We made it 3 months and everyone is still alive and I have some of my sanity left! Guess what?? 3 Dogs is crazy. Don’t let anyone tell you it is easy. Don’t go to the shelter and think “I want to be like them!” Believe me you don’t! We have about 3 days a week that are easy peasy…the rest of the week is like running a zoo, but I do love it! And I am happy to give rescues a home. It kills me to know how many dogs are not as lucky as these 3 fools!
Riley needed a buddy. He loves having the big dogs to play with. Bailey is the silliest girl you have ever met. She loves everyone (except the mailman) and enjoys life. She doesn’t care what is on the agenda for the day as long as someone tells her she is a beautiful dog. She loves compliments!
Rufus is my Everest. It took weeks to figure out his moods, sounds, eye rolls, and needs. He definitely did not have good human interactions prior to coming here. Bailey probably had no human interaction which is why she LOVES you to tell her how pretty she is! Rufus has the biggest heart and sleeps on top of me almost every night. I have to roll him over multiple times throughout the night as I can’t sleep with him on my chest! I thought Riley was a Stage 5 Klinger, but Rufus takes it to a whole new level. He is so strong and has to protect me and the house. Almost to the extent that it is overkill. Riley is his assistant. If Rufus is barking you can bet Riley is right next him! Most times the two of them actually have no idea what they are barking at, but will always back each other up! The good news…I don’t think anyone is going to break in anytime soon!
Things we are still working on….
1. Not acting like the world is ending when the mail lady arrives.
2. Not humping each other.
3. Not barking on the porch before 9am or after 9pm. If you live near us…we are trying!
4. Not stealing treats from each other.
5. Not blocking Uncle Ed from coming on the porch or in the house.
Riley spent the day at his second favorite place…the Groomer’s! We started off a little rocky because Riley always has his fur trimmed on the first table. This week Mindy wanted him to use the second table which caused several “evil eyes” and I had to convince him that it was okay. He is so patterned. Once he got over the table situation and Mindy promised extra back rubs he decided to give everyone a smile!
His best buddy, Murph, hangs around the salon while Riley is trimmed and bathed. Murph does not stand up to greet anyone at the salon, but he knows I will fork over a few treats and always makes his way over to remind me that he does in fact like milk bones. Unlike Rufus’ adventure this week Riley is a gem while out and about. He loves people and loves a bath! Riley loves to have his back rubbed while you bath him. His little eyes close and he smiles. If you mention “bath” or “Mindy” you better be ready to get in the truck to go!
Now my little buddy is all clean for Santa! Bring on the Christmas Cheer!
$14 later and Rufus is a new man! He has a hard time trusting people so tasks like clipping nails are always more difficult than they need to be. One of my best friends is a dog groomer, but since I am not strong enough to hold him still she can’t trim his nails without fear of cutting him. Plus he bucks like a horse, gives evil eye, and pretends he is going to bite in order to scare her off. She isn’t afraid of him, but he puts on a good show!
Our vet is AMAZING and has come up with the perfect system to cut his nails with the least amount of stress for both him and the staff. Rufus just has to visit on surgical days so that the waiting room is empty and there are 4 lovely technicians available to help hold him down, keep me calm, and trim his nails.
As soon as we got in the truck he started to panic. He has a fear that he won’t come back home and starts to hyperventilate. Upon arriving at the vet’s office he refuses to walk across the parking lot and I have to drag him into the office. Once inside he sits up against the door in the corner crying to leave. By the time he goes in the back to trim his nails he is almost to stroke point. As soon as they bring him back to the waiting room he dashes for the truck and waits patiently in the truck as I pay the bill. On the ride home he refused to talk to me and kept his head buried! From start to finish this entire process including the drive to and from the vet is about 16 minutes, but it feels like 3 days!
Their office was decorated beautifully for Christmas, but Rufus did not want to see the tree. Now he is back home on the couch holding his dog and he is happy. (I can’t actually get a photo since he is mad at me, but this morning’s photo is pretty much an exact replica except now his nails are nice and short!)
I promised a special dinner tonight to bribe him into talking to me again…
Bailey refers to herself as the Queen! I just received her license renewal from the county and her breed is marked as English Hound. I don’t know who she bribed at the county, but I am pretty sure she is from the deep south…not Buckingham Palace!
Yesterday I had to save the Queen’s Life. While eating dinner she choked on a piece of dog food (just another reason Riley insists on eating human food) in the kitchen. Luckily I was in the kitchen while she was eating and as she gasped for air I was able to help get the food out of her throat. I knew it was bad because as she was choking Rufus started taking food off of her plate and she didn’t go after him. Rufus never misses an opportunity to take advantage of a situation.
Once she was able to breathe I got her a fresh plate of food. The good news–she is fine. The bad news–now that I “saved her life” she is following me around everywhere. Last night she slept on top of me in the bed with her paws on my chest. I already have two stage 5 clingers in this house…I really hope she goes back to her independent self today!
The week of Thanksgiving is my “busy season.” We spend countless hours packing Christmas Stockings for Troops serving overseas. Riley, Rufus, and Bailey spent Thanksgiving day watching the Macy’s Parade, helping hang Christmas lights, and pack boxes. Riley snuck a few extra treats since he worked so hard helping with the Christmas decorations!
Since the dining room is filled with boxes we head to Grammie’s house to celebrate Thanksgiving! This year I made carrots, cranberries, and cornbread! Rufus was less than pleased Thursday afternoon to only smell carrots cooking…Luckily Grammie had roasted the turkey and Rufus recovered!
Dinner was not as peaceful as I would have hoped, but with a beagle on hand as least we didn’t lose the turkey! Rufus is taller than the table and Big Ed does not seem to think he will help himself. He is wrong…Grammie and I “guarded” each other’s plates multiple times throughout the evening! Halfway through the meal it was obvious Rufus was not going to calm down so I took him for a walk. After a plate of turkey, a walk, and a busy bone he curled up on the floor for a nap. At that point I could enjoy my dinner…it was worth the wait!
Rufus is just not designed to travel. He is a homebody and suffers anxiety when out of the house. Bailey and Riley love to be at Grammie’s house, but we can’t leave the big guy home alone so we just have to deal with his issues. I have said it before and I will say it again…Rufus is my Mount Everest! He is just where he needs to be, but some days this dog drains us! And just at the point when you are going to lose it he smiles and you know it is worth it.
Last week we celebrated Grammie’s Birthday! We enjoyed dinner at the house with the Four Legged and just in case we all forgot Bailey was sure to remind us that she does indeed love Oakmont Bakery cupcakes! I was supposed to just pick up a cake at the bakery, but the specialty cupcakes were calling my name! How could I resist chocolate gnache? I sent the leftover cupcakes home with the birthday girl, but not before Bailey had just a small taste! Unlike the craziness of Riley’s birthday I bribed the Four Legged with bones so that the Two Legged could enjoy a somewhat quiet meal.
Later in the week I surprised Grammie with High Tea at The Inn on Negley. The Tea was amazing! It was one of the first meals in months without someone barking or trying to steal my plate! I am not really a tea drinker, but their blend was so good I am drinking a cup of Holiday Tea each evening as I try to keep up with paperwork and holiday happenings. We are getting ready for “Turkey Day” which in Rufus’ world is his favorite day of the year!
The icy rain has turned to snow and Riley is ready!!! Grab your coat and mittens because it is time to play. Even in his old age he was the first one out the door rolling through the front yard. Rufus is boycotting winter and is currently online looking at Florida rentals…
I love the show “The Middle” and this past weekend I was channeling my inner Frankie Heck! I drove up to college to pick-up the boys and two of their friends so that we could go to the Pittsburgh Steelers Game last Thursday. It was Military Appreciation Night and we were offered tickets from a friend. It was a “bucket list” dream for one of the boys and I will never turn down a chance to show some love to Veterans! We made it to the Game just in time to watch the US Army paratroopers arrive. It was amazing! And if you are a Football Fan it was the game of the week! Having the opportunity to spend the night at the game with the boys will be a cherished memory for years to come.
We arrived back home around 1am and Bailey was in the dining room window counting heads. When she realized I was not the only one in the truck she went berserk. I apologize (again) to our neighbors for the noise. Rufus and Bailey were beyond excited to see the Two Legged! The sounds that come out of Rufus when he is excited are unexplainable. Maybe like a dying sea otter jumping up and down on a whoopee cushion? Riley on the other hand came out of the bedroom like a little old man. He was not thrilled to be woken up and promptly went back to bed! As he was grumbling down the hallway Rufus was hyperventilating with excitement. Rufus was on top of his buddies all weekend long. It is hard to remember a year ago when he would pin people to the porch and it took 3 of us to get him in the house. Just a little love to soften up that big bully!
Friday morning I was up early and realized as the garbage truck was pulling onto the cul de sac that we forgot to put the rest of the garbage out. Now for normal people that is no big deal, but since I am crazy about getting rid of trash and I run a business from my home I was in “Frankie Heck” mode running through the house grabbing garbage and yelling “The Garbage Truck is here!” After a quick clean-up I headed to meetings across town leaving 3 Four Legged and 3 Two Legged to fend for themselves for the day. Riley was in the hallway as I closed the door and I told him he was in charge!
With it being so close to Christmas there were a lot of organizations dropping off supplies for the Troops. The two legged spent the better part of their day unloading trucks and bribing Four Legged with bones. By the time I got back to the house the dining room looked like the North Pole! I had no choice, but to reward everyone with chicken wings from their favorite local restaurant. Rufus and Bailey were drooling with excitement and I am pretty sure a few of the Two Legged might have been doing the same!
On Saturday I did the impossible…I had a houseful of dogs, college kids, and Care Package Volunteers. I don’t normally schedule “big volunteer” days when the boys are home from college, but since the game was a last minute opportunity the schedule was jammed with care package plans. It was controlled chaos. The volunteers loved having the college kids because they could do all of the heavy lifting and occupy Rufus! Riley was in his glory with people covering every inch of the house and Bailey took advantage of the chaos to sneak treats every chance she got! As we sat down to dinner one of their friends told me we have the coolest house! I can’t say I feel the same way, but we certainly have a blessed house!