As you may already know, we lost our sweet Bailey dog in September to a cruel cancer, I poured my heart out about her a bit here, but grieving is a long slow process and we still miss her every day. I have finally been able to go visit her sacred place under the apple trees, draped with Tibetan prayer flags, and thanked her for being our best friend and for fighting for so long. I let her know that we miss her now and always will. I created a photo book of some of our favorite memories. After saying goodbye to her, we were faced with only two options:
1. Never, ever endure that kind of heartache again
2. Get another dog soon.
For those of you who aren't dog people (Is there such a thing?) it might be hard to understand, but if you've ever given your whole heart to a furry best friend, you probably get just what I'm trying to say.
Fast forward to November, after much debate we opted to get another dog, and somehow ended up with two. Yeah, we have no self control, when faced with an adorable litter of puppies, what could we do? I introduced our brand spankin' new pups in a post I wrote back in December. Say hello once again to Maggie and Clementine, affectionately known as "The Ladies" or the little "Wooly Bears", like the caterpillar, because they are always curled up together in a sweet, soft, brown and black bundle.
For your viewing pleasure, this is when we first brought them home at 9 weeks
(insert ample ooohing and aaawing as necessary)
They have grown and grown by leaps and bounds (literally and figuratively), and both are nearly 40 lbs now, with much more growing to do. They have become part of our family pretty seamlessly, although I still hold a part of my heart closed off for Bailey alone, I have a strong sense of loyalty for my sweet girl. These two definitely keep things chaotic interesting, that's for sure.
Calamity Clem is a fierce protector of W, they are two peas in a pod and at least one of said peas is finally housebroken! When Will was first beginning to really notice his surroundings and interact more, he would seek out Clementine and stretch his little starfish hands to her. When she would saunter by, toes clicking like a typewriter across the wood floor, he would erupt in giggles and crane his neck to follow her with his eyes, wide as saucers and completely enchanted. If he cries, she comes running to lick his face and see what's up, ready to defend her tiny human. Between her and Maggie, she's the brains in the operation, when you look into her amber eyes you can tell she's thinking. Like all pups, the ladies are rambunctious little wrecking balls at times, rumbling around the house in a furry ball of energy. What makes me laugh the most is when the two of them are fighting over a toy and William crawls right into the fray, snatches the toy, and tries to put it in his mouth. Inevitably one of the pups will take the toy back, only to have it taken again by her sister. It goes on like this for a while and I'm beginning to think maybe Will considers himself to be a puppy. I suppose there are worse things to be! (Like someone who isn't a dog person!)
I mean seriously, how cute is this pair?
Kev jokes that we have two dogs; a smart dog and a black dog. Maggie is sweet, loving, attention craving and has so much to offer, but you couldn't really accuse her of being a genius... or adventurous, or brave. I think she just follows Clementine's lead most of the time, which is a wise choice. Miss Margaret is also the most vocal pup I've ever met. When she's sleepy, which is often, she makes the craziest squeaks mid-yawn then looks at us as if we were the ones who made the noise. She yowls and yips and whines to let us know how she's feeling and most often, she wants snuggles, cuddles, and love... our seat on the couch or food. I'm usually happy to provide
all some of those things, except when nursing Will, it makes things tricky when there's one mama and several needy babies. I am seriously outnumbered here!
On a snowy afternoon a month or so ago we took our gang snowshoeing out in the back woods behind the house. Clem was in her element, all you could see was a brown blur bounding through drifts like she was born for it, charging ahead and running back to see what was taking us so long.
And then there was Maggie.
It was impossible to take a single step on snowshoe without her trying to ride the back of it, yelping and whining to be picked up all the while. Finally, Kev picked her up and tucked her into his jacket, zipping it to the collar. Of course, my camera's battery was dead, but I have the funniest mental image. There we were in the snowy woods, me carrying a sleeping baby in the Bjorn, Kev carrying a snuggling black pup tucked tight into his jacket, and the brown bullet blazing through the trees willy-nilly, hell bent for adventure. I wouldn't trade this family of mine for anything.
Here we are on a later hike, myself, Will in our backpack, puppies at our feet.
Oh, and a very recent revelation.
There is a reason mud rooms were created.
Meet two of the most convincing ones:
Our house does not have a mudroom, epic fail. I have spent a lot of time the past couple warm days chasing after muddy prints with a mop, crawling baby hot in pursuit, tiny hands slapping the floor at an ever quickening pace.
My life cracks me up.