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.