Do You Want a Cuddle?

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Every evening I ask Wheatie this question….

It happens when we lay on the couch to watch TV for the evening.  Wheatie gets cozy on his pillows at the end of the couch and Daisy curls up in my legs. We all have our spots, we all get cozy, we all settle.

Then, it could be a few minutes later or an hour, but at some point Wheaton looks over at me. I can’t even describe the look, it’s just a soft look and a little tilt in his head…..so I say, “Do you want a cuddle?”….he lifts his head. So I put my arms out towards him and say, “Come on, come to momma.” And he slowly gets up and climbs over Daisy to come snuggle up into my arms. He usually only stays 5 to 15 minutes and then goes back to his pillows.

Last night during his cuddle time he put his head on my shoulder and fell asleep. He stayed snuggled like that for over half an hour. My arm fell asleep and I had to pee but I wasn’t gonna ruin the moment. I love these moments.

He’s such a lovely boy. Handsome

 

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We Say Goodbye to Another Friend

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It’s been a sad couple weeks…we had to say goodbye to another member of our fur little family….our dear sweet Toby.

It’s never easy. Even though we all know death happens, even when our loved one is sick, even when our loved one is old, it’s still never, ever, never, going to be easy to accept. It’s still going to leave us with a void that can’t be filled. Left with a broken heart that may heal -in time- but will always bare the scar of each loss. 

Toby was Daisy’s canine poppa. He was part of our tribe, part of our extended pack. He was such a cuddle bug, this must be where Daisy got it from. He had the sweetest little round puppy face, Daisy got that from him too. So expressive, such a little flirt he could suck you into his gaze with just a wink.  The sweetest love bug. Unless you were a deer or a raccoon in his yard, then he was a fierce guard dog protecting his property!

 

Wheatie took to Toby right away, it helped that Toby was just a real chilled out dude. The three of them were the fluffy little white dog gang. 

 I mean come on….look at these little faces. 

There is no love like a dogs love. Their cuddles are a cure for everything. Their joy and exuberance for everything is contagious. A happy dog is a mood booster. 
And Toby was a happy boy. He would have been 15 in September. He was mostly deaf, somewhat blind and he was diagnosed with a heart condition. He moved slower and napped more but he did his best right to the end. 

My Dad & stepmom lost their baby boy. Their dogs are counted as their babies along with us human kids. They are devastated.  Poor little Maya is looking for Toby all the time. As the “baby” Maya’s never been without Toby. 

 

He was quiet, he was chill, he was just the most cuddly love bug. He leaves us all behind, missing him so much.

Goodbye Toby. 

He Brings Me Joy

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I mean he’s a dog, dogs bring us happiness and joy, how can they not? They are wonderful little loving happy creatures. The basic job of a dog is to bring joy to humans. We are so blessed to just be in their presence. They really are a gift. They teach us about unconditional love, to enjoy the moment, to always give someone another chance, and of course to sniff out your surroundings and mark your territory. Ok, maybe that last one isn’t exactly necessary. 

My point here is that it’s quite easy to find joy while being around a dog…but there’s something more to Wheaton’s joy. The fact that he is able to strike this balance between still being scared of stuff and being completely happy with his familiar stuff still amazes me. He doesn’t let shit bog him down!  What a life lesson here. The first half of his life was torture….and yet here he is with his tail wagging and his happy tongue-out grin! He can be weary of a stranger in one minute and then enjoying a bum scratch a minute later. He does everything full on. If he’s gonna bark by golly he’s gonna put his whole body into that bark! He’s not gonna back down! If he’s gonna run, he’s gonna let loose and run with all feet in lift off mode! He eats like it’s his last meal, he licks every morsel from his dish, then burps and licks his lips like it’s the best meal he’s ever had!  And then there’s the cuddles. Oh my boy loves a good cuddle. He loves his Daisy full heartedly. He plays with her like a puppy would. He brings out her inner puppy. And just when I think he’s annoyed her too much, I see her snuggle up to him in the dog bed. She loves him too. 

He’s just such a joy to me. Every day I am thankful that he came to us. He was meant for us. 

He’s my goofball, he’s my scaredy cat, he’s my barking jerk, he’s my buddy, he’s my neurotic little freak, he’s my handsome little furry gentleman….

He’s my Wheatie-boy. 

Where Have You Been?????

I am so behind in my blogging…thanks for sticking around!

It’s not that we haven’t been doing anything, we have! And there’s so much to catch up on!!

We got our same seasonal camping spot, 3rd season in a row!  And as usual the dogs love it! The season started off a bit chilly….temps got to the low teens during the day but dropped to 2 degrees (Celsius) at night, don’t worry our sleeping bag is super cozy, we hardly noticed!

Wheatie has discovered that Momma wakes up when he paws her in the face!! So that’s our routine now. He paws me when he wants me to get up, he paws me when he wants to go under the covers, he paws me when he wants a cuddle…it’s basically his main way of communication now.

We think Summer has arrived! We had our first 30 degree day of the season last week…here is Wheaton enjoying the heat, well the nap.  It was a hot one. No breeze.

Sunrise Walk 2019We hike early in the morning before it gets too hot. We do 2K at least, sometimes 3 or if we’re feeling really ambitious we get to 5K!

We LOVE hiking!! on the shore

We take long walks along the shoreline, then come back through the forest trails.Hiking

The best part is when no one else is around and the dogs can go leash-less and then they really have fun, sniffing and chasing each other!

I am thankful for this little piece of nature that I get to call my very own for the season. Whether we are exploring the shore & the forest trails or just relaxing back at the camper, it’s the best feeling in the world. and the fact that I get to share it with these two little fur balls is my ultimate gift.

It is my priority to give my dogs the best life possible….I think they’re happy!

This guy looks pretty damn happy!!

Happy Boy 2019

Thanks for reading and I’ll try to catch you all up on a more regular basis!!

Be well, hug a tree, take a big breath!!

Jenn, Daisy & Wheaton

 

 

Spring! Yuck!! And other things…

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Spring 2019 Park WalkIt’s not that I don’t love the warmer weather and the sunny days….I just hate the melting process!  It’s such a mess with two little white/cream coloured dogs, who are low to the ground so it’s not just their paws getting mucky but their whole under carriage.

Daisy tries her best to avoid the wet and the puddles and the muck…she hates the melt too! But Wheatie is a totally different bean…I think he aims for the puddles and the muck!! Getting wet and dirty and covered in sand doesn’t phase him at all. If we get to a particularly mucky area Daisy stops and looks at me, this is her way of telling me that she wants to be picked up, and as I’m picking her up I turn and there’s Wheaton standing in the middle of the puddle!! So after almost every walk we have to head straight to the tub for an under belly wash.

Morning walks aren’t too bad yet cause it’s still hovering around the freezing point so it’s easier to keep them clean….but afternoon and bedtime walks are an absolute mess.
This is why I hate Spring!!!

On a positive note….we put our application in for our seasonal camping out at Hecla and we got accepted and drew second in the site pick order!! So great news…. We got our favourite site again for the third year in a row!! I’m so pumped!!! Definitely looking forward to camping season to start in May.

A couple weekends ago I rented the Minaki Yurt again like we did last year, except this year I was super sick with what I thought was just a really horrible cold. It was too late to cancel the yurt trip though and I would have lost my deposit (which was a substantial amount). I figured it was worth going, my cold would ease up and I would feel better by the second day of our four day yurt stay. I needed a break and it’s so pretty out there in the wilderness. I was looking forward to snowy hikes and a big cup of tea by the fire and all that good stuff. But, no. My sick got worse, I spent the whole time in bed or curled up in a blanket on the bean bag chair. We tried to go for a hike one morning and I barely made it 100 yards before I was hit by a coughing fit that I thought would bring up my lung!! It was shitty and I left a day early (the folks there were super nice and didn’t charge me for the extra day).

Ihaler 1I got home and went to the doctor and found out I had a bronchial infection and pneumonia. Ahhhhh, that explains why my sick wasn’t going away and why it felt like it was getting worse! I spent the next week home from work laying on the couch. The dogs loved it!! I felt bad for them though cause I couldn’t walk them very far…we’d walk down the street about 3 or 4 houses and back, just enough for business to be done and then I would be wiped out and go back to the couch for a nap. Amazing how you need oxygen so much, we really take this breathing thing for granted!! Everything exhausted me.  But finally the antibiotics took care of the infection and with two different inhalers, my lungs finally cleared enough that I could breathe without having a coughing fit. It took 3 weeks to feel human again and the dogs were happy to be back to walking on a regular basis.

So, 3 weeks having and recovering from pneumonia and what do I do last night??? Go for a run. It was a light run/brisk walk since it’s the first real physical movement in like over a year! I don’t know if being so sick just pissed me off or frustrated me to my breaking point but I do know that I have been lying around like a sloth for over a year and it is time to move again. I’ve been working so much on being gentle with my self and healing and working through grief that my physical health has been completely ignored. I’ve eaten my feelings and eaten for comfort and we all know the food you eat in this phase is NEVER the good stuff!  Of course that meant weight gain, but truth be told I didn’t give a shit. My mental health and my emotional well being were more important and I just didn’t have the energy to eat healthy & exercise. Everyone handles grief differently, some folks will exercise through it, that’s their healing process. I am NOT that person. I’m more of a “cocoon myself on the couch and eat a family size bag of chips for supper” kind of person or a “fast food 5 times a week” kind of person. To each their own right. The point is, I feel like those 3 weeks of having no choice but to lie on my couch wrapped in the duvet made me realize that I have a choice now, I feel that I am stronger and ready to move forward ….time to up my game.

Maybe it’s Spring and sunshine (and even the muck), but I feel the shift to want to take better care of my Self. I feel like I matter just a little bit more and I have the capacity to take on the physical healing now.

Wishing you all a Happy Spring.

In love & in kindness,

Jenn, Daisy & Wheaton

Where Have We Been?

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Well, we haven’t been anywhere…we’re all still here trudging through day to day. I actually just realized the other day that I haven’t updated our loyal Wheaton fans in months!! Since November!! tsk tsk!

Zonked outCuddle Buddies

To be honest December was a shit month. I was on high anxiety alert and at the same time in a very depressed state with it being the one year anniversary of my mum’s death, I had a difficult time dealing with the whole holiday season….hibernation was looking like the perfect option! Of course my friends and family were being supportive and respectful but also pushing me (just enough) to hold some comfortable space in the festivities….and if I didn’t attend there was no pressure.  It wasn’t easy by any means but we all made it through to the other side in one piece.  And then….

Something happened. There was a shift in energy. I made it through the first year, I felt like I had fought an emotional battle, but I made it. When you’re fighting an emotional battle in your head & heart 24/7 it’s exhausting…especially while trying to still function in your mundane 9 to 5 life. There wasn’t much room for “more”. It was me & the dogs, and I was doing much better at taking care of them, they are my main priority after all. I was managing just enough for me to get through day to day. And then, like I said, there was a shift in the energy. I felt like I broke the surface and took a breath after being underwater for a year. There was light again.

Since the shift I have a bit more energy to “do” things again. I am attending a weekly yoga class (and a few yoga workshops). I’m also taking the fur littles to an indoor doggie play group every second Sunday….more on that in upcoming blogs!

Fun in the snowThe weather doesn’t always allow us the joy of our long park walks…we had a few weeks of the minus 30’s, 40’s and even hit -52C with the windchill!! But as much as possible, when a nice day comes we head to the park, or at least around the neighbourhood, for a good long walk! You gotta make the most of it when Winter weather lasts for 6 plus months!!

Wheaton is still his usual charming self. He loves his cuddles, he loves his walks, and he loves being a goofball too!

Pack Walk at the Park

We are taking care of Bailey the Min Pin for the next couple of weeks and the days have been nicer (-10C to -20C) so we’ve been enjoying pack walks at the park after work for the last few days! It’s been really lovely to get out in the fresh crisp air and wander through the snowy tree lined trails. The dogs are loving playing in the powdery snow and sniffing all the park “pee mails” they’ve missed!

By February I think we colder climate folks start getting a bit “stir crazy”. The sun is shining more and we want to get outdoors. We personally  have no problem with -35C days, the fur littles have their snowsuits and their boots but to be safe, they can only handle that cold on their exposed ears, tails and faces for so long!  We stay out as long as they’re comfortable and then we head in…Wheatie loves actually going in the snow, when we get back in the house his boots are full of snow and he looks more like a mini abominable snowman.  Daisy prefers to stay clean, warm & dry by sticking to a path.

That's the Spot

So, the point is, we are good. We are getting out and finding our footing again!

If anything, getting out more makes the coming home and cuddling on the couch time that much more cherished!

Right Wheatie….

“yeah Momma”

 

In Love & In Kindness,

Jenn, Daisy & Wheaton

He’s Perfect…Except for his Teeth!

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It’s a battle against bad dental genes! We brush, we use a dental gel, he chews his dental sticks and his bullies…and STILL every year for his annual check up his teeth are horrible!  I even bought a $29 silicone “dogs love this dental chew” thingy….which neither dog wants ANYTHING to do with EVEN when I put some coconut oil on it to entice them to try chewing it!!!

Wheatie had his annual vet exam 2 weeks ago and, of course, the teeth again! This time we thought just a cleaning but once she got in there it was a different story! I got the phone call that his upper right canine…his fang…had to be removed because it had an Canines_--_Dog.jpg (2817 bytes)8mm “pocket”, this is a gap between the root of his tooth and the gum…which leads to all sorts of issues and does not go away.  At 8mm that is a significant size and the tooth should be removed so the hole can close and heal.

(this pic is NOT Wheaton’s fang btw)

The canines are the teeth used for tearing and ripping flesh off carcasses…not something Wheaton does a lot of but still…he seems quite proud of his fangs. I was sad to give the go-ahead to the vet to pull one but I definitely didn’t want that “pocket” to lead to worse things.  Poor Wheatie. He is a trooper though, the vet office called me right after he woke up from surgery to tell me that he was good and coming out of the anesthetic very well…in fact he was doing his best “I’m fine, let’s go” impression! Like someone who has had one too many drinks but insists that they’re NOT drunk! That was Wheatie! His little half closed eyes, his wobbly steps, and the nodding off every 30 seconds told a different story though…this pup was still very stoned! He wanted to get out of the kennel and go home but he had to stay a couple more hours until the anesthetic wore off a bit more. When I got to the vet clinic to pick him up at 5pm I could hear him barking….I believe it was the “come get me” bark!!

HandsomeIt’s been a few days now, he’s licking and lip smacking because I’m sure the stitches are annoying him but other than that he’s his usual self…silly, food motivated, barking and pestering Daisy just like normal.

He’s so handsome. Such a character. Close up

And, tooth issues aside, perfect in every way! His weight is bang on, he’s very muscular. His heart rate is perfect, everything looks, sounds and feels exactly as it should be…no health concerns. He’s 8 now, and with his first 4 years of life being in a puppy mill…to say that he has no health issues is a very…VERY…good thing!

It’s my number one job to be the best dog momma I can be…these two furry faces tell me that I’m doing a pretty good job…even if I let them get quite scruffy and Fraggle looking before taking them to the groomer!

My Babies

FYI…they have been groomed since this photo!

With love and kindness…

Jenn, Daisy & Wheaton

4 Years

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I’m blessed. I really am. I don’t always feel it cause I can get wrapped up in my own shit, as do we all, so I need a reminder once in a while…but every time I look at these two furry faces I definitely FEEL it! IMG_4686-0

Before Wheaton came along, it was Daisy and I against the world. I had thought of getting a second dog and we would go meet and play with a doggie prospect…but it just never “fit”. I figured it was just gonna be me and Daisy against the world. I was a one dog Momma….Daisy was an only child….and she was totally FINE with that!!

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Vetting

And then it all changed when I saw one little photo of this scruffy scared Maltese named Wheaton. This was the picture that stole my heart. He still has his puppy mill tag around his neck. Maltese #265. If you’ve been following our journey you know Wheaton’s puppy mill history and his rescue story…if not, it’s all here in the blog posts.  We’re all disgusted with the mill business and we all wish we could rescue all the dogs still suffering in theses hells…but I’m not gonna dwell on that today.  This is a positive post about how far my handsome boy has come.  A celebration of Wheaton!  He’s been our boy for 4 years, the same amount of time he spent in the puppy mill cage. He’s 8 years old, 50/50 now…every day past his “gotcha” day we are ahead now!

You’ve read all my blog posts about how much of a character Wheatie is…he cracks me up! You’ve read how he can be a healer, a little 4 pawed Reiki Master. You’ve read about the little victories and milestones like the first time he cuddled up to me, or the first time he exposed his belly for a rub, or the first time he barked…etc.  Or the time when I came home and the two of them were curled up in the dog bed together. How about the first time he figured out what a toy was and engaged in “play”. You’ve followed our long, long journey of house breaking. And when he got to learn about camping & hiking, and took to it like a champ!  So many stories!!  Never mind the day to day stuff…the way he plays, the way he asks for what he needs, the way he still gets anxious, the way he still freaks out at other dogs when we’re out for a walk, the way he listens to me and responds. But most of all, and this is my favourite Wheatie thing, the way he will come cuddle up to me and I fell him relax one muscle at a time…trusting me. That’s the biggest blessing of Cuddlingall…the trust. It’s been 4 years with him. I never had to work for Daisy’s trust, she just trusted me. I’ve had her since she was a tiny puppy and she just bonded to me and trusted me. Period. Wheaton came to us really messed up. years of abuse and neglect and sickness and pain…people were not nice to him. Every movement meant something bad was gonna happen. He’s still a nervous guy if I move too fast. But the journey from where he WAS to now…it makes it difficult to even remember how scared he use to be because he’s come SO FAR! It blows my mind. Most of the time I just forget he img_7899has any issues, now they’re just his quirks! He’s a quirky dude!

I love my dogs. They are my children.  They are the absolute loves of my life. They are my priority. They are my life savers. When grief and depression hit me, my dogs were the ONLY reason I got out of bed /off the couch.

They are amazing little creatures. Their love is perfection.

Happy Wheaton Day! Hug your dog(s) a little extra today!!

In love and kindness,

Jenn, Daisy & Wheaton

 

So Proud

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I haven’t mentioned it because I didn’t want to jinx it….but Wheaton goes all day at work without accidents AND without needing a pee pad!

He’s been accident free for MONTHS but I am still surprised when I don’t find a puddle.  And it was actually something I was really proud of yesterday…I was away from my desk doing some training in another part of the office and it was getting late in the day, I thought for sure I was going to come back to my desk and find an oops….Wheatie use toimg_6550-1 get a bit anxious if he could hear me but not see me and he’d have a little pee…especially late in the afternoon when it’s been 7 hours since he peed. But he didn’t. He and Daisy were still curled up in the dog bed, cozy as could be, patiently waiting for me to finish and pack up. By the time we left the office yesterday it had been a 9 hour day with no mid-day pee break….and no accidents!

At home when I go out and leave them I still put a pee pad down cause sometimes he will still pee if left alone….but even then it’s not all the time like it use to be. This is a BIG deal! Being a puppy mill rescue he was never trained, for 4 years he was kept in a wire cage, he just peed whenever. Add to that; the abuse, the neglect, the health issues, the fear and the anxiety….I was happy with the progress we have made…I wasn’t going to push him! I was happy that he peed on the pads. I only needed to put two pads down near the back door and that was his area. He doesn’t pee anywhere else (usually….he’s not 100% but the odd pee on a throw rug isn’t that big of a deal considering). The idea that he barely uses the pee pads now is amazing! But it’s the all day at work – accident free – that is proving to me that patience and understanding is exactly what my boy needs on his journey.

I have never pushed Wheaton. We have only done what he is comfortable with…if I try something and he is uneasy, we stop. I have never taught him “SIT” because he didn’t like being touched so if you went to touch his bum for sitting, he’d cower or he’d run away.  It was more important that he learn the commands “STOP” & “COME”…he knows those words. So when it came to potty training the key was consistency and praise…no reprimanding!  No FEAR. The LAST thing you want is your rescue to be afraid of you. I just made it a priority to watch him and take him out frequently so he’d pee outside, and if I left them I always made sure to put the pads out. If he peed on the floor when I was home, I was at fault for not recognizing his “tells” – not him – and I think that is the key. We are the human…we are responsible!! IF our dogs do something we consider “bad”  well they’re being a dog…we are the ones who understand consequences! Your dog likes to eat shoes…well what’s better…taking a chance and leaving those leather shoes out or putting those leather shoes away in the closet? For instance, the other day I treatsmoved stuff off the washing machine so I could do laundry. In those items I moved were two bags of dog treats. I moved them to a lower spot that was totally within reach of little sniffers. I didn’t think anything of it cause I was home. Of course after I finished the wash I didn’t remember to put the treats back up. Well, cut to 3 days later and I had to leave the dogs at home while I went to an appointment. I came home to two chewed up bags on the floor…with NO treats inside!! That’s not Wheaton’s fault! And yes, I KNOW it was him because Daisy doesn’t care about sniffing around the house looking for things to eat – she likes two things – sleeping and belly rubs. In Daisy’s world treats are brought to her…she doesn’t look for treats! Wheaton did not find those treats and think “oh if I eat these, and part of the bag, I’ll probably have a bit of a tummy ache. I should wait till Momma gets home and gives me one.” Duh! It’s my fault for leaving them low & accessible!

I really don’t believe in all of the ALPHA stuff…especially not with a dog who is already fearful and anxious. You want trust, praise and patience…and understanding.  Getting Wheaton, or any dog for that matter, to do things because they fear you is really a fool’s way of training (in my opinion).

Is your dog going to misbehave…absolutely. Is your dog going to pee on the floor…yes, a thousand times yes. Is your dog going to bark and do other things that you find annoying….yeah, of course…ummmm, they’re dogs for crying out loud!! If you want a quiet, perfect pet, that never pees on the floor…may I suggest a goldfish!

Now, don’t get me wrong, Wheaton gets told “NO” but never in a way that will evoke fear.  Wheaton cowered at every sound and every movement when he first came to us. It was my goal to make him feel safe and protected so he would cower less and less. He’s still wary of strangers and he will duck away from a head pat, he hates hands coming at him from above – hits come from above- but he will welcome a slow gentle hand coming upwards and scratching his neck.

CuddlingHe will always have his issues (don’t we all) and he may always be anxious and skittish…..

It’s my job to provide him with a safe place.

Last week I was sick with a cold and he was by my side all the time.

He was meant to be my boy. I am so thankful for him.

I have two furry loves of my life.

I’m so lucky.

Sleeping Wheatie

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I have an obsession. Well, honestly, I have a few, but one of them is taking pictures of my dogs as they sleep. I can’t be the only person doing this?? I mean what is cuter than your dog sleeping? Besides your dog playing, walking, sitting, breathing….etc etc etc… Hmmmm, I could just be obsessed with my dogs in general. Whatever, they’re adorable, who wouldn’t be obsessed!?

Wheaton seems to sleep in the most awkward positions, and when he’s out he’s out. Zonked. He flops himself half out of the dog bed, he sleeps with his head hanging off the pillow, he stretches himself full length across the bed, and everything in between.

 

He cracks me up. In this present day world of chaos and yuck, we can all use some joy. I hope pictures of my silly Wheatie in his various sleeping “flops” brings a little chuckle to your day…

 

And then there is just him being completely adorable…and a bit of a goofball..

 

I love my boy. It amazes me how far he’s come in the last (almost) 4 years. He’s such a character. He made me work for his love, and I don’t regret a single second! I earned his trust, and he gave me so much love in return. He is pure joy. My love.

Oooo that face!!