Monday, September 19, 2016

It's a Dog's Life, Part 2, by Kate James (and contributed to by Harley and Logan)

Some of you who have been following our blog for some time might remember my post from September 2014, in which I introduced Harley and Logan, and explained how they came to be members of our family. If you'd like to refresh your memory, you can find that post here.

As a quick recap, they came into our lives unplanned. They were fourteen and sixteen months respectively when we first met them, intelligent and with great temperaments. Although they were never abused, their behaviors were greatly influenced by having spent their "childhood" exclusively in kennels.

Two years after that post and over three years after Harley and Logan adopted us, I thought I'd give you an update on how we're doing.

Crating, Then


I never crated a dog before, but Harley and Logan needed the comfort and security, as that's all they'd known before us. I had hoped that in six months to a year, the crates could go. Over a year later, when I wrote the last post, they still loved to spend time in their kennels, but preferred to curl up, or stretch out, together in one kennel.

Now


Some things haven't changed. We still haven't been able to remove the crates from the breezeway, despite having luxury dog beds throughout the house.

It's their happy, "safe" place. And they still prefer to share a single kennel. What has changed is that Logan occasionally likes to redecorate...or perhaps let us know that the top beds need to be washed!

For the above picture, he decided to pull the bed out while Harley was still in it!


Outside Behavior, Then

Logan was generally quite good outside. Harley was the challenge. He'd see a butterfly, a little switch would go off in his head and the rest of the world would cease to exist as he chased it. We had to fence our property to keep him from running over the back into the valley, where there is a steep incline. He stayed safe, but our gardens suffered.
Before

After

Now


Logan is still (mostly) an angel. Harley still has his obsession with butterflies. But now he'll also cry like a baby, in addition to dancing around in hot pursuit. (If you heard him, you might call the humane society on us, thinking we're hurting him!). The good news is that he is starting to listen (a little) when we call him. Also on the plus side, our front gardens (although spent this late in the season) are in tact.


Well, mostly . . . other than that itsy bitsy spot (center, below) where he hopped right in.

Inside Behavior, Then


Despite not having met until they were fourteen- and sixteen-months old respectively, they established a close bond very quickly. They would routinely lie on top of each other, snuggle and seek out the sun. On the negative side, Logan used to get up on furniture.

Cute as he was, the black dog on the white couch thing didn't find favor with us.

Also, because they didn't really have toys to play with as pups, anything on the floor was fair game to be swallowed. Finally, Logan thought he was a lap dog, and on one occasion when he tried to climb into my lap while I was writing, his tooth happened to connect with (and destroy) my laptop screen.


Now

Logan no longer tries to get up on furniture. They still like to sleep together and snuggle.


They still like to seek out those little slivers of sunshine.

And, yes, they occasionally still like to swallow things they find on the floor (or sneak out of a laundry basket). When one of my new RWA 2016 Harlequin socks went missing, I had no idea which dog had swallowed it, thus a trip to the vet didn't make sense. They were both eating and pooping normally, so there was no clue in that regard. Of course, despite our vet's assurances, I was worried about them. Finally, FOUR WEEKS after the sock went missing, Harley decided to return it . . . on its own, without his dinner. Harley is, thankfully, perfectly fine; the sock (even after washing) not so much!


Finally, Logan still likes to think of himself as a lap dog, but fortunately no laptop screens have suffered the consequences.




Although Harley and Logan have come so far in the time they've been with us, yes, they still have a few idiosyncrasies due to how they lived their formative years. The constant is that they continue to delight us each and every day, and the unconditional love and affection they bring into our lives is limitless and unparalleled. Idiosyncrasies and all, we wouldn't trade them for the world!

Do your pets have any particular idiosyncrasies that make life . . . interesting . . . for you? Of the people leaving a comment, one person will be selected at random to receive a signed copy of The Truth About Hope.
The winners are: I decided to pick two winners instead of just one. Pam and Sandra, you both win a signed copy of THE TRUTH ABOUT HOPE! I hope you will enjoy the book!

* * *

As for upcoming releases, we have A Heartwarming Thanksgiving releasing on November 1st. It's an anthology of 13 Thanksgiving-themed stories by Heartwarming authors, and includes my story The Firefighter's Promise. You can preorder A Heartwarming Thanksgiving through Amazon here or your favorite online retailer.
Watch for our upcoming reader events, including an exciting pre-order giveaway that we'll kick off right here on October 1st!

The first book in my new Sanctuary Cove series, scheduled to release March 1, 2017, is now available for preorder, as well. You can order it here.








Happy reading!

Kate

41 comments:

  1. I must say, those are the sleepiest dogs I've ever seen, Kate. :)I love all of the photos, especially the ones where they're nuzzled together...so sweet! I'm happy to hear the case of the missing sock was solved and it was returned in one piece. We don't have any pets, but I've adopted our neighbor's Havenese, in fact, he's in my current WIP.

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    1. They're actually active dogs; it's just hard to take a still photo when they're moving fast! I do have some terrific video clips, though. :-)

      As you can imagine, I was so worried about the dogs while the sock was missing. Short of having both dogs X-rayed, our vet said there wasn't much we could do other than wait and see, and as long as they were eating/pooping okay, they were fine.

      I learned something new this morning . . . I had to Google Havenese, as I hadn't heard of the breed before. Very cute. You also have Fred and your hummies, Jill!

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  2. They are so pretty. I love keeping up with them!

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    1. Ha! Maybe that's why Logan is hiding this morning (see my FB post of a few minutes ago.) He prefers "handsome" to "pretty!" Regardless, thank you, Liz. :)

      As for "keeping up with them," good luck with that if they are outside and playing!! :-)

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  3. Logan and Harley are beyond adorable. How do you tell them apart?
    My yellow lab believes he is human and loves to sit on my lap...even at 95 pounds. Thankfully, no computer screens have been compromised, but we did lose a 'not plugged in' computer charging cord in the 'puppy years'.
    The Truth About Hope has been downloaded on my eReader and I can't wait to read it :)

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    1. Thanks, Darlene!

      I didn't realize your pup was 95 lbs. That's a whole lot of Lab to love! Phew! I'm so glad (and I bet you were, too) that the cord was unplugged. I am always unplugging cords . . . just to be on the safe side.

      We have no trouble telling Harley and Logan apart. Logan has a puppy face, while Harley looks more soulful. We can even tell them apart in the dark by touch, because Harley has the silkiest coat of any dog I've met and Logan's fur is a coarser.

      I hope you enjoy The Truth About Hope (with Logan on the cover)!

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  4. Great post esp since we've always had labs and love them. Yours are so adorable. And the crate thing-one of our labs was such a chewer when a pup we had to crate him at night to save the furniture. And he loved it. He always went in it his whole life. I think it was like a cave. We would leave the door open when he got older and he still preferred to sleep in the crate. The other pups would go in there also. So even though a crate sounds horrible to us, they really love them. Thanks again for sharing. I'm assuming there's labs in those books of yours. smile

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    1. Aww . . . thank you, Sandra. You make a very good point that dogs (by their very nature) LIKE crates. It's their safe place. Similar to your pups, Harley and Logan love to curl up in their crates.

      As far as my books, there are dogs in each of them. In fact, Logan made it on the cover of The Truth About Hope. Here's the story as to how that happened: http://heartwarmingauthors.blogspot.ca/2015/07/can-you-spot-difference-by-kate-james.html

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Sandra!

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  5. To take on two dogs at the age they were, you guys were brave. But it is so good that you have a lot of space for them to run and chase butterflies. I had both dogs and cats for years, but not for the past few. Losing them is more than I seem to be able to handle any more. But I do like your posts about Harley and Logan.

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    1. Ha, ha! We had no idea what we were getting into with Harley and Logan. I had never had Labs before. Our blended family consisted of my Malamute Casper and German Shepherd Kylie and Ken's yellow Lab, Buster. I met Buster when he was an adult, and he was the sweetest, gentlest, best behaved pup imaginable. So, when we met Harley and Logan, I was thinking they'd be more or less like Buster. I repeat, ha, ha! We really underestimated the impact of them having spent their formative years in kennels. Still, they are wonderful and we have no regrets.

      As for not having more dogs, Ken likes to quote C.S. Lewis, "The pain now is part of the happiness then."

      I'm glad you enjoy my posts about Harley and Logan, Roz!

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  6. Oh, Kate. We had a Black Lab several dogs ago, the sweetest, smartest dog we've owned. Your photos gave me a few teary moments. How wonderful that they're so happy together. Claire - my little Westie mix from a doggie psycho ward is still an angel in the house with us, and a complete beast on the street. It's amazing how dog-love makes you deal with stuff you'd never take from your children. Love, love your photos. (There's a Havanese named Lucy on our walks. Claire snarls at her, but Lucy could care less and just keeps going as I drag Claire away.)

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    1. Aww, I'm sorry about making you tear up, Muriel, but hopefully those tears came with good, happy memories of your pup.

      Claire is very fortunate to have found her forever home with you. I'm sorry to hear she hasn't relaxed some on your walks, but at least she's small enough for you to hold her back!

      With the way I am with pups, I couldn't begin to imagine how protective I would be if I had kids!!

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  7. Labs are wonderful dogs and yours are adorable. My son had two and I enjoyed them every time they visited. My Siberian husky had one idiosyncrasy - she loved to eat paper. Nothing was sacred. Once she ate $20 dollars worth of lottery tickets. Another time I left her in the car while I went to get my husband in the airport. She ate the parking ticket, and we nearly had to pay for the whole day.

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    1. My first two dogs were Huskies. They were sleek and fast, and LOVED to run. They had a predilection for chewing things when they were pups, but fortunately grew out of it.

      As for your experience with your Husky eating your lottery tickets, I hope that that particular lottery was not one of those for which a winning ticket was purchased but the jackpot was never claimed!

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    2. We were positive the tickets had to be winners so my husband went and bought new ones with the same numbers. No such luck.

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    3. Ha! That was smart!! Can you imagine if you WOULD have won!

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  8. These are two very lucky (dare I say spoiled?) dogs! So glad they found you, Kate. Sorry about your computer screen. I had a border collie who really liked to chew on anything and everything when she was a puppy. The worst thing she destroyed was a pair of my eyeglasses. But I blamed myself for leaving them within her reach.

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    1. We're self-aware enough, Carol, to say, yes, they're ridiculously spoiled! Ken and I like to say that if we were to be reincarnated, we'd want to be (logistics aside) a dog in our household!

      We're glad they found us, too.

      Oh, thank you for reminding me about eyeglasses. I'd forgotten that Logan destroyed one pair scratched the lens of another pair. It's hard to believe that that sweet little boy, stretched out and sleeping peacefully in the sunshine would have done that. Now that I think of it, there was the matter of a smart phone, too . . .

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  9. So Kate, are you saying that Harley ate the sock and then puked it up 4 weeks later, or did he hide it and then dug it out from somewhere? I'm a little slow this morning. Your pictures of Harley and Logan are always so great to see. They are truly BEAUTIFUL dogs. They are very fortunate to have you because I can see how much you love them. And yes, our Kit-Kat does odd things like walk around the throw rugs in our house. It's odd because while he walks around them, seemingly afraid to step on them, sometimes I'll trip over him because he'll be lying down on one of those same carpets!! And other times he peeks at me from behind a corner like he's never seen me before. I would chuck it up to old age, but he's been doing that for years. A very strange cat, but I love him. Thanks for the great pictures!! (Of course don't enter me in the contest because you know I've already read and LOVED The Truth About Hope.) Can't wait to learn more about your Sanctuary Cove series coming out next year. I looked it up, but there's not much info. on it yet. ( :

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    1. Laurie, I'm still laughing! You got it right on your first guess! Honestly, we try soooo hard not to leave anything around that could hurt them. I felt terrible about the sock disappearing, especially since we've learned our lesson in that regard previously.

      Thank you for sharing about Kit-Kat. I love the bit about him walking around carpets but then lying on them! Don't you wish at times that you would know what goes on in their minds?

      When my Malamute was a pup, he used to always walk around puddles. I just assumed he didn't want to get his paws wet. As it turned out, it was because he was going blind (read on, as he did get his vision back). He'd lost the vision in one eye almost completely and was at 50% with his other before he was a year old. To him, the puddle would likely have looked like a big hole in the ground.

      He had congenital cataracts. Surgery and lens replacement by the wonderful vets at Guelph Veterinary College in Ontario (one of the best facilities in the world) restored his vision; however, for his entire life, he'd always walk around puddles...a conditioned response, I suppose!

      Thank you for your kind comment about THE TRUTH ABOUT HOPE. I'm very happy that you enjoyed it!

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    2. Oh, and if you won, I could offer to give you a T-shirt...or a tote bag...or a mug. But wait, I think you have all of those already! Okay, I have one mouse pad left. :-)

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  10. Kate, your post touches my heart on so many levels. I love that your post is like "being" with Harley and Logan. They are like picture postcard Labs. And the shots with them at the computer/laptop, I just wonder, what are they thinking? Do they want to give you ideas? Or go for the plastic and lick it? You know?
    Anyway, never stop keeping us up to date. Such wonderful cuddle muffins, they are!

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    1. Thank you, Catherine!

      It's only Logan who tries to crawl in my lap while I'm writing. I bet he's thinking one of two things: 1) Hmmm...chew toy! 2) What the heck are you doing in front of the computer when we could be outside playing!

      They're definitely cuddle muffins!

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    1. Thank you, Melinda! I have 1,000s of pictures to share! :-)

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  12. I think that's the great thing about dogs..they are all so unique and quirky, just like people! I am glad you got your sock back. Junie will not tell where in the world she's hidden any of the dozens she has stolen here at Mentink Manor! Your dogs are adorable and clearly they have a very loving home.

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    1. At least Junie doesn't hide the socks in her belly! Then again, based on the pics you post on Facebook, she seems to have hidden plenty of other things there.

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  13. Very enjoyable read and a lovely break from work! Thanks Kate.

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  14. Looks like you have your hands full with those two! One pup is enough for me. I sometimes think she'd like a friend, but she's also super attached to me and I worry she would be jealous of another dog getting my attention. She barks and jumps up on all three of my kids when they hug me! She is apparently the only one allowed to snuggle with Mama ;)

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    1. There's never a dull day, but we never lack for unconditional love and affection either.

      You must be very special, to get all that attention from your pup! (Don't dogs generally favor kids over parents? Hmmm...) Fortunately for us, Harley and Logan believe in group hugs!

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    2. . . . I've always had more than one dog, the theory being that they're pack animals, and they are less of a handful when you have two. This isn't the first time one of my theories has been proven wrong!

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  15. Such beautiful babies, Kate. Thank you for sharing them with us! <3

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    1. Thank you, Anna. They have limitless love to give, so I don't mind sharing! :)

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  16. Hahaha! Don't enter me in the drawing but Zuzu (as you know) has many quirks of her own. Not the least of which is that she loves to write book reviews :) What a fun post :)

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    1. I would argue that that is a special talent (and demonstrates exceptionally good taste in books), not a quirk! :-D

      I'm glad you enjoyed it, Carrie.

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  17. Stormy is our four year old cat, his birthday was sometime this month. He has one trick in particular like no other. One time I was actually home alone. Well, he was here so I wasn't totally alone. I was probably reading something on face book and listening to music, as I do rather loudly when I am home alone. Anyway's, I was sitting here, singing along when all of a sudden "something" tapped me on the arm! I jumped half out of my hide! I knew I was alone and you would have thought a ghost touched me. It was just Stormy. He also walks under the computer desk when he wants a treat. So, quite often , it's the tap on the arm, a pet or two from me, under the desk he goes, comes out, and get's his reward!!! He also pulls up the throw carpet when the phone ring's knowing its going into my daughter's bedroom to talk. He'd answer the phone if he only knew how to meow into it!!! Pam Hamblin

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    1. Aww... very cute, Pam. Thank you for sharing. You reminded me of an occasion when I was home alone with the dogs one night. Our guys don't bark much, so it's an unusual occurrence when one of them does. I woke up in the middle of the night to Logan barking. He must have had a bad dream, but it took a while for my heartrate to settle!

      Thank you for sharing Stormy's quirks. (I love the name!)

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  18. It's great to see the update on those two gorgeous boys. Our dog, Roxy, isn't allowed on the bed. I never see her on the bed. And yet, the covers get mysteriously rumbled almost daily, and occasionally a dog toy appears under a pillow. We're thinking ghost dog.

    I'm also a Truth About Hope fan, so don't enter me in the contest.

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    1. Thank you for sharing your story about Roxy. Thankfully, Logan no longer hops up on furniture. (Harley never did.) They do occasionally rub up against it, though, and it's usually the cream colored sofas!

      I'm so happy you enjoyed THE TRUTH ABOUT HOPE!

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  19. I decided to pick two winners instead of one. Pam and Sandra, you both win a signed copy of THE TRUTH ABOUT HOPE!

    Please send me your mailing address at readers @ kate - james . com (without spaces).

    I hope you enjoy the book!

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