Tag Archives: family

Sandy Paws

 

 

The Fur Balls!

Leading up to our vacation the concern was growing about the fur babies and their reaction to everything salty & sandy.

Peanut sat on my lap shaking like a leaf for the 2-hour drive. The poor little guy did not know what the heck was happening, other than his toys and bed were going with him. The last time this happened his previous owners left him at our house and never came back. Can dogs have PTSD? Yes. 

Landon, on the other hand, slept like a husband, occasionally opening his eyes to check on his surroundings. Oh, it must be nice to be Landon.

IMG_6373Ocean City, NJ does not allow dogs on the beach during the regular season, however, the dog-loving beachfront homeowners paying a zillion dollars in taxes say “Oh please, just tell me to get off.” Gotta love the rule breakers who welcomed our pups to their protest.

Peanut & Landon LOVED the beach during the very early morning and late evening as much as we did. I think they sensed the peace.

Peanut channeled his inner mountain lion while climbing the dunes, and Landon played tag with the waves. Sandy paws are happy paws.

 

It’s strange, but I swear dog owners have some sort of magnetic force that attracts them to other dog owners.

Look who I met on my way to the way to the beach. Shhh … Peanut & Landon do not 645c91957ce3f6c2e5b0df4ea1fea185know about my Summer Fling.

Ladies and gentleman, meet Lucy. Could a name be more perfect? 

This little-redheaded beauty is a 12-week old Cavapoo. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel crossbred with a Poodle a/k/a freaking adorable.

Her owners picked her up in Rochester, NY on Friday and drove her straight to their Summer home on the beach. Sadly, I only received a blank stare when I asked if they would consider rescuing a middle-aged woman.

I had the pleasure of seeing Lucy every day. We mainly discussed how the salt air was not friendly to our hair. You know, girl talk.

IMG_6340Ok, back to the fur boys that stole my heart. Spoiled is an understatement.

Here they are sitting outside of the ice cream parlor waiting for their order. Vanilla soft serve is their favorite.  

They definitely received the memo about ice cream not having calories at the shore.

They went for walks.

Ate ice cream more than once.

Ran on the beach.

Went to the Chatterbox, a dog-friendly restaurant in town.

Enjoyed the beautiful sea breeze on the deck every night.

They were surrounded by all the humans they love unconditionally for 7 solid days.

“They’re on vacation” was the justification for all of the extra spoiling.

Seems like they’re on vacation every damn day while their home, but who am I to judge.

Surround yourselves with those you LOVE and Enjoy the Ride!

Magical

Is it possible to have a lifetime of happiness jammed into one week? Yes, yes it most certainly is possible. 

It all started on Saturday, February 11th when we went on a double date with vodka and Neil Diamond. Oh, I know I have your attention now.

I’m not a drinker, not even wine, not even socially. Typically if I’m going to go “hardcore” for a night on the town, I’m doing it with sparkling water, and …. hold on to your seats… LEMON.

ed1b7cef57792aeaf400e36de226f7f3With that being said I’m really not sure what possessed me to order a Cosmo, and I have NO CLUE how that escalated to having my own damn shaker at the table (twice), but it happened. Maybe it was all the love in the air…hmm.

We went out to celebrate our anniversary, which just happens to be on Valentine’s Day, which is also the busiest night on the planet to celebrate, which is why we avoid it like the plague. We’ve lived we’ve learned.

This year we were invited by a family member to see the Real Diamond Band, a Neil Diamond cover band at a local venue, along with our two very feisty aunts. When opportunity knocks…answer. 

Let’s hear it for Aunt Jean & Aunt Sophie who at 75 & 78 make Thelma and Louise look like freaking church ladies. True story!

Once the party got started, Aunt Sophie took to the dance floor with her air guitar in tow, whispering “I feel 25!” in my ear as she headed out for her first solo of the night. Aunt Jean was in charge of replenishing the cocktails in between dances.  A task that kept her busy throughout the evening.

All I can say is there is something religious about singing Sweet Caroline at the top of your lungs with a group of strangers. Hallelujah! 

No good story ever started with the word salad, this is fact.

Next up was Valentine’s Day/26th Anniversary. Nothing says I love you more than attending a therapy session with your mate. Flowers & chocolate are temporary, getting to the truth lasts a lifetime.

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Don’t let this face fool you ….

As if that wasn’t enough for one week my son turned 22 on Friday. It’s still hard to believe how quickly time passes. One minute you’re picking up their toys, the next you’re picking up the trail of socks, towels, shorts …… So, in reality, time flies when you’re bending over. 

I’m kidding, not really. 

My Zac is a determined young man making his mark in the world. He is bright, hilarious, and keeps truth in the forefront. Never ask his opinion unless you’re prepared to hear the truth. 

Just when you think there is a break, my birthday hits the floor. That’s right ladies and gentleman I have gained another year. The BEST part of my day was Mother Nature, in all of her glory, provided this February birthday girl with a recording breaking 70-degree day. Can we get a round of applause?

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Autograph Brasserie

I was showered with good wishes, food, jewelry, a new FitBit, a birthday hat at the gym, and a ton of LOVE lasting for days. Who knew turning 53 could be so grand?

Yesterday was the grand finale of the festivities. My husband planned a “surprise” for me, which would be fine if I were one to enjoy surprises outside of hitting the Power Ball, or my husband wasn’t the guy who gave me a turbo hair dryer for Christmas. He still thinks that was a great idea.

Have you ever heard of Floating? Click on the link and learn. I could never put into words how the experience was other than I would swear I saw a unicorn. Magical.

There was something liberating about the floating experience, or maybe that was just the unicorn talking, I won’t know until I try it again. 

Enjoy the Ride …. make it magical! 

The Blessed Project

The Blessed Project  hosted by none other than the QUEEN of Wild Rides Susie Lindau, could not have come at a better time this season.

It’s not that I don’t recognize my blessings, I do, I really do. It’s just that sometimes life sweeps in to rattle me in another direction. No doubt I am part squirrel. 

This is why we need to take advantage of the opportunities when they are presented. So a big round of applause to Susie for providing us with the chance to be still. Even if it’s just for a moment feel the peace.

BLESSINGS:

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90 Years Young

 

Recently I was Blessed to witness my mother’s joy, as she watched her whole family sing in unison the old classic “Happy Birthday” before she cast her 90th wish.

If joy had a face … this my friends would be what it looks like.

 

 

 

 

 

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#oncloudcullen

 

In September I was Blessed to celebrate the wedding of my nephew, and to gain this beautiful woman as my niece. Their wedding was spectacular!

The love for this couple was explosive throughout the entire celebration. 

It’s been unanimous within the family that we all want to go back for a few more hours on Cloud Cullen. 

 

 

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Santa, we have officially replaced the kids. Bring bones.

 

Every damn day I am Blessed to come home to these two snowflakes. 

No matter what went on in the day, these little lumps of love are there to remind me that I am indeed the best thing that ever happened to their world. 

 

 

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Outgrowing the table

 

On Thanksgiving, I was especially Blessed to have everyone I love under one roof. My sisters who are always generous with their time and efforts. My brother-in-laws for being loving and caring men. My nieces with their intelligence, baking talents and beauty. My nephews who are passionate about everything from world affairs to Harambe the gorilla. The significant others that slip right into place with the craziness. My children for being such loving beings and my husband for always helping to make my day a little easier. 

 

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Mangia!

Blessings included were enjoying each others company, eating delicious food and laughing together. Playing Cards Against Humanity until our ab muscles hurt. Finding humor in every conversation on the table and most of all NOT TALKING POLITICS FOR A SECOND. (There were rumors of some quiet texting on this subject, but nothing was proven)

 

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The ladies

 

 

I’m Blessed to have good friends who recognized that a night of Running Through The Lights is exactly what I needed. 

I’m Blessed that they are persistent in their efforts to get me to workout, sweat, laugh, pee and cry. 

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My version of Blogosphere

I’m Blessed to have virtual friends that are loving caring beings in and outside of the blogosphere.

I’m Blessed that they continue to show me love. Send virtual hugs. Make me laugh. Pray for me. Provide free therapy and genuinely care.

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My Family Squad

I am truly BLESSED for this photo that speaks for itself.

Enjoy the Ride! 

Don’t forget to pack your blessings!

An Offer You Can’t Refuse

event_photo-57a5033a5b6d5This Sunday, September 18th, I have the pleasure of walking on behalf of LuLu’s Rescue. This wonderful organization was brought to my attention by my dear friend Marge. We’ve known each other since grade school. A/K/A a very long time.

Marge rescued the most beautiful girl named Izzy from this organization. She loves to dig holes, sit in the sun, cuddle and provide endless hours of love. What more can you ask for? Marge might say fewer holes. 

I’m not sure how Marge does it, but she regularly volunteers her time and effort to this cause. I’ve seen photos of her in a pile of puppies! Yes, you read that right. Somehow she has the restraint to not fill her purse and make a run for it with those fur balls. I do not have that power. 

The part I’m playing in all of this is very small. I just have to B E G family and friends to support me in raising some cold hard cash. With every $250.00 raised a lump of love will be rescued from a kill shelter. Insert a gentle tug on your heartstrings. 

They will then be placed into loving foster arms where they will await a forever home. But all of this cost money. Your donation will provide transport, vetting, spay/neuter, microchip, heart worm and flea/ tick meds along with food to all of these lucky dogs. Literally lucky dogs. 

Look, I’m going to make you an offer you can’t refuse. Yes, I’m channeling my inner godfather.

All you have to do it click on this LINK:  Lisa’s Donation Page 

Follow the directions about entering your digits and you’re done. Easiest thing you will do all day!

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Compliments of Lovelorn Pup

In return animals all across the land will wag their tails in unison to THANK YOU for saving one of their own.  Animals are such grateful creatures. 

 

Enjoy the Ride … with a wag riding shotgun!

You’re Clear For Take Off

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Is that a candy cane in your pocket or are you just happy to see me…

Ah the day after Christmas. The day we all take a moment to sit back to ponder on what the hell went down over the last couple days. Wait … what?

We think about conversations we had with family and friends, that suddenly don’t seem as merry & bright without our Christmas goggles. What the hell was she/he trying to say?

As we put our jeans on today we’ll wonder just how many cookies were taste tested over the past few days. Suddenly our math skills are super sharp as the consumption count hits a record high. Wait! How many times did I say  … “just one more.” YIKES!

We will sort through our gifts, now that we are down from our Christmas high and wonder what exactly the giver might have been thinking at the time of purchase. Um …. yea …. I guess that makes sense … sort of. 

Let’s stay on this point for a moment while I share with you all the gift I received from my loving husband. Do I have your attention? 

Nightstand Necessities

Nightstand Necessities

You’re probably imagining me on silk sheets surrounded by chocolates, diamonds and champagne right about now, just basking in the luxuries I deserve for being such an amazing wife and mother that you know I am. Dream on.

As a matter of fact I could give you 10 clues and NO ONE, I mean NO ONE would be able to guess what was waiting for me inside that big box under the tree. Including myself!

No ladies it’s nothing sparkly or silky. Not a single animal was sacrificed for this beauty. It’s definitely bigger than a bread box. The color is a beautiful shade of teal. It has duel engines simmer down gentleman, but no tires. Proceed to scratch your scalp. It can go from 700 watts to 3600 watts with the flick of a switch. It’s something that can be used every day. Hmmm It weighs approximately 25 plus pounds and wouldn’t travel very well. Any one?

0f6d50ca34ee0700371d7fabec43055eWhen I opened the box lord only knows WTF my face said, because the first words I read were PetClubLLC. Then the lightbulb went off in my head and I was suddenly elated to THINK that it was some sort of mini dog washer/dryer that would make grooming Peanut & Landon much easier. Could someone hit the switch on that lightbulb please … thanks.

I could barely contain my excitement when I squealed “Wow! This will save a ton of money on grooming!”

Let’s just say that excitement was very short lived. When from across the room came the words “No, it’s a blow dryer for YOU, you’re always complaining that your blow dryer isn’t strong enough.” 

Me:  A blow dryer? This says it has duel engines and there is a wind capacity listed on the box!

Loving Husband:  Well, it will dry your hair fast.

Me: It might blow the hair right off my head! At this point I was laughing so hard I couldn’t even contain myself.

Loving Husband: Yea but you’re always complaining how long it takes for your hair to dry. Again with this justification … lol!

Me: This is for animals …. I’m trying to imagine packing this for vacation …. Are we going to need a bigger bathroom?

Everyone:  Laughing hysterically!

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Presenting: My Duel Engined Beauty. It also has attachments just in case you were wondering …

Did I mention I was married to Tim the Tool Man?

My son carried my new badass blow dryer to the bathroom, where later that morning I put it to the test. I fired up both engines, put the heat on high and suddenly felt like I was standing on a launchpad waiting for take off. You’re clear for take off!

I took out my styling brush, which was blown right out of my hand with some of my skin. Again the laughter ensued! I began styling, but really couldn’t see what I was doing. The wind was so powerful I had to squint during the process. Suddenly having compassion for leaves. 

My hair was certainly dry … styled? I”m not sure, unless of course you’re going for that just stepped out of a wind tunnel look. 

The jury is still out on wether or not my gift will be staying or if it will be heading back to the industrial tool warehouse. I’ll give it another chance today at a lower speed to save some scalp & skin.

Enjoy the Ride!

Bitch Please! I’m A Rescue

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Landon. 2.5 year old Maltese/Yorkie mix.

It’s a BOY!  I’m just stopping by to make a HUGE announcement about a new addition to our family. I’m still trying to figure out why we decided to expand our family, especially since our kids are just about out the door and freedom is at our fingertips, but here we are the proud parents of … Drum Roll Please …..Landon. Isn’t he just the cutest? …. after Peanut of course.

We rescued Landon from the Dutch Country Animal Rescue.  This wonderful organization saved this little guy from some hell hole in Missouri. It’s unthinkable to know that this sweet boy spent 2 of his 2.5 years on this earth in a crate. He came with some issues, so he fits right into this house.  This is not an “issue free” zone.

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Peanut & Landon chillin.

Peanut has been the center of attention around here for 2 years, so my daughter, who knows ALL about being the center of attention for 2 years before her world came to an erupt end at the birth of her brother, has volunteered to advocate on Peanut’s behalf. Looks like she is already using those Psych & Sociology classes to do some good … or … evil. 

Peanut has welcomed Landon with open paws. He has dragged out every toy we ever purchased to make sure Landon understands,“These are ALL mine and NO it doesn’t matter that I haven’t touched them in over a year they are MINE. Landon did not seem fazed by this episode of toy hoarding in the least. He gave his best ” Bitch please I’m a rescue” face and moved on.

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Landon with me. Peanut with Greg.

We are all adjusting our schedules to make Landon’s transition into our family a happy one. Tomorrow will mark week one for Landon in our home and he is doing well eating, walking and pooping without incident. Yippee!

According to my daughter’s faceless smile and palm emoji, I may have crossed the line purchasing matching sweaters for these furry boys, while my son was just glad they weren’t for him and his sister. Hehehe!

Landon is filling our hearts including Peanut’s with love every day and we are glad he is here to Enjoy the Ride!

 

Those Were The Days

Father’s Day has been different for me over the years. My father died on Father’s Day in 1994. It’s ok, don’t be all sad, he planned the big exit so we would never forget. 23 years ago on the 19th of June.

Honestly, I always thought it would be Christmas, the big guns of the holidays, but having your father die on Father’s Day…well-played Jim, well-played indeed.

This was a man with a very large presence, who wanted to be remembered in a very grand way so I would say…mission accomplished dad.

My dad was almost 58 when I born..oops, which made my childhood a tad interesting, to say the least. It’s funny because I never thought my dad was old, he was just my dad. Until that Summer afternoon in my driveway when my best friend invited me to come to her Grams surprise 60th birthday party. She informed me it was going to be a big party because 60 is really old. This moment was equivalent having a friend fill you in on the whole Santa hoax. Wadda mean really old? 

Needless to say, the lightbulb went off, the calculator in my head was hard at work and 68 is the final answer. Should I be afraid that the Grim Reaper is lurking in the shadows?  Yes, which is exactly what I did from that moment forward. Side note: My mother was 20 years younger, just in case you were going to look me up in the Guinness Book of World Records as the baby born to the oldest woman or something.

He certainly didn’t act old. We went to the shore, amusement parks, and rides to Lancaster, just because he liked chicken and dumplings. We drove for ice-cream on a whim to a special place 45 minutes away, because it was better. We did everything the kids with a young dad did, just with more gray hair.

Mom? Dad?

As I said my dad had a big personality. He was a Jimmy Hoffa/Archie Bunker (without the bigotry) all rolled into one. If he had something to say, he said it. If you crossed him…be afraid. If there was wrong to be righted, he got the job done. How? Who knows and it’s probably better to leave some things to the imagination.

He was a feisty free spirit who lived his life according to his own set of rules. He was loud, stubborn, demanding, certainly not boring, full of life and definitely had a good sense of humor. He never smoked or drank a day in his life, which most likely helped him in the end. I couldn’t even imagine an alcohol induced Jim…I think I just got goosebumps at that thought. 

He was a Teamster and drove a truck for a living, but retired when I went to first grade. So in 1971, he became the stay at home dad and my mother went to work. Let’s just draw some more attention to ourselves as being different, shall we?

However, my mother was still required to cook & clean..come on now he was still the man of the house for god sakes it was 1971!

Both of my parents were very politically active during my childhood, so although he was retired from his job he always had something going on politically. He did go back to work part-time until he was 81. His motto was “always work hard, but remember you’re only a number”  and today my siblings and I are all incredibly loyal hard-working adults, despite being a number.

When my dad was 81 he lost part of his foot to diabetes. This was after Dr. Jim decided he would remove his ingrown toenail with pliers. Feel free to read that line again, yes you did read “pliers” and yes, as in the tool in the garage. 

Of course, no one knew how bad it was until it was too late. My mother had to retire at that point to care for him for the next 7 years. She refers to that time as “serving her sentence.”  The woman is a saint! There isn’t a jury in the land that would convict her if she accidentally sat on that pillow on his face…trust me. 

Jim was the worst patient in the ENTIRE world. Try telling an old free spirit …” you can’t”. The sentence “you can’t drive anymore, we need to take your license” was a million times more deadly than that gangrenous foot … for all of us. 

Although, I know there were highways out there cheering with joy that Mr. Magoo was finally parked for good. Sitting in the passenger seat could cure even the worst case of constipation.

Honestly, when the man behind the wheel is saying “I’ll drive wherever the hell I want..I pay my taxes” as your entering the street with the red and white DO NOT ENTER sign, you know why your bowels are rumbling!

Although I was born to an older dad, I was fortunate that he hung around long enough to meet my daughter. I found out I was pregnant with my son the day before his funeral. This was a huge surprise, considering I had no recollection of having sex. But, according to that blue plus sign on the stick, I did. My first thought was “Oh, shit!” and rightfully so, because sure enough, there is a stubborn, demanding, free-spirited, outspoken young man who looks very much like my dad, living in my house.

Just remember folks, at 58 my father lived another life. He died when I was 30 years old. So he raised me, watched me get married… twice, became a grandfather for the 7th time and taught me a valuable lesson … you’re never too old to Enjoy the Ride! 

Breath of Fresh Air

983687_10151944185943508_1118236942_nWell, well, well, I bet you didn’t know I’ve been on vacation all week. Oh wait, correction, my boss has been on vacation all week and the office is closed, so I’ve been home. Not quite the same, but still not at work.

I must say in all my years I have never been so excited about not going to work for a week. This is not a good thing for me. 

Our office has always been a pleasant, humorous environment, one that I actually enjoyed going to every day. Now, well, not so much. The climate has changed and something tells me global warming can’t be blamed for this one. Unpredictable, unstable & unhappy.

These changes have a huge effect on me, especially my wellbeing. You see, I am what is considered a highly sensitive person. No, not someone who walks around crying on a whim, but one that becomes physically responsive to their surrounding. All this negative bull shit has been taking a toll on my mind & body.

Toxic energy has a way of sucking the good right out of us…not to mention it’s highly contagious. I’ve been sluggish, over weight, unmotivated and unhappy for well over a year now and too think it actually took being home for a week for me c45a70964e8c0e0762b9cee7a5f5fd92to see this clearly, is both remarkable and a tad bit sad. It’s amazing what breathing a little fresh air can do … umm hmm.

My week has been spent being me. No keeping my P’s & Q’s in check! No walking on egg shells! No hiding my true self! Whoot! 

Oh sure I could have sat around catching up on my reading while relaxing on my deck, but a big fat heat wave axed that idea real quick. Philadelphia went from OMG on Monday to WTF  by Friday, which didn’t leave much room for R&R outdoors. Soggy & Sweaty where the only things happening outside! 

Things really do happen for a reason though, this heat wave kept me grounded. It provided me with a week that was nothing short of refreshing and rejuvenating to my body, mind and soul. The week kicked off by visiting some family that we haven’t seen in way too long, which really got my rejuvenation juices flowing. After that burst of goodness, I just poured myself into my home, family and myself all week. Slaying toxins one negative vibe at a time with my loving self.

3a11655590da9bb3f421a4fb2c70def0My house is clean, organized, covered in love…and Lysol. My daughter had a healthy lunch waiting for her every day when she came home from job number one, so she could go off to job number two nourished with food and a big ole dash of momma love. My son, who was working outside all week in the fires of hell, welcomed his frozen water bottles and dinner on the table every night and my hubby, well, his statement summed it up “Hon, I think you should quit your job.” I knocked the pearls right off of June freaking Cleaver yo! 

The vacation or good ole days are coming to a close and it’s back to reality tomorrow, but not before a BBQ with my hubby’s siblings to welcome his sister who is visiting us from Maine.  So far it’s been great catching up with all that is new in our lives, reminiscing on the younger years and talking about the future. Live…Laugh…Love. 

So as I head back to the salt mines office tomorrow, I will be bringing something very special with me … myself. Let’s hope she makes it through the day! 

Go get your happy on and Enjoy the Ride! 

That’s Amore!

Peanut

Peanut

Hey everyone how we doin? I just stopped by Life With The Top Down to introduce myself. My name is Peanut and I just arrived last night. I’m a Maltese/Poodle mix a/k/a as a Maltipoo. My zodiac sign is Leo and I enjoy long walks, squeaky toys and love … lots and lots of love. Don’t let that serious face fool you … I’m just nervous. 

Apparently my other owner loved me so much he decided to let me move in with Lisa and her family. See, he is a hardworking single professional who really couldn’t keep up with all of my needs. Someone had to bring home the bacon, ya know what I mean? 

Well, since my arrival I’ve been having a good time. I still miss my other roommate, but this family seems pretty nice so far. Last night they took me for a long walk and met my Aunt & Uncle who live down the street. A little  guy could get use to this life … just sayin. When we got home I snuggled up with Lisa on the chair to watch a lame predictable LifeTime movie until the kids came home. What we don’t do for these kids….ugh. 

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We’re both Leos! Good luck Lisa.

There is a girl here, but I don’t think she’s staying. I keep hearing that we will be “taking her back” on Sunday. As long as I’m part of that “we” I don’t care. She seems nice, but I think she’s still trying to figure me out. Look at this face….it won’t be long. Now the boy, whew he is another story. I thought I had energy, he had me running, jumping, barking and chasing the minute he met me. Oh yea, we’re going to have some fun. Last night I slept in his room, actually in his bed. I think I surprised Lisa this morning when she opened the door. She seemed happy when she saw me cuddled up next to Zac. I heard her mumbling something about “no condoms necessary” whatever that means. 

That guy over there on the right, he got down on the floor with me to make me feel more comfortable. We are already buddies! We were laughing, playing and having a great time. Today he gave me a bath and fluffed my fur. Oh, yes he did. Later he let me sit out front while he did some yard work. It was a win/win decision.

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Make sure you mention the new toy…did you say it squeaks?

I really had a full day today. Lisa took me for a few walks. She kept calling me Jillian … sorry, no slackers on my walk. I met some neighbors, took a trip to the pet store, got a new toy, took a little nap and tonight we went for a real long walk. Now I’m sitting with Lisa while she’s types this masterpiece up for me. I think it’s safe to say she is my favorite. 

I’m not sure what it is, but I’m sensing this family needed me in their home. Ever since I got here they seem extra happy. Good looks and a charming personality has a lot of leverage.

Just remember, all you need is Love and a Dog to Enjoy the Ride!

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