Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Kona - Our Beautiful Chocolate Lab

Soon after losing our beloved dog, Jazz, the topic of getting another dog came up.   At first, the thought of losing another dog was just too much to bare and my husband and I said it was just too early to think about. After a few months, we spoke about it and agreed that having a puppy would be too difficult for the two of us.  When Jazz came into our family at eight months old, we had two sons at home that were such a big help. With only my husband and I at home now, we had to think about the dog and what was fair to him or her.  

Then one day, I read this poem:   

Before humans die, they write their last will and testament, giving their home and all they have to those they leave behind. If, with my paws, I could do the same, this is what I’d ask…
To a poor and lonely stray, I’d give my happy home; my bowl and cozy bed, soft pillow and all my toys; the lap, which I loved so much; the hand that stroked my fur; and the sweet voice that spoke my name.
I’d will to the sad, scared, shelter dog the place I had in my human’s loving heart, of which there seemed no bounds.
So, when I die, please do not say, “I will never have a pet again, for the loss and the pain is more than I can stand.”
Instead, go find an unloved dog, one whose life has held no joy or hope, and give my place to him.
This is the only thing I can give…
The love I left behind.
 – Author Unknown

Not long after reading this poem, a post from a friend on Facebook caught my attention.   She was moving and was looking for a new home for her furry five year old Chocolate Lab/Chesapeake Retriever dog.   I knew the dog and how friendly she was and immediately responded letting my friend know that if she had trouble finding a home for her that my husband and I would consider it.   My friend was hoping to find someone that lived in the country because that is what the dog was used to so I just trusted that if it was meant to be, then God would make sure it happened.   
It wasn't long after that my friend asked us to take her for a week to make sure it worked out.   Like any good dog Mom, she wanted to make sure that my husband and I got along with the dog, make sure that the busy road we live on would be a good fit for the dog, and last but not least, make sure that the dog was good around our granddaughter, Rosslyn.    As soon as she came into our home and as I suspected, John and I were in love.   Her name is Kona and she is full of life.   She adores John and loves to greet him at the door when he comes home from work.    Just like Jazz, she eagerly awaits her nightly rub down and patting.   
Even more so than Jazz (which I never thought was possible), Kona loves the water.   Even if she hears John turn on the faucet outside to water the garden, she comes running through the house to get outside.   We have set up a kiddie pool outside for her to play and chase her tennis ball.    Several times a week, we take her for a hike that has a river that she can swim in. Just as soon as she hears the waterfalls, she is on a mission to get into the water.   John and I just watch her and smile as she plays around.   She enjoys picking up a sock or shoe and brings it to you as you get home.   She has me back into walking at least an hour a day.   Most days, it is more than that and not only do I feel better physically, but mentally as well.  Many people tell me how lucky she is to have us, but we are truly the blessed ones.  
In case you are wondering, we did adopt Kona.    She has been with us for almost two months now and the life she has brought into our home cannot be denied.  You know she is more comfortable when she has started to get into things.   We made the mistake of leaving a ham steak on the counter after cleaning up after dinner one night.    After a few minutes of relaxing with my family, I heard a crunch crunch noise.   She had the whole ham steak gone.   Thank God, she didn't get sick.   
Our granddaughter loves her and really enjoys playing fetch with her.   Kona loves to play with a frisbie that Jazz had and has her own special favorite squishy orange ball.    We taught Rosslyn to give her commands and Kona is great about listening to her.   Rosslyn really enjoys placing a treat down and making her wait to be freed before getting it.    
As you can see, she is loved.    I know that Jazz would be happy to see us enjoying her.   She doesn't make us forget him; in fact, she has helped us to remember all the great memories we have of him.   He left a huge gift behind and that was his love.   Kona is now basking in that love and our hearts grew a little bigger from the moment she entered our home.    
                                                    Our Kona - a beautiful girl!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Our Family is Growing

When our children were born, all my husband and I ever wanted for them was their happiness.   On June 13, 2015, Michael married the love of his life, Courtney.    From the moment she entered his life, we knew that she was the one.  

They have a story all of their own and we are happy to see what their future holds.   In the meantime, it is our prayer that they enjoy everyday they have together and grow in both love and happiness.    Please enjoy a few priceless moments and memories of their special day.   

                                                    Our sons, Michael and Andrew
                                              Michael smiles as he waits for his bride
                                       Our granddaughter, Rosslyn, and the ringbearer
                                                  The beautiful bride, Courtney
                                               Time for Mom to pull out the tissues
                                                   Sharing their personal vows
                                                       More tissues for Mom
                                              Gorgeous day for a gorgeous couple
                                   My husband, John, my sweet mother in love, and I
                              Andrew's wife, Christina and both my Mother and Sister in love

                                   After 31 years of marriage, this man still takes my breath away
                                                      Michael and Courtney
                                                       The Bride and Groom
                                                            Their first dance
                                                         Seating Arrangement
                                                          Gone, but never forgotten
                                      A beautiful tribute to the ones that are watching over us
                                                        Courtney and her Dad
                                              Michael and I dance to "Mother Like Mine"
                                                       The "Shoelywed" Game
                                                This game was a big hit for the guests

                                              Michael and his Grandmother/Godmother
                                    The love of my life dances with the love of Michael's life
                                                                The cake
                                                  Will they smear one another's face?
                                                                   All smiles

                                                              There they go!

Congratulations to Michael and Courtney.    We love you both and wish you all the happiness and blessings for your life as husband and wife.