Monday, June 2, 2008

It Could Happen To You

This comes as a word of caution... When you're at a place in your life where you find yourself with an "empty nest," your child(ren) having grown up and gotten married; and you realize that you're eagerly awaiting the wonderful announcement that your first grandchild is on the way... When that happens, don't let your dog get pregnant!

You'll have the best of intentions about "finding them good homes," manning the operation much like an adoption agency, with a long list of criteria to be met and references to be checked. However, when they arrive, you'll marvel at what amazing little creatures they are. You'll watch them sleep and you'll coo, sing and rock them when they fuss (seriously, you will). You'll get up in the middle of the night to make sure Mama heard their little cries for milk and is tending to their needs. You'll nearly cry with joy when their eyes finally open and you'll bust with pride when you see them take their first wobbly steps. You'll spend hours and hours just watching them grow... you'll just find them fascinating! (What?!... I did.)

Then your husband will mention it's nearing the time to think about giving them away... GIVING THEM AWAY! And you'll look at him like he just asked you to harvest your beating heart and serve it to him on a platter; but you'll gently respond with, "I'm not ready to talk about it yet" (and you really won't be). So, 8 weeks will turn into 10 weeks; and 10 weeks will turn into 12 weeks; and 12 weeks will turn into 14 weeks. Then, finally, no more talk of giving them away... they're yours forever! (Cuz he got hooked, too.) And you'll be thankful she only had 4 when it could have been closer to a dozen!

They'll turn your world upside down. Your pool cage will lose it's screens because energetic pups ran straight through them. Large portions of your yard will turn into a sand pit because it's their favorite place to play and wrestle. You'll always have at least a mild dusting of dog hair on your tile floor. You'll say "no barking" and "be gentle" as often as you used to say "do your homework" and "eat your vegetables." And you'll find that you don't entertain as often as you used to because "you have a mess of dogs!"

But you'll find that you're spoiling them (just a little)... raising them with a milder hand than you did their mom, dad and "uncles." You'll find their antics entertaining and even precious! You'll find it both delightful and intriguing that in each of them, you can pick out varying physical traits and peculiar habits of their parents. You won't mind stepping over and around them in the kitchen while you're preparing dinner... cuz they just want to be where you are. Your heart will melt when they compete with each other for your affection. And you'll find yourself smiling a lot, realizing that grandchildren of the furry variety bring a whole lot of joy! (While still anticipating the announcement of the "flesh of my flesh" variety.)

Happy 1st Birthday to our Four Fabulous Furry Ones!

In the order of their appearance...

This is Riley. He looks just like dad.

This is Emma ... the Divine Miss Em!

This is Blaze... our Big Boy! He looks just like mom (though she's extremely petite and he has become the largest dog of our bunch).

And our sweet little peanut, Sara (her "middle name" is Cuse, i.e. Syracuse...!)

Remembering the earlier days...

They're just hours old here.

Riley has had enough to eat and just wants to snuggle (he often scooched to this location near mom). Poor girl looks tired.

Emma's tiny foot next to her mother's.

Blaze was always scooching under the blankets... he did this himself.

Sara loved to snuggle her mom.

Riley has grown a bit... about three weeks here.

Oh, sleepy Emma!

This is what I meant about rock them to sleep... I hated when they got too big to do this!

Sara's eyes are beginning to open!

Yes, they're enchanting!

They're growing! What a funny position for nursing!

They're big enough now to try puppy food softened with a bit of water (though they also still nursed for a few more weeks).

Riley close up at about 4-5 weeks.

Emma close up... about the same age.

and Blaze... (don't you just want to squeeze him and smell him?! Mmmm.)

and Sara... she's so little and cute!

Emma would like to have dad's ball.

Riley says, "I'm gonna get you!"

Mama plays with Blaze and Sara.

This is what I mean by "be gentle." It looks ferocious, but they were just playing (and the red in Sara's mouth is just fuzz from a toy).

Playing outside - 10 weeks old.

Mama has her figure back! I wish you could sit on my patio for about an hour and just watch these two play (oh, and that's dad, Bruiser)! They are so entertaining... and Zeila is an athlete like I've never seen before. Her speed and agility are amazing!
Our neighbor, Luke, is a bull mastif/boxer mix. He wishes we had a doggie door in that fence so he could come play, too. He's such a good boy.

Look-a-likes... Riley sees something interesting outside. His dad has noticed it, too.

Look-a-likes... Blaze and Zeila. Looks like Blaze caught a whiff of something.

Look-a-likes... Sisters, Emma and Sara share a piece of bark.

Oh my, Zeila getting bombarded by her pups (all of whom are now bigger than her). She loves it - she's a pretty, pretty princess who plays like a tomboy!

And Bruiser is eager to give Joe a kiss!

And if those weren't enough photos to look at... there's more!!

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I'm a wife, mom, and grandma living in rural Vermont. I spend 40 hours of my week working outside my home and away from my garden, but am nevertheless passionate about healthy eating and sustainable living. By sourcing nutrient-dense food from local farms and avoiding processed foods, we are realizing how our over health is being impacted for the better. I’m excited to have you join me as I share what we’re learning and invite you to offer your insights in the comments. “…giving thanks in all circumstances…” 1 Thess 5:16-18