(Responsible) Pet Ownership

Two Saturdays ago, I peeked out into the yard and noticed a large black pinscher mix in the yard.  I was on the porch, and thankfully, Coco wasn’t outside with me because the dog seemed to be truly unhappy that I was in her space.  I’m assuming her, I could be completely wrong.  Anyhoo, so I looked at her, she looked at me, and she began to growl and bark, seemingly guarding my own yard against me.

I put two and two together, and realized the dog belonged to a neighbor.  We’d had problems with these dogs before.  Often, when we’re working out in the yard, the dogs will run back and forth behind their fence, barking and growling.  It’s always made me nervous, but at the same time, I’ve trusted in the fence to hold the dogs back.

So the dog shows up in the yard, very unhappy to see me.  I sort of squealed for Austin, who was at work in the office.

“Babe!  Babe!  There’s a black dog in the yard!”

I heard him scramble to his feet, and run onto the porch where I was.  The dog continued to be nasty, but didn’t get any closer.  And as suddenly as the dog appeared, I heard a female voice call the dog back, and the dog was gone.  I was a bit rattled, but didn’t think much of it.

On Saturday, prior to me running around in the State Park, I let Coco out.  She’s old and addled with anxiety so she won’t go far.  And just as soon as I let her out, she turned around and began pounding the door.  I looked, and right behind here was his big black dog.  This time, mere feet from the door.

“Babe!  That dog is back!”

Austin was pissed.  The dog was pissed.  So he slipped by the dog, and went to the neighbor’s door to knock and ask them to bring their dog inside and not let it come back.  And of course, no one was home.

We were at a loss.  The dog was just being a dog, but was a potential danger to me, but more so to Coco, who, despite her wild amount of adorableness, is a senior dog, and would be killed.  I mean, she has like four teeth (we had to get a few pulled when we got her for her health), and that bitch had a full mouthful of teeth from what I could tell.  We shouldn’t have to deal with someone else’s dog coming into our yard where we pay our mortgage to make us afraid.

We called an officer down, who pounded on the door.  They first ignored him, and opened when they realized it was an officer of the law.  The officer asked us if we wanted to witness a citation, but we declined, hoping that the officer coming around would be enough to get the message.  But in reality, I’m not afraid of a lot, and I’m afraid that the dog will attack me, or worse, Coco.  I can take care of myself, but I’m supposed to care for Coco.  I couldn’t live with myself if something happened to her.

I’m not sure what to do.  I’m hoping the neighbors got the hint, and it won’t be an issue.  But I have some nagging worry that every time I’m out in the yard, that dog will show up.

I’m not sure where I’m going with this except to express my discomfort.  I’m uncomfortable with this situation, but don’t want the dog “punished” necessarily, but I need for them to step up.  I don’t want to do anything that will get that dog sent to the shelter, but I can’t be comfortable with her running around.

What do you guys think?


So over the weekend, we finally took Coco in for her comprehensive exam, because of how we got her.

So the way I got Coco (if you haven’t been around) was that a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend decided that they no longer wanted Coco, and with that, decided that they were going to take her to the pound.  I heard that, and could not let that happen, and sight unseen, agreed to take her in.  She was incredibly well-behaved, sweet, and got along well with my cat, so I had no issue.  Her worst problem is that sometimes, when I don’t take her out every second of the day, she’ll have a little accident on the carpet, which sparked the investment in the steam cleaner.

photo 1We took her in, and found out a few things about my dear girl.

For one, she’s never had doggie dental care, and is going to have some teeth pulled.  She had a few teeth broken, and is potentially in pain because of this.  Secondly, she has a wee bit of an infection in one of her ears.  And third, we’re watching a little bump on her chest which is probably just a fatty deposit.  Whew!

photo 2The moral of the story?  Send my little girl all your good vibes, because I’m not sure if you’re aware, but Coco has to live forever.  Secondly, take care of your pets.  It hurts me that my poor girl has never gotten some of these things that she needs and is now suffering as a result.

Okay, now tell me about your pets!

I’ve got a new running partner.

photoSo last week, I was doing some blog stuff, cruising the Facebook, and a picture of this sweet boy popped up on my feed.

His story?  Apparently, the Beagle mix had been dumped in Garner, and the woman who has hanging on to him was concerned, as her dog was acting aggressively toward him.  She, and some friends had posted his photo on Facebook after scouring Craigslist for his owners, and they were looking for someone to at least foster him until a wonderful home could be found.

I immediately moved on the little guy, and by Sunday morning, Nelson, as I started calling him, was happily cruising toward my home in my little Lancer.

I don’t think I can keep him in this little apartment with the cat and the dog, but he really has been a joy.  His first night, he ran about 2 miles with me on the Greenway, and hopped up on the bed with me.  I woke up early yesterday morning, and hit the dog run with him before work.

I have to admit, now that I potentially have a very kind family lined up to take him, that the thought of him not being here sort of makes me sad.  But while he’s here, he sure makes a damned good running partner. 🙂

Reasons why your parents wouldn’t let you have a dog as a kid.

This absolutely adorable ball of light came into our lives a few weeks ago.

photo 2

Between her, my husband-to-be, and my orange cat, I’m not really quite sure where more joy could come into my life.  But with that absolute bliss, comes all the work of having a dog.  And now, it kind of makes sense why, when we all were kids, our parents bitched and moaned and complained whenever we asked for a dog.  And here it is.

I’m in love with Coco, but she is like having a little being to care for.  Here’s why your parents wouldn’t let you get a dog as a kid.  They didn’t want to do all this stuff.

  1. You have to have that dog on a regular food/bathroom schedule or they will poop on your floor.  I love this dog.  But if I don’t wake up early and walk her, feed her then walk her, leave on my lunch break and walk her, and promptly walk her after I work, I will have a poopy surprise on the floor.
  2. Your dog is expensive!  Luckily, when my precious fur baby came to us, she was fixed and was already microchipped, which can cost you close to $300.  But between her food, her clothes (yes, little girl wears a jacket), and her snacks, I spend extra money on her each week to make sure that she knows she is loved, and is allowed to have treats.
  3. You have to vacuum multiple times a week to keep fur from getting everywhere.  Coco sleeps on the edge of the bed, and rolls around on the carpet all day.  In order to prevent the situation from becoming a hoarders stinky house situation, I’m vacuuming constantly, and making sure that fur isn’t collecting in every crevice of the house.  I’m also really really excited to buy a house with my husband-to-be that doesn’t involve carpets because at least I can roomba fur, right?
  4. You have to pick up poop with only a bag between the poop and your hand.  I live in a beautiful apartment complex, and in order to be courteous to my neighbors, I take little baggies out with me when I walk her, and pick up her poop when she goes.  There’s really almost nothing more disgusting than watching your dog squat, then scooping up her hot, steaming poo with your plastic hand.

But despite all this hard work, I cannot stress enough how much joy this dog has brought to my life.  But Mom and Dad, I totally get it.

What surprised you about having a pet?  

Here’s what! What three things are you obsessed with today?

I dedicate this post to none other than Bravo Andy.  If you know anything of me, you know that I love Bravo, and Bravo Andy is seriously my American Idol.  I think we were separated at birth, because our senses of humor are strikingly similar.  But I’m going into far too much detail about my Jewish brethren, let’s get on with it!  At the beginning of each broadcast, Andy does his “Here’s What” segment, which involves him telling us what three things he’s obsessed with that day.

So here’s what!

1.  Butter London Nail Polish in Pimms.photo 2 (4)I have been looking for a good quality yellow polish for a long time, and I just haven’t found the right shade for my skin tone.  I finally researched, and found this color on Amazon.  Once I found out that Ulta carried the polish, which runs at $15 a bottle (whew!) I bought it last night, and gave myself a much-needed mani.  The color is gorgeous, and is bringing a lot of sunshine to an otherwise crappy weather situation.

photo 3 (3)

2.  The Netflix app for iPhone.  I have been a big fan of Netflix for a long time, however, I figured something really really cool out.  Yesterday, after I taught Zumba, I was dreading having to run 5 miles for marathon training because I just wasn’t comfortable doing it outside.  A lot of the trails and side roads are still really icy here, and I didn’t want to risk slipping and injuring myself.  So I got the bright idea to download the Netflix app, and watch a movie while I plodded through 5 miles. 

photo (1)I’ve seen ‘Flight’ before, but since I’d liked it so well the first time, I decided to watch it again.  The movie is fantastic.  Seriously.  The previews were a little deceptive, although the story is based around this pilot, the plot deals more with addiction and less with flying than you’d think, though this movie seriously has one of THE best flight scenes I think I’ve ever seen.  But if addiction interests you whatsoever, please watch this.

3.  This dog. 

photo (14)Coco is the tiny girl wonder who came into our lives a few weeks ago.  She’s an absolute doll, and I’m having a blast spoiling the heck out of her.  We’re still working on potty problems, but honestly, nothing makes me happier than waking up in the middle of the night and peeking down at the edge of the bed to see her curled up.  She is SO good.  If she doesn’t stop crapping on my floor though, I’m gonna cook her for dinner!

I kid!  She’s great!

So, on this icy Friday, what three things are you obsessed with?  Feel free to send me pics of your dogs too, you know I love a good dog pic 🙂 



My Day At Epcot

So you guys know I’ve been traveling.  I went to visit my youngest sister, who works for Disney, and she’s been begging me for months to come out to visit.  I finally did it, and I’m so glad.

I got a full night of sleep, napped with the dog, and finally made it out for a run.


First things – Florida was supposed to be really warm. And it was last night when it came in. But when I exited the apartment to walk the dog, it was like 40 degrees. Also, my bra was out. Lovely. I am really classing Florida up. Also the fashions here are SO questionable.


The favorite purple jacket came with me to Florida, and thank goodness, because it came in handy on the run.


Toward the end of the run, I found a “jogging” trail (I hate the word jogging, ps), and tried it out, and it was lined with that weird bouncy stuff they started to put on playgrounds in the 90s.


Instead of it being a great place to run, I actually was having trouble keeping my footing, and it sort of felt like sand to run in. I’ll stick to Florida roads.


Next, since it was freezing, I dug out this slouchy sweater to embark on my journey to Walgreens, as my sister had no food suitable for vegetarian grown-ups, and I’d forgotten my toothbrush. As cute as I look, I had not brushed my teeth at this point.


The family dog was in tow, and just as sweet as I remembered her. Gah, I truly love animals more than human beings sometimes.


Next, my sister took me to Epcot, which I haven’t been to since I was 16, and on a choir trip.


I insisted she take me to the nearest Starbucks, and it was literally the most insane Starbucks I have ever been in. People from every country, speaking in every language, and I can honestly say I have never been in a Starbucks so crowded in my life.


Kimmy knew I would love anything having to do with Michael Jackson, so we waited to see this Captain E.O. show which featured Michael Jackson in 3-D. The movie finished up with “Another Part of Me” from ‘Bad,’ and we were probably the only two to clap at the end.


We rode the “Finding Nemo” ride, and I got to see some dolphins, that I was so content to sit and watch for a long time.


And then the big ‘ol Manatees, who just ate lettuce all day long.


The Manatees were rescues, one was an orphan, the other was injured and his poor tail was chopped by a boat. They both were so sweet to watch.


Can you tell I stood here for a long time?


Next up was some vegan beef for dinner, which cost me $20. Yikes! I paid $6.50 for a beer. Help!


The beer in question.


And finally, after I’d chattered with a French man who sang Stromae in the World Showcase in French and tried all the wines, we came home to find that the dog had ripped apart a candy wrapper that smelled like food.

Today was a good day.

I hope your day was good!  Happy Saturday you guys!  I’m feeling mushy and gushy from all this family and Disney time!

Runner’s best friend.

There’s probably nothing a runner loves more than his or her dog.  We may love beer and bread.  But the dogs come way first.

And we’re not talking strays.  Vicious creatures not on their leashes, bound to bite at our Achilles tendons.  We’re talking about those dogs that are just there for you.  They smile.  They’re happy.  They make life better to deal with.  These our our running partners.  Our best friends.  So without further ado?  Our four-legged (or sometimes less) best friends!

Mini Armour
Mini Armour

Mini Armour. Let me preface this story by saying that my mother is afraid of dogs. Like deathly, terribly afraid. One day, my senior year in high school, my mom had dropped us off to Wal-Mart to pick something up. She called me on my flip phone, (it was 2005) and I expected for it to be for her to tell me something she’d forgotten about.  She just told us to come outside.  We went outside, and there in my mom’s lap, was Mini Armour, the cutest friggin thing we’d ever seen.  Apparently, she’d been living with some college students who couldn’t keep her, and Mother and Mini took one look at each other, and they couldn’t live without one another.  She is a Chihuahua mix (she only weighs about 12 or 13 pounds), and she’s one of the best guard dogs you will ever have.  She is currently studying for her GED equivalent (since she was living out on the streets), she loves people food (no matter what it is), and she loves candy.  Her main hang-up?  She loves to run away.  You open the door, and she will run for miles.  Eventually, she will come back, but this naughty pup is totally game for whatever.  (Once ate donuts from Dunkin off of the dining room table while we were at church and lived to tell the tale).

Honey Swanson

Honey Swanson.  Workout dogs are saints.  They wait for you all day.  You come home, and you’re doing a headstand on the yoga mat.  And they’re all “huh?!”.  Honey is a lovely lady, and “she always stays by my side whenever I do at-home workouts. She never fails to jump on me when I try to do ab work!”

Chip Nam
Chip Nam

Chip Nam. Chip is a very very special doggy, because he’s helping his Mama fight off cancer. That’s right, Chip has powers! Chip is an old man, his Mama says, but he hasn’t quite come to terms with his age. “He loves cuddling, basking in the sun, and long walks on the beach.” Chip doesn’t like water though. Like many of our dog pals, Chip enjoys the challenge of stealing food off the table when no one’s watching. Naughty Chip!

Lukas Gomez
Lukas Gomez

Lukas Gomez. Are you dead at how cute this guy is? He’s not only ridiculously good-looking, but he’s studying Poodle Studies at NCSU! Wolfpack!  Apparently, he likes Popsicles as well.  (His Mama likes taking cycling classes!)

Dash Gomez

Dash Gomez.  Dash took his education more seriously. Dash is very pensive and studying Biology at NCSU. Dash has been helping me with my Punnet Squares after school. Thanks bud!  But Dash isn’t all just biology and serious times.  Dash loves to play outside on sunny days (omg look at that tongue)…

Dash Gomez
Dash Gomez

And she likes to play fetch! Look at her fetch sweater!

Dash 2

Now finally Bragg

Bragg Gomez
Bragg Gomez

Bragg Gomez.  North Carolina is home to none other than Fort Bragg. Take a second and thank your vets for their service. Now Bragg? Bragg studied political science at Cal B and his favorite past time is fetching the ball. His favorite treat is liver treats by Biljac (available at Petsmart).

Ash Zelin
Ash Zelin

Ash Zelin. Ash is a fine Jewish dog. He loves to smile for the camera (duh). From his mama? “This is my parents’ dog, Ash. She is 8.5 years old, lives in Charlotte, NC, and LOVES to chase squirrels, going for long walks, and going buh-byes in the car. She is a happy mutt and will gladly smile at anyone willing to scratch her behind her ears. She was my “replacement” when I moved away to college, and I love her dearly. As a puppy, she managed to eat 2 pounds of Hershey kisses, wrappers and all, and not get sick. She has also been known to destroy boxes of tampons, eat full tubes of toothpaste, and hide peanut-butter flavored power bars in her crate. Ash just finished radiation for a malignant tumor in her throat and is now cancer-free, hopefully for the rest of her life. We are very excited to get to spend more time with her”

The best thing about Ash? Ash once relieved tampons from their box and gleefully threw them about until Mamas and Daddys came home. But he’s too cute to be angry with! How can you be mad at that smile?

Mini Armour
Mini Armour

It’s my lady, Mini again! Mini, while she’s not studying for her GED equivalent and eating people food, loves to lay in the sunny spots all around the house. Sometimes she will even sit on the fireplace hearth and warm her little tush up in the winter!

mel 3
Nolon Kepley

The Kepleys!  This little monster is Nolan 🙂

Mel 2
Nolon and Ana Kepley

And Nolan with his sister, Ana.

Nolan Kepley
Nolon Kepley (and Mel!)

The flash was too bright for him to see…

Nolan Kepley (Kisses!)
Nolon Kepley (Kisses!)

Ready? “Nolon is my stand-up guy. He is BIG, goofy, loving, and wants NOTHING more than to be given every second of your most undying attentions…well, except for maybe food. But don’t fret! He will swallow his food whole in record time, every time. Although he is quite the looker and LOVES people, he isn’t so friendly with other dogs Unless of course, we make them a part of our pack! All it takes is a brief introduction and a good walk together and mi casa es su casa! In short, guys if you want a guaranteed lady’s number gettin’ ratio of at least 1 per hour, he’s for rent and I recommend downtown. Ladies, if you need a GREAT cuddler and protector, his mother could use a break.

Ana is my go-to bitch (pun intended). She is beautiful, smart, quirky, independent, and protective. She loves the outdoors and just laying around with her loved ones. Now that I think of it, she is a lot like ME! She is the leash-less walker who usually listens impeccably but every now and again exhibits her “I’ll do what I want” qualities.” She would be the perfect companion for hiking with ANYONE, loves to swim and play fetch, and makes sure that no dog, even Nolon, gets too close to her Mamma.”

Brewer Shawty
Brewer Shawty

Brewer Shawty.  His name is cool right? It’s super cool cause Brewer likes to ‘brew’ beer with his daddy, Matt.

Brewer 2
Brewer Shawty

Brewer joined the Shawty fam this past January. Mom says he’s been a little adventure ever since! His hobbies include brewing beer with daddy Matt, tearing up plush toys (especially ducks), chasing birds (real ones), and going on lots of long walks. He also likes to snuggle and sit in laps whenever gets the chance.

Toby Emery
Toby Emery

Toby. Toby Emery! Look at those ears, darling! So Toby was one of the best characters on The Office, even though Michael was terrible to him, and Pam never realized that he had a crush on her. Office aside, Toby Emeryis a very special pup.  Mama and Daddy are very smart, and are putting Toby on the path to a long and lush relationship with education.  Lauren didn’t tell me where he might me going to college, but my feeling is is that Toby is an Ivy Leaguer.  I mean look at those ears!

Toby Rundown: (I have to leave it the way his Mom sent it, because it was so organized and cute, I can’t stand it).

Birthday: March 14th, 2012
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Favorite workouts:
walks with the rents, chasing the cat, and “herding” the other dogs at the dog park.
With his little legs, Toby is not the optimal long distance running companion, but he is great at short sprints!

Troll Morton-Dunn
Troll Morton-Dunn

Troll. Now this is the type of dog I die over. Look at his coloring! Don’t you just want to steal him and take him home! “This little man goes by Troll. He enjoys sleeping on anything that is soft, running frenzied laps around our apartment in five-minute intervals, making pig noises and playing with his KONG bone. We rescued Troll about five months ago. He is a big-hearted pup and we could not be happier that he is part of our family.”

Solomon Woods
Soloman Woods

King Solomon Woods IV. This handsome fellow has an equally handsome and nice daddy! Solomon is a 2-year-old Dachshund/German Shepard mix. He has BA in Drama, and he graduated early from Solid Bone University. Is that an online Uni?

And you guys get one last gander at the joi de ma vie, c’est Mini!

Mini Armour
Mini Armour

I think animals are one of the best parts of life. So take some time, surf our favorite pets, and if you’re able, head over to PetFinder to make a new addition to your family!


I was kind of an anxious child.

Let me back it up.  So along with all of these absolutely horrifying stories of school shootings, comes the irritating habit of every television personality, person with a Facebook account, or local news channels pointing the finger at everything to blame, because it’s too much work to think about a culmination of factors, both societal and personal, have made this kid do what he’s done.

And antidepressants have taken the fall far too many times for my liking.

I was sort of an anxious child.  And sort of is a the under exaggeration of the century.  Little things would completely send me into a tailspin.  I cried and flopped around like a fool every time our family dog would run away, once, only for moments until my mom found her destroying a neighbors wading pool.  I once hyperventilated so badly the fire trucks had to be called to like, make sure I wasn’t going to die right then and there.  It’s kind of why I love animals, dogs in particular.  Their presence is calming to me.  Chihuahuas because they’re anxious like I am.  They’re thin, they’re little, they shake when they get scared.  They’re also ridiculously smiley, and in general, really good natured.  I’m like that chick in ‘7 Pounds,’ with the Great Dane?  They have heart problems, she had heart problems, it all worked out.


So when I graduated undergrad in 2008, I was struggling.  I was in the wrong relationship.  I was graduating.  I had no money.  I was kinda fat.  I was to be starting graduate school with no money and no place to live.  It was a lot for a naturally anxious kid to handle!  And I hadn’t discovered working out and taking care of myself yet.  I had this perpetual lump in my throat. It was a hot sizzling mess.

Everything came to a head for me when, after a day of fun visiting art museums and things with aforementioned boy, I came home, and just cried into his lap.  I didn’t know what it was, or why, but the tears just kept rolling.  I’m sure the poor thing was really confused, he wasn’t any sort of trained therapist, and I wasn’t either, yet.  Eventually, after a few of these crying jags, I paid a visit to a doctor, who prescribed me Celexa.  And it was about a year, between the Celexa, the loss of about 40ish pounds, Zumba, running, yoga, burning sage, and not taking everything quite so seriously, that I began to feel like the person who was hidden beneath layers and layers and layers of depression-smog.

Did I turn violent and postal after I started Celexa?  No, quite the opposite.  Do most people on antidepressants?  Nope.  The vast majority of us are so ridiculously normal, you would never suspect us for being crazy.  (I kid, I kid!  We’re not nuts!)

Like I said before, I’m a little sick of antidepressants taking the fall.  Beecause.

1. If you’ve been  incorrectly prescribed antidepressants, like if you’re actually bipolar and you’ve been misdiagnosed as being depressed, that’s when bad things happen.  Not when normal folks, with a mild case, take their meds like they’re supposed to.

2. They do a lot of good things for a lot of people. I’m awesome.  I’m happy.  I’m chipper.  And it’s not just the Celexa, but it certainly helps.

3.  Don’t be a jerk.  If you’ve never taken them, don’t talk about them.  You never know who you’re sitting next to, and you could be insulting a loooot of people.  I’m super happy for you that you were able to beat your situation by meditating and breathing, but some of us chose an alternate route, and you should respect that.

Now, I’m off to supplement my lifestyle with some yoga before this marathon!  xoxo, ❤