Current blog look and design inspired by our love of clouds.

© 2014 24 Paws of Love

©2010-2014 24 Paws of Love Content from this blog and its feeds may not be displayed or reproduced.  Please request permission from Mark or Patty before using at 24pawsoflove@gmail.com  Thank you.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Monday Memories-Silver Understands

Silver and Alex

Alex had hip dysplasia.  As he got older and his condition got worse he needed to assistance with certain thing, like getting in the van.  He hated any amount of help and would always glare at us when he needed it.  He would put his front paws up on the floor of the van and we would lift his rear end inside. 

Sometime after this became a daily routine, Silver started to mimic Alex's behavior when getting in the van.  If it wasn't bad enough that I would have to lift Alex, now I had to lift Silver as well. 

It was cute and funny at first, but as time wore on and we watched Alex's legs decline, Silver's copying became a reminder of how painful Alex's situation was.  While we were trying to make the best out of the situation, Silver's behavior emphasised the obvious.    

Looking back it still difficult to see how Silver interpreted this pattern.  Was she emphasizing with Alex, or just copying him thinking, this is how we get in the van now?  Alex was her first and best friend and I know she still misses him to this day.  Every so often she will still get in the van with her front paws and wait to be lifted up, letting Alex's memory live on.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

24 Paws Mission

Brut
Our goal here at 24 Paws of Love is to share our experience, strength and hope of living with six dogs in a unique situation of being separated into two packs.  By sharing this reality, we hope that people will give their dogs a second chance before getting rid of them because of behavior problems and find that simple hope of, if they can do, we can do it. 
Fiona

We also want to show that a dog is more than a dog.  They are life companions and they are a living breathing creature full of unconditional love.  There is a healing power in dogs that when you tap into it, you find they are your best friend and that there is a spirit and soul just waiting for your love. 



Chance

Simply put, we want every dog to have a forever home.  A home where they are loved and cherished as part of the family.  We'd like to share through our experience that that is possible.  Every one of our dogs has an issue or problem that needs work.   They range from simple training concerns to fear aggression with other dogs.  We don't have it all figured out as we continue to keep learning as we go, but we talk straight from the heart about these matters.  The division between the two dog packs adds to our complexity, but we continue to do our best to take care of both packs and their needs.  It isn't always easy, in fact it can be very difficult and trying at times, but the rewards out weigh those difficulties because our dogs are worth it.
Zappa

We hope that everyone who visits will take away a little piece of that love that they might look at their dog in a little bit different light.  We want to do more than just tell a story. We want to share our experience so that others hopefully will see the value of their dogs and shed some light on the reality of this relationship between humans and canines and what it can be.  There will never be any human that will be as devoted to you as your dog.  Doesn't that loyalty and love deserve a wonderful home to share it with?


Silver


Blaze



*********************************************************************

Join of for the Pet Bloggers Hop!
Hosted by Life with Dogs, The Two Cavaliers and Confession of the Plume.


Friday, January 28, 2011

Brut Fire


There are times when I have questioned why Brut was put in my life. His aggression with dogs has come far, but he still has a fire in his belly that roars like a lion. This exquisite creature is like a rare rose with jagged thorns that cut both ways. Most of the time the thorn just scratches the skin, then there are those days without warning they drive like a dagger.


What I have witnessed with Brut's fear aggression comes from a deep place of survival. A fight he never should have fought. His beginnings went against the natural order of life and placed him in a position that taught him to fight to survive. I understand because my beginnings were the same. It is difficult to give up the fire when it has brought you this far through life. I know how it feels when that encompassing fear flares up and threatens that fire.

It is that fire in our bellies that bonds Brut and I like DNA, burning with the need to survive. As odd as it may sound it is Brut's aggressions that have helped me understand him and thus myself. I have found that when I forgive Brut, I forgive myself. It is this understanding between us that we have grown and healed in many ways, though we can never let go of that fire that brought us together in the first place.




We would like to give a big howl out to Julia from Canidae Pet Food Blog for using our post:  How Much Is That Doggie in the Window?  as inspiriation for her post:  How Much Is Too Much To Spend On Pets?    She discusses her viewpoint after hearing of the questions that we get everyday about owning six dogs and being able to afford them.  Please stop over and check it out.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Blaze's View Point

 
This is my perch. Best seat in the house.
It is great for watching the squirrels and rabbits go by, but there is even a better reason.

My previous owners used to lock me up for longer than I care to remember and would leave me there.
I was trapped within four walls and it seemed like forever before they let me out.


Here's why this is the best spot. I always get to see Mommy and Daddy leave, but even better than that, I get to see them come back. And they always wonderfully come back.

Mom says it was the answer to my severe seperation anxiety.
Who knew? All I know is that it's still the best seat in house!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Chance Walking Success


Chance and I have been working hard on our walk training program.  To learn how and why we got started you can read What's Your Weakness and to read about our training method you can read Learning to Walk Chance

Our last time out was a week ago due to the extreme cold as the dogs weren't able to stay out for more than 5 or 10 minutes.  We made a lot of progress that last time.  We made it two houses down the road.  Mind you there is a lot of back and forth and turning around to keep his attention off that natural forward drive.  This is also teaching him that no matter what way we walk, it is to be all the same.  

Daddy was walking the Back Dogs and when we encountered them, Chance barked and I made him sit while they walked in front of us.  The great thing was that he did not pull or make any effort to move after them.  That was fantastic.

So today, was a bit of the same scenario, Daddy was walking Back Dogs (one dog at a time) while I was out with Chance.  Chance was excited and was pawing at the gate before I put his leash on.  Once he calmed and I had his leash on, I walked him around the yard once and brought him to the gate.  We stopped, he sat and looked at me.  I opened the gate waited until he looked at me again to give him the signal to walk.  He did excellent.  I think he has this part down.  I use the walk around the yard because this let's him know we are in training mode and the type of walk we are going to take.  It also helps him to focus, especially since Daddy was walking Brut who marks everything and Chance is very interested in these markings. 

So we walk out the gate making several stops for him to investigate these marks.  Once he's checked them out he is fine to pass by again without the need to recheck them.  I use the command "release" where he can go where he pleases using the whole length of the leash.  I use it at the major pee spots and when he needs a break.  Or if I need a break.  Sometimes I call him back when I am ready and other times I wait for him to sit which tells me he is ready.  It depends on the circumstances. 

Today we made it three houses down with very little corrections and I could really feel him getting into the groove.  He was doing fantastic.  Daddy came out of the woods with Brut while we were down the road walking towards them.  They were a few houses down, but Chance was calm and stayed with me.  Honestly, I don't even know if Chance even saw him. 

Next Zappa came out with Daddy and Chance and I walked by them with no problems at all.  Chance never pulled or picked up speed.  He stayed right with me.  Things were going so good, I decided to test out Chance a little more.  We headed down a steep path through the woods that Chance would have normally pulled ahead, or off to the left or right or anywhere but next to me, but he there was, right next to me going at my pace, downhill.  AMAZING!!  I could hardly believe it!  The same dog that pulls me with feet flying was actually at my side without even a tug forward.  This was getting to be too much. 

At the bottom of the hill, trying to close my gaping mouth in shock, I had two choices:  go back up the hill, or take a short path through the woods that would lead back to our road.  Well, I decided to take the path.  Lord, help me!  We did great until I gave him the release command.  MISTAKE!!  And the worse part was I knew it was before I did it.  Getting Chance to come back to me was a bit difficult.  He was tugging every which way.  Deer and rabbit scents were everywhere. 

At this point we'd been going for a good 45 minutes and about the time my patience was wearing thin.  I found myself suddenly getting rather tired and so was Chance and we haven't reached the road yet.  I started walking him back and forth to desensitise him a bit but with little success.  We had to get out the woods. The only way I was going to succeed at this point and keep myself together was putting him on the release command and letting him walk me out, until we were close to road.  Then I called him to me, made him sit and gave the "walk" command.   We walked out of the woods and down the road back to the house.  We had both succeeded!

I had found a way to get out a tricky situation and it worked!  We walked for almost an hour and Chance was superb!  And I think I did pretty good myself!  It was a great feeling!  Tell you what though, I was exhausted afterwards.  It really took something out of me when we were done and I wasn't the only one.  Chance was sleeping under the table during dinnertime!  For a dog who worships mealtime, that has never happened.  Talk about having some hope.  For so many years I have tried and failed at this over and over and now it just seems to all be coming together.  Blaze and the Back Dogs are in for a rude awakening when I get Chance where I want him, because they are next!!  :)    

Monday, January 24, 2011

Monday Memories-the Blue Blankie


Why was this Brut's favorite blanket?

Well, because after all that puppy play...








He couldn't resist the smell of all that puppy love.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

THANK YOU!!


We'd like to thank Rumtruffle, Acre of Misfits, Pawprints,ears and a tennis ball and Yellow Dog Farm for this wonderful Award!!


Rules of the award:

1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you this award


2. Share 7 things about yourself

1.  Brut is frightened when the Lazy Boy is being reclined.
2.  Silver runs and hides when voices are raised, even in excitement.
3.  Fiona is spooked by anything that smells like medicine.
4.  Chance starts screaming before the vet even touches him.
5.  If you accidentally bump Zappa when he's not looking, he freaks out.
6.  Because Blaze's previous owner's kids used to beat on her, she still barks at kids.
7.  Daddy has a magic way of soothing all their fears.



3. Award 15 recently discovered great bloggers

4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award!

Ludo, Ludwig van Doggy

Thank you again for this award and please check out any of these great blogs!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Special Saturday-Chow time and the Blog Hop

I don't know about anyone else, but it's been a long and stressful week on our side of the world and thought maybe we weren't the only ones who could use something warm and cuddly.
PUPPY VIDEOS! 

The pups are 2 days old and weigh about a pound and a quarter to a pound and a half.

The two Huskies in the center of the white puppies are Zappa (left) and Blaze (right).

The white puppy on the far right is Chance while the white puppy on the right is a toss up between being Chance's two other brothers, Red or Rocket.
You can see how they "pump" the milk with their paws.
Watch carefully and you will notice how they all stop feeding at once.


  video
Can everybody say...Awwwwww!

Now that we've finally figured out how to convert our analog puppy tapes, we will be able to share more about the adventures we had with our litter. 

And with that we welcome you to the Blog Hop!

Hosted by Life with  Dogs, Confession of the Plume and The Two Cavaliers.
  


Friday, January 21, 2011

Brut Connections


Have you ever had such a powerful connection to your dog that they are like your own breath?  Brut is my sound piece and my barometer.  Lately I've had a hard time connecting with him because I've been lost in my head.  When I plug in to Brut, I plug into myself.  He is more than an extension of me, Brut is as much a part of me as my arm or legs and we one in the same.  We understand each other because we think so much alike.  When I feel like the world is barreling down on me and I've lost my sense of direction with myself, I turn to find Brut. 

I was riddled with anxiety and I needed to get out in the cold and snow and the Back Dogs followed.  Brut and I instantly clicked and in moments we were play fighting and challenging each other.  Grounding.  Centered.  We became entangled in each other as the worries and fears that plagued my mind began to loosen and break apart.  Contact.  We'd been missing out on contact.  Like a good back crack to my brain Brut broke through the walls that no one else could.  In this play I took him down and we wrestled in the snow.  Free.  Open.  The boundaries were broken.  The walls were shattered and we became as one.

What freedom!  What a release!  What joy!  The ability, to actually be able to connect so deeply with another creature who understands your needs and gives them to you...how do you really express that?  What kind of words can I put down that explains what that really means to me?  How can they describe my experience with such a finite vocabulary?  

As play time winded down, I flopped on my back in the snow and laid there breathing for what seemed like the first time in months, when I was attacked with kisses from Brut.  He did stop.  He licked my face until I was drenched and when I sat up giggling he kept giving me kisses until he was lapping up my tears.  There was no question, he was glad I was back.      

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Sweet Doggie Love

Blaze and Chance courting


There's been a bit of love happening in our house the last couple of days.  Blaze's heat is progressing along and she is almost ovulating, which means right now she is still fending Chance off, but in another day or two she will be ready.   We are not breeding her and even though Chance is fixed we will be seperating them when the time comes. 

They run around like a couple of teenagers waiting for Mom and Dad to leave the room.  Chance follows Blaze everywhere she goes, panting with excitement.  He pulls all the love moves, bowing down, dancing around her, getting her going and then just when he thinks he's sealed the deal, she flips around and attacks.  Blaze will then proceed to the door like a teenager trying to sneak out with her boyfriend.  If only she could open the door!  There she pleads with me that if I will just open the door, she promises to be a good girl.  They just want to go out and play.  Really. 

So I let them out and go out with them.  They both sit at my feet and tell me "We don't need a chaperone, MOM!!  You ruin everything!!"  You can hear them praying for me to go back in the house.  Insisting they won't do ANYTHING.  Against their pleas we all head back in the house and the process starts over again.

If you have never witness the love of two dogs, it really is cute and very comical.  I caught some on video, but my husband thought it was a little too X-rated for the blog, so I'll just have to give you the edited screenplay version.  There really is something so sweet and loving about their courting as I remember very well with Silver and Brut.  There is a pure and natural love when dogs breed and the real beauty of watching this interaction is knowing that all dogs are created with this same love.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Daddy's New Year Resolution



What's the greatest way to get in shape?  Including dogs in your routine.  My idea didn't start out that way.  I was going do push-ups, back arms and crunches one day and then ride the stationary bike the next.  After following this routine for a week, while doing my push-ups, the thought occurred to me that instead of doing the bike tomorrow, why not walk the Back Dogs instead.  One dog at a time on a mile and half loop.

So that's what I did.  I walked Brut, Zappa, Fiona and Silver and it was the coolest exercise routine I've ever done.  They were really happy at this opportunity and were waiting in line for their turn.

Since my work schedule has been so hectic I've never really gotten the chance to walk any of the dogs on a regular basis.  Now I am finally getting that chance.  I'd always laughed at my wife about needing to work on training the dogs.  I tend to let the dogs walk any way they want.  Halfway through walking Brut, the first dog, I knew I was going to have to get with my wife's training program.

The best part of the walks is spending that quality one-on-one time with each dog.  We've been doing it for just over a week now and they have already picked up on which day is walk day.  So even if I don't feel like doing it, I can't let them down.  They have become great motivators and they are making sure I don't break any of my New Year's resolution.

I'll be keeping everyone up to date with our progress.

And a special thanks to everyone who is as dog crazy as us.  Dog bloggers are the best!

P.S.  Chance and Blaze are in special leash training with my wife and she won't let me near them at the moment, but don't worry they are getting their walks too.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Daddy Love


When Silver was really young Daddy started singing Rock-A-Bye-Baby to her at bedtime and she would crawl under the bed to sleep before he was through with the song.  He continues the tradition with each and every dog.  Daddy wasn't allowed to have any pets as a kid and has never really known the joy and love of having any.  Every day he wakes up in the awe and wonder like a kid on Christmas morning, cherishing every minute he gets with our family before heading off to work.  After eleven years, he never tires of the dogs or cats and their antics.

The dogs hate to see him go and they all start howling when he leaves in the morning.  No matter how sneaky he tries to be to get out, it never fails, they see him off with a song.  They put on quite circus show when he comes home, barking, singing, circling and practically doing flips, even when he just runs to the store for a minute.  It is comical and heartwarming and Daddy always gets into the spirit by calling all their names, for he is finally home in a house full of love.

There is something refreshing about Daddy's playful spirit and watching the dogs blossom from it.  He has a way of making every moment with the dogs count.  He can smooth over the rough edges of the day and bring the dogs to life with his songs and silly antics.  They look forward to Daddy being home because he's missed them all day and wants nothing more than to make up for all the time he lost with them.  I guess Daddy just has that way with everyone he's close to in life.  Sometimes I forget about the fun that comes with dogs, but Daddy has a way of always making me remember.  It is so wonderful to be a part of and witness all of this love around you and Daddy and the dogs make that happen.         

   

Monday, January 17, 2011

Monday Memories-The TP Thief

At four months old Zappa was always finding things to pick up and run off with.  One time I went to use the bathroom and sitting there I realized I didn't have any toilet paper.  Zappa had been known to take off with it before. 

I called his name and he came bounding in with a big roll of toilet paper in his mouth. It was the cutest thing ever.  I thanked him and he went on his puppy way.  When I relayed the story to a friend, she replied with, "Good thing he brought it back!"  Which made the whole incident even cuter and funnier because it had never occurred to me that he might not bring it back.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Thoughts From the Other Side

Mommy Silver and Zappa at one week old.

When we got Silver we planned on her having puppies.  For those first four years before she got pregnant, Silver and I were instinctively in tune with each other.  I could just think her name and she would be at my side or at the door ready to come in.  There was an intense bonding when she was pregnant and became a mother.  No more different than any mother would be if their own daughter was pregnant.  When we had her spayed after having the puppies, it was like the bottom fell out.  She was five years old and I felt like I'd "lost" her.  Besides the physical problems she was having due to lack of hormones, there was an emptiness in her that made it difficult to reconnect with her.  It was if she lost part of her soul when that surgery was done and it took away the higher consciousness we had together.
  
Silver has always been a moody dog, but the sparkle never left her eyes, until she made that trip to the vet.  It was heartbreaking watching this beautiful dog's spirit dying before our eyes.  I had no idea the traumatic impact this would have on her.  Silver was born to be a mother.  Everything in her being was made for it and when we took that away from her, it was more than just an organ being removed, it was the center of her being.

It wasn't until almost a year after the surgery that she began to bounce back little by little.  Silver had lost the extra weight she had gained and her fur loss had diminished.  Her mothering sensitivity and nurturing care slowly began to show itself again.  She began to open to me and wanted to take care of me again, but that strong intuition had lost its previous intensity we had together before she was spayed.  She still knew before I did when I needed her, but now these were only moments of time.  I miss the electricity that was once there between us and I find myself a little saddened by once was.

It makes you wonder, when we spay and neuter what we may be taking away from our animals and our relationship with them.  Maybe this is the reason Brut and I are so utterly in tune with each other and how we understand each others vibes.  If you really look at it, these procedures are not a natural act of nature.  There is more to these organs than just reproduction, it is a creation of who we are.  If you look at it without the basic need to procreate, it is the most natural state of being for any creature.  Hormones are not the evil of life, they are the very being of creation.  Neither of us would be here or our animals without them.

There is such a hard argument to stop unwanted pregnancies, which I agree with, but have you ever stop to think what else you may be taking away?

**DISCLAIMER**-This post is neither for or against neutering and spaying, it is only my observation and personal opinion.

Join us for the Saturday Blog Hop hosted by Life with Dogs, The Two Cavaliers, and Confession of the Plume.







Friday, January 14, 2011

Pizza Delivery Dog

We bought a pizza to thank everyone for their wonderful support to our little blog and Chance volunteered to deliver it. 

You can count on me!
I wonder what kind it is...

Oooooo...it's a supreme!
                                 
It's MINE!!

I'm taking it to my room.


I'll just take a slice...


What do you mean, where is it??
Mom, I think Blaze ate the bloggers pizza!!

Nice try, Chance.

We'd like to thank everyone for their support dealing with Brut and learning to walk Chance.  We really appreciate the encouragement. 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Learning to WALK Chance!

If you read What's Your Weakness you might remember that Chance likes to pull me on a walk as if I were a sled.  When I open the gate out of the yard, it shoots out of it.  I have been working with him every couple of days or so and we are making GREAT progress. 

I started by walking him around the yard with his leash on, then I would unlatch the gate (without opening it) and click and treat if he stayed.  Then we would lap the yard, this way and that, then come back to the gate, which the wind had opened, I would make him sit, wait until he looked me in the eyes then would tell him to "walk".  We went a couple of feet out then turned around and came back to the front door.  Click and treat for "end of walk".  I continued to repeat this until we reached the end of the walkway in front of the house.  End of the night.

The next couple of times I repeated the above, unlatch gate, click and reward, then when the wind opened gate, continued walking out to the end of the driveway.

The last few times I unlatched the gate and opened it.  He sat there.  HE SAT THERE AND WAITED FOR MY CUE TO WALK!!!  I could have peed my pants I was so happy.  Chance is like a runner on the starting blocks who takes off at the sound of the gun when the gate opens and here he was sitting there not making a move and waiting for my command.  It was a fantastic feeling.  So I practiced this over and over while I keep going further down the road.  Always turning around, back and forth.  I noticed yesterday he was getting comfortable with walking by my side, going at my pace.  He had relaxed into it.  It helped that he was boosting my confidence and helping me to relax with him since we tend to feed off of each other.

Now instead of letting him pull at all, I'm stopping at the slightest twinge, which is HUGE for me.  I used to just let him do it then try to stop him when it became too much.  Yea, I know, makes a lot of sense.  I have always walked my dogs with tension on the line, and never corrected them.  Now I'm not tolerating any.  What a difference.  Not just for me but for Chance and understanding that, because he is responding well to it.  I'm seeing him make sure he stays at my pace, not getting too far ahead.  I'm using a heel position, but he has some play, he can still reach his head to the ground.

I am so impressed with myself for something I never thought I could ever do.  I have decided to just work with Chance at this time.  I would like to work with Blaze also, but she comes with a completely different set of rules that I don't feel as confident about yet.  I think just sticking to one dog at a time and building my confidence and skills is the best way to start.  What a wonderful feeling doing something I never thought I could ever do.  I love watching Chances reactions.  They are calmer and quieter, like he's able to gain control over himself.  What a beautiful feeling of watching two minds work together for a greater purpose.    

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

BRUT CALMING

The art of BRUT ZEN

I never thought I could learn anything but fear and hate from Brut's aggressiveness with dogs, but somehow I have.  This anxious, neurotic Mommy has had to learn to be calm.  CALM.  What the hell is that??  You mean I have to be calm in order to handle dog fights that are scary and make me want to beat Brut over the head to make him stop because my fear just fuels his fire?  You've got to kidding me.  But that is just what I'm talking about.  Blaze has started her heat, three males in house, all ready to claim her, hormones are kicking, tension are rising and this meek fearful Mom is suppose to remain relaxed and handle an outbreak without any fear? 

I will NEVER get accustomed to dog fights.  How people can get off on them is beyond my scope.  It is even worse with dogs you love to watch them fight, but it happens.  They are rare now, but with Blaze's cycle starting, the chances are a little greater.  It is a terrifying experience every time and you never really seem prepared for it even when you know it is about to happen but you're not quick enough to stop it.  The fear that electrifies in your gut instantly makes you want to react out of that fear.  In that moment nothing seems rational as the teeth fly. 

None of the dogs have had more than a bloody scratch on them from a fight.  From my observation they never mean to kill, just to fight.  They never go for the throat, just the face.  Like a street fight, only with teeth.  Brut is usually at the center with another dog, but all of the dogs have had a riff or two between them at some point. 

We do as much preventive maintenance as possible, stopping aggression and fights before they start.  Thank goodness at this time that Chance is separated from Brut and Zappa, who have a long history of challenging and pushing each others buttons that that don't need a third party involved.

So now during what I consider a very fearful time, I must remain as calm, cool and collective as possible. Not just during a fight, but ALL day.  I need an air of confidence and stability that is not in my genetic code.  Leave it to Brut to teach me another life lesson.

Today was a good example.  Brut was noticeably calm today.  So was I.  What a difference it made under such extreme conditions.  He wasn't pacing or anxious.  Which made me aware that Zappa had calmed a bit also and wasn't egging his father on.  (Zappa is pretty protective of Blaze as she was his "first love" by accident, during Blaze's first heat, even though he is fixed.)  We have about three weeks of this and it is only going to get worse.  Brut is the only male who isn't fixed and eventually his hormones will override everything and well, if you've never witnessed a male when a female is in heat, it ain't pretty.  But for now we are only on week one, we still have time to prepare.

These special times will be putting my skills to the test.  The test of staying calm in such a delicate situation.  Of finding the strength regardless of what happens to handle and control the circumstances with every ounce of confidence I have in me, because it isn't going to be easy.  Just the added anxiety that will surround me will make me want to crawl out of my skin, yet for every one's sake I will have to centered myself and pray I have what it takes to make it through this time period.  And it will take all of that, one day at a time.   

   

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Daddy's View Point-How Much is that Doggie in the Window?

 

It doesn't take much for me to start talking about the dogs.  Here is a typical day:  I am at the gas station and the cashier sees Zappa riding shotgun with me.  "What a wonderful looking dog!" she says.   And that's all it takes for me to start pulling out pictures and narrating a slide show about the 24 Paws of Love.  I can't help it.  I can never talk enough about my wonderful family. 

Well every now and then I come across someone who loves dogs, but looks at me and ask, "How do you afford it?  It must cost a mint to feed them."

I know they want to say more but they just smile and look at me like I am crazy. 

One person even told me that I was never going to get ahead during these hard times, unless I got rid of some of those dogs that I have. 

I just shake my head and wonder why people say what they say.  They just don't understand.

Another person, after learning of my love for the 24 Paws, asked me, if someone offered me $500,000 for one dog would I take it?  I told him I wouldn't take a million dollars for one hair on their head.  He walked away shrugging his shoulders and rolling his eyes at how bizarre that sounded. 

Even though it may sound crazy, it is true.  All the money in the world couldn't replace the 24 Paws of Love.  My relationship that I have with each and everyone of our family of puppies is priceless.  Every day I learn a thing or two because of the unconditional love that I receive from Brut, Silver, Zappa, Fiona, Chance and Blaze.  Each of whom are so different in their own way but their love is all the same that they return back to me.  Sometimes I have a hard time believing I have been blessed to witness from birth the true meaning of what unconditional love is.  What kind of price tag can you put on that?  

Monday, January 10, 2011

Monday Memories-Before Brut

Silver 3 months old

It is easy to forget there was a life before Brut and kids came along.  Where once upon a time Silver was our main girl. She was our first puppy together and it was like having our first kid.  Daddy went crazy buying toys and treats.  We lived on a big hay field at the time, where we took long walks through the fields and Silver was able to run free.  Big brother Alex was her best friend and it was a simple time.

Alex and Silver (3 mos.)

  Silver loved to play and learn games.  We played any sport that involved a ball.  Tennis, basketball, soccer and her all time favorite football.  She still loves playing with a football today.  We used to make up games and change the rules as we went.  One mintue we were on opposing teams and the next we were scoring a goal together.  When the weather was bad I would turn up the music and play hide and seek with her.  She loved this game.  I would throw a ball one way then run and hide in the other direction until she would find me, then it was a race to find the ball to do it all over again.  We had such a blast together and the time was magical.

Gotta find Mommy!
  
Silver created many memories that I will always cherish.  I was reminded of our game times when we were Brut-free for a couple of hours and we had the freedom to play without Brut trying to jump on top her.  Yes, things change when you get married and have kids, but deep down she will always be my little Silver.           

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Wash Away Those Winter Blahs!

For those of you buried in the snow and cold of winter, we've got a wonderful treat for you.
So grab your hot cocoa, wrap yourself in a blanket and let us wash away those winter blahs with the summertime fun of Chance the Hose Wrangler!


video
Chance the Hose Wrangler
The best sprinkler system a couple of bones can buy!!



Now join us for the Saturday Blog Hop, hosted by Life with Dogs, Two Caviliers and Confession of the Plumes.
Have Fun!! 



Friday, January 7, 2011

My Lifelines

"Dog" is "God" spelled backwards.  I have no doubts.  For when my faith is short and weary, my dogs are always there and know just what I need.  The only true love that has been constant through my entire life has been dogs.  I had a traumatic childhood and I relied on our dog love for everything to survive through it.  I have become utterly dependent on my dogs to be there when I need them.  I don't know how people survive without that unconditional love greeting them at any time of the day or night.  Yes, it can get crazy with six dogs divided into two packs, but for all the difficulty that may evolve, I receive the love and understanding I need from them.  There is a binding comfort when my world feels like it has fallen into a black abyss or their crazy antics that cracks my frown because they are just who they are.  They are sensitively forgiving when I fall short and continually warm my heart with their expression of characters.  The wonder and awe of their ability to know me and my needs better than myself never ceases to amaze me.

I have often wondered why and how my dogs love me as much as they do as I have had to divide my time between the two packs and no one ever really gets my full attention 100%.  They never get enough walks and some days our time is so short together, yet they greet me as if I am their best friend in the whole world and have made their whole day with whatever time we spend together.  They always look forward to my company and simply wait when I'm not available.  They never complain that I spent more time with one side or the other and indulge themselves with me when we are together.  They give me that extra nudge to keep going when it seems as if all else has failed and they never give up on me, even when I've given up on myself.  They just love me for me. 

I have been through many things in my life, many I hope never to repeat again, but I do know this, I hope I will always have the honor and companionship of such loyal loving friend as a dog by my side.  For I do believe it is the closest being I can touch next to heaven itself.     

Monday, January 3, 2011

Monday Memories-Birthday celebrations

Our litter turned three years old yesterday (see previous post) and the celebration continues with the rest of the "Power of Ten" Pack. 
The puppy photos are all at four weeks old.
The second picture is the most recent we have of each puppy.
These are the names we gave them and who they will always be to us in our hearts.


Red:  second born.  We put a red ribbon on him when he was born to separate him from his other two white brothers and the name stuck. 



Angel:  Third born and named for the "wings" on her chest.  The new owner kept the name. 




T-bone:  Fifth born and named for the white "T" on his chest. 


Grumpy:  Sixth born and well, doesn't that puppy face just say it all?



Rocket:  Seventh born and named so because he shot out when he was born like a rocket.



V-girl:  Eighth born and named for the white "V" on her chest.  Her owners also kept her name. 

Happy Birthday to the Power of Ten!
We love you more than you will ever know.
Thinking of you until our next visit... 

Love, Grandpa and Grandma

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy 3rd Birthday to the Kids

HAPPY 3rd BIRTHDAY TO THE "POWER OF TEN"

Three years ago today Silver delivered the first of ten puppies starting with Zappa at 2:50am until Fiona was born at 9:15am on January 2, 2008. 


The Power of Ten less than a day old.

The Power of Ten together for one last time at almost 9 weeks old.



Zappa, the first born.



Fiona, the last born and the runt.


Happy Birthday Zappa and  Fiona!


Chance, puppy #4


Blaze, puppy #9



Happy Birthday Blaze and Chance!

We were so blessed to be part of the birth of ten healthy puppies.  It was one of the most amazing events we have ever witnessed in our entire life.  

Happy Birthday to all our Puppies!

Love, Grandpa and Grandma