Month: April 2013

The furry sidekick

The tiny dachshund  in our lives...
The tiny dachshund in our lives…

It doesn’t take long to realize that my wife and I have a fairly cute dog. I wouldn’t say I’m arrogant about it, but he might very well be the cutest dog on the planet, and while I’m sure every dog owner has said that about their dog at one time or another, I think my dog trumps all.

I mean, just look at his face. Those floppy ears, which yes, are as fluffy and soft as they look in this picture. I could probably spend an entire day scratching him behind the ears, if I could get him to sit still for that long.

Mahler is an atypical dachshund – Of a breed that historically dislikes children, he loves children. He’s more athletic than a lot of his breed, not as pudgy as the other dachshunds in the neighborhood. He also seems to think he’s a cat at times, trying to climb all over things. I nearly had a heart attack the time he climbed up a neighbor as she was petting him.

Mahler was a celebration of sorts. You see, when my wife and I got married, we both had substantial debt, and we set a goal to get out of debt, as Dave Ramsey would say, with gazelle-like intensity. Our reward for getting out of that debt would be our first dog.

After accomplishing our goal, the process began of hunting for the perfect furry friend to bring home. Before we were out of debt, one breeder had just the dog we were wanting, a longhair black and tan dappled miniature dachshund. When we finally got serious about getting a dog, though, he was purchased by someone else, so our hunt continued.

We found Mahler’s breeder on the Internet, and decided to go out and visit. They had another adorable longhair dapple that caught my wife’s eye, but about a week prior to our visit to the breeder, that one also sold, breaking my wife’s heart and making us wonder if we would ever find the perfect dog. As we looked at the website, I saw a recently born pup that looked like he may or may not have similar markings to the ones my wife had previously fallen in love with. So I said “That one looks like he has potential.”

“Maybe…” my wife said. I could tell she was still disappointed over the most recent sale of a dog she’d liked.

It was about two days prior to our visit to the breeder. I was in the bedroom, when I heard my wife’s voice from the living room.

“Awwwwwwww….”

I came out to see what the fuss was over.

“The breeder posted pictures.”

“Potential got cuter, didn’t he?”

“Yeah…”

What had been a small, gerbil-looking blob of brown and black in the newborn photos had since morphed into a floppy-eared, big eyed bundle of cute in the five weeks since his birth.

At the breeder’s house, when we pulled into the driveway she had a small pen out with about six miniature dachshunds, mostly Black and Tan short hairs and one longhaired cream.

“Was there any particular type you were looking for?”

“We’ve been trying to find a dapple,” my wife responded. The breeder shot us a knowing look.

“I’ll be right back.”

While we petted the friendly twelve month olds that were happily wrestling in their pen, the breeder returned with a Black and Tan and a chocolate and tan dapple, five week old brothers of the litter we’d seen before we came. She handed the Black and Tan to my wife, and the chocolate and tan to me.

I named mine “Motor-butt” because, from the moment she handed him to me, the little pup’s tail was wagging like it had no off switch, swish-swish, swish-swish, back and forth the entire time he was in my arms. he was high energy, with blue eyes that matched the sky that sunny June afternoon.

In my wife’s arms, the Black and Tan dapple seemed a little more hesitant, slightly more docile and reserved. We traded, and Motor-butt continued to wag happily, while the little Black and Tan, barely the length of my forearm, stretched out and began to lick the palm of my hand with his tiny bubblegum-hued tongue. While the piercing eyes of Motor-butt captured me from the instant I saw him, this little guy won me over instantly with a few licks of the tongue. When the breeder stepped away for a moment to give us a minute, my wife’s eyes met mine, and I asked “What do you think?”

“You want him, don’t you?”

“Yeah…” It hadn’t taken me long to realize I was holding what would soon be our pup, Mahler. Fourth of July weekend, we picked him up and brought him home, and what started out as a docile, two and a half pound ball of fur, barely the length of my arm has grown into our 10 pound, hyperactive miniature dachshund.

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What do you like most about your pet? Are you a cat person, dog person? Let me know in comments!

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Return of the blog…

It’s been several years since I’ve blogged seriously. I had been at it for a great deal of time, and then I sort of stopped. Dropped off the face of the planet, as it were. What happened? A few things of note.

For one, I got married. Kind of a big deal. In the two and a half years since getting married, my wife and I, by the grace of God, got out of debt, got a dog, and moved closer to church. I work hard as an insurance underwriter, my wife a QA specialist.

There is also the whole “returning to school” thing. After a long hiatus from the halls of academia, I decided that I needed to finish what I started an get a degree. I’m currently on track to enter George Fox university’s adult degree program, taking core credits at PCC and preparing to take a Personal and Professional Assessment class in July that will hopefully allow me to get my junior year out of the way with essays to speed the process along (I didn’t exactly realize how time consuming 30 credits was until I started taking classes part time – it would’ve been a lot easier when I was young, carefree, and jobless to do this part, but honestly, I don’t believe I would have gotten nearly as much out of it.)

With everything going on, what is it that prompted me to start blogging again?

A couple of things. One, oddly enough, was the deletion of my previous blog by my good friend, Eric. He consulted me before deleting it, and I didn’t have a problem with it. Honestly, I hadn’t written there in three years and didn’t feel overly motivated to do so, and I felt bad bogging down his server while my old blog collected dust. But the deletion of it sparked something, too. The realization that I hadn’t really been writing at all started to gnaw at me. It’s something I’ve always loved to do, but its felt like in the last several years, I haven’t been doing it as much. I’ve become distracted by other things, sometimes not all of them important things (I could probably do without two to three hours of vegetating in front of the TV on week nights and actually do something)

Another thing that served as the catalyst was listening to Jon Acuff’s “Quitter” audiobook. In listening to it, courtesy of a free download at Noisetrade, I realized that one of my passions has always been writing, but I haven’t been practicing it at all. I have several brands in the fire with things that I’m writing in hopes of publishing one day, but the problem I keep running into is that I really don’t have anything to do between times to really develop my craft. Sometimes I hit a block, and I can’t move beyond where I’m at with my short stories, but I don’t have much of an outlet outside of that. So I stall out, I don’t get anything done for several months at a time, and then wind up coming back to it after I’ve long forgotten what it was I’m working on. Getting back into blogging will allow me the ability to practice more without feeling like it has to be related to exactly what I’m ultimately working on. It’ll be related, allow me to get some thoughts out and get feedback from my dear readers, but the connection to what I’m doing on my short stories may not be overtly evident.

I cannot promise that I’ll be pulitzer-worthy in my ramblings. I can’t even promise that I’ll always have something interesting to say. But I do promise to share a small part of myself with you, the readers, and hopefully be able to do so in a manner that you’ll find generally interesting enough to keep reading.

Is there something that you do as a hobby that you wish you did as a job? What do you dream you had the freedom to do instead of grinding out at a 9-5?

In advance, thank you for your time. Feedback’s always welcome!

~Andrew