Thinking Out Loud: The Summer Time Warp and Playing Catch-Up

How is it that in the summer the days get simultaneously longer and shorter?  In the winter, I’m usually in bed by 9.  In the summer, I’m lucky to be eating dinner by 9.  There’s just always so much more to do and so much more fun to be had in the summer!  Take yesterday, for example.  I worked till 4:30, went for a short run (short because HELLO SUMMER with your stupid feels-like 96 degrees) went to the 5:30 CrossFit class, came home and walked the dogs, took a shower, fixed a quick dinner, and sat down to eat at 8:40.  Who has time for blogging when every day is like that?!  It’s so much easier to throw a quick post on Instagram or Facebook.  I’m only able to spare a few minutes today because I took a vacation day.  Anyway, I’m using the Thursday Thinking Out Loud trend to catch up on the things I haven’t had time to blog about, so this is gonna be all over the place.

  • I’ve started doing CrossFit again.  I’ve been twice.  Last night was the first time I’ve ever thrown in the towel and “no-scored” a workout.  I went for a run before class, and during class I could NOT get my heart rate to drop below an explosive level.  I’ve never felt like that before.  I don’t know exactly what was going on, but my heart rate was sky high, my hearing was muffled, and I got a sudden pounding headache in my forehead.  It honestly kind of scared me a bit, so I stopped in the third of four rounds.  It wasn’t even a super hard WOD.  Four rounds of 15 kettlebell swings/15 burpees,/15 GHD situps.  I’ve done much harder, so I dunno.  I’m sure dehydration played at least a small part of it.

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  • Things are really going well at our business.  We’ve hired someone full-time to run the front office and clean the building and stuff.  Taking some of that busy work off D has saved him so much time and lets him spend more time on the things that make money and grow the business.  Insurance jobs are slow right now (not a point of concern–that’s an industry standard for this time of year), so he’s spending that time on his project cars instead.  He just finished this one up!  Isn’t she beautiful???  She’ll be for sale as soon as we get the title work back from the state, so hit me up.  haha  But till then I’m enjoying the shit out of driving it.  I had one of my own a few years ago, and this makes me miss it!
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  • The dogs are enjoying keeping cool this summer.

  • I sincerely hope I’m not jinxing myself by saying this, but the healing of the running injury is coming along nicely since changing physical therapists.  I’m kind of pissed about all the time and money I lost with the other place, but I’m trying to just focus on the now and be glad that I’m finally getting better.  Still the most I’ve run is 3.5 miles, but I’m hindered now only by loss of fitness and the heat, not by pain.  It’s damn hard, y’all, to start from scratch and build any kind of base in a Tennessee summer.
  • We’ve been in our house for eight years, and I guess eight years is kind of the time when everything starts to go to shit.  Sheetrock nails are coming out of the ceiling, walls need sheetrock repair and repainted, carpet needs replaced, boards on our deck are warping and coming up, and our air conditioning unit just had to have a pretty costly repair.  One thing at a time… The deck is at the top of my priority list because that’s kind of my summer oasis!

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I have several potted plants on my deck, but my Gerber daisies are gorgeous this year! And my hibiscus has buds all over it that are about to explode!
  • I’m super excited because the bestie Michele is coming in from Virginia in two weeks!  I’ve reserved her for a day.  haha  Two weeks from today we have a bestie date planned.  Gym, mani-pedis, drinks by the pool, YES!

Is summer keeping you hopping this year?  

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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

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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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Weekend Recap

Holy shit, y’all, where has this weekend gone?!  I seriously feel like I just left the office and here I am winding down in PJs at 9:30 on Sunday night!  It’s been a pretty hectic two days, but it’s all of my own doing.  I was too much of a “yes” woman for this weekend!

A friend and co-worker asked if I would work for him Saturday so he could take off to go to his boy’s baseball tournament in Nashville.  YES #1

Another friend asked if I could dog-sit for her while she went to Knoxville for the weekend.  YES #2  I paid for that one.  lol  Gnash hadn’t been here 10 minutes before he discovered a mudhole in our back yard and proceeded to be a bad influence on my dogs and show them how much fun it is to wallow in mudholes.

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Last week a lady involved in dog rescue pulled a bloodhound from our local shelter after she’d secured him a spot with a bloodhound-specific rescue.  He had to get to his trainer on Sunday so she could work with him for a while on some issues before sending him to that rescue.  I was asked to transport him to his trainer on Sunday.  YES #4.  And sort of related to that one, a couple of weeks ago I moved a nursing momma dog and her 12 puppies to a foster about an hour and a half from here because their elderly owner needed help with the puppies but they were too young to be separated from momma.  He has surrendered the puppies to rescue, and now they are weaned and momma was ready to come home.  Soooooo I was asked if I could come get her and take her back to her owner.  YES #5

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Sweet pretty momma…who will never be a momma again! The rescue her puppies were surrendered to will be paying for her spay as soon as her milk dries up. Sometimes rescue can be as much about helping the owner as helping the dogs.

And Sunday afternoon after I finished hauling dogs all over West TN, D and I did this!

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No more mud hole!  We had been saying for a while that we needed to do something like this because it got really trampled down this winter and has been getting really muddy when it rains, but the dogs’ Friday afternoon shenanigans lit a fire under our asses.  haha  And all the dogs were a big help, as they always are with yard projects…

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I hope everyone’s weekend was as beautiful as ours!  We all soaked it up because it’s supposed to rain for the next seven days!  Thank goodness we got our stones down before THAT!

A Soul Rejuvenating Weekend

Not Saturday.  Saturday blew.  It rained all damn day, something went wrong at work so I had to go in for a couple of hours, and an employee gave notice while I was there.  So I’m not talking about Saturday.  Saturday was part of the reason I needed a soul rejuvenation on Sunday!  haha

I slept later Sunday than I have in a loooooong time.  I was up about three times through the night thanks to various animals, but for once I didn’t have trouble going back to sleep.  The first thing I noticed when I woke up was the light streaming in.  Sunlight.  Sweet, glorious sunshine! We haven’t seen the sun around here much lately.  I know it’s been at least two weeks, and this ol’ girl’s mood was definitely suffering.

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I’ve never been so happy to need sunglasses in my life!

D and I lounged around the house for a while and then we each left because we had stuff to do.  First thing on my list was to TAN!  I usually start tanning around the first of February, but it’s been so cold that I just couldn’t bear the thought of taking my clothes off. haha  I stayed a whopping five minutes because I’ve gotten pasty white this winter, y’all.

My next planned stop was Walmart, but when I drove past the car wash I whipped in on impulse–along with a large percentage of the town’s population.  I had to wait forever to get a stall, but MAN it looks so much better without all that salt and winter road grime on it.

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Even Walmart was a positive experience today!  I found this in the $7.88 bluray bin!  It’s one of my favorites.  Seen it a million times.

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AND I found THIS!

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When I saw it on the shelf, I was like, “Okay, this is either gonna be REALLY good or REALLY bad.”  Thankfully it turned out to be the former.  It’s SO GOOD!  And such a change from what I’ve been drinking lately.  All fall and winter I’ve been drinking dark beers and stouts, and this was just so light and refreshing.

After I got home, I took all the dogs out for a walk.  Not at the same time.  I took Bella and Harley out first for a couple of miles.  God, it was glorious.  And we found evidence that spring is most definitely on the horizon!

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Then I took the puppy out.  We didn’t go far.  Today was more about learning how to walk on a leash for her.  It was her first leash walk!  She only got her last set of shots a week and a half ago giving her full immunity against all those nasty doggy diseases, and since then it’s been totally shitty outside, so we haven’t been able to celebrate the fact that now that she’s done with her immunizations she no longer has to be confined to our house and fenced in yard!  It was so cute seeing her experience things for the first time…walking on a leash, walking on gravel and concrete, seeing and hearing loud motorcycles and an ambulance with its siren blaring (I was afraid those things would spook her, but they didn’t!)… She was too busy taking in all the new smells and rolling in the grass.

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“You can’t see me. I’m camo’d”

After the dogs were sufficiently exercised, it was time to get my sweat on.  I tried to run a few steps while walking them, and knew within just a few seconds that it was a very bad idea, so I didn’t try again.  I just turned on Scandal and hopped on the spin bike.  It ain’t running, but hey, it burns calories.

I know it doesn’t sound like anything exciting on paper, and when I say it’s the best day I’ve had in a long time, it really makes me realize how pathetic my life is!  haha  But ya know what?  Nothing bad happened and I didn’t get pissed off about anything even once, so from where I’m sitting, that’s a GOOD DAY!

A Week’s Worth of Suck

The last few days really haven’t been the greatest.  I feel whiny for complaining about it because none of it is really a big deal, but I’ve just had several … annoyances this past week.

After last Sunday’s 10-mile run, I noticed some tightness and aching in my right hip.  I took a couple of days off and foam rolled the hell out of it.  It felt better by Wednesday, so I ran 6 miles (5 miles @ tempo pace), and then afterward it hurt again.  Foam rolled and took Advil on Thursday and Friday and then ran 4 VERY easy miles on the treadmill Friday evening.  I couldn’t walk without limping Saturday morning and it’s still not back to normal.  I have a half-marathon in 6 days.

I have always hated Valentine’s Day, but it sucked especially bad this year.  I’m not married to a romantic guy, and I know this, but it bothered me more than usual this year.  He worked all day and bought us tickets to go to a comedy club with another couple that I’m really not even crazy about.  During the hour+ drive there, he and the other dude sat in the front and talked shop (they’re in the same line of work) while me and his wife sat in the back having very sporatic, forced, awkward conversation.  I can B.S. and make small talk with almost anybody, but it’s hard to fill that much time and silence with someone you have nothing in common with and can’t relate to on any level.  At least the comedy show was okay.

Then last night a winter storm hit.  We were supposed to get 6-10 inches of snow, but what we ended up with is more like 3 inches of sleet with maybe another inch or so of snow on top of that.  At least I’m off work for President’s Day and don’t have to deal with that headache today, but I know tomorrow will be shitty and dangerous for my employees (as I work in the delivery industry).

That aforementioned ice screwed up my plans for today, too.  The only thing I had planned for my day off was to get my hair done and see my chiropractor to see if he could help with my hip, and both of those places cancelled my appointment due to the weather.

And admittedly this one is kind of funny, but as icing on the cake I waxed my lip yesterday and then played out in the snow with the doggies today.  I guess that skin was still super sensitive because it’s chapped now to the point that I have a red, scabby mustache.  So sexy.

Just so this post isn’t entirely negative, here are some pictures of happy dogs in the snow.

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My Weekend Mini Vacation

Okay it wasn’t an actual vacation, but it was definitely a much-needed break!  I was off work for MLK day today, so I had a three-day weekend!  Woohoo!!  I started it off right with a nap when I got off work Friday afternoon.  We’ll say it was for the sake of health, trying to rest up and finish kicking that cold… but really it was just because I stayed up too late Thursday night.  haha  (In my defense, I wasn’t up late doing anything fun–our damn heat had gone out!)

Saturday my sister and I went to Nashville for a belated birthday celebration day.  Although it occurs to me now that she called most of the shots Saturday and it was supposed to be for MY birthday…. hmmmmm… I think I got swindled!  On our way into Nashville, we stopped at McKay’s because Kim is a book/DVD/CD whore.  While she built up an armload of stuff, I’m not much of a reader, so I perused the DVDs and found these.  Total impulse buy, but maybe they’ll get used.  Eventually.  A little bit.  Maybe.

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Then we headed over to Blackstone Brewery for some lunch and brews.  (HUGE thumbs up to Blackstone’s pumpkin ale and St. Charles porter, a regular size thumbs up to the nut brown ale, and thumbs down to Stephanie’s Dubbel, and their APA.)  They had their pumpkin ale on sale half off for $16 per case as it’s going out of season, and just as my luck would have it, they sold their last two cases shortly before we got there.  DOH!  Then there was lots of shopping.  Mostly window shopping for me–all I bought was a new pair of black boots, a MAC mascara, and some body spray from The Body Shop.

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Then after all the shopping had closed down we met up with a friend of Kim’s that lives in Nashville for appetizers and desserts, so that put us about 1:30am getting home.  That was a rough two-hour drive home for this early bird!  There was lots of driver’s seat singing and dancing and one stop about half an hour from home to get out and wake up!

The “vacation” continued yesterday as I slept in until nearly 9(!!!  except for one feline “FEED ME” wake-up call at the usual 0500).  I didn’t get in any hurry about getting dressed or doing anything, but I finally made it out the door around lunch for an eaaaassssssyyyyy 5 miles to gauge how I was feeling to see if I stood a shot in hell at hitting the 15 miles I had planned for today.  I do try to run through stuff above the neck, but I’d only run 5.5 miles during the week to that point because I was getting dizzy on the treadmill.  Just fluid behind the ears I’m sure.  Well, I must have blown all that fluid out during those 5 miles Sunday.  Good Lord, I was disgusting.  haha  But I felt great at the end, so I let my planned running partner know I was a go for our run date Monday morning.  After my run, I grabbed the pups and drove them to a town about 30 minutes from here that has a dog park.  It was a simply GORGEOUS day, and I couldn’t let it go to waste for them.

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So many butts to sniff!
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Harley checking in with me
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Back at home, resting from their dog park shenanigans, and milking the sun for all it’s worth on this very spring-like January day!

Right after the dogs and I got home, D had to leave us to go to Nashville for a couple of days for a paint certification class.  All painters are required to have the certification, but effective this year all body shop owners must also attend the class too.  The weekend already felt like a vacation but with D gone now too???  WHOOOOBOY, Katie bar the doors!  Shit got wild up in here!  Snoring dogs, fleece lounge pants, Maleficent on DVD (LOVED IT!), vegan mac n cheese and smokey sriracha kale for dinner… LIVIN’ LARGE, I tell ya.

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What’s a vacation post without a sunset pic? Beautiful end to a beautiful day.

Today wasn’t quite as vacationy.  I met another local runner with plans of getting in a long run with her.  I was going for 15, and she was going for 16.  It was a pretty hard run.  I feel comfortable saying that because she’s a much stronger runner than me (unless something goes terribly wrong, she’ll be going sub-4 at her marathon debut in March) and she even cut it a mile short.  We ended up with 13 and 15 miles.  It was another beautiful day, but that gorgeous sun drained us.  We were both dressed for the 37-degree start rather than the 62-degree finish.  Oopsies!  But we came away from it with another long run under our belts.  And I had the lovely added bonus of a sunburned face (I guess I sweated off all my 50 SPF!) and a jacked-up pinkie toe.

You're welcome.
You’re welcome.

I had just enough time after we got done to run home, make a smoothie, hose off, and get back to town for my 1:00 hair appointment, so I did manage to get a little pampering in on the last day of my “vacation”.  And then I bestowed a little pampering on the dogs.  haha  They got kind of dirty at the park yesterday, but there was no time for anything more than a wipe-down with a wash cloth after we got home, so they both got their full-on baths today.  I was again grateful for the warm sun so that they could go dry off outside!  And so I could leave the doors open to let fresh air in.  It’s amazing how a clean wet dog still makes the house smell like… well… wet dog.  haha

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Squeaky clean, dry, and smelling like roses.

So now my little three-day break is almost over.  I’ve done some grown-up, responsible adult things today like laundry, sweeping, vacuuming, dusting, blah, blah, blah, and now I’m sitting here enjoying a glass of wine, just winding down and relaxing.  Maybe this weekend is over, but I’ve come to a realization recently.  I NEED to do this more often.  I have so much vacation time banked at work.  Like 14 weeks worth.  Now that I’ve got my new clerk, I’m really going to be getting my money’s worth from her.  I’ve got a lot going on between now and the end of February, but come March I’m gonna be burning the hell out of some vacation days.  But between now and then–President’s Day in four weeks!!!  Woohoo!

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!