Currently…

HEY HEY HEY! It’s fall AND it’s October! Welcome to my month, yo!!

Can you tell that I’m currently happy & enjoying this time of year?

Linking-up with Kristen for the best month’s edition of What’s New With You?. This is a long one…

Today I am currently:

Celebrating… my little Enzo! Today is his 5th birthday! I can’t believe our puppy baby is already 5. It hurts my heart and my head and my soul to think how little time we get to spend with our fur family. Good thing Enzo is living until the rip old age of 80. He’ll be putting me in a home some day.

Grateful… that my September challenge is over. I tried- I really tried. I am not a morning person. UGH. I think I’ve settled on a wake up time of 6:30am (most days). I was attempting to wake up at 6am every work day last month. I failed soooo hard. Yikes.

Moving on to… October’s challenge! This month I am not yelling or raising my voice with Lylee. Y’all… she is freaking stubborn and way too smart and incredibly defiant. She’ll still have to follow commands and be disciplined (inevitably), but I’m not going to raise my voice. (Lylee is a dog for anyone who’s new here.)

Working on… filling out my 2019 planner. I know many of you don’t think I’m nuts, but my husband & coworker give me quirky looks when I tell them that I order a planner/calendar/work planner for 2019. I don’t care- I love it.

My personal planner is from Plum Paper 🙂 (no affiliated links- I just thought I’d share pics)

(This is my third year with Plum Paper. Would anyone be interested in a planner post? Just highlighting how I like to use it?)

Reading… the last two books for Erin’s 9.0 Book Challenge! One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake and After Alice by Gregory Maguire.

Watching… all my tv shows that are back! The Good Place, Superstore, and The Voice are all back on tv! I typically catch the comedies on Hulu a day or two later. K and I watch The Voice together each week.

Listening to… Ben Rector’s new album Magic & Thomas Rhett’s album Life Changes. We just saw Ben Rector again (for the third time) two weeks ago and he was as fantastic as he always is! His music is very appealing and relatable for late 20- & 30-something year olds.

Planning… our Halloween party among other things. This year the theme is famous people- real & fictional. (So you can’t just say you’re a dog or a ghost, you have to be Scooby Doo or Casper.)

Paying for… our builder to come back and add on to our back porch. We also *finally* brought in painters and our kitchen, living room, foyer/hall, bedroom, and master bath are PAINTED!

Wearing… all the jeans, all the sweatshirts, all the cool weather clothes. Last spring I bought myself a pair of lace up Vans (these) and last month I got a pair of Chuck Tailors (these). I honestly didn’t realize how badly I needed these shoes. I either wears my Vans or my Chucks almost every dang day.

I also recently bought these jeans from ON (I LOVE THEM) & this lounge sweatshirt from ON (so dang comfy!).

And also I just got my hair done last night!

Looking forward to… meeting K’s cousin’s new baby, my birthday, a fall trip with my loves, our Halloween party, celebrating birthdays, a business trip in November, and Williamsburg with the family over Thanksgiving!

Eating… as many fall things as I can get my hands on. Soups, Halloween candy, fall flavored donuts, caramel apples…

Drinking… lots of fall flavored coffee in the morning and relaxing tea at night ❤

Praying about… the world. It’s infuriating. Lack of respect, equality, common sense, and human decency are not a part of this Christian’s agenda. (Don’t get me wrong, in addition to praying I’m also voting, making calls, and writing letters.)

Thinking about… how I love this month and hate the world right now. How being an adult looks easy when you’re young, then you arrive and it’s like shit. How much I love my friends and how fortunate I feel to have *real* people on my side and in my corner at this stage in life. How K might be springing a last minute company cookout on me this weekend, lol.

Donating/Ditching/Regifting… hundreds of items around my house for the #MinsGame! And tracking it all on Instagram.

And that’s it. That was a long-ish post. If you made it through, thanks! Tell me what you’re currently up to!

The Dog Park Chronicles

As I mentioned on Monday, Enzo and I took a trip to Columbus, Ohio to visit our friends Kayla & Ernie. Enzo loves going to Columbus because we always spend some time at the dog park! My hometown doesn’t have a dog park (hopefully I can change that some day) and the closest parks are usually missing one key element- DOGS. In a city like Columbus, though, the parks are packed and the puppies are playful.

Dog Park

If I haven’t made it clear in prior posts, Enzo and Lylee are our children. I know there’s a silly debate about calling dogs “kids”, but they rely on K and me for food, love, health, etc. so in my eyes, they are my babes. That being said, I will be referring to Enzo (and the other park dogs) as “kids” from here on out. I hope you’ll stick with me and get past that… 😉

So without further ado, here are my dog park observations from this past week.

| 1 | I want my kid to hang with the “good” kids.
Columbus is a major city with many people and, therefore, many dogs. This weekend I saw some beautiful Huskies, German Shepherds, Labs, and even a Catahoula Leopard Dog. Unfortunately, some of the dogs weren’t getting alone. Some of the dogs were accosting (…humping) other dogs. Some of the dogs were completely ignoring their owners. Long story short, not everyone was behaving. Enzo is a fairly well-mannered dog and my heart just bursted with pride every time he ran with the well-behaved kids. He didn’t pick any fight or react to aggressive dogs- he stuck with the happy-go-lucky boxers and hounds. He made some good decisions!

IMG_1846

| 2 | Everyone thinks their kid is special… and they are.
More than once I heard someone say, “Isn’t Spot/Lucy/Rosie just the smartest, most cutest, bestest doggie ever??” Of course I feel this way about Enzo, but he’s just another happy dog in a dog park, being a dog. In our small town people gush over how soft he is and how beautiful his eyes are, but in a sea of city purebreds my little mutt tends to get lost… But I still think he’s the bees knees and smarter than all the rest 😉

He loved these two dogs- perfect size and temperament!
He loved these two dogs- perfect size and temperament!

| 3 | I am a helicopter mom and I’m not ashamed about this.
A helicopter parent is one who hovers. (Get it? Hovers like a helicopter?) I always imagined myself as a laid back, easy-going mom, but when I set Enzo loose in the park I never took my eyes off him. (I am 100% sure this will mirror my future parenting behavior with human-children.) Some of the other pet owners stayed in one place (verses following their pup from area to area) or were so engrossed in a conversation until they’d sudden stop and say, “Wait, where’s my dog?” Not this bear mom. I always had my sights set on my little dog-cub.

** I’m not for or against helicopter parenting- I just noticed that I am, in fact, a hovering “mom.”

| 4 | Playing with others truly brings out Enzo’s personality.
When my little munchkin got tired he would stop and sit in the shade. He shared his water with whomever needed a sip and wasn’t shy about nosing into other bowls. If two dogs were growling or establishing their dominance near him he didn’t shy away, but rather tried to get between them and calm everyone down. (I know that sounds crazy, but it’s the exact same thing he does with Lylee when she’s panicking about a storm or foreign dog- he nips at her ears, bumps against her, and nips at her neck to distract her.) Watching Enzo engage in dog packs is so fascinating. I could study his behavior all day!

See little Ernie (the wiener dog) in the foreground??
See little Ernie (the wiener dog) in the foreground??

| 5 | I have a great kid.
Ok, ok. I have a great dog. But honestly, I’m just so proud of his personality. When he runs with other dogs he constantly checks in with me. He isn’t afraid to snuggled up to other dogs or humans. He isn’t aggressive and he isn’t timid. And he’s the smartest, most cutest, bestest doggie ever 😉 Hehehe.

Have you ever taken your dog to a dog park? Animal behavior is so fascinating! What have you observed in your time with dogs/cats/at the zoo? This dog park has trees and logs and tunnels- what’s the coolest park (human or dog) that you’ve been to?

-Louise

Meet the Canine: Enzo

I like to save my favorite posts for Friday! Today I’m joining the link-up with Erin from TexErin-in-SydneyLand for Meet the Canines.

Without fur-ther ado (get it?), I hand the reins over to our youngest, Enzo.

Hey, folks.
Hey, folks.

Mom has given me strict instructions to introduce myself and then answer a few questions about my likes and dislikes. Under no circumstance am I to get off topic or talk about things that I just remembered like the kibble I left in my dish to eat later since my breakfast was interrupted by a rabbit in the front yard where I never get to play because the backyard is fenced in and… Wait. I think I’m getting off topic.

My name is Enzo Bugglesworth, but they call me Enzo-Bug for short… Anyway, I am a year and a half old- mom & dad adopted me when I was 9 weeks. People says I’m a “mutt” but my vet is convinced I have some weimaraner in me and my grandma calls me a whippet and the rescue said I was a collie mix. Regardless, I’m super fast and I don’t like being yelled at.

Ok. I think that’s enough. Time for some questions!

Step into my office and we'll begin this interview.
Step into my office and we’ll begin this interview.

What’s your favorite activity that doesn’t involve eating?
Eating things I’m not supposed to. I don’t do it often, but my resume boasts 3 blankets, a down comforter, the ugly pillow in the living room, and two TV remotes. So delicious. Wait…. not involving eat? Dang. Probably licking my sister’s face when she least expects it.

This is my sister, Lylee.
This is my sister, Lylee.

What’s your favorite dog treat?
Carrots. This is not a joke. I love carrots. Also, whipped cream. Sometimes I see mom and dad eat that stuff and I wonder why they’re eating dog food.

What’s your highest level of education?
I have completed beginner, intermediate, and advanced training. Mom is also working to make me a licensed therapy dog. I don’t want to brag, but when I’m paying attention I’m pretty smart. (Which happens 4% of the time.)

Graduation
Graduation from Puppy School! Mom was so proud.

Who is your best friend?
I mean, Lylee is my other half, but outside the family I enjoy a good game of chase with my friend Ernie the dachshund.

Action shot!
Action shot!

I also made a new friend last month; her name is Dr. Bones. She’s a year younger than me and she’s got some terrier in her, but I feel the start of something special there.

Would you like to have children some day?
Mom says this is impossible. I say if you can dream, it you can do it. But mom still says it’s scientifically impossible. Plus I’m not allowed to hump things which apparently has a direct correlation with puppies? I do love human children, though. I’d like to have a few of them around the house someday.

Do you have a favorite TV show or movie? Favorite band?
I prefer the music of my people. It starts with a soft growl and erupts into a horrendous yowl/screech. I think dad really enjoys that, too. He yells with me when I really get going. As far as TV goes, nothing puts me (and mom) to sleep like a NASCAR Race. My favorite movie is obviously Ghostbusters.

Tell us the story of your adoption.
This was the best day EVER. Before mom & dad took me home I lived with a foster dad, golden retriever, and my biological brother, Tanner (who was renamed Zedd). They were great but everyone kept talking about a “forever home.” I met mom and dad in a small room in the headquarters of Paws & Prayers. Mom liked Tanner because he had spots on his nose, but I really laid the cuteness on thick with dad and won that sucker over. He also liked my white racing stripe. (Stripe was my original name!)

They didn’t take me right away because they were also planning to see a boxer at another rescue so they left for a bit but pretty soon they were back (empty handed)! Another young couple also decided to adopt Tanner that day! Mom scooped me up and didn’t let me go until we arrive at my new home! Of course they bought me a nice leash & collar, food bowls, and a new sweater. On the drive home mom & dad tossed around names. They almost settled on “Nitro” when dad suggested Enzo, after the Enzo Ferrari. Yep, I’m named after a Ferrari.

The deal breaker was my soon-to-be-big-sister Lylee. She was very aggressive at that point and she had to approve me before it was official. Mom set me down in the driveway and dad brought Lylee out. Mom had been praying about this moment alllll morning so I did my best to sit still and let Lylee sniff me out. I was very brave, if I do say so myself. After a few seconds she decided I was ok and it was official!

Adoption Day!
Adoption Day! Dad’s pumped.

There you have it! Mom says I am one of the best dogs she’s ever owned. Although the pee spot in the spare bedroom this morning might have her reconsidering…

Stay tuned for a Lylee link-up someday soon!

-Enzo & Louise

My Weekend Nightmare

You don’t have to dig too deep to discover that I am obsessed with my dogs. There are three beating hearts that I would die for and two belong to four-legged canines. In our house our 3 year old Lylee is more bonded to K and our little Enzo is bonded to me. It works nicely during cuddle-time.

Lylee & K
Lylee & K

This weekend Enzo and I made our first attempt at behavioral testing for the Pet Partners program. Enzo is a therapy dog in-training; someday soon we will be visiting sick and injured people in hospitals. I’ve wanted to work with a therapy dog for a long time and when Enzo’s true personality started to develop we discovered that he would make the perfect comfort dog!

Enzo passed all but one challenge. The evaluator had nothing but wonderful things to say about him, but we both agreed he’s a little exuberant. He was not able to ignore the “neutral dog” in the room and so he failed that portion. We overcompensated on socializing Enzo because Lylee tends to be dog aggressive, so we taught him to play with other dogs… and that’s what he wanted to do during the test.

Enzo2

When he failed part my heart sank. I felt my face flush with embarrassment for Enzo and I almost started crying… We have hours of training and +$300 invested in this therapy dog goal. I knew it wasn’t his fault, but I felt like we’d totally failed. Then I looked at Enzo.

He was sad because the other “neutral dog” had left the room, but other than that he sat there wagging his tail, looking at me for the next command. He wasn’t sad- he was just having a good time. We continued with the evaluation, just for the experience, and he was perfect. After we left (and promised to come back and test again) I took him to the pet store for a new bone.

I admit that I was still sad when we left the testing facility. I cried in the car a little bit and called K to tell him the bad news. We came up with a game plan to train Enzo to be a little more disciplined, but deep down I love that he’s so social and happy. While we waited to test he politely greeted everyone in the lobby with a wagging tail. He will absolutely be the perfect therapy dog- Saturday just wasn’t our time.

Enzo

I’m very grateful for Enzo. He reminds me that life is better when you speak softly and wag your tail. Last night I had a nightmare that I turned my back for a few minutes and someone stole him. (Our last trainer and the evaluator joked that they’d steal him in a heartbeat.) I panicked in my dream and then woke up and searched the bed for him. Of course he was passed out against my thigh, same as every night.

Have you ever been visited by a therapy dog? Do you have super crazy dreams based on real-life interactions? Are you sick of my dog-posts yet?

-Louise

Grateful Heart w/ Ember Grey