Weekend Recap + An Injury Update

TL;DR version:  Foster puppy adopted.  Ran two miles.  Hip/leg still hurts but not as bad.  Not ready to commit self to psych ward just yet.

As I briefly mentioned last week, my little foster pup Penny was adopted.  After having her for three months, she finally had a wonderful adoption application.  (Many, many thanks to Kara for that!)  Friday morning started off bright and early for Penny and I as her adopter lives clear on the other end of Tennessee–a 6-hour drive from here.

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Snoozing in the passenger’s seat just a few minutes from our destination, clueless that her life was about to change forever!

The family that she went to has another hound that they had rescued just a few months ago, two rescue cats, and three kiddos (the oldest is four!), so lonely is something this little girl will never be!  Of course I teared up when I left (and then ugly cried in the truck lol I’ve become so attached to this one), but seeing how happy she is in the pictures her new mom has posted to FB and texted me, I know she is right where she is supposed to be!

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Once I cleared away the snot and tears, I realized how famished I was.  It was after 4pm and I hadn’t had anything but a Larabar all day.  I used the Happy Cow app to find a veg-friendly place.  The closest one was a place called Cootie Brown’s.  The name cracked me up, and it was 2 miles away, so I drove straight there and had a delicious grilled veggie sandwich.

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I also used my dining-alone time to find a hotel.  I had told the rescue and the adopters that I would spend the night just in case anything went wrong and Penny needed to come back with me–plus I have a friend in Bristol that I haven’t seen in years, so that was a HUGE bonus and incentive to stay the night!  But I was on my own for that evening because Rebecca couldn’t meet me till the next day.  I had noticed road signs on my drive there that said “Asheville” so I knew I was only about an hour away.  I have always wanted to see the Biltmore Estates, so I came VERY close to driving on to Asheville to get a hotel so I could get up and go tour the Estates the next morning, but I ended up talking myself out of it.  It was supposed to rain the next morning, and the web site said that one should allow 6-8 hours to tour the entire grounds.  I was supposed to meet Beck at noon, so I nixed those plans (which turned out to be a good thing because it rained its ASS off the next morning).

The most reasonable hotel I found was a Red Roof Inn just a couple of miles from where I was sitting eating my dinner.  It was only $60 but it had mixed reviews.  I figured I’d give it a drive-by and check it out before I booked.  The grounds and lobby were super well-kept and the front desk dude was super polite (and spoke English!) so I took it.  I couldn’t be more pleased with the room!  And I didn’t know that Red Roof Inns were pet friendly, so I’ll definitely keep them in mind from now on when I need to travel with pups in tow.

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Small but squeaky clean with a comfortable bed and pillows.  For $60.  Can’t beat that.  And the location was great.  It was within walking distance to a little strip mall with a Target, Books A Million, Pier 1, and TJ Maxx.  A little retail therapy was just what the doctor ordered after my emotional day.  haha

I came back to the room, called the hubs, turned on the tube, and was out like a light before 9:00.  I slept longer and harder than I can remember sleeping in a looooong time.  Funny how you can do that when you don’t have a snoring/tossing/turning husband sharing your space or a cat pawing at your head or demanding breakfast.  I slept until 6:30 and only woke up then because I was having a horrible dream about one of my dogs.  Leftover feels from the previous day, I’m sure.  I lounged around for a little while then got up and headed to my friendly neighborhood Starbucks.

Helllooooo cinnamon chai soy latte!
Helllooooo cinnamon chai soy latte!

As fate would have it, the Starbucks was directly across the street from a mall, so wiih still a couple of hours to kill before meeting Beck I headed to the mall for a little continued retail therapy.  The universe must have known I needed to do a little shopping before our NYC trip coming up!  I came away from the whole trip with three super cute outfits, a cardigan that I can wear over two of them if it’s cool, and a pair of sandals on the cheap.

I totally ate my words and bought a shorts romper suit.  It's acceptable for 35-year-olds to shop at Forever 21, yes?
I totally ate my words and bought a shorts romper suit. It’s acceptable for 35-year-olds to shop at Forever 21, yes?

Then it was time to meet Beck!  And like a terrible blogger, we didn’t take a single picture.  But we enjoyed a fabulous couple of hours over a delicious meal and fell right back into place where we left off the last time we saw each other about 12 years ago.  Yes, we’ve sort of kept in touch through FB, but there’s just nothing like face-to-face girl time.  We ended our visit with hugs and promises not to let it be another decade before we see each other, and I began the long drove home.

Sunday… I have no idea where Sunday went.  It started out normal.  I got up, made my coffee, and had some breakfast before 8.  I sat around and caught up on blogs, paid bills, etc., till D left to go to work sometime around 9:30ish.  Then I decided I wanted to start “unfucking my habitat.”  haha  I started with my closet.  Somehow it was around 10 when I went into my closet and much, much later when I came out, but the whole “unfucking” deserves its own post.

I grabbed Bella and Harley and took them to the park for a walk…which took forever.  There were SO. MANY. SMELLS.  haha

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Then when we got home I decided it was time to try out my leg.  It’s been almost a month since I’ve tried to run, at which time I was able to run 800 x 3 with walking and stretching in between, and by the end of the last one I was limping.  Since then I’ve had fairly marked improvement (although still not as much as I or my orthopedist would like).  I’ve changed physical therapists at his recommendation, to see what someone else can offer.  My pain level without anti-inflammatories is now where it was with them just a few weeks ago, but OMG can I just get healed already?!?!  It’s been over two months!!!  Anyway, I set out at a very slow pace with no plans other than stopping when it hurt too badly.  I was actually fairly pleased.  I ran one mile, walked a quarter-mile, stretched, ran another mile, and walked the quarter-mile home.  It was hard to get started again at the start of that second mile, but then it loosened up a bit and I was able to continue.  It was very uncomfortable by the end, but not anywhere near the level of pain I had at the end of my last attempted run.  I stretched and rolled the ever-loving shit out of it, but as I went about my evening I felt it getting more painful.  I popped my first anti-inflammatory in several days, and as I sit here now, the pain is almost back to where it was pre-run.  So although the improvement is not coming as swiftly as I’d like it to come… it’s coming.  Thank God.  Just in time, too.  I’ve been inching closer and closer toward a dark place with every day I don’t run.  Today, even though it wasn’t pain-free, I felt more like myself than I have in quite some time.

Baby steps.

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I haz a puppeh

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Okay, all together now… “Awwwwwwww!!!!!!!”  Guys, this is Penny.  Penny is a 10-week-old coonhound.  We’re fostering her for a while for a local rescue.  Penny doesn’t have a significant story, really.  She wasn’t abused.  She wasn’t starved.  She wasn’t injured or sick.  She was one thing… unwanted.  Her story is exactly the the same as millions of others across the country.  She was the product of irresponsible breeding, and her owner was camped out in the Tractor Supply parking lot giving her and her litter mates away for free just to get rid of them when they learned that they couldn’t sell them to make a quick buck.  Y’all, I despise a lot of people, and backyard breeders are right there at the top of that list.  They told me during our short conversation that they had sold the first five of the eight puppies for $200 apiece and couldn’t get rid of the last three.  *sigh*  I offered to take all three puppies, and he was agreeable to that until I made the mistake of telling them that I was with a rescue.  Backyard breeders HATE rescues.  They think we “cut into their profit.”  Seriously.  So when the “R” word came up, he balked and would only let me have one puppy.  Since I had to choose, I took the female so that I would at least know that she would be spayed and not contribute to our atrocious overpopulation.  See, that’s how it happens here.  People are irresponsible and don’t spay and neuter their pets; they give them away to people who are in the market for a free pet because they say they “can’t afford” shelter adoption fees; these people also “can’t afford” to spay and neuter those pets (or provide good food or other basic vet care, but I digress), so that one unwanted litter turns into dozens of unwanted litters and the problem grows exponentially.  (Oh, and these are the lucky pups that just go to irresponsible homes… the unlucky ones are scooped up as free bait for dogfighters or moving targets for practice.  Yeah, reality is harsh.)

But Penny is safe.  Penny is LOVED, she is WANTED, and she is SPOILED!  My dogs are teaching her how to be a dog, and we are teaching her how to be a GOOD dog.  haha.  I don’t know how long we’ll have her, but she has a place here with us for as long as she needs us until her forever family finds her.

Name that Dog!

I introduced you to Charley a couple of days ago, and now we need your help making a decision!

We didn’t name him that. That was what his foster mom had named him. But she didn’t totally come up with it on her own either. Before the rescue place had him, he was in a kill shelter. He was brought in as an owner-surrender, and this owner had been calling him Harley. Foster mom didn’t like this name, but since he already answered to it, she stuck with something similar: Charley.

Hubby had a dog named Charlie when he was younger and really doesn’t want to call him that. Sentimental reasons and such. Neither of us are just over-the-top happy about Harley either. But since he already knows it, we feel like we should stick with it or something phonetically similar. Marley? No. (Think “Marley & Me”) Barley? Nah. Farley? Hmmm…I dunno. I couldn’t stand Chris Farley. Carly? No, he’s a boy.

So what do y’all think? Share your brilliant ideas!

And Puppy Makes Five

Yep, we’re at it again. Another shelter dog finds a home with the Frenches. 🙂 Meet Charley!*


(photo stolen borrowed from his foster mom’s facebook page because I haven’t uploaded any from my own camera yet)

He’s a 7-month-old pit bull puppy that we are going to be adopting from 11:11 Bully Rescue in Dickson, TN. We brought him home for the weekend for a trial run before we made anything official (and to make sure things went better than the last time ), and he is an absolute doll! He and Bella have hit it off wonderfully, so I think we have a winner this time.

If y’all don’t already know by now, I’m a total animal person. I’ll take animals over people any day. And the bully breeds are my passion. It pisses me off and breaks my heart to see the media put such a bad spin on them when they are THE MOST loving and loyal breeds that you can ask for. If I had the time and resources, I would have a house full of them. But we are pretty well at maximum capacity now. The addition of Charley will bring our household population up to five, and until the three four-legged ones start earning a living and cleaning up after themselves we’re gonna have to put a cap on it there. At least until the next irresistable one comes along.

*Disclaimer: NO, we are NOT naming our animals from the Twilight Saga! Both dogs were already named when we got them!

Diagnosis, Dogs, and a Dilemma

I completely let this week get away from me and haven’t posted at all. So let me catch you up!

I went to the surgeon as scheduled this past Wednesday, and he wasn’t at all concerned by the lymph node that has shown up in my neck. He said that with no other symptoms, with it only being one node (and he felt me up pretty good checking for other ones), and with it being as small as it is (less than 0.5 cm) he didn’t feel it was anything at all to be worried about. He gave me written orders for blood work and a chest x-ray to be sure, but I haven’t been yet. Honestly? I probably won’t go. I hate needles THAT much.

I had a pretty eventful Thursday-Saturday. We’ve been wanting to get our 10-month-old American Bulldog mix puppy a playmate, and we have actually turned in an adoption application for another American Bulldog mix at a rescue in Memphis. We got the two dogs together for a play date last Sunday, and things went well. But I wanted to do a trial visit at our home before we made it official. I am very glad that we did. We picked him up Thursday and had him until Saturday. For the sake of keeping this post at less than novella length, let’s just say that things did not go as well as I had hoped. When things were good they were really good, but when things were bad they were UGLY. He’s a very good dog, but there were just too many issues. As shitty as it makes me feel, we’re just simply not going to be able to go through with the adoption. I feel absolutely horrible about it. We struggled with the decision all weekend. We talked about it, and I cried about it, but ultimately I have to put the happiness and safety of my other two pets first.

And now on to running news… I set a 4-mile PR yesterday! That’s not what this is about, but I just had to throw that in there.

I have a running dilemma. I’ve been pondering on it for a couple of weeks now, and I just can’t make up my mind! I ran my first 1/2 marathon last November, and I am running another one in April. My original plan was to run the same 1/2 this fall that I ran in November last year to see how much progress I had made in 12 months. It’s on October 30th. The Marine Corps Marathon in DC is on October 31st. My friend that ran the MCM last year has me toying with the idea of running it with her this year. I obviously can’t do both. So now I’m trying to decide what I want to do! I still consider myself a beginner runner (only started running last July), and the thought of running a marathon is pretty darn intimidating. I remember how I felt at the end of last year’s half. I can’t imagine someone saying, “Okay, you’re halfway there!” at that point. I know if I really put my mind to it I could probably train my way to 26.2. When I first started running I was intimated by 13.1, so I realize that it’s all relative. But as scary as 26.2 sounds, I suuuuuuuuuuuure would like to be able to say, “I ran my first marathon the year I turned 30!”