Friday, January 16, 2015

Sneak Peak

It always looks worse before it looks better.....  

Contractor started work this week on the new siding.  It's totally surreal to Mike and I since we have talked about it for a while now.  Can't wait to see what an entire side looks like - it's a pretty big job so it might be a week before we really have something to look at.  

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Play Hard - Cuddle Much

Our foster pups caught a bug last week and slept for about 3 days. I was a little worried because we aren't used to pups (who are 4 months) who just want to sleep.  Luckily, it wasn't anything to be concerned with - they bounced back pretty quickly and now just want to playplayplayplay.  I snapped these pictures after a 3 hour non-stop play session.  They are the best cuddlers too!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Window Shopping - West End Salvage

One day over the holiday break, I had some time to kill before an appointment so I decided it was the perfect day to check-in with one of my very favorite shops downtown - West End Architectural Salvage.  I soooo love this place.  I can spend hours and hours in a place like this.  You might be familiar with West End because of their show on HGTV.  Now you can find them on DIY network.  Their second season just started last night.  It's always fun to see how Don and all his staff can transform a place.  
I discovered West End about 8 years ago right before they had moved into their four-story warehouse.  The first shop was big but nothing like the warehouse they have now. Take a look for yourself....

Wednesday, January 7, 2015


Saturday night we got a call to pick-up our new foster pups....
Mike:  Hurry up!  It's late!  It's late on a Saturday night.  Let's get going so we can hurry up and get home!
Kara:  Uh....Mike... It's 5:30pm.....


Mike looooooves when I take pictures!!  :)

He just called me the biggest dork.... and I am.

This particular litter of puppies (seven in all) was found on a "swap list" in North Dakota via a "free to a good home" post.  A rescue group in ND contacted ours in Iowa to help these babies find good homes.  You might ask why is posting a "free puppy" a "swap list" such a big deal?  Because there is just no way to know if these pups would actually go to "good" homes - because there is no vetting process at all with a swap list.  (Lots of jerks get dogs off of Craigslist and swap lists for a variety of reasons.) And there is no way to know if the pups would even get spayed and neutered after they are "swapped". And that is a huge problem in itself. 

Spaying and neutering pets helps to control the the number of unwanted pets.  And if you don't think there is a problem - did you know 5 million pets lose their lives in shelters EVERY year?  That number is just mind boggling to me.  So as Bob Barker always said, "Spay and Neuter your pets!"

Meet Big Willy and Willamina. Willy and Willa are about 4 months old, and are some kind of mix puppy.  As I look at Willa - I think she has some kind of hound in her but her brother looks more like a Labradoodle. I just call them the
double-mint twins or here comes double-trouble.  lol.  They are super sweet and super lovable and they are just like toddlers right now (always getting into trouble.)  But I promise you, they are the best dogs.  Willy is already crate-trained and goes in easily for a treat and he doesn't bark at all when he is in there.  Willa is a little bit needier but it's just because she really just wants to be with her people.  And she is still young.  They are pretty big (about 25lbs) so I'm curious to see how big they will be as adults.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Holiday Visits

Breaker hanging out with former foster, Blixen.  Blixen was one of the "Reindeer" puppies. 
We had Cupid, Dasher and Blixen out of that group.  They had the softest fur ever.

Miss Ari - now called Stella.  I love this little peanut so much. 
She is such a clown but she is also the biggest snuggler. 

Blixen is a sassy girl but so smart too! Love that little girl!
Her name is now Lola. 

He is Olaf #2 because there had already been a first Olaf in the rescue. 
I never felt like his name was Olaf anyway.  He is now Boomer!

Miss Serena - so regal and so beautiful. 
Her sister, Venus lives down the street from us.  Both survived Parvo and serious neglect.

Breaker hanging out with his girlfriend Serena.

Miss Stella.  I think she looks like the Target puppy.

Serena catching some rays and watching the squirells in the backyard. 

Because we are crazy people and we love our pups (foster pups included) we decided to dog-sit a couple of our former foster pups in the middle part of December - not quite the holiday but definitely the holiday season.  AND we brought one foster pup to the mix.  Did I mention we are crazy? We decided later, we probably had one dog too many in the house.  lol! 

I didn't care though... It is so wonderful being able to spend time with some of my favorite fosters again. Our dogs treat them as one of the pack and they are happy to play with their friends too.  Serena and Ari will always be very special dogs to me.  I don't know why.... I connected to them right away so it was so hard to let them go...still is (lots of tears were involved).  But, I can honestly say I'm ok that they have moved on and I am truly at peace.  They have an AWESOME family who love them both tons and tons - and Serena and Ari are very connected to their family and THAT is what makes it OK. 

And then there is Olaf. Olaf was also a special boy too, especially for Mr. Mike.  I know that little guy had a huge place in Mike's heart.  But again I can say, seeing him with his new family made the walk to the car a whole lot easier knowing he is in the right place. 

A little back story on Olaf = Olaf was part of a bigger litter. One of the other fosters had the whole group and then most of the litter got adopted.  Except Olaf and one other guy.  Olaf came to us so that foster could take another group.  

We had Olaf for a couple of weeks but no one seemed too interested in him. (I'm not sure why because he is sooo darn cute. We think is is a German Shorthair mix.)  And then out of the blue, we got one application.  So I scheduled a time for a meet & greet with the potential adopters. (There are several steps in the adoption process - this is just the one step I am in charge of.)  Mike and I decided to go to the potential adopters house with Olaf since our house was a little crazy with all the dogs at ours. 

It was the oddest visit.  Usually meet & greets are a lot of fun. The families are usually very excited and happy to see the pup or puppies, and you can just feel the energy in the room.  But that was just not the case with this family.  I'm not saying they weren't excited but they certainly didn't react at the way I expected.  One of the boys never did come up from his room in the basement even with the mom's insistence. When we left, both Mike and I were flabbergasted.  Just as we were getting home, I got a phone call from one of the adoption coordinators about another family.  They wanted to meet Olaf as well. So we drove to their house.  It was in a small town 45 minutes north of Des Moines - it was a mini-road trip. And let me tell you - SO WORTH IT.   Their reaction was priceless!! Everything they did and said made me 1000 % sure they were the "right" ones for Mr. Olaf.   The kids were so good and so sweet and EXCITED.  Olaf looked right at home.  THAT is you what for your foster's new home.  Luckily, our rescue group does try to match the right dog to the "right" house and not just the first applicant that is looking for a dog. 

We had about 4-5 days without any fosters over Christmas and now we have 2 crazy hound dog mixes that are just the silliest pups!  More on them tomorrow.