When life becomes normal

One of the more difficult things about keeping the blog alive is finding topics that are relevant as well as interesting to my readers. I’ll contemplate a few current events, the political climate, and life then quickly realize one is always negative, the other is outright scary, and well, life is kinda boring. Not necessarily boring to me, but how much can one actually write about cats, dogs, and chickens? That’s pretty much what our lives have become. Not that either of us are complaining. If anything I think we’ve found some sense of incredible comfort in this simple little life of ours.

A few days ago I posted several photos of our pets on Facebook just hanging out in the backyard; running, playing, and doing doggie stuff. It made me realize their every moment of happiness is totally reliant upon my husband and I. They eat well, sleep well, and play with a smile on their face because we’ve provided that. It took me back to a time not so long ago where my days consisted of planning world travel while getting Botox. Not that dogs playing and Botox are even remotely related. But one has so little meaning in the big scheme of things while the other is suddenly my entire world. My husband and I have postponed and cancelled more vacations than I care to count because we just didn’t want to be away from the pets. Yeah, sounds crazy to some. But as happy as I like to think we make them, I know, without a doubt, they’re a huge part of our happiness as well.

See? This is one of those posts with absolutely no point and no real topic.

Ayam Cemanis. Yes. I raise exotic chickens from Indonesia.

The challenge of re-homing

I’ve often said I prefer animals over people, and sorry peeps, that hasn’t changed. There’s no love like the love of a pet; unconditional. I would say they ask for nothing in return but I know better… we currently share a home with 11, yes ELEVEN pets. And let me tell ya… they have some serious demands but I can’t imagine anything else I would rather be doing right now (typed as I hold a cat back from walking across the keyboard).

When Sultana arrived from Kuwait in late October she had packed a little too much baggage that no one was aware of. By early December, and without notice, she gifted us with 6 little bouncing bundles of love. Even our Vet who had seen her just 3 days earlier was surprised. She hid her pregnancy rather well.

Mommy & Son

Mommy & Son

Since having the puppies Sultana has come out of her shell, embraced her new home with us, and her personality is really shining through. She’s a true pleasure to watch. Yet at the same time her babies have also taken on personalities and become a very special part of our family. Hubby and I have had numerous conversations about the possibility of keeping them all. We have the land, we have the space inside the home, we have the means to care for them properly, however, what we don’t have is more room in our bed! And realistically keeping 6 puppies would just be too overwhelming. They’re only 7 weeks old now and already into absolutely everything they’re not supposed to be into. Cat litter? Yummy. Shoes? Yay! Every electrical wire in the house even those well hidden? Found them. Bones, chewies, and toys? Eh, not so much.

So, we’re left with no other option than to re-home. I can honestly say this is one of the most daunting, emotionally draining tasks I have ever taken on. You want to be stalked by me? Ask for one of our puppies. I’ve had a number of people contact us wanting a puppy who sound absolutely lovely and like a candidate to be considered. I get their full name and explain I’ll get back to them with further information. During that time I Google them and review every single little piece of internet activity they’ve ever been involved in. And people thought my hiring process was tough. Ha! I’ve reached a whole new level of scrutiny over here. Maybe I am being unrealistic and maybe the ‘perfect’ homes just don’t exist. But what’s the absolute worst thing that could happen if I can’t find ideal candidates? We keep them until we do find the right homes.

As I watch my 6 babies run around here with nothing but love in their hearts (and the desire to chew shoes), I realize how much purpose they’ve given me. At a time when I desperately needed to be needed they came along and filled that void (Hubby ‘wants’ me, he doesn’t ‘need’ me, totally different). I may not manage huge departments, or write government policies anymore but I do still play a very important role in life. And the unexpected arrival of the puppies has been a stark reminder of just that.

Sometimes what we’re really in need of is given to us in the most unconventional ways at the most unexpected times. And as lovely as that is, Sultana’s spay appointment is already scheduled for March 🙂

Meeting a blogger…getting a friend.

A few years ago I posted about a blog I really enjoyed reading. Since losing all my previous content I can’t link back to that post. She’s a wonderful American woman married to an amazing man and living in Kuwait together. They both have a soft spot in their hearts for animals which can lead to having a personal zoo if you’re not careful. Especially in Kuwait where animal cruelty, neglect, and abuse are rampant.

Currently this lovely couple is home to 6 dogs and a cat. Yes, SIX dogs! Like most expats they live in an apartment which isn’t the most ideal situation for being the local animal rescue. Her entire day literally revolves around animal care from their first feeding in the morning to their daily run in the desert. She even made them seat belts.

I remember when they got their first puppy and she blogged about her new little baby (Mushkila). The intention, I do believe, was for them to keep this puppy and give it a forever home. Then along came their ‘temporary rescues’ one right after the other. Anyone who loves animals, lives in Kuwait, and gets their hands on a rescue rarely has the heart to re-home them. Especially back into the same environment they were just rescued from.

Several months ago the wonderful woman behind the Great Adventure blog had mentioned her desire to find good homes for at least 4 of the rescues. She wanted them to go to a home they could live forever with a family who loved and appreciated them the way they should be. She even offered to ship them anywhere in the world just to ensure they have good homes. Her kindness is unmatched.

I mentioned the situation to my husband who agreed having another dog wouldn’t be such a bad thing. Melicka could always use a friend (the cats need a break) and someone to run around our massive property with. I told the lovely blogger our situation and gave a little background on our animal personalities and asked her which dog she felt would fit best into our family.

Long story short… they’ll be arriving next week! She and her husband have managed to get Health Certificates, crates, and airline tickets for 4 dogs (and themselves) to fly to the US and live out their lives with loving families. This logistical nightmare is certainly very costly for them accompanied by quite a bit of stress. But at the end of the day I believe they would do anything to ensure their rescues have good homes. We’ll be taking one, and the other 3 are going to different homes around the US. My husband and I will be meeting them in DC to help out with crates and transportation, or anything else we possibly can.

Over the years I’ve met several bloggers and generally find myself initially drawn to their blog for the same reason I meet them in person; positive attitude with a good heart. We’re looking forward to our little ‘road trip with a purpose’ next week.

The ‘Perfect’ Puppy

Several weeks ago I posted about our new puppy Melicka and how I was certain her goal in life was to drive me completely insane. I consider myself a rather experienced puppy owner and definitely an animal lover. Being out of options when it came to pets just wasn’t me. I have endless patience during their training and adapting period yet Melicka managed to test that.

We had good days and bad days… then some more bad days. The words, ‘no, stop, and leave it’ had me questioning her ability to even hear me. The Vet assured me she wasn’t deaf. OK, consistency… maybe I was the problem.

Long story short, we now have the perfect puppy! Eh, perhaps that’s a little overzealous. We have a great puppy!

All shoes are in tact, no more spilled coffee, throw pillows are no longer discovered all over the house, and my slippers are always right where I left them. Sheikha (the cat) even plays with her often and they have truly bonded. Amira on the other hand… not so much.

Looking back over the past 2 months I realize the problem was never the puppy, but it was me. It had been over 10 years since I had trained a puppy and all I really remembered was the result, not so much the process. Once I realized it was my responsibility to learn her behaviors and ‘indicators’ (needing to use the bathroom, wanting to play, etc) and not her duty to learn my behavior, things went much better. She still struggles a bit with a few verbal commands but we’re already working on hand commands for things such as ‘sit’ and ‘outside’.

She’s still only 11 weeks old so I really look forward to what the future holds for us. She’s proven to be such a smart girl and managed to fit perfectly within our family unit. We’ve even toyed with the idea of working towards a ‘service dog’ certification with a focus on terminally ill children. We’ve definitely made progress.