Life at the Speed of Luna: the Next Adventure Begins

I’ve said it many times. Our dog, Luna, would drop me like yesterday’s chewy bone for anything with a hint of newness. She is always up for the next adventure. She’s always evolving as well, adapting to new challenges. For example, when she wanted out of her pen, she went under the gate. When we blocked off that exit, she exploited a hole in the fence. When we sealed that egress, she considered using the corner braces to climb over. Though she hasn’t yet done that (I caught her in the act and put the kibosh on it), I fully expect she’ll get there someday. But as frustrating as it is sometimes to keep one step ahead of this adventure seeker, it’s also somewhat inspiring. It’s admirable to me that she does not give up and she doesn’t stop attempting expansion of her world. She’s not content to let the … Continue reading…

Reuniting K9: A Happy Story

A couple of weeks ago, I was driving home, really looking forward to a nice, relaxing evening. As I puttered along the county road, I went around a curve and saw a small black lab standing smack-dab in the middle of the pavement. Cars were coming from the other direction, swerving around him, and he just kinda stood there like he was thinking, “Cars are neato!!”  He wore no collar and I could tell immediately that he wasn’t your typical country dog. He just looked a little too much like he was absolutely drunk on freedom. I pulled over and rolled down my window. Bounding up to my car, he jumped up to say hello. Wiggling and delighted to meet me (which is awesome for my self-esteem, by the way), he was one of the friendliest dogs I have ever met, an absolute love. Well, I couldn’t just leave him in … Continue reading…

A Life Lesson from His Furryness of the Expressive Eyebrows

We pulled into the parking lot and found a spot near the front door. As I turned off the engine, I reached down and pulled back the tabs on the door panel that raised the windows. I feared the whiskers on Moose’s sugar-lipped snout might be pinched between the rising glass and the door frame, but he pulled his black nose back into the Terrain as the gap slowly closed. “Are you ready for this, Moogie?” I asked, knowing the question was more for me than him. Was I ready? “We can do this!” I affirmed aloud as he sat in the back seat, his pink tongue hanging out of his mouth. Deaf as a post, he couldn’t hear a word I said. However, his eyebrows seem to point up in the center, giving his brown eyes a look of worry as they darted left and right. I wondered if … Continue reading…

Start Small: My February Commitment Update

Start small. To build any habit, the number one tip for success is to start small. Nobody becomes a pack-a-day smoker by puffing down 20 cigarettes one day and saying, “Gee, that was fun. I think I’ll do that again tomorrow.” We don’t become overweight by waking up one morning and deciding to; we just make choices that, over time, add up to larger pant sizes and an unwavering love of elastic waistbands. In an earlier post, “February Commitment: My Loyalty Cocktail,” I discussed different types of loyalty we all have to one degree or another, and shared with you my commitment to stretching for 15 minutes every day of the month. The goal was threefold: To participate in a challenge with a friend and serve as her accountability partner; To improve my health; and To flex my commitment muscles and reinforce my loyalty to my own intentions. “Loyalty to … Continue reading…

Gotcha, Luna!

February marks the anniversary of our first “Gotcha Day.” A term I’d never heard before, my friend Patrice introduced me to this catchy phrase known in adoption circles as the day a new member joins a family. Since learning the term, I’ve looked it up online and found that not everyone is enamored with this phrase. Many adoptees find it insensitive or cheeky, a demeaning minimization of their experience of loss. While I’m certain the phrase is not meant to be insensitive, I can see how one person’s joy expressed lightheartedly is another person’s stab at soft skin and wounds unhealed. That being said, the “Gotcha Day” I’m referring to involves getting a girl out of a cage. One year ago, we adopted Luna from the Panhandle Animal Shelter. This post, Courting Lunacy, describes the process and the initial, um, challenges we faced. Since that day – February 10 – … Continue reading…

February Commitment: My Loyalty Cocktail

As I snapped the leash on Luna, our three-year-old bundle of Husky-shaped trouble, I told her, “If only you could be trusted not to run away and chase things, we could let you off this thing.” We live in the country so off-leash dogs are common. Those dogs, like our trusty 15-year-old flat coat retriever, Moose, want nothing more than to sniff things in their realm and know better than to chase deer or stray too far from home. Luna gave me a look that said, “Try me,” but I knew that look. I knew it spelled another runaway dog retrieval mission so I didn’t even take it seriously. I knew that it really meant, “Try me, foolish human.” Then I thought about loyalty. At first I thought that she lacks it. Unlike Moose, who follows me from room to room, Luna doesn’t seem particular about the humans in her … Continue reading…

Clean Floors for Dirty Paws: Tradeoffs in a Life With Dogs

Wipe Your Paws Floor Mat

I’ve heard it said that cleaning with dogs in your house is like trying to brush your teeth while eating Oreos. Indeed, it is an exercise in futility. I can prove it.  Below is a photo of my floor less than two hours after it received a good sweep, vacuum, and mop: Why, oh why, did we opt for the Brazilian Koa laminate instead of a splotchy dark brown carpet with a doggie footprint pattern? It seems that would’ve been the safer way to go. It would’ve been the way for people with OCFD (Obsessive Clean Floor Disorder) to go. If you haven’t heard of it (and I’m guessing you haven’t since I just made it up), OCFD is a genetic disorder passed down from mother to daughter. The chief symptom of this disorder is fretting about the state of your floors, especially when the sun shines on them just … Continue reading…

Courting Lunacy: My Experience Adopting an Alaskan Husky

Luna trying to play with the squirrels.

The Wear-Down A few months ago, Mike decides that we need another dog. We lost our beloved girl, Misty, in 2013, and he misses the energy of a house with two dogs. His first thought is of a puppy but after some discussion, we both agree that an older dog from a shelter will be the way to go. We want to provide a home for a dog in need. Also, our aging boy, Moose, is beginning to act like a grumpy old man and I know that a puppy in his face all day will drive the poor guy batshit crazy. Then I stall. As much as I want to help a homeless dog, I do not want to adopt just yet. I want to make Moose’s remaining years as happy and peaceful for him as possible. I can see how much he relishes being an only dog. After … Continue reading…

Beautiful Girl

Our Beautiful Misty (RIP 12/9/13)

This week in 2014, I wrote a love letter. Dear Misty, It has been one year since you left us, and the hole in my life is still as gaping and wide as it was on December 9, 2013, the hardest day, the day we said goodbye. Your body had started to fail. You could not breathe very well, constantly panting and wheezing with every breath. Your back legs would not cooperate and I suspect you fell down the stairs more than once, never (thank god) breaking any bones, but even the thought of it breaking my heart. I wanted to build you a ramp or get a little chair lift for you but I know you would’ve been too proud to use it. On our walks, Moose and I were always happy to walk slowly, you trudging doggedly along, in more pain than you let on. You stopped more … Continue reading…

Ball Thieves

The past two weeks have been somewhat uneventful. We’ve had great weather, no celebrations, and no exciting excursions. Many in the family have been feeling poorly, and I’m all out of gardening disasters to write about. In other words, not much blog-worthy material. What we have had is a series of spectacular mornings, lazy slow-wake-up mornings where coffee flows freely and breakfast isn’t eaten on the go. This morning I took Moose on a walk to the river and captured a few moments of quiet, glorious beauty. When we got back from our walk, Moose went directly to his precious. What, you say? Moose is in possession of The One Ring?! No, sadly, I’m not talking about J.R.R. Tolkien’s magical ring of invisibility. I’m talking about Moose’s ball. (Minds out of the gutter, people!). The boy has become overly attached to two rubber balls.  He has an indoor ball and an outdoor ball, and nobody is allowed … Continue reading…