Tag Archives: puppies

Hello Friends!

Sorry I’ve been kinda absent this last week. The death of a really good friend from back in high school caught everyone off guard on Monday, and if people’s Facebook statuses/messages/phone calls have been any indication, it would appear that our whole little private school/Lutheran church community from back then is taking it pretty hard. But how could you not? I mean, it hurts me to know that he was hurting enough to take is own life, so I can’t imagine how his family and friends he was still really close with feel. And obviously it’s always hard when you lose a friend or a loved one, no matter what the cause, but it seems like suicide leaves a whole hell of a lot of “what if” questions just hanging out there. At this point dwelling on those “what if’s” doesn’t do anyone any good, but it’s kind of hard not to. I’ve been thinking a lot about them, his ex girl friend from back in high school (whom I’m still friends with) has been really thinking about them as well. We talked for a while on Tuesday about it and both of us were basically at a loss as to what to say. But I’m sure his family is probably thinking even more about the “what if’s”

Oh man, it’s just rough. I mean, life in general kinda is but it’s always worse when you lose someone you care about.

So I guess I just wanted to take a quick moment to say that depression and mental health in general is something that definitely needs to be talked about more so that maybe one day we’ll be able to get rid of some of the stigma around it. In our culture and society it can be really hard to talk about this kind of stuff and reach out to other people when you need help, especially for men I think. So lets get a conversation started about this! Talk to the people you love and care about. Tell them how awesome they are and how much they mean to you. Let them know that you’re always there for them. And I’m sure that wont help every single situation. But who knows, you might just help someone who needed it the most and you would have never known about it otherwise.

And on that note, please please please never hesitate to reach out to someone. I don’t suffer from depression but I still know and understand how hard it can be to ask for help. If I’ve learned anything from my friend’s death it’s that people care. The outpouring of condolences, love, support, and acts kindness I witnessed his family receive is just incredible. Hell, I even received some of that love and support because people knew we had been close back in the day. People really do care. So if you ever need help or just need to talk, reach out to your family, friends, coworkers, running buddy, teacher, priest/pastor/rabbi, your “internet friends”,  or even just the s prevention hotline, whoever. People care. You are not alone.

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Oh man, that’s some heavy stuff. Lets take a second to look at some cute puppy pictures for a second. Cute puppy pictures always make me feel a little better. 😉

You know what, lets do some other cute animal pictures too. Why not? 🙂

Hopefully that brought everyone back up a little bit. At the very least I managed to cheer myself up a bit, so at least there’s that. 🙂

I suppose that’s all I really wanted to say for today. That and that I’ll be back to my usual blogging shenanigans; talking about my life, pets, running, just how badly I”m freaking out about my 3rd half marathon next month, how I feel about missing what should have been my first “official” 10k that took place yesterday, and all sorts of other randomness that hopefully you’ve all come to know and love. 😉 I also desperately need to get caught up with all of the blogs and people I follow! I’ve been pretty terrible about that lately…

But anyways, I hope you have a wonderful Sunday, are enjoying racing season and whatever training/racing that’s in your immediate future. 🙂

Remember that people care. I care. You are not alone.

~Ashley

 

 

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April 5th, 2017

Yesterday I got to hang out with one of my oldest and best friends! We’ve known each other since kindergarten and had gone to school together all through grade school and high school. Ah the joys of going to small private schools. Anyway, we never get to see each other anymore. I live in Kansas and she lives in Missouri around the STL area where we both grew up, we’re both married, she has a baby now, life happens, ya know?

Well she just so happened to be in the KC area yesterday. She had some training and classes she needed to do for work at the Garmin world headquarters, which is 15 minutes away from my house. So she messaged me and told me what was going on, so I told her to come over the second she got the chance, and she did. 🙂 Once she finished with her thing at Garmin she came to my house and we hung out and talked for a while. She was supposed to go out to dinner with some people from her classes and then go sleep at a hotel, but once Luke got home from work (they were friends in grade school as well) we all got to talking and catching up and she just couldn’t bring herself to leave. So she ended up eating dinner with us, and then Luke and I convinced her to stay the night at our house instead of all alone at a hotel.

So once my brother in law got home from work we all decided to go to a bar to play pool and darts. That was a lot of fun! We were there for about an hour and a half. We got in a few games of pool and darts, but by the end the boys ended up watching a baseball game on TV while my friend and I did more chatting. It was a great time. 🙂 We made it home around 10:40 pm, fed all the animals, Luke showered and then we all went to bed.

Well, at least we tried to go to bed. Finn was totally thrown off of his scheduled and was confused and upset, so he didn’t want to sleep. Eventually we let him out of the crate and in bed with us (I wasn’t a fan of that, but I was willing to try anything at that point). That didn’t work though. He spent several hours chewing on me, rolling around on the bed, and just bothering me in general. Around 2 am he started biting my face at that was the last straw, so I threw his ass back in the crate, where he cried for a while but then eventually fell asleep. Once he was asleep, Lily started whining. She probably had to pee, but it was raining and every once in a while there would be a little clap of thunder and she absolutely will not go outside if there’s any thunder, so she just whined and cried the rest of the night. Fun times…

And then to top it all off, Finn decided to wake up at 6 am. That kinda sucked, but it was probably a good thing. My friend was up by then and Luke had already left for work, so I would have felt bad just leaving her alone in the living room. So we ate a little snack, played with the dogs, and talked until about 7:20 am, when she had to head back over to Garmin and finish her classes, and then she’s driving 4 and 1/2 hours back home. I’m super glad we got to catch up and hang out and she said she’s going to try to come out here with her husband and baby sometime soon, and I sure hope she does! And of course after she left all Finn wanted to do was sleep…

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Oh but he couldn’t sleep on his own, he had to be on my lap. I swear sometimes he’s just as needy as a human child haha. So I let him sleep for a while and then around 9:30 am I made him get up and go outside to play with Dean while I put in 30 minutes on the stationary bike. I actually had an interval workout on the schedule for today and my cross training workout wasn’t supposed to happen until tomorrow, but since I got hardly any sleep last night I decided to switch the days around. I didn’t think I would have been able to go at the intervals hard enough with my lack of sleep, plus running didn’t exactly sound like fun anyway. Well neither did the stationary bike, but whatever.

After that I showered, had lunch, took a very necessary nap, cleaned, walked the dogs, worked on a few dogs posts, yada yada yada, all that good/slightly boring everyday stuff. But I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I like routine and being on a consistent scheduled makes me a super happy camper. 🙂

I hope you’ve had a wonderful day!

~Ashley

 

 

Meet Finn! 

Well yesterday was just a whole bunch of unexpected fun!

Around 2 in the afternoon Luke shoved his phone into my hands and asked me “yes or no?”. On the screen was a photo of a cute little border collie puppy, and apparently the second I saw it my eyes lit up (but I puppies are the best, so who wouldn’t get excited about seeing an especially cute one?!?). Apparently Luke has seen an ad on Craigslist for border collie puppies and had been talking to the guy all day. My first thought was absolutely yes! I’ve had crazy puppy fever lately, and since it’s currently puppy season we’ve been seeing a lot of them at the dog park. But I had a few questions that I needed answered before I could make a responsible decision.

First and foremost, I wanted to make sure we could afford to take care of a second dog. Luke is in charge of all of our money and finances because I’m bad at math and numbers give me anxiety (I’m seriously not even kidding, but he likes doing all that kind of stuff so it all works out). He said he had run the numbers, and it’s totally doable! My brother in law is juts going to have to start buying his dog his own dog food (he pitches in for dog food every once in a while, but his dog eats a lot more than ours do so this is something he should have been doing anyway).

Once we were for sure we could afford another dog, there were a few other things I needed to know before I said “yes”. First I needed to know if he’s an AKC dog. Thank goodness he wasn’t! He is an ABCA dog though, but I’m 100% ok with that! That means he comes from a line of working dogs and not a line of show dogs. Then I wanted to know how much he cost, how old he was, and if we could meet the parents. He cost $400. The breeder actually went down on the price because he’s mostly black and probably because he’s 12 weeks old, which is just a little bit older than you’d usually start selling them, and yes we could meet the parents. 🙂 So I finally said “yes, lets do it!”. So Luke told the guy we were coming, we filled up the car, and then we drove an hour and a half to the middle of nowhere Missouri.

The first thing I noticed when we pulled into the breeder’s driveway was the three border collies in the back yard. Well they were kinda hard to miss, as they were barking at our car haha. I liked that though, we want our dogs to guard our house/yard as well (and Lily and Dean already do), so I thought that was a really good sign.

So the breeder came out and we all introduced ourselves. Luke had told him I came from a long line of dog breeders, field trial trainers/judges, and boarding kennel owners, so he was very interested in all of that. Mostly because he wanted to make sure we are capable of handling a border collie and I totally get that. I actually liked how concerned he was about where this dog was going. That’s always a sign of a good, responsible breeder. After we talked for a little bit he took us to the backyard to show us the dogs.

When we walked through the door and onto his porch we were greeted by the little guy from the pictures Luke showed me. He was jumping all over us, weaving in between our legs, and giving lots of kisses. I’m pretty sure at that point it was love at first sight for all three of us, but before anything else happened I wanted to see the parents, and the guy was more than willing to show them to me. The mother was a beautiful girl! She actually looked a lot like Lily! Short and compact, longish fur, pointed ears, but she was tri colored, whereas Lily is just black and white. The father actually had a lot of white on him, he’s bigger and stockier than the mother, had floppy ears, short hair, and a lot of white markings (he’s all black and white though). The mother wanted nothing to do with me (typical border collie. They don’t like strangers.), and was more concerned with what we were doing with her puppy (he was the last out of 9, which is a crazy big litter for a bitch her size). The father came up and said hello though and let me pet him. I also got to see him in action, he was a speedy guy with a really nice gait., not too tall, and very fierce looking.  He looked like he was meant to heard cattle, which apparently he was!

The father’s father (so the puppies grandfather), was a world champion cattle herder from 1989-2005. How freaking awesome is that?!?! The breeder gave us his name and ABCA number so we can look up all that stuff and verify it, which I plan to, but I do trust him, he was a pretty awesome guy and very legit. And it turns out his mother is related to Walt Disney’s dogs. I had no idea that Walt Disney had border collies, but I thought that was pretty neat!

So Luke and I were satisfied with him and his parents, and the breeder seemed satisfied with us, so he handed me the puppy and Luke handed him the $4oo. Then we ended up talking in his garage for like, 30-40 minutes. First he told us what food he’d been feeding the puppies, the treats he’d been giving them, and that he’d just started potty training them. He also warned us that he was the most dominant puppy from the litter and the biggest, and that he currently weighs 11 pounds (yeah my arms are super sore today after holding him for that long haha). He also told us that this little guy was his buddy and to take extra special care of him. We promised that we would and that we’d keep in touch and send pictures every once in a while. Then he ended up telling us all sorts of neat stories and he gave us each a Czech beer, which was really nice of him! Eventually we had to get back onto the road and head home, so we loaded our new puppy into the car and started our hour and a half drive back home.

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On our way back home we decided to name our new little guy Finn (I finally have a dog with a traditional border collie name!) and already started the bonding process. He really latched onto us on our journey home. He also did really well in the car, which is good! It’s basically a requirement for all of our dogs to do well in a car, since we do go on long road trips every once in a while. The only problem we has was that he wanted in our laps, and we want our dogs to stay in the back seat. Eventually we got him to stay back there.

When we got home the first thing I did was let Lily and Dean in the backyard so they could meet the new puppy outside. We figured that would be better than trying to just bring a new dog into the house. When Luke brought Finn to the yard a lot of sniffing happened. Poor little Finn was super nervous and very overwhelmed, but he did alright. Dean sniffed him a little bit, but then didn’t really want anything to do with him. That wasn’t surprising though, Dean doesn’t really like puppies. He wasn’t mean or anything though. Lily actually took to him right away! She smelled him for a while and then tried to play with him. He was still a little nervous though, and was hiding in between Luke’s legs.

Eventually he warmed up a little and started running around the yard with everyone. While they were all getting to know each other, Luke texted the breeder Finn’s name and our info, so he could complete the registration for the ABCA, so at some point we’ll be getting his papers in the mail, which is neat! He’s our first registered dog and has the best pedigree out of the three of them (although Lily’s pedigree is really good too, Dean’s is a little bit of a mystery, but it’s not bad.). While he was doing that, I was texting everyone pictured of our new baby. 🙂

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Around 8:30 pm we went back inside, got all the dogs fed, and around 9 Finn got put in the crate to go to bed. He wasn’t a fan of that, but he was so exhausted from getting a new home, meeting new dogs, and running around, that he only cried for 20 minutes and then passed out. After that he slept soundly all night and got up with Lily, Dean, and I at 7 this morning.

Today has been a blur of scratches and play bites (I look like I got into a fight with a cat and lost), puppy pee, lots of playing and exploring, and frequent potty breaks. At this point Finn kind of knows his name and he can officially sit on command. We really need to work on his jumping and wanting to be picked up and carried everywhere (he was definitely spoiled at his breeders house. Probably by his granddaughter. Apparently she loved this little guy), but we’ve got plenty of time to worry about that stuff.

It’s almost 1 pm as I type this. I’ve finally got him to calm down and nap for a little bit, so that gave me a chance to type this whole post out. I was supposed to run 8 miles today, but that’s probably not going to happen. Haha oh well, I’ve been having a lot of fun chasing after this little guy and I’m really glad that so far everyone is getting along well. Anyway, while Finn’s napping I’m going to attempt to clean up the house a little bit.

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Happy Saturday everyone!

~Ashley

The Stories Of How We Ended Up With Lily and Dean

Holy cow, I just realized Dean’s birthday was on Tuesday! He’s officially a whole 2 years old. Lily’s birthday is coming up pretty soon too! Luke and I aren’t sure if the exact date, but we do know she was born in February. So she’ll be 7 years old next month. That just seems crazy! I remember the day we got her…oh boy,that’s an  interesting story!

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We legit threw a party for them last year! 🙂

Before I get to that whole escapade and the less eventful but still adorable story of how we got Dean, I need to go back a even farther to when I was about 11 or 12 and became absolutely obsessed with border collies.

I’m not exactly sure how the obsession started, I probably saw some program on Animal Planet about them (I used to watch Animal Planet all the time haha). Once it started though, I got my hands on as much info about the breed that I could. I would scour the internet for hours, beg my mom to buy me books (I have quite the little library going on, and I have a pretty respectable amount of border collie/dog related books), and of course I would check Animal Plant’s show line up everyday, because they had a few programs about different dog breeds, and would show agility trials and what not every once in a while. 😉


As I got older I picked up a few more obsessions; Pokémon, Stephen King, Green Day, stuff like that. But even with my new interests, my love for border collies never faded. By the time I got to high school I was dead set on getting one and I actually ended up becoming really good friends with a girl who’s dad bred working border collies. And these weren’t just any kind of borde Collies, these were cattle dogs (as opposed to sheep dogs, show dogs, etc.) which was exactly what I wanted! I suppose that’s basically where Lily’s story starts.

Yet again, I don’t remember exactly how we got on the topic, but one day at school we were talking about dogs and how border collies are my favorite, and my friend mentioned that her dad bred working dogs, but he would give me one for free since I was her friend. Cue months and months of me begging my parents to let me get one.

My begging and pleading never swayed them though. The answer I got was always “no”. Until they let my younger sister get a dog, that is. They let her go to the shelter and pick out any dog she wanted, and that’s how she ended up with Ace (I’ve probably posted other photos of him before).

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Of course my whiny teenage self thought that was totally unfair, so I argued my case once again and this time I finally got the answer I wanted! So I talked to my friend and she told me her dad’s youngest bitch just had her first litter of pups and that I was more than welcome to one! Hell yes!!

That didn’t end up happening though.  Unfortunately this bitch wasn’t a good mother. She wouldn’t nurse the pups and it eventually got to the point where she had to be tied up in the barn with her litter so that they could eat. All but one of the puppies ended up dying. But the one who lived was a tough little thing and he was mine if I still wanted him and of course I did! A few weeks later, at my friend’s graduation party I asked her about my puppy. By then he would have been around 4-5 weeks old, which is still too early to take a pup from his mom, but since it was officially summer and we were out of school I would have been able to bottle feed him since his mom didn’t want to nurse him anyway. That’s when she told me an owl had gotten into the barn and attacked him a few days earlier and he ended up dying. That’s right, a fucking owl killed my puppy. I cannot even begin to describe to you how pissed I was.

Now as it just so happened, a few months before had, this friend’s dad had had another little of puppies that did live (they had a mother who actually took care of them) and her dad had given one to her boyfriend at the time. Now this guy was a good friend of mine too (we actually still talk on Facebook every once in a while), he lived a few minutes from my house and we carpooled to school for a while. He’s a good guy, but he had no business owning a border collie. I saw this puppy every morning when I would pick him up for school and she was the prettiest little thing you’ve ever seen. But she was so so so so so ill behaved. She wasn’t allowed in the house, so she just ran around the property with this guy’s other dog. She had no training and was bored out of her mind. She constantly chased this guy’s dad’s pony and two sheep out of their fence, she dug holes, barked, and the biggest problem of all; she chased cars. This was a huge problem, because they lived (actually, they still live) really close to the highway.

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I wish I could of had Lily as a little baby. Look at those ears!!!!

I guess it all became too much for them to handle and they obviously didn’t want her to get hit by a car, so my friend posted on Facebook that he had to give her away and whoever wanted her could come and get her. Luckily I saw the post a few minutes after he had posted it. Not so luckily that was the night that my grandpa Jim was in one hospital and had to be transported to another, and a whole bunch of stuff was going down with him. I don’t remember if that was the night he died or if it was a few day’s later, but obviously with all that going on I couldn’t leave to go get her, even if she was only a few minutes away. So eventually I convinced the guy to bring her to me, and that was the day I got my first border collie.

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This photo was taken an few days after I got her, I think.

I’m not exactly fond of the name Lily, but she came to me named and had so many other issues that I didn’t feel like adding a new name to the list of things I needed to teach her. I’m not even going to go into all of the issues she had or how long it took me (and Luke a little bit) to fix them, but eventually I did. Luke, Lily, and I have been a team and basically inseparable (mostly because Lily still has separation anxiety, that was one thing I couldn’t fix) since we got her. She was even the “ring bearer” in our wedding. Yup we’re “those people” and proud of it!

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Dean’s story is a little less exciting. Definitely less eventful then how we ended up with Lily, but it is a cute little story. 🙂

We need a little more background for this story as well; It was a few years after Luke and I got married and moved to Kansas (so around 2014-15). We had been living in a one bedroom apartment for almost 3 years and were waaaay over our two pet limit. We had Lily and Bubbles (our white cat). Those were the two the apartment complex people knew about and had on record. We also had a tank full of fish, which was a direct violation to one of the rules of our lease, but the maintenance people probably knew about it and never said anything about it. We also had Bruce the ferret, Link the hamster (who sadly died not long after we moved into our house), and our leopard gecko who doesn’t really have a name haha. At that point we were looking for a house though. Mainly because my brother in law was about to move out of his dad’s house and in with us, and also because Luke and I were tired of apartment life and were tired of the stress of harboring so many animals.

That was about the time my brother in law ended up with Odin. That’s a whole other story that I’m not about to get into right now. But that dog caused a lot of fighting between my brother in law, his dad and step mom, and Luke and I eventually got involved and ended up taking Odin to our all ready too full apartment, so that my brother in law could have him when he eventually moved in with us. That’s kinda the beginning of Dean’s story really.

So, I’ve literally never said this about a dog before, but I absolutely hate Odin. I’ve encountered just about every kind of dog that you can in the 20 years that I spent helping/working in my mom/grandma’s dog boarding kennel. In those 20 years (granted I was a baby a few of those years 😉 ) I never met a dog that didn’t like me and that I couldn’t get along with. Until Odin came along. He is literally has the worst traits from the mix of breeds that he is. We know for sure he’s part Australian shepherd, that’s what his mom is. Then my best guess is there is some lab and husky mixed in there. Everyone thinks he’s a pretty dog, I don’t but it’s probably because I don’t like him.

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Don’t even for a second think I didn’t take care of this dog though. Because I totally did and still do even though I shouldn’t have to.

Anyway, Odin is high energy like an Australian shepherd, he’s stubborn as hell like a husky, and he’s a big doofus like a lab, and our personalities don’t mesh at all. I’m used to dealing with hunting dog, working dogs, dogs that our eager to please and actually want to learn! Odin was (and still isn’t) any of those things and I was absolutely miserable trying to deal with and train him. And that’s kind of saying something, because I’ve never had an issue training a dog before.

I guess Luke felt really bad for me because I felt like a failure at the one thing I had always felt like I was good at, so he’d been looking for border collie puppies for a while. Now, that was no easy feat, considering I’m picky about choosing where a dog comes from and he knows it. I want a dog that comes from a working line and is in no way shape or form linked to the AKC. I don’t want a show dog that looks pretty but has had all of it’s herding/working instincts bred out of it. Now, for most breeds it’s kinda hard to find a non AKC breeder, luckily as far as border collies go, you can still find true working lines that don’t involve the AKC at all. The problem is, those working lines can still be just as expensive as an AKC bred dog. Eventually though, Luke found a lady on craigslist that was selling her pups for $50, which is absolutely insane! We were expecting to pay around $100-150.

So of course Luke called her and told her we wanted on. She seemed apprehensive at first, telling him that border collies have a lot of energy, but she seemed a little more at ease when he told her we already had one. So she said she still had one male available and we could pick out whatever one we wanted if we could get there before anyone else, so that’s exactly what we did.

We hopped into the car with Lily and drove about an hour and a half to this lady’s farm. When we got there, there were dogs (and not all border collies) and kids running around all over the place. We talked to the lady a little bit and showed off Lily to her. I think that definitely made her feel better at selling a puppy to us, since Lily is so well behaved and obviously taken care of. Honestly though, the fact that she was so worried about where her dogs ended up made me feel a lot better about the whole situation. That’s usually a sign of a good breeder.

Anyway, eventually her kids found all the pups and showed them to us. One of the males was a little trouble maker and kept trying to get under an air conditioner and nipping at the little kids. We talked about them and their parents (who we also saw) for a while. We were the first people to get there so we got to pick whatever male we wanted! Freaking sweet! Although, if we were looking for a female, I would have picked the feisty little girl who was half black and white and half blue merle. I’ve never seen a dog like that before and she was absolutely gorgeous. But we weren’t in the market for a feisty dog or a female. I guess that little girl got her feisty-ness from her dad who was guarding his pigs and wouldn’t come up from the pen. Apparently that’s what he did all day everyday. He had also used to herd sheep and cattle, but the lady didn’t have those anymore. Good. I wanted a dog with a working bloodline and these pups had that.

The dad was kinda big as far as border collies go, red in color, and not fond of strangers. But that’s typical as far as border collies go. The mother was a rescue. Apparently she was in an abusuive situation before this lady got her. She was shy but super sweet. Pretty small, blue merle, and very shaggy. She absolutely loved Luke, which was apparently strange, as she usually didn’t like men.

Eventually one of the kids handed me a puppy who promptly fell asleep in my arms. I looked at Luke and told him that this was the dog we needed, and that’s how we ended up with Dean. Luke gave the lady her $50 and told her she was selling this dogs at way to low of a price. She laughed and said everyone told her that. She even had someone driving up form Oklahoma for one of the females. Then she told us she was going to sell her next litter for more and we told her that was probably a good idea haha. Then we said our goodbyes, got our two dogs into the car, and then tried to drive away. I say try, because Dean’s mother ran in front of the car and was using her border collie stare to prevent us from leaving. Poor mamma. This was her first litter of puppies and Dean was the first to go, so I’m sure that was hard for her. Finally one of the kids got her out of the way and we were able to leave. Dean slept the whole hour and a half drive back to our apartment and that’s when I knew he was going to end up being a super laid back dog, and a perfect addition to our little pack of dogs.

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He was such a fluffy little guy! I kinda wish he’s ears would have stayed up, but they didn’t..