Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Meet The New Pup.

Well, if you follow me on Instagram, you already e-met our new dog. 

That ball of naps and fat rolls photographed above chose his own name and, while I would normally share the video of his name choice, I'm going to direct you to my Instagram story for behind the scenes footage of our island happenings.  You won't catch this update but there's always something to see; I try to post on the IG stories everyday.

Look at that face.  Seriously?!  Islanders, I would like to formally introduce my new furbaby, Diesel.

He is everything puppy dreams of this breed are made of - fat rolls, five-minute play sessions, lots of naps and a sweet little face.

We stopped at Petsmart and purchased everything from the Ellen Degeneres lifestyle brand collection, ED. 

His toys, his collar, his leash, his bed-- we got everything.  I love the chic colors, preppy prints and timeless design.

More importantly, I'm really growing to love our new furbaby, Diesel.

I'm sure I'll have lots of updates because this fella is just as full of personality as he is cute.  

Until next time, 

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The Pup.

After my experience with the puppies at the dog show, we started to discuss the possibility to, and my willingness to, purchase a new furbaby.  When Nuke died, I felt no dog would ever fill the void; I told myself there would be no point trying with another dog.  I decided a dog wasn't in my future.

Yet, here I was... considering another dog.  To think, it all started with a snuggle.  A former co-worker contacted me to say his dog was expecting puppies.  Get this. They were the same breed and would most likely be the same color/look as Nuke.

Be still my heart!  What are the frikkin' odds?

Randomly on Thanksgiving, Hubbs received a phone call from a friend... the same friend who got us access to the dog show.  He had a litter weeks prior, scheduled a delivery of a puppy to its new home in the same city where we live.  He offered to bring a puppy to us and sent us a pic of one that was still available.  The pup was beautiful.

While everyone else was Black Friday shopping, we were shopping for our furbaby on the way.  Later that night, we drove to the airport and we picked up our new family member.  We hurried home and started to settle into a new groove.  We had several name options but, until we chose, he was Puppy NoName.  The list of names included:

Toogie (pronounced 2G)

It took a few days.  It took a few rounds of voting.  It took eye rolls.  It took a lot.  We voted and narrowed the names down to two:

Diesel and Nas

We balled the small pieces of paper up and placed them on the floor with a treat by each one.  We let Puppy NoName choose.  If you follow me on Instagram, you already saw the process, saw his face and you already know his name...  Stay tuned for his formal Island introduction tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Life After Nuke: The Dog Show

Islanders, the outcry of support and visitors to hear more about Nuke was overwhelming.  I am humbled by all of the virtual hugs and kind words.  Thank you for being an amazing group of people who I've come to appreciate having in my life.

You guys rock.  

I cried everyday.  No, not the type of cry that makes you an emotional wreck to those around you... more like the silent cry; the one where you wake up and your heart hurts... or in the shower when you can let it out and nobody will ever know (... unless you have a blog, then people will know... because you share and over share on most topics).  I would have word vomits.  We'd be having a good time and I'd say, "I miss my dog."

Random, I know... but hear me out.  Even though I was enjoying life and the move was okay.... and things were okay.  At my core, something was still missing. Oh, yea.  Him.  It was my dog who was missing.

We were in an evacuation zone for Hurricane Irma (like most of the southeastern area).  We turned our evacuee status into a short family vacation.  While in the area, we went to our first ever dog show for Nuke's breed.  I wasn't sure what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised.  It was awesome.

We were there less than 5 minutes when I was greeted by the show groomer who was also a breeder.  She handed me a puppy despite my "no, thank you."  She put that dog in my arms and something happened.

All of the snuggles I'd missed from my FatBoy came out.  I was in heaven... unbeknownst to me, Hubbs snapped a photo.

He looked like Nuke.  He was solid.  He just sat there and let me hug him.  For like 20 minutes.  He was for sale but I couldn't promise that I'd have a home to come back to, let alone electricity and the adjustment of evacuee status was too much.  We walked away from the groomer and Hubbs turned to me and said, "seeing you like that... holding that dog.  Man, it got me all choked up."  His eyes filled and he turned to walk away.  

While we walked, we met so many awesome people and saw so many beautiful dogs.  These dogs reminded me of my Nuke in so many ways.  I also had the honor of meeting the man who created the breed.

I thanked him for creating the breed that brought me so much happiness and we snapped a quick pic.  It was awesome to meet the guy who created the gentle giant.  It was awesome to see so many dogs with the same traits as my beloved furbaby.  It was awesome to have an introduction to this part of the dog world.  It was awesome to snuggle with a puppy.  I miss snuggling with a furbaby.

Did I just say that?  Was there a puppy in our future?

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

What Happened to Nuke?

Islanders, today is the day.  Today.  Yep, I'm finally going to tell you.  I'm going to just put it out there. Once.   Never again.  I'm answering the question of what happened to my furbaby and furbestie and fatboy, Nuclear Dynamite (aka Nuke).

By now, you know we moved nearly 1,000 miles away from our family and friends.  The day after god baby's fabulous first birthday party, we woke, loaded the car and prepared to say our final goodbyes to my brothers and nephews.  I had crap to load but the most important item for the trip?  My dog.

I loaded the SUV taking care to ensure Nuke had enough space in the trunk.  I climbed in.  I closed the door.  I sat there.  I mean, how else does one check?  There was airflow.  There was room to sleep.  He was good.  We stopped at my brother's place to say bye to the boys and got on the road.

I had a plan.  We'd stop in the state's southern rest stop and again in South Carolina.  I love the South of the Border rest stop in SC.  It's a Mexican-inspired rest stop that's full of fun rides, quirky gift shops, cool photo-ops, good Mexican food; it's a cool place to stop. On the road, I chatted with Dani.  We caught up on life and made the promises friends make when one friend moves away.

As we approached the South of the Border rest stop, I remember telling Daniella (as I often told people) how I love my dog more than I love most people.  We laughed.  I got to the back window to pop the SUV trunk door and I realized he wasn't standing.  Nuke always stands when the car stops.  I mumbled, "something's wrong..." as the door opened.

There he was.  Gone.  Tongue hanging from his mouth.  Eyes wide open.  He was gone.  I started to cry, "no no no no... Nuke.  No!"  By this time, Munch was standing next to me and started to shake him.  She screamed at the top of her lungs.  "WAKE UP, NUKE!  WAKE UP!  IS HE DEAD?! NO NO NO!!!! MOMMY, NO!"

Islanders, when you hear that cry from your child, you don't forget it.  You just never forget something like that.  It burns your insides to hear...  I felt my own pain.  He was my dog.  But, hearing her cry... like that?  It hits you in a place you never forget.  I Facetimed Hubbs.  He didn't know what to do.  He started to cry.  My mom called me back.  "Call 9-1-1.  They can send Animal Control."  I did.  They said an officer was on his way.  Dad called me.  I was pacing.  Munch was sobbing in the front seat.  I paced around the car...  I must've walked 1,000 laps around the car in the hours we were there.  I remember repeating to my dad over and over and over... "my dog, yo.  After everything I've been through, my dog?  Dad, my dog?  You KNOW how I feel about my dog.  You KNOW, dad."

I guess hearing his child cry the same cry I just heard from Munch hit him in that parent spot; it made his insides burn too.  He just kept repeating, "I know, baby.  I know... he was your peace.  I know.  You tell me all the time.  I know.  I want you to turn around.  Turn around and come home."  The officer arrived.  He told me there was nothing he could do.  He was actually an asshole.  A total asshole.

"What would you do if you were back wherever you're from?  What would you do if you were wherever you're going?" he asked.  "Animal control is closed but I've called my supervisor and he'll come by to see what we can do."  he said.

I just sat there.  Trying to figure out what I was going to do.  He just told me the dog is my property and I was responsible for the disposal.  Disposal?  As if my furbaby was trash?  My furbaby.  Oh my God.

My furbaby was gone.

I'm in the middle of nowhere.  What am I gonna do?

My dog was the purest form of love and loyalty I have ever experienced in my life.  He gave me a reason to wake up and to go outside everyday.  He forced me to get to know my neighbors.  He pushed me at a time when I felt crippled.  He let me hug him when I acted like I didn't need a hug from anyone else.  Now, here I sit forced to decide which of two options was the best for me.

- Dump him on the side of the road like road kill so I can continue on my journey.
- Put him in a dumpster to rot until the next trash pick up.

...excuse me.  I feel sick.  At the thought of how I felt that evening.  I feel sick to think of the sounds I heard.  Strangers walking up to my child asking if we were okay.  Others admiring him... how even in death he was a show stopper.  The smell of Mexican food and the lights from games and rides -- who could enjoy themselves at a time like this.  Ever felt like everyone around you is enjoying life and you're just in the middle of a carnival (smelling the food and hearing the sounds) and the storm cloud is over you, and you alone?  Like, I felt as if I was the only one who needed an umbrella for the rain and a winter coat for the snow and an underground shelter for the tornado.

My heart ached.  I could hear my kid faintly in the fog that had become the background noise.  She was crying and praying and begging... I stared into space.  No more tears left to give... what am I gonna do?  Option 1 or option 2?  I was called over to the Sheriff who was now on the scene.  He had made a few calls and told me there was nothing the county could do.  I shook my head and started to cry some more; I guess there were tears left after all.  I'll never forget his next sentence:

"If you'll follow me, I got my wife waiting up the road at a gas station and I'll take your boy and bury him on my farm... out to pasture with my horses.  We're dog people and I can't see him like this."

Islanders, I cry at that part every time just as I did when he said it to me.  The ugly cry of pain and anguish and gratefulness rolled into one.  I drove to the gas station.  I hugged his wife who cried with me as the two officers loaded my dog onto the back of the pickup.  They cut his collar off and gave it to me.  I said my final goodbye and I watched as Nuke was carried off into the rain.

I have spent everyday since trying to heal the hole in my heart from losing him.  I lose my breath sometimes just thinking about it.  I cry every time I talk about it.

That up there is the photo I received from the kind officer to show me that Nuke was laid to rest alongside his beloved family horses.  I thank God for sending me the right people to carry me through this situation.

I'd love to say something of value right now but I can't.  I can't type something to make this post "better" to digest because it's been a harsh dose of reality for me.  AND I KNOW there are people who will mock this whole thing.  People who won't understand what I'm saying... Who don't have the attachment I had to Nuke.  People who twist their face up or roll their eyes to minimize the shock of my dead dog.  All I can say is that you haven't met the right dog.  I met mine and he forever changed me.

 So, there.  Folks have asked and wondered.

Today, you got the answer to what happened to Nuke.

Meet The New Pup.

Well, if you follow me on Instagram, you already e-met our new dog.  That ball of naps and fat rolls photographed above chose his ow...

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