Tag Archives: dog

When You Can’t Stand it…

Murdoch, a lovable bundle of energy that rivals even Jacob, came to us last August. A relative of one of Paul’s co-workers was needing to find a new home for him. We hadn’t planned on even considering a dog until sometime after the new year – After all we had just moved out here and I was pregnant. REALLY pregnant! We discussed it and prayed about it. The answer came and it was a yes.

Well, if I thought that a yes answer meant that Murdoch would be peaches and cream and perfectly trained, then I was in trouble. Because….

He’s not. He was potty trained – sort of – mainly it was an adjustment of new surroundings and owners I think. But even with that fixed mostly, he chewed on stuff, didn’t know any of the most basic commands and has a stubborness that rivals all six of my kids put together. Maybe he was sent to teach me patience – haha. Oh and he jumps on people – and did I mention he’s HUGE? The jumping is getting better – sort of – he seems to go in spurts.

All his annoying quirks aside, he’s a lot of fun and, while the training is slow and sometimes agonizing, he’s getting better. The biggest problem is when he gets loose.

Trying to get Murdoch back is like trying to catch a giggling toddler playing keep-away who can run as fast as a car… and he really can – I watched him pace several cars. He’ll let you get within inches and the moment you flinch, he’ll be half way down the street.

So, there I am this morning, in the rain, with two little boys and an escaped dog. The boys were inside – but I was nervous (for obvious reasons) to go very far to try to catch him. I tried dog treats, toys, patiently waiting and lunging for him, I had neighbors help. He knew all our tricks and wouldn’t have anything to do with it.

My laundry went undone, the store went unvisited, fun with my two littlest boys went unhad all while I tried to get the dog back. I was frustrated beyond belief and even told Paul to call the pound on our own dog cause I didn’t care anymore. I had tried everything and nothing had worked.

But then as I sat upstairs at my computer – seething in anger – I glanced at my Mom’s facebook profile and saw this:

I thought, “Did you pray?” Uh. Gee. Duh. I felt a little silly about not having thought about that solution. So I prayed. I prayed that if it be His will that we keep the dog (and half of me by now was hoping it wouldn’t be His will) that when I walked outside this time I’d be able to catch him without a problem.

I finished my prayer and walked outside. I couldn’t see him and wondered if the pound had already snagged him (it happened once before). The I saw him two houses down. He raised his head, looked at me and started walking towards me, just a slow sauntering walk.

I continued to pray. Murdoch walked right up to me and didn’t even flinch as I patted his head and hooked the leash to him. I suppose that means were supposed to keep him. 🙂 He’s a good dog (even if he refuses to get along with the cat – ha ha) and is improving every day. And I do love him, but sometimes…. grrrrrrr. 😀

I am grateful for prayer. I am grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who answers my prayers no matter how big or how little.

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Filed under Religion

Stories to Tell with Photos to go with Them

Wow, I feel like I’ve been a whirlwind – never mind that I am just over 2 weeks away from my due date! When did that happen? I’ve been so busy it has snuck up on me, but I am SO ready to be done. SO, baby, listen up – you are welcome into the family any minute – tonight would be great! 😀

So stories to tell – we had lots of fun ones that I will have to add later, but lets focus on the two main happenings of this last week.

Story #1: The Sump Pump Snake

Spitfire was intrigued by our sump pump closet. After all, the last time she investigated it she found a mouse (more on that another time). Paul and I were trying to watch a movie in for our Friday night date – in an effort to save money we had stayed home to have our date in the basement while Liz shepherded the little people to bed. We were only a few minutes into our movie when the cat came bolting out of the closet (Paul had opened the door to let her investigate). Trying to see what was happening, Paul got to his feet and peeked inside, to his surprise was a snake! A big snake, which quickly dissapeared down the sump pump. It was too dark to get a good look, but as Paul whacked on the sump pump lid we heard an ominous rattle – there are two rattlers common to Ohio.

We were a little nervous and after a while decided to let it be and see if it came out again. We closed the closet door and waited. Finally, half-way through our movie Paul decided to check again, this time decked out in long pants, shoes, and gloves with a trash picker-upper tool and a shovel, just in case things got nasty. He slowly opened the closet door and sure enough, there was this long black snake climbing up the wall. He snatched it with the trash doo-hickey (professional term there) and brought it out in the light. We saw immediately that it had no rattle on its tail, so what had made the noise?

After a little investigation on the internet we discovered it was a black rat snake, and when they feel threatened the vibrate their tails rappidly – which sounds a lot like a rattle when hitting a sump pump lid, or glass or gravel as we discovered after observing it in a terranium for a while. They are totally harmless, though they are agressive and will bite, and extremely interesting. We decided to keep it in the terranium over night so the kids would have a chance to check it out. We would have loved to keep it, but decided this time around it would be best to let it go.

Snake Collage 1

Snake Collage 2

After a fun round of pictures and petting of the snake Paul took it to a nearby park and it happily slithered off into the woods.

Story #2: It’s A Boy! His name is Murdoch – but he’s not the new family member we’ve been expecting…

We talked about getting a dog and recently decided that it would have to wait until sometime after January – after all, I wasn’t going to attempt training a puppy or anything with a new baby, and we needed to recover from the expenses of moving and buying our first house, and so on.

So, when a co-worker of Paul’s mentioned that her sister was giving away her dog, we were all set to refuse, until I got the email… with a photo attached. Ok, I’m a sucker for dogs. I love Spitfire, and she’s a
great cat, but I am a dog lover at heart. The email stated that he was free to a good home, preferably a family with kids, he was great with kids, neutered, had all his shots, licenced and trained. It was that word, TRAINED, that did me in – and of course his picture – I mean, who wouldn’t fall in love with that face? Oh, yes, and the other word of course was FREE. Oh man, I was a gonner, and after talking to Paul we decided to go for it – besides it felt right.

Upon meeting the dog, the right feeling was confirmed. We all love him and he is already enthralled with the kids. He is an Airedale mix and his name is Murdoch. So here is for exciting new changes this summer – WOW! is all I have to say.

Now, introducing a very handsome dog, here’s Murdoch!

Murdoch 2

Murdoch 1

more stories and photos to come – hopefully sooner than these last ones 😀


Filed under Every Day Life, Pets


We seemed to go through dogs like tissue when I was a little kid. The first dog I remember was Leeta – and she had puppies, I’m not sure if I remember her or just remember seeing pictures of her.  I know there was a black dog of some kind before her, because I have a picture of it licking my face (I look to be about 2 in the photo).  Leeta died.  And then there was this great big orangish dog I have a vague memory of- it died to.  Then there were 2 dogs (One we named Prince, the other I don’t remember), I ‘m not sure what kind (they were black and brown), but they weren’t very nice.  As pups I was playing with them in the hayloft and one of them chomped on my finger.  I tried to show my big brother the finger that Prince chomped on and he said in a very scandalous voice, “J, put that finger down.”

“How come?” I recall asking.

“Because it means all the most terrible swear words in the world that you can think of.” 

Talk about making an impression, I never put THAT finger up again.  Then a while later those two dogs were caught killing chickens.  There is only one thing you can do with an animal that gets a taste for killing and that is putting them down.  I remember hiding with my siblings in the basement so we wouldn’t have to hear the gunshot.  We understood why, but it still made us sad.  Then there was this really pretty collie mix, and that dog got hit by a car.  I suppose we weren’t having the best of luck with dogs.  I often wondered why in all the stories people had dog friends for life, when ours didn’t seem to last longer than a few months or maybe a year.  It all seemed terribly unrealistic, that is until the year I turned eight.

He was a tiny puppy, black and brown and so adorably cute.  Longish hair, floppy ears, and a fan tail.  He was actually a long-haired dachstund mixed with a cockerspaniel – so we called him a long-haired cockerdox. (We thought we were very clever).  Since he was smaller than all the other dogs we managed to convince mom that he needed to be an inside dog.  He would take turns sleeping on all of our beds.  Mom taught him to beg, roll over, and even sing.  Some dogs can speak on command, “ruff”, but our dog was way better.  You just had to say “sing” and he would let out the greatest howls.  He even joined our singing time around the piano.  We tried to teach him to fetch but he thought it was much more fun to play tag once he got the ball.  We named him Fritz.

Fritz was the dog of all of our dreams.  He followed us wherever we went, only chewed on a few of our more precious items, and chased his tail for large quantities of time, much to our delight.  There were occasions when we would be gone most of the day to come home to find all of our stuffed animals piled by our front door.  None were chewed on, he just missed us and gathered all the stuffed animals he could drag to the door where he waited for our safe return.

One time we took him with us on vacation from PA to Utah and Oregon.  We were visiting the Great Salt Lake and accidently left him in the parking lot.  Were at least an hour away when we noticed our precious Fritz wasn’t with us.  We were all distraught and turned around, not daring to hope he was still there.  But there he was sitting in our vacant parking spot and howling with all his little lungs.  We had quite the reunion.

I finally got to see what it was like to have a dog companion for life like in all those stories I had wistfully read.  Fritz was our faithful buddy until Jan (or so) of 1999 when he had to be put down he was so sick – I was 23 and a half.

My parents replaced him with Susie ( a Welsh Corgi) the following fall who is now our dog.  Last night Susie was barking at 3 in the morning and I remember Fritz our watch dog.

It was while I was in my senior year in highschool.  Fritz began barking madly in the middle of the night, waking up myself and my parents (I was the only one left at home at this point). Dad ran down the hall.  I had forgotten to close the front shade and turn off the lamp.  As Dad walked out from the hall he saw a face pressed up against the window and heard another man trying to jimmy the lock, Fritz was still going crazy.  Dad flicked the hall light a bunch of times and it scared the robbers off, but it was still a scary experience.

So, last night when I heard Susie growling and barking I got chicken livered and woke up my hubby to check on things. Everything was fine.  But I couldn’t get back to sleep. Instead, I laid in bed thinking of our faithful dog Fritz and writing this post in my head.  I should have just done it last night at 3:30 A.M. when I was thinking of it, maybe I would have gotten it out of my system and finally gotten a decent nights rest.  Oh, well, that is what naps are for. 🙂


Filed under Memory

November Magic

I awoke yesterday morning, and this morning, to the most delicious thing: SNOW! Not much, just a dusting, but enought to turn traffic into a horrendous nightmare. The way they talk on the news you would think we had 5 or 6 inches dumped over night, but we have maybe half an inch scattered across the ground, if even that. But it is snow! Saturday we chopped down our Christmas tree and we’ve been decorating for Christmas.

(Our snowy and somewhat unkempt yard – this is a fraction of our yard, it is very large, very high maintenance and almost impossible to keep up with. I suppose that is what you get for trying to take care of a yard that belong to a Botonist – my Dad. heh)

So, here I sit looking out the window at glorious snow, Christmas lights winking at me in the background, a warm cozy fire burning in our wood stove, a mug of hot chocolate by my side, typing my blog. Now, that is magic. Yay snow. Yay Christmas. Yay. Yay. Yay!

This is our dog Susie. Jacob has yet to say his sister’s names, but he runs around calling “Susie!” all the time. 🙂

Elizabeth and Dorothy were so excited to walk to school in the snow yesterday, this morning, Emily got to join them as we walked down to the corner.


Filed under Children, Every Day Life, Family

Random Jacob Post

How is it that someone with short chubby little legs, not even a quarter the length of your own can run circles around you, even when you are in top form? Jacob officially turned 18 months last week and I think someone flipped a switch inside him and sent him reeling (or maybe I’m the one reeling) into toddlerhood. Baby no longer, we have a boy in the house! 🙂

My girls were quick and curious, but nothing compared to Jacob. After his exploration with the straw he managed to get a hold of my mini mp3 player that I strap on my arm and listen to when I walk in the mornings. As I walked my three miles I realized that my left ear was gargling. It must have been introduced into the doggie bowl as well.

Jacob decided that Susie (our dog) needed to bob for her food and dumped it into her water without my knowledge. Poor Susie got sick and threw up (at least it was outside) because she got too much water while trying to eat her food.

Jacob snagged a toothbrush out of the bathroom (one of his fortunate sisters) and proceeded to brush his teeth . . . yup! With dog water.
I sure hope there are some great benefits to dog water, because at this point, he’s had a lot of it! 🙂

I was not feeling well on Saturday and I layed down on the couch to watch Star Wars Episode I. The kids were bored and I didn’t want to watch another insipid cartoon for the 500 millionth time, so I put in Star Wars, because at least it was something we could all thoroughly enjoy. Jacob awoke from his nap at the very end where the big light-saber battle is in play. I plunked him in the middle of the room after changing his diaper.
He turned and looked up at the tv to see the amazing duel. His face lit up like he’d just gotten a free pass to Disney World. His chubby legs carried him quick as lightning around the back of the chair. When he emerged he had one sword in each hand and was waving them wildly in the air.
Yup, he’ll do just fine. 🙂

If it has even the slightest remote possibility of being climbed . . . it will be, regardless of the consequences. Nothing can keep him in and nothing can keep him out.

We were walking into the store this morning when a big loud truck drove past us and started to park. Jaocb stopped in mid-step. “Yea!” he said clapping his hands together. He wouldn’t budge until the ignition was turned off. Just stood clapping and cheering all the while, then as we walked away he proceeded to wave bye-bye to the truck and blow it kisses.

One last thing we have noticed about our little toddler boy. He appears to be left handed. He eats and draws with his left hand, though he does a number of things with his right hand too. It’s just kind of fun to see all the changes and to finally experience how different a little boy is from 3 little girls. 🙂


Filed under Children, Heart, Humor, Jacob, Parenting

Just One More Sip . . . Please?

He has known where the doggie water is for weeks.

He found the straws last night.

Today he was thirsty.

I don’t think I need to worry about his problem solving skills. I caught him sucking water out of the doggie bowl through a straw this morning.


Filed under Children, Goofs, Heart, Humor, Jacob, Parenting