Bringing home Einstein


This past weekend we added a new member to our family. We welcomed Einstein to the mix. He is a 2 1/2 month old rescue. We are told he his a mix between Boxer and Lab. The vet mentioned she saw some Beagle as well, but we’re not sure.

I won’t rehash the whole story of how we came to decide to get a new puppy. Ron already blogged about that story (check it out at

Anyhow, I wanted to share how our first few days have been. In short, TIRING, but fun! It almost brings back memories of when Ashlee was a baby. Forgot all the hard work that comes along with puppies. Apparently, it is not always playtime.

Einstein (who has also been nicknamed “Monkey”), is a very active, but sweet puppy. He is a bit clumsy still. His paws are HUGE, hence he is going to be a big boy. So he trips and slips, but it doesn’t stop him whatsoever. He gets along famously with Cassie, our Beagle. They play very well together. They both iniate the playtimes as well. Either Cassie will bump him with her butt or he will come over and slap her with one his big paws. He is very inquisitive and gets very determined to figure things out.

Einstein also loves to have whatever Cassie has. If she is playing with the ball, he wants the ball. If she is chewing a hoof, he wants that hoof. How do we know this? Well, Einstein crawls up close to her and barks at her. Cassie, being so mild-natured, just gets up and leaves whatever it is and lets him have it. So adorable! We haven’t decided who will become the alpha dog. We’ll see as time goes how that plays out.

We have been actively working on crate training Einstein as well. We’ve been getting him to go in and get treats and toys, trying to show that the crate will be his safe place. He even took a nap in the crate yesterday (after some coaxing, but he did stay for an hour). Bedtime, however, is a different story.

On night number one, given he isn’t ready to spend the entire night in the crate, we tried putting the crate in our room so I knew when he needed to go outside. Yea…that wasn’t a good idea. He wanted nothing to do with sleeping in that crate. This puppy wanted to be held. He can fall asleep on a dime when I hold him. That’s right, I have sucker written all over my forehead. I held him, got him to sleep and then put him in the crate. As soon as I turned around, BAM! Wide awake again. So, I looked lovingly over at Ron, hoping he had some dog training wisdom to share. Silence. We were both tired, so we decided to just let him stay in the bed with us. He slept like a rock until around 4:30am. So I took him out, came back in and tried the crate again. Silly me. 10 minutes later, Ron grumbled something like “just put him in the bed so we can sleep”. Ok, maybe it didn’t come out that grumpy, but it was 4:30 in the morning. As soon as I put him in the bed again, he was out like a light! Yep, we are 2 suckers! We fell for it.

This picture below shows how he can just fall asleep if I hold him. This was us in the car the other day.

So, here we are, coming up on the end of day 4, Einstein has slept with us every night. Tonight, we are going to stand tough and put the crate out in the other room and hope it works. Wish us luck.

Today was also the first day he stayed in the crate all day. It was so hard to leave. Ashlee rushed home after school and confirmed he made it through the day. He did have an accident, but he was VERY happy she was home. Tonight, we are setting up the “puppy cam” so I can check in on him from the office to make sure he is doing ok.

So here’s hoping for a good night’s rest and hoping for less accidents in the house. We always have to have a goal right??

Week of mixed feelings


It’s been a week of emotions.

A wonderful person lost her 2 year battle of cancer this past weekend. I worked with her until she had to go on disability to take care of herself. Holli was like no other person I had met. She had the most positive, hopeful, upbeat outlook. She just knew she was going to beat her cancer and at any time she would be back at work doing what she loved. Over the past two years, her battle had its ups and downs, but in the end, Holli passed away surrounded by her friends and family. She is no longer suffering and is now an angel looking over all of us who knew her.

This past week was also the start of some check-ups for Ron. It’s been 2 months since his 1st post-treatment scans came back clean. He has to continue to have check-ups to make sure everything is still looking good. It could be too easy to quickly believe that he is cancer-free, but you have to keep a bit of realism with you and remember that it takes a few years to be fully sure the cancer is gone.

I constantly find myself with an internal battle. You can’t live your life in fear, but you also can’t be naive. How do you balance the two? I am still working on figuring it out myself. I have good days and bad days. Mostly good, but sometimes you can’t help but worry. He is my love, my life, my future. What would I do without him?

Thursday was Holli’s memorial service. I knew I would be sad, because I was sad she was taken and I was sad for her 19 year old daughter. Man, I had no idea how I was going to be affected by attending that service. It hit way too close to home. To think it could have been Ron, because he was in some pretty shaky spots at times. I felt like a bus was sitting on my chest sitting there in the chapel. I did a really good job of keeping my tears to myself. I didn’t want to lose it. When the service was over, we decided to head home. I wasn’t in a place to be around others and I could sense that Ron wanted to go home too.

As soon as we got to the car I lost it. I can always be myself with Ron. He knew what was happening. He was dealing with his own demons as well, but he pushed that to the side to make sure I was ok. (One of the zillion reasons I love that man.) We both acknowledged we don’t know what tomorrow will hold and we are thankful for every moment we have together and with our family. Can’t ask for any more than that from anyone.

Here I am a day later. Tonight was the Relay for Life event for the American Cancer Society.

We signed up to participate weeks ago with the group at Ashlee and Christopher’s school. Really neat event. It’s an 18-hour walk. Teams have their members sign up for hour blocks. It goes all through the night. Each team has their tents set up and there are activities for all. To start the race, the first lap is only for survivors. All caregivers join the survivors for the second lap and afterwards, everyone else for that time block joins in. Great event. We decided that next year we are going to get our own team together and do the whole thing. Sleep-over and all. So get ready, we’ll be recruiting!!! The picture below shows Ron on the survivor lap. The young girl in the middle is in Ashlee’s class. Her name is Ebony and she is a one-year survivor.

So what have I learned this week? I have reminded myself that I am so grateful to be healthy, be with the man of my dreams and have the best friends and family. Some times it takes something big to slap you back to reality.

What I learned from Holli is to never give up, always keep hope and smile every day! Thank you Holli, you are missed!