Monday, July 11, 2016

Grand Marshal

 Yesterday was a canoe parade at camp. Each cabin got to decorate either a canoe or a kayak and then one of the counselors paddled it in a parade along our beach.
As everyone was preparing for the parade, Tim said, "Olivia is the Grand Marshal, we're going to put her in the lead boat." And so I responded with, "ok, let's get her lifejacket." Olivia headed right to the boating bay and was the perfect dog as I hoisted her into the canoe. 

It wasn't until we were about halfway from the boating bay, paddling towards the beach that Tim said, "I never thought you'd go for this!" and I said, "I didn't think you were asking!"

Olivia is so cooperative and lovely when she needs to be. She sat perfectly as we paddled, looking as regal as ever. 

Friday, May 6, 2016

A Baby and a Bulldog

Baby X turned 6 months. And once again, Olivia was a perfect model for our fabulous photographer. She is such a ham. Actually, these days, both of them are...

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Back to Camp!

It's been 8 months since we were at camp! At the end of the summer, we pulled away and then, surprise! We had a baby ahead of schedule and then, BAM! Life was different for all of us (Olivia included!).

But this weekend, we headed back to camp for the first time in a very long time! It was Work Weekend! We welcomed 65 volunteers to camp to open for the season. And of course, that meant my precious little camp dog got to go back to her favorite place!

I started packing, took out the cooler, and made the mistake of mentioning the word "camp" while I was talking with our nanny. From there, Olivia KNEW what was happening and spent the rest of the day following close behind me at every step, crashing into the back of my legs and screeching whenever I stopped moving. Cute dog....

This is a mini tantrum she had while baby X was napping and we were waiting to leave. My poor baby (my first baby). She just wanted to get to camp and we had to wait for the NEW baby to be ready. She was NOT happy about the delay!

We FINALLY got to camp and rushed out the field. We played with the ball and she was back to her happy place.

It was a BUSY weekend. Olivia walked across camp over and over as she oversaw all of the projects at camp. By the evening, she was exhausted (not too exhausted to rip out some couch stuffing). 

And now we're home and she's VERY tired. She was outside all weekend, covered a lot of ground. And lived the life of a camp dog. She is VERY ready to head back to camp for the summer. It's just about a month away and she's counting down...

Thursday, January 28, 2016

X is 3 months

Xander's 3 month photo shoot went ok- he wasn't super cooperative and wouldn't give me a cute smile. But Olivia posed like an old pro (probably because this is her 11th or 12th professional photo shoot and she knows what's up!). 

Not usually cooperative. Of course as I was trying to get the baby posed, she sat right down to show off!

Friday, January 15, 2016


The photo of me from our website
I received a donation in the mail a few days ago. The check was for $1000, which is a very generous gift. But the note that came with it was priceless to me. 

The note reads- "Natalie, In looking up the address, I saw your bulldogs. They are my ABSOLUTE favorite breed of dog and the brown/white color is as close to perfection as a dog can get."


He was as close to perfection as a dog can get. 

And this note is as close to perfection as I can possibly imagine. 

Thursday, January 14, 2016


On January 1, we said goodbye to our sweet boy. I still can't believe it.

Grif has defied the odds for years- I've always joked that he's pretty much constantly been on the brink of death, but when death finally came, I wasn't ready.

Grif got sick on a Wednesday and by Friday, he wasn't eating, drinking, walking and I knew that this time was different. The decision to put a dog to sleep is horrible and I didn't know what to do. Nate was out of town and I was hoping that we could wait until Sunday when he was back to make the choice. But on Friday night, Grif was pooping blood and vomiting stomach bile and I knew it was time. I didn't want to say goodbye, but I didn't want him to suffer. In hindsight, I probably should have made the decision earlier and I just hope that he wasn't in pain.

My mom came over to stay with the baby and I took my other baby to be put to sleep. I carried him in, sobbing hysterically and it was awful. The staff at the vet were wonderful- fast but attentive, very gentle, and they reassured me that I was doing the right thing, which I so appreciated. Grif has made so many miraculous come backs, I didn't want to give up on him and so it was good to hear that I was doing the right thing.

this is the picture I took of him on the day we picked him up. I didn't think we were getting another dog that day, but Grif was one of a kind and he was mine from the minute I saw him. 

Griffin has been my baby for the past 5 years. Olivia was my first and she is special in an entirely different way. I didn't think I could possibly love anything as much as I loved Olivia and on the night we brought Grif home, I panicked and thought I should probably take him back. 

But I didn't. And pretty quickly, he became my baby. Where Olivia is strong and confident and independent and stubborn, Grif was needy and kind of pathetic. He just wanted to be held, cuddled, kissed, and loved. I spent countless days and nights feeding him by hand, nursing him back to health, hovering over him, waking up with him in the middle of the night, cleaning him up, making him special food, bringing him to the vet (over and over and over). 

People have joked for years that compared to these dogs, a baby wouldn't be that big of a deal. I don't want to minimize the importance or significance of my premature newborn or how challenging it is to be a new mom, but it turns out, there was a lot of truth in their comments. I know what it is like to have a living thing be completely and totally dependent on me for survival. I know what it is like to care for someone who is delicate and needs complete attention. Grif prepared me to be a mom. 

Our house is emptier, quieter, and my heart hurts. He was a special dog. Dopey, clumsy, not super bright, but so incredibly lovable, affectionate, joy filled and well meaning. 

I know that dogs don't live forever, but I wasn't prepared to lose him.