Monday, September 30, 2019


Poppy.  8 weeks old

If you follow me on Instagram, you may know by now that a little baby girl has entered into my life and stolen my heart.  Meet Poppy!

I have some really cute pictures to share, but I tell you, it's hard because she is growing at warp speed.  This first picture I took of her was on the first night she came home with me.

I had spent a whole lot of time at the lake this summer and I not only had time to really bond with Layla as an "only" dog, but I was slowly able to look again at videos and photos of Milo...just a little. The shift came when I started to follow some animal shelters on Facebook.  It wasn't always easy to look at the faces of these kittens, puppies, dogs and cats, behind a metal cage door.  But there was hope that they could and would be adopted.  And finally, I stopped thinking if I could ever have another dog, and realized it wasn't about me and my grief, it was about giving one of these innocent souls a home.  

Abby and Poppy. 8/22/19

There's a shelter in a rural area not far from where I grew up.  It was one that I was following on Facebook.  One night I looked at a video of three pups in a cage, and that's when I just knew...

This shelter gets by on a wing and a lot of prayers.  It's not fancy; it smells and the barking is anxiety invoking, yet the animals lie on piles of old towels and have fresh food and water, which is sometimes the best care they've ever had in their lives. 

I learned fairly soon that this shelter is transporting as many dogs and puppies they can up from Kentucky where they are used as cattle dogs on farms.  Litters are sent off to kill shelters there, and the caring people from the shelter I've been following has been working hard to take in these pups using the little money they have to do so.   

The Husband and Poppy at the lake

He is in love with her!

Poppy at the lake, 8/30/19

After seeing this cute and somewhat shy little pup on the video, I took a leap of faith and went the following morning after finding out she was still there.  She had arrived via transport from Kentucky three days earlier.  When they handed her to me, I knew there was some sort of preordained connection, and I would unconditionally give her a home and a life at the same time my own heart was healing and growing.

Poppy 9/25/2019

At 13 weeks now, she has a loving and crazy personality of her own.  Affectionate, playful, mischievous, and smart, she has stolen all of our hearts.  We are not quite sure what sort of breeds she comes from, but most of the people who adopted dogs that came from Kentucky agree they are at tops--hounds of some sort.  I think it's a little uncanny that from the neck down she is a black and white version of Milo with the long body and tail, and random spots. Terrier indeed. In the photo above, taken last week, I was bowled over that her ears stood up.  Even my vet predicted her floppy ears would never stand!  But they do when she hears or sees something that captures her attention.  

You'll be hearing a lot more about my Poppy girl, that's for sure.  It hasn't been all roses and
rainbows in getting her housebroken (about 75% there), and having her stop relying on Layla as a play toy.  😉


Fall pillows and throws at the lakehouse

We have a lot of fall cleanup and winter prep at the lakehouse, but for now I'm parked here in Chicago for various reasons.  I did enjoy two weeks at the lake with my new girl, but it was a juggling act in getting her outdoors every hour and needing to use a lead line so she couldn't make a run for it.  And I never leave any of my dogs alone outside on a lead.  Its absolutely heaven here in the city to have a large fenced in yard where she can roam, sniff, play, run, and her new thang, digging up walnuts and chasing the squirrels that store them.  Milo would be proud.

Before I left Michigan, I did a little fluffing and adding fall touches here and there.  I don't decorate much for holidays or seasons, except maybe summer, because I don't want the clutter in the one place I can say I don't have clutter!  And most of my time is spent outdoors or pursuing good times, I just don't need much to make me happy from season to season.

Throws and pillows come in handy and I actually use the muted orange color year round to balance out the blue I have in the sofa and loveseat.

Fall whimsy at the lakehouse. 9/15/19

The Elusive Red Fox

After I had Poppy for about a week, I was anxious to bring her to the lake.  I don't know why...maybe to acquaint her with the life she is going to have.  As I drove around the bend to our house, I saw a dog heading toward me from around the corner so I slowed.  As we got closer I knew immediately that it wasn't a dog.  Long legs, fluffy tail, a perky face, and large ears, even though I had never seen a fox in my life, I knew.  It stopped next to my driver side door, no more than ten feet away, and stared at me for a second, then it continued on like no body's business.  

Well, good 'ol red has been spotted  all over the lake.  And its likely there are more than one, including little ones.  I'm on a lake Facebook group and like the above photo, which isn't mine, they've been spotted everywhere. I won't share all the pics.  One man took a video of a fox carrying a rabbit into the woods.  Like many wild animals, they won't usually attack you or your pet unless threatened.  They do however, sometimes attack small pets in confusing them with smaller animals like rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks, etc.  So I'm always vigilant about keeping Layla and Poppy safe.

I found this quote awhile ago and it resonates with me.  After spending at minimum, three months at the lake on my own this summer, I've learned a lot about this good 'ol life of mine.  Sometimes I feel like that young girl in her early twenties, flying off to California to stay on the ocean for the very first time, alone and very happy.  The same girl who flew to Boston several times a month for a whirlwind long distance relationship.  The girl who packed up her clothes, pillows, and cartons of journals to live alone in a studio apartment in Lincoln Park.  I feared nothing.  I was curious about everything.  

I'm not young anymore, but I still long for adventure and new journeys.  A phone call or text, a weekend visit from The Husband or kids makes my day.  Sometimes I get a little lonely and then I know it's time to head home.  For me, it's not that life is short, its that the world is so big.

Sending love to all of you,