My Series of Unfortunate Events

Remember that time I said my writing mojo was back… and then I missed ANOTHER morning of blogging?

Yeah. Me, too.

But here I am! I fully intended to write about my skin care favorites today but instead I’m going to make excuses and show you a sad & pathetic picture of my sweet baby Enzo.

Yesterday suuuucked. Every single thing I did had some kind of snag. I was anxious about the dogs’ vet appointment (which was a standard yearly checkup- nothing bad) and that made me super irritable about literally everything.

I made phone calls and was put on hold for over 20 minutes. I made phone calls and was denied information (that they’d freely shared with me in the past). I didn’t get a real lunch. One of my bffs had to book her spin bike across the room because all the spots near me were filled. (Absolute first world problems- I know.) And in the evening I had to wait an additional 45 minutes for our take-out food.

And in between all that, my dogs had that vet appointment. And Enzo walked away looking like this:

I know. It freakin kills me, too. My poor sweet boy had a bad reaction to the Lyme vaccine and he got hives all over his poor little face. And back. And paws.

Fortunately his bad reaction (swelling, vomiting) began in the vet’s parking lot and they gave him the anti-vac right in the lobby. He also got some pills for the next few days to keep him well. (Ly had no reaction whatsoever.)

Honestly, though, I cried. He was so miserable. We gave him dog ice cream and kept his face cool with washrags and let him rub all over the furniture (because I wouldn’t let him scratch).

So no, today’s planned post didn’t make it up here.

Enzo’s meds/vaccine made him more thirsty (and more likely to have an accident) so I woke up to TWO puddles today. Oh yay. I can’t be mad at him, though.

I’m crossing my fingers that those puddles were residual from yesterday’s dark cloud and today we’re in for a better day…

I got free Starbucks this morning with my reward points so that’s something…….

How was your Monday?

Best Christmas Gift EVER

We spend a lot of money on dogs throughout the year… between vet visits, food, new beds, medicine, noms, and toys these dogs want for nothing. As a special treat for ourselves this Christmas, we bought Lylee and Enzo dog DNA tests. NO REGRET, guys. We found Wisdom Panel 3.0 kits on Amazon (on sale!) and they’re 100% not sponsoring this. The results were both amazing and surprising.

The hardest part is swabbing your dogs cheek for 15 seconds twice. OOF. Enzo just laid there but Ly wasn’t a huge fan. We got the job done, though.

So we submitted our kits between Christmas and New Years and the results were emailed to us this past week. Not bad.

Ok… On to the results. Any guesses first??


Lylee

K and I pinpointed Ly as a husky-boxer mix and that’s usually what we tell people. Turns out she’s got quite a bit of dog in her… (but also we weren’t wrong).

The test goes back to her great-grandparents. There’s a potential for 8 different purebreds. Turns out Ly had seven purebred grandparents and one mutt.

She’s an equal part staffie, shepherd, boxer, husky, (American) bulldog, chow, & lab. And then a misc. mutt mixture.

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Lylee’s results weren’t too surprising. I think I was most surprised that there isn’t MORE husky and boxer in her. I assumed she had some pit (American Staffordshire Terrier & American Bulldog). I wasn’t expecting Chow Chow, but I totally see it now.

Appearance: In my opinion, Ly is built like a husky/shepherd. She has a square head and slight under-bite like a boxer/pit, though. Her fur is thick and she’s got endurance and strength for days. I imagine the yellow coloring come from the Labrador Retriever.

Personality: I could go on for weeks about canine personality. I think it’s fascinating. Lylee is probably one of the smartest dogs I’ve ever met (holla’, German Shepherd) but she’s also incredibly headstrong (boxer, chow, husky). She’s not necessarily territorial, but she’s extremely bonded to us and Enzo, and she definitely only chooses to listen when she admires the human talking to her (chow). She’s energetic, hyper, talkative, an escape artist (husky), and a digger. She also loves to play fetch (lab) and she can sniff out any toy. Many of these breed descriptions said she might not be good with other dogs- especially those of the same sex. BINGO. They also said she is potentially great with children. Not so much… lol.

Overall, it’s kind of reassuring to know why Lylee is so bonded/protective of us and why she tends to dislike other dogs. I knew there was some boxer and husky in her, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that she’s got purebred pit, too. Obviously we love her regardless of the results, though.


Enzo

We thought Enzo was some kind of whippet/border collie/weimaraner mix. Or even a Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever mix.

So. Wrong. I’m almost upset over Enzo’s results. I feel bamboozled.

I love all dog breeds the same- I’m just confused about E’s results. I mean, he’s more of a husky than Lylee is! I 100% see the beagle. The other two purebreds perplex me.

My best guess is that those mixed-breed ancestors have some small terrier in them (like a Russell) and some sighthound (like a whippet). Honestly… I just don’t know. Haha.

Appearance: After getting E’s results we googled beagle-husky mixes and beagle-shepherd mixes. I guess he looks similar to some of those dogs. I’d say his small size and floppy ears and face structure is pretty beagle-like. We think the husky ancestors had to be brown/tan huskies, not black/grey ones. Enzo has NO black fur or skin and we known black is a dominant color in dogs, so we’re fairly confident in our assumption. Enzo is muscular but I don’t know where that comes from. I guess the mixed-breed plays a large part in E’s appearance.

Personality: Enzo is the sweetest soul in the world. He has a laid back personality and he’s ridiculously good with other dogs and children and almost everyone. He’s the least aggressive dog in the world BUT he does love to give chase (husky?). Also, if we’re on a walk and a scary-looking unfamiliar stranger (hood up/baggy clothes/has a quick or aggressive walk) gets too close to us Enzo will keep his eyes glued to the person (typically male) and growl  at him. It’s super out of character for him but he’s done it multiple times so it’s not a fluke. E is extremely bonded to us (esp me). He was a dream to train and he still lives to please us. Whatever he is, I feel like he got all the best qualities of those dogs.


Kyle is obviously pumped. He’s been walking around the house calling the dogs “my two pretty huskies”, lol. I’m happy to know what the dogs are but it doesn’t matter one bit. Haha. Our dogs will always be mixed rescue dogs 🙂

If you’ve ever thought about doing a DNA kit for you pup, I say DO IT. Especially if you can get a kit while it’s on sale!

But also- did you guess right??

* It completely got past me that Wisdom Panel is a Mars Inc. company. Mars is not a cruelty-free company. If you decide to DNA test your dogs, do more research than I did and spend your money in a way that keeps your soul happy.

A Dog Rescue Kit

I wasn’t going to mention this story here, but it fuels my motivation and drives home the importance of a “rescue kit.” It’s not a happy story… Scroll past the image of Lylee and Enzo if you want to skip it.

. . .

Last Tuesday I saw a small tan dog get hit by a car and die. The entire scene has played through my head numerous times. When it happened I was so frozen in shock- I just stood in my driveway stupidly. The driver of the car immediately pulled over (bless his soul) and raced back to check on the dog, but he knew it was too late. Another car also pulled over to stand next to the body while the man went door to door to find the owner. I was 50 yards from this entire scene and just too shocked to move or help. The driver found the owner, who carried the dog out of the street, and the two cars went on their way. And I just stood there and tried not to cry.

I hate that I couldn’t move. I hate that I wasn’t closer to the scene so I could’ve warned the car (who wasn’t speeding or anything) or grabbed the dog. I HATE that the dog was loose outside without a leash or a tether or supervision. I hate everything about what I saw.

…I can’t imagine losing my dogs that way. I can’t imagine anyone losing their dogs that way. And that’s the reason I pull over or stop what I’m doing when I see a stray dog. (I also share “lost dog” posts on FB.)

Ly and Enzo got out of the backyard once and I am forever grateful to the girl who stopped what she was doing and brought them home.

I can’t tell you how many dogs I’ve stopped for, but it’s a lot. K pulls over, too- both when I’m with him and when I’m not. It’s an easy thing to do and you’re saving a life.

Rescuing a dog is as simple as stopping the car, opening your car door, and whistling. That said, sometimes it goes better if you’re prepared. To help you out, I put together this little kit as an example.

Box includes: Sterlite box (94 cents), large or medium collar ($4), leash ($5), wet wipes ($3), dog treats that won’t expire or spoil in the heat (training treats or Milk Bones $3), an old towel (TOTAL COST: $15.94)

Excuse the dirt… I own dogs + I went flower shopping.

Please note- you absolutely don’t need these things to rescue a dog; I’ve only just put this kit in my car.

Also, here are a few tips:

  • If the dog seems friendly but won’t come to you for a milk bone, try something more tasty to coax them over. K once used a blueberry muffin from his lunchbox.
  • Do not immediately reach for the dog’s collar. Let the dog smell you and warm up to you first.
  • If the dog has dog tags you can call into the county/use their website and get the owners information. In Ohio it’s on the county auditor’s page.
  • Get a picture and description of the dog to local veterinary clinics, radio stations, and shelters. Also, take the dog to a vet to see if there is an embedded chip with the owner’s information.

Sometimes you’ll pull over to help a dog and the owner will pop out the front door of a house 25ft away and yell at you. Shake it off- it’s their fault for letting the dog wander away. And honestly, sometimes people are just shitty and you come across a dog that’s been dumped. (That happened to us and we ended up keeping Melody for her remaining years. She was a lover.)

Sweet girl was roughly 11 years old when she wander into our lives…

If you’ve never stopped for lost pets I hope you’ll reconsider. And if you’re the kind of owner that lets your dog run all over the town PLEASE stop doing that. I firmly believe we make it through life because we look out for one another, and that includes animals.

Keep an eye out for lost fur-babies during these warm summer months.

Adoption Day ❤︎ Double the Love

Today is one of my favorite days to celebrate: It’s Lylee and Enzo’s Gotcha-Day!

If you’ve been around for a while you might know that we (accidentally) got Ly and Enzo on the same day, one year apart. Even if you are new around here, chances are you’ve picked up on the fact that we absolutely adore our kids dogs kids. Here’s more detail on Lylee, Enzo, and their adoptions.

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Ly is a husky/boxer mix (I think she looks like a Carolina Dog, though). We adopted her four years ago today from a friend and she was already a year and a half old. I 100% remember that night. K and I drove an hour north separately because she came with a doghouse that needed hauled home in his truck. I put her in my backseat and she fell asleep less than 15 minutes into our drive. It was raining and stormy, but she seemed so content in my car. She lived with me at my parents’ house until we got married and bought a house.

Lylee & K

We started looking for dog #2 a few months after we bought the house. Ly was starting to develop a sever social anxiety with dogs and I was relentless about getting a puppy. We knew we needed a young, submissive, male dog. K wanted something “tough” looking- like a boxer or a pit. I was indifferent. Then we set eyes on Enzo. After meeting a few other dogs we knew Enzo was the one. When Lylee happily accepted him into the home there was no going back.

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I almost die every time I see his puppy pictures. He’s the cutest.

Similar to how one dog isn’t for some people, I will admit that two dogs aren’t a good idea for everyone. That said, I doubt we’ll ever be a one-dog-family again. I love our duo.

I love that while one dog cuddles with K the other one seeks attention from me.

I love that Lylee was +2 years old when Enzo came into our lives and she taught him 80% of the rules just by example. It made training SO much easier.

I love that they have different personalities. Lylee is mouthy and stubborn and excitable and intelligent beyond belief. Enzo is delicate and laid back and quiet and loyal to a fault. (Lylee is loyal, too, but in her own way.)

I love the relationship between the two dogs. I love that Ly eases up during tug-o-war with Enzo (verses giving it her all when playing with K). I love how Enzo licks Ly’s face in a gesture of respect and adoration.

I love how they greet one another when they’ve been separated for a period of time.

I love that Ly lets Enzo sit on her back and Enzo lets Lylee rest her head on him.

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I love that Lylee comes running if Enzo yelps in pain or whines in distress.

I love that Enzo has the lowest growl I’ve ever heard… while Lylee “talks” just like all those huskies in viral internet videos.

I love that on their own our dogs are good listeners and perfect angels… and when they’re together they are monsters. Haha. That sounds messed up, but they’re siblings and they feed off one another’s energy- which is so perfect.

I love that Enzo’s personality mirrors K but he’s more bonded to me and Ly’s personality is closer to mine but she adores K.

If you’re happy as a lark with one dog then I think that’s fantastic.
If you’ve got a teensy tiny persistent longing in your heart to add a second canine to the mix then I say do it. I am so, so grateful that K was on board to add to our pack. Having two dogs makes my heart so full! (But, of course, there’s always room for three or four dogs… *hint hint* )

Do you have a dog(s)? What’s your favorite part about having multiples?

This one’s for you, Olya  😉

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Read This Before You Get A Dog

I know a handful of people who are considering adding a dog to their family right now. I also know that a lot of folks who stop by here regularly have dogs, so this probably won’t apply to you- but maybe it’s something you can share with friends or family who are talking about adding a fur babe to the mix. Christmas is coming and, without fail, people gift their kids/significant other puppies or kittens. Then January, February, & springtime is a super busy time for shelters & pounds. I’m simply asking anyone considering a dog to read this first.

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Having a dog is HARD.
Having a dog is expensive.
Having a dog is frustrating, messy, and time consuming.

I am the kind of person who will always have a dog. We took in Lylee before we were married, while I was still living at home with my parents. Prior to Ly, K and I both grew up with dogs. I’ve had three family dogs from birth to present day while K spent his childhood first snuggling Sandy, and then Melody. Adding a dog to our little fam was a no-brainer. Since we grew up with fur-siblings, we were well aware of the headache/handful/heartbreak a dog can be.

Not everyone has that experience, so I wanted to share the not-so-glamorous & disgusting side to dog ownership parenting. (Please know I would never reverse my decision to adopt dogs! They are the absolute best and I think everyone should know unconditional love expressed through sloppy kisses and nose-nudges…. I just want you to be prepared.)

Dogs are expensive.
We easily spend +$500 on vet bills for our two dogs. Additionally, we drop about $23 per month on food (the cheap kind!)- plus treats. Lylee also has vitamins and anti-anxiety drugs that cost about $20 to $30 a bottle. On top of that, there are toys, bedding, and equipment (crates, travel mats, bowls, leashes & harnesses) that need replaced every few months or years. I bet we spend $1,000 on our dogs annually.

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There are initial costs, too. To adopt or purchase the dog might be well over $300. Then you must get them spayed/neutered and up-to-date on all shots. And if they’re a puppy or if they’ve been in a shelter for a while you should sign them up for obedience classes.

It adds up.

Dogs tend to poop. And puke. And have plenty of accidents.
I can’t tell you how many puddles of pee I’ve soaked up. Or piles of poop I’ve scooped from the yard (and occasionally the carpet). And we were blessed with a puker, so I’m scrubbing Enzo’s crate at least once a month. And unlike my co-parent, I was programed with an iron stomach so I’m typically the one to clean up the messes.

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When we got home from vacation last week I was greeted by a lovely poop-streak in the living room. Apparently someone had a difficult time outside and came in to use the carpet like toilet paper. (I know it’s gross, but IT HAPPENS with dogs. And I’ve thoroughly cleaned the carpets, fyi.) Also, last week Lylee stepped in poop so I had the privilege of scrubbing her paw with soap and a bucket in the backyard. #blessed

Dogs make messes and get dirty.
Similar to my second point, dogs are living, breathing things that tend to lose hair and collect dirt. Depending on the dog, it might drip slobber or bring home burs. And even if you’ve shelled out the big bucks for flea and tick meds (…which you should), you might find a little nit on your precious bundle of fur. Even with medication, it’s important to check them after walks & outside play.

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Bath time is fun in our house. It happens less often than it should and it includes two dogs glaring at me and shivering while I man-handle them into the tub, then drench my own leg while scrubbing their bellies and telling them how good they’re being. Top that off with an unaccounted for full-body shake that leaves our bathroom smelling of wet swap poodle. Good times.

Dogs are time consuming and costly.
We are super lucky because right now our dogsitter lives across the street from us. When we’re gone for a weekend she pops over multiple times per day and when we leave for a week or more she stays with Ly & Enzo. (She’s getting married & moving out soon, though, so we’re going to lose her… *sigh*)

Anyway, what I’m getting at is dogs can’t be left alone for more than a few hours. Also, they tend to enjoy/need walks to stay sane and healthy. Also, they’re one of those rare creatures that actually like to have humans around, so it’s important to devote time to just being with your pup. It’s actually easier said than done- life is busy.

Dogs aren’t invincible.
The absolute worst part of having a dog is that they sometimes get sick. I mean that in a heartbreaking way, not in an inconvenient way. They will never reach an age where they can tell you what’s wrong. Blood tests and x-rays and surgeries are all costly but sometimes that’s the only way to figure out what’s wrong. K and I have already agreed that we would spend anything to keep our two healthy and safe. I know that’s different for everyone, but it’s an important thing to establish before you commit to a dog.

We’re not going to talk about it, but dogs tend to have shorter lifespans than their humans. I’ve said goodbye to so many dogs and it never gets easier, but you’ve got to commit to your dog- from beginning to end.

Ok… moving on…. my dogs are going to live forever. (That’s my mantra.)

All of that to say dogs are a huge commitment and very challenging. And if you’ve never been responsible for a dog, I just want you to know the nitty gritty of it all. But also, owning dogs is wonderful and amazing and rewarding and fun.

And they’re so freaking cute and smushy and perfect and fluffy and delicious ❤︎

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Keep in mind I’m not an expert; I just want to inform people on dog ownership. If you have a question I would be happy to answer it- and if I can’t, I’ll find you the answer! And in regards to Christmas- dogs make wonderful, amazing companions, but they’re not a good gift. The dog parents need to be a part of the planning/adoption process  🙂

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