Finally breathing

Holy cow, folks! For anyone who even bothered coming back and forth to check-in and see all of the nothing I’ve written, I thank you.

Things have been crazy the past few months. There has been anger and frustration (yes, it’s really taken this long) and a lot of trying to catch my breath going on.

For starters…last July I parted ways with my very real, very serious, very “scientific” job as a Senior Product Development Scientist. The reason? I wasn’t happy. Which seemed reason enough for me.

My plan going forward is a work in progress. In July the plan was: (1) become a nanny to my best friend’s son; (2) apply to (and get in) graduate school for Animal Behavior. This is where things got stalled for me. My best friend, through no fault of her own, didn’t require a nanny until recently and the GRE gods were laughing at me (and my graduate school applications) so I have to retest and reapply…and possibly retest and reapply and so on and so forth (but DAMNIT! I’m getting in!).

In the meantime, I have been coaching again at the local rock climbing gym. I was also offered the opportunity to get more experience handling dogs with the Analaigh’s behaviorist by volunteering with his foundation obedience classes. I have been doing this for about 7 months and last week he asked if I would be interested in running (under his guidance, of course) an obedience class designed to build onto the foundation class in preparation for the intermediate agility classes offered to more mature dogs.

Last month I started a second part-time job for some extra cash because…well, I like eating and driving and I hate having to choose between the two (I kid, I kid…I don’t make a habit of making bad financial decisions – – – well, not since that one guy a million years ago but stop judging me for that already!).

Last week, I (finally) started as Aidan’s full-time nanny about which, I will share more later through his (mom’s) blog.


This evening after Aidan’s dad picked him up as I took my girls out to run, play, and train while a light sprinkling of snow fell around me I took a deep breath and knew that I am exactly where I want to be right now. about studyin' for those GREs....again....

…now about studyin’ for those GREs….again….


Are you those people?

Are you, mama?

Are you one of those people?

It is my second least favorite question directed at the girls. The first is “are they pitbulls?” You just don’t know whether or not to be fearful until you know for sure. But, I digress.

So, am I one of those people?

If by that you mean someone who knows that if it is cold enough for me to wear a jacket then it is cold enough for them to wear a jacket. Then, yes. Sigh. I am one of those people: responsible.

Green is my color!

Crazy, right? Just as crazy as when mom makes sure Mr. Baby’s summer wardrobe has been traded in for long sleeves, pants, and socks because it’s gotten cool outside. So very crazy.

Some dogs don’t need as much protection from the elements because they have big, warm, natural coats of fur. Many dogs, like mine, are not so lucky. Analaigh only has a single coat of fur and and you can still see Rose’s freckled skin through both of her coats. It’s easier for folks to accept when they see a tiny dog dressed to the nines. It’s just more acceptable somehow…but show someone a picture of my girls in their fleece jackets and I get eye rolls and exaggerated sighs.

I dare you to look into this face and say, “No, Rose, you are too big and strong to be dressed appropriately for the weather” then wait because she’s a drama queen and will shiver uncontrollably to make her point.

Now…am I one of those people who dresses up my dogs in ridiculous outfits and stuffs them into my purse? Well, there was that time at Summersville Lake at the New River Gorge when I had to shove both girls (separately) into my pack so I could carry them down the ladder to get to the crag for climbing…and anything else that may have happened around Halloween last year the girls have would have destroyed any evidence (had there been any which there most certainly was not).

If you are curious, our favorite brand is Ruffwear. I like their fit the best and they have multiple options depending on your clime and what groovy things you do year-round with your pooch. Pictured above is the Climate Changer Fleece which I love, love, love.

Rainy Days and Rope Toys

I can hear the pitter pat of rain drops before I’m even out of bed. “Great!” I say to myself, “soon enough mama is going to get up, put on her shoes, put on my leash, and take me out in this!” It hardly seems fair that she gets to go potty in a special room and I get to go potty out in the rain.
What I really want to know is…what the heck are we going to do with the REST of the day??

Hmmm, mama? Hmmmm??

oOo!! Looks like we’re making rope toys for me an’ Analaigh to play with. We LOVE rope toys. Mama must have a millionty dollars because whenever we use up one BAM another takes it’s place!!

(No, Rose, not a millionty dollars…it’s FREE!! Love, Mama)

Here is how we make them…

1) Lay out an old tee-shirt. The larger, the better

2) Cut off sleeves.

3) Cut shirt in 4 parts. I cut up the sides along the seam all the way to the collar and up the center (and back) to the collar.

4) Gather collar and hold in place for braiding. (By using the collar at one end, the rope is longer because only 1 knot is needed to end it)

5) Take left-most strand and moving over, under, over braid to end.

6) Secure end with a knot.

7) Send to Quality Control for inspection

8) Voila!

Tug responsibly!!!

People, People, People: Oh Dogpark People

I’ve been out of sorts lately. Luckily for you I encountered a terrible human being this week just in time to write about them for our Wednesday People People People spot…luckily…

As you know – I like to take my girls to the dogpark from time to time – it’s good for them to be socialized with dogs and humans of all walks of life. Sadly, socializing them means socializing me and I need much more work in this area…

As we approached to enter the park, as is a rule in our family, the girls were sitting and waiting for me to enter the first gate to call them in. Gate 1 – check. We approached gate 2 and were again settling into a sit so I could enter the second gate and call them in. One girl is sitting, the other is sniffing marked fences and I noticed there are a handful of dogs who have come to greet us at the gate – my personal philosophy is that the dogs should not be allowed to crowd the gate to intimidate the newcomers but whatever…I know that once we enter the girls and I will do a lap around the perimeter, sniffing, meeting and greeting in smaller doses, and acclimating…

Almost ready to enter, I look up to notice (thankfully) humans have walked toward the gate to retrieve their pups to thin out the welcoming committee…

“Excuse me, I think you should try the other section – the one for smaller dogs.”

I look to the voice and realize this person is addressing ME! I look back at my 50 lb and 70 lb dogs and reply, “Uhm, we’ll be fine.”

“Are they young dogs?”

Confused at the relevance of the question and not sure what she’s getting at, “Yes” (well, kinda…Analaigh is 2.5 and Rose is 2, technically not exactly puppies I mean they don’t eat puppy food but they are still young…what is she getting at?)

“Yes, then you shouldn’t bring them in here.”

“We’ve been to dog parks before. They’ll be fine.”

“If you bring them in here, there is going to be a problem. I just know it. I know there will be problems.”

Now I’m pissed off. I don’t know if “there will be problems” because my dogs are pitbull type dogs but hers is a rottweiler so she can’t be profiling, can she? “We’ve done this before. We’ll be fine” (so please move yourself and your dog away from the gate so I can enter you stupid b—)

“So when there is a problem are YOU going to reach your hand in and break it up?”

“Yes. I will.”

So now part of me is thinking – I don’t even want my dogs to play in the same space as this woman but on the other hand I’m thinking I’ll be damned if I’m letting this woman bar me from entering this park with my dogs. I don’t know her, she doesn’t know me nor does she know my dogs. I’m stubborn, we enter and spend the next few hours in peaceful harmony with the occupants of the park…EXCEPT FOR THAT LADY’S DOG…who spent the rest of the time on his leash because he snapped at a few of the other dogs playing…

I just don’t get why people have to be so hateful and I sincerely wish I understood exactly what made this woman decide to be so with us…in any event, we haven’t gone back…so I guess she got what she wanted – me and my dogs to go away.

That’s fine…we don’t need anyone else!

Dear Diary

Dear Diary,

Last night I heard mama talking on the phone. I overheard her saying things like “she’s my nervous Nelly”, “she doesn’t like to walk through shadows”, “she gets startled really easily”, “she doesn’t like loud noises.” I don’t know who Nelly is but she sounds a whole lot like me. Life used to be quiet with just me and mama. Then life handed us roses and it got more exciting, not too, just more. I love my sister. She makes me laugh with her silly tongue. She loves to run and play, just like me.

Lately though, life has gotten a bit too exciting for me…and I’m guessing for Nelly, too. I heard mama say that Nelly moved in with a little boy (just like me) and this little boy loves to laugh and giggle (just like ours) and he drops and throws toys and they come crashing around (samesies, again) and all this crashing keeps Nelly from being able to relax. A couple of times the little boy went running toward her and she got scared and growled.

I was sitting so near, because I wanted mama to be able to pet me if she wanted, and heard a man on the other end of the phone ask, “How committed to her are you?” Mama got this misty look in her eyes and said, “My life is my girls. I brought them into my home to give them a happy and healthy place to live and thrive. They are everything to me. I am 100% committed to her.” Then I heard the man ask, “That is great to hear. What is it you hope to be our outcome?” Mama answered, “I want to learn how to help her be comfortable in our home. I need to learn how to fix it when she’s telling me that she’s not okay.”

After a few more minutes of petting and talking, mama hung up the phone. She looked at me and kissed my nose. Then she told me we have class next Tuesday. I hope Nelly will be there. We have a lot in common. I’ll write more after my class.

Dear Rose, Love Bug

Lookee!! Lookee!!! My favoritest Bug in the whole wide world wrote what mama says calls a Toad to Rose. Prolly he was inspired by the toads we saw when we were down to the creek that time. A toad to Rose, hah! Bug is soooo funny!!!

…so much fun it can’t be captured on film by either mama…

Your nose is sniffy.
Your eyes are happy.
Your tongue is licky.
Your tail is waggy.
I don’t rhyme so good… I’m only one…
But you and me, Rosie?  We’re gonna have FUN!







Dear friendly readers, ::sigh:: I told her it was an “Ode to Rose” clearly there are toads on the brain. Love, the Mama


I love living with my Bug especially since he got that straw in his tummy. It helps him slurp slurp slurp his food without even having to do anything. I wonder if I could get my mama to get me a straw like that because I love to eats and I love to sleeps and if I could eats and sleeps at the same time then I could prolly have more time for swimming and swimming is like totes my favoritest thing ever. But I dry-grass…speaking of dry-grassing, mama says she dry-grasses all the time but I ain’t never seen her dry grass, not once…Oooh…Analaigh says it’s “dye-grass” but I def don’t dye the grass, it’s not allowed. There are strict grass rules at our house.
Dry-grassing done properly…
But I’m dry-grassing again…
Any-ole-how…I looooove living with my Bug ’cause now that his belly is full he laughs like all the time ‘cept for when he’s sad or somethin’ and he’s got the bestest laugh ever. So, yeah, now that he’s so happy all the time he also comes and plays with me and Analaigh: in the basement, in the livingroom, in the backyard, we go on walks together…life is pretty much the best ever…(Bug is the perfectest height so I can give him as many kisses as I want and he never says “No Rose, no tongue” in fact he laughs when I give him kisses).
Bug and I have one super awesome thing in common: we love to show off our tongues we love wet kisses we can make mama do anything with sad eyes we love balls!!! We love playing with them. Balls are good for chasing an’ throwin’ and bouncin’ and pouncin’ an’ eatin’ an’ rollin’. Bug is a super champ at findin’ ’em. He can find ’em anywhere even that dinky and dirty one hidden under our steps out back.
Prolly the most delicious in the universe but neither mama will let us get it.
Bug has balls for playing. Analaigh has balls for playing. I gots balls for playing. I’m allowed to play with Analaigh’s balls and Analaigh is allow to play with my balls but we aren’t allowed to play with Bug’s balls ’cause mama is all “Drop it” and Bug’s mama is all “Leave it” and well…the balls all look the same. It is gonna take me and Analaigh some time to know the difference.
One of Bug’s delicious I-have-no-idea-what-that-tastes-like balls.
That is not a bat, it’s Analaigh playing with *our* delicious balls.

People Balls

Pibble Balls

See how confusin’ it is? Especially when mama tries to test me by putting a Bug-ball near me.