One Couple + Two Dogs = Our Waldo Bungie
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Dear Rufus

February 23rd, 2015 | Posted by Emily in Doggies! | Loss for words | Rufus | Smiling through tears - (15 Comments)

Dear Rufus,

1 month ago we said goodbye to you, and I still am having a hard time believing that you are gone. I constantly check the floor as I’m walking to make sure I don’t bump into you because you always loved to be underfoot. Whenever someone knocks on the door I wait to hear you bark and am sad when the house is silent. This weekend when we were cleaning the bathroom, a toilet paper roll fell onto the floor and I scrambled to pick it up because I know how much you loved to chew on tissues. It’s just weird because you are still so present to me, so when something happens and I remember you are gone, the pain of that day comes rushing back and it takes my breath away.

Rufus and Mom

Can I tell you something, Ru? I hate that I had to make the call to end your life. I wouldn’t wish that decision on my worst enemy… deciding the day I would say goodbye to my best friend was absolutely devastating. But seeing you decline was devastating too – seeing you panicked when you were awake and only finding solace when you were snuggled up next to me asleep. I don’t want to talk anymore about how sick you were though – I don’t want to remember you like that. Instead, I want to remember my favorite things… the stories I tell people about you with a huge smile on my face…for instance:

  • The day I brought you home to my apartment and you wouldn’t sleep and kept peeing everywhere, so in exasperation I took my blanket outside to the front lawn and attached a leash to your collar and wrapped the handle around my wrist and fell asleep while you pranced happily around me (of course, still peeing everywhere). I was 21 and clearly not ready for motherhood.
  • The time you walked right into a pond because the algae floating on top looked like grass. You were so startled and seemed genuinely offended that Daniel and I couldn’t stop laughing at you.
  • How you confused “down” with “roll over” so you just combined the two… but you rolled over with such fervor!
  • How you didn’t like very many people, but the people who you did let into your circle, you loved them with force.

I miss you, buddy. I miss your velvet-y soft ears. I miss having you curled up next to me in bed. I miss your soft kisses. I miss you.  I will never know another dog like you. You are one of a kind. I love you.

Love,
Your Mama

  

We’re Baaaack!

August 8th, 2014 | Posted by Emily in Doggies! | Fostering. | Polly Pocket - (36 Comments)

I know, I know… I haven’t blogged in forever. I contemplated just shutting down the blog permanently when I realized that I’d gone months without blogging. We’re taking a long-term hiatus from fostering, and I’ve thought a lot about whether you all would want to read about what’s going on in our neck of the woods if fostering isn’t a part of it. But I’m hoping that you guys will come back despite the lack of new furry faces around the blog. So, now that that’s out of the way, let me catch you up on a few things that have been going on around here….

The bungie…

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It went under contract within a few days of us putting it on the market. The housing market in Kansas City is insane right now, and it was purchased by an investor who has several properties in our area. While I’d rather it went to a cute family who would love it the way we did, I’m just thrilled it sold for what we’d hoped. Our buyer wanted to close within the month, but every house we made an offer on (or even looked at, for that matter) immediately went under contract. There were a few major heartbreaks, including a mid-century modern house that went under contract after one day on the market while we were out of town. I’m not going to lie, I stalked that house for weeks hoping it would miraculously come back as “active.” Alas, it did not. We were getting pretty stressed about the time crunch to find a new place until the investor agreed to let us rent back our house from him month-to-month until we found our next home. Whew!

Luckily, just a few weeks ago we found this…

New-House
It is definitely not a bungie… and it’s not in Waldo either, but we are in lurve! From the start of our house search, we said we wanted a house with good bones that is just dated on the inside. This house is that and more. It is in an older neighborhood full of ranches and wide, tree-lined streets. It is a foreclosure, so even though we put an offer on it the first weekend it was on the market, we had to wait an excruciating nine days before we heard if our offer had been accepted. The morning we found out, I did a happy dance around the office and my co-workers were kind enough to join in the celebration. Daniel and I are in the thick of inspections and the back and forth with HUD right now, but once everything is done and we are moved in, I’ll be sure to start sharing the “before” photos. Needless to say, Daniel and I have our work cut out for us (subtext: it is the crappiest looking house on the block)!

That’s the main thing that’s been occupying my time as of late… oh, but since my last post (back in MAY!) was about Polly being returned to the shelter, I should probably report….

Polly

After just a few days at the shelter, Polly was adopted by the sweetest couple who came to the shelter looking for “a dog they could help!” We spent a couple of hours going over everything they could possibly want to know about Polly and they were in love (I mean, duh, right?)! They are both finishing up school to be therapists, and are hoping to make Polly a therapy dog! They are working on Polly’s anxiety and are taking extra care to put Polly in situations where she will succeed. To say I’m thrilled they found her is an understatement.

So that’s what’s going on in our neck of the woods. Did ya miss us?

 

  

As I shared yesterday on Facebook, Polly’s “adopted” status has been changed back to “available.”

Polly Pocket | Our Waldo Bungie
Over the past few months, I had been talking with Polly’s adopter about some challenges she had been facing after moving from a house to an apartment with Polly. Polly was having anxiety while she was away at work, and she finally decided that her home was not the best for Polly. I am bummed that it didn’t work out, frustrated that a lot of my advice didn’t seem to be followed, and heartbroken that Polly is now at a shelter instead of back in foster with me due to our current circumstances (trying to move, just coming off a long foster situation, etc). But there is good news…

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Because Polly’s adopter had been in contact with me, I was able to arrange for Polly to be returned to Great Plains SPCA, the No-Kill shelter where I work, instead of the underfunded, open-admission shelter she had come from (where Polly most likely would have been put to sleep due to the lack of resources they have for dealing with pets with anxiety). She was nice enough to wait for several days to return her until there was room at the intake center. Once Polly arrived, the amazing staff at the intake center sat with Polly while she adjusted to the smells and sounds of the shelter, and once she was ready, helped her work out some of her energy in playgroups (which Polly loved).

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The whole time I was kept up to speed on what was going on with her, and yesterday I was able to go over and see her. She instantly recognized me and laid against me with the full weight of her body while I pet her and promised her that I would do everything in my power to find her the perfect home again. I promised her that once she was moved over to the adoption floor in my building, I would bring her over to my desk to hang out when the adoption center was closed. I promised her that she won’t be sad forever. I told her that the last year and a half was just a stepping stone to her forever. That her adopted mom had loved her very much but just didn’t have the ability to care for her the way she needed, but loved her enough to make sure that she didn’t end up in a place where she would be left to languish. That I was sorry she couldn’t come home with me, that I felt like I had failed her in a million ways. And she just looked at me with her giant smile and licked my tears and put her paws onto my lap as if to say “I know.”

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This is a first for me. Not my first returned foster (Ginger was returned twice before we found her forever family) but my first returned foster that I couldn’t take back into my home. And let me tell you, that is one sucky feeling. But I am choosing to look at the bright side of all of this… Polly is in amazing hands with the animal care team at Great Plains SPCA. I can see her every day if I want to. Polly is a fantastic dog with so much love to give – and her forever family is out there, just waiting for her to come into their lives. So I am going to focus on that. Being mad doesn’t help anything. It certainly won’t help her find a home.

Polly Pocket | Our Waldo Bungie

So there it is. Polly is back. So expect to see lots of adorable photos of her in the coming days. And if you think about it, won’t you share her story? Who knows? You could be the one who finds her forever family!

Thank you for your support, too. I was hesitant to share this because I want to focus on Polly’s future, not her past, but I also feel like so often as foster parents we want to believe that we have found THE ONE for our foster dogs, but sometimes, it just doesn’t work out for one reason or another. That is a hard feeling to wrestle with – the feeling that you failed them in some way. So, if any of my fellow foster parents have felt this, just know, I’m right there with you.

  

Dear Moby,

It’s been 24 days since your adoption was finalized. I cannot even begin to tell you how quiet things are around Foster House. Your absence is felt with nearly all of my senses… no more seeing you running around like a crazy dog in the backyard, smelling your warm breath on my face when you would snuggle in to be just that much closer to me, touching the velvet-y soft furs on your ears and nose, and hearing you bark to tell me that you are hungry, want to go out, want your ball, or just so I’ll look at you (you were very vocal with me, buddy). Your presence loomed large in our tiny house… and now that you’re gone, it feels very, very empty.

CaptainMoby-5-Web

You were supposed to be at our house for four days. I was going to evaluate you and then you were going to move on to a longer term foster situation. But one look into your honey brown eyes and I just knew that you weren’t going anywhere (much to Daniel’s chagrin). Somewhere along the way, you picked up the notion that you were a “bad dog” and you would lash out if you thought someone was going to hurt you. It broke my heart that I couldn’t reach my hand towards you without you recoiling and snapping half-heartedly in the air, associating human hands with pain and fear. But that just made me more determined to show you how awesome human hands can be. That human hands distribute noms, throw Chuck-Its and ‘bees, and provide hours upon hours of pets if you’ll snuggle up beside them.

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It took awhile, and the change was gradual, but you blossomed into one of the happiest, goofiest, and most trusting dogs I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. By the end of our time together, I didn’t have to worry about scaring you if I absent mindedly put my hand on your head. You would eagerly bring your head up to meet me. And I knew that if something scared you, you’d run to me for protection, instead of running away to hide in the bathtub (yes, you did used to do that, silly boy!). You learned that human hands can be kind, protective, and most of all, full of love.

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Everywhere you went, people fell in love with you. You only came to work with me a handful of times, but EVERYONE knew who you were. You managed to guilt nearly everyone who passed by into giving you noms or scratching you behind the ears. And you know that your friends on the internet just think the world of you (they shared your story over 500 times to help you get adopted!). You did a lot of growing up in your time with us, Mobes, and you were with us just long enough to learn that you truly are a good dog (some might even say one of the BEST dogs) and that given the chance, humans can be pretty awesome, too.

Thanks for loving on Moby, internet friends!

Thanks for loving on Moby, internet friends!

Lots of people have asked me if it was hard for me to let you go after 13 months together. And to them I always say something silly like “it would have been cruel for me to keep a water dog like Moby from living at the beach!” But when I get home and Turk and Rufus are snoozing in their beds and the house is very, very quiet, my mind drifts to a memory of you and I get a little sad. But just for a minute or two, because without fail, when I start to get sad, your mom sends me a text with a story about something silly you did or a sweet photo of you that reminds me that you are EXACTLY where you are supposed to be.

Moby with his mama

I am so thankful that your mama is so generous with her updates on you. Even before she took you home, she knew that you had a knack for wiggling your way into people’s hearts. Even Foster Dad was pretty fond of you….

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You and your new family were walking on a path towards each other before you even realized they were your One(s). You helped heal their hearts from the loss of their sweet Dixie (and Brutus before her), and they are going to take you the rest of the way on your path to being the best Moby you can be. I am just happy we were able to shepherd you along for this small part of your journey.

I love you, Moby Hawkins Loehle.

XOXO,

Foster Mom

Love you forever.

Love you forever.

 

  

House Tour

March 31st, 2014 | Posted by Emily in Goal Setting | Home Improvement - (14 Comments)

After nearly five years of blogging about life, love, and dogs at our bungalow in Waldo, we are finally ready to reveal our official house tour! When Joe & Miranda came to Kansas City to make it official with Moby, Joe (who is an amazing photographer) graciously agreed to photograph our house! We are getting ready to put it on the market this spring, and I just know that his amazing photos will help us get our place sold super quickly. So, without further adieu, here is our bungalow in the heart of Kansas City….

Our Bedroom:

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Guest Bedroom:

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Guest Bathroom:

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Kitchen:

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Dining Room:

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Living Room:

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Master Bathroom/Laundry Room:

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Don’t the photos just look so great?! Daniel and I were both like, “is that really our house?!” Joe managed to make our home look both bigger AND cozier than it is in real life. He definitely sold me on the idea of hiring a real estate photographer when selling a house! We are so thankful that he agreed to photograph our home and couldn’t be happier with the photos. And while we love our little bungalow, we are finally finished with the last of our renovations and feel ready to tackle a new house project. We’re looking at moving to midtown, which is another historic are of Kansas City, or possibly just to another house in Waldo. Our house isn’t on the market yet, but we’re hoping to get it up for sale any day now. So stick with us… some exciting things will be happening around our neck of the woods in the coming days!

** My letter to Moby is coming soon too… I just haven’t been able to write it yet. So don’t worry! It’s coming! **