Life, Loss & Coping with Tragedy

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After just a few short weeks back in Oregon, I found myself traveling back home to Illinois again last week.

This isn’t really the place where I share too much of the hardships I’ve been through, but when something this life-changing happens, it’s hard not to.

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I lost my dad. It was completely unexpected and I’m left confused and heartbroken. For anyone who has been reading this blog for any amount of time, I’m sure you’ve read my tiny blurbs about my mother. She was my best friend and the woman who shaped me into the crazy animal lover I am today. I lost her at the age of 18 and it completely shifted my direction in life.

My parents were absolutely soulmates. They were together from the ages of 14 and 16 until the day she passed. It crushed my dad in so many ways to lose the love of his life.

My parents were absolutely soulmates. They were together from the ages of 14 and 16 until the day she passed. It crushed my dad in so many ways to lose the love of his life.

It’s been hard to cope with losing my dad but I’m just taking it one day at a time – the only way I know how to keep on moving forward. I am so grateful that I got to see him when I was home in July and that my last memories of him are happy ones.

That’s all I really want to touch on here. I just wanted to say something so that you didn’t think I’d fallen off the planet. I promise that future posts will be filled with happy puppy faces and hopefully some foster dog news in the semi-near future.

My happy place right now. He's helping me cope with this so much more than he'll ever know.

My happy place right now. He’s helping me cope with this so much more than he’ll ever know.

Take care of each other.

Wordless Wednesday | Friendly Intros

As I get to know some of my regular clients better, I’ve become much more comfortable with bringing Ru along to meet some of them.

So far we haven’t made any love connections, but he certainly doesn’t mind the extra walks and time outdoors. I’ll take it!

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Two Rus enjoying the company.

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Just sniffin’ out the situation.

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A pretty girl with a pretty coat.

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Hyper puppy meets grumpy old man.

When One Dog Has Your Whole Heart | Fostering, Adopting, and Sharing

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I like to think that I could love another dog. I dream of being a two-dog household and maybe even making room for one or two more in the semi-near future.

But something happens when I start considering adding another dog into our home. First I get nervous, realizing how easy our lives are right now with just Rufus. He’s incredibly low maintenance and super easy to have around. Not to mention how much I love being able to pick up and go anywhere with him. Would adding a second dog make traveling and exploring that much more difficult? I honestly don’t know.

We have only fostered three dogs since adopting Rufus. And while all three had some really wonderful qualities, none of them came close to being a forever dog. We even went into one of our foster situations in hopes of adopting her, but we just didn’t click as much as I would’ve liked. Sure she was a joy to be around, but she was meant to be a foster and nothing else.

Hattie was such a doll.

Hattie was such a doll.

But then I started wondering: Was she really not meant to be or am I just closed off because I’m a one-dog woman? I honestly don’t know at this point. Am I so crazy super obsessed with my soul pup that I just can’t find the room in my heart for another forever dog? That would really suck, guys.

Maybe I’m just overthinking things. I suppose that’s possible. Maybe I will just know when we find the right dog for our home. After all, it took us three months to even discuss adopting Rufus while he was still our foster dog and five more to make it official. We really are a slow-and-steady kind of family. I blame the guy I live with for most of the indecisiveness, but I have to admit that I can be a perfectionist as well.

Taking our sweet time doing our thing..

Taking our sweet time doing our thing..

Then again, I can’t emphasize it enough: I’ve loved and adored my fair share of 4-legged creatures, but I have never had a connection like this before. Rufus really is my best friend and constant companion. Maybe that’s been his plan all along…

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Surprise! I’m perfect! Well, for you at least…

So for now we’ll just keep looking and fostering and we will keep our options wide open. Because let’s face it, I refuse to believe I couldn’t love ALL THE DOGS. That’s what crazy dog ladies do best.

How about you? Was it hard for you to add another pooch to your pack, or is it something that happens naturally? If you are a one-dog household, do you have plans to add more? What is your criteria for a forever dog? I’m so interested in this topic! 

Wordless Wednesday | A Little R & R

While we were away, Rufus got to stay with one of my good friends on her farm. He got to run wild, bark at piglets, sleep in the bed, and pick berries with his mouth. Since being home, he’s been doing a whole lotta lounging. Basically he needed a vacation from his vacation.

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I totally get it, dude.

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Oh! There I am!

Hello out there!!

For the past 13 days, I have been visiting family and friends back in Illinois. Because it was a planned surprise visit (we surprised my brother as well as my bf’s mom), I didn’t want to ruin anything by posting any clues on the internet. It totally worked and many tears were shed. Success!

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Since Rufus didn’t come with this time, there isn’t much to share on the topic of dogs. However, enjoy a few beautiful photos from our trip across the country as well as Chicago in all its glory.

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I’ve missed this little place on the interwebs. Be back soon with more pup stuff! Promise.

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Surprise! I’m a good boy!

Rufus really likes to surprise me. I mean he really, really loves to prove me wrong. And sometimes, I’m totally cool with that.

Yesterday we went to visit my friend and her boyfriend on their gorgeous farm. I’ve been friends with Erin since elementary school in Illinois and somehow both of us ended up in the beautiful state of Oregon. We’re still really close and we also both really adore our dogs. Like, crazy dog lady status.

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Who else takes close-up photos of their dog’s glorious jowls?

Since we’ve lived out here, Rufus has become really close with Erin and she’s even watched him a few times for us. However, she has lived with her boyfriend for awhile now and Ru has never had the opportunity to meet him. And since we have a vacation planned and poor Ru won’t be able to go with, we finally had to suck it up and get these two dudes together.

Some behavioral history on Rufus: he’s iffy with new people, especially men. Sometimes he can be completely cool with strangers right away and other times he embarrasses the crap out of me. I mean…he’s a complicated guy and I just never know which Rufus I’m going to be bringing to a situation. Yep, it’s SUPER fun….

But guess what? He was a freaking all-star yesterday and liked Matt right away. No barking, no weirdo low growling, and he basically just kept his cool. Of course I set him up for success: lots of positive reinforcement for good behavior, taking a really beautiful long walk with everyone around their farm (which is his favorite thing EVER!!), etc. And the most important factor: he saw that both Erin and I (and Moose, his dog friend) enjoyed Matt’s company, which means the world to him. Mom’s cool with this guy? Ok, I’ll let him live. Of course I’m being dramatic, but you get the point.

Rufus and Erin's Moose after a crazy romp at the beach.

Rufus and Erin’s pup, Moose, after a long romp at the beach.

If any of you out there have weary dogs, do you experience the same thing? I find it so fascinating that he really does seem to just intuitively feel how I feel around certain people. Of course this doesn’t work every single time, but I’m always so thankful when it does. If there was every any doubt, he is absolutely my soul pup.

My little mood ring.

We cool?

We cool?