Sunday, February 27, 2011

Everybody Loves Mardi Gras!

Today we went to Soulard to watch The Begggin' Strips St. Barkus pet parade.     We met up with Katie, Dan, Niko and Velmal!   We took Suzie and Tina with us because we thought they'd be the best behaved of our bunch and they appreciate going out so much.    I decided to pull JTK's old wagon out from underneath the house storage area to cart the girls around in.     Joey got this as a 1st birthday present and hasn't used it in a VERY long time but I'd never gotten rid of it.   We knew that Suzie and Tina wouldn't be able to walk too far and for anyone that's ever been to a pet parade - it's pretty much a guarantee there will be quite a bit of walking.   We were really worried whether or not they would stay in the wagon or if they'd keep attempting to jump out.    Well, apparently Suzie and Tina were relieved that we were finally treating them like the princesses they deserve to be treated as.   It was hilarious - they were absolutely 100% content in the wagon and seemed to have no intention of getting out.   At one point I got a little nervous because they very well might decide this will be their only mode of transportation in the future.  :)

They were just beyond adorable - so many people commented on how cute they were and a couple of people even had to take pictures.    We were sitting in a shady area, so we had them snuggled up in blankets.   A couple of kids tried to pet Tina which is a good way to lost a finger ...,But we were able to monitor their behavior and warn most the kids off.   Isn't it odd that Tina will gladly be pet by an adult but a kid comes over to her and she starts snappin those jaws!!

I was trying to get a good picture of Katie holding Niko at the parade and when I got home, I realized Dan was in the background holding Velma.   Are they two of the most spoiled dachshunds around?   Of course they are - they have their own doggie strollers which are unbelievably cute.    While we were waiting for them, it was one of the sweetest sights to see them roll up in their strollers!    That's probably one of my favorite things about the pet parade - you get a million smiles out of the day.   And if you're lucky some dog treats (we were) and some beads (we weren't.)    Velma decided she wanted to be part of the doxie wagon so she climbed up on my lap and crawled into the wagon.   It was so cute - she is such a funny little stinker.

It's so fun watching the parade and we were really lucky the weather cooperated.   We couldn't have asked for a much nicer day in February!  I am always amazed at how much time and energy people put into having their pets in the parade. Two of my favorites were a woman dressed up as a bunny with her dog in an Easter basket on wheels and then this dog in jail. I don't think you can read the signs but one says "Convicted of eating cats" and the other one says "Cats ... the other white meat." Now, you know I love cats - but that is still hilarious.   People make costumes, they create modes of transportation, they dye their white dog's hair, they have the whole family dress up in a theme, and they even bring goats and bunnies!  

We are all sooooo tired though.    Tina was snoozing on the couch this afternoon and she was actually snoring.   She usually saves her snoring sounds for night time deep sleep, but she was tuckered out.  I love this picture - Joey carted Tina and Suzie around all day.   He was a perfect sport about it and didn't complain once.    

Saturday, February 26, 2011

You've Come a Long Way Baby!

I've been meaning to share some pictures of my awesome former fosters on my blog.  I got this Christmas card from Robin which shows TWO dogs she adopted from our group.    The one I fostered is Corrie - she's the white one on the left side.    Rita is the other dog that Robin adopted from our group.  Corrie was a handful when I fostered her but she is the perfect dog at Robin's home.   In fact, Corrie was such a trouble maker when Robin came to adopt another dog from us one weekend she specifically wanted to see Corrie.   And I proceeded to try and talk her out of adopting her and directed her to the other dog she was interested in!   I have to chuckle at that now, but Robin persisted and came back to me to talk about Corrie.   She ended up adopting her and it became a happily ever after.  

Corrie came from a Southern Missouri Humane Society where she was an owner surrender because she kept escaping ... from a NON fenced in yard.    That is one of the all time stupidest reasons to get rid of a dog - and especially one they'd had a while.    Corrie was estimated to be around 7-8 years old and she had a very difficult time at the humane society.   She was one of the dogs the staff took pity on and would let her lie at their feet under the front desk during the day.   Robin is pretty much a saint to everyone in our group.   She adopted a very sweet senior dog named Chester from one of my friends in the group and Chester had to cross the Rainbow Bridge just a short time after Robin adopted him.    It was very hard on her I know, and to come back to our same group and give another senior dog a chance shows what a fantastic person she is.   Wow!  What an amazing woman.   Thanks again Robin for giving Corrie a great home.

And then there's Velma (fka Calypso) who was adopted by Katie, Dan and their other dachshund Niko.   They have become just the happiest and loveliest family I've ever seen.    Velma found the perfect home in Katie and Dan and became the dog she was supposed to become.    Velma was a puppy mill breeder and the most terrified of all the puppy mill dogs I've ever had.     I was really worried about her.   She's a stunningly beautiful girl and a lot of people couldn't look past her beauty to the scared girl behind that magnificent coat.   Just a couple of days before Katie contacted me, I met with a couple who were interested in her.   I explained to them on the phone how nervous she was, but it wasn't until they met her in person that they saw what they were up against.   I was so disappointed that I immediately came home and changed Calypso's petfinder description to warn anyone off her.      I talked and emailed with Katie and when I met her I instantly liked her and her boyfriend Dan.   I also fell in love with their beautiful dachshund, Niko.    So they went ahead and went home with Calypso and renamed her Velma.

They did not have an easy road of it, it was really hard for them but they stuck to it and having Niko by her side really helped Velma.   Now a year later you'd never know Velma lived the first years of her life, unloved, in a puppy mill.    She's happy and affectionate and just beautiful.     Two weekends ago was their "Gotcha Day" for Velma.   So Katie and Dan made the drive all the way to Arnold PetCo just to make sure to give us a wonderful picture of Niko and Velma to commemorate the day.    It's in a great frame, and I can't tell you how long I've been trying to get a copy of this picture of her!! :)   It's a great picture of these great fur babies.   Thanks to Katie and Dan for not giving up on Velma!

Yay for these great dogs and the great people who gave them a chance at permanent happiness.    Everyone tells me they couldn't foster, but you know what?  I couldn't do it if my fosters didn't go to all these wonderful homes so thank you all out there who adopt instead of shop!

Friday, February 25, 2011

What an Influence Leon is on the Gang

Wow - Leon's presence is really seeming to affect the behavior of the other dogs.   I wonder what it is?   Is it because he's so happy and carefree that they feel inspired by him?   Or is it plain old jealousy that makes everyone want to pull attention away from him? :)     They all seem to be either horrified by him or in awe of him.     Leon is just fun to have around.     He's really interested in only a few things - attention, playing and eating.     Here he is taking over Joe's bed and enjoying resting a toasty electric blanket while Joey is at his mercy.  :)

Hopper has become Mr. Affectionate - jumping on laps and wanting attention and love.   Even as a puppy Hopper was a grumpy old man so this is really fun to see.    I mean, he's ASKING for attention - amazing!  He's also playing with toys a lot more.    The couple of days that Leon was gone, Hopper picked up, in his mouth, every one of the toys that Leon had played with and gave them all a serious shake!  

TRex is even playing too - look at this picture.   Isn't it hilarious??   TRex happens to like this small little  squeaky balls, but being the perfect head case that he is - he hides everything around the house.  Apparently, Leon has found all of TRex's hidden stash of tennis balls and is TRex ever annoyed.    Look how serious he is about getting this one back. 

Leon has some serious "puppyish" tendencies, including his belief that anything not nailed down must be played with, carried around the house and chewed up a bit.   You wouldn't believe the number of things I've found transported from room to room thanks to Leon - he ruined my favorite brand of hair mousse and he also moved my remote!   I'm not hallucinating or anything - the TV remote from the living room was on my bed, with teeth marks.    Glory be to God that it still works because I would have seriously freaked out if I couldn't DVR anymore.   When I saw the remote I said in an exasperated voice, "YOU GUYS!!"  And JTK said to me "What are you saying 'you guys'?   You know it was Leon."    As usual what a smart cookie I have.

When I come home at night, there are two things I've found in my bed every night since Wednesday.   ONE a roll of toilet paper and TWO one of my winter Crocs.     The other day Leon ran outside with a roll of toilet paper and I had to chase him down.   Can you imagine being T-P'd by a dog? ;)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Well,that CAN'T be a good thing

CRAP  I pulled up to my house tonight via the alley and saw that my back door was WIDE open.   For those of you who know me, this is not the first time this has happened.   It IS the first time it's happened on a decent weather wise day with a shitload of dogs staying at my house.     Most sane people would be freaked out that anything might be stolen, or there might be a burglar lurking in my house.   Not me since I have a couple of good ol completely "psycho towards strangers" dogs at my house.   All together now let's name one  ... TREX!!!    I'm actually more worried my neighbor was outside taking pictures of the number of dogs I have.    I guess we'll see in 2-3 weeks how well behaved they were unsupervised and free to the outdoors.   Because about that time I should be receiving a door tag from the City Health Department.   sigh     I was hoping to get enough money back from my tax return this year to pay for a privacy fence, but that aint gonna happen.      What makes it worse is that I got home REALLY late tonight - like around 8:30.

Whenever I'm gone too long the dogs pretty much act like unsupervised kindergartners.    I came in to a house with pillows everywhere, covers everywhere, my PJs and socks strewn about and my favorite - two dog beds were stacked one inside the other.   How the heck did they pull that one off???   What is it about people clothes to some dogs?  In this case, TRex uses my pjs or other clothes as almost a security blanket.   I had to quit letting him come into the bathroom while I'm taking a shower because while I'm cleaning up he'll pull my clean clothes down and cocoon himself in them.   THEN he proceeds to lick my legs and feet.  eeeewwww  I love my dogs, but that totally goobs me out.

CHOW DOWN Suzie Girl
Of course with their evening meal being about three excruciating hours late, everyone was starved.   Here's a funny pic of Suzie licking out the inside of a dog food can.   You think PetSmart would give me some cash if I posted it on their FB page since it's their own brand?    It's called Authority and it is my favorite brand of canned dog food.   The texture of the ground food is perfect for mixing in with dry food, it's high quality and the dogs love it.   It's not cheap, though, just because it's a store brand -  it's about $1.00 a can.
I have to admit it's a crappy end to a crappy day.   I had my 3rd dentist appointment tonight regarding my root canal/crown.   And it was the worst yet - they were literally drilling into my gum to make room for the damn crown and then they gave me some chick that has to be a dominatrix in her spare time because she was NOT nice and seemed to enjoy inflicting pain.     She gouged into my gums with one of those dental picks, continued to have me open WIDER AND WIDER while she'd turn her ass around and do something else.   And most annoying,  she couldn't figure out how to do the damn mold thing so I had to endure that literally 6 times.   I'm not a claustrophobic person, but that completely wigs me out because I'm convinced my teeth are going to be glued together and I won't be able to breathe, and of course die....   AND she kept me upside down for the entire thing.   It sucked - I was actually lying to her and telling her my temporary crown felt great just to get away from the sadist.

Thank goodness I have the sweetie pie dogs to come home to.   Joe's with his Dad tonight because I'm usually in no condition to be a halfway decent mother after a trip to a dentist office.   I'm too feeling sorry for myself and pissed at the world.  ;)     I can't help but smile, though, when I see the gang.   Tonight when Leon saw me outside the fence (because I had to come in the back you know!!) he started whining he was so relieved I was home.    Whether it was for my company or my opposable thumbs that help feed him, I'm not sure.    Here he is looking pretty cute next to a toy we've dubbed the zombie duck - it makes real bird sounds and every time Leon thinks he's killed it ... it comes back to life with more chirps and cheeps and drives him a little batty.  :)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Leon is BALD

 I picked Leon up today and as I feared, they had to shave him due to the number of mats he had.  I have to admit it, I love fluffy dogs when they have an unruly mop of hair flying all over the place.     Joe really prefers it like that too and commented that Leon lost his "character."  Not possible I insisted!!! :)   I don't like matted fur, of course, but I do like a fluffy dog that has serious fluff.   Leon looks so .... dignified  (horrors!) ha without those messy bangs hanging in his eyes.    I'm happy to say he's still his silly puppyish acting self.  He was sooo happy to see me when I picked him up.   Doesn't that always do your heart good?   Just after a short time these little guys are happy to see us??   I had a hard time getting him in the car, though.   Who could blame him?   The last time he took a car trip he ended up getting his hair shaved and his privates snipped!

He's doing really well, though.    It's amazing how quickly these young dogs recover from their surgeries - especially males.   I hate having to see an older female after she's been spayed and had some teeth pulled.   They're fine within a relatively short time, but boy are they hurting those first days.    :-(    Not Leon - he's raring to go.   You would never, ever know that he had surgery today.  We're trying to keep him calm tonight, but he's wanting to play with every toy he spots and hump every female that crosses his path. ;)   He was super hungry too - you'd thought the dog hadn't eaten in days.   He probably hadn't eaten in 24 hours due to having to fast for his surgery and then having to completely come out of anesthesia so I'm sure he was hungry.   But he put on quite a show to let us know how he needed food and NOW.    Oh yeah, he obviously had to go to the bathroom on our car ride from House Springs to south city and when I stopped at Joe's Dad's house to pick him up, I let Leon out of the car where he did his business.   I have known plenty of dogs to poop, pee and puke in a car.   Pretty amazing that he held it for so long - and he had to poop and pee!  YAY Amazing Leon.

Leon got a clean bill of health and at the bottom of his chart it says, "A healthy wonderful boy!"  I feel so proud - like I'm the one that made him healthy and/or wonderful.  :)   Just think, I picked him up on February 12th and if he wasn't chosen by February 14th, he wouldn't have made it out.    Once again, I'm amazed that such a stunning and fun dog ended up as an unwanted stray in our city.   How does that happen over and over again?   He's sweet, he's affectionate, he's funny, he's playful, he's housebroken and I have to admit he's a beautiful dog.   His coat feels like crushed velvet right now.   He's amazing.    I can't understand how someone didn't look high and low until they found him.   He was obviously someone's dog at one time.  He probably just got bigger than they expected and a little  more active than they hoped.   He definitely needs someone on water bottle patrol to help remind him of manners, but he's a priceless boy that I'm happy to say I know will find a wonderful home.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Night Without Leon

We dropped Leon off today for a grooming at the vet's office, and he's staying overnight to get his neuter surgery done tomorrow.   I just HATE HATE HATE HATE putting dogs that have recently been in a shelter or mill back into an environment where they're in a cage and surrounded by other dogs in cages.   Poor Leon probably thinks he's right back at the pound.    I feel really sad for him tonight - I actually can't believe how miserable I feel about all of this.   He's only been around a week, in my mind I know he'll be adopted quickly so I can prevent myself from falling completely in love with him.   BUT I miss the little dude and I hate how much time he's having to spend in a cage today and tomorrow.   ::sigh::    I bought him a new 3-pack of Kong squeaker tennnis balls on Saturday and they were already all lost by yesteday.     One thing that was crazy is I had one still sitting in its packaging on my kitchen table, and he gently lifted it off the table and was playing with it in the middle of the night on Saturday.   I am having a very hard time getting used to how tall Leon is when he stands on his hind feet.   There's not much he couldn't reach.

No matter how much I hate it having Leon gone for the night - TRex and the rest of the gang are thrilled with a Leon respite.    He seriously can drive them crazy, but you know what?   I think he's grown on everyone in the house except TRex.    Don't you just love how consistent TRex is?   I don't think I'm ever surprised by his opinion.   :)    He can barely keep his eyes open - he's so exhausted from being infuriated constantly by Leon's presence.

Look at these two pictures - Leon at top, looking happy and carefree.    TRex on the bottom looking somewhat homicidal with his eyes in little slits.   Two dogs on the opposite ends of the dog spectrum - a little short haired dog (TRex) who thinks he's the size of a mastiff and with a major attitude to boot.    While the other end (Leon) is a fluffy, bigger boy with a  love and zest for life who thinks he's the size of a chihuahua.  :)    Don't they say variety is the spice of life?? 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Joey's Home

BACK OFF - he's MY Joey
One of these days I really need to get it on tape when Joey comes into the house.    The dogs are all so excited - it's adorable.    When Joe's Dad dropped him off, Tina was asleep in my room.    When she heard the commotion, though, she was front and center and waiting for some serious love from Joey.    She hadn't been able to sleep with him since Wednesday night!  That is too much for Tina to bear.   I don't cuddle Tina like Joey does, but I actually tried the last couple of nights and she moved away.   Boy ... if she's not getting Joey cuddles, she apparently doesn't want any cuddles.   This is a picture of Suzie sitting in Joey's lap.   Very cute - she's not much of a lap sitter, but she missed Joey as much as everyone else did.  (Including his  Mom!)    Doesn't she look like she's say, "He's MINE so everyone had just better stay away from him!" ha   It's cute - it's like everything is right with the world again now that Joey's home so everyone can relax.   :)   I was so excited I even cooked something I've never tried - Pot Roast.  It was pretty good and JTK ate 2nds so I didn't faily epicly.

Pretty Girl Tina

Earlier today I had Tina outside and I thought she was never going to get her butt back inside.    I was thinking how I'd love to measure my yard, then measure her stride length and then imagine how the yard much look to this very low to the ground girl.  She was exploring everywhere - it must have felt like a 10 mile hike to her!   She went to back of the yard, then she went to the front of the yard.   On her way back, she rolled around on her back and then headed to scope out the back of the yard again.   She looked so cute and so serious about her perambulation.   I tried to get a couple of good pictures, but she was especially difficult.    After all, she was busy and she had no time to be bothered by a human that doesn't even cuddle her correctly! ;)    I did get this one picture of her which I really like.   One of my favorite things about Tina is her curious expression - she has the "alert, but floppy" ears.   And she has this little crinkle between her brows.   It's so cute.    Doesn't she look pretty?   Her coat looks glossy, she's shed a few more lbs and she's just looking all around great.

Joey had a great time at his Pokemon event and spent every dollar he had while he was there.    He got to show off his Japanese version to some people and they were apparently very impressed.   :)    They also got to see the next Pokemon movie free.    And for seeing the movie, they got this giant sized Pokemon card as well.   I took a picture of it next to my remote so you can see how big it is.   I think he's going to frame it - and he really should.   It's very cool.  :)    He also bought a shirt and a few other items.   He even got some cool freebies - like some pokemon "starter" patches and even a pretty decent stylus of one of the starter pokemon.   For all of you pokemon newbies out there - each new version of the game has 3 starter pokemon that you have to choose who to start your game with.    It's a very big deal on which starter to choose.  :)    All in all, it sounds like it was POKETABULOUS trip to Indiana!  

We can rest ... Joey's home with us
The little guy got a cold, though.    I'm very lucky he's such a healthy kid - he hardly ever gets sick.   I hear about parents that constantly have to take their kids to the Dr. or emergency room and I have no idea how I would handle that.   When he is sick, though, I feel very worried about him.   Look at how tired my boy looks and how happy all the dogs surrounding him look.   And if you can't see the shirt, it's one I got him and he hates!   "It's so lame, Mom!!!"   I think it's hiliarious - it says "So Far, This is the Oldest I've Ever Been."   I've tried to explain to him he doesn't have to look at the shirt but I get to and I get to smile when I read it.  :)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Sweet Smell of Success

Today I had two people comment on my perfume ... wow what a relief.   To fully understand the importance of this, you would need a little back story.    A little over a year  ago my ex husband informed me that I stank and that I was sending Joey to his house smelling like dogs.    He did this on the phone one evening and then he followed up with it in person.    It was one of those awful moments that will likely forever be burned into my memory.    We were standing outside Joey's school, and we had just had a pretty awful meeting about Joey being bullied.   One of the mean comments being made was that Joey smelled.   I felt it was from Joey being a typical boy and not being too interested in hygiene.    He was getting to the point that showers were not something to be skipped and he also needed to start using deodorant.     BUT my ex husband had a different take on it.       I said something about how I was being very vigilant about making  sure Joey was taking a shower consistently, etc and my ex said "But the smell is all over you too.    It's all over your house and it's covering your clothes and everything in your house."    Of course, he looked me up and down like I was the dirtiest,  grossest person on the planet.   It was really awful - I can still remember what I had on and how filthy I felt.   God, what a really shitty thing to say.     Instead of being offended,  I immediately accepted what he was saying as truth.   I felt so awful about what I had done to my son.  I felt that through fostering dogs I had put Joey in the situation that he was being made fun of.   Even his Dad was saying he stank as well as me.   I felt like the worst mother on the planet - even thinking back on that conversation with my ex I could cry.

After that incident, I was totally paranoid and constantly asking people I knew if Joey or I smelled like dog poop and pee.   Everyone told me we didn't, but I was scared that they were just being nice.      What's strange is that I was just telling my friend at work this story yesterday while we were having lunch.    (We've known each other for years, so I'm not just telling random people at work about my ex husband! ha)   Anyway, she reassured me that she's never smelled anything remotely "doggy" about me - Thank God.    When I told her I thought it was such a mean thing to say, she was like "UH YEAH DUH - but isn't that what the dynamic of your relationship is still about?   Him doing and saying things to keep you feeling down about yourself?     

I hadn't talked about this incident or brought it up to anyone for a long time.   So it's a little strange  that today I spent some time with my family and got two "compliments" about how I smelled.    My brother sat down next to me and informed me whatever perfume I was wearing made me smell like I had showered too many times.   And then my sister in law also asked me what perfume I was wearing.   HA   Guess I don't stink after all, in fact I smell C L E A N!!!!!    And, no, I'm not talking about after I've spent hours at an adoption event cleaning up poop and pee or after giving a dog a bath.  ;)   But in my normal, every day life - I do NOT stink apparently.

The perfume, shower gel and lotion I currently use is "Grace" by Philosophy.   It's this really fresh, clean smell and some people even say the scent can help create a peace of mind.    I've been using the shower gel/lotion for a while but just got the perfume for myself in December.   

Considering how relieved and proud I felt, I think it's clear that those mean words spoken to me over a year ago are still haunting me.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Why I need 50 Dogs

Joey's Dad took him to Indiana tonight because they're having a big Pokemon extravaganza and celebration for an upcoming game launch.  I knew it was a possibility they would go this weekend but 30 minutes before I was supposed to pick him up after work, his Dad called me and said not only were they going but they'd be leaving tonight!!   I know I'm somewhat of a clingy Mom, but I was surprised at how sad I was that I wouldn't be spending the evening with my little man.    He is such a jabber jaw - sometimes I just need 5 minutes of silence to catch my breath.    Last night was one of those nights.    I try to remind myself that one day I'll be missing that little voice talking and talking and talking about things I don't really understand or want to understand but I need an evening like this to really put things in perspective.    I saw this saying once and I think it's particularly true for single parents ... The Days are Long but the Years Fly By.     ::sigh::

Joe is SOOOO excited about going to Indiana and he informed me today that this is a once in a lifetime event!!  :)  Pokemon Black and White are about to be released in America in March.    But me being the cool Mom that I am - I actually ordered him the Japanese version for Christmas.    He's loved it and he's figured it out by using online tutorials.   Smart Kid!!!   But he's still in an absolute frenzy to get the English version even though he's very disappointed in the English names vs. the Japanese names of the pokemon characters.    ha   He is so opinionated.   I keep telling myself that trait is really going to help him out as he gets older, but as his Mom it sure does present some challenges.    I'll miss him this weekend, but I'm so happy for him.   It's something that he's really been looking forward to and there's nothing more than a Mom wants than for her kid to be happy.

My niece and her family are also getting ready to move to Hawaii to be with her Dad (my brother)   Trust me, I've tried to talk Joe's Dad into moving to Hawaii but he will not agree to it.   Just as well ... dogs aren't as prevalent as they are here on the mainland.   I'll miss my niece and great nice and great nephew.   My other great niece already flew over there last month.    I wish Joey were here to see them before they leave Mighty MO.     My family feels so small.   My Dad passed away, my nephew passed away, I got divorced and my brother and sister in law moved away.     No wonder I have so many dogs around - I've got big old holes of family to fill up.    Now with Wendy and her kids moving - that means I'll need to get THREE more dogs.  ;)  

Here's a favorite picture of mine of TRex.   It was taken about a month ago because he's had a couple of different shirts on in the meantime.  :)    I love his expression on this one - he really is a gentle little soul that had to spend too much of his life fighting to survive.    I'll be taking TRex to the adoption event tomorrow.   He is SUCH a handful, but everyone enjoys seeing him so much.    One of my friends in the group told me once that she felt so many people in the group would be saddened if he got adopted.    That made me feel special in an odd way.  :)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Funloving Leon and Joe

Wow, looking pretty sophisticated in that stance!
Joe and Leon are having the best time together.   It helps that the past couple of days have been so beautiful because they've been able to go outside and play together.       Before dinner, JTK was so pleased with himself because he actually wore Leon out.   But guess what - within an hour they were both raring to go again.  This is a beautiful picture of Leon - too bad you can see my scratched up back door in the background.   ::sigh::  I guess when you have 50 dogs - your door is going to get scratched up.    Who wants to volunteer to help me paint it this spring?? :)   Leon knows that  Joe will chase him to get a toy so  he won't come to him.    Here he is with a tennis ball in his mouth - he's out of the pound and running around with a tennis ball that squeaks.   Man, life is good for Leon!!    He knows I won't chase, though, and he will return with a toy if I say "Bring me that toy!" :)  

It was really fun watching JTK and Leon play  and I was able to get a picture of Joe sincerely smiling!  YAY    Those are priceless.   Sometimes I think people think I'm crazy because I have so many more pictures of dogs than I do my son, but the dogs cooperate much more readily.    This past December when we were at lunch with some friends I had my new camera and I kept trying to get a picture of Joey.    Well, guess what?  The camera flashes a red beam that lets you know it's about to go off - with or without flash!  From then on, I've been doomed in trying to get some good pictures of Joey where he's not intentionally acting up.   I love this picture as well because he's wearing a great tshirt he got for Christmas from Janet. It is one of the coolest Harry Potter tshirts I've ever seen - it says MUGGLE in giant letters with the Harry Potter lightning bolt making up part of the letter "M". It was such a cool gift and Joey loves it.    Don't both Joey and Leon look happy???   I know he loves his old lady dogs, but there's nothing like playing in your back yard with a rambunctious young one.

DAMN YOU Leon!!!!!!!
Joey and Leon were having a blast, but poor TRex was beside himself with rage.  I don't think anything makes TRex much angrier than him being inside while someone is outside having fun.   The really hilarious thing, though, is that the door is generally open but TRex is so busy standing on the back of the futon barking and complaining that he never figures out that the door is open and he's free to go outside as well.    It's actually really funny.   Here's a shot of TRex being totally irritated at the world - but looking pretty cute in a white tshirt.    True, it's a Valentine's day shirt but it's too warm for his toasty sweaters today.

Leon got his name because Joe named him after a computer voice program that I got him for Christmas.   He loves this thing called "Vocaloid" where you can create music with a synthesized voice.    Leon is one of the few English speaking versions and I was able to order it through a great online company called Sweetwater.    They had the best customer service I've ever dealt with - they're a music supply company which is too bad because if they sold other electronics I would exclusively use them.    When I placed my order, they actually emailed and called me to thank me for the order.  They had to order it from Japan, so it took a long time to arrive so we didn't get it until after Christmas.   I couldn't order it any sooner since I'd been unemployed so long!   But I think it made even more of an impression on him because it came in boring January.      He's been fascinated with Vocaloid for a while and this is the first generation of "voices" so it's more computerized sounding than current versions.     So ... this is how Leon got his name.   Joey always puts a lot of thoughts in his names and I can't tell you how relieved I am that I can actually pronounce it.   I think Joey is too.  :)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Ups and Downs of Life

TinaCupid pull back your bow ...
There's been a lot of uncertainty for me the past couple of weeks, but this past Saturday I had to celebrate a little.    Suzie and Tina are officially members of the Seitz family!   After their paperwork was completed, we headed over to Lucky Dog in Webster Groves to get the girls "pawdicures."    Orange was chosen for Tina and Suzie got pink.   And since it was a valentine's day weekend, we had them dressed up in matching Cupid hoodies.   I swear, these two dogs fulfill a part of me that always wanted a little girl to dress up.    And the best part?   They LOVE it.    My other dogs think I'm torturing them when I get near them with a tshirt or sweater.   Not Suzie and Tina, they basically celebrate by having a runway fashion show after I dress them up. 

Suzie tolerating her pawdicure ...
but only because a man is cradling her
 Things have been a bit of a roller coaster the past couple of weeks.    My job, and quite a few others at my office have been in jeopardy due to a lull in the mortgage industry.   (AGAIN)  Then, we find out that Wells Fargo gave 200+ people in St. Louis 60 days notice last Friday.   Wells Fargo is actually the job I really wanted - the commute would have been a breeze and not even 5 minutes from Joey's school.    But ... I didn't even make it past the telephone interview.    Life is so insane - someone at the company I work with left after 10 years of being there about a month after I started.   Guess where they went?  Yep!  Wells Fargo.  Isn't life weird?

Today, two people were laid off and we'd known it was coming since January 31st.    We all thought it would be yesterday because it was pay day, but it didn't come.   I can't tell you the stress everyone has been under, but I have to give our group a lot of props.   We kept working and doing our best - it would have been really easy to just throw in the towel and get mad at the world.    When all of this started happening, I asked all my friends and family to send positive thoughts my way and say prays for us.  I really believe it helped me out.      What was great, the company called a staff meeting this afternoon to reassure everyone that was left.   I thought that was really cool of them because they knew we'd been so worried.    Crisis averted ... today anyway.   Who knows what tomorrow will bring?  :)

Leon ... what a handsome young man
Last Friday I picked up a new foster.   He's a gem - he's about 1 year old and he's a black/white (parti colored) cocker spaniel.   He needs a serious grooming and he needs to learn some manners, but he's overall a great dog and will make an amazing addition to a family ready for love and fun.    He's affectionate, he's playful AND he's housebroken.   An email went out last Thursday with a long list of dogs that only had until Monday to make it out of the shelter alive.    He happened to be at the north county shelter which is usually the shelter they don't make it out of at all.    I don't know why, but the "adoptable" dogs are sent to the Ladue shelter for St. Louis County and the ones without a chance stay in north county.    This email listed this beautiful GIRL as Justine ... ha .... after a couple of emails they told me they realized that Justine was a Justin.   That cracks me up - I mean, a neutered boy might be easy to mistake for a girl.   But a young HEALTHY male (if you get my drift) ... how could they miss those???   Anyway, Leon, as JTK has named him is probably going to be adopted very quickly.    No way would JTK allow a dog named Justin in our house, remember he is not a true "Belieber" in fact is very against the Biebs.

I have to admit, I told the head of our group I wanted a dog that would be adopted pretty quickly.   With my work drama, I really needed a new foster to perk up my sprits but because of my work drama, I wasn't up for a dog that I'm going to completely fall in love with, have for quite a while, and then cry my eyes out when saying goodbye. 

Cool Paws!!!
Leon is a cool, cool, cool dog - he couldn't be happier when he has a ball in his mouth.   He just LOVES playing and he LOVES JTK - he follows him everywhere.   I hope he finds a home with a kid in the family to play and run around with him.       It was a rocky couple of days at the beginning - I mean, I have a houseful of smaller, older dogs and nothing pisses them off like a dog twice their size with the attitude and outlook on life of a puppy.  :)    Even Natsumi hates him ... what a snobby group of dogs I have her.   I'm sure it didn't help that he was thrilled with all the females in the house - even if they're way past being interested in any hanky panky.   I got the spray bottle out, though, and things have really settled down.    Tonight Leon and Hopper were actually playing!! It was "dominance play" but it was hilarious and those two almost had their tongues falling out of their mouth because of how intense they were playing.   JTK and I watched them about 20 minutes and just laughed like crazy.   I haven't seen Hopper play with a dog besides Cooper, in .... well ever I think!

Leon won't be available for adoption until next weekend.   He's scheduled for a much needed grooming on Monday and his neuter on Tuesday.  I did give him a bath and clip some of his mats out, but he really needs some professional attention.   Further proof this guy is fantastic?   He was the best dog I've ever given a bath to - just perfect.