Today is our little mister’s 8th birthday. Currently he’s curled up in the chair in the corner of our living room sleeping. He’s as cute as he’s ever been. I love him so.
Our boy has brought so much joy, love, happiness, and adventure into our lives. He is very affectionate, mischievous, hellaciously smart, loving, loyal, protective, playful, and insistent. I say insistent because he pretty much demands attention when he wants it. Pet me, play with me, feed me, pet me, give me love, I love you, I love you, I love you, love me, pet me now. He has his annoying habits, of course, like stealing things. We have to be pretty vigilant about kleenex and food and items on our metro shelf he thinks he might want to eat. He steals from the shred bin in K’s office, off of tables, from inside backpacks he’s managed to unzip (an incident that led to a call to doggie poison control and a force feeding of hydrogen peroxide, which worked by the way). He’s ingenious, and that ingenuity can be frustrating, but it’s also admirable. He doesn’t give up. I think he does it sometimes just to see if he can. He’s tenacious.
Our little man can also be testy and nippy and down right semi-ferocious if the right opportunity presents itself. Like when he steals something really good then hunkers down, dens, to protect it. It’s not a time to reach in and try to get whatever it is from him. We’ve all been gnashed at and nipped, we’ve all been trained to know he means business. He can’t help it, he’s been this way since we brought him home all those years ago. We think it’s because we got him so young, and that he didn’t have as much training from his mama as he should have, which may or may not be the reason. It doesn’t really matter, it’s his way, his personality, and we know it. We’ve always said he’s Doctor Jekyl and Mr. Hyde. Most of the time he’s the most loving, affectionate, cuddly dog you’ve ever met. He’s happiest getting pets and giving kisses. He wants to be touched all the time. This can also be annoying, but how can you resist that face? We can’t. We love him. And I love that about him. When Mr. Hyde comes out, well… we know that guy too. The one you don’t want to challenge. When he has something he’s protecting, or he doesn’t want to be picked up in a certain way, it’s best to leave him be. He lets you know that. You always know where you stand with him, and what he wants. He’s a passionate guy.
He’s been with us all but the first six weeks of his eight years. During that time he’s traveled with us on many of our adventures: enjoying romps in the sand and sun; games of fetch in creeks and streams; walks in so many different places on so many different paths; travels in the car; sleeps in tents and trailers and hotel rooms; playing chuck-it in fields and parks; and playing ball inside of hotel rooms and the houses of family and friends. He’s an excellent travel companion, a great little traveler. We say this about he and Riley every time we hit the road.
What can I say, we love him. I love him. I can’t believe, and I say this all the time about him, about both of our pups actually, how much I do love him. Life is so much richer with him in our lives. So much more joyous. There’s so much more laughter, love, fun, and cuddling because of him. I am constantly amazed by how much I do love him. What’s great is that he loves me, he loves us, right back.
Happy birthday to our beautiful, wonderful, fascinating, little mister. Life with him is truly sweet.
Today was a long day on the road. By choice we went an extra bit today so we could have a short day tomorrow. More time in Santa Fe when we get there. Because today was so long we didn’t do much stopping. Gas, food, rest stops, and just two extra little stops. One at the World’s Largest Fork in Springfield, MO and the other to photograph the Coleman Theater in Miami, OK where Don Hale used to go as a young gent.
Impressions from the day:
Great coffee this morning from Mudhouse Coffee in Springfield, MO. I regret not buying a t-shirt. There was great art on the walls… many black and white photographs of people in white who had mud on them. Loved it. Also a great dinner tonight from Tyler’s Barbeque in Amarillo, TX. The barbecue was Texas sized. Sadly I think we threw away nearly as much as we ate. Our room still smells of barbecue. I think it was the best barbecue I’ve ever had. All in all a very successful food and beverage day.
Today was a scorcher … the thermostat in the rig topped out at 106. It was so hot that when we stopped for our second cup of coffee in Oklahoma City the little girlie started hyperventilating and had to be carried back to the car. She is a tad bit of a drama queen, but it was also hot hot hot. A dry heat.
We are now fugitives in Oklahoma. A tip for anyone driving on the Oklahoma Turnpike… there are not always attendants at the toll plazas meaning you have to have exact change. We made it all the way to our last booth and then only had a $20. There was a change machine, but it only took $1 and $5. We looked at each other, saw the cars behind us lining up, looked at the red light which told us we couldn’t go unless we threw in the change we didn’t have, and we went on through anyway. As we did the alarms went off at the booth. I’m sure, if they took our photo as this happened, the people reviewing it will be cracking up. Our facial expressions were a combo of amusement, consternation, shock, horror, and guilt. Very funny. I think we were both gesturing…. arms up in the air as if to say… what are we supposed to do in this situation?
In two days we’ve seen two enormous crosses. One in Effingham, Illinois, and the other in some un-named little Texas town we passed. They were pretty much equal in size.
It rained on us today for awhile. It was nice and decently cool while it was raining. Then it got hot (see above).
We waved at Mangum, OK and Pryor, OK as we passed the exits with those names and then chatted about K’s childhood a bit. She spent a lot of time in Oklahoma as a kid and it’s always fun talking about that. Someday we need to do more than just drive through. I’d love to see where she was born and some of the places she’s told me stories about.
We started this morning at 10:00… after getting coffee and photographing the fork, which I know sounds late, and got to Amarillo at 7:30. Nine and a half hours on the road. Tomorrow we have a short day, only four hours of driving. Who knows what adventure we’ll find. I love road trips.
Weston is a guy of deep thoughts and feelings. He has soul.
I looked up a moment ago and there he was sitting on the chair in the corner looking out the window. He looked like a person, deep in thought, contemplating all of life’s ups and downs. He looked introspective and philosophical. He looked like Weston usually looks.
Six years ago we decided we wanted to get a dog and we decided on a Schnoodle because Karen’s daughter, Mary, had one and we loved him. So cute, great personality, small, and to top it off they don’t shed and they have hair akin to human hair so they don’t have dander and don’t smell like a dog. Ever. In fact they sort of have a smell all their own, each in their own way, like humans do. But I digress.
We went and looked at some dogs in East/Central Oregon and when one of the little guys came over and licked my toe it was all over. He was the one. Six weeks later, in April of 2007, we went and picked him up in Portland where we met with the woman who raised him. We’d had a name picked out for him already, but when we saw him, looked in his eyes, we knew instantly the name didn’t work. He looked too smart for the name. Too studious. Too deep. So on the drive back home, with the little guy sitting on Karen’s lap in the brand new bed we’d gotten for him, we threw names around. None fit until somehow one of us, I think it was Karen, mentioned the town of his birth, Weston. Yes, he was born in Weston, Oregon in the Blue Mountains. We looked at each other and that was it. Somehow, some way, Weston seemed right. It suited him. The him of major thought and intense looks.
Now, nearly six years later, he still has that same look. That deep look. He looks at you and into you at the same time. He is a guy of passionate feelings and sincere real love. He is incredibly smart, cunning, and curious. He is our little man.
Riley is girl of deep feelings, but of a different sort. She’s a little spitfire.
A year after we were lucky enough to get Weston we decided he needed a companion for those times we had to leave him at home. We didn’t want him to be alone. We wanted him to have a little pal, a buddy. He got a sister, not a natural born sister, but a sister none the less, and they have a love hate relationship. We had a name picked out for her too, and that one ended up sticking. Somehow Riley fits her. She’s full of energy, very vocal, and loves to put her head up against our heads and have a little pet. She gets so excited she can hardly contain herself, and is a tad quirky, but we adore her.
This morning when I looked over at Weston looking out the window a wave of love came over me, as it does so often with both of our little furry babes. Karen and/or I say, at least once a day I think, “I love them”. One of us always says it and the other one then always says, “I do too”. And we do. We love them. We love how they love us. How Weston always welcomes us home with a whole body wiggle and Riley always wants to lay in a lap. We love Weston’s kisses and the little girlie’s insistent pawing for a pet. We even love their more annoying habits, as you do with little beings you cherish. We love the schnoods. Like I loved how he was looking out the window this morning like a little person. Just as I love how, right now, he’s laying in my lap snuggling, looking back at me with those eyes with those deep deep feelings, and Riley is all curled up in Karen’s lap snuggling in close to her. We love them.
We love them.
It’s a rainy, windy, blustery, wet day here in Illinois. It started yesterday, the blue sky fading as the clouds came in and the rain and wind started up. It reminds me of an Oregon Fall. Loads of rain, gray skies, everything just getting soaked.
It’s a cup of coffee read a book kind of day. Though I just did the cup of coffee part. Otherwise I was catching up on email and Facebook “stuff”. Loving on the dogs… like I am right now, excuse me as I pet Weston for a moment… OK, back.
Tonight we head to the kids house with Black Dog Smoke and Ale House BBQ in hand. No date night this week. We are just back from our trip so the kids are going to stay home with us and we’re going to hang out. We’re looking forward to it.
Had a great visit last evening with Karen’s aunt and uncle. I’d never met them and it had been a long time since she’d seen them. It’s a perk of living here. They travel from their home in Minnesota to their son and daughter in law’s place in Atlanta twice a year. We’re on the route. It was so lovely to meet them and spend some time getting to know them a little. I enjoyed their company.
OK… time to pet Weston again. He’s being a tad needy, but I don’t mind… who can resist that look of love. Not I, that’s for sure. I love this little guy…. and his cutie little sister.