What Do You Want Wednesday: Humanity and Compassion

Happy Hump Day! After a bit of a hiatus, it’s What Do You Want Wednesday again.

This Wednesday, I would like to express my desire for more compassion and humanity in our world. More specifically, compassion for animals.

Last Tuesday was our first full day back from our trip to Denver. It was also my last full day of summer, with no work to be done, no lessons to be planned. I slept in, ate my cereal, and was sitting down to Pinterest with a nice, hot cup of coffee. A nice Cleveland breeze was drifting in from our front screen door when all of the sudden, I heard Denver let out an excited, frantic bark. I looked over to see that he had jumped onto our screen door which was now crumpled and hanging out onto our porch. I rushed over to investigate and to pull Denver off of the door. As I tried to maneuver around and salvage the screen door, I noticed what had grabbed Denver’s attention.

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This girl.

She was nervously running around across the street from our house. There was a young woman who was trying to coax her, but the little dog just darted around, terrified. I scurried into the house and grabbed Denver’s leash along with some wet dog food and headed outside without a thought. The little dog trotted right onto our front porch, but when I extended my arm out to leash her, she flinched and ran across the street again.  I thought that the dog belonged to the woman who was trying to reign her in, but it turned out that this woman found the dog because she had almost hit her with her car. We worked together and eventually we were able to get the dog on the leash. One of my neighbors came out to see what was happening. None of us recognized the dog from our neighborhood and she had a collar but no tags. Neither of the other women could take the dog, but they offered to take her to the Cleveland City Kennels. I couldn’t stand the thought of her being placed in a cage where she may end up being euthanized, so I decided to take her in and knew Mike and I would figure it out (gotta love his heart and attitude).

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After only a short time, it was obvious to me that she had probably been dumped. She cowered away from anyone’s touch (especially males) as though she’d been abused and was terrified of loud noises. Her paw pads were soft and pristine like a new puppy’s… it looked as thought they’d never really touched the ground. Her balance was terrible– she didn’t seem to know where one paw began and the other ended. She hadn’t been spade yet and and had no tags, but I still called her in to the local shelters and kennels on the off-chance that she had been rescued by another family that had not yet gotten her a name tag. I checked Craigslist a few times each day as well, but it’s now been over a week and I still have not found anyone looking for her. Though our hearts knew it the first night she stayed with us (and Denver’s knew it the first moment he saw her on our street), we finally can say that this pup officially has a home with us. She has her very own name tag and her first vet appointment scheduled!

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The first night!

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We’ve decided to name her Colette.

Mike and I (and Denver too!) are overwhelmed with love for her and are so happy to make our family 4 now, but at the same time, our hearts ache for Colette and what she knew before us. She is approximately 6-8 months old, she’s not potty-trained (or command-trained), she thinks she’s going to be hit when you reach your hand out to pet her, she falls to the ground upon almost any command directed at her or Denver, ready to protect her body from harm…. the first few days we put her in a crate, we had to literally carry her in and restrain her from pushing through– it was as though she thought she’d never be let out…. she had no clue how to walk on a leash…. the list goes on. Although she is well-groomed, there are so many obvious signs of neglect and abuse in this poor girl. She’s such a smart girl and such a fast learner too…. she’s walking beautifully on a leash now, happily walks into her crate, accepts pats and pets from Mike and I and is learning to approach strangers, she’s less submissive and doesn’t cower away from us on commands as much, and she’s learning to ring a bell to go potty just like Denver does! She loves cuddling up as close as she can get, and she and Denver keep each other (and myself and Mike) busy playing for HOURS.

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Like I said, we are beyond thrilled to offer Colette our hearts and our home, but I just wish that all people could be so welcoming and warm. It’s heart-wrenching to know how many animals are abused, neglected, taunted, and abandoned at no fault of their own. Pets are a serious commitment and people should be made to understand this when they adopt one. They are not verbal, like humans, but they do understand you and they will communicate with you if you are patient with them. With consistency and compassion, you will make a best friend for life. Animals need us– they need us to stand up for them, to advocate for them, to love them, and to provide for them. They are amazing if you give them a chance.

This Wednesday (and EVERY day) I want people to be more loving and compassionate towards animals. People who are cruel to them and people who are kind… I want everyone to do more and to do better than they think they can. Whatever you can give or provide for an animal in need, do it. It makes such a difference to that animal.

Here are some more snapshots of things we’ve been doing with Colette, to make her life better:)

We give her a bed to sleep in… yes, there are now 4 of us in our queen bed.

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We take her on car rides…. she got SO carsick her 1st time, but she’s doing great now!

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A trip to Brecksville Reservation after we bought her a nice, big crate on Craigslist.

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Tremont Farmer’s Market for some major exposure to people and pets!

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And lots of kisses.

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It’s enough to make my heart burst into a million little pieces.  Anyway, as you now can see, I’ve had my hands full! Two puppies, especially when one of them was not trained at all, make for lots of laundry, running around, potty breaks, walks, and other training. The first day of school is Monday so I’ve been at work preparing everyday, and Mike and I have also begun work on our kitchen! Who ever said summer time and the living’s easy?? Well, whatever it is, I have to admit, I’m loving it.

Until next time.

What do you want?

~Steph

Mile High Memories

Hello there. It’s been quiet around here lately and that is because Mike and I were on a little vacation in one of our favorite places! Denver, Colorado!

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As many of you may know, Mike and I moved from our hometown of Cleveland and off to Denver after I graduated from college in the summer of 2010. We had no real reason to move out west– we just wanted to cut loose and experience life somewhere new while we were young and free. About a year ago, we made the decision to move back to Cleveland to be closer to family and to exercise more of our hometown pride as residents of our long-lost city.

We’ve been thrilled to be back in Cleveland and are constantly humbled by and grateful for the people and experiences we have here, but Denver will always hold a special place in our hearts. We moved there, not knowing a single person. Neither of us knew anything about the city aside from what we’d discovered on the internet. I didn’t have a job. We’d never lived on our own, away from home. We’d never lived together. We had absolutely no furniture– not even a lamp or a coffee maker! All we had was each other. (Bon Jovi’s Livin on a Prayer always brings me back to that time– I listened to it the whole summer before we moved out there and it always made me smile.)

When I look back on our relationship thus far, it was that move, and that time out in Denver, that made us. We had a will to make it and we loved each other and supported each other in everything. We learned how to ride the bus and to hail a cab. We learned how to grocery shop for the week and how to prepare meals. We learned how to recognize a craigslist scam. We learned how to set up internet and electricity. We learned our way around a new city, and eventually, a new state.

At times it was hard because all of our friends from college still lived in (or around) Ohio. We’d see pictures of everyone all together and we’d grieve not being there with them. We’d sometimes long for a cohesive group of friends like the ones we’d left behind. We had wonderful friends in Denver, but none of them really knew each other and that left us feeling mistakingly disconnected at times. But since we’ve left Denver, and now after this trip back a year later, we’ve realized that we made a few really powerful connections and friendships out there. And even more than that– if we hadn’t gone out West in the way that we did– just us two, with no friends and no connections….. then Denver wouldn’t be to us what it is. The experience wouldn’t belong to us in the way that it does. It is ours. It defines a part of our life in which our worlds revolved around one another– we depended on each other for everything. We created our own little universe, our own little life, our own support system and family within the other. Surely this isn’t the most healthy way to live for your entire life, but for this time– having just graduated college, being away from family and friends– this was our way. Though we’d feel lonesome sometimes, I knew to treasure that time in our life. I knew that someday we’d move back home and when that day came, things would never go back to the way they were in Denver. Our way, with our life that we created out of nothing. It was a small life, with the two of us at it’s core, but it was the biggest experience either of us has ever had. It has shaped us and made us and because of that, we will always love Denver and those friends that we made there.

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Well, it comes as no surprise then, that Mike and I had been itching to travel back to this place and time that we cherished so much! We just back from a 5 day stay with old friends and we had a beautiful time. Here are some highlights:

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Sunrise departure at DIA.

Sunrise departure at DIA.

We will always delight in our mile high memories– both new and old.

And nothing makes us more grateful or misty than John Denver singing this old tune: Rocky Mountain High.

Until next time, Denver.

~Steph

Like My New Header?

I do! Dana, my friend and the blogger behind Thrifting Cleveland, designed it for me! And I didn’t even ask her to! She’s just cool like that.

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Anyway, just wanted to give Dana some credit for her talent and efforts. Check out her blog– you won’t be sorry! She’s created an awesome design with great aesthetics. It’s like flipping through your favorite magazine. Inspiring and pretty. It makes me jelly.

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So enjoy my header and enjoy Dana’s blog! I know I do!

Until next time.

~Steph