Tag Archives: confessions

Regrets: But I Can’t Go Back And I Don’t Want To

< see the original post at http://www.evamdesigns.com/2013/03/regrets-but-i-cant-go-back-and-i-dont.html >

I’ve never bothered much with regret.  Perhaps it’s a pride thing (after all, to say you regret something means you’re admitting you did something wrong…), but I think regret is a waste of time.  You can’t change it anyway, so why bother regretting it?

I moved to North Carolina to teach at a public school in Charlotte in August, and I moved back to Erie a mere six months later.  I spent a lot of money moving down there, and I spent another good chunk moving back up north.  I’m sure to some people that looks like regret — I regretted moving south so I moved back north.  Well, it’s not.  I don’t regret moving to North Carolina.  It was something I had to do.

When you make a decision, you obviously have reasons to do so.  You may change your mind about those reasons later, but at the time, you had your reasons.  So why should you regret it? I had to go to North Carolina.  I was working in a private school, and at the time I believed it “didn’t count” as real teaching.  “Real” teachers were public school teachers, and you weren’t a real teacher ’till you taught at a public school.  In Pennsylvania it is very difficult to get a public school job — there is a ton of competition, first of all.  Then there are some districts that only hire people who went to the school, whose parents teach at the school, etc.  And there are other districts who only hire people who are in no way connected to the school (such as the district I was raised in and worked in for five years).  On top of that, I was just itching to get out of Erie.  I had lived in Erie my whole life, had gone to college and grad school within fifty miles of the city, and was worried I would never get out.  At that point in my life, I had to leave, and teaching in North Carolina was the first opportunity I found to do that.

While I ended up hating my job down there and moved back north just six months later, while I’ve lost money in the moves and have had to go back to substitute teaching up here, North Carolina was probably one of the best decisions I’ve made in terms of my own personal and professional growth.

Personally, for the first time since I really entered the “dating world,” I didn’t care about having a boyfriend — moving gave me distance from the stupid non-relationship thing I was doing with a moron up here, and it also gave me time to get over the real three year relationship I had ended the year before.    When we broke up at the end of 2011, I jumped right in to seeing someone else to help me forget about the one I really loved, and even when I knew that new person wasn’t right, I didn’t want to be alone.  Erie held too many memories of the guy I thought I was going to marry — from grocery shopping together at Wegmans to gardening/landscaping together in the front yard.  However, in moving to North Carolina, I rid myself of the moron, I separated myself from all my memories of the love, and I was just plain old too busy to even think about dating anyone else.  I discovered I’d rather hang out with my friends on Saturday nights than go meet up with some guy and have to make awkward conversation for an hour.  I got back into crafting in my free time and started my Etsy shop, Eva M Designs.  And this new independence followed me back to Erie when I moved.  Moving to North Carolina was something I had to do.

Professionally, I learned more about the “art” of teaching and classroom management than I would have learned in years up here (mostly because you had to learn to survive!), and I know I am a much better teacher now than I ever was before (and considering I had always had good observations before, I think I’m going to be pretty excellent now!).  I also realized what I had had up here at that private school I didn’t think was good enough.  I realized how important it is to have supportive administrators, and I learned what questions to ask and what things to look for as I seek out a new position and interview potential bosses. (Haha, flipped that one around!)  I realized that public school teaching is NOT for me,  considering the directions public schooling is moving towards. Frightening.  Finally, I realized I’d rather be poor than miserable, and I can’t wait to get back into a private school and share all I learned from my brief venture into public school.  I don’t care what they pay me – I’d rather get to teach and enjoy it.

So instead of regretting my adventure in North Carolina, I prefer to look at all I’ve learned from it and know that it was something I had to do.  I had my reasons for it at the time, and I never would have been satisfied until those reasons were addressed.  There are plenty of other situations in my life, actions I’ve taken, roads I’ve gone down, that sometimes I wonder if I should regret.  But I always remind myself that I had my reasons, and I would not be the person I am today if I had not made those decisions.

But I can’t go back
And I don’t want to
‘Cause all my mistakes
They brought me to you.

Shore Leave

If there is one thing I have learned this past week, it is how quickly things can change.

I moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, this past August to take a teaching job with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools system.  While I learned more in the past six months about classroom management than I probably would have learned in five years of teaching at my last school, I was pretty miserable.  The environment at the school was very negative – I constantly felt like I had someone looking over my schoulder, waiting for me to slip up.  I’ve had my share of not-so-great jobs — I’ve babysat, worked in daycare, worked in food service, etc.  and I’ve been bored or busy or worked to the bone at these places… However, I’ve never felt as unhappy as I did teaching at that school and working with those administrators.  I seriously had anxiety about coming to school each day.  It was pretty awful.

That said, I would never have left that school without securing another job.  While my plans changed frequently over the last few months — I thought about looking for a job at another school, waiting the year out and going back to school, even working at the mall (anything to get out of that school!) — I started looking for “real jobs” in other cities after Christmas.  I interviewed for a few and was offered a position leading an SPCA shelter in western New York.

I was delighted. Being in charge of a shelter? That was something I had always wanted to do — it was even on the Lifetime-To-Do List (aka my Bucket List) I started in college! So I gave my 30 days notice (that was an amazing day!) and I started to get ready to leave.  There were drawbacks — it was a cut in pay in a small town, I’d have to leave my friends and the lovely city of Charlotte, and there were lease fees and all that I had to worry about, on top of the cost of a moving truck.  But I hated my job, I barely got to enjoy Charlotte because I was working all the time or too exhausted from all the stress to want to do anything at the end of the day, and I seriously had this constant anxious feeling that I had done something wrong… when I wasn’t even at school! Ugh, it was awful.

So anyway, I packed up all my stuff last Saturday and drove up north on Sunday, arriving at my home in Erie, PA that night.  The next day we packed up the few remaining things I was taking from my parents house and headed to New York.  It was about a two hour drive to where I was going, and I was still feeling good about everything. I was looking forward to getting everything unpacked, setting up a craft room, and chilling with my new DirectTV that night!

Oh god.

While I hadn’t had the opportunity to look at the place I was moving into, the woman who hired me recommended this house (though afterward I found out she hadn’t actually seen it herself), owned by an active volunteer, head of the adoption committee, and former board member for the organization.  The house had been described as “beautiful,” and she had sent me some pictures that showed an older home with some quaint charming cupboards and a neat little loft.  I knew it wasn’t brand-spanking-new, and I didn’t expect it to be. However, I was prepared to get all crafty and make it a wonderful little cottage for me and my two poms.

It was flat out awful.  The place smelled moldy, there were cobwebs hanging from the ceiling and walls, and the floors were covered in dust, dirt, dead flies and mice droppings.  The windows had no screens, they were caked in gunk, and there were important things like a bathroom floor missing, tiles peeling up in the kitchen, broken appliances, garbage, and big gaps between the walls and the ends of the floorboards in which yucky stuff had piled up over time.  It was gross.

I honestly did not know what to do.  I just started to unload the boxes and sweep the floor.  When the rest of my family arrived to help move, we decided I could not stay here.  After speaking with the woman who owned the place, we decided to finish unloading my furniture, as I needed to return the truck, and there was no way I could find an apartment in a day.  However, as we were about to leave, the woman called back to say I needed to have my stuff out by the end of the week, because she had someone else who might want to rent it.  And let’s just say she wasn’t exactly nice, either.

I told my parents to turn around, let’s pack back up and go back to Erie.

And here I am now, at my parents house with all my boxes and furniture stuffed in the bedrooms and basement and garage.  I decided not to take the job.  With everything that has happened, it doesn’t seem exactly “meant to be,” and I just can’t shake the uneasy feeling I get when I think about it.  In addition to having to rent another truck to move AGAIN, I’d also have to work with the not-so-nice slumlord volunteer who owned the house. I still feel guilty – for leaving the dogs, for leaving Kris (the very nice woman from the Board of Directors who hired me), and for leaving the shelter in general. I truly hope they find someone great for that job…

So while I feel guilty that I am not able to help the dogs at the shelter like I had planned, I am not willing to risk committing myself to another negative working environment.  Until I can find something I feel good about, I’ll be staying with my parents (yay…) and substitute teaching at my old school here in Erie.  While on one hand the situation isn’t the greatest, I AM glad I got out of that school in Charlotte, and I feel like I am in a much better position to be searching for new jobs.  I have the luxury of time now — I’m not in a rush to get out of a bad job — and my financial commitments at this point are minimal, so I can save up some money as well.  It’s still unfortunate all this happened, but I can only move forward.

Well, I definitely left the shore…

On a more positive note, all this time off also gives me a chance to dedicate myself to my Etsy shop and this blog! I’ve been pretty active on Twitter this past month, but since preparations for the move began, I’ve been slacking on the blogging.  So what’s ahead?

I have a lot of ideas for posts I want to share with you, including:

  • Yummy: Peanut Brittle Tutorial
  • More Yummy: The Best Way to Cook Bacon (Civil War Reenactor Style)
  • Featured Shops
  • Tutorial: Downton Abbey Inspired “Sybil Necklace”
  • Tutorial: Pretty’d Up and Personalized Clipboard
I also want to share with you how my view of my Etsy shop has evolved over the last few months, shifting in my mind from the idea of it as a hobby to it as a business.  Kelly from Blart Blog has been fairly instrumental in this change in thinking (though I don’t think she knows it!), as I have learned about how she “created her own career” with the start of her shop on Etsy and her move into graphics and web design.  Check out the new blog she created that focuses on her path and all that she has learned.  It has a lot of great articles for budding entrepreneurs, and you can even win an advertising spot on the blog through a giveaway she just posted!
Anyway, I’ll be sharing with you soon enough the new direction in which I’ll be moving Eva M Designs, so stay tuned for sneak peeks!  In the meantime, check out what I have already listed at the shop!
   

You Are Not A Tree

I’m kind of becoming a pro at moving.  I feel like I’ve done it an awful lot in the last few years.  It all started when I finished student teaching and wasn’t sure I wanted to actually be a teacher anymore.  As I tried to figure out what I really wanted to do with my life — and what I could realistically expect to do with my BA in History and M.Ed in Middle and Secondary Ed —  I was all over the place. Back to school? Wait for a job? Move for a job? I was that butterfly that needed to spread its wings.

Well, my boyfriend at the time wasn’t really into spreading wings (for him, that was already done and over with).  This sudden divergence in our life plans caused a bit of a problem in our relationship, and unsurprisingly (if, as I learned from Dexter, the secret to a successful relationship is shared dreams/plans) we broke up.  This was my first move.

Christmas

my first apartment decorated for Christmas

cozy apartment decorated for Christmas

another view of my first apartment  –  ❤ you Irish!

cozy kitchen at my first apartment

Well, I lived in that lovely apartment for nearly a year, working first at McDowell’s preschool (not the dream job, I’ll admit) and then as a teacher at OLC.  I decided over the summer, however, that I still had that itch to spread my wings. I wanted to get out of Erie, to leave the 2 hour radius I had always operated within and live somewhere… cool.

I ended up in Charlotte. I moved here August 13, although I never actually fully moved in.  I’ve decided NOT to share any of those apartment pictures… mostly because I never took any. I still have lots of boxes and bins lying around, I never hung up decorations, and I’ll admit I’m a little behind on my dusting. It’s pretty pathetic, but motivation is kind of hard to come by when you spend the first 4 months of the school year miserably trying to catch up and the most recent two months making plans to leave.  My apartment here, though, is lovely – 2nd floor, huge bathroom, nice sized living/dining room, huge windows in my bedroom, balcony overlooking the pool, fitness center… and the best part, it’s in Charlotte, which is seriously an awesome city.  I am SO going to miss it — Amelie’s Bakery, The Crepe Cellar, NoDa, SweetCakes Bakery, Duckworth’s Grill, Baja Soul Taqueria, Cabo Fish Taco, Birkdale Village, etc.  I am really sad to leave this city and my wonderful friends here…

That said, I hate my job, and I don’t do things I don’t like.  So again, I make plans to move.  Because I am a person and I am able to do that.  Life is definitely too short to be unhappy.  And there is no point to being unhappy when you don’t have to be.

Always remember:

inspirational quote

my life’s motto

Lifetime To-Do’s aka Bucket List

I’ve never really taken the time to write a real Bucket List.  In fact, I even hate that term – “Bucket List.”  As a 24 year old, I find it depressing to think about dying and calling my list by that name seems like asking for bad luck.  That said, I have occasionally jotted down in my journal things I want to remember to do at some point in my life.  Lately, I have been thinking about those lists a lot, trying to remember what it was I put on them.  The lists are in journals at my parent’s house in Erie, PA, so unfortunately I cannot search for them at present (being 10 hours away in Charlotte, NC).  However, I am pretty sure of a couple of things I definitely included on my list:

– Visit Europe. See towns and buildings that were built centuries ago.
– Plant pear, apple and peach trees; raspberry and blueberry bushes; concord grape vines; and strawberry plants in my yard.
– Write and publish a novel.
– See killer whales in the wild.
– Fix up an old farmhouse.

There was one thing that has always been on that list — I remember thinking of it during my sophomore year of college, and I always included it as I rewrote the list in each new journal.

– Start a dog shelter.

If you’ve read any of my previous posts, it should not come as a surprise to you that I have a slight obsession with dogs — rescuing them, particularly.  That fixation started in college, and I dreamed someday that I could open up my own animal shelter to help dogs find homes.  I figured that would be the only way I would ever have the opportunity to run one.  I mean, I didn’t have any sort of veterinary degree, so how else would I get hired at a shelter?  My only resort, I figured, was to someday create my own non-profit shelter on the large piece of land my husband and I owned (the one that had all the fruit trees and berry bushes; also, the one with the farmhouse we fixed up).

Well, it turns out I will be able to cross that particular dream off my Lifetime To Do List a lot earlier than I expected.   In less than a month, I will be leaving the lovely city of Charlotte (sad face) and my career in teaching (happy face) to take a position managing the SPCA of Cattaraugus County’s animal shelter in Olean, NY. Granted, I am not exactly starting my own animal shelter — however, this situation is even better.  The shelter already has some sources of funding, I will have a salary I can count on, and there are already dogs ready to find new homes. Now, I get to do all the things I wanted to at my own shelter — find new sources of funding, write grants, start new programs (like foster programs, dog training, educational and outreach, etc.), increase adoptions and awareness, and generally improve the lives of all the dogs (and, I suppose, cats) already there!

I have to admit, it feels pretty good to reach a Lifetime To Do by the age of 24.

one of the new residents at the SPCA shelter — don’t worry pup, I’m on my way!

Yes, I Made My Dog Wear Clothes

Yesterday, the dogs and I made the long drive from Erie back to Charlotte.  It was about 30 degrees when we left PA, so the girls got to sport their cute winter sweaters with their snazzy new haircuts on the trip.  Or at least, that’s how I justified it.

 

229832_4247921283929_1422033810_n

 

Though I don’t consistently dress my dogs up, I do have some history making my pooches wear silly clothing.  Several cases in point:

photo

IMG00199-20121229-1928

(I had to do a little creative positioning with that sticker.)

And apparently it runs in my family:

But at least I don’t make my dog look like this:

dog-fashion-Millie_LaRue_LucyM

 

 

The Mayans Made Me Do It

I came home from Target today to this doggie disaster:Image

This is what followed:

Image

Confessions of an Adoptaholic

Over the last few years, rescuing dogs has become somewhat of a hobby for me.  While most people want to get a little puppy when they think about bringing a dog into their family, it is their older brothers and sisters on death row in various shelters and rescue organizations that call out to me.  I don’t think everyone realizes what great dogs can be found at animal shelters.  And even the ones that maybe start out not-so-great–with a little time and lots of loving, they become the most special.  You’ll see what I mean.

Hi, my name is Nicole, and I am an adoptaholic.

My compulsion to adopt dogs started in June of 2007.  I had just finished my first year of college and was turning the big one-nine (i.e. 19).  I also happened to be in Mexico, studying marine conservation/coastal resources through the School for Field Studies in Puerto San Carlos, Baja California Sur. My addiction begins here.

Stoney

I had never had a dog growing up — my mom always used the “I’d be the one to take care of it!” excuse.  Perhaps that is at the root of my addiction–some innate need to make up for all those lost years.  Anyway, dogs had not played a large part in my life before this point.  The closest I had come to owning a dog was hanging out with Stone E. (“Stoney”) Smith, my uncle’s Chesapeake Bay Retriever.  By this time he was getting up there in terms of years – nearly in double digits, I think.  Even so, he would fetch until his knees gave out, fishing balls and toys from the sides of the pool.  And he only fell in once.

Ok, back to Mexico:  About two weeks into the program, I started to hear a rumor that Rebekka, one of the professors, was looking for someone to permanently adopt a puppy she had come to shelter that past spring.  Apparently, a box of puppies had been abandoned up the road on the beach.  The professors and students at the school had essentially taken them in and started caring for them during the spring semester program.  All of the puppies but one had been taken home by these students when they left Puerto San Carlos in May.  Molly, a black and tan Shepard-looking pup, was the only one left.

Molly

At this point in time, despite being adorable, Molly didn’t have a lot going for her.  She was terrified of everyone.  You could not get within a few feet of her without her taking off — except if you had food, but even then, if you dared move your hand toward her as if to pet or grab her, she was gone.  Even with Rebekka, Molly was fickle.

Nevertheless, I got it into my head that I wanted this dog.  She needed a home — Rebekka was set to leave for the summer break after our program, and Molly wasn’t a dog she could easily fly back and forth as she came and left the school. In two weeks, Molly would be fending for herself in an already stray-riddled Mexican town. Unless I took her home.

It took several phone calls, a lot of begging, possibly some crying, and a lot of guilting–but in the end, I got what I wanted.  Molly came home to live with my aunt and uncle and good ol’ Stoney, and I moved in to their house for the rest of the summer to spend my time with Molly.  Within three weeks, Molly was acting like a normal dog — all fears forgotten. We had a good summer.

(She eventually became somewhat of a terror–bullying, stealing, and generally mischief-making. In fact, my family has nicknamed her Wicked Wanda. Trust me, it’s fitting.)

But then I had to go back to school and leave my Molly behind.  Granted, I was only 45 minutes away.  Even so, I missed her, and I decided to start volunteering at the Crawford County Humane Society to help fill that void.  It didn’t take long before I was making that phone call: [sobbing voice] “Mom, I found a dog like Molly, and she’s so scared and all she wants to do is cuddle against you and give you kisses and she’s so sad and pathetic…”

After a second trip to the Humane Society that day, I came home with Bailey. This time, however, we went to my parent’s house. (I think my mom was trying to bribe me to move back home by finally getting me a dog.)

Bailey is a Chow-German Shepard mix, although she is one of the sweetest dogs you will ever meet. She’s generally as pathetic as she looks, especially when I visit with my dogs and she feels neglected.  She’s used to being the only baby in the house (my mom and dad spoil her), and she gets all out of joint when she has to share it.

So by this point, I had adopted two dogs–Molly and Bailey.  Molly was living with my aunt and uncle and Bailey, with my parents.  Of course, because I was away at school, the dogs became less mine and more my family’s.  Though all I wanted was to be able to have a house where I could rescue a dog of my own, I unfortunately was still in school and living in a dorm.  That, however, was all about to change.

In the summer of 2008 I began dating a man that, at that point, I expected to marry. I unofficially and then officially moved in with him, and suddenly I had an apartment, and a front yard, and a backyard, and a job (I was still in school, of course). Commuting back and forth to Meadville, I continued my classes at Allegheny but lived and worked in Erie.  With all of these things (an apartment, a yard, and a job), what else could I do but get another dog? (I told you, it was becoming an addiction. In my defense, however, my parents and aunt and uncle refused to hand over Bailey or Molly… so what else was I to do?) Again there were several phone calls, lots of begging, definitely some crying, but again–I finally got my way.  Mark and I adopted Irish from the Crawford County Humane Society in October of 2008.

Irish 44Though they didn’t tell me at the time, my family could not see what I saw in this dog.  He was big and furry, with long, thick and dirty matted hair.  And he liked to pee on everything.  And I mean everything.  Every time something was moved — even it was simply a laundry basket moved from one side of the room to the other, he had to pee on it. Had to. Every time.  He was my baby though, and I loved him.

Without a doubt, Irish is the most “chill” dog I have ever seen.  Everything he does is slow — he gets up slow, he walks slow, he takes cookies slow.  He is super gentle, and if I had had more time to train him, he would have made an excellent therapy dog.  He loves being with people but doesn’t need a lot of action.  The only things I’ve ever really seen get him going are playing soccer and chasing bumblebees.

I don’t know where Irish came from–he had a bit of a “rescue” personality:  needy, afraid to be left alone or behind, timid, flinching occasionally, not quite sure how to play at first.  After we finally got him to stop peeing on things, he made an excellent pet.  When I moved to North Carolina, I decided to leave him with my aunt and uncle who have a nice backyard for him to play in. (Yes, the same aunt and uncle who also have Molly… and yes, I know, I have a tendency to  hand out dogs…though I call it finding them a good home).

It was only a few months later that the compulsion struck again.  I was speaking with a professor in the English department of Allegheny College, and the professor next door happened to have a little black Pomeranian.  Well that night, after I got home, I happened to mention to Mark that it would be cool to get a little dog like that someday… and he wasn’t opposed to it.  A Petfinder.com search later, two weeks gone by, and we were driving to Grove City, Pennsylvania to pick up “Foxy,” who we renamed Phish (aka “Phishy”).

Phishy was a super cute and fun but incredibly gross dog.  He puked. A lot. Occasionally, he peed. And he barked. A lot (though the nights I was home alone, I was glad for his bark!) Anyway, we still loved him.  He had come to the shelter after someone saw him being thrown from a van.  As he had been picked up right away, and while at the shelter, lived in the woman’s house and slept with her other dogs in the bed, he didn’t really have that “shelter mentality.”  We had hoped that Irish and Phish would become friends, but they mostly just coexisted.

When Mark and I broke up three years later, I kept Irish, while he took Phish.  That had always been the division, for whatever reason–Irish was “my” dog while Phish was “his.”  That didn’t make losing Phish any easier though.

So now I am at four dogs over the course of four years: Molly, Bailey, Irish, and Phish.

This past spring, I began taking Irish over to my aunt and uncle’s house every day to play with their dog and run around their backyard while I was at work.  They were pretty much running a doggy daycare for me at this point.  As the weather warmed, my aunt began to hint at keeping Irish for longer periods of time… after work, overnight, on the weekends. It just so happened to be Mother’s Day when I asked my mom what Aunt Michele might think of keeping Irish, since he was happier having a friend (though she was a bully) and a backyard. It turns out Aunt Michele had already asked mom the same thing–she just didn’t want to offend me!  So that’s how Irish found his second home…

Four dogs, four homes, CHECK.

Of course, after Irish went to live with my aunt and uncle, I decided I wanted to get another dog–this time, an apartment dog.  A little Pomeranian like Phishy.  I did my Petfinder search, and after contacting a few shelters, I settled on a dog named Fannie from the Maple Hill Farm Toy Breed Rescue in Butler, Ohio.  The dogs at this shelter come largely from puppy mills, or commercial breeding facilities.  Basically, dogs are raised to be bred, live their entire lives in small cages, and have very little human contact.  They don’t live with a family, they aren’t given love, and they oftentimes breed until they die.

This is the picture I fell in love with.

This is the picture I fell in love with.

Fannie (or as I now call her, Izzy) came from such a breeder when she was three years old.  She clearly had had no human contact, because simply being touched or held caused her to shake all over.  She was at the Maple Hill Farm Toy Breed Rescue for three years by the time I found her.

When I took her home, she was still terrified of people.  She hated me. Flat out hated.  She hid in her crate, and then when I took the crate away, her corner 24/7.  For the first three days, she wouldn’t go to the bathroom.  She was so terrified of being outside, that she ran immediately to the door.  She had no clue what a leash was for, and she freaked out every time it brushed against her.  Her heart pounded and her teeth chattered in fear when I held her, and she was terrified of toys and stuffed animals.  And she really really hated me.

At that point, I didn’t think Izzy would ever be a normal dog.  I wasn’t sure she would ever learn to play, or take walks, or cuddle.  She sat in her corner all day and all night.  If I picked her up and brought her to my lap, at the very first opportunity, she would bolt.  It was pathetic.  Of course, I still loved her.  But she hated me.

Over time though, she started to get better.  She still hung out in her corner at my apartment, but when I brought her to friend’s houses, I was all the new rage with her.  She couldn’t get enough of sitting on my lap–even sleeping in bed with me! Apparently, I was the safest place in the room. But again, as soon as we returned home, she was back to her corner.  Still, there were some lasting improvements: she knew how to walk on a leash, she loved to eat treats, and she didn’t shake when you held her.  And she was still the sweetest and most adorable thing around.  So there was progress.

Nalla 1

Now, it has been seven months since I adopted her, and she is a completely different dog.  She’s happy, and she plays.  Time has helped, of course, but a big part of this recent success has been my most recent (and for now, lastadoption: Nalla.  I found Nalla on Petfinder.  She was heartworm positive and needed a home to live in while she was undergoing treatment.  I volunteered to foster her, and after successfully completing her heartworm treatment, I officially adopted her.

Nalla is not sure what to make of me.  She likes to follow me around outside, and she is happy to take my treats, but I still make her nervous.   She runs away when I get too close to her, and she huddles down when I try to pick her up.  Nonetheless, she has made an incredible impact on Izzy.  Izzy has learned to play (though not with toys–my dogs like socks), and jealousy pushes her out of her comfort zone to seek attention when I’m focusing on Nalla.

Nalla and IzzyDespite the jealousy, they are truly the best of friends–and of all the dogs I have adopted, I have never seen any act this way.  They follow each other everywhere. They sleep in the crate together (willingly–I leave it open).  They hide in the closet together.  One hops on the couch, the other hops on the couch. One hops down, the other hops down.  They seriously cannot get enough of each other, and adopting Nalla (yes, she was my sixth) was the best decision I’ve recently made.  In fact, if you talk to any of my placement homes (my parents, my aunt and uncle, and Mark), I’m confident they would tell you just how special their dogs are and how glad they are I found them.

You really don’t need to get a puppy to get something special.

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