Saturday, April 23, 2011

My family | My version

For a long time I struggled when people would ask me 'Why aren't you going to have kids?' Any answer I came up with was always followed up by 'well it's different when their yours' [why is that?poop smells like poop, whether it's yours or someone elses], 'it's just not your time' [believe me it's not my time, I am going to be 42 this year], 'you would make such a great parent' [have you seen my spoiled dogs? really?], 'you could be so happy' [who says I'm not happy now?] etc. etc. etc.

So now my answer is a question back to them 'Why do you have kids?' which is often met with a look of shock and a variety of answers that mimic the above questions. Then comes the look of disgust when I tell them that I actually have 'kids' and tell them these are my children - we call them furbabies. Selby [11], Jesse [7],  and Amos [9]

All three of them are long hair miniature black & tan Dachshunds - their pattern is dapple with Jesse being a double dapple. All three come with their own child like issues...

This is Selby - she was our first and she is all girl and what you expect from a female Dachshund. Never listens, overweight, bossy, allergic to EVERYTHING, eats the most expensive hypo allergenic dog food on the market, her vet bills total more than college tuition, loud barker, grumpy, wants to be everywhere but where she is, can't hear us - but can hear you downstairs getting something out of a plastic bag, has separation anxiety, when you put her on a diet - just to piss you off she will eat poop, will run out the front door and never come back, pretends at the dog park that she was attacked [not kidding - its embarrassing and one of the reasons why we don't go anymore], cries the entire time she is in a car, LOVES babies and kids [way too much - she wants to lover them to death] and if you already haven't guessed she is a daddy's girl.

This is Amos - we got Amos because we thought Selby needed a playmate. Selby HATED Amos - so much she took a huge poop in front of our bedroom door the first night he was home. Needless to say - Amos had to learn to entertain himself. But he ended up being our over achiever jock dog - as our breeder Jeanie would say 'A happy Dachshund is an obedient Dachshund'. Unlike Selby, Amos went to puppy school at 4 months and never looked back. He then went on to racing [for charity]- his claim to fame was at a Seattle Seahawks game during half time in front of a sold out crowd crazy for Wiener racing. Unfortunately that would be his last race. Amos was diagnosed with IVDD, fortunately it has been successfully treated by acupuncture and physical therapy. In the coming months I will be posting more about Amos' treatment and how we care for him. Amos is a momma boy - he has to spoon me every night in bed. [yes, all three sleep with us. Another reason why we don't have kids;)]

This is Jesse - or the J-man, or Jesse-po-pessie. HE is a boy dog and he would also like me to tell you that he is a show dog. [ex-show dog, but we whisper that] I did take him in the ring for a year and did the show tour with him... I will spare you all the stories and just tell you to watch the movie Best in Show - they didn't miss a beat.  Jesse may be are smartest dog we have. He has also chosen an alternative dog lifestyle. Short story - after an unsuccessful mating [with a very cute and willing female, he wanted nothing to do with] he immediately came home, ran upstairs and humped his favorite stuffed bear to death. NOT kidding. We are still waiting for Jesse puppies, not holding my breath, pretty sure that ship has sailed. His favorite pastime [other than spending time with his bear] is dressing up in his Superman costume. Oh, and if you haven't guessed this one...he is a momma's boy. In fact, saying that he tolerates Kirk would mean that Jesse would actually acknowledge him during feeding time.

See not much different than those of you with children right?? kidding... a little bit.

This was us at Christmas [2010]
This is us - our version of family. However backwards people may think it is, it works for us and that's what counts. Around Valentine's Day this year my favorite people from Compendium sent me one of their new books: '2' How will you create something beautiful together? As Kirk and I were looking at this together I was thinking to myself 'those guys hit it out of the park again!' To quote them "Like life itself, the enclosed '2' book is meant to be shared with someone you love. Let the thoughts in these pages inspire you to dream together, plan together, laugh together - and fall in love with life all over again." Those last few words really resonated with me and that really does sum up what Kirk and I share together: we love life, so we can love each other. 

So today's giveaway [so sad, it's the last giveaway. well not the very last, you know what I mean] I have a '2' book to giveaway to a random reader! You don't have to be married to win - save it for when you are with someone or share it with a couple you know. 
Just leave a comment here - how many lovely children do you have? Do they walk on two feet or four paws? Check back on Monday, April 24th at 8:00 AM for the winner! Happy Easter to you and your families -


12 comments:

  1. Love your babies - have 3 of my own all of whom walk on 4 paws. :-) My mom calls them all her granddoggies and has pics on her desk at work. Mine are waaayyy spoiled. And although some might argue, losing one is as devastating as some people I've lost. I certainly cried as much when I lost Sadie (last December) as when I lost my favorite gpa.

    I think that's the funny thing about love. We all love different things, different beings, and express our love in different ways. I don't think it matters so much how we express our love as long as we love.

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  2. Paula, well said. I have my special needs Layla that has labrador MS and Gidget who is allergic to EVERYTHING!

    Love and miss you and Kirk!

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  3. Delightful post, Paula!
    Your babies are beautiful.

    And I believe that family just means sharing love with others - whether they're blood relatives or animals or friends.

    Cheers to you for documenting life in such a wonderful way!

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  4. Paula - beautifully said and quite honestly no one's business if you have kids or not! Love the pictures of your furbabies and especially the heart shaped faces :) How in the world did you get them trained to sit there all at once to take that pic! Thanks for sharing and Happy Easter!

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  5. Ah, this is great. I am glad you spoke out. As an aspiring parent, I understand that many make the blind assumption that everyone shares the same desire to parent children. As a dog-father of two, I completely understand the bond and heavy burden of owning and loving pooches, especially high-maintenance ones. But I love the commentary at the end. Relationship 2.0 (as I call it) is built on a common passion for life with an enhanced joint appreciation of our individual passions. Learning to weave Dan's favorite things with my own strengthens our relationship and better prepares us to expand our family to include more 4- and 2-legged members and honor their preferences too.

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  6. Thanks so much for your lovely comments on my blogs!! Your fur babies are gorgeous! My oldest Sister is 46 and like you, never wanted children. She has her two West Highland Terriers and they are her 'children'....completely spoilt dogs ;)

    I have 5 children...I'd have another if I could!! why did I want children? I just love watching these little people that I helped create, turn into individuals with their own personalities..yet being able to see little snippets of myself within them....each of my children are so different and yet in some ways so similar. It's amazing to see bits of my dad in my Son (the one with the hair lol) and parts of my Grandmother in my 9 year old...my youngest looks just like my nephew...I don't know...it's just amazing to me I guess. And I love their company so much - each stage is so very different. So much fun.

    I also ahd two golden retrievers though and were very much 'my girls'...both sisters from the same parents...but different litters. and both very different. Amber - who we sadly lost last year - was my dumb blonde - so sweet natured but a total ditz...she wouldn't retrieve at all and preferred to sit on the porch and wait for someone to open the door so she could chase the light reflecting on the floor...I was completely devastated when Amber died :( I still miss her sooooo much :(

    Rosie, is my real retriever - she will play fetch for hours. She also LOVES to swim or get in the mud...then will howl like crazy as if she's sulking when she has to stay in the mudroom to dry off! She is so dependable and is like my shadow - follows me everywhere and is a total darling :) She's also a complete mess - has a really thick coat that is uncontrollable and constantly getting matted! I am always telling her that her Mother would be ashamed - her Mom was the Canadian champion golden retriever for a few years running ;)

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  7. VERY well said Paula. I know many families that consist of children with 4 legs and many are treated better than the two-legged types :) Enjoy your family :)

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  8. I have a family of four. And they all have, well had, 4 legs. My sweetest baby Abbey was diagnosed with bone cancer last week and had to have a leg amputated. SHe is doing great though. SO I can say I have 3 four legged fur kids and 1 three legged fur sweetie. They are all mixed breeds and they are the love of my life. I also chose not to have children. And have not regretted my choices.

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  9. What a great post Paula. It's unreal some of the reactions I get when asked why we don't have children. It's none of their business. We lost our 16 year old fur kid, Jethro, a few years ago after helping him through cancer and other issues and haven't been able to think about adopting another yet.

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  10. I am always curious as to the reasons behind someone not having kids. I myself did not want to have kids, not because I didn't like them, but knew I was very selfish with my time. It takes a lot of time and energy and I wasn't willing to give up myself to be a mom. When I was much younger and said I wanted kids, I always said i'd have one and I wanted to be home with them. Well, quite by accident, we got pregnant and I now have Brice. I'm here to tell you, from someone that didn't want kids (right up until he was born), it really is different when they are your own (thank god!). I had a fur-baby before Brice and she was more work (and money) then Brice has ever been. So that was definitely good training for me. So while it is different having your own, I certainly am done with it. No more kids for me. I am glad that I had this experience in life, I would never take it back, but it's only fur-babies from here on out! We will have a puppy running around here in two weeks, and while it will mostly be babysitting it because it's my moms, I am looking forward to the day we get our own again (maybe next year). But fur kids are more than enough for me to be happy. As for my reasons behind not wanting kids, they are all true. I have to give up a lot of myself and it's a struggle every day to carve out "me time" but I do make it happen. If I wasn't able to stay home with him, I think i'd go insane with the loss of any time for myself.

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  11. I really enjoyed this post, Paula. I have 6 kids, 2 of which are furbabies! We love ALL of our kids. Our furbabies are adopted members of our family. We can't imagine life without them!

    I loved the picture of your kiddos in the hearts! I take pictures of my kids doing silly things, dressing up (this includes our furbabies, too) and just being themselves. I'm sure that I have almost as many pictures of our furbabies as the kids! (The furbabies are the youngest...)

    We are all blessed to be loved and to love life and each other!

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  12. I know I'm past the deadline and I'm actually not commenting based on the giveaway. I just want to tell you how beautiful your family is. Furbabies ARE family - don't let anyone tell you any different :) Thanks for sharing them with us cause they are beautiful.
    StacyC

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