Watchful Puppy

Today Josiah awoke with a bad stomach virus, and spent the day on an air mattress in the living room, alternately getting sick, crying because he felt so miserable, and falling asleep with the exhaustion of it all. We have had several sick wards in the living room already this year, but this was one was a little different, because today, in the middle of it all, was Dixie the pup, who lay near Josiah’s side through much of the day. And who even several times attempted to lie almost on top of Josiah on his air mattress, perhaps in an effort to help him know she really, really wanted to be as close to him as possible, and comfort him in his distress. Sweet doggie.


Well Now, Look Who’s Back!!

I know, Gentle Readers: this has become a dog blog. Bear with us please, if you will. Bwahahahah!

Remember that cute puppy we fostered over the weekend? The one whom another family with four children had already committed to adopting? Well, in a very surprising turn of events, they decided not to keep her after all. Tuesday while I was at the dentist, I got a call from one of the Lone Star workers who knew we’d really enjoyed Dixie while she was here. They asked if we might like to have Dixie back, since we knew her better than any other volunteers in the program right now, assuming Gordon found other foster arrangements. (Nothing against sweet Gordon – we think he is a gem, and as soon as he fattens up he will be busy with his calendar-modeling career!). We said yes, we’d love to foster Dixie again, so on Tuesday night another nice volunteer picked up big Gordon, and yesterday we brought Miss Dixie back to our house.

She initially displayed that boundless puppy energy just like the previous time she was dropped off to stay at House of Horne. It tapered off significantly within a day’s time, which it has again today. For a seven month-old lab, Dixie is surprisingly docile and calm; she can play really hard, and then come inside and flop down for a nap. She is super-gentle with our children and will eat a tiny piece of “kibble” from Josiah’s little clenched fingers without so much as nicking him. This afternoon, he sat on her and pretended he was a cowboy and she was a horse. And she never even moved to get up, just politely pretended along with him that she was the best 43 pound horse ever. What a sweet girl.

Sadly, Dixie has a bad little cough she needs to get over. So we will be keeping her at least until she can get healthy again, and then we will see….for now, we are so happy to have her back.


Welcome, Gordon!

Gordon joined our household last night as our newest foster doggie. He is a big boy, with a block head that is too large right now for his somewhat skinny body. We are working on helping him gain back the weight he needs to be a healthy size for his large frame. He is really a beautiful dog, but doesn’t photograph well at all, in my honest opinion.


Late last week, I saw Gordon’s picture on a local shelter’s website; he and another dog Skye (she is the pretty yellow lab second from the top of the page) were both scheduled for euthanization due to their “time being up”, and no one having claimed or adopted them, and the facility being too full. I called and spoke with one of the shelter workers who confirmed these were both wonderful dogs who would likely make great family pets, and she hated to see them put down. I called some of the Lone Star volunteers and they were able to pick up both Gordon and Skye and give them another chance at finding homes.


Perhaps he still has some anesthesia in his system from his recent “snip” surgery, but Gordon is about as mellow as they come. He is very calm inside, and quite gentle with the children. After walking peacefully around the house, investigating each corner, he seems content to lay nearby and watch the goings-on of our household. If you call him, he plods over to plunk his head in your lap and get his ears scratched. This is one sweet dog, and we are glad to be able to help care for him as he looks for a new family. Here is Nicolas offering Gordon a treat: the dog waited patiently while Nicolas said “Stay” about a million times before putting the treat on the ground in front of him, and even then didn’t pounce on it until he was given the “ok!”. Good Gordon!


Little House Guest for the Weekend

Miss Dixie has joined us just for the weekend.


She is a seven month old yellow lab with a lot of puppy energy. Despite her level of activity she doesn’t knock the children over in her exuberance, merely leaps in the air beside them, reminding me of a playful dolphin, only with fur. And on land. Without fins. Okay, so maybe not so much like a dolphin after all, but hopefully you get the idea.

Such exuberance means it is very hard to snap a good photo of her, especially given my camera’s inability to grab a focus in fewer than 6 seconds, but I did my best. No worries that we will be tempted to fall in love and want to adopt her: she is already spoken for by a family with four children ranging in age from 9 years on down to 2 years. Go figure.


I must add that Abigail is simply beside herself with excitement about a puppy in the house – upon arriving home from school and seeing Dixie her face lit up with happiness. Despite my initial desire to adopt only a dog who was an adult, I am finding myself open to the idea of a puppy again someday. Maybe.

Little Goldie Update

Little Miss Goldie is a tired doggie tonight, but she was certainly a hit at her first adoption booth earlier today.


Though a little nervous, she really worked the crowd of people, greeting everyone who came by and usually receiving pats and affection for her troubles. Her section on the webpage (she is third from the top) has been updated with some of the newer photos we took just yesterday, and I do not think it will be long before she has someone come along who falls in love with her.

Until that time, we continue to enjoy her presence very much.


3/31 Update: Goldie’s new owner picked her up this evening. She is renaming her “Grace”…and we hope they will be very happy together.

New Houseguest

After we lost Sid, it felt pretty empty around here. Well, animal-wise, at least; it’s still pretty full of people! But truth be told, Sid had been sick for a long time, and so through no fault of his own, we have not had a dog to actually play with and love on much for quite a while now. Just a little bit before Jay lost his job we began kicking around the idea of looking for another dog. Not a puppy; as I’ve mentioned before, I still have Josiah to train! We were hoping to find a young adult, hopefully a rescue dog of some kind who hopefully needed us as much as we needed him. And who would behave nicely with young children in the home. We applied with a local Lab Rescue Organization, and also visited with the Dallas Humane Society and were quickly reminded that there are way more doggies in Dallas than homes to care for them. Sad.

After the news about Jay’s job, we didn’t feel it prudent to run right out and adopt a dog, though of course doing so would be a much more economical decision than buying a purebred puppy. Still, until we have a sense of just how little we can live on a month, we couldn’t consciously add more expenses to the bottom line. At least not just yet. The irony here of course is that we have probably never been home so much in our lives as we are right now. In an effort to quench spending, we don’t eat out, we don’t shop, we don’t seek out activities which cost money. So…of all the times to assimilate a new dog into the family, now would be ideal, were it not for the money thing. Which is of course the main thing.

Well, so we began offering to babysit dogs for family and friends. We know we can usually count on Cousin Daisy, the Golden Retriever, to come visit when her people go out of town, but Peter and company had no travel plans in the foreseeable future. When Sandra and Keith came and brought us supper last week (thanks again, Guys!) we begged them to bring Bailey (Sandra’s lab mix) along. My children entertained her by playing a lovely game of dress-up. I don’t know how much Bailey liked it, but she was nice about it all the same.


We offered to watch some friends’ chihuahuas for them some time, but they sort of balked – something about their little doggies being rather terrified of children. Wonder why they thought it wasn’t a good idea for us to help out there??

Then last week we were very excited because we had finally found some other friends who agreed to let us care for their Bichon for a week while they traveled out of state. This dog was great with kids – he is from a family with five and Jonathan, who ADORES little dogs, was especially thrilled about this arrangement. And then sadly I had to rescind our offer to help out because after looking at our picket fence I determined the tiny Bichon could easily get himself into serious trouble if he wiggled out through the fence pickets and into the alley.

But…it turns out there was a doggie who needed us badly, at least for a time. We stayed in touch with the nice people at Lone Star Labs, and they told us about Goldie, a 2 year old girl who was in need of a foster home now that she had completed her stay at the vet’s. (Immediately after a dog is rescued, the animal goes to the vet for the works and to stay for a period of time to make certain there are no issues. Then the dog stays in a foster home next, so their personality and behavior can be observed in a home setting, before they are adopted to a new family) There were other people who were happy to foster Goldie, but she needed a home with no other dogs present (none of which were available) since she was recovering from a little illness which could be contagious to other canines though it would not affect humans. We gladly accepted (well, Abigail and I gladly accepted, Jay did it to humor us girls) and a couple days ago Goldie came to stay at House of Horne.


So, we are officially a lab foster family, and will care for Goldie until someone comes along who would like to adopt her. The LSL folks take care of all expenses and provide crate, toys, food, etc as well as round the clock advice/support as needed. We supply the TLC, and in return we have a furry friend to keep us company for a little while.


Goldie has done pretty well so far, though like many fosters she has her little quirks. When we agreed to keep her, no one was absolutely certain she was even housebroken, though thankfully we have been pleasantly surprised on that front. She can even tell us when she needs to go outside, and has had no troubles in the house.


She is a smart, attentive doggie who is deeply in love with Jay, which is ironic considering he was the least enthusiastic about her in the first place. She knows some commands and we are teaching her a few more. If Jay has a week or two with her he will likely have her catching the frisbee like a pro. She loves to play fetch and likes to play with him best of all.


We’ve had to help her learn not to cry and bark in her crate at night, but she goes in obediently even though it’s obvious she doesn’t care for it at all. We tried to get her to sleep in Abigail’s room but she refused; turns out she couldn’t stand to be away from Jay. Silly dog.


Well, silly or not, we are glad to have her here. And will be happy when her forever people come along to take her home to be a part of their family. And then, well, we will just see….


In Memory of Sid…

Today we said goodbye to our beloved Sid who has been a part of our family for eleven years now. It has been a heart-breaking day filled with many tears, and I cannot muster courage enough right now to properly eulogize our faithful dog. Instead I put together a little photo album, which shows some of the happy times we were blessed to have with him from 2002 till now. All the pictures from his first five years are on non-digital film and will have to be scanned at a later date and added then.