Saturday, January 21, 2012

Happy birthday, my sweet boy

Today would have been Jasper's 16th birthday.  I really wish we had made it that far (we went to a 17th birthday party for another Golden once so it can be done) but I have to admit I didn't really count on it so I made a big deal about his last few birthdays.  Last year we had a great big Happy Birthday cookie with frosting and everything and, of course, lots of pictures were taken each year.  I don't think he enjoyed posing for the pictures but I cherish them now.

This year we still celebrate his birthday as a tribute.  It's a double celebration because we're also celebrating our new addition.  I wish they could have known each other, I think they would have been great friends.

Of course, no birthday celebration would be complete without cake - a big cake and a little cake so that nobody feels left out.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Someone's fixin' to get fixed

Here we are, just about to complete 2 full weeks with the little guy!  It's been wonderful to have him around but I'd be lying if I said it was all twinkies and sunshine.  Not that he's been any trouble at all (it's spooky how untroubled of an adjustment it's been) but it's been really emotional and the tears, already a daily occurrence for the past six months, have been flowing even more, if that's possible.  It's been a time to say hello and goodbye. Goodbyes are never easy.

Luckily there's been a lot of smiles too.  It's impossible not to laugh when a little someone is so excited to see you in the morning (or coming back from a 2 second trip out of his sight) that his tail wags so fast it seems like it'll just lift him off the ground.  It's nice to feel a little warm body snuggled up beside you on the couch in the evening.  It's a blessing to know you're making a difference in at least one life.

He's become the perfect travel companion.  I've been taking him around every day as I do my errands around town.  He stays nicely on the passenger side of the car and is usually asleep before we even get on the highway. I'm still working on getting him to stay quietly in the car when I have to go into a store and he's completely wild with excitement when I come back which makes it a little tricky to open the door and catch him before he jumps out of the car, especially if I have bags in my hands.  His understanding of the word STAY needs a little help.  Oh well, we'll keep practicing and eventually we'll get there.

Tomorrow he's off for a new adventure.  He's having some "cosmetic procedures" done at the vet's office.  A  little snip-snip, teeth cleaning and microchipping.  He'll come home a new man...or maybe only half a man?  It probably won't be his favorite day and I know I'll be glad when it's all over and successfully completed.  Once it's done and he's healed up we'll be able to finalize the adoption and we'll officially be a new family.

It's weird how things happen when you least expect it.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Change is in the wind

One week ago tonight my life changed in a way I was not expecting.  It started as a normal evening at home in the middle of a routine week.  Just the night before we'd spent a few hours at the local farmers market enjoying the plethora of delicious prepared food that's offered there.  We stopped to pet one of the rescue dogs that they always have at the corner and remarked, once again, that we were not ready to open our battered hearts to a new dog, not just yet.

The best laid plans...

Fast forward to the next evening.  I was spending a few hours minutes on the computer before I settled in for a long evening of TV pondering  the world's problems when I noticed a posting on Facebook (not that I go there all that often) which caught my eye.


This is Rocky, a darling 12 pound Pomeranian mix. He was rescued from the shelter last week. Unfortunately, he developed kennel cough. It's not a serious problem for him, but kennel cough is contagious and so he needs a foster home without other dogs. Rocky will not be able to undergo the veterinary procedures he needs until the kennel cough clears up.

If you can offer a temporary home to Rocky, please let us know.
Thank you!

Something about that cute little face tugged at my heartstrings.  I knew I wasn't ready for a new dog and we didn't even want a small dog like this but we did have a dogless home that could offer him temporary shelter while he got over kennel cough.  I wrote to the rescue organization (which I had been familiar with through a friend) before I could change my mind.

Two days later we headed up the coast about 40 miles to the vet hospital where "Rocky" was convalescing.  We met the rescue organization's board member who had sprung Rocky from the shelter and she turned him over to us along with a bunch of toys and blankets.  Later that day another board member stopped by with a crate and food.

It didn't take long for us to know that we had to rethink the whole "we're not ready for another dog" policy.  Rocky (we're changing the name, I'll announce that later) is the quietest small dog I've ever known.  I've only heard him bark once.  He loves riding in the car with us, walks perfectly on a leash and likes nothing better than to sleep next to me on the couch.  He's calm and mellow but always ready for fun.   He has a few of Jasper's quirks and mannerisms which has been a little freaky at times.

I figured our lives would be in upheaval after getting him but he's fit seamlessly into our lives with very little adjustment.  One of the hardest things about the last six months has been not having anyone to take care of.  My mornings seemed empty without someone to take out and feed so it's been nice to get back into that routine.  T says he enjoys listening to the 'family' sounds once again.

Rocky has had a rough life recently.  His original family gave him away to a neighbor because they were moving but the neighbor had other dogs so Rocky spent most of his time in her backyard by himself.  She eventually decided she didn't want him after all so she put him in the shelter.  His eyes were wary and full of concern when we first got him, I'm sure he was wondering how long this was going to last before he had to go somewhere else.

So yeah, he's not going anywhere; we've started the adoption process.  He still has a few routine veterinary procedures to go through before he's officially ready for adoption but he's definitely ours.  His eyes are happy now.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Resolutions? Yes!

I know lots of people resist the idea of making New Year's resolutions and they have all sorts of excuses reasons why they don't make 'em.  There are those that say that they don't need to wait till the first of the year to resolve to make changes of course not but how many of those people actually get around to making resolutions at any other time of the year?  Or there are the ones that don't want to spend any time looking over the last year - good or bad.  Are they afraid of introspection?  Afraid they won't like what they see or afraid there won't be anything of substance *to* see?  Afraid they'll see more regret than accomplishment?

My personal favorites are the ones that won't make resolutions because they know they won't keep them.
Sweeties, y'all are just making the WRONG resolutions! 

I think too many people use resolutions as a form of self punishment.  Rather than make gentle adjustments into something that they really want, they make drastic changes to turn themselves into what they think they're supposed to be.  Of course those types of resolutions don't work, they were doomed to failure before the thought was even formed in your head.

I say, never make a resolution that's going to bring you anything but joy.  My friend, Duke, has the right idea here in his New Year's Eve blog post.  He's not going to have any trouble keeping those resolutions and they'll bring him a lot of pleasure all year long!

With that in mind, here are my joyful resolutions for 2012:

1.  sing as much as possible, even if it's only in the car or shower but even better, look for opportunities to let your inner diva come out and play
2.  look for the extraordinary in each day and be grateful for it
3. make more healthy choices than unhealthy but don't regret the unhealthy, if you're going to cheat on your diet then you might as well enjoy every moment
4. enjoy the quiet days but don't hide behind them - adventure is outside of your comfort zone
5. be adorable every day, even if some days it takes more effort than others - you are worth the effort!
6. discard anything (clothes, clutter, situations, people) that takes away from being adorable
7. give thanks daily for the people you love and let them know it
8. start projects with the intention of finishing them but give yourself permission to let go of projects that no longer fit in your life
9.  don't beat yourself up about mistakes, turn them into a funny story and make someone laugh
10. smile often, laugh frequently, enjoy life for the gift it is

Looking forward to the next 364 days!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

A Year In Pictures - 1 of 365

In 1996 we visited Calfornia from Virginia and fell in love with the area around the Monterey Bay.  We decided it was time for a change in our lives and we wanted to move closer to the ocean.  In 1998 we moved out there and have enjoyed the scenery for all these years.  Even if we eventually have to move closer to Silicon Valley for T's career, and even if I frequently feel guilty that I'm not helping out in Florida (mother is out of groceries and medication, her car won't start and there's nobody around to help) this will always be home.  It seemed a fitting way to start my 365 picture project, especially since the weather was absolutely gorgeous today.