Welcome to my blog and thanks for reading! To find out how my husband and I ended up with 7 dogs, check out The Story of Our Family

Friday, October 29, 2010

Introducing: Chase - aka "King of the Castle"

Chase is our male rottweiler/lab mix and the oldest out of all the dogs. He was one of the dogs that Chris already had whenever we met. Calling Chase "King of the Castle" is an understatement. Chase really thinks he is in charge of every dog and every person in the house. He can be found in two locations in the house - sprawling on our bed or laying on the couch.

Chase snuggling with Chris
Chase loves to snuggle with both of us. Sometimes he can be really sneaky about crawling his way into our laps and when he succeeds, all he wants to do is give us kisses...this is Chase's favorite place to be. He's also very sneaky about crawling into anyone else's lap that may be hanging out at our house. I'm not sure if Chase realizes how big he actually is, but it is nice to have him around when it's cold outside!

Chase getting comfy on Ashley's lap
One of the funniest things that Chase did was when my brother, Ryan, came over and let Chase sit on his lap...rather, Chase forced himself into Ryan's lap. After about 10 minutes Ryan told Chase to get up and gave him a little nudge to move and Chase turned around and growled in Ryan's face as if to say "I'm not going anywhere until I want to. Now, you sit still and leave me be."

My favorite thing about Chase is how he sits like a human. It's really weird. He sits on his butt, with his legs in front of him and he lounges back and relaxes. Sometimes, Chris and I will be sitting on either end of the couch and Chase will hop up into the middle section and sit down, just like a person, and hangs out with us.

Chase's favorite dog in the house is Dakota, our female rotty. He has known Dakota since she was a puppy when she forced her way into his heart. Chase loves playing with Dakota even though she obviously gets on his last nerves sometimes.

Chase and Dakota

Chase and Dakota
Chase is a very special dog...he can be grumpy with the other dogs sometimes, but for the most part he is a really good and patient older brother. He used to be the only child and now he has 4 sisters and 2 brothers, so it's okay to be grumpy and want some alone time every once in a while!  

Since Chris and I got married, I stuck to my daily routine of taking Gabe for walks every night but a couple months ago I started bringing Chase along too. They are both VERY strong dogs, made up entirely of muscle, so it can get tricky sometimes but I really enjoy it. Chase has made the walks more enjoyable and challenging, so needless to say, I look forward to my nightly walks with two of my favorite boys!

Gabe and Chase

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Introducing: Jack

Jack was the last dog we acquired and probably the most affectionate out of the pack. Chris found him when the puppies were about 4 months old and Jack was a little puppy himself. We figured that Jack and the puppies were close to the same age because he was about the same size as they were at the time. He looked like a little polar bear cub and when I saw him for the first time I fell in love. I remember calling my sister and asking her if I should keep Jack or not and I clearly remember her answer - "You already have six dogs, what's one more?" And then there were seven.

Jack used to be really shy and quiet and would hangout by himself a lot of the time. He has slowly come out of his shell and loves to play with the other dogs. Jack is pretty passive aggressive...sometimes he doesn't mind when one of the other dog steals his bone but other times he will growl, bark and defend his territory.

Whenever I'm handing out treats, Jack is always the one sitting like a good dog and calmly waiting for his treat. I usually get bit atleast once during treat time but not once have I been bitten by Jack because he's so gentle. Jack gets along with all the dogs but whenever the girls start to gang up on Gabe, Jack always has his back.

Jack LOVES to be around Chris and I. Sometimes when we are watching t.v. he will come up to one of us and give us his paw and will just leave it there. It's like he just wants to hold hands and he is happy just doing that.

One of the funniest things about Jack is that when it's dinner time, he lays all the way down on his belly and buries his face in his food and he will stay that way until he finishes eating.

Jack hanging with the boys

Jack is such a sweet boy and we are so blessed that he came along to complete our family!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Introducing: Princess Simba

Simba is the smallest of our dogs. She looks like her sister Emma, but smaller. Simba is a lot like Socks in the fact that she is an instigator too. She likes to pick on Dakota and Gabe by licking and pawing at their faces. Dakota and Gabe will stay calm but once they've had enough, they will let her know and she runs off in search of her next victim.

Simba thinks she is the princess of the house. She will sneak into Chris's lap on the couch and as soon as I get out of bed in the morning, she is the first to take my place and snuggle up by Chris's head. Lately, she's been claiming the recliner as her throne and will growl at whoever tries to challenger her.

When Simba isn't snugging with Chris or taking over the recliner, she likes to snuggle up with the other dogs. She gets as close as they will let her.

Simba and Chase

Simba and Socks

Simba and Patch (my parent's dog)

Simba wants to be a real human girl...atleast that's what I think. Whenever I get ready for work or to go out, she is the only dog who will stand in the bathroom and watch me get ready. Simba seems really interested when I put on my makeup and straighten my hair. She even likes watching me when I blowdry my hair. The blowdrier doesn't scare her at fact, she likes it when I point it at her. She just sits there and lets me blowdry her hair. The other dogs run off whenever I just pull out the blowdrier. Sometimes I think she wants me to put makeup on her and dress her up to go out with me.

I often find myself getting randomly nipped by Simba as I'm walking through the house. Sometimes I'll feel her nip at my legs as she follows me around the house and just yesterday she jumped up and nipped my hand because I guess she assumes that I carry food around with me.

The funniest thing about Simba is that all of a sudden, she will break out into a sprint, running as fast as she can through the living room, into our bedroom, and back out into the living room. After she does this a couple times, some of the other dogs will join in and try to catch her. Even when we yell at Simba to stop running, she continues on, going round and round. (I'm going to try to put up a video of her doing this soon)

Simba has a lot of funny and weird traits, but I've only listed a few. Stay tuned for my next doggie introduction...Jack!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Introducing: Socks

I've written a lot of posts about my dog Gabe...actually the majority of my posts are about Gabe. Since there are 6 more crazy creatures in my house, I'm going to give them each a post of their own so you can get to know them too :).

I'll start with Socks. I mentioned her in the previous post and explained how she got her name...she's all black but with white fur around her feet that makes it look like she's wearing socks. She also looks exactly like her mom. She has soft, floppy ears and is always wearing a big smile. I also call her a "Forever Puppy" because she will always have a puppy face even when she's older.

Socks is our little instigator. When all the other dogs are relaxing and taking naps, Socks likes to go tackle them and bite their necks. She does this wrestling move where she buries her head in their neck and does a somersault and lands on top of their belly. Sometimes the dogs will growl at her and when they do, she licks their face to make ammends. She's just showing some sisterly love!

Anytime another dog gets a drink of water, Socks is always right next to them, licking the water off their mouth. I think this is her favorite game to play with Dakota, our female rotty. Dakota will get some water and will immediately start growling whenever Socks comes near and sure enough, Socks starts to lick all the water off Dakota's mouth, even though Dakota is growling and bearing her teeth.

One of my favorite recent memories of Socks is from a couple weeks ago. Socks and Dakota are always playing with each other; Socks is always getting on Dakota's nerves and Dakota always picks on Socks. (Sidenote: Because Dakota is a rottweiler she has a little nub for a tail). Anyways, a couple weeks ago Dakota was picking on Socks like usual and stole the bone that Socks was playing with. So Dakota ran off with the bone and Socks went up behind her bit her nub tail. Dakota turned around and growled and ran off with the bone but I'm sure Socks felt better after she got her revenge, because she looked at me and smiled.

Socks is one of the happiest dogs I know. She always smiles and she always wants to play with the other dogs. She hops around and sometimes jumps VERY high whenever she gets excited. If you ever need some cheering up or just a good laugh, come over to our house and hangout with Socks.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Story of our Family

Chris and I usually find ourselves (quite often) telling people how we ended up with 7 dogs and usually it's followed up by people asking if we are going to keep all 7. The answer is "YES!". These dogs are our family and without all 7 of them we wouldn't be complete.
So, for those of you who have not heard the story of how our family came about, here it is...for the 1,000th time.

When Chris and I first met, I had Gabe (if you read my blog, you know who Gabe is). Chris and I met in June 2007, when he saw my profile picture of Gabe on Myspace and randomly messaged me to ask what kind of dog Gabe is, because like me, he is a dog lover. I never responded to messages from random people on Myspace but as you know, I love talking about Gabe. So I responded to Chris's message and we went from there, messaging on Myspace and then spoke on the phone for a couple weeks. After that we met for lunch one day at TGI Fridays in Arlington. After that we hungout more and eventually I asked Chris to be my boyfriend. Chris still looks at me sometimes and says "I can't believe I married the girl who walked into Fridays that day." Most of the times I think it's good but sometimes I think he wonders what he got himself into. :)
So, I had Gabe, Chris had 2 rottweilers, Chase (male) and Dakota (female).
The November after we started dating, Chris found a female black lab wandering the streets in a bad area by his office. We named her Marley and she was one of the sweetest dogs ever. She always had a big smile on her face and she walked like a duck...with her paws facing outward. Come to find out, she was pregnant. The vet told Chris that because she was so young, it might be a false pregnancy or she might only have 2 or 3 puppies. Well, Chris came home from work on December 22 and Marley had given birth to 7 puppies. The puppies kept Chris very busy...he was constantly cleaning them and making sure that Marley was feeding them enough. Marley was a great mom and took good care of the puppies with some help from Dakota.

Once the puppies were old enough to leave Marley, Chris was able to find homes for 4 of them. One of them lives just 4 houses down the street with our friends, so we get to see her often! Marley went to a friend of the family so she could get undivided attention...from what I hear she is very loved and very spoiled. Chris couldn't find homes for the other 3 and once he got attached to them, they were staying for good. They are all females, Socks, Simba and Emma. Socks looks exactly like Marley with the same smile, except she has white on her feet that makes it look like she is wearing socks (hence the name "Socks").

When the puppies were about 5 months old, Chris came across another abandoned puppy in the same area he found Marley. He picked him up and had every intention of giving him away to a good home, but because he looked like a little baby polar bear and he had such a nice demeanor, I didn't want to let him go. So, the 7th member of our pack is Jack.

Since then, Chris has rescued several more dogs and found them all good homes. He is very picky about who he gives the dogs to because he wants to make sure they are all loved and taken good care of. One lady who took in one of Chris's rescue dogs was the lady that Chris bought my engagement ring from. Chris even found a little golden lab puppy who had gotten his face bit by another dog and took him to the vet to get fixed up. He was such a happy puppy and the dogs loved playing with him. He lived with us for a couple weeks and now he lives with a lady and another dog and he is very loved and goes on lots of outdoor adventures.

One of my favorite stories is about Patch. Chris found Patch last year on his birthday. He is a Jack Russell and his poor tail was and still is crooked because we think someone tried to crop it with a rope. Patch was living with us for about a week and my mom came over for dinner and she immediately fell in love with Patch. She swore that after our family dog Annie passed away last summer, her and my dad would never get another dog. Well, Patch went to live with my parents exactly 4 months to the day that Annie passed away. Patch is now my mom's best friend and my parent's favorite child.

I don't expect people to understand why we chose to have 7 dogs when we could easily find some of them other homes. But like I said, they are our family and without all of them our family wouldn't be complete. We agreed that we won't ever have this many dogs again but in the meantime we are having fun with them. They are the best form of entertainment we could have. They all get along well and they are content just hanging out with us and each other. I might have to vacuum more than most people and Chris most likely picks up more poop in the backyard than others, but it's worth it and we wouldn't change anything about our family.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Happy 4th Birthday Gabey!

My big headed wolf boy is turning 4 today, which makes him 28 in dog years. That explains why he thinks he is the boss of me.

A few things have changed since his last birthday...

On December 28, Gabe had to have a very intrusive surgery because he tore his ACL in his back left leg. He was confined to our guest room for 2 weeks, where I also spent most of my Christmas vacation by his side. He was very spoiled with new toys and bones and a LOT of treats. Gabe was not allowed to go on a walk for 3 months, which was very difficult because he was used to going for a walk everyday. At first it didn't matter much because he was drugged up and slept most of the time, but the last couple months I would find him sitting by the door patiently waiting for me to put his leash on and take him on our daily walking route. Since his surgery, Gabe's leg is stronger than ever. The vet says there is a 75% change that his other leg will need surgery but so far I haven't seen any signs that he is having trouble with it. We still go for our daily walks and now, Chase (one of our rotts) has been joining us. They are both really strong so I'm not so much walking, but being pulled the whole time.

In March, after Gabe was allowed to go for walks again, Chris and I took Chase, Gabe and Dakota (our other rott) on a ski trip to Santa Fe. We cleared out both rows of seats in the tahoe so the dogs could have the whole back of the car to lounge in. We stayed in a cute little cabin and even though we told the dogs not to get in bed with us, they made their way up and Chris and I found ourselves with barely any room because the dogs were sprawled out on OUR bed. Chris and I only when skiing for half days so the other half of the day we took the dogs to play in the snow. They LOVED it.

The most interesting change since Gabe's last birthday has happened recently, within the last few months. I wrote about it in an earlier he loves to watch t.v. He has increased his television watching time since the last post. He starts off the day with "Pet Star" at 7 am and then watches "It's Me or the Dog" at 7:30. When I leave for work in the morning I usually try to give him a hug and kiss goodbye but he does not like it when I get in the way of the t.v., so he just dodges me and if I don't turn on the t.v. for him in the morning, he will let me know. The good thing about his new habit is that if I'm cleaning or if I want to relax, I just turn on the t.v. for him and it keeps him entertained for hours. If I tell all the dogs to go outside for a little bit and Gabe is watching tv, he will look at me and lay down right in front of the tv to let me know he is not going outside. Who said watching t.v. is a bad thing?

Happy Birthday Gabey Boy! Here's to another year with lots of excitement! (but no more injuries)