The Munchkins

Life with identical twins

Weekend Wrap up

Because we had the Santa Brunch on Saturday, we switched our piano lessons to the 8:00am time slot because that lesson canceled. While I wouldn’t want that time slot every week, it worked perfectly and made sure everyone was up and moving on time.

After the Santa Brunch we changed clothes and then drove this little girl to her new family. She freaked out when we did the hand off, which we knew she would, be he sat in the back of his car with her until she calmed down. She couldn’t have landed in a better home. The guy knows the breed, knows what to expect, and was super excited.

That said, I was so emotional. After she broke her leg, Midge became aggressive at times. I think she bonded too much with me since I was her primary caretaker. It definitely caused problems, but in between she was so sweet and such a snuggler we worked through it. While our house is definitely calmer now, I miss her like crazy. There’s of course a whole mess of guilt and responsibility tied up in all of this, but it’s been an emotional few days.

Sunday was the Christmas program at church. We take a very low key role in the program and just sing the songs so there aren’t any extra rehearsals. They did a great job with the program this year! It’s a great mix of an updated telling of the story, along with a few songs.

We raced home after church to change clothes and then head out to the horse barns for the holiday show. Last year we were far too new to even go to this, so we were all excited to watch. It’s essentially a horse competition, with four different skill levels. In the middle, the super advanced riders came out and jumped the big jumps. We’ve never seen the girls trainer ride, so that was super fun! She’s such a natural on a horse. It was also crazy to watch the owner ride her gigantic horse. They had the jumps high, and some of the horses were clearing them with a foot to spare. And the horses! Stomping their feet as they cantered, you could tell they LOVED it. The girls agreed they will definitely be in the show next year which will be fun, since we can invite family to come watch them.

While we had quite a bit going on during the day, our evenings were completely free. Saturday I made risotto, which is the perfect cold weather dish. Sunday we had leftovers since we’d all eaten at the horse show. It was so nice to be able to end the day relaxing at home, and knock off a few of our dvr’d shows.

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Midge! She is so close to being off restriction! Less than two weeks left. She is so ready to be done. She really, really wants to run and play with everyone else. It sucks that she’s stuck at the end of a 3 foot leash, but we’re so close, we just need to stick it out for a little while longer.

The first six weeks were a lot of healing. She had a soft cast on for four weeks, and then the next two I think were a little painful. She was so used to having her leg straight, once she could bend it and sleep and lay on it, it was pretty sore when she straightened it again. But, I think we’re past that now and she’s back to her spunky, playful self. It’s been so good to see her sweet personality come out again! I forgot how funny she is. For such a tiny dog, she has a huge personality!

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Hazel Bazel

When we first got Hazel I was not sure about that name for a dog, but it turns out, there are a million nicknames for Hazel and I think we used most of them!

Whenever I get a new foster my hope is that they will attach to the girls and sleep with them. It usually works for a few days, but then they figure out that I’m the one that feeds them and they like me best. But Hazel loved the girls best, right up until the end. She slept with them, she hung out with them, and she snuggled with them. It was the sweetest.

I was worried about her adoption Sunday evening, but the girls handled it well. (I was the one who had to retreat to the office to give her kisses and cry in private.) Hazel got super excited when her new parents came in the door. She ran over to them, jumped to be picked up, and then settled happily in their arms. She looked like she was home, which definitely made me happy. Have an amazing life Hazel!

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Let’s highlight the dogs that have come through our house in the last week!

But first, a Midge update. Her surgery went very well! They put a metal plate in her leg, and she has a supportive cast for four weeks. The cast is to give her bones some time to heal before she starts putting weight on her leg. It was interesting talking to the orthopedic surgeon and hearing about how the toy breed specifically has bone and circulation issues that cause these breaks to happen, and make them harder to heal. Don’t breed teeny dogs people! It’s hard on everyone.

First up – Libby!

Libby is a two year old beagle. She has the sweetest face! Libby needed a place to hang for a week so she came to our house. Libby had a lot of energy so we took her for morning and evening walks. I really loved those walks and so did Annie! It was a nice way to start our day. Libby is crate trained, but is learning how to be a dog and so would need another dog in her furever home to help show her the ropes. She loved to run around the yard and sniff everything.

Most fosters stick with a breed or two. We foster chihuahua mixes and rat/toy fox terriers. We know the breeds, our dogs get along well with them, it’s just easier all around. I grew up with a beagle, so I’ve always been drawn to the beagles that we get in. It was fun to have Libby around for a week, but she and I were not always on the same page.

We now have Hazel. Hazel is a two year old chihuahua mix. I love chi mixes! They have such great personalities and are perfect playmates for Annabelle.

This is her and Lark but you get the idea.

Hazel is an owner return (through no fault of her own) so she already knows how to be a dog! With puppy mill dogs we teach them how to be picked up, how to go through a doorway (you’d be amazed how this one can be very difficult for many dogs), how to do steps, furniture, pee right away in the morning, all those things they never learned being locked in a cage all day. But Hazel knows all of these things! And she gives kisses. She adores the girls and cries outside their room at night until I let her in so she can crawl in bed with them. She needs to lose a bit of weight, so we’re continuing our twice daily walks, they’re just a bit slower at this point.

Magnum! Another foster picked this guy up from our house, so he was only with us for a few hours but he and Annie played chase almost nonstop for those two hours. It was so sweet! I’ve seen him at a few events and I love this guy. He’s three years old, and from what I remember, was found as a stray. He clearly used to be a house dog though, because he gives kisses and he loves to be held. He’s got a great personality, total snuggler, and would be a great playmate.

If you’re interested in any of these dogs, fill out an application at Underdog’s site! Hazel isn’t up on the site yet, but she should be soon. If you’re interested in adopting a dog, let me know. I’m more than happy to keep an eye out for a specific breed, or to try to play dog matchmaker.

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Internets, meet Midge. Midge is a toy fox terrier. She’s one year old, and 4 lbs. Four pounds! She’s teeny! When you pick her up you think – this can’t be right! She’s just a peanut of a dog.

For size comparison, Midge next to Annabelle. I tried to line up Lark in the middle, but she wouldn’t stay for the picture.

Normally when I introduce a new foster to the rest of the dogs everyone ignores each other. Not Midge! She went right up to everyone and introduced herself. By day two she was officially Annabelle’s shadow, and had even coaxed her into a game of chase. Annie was definitely caught off guard, but apparently no one can say no to Midge. She’s a crazy mix of timid and brave and like all puppy mill dogs, she loves the sunshine and loves to be held. I’m going to go out on a limb and say she will not be with us for very long. She’s just way too cute!

Loki went to his forever home last night. He’ll have another chihuahua to play with, and a mom who can help him be brave. He and I really bonded so I will definitely miss my handsome little guy.

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Mr Chill

Someone we know needs to adopt this little dude. He is the best! He’s super chill, but still playful. He loves scratches right behind his ears and down his back. He seems to be potty trained and hasn’t had an accident in the house. At first I thought it was just a fluke, but we’re at five days with him and no accidents. He’s a dream foster. Barking is one of those things that pushes me right over the edge, but he isn’t a barker! He just hangs out. Who needs a buddy?!

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Internets, meet Loki! He’s our newest foster. Since we only have a few more trips up to the lake this summer, I’ve been keeping my eye open for a dog that would fit into our pack. When I saw Loki’s picture I knew he fit the bill. He’s a 5-year-old, 6 lb chihuahua who is super chill and easy going.

We picked him up Sunday night and he’s been a dream. He goes potty outside and happily hangs out in his crate during the day. He has absolutely loved exploring our little yard, and last night even ran around and kicked up his legs a bit! It was so cute to see him get comfortable. At first he was not sure about anyone touching him or picking him up, but he’s getting used to us and even came to me to scratch his belly. In the house he spends all of his time in a dog bed watching us. He hasn’t explored at all. I do wonder what goes through his little head. I’m hoping in time he will be a good playmate for Midas, once he gets comfortable. So far they’ve sniffed a bit, but otherwise ignore each other.

We can’t wait to see more of his personality come out. Until then, we’ll happily snuggle him and scratch his belly. If you’re interested in Loki, please let me know!

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Tiny Bits

* Once we go into summer mode, we’re gone too much to foster a dog. It’s too difficult to bring them to the lake, and too difficult arranging temp fosters every weekend. And so, on Friday Huey went to his new foster home. I was so sad that we didn’t get to see him to his forever home. I had really hoped he would get adopted and we wouldn’t need to do this, but it just hasn’t happened yet. He’s with an amazing family with a big fenced in yard and kids for him to snuggle with, so I know he’s loving life right now, but I will miss my sweet boy.

* This week is going to be crazy and stressful. One day at a time.

* We leave for New York on Saturday and I cannot plan anything because the weather forecast changes hourly. Rain, rain go away!

* If anyone has dinner suggestions for nights when you have sports at 5:30 or 6:00 I’m all ears. For riding nights I always made bacon wrapped chicken or tacos ahead of time, so by the time the girls got home they could eat quickly and we could get on the road. But, I also worked from home those days. I keep thinking crockpot? But the crockpot and I aren’t always friends.

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Five Dogs

Huey is still here. I know, I said he was only temporary, but he wasn’t feeling better by Saturday morning so I took him into the vet. His teeth are awful and he has worms, so he is back at the vet today to get his teeth and nuts out. He’s a sweetie and fits into our pack fairly well, so he can definitely recuperate here.

I’ve been thinking lately about fostering and what my limit of dogs is, and why things seem to be going better now than they were last fall. I think there are two factors to success at our house – fitting in with our pack/routine and not peeing everywhere. When we fostered puppies they were so cute! And they were so funny! And they were adopted quickly! And those punks either peed everywhere (Barron the golden retriever) or had so much energy I was throwing balls at 10:00pm in the hopes of sleeping all night (Arthur).

On the flip side, Demi, Nevada, and Huey have all been great fosters for us. They have similar energy to our dogs – playful but love snuggling on the couch – and they are good about doing their business outside. Not having to constantly clean up messes lowers my stress level A LOT. The people who do well with puppies are better at potty training and I’ve realized that is not my strong suit.

Our one issue with Nev and Huey is bedtime. Demi slept in bed with me and our three, but she was smart enough to go to the far corner of the bed and not move. She respected everyone’s personal space very well. Nevada is not that socially aware. She could sleep with Caden, but she never stays in bed with her so she has to sleep in her crate. Once the lights are out and everything is calm she’s fine, but it’s those 20 minutes prior when Lark and Annie are trying to play and I’m trying to read where she knows she’s missing out and barks. I’ve tried keeping her out with us, but then she gets in someone’s way and that’s just more barking. She has an application in, so cross your fingers this works out. She’s SO ready for her forever family and her own bed to sleep in.

Huey has found his people and now he doesn’t want to be away from them. And by his people I mean me. The first few nights he happily slept with Caden, but now that he’s feeling better he wants to be with me. The last two nights Delaney slept in my bed with our three dogs, and I slept in the guest bedroom with Huey. I figure he slept by himself in a wire crate for seven years, I can spend a few nights snuggling him.

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This is Huey. He’s a 7-year-old rat terrier and he was not handling being in boarding very well, so he’s hanging at our house for now. I’ve definitely realized that rat terriers with sad eyes are my cryptonite! We only have him until Sunday though, so it’s a short term thing.

When he got to our house he was clearly not feeling well. His tummy was gurgling and in distress. He’s been awesome about either going outside or in his crate though, so it hasn’t been an issue.

It’s hard not to compare him to Lark, especially since they look like twins at a distance. But, he clearly didn’t have the physical abuse that she had. He doesn’t mind being picked up, crashed out on my lap the second night, and is generally much more trusting of humans than she is. His body is in rough shape, but good food and time will hopefully heal that.

With Trump in office, I’ve definitely needed an outlet where I feel like I’m doing some good in this world, and the rescue dogs have been that for me. I’m more active behind the scenes with the rescue, and it’s been so rewarding watching Demi, Nevada, and now Huey become the dogs they were meant to be, and hopefully find forever families. I give money to various organizations, but having a cause where it’s more than just writing a check has been healing for my soul.

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