The Love of an Animal

It’s hard to explain the love we have for our pets. Some people don’t understand it. They think animals are just animals – their worth not equal to that of a person. I disagree. Sometimes I think they may be worth more. They have the capacity to love and yet retain an innocence that people typically leave behind once they enter adulthood. I once had an idea – perhaps pets are angels. They are sent down to live with us, to comfort us, and help us in difficult times. To show us unconditional love and to remind us to be kind and to care for those who are unable to care for themselves.

When my husband and I moved in together, we decided to get a dog. We already had a couple of cats at the time. My cat Sadie, and his cat, Larry. I saw Bruno on Petfinder. His big, smiling, happy face made me smile when I saw it. He had been rescued by a couple who tried to rescue dogs who would be euthanized. Bruno was a Bernese Mountain dog/Rottweiler Mix. His foster parents had rescued him from the pound and gotten him up-to-date on everything and microchipped. We went through the adoption process for him and then we brought him home. They believed him to be about 3 years old. When we took him to the vet for  the first time, however, the vet thought he may be older than that.

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Our Bruno, in his youth.

Bruno would follow me around everywhere. He would just stare at me. He had come from a home with other dogs, so I though maybe he was lonely. So we rescued a puppy from the pound and named him Brautigan. They quickly became best friends. But Bruno still followed me. Still stared at me. I realized that I was his person.

Bruno was incredible. He loved other dogs, all people, cats, and children. Good lord, he especially loved children. We’d have to hold him back whenever kids were around. He’d knock them over trying to lick their faces. When we got him we were trying to figure out a name for him but ended up keeping the one he already had. I did give him an official name, however, as I do with all of our pets. He was HRH Prince Bruno Roth of Switzerland. Over the years he received many nicknames. Brune-Brune, gentle giant, baby bear and pupper. We had him 10 years, which means he was at least 13. That’s a nice long life for a dog whose breeds average a 9-year lifespan. But still, it was hard to let him go.

I think one of the hardest things in life is deciding to put a pet to sleep. Sometimes it’s obvious. A terminal illness or a vet recommendation. But sometimes, it sneaks up on you. A few years ago Bruno developed a tumor on his side. The vet said it was a fatty tumor, probably not cancerous. He lived with it for years. As he got older it started to interfere with his ability to turn around on that side. And then he started falling down. At first it was down steps. So we tore the outside stairs down and my husband built wider, less steep stairs that Bruno could use much more easily. And when those started to be hard again, we added non-slip coverage. The he started falling on the hardwood floors from time to time. Then he started falling everywhere. Now by this time he was practically deaf and partially blind. And he started to spend most of his time sleeping. But he still went wherever I was.

At night, after my kids were in bed and my husband went to sleep, I would do the dishes. Bruno would always join me. Sometimes he would lay right at my feet and I’d trip over him and say things like, “Dammit Bruno, do you have to lay right under me?” But even then I knew the day was coming when I’d miss tripping over him. I’d turn on some music and in the quiet of the evening, load up the dishwasher while my big old dog snored. It was a relaxing way to end every day.

Then Bruno started refusing to leave his kennel in the morning. I started reading articles about knowing when it was time to put a pet to sleep. No one really seemed to have the answer. Some said you’d just know. But I didn’t know. He was having good days and bad days. But then I read something that talked about pets having accidents in the house. And Bruno never had accidents. So then I thought, “That’s how I’ll know. If he’s going to the bathroom inside, I’ll know it’s time.” A couple of weeks later, he started to have accidents. It was a couple a day and it was like he didn’t even know it was happening. And even though I said that if that happened I would know, I was still unsure. But then I remembered an article that said something along the lines of it being better to be two weeks early than a day late. We have the ability to let them pass before they are in agony, so why wait until then. I had already made that mistake with my cats. Tony and Sadie. I waited longer than I should have and they suffered. I didn’t want to make that mistake again.

I called the vet and I set everything up. I prayed that he would have an awesome last day. And he did! He had more energy and seemed more like himself than he had in quite awhile. He seemed happy and full of life again. It made me second guess my decision. But that night, as I was doing the dishes, and crying, I looked over at him and he was looking at me. I said, “I just wish I could know that I’m doing the right thing. I wish you could tell me that it was OK.” And I swear to God the most incredible thing happened. My dog responded. He made 3 little growly sounds at me, and then laid down. He’s never done that. Not ever. So I decided he understood me and he told me it was time.

The next morning we took him in. I brought his blanket so he’d be comfortable and it would smell like home. He was laying in the waiting room and when it came time for us to go back he couldn’t stand up and the vet tech had to help us get him up. He’d lost weight, but he was still a big guy. We went back and he laid down. They gave him a shot and my husband and I petted him. I was laying on the floor with him, crying, but trying not to. We told him what an amazing dog he was. How much we loved him, and how much we were going to miss him. He fell asleep. We continued to pet him until the second shot stopped his heart. We left. I had made arrangements for the funeral home to pick him up and cremate him. He was too big to bury in the yard but we wanted to bring him home. The funeral home dropped his ashes off to us the next day.

It’s been several weeks since he’s been gone. I had to wait that long to write this because I knew I wouldn’t be able to. I’m crying now but not sobbing hysterically as I would have been if I’d tried to write this any earlier. I find solace in him being home. I find solace in knowing, in retrospect, that it was definitely time and that we did the right thing. But boy do I miss him. My big gentle giant. He was such a lovely soul. I wonder if I’ll ever have a day when I don’t think of him. For now, I keep his collar in my dresser drawer, and I do the dishes in the daytime – when the kitchen is filled with distractions.

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Us, on Bruno’s last day.

 

 

Little Fall Project – Faux Mums!

Hey all! I have been decorating for fall and typically I put fall mums outside of our home. Unfortunately, I always forget to water them, and eventually they die. I thought that perhaps in order to save future mums from certain death, I’d try my hand at a crafty little faux flower arrangement. I’ve never worked with faux flowers before, and it was fun – and I’m happy with the turnout!

I made this little video showing the process. Sorry, the sound isn’t great because I was outside.

 

 

 

FabFitFun Editor’s Box 2017

I recently subscribed to Fabfitfun’s quarterly subscription! The subscription comes at the beginning of each season so you will get a box at the beginning of spring, summer, fall and winter! You can also get the editor’s box at anytime and if you would like a little taste of what they offer you can order the starter box which is cheaper and has fewer products but it will let you see what is in store. As I state in the video I saw this advertised and it’s something that I thought would be fun so my husband got it for me as a Christmas present! The boxes are $49.99 each – and each box contains items that add up to be over $200. Easily. You can also get the Annual Subscription. This is really fun because it entitles you to a few perks. Also, I saved $20 by choosing the annual subscription. Each Season FabFitFun also chooses a charity to support, which is really cool. Fabfitfun subscription boxes contain a lot of different elements, which I love about them. They have all sorts of things in there like makeup, jewelry, fashion, lifestyle items, Fitness items, and even nutritional things. So it’s really cool because they cover an array of areas and it’s not the primary focus on just one thing. I’ll open up my boxes here on my blog for you to see so you can see if you might be interested in ordering them too!

Click the link below to see my video and please subscribe!

#FabFitFun

 

Champagne Taste and a Beer Budget

When I was 17 I went to the mall with one of my best friends, Shannon. We went to the Clinique counter because she needed something from there. She wore the good makeup from the department stores, I wore the drugstore makeup like Cover Girl. But at that time I had a job at McDonald’s. My Dad required that I put half of every paycheck into my savings (very smart advice) and the other half I could have. So on this particular day, Clinique was having a special gift with purchase. If you purchased a certain amount then they would give you a cute little bag with mascara, powder, a lipstick and eyeshadow in it. Those might not be the exact items, but you get the idea. Well I had my own money and I wanted the good makeup! So I bought a lipstick. Back then I want to say that their lipstick was around $11 or $12. So I felt like I had gotten a really good deal because I got all of those free items with my purchase. But when I got home, my dad saw the receipt and I got a lecture about spending that much money on makeup. He said that I couldn’t afford to shop there and that I had Champagne taste and a beer budget. I didn’t really know exactly what that meant because I’d never bought nor drank either of those things, but as I got older, I realized what he meant. And he was right. You put two things in front of me, say two purses. I will hate one and love the other. Then I’ll look at the prices. The one I hate is $29.99. The one I love is $379.99. It’s ridiculous and it happens with everything.

So over the years I’ve found ways to have those champagne things on my beer budget. I shop at TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, Burlington Coat Factory and Tuesday Morning. Regardless of where I am, I hit up the clearance areas first. I don’t care if things are last season or last year. But I do want quality.

Case in point, this wreath. A year ago I saw it at Kohl’s. I love wreaths but they are ridiculously expensive. At the time this wreath (made of dyed wood shavings and wood pieces) was $59.99. I checked another time when it was on sale and it was still around $30, and I didn’t want to pay that either. So I waited until the season was over, thinking I’d get it on clearance. But people had bought them all and none were on clearance. This year they were there again, same price. But this year when I went to the clearance aisle, there it was. For $5.99. Granted, one of the flowers and one of the stars were missing. But I just pulled one from the top of the wreath and filled it in. So I guess my point is this. Whatever it is that you want, whether it’s an item or a goal or a dream, find a way to get it. Sometimes it takes patience. Sometimes it takes working harder. Sometimes it takes creativity. Sometimes it comes in the form of assistance from others. Regardless, stay focused and motivated and find a way to get there.

The Nom Nom Popcorn Company

Shawn and I saw this place today and we never even knew it was there! We went in and sampled several flavors and every single one was AMAZING. They have gourmet popcorn, gourmet cupcakes and specialty beef jerky. I highly recommend it. Here are the flavors we tried:

Buffalo Ranch, cotton candy, dill pickle, sea salt caramel chocolate, loaded baked potato, Carolina reaper, beer cheese soup, supreme pizza and grape. They were all good. The flavors we bought and brought home were Buffalo Ranch, dill pickle, cotton candy, and caramel sea salt chocolate drizzle. So in case you didn’t know it was there, they are in Belden Village, on Everhard by Arby’s.

Being Mom

I have been a mother for over 18 years now. I am Mom to an 18-year-old son, a 4-year-old son, a 2-year-old son, and an infant daughter. Our oldest is from my first marriage and our youngest is adopted. I think all of these things, from the age ranges in my children, to having one who was adopted and one who I brought into my marriage, gives me a unique perspective on being a Mom. And I have many ideas of what it means to me to be a mom, a wife, and still find a way to express myself, have passions, and be my own person. I think as women, we are constantly trying to find the right balance. I decided to create this blog to share our stories and my experiences, and hopefully to open up a dialogue where people can chat, learn, share and support one another! Thanks for reading, and in case you were wondering, you’re killing it being Mom ❤️