Friday, October 29, 2010

Trick or Treat....

I returned home from work last night, with what had to have been one of the most painful migraines that I've ever experienced, at 6:20 to discover that it was "Trick or Treating" in my neighborhood (It started at 6- I was only 20 minutes behind schedule!). Had I known what the next 2 hours would be like, I probably would have kept on driving!

My future father in law (who will for the rest of this post be referred to as my FFIL) spent the evening with us because my fiance had to drop him at the doctors office this morning for eye surgery. He was already there when I got home, making an effort to entertain and calm my overly enthusiastic boxer, and failing miserably!

Thankfully, I had the foresight to purchase candy on my Monday grocery run, knowing full well that even though I had no idea exactly when trick or treating would be, it was definitely coming! So, at least I was prepared in that sense. It was all the other stuff that I wasn't prepared for...

Here's how it all went down:

The best part of my day, on the day's when Lucy doesn't come to work to assist me, is returning home to Lucy. Even if I've had a bad day, my first 5 minutes in the house with Lucy are always wonderful! (And yesterday, WAS A BAD DAY!)

Our evening greeting ritual is the best in the world, and I wouldn't change it for anything. I get down on the floor with her, and she hugs and kisses me and I hug and kiss right back! When she's all done with that, she goes in circles around me with her little boxer butt wiggling! I tell her about my day, and ask her about hers. I absolutely love it! Can't live without it! Wait for it all day!

The whole time I'm taking part in this little love-fest, my FFIL is in the living room chatting away to me.

"Hey, Marianne, how do I work the remote?"
"Hey, Marianne, what's for dinner?"
"Hey, Marianne, do you have candy for the kids?"
"Hey, Marianne, what channel is KDKA?"
"Hey, Marianne, do you know....?"
"Hey, Marianne, Robbie says..."
"Hey, Marianne, can you set the alarm on my phone?"
"Hey, Marianne, how much longer is dinner gonna be?"

...And the headache gains intensity- QUICKLY!

I give Lucy one more kiss on the top of her head, and try to drown out the voice coming at me from the living room as I run downstairs to find something to cook for dinner. As I'm running back up the basement stairs, I hear a knock at the door and pray that the able bodied man warming my couch will take care of the trick or treaters while I defrost the chicken. It was a nice thought. "Hey, Marianne, there's kids at the door!" Ugh, really?

I grab Lucy and a bag of candy and proceed to the front door! Lucy thought this whole ritual of adorable toddlers dressed as ducks was the perfect opportunity to distribute some boxer kisses, and the toddlers didn't mind my slobbering boxer one bit! I got a big giggle out of the whole thing. From that point on, when someone knocked at the door, I grabbed Lucy, who had her leash on, and opened the front door to let her greet the kids! She did very well!

As I'm handing out candy and attempting to restrain a 60 pound boxer from bestowing way too many kisses on the adorable "duck toddler", my phone starts ringing. Oh, boy! Let it ring! Lucy and I finish up with the kids and I head to the kitchen to check on my phone and the defrosting chicken. It was Rob calling me, and I tried 3 times to call him back, but he was having the usual issues with phone, and frankly, I was out of patience. My FFIL was still in the living room asking 90 questions, and my headache was getting to the point of explosion at a very quick speed!

2 hours, 2 bags of candy, 2 Mountain Dews, and way more than 2 curse words, Trick or Treating was over, dinner was on the table, everyone was home, and I was ready for bed!

The whole ordeal exhausted the little boxer, temporarily, and she chilled out for a couple of minutes after enjoying a few bites of homeade macaroni & cheese, and bbq chicken! (But the chill out only lasted a couple of minutes. My head had no sooner hit the pillow than I heard "Hey, Marianne- can you come down here and calm this dog down?")

What a night! I'm sure glad that's over... Too bad that I didn't sleep a wink last night. Probably had something to do with all of that Mountain Dew at 7PM or the fact that I had a voice in my head that I couldn't extinguish! (Wonder whose voice that was?)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Just Lucy & I...

It would seem that lately either myself or Rob is out of town! Rob has been gone since Saturday night, and Lucy and I have been left alone to fend for ourselves. I'm pretty sure that Lucy has taken protecting her "hooman" very seriously- her Daddy must have had a talk with her before he left!

For the last couple of nights, it's been rather warm, and we've been sleeping with the windows open. On Sunday night, Lucy and I were curled up in bed- I was watching a movie (one of those ones that you shouldn't be watching when you're home alone unless you want to have a sleepless night!) and Lucy had fallen asleep. All of a sudden, Lucy's head perked up, the hair on her back stood on end, and she jumped up to a sitting position. "What is it, Lucy?" Lucy looked at me, and started to growl. By the time I had gotten out of bed, and rounded the other side of the bed the growl had become a full bark.

Lucy walked with me down the stairs, and stayed close by my side as I peered out each of the front windows. After I had inspected the premises and pronounced everything "fine", she followed me back upstairs and settled right back in! "Good Lucy!" I still have no idea what she heard.
Monday was my day off, and after spending 4 hours waiting for a doctor who told me when she finally appeared in the exam room that she was "a tad behind", I sped off to the grocery store in the pouring down rain. I hate grocery store parking lots, and I was already in a sour mood from the 4 hour wait at the doctors office. So, when a beat up mini-van came within one inch of backing right into me, I nearly killed someone. I had no idea where the horn was prior to this incident, but I sure found it fast!

I've had a hard time lately finding the "soup bones" that I give Lucy on a regular basis. So when I come across them, I tend to stock up. They store well in the freezer, so I would rather have them frozen than not be able to give Lucy her favorite treat!

I scooped up 6 packages of bones feeling rather confident that would last us till the next time I find them. The checkout attendant looked at me rather oddly and asked how big the pot of soup was that I needed all those bones for? I smiled and said "I've got a boxer puppy!". She's obviously never had a puppy because the look on her face told me that she had no idea why I would be giving a puppy all of those bones!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Lucy's Take... The Hoomans Obsession With Mud Removal!

My Hooman is pretty crazy abouts washing things. She's always dragging stuffs to the washer, and everytimes I turn around, she's got a rags in her hands and she's scubbin da kitchen floor. So, I shouldn't bes suprised that she's goofy about keeping da car clean. And dat's okay, but I'm not so sures dat I should be subjected to the methods of cleaning da car.

On Friday night afters we got done with work, she pulled into dis funny looking building dat was makings all kinds of noises. I'm nots afraids of noises, so I guess she's was thinking it was gonna be okay. We were ats da car wash, and Mommy paid the guy and drove into da dark building. Den all these things started moving around and there was funny stuffs on the window. I's thoughts it was pretty cool. When we's came out on da other side, Mommy made a big sigh and saids "Whew, all the mud is gone, Lucy!" My hooman was happy to have a cleans car!

I'lls probably nevers understand why my hoomans get so freaked out about dis ting they call mud... especially on da cars. Daddy's actually worse dan Mommy! I'm just glad I don't haves to worry about "mud".

After da car wash, we wents and got some takeout food for dinner. I guess Daddy taught Mommy how to cheat at making dinner! When Mommy and I got home, Job was waiting in the driveway for us. I was so happys to see my buddy, and Mommy puts us out in da yard and lets us play till I was completely exhausted! I missed da take-out food. It was all gones by da time I came in da house! Those hoomans ate withouts me, can you believe it?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Having Fun With Pictures

I came very close to losing all of my very precious Lucy photos last week! Thank God that I had uploaded most of the best Lucy pictures to Kodak Gallery, or I would probably still be shedding some tears.

I decided to play around with a couple of my favorite Lucy pics this morning, and this is the result of my efforts!

This one will most definitely be reprinted and hung on a wall in the house...

... As will this one! This was taken back in August by a friend who was visiting me at the store one day. I just love this picture of Lucy & I!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Giggles... Must Have Been A Boxer...

... I received this from a Boxer friend of mine on the Boxer Mailing List and thought I would share it! It's too cute not to pass on!

A sign in an office window read, "Help wanted. Must type 70 words a minute. Must be computer literate and bilingual. Equal-opportunity employer."

A dog was ambling down the street and saw the sign. He looked at it for a moment, then pulled it down with his mouth and walked into the manager's office. The office manager laughed and said, "I can't hire a dog for this job."

The dog pointed to the line, "Equal-opportunity employer." So the manager said, "OK. Type this letter." The dog sat at the computer and a minute later had a finished and perfectly formatted letter.

The manager wasn't convinced. "I still can't hire you for this position. You have to be bilingual."

The dog looked up at the manager and said, "MEOW."

Sunday, October 17, 2010

"Lucy, leave it!"

A boxer can be taught to do just about anything, and my little boxer baby proved this theory to me this morning.

As some of you may remember, my little pup has an intense desire to chase flying wasps, bumblebees and hornets. As a result of this past-time, Lucy has had several "big bumps."

A few months ago, a friend of mine on the Boxer Mailing List suggested that I teach Lucy to leave the nasty flying objects alone. I admit, I was very skeptical, but figured that I would give it a go. Everytime I caught Lucy about to engage in play with one of these stinging creatures, I would tell her to "Leave it, Lucy." After a couple of times of telling her to "leave it", she left them alone completely and hasn't had a big bump since sometime in July.

This morning, Rob & I were enjoying the beautiful fall morning in the hot tub, when I noticed Lucy perched over something, barking her little head off. I got out of the hot tub and went to investigate. Lucy was barking at a wasp that had the nerve to land on her deck. I promptly told her to "leave it, Lucy" and watched as Lucy backed off another foot and waited for her mom to squish it, which I promptly did before telling Lucy "Good Girl!!".

I'm so proud of my little boxer baby! And you can bet that this human made a very big deal out of Lucy's "Leave It!" this morning!

As a side note, on Friday somehow I accidentally deleted my "picture" file on my computer. I was able to save some of my images, but I didn't get them all back! I'm relieved to have rescued some of them, but lost several years of my life, and some of the best Lucy pictures that I had. I'm still sick over it!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Crazy About Charleston, SC

I think Charleston is wonderful! After spending three days there in the glorious sunshine and drinking in the 90 degree temps, I'm not very pleased to be back to the cold, rainy weather of Pittsburgh! Here are some of my favorite things from my trip!

I don't really know what it is about a bridge that takes my breath away, but on Sunday evening when I hit the Arthur Ravenal Jr Bridge that connects Mount Pleasant and Drum Island, I was completely blown away!

This particular bridge has got to be one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen. This bridge opened in July of 2005 and has the designation of being the longest cable stayed bridge in North America.

There are two large triangular, white cable peaks, the largest spanning an impressive 576 feet into the air. This is an 8 lane bridge with a pedestrian and bicycle path along the north bound side of the bridge. I will confess to driving across this bridge just because I could with no particular reason for even crossing it. I will tell you that it's more stunning and awesome when you're driving into the peaks than it is standing on the ground!

The homes in Charleston are distinctly different than the homes in the North. Driving through parts of Charleston, you can definitely imagine the "Gone With The Wind" era. It's not hard to picture women in ball gowns, with parasols sipping sweet tea on the "veranda".

I love the use of color, the attention to detail, and the obvious nature of the south in the homes.

This is "The Spirit of South Carolina". The Spirit of South Carolina is a two-masted pilot schooner modeled after the Frances Elizabeth, a vessel that was originally built by the Samuel J. Pregnall & Bros. Shipyard in Charleston in 1879. Plans for the Frances Elizabeth were found at the Smithsonian Institution.

The Spirit of South Carolina was built in downtown Charleston’s Ansonborough Field. Upon completion the vessel was towed across the street into the port terminal compound using a custom-engineered cradle and was lowered into the water.

Overall she is 140 feet long, with 3 sails. The highest sail is 125 feet high.

... And of course, what would a road trip be without a little bit of shopping? This is the brand new Mount Pleasant Town Center which is home to 65 brand new stores! What more could a girl ask for? It's all here... Old Navy, Loft, Victoria's Secret, Banana Republic.... The only thing missing is a shoe store!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Lucy's Take... Everything is Back to Normal!

Yesterday was finally the day! My hooman was coming home!

I coulds hardly waits for my Moms to get here! Daddy kept telling me she was on her way, but I gots pretty impatients! I waited so longs, dat I fell asleep. Buts when I heards the door open, I jumped right out of bed and rans down the stairs to greet her! We were so excited to see each other! But, my poor mom looked really tired! She drove 700 miles yesterday, only stopping for a coupla minutes at a time! She tolds Daddy that she was in a hurry to gets home to see us! She also mentioned somethings about drinking 4 cups of coffee in da last 4 hours- dat didn't sound good and was probably why she hads a hard time fallings asleep when she gots here!

I'm just happy she's home! And she broughts me presents! Check it out... Do you's thinks I oughta forvive her for leavings me since she brought me a present?

I'ms pretty sure dat theres is another present too. There is a big purple ball sittin on the counter dat wasn't there before. I tink dats for me too, but my hooman isn't givings it to me. I guess I'll have to wait.

I hads a very good time with my Daddy, but those two hoomans sure are differents!

Mom: Here's a carrot & some celery, Lucy!

Dad: Have a taco and a cookie, Lucy!

Mom: Here's some chicken and a little bit of cheese, Lucy!

Dad: Want some pizza and chips, Lucy?

What's up wit dat? Why is it dat when Mommy is hungry she goes to da kitchen and makes a big mess, but when Daddy's hungry he gets in da truck and goes through a thing he calls a "drive through"?

I'ms not so sure, but I tinks Daddy is gonna be in troubles when he gets home from work. Mommy's mentioned about 10 times now what a big mess da house is. And since I can'ts run da vacuum, mop or do the laundry, I'd say my Daddy was sposed to be doin dats! She's been runnins around here like crazy for the last two hours tryins to clean up. And I helped her makes some chicken noodle soups for dinner. I sampled da carrots, celery and chicken and tolds mom that dat they were alls good!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

West Virginia Foliage

I've driven through the mountains of West Virginia with Rob at least a half dozen times. I've always said that I wanted to stop at the scenic overlook and enjoy the view, but for some reason, the truck never seems to stop! This time, I was behind the wheel, and the vehicle did stop! I think fall is probably the best time of year to have this view! It was truly breathtaking up there... so I thought I would share it!

I'm wondering if I stop there on the way back if more of the leaves will have turned?

I have to say that Charleston is very beautiful, but there's no fall foliage here! Everything is still green.


I can't go anywhere without meeting a dog.

I'm not picky. It can be any kind of dog.

I am a sucker for a wagging tail.

I cannot resist big, beautiful brown eyes.

(There, I've said it. The unstoppable urge to pet, kiss and make friends with all of the canine patrons of every rest stop between Pittsburgh and Charleston, SC is what delayed me arriving in Charleston!)

I've met 10 dogs since I left Pennslvania yesterday morning. I guess when you're on the road and travelling by yourself, more often than not it's pretty safe to assume that a person with a dog, is probably gonna be pretty friendly!

Rest stops are wonderful places to meet dogs and their humans. And of course, they've been in a car for hours, so they're more than agreeable when it comes to meeting a new human when she comes towards them "oohing" and "ahhing".

Yesterday, right after crossing into North Carolina, I pulled off at a rest stop to stretch my legs. As I was walking back to the car, I couldn't help but notice across the road, an absolutely adorable basset hound- nose to the ground, tail wagging! Of course, I had to choke back the tears as the little guy ran towards me, short little legs and big, strong tail wagging wildly. And when he howled, well, it was all I could do to contain myself. His name was Beethoven, and he was a beautiful 3 year old hound dog with a howl that really made me pine for my little Nicky. His owner was more than happy to tell me the entire story of Beethoven, and every other dog that he and his wife had loved in the 30 years of their marriage. Beethoven had a big black heart on his side, which his owner was more than happy to point out to me! I've gotta hand it to the little guy, it was a perfect heart!

As we were chatting, a beautiful beagle caught the attention of Beethoven, and he couldn't be contained. The Human attached to the beagle explained that they had rescued the Beagle about 10 years ago, and estimated her age to be about 13. He said that they didn't know much about her because she was rescued, but that it didn't really matter to him and his wife! She was absolutely beautiful, and I was genuinely happy to hear that despite a rough start in life, she had found an obviously wonderful forever home! I could tell that little beagles human, adored her... No ifs, ands or buts about it.

I eventually said goodbye to Beethoven, the beagle and thier very friendly humans. I could have stayed there all day, but of course, I had a destination that I needed to get to!

This afternoon, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a lady crossing the street with a dog that I was sure was at least part boxer. The dog was beautiful, sharp, bold colors, and a very shiny coat. I couldn't resist, I had to meet the dog and it's human!

By the time I had crossed the street, the dog had been temporarily tethered to a tree outside of a coffee shop, and I approached her cautiously, speaking softly to her. She wagged her tail, and I walked closer. Her owner noticed the interaction and came out of the coffee shop to introduced me to "Grace."

She explained to me that she had found "Grace", injured and abandoned on a busy highway, lying in the median and took her right in, patched her up and proceeded to shower her with love and attention. Grace's human couldn't believe how well she responded to me. She told me that she's not very good with meeting new people, and usually just backs away, but she licked my face and wagged her tail, and we were instant friends. I wasn't mistaken, Grace's human is pretty sure she's part boxer and part lab. Her beautiful brindle coloring gave her boxer lineage away!

In the last couple of days, there have been pictures on the "Friends" page of the boxer mailing list of beautiful rescues that have found forver homes after being fostered by the kind people who open their homes and hearts to these sweet little boxers.

All around me are these wonderful "happy ending" stories about pups that have had the unfortunate luck of ending up in bad homes, but thankfully fate intervenes and these little pups find their way into homes where they are loved and nurtured back to health and given chances at wonderful lives. And while it would seem that it's the dogs that are being rescued, I'm pretty sure in a lot of these situations, the dogs are doing some human rescuing too!

In a perfect world, there wouldn't need to be rescue organizations or foster homes for dogs. But, it's not a perfect world, and I'm sure glad that these organizations exist!

To all of the people who follow this blog, who rescue, foster or have adopted rescue dogs, I applaud the care and concern that you give to these animals that have found themselves in very unfortunate situations. I commend the courage that you exhibit working tirelessly to encourage these animals to trust and love humans. I applaud you for opening your homes and hearts to these rescues.

As for me, I can't wait to rescue a boxer... Or should I say, have another boxer rescue me!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Lucy's Take... My Hooman Has Left Me...AGAIN!

Well, she's done it agains. My hooman has lefts me. I'ms not very happy about its. At least this times, when she left, she forgot to take my Daddy.

I knews it wasn't good when she started throwing stuffs in dat big suitcase. I crawled in and trieds to get comfy, but she noticed that I was in der, and tolds me I couldn't go. In her defense, she looked really sad when she told me that!

To make matters worse, she tooks her pillow with her, so now I have no pillow to sleep on, and Daddy don't share his pillow. She trieds to be tough when she left Daddy and I, but I saw da tears in her eyes. If she didn't wanna leave us, why did she do it?

She talked to me on da phone last night! I felts so much better hearing her voice, but I couldn't find her. I looked in da kitchen. I looked in da laundry room. I even looked in her closet- but no Mom!

Anyways, I's is havin fun with my Daddy. I'ves been trying to see whats I can get away with, cause I'm sure that my big buddy won't be's as tough with me as Mommy is. He gives me hamburgers. How tough can he be? And tonights, we're gonna chill out and watches da football game on da tv, I bets I gets some pizza!

I sure miss my hooman... Can anybody tell me where Charleston is, and why couldn't I goes along? Daddy says Mommy is on a "mission" and dat if Mommy likes it der, we could move there. He says that there is a big beach there, and it's sunny and warm all da time. Does dat mean I won't need a winter coat? It sounds really nice there.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Lucy Withdrawl!

This morning, after going through my usual morning routine with Lucy, I jumped in the Boxer Mobile and started driving. I'm happy to say, that after 11 hours- I have arrived at my destination! Charleston, SC here I am!

I had a very hard time leaving Lucy this morning, and probably would have brought her with me, but the agenda for this trip is not exactly a good one for a Boxer baby. And as crazy as 11 hours in the car made me, I'm sure my boxer would have been even more so. So, this morning, I gave her lots of hugs, kisses and "I love you"s and set out on my journey leaving Lucy to keep an eye on her Daddy... (I'm pretty sure that even as I type, Lucy is "testing" the waters with her Daddy, trying to find out exactly what she's gonna be able to get away with since her Alpha is gone...)

In the last 2 weeks, for some reason, Lucy has become very fascinated by my AM routine. She will patiently watch while I make coffee... Stick her head in the shower and help lick the water from my feet when I emerge... She lays in the hallway as I put my makeup on paying close attention to everything that I do... And when I turn on the blowdryer, she will jump up and start kissing me (I blowdry my hair upside down, so my face is in close kissing proximity for Lucy!)...

I certainly hope I'm gonna be able to function tomorrow morning without Lucy's assistance! I know that right now, I'm pretty tired, but I'm missing her and my darling fiance terribly!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Words Not Necessary...

Lucy's Take... Human Foods Is Da Best!!

I know's dat my hooman has been complaining dat I haven't been posing for pictures, so yesterday, on her day off, I decided to pose for a couple of pictures. I don't means to be camera shy, it's just dat how many pictures of me does my hooman really need?

I'ms not so sure dat I should have let her get dis evidence. She snapped dis picture after Daddy gave me a little bite of a cookie wit some icing on it. It's was so yummy, but Mommy says I'ms not supposed to be eating cookies wit icing on em. I wonders if I can eat da cookies if dey don't haves icing on em?

My hooman made me some blueberry muffins on Sunday. She saids dat dey were just for puppies, but my Daddy ate some of dem. I guessin dat if I's is gonna eat their cookies, that I's is gonna have to share my blueberry muffins. Mommy got a whole cookbook just for me, she showed me all da tings that she's gonna bake for me. I sures hope I gets to eat em before my Daddy eats em all!

I sure luvs my Daddy. I got to go to works with him 2 days this past week, and I's even got to rides in one of da big trucks! I luvs helpin my hoomans!

My Daddy's a lot of fun to play with! He gets real crazy with me. Sometimes Mommy says we get too wild and makes us stop, but we's just havin fun! Every night when he's gets home he gets down on da floor and wrestles with me! I have's so much fun growlin and barking at him. I luvs playin with Mommy too, but Daddy lets me gets real crazy!

I cant's be as roughs with my Mom cause Daddy says she's not tough enoughs to handle it because she's a girl. I don't really understands dat, because I'm a girl too.

I's gots another new collar. Mommy says I growin too fast and dats why I keep gettins new collars. Dis collar was handmade for me's by a really nice lady dat my Hooman knows from the Boxer Mailing List. Her name is Dawn, and she makes all kinds of different n pretty doggy collars. You shoulds go check it out if's you's is needin a new collar. Her website is: Arvendale Boxers

My hooman's gonna haves to order me another ones, cause I just had a big growth spurt and dis collar is tight already! Must be all dose cookies I's eatin!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Toy Rescue Mission

My little Lucy has become very camera shy these past couple of months. It seems that every time I get my camera out, all that's left of Lucy by the time I've fired it up, is her backend! And every time she's sporting the perfect pose, my camera is no where to be found. I need to start strapping it around my neck. Anyway, that's why there's a picture of another boxer here instead of Lucy's picture.

It has been raining in Pittsburgh for days. Our backyard looks more like a cow pasture than a yard from all of the mud. I wish it would stop, and I'm sure Lucy shares that sentiment.

Lucy has been going to the back door, ringing the doggie bells and waiting patiently to go outside for days now. It wasn't until this morning that I caught on to what my little pup was up to in the yard.

She rang the bells this morning, and I let her out. She ran across the deck as fast as her little legs would carry her, grabbed a very dirty meat bone and came back to the door. I let her in, she ran across the kitchen and into the foyer where I heard her plop the bone down on the floor before she came running right back to the door to ring the bell. I let her back out and she grabbed another toy, and waited to be let in. We did this 7 or 8 times this morning before I figured out that Lucy was rescuing her favorite toys from the rain! I'm still smiling in amazement 6 hours later! I will never underestimate the intelligence of this little boxer!