Furry best friends

Happy 1 year to our furry best friend ❤


When Minnie died we were all very sad but it wasn’t long before we knew we needed to find another furry best friend for our family. Our family didn’t feel complete without a dog in our home or to accompany us on outings and Connor just wasn’t the same kiddo without a dog. Period. We knew we needed to start looking at local rescues asap. And so we did. 

About two weeks after we lost Minnie, Moonshine, a 1 year old male border collie/Great Pyrenees, mix came into our lives from a local rescue group called rescue rovers. And he had quite the rescue story. 

Apparently Moonshine lived with his brother on a ranch in Oklahoma and when their owner died, they left the ranch together to find food. They ended up at the local vet who had seen them before and knew them, which is how we know this story in the first place. Their owner who died didn’t have any other family around. The vet worked with the local rescue there and the pups were transferred to Denver and then onto SLC to a foster family with rescue rovers (his brother was adopted around the same time as him – they were not bonded so they didn’t require them to be rescued as a pair).

We told the rescue group we wanted a dog who was friendly and loved everyone and one we could hike and camp with (of course). We were hesitant at first that Moonshine was so large (and hairy) but Jerry went to meet him first before Connor and I did and he said, “he’s definitely the one for us.” A couple days later, we all met him together and as soon as we said hello to him, he flopped down and rolled onto his back so we could pet his belly. That’s when we all knew he was perfect for us. 

Welcome to the family, Moonshine!

The first couple days at home were difficult for me. I missed Minnie a lot and I was nervous about Moonshine transitioning into our home and family. He whined a lot and wanted to be on the front porch all the time and didn’t like the fences back yard at all. Now I knew he was a watch dog and maybe he just needed to see outside, so we stayed outside a lot with him. On day 3, I had been out for a bit and came home to the 3 boys out front in our large cul de sac and Moonshine was off leash, staying with them and coming when called (if needed). Moonshine was SO excited to see me and ran straight to me. I couldn’t believe he was off leash and bonded to us all after just 3 days. And our bond with him has just continued to grow this past year. 

Moonshine’s first snow with his new family – he LOVED it!
A rare nap for Connor and Moonshine keeping watch ❤
He’s always right there ❤

I love the way he looks up to me or Jerry for reassurance when he is unsure of something. I love that he loves to hike and camp as much as we do and we never have to use a leash when we’re out there. He always stays close by and if he gets a little ahead, he runs back to check on us and let us know he’s alright. I love that he waits for permission to leave the house with us, to get up in the car or to get into the water when we hike (or the streams or lake by our house). I love his deep and loud single barks to alert us when he thinks we need it. I love his dedication to Connor, his gentle and sweet nature with him and all kids and adults he meets.  I love the way he comes to me at the end of the day and snuggles against me and on my lap. I love his loyalty and devotion to us all. Jerry and I have each had many dogs in our lives and a few together but we can both honestly say Moonshine is the cream of the crop, the best of the best. We really really lucked out with him. We are all so thankful he chose us when we met him. We look forward to many more years of adventures with him by our sides! 

 

These two – be still my ❤
Furry best friends

Memories of our late sweet Mins a year later

This coming Friday (on Jerry’s birthday unfortunately 10-13), marks 1 year since we made the difficult decision to put our precious Minnie (our 13 year old Pomeranian) to sleep after a short and sudden decline. 

Snuggling up with momma to stay warm; taken shortly before she got sick near the end

We had taken her to the vet 3 times in 5 days and I finally insisted on an X-ray and before the vet could even tell me what was wrong, I knew it. She had growths that had spread everywhere and that explained her not drinking, eating and throwing up when I had tried to make her something special (chicken broth and eggs). Connor was with me at the vet and he was only 3 and a few months old at the time. I openly displayed my emotions and told him the truth. Even if he did not fully accept what was going on, we are still thankful we involved him in the entire process. 
Saying goodbye on her last day home

The vet gave her a shot to make her comfortable because it was clear she was in distress and he asked me what I wanted to do. And here comes the difficult and controversial part – do we keep her comfortable at home until she does pass or do we humanely help ease her suffering? 

Having worked as a hospice social worker before becoming a stay at home parent, the decision was easy for me (and Jerry). While I believe in comfort and being pain free at end of life, I also believe physician assisted suicide should also be legal in every state for whomever is able to make that decision for themselves. Jerry and I decided we didn’t want her to suffer and maybe there was a little selfishness involved; we couldn’t give her the time and attention we would want to at the end because we still had to be fully present with Connor, too. 

We don’t regret doing what we did because we were all there together when it happened, surrounding her and I was kissing and petting her as she drifted off to sleep. 

Our last car ride together

In the last year we have talked about her often; sharing memories with Connor every time he says he misses her. We have really kept her memory very much alive and I think that’s the best thing you can do with anyone you love who passes – keep them close and never stop thinking about them or talking about them. 

I love he way he’s looking at Minnie here; he really did and still does adore her ❤

When Jerry and I met, I had a male Pomeranian, Max (3) I had recently rescued (bless his heart – he was an aggressive territorial little guy who always peed in the house no matter what we did. But if it wasn’t for him barking at Jerry when he was walking his roommate’s dog, we would have never met)! Jerry and I had been together 6 months when we decided to look for another dog. My stepdad knew someone who knew someone who needed to re-home a 2 year old female Pom. We briefly talked on the phone with the family who was fostering her until they could find her forever home. We saw one photo (she looked like an adorable tiny red fox) and we decided we definitely wanted to add her to our family. Jerry drove from Kentucky to Ohio to get her and he brought her home to us. Everyday thereafter, we would worship Mrs. Minnie Minkins aka Skinsy Minsy. 

Jerry said that was the last time Minnie ever wanted anything to do with him once she met me (this was the car ride from when he went to go pick her up)

Jerry and I have so many hilarious stories about Minnie. Like how we used to sneak her into hotels in suitcases so she could stay with us (we thought she was too much of a princess to put in a kennel when we would put our other two dogs together in one – Max and we had adopted an 8 year old husky, Chloe…both passed some time before Connor was born). But anyhow, we also had our own “Minnie language” and “mins” words we made up. “Minslarious…(hilarious)….”riminsulous” (ridiculous) 
When Jerry and I finished school and I got a job in Eastern Kentucky, we were all separated Monday-Friday for 4 months until Jerry and our other two dogs moved to be with us. Minnie kept me company during the week and on the 2 hour drive back and forth. I rented a little above garage 1 bedroom apartment during that time and I knew she was the only one who could hold her bladder if needed (with me being on the road in and out of people’s homes and facilities I really never knew what hours I would keep). All I did those 4 months was work and go back home on the weekends and I was always so thankful she was always by my side during that transition. 

Taken after grad school graduation – she really was the light of my life at that time ❤
Apparently I like to hold my babies up and kiss them 😂
 

Our most favorite joint Minnie memory pre-Connor is every time she would finally decide to crawl out from the bed (her hiding space) and grace us with her prescience, we would sing, “there she is….Miss Aminsica” (there she is, miss America!” 

An afternoon snuggle shortly before Connor was born!
Checking out her little snoozing brother
Puppy and baby kisses!
Connor started walking at 7 1/2 months and by 10 months he was insistent on walking Minnie ❤

Minnie always tolerated Connor very well but we can’t say she ever truly cared to be messed much with by him! Connor loved to bring her in the bike trailer with him and she did really well with it; only one time did she actually jump out and take off (Jerry said he had never seen her run faster than that time)! He also liked her to be inside other items with him: the wagon, laundry baskets, boxes…you name it, he probably tried it! 

This was taken shortly after we moved to Utah when Connor was around 13 months old; the wagon was the first thing he insisted on putting her in with him 😂
The infamous stroller/bike trailer conversion that we toted both of these guys around for 2 years.
Where’s Connor?

I really treasured the last few years of Minnie’s life. They were the most difficult for me post-partum but I also cherished a the times she snuggles up with us while Connor was breastfeeding. 

Close to Christmas when Connor was 18 months old
Snuggles and milky – Connor was close to 3 here

We will always love and miss you, sweet Mins ❤

She rests on the small table next to Connor’s bed ❤