Sweater love.

Not sure if you noticed but Melvin has a very big head. A child once asked me if he was pony. Add to that he is extremely deep breasted and getting him into any type of clothing has been worthy of a reality show called ‘Comedy & Torture’. I once had to cut him out of a XXL dog-sized Redskin Jersey. True story. We figured Melvin would just go through life naked and natural.

Oh not so!!! Custom made, hand knitted dog sweater for just $30 and 50% of the proceeds go to animals in need! That sentence makes me giddy in every way! See Melvin in his below. It was easy to get on, it fits him perfectly (I measured twice) and when I asked for something with orange in it I had no idea it would be so Harry Potter-esqe (bonus)! Perfection indeed!

Get yours here! You’ll LOVE it, your dog will look super cute(r) and you’ll help an animal somewhere who is not as blessed as ours are.

Jack Frost.

I have always loved fall and winter. I love the clothes, I love the snuggly indoor nights in front of the fireplace and I love that for the most part, humidity flies south for the winter. I choose rosy winter cheeks over a tan any day. Since rescuing Melvin, fall has taken on a whole new importance. While I can control Melvin’s food allergies with diligence and perseverance, I cannot command the damage done to him from his outdoor allergies. His skin and paws are raw, reddened and inflamed starting pretty early in September. The element’s effect on my boy are brutal and unrelenting and while medication helps a bit, Melvin suffers.

So while everyone is fearing the first frost and it’s promise of winter coming, I welcome it wholeheartedly. I dance and sing and cheer for it. I bow to the first frost year after year. The moment that frost shows up, Melvin finds relief. It’s instantaneous. He will enjoy almost six-months of a relatively normal existence (as long as I continue to wash his bedding daily and control his every bite of food and treat).

Snooze.

Melvin loves to sleep in. I have had several conversations with people who complain about how their dogs wake them super early, either needing to go out or eat. Apparently there is much barking involved. Melvin is not one of those dogs. On a work-day I hit the snooze bar at least 3 times (Ok fine, 5. I’m not proud.). Melvin doesn’t even lift an eyebrow until the alarm goes off for the 7th time. There is no pressure from him whatsoever.

I had to get up before 5am today. Melvin didn’t budge. I showered, blew dry my hair and turned lights on. The only movement Melvin made was to bury his head in the covers to block the light.

I love that dog.

Vacancy.

Melvin is looking for a brother or sister. It’s an easy sentence to type but not as easy to execute. There are things to consider. Melvin does not love many dogs. I can count the ones he barely tolerates on one hand. I know we can work through that but when you are looking for a new family member, Melvin’s non-welcoming demeanor can be a challenge. Melvin’s allergies are another factor. I can figure out how to feed two dogs different foods while keeping Melvin’s mouth in his own bowl but there are other eating opportunities, treats, chews, Kongs etc. I find myself ‘perking up’ when I come across a dog with allergies. That seems so wrong but I guess it’s actually a good thing, others might not welcome a rescue who requires food restrictions and medications. For me, it seems like a much less stressful consideration.

Challenges aside, our future family member will be a rescue. Our most recent and first inquiry did not work out. New dog needed to go to a family where she was the only four-legged member. Next!

Do(n’t) fence me in.

Up to now, Melvin has only gone off-leash at my parents house. Rarely without issue. They have a pool and the cover is rubber(ish), it moves like trampoline. Melvin, who cannot tell cover from walkway, ran out onto the cover one Christmas Eve. Once out in the middle he froze, realizing that with each step, he was bouncing. It took twenty minutes to coax him off of it, every step I prayed his nails wouldn’t puncture the cover. He does not have a trust fund, any damage was coming out of my wallet.

The next summer Melvin fell into the same (uncovered) pool. It was hilarious at first, he’d been playing basketball (Air Bud style) with my nephew and had actually knocked a few shots in with his nose (he was taking his shots from the safety of the deck). Once in the pool we quickly realized that Melvin can’t swim. I literally had to jump in and save him. While I knew all to well that he does not enjoy being wet, labs are water dogs so I assumed the swimming skill was genetic. I was so wrong. When he had his tail removed the vet mentioned that it might affect his swimming ability. I doubt that will go in the direction I’m hoping.

The fence construction at our new house is complete and Melvin finally has a yard! Hopefully this new yard is Melvin-proof. Grass, brick and fence. Unless the geese land within in the perimeter we should be incident free (she types, somewhat unsure).

Me and my shadow.

Melvin is true to many of his Labrador traits. One main thing being that he is always underfoot. Labs are notorious for needing to be with the pack, almost 24/7. I knew what I was getting into because Max used to be the same way.

If I’m in motion, Melvin is never more than 5 feet behind. When I’m stationary, he always has me in view. Most times, he is right next to me. When I rinse the dishes, he lays behind my feet. When I need to go into the panty, laundry room, garage or any other destination Melvin can usually be found directly in front of me. More often than not I have to go around him. When I go upstairs, downstairs or to the backyard, he follows me. If a door happens to close and we find each other on opposite sides of it, he will try to smash his face between the floor and the door and will sniff constantly until I let him in (and he will of course bound into the room as if we’ve been separated for months).

In the new house, if I go outside Melvin follows me from window to window. Pictures below are our version of “Where’s Waldo?”.