Where do I even begin?

And just like that **SNAP!**, in the blink of an eye, seven months has gone by.  My last post was August 16, 2015.  What the hell?  I hadn’t PLANNED on a hiatus.  I had no reason for one…I wasn’t burned out.  I wasn’t any more busy than usual.  I wasn’t off somewhere sulking in a corner.  I don’t know WHAT happened, really.  But I’ve missed it!  For weeks I’ve been meaning to get back here and dust the cobwebs off this old thing.  I’ve even come to the page a couple of times and asked myself the title of this post.  I sat here with my fingers hovering over the home row, ready to pound out a post and drew a big, fat blank.  I did it just now, too, but this time I just decided to roll with it.  I feel like so much has happened in the last seven months, but to keep this one post from getting insanely long, I’ll do you a solid and break them down into shorter posts.   Haha  Maybe one for each topic.  But in short, since I talked to you last I have…

  • Run six half-marathons in four new states.  If things had gone according to plan, I actually would have been in the car traveling to the next one right this very moment, but due to some conflicts I decided to forego this one.  My next one will be the Garmin Marathon in Olathe, Kansas on 4/16.  (*currently accepting applications for suitable travel partners  haha)
  • Gotten very serious about cross- and strength-training.  I’ve been saying for EVER that I knew I needed to do it, but I finally did it.  And now I kick myself every day for not doing it years ago.  I have never felt better or stronger, and if you’ll allow me a moment of vanity, I’ll admit that I don’t think I’ve ever looked better either.
  • Taken an awesome vacation to Florida.  We go to the panhandle of Florida as sort of a farewell-to-summer getaway almost every year, but last year we mixed it up a bit and went to South Florida where epic shit ensued.
  • Got a new tattoo.
  • Carried out a stakeout and trap, resulting in the newest addition to our family.  I now have a new feline brother.
  • Nursed my girl Bella through her third (yes, THIRD) knee surgery.  She’s three and a half weeks post ACL repair now, after already having undergone two surgeries in the past for a torn ACL and meniscus in the OTHER hind leg.

And well I guess that’s about it!  haha  It sure seemed like more before I started writing it out.  That’ll give me a starting place for posting anyway!  Also, when I logged into Blogger, I had approximately 4 million unread posts.  There’s no way I could make my way through all of them, so I cringed and hit the “Mark All as Read” button.  So if I’ve missed any huge news on YOUR blog, please catch me up!!!!!

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10 Virtues Instilled and Strengthened by Pets

Most people that have kids like to say things like, “My kids made me realize what’s important in life, ” and, “My children make me want to be a better person.”  Well, I’ve VERY INTENTIONALLY never had kids, but I think the same thing can be said about pets.  Every single day, they help me exercise one virtue or another in some way.

Patience – “I know you’re waiting for me to pee so you can go to work, but I have to finish these snow angels first.”

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Wonder – Seeing a puppy experience things for the first time.

3-15-2015 - Penny 3

Sacrifice – “Oh you wanted to get a new bedroom suite?  Sorry, I just tore my meniscus.  Six months after I tore my ACL.”

11-28-2012 - Bella after ACL surgery

Forgiveness – We forgave them.  And then we bought crates while the couch was being reupholstered.  Lesson learned.

05-05-2010 - Dogs' destruction

Respect – I had to pee like a race horse when I took this picture, but he just looked so comfortable!  I couldn’t bring myself to disturb him.

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Compassion – This old girl just doesn’t get around like she used to and requires some special accommodations and extra TLC and spoiling.

7-1-2014 - C.C. on her 15th birthday 4

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Whimsy – Don’t mind us.  Just taking some doggy kissy selfies.

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Selflessness – “I know you’d like to go to happy hour after work rather than coming straight home every day, but remember we’re here waiting for you.”

3-10-2015 - Harley, Penny & Bella

1-31-2014 - C.C. 2

Service – “Psssst.  Wake up.  I’m hungry.”

6-9-2012 - Harley

Humility – Fostering is hard.  Let me rephrase that.  Letting go of a foster is hard.  Some more than others.  I’ve had this baby for three months, and her adoption was just finalized.  She will be going home tomorrow.  You love them like your own from the day you bring them into your family and then you just have to hand them over and recognize your place in their lives was only temporary–the bridge between what has been and what will be.  I’m trying to cram a lifetime of snuggles and kisses into the next few hours before I take her to her new family.  I know she’ll forget me quickly, but I will love her forever.

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A Little Late But… National Pit Bull Awareness Day!

October 25th was National Pit Bull Awareness Day.  It was founded in 2007 by a lady here in Tennessee as “… a day to educate and foster positive communications and experiences in the communities in which we and our dogs live.”  I have two rescued bullies of my own (Harley, the American Staffordshire/Boxer mix, and Bella, the American Bulldog/Belgian Malinois mix–according to their Wisdom Panel DNA tests!), so it’s an important day for us.  Around here we celebrate birthdays, gotcha days, and National Pit Bull Awareness Day!

I tried to take Harley’s picture to commemorate the occasion, and when I told him to smile, I got this.  haha  He’s such a smartass.  (Truth be told, I caught him a split second before a yawn, but it’s funnier to think it’s a cheesy grin.)

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Since there were no events held locally, the pups and I drove up to Nashville for Nashville Pittie’s NPBAD Pit Bull Revolution.  It was such a good day!  So awesome to be surrounded by so many ambassadors for this wonderful breed with their families.  I only snapped a few quick photos while we were lining up for the March of the Pitties parade because I saw Nashville Pittie volunteers taking pictures all over the place.  I assumed they would be sharing them, but they haven’t posted them yet.

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There were tons of vendors there giving away samples and just volunteering their time and services.  We took advantage of two awesome ones.  The first one you may think I’m a little crazy for, but I don’t care.  I’ve heard of people having this done but had never done it myself, and it was an AMAZING experience.  We had a session with an animal communicator.  Within the first minute of our session, she made me a firm believer that she was legit, and I most definitely will be using her again in the future.  The second one was a photographer.  Amiee Stubbs was there taking photos which would be free for us to download.  She posted them a few days ago, and I kind of love ours.

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That’s Bella on my right side and Harley on my left.

As the day went on, it got louder and more crowded as more people showed up and the live band started playing.  Bella has the world by the balls, but Harley doesn’t have her confidence (one thing the communicator and I talked about), and he was getting a little anxious.  We made our exit, but instead of coming home we stopped in Clarksville at their dog park.  They both loooooove the dog park  As shy as Harley can be at times, and as much as he depends on Bella, all of that completely disappears when you put him in a dog park.  It’s amazing to watch.  He’s a little social butterfly!  He plays with every dog and greets every person there.  It makes me a proud pittie momma, especially when other people there comment on him.

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When everyone was finally exhausted from the day’s fun, we packed it in and left.  Once we were headed home, I felt like it was FINALLY safe for me to drink something.  haha  I brought water and bowls for the dogs, but I had kind of intentionally dehydrated myself because when you’re traveling by yourself with dogs it’s hard to make a pit stop.  You can’t leave them in the car and you can’t take them into a rest stop, so unless you find a Petsmart or Tractor Supply or some other animal friendly place, it just ain’t happening. It was like 4:00 and I hadn’t eaten since breakfast or drunk anything all day, so I was starved and parched.  We pulled into a Sonic where I got what felt like the coldest, wettest cherry lmeade ever and an order of tots to tide me over till dinner… and I couldn’t stand to eat in front of my babies, who I was sure had worked up an appetite too, so I got them a plain burger to share.  haha!

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Once all the bellies were full, it was lights out.

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I absolutely loved spending the entire day spoiling my little furry family.  Screw baby showers and soccer tournaments.  This is my thing!

 

 

 

 

 

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!”

Doggie Humor and Doctor Visits

My dear doggie Bella probably came as close to having a canine coronary last night as one can come and live to remember it. This poor dog had the living shiz scared out of her, and it was all her own doing. See, when I’m cleaning the kitchen, she has this awful habit of trying to sneak her head into the dishwasher when I’m not looking and sneak licks off the dirty dishes on the bottom rack.

Well, my friends, she may have broken herself from that last night. She was up to her usual tricks, licking the ketchup off of a plate I had just put in the dishwasher. When I turned back around and saw her, I clapped my hands and gave her a sharp “NO!” and shooed her away.

And that’s when it happened. The big, bad dishwasher attacked my poor, innocent, defenseless puppy.

Her collar got caught on the rack, so when she jumped away, the rack with all of the dishes on it followed her. Of course it made a Godawful crash as glass dishes and silverware were scattered about the tile floor. She BOLTED, dragging the rack nearly into the living room with her before it finally came off. As she skidded into the living room, she ran smack into the end table, knocking it and the vase sitting on it over, making yet another loud crash and only adding to the trauma.

She ran to the couch and hid her face between the cushions. I had to leave the dishes in the floor and console that baby. I felt absolutely horrible for laughing, but it was soooooooooo funny to see this big bully breed dog literally cowering over something so stupid that she had done. As soon as I sat down beside her, she crawled in my lap and would not leave my side. Until I went into the kitchen to clean up her mess. She wouldn’t go back in there! She stayed in my lap the majority of the night. Nothing like a 50-pound lap dog!

Now onto not-so-humorous goings-on…

I went to the doctor today for the knot in my neck. It is a lymph node, and it is being treated as “suspicious.” He told me not to worry too much about it because there is the possibility that the lymph node for some reason has formed scar tissue and that’s what we’re feeling and it’s completely harmless. But since I am otherwise healthy with no other symptoms it should be regarded as having at least the potential of being something more sinister. He referred me to a surgeon for a consult and biopsy. The girl at the desk called the surgeon’s office and scheduled me with the surgeon for Friday, but I called and changed the appointment to next Wednesday. As you may or may not know, my 30th birthday is Sunday, and we have plans for Saturday night. I don’t want to have to worry about babying an incision in my neck if the surgeon decides it’s something he can do there in the office like my doc thinks he will. So for now I will just try not to worry about it until at least next Wednesday. Easier said than done.