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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a hard decision to make

We are a dog family.  I grew up with dogs and shortly after we were married we added Cody to our little family.  It is hard to believe he is almost 14 years old.  And so it is amidst the holiday weekend we are trying to wrap our hearts around a hard decision that we will need to make.

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Over the course of months, Cody has had trouble walking with his hind legs losing their strength.  At the same time he has started to have accidents with his bowel movements.  The vet says his muscles are atrophied and that is why he looks so thin and that’s where his strength has gone.  With that he has lost control of this basic function most of the time.  When it was happening once in a while it was easy enough to be like, Oh Cody.  Now it is two times a day and over the last two nights he has had pee accidents.  At the same time, he is bright-eyed, eating and occasionally very playful.  He has our one-year-old Weimaraner Pepper to keep him on his toes!

This past January we lost our Molly to canine cancer and  she was only 8.  It is hard to think we will lose our boy sometime soon in the same year.  As a way to prepare them, we have been keeping our girls aware of how he is feeling from day-to-day.  When Molly got sicker we would share in the morning if it was a good night or a bad night and what the day ahead would be.  We found comfort in the dog poem A Rainbow Bridge and know we will draw comfort again from this poem knowing Molly will be there waiting for Cody.

I look back over the last couple of years and see how our girls have experienced death in our family at such a young age.  First a grandpa then right after a close family friend.  Earlier this year a beloved dog and this fall another grandma. We have tried to help them process their feelings through these times.  Now at 8 and 6 years old they can share with us how they feel and we can talk through these feelings with them.  At these times we all have these feelings and they can see and learn from us too.

It breaks my heart to know we have this decision ahead of us and what it will mean for all of us in our family.

Day 28 of National Blog Posting Month, click #NaBloPoMo to enjoy the many other bloggers participating!

a family’s best friend

What is our family’s best friend you ask? A dog of course, two of them!

I grew up with dogs and wanted to get a dog after I owned a home which came after I was married.  Our first home had a great yard that screamed for the love of a dog.  There was no saying no to me once we were moved in.  Our first dog, Cody, joined our family in August 2001. He was just 9 months old.  We found him in our search of rescue dogs through Golden Gate Lab Rescue.  Our Cody is now almost 14 years old.  Hard to believe!

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It was in 2010 that we accidentally added a second dog to our family. Accidentally you ask? Well it was not that we were looking when Molly a 5-year old Weimaraner joined our family through the Northern California Weimaraner Rescue group.  She had been posted on a flyer that our boarders had and I could not let her go!  Cody had the final say when her foster family brought her to our home and for him, and our girls it was love at first sight!

molly snuggling with bunny 9-8-13

It’s hard to believe that almost a year ago, our Princess Molly was diagnosed with canine cancer. We chose a holistic approach for her care for quality of life.  She did enjoy her last months but we did lose her in mid-January.

After being a dog family of two Cody, myself, my husband and our girls were lost without our Molly and just a month after her passing we found our Pepper who was 9 months old through the Rescue Me group.  She and our younger daughter enjoy a very close relationship!

jess and pepper

So here we are back to a family of two dogs.  Cody loved Pepper right away just like us.  It’s great to have these two furry family members greet us when we come home, snuggle us when we need love and just be.  For us it’s having our best friends.