Tag Archives: Dog

International Volunteer Day

Yesterday was International Volunteer Day.  So, I thought this would be a perfect day to spend a couple of hours at the SPCA.  I’ve been debating whether or not to get back into volunteering there on a more regular basis.  Since we will be trying to get pregnant next year, I don’t want to commit to something that I will have to stop doing once I get a positive pregnancy test.  (And I realize that you don’t have to stop doing things like that early in the pregnancy, but I’m not sure what the next pregnancy will involve considering my background).  However, that’s not going to stop me from volunteering until then!

Anyway, on to the pups!


These two cuties are pair-bonded.  That means that they won’t do well being adopted separately.  Usually, dogs who have grown up together are more likely to be pair-bonded.  They can stop eating and get very sick if they separate.  These two have to separate to eat because they each have a different diet of food (one has some health issues), and it’s hard for them to eat without being able to see one another, so they are put in kennels across from each other during meal times.   In fact, because of the health issues, they aren’t available for adoption right now


This is Tonka.  He was a super sweet and super shy dog.  He came from a family that had him since he was a puppy, but a new addition to the family is allergic to dogs.  So they surrendered him to the SPCA so he could have his best chance at finding another loving family.  He is timid around strangers and loud noises, but he warms right up to people.  In fact, he was all snuggly with me by the end of my time there yesterday, and we had only just met!


This is Jasmine, a beautiful terrier mix.  She has squinty eyes in the picture because it started raining towards the end of the day.  When we got back in, I dried her off with a towel, which she loved.  She is absolutely sweet, loves belly rubs, and loves to cuddle.  I know she will find a great family soon!


I love volunteering with the SPCA of Texas.  Not only are the dogs awesome, and I get to help them find awesome families, but the staff is so supportive and caring as well.  There were a few who knew what happened to me when I lost my daughter, and they are always checking in on me when I come to volunteer.  I’m so thankful to get to volunteer at such a wonderful organization.  It was an excellent way to spend International Volunteer Day!

Do you have a favorite place to volunteer?

Do you have any pets?  Were any of them from rescue organizations?

Pet-Sitting for Spring Break

On Monday, I wrote about framily, and in particular the family we have in community.  One of those families is our neighbors the Jenkins.  We are so blessed to have them in our lives.  They have three amazing kids and they are such wonderful instigators for activities in our neighborhood.  I have had a blast knowing and living life with them.

Sometimes, when we go out of town, their son (and sometimes daughter) will watch Michael’s tanks and our dogs (if we don’t bring the dogs with us).  We also watch their dog, Lexie, when they go out of town as well.  It’s great to know that we have neighbors who look out for us.  We are very blessed to have all neighbors around us.


Recently, I got to watch their sweet dog.  Her fur is like a teddy bear.  And when she runs she kind of hops.  It’s adorable.  It was rainy all week, so when she would come back in from outside, we would dry her off with a microfiber towel.  We loved watching this pup (and taking care of the tanks that their son has, Michael has rubbed off on him!).

Do you watch your neighbors pets/house/kids?

8 Things I Do When I’m Sick

About once or twice a year, my sinuses attack the rest of my body leaving me sick for a few days.  And when I get sick, it’s pretty horrible.  My sick hurts when touched, my throat, ears and head throb, and my nose struggles to breathe.  I swing between fatigue and dizziness.

Usually it is due to crazy changes in the weather, and truth be told, not really taking care of myself.  I stay up way past my bed time.  I let healthy eating slide to the wayside.  That plus a myriad of other people in my life who have gotten sick in the past week has created a perfect recipe for disaster.

So, this week I’ve been sick.

Luckily, I have a completely understanding work family who let me stay at home to sleep most of the illness off.  Plus, I have an amazing husband who will bring home my sickness necessities.  So, I thought I would share with you the 8 things I do when I am sick.

  1. Sleep.  Sleep is the body’s way of rebooting, so I try to sleep throughout the day, although spending the entire day in bed doesn’t help either.
  2. Take a hot bath or shower.  One of my friends recommended this.  It’s taking the hottest bath you can stand while drinking the hottest tea you can stand.  It does help clear the sinuses a bit.
  3. Drink Sleepytime Tea.  It’s an actual brand of tea that advertises as a sinus soother.  It really works for me.
  4. Eat Soup.  Hot and sour soup from a local takeout Chinese restaurant is most preferred.
  5. Open the windows.  I usually do this the second or third day of illness.  There is just something so important about getting fresh air circulating through the rooms of my house.
  6. Vitamins and allergy pills.  On a normal day I take these, but when I’m off my schedule due to being sick, it’s so important to not forget them on these days too.
  7. Drink OJ.  Or really anything with extra vitamin C.
  8. Snuggle with Nurse Jerzee.  My puppy who never leaves my side during any illness or recuperation.  She really knows how to remind me to take it slow, especially when I’m close to feeling better. I’ll leave you with a picture of her during her latest nurse duties.



What are some things you do when you are sick?

And We’re Back!

Because of all the travel and holiday craziness, I’ve missed a couple of weeks working with the SPCA.  Almost all of the dogs that I have worked with have been adopted, and there is a whole new set of pups there now (plus puppies who will soon be on the adoption floor).

I have been trained to do several things at the SPCA.  I work with dogs at the shelter and in fostering in my home who have anxiety or shyness.  But I also work with potential adopting families, answering questions about the dogs, as well as take the dogs out after dinner for one more walk before bed.

This week, I was walking with this dog after dinner when a family came in to see her.

Isn’t she gorgeous?  Her name is Tiger Lily, and her brindle coat looks like tiger stripes.  While they didn’t adopt her that evening, I know she will go to a home soon.  She is fun and full of energy.  We played with her in the big play yard.  She has the best time running around and leaning into people for quality petting.

I didn’t manage to get pictures from any of the other dogs on the floor, but I checked the website and some have already been adopted today!  It makes me so happy to know that these dogs spend so little time on that adoption floor before going home with their families.  Even Tiger Lily has only been on the floor for a few weeks.  I know she will find her home soon!

Do you do volunteer work?  Did anyone make a new year’s goal to get involved?  I did that last year with the SPCA and it has been an amazing experience!

Happy Birthday, Jerzee!

So, this week we celebrated this precious pup.


She is eleven years old!  Can you believe it?  She was my Christmas present nine years ago.  We went to a local humane society to adopt her.  Michael paid the adoption fee as my gift, and this was before he proposed!  That guy knew the way to my heart!

So every year, on our pup’s birthday, we take her to Petco to pick out a toy and get a treat.  It includes most of her favorite things – a walk, car ride, toy, and cookie.  Of course her other favorite thing is to snuggle, which we did the rest of the evening.  Here’s our trip to Petco!

20151207_154929.jpgAll ready to go!


Sniffing around before we go into the store.

Looking at all the toys.  She especially likes the squeaky ones.


Headed home with our choice.  I know this toy won’t last long, but she just got a new kong toy for Christmas from my parents, so we didn’t spend big money on this trip.

The cashier asked to give her the cookie.  At Petco, the dogs can get one free cookie from the front bins.  Jerzee ate it pretty quickly.  We had a great time!  I love celebrating this amazingly sweet and adorable dog!

Do you celebrate your pet’s birthdays or adoption days?

Do you have any traditions with your pets?

More Doggie Tricks

So…this week started out really weird.  I felt fine physically on Sunday until right before bed.  I started feeling a bit of nausea but I figured it was something I ate (like the three pieces of candy I might have had after dinner).  However, when I woke up Monday, I couldn’t get out of bed.  My back hurt, my neck hurt, my head hurt.  And when I got up I felt so much nausea that I had to lay back down.  On Tuesday, I was still sore and dizzy.  It was probably a migraine, but man, it was the worst migraine I have had for as long as I can remember.  We are still trying to figure out the trigger, if there was one.

That being said, I still wanted to put something up today, so Jerzee graciously did some of her tricks for me last night, so here you go!

Have you ever had a migraine before?  If you have, what are your triggers?

Tips to Adopting a Dog

I haven’t been to the SPCA in a couple weeks, because I’m fostering this dog.


However, the last time I was there, I managed to work with a few dogs, and some of them have already been adopted!  The turn-around rate at the SPCA is pretty fast.  I’m only able to go in once a week and I’m always seeing a slightly different group every week.  Some pups stick around longer than others, but they all seem to find their forever homes.

If you are thinking about adopting, I can give you a couple of tips.  The shelter can be taxing on even the best dogs.  It’s hard to know the real dog when you only see them under a high stress situation.  One suggestion would be to ask to see the dog in different environments.  The SPCA where I volunteer has a garden, a play yard, indoor meet and greet rooms, and the kennels.

I have seen dogs behave completely different outside versus inside, or even just being moved to one of the private indoor rooms, away from the noise of the adoption floor.  Going into different environments can give you some idea of how the dog will do in your home environment.

Plus, the staff interacts with these pups the most, so they are also a huge asset in learning more about the dog you want to adopt.  Ask them questions.  Tell them about your lifestyle.  Are you looking for a running buddy?  Or are you looking for a dog to play with your kids?  Each dog goes through a behavior test when they come in, and are continually monitored by behaviorists, behavior volunteers, as well as medical volunteers and staff.  If they have been fostered, then the foster will usually have more information about how the dog did in their home.  So don’t forget to ask and be open to suggestion.  You might just find your new best buddy!

I’ve learned so much from working with the SPCA.  But my favorite part is getting to be a part of these dogs’ lives on their way home!  This post isn’t sponsored, I just love this organization so much, and the dogs here are so well taken care of.  If you are looking for a companion, I would encourage you to check out the SPCA at spcafindapet.com.  You never know just who you will find!

A Safe Place

Whenever we have a thunderstorm at night, our boxer mix, Loco, sits up on our bed, stares down at us and shakes until we wake up.  He doesn’t calm down until my husband takes him into our master closet, a room with no windows.  It’s his safe place.


We also have safe places that we want to go to when things get really stressful.  When I’m feeling stressed, I like to organize my house.  Just cleaning off my desk somehow makes me feel secure when I feel overwhelmed.

What’s funny about Loco being in the master closet is that the closet isn’t really that much safer than our bedroom.  But either way, we don’t leave him alone in his moment of fear.  Michael will lay on the floor with him in the closet for the rest of the night if he needs to.

In the same way, even when I’m looking for security in other things, God is standing beside me.  He doesn’t leave me alone in my moment of fear.  He waits with me, through every minute if he has to.

Sometimes I use that thing that I think will give me security to try to prevent storms.  I have turned to my schedules and plans to try to create outcomes that I have absolutely no control over.  Like trying to get pregnant, or trying to avoid making mistakes at work, or trying to have a perfect marriage.  I do every ritual I can think of to stop the storms from coming.  But they come anyway.

That’s when I realized that organization isn’t my safe place.  God is.  It’s not family, friends, husband, home, job or hobbies that can ultimately protect me from my pain and suffering.  Only God can fully heal my hurts.  Thankfully, he’s patient with me when I forget and long to be in control once again, using tools that will break on me every time.

But sometimes, when I finally remember that God’s love is my true safe place.  And I let him take the lead.  Something really amazing happens.  He doesn’t just walk with me in the storm, but together, we dance in the rain.

What is a safe place that you tend to go to when things get rough?

3 Reasons I Love Working With the SPCA

I wrote about the Clear the Shelter day back in August.  I wanted to expand a little bit on why I work specifically with the SPCA organization.  To share my experience on why I love working with them.  Why I plan to continue indefinitely to be involved with this organization one way or another.


First of all, I love working with the SPCA because they equip you.  I’ve worked with other Animal Welfare Organizations, but I’ve not had the training that I have had here.  The training gives me confidence.  It allows me to understand not only protocols, but also how best to help these dogs to meet their specific needs.

Second, they work with you.  Before I worked one hour in the shelter, I sat down with volunteer supervisors to voice what I was passionate about, and they did their best to fit the work to what I desired to do.  And they offer classes to help meet your goals.

Third, they include you.  I feel like part of a team, not just some volunteer who clocks in the time.  And when I work with a dog, I’m not alone.  I am in conversation with staff and volunteers on how to best approach that specific dog’s needs.  I can leave at the end of my shift knowing that the dogs I spent time caring for will be cared for every day until they find their forever home.


The forever home is definitely the goal with these animals, but the journey along the way is definitely hard for them.  As a volunteer, I really feel like I make a difference.  If you have been on the fence about working with the SPCA, I would suggest that you go for it.  I don’t think you will regret it.


*I was not asked to write this post by the SPCA.  I just decided to because I love sharing my passions with you!

Foster Number Five!

Is it weird that Mambo Number Five got in my head when I started writing the title for this post?  Is it weird that I started changing the words to fit with my fosters?  “A little bit of terrier in my life, a little bit of Labrador by my side…”  Ok, I will stop now.

So, before we headed to Washington D.C., I kept a new foster for five days.  He is a chunky rat terrier mix that never wants to slow down for anything.  But he’s super cute, so it balances.


By the way, getting a picture of him as incredibly hard because he never wanted to sit still.  And I love the bow tie the a volunteer made for him.  Bow ties are cool.

Anyway, in my foster post, I mentioned that we keep fosters for different reasons.  This particular foster was marking (aka making piddles) all over his cage and possibly on a couple of staff and volunteers.  They checked him out medically, and he seemed fine, so they wanted me to keep him to see how he would do in a home.

He did mark the first night he got here, but that’s kind of normal for a stressed dog who marks that undergoes yet another change in his life.  And out of the five days, he only made one other small accident.  Overall, he was a great dog.  He loved playing in our backyard more than anything else with our dogs.  And when he wanted to take a break, he would just jump in our lap and give us kisses.

It just breaks my heart to see dogs stress out so much that it surfaces in behavior issues.  I’m so glad they gave me the opportunity to give him a bit of a break from the shelter.  I look forward to seeing him go to his forever home soon!