How to entertain your puppy for hours

When the kids fed the dogs this morning, Lil Miss accidentally dropped one of the bowls and dog food went flying everywhere. She got all she could picked up before she had to get on the bus for school.

Mia discovered some under the stove.

How to Entertain your Puppy

She discovered if she works hard enough, her efforts will be rewarded.

How to Entertain your Puppy

She’s been doing this on and off for HOURS today.

How to Entertain your Puppy

I’ve never seen her more focused, more determined. 😀

What were we thinking??

Have you ever had a moment where you stop, take stock of your life, then wonder what the HELL you were thinking?

Today I counted. I counted how many lives Jack and I are responsible for and I damn near had a panic attack.

We have eight kids. EIGHT KIDS. The mere thought of us having eight kids is enough to give unsuspecting people a massive heart attack.

But it doesn’t stop there.

We have three dogs, two cats, 6 fish, and a hamster.

When you add it all up:

8 – kids
3 – dogs
2 – cats
6 – fish
1 – hamster

… that’s 20 living creatures we’re responsible for. Except… wait. I forgot to count ourselves. We need to take care of ourselves too! So that is…. 22. TWENTY-TWO!

Some might think the fish don’t count… since they just swim around all day in a tank. But that’s not true! You have to clean the tank regularly, check and maintain the ph, the nitrite, nitrate, and ammonia levels and treat accordingly, feed them, etc. It’s more work than you think! And the hamster? Technically that’s Sissa’s job to care for but ultimately we’re still responsible.

I’ve never really stopped and counted just how many we’re responsible for. And when I did it today (I have no idea why….) I instantly understood why I get overwhelmed sometimes. TWENTY TWO.

I have zero regrets. NONE. Don’t get me wrong. It’s just such a large number and I couldn’t help wonder just what the hell we were thinking?! I don’t think I’m going to be so hard on myself the next time I feel bad about getting overwhelmed.

I love each all 22 of us and wouldn’t trade any of it for the world. But still.


Ratdog 2.0

Ever since Cassie passed away, I’ve missed having a small dog around. Jack and I had discussed it many times and we knew that some day we’d get another small dog. We figured down the road… far far down the road.

Then yesterday an article came across my news reader that really tugged at my heart. It tugged good and hard. Words cannot describe the disgust I have for anyone who abuses or neglects an animal. And here is this article that discusses how hundreds of Shepherds and Border Collies were being left in the cold to fend for themselves. Thankfully the Oregon Humane Society rescued them. The article mentions that the Oregon Humane Society was also trying to find homes for another group of more than 100 rat terriers, taken in from a Tillamook, Oregon breeder who was neglecting the dogs.

I was so upset that so many dogs were found in this condition that when I read “rat terriers” I instantly thought of Cassie… and Boston Terriers. She was, after all, our little Ratdog. Then said, “wait? what? RAT TERRIERS?? What are those?” and googled it.

I went to the Oregon Humane Society’s website and read their article about the rat terriers (it appears to be gone now) that led to this video and that’s when I knew we reached the end of that not-so-long road.

I did quite a bit of research last night on the breed to be sure, then today Kayla and I headed to the Humane Society and found her. Unfortunately she was meeting with someone else so we were too late. We chose to meet a little boy puppy instead. While we were waiting for Jack to arrive, Kayla stayed back at the kennel with the puppies to see if the couple looking at the one we wanted to meet changed their mind. Just as it was our turn to meet the little boy puppy, Jack arrived, and Kayla came running out with the paperwork for the little girl we wanted. The couple DID change their mind. They felt she was too boring when out of her kennel. Scared is…. “boring”??? Whatever.

The handler said we could actually meet both but then couldn’t figure out where the little boy was placed. So we got to meet the little girl and it was all over from there.

Meet, Mia:

There’s absolutely nothing BORING about her. She’s beyond adorable and so very sweet. She loves our Golden Retrievers and hasn’t even had an accident in the house yet! She’s 3 months old and weighs about 2.5 pounds. We are all thoroughly in love.

Here’s a few more pictures.



originally uploaded by SpaceyMom.

I’ve taken several photos with my new camera. I’ve stood across rooms and zoomed in on objects to see what it can do and I’m impressed. I’ll post some comparison shots later, but I wanted to share this one of Randy. He’s so full of expression in this picture and I’m amazed at how clear it turned out. I have a lot of pictures of Randy in our archives including close up shots taken with our old camera, and none of them are this clear and detailed. I’m in love with my new camera. 🙂

He survived my zoo

The fridge repair guy survived my zoo. I left the cats to roam as normal, and only put the big dogs outside. Cassie didn’t budge from her comfy spot on the couch for 90% of the time he was here. She didn’t even sniff in his direction when I let him into the house. She did go into the kitchen when he was finishing up, gave him a quick sniff, then went back to her morning ritual of sniffing for crumbs on the floor. (Not that she’d ever find any. Oh no.) 😀

The fridge had a bad ‘computer board’. Took 10 min to fix and no charge! I didn’t even have to pay the $80 service call fee because apparently for a few months the model of my fridge was being manufactured, they used crappy boards. He left the faulty board here. Looks like a laptop motherboard. I should have asked for a RAM upgrade too.

Please put them away

Our fridge isn’t working right. It’s got a digital display and it only seems to want to work when it feels like it. Everything is still cold but since the only temperature gauge we have is the digital display, I don’t know what temperature it is or if it’s even working right on the days it wants to work. Also, my kids broke one of the door latches. It still closes, just not as tightly as it should. So I called GE and asked them to come take a look. For $80.00 they’ll be here tomorrow between 8 AM and oh… Thursday. (Not including parts and extended labor.)

What peeves me about this is the extended warranty I bought. The major parts such as the refrigeration parts and such are still covered under the 5 year warranty that came with it. But we opted to go ahead and buy the extended service warranty. I swear to flippin’ gawd every time we buy an ‘extended warranty’ our stuff breaks… AFTER the extended warranty period is over. If we don’t buy an extended warranty our stuff works forever. I swear it’s true. I’ll never buy an extended warranty again.

So tonight I get an automated phone call to confirm I can keep the 8AM – THURSDAY appointment tomorrow, and I went through the menu.. pushing 1 to confirm, etc. Then the little robot voice asked if we had pets including dogs and cats. Before you can answer it said,

“If you have any pets, including dogs and cats, in order to ensure the safety of our technicians and to prevent the technician from an extended service call please ensure your pets, including dogs and cats, are properly put away.”

I boggled at this. My first thought was,

“Right. I’ll ensure they are put up on the shelf where they belong. Duh”.

Seriously, what does it mean to “properly put your pets, including cats and dogs, away? It’s the ‘properly’ part that got me. My pets, including my cats, co-exist with us. I have 3 cats. Two live outside exclusively. They are often found lying around in the grass in the front yard, or lounging on the porch. Sometimes they hang out on top of or under our vehicles in the driveway. They have never harmed a single person who’s ever come to our house and I can’t imagine where I’d “properly put them away”. The third cat comes and goes in and out of the house as he pleases. I have no idea where I’d ‘properly’ put him away.

I have three dogs. The two golden retrievers can be left in the backyard… but is that the ‘proper’ way to “put them away?” Ratdog (aka Cassie) could be locked up in a kennel or our bedroom I suppose. But that really doesn’t seem ‘proper’ to me. Especially since the most she’d do is lick the technician to death, or charm his/her socks off, which may result in extending the service call a few minutes. OH NO!

Dressing up the dog

Jack and I aren’t really the kind that dress up our animals or get all fancy with our stuff (not that animals are ‘stuff’ but you know what I mean). This doesn’t include holidays of course and even then it’s usually only Halloween and Christmas we go all out with the decorating. With our every day items and life in general, we tend to go about things fairly simply. We don’t trick out the cars with fancy auto accessories and our home is decorated with things we have found along the way. That is until Miss Cassie came into our lives. (Otherwise known as Kissy Cassie or Gassy Cassie).

Our little rat doggie now has a reversible nylon jacket (omg it’s so cute), a pink t-shirt, and a red sweater. My mom also brought over a fleece coat with a turn-up collar. She has a fancy sleeping bag made for animals her size (that she can burrow into) and another fleece blanket with paws all over it and her own kennel. She has more accessories than both my golden retrievers combined. Don’t mention it to them though. They’re still trying to forgive us from bringing a rat cute little dog into their home.

Who knew we actually were the kind of people who would dress up a little dog? Of course, in Cassie’s case, she has no fat and no fur so she really does get cold easily. So if we have to warm her up, we might as well do it in style. Can you blame us?

P.S. I know I shouldn’t call her a rat dog.. but with those ears, and that face… I do say it with lots of affection. I mean.. isn’t it obvious we’re going a bit overboard with the spoiling here? We’re totally become the kind of people I loathed. But… I guess now I get it. If you have a really awesome dog who needs a little help in the area of being warm, it’s hard not to go overboard. It really is! Please don’t hate us.