Adventures in Nudity (or Baby Girl Is an Exhibitionist)

Last week, the husband and I came to the conclusion that our sweet Baby Girl is an exhibitionist.  She loves to be naked and let it all hang out for the world to see.  I assure you, we did not come to this conclusion lightly.  Let me explain…

Since we started talking about getting a dog, dog clothing (i.e. sweaters, coats, and costumes) has been a little bit of a hot topic in my family.  Jeff was not sold on the idea. What if they get cold?? I pointed out.  He would shrug and drop it.  His major supporter was my dad who is a firm believer that dogs have built-in coats.  I would counter that some dogs are so little or have such short fur. They were not convinced. But when it started to get cold, I bought several coordinating sweaters for Sweet Boy and Baby Girl and it was crazy cute.

We soon learned a very surprising bit of information. Mr. P loves wearing his sweater. When we take his sweater off, he waits for the next one to be put on.  If a sweater is within his reach, he will bring it to me and wait expectantly. More shocking, he never once tried to chew it off of him. He has great respect for them.

Lulu, on the other hand, does not like her sweaters, or her coat, or her Halloween costume. When her coat goes on, she refuses to look at me and will barely take a treat from my hand. When she is wearing her sweater, she is subdued and avoids us. We didn’t make the connection between her behavior and her sweater right away. In fact, I was ready to make a vet appointment last week because we thought she was sick.  When the high temperature was finally above 10 degrees, though, I decided to take their sweaters off and Lulu was a changed dog.  She was wagging her tail, jumping around, playing hard, and getting into trouble. She was again acting like the Baby Girl we know and love.  We came to accept a truth that broke my heart a little bit – Lulu is happiest when she is naked.

Once we made this discovery, we had another realization. Baby Girl is an exhibitionist.  She is most comfortable laying on her back, legs spread and carefree.  Sometimes when Mister is around we see her roll on her back to give him a perfect sniffing vantage point. If she is cuddling and her legs are not open, she spreads them the minute you start rubbing her belly. It’s as if she is begging people to give her attention, and we have the sneaking suspicion that we are spot on. This chica loves the limelight. If we aren’t looking at her, she barks.  If we aren’t petting her, she nips at our clothes.  If Sweet Boy is getting our attention, she whines. In short, Baby Girl’s preference for her birthday suit is her newest way of getting the attention she believes she so completely deserves.

~Chelsea J. ~

Adventures in Destruction

I need to preface this post by stating that I know our experiences are not that extreme. Everything could be much worse. However, I also feel like I need to point out that when we adopted Sweet Boy, we were told he wasn’t a chewer. “Oh no,” his foster mother said when we asked, “he only chews his toys. Never anything else.”  Now, I don’t know if they thought we wouldn’t adopt if he was a chewer, or if Mr. P truly didn’t chew things in her house, but her statement was categorically false. This dog will not only chew, but also eat the weirdest items. If he cannot find a weakness in a toy that will eventually lead to ingestion, he will ignore its existence. On the flip side, once a weakness is identified he will not rest until the toy has been destroyed. He loves to munch on paper, especially since he learned how to get the mail from the mail slot, which I know is not unusual for those of the canine persuasion. He also craves fabric – again, not so weird.  What I do find puzzling, though, is that he will leave a blanket on the couch alone for months and one day, like today, decide the corners look too tempting to ignore. Bye bye Black Friday sale blanket. It was a good run while it lasted.

At this point, he seems pretty normal. I agree that in the grand scheme of things, he’s not so bad. In fact, the day he broke into the spare bedroom while we were at work he only destroyed a few things – an Easter basket that was on top of a tall dresser (is he part kangaroo??) and the packaging to his new toys that were in it.  By the way, our weirdo dog didn’t even touch the toys.  In our short time together he has consumed scrabble tiles, dryer lint, earring backs, tubes of Chapstick, pieces of two different pairs of sunglasses, socks, and gloves, to name just a few of his special treats. We have learned to dive like crazy people at any item we drop on the floor – even when he isn’t around.

Our craziest incident, though, happened last Halloween – the day we learned that Sweet Boy can open closets.  To set the scene, picture a small hallway with a closet on each end.  These closets were one of the main draws of the house when we bought it.  We gate Mister in this hallway and close all of the doors, blocking his access to the bathroom (and a whole bin of discarded papery goodness), the guest room, and both closets.  In one closet, I keep my shoes, tote bags, and suitcases. This is the closet that fell victim to his insatiable appetite for destruction.

When I got home from work, the first thing I noticed was that the closet was open.  Did I forget to close it? I wondered, did Jeff forget?  Oh no. Mr. P opened the door himself by head butting it repeatedly. As I drew closer, I looked in horror as the contents of the closet were strewn across the hallway floor.  My 31 Bags all had gaping holes, my favorite clutch was torn to shreds, my interview purse was gutted.  I imagined Lulu, 10 feet away in her crate, clearly innocent, daring him to keep going, encouraging his terrible behavior.  And then I saw the scariest sight of all… The zipper, and only the zipper, of my vinyl toiletries travel bag.

There was no sign of the fabric.  I searched and searched and came to the only conclusion possible.  Mr. Peabody had eaten the bag. For reasons to be detailed later, we did not rush Sweet Boy to the vet the minute that Jeff got home.  We calmly filled one of the syringes I mooched off of a friend with hydrogen peroxide.  We cornered Sweet Boy and shot the liquid down his throat.  Then, we waited.  Five minutes later, there were 3 piles of vomit on the floor, each containing a lump of 1 inch wide strips of my bag covered in stomach acid.  It didn’t end there, though.  For the next 2 days I cleaned up piles of vomit containing more pieces of the bag. I pulled strips of the bag out of Mister’s butt when he couldn’t quite poop them out.  I can no longer look at the pattern that was on the bag without being disgusted.  Luckily, he lived to eat items from around the house another day.

We have since put a lock and duct tape on the closet to keep it shut. We look like we should be the villains on an episode of Criminal Minds, locking children in a closet and only opening the door once a week to drop in left over food.  I assure you, we are not.  We are just the parents of a smart, determined hound dog with a taste for all things off limits.

~Chelsea J.~

Getting To Know Us

I have to admit that I am terrible at introductions.  I either forget to introduce people altogether, or I pull some random detail from their lives (or, more commonly, my life) that is semi-embarrassing and blurt it out, hoping to start a conversation.  It usually leads to awkward pauses.  Thankfully, I have the luxury of proof-reading my posts and can save the embarrassing details for later.

Introducing the Adventurers:

Chelsea (me) – yes, I’m vain enough to put myself first… Or maybe I just have a hard time describing myself and want to get it over with. You choose! By day, I am a full-time volunteer support specialist.  By morning, night, weekends, and breaks, I am a wife, a puppy mom, and a volunteer. I am on the board of and the adoption coordinator for a local no-kill dog rescue called Homeward Bound Animal Welfare Group. In my free time, I enjoy walks, mingling at the dog park, board games, reading, crime shows, cuddling with the husband, and spending time with friends and family.

Jeff (the husband) – Jeff is a full-time Senior Assistant Manager. Originally from St. Louis, he moved to Northern Indiana with his parents when he was 3 and decided to stick around after high school, despite the winter weather. He is sweet, funny, and calm – the perfect complement to my high-anxiety personality. He loves movies, bowling, board games, baseball (Go Cardinals!), and family time.  Not to brag, but… Last night he gave me flowers because I’ve been having a rough week.  He’s thoughtful like that.

Mr. Peabody (Sweet Boy) – Mister is a typical hound – smart, focused, stubborn, and outdoorsy. He has an independent personality (I looked it up and this is really a thing) and does not care much for praise and affection from people. He loves food, following scents, and chasing small animals. He will sometimes shrink away from our touch, preferring to play the game where he carries a toy and someone chases him. We have learned not to be offended. Sweet Boy learns quickly, but refuses to obey commands unless there is food involved. Why do we love him? He is absolutely hilarious! His face is very expressive and we can practically see him processing information and solving problems.  When he is sleepy, he gets super cuddly.  He enjoys exploring new places and is always ready for a walk, play date, or car ride – some of our favorite things, too.

Lulu (Sweet Girl) – Lulu is a very affectionate, very bossy little girl. For the most part, she is easy going and even lets Mister take toys out of her mouth – as long as there is no food involved. When it comes to her humans, though, she wants all of the attention.  Good thing Mister is not very needy!  Lulu wants to please, but has trouble learning new commands and is a bit cautious.   She still has a puppy side and enjoys a good game of fetch.  She is happy to greet people on our walks and makes sure to let other dogs know they are in her presence. Baby girl loves nothing more than a good cuddle that includes a belly rub.  She is a perfect complement to our Sweet Boy.

So this is our family in a nut shell. We have fun, we have disagreements, and we are all growing up together.  Somehow, we all have found our perfect partners.

~Chelsea J.~

The Adventure of Blogging

My name is Chelsea and I am addicted to my dogs.  How did I get to this point? Well, it’s simple – my husband and I adopted to two dogs last year.

Mr. Peabody and Lulu posing.
Mr. Peabody and Lulu

Jeff and I had been married for three years when we finally purchased our first home last April.  Yes, we were home owners and could FINALLY start thinking about getting a dog.  We were excited, but wanted to be smart and wait until we were absolutely ready.  The end of June was the magical time that we decided we would have our lives in order enough to take on a dog.  Surely, we would be settled in, saving money, and done traveling for the summer by then.

But of course, in May I decided to just “look and see” what was available at various rescue organizations.  I wanted to just “check out” what the adoption process was like.  That was one of the best decisions I ever made because I immediately fell in love with a beagle mix named Mr. Peabody.  He was young, but past the highest maintenance part of puppy-hood.  At six months old and with hound dog eyes, Mr. Peabody snatched my heart first, and then my husband’s.  Even though we still wanted to wait until the end of June to adopt, we decided to go see him.  He had terrible gas, he was more interested in his rawhide than in us, and he avoided our touch.  By the end of May, he was our dog.

June and July went by and I could not shake the feeling that Mr. Peabody, affectionately called Mister or Sweet Boy, needed a canine friend.  After a lot of discussion, Jeff and I decided to try fostering since we didn’t think we could afford to have two dogs under our care.  Our third foster, a terrier mix named Lumiere, clicked with Mr. Peabody immediately.  She was a couple of months younger and full of energy just like him.  Weighing in at 18 lbs to his 35 lbs, she could hold her own.  She knew when to back down to him over a toy and when to stand her ground over some “uninvited advances.”  They could wrestle, cuddle, eat, and walk together.  Jeff, Mr. Peabody, and I needed her for the rest of her life.  Two hours before an adoption application came through for Lumiere, I admitted to the director of the rescue that we were foster failures and proud of it.  Four days later, on a beautiful September Sunday, we signed her papers, renamed her Lulu, and made her our Baby Girl.

That is how our family of four began.  Since then we have had lots of fun, lots of worry, lots of tests of patience, and more love than we could ever imagine.  That is why I am starting this blog.  Sweet Boy and Baby Girl have definitely made our lives more exciting and Jeff and I have grown closer together seeing new sides of each other as pup parents.   As first time pet owners, I want to share our adventures, our mistakes, and our successes.  And believe me, there have already been A LOT of all three.

~Chelsea J.~