I got you babe.

Today is Jake’s gotcha day!  Three years ago, the little noise maker joined the family and life was never the same!

Jakie, I don’t for one minute pretend to know what or how you think.  I have never had a dog that I know so little about their thought process.  I’ve tried to unlock the mystery of your brain but you are too complex to decode.  So instead, I have just accepted all things you.

You are my little comedian, my giant-tiny dog. You are so patiently impatient. It’s funny to look back on photos of you and not see a diaper or see you out on a walk, what a ride these three years have been. You have overcome and preserved through more physical challenges than I can even count.  You are my little engine that could. I know that life has been a bit unfair to you, but you embrace our motto of ‘it is what it is’ so very well.

When you and Melvin became the dynamic duo, I never really gave a thought to either one of you experiencing the loss of the other.  I think that you had it harder than Melvin would have had it, not because he didn’t love you, but because he had an exuberance gene that guided him.  You are a little more…dark. You had a tough time this year and you and I have bonded over shared heartbreak.  My love for you has grown, not because Melvin is gone, but because you were you through it all.  Vulnerable, sweet you.

Now…if we can harness that delightful side of you with other dogs, that’d be great! This year, we need to add to our family.  Work with me bud!

I’m not sure what the next three years will bring, but I do know that we’ll rock it together.

I love you little chicken.

me.

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Gratitude.

I am thankful for coffee, forgiveness, my family, my friends and Jake. I’m thankful for every Natures Miracle Product, even the ones I don’t know about.  For sunglasses, thoughtfulness, hugs, kisses, goat cheese and pizza. I’m thankful for kids named Josh, Maddy, Emmie, Hadley, Blake and Lane. I’m grateful for memories and hope and faith and happiness and the ability to choose the direction of each those. I’m thankful for those who give more often than they get. I’m grateful that love-lives-on. For a group chat on FB with four gals that must.love.dogs. For vets and vet techs and people who want to grow up to be vets. For those who have found their passion and those who never stop looking. I’m thankful for Brussels Sprouts. For those who fight for our freedom. For dog diapers, ice cubes, The Container Store and Sharpie pens. For the ‘On this day’ feature on FB, for music and contagious laughter. For Melvin. For Joy. I’m thankful for this blog community, you saved me this year. Most of all, I’m thankful for love.

Happy Thanksgiving, from me and my little turkey!

Just because I have a neck waddle does not make me a turkey.

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Photo credit: Kate Juliet Photography

 

 

 

…just get it over with.

I love Christmas.  I love decorating for Christmas, and hosting gatherings and hunkering down with family for all things, well, Christmas.  But it feels different this year. Distant, yet choking me at the same time.

I usually decorate the day after Thanksgiving but this year my mindset was…’let’s just get it over with’. I’m a bit, apathetic.  Apathy is sometimes quicker than sadness or anger.

I decorated the entire tree without a single thought to where any of my ornaments came from.  I have never decorated the tree and not meticulously given those moments to each ornament, for every ornament on my tree is different and special and rare (to me). But this year, I had to get to from point A (the box) to point pain (Melvin ornaments) to point just-get-it-over-with.

I know it won’t always be this way.  Hell, I’m pretty sure that Joy is knocking on my heart as a type this, it’s just the first milestone in this year that is much harder than I expected. Maybe it’s because I bought up a ton of ‘Joy’ decorations over the years (like decorations that say ‘joy’) because Melvin personified Joy and now I have this Joy collection and it’s mocking me. Joy can apparently be hurtful!

I decided to not do stockings this year.  That works out in so many ways – no one stocking is missing if they are all missing and I don’t have to worry about them catching on fire.  Win, win.

I know this trip through Apathyville will be quick. It’s just not who I am. I knew going into this that he was gone, but knowing something and living some moments are two completely different things.  Grief is like being on a train, you look out the window and wonder where you are at but you have faith that you must being going to the right destination.  Then the next time you look out the window you know exactly where you are.

I did my card two weeks ago, again, to get it over with.  I was so focused on a card that Melvin wasn’t on that I reused a Jake photo that I used on our card two years ago!  Mom of the year! Sorry Jake, but I was trying to find one where your eye was not scary and I had to go back pretty far for a landscape photo!

It must be funny because I’m currently smiling.  Every day is hard and easy and sad and remarkable. I accept that Christmas will be lovely and difficult. Jingly and quiet. Peaceful and punk.

There will be Joy. But there will not be any ‘Joy’ signs because they are in a box in the basement with all the stockings!

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Houdini Jake.

For a dog that can’t walk very well, Jake makes up for it with magic.

He used to be able to jump up onto the couch but now he needs me to air lift him.  The funny part is that he still wants to do the jumping motion so I need to be on my game because ready or not, he’s leaping and if I’m not ready, he crashes into the side of the couch and flips over.  Lesson: if you can’t do something and need assistance, you can still pretend you can do it and that no one is actually helping you.  Just be sure your invisible helper is ready.

Once on the couch, he can do this to himself with the blanket.  I’m never really sure how he does it, I’ll come into the room and find him this way or look over and be like ‘whaaattttt?????’.

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Jake is next to Melvin in this one.  photo[2] 11 13 13c

Belly Bands! (and a giveaway)!

Jake’s body is so odd.  When it comes to clothes or jackets, he needs a Large or XL in the neck and chest area but he needs a S or M for body length. He’s the biggest, little dog around.  When it came time to get him belly bands, the sizing struggle was so real.

His body measurements for belly bands suggest he’s a Large.  But it’s a tight Large so once you add a pad of some sort, it’s cutting off his circulation.  No bueno.  But an XL won’t stay on. Equally as bad. Plus, most of the belly bands we tried either didn’t/couldn’t harness ‘little porn star Jake’ or the velcro closure was too heavy and his back couldn’t hold up under the weight. The months of trialing belly bands left me with so much pee on the floor and not much wine left in the bottle. If it were not for Jen at Sirius Republic, I’m not sure where Jake I would be. Jen got word of my plight.  She wrote to me ‘I think I can help’. I read those words over and over and then I squealed knowing that my village had grown in the greatest of ways!  The struggle was over!  The pee was contained!  Yay us!

Jen made us CUSTOM BELLY BANDS!  Custom, made just for Jake and his Kim Kardashian body! Best part, they are super cute! if you are going to contain pee, you should at least look good.  For almost two years now, Jen has been sending us belly bands (I call them sanity panties) and now…

YOU CAN ORDER THEM!

They are now available to all the peoples with all the boy dogs who need them! (Sorry girls, your bands are a bit too complicated). Click here to see the supermodel in them and to order your very own! I cannot stress enough how incredible the bands are and how well they work.  Just like with anything, custom fit always wins! Jen’s got’s lots of waterproof fabrics to choose from, build your collection today!

I use washable pads inside our belly bands (these).  If you go the washable pad route, you’ll need to add a few inches to your measurements with Jen because the pads add some bulk.  If you go the sanitary pad route, you can just do the true measurements.

Since we love Sirius Republic so much and we love you guys so much, tell us about your dog that could use one of these bands (in the comments below) and we will pick a lucky winner to get one for free!

Here is a peek at our newest additions, and of course, the supermodel!  IMG_6219 IMG_6091 IMG_4119 IMG_3904 IMG_2445 IMG_2018 IMG_9697

 

Melvin’s Project Joy – giveaway five!

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Time for more giving!  This month, we are adding a little something! Keep reading to find out more.

As a reminder, each month, we do a giveaway that celebrates the unique nature of our furry friends. There are monthly categories (so far we have done: seeing impaired, hearing impaired, less than four legs, and anxiety dogs). If your dog does not fit into one month’s category, do not fret, we have a pretty all-encompassing list for the entire year – we eventually got you covered!

November is Adopt a Senior month! My favorite month of all!  So this month we celebrate: Senior dogs!  Enter your senior and tell us what you love about them!  If you rescued them as a senior, share that too!  Have a foster that’s a senior, enter them! You know this household is on the hunt for a senior that Jake will accept! This entire endeavor of Melvin’s Project Joy, is the result of the love I have for my senior angel.

Here is how it works…

This goes beyond just a giveaway (but yes, there is of course some loot!). Our goal is to remind each other that we are all in this crazy life together. That through these giveaways, we can all bring empathy into play. As you share stories of your senior dogs, read the stories of others. You may nod, and realize just how much we all have in common. You can message others and share your experiences and advice. Friendships will form. Support can be shared. Joy will be spread!

Share your senior dog (your dog’s name, a photo. and the story about their awesomeness) on either our Facebook page containing this post, on Sirius Republic’s Facebook page when they share this post. If you are not of the Facebook world, you can email your info to ohmelvinyojake@gmail.com. No matter how you submit your info, you will be entered to win.

READ ALONG AS OTHERS POST. DON’T FORGET TO REACH OUT.

We will pick one female and one male winner at the end of November! And here is the little extra I mentioned, we will also donate some collars to a rescue group that focuses their LOVE and SOUL on senior dogs – THE MR. MO PROJECT! If you have some free time (or extra funds), hop over to their site and give back – they do the most amazing work!  You can find them HERE.  

Next month, it will be a new category!

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The things I love about Jake.

I realize sometimes that Jake gets a bit of a bad rap.  He attacks dogs I want to adopt, he makes meatballs almost every morning at 5am and because of him I own every pee scent remover known to the world.

Loving each dog is different.  It’s all love but the process is not all the same. Melvin personified love so just to look at him, I felt it. He and I bonded over snuggling. With Jake, he makes me work for it.  Jake and I spend a lot of time on his mobility tasks (either through training or me helping him get from point A to point meatballs.). I never had to call Melvin inside, he barely left my side.  I have to chase Jake to come in if there is a squirrel, frog, bird or gnat within 40 miles of our yard.

Still, my love for Jake is as deep and wonderful as all the other loves.

  • Jake takes the issues the universe throws at him and he just rolls with it. His legs have gradually declined so most of it is something he can acclimate to over time.  But there are some things, like going up steps or legs not working at all some days, where he is faced with an immediate change in ability.  And he doesn’t freak out.  He just sits, and stares at me, as if to say ‘show me how to make this work’. That stare, owns my heart. He knows I’ll carry him when he can’t make it, or I’ll show him how to scoot using his front legs.  And once shown, he is moving forward, pretty darn quickly again. He is pretty heroic that way.
  • He and I bond over a lot of diaper changes.  Getting a diaper on a dog is not what I would call fun for either participant.  I know plenty of dogs that wiggle and run when diaper change time happens.  Jake stands still and once the diaper is secure, he takes off.  He knows the drill.  I honestly think he senses how hard I work on him and makes some effort to make it easier on me. This is nice since we have many, many, many, so many more years of diapers.
  • He is incredible with kids.  So flippin good. He was not alway like that but he has really come to be a dog I can trust with all kids.  If someone asked me if their newborn would be safe on the floor with Jake, I would say yes, as long as they were OK with that newborn getting dog kisses and slobbered upon.
  • The only living creature who loved Melvin remotely as much as I did, is Jake. He and I are bonded in that we each carry of piece of Melvin with us. We are part of a 3-piece pie.
  • Jake will snuggle, as long as you pet him. If you stop to answer your phone, or itch your face, or take a sip of your drink, he gets up and goes. He does not see the value in laying next to someone just to snuggle, there has to be a payoff for him.  I love that he is who he is.

But mostly, I just love his existence.  He is a tender-hearted comedian who doesn’t give a crap but will crap meatballs without warning and who pees on the walkway and then gets offended that someone pee’d on the walkway.  If you fall and can’t get up and want Jake to come over so you don’t feel alone, you better hope you fell down with a bag of treats, cause homeboy does not scurry over for free. There is nothing fake about him, he lays it all out there, and I love his honesty.

Who pee’d on the steps? Now you have to carry me inside. IMG_6002

Pet me woman or I’m outta here. IMG_6083

If you want this seat, give me something in return. IMG_1931

Must keep hunting!IMG_1730