for the love of furry babies

I grew up with a dog as a member of our family.  In fact there were three before I was out of the house.  My first dog as an adult was the cutest miniature schnauzer I added to my family from an acquaintance.  My husband and I added our first family dog after we bought our first house 15 years ago.

This December will be 1 year since we lost our first dog to old age.  Cody was a majestic Lab-Weimaraner mix.  He was almost 14 when his age got the better of him.  He is the first dog our girls knew as babies and he loved the girls as much as we did.  We added him to our family the summer of 2001 in August.  I can remember him watching us from our back porch as my husband and I labored with sod after 9/11 doing our best to keep our minds off of the current events in our life.  He even traveled with us on our road trip to parenthood.  We drove to Minnesota for our older daughter’s birth and he came along for the ride. We thought why not? He would get to know the baby from the beginning and we would not have to board him for 3 weeks so along he came in the car for the drive that would change all of our lives.

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As our girls grew older we added a 2nd dog to our family, the infamous Princess Molly Bear, a Weimaraner I came across accidentally needing a home and why not add another Princess to our family?  Molly was 5 when she joined our family and Cody and our girls fell in love with her right away!

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Molly was a great addition to our family.  She lived a happy life with us before dog cancer took her away from us too soon in January of 2013.

Our life is not complete without at least one dog in our family and since having two for a few years was something we ALL enjoyed we again have two furry babies that grace our home with their witty, loving personalities.  We now have a German Shorthaired Pointer, Baron Von Friedmann Bear and a Weimaraner Princess Pepper Lou Lou ages 3 and 2 respectively.

pepper and freidmann soon

The unconditional love our furry babies give us is what makes having them so great!  These two are characters and we ALL love them.

Do you have pets?

Day 18, #NaBloPoMo #BlogHer

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January 31, 2015

Here we are the last day of January.   We are already finished with the first month of the new year.  The time of transitions as we shift from focus on holidays and celebrating with family and friends.  The new year shiny and bright.
Our first month of the year brought a lot of things to my family.  On the first of January we celebrated the 14th birthday of our beloved dog, Cody, in memoriam having lost him the month before.  In thinking of Cody, on this day we added a new dog to our family.  A 2-1/2 year old German Short-haired Pointer, named Freidmann.  Since picking him on New Year’s day we had a few days as a family for him to acclimate to us and bond with our other dog, our 19- month old Weimaraner, Pepper.
two happy dogs 1-1-15
January was a return to our schedule, our routine.  Back to work for my husband and back to school for our two girls.  Back to volunteering in classrooms for me and stepping up the planning of our school’s fundraising Gala/Auction which I am the chair.
In January we returned to the routine of after school activities as well, both girls restarted their ballet classes and Girl Scouts was back on the schedule.
The weather tricked us in January with very cold and frosty mornings, tulle fog on some days and warmer afternoons.  In fact, this last week has been in the 70s in the daytime.  AND the sun is starting to stay out later longer, now setting well after 5PM which shows the promise of Spring and Summer coming sooner than later.
Now that we are back in the swing of things, our life has taken on its natural hum of doing and going.   But there have been a few days scattered here and there that I was going through the motions.  Suddenly stuck unable to get more than simple tasks done.  Was it the gloomy weather or something else?
I will say with the sun and warm of this last week, I have a feeling of lightness and happiness!  Funny how weather can affect you.  This time of year when the weather is warm and nice is also the return of children’s voices outside.  Our girls and the neighbors playing, playing all day long!
So as we end January,  I look forward to February and what’s in store that is known,  and not known for our family.
How is the start of your New Year going?

The birds & bees talk continues

talkin-bout-the-birds-and-the-bees

I did blush, well internally for sure.  You see there was never any talk about our bodies and what they do when I was growing up.  My mother signed the permission slip for first, the film strip in 4th grade, and then the movie in 5th grade about puberty and all that goes along with that.  When I got home after each event, she asked if I had any questions.  Yep that was the extent of my learning about my body and what it could do as a girl and woman.

We have taken a slightly different approach in our home.  We have regular matter of fact conversations and are open to questions about what is this and how does that work.  There may be days you may enter and hear a conversation about penises and vaginas.  I think back to when our oldest was just over 3 years old and asked me how she got into C’s tummy (her birth mother) yep that stumped me not so much the question but the age and it’s not the love and marriage conversation. After checking in with other mom friends who too are mothers through adoption I had a good response that I hoped would help answer her question with age appropriate discussion.  After that she followed up with a “how did I come out of there?” question which I could more easily answer since both my husband and I were at the hospital for her birth on C’s invitation.

We’ve been talking to our girls now 8 and 6 years old about what will be happening for them in the next few years as they reach puberty through some great books – The Care and Keeping of You 2 and It’s not the Stork. Our conversations have been on a question answer system as we read through these books and learn about what’s to come.

Recently we added a new dog to our family.  A 2-1/2 year old male German Short-haired Pointer, Freidmann.  He joins our other dog, Pepper a 19-month old female Weimaraner.  As the two dogs have been bonding, there have been more than playful encounters.  Ones where the male dog has jumped onto the rear of the female and it’s a bit more than fun and our girls have witnessed these moments.  It is now that this brings us to the next discussions about sex and procreation.  We shared age appropriately how a baby can be made.  After sharing what they witnessed and also letting them know humans do this too, they both seemed satisfied with the scientific details of the how since they had just witnessed two dogs trying the act.

Like other discussions in our home and our comfort of allowing questions of any kind, I think we are headed on the right path of knowledge for both our girls.  Giving them the info that will help them better understand themselves and what happens as they grow up.  The birds and bees are a part of our lives and not going away even if we shy away from these discussions.  I really don’t want our girls to learn this from their friends.  I am happy both my husband and I have the same belief about this.  After all he is surrounded by girls and it will be in his face whether he wants it to be or not.  This is the man early on in our relationship had to run to the store for me to get me tampons.  So you see he gets it on some level!

What do you share with your children about the birds and bees?

open door

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Every time around this part of the year my dogs start to get antsy.  Why you ask?  Most of the year here in California it is warm enough in the day to leave our back door open for them to go in and out on their whim.  This is possible as I am home for large chunks of time in any given day.

Now we are in Fall, we are actually getting rain so the door remains closed until a dog asks to go out.  This is hard for my two dogs to comprehend at first. I am getting up more often as they stand at the back door asking to go out. They are stand waiting for me to get to them at the door.  But it is damp and cool so the door opens only to allow them out and I wait for Cody or Pepper to decide that they are heading out.  A good part of the time they are just looking out the door (we have a french door) hoping the door will stay open.

hanging with Cody in our yard

Every year we go through this.  Every year it’s a new learning experience for them that the door will not stay open.  Every year one of us are up and down attending to the dogs thinking they are needing to go outside.

Every year we tell them in or out as the door will not stay open.  I am hoping for an early Spring!

This is day 19 of National Blog Posting Month, click #NaBloPoMo to read the many other bloggers who are participating, Enjoy!