Happy Birthday, Jake!

Happy 6th Birthday, chicken little!  Jake got a new condo (one that comfortably houses his new bed but that also keeps him from peeing on his brother’s bed in the middle of the night — this is a gift for Melvin (and me) also!).  I also got him a blanket/cave contraption – he seems to like the idea of sleeping bags so I got him a furry one.  He immediately bonded with it, Rug would be jealous. I need to get used to seeing this furry thing because every night when I turn on the bedroom light, I scream thinking Chewbacca’s baby is in Jake’s condo.

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He got a new, AWESOMELY-WONDERFUL, bad-ass Sirius Republic leather collar!

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A frozen Kong stuffed with banana, pumpkin, blueberries and peanut butter awaits him (and his brother) as does this mini-birthday cake.

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But what Jake really wants, a forever with his brother‘s butt…signed, sealed and delivered!

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For those of you wondering, Melvin has not enjoyed this week as much as Jake.  He pretty much just wants the Jake attention to end.

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Jake and I, six years earlier.

Oddly enough, Jake and I have a bit of a connection in terms of his birthday…

Six years ago tomorrow I was rushed to the hospital and given a bit of a grave diagnosis. Apparently my body thought it would be fun times if my lungs filled with blood clots. How dare it attempt an uprising!   While that night was scary, it does not define me. That’s life.  It’s not always pretty or easy or logical.  It is what it is.  Find your happy and run with it. Obviously, I’m fine now!

Six years ago tomorrow, Jake was born.  At the very moment I was being rolled into the ER, Jake’s googly eyes were seeing the world for the very first time.  I didn’t know his birthday when I adopted him.  He came with a folder and although I looked the info over, I mainly did so to look at his vaccination dates.  It wasn’t until we went to the vet for the first time and they were entering him into the system that they asked if I knew his birthday.  I looked and there it was.

Same day.  Almost to the hour.  My little pea-nugget.

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Jake on film.

As we continue on the week-o-Jake…

Melvin has been professionally photographed, more than once.  If you have been to my home, or examined blog photos closely, you know that his face adorns many a wall.  Sadly, there is currently only one photo of Jake in the whole damn house.  To make matters worse, it’s not even a real photograph, its last years Christmas Card, in a frame.  I’ll pause while you judge me.

I’m happy to FINALLY announce that Jake was recently photographed and now our biggest conundrum is which photo to put where!  See how I did that, I moved from barely any photos to oh so many.  One minute I suck, the next minute I rock. Boom!

Here are some of my favorites, all courtesy of the very talented kate with a camera!  What I love about these photos is that they perfectly capture my little Tonka Truck’s vulnerability   He’s a misunderstood-muscular-punk-rocker with a take-no-prisoner-hit-man approach to life — but at the core, he just wants some love.

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Photo credit: kate with a camera

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Photo credit: kate with a camera

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Photo credit: kate with a camera

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Photo credit: kate with a camera

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Photo credit: kate with a camera

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Photo credit: kate with a camera

The week of Jake.

Most of Jake’s vaccinations are due this week.  That’s because one year ago, his family gave him up for adoption.  What I know about that is this…

  • There was a husband and a wife and a yellow lab
  • The yellow lab was the husband’s dog (so to speak) and the wife got Jake as her dog (as a puppy)
  • Come last September they made the decision that they only had time for one dog, and that dog was not Jake
  • The wife was sad to surrender him

Jake was given up for adoption the week of his 5th birthday.  I’m guessing they were not the type of people to celebrate dog birthdays so they likely didn’t know.  Or maybe they did.  Either way, one year ago a decision was made by strangers that would change my life forever.

Melvin and I were meant to be together. Jake was meant to be part of this family.  That means, their former families were supposed to have them first. I rescue dogs, they all have previous owners, a past that I have zero control over.  Then… our lives collide, and that is a little thing I like to refer to as sweet, sweet destiny.

I will kick of this Week-o-Jake with the very first picture I ever saw of him, just about one year ago to the day.

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Five years.

Yesterday was the five-year anniversary of losing sweet Max.  He was the best dog.  Deciding to let him go and the subsequent grief that followed were some of the hardest days of my life.  But now, the grief has long faded.  Now, thoughts of him warm my soul, even memories of my last days with him bring me smiles.  I didn’t wake up yesterday knowing it was the five-year mark.  It just came to me during they day. He enters my mind often, and I feel so blessed each and every time.

Today I woke up and I thanked Melvin.  I didn’t see it back then but Melvin is a key reason I moved forward.  I really had no choice.  Melvin had only been mine two months when we lost Max so I’m not even sure Melvin noticed Max was gone.  He woke up that next morning, FULL OF EXUBERANCE and he needed walked.  That September walk turned into December turned into March turned into June. Life is meant to move forward.

I have said before, that I probably got Melvin for all the wrong reasons, I knew Max was going to leave this world and I knew if I didn’t have a dog when that happened, I would wait too long and feel too much guilt looking for one.  But Melvin’s mug shot on the rescue site made me feel love at first sight and I knew the wrong reason had led me to the right dog.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

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Jake’s eyes.

We like to see everyone as unique.  Take Jake for instance, could a dog have more exceptional eyes?  We think not.  When I was given Jake’s rescue book it came with a photo of his litter from when he was a puppy.  There was no mistaking which one was Jake.  Let’s just say that he was born with the same-sized-reverse-cross-eyed-eyes (say that fast five times) that he has now. Literally, his eyes were adult size at birth.  Unique to the max. He is 100% the puppy I would have picked.

Lately, Jake has seemed spooked by odd things.  If I open the silverware drawer and Jake is five feet away, he’ll duck.  Oddly, when I open the same drawer Melvin moves closer and almost always gets bonked in the head. If I take my bag off the counter in a normal swinging fashion (ie. not swinging over my head like helicopter blades), Jake takes off running.  When I’m fluffing pillows, he hits the deck. Wait, was he in the Gulf War? I also noticed that he has been perimeter walking the fence.  Obviously I feared the worst (although this did not keep me from calling him Helen Keller, at least twice.  I know, I’m terrible.) so I took him to the vet.

The bad news is, he definitely has an eye issue.  The good news is that the issue is that he has bionic peripheral vision.  Seriously, I hoped worried he was going to need prescription goggles but it turns out that his peripheral vision is likely three times what a normal dog’s is.  Melvin can’t see the drawer coming out when he’s right next to it.  Jake see’s the drawers trajectory from the next room.

Of course, all super powers have their drawbacks.  Jake cannot see directly in front himself, which is why he perimeter walks.  Melvin can see perfectly to the front.  Do you see it, my yin and yang, completing each other every day in all ways?  One does #1 while the other does #2.  One can see the food that drops in front while the other catches the crumbs that venture to the left or right.

Uniquely perfect, the both of them. Here is Jake, keeping watch on the world, all the while facing forward!

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“I see Rug checking out my butt!” IMG_3977

“Hold on while I align the center of my head with that wall plug.”5 28 13a

“You’re going to need more ‘water’ soon.”5 20 13

“Look at that sweet-smelling arse!” 5 13 13g

“Do I have a nose?”5 13 13d

“No seriously, do I have one? I can’t see it?”5 13 13

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“All you need is what?  Tell me!  I need to know!”1 28 13d

Civil War – Dog Version.

Our house broke out into a civil war this weekend.  Here is how it unfolded.

I had to take Jake to the vet (bacterial and fungal infection as well as a few vaccinations).  There are two options when I take just Jake to the vet.  1.  Take Melvin also.  2. Sneak Jake out.  I opted for the 2nd, mostly just because I was running a bit late and getting them both harnessed up would have made us embarrassingly tardy.

There are two potential outcomes to sneaking Jake out.  1. Melvin does not realize he is gone. 2. Melvin realizes he is alone.  If the latter occurs, Melvin always poops in the foyer.  This weekend, Melvin noticed he was alone.  When we got back home Jake went running towards his girlfriend…the foyer Rug.  He stopped suddenly and turned to look at Melvin, then again to Rug, then he looked to me.  I didn’t even have to look.

I washed Rug (on my hands and knees) and removed all traces of Melvin.  Jake seemed to re-embrace her as if she had never been tainted.  I thought that was that.

At 3:30 am, Jake climbed into Melvin’s bed and started peeing.  Jake was put on steroids for his issue so I don’t know if it was a calculated move (makes this post more interesting) just had an accident or if he was sleep peeing (my guess).  What I do know is that the boys were startled by the other and then stared each other down for a good minute or two.  I wiped them both down, put Melvin in my bed and got Jake back to bed.

Was there a winner of this war?  No.  Was there a loser?  I’m going to go with, me, I was the loser.  After having to de-taint the rug Saturday afternoon, I spent 3:30am to 7:30am taking Melvin’s BRAND NEW bolster bed apart and washing each of it’s 97 pieces, most of which barely fit in the washing machine.  Of course at 3:30am I was not on my best game and ended up having to additionally clean the bedroom floors and rug.

Since Jake has pee’d on Melvin’s bed three times now (I call this a trend), I’m considering putting him back in the crate at night.  I’m also considering getting them their own house but I’m still not sure about that one.

*We’ll announce the winner of the Kong/Caption This contest today on our Facebook page!  If you entered, be sure you have liked our page!

Begging 2.0

Long gone are the days when dogs stand next to you and beg, or stare at you from across the table, pleading with their eyes to be fed something. Jake is proud to demonstrate the new, improved way to beg.  Show up between legs, preferably under partial cover of a skirt in order to take your human by surprise.

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We will announce the winner from yesterday’s ‘Caption This’ on Monday!  I’m having too much fun reading them to choose!  Happy weekend!

New beds.

Many months ago, I ordered new dog beds. Some of this was due to Jake’s need to pee on Melvin’s current bed. Anyway, the order was held up for several different reasons, all of them out of my control.  I pretty much assumed the beds were not coming and that I’d be getting a refund. (In the meantime, I assure you, I cleaned and sanitized Melvin’s old bed. I’m not one to make loved ones sleep in urine!).

Then, out of nowhere, the beds showed up yesterday.  I unpacked them and dragged them upstairs.  I went to do some laundry and came back to Melvin, lounging on top of the stack of beds.  I know deep down he was sending a message to Jake:  “My privates are currently rubbing up against your new bed, tainting it.  Pee in my new bed and it’s even more on, like Donkey Kong”.

Melvin’s a lover, his trash talk is even adorable.

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Prissy.

I was thirteen when we got our first family dog. Before that, I got my initial lessons in dog ownership from my Grandfather and his dog, Prissy.  Prissy was a teeny-tiny golden retriever, she earned her name by the way she carried herself. My grandfather took Prissy everywhere.  She did not wear a collar or a leash.  Her recall astounded me, she was always at my Grandfather’s heels.  It is important to note here that whenever possible, I was also, always at my Grandfather’s side. I loved that he loved dogs and I did love Prissy, but in all honesty, I was terribly jealous of her as she was able to interrupt attention I was getting with the wag of a tail or a simple bark. Even though I was used to sharing the world with my little sister, this was the very first time I experienced a human putting a pet before a human, even if only for a brief moment here or there.

I was just a child when I learned one of my greatest of life’s lessons from my Grandfather. This memory is burned into the fabric of who I am, I recall it vividly.  At first, it stuck with me because I felt emotionally scarred.  But in reality, the memory clung to me because,  well because it was supposed to.

My Grandfather took me to get ice cream and Prissy of course went with us. I was in the back seat with her.  My grandfather handed me the ice-cream cone and I did what any child of this age would do, I waved the cone in front of Prissy’s face and said ‘ha, ha dogs can’t have ice cream!’.  Before I even knew what had happened, Prissy ate my ice cream cone, whole. In the process, she scratched my finger with her teeth.  I screamed.  I mean I screamed so loudly that my grandfather had to pull over to fully assess the dramatica unfolding in the back seat.  In a fit of tears I somehow communicated that 1. Prissy had STOLEN my ice cream cone and 2. she had attacked me (it seemed like a valid claim at the time).

My grandfather stared back at me for a long time (probably taking time to thank God he’d never had a daughter).  And then …

Him: She ate your ice cream cone because you offered it to her.

me: (screaming) I did not!!! I was only showing it to her!!

Him:  She’s a dog, you put out your hand with food in it, she took that as a sign to eat it.

me: (IN A FURY) She knew it was mine!!  She did it because she knew you’d take her side!!

Him: She’s a dog.  She doesn’t understand taking sides.  (He was so calm, it almost made sense).

me: (still crying hysterically) You love her more than you love me. (There, I’d said it).

Him: (pausing to respect how utterly wounded I must have looked)  I love you both. I could not love either of you any more or any less.  You are my first born grandchild, I would give my life for you.  She is my best friend, I would run into a burning building to save her.  One day, you will understand.

One day indeed you wonderful, wise man.  One day indeed.

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Photo credit: Kate With a Camera. (!)

Grumpy.

Jake was a complete terror this weekend.  You might be saying ‘wow, that seems harsh’. Trust me, I’m downplaying it out of unconditional love for him.  I’m not sure what his problem was.

When I’d call his name, he’d ignore me.  When I’d go left, he’d go backwards.  I spent time staring at him just so I could find something to give him positive reinforcement on.  That moment never came.

It was so bad that Melvin, after nine months of peaceful toleration of Jake, even caved.  Jake was tormenting Melvin while he was trying to sleep and all of sudden…the lion was awoken.  And it was not the baby lion from the Disney movie.  I had a front row seat and I have to admit, It was pretty amusing.  Jake look terrified, the last thing he expected was for Melvin to spring to his feet and issue a stern, clear and concise, verbal warning.  Jake sulked away to lick his emotional wounds.

This is Jake, post Melvin correction. He’d wait for Melvin to clear the stairway before he’d come downstairs…

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Then, as all families tend to do, we rounded out the weekend with a group hug and moved on. And Melvin allowed one of Jake’s dreams come true.  Butt-to-butt snuggling with his brother.

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