Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Good Bye to Ramona

I said good bye to Ramona on Sunday. It was so, so hard. Not because her new family wasn't amazing (because they are!) but because she & I had formed such a strong connection. I LOVE that little girl - she's SO special!

But I did it & it was hard but OK. I could definitely feel God helping me to have peace about it all. (If you think that's odd, trust me, God cares about us, even in details like a tiny Chihuahua!) Her new family posted lots of pics the very next morning so I could see how happy she was & how well she was doing. (I told you they were awesome!) That was so helpful for me!

Here she is in her new home with her buddy Biscuit.
Aren't they cute together?

If I can do it with my Ramona-girl, I know I can do it again! So, I look forward to the next time I get to foster another little sweetie, knowing it will be both wonderful & hard but worth it.

And I still have three great dogs of my own to enjoy, including our amazing, hilarious & entirely loveable Old Jake....

Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Many Faces of Luke

....and all are CUTE!

How we love that boy! 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Family Camp

Pilot Nathan taking Mom & Dad for a ride

Mark brought me a gorgeous water lily - my new fave flower
 - they are so lovely! Swoon!

Ramona went on her first hike & loved it!
(and no, I am not a foot taller than John - must have been on a rock)

We had so much fun camping with some dear old friends & some brand new ones. The kids played hard with their friends all day every day - tag, broom ball, hiking, swimming, canoeing, camp fire, s'mores, singing, learning, home-made variety show,  = perfect camping trip.

Monday, July 23, 2012

A Ramona Update

Ramona is growing on me - what a  sweet & brave little girl she is!
In the short time I've had her, she can now:

walk on a leash nicely
meet one quiet & calm person at a time
drink from a water bowl
come in & out of her crate well
come when called
ride on my lap in the car
go hiking (she loves it!)
and is really getting the hang of the whole potty training thing!

For a dog that could not be touched a week & a half ago, this is HUGE & I'm very proud of her!

But...there is more good news!

I think we may have found her the perfect home!
Really, I LOVE her, and she can stay here, but she will always be in danger of being stepped on by one of my three BIG dogs, not to mention my three active sons...and would be just one of the pack (not that we don't
LOVE our pack!).

In this new possible home, she will be a ""princess" and I'll be thrilled for her if it all works out. (J & A, you know I'm talking about you, right!:)

Anyway, the visit with the possible new family will happen in a few days, so we'll see how it all goes....Ramona's future is looking great either way & I'm so happy for her.

Want a few more pics?
I thought so...


 Practicing her glamorous new look...
She is still a scared little girl, but she keeps on trying...

Monday, July 16, 2012

Ramona - Our Rainy Night Surprise

John was driving home the other night in a terrible rain storm (the kind with thunder & lightening)  when he spotted a tiny dog in the middle of the road. He stopped (Yes, he is a REAL MAN!)  & managed to get a hold of her even though she was running around in confused terror, screaming & biting. He took her straight to our vet who examined her & gave her all the essentials so she could come home. Since then, we have been checking the lost & found ads etc but no one is missing Ramona, and quite frankly, they can't have her back!

Ramona is a 6-7 lb un-spayed pure bred Chihuahua that has apparently escaped from or been discarded from a back yard puppy mill. She has no experience being touched by humans and for the first few days she was here I thought we'd have to euthanize her because she was living in pure terror w/ no quality of life. When I moved her she would bite, scream & her bowels & bladder would release out of pure intense fear. She has no idea that doggies are supposed to go potty on grass and not just wherever they happen to be standing at the moment, is terrified about being removed from a crate or box of any kind, is just learning how to drink from a water dish - I guess some puppy mills give water through rodent-style drip bottles - and has sores on her behind and back legs as well as some deformity on one of her back feet. Apparently, a lot of these behaviors, conditions are very common for puppy mill dogs.

Over the weekend I spend hours just sitting near Ramona, talking a little to her but mostly just reading or working on my lap top, giving her only brief eye contact. After a few days of this she stopped shaking so much & moved a little closer. But then I had to leave for awhile & we were right back to the beginning. She had forgotten I just might be safe.

I was beginning to think this little one should be allowed to go to sleep forever to escape her miserable fearful life, when she took steps toward me, and then more consistently. And then, one day, she carefully got on my lap!

Even though she is still terribly afraid & shaking, little R. continues to try. She is so brave that I have informed her that she is now named "Ramona the Rock Star". Ha! In just a few days, she is letting me carefully pick her up, walking on a leash with me (sort of), and learning to like a chin scratch & a little massage. This is HUGE and I am not sure that her results are typical of a terrified puppy mill survivor. This girl wants to live & she wants to be a pet.  

Am I going to keep her? Will I find her a home? I don't know yet and I'm trying not to pressure myself to decide so soon. She isn't adoptable yet anyway, with her severe fear and lack of house training & needs to be spayed etc. I'm just trying to enjoy the process of seeing her find freedom a little more each day. It's wonderful! :)

... a weary and frightened Ramona, who keeps trying anyway...

Ramona was hiding under the bed, shaking with fear, when Jake (also a rescue dog that is my dearly loved pet now) went over and lay down beside her. His quiet presence seemed to comfort her. Isn't is cool how God can use simple creatures like dogs? I LOVE it!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Love a Million Times Over

Do you see what Luke wrote on his swim cap?

"My Mom loves me."

He wrote, "My Dad loves me." on the other side of it.


...and it's so awesome that he knows it & owns that knowledge!

I really don't have words to express to you how deeply this picture & what it represents touch my heart.


Some things about adoption are hard, very hard. But these kids, our precious sons, are worth it all many times over. Every child is. Every one.

We are gearing up for some really big changes that we hope will help set us up to begin another adoption.  I'll share them with you just as soon as I can. We're figuratively "praying for rain & getting out our umbrellas". It's a bit scary but also exciting.  

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Swim Team

Nathan's jobs at Swim Team are to cheer at the Meets, and practice hard so he can join next Summer. He also gives out tattoos via a Sharpie & it is hilarious to see that 50+ people will be sporting his artwork by the end of an evening. Nathan has lots of friends! :)

Luke's hand stand with a cheering Mark

Luke's dive

Mark's Breaststroke