Friday, April 13, 2012

My Amost-Puppy

While I was away, I had a baby.

I didn't actually give birth to him, that was the hefty task of another poor soul. No this baby was of the canine variety and came to the SPCA at only five weeks old.  Meet Tikki, a Rat Terrier/ a deep slumber and as stinking cute as they come.

In the shelter world, being a puppy that young is many times a quick death sentence.  They are too young to adopt out, yet if they stay at the shelter, any number of illnesses will most likely kill them due to their weak immune systems.  Many shelters opt to just euthanize puppies under eight weeks old if a foster-home cannot be found. 

Luckily this little guy was transferred from that shelter to ours, where foster homes are a little easier to come by.  Of course he showed up late in the day on a Friday and I had the weekend off so I thought,  "I can take him. I have the next two days to dedicate to this little dude, by Monday I'll have found a foster home for him."  Some version of this thought was texted to my husband as some version of a permission request...albeit a very loose one. 

Every week after that he would remind me of my original permission request by re-reading that text to me followed by the exact date and time it was sent.  I would just snuggle the puppy that had just peed on his socks and smile, squealing something about how cute he was.  What a sport.  Remember when he let me bring these cuties home?

Aren't sleeping puppies the cutest? Straight from heaven...

During the month that we had this precious little angel/devil, we learned quite a bit.

We learned that we can't assume just because he peed two minutes ago on the potty pad doesn't mean he's not going to pee again less than two minutes later on the couch. 

We learned that sleeping is done during the day and night time is for hot laps around the living room along with chewing on our faces, fingers, and toes under the covers with a mouthful of razors.

We learned night-time crate training will induce hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours (count 'em, eight) of the most earsplitting crying and wailing.  Multi-million dollar idea...sound-proof puppy crates. 

We learned that when you cave to puppy crying and let them sleep in bed with you they will leave you little presents to roll over onto and will fall out of the bed at least four times per night. 

We also learned that puppies can be one of the most exhausting yet rewarding and fun experiences a couple can share.  Getting ready to have a real baby?  Get a puppy.  It will prepare you better than any book or amount of advice any person can give you.  I don't even have a baby yet and I know this.

A month in a puppy's life amounts to a good year in the human world.  They do a ton of growing and maturing physically.  Watch the ear progression here...

A couple days after I got him home.

Lord have mercy, that little face could bring peace to the middle east.  He was such a roley poley little guy.  Notice how his ears prick up and then fold down.  Then, about two weeks later, look here as they start to get bigger and the tips are making their journey up!

 Another two weeks in and they are standing up front and center and threatening to take over the world, or at least his head.  At one point they were starting to bend backwards and that's when I knew we had a bad case of "chiears" (aka Chihuahua Ears) on our hands. 

At the current date, his ears are still trying to figure out who they are and where they belong in this world. 

After trying with all my might to explain why it would be a good idea to add a puppy to our family, I came to terms with the cold hard reality.  The cold hard reality is very often my husband.  He's very reality driven and many times snatches me from up in the clouds and brings me down to real life, kicking and screaming.  I love him for it. With both of us working full-time and some vacations coming up as well as the fact that we're renters and finding a place that allowed one dog was hard enough, I realized...with some help...that it just wasn't the right choice and wouldn't have been fair for the puppy. 

If I couldn't keep him, it was time to find the perfect someone who could.  There were a few parties interested that came through the shelter but none I felt particularly great about.  It was really stressing me out because this little guy was my baby, my fur and blood, and I wasn't about to let him go to anyone I didn't feeling 100% about.  

It was a fateful day when Bert met Tikki.  Bert works and lives at the barn I board my horse at.  When Tikki got out of the car one morning and started tearing around the grass with the coordination of a new-born calf, he won his dad-to-be's heart.  Bert already had a little Jack Russell Terrier named Mable who was getting up there in years but when she met Tikki she instantly turned into a puppy again and they started body slamming and tackling each other like littermates. 

After a weekend trial run, it was clear Tikki had a new home...and a new name!  "Tikki" became "Wiley", which fits him perfectly.  Not only does he now have a wonderful doting dad, a new sister and the run of a whole ranch, but I still get to see him almost every day!  I'm seeing him grow up into a happy, well-adjusted, friendly, and well-behaved young man who's got the kind of life I could have only drempt of for him. 

To be perfectly honest, being able to hand over the pooping, peeing, crying, mouth razors, sleepless nights and endless energy to someone else and in turn gaining my sleep and sanity back was quite a relief.  He is where he belongs now and I was just the catalyst that could make it happen. 

Happy trails little man...see you tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Breaking the Chain

Happy 2012 everyone!  Yes, I'm wishing you a happy New Year on April 11th, that's the way of my world.  My blog world that is...I'm returning from my yearly break.  You know, like the ones I took here and then again here about a year later.  At least I'm being consistent in something right?

But no really, I don't just blog because I want people to read my weird thoughts about my weird life.  That's actually on the verge of scary.  What I really want to be able to do is look back when I'm 95 and remember the time my dog ate my favorite shorts or the story behind my broken ankle that is now arthritic (I'm fast forwarding to when I'm old remember?), or look back fondly on songs I liked or books I've read.  I realize that by taking these long breaks I'm totally putting a hurt on my story book of life.  This is all very much assuming that I can even remember my name at 95. 

It's time to get back on track.

So, while I've been gone I see that my following has tripled.  Get that, TRIPLED!  It went from one faithful reader to three.  Those are some powerful stats.  I aim to quadruple by the end of the year.  Who's with me?  ~crickets~

Since we last spoke things have been buzzing with work.  I'm now the assistant manager at the Santa Cruz SPCA and it continues to be the job of a life-time.  I consider myself one of the luckiest people alive to be making a living doing something I LOVE.  I'm blessed.  Just to remind you, I'm greeted every morning with smiling faces like this...

and everyday as I leave the furry kids behind I'm sadly bid adieu by faces like this...

It's not healthy.  Plain and simple.  But I love what I do and I do what I love.  Oh and by the way you just met Dazzle and Stanley, currently available for perpetual cuteness.

Because of the cute factor I almost ended up with a second dog recently after "fostering" a young puppy.  What was supposed to be a weekend gig ended up lasting about a month. Fostering is such a joke and I will never do it again because all it does is send me into a whining fit of "I want to keep him!" which in turn sends my husband into a terror induced coma out of which he emerges with a lot more sense than me.  Stay-tuned for a post dedicated to "Tikki," my almost-puppy-that-I'm-glad-my-husband-talked-me-out-of.  It's a doozy.

Thanks for not hurling rocks at me as I crawl out of my hole and yet again enter the blog world.  At this point though, I assume the lack of rock throwing can actually be attributed to the fact that no one is there to throw them.  Does a tree falling in the woods make a sound if no one is there to hear it?  I'll just leave you to ponder that... 

Saturday, October 1, 2011

We Will Rise

When my life doesn't follow the orders I give it, when it deliberately disobeys, or just plain doesn't make sense, I tend to turn to music for comfort.  I didn't say it's the first thing I turn to.  Depending on the problem(s) other viable options are God, my husband, friends, family, animals, chocolate, or macaroni and cheese.

In no particular order.

But there's just something special about driving in the car, completely consumed with life's unfairness, and a song comes on that speaks to you, counsels you, UNDERSTANDS you. When the song ends you've found some much needed clarity and a more positive point of view.  You could find out later that the person had written the song about their cat...but for all intents and purposes, the song was written about YOU and for YOU. 

This exact thing happened to me the other day when I heard the song "Rise" by Shawn McDonald.  I had never heard it before nor had I heard of the guitar wielding artist.  I immediately wanted to marry his voice.  That happens to me sometimes.  I also wanted to wrap him up and take him home to someone I love who is hurting.  Because really, this song is not for me it's for them. 

It's the kind of song with an amazingly soothing rhythm.  You feel the strong conviction without the need to cry oceans of tears.  It's a song of hope, of peace...of faith.  Whether you've experienced a tragic loss, a horrible day, or you've stubbed your toe eight times in ten minutes, this song will lift you up and you'll rise from your own particular least temporarily.  Then you'll have to listen to it again.

Friday, September 16, 2011

A New Discovery

I discovered something today that has changed my life.  It's a discovery that literally made me fall to my knees, look toward heaven, and thank God for dropping this amazing idea into someone's brain who was smart enough and had the drive to turn it into a reality.  I also thanked him that it wasn't my head he dropped it into.  I'm not smart enough and I definitely don't have the drive to have turned it into reality.  It would have squished around in my brain for an hour and then been pushed to the side as soon as some really cute flats came into my visual.  Just being realistic here. 

This discovery is a website called Pinterest.  It's the one website I need most in my life.  It allows you to save and organize all of your favorite Internet "finds", "inspirations", or "ideas" in one very easy to navigate place. You "PIN" your "INTERESTS." Get it?  You create boards and label them to your specifications and then whenever you find something you like or want to save from another website, you pin it a board. When you want to find it again, it's right there on that board with a picture icon. I've already confused you?  See, that's why it wasn't me who had this idea.

 For example, I love to search different cooking blogs for new recipes.  Pre-Pinterest, I was saving them in very unorganized email drafts that would get buried under pages of half written emails, but now I simply make different boards like "Desserts" or "Dinner" or "Cookies" or "Soup" and pin each of my awesome recipe finds into whichever board it fits under.  Is that not so awesome? 

Another cool thing is that people can look at your boards and "re-pin" stuff you've saved onto THEIR boards as well as comment on your pins.

I really wish this was around when I was planning my wedding, I wouldn't have had to lug around this 100 pound wedding binder with tabs like "Dresses" and "Flowers" and "Decor", magazine clippings fluttering from each page. I lost and found that thing as often as I showered...and that's daily.  How do you lose something that weights 100 pounds?  Leave it to me and it can be done.

The thing about Pinterest is it's semi-exclusive.  And when I say semi-exclusive I mean you have to be invited.  You can request to be invited and then...they invite you.  They want you to politely ask to join before they'll let you.  After I requested an invite I got so nervous, like I'd just applied for college again and if I wasn't accepted I wasn't sure what course my life would take.  Good thing I got my acceptance email a day later...I'd gotten IN!  I'm sure everybody gets in but it still felt like I'd made the team ya know? 

My recipes are now brilliantly organized. I even cleaned my house because the organization got so infectious.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Sugar Lumps Need Homes Too

Remember these sugar lumps of fur?  The ones who terrorized my toes and various other body parts.  The ones with the little razors hiding in their mouths that latch and lock on to whatever they can.  The ones that are so stinking cute that you can't resist letting them walk, run, bite and poop all over you.  Actually I draw the line at poop but they never respect my bounderies. 

So the little rug rats have grown up a bit and are now out of their foster home and currently ready to find their new permanent homes.  They've been spayed/neutered, micro-chipped, de-wormed, and given their first round of puppy shots.  They have also had their first photo-shoot and I will say they were very impressive for being so young and new to the 'way (model slang for runway).  I might have made that up. 

Left to right: Napa, Ninja, Nakita and Napoleon

Is that just the closest thing to rediculously cute?  Those, it's hard to function properly with that many pairs looking at you.  This is the view from my desk everyday and I love every minute of it.  Except when they poop...and then dance in it.  But I'm used to poop, my horse produces material as big as each one of these puppies about seven times a day.  I think I blog entirely too much about poop.  Moving on...

Look at those professional poses.  All I had to do was squeek 4,000 toys at once, rattle a bag of treats, meow like a cat and knock on the desk.  Whatever works right? Napolean looks a little worried about my actions. 

Momma-dog, Nola, looks alot better.  She recieved her Oprah make-over just like I promised her.  I absolutely LOVE this dog.  She's my homegirl.  Such a sweet, affectionate and happy girl as well as a wonderful mother.  Like I've said before, mothers like her could be the key to world peace. 

I told her that she looked like a hot mamma and that I would look into some spanx for the unfortunate way that babies made her undercarriage look. 

Thank you Portia Shao of Positive Vista Photography for taking these amazing photos and for selflessly volunteering your precious time while I squeek toys in your ears and spill dog biscuits in your hair. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Deal of the Day

This is real.  A real product that will be packaged and shipped to you for $3.99 if you decide that for some reason you are in desperate need of underpants instantly.  I did not go looking for this particular product, just to set the record straight.  I don't have the luxury of wearing underpants at all most of the time due to my Chihuahua who has an insatiable taste for it.  Actually, maybe that puts me in the market for this? 

Who still calls them underpants? I guess I just did.  It's better than the word "panties"  though, gross.

I came across it when I was browsing one of those "Deal of the Day" type websites.  You know, the ones that list a bunch of items at a marked down price for a short amount of time?  You know, the ones that cause you to buy things like "Instant Underpants" because you feel like maybe you're the only one without a pair in their glove compartment, purse or first aid kit and that in case of an emergency you should be totally equipped and not be caught without underpants on and then the ticker says the sale only last 5 minutes longer and your anxiety level brinks causing you to click that "buy it" button.  Yeah those. 

In order to activate your instant underpants, you have to drop the alka seltzer-esque disc into a cup of water.  Like this...

In seconds you have a pair of soggy wet underpants!  How awesome is that?  I would just like to quote the product description and say "remember, it’s better to have damp underpants than no underpants at all!" I might beg to differ on that one but to each his own I guess. 

Do I have a picture of the actual underpants after they have received their life water?  Nope.  Do I so totally wish I did so I could point and giggle and say "ew, look at those!" Heck yes.  Have I figured out a reason why anyone would need an emergency pair of wet underwear?  Still working on it.  If you have got an idea feel free to share.  No one will judge. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Flats Complete Me

I made a purchase the other day.  It satisfied my being.  I spotted them glistening on the shoe wall, I squeezed the size 5 1/2 display shoe on my not-so-5 1/2 size foot, I produced the asking price and walked out the door clutching the bag to my chest.  Clutching like at any minute the cute 16-year-old that sold them to me was going to come running out demanding that I give them back.  That's not what store clerks do when you actually pay for the products they're selling. It was an irrational fear of mine based on an irrational obsession I have with...flats.  

These are what were packaged up nicely inside the bag that I held with a vice grip...

I love the muted gray/moss coloring.  I love the soft faux suede.  I love the perfect shape of the toe and the slight slope of the sides.  I love the pinched design of the fabric across the front and I especially love the little studs that sparkle and glisten ever so subtly as the light hits their facets.  Nothing about them is anything but Made In China, but I have not a care in the world about quality or craftsmanship when it comes to flats. 

I love flats for the summer.  Picture these beauties with white shorts and a flowy silk top.  Tan legs are required.

I love flats for the winter.  These would go awesome with a dark pair of Hudson's and a white button up with  some red earrings and a black blazer.  The possibilities are those buttons are calling my name.

 I like flashy flats. The more sequins the better!  These are so cute with jeans or a black skirt.  The perfect shoe to dress something up without whipping out the heals.  Since my broken ankle I have had an especially close bond with flats.  They have helped me through my hurt and have swaddled me in their flatness. 

 I love plain flats.  Simple can make a statement too...especially if they are yellow.  Yellow is awesome.  My feet are calling out their name!  J.Crew, you'll be seeing my credit card number in just a few. 

 I love flats with embellishments.  Sometimes it's fun to add a little excitement down there.  Ya know, throw people off.  Heals...pashawwww...I bet you you'll get more compliments on these babies.  Case in point, the other night I went out on the town and wore white punched flats with a skirt.  I felt like I looked like a nurse but heals are out of my life for at least another month or two.  Three...I'll say that again...T-H-R-E-E guys at three different periods in the night said "Hey, I like your shoes."  When do guys ever say that?  Even when you are wearing sexy shoes.  Never.  That is a testament to the power of the Flat.  Without further ado, please feast your eyes on what causes me slight nausea at the thought of not owning them.

Good lord, this is not healthy! 

Then you get into the whole realm of prints and it's all downhill from there.

I need someone, even just one person, to tell me that they share these things I feel so that I can in turn, tell myself and my husband that it's normal for my credit card statement to look this way.