“Shadow was faithful, Shadow was loyal… Shadow was a chump.”

22 June 2015

Before we even got engaged, Stan and I have discussed in-depth what we wanted out of life. One of the things we really agreed on was our love of animals. I’ve often joked that Stan’s family are the Lannisters because he they’ve owned mostly cats and my family is like the Starks since we’ve own mostly dogs (and we live in the North.) I even tried to incorporate this into our wedding, but Stan said this was too dorky, even for me.

which perhaps means we’ll own mostly lizards?

Anyway, after the Wedding, I knew I’d be flying back East in June, so I thought that would be the perfect time to get a puppy. Since, Stan would be out in the field, it would be the perfect opportunity to bring them home to meet Murphy and Evie…that is until we found out that Murphy and Evie had cancer. Before, I felt guilty about getting a new puppy, especially knowing that Murphy was alive 3000 miles away, but after they passed away, I just felt conflicted. I felt like it was too soon to think about getting a puppy but I also felt that I shouldn’t keep putting our life on hold. Murphy and Evie knew I loved them very much and would want me to be happy. I knew it wouldn’t be fair for Stan, to keep holding off, so we decided to add a new addition to the family while I was still in New Jersey.

Two new additions in fact. Long story short, we went to the place we first met Evie and they had a litter that was related to her. While we were there my parents decided to get her sister…

…so, Ladies and Gentlemen, without further ado, I would like to introduce to you

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Grace and Anna Mae
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Gracie
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Annie for Short

Anna Mae is our puppy, we’re calling her Annie for Short.

Stan chose Anna after one of our favorite video games.

I like Annie for several reasons and characters,
but the most meaningful reason is for
“Ani”
a Hawaiian name for beautiful,
in honor of our honeymoon.

Mae is actually short for Maeby after one of our favorite characters, Maeby Fünke.

not to be confused with

My parents named Gracie after the beautiful and talented, Grace Kelly.

It’s been kind of hard having a puppy in the house again. I’d forgotten how difficult it is raising one. It’s been eleven years since we had our last puppy and I really don’t remember Evie acting so…puppy like! Lol. Annie and Gracie bite everything! I mean, I remember that puppies teeth just like babies but I don’t remember puppies nipping everything, especially me and my hair! I can’t remember any other puppy chewing my hair…and that’s back when I had long hair!

They also sleep a lot…

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here’s Annie and her sister sleeping
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here she is dozing
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here she is after a visit from the sandman
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Ooh, here’s nappy time, Annie!
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here’s a cute one: she’s all tuckered out.

…but I was prepared for that. Dogs sleep more than us, especially when they’re puppies and elderly.

It was kind of hard when we first got them, having two puppies to watch after, but then we got used to the routine of it. Plus having them together helped a lot with keeping them from getting homesick. It was so adorable seeing them play, I mean they tend to get pretty rough with each other for sweet little girls but for the most part you can definitely tell how much they care for one another.

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Gracie used to be the dominate one, she’s a little bigger than Annie but then Gracie caught a little bug. And Annie became totally dominate…for that one day Gracie was sick. After she got stronger and after Annie had her new confidence: now they fight over “top dog”.

Wednesday afternoon, Annie and Gracie had their first play date. Derby and Calla came over for a pizza picnic and a swim. (I’m a little nervous about driving with other people in the car.) I felt especially nervous about driving with Calla, I had this plan that if ‘God forbid’ something happened to her, I would just runaway or drive off a cliff. Her mother and Grandfather would murder me. Anyway, everything went rather smoothly. Derby was a surprise to Calla and her presence really helped with her initial shyness.

WfM FMM PizzaParty 15

When I first introduced the puppies to Calla and Derby, Calla didn’t seem to like them. She just stepped away from them and kept looking at them. So, I put them in the mudroom when we all went to the pool and that was that….but then Calla mentioned them and it dawned on me what had happened. I had said something to Calla that I probably should have worded differently. I warned her that the puppies were biters and now Calla was asking me what I meant by that.

Long Story short:

WfM AMFG 2015

In other News: “All went Well” and Stan arrived safely, after a rather hectic night of flight delays, mechanical malfunctions and plane hopping, that is. His flight was about four hours late…so crazy, I woke up around 4AM with a weird pain in my chest. After it passed (as quickly as it occurred) I decided to text Stan, leaving him something to find when his phone turns back on…that is until my phone pinged. It was Stan! Seriously, I was kind of nervous seeing who texted me, it’s like getting a phone call after 10 o’clock, it’s just scary.

Thursday was just a blur of activity. After picking Stan up, we took a wrong turn and went down a pretty shady neighborhood. Do you ever put the GPS on while you’re driving home or another place you’ve driven to a million times? I do all the time. I like knowing how much time I have left on a trip…even though I’m never really in any sort of hurry.

Flying with Annie was a bit nerve-wracking. We had a list of things to do before flying, that now that I’m writing this after the fact; I must say, it went rather easily. But I’ll get to that later.

We took Annie to her first appointment with our local Vet. She got a physical, her nails clipped and received her medical clearance form for flight. (It needs to be done within 10 days before flying.) Then we had to rush back to my parents’ house, so I could finish my pie and Stan and I could get ready for dinner with my cousin and her family. Everything was going…well(ish)…my pie was a little more involved than I thought it would be, I was baking Martha Stewart’s Raspberry Chocolate Pie but with Blackberries instead of Raspberries. (I’m a big fan of Mrs. Stewart’s culinary arts…jury’s still out on her crafts but that’s neither here nor there.)

The pie was more involved than I thought it would be but everything was running like clockwork…that is until Stan received a rather unsettling phone call from work. Of course, I cannot disclose the matter. But Stan had to phone people and email in a report. Long Story Short: we ended up being one hour and 30 minutes late… I know there was nothing we could have done, but it was so embarrassing. They could not have been sweeter about the whole situation but I just felt so stupid. (Mostly because I kind of just reconnected with this cousin and haven’t been to her house since I was 14.) But other than the lateness, it was a really lovely evening.

Friday, I took Stan to an Amusement Park. (Better than Six Flags, Tamer than Disney and Universal) We had a great time. Everything was great, we got soaked on the water rides and stuffed in the saloon. Everything was just capital, except for one ride. One of my childhood friends, who babysat me when I was little used to tell me all about these cool “adult” things. For example, this ride at six flags that’s similar to Tower of Terror, in that it brings you up high and then plummets you down. But instead of just ending in a drop it pulls you out into a curve, where you end lying down. I was never able to ride it…until now, well, Friday… and let me say, I was not a fan. Maybe it was because I’m a girl but it was a bit painful at the end…maybe I just needed a sports bra? I don’t know but let’s just say, it was an experience I’m not jumping at the chance to repeat.

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Friday night, we had plans with my parents. We had a delicious dinner and finally saw, Jurassic World! (My cousin whose daughter, Calla, who was my Flower Girl, invited me to see it with her the day it came out, but there are a few movies, Stan and I have agreed to wait for each other for, Star Wars VII is one of them.) I know there are a lot of “critics” tearing it apart but we loved it! It was great to watch an action packed dino thriller again.

There’s just one thing about Jurassic Park that’s bad…it’s completely ruined any other dinosaur representation for me.

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“I want you to draw me like one of your French girls. Wearing this… wearing ‘only’ this.”

Saturday, was that super-secret event I’ve been mentioning to you all. My friend’s Bridal Shower! Yay! I know I told you that I was going to take a picture of the finished gift…well, I forgot. I’m sorry. My mom and I went in on one of those Le Creuset Classic Cast-Iron Dutch ovens, in red. Then I filled it with little things she likes/meaningful…because I like to make everything harder on myself. Lol (Frozen mug, Anchor Bottle opener, Jets tape, Ms. Marvel comic, High School Banner and Hydrangea napkins) She said she liked it but now in hindsight, I feel like my gift is not so much a “Bridal” gift and much more of a typical birthday gift. Lol – whoops!

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Sunday was semi stressful but ultimately just fine.

Warning: the following paragraphs detail exactly how the three of us made it back to California.
If that’s something you’re interested in then please read on…

I’ve been asking anyone who will listen about flying with dogs. I heard from four different people that it was just fine. I read a lot of horror stories in the past about dogs flying but since I got Annie, I decided to completely ignore the internet…which is my approach to having children. (My cousins went through this whole germaphobe phase when they had children within this past year and that was due mostly to the internet.) Which knowing how much of a germaphobe I already am, I really don’t want to end up in one of those outbreak movies.

But anyway, I just kept saying little prayers and thinking positively. We had to make sure her cage was the certain size, with enough air holes and a spilt bowl for food and water (even though they didn’t want us giving her any food (Which the less she can choke on the better)). We met this woman and her infant in the pet office. Turns out she was a Navy Wife and the Delta refused to fly her dog to the correct airport and dropped him off in the City! The women working there were extremely patient and kind towards us and Annie…a courtesy I wish they’d extend to their human customers, but I digress. In her cage, with her towel, bowl full of ice and stickers, Little Annie weighed 27 pounds. We said our goodbyes and she was off.

(She was such a little trooper.)

Speaking of the airlines, when we were calling to check Annie into our flight, they gave us a list of things we needed to check off. Everything was going smoothly, until I received a call from an 800 number Wednesday morning. I ignored it at first, thinking it was a scam, but when they called the second time, I answered, good thing, because it was United, telling me that the airport we were flying into could not take Annie off the plane when we arrived, so she was going on an earlier flight. (Contrary to our FedEx guy, I do not argue with people, especially with people who are doing me a service.) I just asked her if that meant, my flight had to be changed as well. She paused and asked, “You’re flying with the dog?” And before I could answer fully, she asked me to hold on. I was on hold for about 5 minutes and when she finally returned everything was back the way it was. Annie was on our flight and people would be there to pick her up.

And after the flight, we had to wait 25-30 minutes before we could pick her up but that’s pretty much how much it took us to get off the plane, use the facilities, get out of the airport, find our car and locate the building where United Cargo is sent. The building itself was a bit confusing, the signs were very small but once we got inside, all I had to do was show my ID and Annie was back, safely in our care. She was a little shaken at first, but she was back to her old rambunctious self in no time.

Our first night with Annie at home was a little difficult. She hated her cage and being away from us was out of the question. Remember when I said I was trying not to baby her? Well, that’s a bit hard when our houses are connected to our neighbors who have kids…I REALLY don’t want to be a pest or get a noise complaint. But if they haven’t complained about my show tune singing, then I might be in the clear.  So, we decided to pull out the couch and sleep downstairs with Annie…I know what you’re thinking, making things real hard for her, right?

I really appreciate you taking the time to read this rather long post.

Thank You

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