Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Hard Part

When someone finds out that my husband and I foster homeless dogs - the first comment to come out of their mouth is most likely, "Oh, I could never do that!" and then the next thought is, "It would be too hard to let them go!" And I always say to them, "Yes, you could!" and "It's not hard to let them go when you know they are going to a great home."  I'm not joking either!  I said the very same thing for a really long time and then - somehow we started fostering.   You realize you do have to let them go...otherwise you would become a dog hoarder.  And by just by giving one dog a safe spot opens the door for another homeless dog. 

So what is the hardest part of fostering?  The hard part is, when you place a puppy that you have grown to know and love like your very own, with a family and then that family decides to return the dog.  THAT is the hard part. Not for me, but for the dog. 

And that very thing happened last weekend.  A former foster dog (that is now about a year old) was surrendered to my rescue on Friday night.  A dog, that we had as a puppy, who lived with her family almost her entire life was relinquished to us on Friday night. 

I decided to not to engage with the person who was returning the dog. I made her deal with my husband.  I knew he wouldn't try to make her feel better about the whole situation. He would just be cordial and be most concerned about the dog.    

And needless to say, the pup was scared and confused.  It took over an hour to get her inside the house.  She was cowering by a corner of our house the entire time.  Once I was finally able to get her inside the house, she paced and drooled the entire night.  And when I took her outside to pee, she immediately  went to the gate looking for her family.  Dogs aren't stupid.  She knew her family left her. 

Luckily, our dogs were happy to have her as a guest, and her next day was much better.  She warmed up to Breaker first and the two of them became fast friends again.  We did have some transition issues with her the entire week, like when she peed on the couch, not once but twice.  And we had to help her get use to the kennel again.  But honestly, she came around pretty quick. But still, it breaks my heart that she had to go through any of that.   

But the best part of all?  She was adopted (again) on Sunday. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Three's a charm

Since Mike's accident at work, we haven't had any foster babies for a while now.  (And I'll let you in on a little secret.  I was totally missing them.)  There is just something about coming home to puppies that makes life pretty darn awesome.  It didn't take long for me to respond once the message came through that a bunch of puppies would be coming into the rescue. I just could not say no, could I?? 

We picked up three sweet babies last Saturday and have been loving on them since the moment we picked them up.  They were part of a litter of ten puppies.  All of them black with just a little bit of white. Momma was a blonde shepherd and father unknown.  They remind me of Breaker as a puppy!  

One of our awesome volunteers drove four hours to another state to pick up this litter.  Their former foster mom was dealing with two or three litters of puppies with only two moms and needed some help big time.  So my rescue stepped-up, and the volunteer jumped in the car and brought back one of the groups. 10 pups!  All with worms!!  All with diarrhea!  In a car for 4 hours!  She is a saint!  

And I could not be happier with my little group.  They have been so easy and have adjusted very quickly.  It's going to be hard to let them go. You get so attached and protective pretty quick with foster dogs.  Maybe more so... Maybe because you know they are leaving and you want the very best for them.  

Even though we are coming up on a year of fostering - I still consider myself a novice to this world of rescue and fosters. I was well-read on the subject before we started and had some experience with our own shelter dogs growing up.  But I still find myself in new situations every day and I'm constantly having to figure out how to navigate them.  I have found I need to trust my gut more.  Like when people I know inquire about the dogs/pups we foster. Sometimes is a great situation and I could not be happier for the family and dog - and sometimes the warning bells are going off. 

Case in point - someone I know recently inquired about our newest fosters and from the moment it started my warning bells were going off. And I ignored them - I keep thinking it was just because I didn't want to let go of my babies.  But the more exchanges we had, the more stress and anxiety I was feeling.  Luckily, things worked out without any involvement on my part and the situation rectified itself.  Stress and anxiety relieved.  Lesson learned - trust your gut!

Happily or sadly, the pups will most likely find their new homes this week and they will be on their way.  And we will be on to the next foster!  

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Pretties and Persistence



While I was not a music major in college, I have played the viola on and off since about 5 grade.  After a long break a very long break, I found myself wanting to play again, so I figured out who our strings teacher was on campus and called her up. I think it's been about 10 years now since I started up again. (No, I'm not "good".) I take lessons once a week and play with the community orchestra.  It's a just a thing where I am challenged... and I really just enjoy playing.  And it's funny, so many of the things that I say to my students about challenges and persistence, I find with myself and my playing. This year was a good example, I was really frustrated and feeling like I "sucked" because the music was so hard and yet, today I am able to keep up and even play a lot of the parts pretty well.  Not great but pretty decent. I have improved!  Playing wasn't enjoyable for the first few weeks this year and now I am really looking forward to the concert.  Persistence!  It does pay off - if you just hang in there.  (Yes, my own words come back to haunt me many many times!)  
And this building!  Isn't it spectacular!? This is the music building on campus where I work.  I think it is one of the coolest places around.  (The band room, where we hold rehearsals for orchestra, isn't anywhere near as cool as the choir room so I didn't even take a picture of it.) It's a fun place to wander around - always very musical and sometimes very serene.  And the stain glass - it's from the original music building. I love the marrying of the old and the new.  They do a good job of that around here. 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

New Projects


A new project that is on the horizon for us is this space.  This condo is in the same building as the condo we previously renovated.  It's a little bit smaller than the unit we worked on a year ago and it won't be an extensive project either, since the residence is going to be a rental.  Oh but I wish we could do a full renovation - such potential!!  Most likely this space will see some new carpet, new appliances, updated master bathroom and tons of new paint!  It's in pretty good shape so it will be up to us to do the updates and get it rented! Nothing is final at this point but I'm hoping this will be a summer project for us. 

Friday, April 17, 2015

Window Shopping



It's always fun on vacation to do a little window shopping.  While we were in Arizona, Con wanted to look for a new couch and Lynn had a couple of stores that I knew would be perfect for Con.  And for the life of me, I don't remember their names.  At one time I would have been all over the contemporary look but after meeting the Mister, there is just no way we will ever have this style.  Let's just say the Boho, Rustic look is a better fit with the crazy pups and a husband who works in dirt and grease.  Nothing too precious is a better way to go for this family! 

But it doesn't hurt to dream right!?

Friday, April 3, 2015


Wish I had some cool stuff to talk about.... Everything is my life is just moving along... so there is nothing exciting to talk about right now.  Mike is healing from his surgery, so that means no major projects for the house until he is completely healed.  And that also means no foster dogs. We decided to keep things simple while he is getting better. Not that I have any complaints at all.  Life is good.  Have a nice weekend everyone!

Friday, March 27, 2015


Him: Hey!  Guess what?  I think it's a free HBO/Showtime weekend!!

Me:  Uh, honey?

Him: yeah?

Me: You know with the Roku you have 6000 movies you can watch anytime you want... It's not 1985 anymore....

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Color me happy


One of the things I love about Arizona is all the bright colors you see everywhere. No one is afraid to use a bold color and to really embrace it.  And it's ok to have a little fun with it too!  I think the Midwest should consider this too - the winter is so blah.  Everywhere is brown and grey.  A funky bright chicken would be a nice contrast to all the bleakness.