Thursday, December 27, 2007

My year in pictures

2007's adoptions

I've had a whopping THREE adoptions this year...but we've only had four fosters so that gives us a 75% success rate. And I'm not counting Marley, since WE are the suckers who adopted her!

1. Clementine - adult female found on my front porch. Could have belonged to a neighbor I suppose...but she was intact and roaming without identification so that's not my problem. The lesson here is, don't let your pets roam near my house. I have my eye on a huge male tom cat that lives in the neighborhood right now...

Clementine was adopted on January 6, 2007. I'll never, ever forget that - Pepper died later that same night :-(

2. Next up is Minnow (a.k.a. Minnie Pearl) - 9yo blind female. Dumped at Baldwin County Animal Control in the middle of the night. In January. Classy people, I'm certain...but I digress. We drove down to pull her in late January and she was adopted in April. She now lives in Montgomery with the director of a German Shepherd rescue group, and believe me, Minnow is in charge of the German Shepherds!

3. Finally. my sweet Georgia - 3yo adult female. Georgia was found with one pup living at Samford University in Birmingham. When I was first contacted about her I had no clue what I was supposed to do with a slightly dog aggressive American Bulldog. But we figured it out - we raised the money ($475) for her heartworm treatment and she was a fixture at our house for more than five months. Man, we love this girl!

Georgia was adopted in early November and while she's still adjusting to all the changes in her life, she's doing quite well. We're not always heartbroken when our fosters leave (especially the puppies!) but we'll always have a special place in our hearts for Georgia.

So, that just leaves us with Miss Ruby's amazing to me that I've adopted out an adult cat, an ancient blind Chihuahua and a slightly dog aggressive adult American Bulldog...but I can't seem to GIVE away a young, small breed pup with no health or behavior problems!

Ruby's time will come, I'm sure of it...

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas is over?!

Christmas is so different as an a child it's so...magical I guess. As an adult...I don't know how to explain it, except that it seems to be a huge dividing line between the "haves" and the "have nots." I'm blessed to have always fallen into the "haves" category, but as I get older the line becomes more and more apparent. And it seems that there are so many out there who "have not." I generally enjoy the anticipation of Christmas, but I'm not too sad to see it gone for another year.

So now we're on to New Year's...a time to take stock and make resolutions...not too crazy about that tradition either, but I've been working on my list. My goals for 2008 include (but are certainly not limited to):

- I either need to improve my organizational skills or find some new ones! I have so many things going on from day to day that I feel like I spend most of my time trying to figure out what the hell to do next. I have a daily/weekly planner to I'm going to do my best to keep up to date.

- In keeping with my need for organization, I'm also going to do a better job of saying, "NO!" I'm rotating off my homeowner's association's board of directors this year and I will NOT pick up any activity/function/committment to take it's place. The world will not stop turning if I decline an invitation every now and then. Plus, that's fewer things to write in my day planner ;-)

- I'm going to make more time for my OWN dogs. I spend so much time transporting and fostering that sometimes my own dogs (and their awful manners) fall thru the cracks. I'm scheduling several new classes and will spend more time actively training my dogs rather than relying on damange control once things get out of hand (and things always get out of hand at our house!).

- This falls under both the "organizational skills" and the "dog" category: before the end of 2008 I want to have our life insurance policies squared away and start the foundation work for our trust (the purpose of which will be to care for our dogs should something happen to both Brandon and myself). Go ahead and laugh, but my dogs will be wealthier at the time of my demise than most people will be when they retire (and the remainder of the trust will be donated)! Now, I bet you all want to put your name on the list to get one of my dogs, don't you??

- I either need to increase my dedication to my job (the real one that pays the bills and has nothing to do with dogs) or find a new one. I'm always complaining about being bored at work but I'm doing nothing to make a change. Thing is, I'm positive I can't find the money and flexibility I have it looks like I need to start taking on more responsibility and finding myself more work to do. NOT excited about this one!

- Speaking of "work", I need to decide how far I want to take my side business (sewing, embroidery, monogramming). I've been pretty swamped with orders since Halloween so right now I don't really want to think about it at all...but I'm working on some new dog collars and leashes...hopefully that will make things exciting again.

- Debt. Gross. But I will say that we're more than 3/4 of the way thru my Iron Fist Budget Plan and we're only about 12 months from being totally debt free (except for our one mortgage payment - no cars, no student loans, no credit cards, nothing!). I don't even want to talk numbers but I will say that the first few years of our repationship was lived WAY beyond our means...and we're certainly paying for it. I'll also add that this will be year FOUR that we've not used a credit card. For anything. At all. We're cash only and I plan to be that way until I die (which takes us back to my life insurance resolution).

I'm sure the list will grow but hopefully this time next year I can look back and be pretty pleased with the results!

Friday, December 21, 2007

I love updates!

And Christmas is the perfect time for me to email my adopters with "holiday wishes" in an attempt to solicit an update!

Meet Mina - she and her brother Mason were found by a co-worker of mine when they were only about 8wks old. Mason looked more Boxer-like and was adopted within a few weeks. Mina, on the other hand stayed with us for almost three months. She was adopted by a young couple in Tampa, FL - I met them in Tallahassee the weekend she went home.

Here's Mina at 8wks:

And here's Mina now, a year and a half later (on the right):

LOOK. AT. THOSE. EARS!!! I never thought they'd stand straight up like that! She's doing well and they've just added a new (although older) pup to their family.

Here's hoping my "holiday wishes" work on my other adopters...I'm dying for a Wally update from NYC!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Isn't it weird...

how a simple smell can trigger memories of things you forgot years ago? With my allergies, I honestly can't smell at all most of the time but something about my own perfume today is taking me back to high school...and the person I was dating at the time. And no, my perfume isn't that old...and it certainly isn't men's cologne!

It's the same for me with sounds. I went to a coworker's house a few weeks ago and one of her dogs is battling congestive heart failure...we lost Pepper to CHF almost a year ago. Symptoms vary from dog to dog, but one common symptom is the hacking cough caused by fluid in the lungs. It's like the smell of Parvo, once you experience it, you never forget. I heard Lenny before I saw him...the last time I heard that cough was the night Pepper died...but for a split second, I honestly expected to see Pepper come bounding around the corner. Only he didn't. I was crying so hard by the time I made it home that Brandon was sure something awful had happened...and it was that ugly, elementary school, I can't catch my breath kind of crying. You know what I'm talking about. All from the sound of a dog's cough.

Monday, December 10, 2007

A fly on the wall...

would see this nightly ritual at our house. Marley's invitation to play generally starts with a wallop to the head with the big rubber chicken (or is that the duck? We have so many...). Unfortunately, Ruby is so much smaller than Marley (14lbs vs 50lbs) that the game often ends when Ruby goes sailing across the room like a canine cannonball. At least this time she was just yanked over the back of the loveseat. In Marley's defense, Ruby could just let go of the blasted chicken...

**Disclaimer: no dogs were injured in the making of this video!**

I don't know why I bother...

Every year I think this is the year I'll get good Christmas pictures...and every year I give up and send out plain old boxed cards. We were dressed for a party last night so I suggested we grab the dogs for a few pictures before leaving. I got this nice shot of Brandon with Marley (l) and Lily (r):

So then it's my turn. Brandon gets this lovely picture of me, CiCi (l), the back of Mazie's head (r), and more cleavage than should ever be allowed on any card:

I'm no photographer myself, but come on! Seriously?? That's the best you could do??
Be watching your mailbox for our plain old boxed card again this year *sigh*