Friday, November 21, 2014

Update of Sorts

Foster dog, Serena

Breaker and Serena

Still here.  Life has been busy to say the least.  Fostering is still awesome but you don't realize how much time it takes until you have no time for much else.  Breaker is such a good boy.  He has welcomed in every single group we have had.  Maybe because he is still a puppy himself but whatever the reason I love it.  Serena is the sister to a pair of black pups we took in.  Venus was adopted pretty quickly.  They are both very sweet dogs with incredible personalities.  If I could keep Serena I would.  (But there are laws ya' know.)  Serena and her sister were dumped at the rescue sick and malnourished when they were babies.  The rescue couldn't take them because they were sick with Parvo.  Luckily the owner's did what the rescue said - and they surrendered them at the emergency clinic.  They started with another foster who brought them back to life and when her dog became too attached they came to us.  And I fell in love.  It's been a struggle mentally knowing that she will be moving on - but as soon as we found her forever family, I found myself feeling a huge sense of calm and peace.  Life is good again. 
And the cool part - the family that met her?  They are adopting the other foster we have as well!  After Venus left, we picked up Ari.  She was the last puppy of a litter and the foster was bringing in a new group.  So Ari came to our house.  And as you can see - Serena and Ari are buds!  I am so happy to see them moving on to the awesome forever family. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Beneath the Red and Gold


Rain or shine, it's still a beautiful campus.  Even when things are crazy busy in my office, this is the time of year where I want to sneak out and walk across campus.  The trees with their brilliant red and gold never disappoint. 

Working in a support role on a college campus is just one of those jobs that no one truly knows what you do.  (I provide academic support for students and some times professors, so that all students can be successful while they are here.  That comes in a variety of ways and that is a post for another day.) I love everything about what I do but the downside is there is never enough time and never enough of me to go around.  And why do I bring that up? Because I am at a point in the semester where I am experiencing a severe case of compassion fatigue.  It happens every year but it seems like it comes faster and faster with each new semester.  Why is that?  Are more students asking for help than before?  Am I getting better at my job so more people seek me out?  A little of both perhaps.  A few years ago, I coined the phrase "Midterm Meltdowns," because I had so many students who ended up crying in my office that particular week. It then took a couple of years before I realized that it happened again and again right about the same time of year, every year. I really think I should write a professional article about what college students should do if they are experiencing a case of severe mental anguish at this point in the semester...

The stress my students feel directly relates to my own exhausted-ness.  So I push on through my own fatigue by taking off a day off here and there, so I can recharge my own batteries.  Sometimes it helps, sometimes it's not enough.
Regardless, I can look out my window and see the gorgeous fall leaves and that helps too.   

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Wonderful Wednesday


When we started fostering, I really had no idea what to expect.  I did know I would love all the dogs.  But what I didn't know was, I would LOVE ALL THE DOGS.  It really is hard to let them go, but you do.  And then you get ready for the next group and you fall in love all over again. 

I also figured out what I want to do when I retire, (you know - like 20 years from now.)  Being with all the foster pups and hanging out at the rescue head quarters just makes my day.  I definitely love being around with others who feel the same about their dogs as I do, so that is just a big bonus at the end of the day. 

Between work and the pups there isn't much time for anything else - and I don't think I mind one bit. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Sitting Pretty

I found this photo of my mom the other day, isn't it great? :)   There is something so beautiful with the black and white photos.  The "selfies" of today don't even compare!  Don't you agree? 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Drive By

One of the funniest things about fostering a litter of puppies is the reaction of other people as they drive by our house.  Most people slow down to watch, some even stop to ask questions and one person almost got into an accident on her motorcylce while trying to see the pups. 

Some of the questions we get asked are whether or not we are "selling" the puppies.  (Uh, no!)  And one person asked if we bred our dogs.  (Double NO!)  We always kindly tell everyone that we are fosters who are helping the pups find awesome homes through the rescue that we work with. 

I really hope we are helping people see rescue dogs in a whole new light when they see our foster dogs. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Playful Pups

It's truly like having our own personal puppy bowl with this group of fosters.  And just maybe everyone else might see them on the real Puppy Bowl.  Our group of pups has an application in to be filmed for the Puppy Bowl that runs on Animal Planet.  We'll see what happens; they would definitely be fun to watch. 

You can also see in this video our new chain link fence.  We fenced in the entire front yard and side yard and it's HUGE.  The dogs love having so much room to run and I love that they have freedom to run all over without having to worry about other dogs. 

I'm going to have to rethink my plants and flowers for the house.  The dogs have destoyed all my flowers in the front planter box.  I'm thinking a minimal garden or tall boxes would be best because at this point the dogs see my plants as an afternoon buffet.   

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Good things

The best part of my crazy busy day is coming home to the puppies.  Even with the worse day at work, there is no better cure than watching all the pups play outside or snuggle on your lap at the end of that long day.   

Eventually I will get caught up at work but for now just enjoy my pup pics. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Turn around

It's been the summer of construction every where I house, the street I travel, the place I work... I just can't avoid it right now.    Case in point - the street that came through the middle of campus is receiving a major overhaul and is now closed.  Eventually, is will become a "plaza" - brick-lined sidewalks, plants, flowers and trees.  It really should be beautiful when it is done.  They were just installing the new sculpture when I was running across campus to a meeting.  I had just enough time to stop a snap a few photos.  One of my professor friends called it the largest revolving door!  lol!  (I like it, regardless.) 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Life as we know it



Oh sure, they look all cute when they are sleeping but I'm here to tell you - they were little hellions. lol!   All the puppies went to their new homes last night and it was a major feet getting everyone into the car and then getting all of our pups into their kennels before we left to head to the Pit Stop (our rescue group's headquarters).  When we got home after meeting all the families and helping with the adoptions and one home visit along the way - I looked around the living room/dining room and it occurred to me, it looked like a fraternity had used our place for one major party. What a complete mess (but no beer cups to contend with.)

Of course, I say all of this in jest.  We absolutely loved having this group, but how did four puppies create more work than the nine boxer pups combined?? 

After a couple nights of cleaning and rest, we will pick up our next group.  We must be crazy, right?  :)

Thursday, August 21, 2014


Overheard while out to lunch one afternoon:

20-something professional young woman: "I give really good advice.  I, like, tell all my friends, I give really good advice because I like to give advice."

Also said by same girl:  "If you like a guy then he should really want to change for you."

I really wanted to go over to her table and give her some of my own advice.  It looked like the 20-something was mentoring a younger girl. (The younger girl was a teenager; I would have put her around 17 years old or so.)  And it wasn't hard to listen to their whole converstation since she was talking so loud.  I just wanted to pat her on the back and tell her, "NO, just no. Guys should not change for you, nor should you change yourself for any guy (or girl).  Being in a realationship should bring out your very best self and that was very different than what she was telling this young lady.  Sadly, I didn't say anything.  Some of us have to learn the hard way.  :)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Thought of the Day

I attended a funeral yesterday in support of Mike's mom and her significant other.  It was a full Catholic mass.  The woman who passed lived 90 years and died on her birthday. She had 5 children and had lived on the same side of town for most of her life.  She was a "south-side Italian" - which is quite redunant in this area. And if you know anything about Catholics, then you know there is no eulogy at a funeral mass. 

But as mass was ending, one of the sons stood up to sing a recessional.  And as he began he said a few words about the song that he was going to sing.  The song was called, "Stardust".  It was a song that he sung with his mother many many times.  (This particular son is a local celebrity of sorts.  He is a jazz singer with a beautiful voice and he sings at many local clubs.)  But the thing that stuck with me was how he talked about his mom.  He said she never judged him.  That she was a mom who loved her children and helped them to become the people they were meant to be.  He told everyone there - if they had children help them to find their own destiny and don't hold them back with their dreams, help them to find their own dreams instead.  This particular son is gay. 

I couldn't help but think, this woman was so ahead of her time.  She watched this wonderful man grow-up and become an amazing fellow and watched him find love with a wonderful man. She did all of this during a time when being gay was not a good thing - and can you imagine this big macho Italian family with a gay son?  All I can say is - What an incredible matriarch. 

And no post is complete without a photo... 
Little Boomer is the last of the lab puppies.  All of them should be in homes this weekend and a new batch will be arriving soon. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

More Puppy Love

I wish the quality of my photos was better - but in the world of dog - you don't have time for lighting or focusing.  You just snap when you can and then hope for the best.  And in case you were wondering how our dogs are doing with the foster puppies - I think you can see all is well in the dog house.  Or should we call our house 'Hotel for Dogs'?  Either one is appropriate.

Life is good, really good.  We are all recovered from the nine boxadors we fostered and every one of the pups is in a great home with awesome people.  In fact, we are on to the next group of fosters - the chocolate labs.  These guys have homes, they just needed a place to crash until they are spayed/neutered.  This group wasn't as big as the last group, just 2 little girls and 2 little boys.  Cute, aren't they!

Mike and I are really enjoying this whole foster gig.  Neither of us was sure how it would go, but we found out we love fostering.  The big thing everyone says and worries about is letting them go. But I have found - you can.  It's an awesome feeling to see the pups and to watch them find this incredible new home and a family that is so excited to welcome a new member.  It's funny what you think you can and can't do in life. 

Friday, August 1, 2014

Dog Tired

Now I know where the expression, "Dog Tired" comes from.  I am EXHAUSTED.  These little guys are wearing me out.  A long nap this weekend seems like a MUST DO.  I bet by Monday almost all the puppies will be in new homes.  So just a few more days with an awesome litter.  I love all of them so much.  But I am also happy to see the families picking out a new member of the family.  Makes it all worth while in the end.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Quote of the Day

“Forgiveness is allowing yourself to move on. Forgiveness is letting go of the burden of a grudge. Forgiveness is not allowing someone else’s choices to ruin your life. Forgiveness is acknowledging the imperfectness in us all, and chalking up mistake after mistake to being human…Those who never learn forgive will never have hearts open enough to truly love… because, one forgives to the degree that one loves.”

Monday, July 28, 2014

9 Lives / Puppy Love

Meeting the transport van for our foster pups!

This is our group!  Thank god we remembered the extra kennel!

One van arrives to meet a second van. 
Our pups came from Missouri and some pups were heading North to Minnesota. 

Little Piper saying hello!

George, Larry, Piper and Healy

Dog Pile!

Oh so tired.  I would be too - since we woke up at 3:30am! 

Mike loves his babies. 

Healy, Jack, Alex, Larry

Piper and Bennett with Breaker in the background. 

New to this whole fostering dog business, I like that I have a place where I can keep track of the dogs we have had and my thoughts on the whole process. 

So far, we managed to adopt out our first pup, Lolo to an awesome new family.  We did pretty good with staying detached enough to let her go but she was a little peach and fit in very well with our little pack.  Then we got Breaker, my fiance was a goner within minutes of meeting him. He is a funny pooch and from the minute he arrived, we could not imagine life without him. So Breaker stayed with us (foster failure.) 

And now, we have the 9 pack.  Nine, 8 week old, mixed breed puppies.  Did I mention, NINE! 

They are the sweetest babies and we have fallen in love.  They look to be some kind of Boxer/Lab mix.  Boxadors!  My favorites are the feisty girls of the group.  Two of them look like twins - the terrible twosome, Alex and Piper.  And the third is named for my niece.  (She insisted.)  They are much smaller than the male pups but - oh are they BIG with personality!  Because the group we work with adopts out many pups and adult dogs, we had to come up with some names for the file.  We went with a "Orange is the new Black" theme.  And surprisingly, most of the names fit the dog.  It's going to be hard to see my sweet girls leave. 

But life with the nine pack is crazy.  Just figuring out which pup is which is a challenge enough - so imagine trying to feed them?  Or get them all outside to potty?  Or when one pup decides to crawl out of the puppy pen that Mike built for them?  (That was Alex by the way.  She's a little bit naughty but you can't stay mad at her because she is a sweet girl who just wants to be with her people.)  Yes, it will be hard to let them go.  But we are happy to have them while we do. 

I guess with fostering you get to keep falling in love over and over.