The Munchkins

Life with identical twins

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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Huey

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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Snow!

I asked Alexa if it was going to snow and she said yes, to expect about two inches. I think we’re at 4 inches at this point, and it’s still snowing as of Sunday evening! Alexa, who gives you your forecast info???

Sunday after dinner I realized we had a low key, boring weekend and if I wanted some content for the good old blog, I should probably take some pictures. Threw the dogs out in the snow and voila! These were taken at 7:00pm, so they are heavily edited. Heavily. Also, I cranked up the ISO so grainy. Just look beyond that k?

Lark was not amused. Not at all. She avoids the snow at all costs and will normally only go where I’ve shoveled or Annie has worn a path, but she had no options and her fleece suit only covers so much. Sorry girl!

Nevada had her first adoption event on Sunday. I’m fairly proactive at events. When people approached the dogs I immediately went up to them and said “Are you looking for anyone in particular? No? MEET NEVADA.” She’s young, she can be an only dog, and she’s potty trained. She’s rescue dog gold! Unfortunately, no one we talked to today was interested in adopting right now, they were more looking for in the future. Also, we decided she’s a chihuahua/shiba inu mix based on her curly tail and her face/ears.

Annie is my only dog that loves the snow and doesn’t mind it one bit. She was tearing it up out there! Nevada finally joined her and raced around a bit. I really need those two to start playing to get Nev’s energy out, and to help her lose some weight. She’s already lost a pound!

This was the best picture I could get of all three dogs playing (I left Midas in the house, I’m not that cruel). Annie was having a blast and the other two were lobbying hard to go back inside.

Pretty girl.

And another pretty girl!

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Nevada!

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Internets, meet Nevada. She’s our newest foster. She’s two years old and is some sort of chihuahua mix.

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Judging by her curly tail we’re thinking part pug? Shiba inu? Fox?

She’s 15 lbs, but she’s definitely overweight so we’re going to help her lose a little. She was just spayed so we’re taking it easy on exercise for now, but she has gone for two walks and has done fabulous on a leash. She walked with the pack with zero issues, sniffing but never pulling.

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Aren’t the spots on her front legs adorable?

She has the best personality. Super laid back, but also playful and fun. She loves toys, any and all, will fetch a ball if you throw it, and very much enjoys exploring the yard.

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She has also found that she loves to lounge on the couch with the girls. She puts her head on your leg and falls alssp. We’re a low key household, so it’s always nice when a new foster dog fits in with that vibe.

She’s been awesome with the girls, even sleeps with them, so she would make an excellent family dog. Best part? She’s potty trained! At this point we take her out every few hours (as we do with all of our dogs). She isn’t at the point yet where she will go to the door to tell you that she needs to go out, but she’s very smart so I’m sure that will come soon.  eta: I stand corrected!  This morning she went to the back door, asked to go out, and then went potty!

Every day we see a little more of her personality and I have to say, she’s a good one. She’s sweet, snuggly, smart, and her enthusiasm and curiosity make me laugh. After her time in a puppy mill, she definitely deserves the best! If you’re interested in adopting Nevada, fill out an application at Underdog Rescue!

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Larkie

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Poor Larkie. She has quite a few skin issues. I talked to my regular vet about them, but eventually went to a veterinary dermatologist. (McKeever in Eden Prairie if you’re local.)

She has three main issues. At first I thought they were all connected since they all present at the same time, but turns out that is just coincidence.

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Pattern baldness. She loses hair on her neck, her buttocks, behind her ears, and recently down the fronts of her legs. Apparently this is common in rat terriers. At some point the hair might not grow back, but at this point it still does (and then she loses it again). Her fur is thin at best, so she wears a sweater or fleece most of the time. I’ve found that the fleece suits that go down her legs work best because they keep her warmer, and they don’t irritate her skin by chafing. I’ve since cut the turtleneck off this one to make it more comfortable, and we have another similar in grey.

Her spots. In the winter her skin is white underneath her fur, but in the spring her spots start showing and by summertime, she is as spotted as a dalmatian. Turns out she has extra melanin in her skin and it comes to the surface when she is exposed to more sunlight. Nothing to worry about luckily!

Allergies. She gets pretty itchy, which we’ve been assuming is seasonal allergies. We treated them with various medicine last year, but my hope was to be able to pinpoint what she’s allergic to with allergy testing, and then do allergy shots year round to avoid the medicine. Allergy shots are more natural, more specific, and work better than medicine. The vet did allergy testing in July and oh man, that was rough. They shaved her fur and injected 54 different allergens into her skin. I had to keep her calm through 54 pricks! It was not good. Worse, she reacted to nothing! Oddly enough, I had awful seasonal allergies but also never reacted to anything with allergy testing. Turns out my inflammation was from gluten, which made my histamines react to seasonal allergens. Lark eats a grain free diet so that shouldn’t be her issue, but we repeated the allergy testing on Saturday (for free!). She’s been itchy lately, so it seemed like a good time to recheck.


This time I was smart and asked them to sedate her. She did much better with the allergy testing, and they were able to do it faster since she wasn’t wiggling on the table. And she reacted to things! A few weeds (that bloom in the fall, which explains why she didn’t react in July), dust (you’re in the wrong household for that allergy!), and mice. Now that we know what she’s allergic to, we can treat it appropriately. She will get diluted allergy shots every two days and then sometime in March or April it switches to every 20 days and a non-diluted formula. I think that her itching and her anxiety are at least somewhat tied together, so hopefully this will help all around.


Lark is the one I worry most about. Annabelle certainly gets anxious in situations, and Midas obviously has his quirks, but overall, those two lead relatively normal lives. Lark is always waiting for the other shoe to drop kick her, even after a year and a half with us. She has made huge strides in that time, but still gets scared every day from every day noises. I have a trainer coming in at the end of the month and I’m hoping that will help us help her. I just want to give her as many peaceful moments in her day as I can, and if that means $400 vet bills, so be it. (I did however make sure to get some free advice on how to treat Midas’ seasonal allergies this spring.)

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Demi

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Demi has only been going to adoption events since December. She is the sweetest thing with the best personality, but in with a lot of dogs? She didn’t always do well. She barked. A lot. But other times she would be her cute self! And then I got an email requesting a meet and greet. We were excited!

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When the woman arrived Demi barked and I got nervous. But! This woman had done her research and knew hos chihuahuas can be and the barking didn’t put her off at all. Demi soon calmed down and really seemed to connect with the woman. The woman asked a lot of questions which showed me she’d done a ton of research. We walked through Demi’s day, crate and potty training, and I tried to show off her awesome personality. Luckily, Demi cooperated and played fetch, gave kisses, and played with Annie like a champ. It all went really well and she emailed the next day saying she wanted to proceed with the adoption.

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Obviously with our first two dogs we foster failed. The two puppies that we fostered this summer were only with us for two weeks each. We loved them, but it was much different sending them on the way to their forever homes. Demi had been with us almost four months! She fit perfectly into our house. She was super easy, loved to play with Annie, and (mostly) knew when to stay away from Midas. She never fails to bring a smile to your face and loves to give kisses. I’ve said that if we didn’t already have three dogs we would have failed with her, but the flip side of it was, she was never going to be ours. So from that standpoint, I always knew we would be just a stepping stone for her.

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Her new mom emailed me on Wednesday and said her new name was going to be Lucy. It was perfect. It was more than a little weird calling her Lucy, but we did our best to help her learn her new name! Her new mom came over Saturday morning to pick her up so we spent a little time beforehand getting pictures. Every other picture I have of her is blurry or she’s looking away, but on Saturday she knew how to be the perfect model! I had a few moments when I was giving her kisses and whispering how much I loved her when I cried, but I pulled it together because I knew had to. The handoff went well, she got a new snazzy coat, and I kissed her off to her new life. I’m so thrilled for her. She will be the center of attention at her new house, which she will love. She will have lots of dog friends in the building to play with, and I know we will see her again at doggie playdates this summer. In the end, it wasn’t hard because I knew she was going on to an amazing life.

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Baron

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Internets, meet Baron. He’s a three month old golden retriever, and is our latest foster puppy.

Baron is a super sweet, super chill boy. Unfortunately for him, he was pretty stressed when he got to our house last week, and then just as he was recovering I took him to the fundraiser event which stressed him out as well. But, he’s on the upswing now and I can see little peeks of the dog he can be, when he races around the yard with Annie.

Speaking of Annie, she did not want anything to do with him the first few days. That job fell to Lark, who guided him outside, showed him how to do steps, and stood near him when he needed a pal. It was sweet to watch her in this role, she definitely is one to give love and comfort to other dogs. I’m super happy that Annie and Baron became friends though, since he loves to chase and play with her! Gotta get that puppy energy out!

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I know it seems crazy to take in yet another dog and add to the chaos of our house, but if not me, then who? There are so many dogs out there that are stuck in puppy mills, cranking out puppies in deplorable conditions. Someone has to rescue them. Someone has to foster them.  I get it, four dogs is kind of crazy.  Especially a puppy who gets up in the middle of the night. But Baron is going to make a family incredibly happy, and knowing that ending is out there for him makes it all worth it. And honestly, you can’t spend more than five minutes with this guy without being completely charmed by him.

If you are interested in adopting Baron, head on over to Underdog Rescue and fill out an application!

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Our Mighty Ruler

We are very much a household of routine, even the dogs. During the week they sleep all day while we’re gone. When we’re home on the weekends we completely wreck their nap schedule (ditto work from home Thursdays). Being home for four days? Ugh. They were beyond tired!

Midas was so tired, he just couldn’t handle anything. Think of an overtired toddler. By Sunday, if any of the other dogs even came near him, he barked at them. While he was eating he barked at nothing! He had everyone in the house giving him all sorts of space. Finally, I picked him up, snuggled him into my shoulder and let him take a 30 minute nap. I didn’t get anything done, but at least he was better after a little sleep.

The things we do for these dogs!

  

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Last beautiful weekend

Another beautiful weekend! Likely the last before next spring, but I wouldn’t turn down another one like this.

On Saturday we had an adoption event. This one was at a different pet store than the one we usually go to. It was packed! Lots of dogs, lots of people. More than a little overstimulation for everyone. Lark was decently social, just kept circling back to me every once in a while to make sure I was still there, hopping up on my lap when she needed a break. A few people did hold her which was good! She definitely connects more with woman than men. Midas is a champion at these events. He went up to the front of the gated area and stood on his hind legs until someone picked him up, and someone is always willing to pick him up. One couple totally fell in love with him (and he fell in love with them, he fell asleep in their arms which he didn’t do with anyone else). It would be a great match, we’ll see if they fill out an application.

I volunteered to take the dogs who aren’t in foster homes back to boarding after the event, but one dog completely stole our hearts. We dropped the little dogs off, but brought this guy home for a few hours.

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Isn’t he adorable?

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He’s a cocker spaniel/clumber spaniel mix I think? And he was the sweetest boy! He followed the girls all around the yard, and would sit and lay down for them.

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I love this picture. Delaney is passing out treats to all the dogs, making sure Annie doesn’t steal them. Midas got his treat and then turned and RAN! Go Midas!

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Midas is far and away the biggest mama’s boy of the three. I’ve been trying to get him to sleep with the girls so I can have a little more room in my bed, but he won’t have it. As soon as he sees me he comes running to the side of the bed, and of course I can’t resist him.

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Pups

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I took this picture Monday afternoon right after I let the dogs out of the house. They had spent most of Sunday in boarding, and that evening was rainy. When I let them out Monday afternoon and it was warm and sunny, there was pure joy! Look at Midas! He ran and jumped and did his funny chihuahua run. Some day I will absolutely get that on video because it is amazing. Everybody ran and ran and ran around the yard.

The Mighty Man has been doing really well. His marking in the house has decreased, he knows how to use the doggy door to get in the house, and will let me know if he needs to go outside. He continues to make us laugh and smile. Annabelle has started playing with him a little more, but she’s still unsure what to do since he’s so little. He’s a total mama’s boy which I love. He gets absurdly excited to see me, it is so cute!

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Larky lark. She has made huge strides! When we first got her she would not come in the house on her own. There is something about crossing the threshold of a door that causes her anxiety. But! Now she not only comes inside on her own, she uses the doggy door occasionally! I think she usually follows another dog in, but still. She still gets scared with noises, but has figured out some safe spots that she can go to to get away from the noise when she needs to. She is slowly warming to the girls again, which delights Delaney to no end. They have both been very slow and cautious with her, and their efforts are slowly being rewarded.

Lark and Annabelle are still close buddies. Their favorite time to rough house is bedtime. Yay. They tear around my bed and growl and play. I try to ignore them and read my book. Luckily, it wears them out and as soon as I turn the lights out, they both fall asleep.

I was told that someone put in an application for Midas, but I haven’t heard anything more, so I’m guessing nothing happened with that. Lark made a connection with a couple at an event last weekend, so I’m hoping they follow up and fill out an application. I think it would be a good match for her. I’m still a little amazed neither of them has been adopted, but I’m still confident we’ll find amazing forever homes for them!

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