children, dogs, family, humor, motherhood

The Secret Plan

I’m about to share with you a highly effective yet secret way you can stalk look-out for your seventh grader.  It’s so top-secret that if your name is Full Speed, you must immediately stop reading this and step away from this blog post.  I’m totally serious.  You do not have a high enough security level clearance, and more importantly, you would be on to me.  Walk away, Full Speed.  Walk away.

Full Speed walking one of our highly-trained extremely adorable dogs

Part one of my secret plan is that you have to get a dog well in advance of your middle-schooler having to take the bus to school.  I’m talking maybe a decade or so in advance.  Trust me, this will help you seem credible when the chips are down.  After you have secured your status as a dog owner, you have to start walking them religiously to the point you become well-known in your neighborhood as the ‘dog lady’ which, let’s hope, references your dog ownership and NOT your appearance.  Anyway, you have to walk the same route day after day.  You must casually interact with all the middle schoolers who hang out at the bus stop at the end of your subdivision.  This part is actually pretty awesome because you get to bring some levity to their day and your dog will love the attention.  If you want to be extra sneaky, get TWO dogs.  I’m telling you, middle schoolers will love you for it.  The more fluffy appreciation they receive to start their day, the more you fit in under the radar.

Once you have this routine solidly on lock-down, then it seems completely normal for you to check-in on your own kid when the time arrives for him to join in the morning band of middle-schoolers.  Again, it’s awesome to have your dogs bring so much happiness especially now that your own kid is included in the bunch.  See?  Stealth stalking  supervision complete!

And, I will neither confirm or deny at this point because my plan is working so beautifully, but it’s possible my fluffy companions are robotic stunt dogs.

Whatever it takes.  Do whatever it takes.


dogs, family, motherhood

Does Awesome Have a Limit?

It was Father’s Day 2017 and we were seated outside Mad Dog’s favorite neighborhood restaurant.  The discussion turned mildly serious as we contemplated the on-going possibility of adding another dog to our home.  Mad Dog was insisting we had to get a puppy (says the man who doesn’t have to train the puppy!).  I stood my ground and was still pulling for a rescue dog.  However, the rescue option hadn’t been going very well.  The dogs were either too far away or were already adopted before we had a chance to blink.  I was starting to lose hope in fulfilling my dream of rescuing a dog.  I explained to my three guys that whatever dog we may find, this dog had to be something special.  This dog had to live up to the high standards set by our White Fluffy Dog that passed away last summer.  This seemed like a mighty tall order.

The next night as I was laying in bed feeling rather hopeless that a second dog was out there for us, a thought struck me.  Maybe in a lifetime we are only afforded a certain amount of awesome.  I mean I have an incredible husband, two amazing kids and still had the good fortune of having our Little Guy shih tzu around.  And, don’t get me started about our White Fluffy Dog, I could go on about her for days.  She was such a rescuer and always ran towards hurt and sadness, never away.  She was always, always there for me.  Thinking back about all the ways she loved me and my family, I thought maybe I’m being selfish. Who gets to have so much, even if it is just the memory of awesome, and expect more?

In my heart I said a prayer.  I directed it to our White Fluffy Dog but honestly, I don’t know who or what else may have been listening.  I simply said, “If I have reached my limit of awesome, I understand.  I am so grateful for all that I have, all you have given me and if there is that right dog out there for us, please send them our way.  Otherwise, I will make peace with life exactly as it is.  I trust you know what is best for me and our family and I let it go.  I’m letting the whole thing go.”  My heart felt heavy with sadness while I thought these words.  Still, underneath that heaviness, the swirling of gratitude I had accessed was a comfort.  I very much wanted another dog, but knew I would be okay if we didn’t ever find one.

That was Monday night.  Wednesday morning an alert popped up in my email for a dog that matched a description I had set up in an information base.  She was four, she was fluffy(!) and she was potty-trained.  She also happened to be fostered in the town right next door!  She seemed too good to be true.

I immediately set to work filling out an adoption application for her.  I felt hopeful, but I was cautious.  A dog this special was certain to generate a ton of interest and applications.  I hit send on the application and once again, let it go.

The next day I got a call asking if we were available to meet this wonder dog.  By Saturday we arranged a meeting with her and as soon as we met, we knew she was ours.


This new girl is so much like our White Fluffy Dog in so many ways and she is so different.

All I know is that she is home, life is good and awesome has no limit.


children, dogs, family, gratitude, happiness, humor, kids, motherhood, parenting

Walks are for the Dogs

It seems that as long as T.Puzzle continues to do well, the return of the dogs is permanent.  Full Speed has stated that since having them home, he is the happiest he’s ever been in his whole life.  T.Puzzle is excited because he is no longer the shortest living being in our household.  For me, I am in my element when I am walking the dogs.  There is something about their quiet company with nothing but blue sky overhead that fills my heart with joy.  I have even made it a standing ritual that on most days during the week, the boys and I will walk to school with the dogs.  I use the term ‘walk’ loosely.  I need to invent a word that falls somewhere in between walking and standing still.  I’m not sure why exactly that it takes us 45 minutes to walk a 20 minute distance.  Of course once we begin our walk, I am subjected to loads of feedback concerning the weather conditions.   One boy will tell me that he’s certain a blizzard is coming because it is so cold while the other thinks the wind may freeze his face off.  Keep in mind, we live in a very warm climate and it’s only November where most days the temperatures still climb near 80 degrees.  I have attempted some preventative measures to help minimize the climate related feedback.  I brought out a pull-over hoodie for Full Speed to wear on a particularly chilly morning.  He took one look at it and said he wasn’t going to wear it.  Apparently, he got ‘trapped’ in it last year and he wasn’t willing to ‘go in that direction’ again.  All I can say is, thank god for zippers and get your shoes on boy…it’s dog walkin’ time.

ry=400-10 ry=400-9

children, dogs, family, gratitude, humor, kids, motherhood, parenting

2nd Place

By all accounts, everything is going great with my dog. We also welcomed her long-time shih tzu companion so we are now a family of six. Honestly, the most challenging aspect has been living up to the high level of admiration that both these dogs bestow on me.


T.Puzzle seems to be doing good healthwise so I am cautiously hopeful we can keep the dogs permanently. I constantly remind T.Puzzle that if at any point, he doesn’t fare well, that it will be okay for the dogs to relocate again. He responds by saying, “I don’t mind if I sneeze, Mom. I really like having the dogs around.” .

Since I make over my dogs in a ridiculous fashion every, single day, I said to T.Puzzle, “Do you know who I love more than my dogs?”

“Who?” he asked.

“You, of course!”

“Mom, do you know what I love the most in the world?”


“Soccer. I love it more than you. I love it so much I could play it every day!”

“Really? You love soccer more than me?”

“Yep, but Spaghettios comes in third.”

Ouch! It could have been worse though. If I hadn’t beaten out the canned noodles, I may have lost hope entirely.

T.Puzzle:  so adorable, so honest, so glad he's my kid
T.Puzzle: so adorable, so honest, so glad he’s my kid