Love and Loss

I know that with a new blog I should be posting often and I had originally planned to post about every other day, but sometimes things do not go the way we plan.

We lost our Maxx on Tuesday morning, he passed away after a short illness.

maxxysun1 Actually, it wasn’t a short illness – we just didn’t know he was sick.

He started acting a little strange on Saturday night, but we didn’t think much of it. Then Sunday we knew he was not feeling well, so we planned for him to see the Vet on Monday.  Monday the Vet came to see him and found that he had a large tumor on his spleen and based on his symptoms he determined that it had spread to his liver. The liver takes up the slack for the damaged part for as long as it can and then when it becomes too much it stops working and the dog goes downhill quickly. There was nothing we could do.

We thought we had a few days with him and planned to put him to sleep when it was time but he died at 6:45 Tuesday morning. We were with him when he went, and we pet him and comforted him as he passed.


He was so full of energy and life- we never saw this coming and we are devastated. He was everything to us. It all happened so fast. He was so young- he would have been 7 in August.


So now we are just trying to make it through the day. I don’t know what will become of this blog, I had such plans. Maybe I will pick it back up in a while but right now it’s just too much for me to handle. I know there aren’t many people who follow me but I thought I should let you know why I’m not posting.


Maxx doing what he loves – playing fetch.

06012009 Portrait of a handsome puppy.

 Below: Sleeping Maxxmaxxsleep1

So please, hug your loved ones and tell them you love them, you never know when they will be gone. We loved our little guy so much and gave him the best life we possibly could and he gave us so much love and fun in return. It hurts so much right now but having him in our lives for the past 6 and a half years is worth all the pain that we are going through now.

I just wish he was here.



Garden Gnomes & Beer!

Today it was time for a Springtime craft project so I spent the afternoon with a few of my girlfriends painting garden gnomes. Such fun! Plain white pottery gnomes can be purchased at Hobby Lobby. We had lots of fun sitting outside, having a beer or two and enjoying the slightly cool but still 60+ degree weather.


I forgot to take a picture before we started but here he is with only face, hands and hat painted. We painted these with acrylic paint and then sprayed them with a pottery sealant when we were done.


I think they turned out great- mine is the one on the left.


We put the gnomes on sticks while they were being sprayed with sealant – they actually look pretty cute like that!

As for the drink, we had Phantom Canyon Continuum Belgian Style White Ale. Delicious! If you are ever in Colorado Springs be sure to stop in and try a few of their beers.

The Continuum Ale is a special release beer and 25% of the sales will be donated to the Rocky Mountain Wildlife Foundation and Trails and Open Space Coalition. Great causes and a great beer.

The rest of the story.

We brought Minnie home on Sept 8 of last year.09082012c

We loved her immediately. She was so sweet and calm and she just wants to be by your side all the time. A real snuggler! Maxx however, was not so sure.

Maxx has always been a little reactive towards other dogs, so we took introductions slowly. Separate rooms, baby gates, tethers, walks together- all seemed like great get to know you ideas. Unfortunately, we made a few mistakes and had two separate incidents that sent us to the emergency vet for stitches. Luckily only one dog was hurt each time and not both- it was awful and scary.


After the first incident I started looking for a trainer to help us get them together but the guy I talked to told me that he would hang them on a prong collar at any sign of aggression and if that didn’t work maybe they would need to be put down. That’s not happening.

Maxx in the Cone of Shame

After the second incident, we tearfully signed Minnie back up with the Rescue where we got her and signed up to foster her while we tried to find her a new home through adoption fairs. This really tore us apart as we already loved her so, but we didn’t feel it was fair to either one of the dogs since they have limited freedom due to a rotation schedule, and we don’t want either one of them to get hurt again.

We took Minnie to a three adoption fairs and she had some interest but I was really questioning the Rescue people’s judgement. They seemed more interested in the adoption fee they would get for her rather than actually finding Minnie the perfect home. The first home they wanted to place her in had two small children and we didn’t think this was a good idea since she had been sent away from a home with small kids. Fortunately these people decided they weren’t ready for a new dog since their last dog had just passed away. I was relieved because I didn’t think it was the right place for her.  We took her to a few more fairs but then quit over the holidays due to it just being too sad and stressful.

We were required to bring her to two fairs a month so we had planned to take her back at the end of January. We thought we would keep working with the dogs to see if we could work things out and that was fine with them, they said take all the time you need.. until their policies changed.

The Rescue next called saying they had two perfect applications for Minnie and could we bring her in? We live only a few blocks away from the rescue and my husband works from home so we said call anytime and we’ll bring her over to meet the people, but they never called. When we called them they were evasive about the potential adopters advising us to bring her to the fair, which they had started having at the mall instead of the local pet supply store and I was not interested in taking her there. It is my feeling that people who really want to adopt a dog would go out of their way to go to a pet supply store to go to an adoption fair but at the mall any idiot walking by could decide maybe it was time for a dog. That is not who I wanted adopting her and I was already questioning the Rescue’s judgement. As I kept telling people who asked, we did not want to get rid of her we wanted to find her a new home. So just anybody wouldn’t do.

Then they demanded we return her as she was their property and they were shutting down their fostering program and would be keeping all the dogs in kennels on site. They had lied to us, there were no potential adopters, they had made them up so we would bring her in because they knew we would not take her there to be kept in a cage. To me this sounded ridiculous and suspicious. I follow many rescue groups and people who foster on blogs and the goal is always to get a dog into a home- who would shut down a successful fostering program?

We said no, we would not return her to be kept in a cage when she had a perfectly fine home to stay in.

So we paid to adopt her again.



First, the dogs…


This is Maxx. We adopted Maxx in 2006 as a puppy from a local rescue. Maxx’s Mom was a Blue Heeler and his Dad was unknown. He is an active, sweet dog who has retained much of his puppy-ness. Well trained in many ways, he does have some issues that we continue to work on. Which leads us to..


Minnie! She is Maxx’s sister that we adopted last year after her original owner returned her to the rescue after 6 years. They former owners said they had a small child that harassed her. We don’t really know what happened but based on what the rescue told us, I think they didn’t have time for her anymore after their second child came. I also think they kept her separated from the family rather than training her how to behave around the kids, or teaching the children how to treat her properly. I don’t know how anyone could return her after that long. She is a sweetheart. She is much calmer than Maxx but not as well-trained. We are working on that.

Oh, and they don’t get along.

More on that to come..