Monday, February 28, 2011

Love Again?

OK, I think I'm ready to fall in love again...with a new dog, that is! We lost our beloved Ben to age related illness at Christmas & I feel more ready to look at adopting a second dog now. I'm nervous though - we lost two great dogs that we loved in 2010 due to horrible illnesses & our adoption of Juneau has not been all easy.

So...I want a large to very large male with short hair, no undercoat. I'm actually allergic to all dogs but the shorter hair seems to be better for me. I'm looking for a dog that loves, loves, loves people, as I'd really like to work towards a TDI (Therapy Dog license) again. I loved earning that title with my German Shepherd, Hunter, several years ago. The learning is fun & the actual therapy visits are just really "my thing". 

So, my first choice is German Shepherd (LOVE them!!!) but I am so allergic to them I'm trying to look seriously at other breeds.  So - it's Rottweiler, Labrador Retriever, Boxer, and maybe Great Dane, but I think I have to rule out the Danes because they are just so big! We like to take our dogs on vacation with us & once you load up a Great Dane there's not much room for anything else! Can anyone think of a fabulous breed I'm overlooking? I'm open to mixes too.

I've committed to go meet a 1 year old Rotti that sounds like a sweetie in the next few weeks (it requires a bit of a road trip). It's a big decision for me & I so want to make a great choice. We love Juneau but we just didn't "see" how afraid of men she was when we adopted her. It is so bad that I don't think she'll ever make TDI, let alone even a basic CGC.  She is a wonderful dog just for our family but we love to do so much with our dogs, that it feels pretty restricting that we have to be so vigilant with her in public places. Her fear bullies her into bad behavior. 

Anyway, here I go...anxiety & all...taking the plunge into a new family member & (I hope!) therapy work partner......


Thursday, February 24, 2011


It's unofficial but Spring has arrived here! We're LOVING it! 
I am always surprised how much better weather lifts my spirits!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Like Father, Like Son!

John was working on his lap top the other night & I had to giggle when Nathan got up next to him on the couch with his own "computer".

Home School

We've been doing a lot of hands-on science lately - the boys are learning a lot & it's so much fun!

This  particular fish seemed to love Mark! 

 Nana's been learning with us too.

Luke was inspired to trace his body & draw in some of his internal organs & bones. I love all the great learning!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Happy Valentines Day! (a day late)

In the midst of family life's "pressure cooker", I always want to remain so thankful for my Valentines -  John, Mark, Luke & Nathan. How I love you guys! 

Some of  my favorite verses on love are in I Corinthians 13 & I like the way The Message puts it:

"Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than self.
Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.
Love doesn't strut,
Doesn't have a swelled head,
Doesn't force itself on others,
Isn't always, "me first",
Doesn't fly off the handle, 
Doesn't keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn't revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, 
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
Love never dies."

So beautiful! :)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Amazed at the Deep Wisdom of an Eight Year Old...

My kids love money. It's because they love spending it. RC cars, trucks, planes, Lego...are all pure treasure to them. They do chores around the house "on commission" and save until they have enough for the next "Great Thing". One of the boys, in particular, struggles with near obsession, planning what his next purchase will be & how happy it will make him...& on & on it goes...

Many of the great conversations the boys and I have are while we are all driving in our blue mini van. I'm so glad we don't have a video monitor that switches on a movie as soon as we take off, or we'd miss out on such special shared times. (They come along with the drama & bickering, of course!) 

Anyway, on a recent trip, the boys were again discussing their next planned purchases, when Mark piped up with, "You know Mom, we're all pretty dumb. I mean, all of us, ever since the Garden of Eden. We keep thinking getting something else will make us happy but it never does."  

Wow! Is it just me that thinks that is pretty amazing insight for an eight year old? I remember pondering on that when I was in my twenties! Anyway, what a great truth that is! 

The boys and I discussed that thought & talked about how there is nothing wrong with having some nice toys, but that if we expect them to make us happy deep down inside, that we will always be so disappointed. 

The only thing that can fill that empty spot in our hearts is Jesus! God's Son! The one that came to earth to share in our human experience & to sacrifice himself for us, to pay the immense price our ugly sin required, to make a way for us to be made good enough, forgiven,  so that we could know him deeply & intimately & joyfully. 

My boys know that & I know that, at least in a head knowledge way, but I love that we can talk about it together, sharing the mystery of it, letting it travel from our heads down to our hearts! 

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Juneau Update (probably only interesting to you if you are a dog person or working hard to overcome fear in your life)

We've had Juneau 8 months now & she's doing great! She started out terrified of normal household noises. She would 'pancake" herself onto the floor in terror at unknown sounds. Outdoors, she would "kite" at the end of the leash, desperately trying to escape whatever seemed scary to her, however slight it might seem to anyone else.

Now, she is confident & happy in our home most of the time. She is still timid with men, but now manages to behave within normal range. She loves to snuggle with John & me & is very patient with the boys, the cat, & even my parent's dog (who is sitting on her paw in the above picture). 

She has also discovered the sheer joy of going for walks & rides in the van. She wriggles with joy when the leash comes out & pushes her head right into her collar, showing good manners & that she is ready to go!

I have been practicing going to the vet with her. As in, we haven't actually had an appointment yet, but we are getting close! We have walked outside the building, sat inside the lobby etc. She is doing so well, we are going to make a real appointment soon! Yee haw! 

It is slow progress at times but I love working with dogs anyway, & it is a joy to see her growing in confidence, so proud of being a "brave girl"! You never know, maybe some day we will be able to pass her CGC? That would be amazing! :)