A Good Dog | My Heart Dog

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I didn’t want to leave this blog on such a sad note. Of course losing Rufus has been one of the hardest times in my life and not a second goes by that I don’t wish he was still here with me. My heart is broken right now and anger is still winning. Luckily (or not so luckily at all) I’m kind of a veteran when it comes to grief, so I know that time really does heal just about everything and one day I will remember all of the good times over those last few weeks of pure confusion and pain.

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I have changed my handle over there. As of right now, that is the only place I’m currently writing but if that changes, I’ll be sure to keep you updated via that account so stay tuned. I wrote a post explaining why I made the change and what the future holds for me as a crazy dog lady that just needs to share her passion for all things canine.

Here is the post:

I’ve been thinking of ways to honor my heart dog during this time of mourning and this phrase keeps coming up again and again. Rufus had behavioral issues which included fear reactivity, defensiveness, and he even nipped a few times when he was extra stressed. However, through training and recognizing his triggers, our relationship never weakened. Of course there were times in which I was extremely frustrated with him, but I knew all of these moments were teachable ones. Rufus was a good dog regardless of these moments. He adored me and others he let in his circle, learned from his mistakes, and was always willing to try my way…even when he really didn’t want to. 😉 He was a good dog because he was meant for me. He made me a behavior nerd, nutrition obsessed, and taught me a whole new level of empathy for those going through their own struggles. He taught me so much in such a short period of time and I will be forever grateful for that…even when grief just wants me to be angry and bitter. Rufus was a good dog because he was exactly the dog I needed during our time together and he taught me so much about myself and what makes me light up in life. And there’s nothing bad about any of that.

 

Loving Rufus came so easily to me…even when he made it really, really difficult. I had fostered many dogs before him, worked with hundreds of dogs in just about every animal-related field, and then fostered pups after his adoption was finalized. And do you know that I never connected with any of those dogs the way that I did with Ru? Sure there were/are my favorites and there are dogs that absolutely make/made my day brighter whenever I got to work with them, but Rufus was the dog for me. Fostering and then adopting him changed me in a million ways. Our connection was so deep that even those that witnessed it would comment on how we communicated effortlessly without a word being said. He was my litmus test on how I was feeling at any given moment. He was my heart dog and it’s been incredibly hard to even consider loving another dog that way again. And who knows? Maybe I won’t.

But that doesn’t mean I won’t try. I was put on this planet to work with dogs, to nurture those that have been broken or let down by other humans. This kind of connection brings me so much joy and I’d be a fool to let go of all of that. And having my own dog to nurture fully? Well that has been one of the most fulfilling things I have ever done in this life. And I know that I will give my heart to another dog one day and that Rufus would have wanted me to move on and share that love again. It seems close to impossible at this moment but I know this moment will be gone in an instant and I look forward to the moment I lock eyes with a pup who needs me….and who I need just as much.

I’ve felt it before and I will feel it again. It’ll just take time. Because boy oh boy, did I hit the jackpot when I found him. 

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My heart.

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On July 2nd, I said goodbye to my best friend. For months, I knew that something was wrong but all of his tests were coming back with zero results. In fact, he was in stellar health. And then the neurological signs started to show up and we knew it was in his brain. On Wednesday, we got our diagnosis and things took a turn for the worse after that.

I am angry. I thought that he would be around for years to come. Right now my heart is in a million pieces, but I’m trying to remember our life together and how wonderful it was. 

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I have been obsessed with dogs since birth, but Rufus made all of my “crazy dog lady” dreams come true. Our little family road tripped across the country four times, lived in three different states and five different homes. We stayed in countless hotels, explored numerous parks, and hiked just as many trails. Rufus got to put his paws in the ocean and hike up mountains. He went on almost every single vacation with us, helped me raise fosters dogs, came to work with me, and even became my sole employee when I owned my own business. He was my dream dog. He was my constant companion. He occupied my whole heart. There will be no shortage of heartache in the months and years to come but I find comfort in knowing that we had such a full life together, even if it was cut short. Our bond ran deep and I’ll never forget how much one grumpy, wonderful, hilarious, loving and loyal mutt changed my life forever. 

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“My little dog – a heartbeat at my feet.”

I’m sure you saw this coming..

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As much as I wanted to keep up with this blog, it looks like this just isn’t the most inspiring format for me at the moment. Sorry about that. I think that one day very soon, I will probably give this a crack again. And who knows? Maybe it’ll be under a whole new name. I work in the pet industry and I have a lot to say about nutrition, training, adventuring, and products…but I just can’t find the time/motivation to write about all that at this point in my life.

Just a quick update for those of you that may not follow us anywhere else: we are dealing with some health issues regarding Rufus. It’s been incredibly exhausting and stressful. Lots of tests, meds, and research. So far, our luck has been crap. Keep us in your thoughts while we continue to figure out this mystery mutt’s symptoms and why they are happening to him…

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If you love this guy’s amazing face half as much as I do, please continue to follow us on Instagram. I post regularly and I love the creativity and ease of it all. Thanks for following us on this incredible little journey they call life.

Cold Feet, Warm Hearts

Since arriving in Colorado in early February, the weather has been all over the place. One week it’s in the 70s and the next it’s back down in the 30s. But no matter what temp it is, it’s almost always sunny! This has been a very welcome change from the Pacific Northwest.

Little known fact? I absolutely adore the snow and (moderate) cold. Give me a sunny winter day and we can have a whole lotta fun!

A few weeks ago, we had our first snowfall since arriving and took Ru on an epic mini hike. Since he’s kind of an older guy now, I try to keep our hikes around the 4-6 mile range when it’s mild outside. And in the summer? Well he’s not a fan of the heat…so I’m guessing 2-3 miles will be his max. I will make sure to take it slowly and see how altitude affects him in the warmer weather. My poor old man.

Just a few photos from said hike two weeks ago:

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Ugh. I’ll never get over the view.

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And then he snoozed his happy little face off.

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This is still a dog blog |Road Dog

It’s been a crazy few weeks. We’re in the middle of packing up our house and moving…somewhere. Still trying to figure that part out. We really like to fly by the seat of our pants and it always turns out as a pretty awesome experience, but right now? I’m a bundle of nerves trying to figure out the logistics. :deep breath:

 

So here’s a photo of my beautiful pooch with his southwest-inspired bandana looking all kinds of cute. Maybe that’s a hint? Maybe not….only time will tell!

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P.S. If you’re following us on Instagram, you already know that Mr. Rufus had a pretty severe tail injury a few weeks ago. We’re still in the healing process and things are looking ok. Unfortunately this kind of injury can take weeks or months to show any kind of real progress, but we are doing our best to avoid surgery. Fingers crossed!

I hope everyone is having a great week!