It certainly has been awhile, but what can I say…life happens.
However, now that it’s October with Halloween not too far away and the holiday season just around the corner I thought I would get back into the blogging habit by celebrating the 13 Days of Halloween!
So for the next 13 days until Halloween on October 31st we will be posting Halloween and Fall inspired blogs every day.
To kick off the event I thought I would introduce a new member to our family:
George is a neighborhood cat that we pretty much adopted as our own a few months ago when the neighbors that were caring for him (I thought he belonged to them because he was always in front of their house and they kept bowls of food and water, and had a cat house) moved away. Unfortunately, these neighbors did not take George with them and so we decided to start leaving out some food and water for him in our front side yard, and before we knew it he had adopted us as his new family.
George is a super affectionate cat who loves attention, head scratches, and almost acts like a dog in his enthusiastic greetings whenever anyone arrives home. He is an outside only cat as that what he has been all of his life, at least from my observings, but while all us humans love him, Rosee tends to get a little too excited around him (and really any cats she sees). Yet, she is starting to get used to seeing him in the front yard as he never runs away when she barks at him and just rolls around on the front lawn despite her.
And the best part about him…he loves having his picture taken just as much as Simon and Rosee!
Make sure you stick around for the next 12 days to see what we have in store.
She is confident. Beyond confident. She struts up and down the streets while we’re on walks as confident as can be. (I’m pretty sure it’s her new Freedom No-Pull Harness she’s showing off, but who cares? I’ll take it!) She always has that Pit Bull smile ready for those she meets and decides to fold into her favor. She is a force of happy, confident nature that just wants to be shared with the world, as long as the world understands she also needs her space. Hey, everybody’s got a personal bubble!
She is a trailblazer. Rosee is brave and knocks through barriers like they are made of air (even when those barriers are made of my legs and she’s got a hard head!). She is not afraid to remake the world in her image and try to make it a more accepting and lovable place. She makes mistakes and sometimes goes overboard (with her barking), but she is always ready to learn, mature, and grow from her experiences.
She shuts down objectification. Literally. When someone, anyone, stares at her, directly into her eyes for too long, Rosee lets them know it’s not okay. She barks at them, telling them in her own doggy language to stare at something else, as she is no show to be watched or puppet to be made to perform. She is a dog that knows she is not an object to just be looked at and used! She has feelings and emotions (sometimes very loud emotions), and you had better pay attention to more than just her coat color. She is a dog, a Pit Bull—one put on this earth to enjoy life and share her happiness with others, but only if you don’t stare too long.
She will bark at you regardless of who or what you are. She does not discriminate. She dislikes all people, animals, and leaves that make their way onto her front lawn. She does not care for any car that parks in front of her house that does not belong to her humans. She’s all about fairness and equality when it comes to letting people know of her displeasure with their actions. (Even her own humans when they are too slow with the feeding!)
She is a Pit Bull. Yes, that’s right. Rosee is awesome because she is a Pit Bull. She has that wide, happy smile. She has that muscular body. She has ears that go up when she hears interesting sounds, and stay up even when she sleeps. She snores louder than the men in the family when she is asleep, drowning out their snores by decibels! She likes her space to spread out in the sun. She loves to cuddle with blankets on the couch when it’s cold. She is Rosee and she is awesome. (And Simon’s okay too, she guesses.)
The other day as I was perusing my newsfeed I came across a story written about a pit bull named Meli. The author, Katie Crank, shared the four things she “wish[ed] I knew before loving-and losing-a pit bull.” When I first read the title of this story, I thought for sure I knew what was going to happen: a person who maybe didn’t know much about pit bulls or more or less believed in the negative stereotypes adopted one and suddenly their mind would be changed for the better about these dogs. Yet, when I actually read this story I got so much more.
You see, Simon has been an easier dog to have, and it’s mainly because we’ve had him since he was a puppy. That’s not to say that adopting an older dog is a bad thing, it’s just easy with Simon because we know all of his issues. Adopting him so young allowed us to do our best to socialize him, put him in training right away, and just get him used to things from an early age. With Rosee, things have been a real learning process. We had to learn what makes her tick, if you will. I’m not going to lie either, Rosee has had her issues. She’s not very trusting of strangers, can be reactive to certain types of other dogs, and likes her personal space.
As I was reading about Crank and her time with Meli I honestly felt as if someone was finally articulating everything I’ve learned with and about Rosee, but have never really said out loud. For instance, as Crank explains there are so many things we, as human owners, believe that our dogs need to be able to do. They need to behave and walk nicely on a leash, be able to get along with other dogs, and general be social beings, just to name a few. However, our expectations of dogs aren’t always right for them. Some dogs aren’t necessarily very social, and that’s okay. As Crank writes, “it is absolutely ok for her [Meli] to say no.” (when it comes to not wanting to meet some dongs she may pass by) Dogs each have their own personalities, and much like humans not all are social creatures. Really, why should I expect my dog to be the most outgoing animal on the planet, when I myself am not always in the mood to interact with others? The point being that our dogs (pit bull or not, large or small, furry or bald) all have something they can teach us as long as we’re willing to pay attention.
Rosee may not be the “perfect” dog, but she is a loving dog who has taught me the fine art of cuddling, she often reminds me to let my voice be heard (even if I have to bark), to not worry so much about what other people think, and to be confident in everything I do. My family may have been the ones that adopted Rosee, but I know that she owns us. So much of what Crank wrote really struck a chord with me, and it was not just because it was about pit bulls. Rosee came into my family’s life at a time when we weren’t really even looking for another dog. Honestly, Simon was more than enough, and yet she gave us everything we didn’t know we needed. It feels like we’ve had Rosee forever. I can’t imagine a time when we didn’t have her. I mean, seriously, what did I do with myself in the days pre-Rosee?
Especially, this past year with a broken toe and a subsequent 8 weeks in a leg cast, an extreme case of hives, and everything in between, it’s amazing learning exactly how resilient Rosee and the rest of us truly are.
So, Happy 4th Birthday Rosee and here’s to many more years of doggie escapades!
And to everyone else, all of us here at Play Hard, Bark Often wish you a frightfully fun (and safe) Halloween!
Now, I know that this day is meant to celebrate the American Labor Movement and typically my family gets together to have a barbecue, but today we decided to do something a little different. Being that the temperature has been somewhat cooler this past week, my mom thought it would be nice to take a day trip with the dogs. We don’t always get the chance to take Rosee and Simon to new and exciting places. We go to the beach at least once every couple months, various parks nearby, we’ve taken them to the Sacramento River because Simon likes to swim, and ot too long ago we also used to take the pups to a nearby nature preserve. However, after the last time when we came home to find a handful of ticks on Simon we made the decision not to go back, just in case. So, we do take them places, but it always seem to be one of the same places few places we usually go. Today though, we all decided to load up the pups and go somewhere somewhat new: Folsom Lake in Folsom, CA.
I say that it is somewhat new because earlier last year we did visit the unearthed city down in the Folsom Marina. Due to the current drought in California, the water levels of the lake are so low that an old mining town was uncovered.
Not much of the town is left, except for a few rusted tools and boundary lines, but it’s still pretty neat to see. According to the park rangers, the ruins can be found by going to Brown’s Ravine (I can never remember the name myself), although after googling it I think it’s also called Mormon Island. Frankly, I get really confused and can never find a straight answer off of the state park website. Still, it was an interesting trip and the pups enjoyed sniffing around everything. We all had a good time. This year we thought we’d go back Folsom Lake, which wasn’t necessarily new, but our adventure ended up taking us some place a little different.
Folsom Lake, or Folsom Lake State Recreation Area as it is officially named, is a pretty big state park. It has numerous entrances, campgrounds, and trails among other amenities available to visitors. As I said, our original idea was to go to the Marina to see the ruins. Unfortunately, we didn’t quite remember how to get there, and wound up ending up at a different entrance to the park called Beals Point. While going to Beals Point wasn’t planned, upon entering we decided to get out and explore because it turned out to be such a nice place. There was a big grass area, a bunch of picnic tables, and a giant lake bed to walk down. (I feel the need to mention that there were also numerous bathrooms, which were pretty nice as well.)
We started our trek by walking down towards what little lake there was. The existing lake bed may not have much of a lake, but it provides a nice place to walk through and explore. The scenery was beautiful and if you walk down far enough you will eventually encounter the lake. The walk was kind of long and all in the sun, though since the weather wasn’t too hot no one minded. Plus, after walking down all that way the pay off was worth it.
The first thing Simon did once we got to the actual water was down.He took a momentary breather before diving in fully, and it wasn’t long before Rosee decided to join him.
The only problem was that I was not prepared. Not prepared at all actually and before I knew what was happening Rosee dragged me right into the water. My shoes mostly got ruined in the process, but seeing the grins on both pups’ faces was worth it.
Simon, of course, spent most of his time swimming around. Much to our surprise Rosee also swam around for a while, which was only surprising because she usually avoids going in so far so that her feet can’t touch the ground. Yet, today she was swimming like a champ.
Rosee and Simon had way too much fun, and got way too wet. Luckily, the walk back up to the top where the (empty) lake bed meets the grass area was long enough to dry them off.
We walked around a bit more, though after so much swimming both pups were pretty tired. Overall, we all had a fun day where adventures where aplenty and exploration of absolutely everything was required. It seems our wrong turn actually turned out pretty exciting, or should I say rightly awesome!
Finally, we had to call it a day (before it got too hot) and returned home with two very tired pups.
I can’t complain though, because, sometimes, tired pups are the sweetest kind of pups.
I hope everyone else had a wonderful and relaxing extended weekend!