My life changed dramatically and forever when I lost TJ.

I welcome you to follow along as I adjust to my "new normal".

It is not all puppies and ice cream but it is my life....real and honest.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Sandy's Dog Boarding

My house has gone to the dogs! Literally.

Mickey is not happy about it at all !!!

This is Macy. Her Mom is on vacation back east so she is staying with me for a week.
Macy was rescued from a back yard breeder.
When my friend took her to be spayed the vet said her uterus was as thin as paper from having too many litters.

This is Sadie. She belongs to my boss. I am keeping her until his house sales and he gets settled in somewhere else. She is only 10 months old and a wild child.

Now this.....this is my new love, Sophie. Or as she is frequently called now, Miss Loren. She belongs belonged to my boss also. Sadie is her litter mate and they could not be more different. I truly am keeping her forever.

Sophie and Tater Tot have become best buddies.

Tater Tot is just plain wore out from all the excitement around the house lately. But, he is glad that his new best friend, Sophie, will be living with us.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Land Mines

Some days I feel like my life has been a series of self implosions. Every time I get in sight of something I really want I throw a landmine in my path to ensure I never achieve it. I can think of numerous times that I have not gotten what I wanted or achieved a goal simply because of my own doing. More often than not TJ was there to diffuse the landmines that I threw down. He was my own personal bomb squad. I don't have that anymore. I need to learn to avoid my own landmines and to believe that I really deserve some of the things I want.

Everyone has failures in life. Ultimately, all of us fail at one time or another. I like to believe that I shed my failures like a rain coat. Once a self planted landmine explodes I move forward only to encounter the next one I have set for myself. I get out of bed day after god awful day and expect things to just miraculously work out. No, I truly believe that they are going to work out, even though it seems that they never do. I simply refuse to accept failure after failure as a part of my life.

I have heard it said that the standard by which we are measured lies in our response to our failures. Although, it is my belief that you haven't actually failed until you quit. I have not and will not quit. Not yet and probably not ever!

"If I had to select one quality, one personal characteristic that I regard as being most highly correlated with success, whatever the field, I would pick the trait of persistence. Determination. The will to endure to the end, to get knocked down seventy times and get up off the floor saying, "Here comes number seventy-one!" ~ Richard M. DeVos

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Merriam-Webster defines Separate as:
  • to set or keep apart
  • to make a distinction between
  • to go in different directions
Merriam-Webster defines Separation as:
  •  the state of being separated
  • a point, line, or means of division
  • an intervening space
We mindlessly separate so many things in our lives. We separate our laundry in whites and colors, we separate our lives into work and social and family, we leave our spouses for a trial separation, our country separates church and state. All this makes separation seem so easy. Not all forms of separation are so easy.

A huge part of my life ended when TJ died. It has taken me a while but I feel confident that I am ready to start the second part of my life. Although, I feel that somehow, I need to separate my life with TJ and my life now. I just don't know how to do that. I can't carry him with me forever. I don't want those past memories to invade the memories I am making for myself now. Honestly, I believe that when I begin to think about separating my life I get separation anxiety. I want to hold so tightly and so closely to my past life that I can't imagine separating it from my present life. Yet, there are times that my past life memories creep unexpectedly and unwanted into my new life. I have no defenses over my past life. It holds my soul and has a grip on the very essence of my being. I never thought that at this point I would still have days that completely unravel on me.

So, I guess my question to all of you is: Am I being unrealistic? Is it even possible to have a separation of two completely different lives. Should I even try to separate? Maybe it is OK to remember the past while forging ahead with the new. These are the questions that I am now asking myself on a daily basis. Either way, the unwelcome intrusions of my old life into my new life are something I either have to live with or learn to block out.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

More Senseless Snapshots

All of the following photos were taken with my cell phone so please excuse the quality of some of them.

This is my girlfriend's 30 year old horse. For those that don't know, that is freakin' old!! I think he still looks pretty darn good though. Keep hanging in there Jay Man!

The Superstition Mountains aka Heaven on Earth. I get to see this everyday on my way home from work. It puts everything into perspective and grounds me before I get home.

My friend's cow. She HATES me. Gives me the evil eye every time she sees me. I love her anyway just because she is a cow and I think cows are beautiful.

I finally got close enough without her charging me to get a picture of her baby!

Saw this truck on my way to work the other day. I just love it. Thank you to all our military past, present and future.

No photo post is complete without cuteness that is Tater Tot!

He decided to nap on a chair in the garage I was drying a rug on. A dog that cute shouldn't have to nap on the hard floor right?

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Please Welcome Pamela Hutchins!

Today I have the pleasure of hosting one of my very dear blogging friends. Pamela is a wife, Mother, and most recently an Indie Author. I don't hand my blog over to just anyone, but I know that most of you are animal lovers and wanted to give you a sneak peak into one of her latest books. I had the pleasure of reading Puppalicious and Beyond before it's official release and I truly enjoyed it. If you liked the stories of James Herriot then you will love this book! So, without further ado, I give you Pamela Hutchins.

At Least We’ll Always Be Able To Find It

Petey the one-eyed Boston terrier went under the knife for the snip-snip. You know, neutering. Why, you may rightly ask, would we do this to our sweetie Petey?

Well, when we picked him up from boarding at the super awesome Polka Dot Dogs two weeks before, they said, “Your little darlin’ is trying to become a father and has his one eye on that Chihuahua over there. And the cockapoo. Oh, and also the Maltese.”

Pooooooor Petey. In his defense, he told me all three were super hot little bitches. And he loves Polka Dot Dogs. Instead of kennels, they let all the dogs of similar size and temperament play in open rooms together. He’d like us to take him along wherever we go, but if he can’t go with us, he prefers PDD.

PDD, however, has a policy: At the age of seven months, little boy doggies no longer get to stay in open-room boarding if they can’t keep it to themselves. While I think anyone would be lucky to get the bonus of little Peteys along with the price of their boarding, I guess I can accept this.

So, Petey visited his very intimate buddies at the vet’s office. After three months of eye treatments, they know and love him well. After neutering my poor baby, they know him even better. Before the procedure, they asked me if I’d like them to put a microchip in Petey, in case he ever gets lost. I said yes, but then I remembered that Eric and I had agreed to partner on all parenting decisions, and Petey was our newest child, after all.

I called Eric. “Do we want Petey to have one of those Finder microchip thingies?”

Eric said, “Sounds like a good idea to me.”

Excellent, because I already told them yes,” I confessed. “They said they can put one in when they remove his you-know-whatsies.”

Eric paused. “Wait a second. They remove his you-know-whatsies and put the chip in the space left behind?”

I didn’t ask, but that sounds likely, since this only came up because of his procedure.”
So he’ll have a tracker in his ball sack??”

I wouldn’t have put it quite like that, but, yeah, I guess that’s about right.”
Another pause.

Well, I guess we’ll always be able to find it, then,” Eric said.

Ew. I’m thinking this microchip may tell us a little more than we really wanted. Whatever happened to the right to privacy? What do we do when Petey starts dating? Or, God forbid, gets married? Wouldn’t it be enough of a challenge that he couldn’t father little Peteys without his anxious parents tracking his every move with his beloved? Not to mention the whole one-eye thing. This is a little more intrusive than, say, a GPS tracker in a car, which I’m not above installing in my kids’ vehicles if they deserve it. But a ball sack tracker? Could I do that to him?

As I pondered the horrors, Eric broke into my reverie. “I’m kidding, Pamela. It’s a good idea. It’s fine. I’ll bet they don’t even put it there. I’ll bet they just use the occasion of anesthesia to tuck it in somewhere else.”



I exhaled. What a relief, because I was pretty sure that wherever they were going to put the microchip, it was a done deal by now.

Later that same day, I picked up our Petester. Oh, what a pitiful sight he was, head hanging, eyes downcast. He seemed awfully low, even for a dog that had lost his manhood. I paid and whisked him to the car, whispering supportive and encouraging words in his ear about his bright future and the long line of female dogs who didn’t give a rat’s ear about puppies, citing to our own and Cowboy as examples of devoted and puppyless partners.

Nothing worked. I just couldn’t cheer him up. We were almost home when a cold dread seeped over me. I pulled to the side of the road and put the car in park. I knew even before I carefully searched his sixteen-pound body for a microchip incision what I would find—nothing.

The only point of entry? Yes, you guessed it: the poochy pouch. Little tears of guilt welled up in the corners of my eyes. I stroked him and begged for his understanding and forgiveness. This appeared to mollify him a bit, and we headed for home.

As I was making dinner that night, Susanne came in. “I guess that surgery didn’t work. Petey’s humping his stuffed German shepherd.”

A few minutes later, Clark swung by. “What a stud, Mom. Petey’s giving it to that kangaroo. Didn’t he just get his balls chopped off today?”

When he walked through the door, Eric exclaimed, “Wow, Petey, you aren’t letting a little pain stop you, are you?”

I could only imagine. As I pondered his actions, even I had to admit it. Our Petey is a total slut. Maybe the vet put the tracker exactly where we need it to be.

By Pamela Fagan Hutchins, who knows better than to share stuff like this on the internet, but she just can’t help herself.

Reprinted from the book Puppalicious and Beyond with permission from SkipJack Publishing, and available on and at other online and live retailers.