was so sad I let the professional clean-up crew take the pictures.
For their safety, we sent Scooby and Blind Willie to the kennel through the first couple days of the drying. As we drug all manner of items from our basement to strew across our main floor to air out, it was just too dangerous to let a totally blind and a half-blind, half-deaf dog stumble around.
Fortunately, Luke’s senses are strong enough that could get around OK. He even seems to enjoy napping in front of the big fans in the daytime.
I brought the little guys back home today. They don’t seem perturbed by the loud machines, other than they don’t seem to like the fans blowing on their fur. Mostly, all three of the dogs snooze. I envy them their ability to tune out the incessant whirring.
But I’m not really complaining.
We are lucky to have these fans. We are lucky our house was not damaged worse. Considering at the time I discovered the flooding, water was shooting into an electrical outlet, we are lucky our house didn’t burn up with three sweet dogs inside it.
I don’t know quite what to make of the rash of frustrating, water-related events that occurred within 32 hours of my 32nd birthday. I think I’m going to look at it all as some kind of cleansing, dictated by the universe.
Maybe it means my year 32 is going to be really good.
I’ll do what I can to make it so.
My new foster dog only has one eye.
It doesn’t work.
In fact, Blind Willie’s big, old, useless eye will have to be removed very soon, and Wayward Dog Foundation is currently raising funds to help cover the surgery.
Eye trouble is one of the health issues common in Jack Russell terriers. Although I do not know Blind Willie’s entire history, I do know he has been seeing impaired for most, if not all, of his life.
For this resilient and tenacious little terrier, though, his disability isn’t that big of a hurdle.
In fact, the 8-to-10-year-old dog gets around a heck of a lot better than Scooby the elderpin. Willie can go up and down stairs; he can hop on and off of furniture and he can use the electronic doggy door – all without help from people.
Little Willie also knows how to sit and speak for a treat. He’s a pretty good snuggler and content to rest for most of the day.
But at some point every evening he gets a burst of energy. During these periods, he’s a force to be reckoned with – if you are a Kong toy or a vacuum cleaner.
Willie has been in rescue for a few months, since he was surrendered by his former owners to the Wayward Dog Foundation.
After one failed out-of-state adoption, we are hoping to place Willie somewhere in the Kansas City area. He really does need a special home and a family who will be patient with him but who will also treat him like a regular dog.
Before Willie can be adopted, however, he does need to have his remaining eye removed. It is ulcerated and over time will cause Willie increasing discomfort. The sooner we can remove it, the better.
Buy Biscuits for Willie
One of the ways that I am helping to raise these funds is through the sale of Beer Paws Beer Biscuits.
Until the funds are raised, $1 from every 6-oz bag and $2 from every 12-oz bag of biscuits sold will be donated to Willie’s fund.
Click here to place your biscuit order.
Note: A portion of sales from all other Beer Paws products sold in February will be donated to the Beer Paws rescue partner of the month Paws Up Rescue of Nebraska.
February is here!
I can’t lie, this is my favorite month of the year. I don’t love it for the weather. I love it because it’s my birth month.
My birthday is coming up on February 17, and just before that is Valentine’s Day. I think of that holiday as a time to celebrate love in general, not just the romantic kind but also the love of family, friends and, of course, pets.
This will be Scooby the elderpin’s 8th year as my canine sweetheart.
To be honest, we all know the honeymoon is over in this relationship.
I don’t mean that in a bad way, but taking care of the elderpin can be tough. Potty training was never his forte, but these days I feel like I’m cleaning up Scooby’s messes 5 or 6 times a day. And that’s on top of the cleaning up his team of caretakers at Kennel Creek Pet Resort performs while he’s at daycare.
I’m not mad about it. Scooby’s old. He can’t help his potty problems at this point.
And he deserves special treatment in his twilight period. Doesn’t everyone?
Accidents in the house are a big reason a lot of people give up their pets. I understand – these habits are hard to break, and it sucks to see your property damaged or ruined.
But for every puddle I wipe up, my elderpin will make me smile 10 times. On the best days, he’ll make me laugh, too.
He’ll realize it’s dinnertime, find some reservoir of youth within him and bound across the house top-speed. He’ll steal a piece of steak straight out of Luke’s astonished mouth. He’ll attack a raw knuckle bone that weighs a third of what he does.
He’ll click, click, click up to my side of the bed at night and stand there until I scoop him up so he can sleep in the crook of my arm.
No one loves Scooby like I do. And he doesn’t love anyone the way he loves me.
He’s a good boy. He likes people – especially if they have food or a warm lap on a cold day.
But I am his favorite.
If I’m not careful, he will risk his feeble bones by leaping off of beds, chairs and other people’s arms to get to me.
It has always been this way. I had given him back to the owner he had strayed from and wanted to check in to be sure all was well a few days later.
At the door, in the neighbor’s arms, the little dog squirmed and wiggled until the guy just handed him over.
“I think he wants you,” he said.
And I wanted Scooby, warts and all (for real – he had a nasty one on his neck).
I wouldn’t take it back for all the world – or even a dog with a bladder made of steel. Scooby’s my boy.
That’s our love story.
What’s your love story with your dog? Share it in the comments below!
This post is part of a blog hop sponsored by Blog Paws and Nature’s Recipe.
You can join it, too, and enter for a chance to win a collar camera for your cat or dog. To learn more, click here.
It’s the end of the weekend, and I can’t wait to be in this state:
The little old guy has earned the right to rest (and, apparently, pee) whenever he darn well pleases.
This also provides me ample opportunities to photograph him looking extra adorable. Case in point:
Sometimes, the snaggletoothed little fellow looks a little silly.
But even in his sleep, the elderpin always wears his little Scooby smile.
And now, it’s time for me to follow the elderpin’s lead. Good night, friends!
I know you all take pictures of your super cute dogs while they are sleeping, too. I’d love to see them, so head on over to the Wayward Dogs page on Facebook and share!
If you haven’t already, don’t forget to enter my Cloud Star Dynamo Dog treats giveaway!
After years of being a walking garbage disposal, capable of consuming crippling amounts of anything he could get into, Scooby the elderpin is getting a sensitive tummy.
In fact, these days, although his dry kibble doesn’t bother him, certain baked treats do. To be on the safe side, when he gets treats nowadays, I make sure they are soft ones.
For that reason, I was thrilled recently when Cloud Star sent the Wayward Dogs an assortment of meaty, chewy treats to try.
Of course, I love the fact that Cloud Star pet treats are made in the USA. Even better: The Dynamo Dog series is known as Functional Treats.
Featuring all natural ingredients, and no grain, Dynamo Dog treats are designed to support specific, common health issues faced by dogs. There are formulas for skin, tummy and hip and joint issues.
Scooby and Luke showed equal enthusiasm over all four varieties (hip and joint comes in two flavors). Each rectangular nugget is about one bite for a big dog and a minute or so of chewing for a really old miniature pinscher who is missing a lot of teeth.
It is nice having treats like these on hand because I know they are good for my dogs and the dogs enjoy them.
Because Cloud Star was generous enough to offer one Wayward Dogs reader the same assortment we received, you pup also gets a chance to be a Dynamo Dog. Simply follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter widget below for your chance to win. (U.S. addresses only, please.)
Disclosure: I received free treats for my dogs in exchange for this blog post. However, all opinions expressed are solely my own.
Looking back is what people do at the end of a year.
We review in our minds the awesome, awful and weird things (because that’s the kind of stuff that sticks out in our memories) we’ve done or that have happened to us over the past 12 months.
Maybe we try to make sense of it all, or maybe we just catalog the incidents as individual souvenirs from a moment in time. Maybe we even let Facebook or Instagram do this all for us through an automatically generated montage of “significant” posts.
I’m no different than any of you.
The biggest moments of my 2013 have been on a constant loop in my head lately. And I don’t know about you, but for me 2013 was intense.
I really can’t remember another year in my life that has been so extreme.
Because this blog is about a little more than just dogs, if you’ve been following, you know 2013 brought death and disappearance to my human family. The dynamics of my canine pack also changed in an unhappy way.
I am not special for having experienced these things. Everyone on the earth experiences loss.
I can only imagine that they, too, experience it as a series of permanent holes in the heart, dark tunnels you ought to be mindful of exploring too late in the night or even too often during the day.
And yet, you can’t just forget these loved ones even though you can’t hug them anymore. You have to figure out how to carry them with you, to feel their influence but not their weight.
Because your life, your responsibilities – none of that stops.
In fact, if you are like me, you probably forge ahead while creating more responsibilities for yourself. That’s the other half of the reason my year was so intense.
In 2013, I accomplished things I never expected to do.
I co-founded a non-profit organization that helps save dogs.
And through it all, most miraculously, I got to celebrate another round of holidays with my impossibly ancient and beloved elderpin Scooby.
Cheers to 2014. I don’t know what’s in store, but I’m ready for the new year. Are you?
Thanks for reading this blog, and being part of my life in 2013. The community of kind souls who follow this blog and related social media channels make every day better.
Could there ever be too many pictures of Scooby the elderpin?
I think not. And I hope you agree.
In this week’s roundup of highlights from his 2013 adventures in modeling, I failed to include our most recent photo session.
Last Sunday, Scooby and I participated in Mosh Pit Kansas City‘s Posing for Pits Fundraiser. Local photo company Kansas City Flashback was taking holiday pet portraits, with 100% of proceeds benefiting pit bull rescue.
We got a few fun shots of Scooby alone, and some with his sweetheart (aka me).
You can check out the whole album on Facebook!
Scooby the elderpin has been a busy dog model this year.
Lots of our photographer friends, old and new, have caught his cuteness on camera.
Consequently, I have a desire to hang his handsome mug on the wall.
Part of my holdup is the difficulty of deciding which images to have printed for framing or made into photo canvases.
Maybe you can help me choose. Here are a few of my favorite 2013 Scooby portraits.
Because I like wall decor that is super easy to hang, chances are strong that I’ll end up ordering some photo canvases of Scooby.
You can enter to win one of your pet in the Easy Canvas Prints holiday giveaway. Check out this blog post for details.
Disclosure: I received compensation from Easy Canvas Prints in exchange for spreading the word about this giveaway.
Every year around this time, a certain old guy puts on his red suit at least once.
elderpin elferpin emerged in all his white-faced glory for the first time last weekend.
He got all dressed up in his Santa suit – and other outfits – for a photo session with our mustachioed friend Jacob Meyer of New Friends Photography & Design.
These are just a few of our favorite photos from the session. Which one do you like best?
You can view the whole photo collection on the Beer Paws Facebook page.
Even though it was a Monday, Zach and I hit the town last night to try a new restaurant.
Dinner at Chuy’s, a diner that serves authentic Tex Mex cuisine, was awesome.
There was even one margarita involved.
But round about the time our delicious Tres Leches dessert showed up, a photo message flashed onto my phone and my heart sank.
Along with the photo came these terrifying words:
“I have your doggie! Found him in the road.”
The message, thank goodness, came from a neighbor who knew Scooby when she saw him.
Apparently, on her way home last night, she encountered my elderpin-in-a-sweater hobbling across the often busy street just to the south of our house.
Luckily, at that time, there was no traffic. And my neighbor says she parked her car in such a way that would have blocked any other vehicles while she was catching him.
From her description, it sounds like Scooby was moving in the direction we had driven. But I don’t think he knew that. I think he was just walking toward the brightest light, a streetlight on the corner. Since his vision is failing, that’s what he tends to do now in all situations.
My neighbor found our back gate open and Luke still safe and warm in the house. Because the house was locked, she took Scooby home with her until we could come get him. Thank the universe she was there!
How did this happen?
The explanation of how my ancient miniature pinscher escaped the house on an extremely cold night is a combination of having an electronic doggy door and a faulty gate latch.
Sometime shortly after we left, Scooby must have used the doggy door to go outside and pawed the back gate.
For the past few days, that gate has been acting weird. However, the problem had been quite the opposite – it was jamming closed.
When we left for Chuy’s, I remember pulling it shut gently in the hopes of not getting locked out. I thought it had latched, but clearly it hadn’t. The gate is being fixed today.
Scooby will also be getting a new ID tag today. After years of not wearing a collar, he only recently started again, and he doesn’t have a current tag. Again – I am so fortunate his finder last night already knew him.
Yes, I feel like a terrible dog mom right now.
But I am so relieved the outcome of the elderpin’s escape wasn’t worse.
In fact, for the rest of last night, he seemed to be in quite high spirits – as if he were proud of himself for going on a 1-block adventure all by himself. I told him next time, he should at least put on his warm Santa suit.
Has your dog ever escaped? Share your story in the comments!
If you are in the Kansas City area, please also enter this giveaway for a chance to eat dinner where Zach and I did last night. I’ll tell you more about that experience tomorrow.
Chuy’s originally started in 1982 in Austin, Texas. Through their eclectic restaurants and delicious Tex-Mex food their popularity has grown and Chuy’s recently opened their doors to a new Kansas City location on the Plaza. Good food is their #1 priority, and you can taste it with their hand rolled tortillas and freshly made salsa. Chuy’s offers several signature dishes such as the “Chuychanga”, their Chile Rellenos as well as signature sauces ranging in spiciness from mild to hot! (yes they added an exclamation point!). You can follow along with all the Chuy’s Kansas City fun on their Facebook page.
Chuy’s is wanting to help spread the word of their new Kansas City location by offering 5 readers the chance to win a “Dinner for Two” gift card valued at $30 which includes an appetizer, two entrees, a dessert and non-alcoholic drinks for two! Several local bloggers have teamed up to bring you this fantastic giveaway.
This giveaway will run from December 10 through December 16. Please enter if you live around the Kansas City area and are able to visit, or if you have family or friends you could gift the prize to. Good luck!
Participating bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment. Winner(s) will be verified, emailed and have 48 hours to reply or a new winner will be chosen.