Macie & Scout: Our First Babies

LJ tends to steal the show around here, but today I thought I’d share a little bit about the two fur babies that complete our little family. Today is all about Macie & Scout!

Justin and I always knew that we wanted to have a dog at some point. While we didn’t expect to get one at the start of our marriage, when two of Justin’s good friends bred their two labs together and offered us one of the puppies as a wedding gift, we joyfully accepted. In July 2013, on our one-month anniversary we became parents to eight-week-old Macie.

Macie is a pure lab mix. Her dad was a huge yellow lab and her mom was a small, field bred black lab. She was a spunky whirl of energy from the beginning!

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Puppy Macie with her dad, a 90 lb yellow lab!

Macie is very smart and she picked up on her training really quickly. Honestly, she made puppy parenthood a breeze. She crate-trained easily, she learned new tricks, and while she kept her high-level puppy energy for a full two years, she was usually very obedient. We loved taking her with us everywhere and to this day her enthusiasm for everything (snow, swimming, fetch, hiking, etc) makes her such a fun dog to have around!

After about six months with Macie, we started to feel a little bad for her. She had SO much energy and we were both so busy (me with my full-time job 40 minutes away and Justin with his full-time schooling) that we started talking about getting a second dog at some point so she would have a little buddy and not be bored. Macie is so sweet and fun but she can be a little bit clingy – ha!

While a second dog was in the back of our minds as a “someday” possibility, we weren’t seriously looking into it. But in January 2014, my friend found two small puppies outside her home. She lives in a wooded area and it was clear that the two puppies had been dumped into the woods by their previous owners. Did you catch that it was January? These poor puppies had been dumped in the snow and left to fend for themselves.  My friend already had two dogs and couldn’t keep the puppies; another friend of hers had claimed one of them but the other was still in need of a safe, loving home. We drove out to Ohio “just to see” if this puppy would be the right fit for us but I think Justin and I both knew we were going to take this puppy in. One look at his sweet little brown eyes and we were all in!  Enter Scout.MS6.jpgAfter verifying that no one had called in to the shelter reporting missing puppies and that he didn’t have any collar, tracker, or identification, we took him home and he instantly became the missing piece to our little family.

Macie took to her little brother right away. I think it helped that she had only been with us for six months so she wasn’t too set in her only-dog ways. She and Scout also naturally fit the alpha and beta dog dynamics and fell into a brother-sister groove quickly. It made us so happy to see them bond from the start!

It was pretty apparent from the beginning that Scout had experienced trauma in his early life. The vet determined he was likely about 12 weeks old but it was difficult to tell exactly because he was malnourished. He had two types of worms in his belly and had frostbite on his belly and the tip of his tail. He was super skittish and fearful of new things. He resisted his crate and howled and cried when we tried to put him in it. It was heartbreaking! His training was completely different than Macie’s and our goal first and foremost was for him to be healthy and feel safe and loved.  Scout was never comfortable with crate-training and we decided not to force it for our own reasons. We eventually got to the point where both dogs could hold their bladders all day and not destroy things – since then we have let them roam the house when we’re not there. It was worked really well with very few mishaps.

Today, Scout is still skittish about loud noises (he always hides during thunderstorms) and he likes to perch on our staircase landing where he can see everything going on around him. For the most part though, he has really come out of his shell! He is a happy, lovable dog. He’s content to just snuggle and loves to have his belly rubbed. He warms up to people quickly and has the sweetest personality.

Our dogs were always our babies and we loved doing things with them. We took them on vacation, we went for long walks, we’d go swimming in a nearby river, we’d play frisbee in a park, we’d snuggle on the couch – whatever we could include them in, we did!

When I became pregnant, I worried about how the dynamic would change. Macie and Scout always did great with small children and we knew that they would be good siblings to a human baby, but I wondered if they would mind a baby that was now in their space all the time. I also worried because Scout is still naturally very skittish around new things so I worried he would be afraid of the new baby gear everywhere, the toys, the noise, the stroller, etc. We spent a lot of time letting them hang out in the nursery and sniffing LJ’s things so that when we finally brought him home, they weren’t stressed out by the new arrival.

I needn’t have worried. Macie and Scout LOVE LJ and have totally adjusted to his presence in our house. Scout was pretty quick to learn not to fear any of the baby gear and we’re able to go on family walks without him being afraid of the stroller. It has been so fun to see the three of them learn to love one another. LJ loves to watch the dogs and giggles when they do tricks. They tolerate his baby pats, they lay next to him on the floor, they love hanging out in his nursery. They always want to be near him! They are honestly just the sweetest with each other and it never fails to melt my mama heart!

If I had to pick one thing that really sealed Macie and Scout’s love for their little bro, I think it would be the high chair. Meal times are now their favorite time of day and if LJ is in his high chair they are never far away. They’re always ready to catch dropped scraps. Haha!

It has actually become a liiiiiiiittle bit of a problem because LJ loves to feed them and will often intentionally throw food down to Macie or hold food out to Scout. We’re going to have to work on that one!

While things are a little different now that we have a human baby, our dogs have always been our babies. We love them so much and are so happy as a family of five. ❤

 

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Family of . . . FOUR!

Hi there!

finally went back to work today after six days off of school due to weather. It was nice to be back — I was really starting to run out of things to do around the house and I was ready to get back to my students! It’s already snowing again though so we’ll see how long this lasts . . .

New Family Member

I am so excited to announce that my little family is growing!

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Before this gets out of hand, I should clarify that Macie’s new little sibling is furry and has four paws. (Gotcha, didn’t I? ;))

Justin and I have been talking about getting a second dog for probably a month now. We adore Macie so much and love having her in our family. She has been the perfect dog for us! However, we hate having to leave her at home by herself all day long. Justin is able to come home during lunch for now, but once he starts his medical school rotations, that will no longer be the case. She is such an active dog that we hate for her to sit around bored all day. We wanted a playmate for her!

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Meet Macie’s new little brother, Scout!

Scout was rescued by good friends of ours last week. He was dumped off in the snow near their house and wandered up to their door in subzero temperatures (can you believe the cruelty of some people?! It makes me sick to think of how someone could do that to a puppy, or any pet for that matter) and was skin and bones. They immediately took him in. After calls to the local pound, no one had claimed him within the week and he wasn’t wearing a collar so we knew he had been abandoned and hadn’t just run away from his owners. My friend already had two dogs and so we decided to give him a home!

We are so in love with Scout already. He is such a sweetheart!

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Can you tell Justin is super excited to have another dude around? Macie is clearly a mommy’s girl so he is hoping that Scout is a daddy’s boy. 🙂

We took him to the vet on Monday and other than some worms, a bit of frostbite on his tail (again, how can people dump a puppy off in freezing temps!?), and being very small due to lack of appropriate nutrition, she said he was actually in pretty good shape! He’s receiving worm meds, an antibiotic, ointment, and lots and lots of LOVE now so he is on the mend!

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Our vet’s best guess is that Scout is a cocker spaniel/hound mix and he is probably around 12 weeks old, though he looks much younger due to his size. We were so impressed with how well Macie took to him! She didn’t bark or growl when he went for her food bowl (although now they each have their own) and they love to play together! She does exhibit a bit of jealousy around me because she is used to getting all my attention, but overall she is very kind to him and they get along well!

They also like to snuggle and nap together 🙂

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Aren’t they adorable?

We are so happy to have Scout join our family. My heart is FULL!

The only problem we have run into with Scout is with crate training. He HATES going into the kennel. I’m not sure if maybe he had a traumatic kennel experience prior to being dumped off. We’d really like to crate train him for potty training purposes,  but I don’t want to make it a negative experience for him. I would love to hear any advice from other pet owners who may have experienced this!

Side note: If you are unable to care for your pet, please please PLEASE take the time to drop him or her off in a shelter or find someone to take him or her in. No pet should have to be kicked out into the cold and left alone.  And a huge thank you to those who are willing to open their homes to strays and rescues!

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Today’s outfit of the day. Feels good to get to dress up again and not just lounge around in sweats.

Cardigan: Old Navy

Dress: Maurices

Belt: Maurices

Tights: Express

Pumps: Maurices