a "been-there" mom of six offers encouragement
to wives, young mothers, and those not so young,
and simple common-sense approaches to
the "ings" of life:
child-rearing (hints and helps), homemaking (all areas),
cooking (simple, cheap, and do-it-yourself)
making (toys and gifts), preparing (for the unexpected),
maintaining (sanity and peace in this increasingly crazy world) and more---
all aspects of making the most of making do on little---
and having fun in the process.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Kids and Dogs and . . .

the SIGNS of our changing times.

Sometimes when we open our front door the person on the other side is laughing and we are taken aback. Then we remember why.

As you probably already know, we have six kids. Only one is a girl. We also have five "in-law" kids, and 13 grandkids and one great-grandson. Only two are girls.

Over the years, we have had four DOGS: Pinky, Amanda, Lady, and Koko --all girls!

Pinky couldn't stay with us long because when she came to us she was a tiny Weimaraner with cute pink eyes. She quickly grew to where she would literally mow down our 3 and 4 year old kids as she ran to greet them. Pinky was bigger than they were and she was still growing. They weren't growing at the same rate.They were petrified.

Amanda was a lively Dalmatian with beautiful blue eyes. We couldn't keep her because our yard couldn't keep her, in spite of a high fence.

Lady, totally lived up to her name, all of her days. She was an abandoned shepherd mix and stayed with us us until she died on the 4th of July---apparently scared literally to death by loud fireworks when she was home alone.

We took her loss really hard and figured that was the last of dogs for us. The kids were growing up and busy with their own lives. Heidi, our firstborn, was leaving for college.

Just after Heidi moved out we got a call from a family that had a pure bred Lhasa Apso they couldn't keep. We really weren't interested in small dogs but decided to "just go see."  When we opened the car door to get out, Princess Koko jumped in---into our hearts as well as our car.

The boys all loved her. Heidi pouted that she had been replaced so quickly!

We had Koko for 13 years and when she became so old and ill, there was no choice but to have her put down. We held her as the vet injected her. It was so hard. Thankfully it was very quick and totally peaceful.  The boys were grown and out of the home by that time and we were empty nesters. We felt our dog days were over.  And they most definitely were!

Four years later I happened to be reading the classified ads---something I rarely do. And, I just happened to be reading the Pets section---something I never did.

The description sounded just like Koko. We decided we'd take a short 45 minute drive "just to go look." Two of our sons were visiting and they just laughed.

This dog "Puppy" had been in the animal shelter's small cage for 13 days (They said they just couldn't bring themselves to put him down as was the shelter's practice, at that time, after a week. Happily, now the shelter is "no kill."). He was a fairly frequent visitor so they knew his name. He was filthy, and smelly and . . .

We drove, making a few stops,  until we could find a groomer that could take him right that minute and it took the groomer three washes until the smell was gone. Nine years have passed. Puppy is about 13 now and while we dread "the day," we live for the now and the wonderful companion and friend he is.

We were, however, totally correct when we said we were through with dogs!

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