Our Shiloh

Anybody who has been a part of my life over the last 9 years, knows my puppy Shiloh.

Shiloh has been more than a puppy to me – she has been my best friend; my first baby. My confidant and my number one fan. She’s been around for my darkest of days and been my shoulder to cry on; and been around for my happiest of days, to see me fall in love.

She became Matt’s baby the day he met her. One of my favorite memories of when we started dating was when, after date night, we returned to my apartment on the 11th floor and he offered to take her downstairs to go to the bathroom. They were gone for over half an hour. I always joked that in the beginning he was only with me because of his adoration for Shy.

She’s lived with me in three very different homes and come with me on trips across provinces. She’s shared her home with other dogs, cats and birds, and seen those pets subsequently leave for various reasons and taken it all stride. Lastly, and most importantly, she has welcomed Matt and I’s babies with paws open wide, and become a true family dog.

This past week, our family has been dealing with the nightmare of discovering that our dear, sweet Shiloh, has cancer. It has been a week of vet appointments and various tests to determine the best way to approach this diagnosis. Yesterday, a decision was made that will best prolong Shiloh’s life and prevent her from ever having to suffer a minute from cancer, because it was luckily caught soon enough that she has yet to feel pain.

Next Friday, my sweet girl will undergo surgery and lose her front right leg. The emotions that come with this reality are all over the place. I am so happy for this second chance with Shiloh and look at this surgery as a way to prolong an otherwise happy healthy life. I am also sad that she has to suffer a single second of pain to get there. But it is, of course better than the alternative.

I ask you all today for prayers for our best friend. She is a strong pup and we all have no doubt that she will make it through this just fine and be the cutest little “tripawd” (yes, that is a thing) we ever did see. But we pray for a quick and successful surgery, and an easy recovery. She is our baby and a part of our family and I know that if any of you have had the pleasure of meeting my Shybum, Shybear, Shybaby, or Fluffmuffin, you too, have a place in your heart for her also.

I love you my girl. We will face the next adventure ahead as we have all of our adventures – together.

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My Two Babies (a video)

Ever since I found out I was pregnant, thought about having children, I dreamt of a house where babies and pets played happily together. Come on… you’ve all seen those adorable YouTube videos! Nothing warms your heart and soul more than watching a baby and a puppy playing happily together (that, and of course chocolate).

Unfortunately, this dream of mine has not become reality. Shiloh has been my fur baby for sooooo long and she has had a very hard time adjusting that another baby has now entered my life. She has never done anything to hurt McKenna of course, but she has definitely shown some major signs of jealousy. It’s made me really sad.

I don’t even want to jinx it, but the last two weeks or so things seem to slooooowly be getting better. Maybe Shiloh overheard my phone call to a puppy discipline centre a couple weeks back, or maybe it’s that McKenna is just starting to learn that the pets like to be patted and not pulled, but the two of them have definitely had a few heartwarming moments as of late. Things are still far from ideal but I am hoping we are making progress towards that dream of mine, where my fur baby and my human baby not only coexist, but love on each other.

So now for my very own puppy and baby home video.. and here’s to hoping there are MANY more to come!

Random Thursday…

Not much to report today. And I am in a rush to get out of the house – nothing unusual there (although I should point out, although I am ALWAYS in a rush, I am always NEVER late!), so I leave you with a conversation Matt and I had last night:

Me (whilst cuddling McKenna): Do you think maybe you just want to have one since she’s so perfect and just spoil the crap right out of her?

Matt: One what?

Me: One toaster.. c’mon, what do you think?

Matt: Oh… no. It’s always better when they come in twos. More fun that way.

Me: You said that about the cats.. that backfired. Big time.

Matt: Yah, but that’s because our cats are demented. 🙂

Happy Thursday y’all.

PS – I cleaned out my closet yesterday. Huge accomplishment! I always have such a hard time deciding what to donate, but the end result (a clean closet) always makes those difficult decisions worth it in the end.

Happy Birthday Shiloh!

Happy Birthday Shiloh! AKA: My Shybear, Shypup, Shybug, Shybum, Shybutt, Shymonkey, Toothy, Wookie, Shyroo, Puparoo, Puppyface (there’s quite a few more I can’t think of at the moment).

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I am taking some time out of my family weekend to write a special post about a special puppy who is celebrating a birthday today!

That’s right, my first-born furchld is 6 YEARS OLD TODAY!

Shiloh has been the best dog a girl could ask for these past 6 years, and the way she has taken to McKenna just reiterates the fact that she truly is the greatest animal love of my life. I don’t think I will ever quite feel for another animal the way I feel for Shiloh – she has been there for me through my many ups and downs, and has always there to listen (and not talk back). I have taken her with me through all my walks of life in these past 6 years and there have been some dark times (especially when poor Shiloh was stuck with me in a one-bedroom apartment on the 11th floor), but Shiloh has always, always, been a constant in my life. Before Matthew came along, before there was Esme and Lily and long before our baby McKenna, it was just Shiloh and I.

I love you puppy. Thanks for always being there to lend a furry ear when I needed it most. Here’s to the next 6 years together, and beyond!

Introducing … the zoo!

I’ve been thinking a lot these days about the lessons I want McKenna to learn in the early days, because she is growing so fast. I know the first lesson – the most important of all lessons in our house – is to be nice to the pets. This will ensure that our happy little zoo remains our happy little zoo. I’ve briefly mentioned our fur babies before – I think – but we have three of them. Which means before McKenna, they outnumbered Matt & I, and now with the new addition of our lovely little girl we are square even.

We love our pets.. we really do.. but as all living things have a tendency to do, they drive us a bit up the wall at times. And maybe a little moreso lately than usual. Mind you, we need to remind ourselves that with the addition of McKenna into our pack we literally turned their world upside down.

Shiloh, who was my first baby, has now discovered that she comes a close second (for those of you wondering, Matthew was second before McKenna, and is now a close third – he is okay with this and always has been). She has taken the change quite well, but sometimes if she is being ignored for a long stretch of time she will come over and sit on the baby to make sure her presence is known. DON’T WORRY – she only does this when the baby is sitting right beside me and it is never with vicious intent – it is moreso directed at me rather than McKenna – kind of like a “HELLO MUM I’M RIGHT HERE TOO AND I’M CUTE TOO” and a reminder that she was my first baby for almost 6 years before little miss McKenna arrived on the scene and took up some of the prime real estate in HER bed (Shiloh is a 20 pound dog but still manages to take up 70% of our gigantic king size bed). Mind you, Shiloh has had her fair exposure to little ones, and is always gentle. Even when they are terrorizing her. So it is without a doubt I can say that McKenna and Shiloh will soon be best friends, namely the day McKenna starts eating solids from her high chair and Shiloh will assume her favourite position as living vacuum cleaner.

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Secondly, there is Esme. Esme came after Shiloh & Matt, but before Lily. She was the cutest kitten I ever did see. To this day, I still think she is a gorgeous cat, however, somewhere between her 2nd and 3rd birthday she must have got quite comfortable with Matt & I because she let herself go and gained about 15 pounds. She is now the chubby monkey of the house and loves to lie on her back and stretch out her 20 pound self as far as she can go, preferably on a lap. Esme – of all the pets – is the most indifferent in her attitude towards McKenna. She simply ignores her. She spends most of her time these days downstairs grooming herself incessantly (she sheds the WORST of the bunch) and will occassionally saunter her way upstairs for a cuddle, upon which time if she finds McKenna in mine or Matt’s lap she will give us a look of disgust and walk away. We still give Esme cuddles when we can, & hope throughout time she will start to acknowledge the baby as another member of the zoo and not just a lap-stealer. We will see.

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Lastly, we have Lily. Lily was the last fur baby to join the zoo, and is only a year and a half old. Lily is not a pampered princess like Esme, in fact, we can go hours upon hours without ever seeing Lily, even before McKenna came home. She will come out occassionally, but mostly just to stock up on food and water before she goes and plays with a bottlecap for 5 hours at time then sleeps in the downstairs ceiling (scares the living be-jeebus out of me when I go down to do laundry and she is staring at me from up there). I would have to say, however, since the arrival of McKenna, we have seen Lily MORE than the usual, leading us to believe that her curiousity may be turning into fondness. The fun part is that now McKenna has also discovered Lily and enjoys watching her when she comes into the room – probably because she is the closest to her in size – and I think that this is the start of a blossoming, great friendship between the two of them. That is, if we can keep McKenna from pulling her tail.

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Which brings me back to my original point. McKenna’s first lesson, will be that of learning to treat the animals of this house with care and respect. We tend to treat our animals like humans most of the time, as on any given day you can count on Matt and I to be talking to one of the three about what’s for dinner or disciplining them like normal, 6 year old, human children – examples include: “BE NICE TO YOUR SISTERS” or “IF YOU DON’T STOP YOU’RE GOING ON KIJIJI” (just kidding. We would never threaten to put McKenna on Kijiji). McKenna will be taught early on that the animals of the house are her equals. Do I think that this will prevent any tail pulling or swatting or dragging of any kind? Not by any means – I am a realist. BUT if we stick with it early on and continue to tell McKenna of the importance of the animals as members of this household, maybe the concept will eventually stick. Or maybe I’m just dreaming.. time will tell.

Sorry this post was a little long-winded, but I felt a little strange continuing on this blog without introducing our zoo to readers, as they are such an important part of our household, and we truly hope they will continue to be for many, many years.