Welcome To My New Home

I’m not sure how many of you saw when Dream Big, Bark Loudly was down for about 30 hours. 30 very stressful hours, on my end. All that for what? It doesn’t look very different, does it? But it is!

Welcome To Our Updated Website

“This looks complicated. Maybe I can help mom.”

The website has been updated. Actually, it is still being updated, but I felt terrible only working behind the scenes. There’s a lot going on, but you haven’t been forgotten! I already have some posts lined up for when our little backstage area gets closer to the way I’d like it.

Welcome To Our Updated Website

“Uh oh. What did I just click?”

Right now, however, I’m focused on making navigation and sharing easier. Hopefully the design will see some improvement as well, but I’ll have to get over my aversion to change first.

Welcome To Our Updated Website

“NO NO NO! UNDO!!”

Thanks for your patience!

-Kayla and Lana

A Sickness Of The Mind Or The Body?

Not my dog. My dog is fine. Aside from eating my uncle’s birthday card. Sorry, Uncle Mark!

So am I just complaining about my life again? Yes! I thought I was going through a bit of a weepy phase. Then I feared I was legitimately sick. Like, on the verge of death sick. Not at all a hypochondriac. But now I’m hoping it’s just the flu. I’m feeling constantly exhausted. I just had an awful little wave of nausea. Like, an hour or two ago. Needless to say I had to close out of the food porn AKA Pinterest. And my throat is sore. Come on, flu!

Also, I’ve been suffering from a muscle in my left arm twitching. Probably unrelated. Also probably the most exercise that muscle has had in weeks.

But aside from death knocking at my door, I’ve enjoyed myself lately. I took a couple of days to head to Tampa to help my parents pack and move, and of course to spend time with my fur kid. And my fur sister.

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The girls were magicians for Halloween. Except instead of trick or treating they hid from neighborhood kids in the back bedroom.

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I think Lana’s wondering why Desi actually enjoys wearing a hat.

I did something else last weekend, too. I had an interview for another internship in Orlando. (NOT for the same Company.) Granted, I’d really like to hear back from the actual careers I applied for (okay, careers is a strong word), but better one than none! Except now I need to practice my swimming skills. Any guesses what internship I’m trying to get?

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It’s got nothing to do with this, but I promised my family I’d post pictures of the girls.

And, for something actually related to the blog: the other day on stand, there was nobody in the pool. Because it’s friggin’ November and people shouldn’t be swimming. Anyway, without lives to guard, my ADD struck and an idea came to me. One that I can’t properly complete this year, but you’ll see it next year. A very FUNdraiser. (See what I did there?!) I know I’m lame…

These next couple of months, I’m determined to watch my money (and my calories – unrelated). I want DBBL to become a standalone rescue by February. Which means I need cash. So, I will do my best to avoid calling in sick (or lazy) and resist the temptations of employee discounts. Well, some of them at least. I’m trying to eat cheaper, consider taking the bus, and plan my training days on the same days I work, so I can get at least a couple hours of overtime. When the journey is said and done, we’ll be a real rescue. We’ll be stronger for our struggle, and we’ll avoid flat out asking for money as long as possible.  =)

Ladies Don’t Start Fights

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Thanks Disney – both for the great movie and for not suing me for using this! *knock on wood* You wouldn’t sue your own employee, right?

Ladies don’t start fights, but they can finish them. I’ve heard mom say that before (though I’ve seen her start fights, too).

I’m more like her than she cares to admit sometimes.

In fact, she calls me a brat. Sometimes I make mean faces when Desi and I are getting treats, because I want them all to myself. I don’t mean to, it just happens. But really, I don’t do anything! I will occasionally nibble on my sibling (or foster sibling), but it’s never hard. Because I want them to know how tough it is for me to share, but I still do it. Because that’s what sisters do. And because momma will not be pleased if I don’t share.

Do you know what else sisters do? They fight for their siblings.

That’s where I’m a really good sister.

 Sisters

Let’s start from the beginning of this story, shall we?

Last week, nana and papa (grandma and grandpa) took Desi and I out to go potty in the back yard. We’re both usually really good, so even though there’s no fence, we don’t normally have to wear leashes.
Apparently the neighbor has the same idea about her dogs. Except, well, they’re not so good.

Here we are, minding our own business when I hear a stampede of paws. Nana grabs my collar before I can move, which of course makes me even more anxious about what’s coming. I whip my head around to see what the noise was, and there’s this big black dog on top of Desi! Bless her heart (as momma would say), she just fell right over! She never saw or heard him coming.

He was all teeth. I swear I could hear nana’s heart skip a beat over the sounds of snarling and whimpering. She let go of me to run and help Desi, but she didn’t need to bother. That’s my job.

In a full-on sprint, I got to the jerk faster than nana could take a step. He was big, but I fought him all the way back to his yard. Honestly, it was all kind of a blur, but nana insists there wasn’t too much violence. She says ‘mostly baring teeth and shoving’, but I promise, if I needed to I would have taken him down.

Turns out his bark was bigger than his bite. But mine wasn’t.

I wanted to earn my stay with nana and papa while mom is away. And dang it, I am a girl, and we are tough! Desi may be too old to win in a fight, but that’s why she has me. She is my sister, and my best friend, and I will defend her against anything and anyone.

 Sisters

Mom has told me before that she and nana once defended Desi in a fight against another dog. She told me she’d do the same for me in a second – that no fear even entered her mind. She said that’s what it means to be family. I really am a lot like her.

My family and I are hopeful that because I not only fought off the neighbors’ dog, but I completely dominated his butt, he won’t try this crap again. But you know what? If he does, I’ll be ready.

While I may not always play nice with others, I always take care of my pack. Wouldn’t you?

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Letters From Lana

Dear readers,

It’s me, Lana! You know, the star of Dream Big, Bark Loudly! Momma’s mad at me, so she said she didn’t want to blog about me today. Which really, I should be mad at her! So I’m going to just write today’s blog post myself.

Momma writes at a desk, but I'm smart. I write where I can watch the porch-lizards.

Momma writes at a desk, but I’m smart. I write where I can watch the porch-lizards.

Last night, Nana (momma’s momma) accidentally dropped a pill. Naturally, since I like to be helpful, I ate it for her. I think momma turned about as white as me. Papa asked why I won’t eat my heartworm pill, but I’ll eat Nana’s pills.

Duh. Because it was pink! (Just kidding, I don’t know what “pink” is, but momma insists it’s my favorite color.) I’ll admit it. I didn’t mean to eat medicine. It just looked like a crumb.

So after eating a gross crumb, I thought surely I’d paid enough for my ‘gluttony’, as momma calls it. I was wrong. It got worse. Momma and my grandparents spent a while trying to figure out which pill was missing. They decided it was a blood pressure/diuretic. Mom didn’t think it was very funny that her “incontinent dog” ate a “diuretic” pill. But I don’t know what either of those things are. I assume by ‘incontinent’ she meant ‘incredible’ and by ‘diuretic’ she meant ‘the world’s most disappointing food crumb’. Don’t be too hard on her – she hasn’t used big words in a long time.

That's because she spends more time on Pinterest than on WordPress.

That’s because she spends more time on Pinterest than on WordPress.

Anyway, she claimed she thought I’d be okay, but took me outside with a cup of some clear, bubbly liquid. She shot some of it down my throat with a syringe. Then she walked me around and rubbed my belly, complaining that something was taking too long.

She complains about stuff a lot, so I didn’t pay too much attention. Plus I got distracted by a big frog, so I wasn’t listening to exactly what was taking so long. My tummy hurt a little, but I didn’t throw up then. Momma always says “mind over matter”! Except last night. Last night she just complained that the liquid was too old and said she’d buy more soon.

In the middle of the night, my tummy started to hurt worse and I did end up puking on mom’s carpet. Oh and I peed on it early in the morning. Like, the moon was still out. Momma looked tired, (she’s scary in the morning) but she took me outside to pee again and then cleaned the floor before she went back to bed. I felt really bad, but she didn’t yell at me.

Too bad we're both tired today. It's weird, the grumpy old lady is more peppy than we are.

Too bad we’re both tired today. It’s weird, the grumpy old lady is more peppy than we are.

So, anyway, she didn’t feel much like writing today, so I gave it a shot. I gotta say, I think I’m pretty good. For a dog. (I think it helps that mom talks to me like a person.)

Anyway, I know most people do a Word-less Wednesday, but since this is the first time I got to write, I decided Wordy Wednesday was more fun. Mom says it’s Thursday now. She got mad because ‘some idiot wasn’t paying attention on the road’ and knocked out mom’s ‘link to the outside world’. She just kept mumbling no internet, no cable, nothing to do. Don’t worry, I entertained her until bed time. So much fetching!

Anyway, today momma’s happy again, so I guess I can post this now. It’s been fun! Maybe I’ll take over the blog more often!

Maybe I'll just make this my office.

Maybe I’ll just make this my office.

Love, Lana

A Riddle Wrapped In A Mystery Inside An Enigma

After I adopted Lana, I was constantly trying to figure out what the heck she was. The shelter said Chow Chow mix. The rescue said Great Pyrenees mix. My vet wondered if she might have Spaniel. My parents swore she had to have Labrador in her. I had hopes she’d grow up to be a Newfoundland mix. My boyfriend briefly wondered if she might have some Bulldog lineage.

ImageI’d surf the web with search terms that grew more and more frantic. “Medium sized black and white dog”. “Spotted dog”. “Landseer Newfoundland”. “Lab Border Collie Mix”. “Springer Spaniel Mix”. “Are you sure Newfies can’t weigh 50 pounds?”. “WHAT IS MY DOG?!?!” “lwepinwfonadb!!!”

Even now when I say she’s a Border Collie mix (and occasionally a Cattle Dog mix, because why not), I’m basically taking a guess. She has a sickle tail, webbed paws, and a lean body. She has a pathetically hilarious, high pitched bark. I see her pounce like a Spaniel, carry toys around like a Retriever, stare people down like a Collie, and point like a… well a Pointer. She’s comfortable around large animals like a farm dog, but cautious of strangers like a guardian-type dog. Hell, she arches her back like a damn ferret. But I’m pretty sure she’s too big to be a ferret.

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The thing is, I don’t want to do a DNA test to see what she is. Can they even screen for ferret DNA?
Because I don’t want to know. Because I’m scared? Maybe a little. Because it doesn’t matter.

My dog is, as a former customer worded it, a “Rorschach dog”.

ImageNo, she wasn’t referring to my dog’s awesome, inky coloring. She meant that, when we see a purebred mutt like my dog (or hers), we see what we WANT to see. Like the Rorschach test in Psychology. I saw similarities between her and a Newfoundland because I wanted a big, fluffy, water-loving dog. I wanted the ‘nanny dog’ from Peter Pan. My parents saw Lab, because that’s what we had when I was a kid. The rescue probably wanted to see anything but Chow (for the sake of re-homing the pups more easily), so they guessed another fluffy breed.

And even if I learned she was 23% this and 48% that, finding another dog with similar lineage would not guarantee I’d found a similar dog.

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And that’s the beauty of mutts. They can be whatever the Hell you want them to be. And their personalities are so varied. If you’ve lost sleepless nights to the question ‘what is my dog?’, don’t fret. Your dog is a dog – a family member, a best friend, a confidant. And if you’re lucky, like me, your dog is also a bed bug, a playmate, a shoe connoisseur, and an out of control piddler.

Lana is all of that. She is my constant companion. She is perfect as she is. Though my bank account would advise otherwise. And so much of her beauty lies in mystery. She is a enigma, like Rorschach the anti-hero (because anytime I can reference superheroes, I will). She reflects individuality, because she is one of a kind. And I see in her everything I love about her, not a preconceived notion of what I expected her to be.

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So maybe your Papillon mix grew to be 60 pounds. Or your Samoyed mix looks more like an American Eskimo.

It’s okay. Breathe in. Breathe out. Then give your dog a hug. Because a dog is a dog is a dog. And dog is always (wo)man’s best friend.

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Always Hoping For The Best

A few weeks ago, I saw something on Pinterest that said I could spray freshly painted nails with cooking spray and they would dry instantly. Of course I tried it. Of course it failed. (Was it because it was butter flavored? Who knows.) My parents asked what on earth I was thinking. They asked why I even bothered to try something so utterly ridiculous.

Because it could have worked. And the best case scenario outweighed the possibility of failure.

And that’s just the type of person I am.

ImageStephen King once said: “There’s no harm in hoping for the best as long as you’re prepared for the worst.”

And it was with that cautious optimism that I scoured the internet for a possible cure for Lana. You see, after four days of antibiotics, Lana’s accidents got worse. I slipped in a giant puddle of pee and nearly busted my head open. When I called the vet, I was prescribed more medication, something I was to give Lana twice a day, every day, possibly for the rest of her life.

ImageFirst of all, Lana hates taking pills. I’ve become a master of shoving pills down doggie throats, but no pills is nicer. (Don’t judge, I usually just coat them with peanut butter, instead.) Not to mention the cost! Two weeks worth of pills was $15. $30 a month. $360 a year. And she’s not even three years old. I expected those kinds of expenses when she got older, but I’m not financially ready yet. I technically haven’t even graduated from college yet!

ImageSide effects, costs, general pain in the butt-ness. There’s almost no reason I want to give her pills. She does love pill bottles, but she can have mine. I’ll share.

ImageAnyway, I searched the internet for possible home remedies, and I found plenty to play with. Apple cider vinegar, corn silk, parsley. All seem way better than Proin. So I ran to Publix and bought some apple cider vinegar and immediately poured some into the dogs’ water. It hasn’t been long enough yet for me to say whether or not it’s working, but I have hope. Even when my dad asked why in the world I was photographing a bottle of vinegar. For the blog. And what I would do if it didn’t work. Tell my readers, of course!

ImageTrust me, if it works, I’ll tell you. And if it doesn’t, I’ll tell you. Because apparently incontinence isn’t that uncommon in dogs, and somewhere someone else is having this problem. And I’ll do what I can to help others who are in the same panicky state I was well, really still am, in.

ImageI’ll find ways to keep calm in the mean time. But there is something that would make me feel better. I entered Miss Lana in a contest online, and I’d really appreciate some votes! I think you have to have a Facebook account (sorry!) but we’d really love your support! The link to vote is here: http://bit.ly/13EkkH8

ImageHow could you say no to that face? Oh, and if you like several dogs, you can vote for as many dogs as you want. But you are more than welcome to vote for Lana every 24 hours.