Slack Friday

We certainly had plenty to be thankful for this year, but two big moments stand out.

One, marrying the love of my life

And two, moving from a crowded rental apartment…

To a much larger condo we bought. Although sometimes I’m not sure what the point of the extra space is

If I had to pick a third outstanding moment, I’ll go with our Black Friday tradition of moving as little as possible.

After a whirlwind few days of hosting/cooking, we’re dog tired

And all species are quite content to spend the day relaxing peacefully

“Penny, could you maybe pass out somewhere a bit further from my face?”

Here’s to sweatpants and good company. If you need us, we’ll be on the couch. Happy Slack Friday!

Happy National Dog Show Day!

Thanksgiving is the best holiday. No presents but your presence and no responsibilities other than to enjoy yourself.

Before you dig into your turkey, be sure to tune into the National Dog Show on NBC. It comes on immediately following the Macy’s Parade. And for my money the parade of pups is far more entertaining.

Many moons ago Eko and I attended the show in person. It was one of the best parts of our trip together

The overwhelming love and care the entrants give to their dogs is uplifting. Even though it kind of looks like these corgis are at the gallows, I promise they were well pampered

I love the National Dog Show because it offers the opportunity to  a variety of incredible pups. Even Eko had to do a double take to make sure some of the entrants were dogs and not rugs

Will a Rhodesian Ridgeback bring home the trophy this year!? (Spoiler: No way, they never win) We’re excited to watch either way

Tune in for guaranteed smiles and plenty of “awwws”

Oh yeah, and happy Thanksgiving, too!

[VIDEO] Why I’m Grateful For My Dogs

I have so much to be thankful for in my life. I’m thankful for my pups, but I’m even more appreciative of their reminder to always show gratitude for the present moment.

Since we’ll all be stuffing turkeys tomorrow and trying to stuff our waists in our pants on Friday, I thought I’d share this week’s video early. Safe travels to all those on their way today.

Prepping A Couple Turkeys

Alright team, we’re hosting Thanksgiving in Chicago for the first time ever. Emily’s parents are staying with us and my mom will also be in town. Everyone arrives tomorrow so we need to be totally prepared by the end of the day.

Kitchen prep work: check!

Clean house: check!

Bathed, teeth brushed: check!

Testing comfiness of the guest bed: check!

Hey, wait a minute. You guys aren’t allowed up there…

Not even with those eyes. Dogs off the bed: check!

As hosts, Eko provides the class while Penny provides the humor

The checklist is complete. Can’t wait to welcome family to our home for the holiday. Our two turkeys are prepped and ready to go.

There’s only one thing we can’t prepare for…

The terror of walking past this inflatable

Guess we’ll just have to walk the other way until Christmas decorations go up.

Learn To Love Your Pet

Last week I spent a lot of time thinking about my brother and the love he’s shared with his dogs. With Thanksgiving just a few days away, I’ve started to consider the same love and gratitude I have for my pups.

But I quickly realized that love is not the same. The journey I’ve shared with each of my dogs is unique and so too is the love.

With Eko, the love is that of “firsts.” I had family dogs growing up, but Eko was my first dog as an adult.
Rhodesian Ridgeback, puppy, blog, adventure

We showered the little charmer with constant love and affection

And when we hit the road for a trip around the country, Eko was my constant companion.

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Over the course of that year, Eko and I both grew up

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Eko, my loyal guardian

When I first thought of getting a second dog, I imagined it as getting a second Eko. The math seemed simple, I would love the new dog exactly as I loved Eko and I’d have twice the love.

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At first it was easy. I simply showered my squishable pup with all the love I could

But the obvious quickly became…well, obvious.

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This little squirt isn’t Eko. She’s Penny!

I think it’s important to say there was a period where I did not feel attached to Penny like I was to Eko. I felt guilty at the time but I now see why the comparison was unfair. I had years of experience with Eko, but I barely knew my new puppy.

The love we share with our pets is not a guarantee. It’s the culmination of the effort and time we share with them. As I put in that effort and time with Penny my love and appreciation for her matured.

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The little stinker really grew on us both

These days, I’m just as head over heels for Penny as I am for Eko. Not because my dream of having two Ekos came true, but because it didn’t. I appreciate and love them both as individuals.

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Eko the Regal

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And Penny… The Karate Kid

This week I’m grateful for the reminder that love must be earned and learned anew each day. I’m also thankful for all the differences between Eko and Penny.

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Their contrasting personalities make life interesting and fun!

I don’t think the idea of “learning to love” is often discussed in regards to pets, so I’d be interested to hear from you guys.

Does anyone else have an experience where you needed more time/effort in order to bond with your pet?

[VIDEO] Loving a Dog After Losing a Dog

Today marks the one year anniversary of the day my brother lost Dutch, the dog he loved with all his heart.

I’ve written about James and Dutch a number of times, but those are just words. In the past year James has lived the loving lessons he learned from his decade with Dutch.

This is why despite the cost, we love. Not because we have enough time, but because we don’t.


On Losing A Dog – One Year Later

Tomorrow marks exactly one year since my brother lost Dutch, his beloved German Shorthaired Pointer. 

At the time, I wrote about the incredible bond Dutch and James shared

I ended that post with this thought:

“Today we cry and howl. Tomorrow we wake up and change the world the same way Dutch did – one small act of selfless love at a time.”

Today is the tomorrow I wrote about. This anniversary seems like a fitting day to talk about those small acts of selfless love. And there is no better way to talk about that love than the story of Doc, the senior Pointer James rescued earlier this year.

When James picked up Doc last winter, none of us was sure what to expect

Doc had an anxious energy and he was often lost in his own world

Eko and Penny would sniff at a statuesque Doc, as if looking for a button to reset the frozen pup

But there are no reset buttons. We can only make the most of the present, and both James and Doc have certainly done that. Together.

Over the past nine months James helped bring Doc to life

The jittery, nervous dog we first met has now discovered some serenity

There is no doubt in my mind how great James is for Doc and Doc is for James. It was so moving to see the two reunited after James returned from out of town.

Doc practically jumped into James’s arms with excitement 

In no uncertain terms, the love Doc and James share is a gift from Dutch. Eleven years ago there’s no way my brother would ever have agreed to adopt a nine year old dog. The fear of imminent loss would be too great.

Ten years with Dutch wasn’t enough time. But it taught James the value of a relationship is not measured in time, but in love. With Dutch’s lesson in his heart, James joyfully welcomed Doc home.

This love is Dutch’s legacy

The ache of loss always stings, but it also reminds us to earnestly share love in the present moment. Here’s to Dutch for teaching us that lesson, and here’s to Doc for showing us the value of living that lesson.