Saturday, May 29, 2010

She may have won a battle….

…but not the war! It’s not over yet, Gracie. Maybe it was because I have not been sleeping well (4 of us in a queen sized bed presents its problems) and it made me too exhausted and sensitive…but Gracie made me cry today. She keeps peeing in the house before I can get her outside. It is at times like this it makes me want to give up on her. I was so angry at her yesterday morning. And when I get angry I just cry.

On the other hand, logic says things like: she is out of any routine here, she has not had two days that have looked the same; she is a smart dog, she can learn; she just needs more patience.

Ed reminds me that Shelby wasn’t the “perfect dog” two years ago, that she is now. Somehow I have forgotten anything she did that was not right. She is so good now, I couldn’t ask for a better dog. Well, maybe one that doesn’t jump on people who come to visit, but other than that, she is the best dog on the planet.

So yesterday, Gracie won a battle, but she will not win the war. That will ultimately be my victory.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Gracie's first day at the ocean

I'm going out on a limb here, but I am going to bet that she has never see the ocean (especially from a cage in Indiana). She was not too sure about it either. I am sure it would have been more fun for her if she didn't have to be on her leash for the whole time (but she called that shot the other day). I thought the noise of the ocean would scare her, but she just did not like the water.

What followed was Shelby's favorite part. If you anything about our Shelby, you know she is totally obsessed with a few things, but one of them is water. Trying to rinse her off is very difficult because she thinks it is playtime! She absolutely loves the water, where Gracie is just the opposite.

Well, we are over these experiences now, and not doing super well with the housebreaking either. We have a lot of work ahead of us with this little girl, but (except for the housebreaking part) we had to work with Shelby a couple of years ago too. We have confidence in her, she is a smart girl and we know she needs us as much as we need her. God doesn't make mistakes, and this girl is not going back, she has her forever home.

As a side note Ed found the original article on this hoarding story. We think our little Gracie is in one of the pictures too! Here is the link to the original story:

Monday, May 24, 2010

We made it to the coast!

We made the 12 hour drive to Emerald Isle with, not one this time, but two dogs. Shelby always was a great traveler, and we found out that Gracie is too. They both take up the whole backseat, but sleep most of the time.

However, there was once incident at a gas stop. Gracie is still very shy and afraid of anything new. She will lay low in the back seat even with a door open and usually needs to be coaxed out. Well something happened at a particular stop…door opened…and out jumped Gracie…before I could get her leash on. What made that scary was the fact that we were at an intersection, and she was not coming to any calls. The two of us could not round her up and time kept passing. She would let us get close and then dart away. My whole being was filled with fear that I rescued this dog exactly one week ago, and now I was going to see her get hit by a car and killed in front of me.

My heart was racing, but my head kept trying to keep cool. I knew if I projected any anger in my voice (which was definitely the most present emotion at that moment), that I would surly lose any chance of getting close to her. I was growing more angry, and more scared, by the minute. But I had to maintain that high-pitched, fun-loving voice as I kept calling her (you know the voice I am talking about). She wondered back into the gas station lot where a car coming into the station had to stop to avoid her, and by now everyone was watching us try to corral her. At this point I can include the feeling of embarrassment, although that was very low on the list of feelings racing through me.

Finally, as luck (and God) would have it, she ran past a teenager who was outside of his car and was watching these events unfold too. She trotted close enough, and he was quick enough to grab her. I was so thankful. I scolded her and put her back in the car.

My conclusion to all of this is; first, I guess God wants us to have her, second, she will not have the best introduction to the beach this trip, as she will not come off her leash all week, and third, when we get back home we need to work on the “sit” and “come” commands, where I have a fenced in yard that she cannot escape from.

On the upside of all this, we seem to have found the secret to the uncontrollable peeing in her cage when we are not home problem. And it all involved a “cave” for her. I am happy to say she was good in her cage for 9 hours on Saturday…that is a record for us!!

We sure have our work cut out for us! God please grant us patience and persistence with her.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Yep, a second dog

Friends of ours have a friend who fosters dogs. The agency is called Recycled Doggies. They don't even have a shelter, they just foster. That has to take a lot of coordination and love.

As it turns out, this person has been fostering a border collie mix that was rescued from a hoarding situation in Adams County a few months ago. Here is a link to the story if you can stand to read it: Adams County dog hoarding case. They think she is a year to year and half old. She had not had any human interaction, and lived her life in a cage and was just thrown food and even had to live in her own excrement.

As a result of malnutrition, she is small for the type of dog she is (currently about 20 pounds and she is full grown) and very shy. She has been fostered very well and was even living with a couple of other dogs. We were fortunate enough to even meet the foster mom, and it sounds like she was treating her much the same way we will.

It makes me so sad, and mad, to see animal abuse of any kind. I can't even explain what happens inside of me when I see or hear of it. (That is a topic for another blog.) All I do is cry (in fact I cry as I write this just thinking about it again).

Anyway, she now has a "forever home" now, as they like to call it when you adopt an animal. I am sure Shelby and her will become the best of buddies.

About 3 weeks ago she was named Kiki. We are not super fond of that name, and was trying to think of a new one for her. Currently the name at the top of the list is Gracie. We are very open to suggesions.

The question to ponder is: will living with two herding dogs be a challenge or fun?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A second dog?

The question to ponder today is…should we get a second dog? Shelby is the best dog ever! So why another?

Let me explain some reasoning behind this question. We are not the most active people, and Shelby is only about 3 years old. Although she is a mix, she has a lot of Australian Shepherd in her. I have heard that Aussie’s need a job, Shelby doesn’t have much of a job. She needs to run and play and be a whole lot more active than what we are providing.

One big thing I fear is that we may be making her too old too early. Although we are content to be working on a computer, or reading a book, I fear Shelby is not. She never complains, mind you. She will just lie down next to one of us and be the best dog ever.

I had hoped that Bubba would be a playmate, since they are about the same age, and they do play. Actually, it is extremely fun to watch the interaction between them.
Our next door neighbor has two dogs, they have had two dogs all the time I’ve known them. They play together so nice and expend so much energy and are fun to watch. Some friends of ours just got a second dog, and they said it has been great for the older first dog.

Now the CONS…more money in dog food, harder time to find someone to watch two of them if we go on a vacation and can’t bring them, or going in vacation with them and being welcomed.

We are thinking of another dog that would be her age, and size, you know a true “buddy” for her. I did want a lover dog when we got her, and she is very much that (in fact, she is borderline jealous of any attention paid to Bubba). She is beautiful and I love her, but she deserves better. So should I or shouldn’t I, that is the question…

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Birthday party is over

Well it's over. The big 100th birthday party is over. I have to say I have never attended a 100th birthday party before. It was a grand event certainly befitting a woman of her age. There was lots of food, huge cake, tons of pictures, family came in from out of town lots of miles away, and then there were all the things that come with family gatherings.

I am not sure she really knew what all was happening. It reminded me having a birthday party for a one year old. The person of honor doesn't really understand what is going on, but the family insists on making it happen anyway. Makes you wonder who the party was really for. But what else do you do to honor such an occasion?

The big question to ponder is...what kind of a gift do you buy for someone who is turning 100? She doesn't need anything, she doesn't want anything, she is trying to downsize and is giving everything away, you can't buy frivolous for her, ummmmm.

It all makes me sad on multiple levels though.

Level 1 was grandma - I am sure she is embarrassed because she does not know what is going on, she is not sure what is expected of her, even if she could do it. And probably feeling very alone among all the people who were there. All this from a woman who was a social butterfly in her day. She always knew what to do in any situation (even what utensil to use when). I learned so much about how to handle myself from her, especially in a business environment. But that is another story.

Today, she had to endure, what I am sure she would have considered, an almost humiliation. There were a million of pictures to be taken. She sat in one spot, and someone sat next to her, everyone starts yelling at her to look at the camera and smile, and, what must have seemed like a hundred, pictures were taken of her. Then they got up and someone else sat down, and it started all over again. She seemed so confused, and I felt kind of sorry for her.

Level 2 - I like seeing my family and didn't get to spend the amount or kind of time I would like to with them. Obviously that means especially grandma too.

Level 3 - I am here at the beach, but can't spend time enjoying it. The weather was perfect. Spent an hour here, and it was just not enough.

Level 4 - I feel like I might be seeing my future. Lord, I pray you bring me home long before I get that age. I think one of the hardest things in life is the feeling of aloneness (yea, I made that word up. it's mine)

Happy birthday grandma, you are remarkable and beautiful, and I love you very much.

Happy 100th birthday, grandma! And to 5 living generations!

We made the more than 12 hour drive to North Carolina to spend a day celebrating grandma's 100th birthday. It will be a great event. Then the 12+ hour drive home on Monday.

After all, how many times does someone turn 100 years old? As if that isn't amazing enough, we have 5, count 'em, 5 generations living today! That is a most amazing feat, don't ya think.

It is a grueling trip, but grandma is so worth it. We the same thing when she turned 90.

So how does it feel to be 100? Obviously I don't know, and I am not sure I want to know. Grandma seems so lonely. It is hard to hear and see. She feels as though she is just existing in life. She has no friends or siblings her age to relate to. God talks so much about community, how does that happen without people your age to talk to? I hope my small group is still around 40 years from now

I am not sure of her relationship with our creator, but I am confident that when she is extended that last invitation that she will accept.

I do wonder if it is different for someone who truly loves Jesus and desperately wants to please him. I do know that I am not afraid to die, in some ways I am actually looking forward to it. Maybe I am curious as to what things really look like at that point, what will it be like to be totally pain free, care free, (and maybe be rid of this body??) and mostly just be in the awesome presence of the one who created me. It is something I can't even imagine at this point in my life. (although I like the part of not having this body!!)