Tempest

Most of the great loves of my life have been dogs. No photo description available.

Big, little, smooth, wiry, I’ve been blessed to have shared my life with a number of exceptional pups. I love cats, too, but they just can’t melt my heart like a smile from a dog can.

Ten and a half years ago, I was living by myself in an apartment in a new town, trolling the internet one night, when I saw the sweetest face. Her worried look broke my heart. I wanted to find this pup and fill her life with smiles. Was it kismet that she was in a shelter just half an hour from my parents? I think it was.

I got my arms around the little fireball and named her Tempest – an apt name for a pup whose eyes never seemed to shut.

Tempe & Sully 2I’m not going to lie – our time together wasn’t always perfect. We got off to a rather rocky start. I’d belonged to a couple of wire haired fox terriers growing up. I knew terriers had strong personalities and a ton of energy, I love that about them, but this wiry, tall Jack Russell was a handful. She was completely feral.  We had to start from scratch, from sit to stay to please keep your over-sized fangs off my face.

No photo description available.I called my parents, locked in a bathroom, bleeding and crying, more than once. I Googled options for getting an exorcism performed on a dog a few times. But with time, effort, a ton of exercise and a tube of Neosporin, we grew to understand each other, and my little Tasmanian Devil became the most affectionate pup I’ve every met. She’d give kisses for hours if your skin could take it.

TS4We adopted a brother for her, and later, a husband, who we shared (My name might be on the marriage license, but he proposed to her years before me. Not that I blame him. 😉 ). TS3

I was incredibly lucky – I’ve never seen two dogs love each other more than she and Sullivan, and ‘our’ husband absolutely adored her and gladly accepted hours of kisses every night.

If you’ve noticed that my blog has been silent for a while, it’s because I was focusing my efforts on caring for her. She was the strongest, bravest, toughest dog I’ve ever known, living each day to the fullest, filling the hours with kisses and playing despite the tumor that had absorbed her cerebellum and continued to take over her brain. Image may contain: dog, outdoor and nature

I would have gladly cared for her forever. The time to say goodbye came much too soon. Every day I wonder if we should have waited longer, if I should have waited until there was a second bad day instead of making the decision the first one, but one morning she refused food, had no energy, didn’t want to move, showed signs of pain, didn’t smile and avoided eye contact.

TS1I knew what the sudden, drastic change in behavior meant. There was no chance of her getting better. And as much as I second guess myself, I know that the best way I could show my love for her was to sacrifice the time I could have kept her going by setting her free instead of forcing her to endure pain, suffering, and an increasing lack of independence, torturing her for my own selfishness.

I’d like to think that, for the most part, we succeeded in giving her the life she deserved. She had the most beautiful smile. She was so full of life. She had endless love to give. She would laugh both at you and with you, she loved showing off, she liked being silly. She was sassy, demanding, difficult, and shed like nothing I’ve ever seen before – she was wonderful.

Missing her is hard, but loving her was so incredibly easy – and worth every second.

Image may contain: dog

Image may contain: dog

39 Perfectly Timed Photos Of Man’s Best Friend That Are Doggone Funny via Pawsome

Some of these are so funny, I had to share – they can’t help but bring you some holiday cheer!  😛        Season’s Greetings!

Click the for more: 39 Perfectly Timed Photos Of Man’s Best Friend That Are Doggone Funny (Slide #1) – Pawsome

My Dogs Sleep Naked

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Yep, that’s right. It’s true. Every night before bed,  their collars come off. Which means every morning when I come downstairs, there’s two little wiggle worms doing the naked puppy dance, waiting to line up and get dressed before going outside. As much as they like their collars coming off at night, they look forward to them going back on in the morning. Their harnesses……..not so much, but since they don’t have a fenced yard right now, it’s a necessary evil.

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The leash can’t be clipped to their collars. Tempest walks great on a leash, until something catches her attention – then she pulls with such force that she chokes herself – and she’s so stubborn that she’ll just keep pulling. Sully suffers from neck-bigger-than-head syndrome, which is exactly like it sounds. His head, being smaller than his neck, makes it very easy for a snug fitting collar to slip off whenever the collar is pulled in that direction. The leashes are necessary because as the bi-bosses of the universe, they’re quite sure that it’s unnecessary for them to take any suggestions about where they should not go.

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This weekend we took them to King Phillip Conservation Land in Sudbury, MA. It’s a nice stretch of woods where you could easily get lost among the labyrinth like trails snaking in every direction. It’s a great place to let the pups get in touch with their wild side, an obstacle course of fallen trees to leap over, stone walls to climb, and feral scents to detect. I love watching them dart about like the little wolves they are, fearless and brazen as they conquer yet another slice of the world. I wish I could let them roam naked and free on their adventures, but what would the neighbors think?   😉

Wild Ponies

Tempest & Sullivan  They come racing full speed ahead to greet me, their furry little bodies bouncing off each other as they vie for the lead. Rearing as they nip and paw at each other for the right to welcome me first. Sliding to a halt in front of me, nuzzling my hands, demanding the attention they deserve. My pups are wild ponies.

My little ponies constantly race around the house frolicking, wrestling, teasing each other with toys. I love when I’m down in the basement and I can hear their thundering stampede dashing about overhead like a herd of wild oxen. Or when I take them hiking and they dart about like little wolves, sniffing, searching, stalking down their prey.Tempest Smiling

Tempest and Sullivan are the sweetest Terrier Terrorists you’ll ever meet. A combined 50 pounds of nub wagging, wiggling joy. Sometimes they’re just plain savage with their over exuberant affection and insatiable demands for attention. They’ll lick your skin raw if you let them.

Sully Posing

Puppy love is not always easy. They’re a big responsibility, and, like children, you have to put them and their needs first. There are days when their needs and demands are overwhelming. Times when you’d like to go somewhere or do something, but you can’t because you have to get home and walk the pups, or you can’t leave them home along that long. But they do make life better, happier, and at times even easier.

Both Tempest and Sullivan are rescue pups. Tempe is a tall, wild haired Jack Russell with the characteristic terrier personality – complete with the big attitude and intelligence. Sully is a…..special blend. Very sweet, good-natured and agreeable. Knowing a dog’s breed can be important in educating the owner about potential health (and behavioral) issues, so I had his DNA tested. My little man is half Schnauzer, quarter bull-dog, and 1/8 both Dachshund and Pomeranian. But they’re both 100% adorable.

Love Puppies

I’m a huge advocate of adoption. There are shelters all across the country teeming with animals waiting for a good home. Large and small, young and old, pure breeds and mixes…..there’s a perfect match out there for every one if you take the time to look. And I hope you do.

Pups in a Florida Garden