To all you dog lovers..

This morning I was going through some of my favorite blogs and someone who is a dog person;) posted this sweet story. This definitely made me cry, what a sweet sweet story it was! It's kind of long, but more than worth the read. LOTS of LOVE to all you dog fans! :)

They told me the big black Lab's name was Reggie as I looked at him lying in his pen. The shelter was clean and the people really friendly. I'd only been in the area for six months, but everywhere I went in the small college town, people were welcoming and open. Everyone waves when you pass them on the street.
But something was still missing as I attempted to settle in to my new life here, and I thought a dog couldn't hurt. Give me someone to talk to. And I had just seen Reggie's advertisement on the local news. The shelter said they had received numerous calls right after, but they said the people who had come down to see him just didn't look like "Lab people," whatever that meant. They must've thought I did.

But at first, I thought the shelter had misjudged me in giving me Reggie and his things, which consisted of a dog pad, bag of toys almost all of which were brand new tennis balls, his dishes, and a sealed letter from his
previous owner. See, Reggie and I didn't really hit it off when we got home. We struggled for two weeks (which is how long the shelter told me to give him to adjust to his new home). Maybe it was the fact that I was trying to adjust, too. Maybe we were too much alike. For some reason, his stuff (except for the tennis balls - he wouldn't go anywhere without two stuffed in his mouth) got tossed in with all of my other unpacked boxes. I guess I didn't really think he'd need all his old stuff, that I'd get him new things once he settled in. but it became pretty clear pretty soon that he wasn't going to.

I tried the normal commands the shelter told me he knew, ones like "sit" and "stay" and "come" and "heel," and he'd follow them - when he felt like it. He never really seemed to listen when I called his name - sure, he'd look in my direction after the fourth of fifth time I said it, but then he'd just go back to doing whatever. When I'd ask again, you could almost see him sigh and then grudgingly obey.

This just wasn't going to work. He chewed a couple shoes and some unpacked boxes. I was a little too stern with him and he resented it, I could tell. The friction got so bad that I couldn't wait for the two
weeks to be up, and when it was, I was in full-on search mode for my cellphone amid all of my unpacked stuff. I remembered leaving it on the stack of boxes for the guest room, but I also mumbled, rather cynically, that the "darn dog probably hid it on me." Finally I found it, but before I could punch up the shelter's number, I also found his pad and other toys from the shelter. I tossed the pad in Reggies direction and he snuffed it and wagged, some of the most enthusiasm I'd seen since bringing him home. But then I called, "Hey, Reggie, you like that? Come here and I'll give you a treat." Instead, he sort of glanced
in my direction - maybe "glared" is more accurate - and then gave a discontented sigh and flopped down with his back to me.

Well, that's not going to do it either, I thought. And I punched the shelter phone number. But I hung up when I saw the sealed envelope. I had completely forgotten about that, too. "Okay, Reggie," I said out loud, "let's see if your previous owner has any advice.".... .....
____________ _________ _________ _________
To Whoever Gets My Dog:
Well, I can't say that I'm happy you're reading this, a letter I told the shelter could only be opened by Reggie's new owner. I'm not even happy writing it. If you're reading this, it means I just got back from my last car ride with my Lab after dropping him off at the shelter. He knew something was different. I have packed up his pad and toys before and set them by the back door before a trip, but this time... it's like he knew something was wrong. And something is wrong... which is why I have to go to try to make it right.

So let me tell you about my Lab in the hopes that it will help you bond with him and he with you. First, he loves tennis balls. The more the merrier. Sometimes I think he's part squirrel, the way he hordes them. He usually always has two in his mouth, and he tries to get a third in there. Hasn't done it yet. Doesn't
matter where you throw them, he'll bound after it, so be careful - really don't do it by any roads. I made that mistake once, and it almost cost him dearly.

Next, commands. Maybe the shelter staff already told you, but I'll go over them again: Reggie knows the obvious ones -"sit," "stay," "come", "heel." He knows hand signals: "back" to turn around and go back when you put your hand straight up; and "over" if you put your hand out right or left. "Shake" for shaking water off, and "paw" for a high-five. He does "down" when he feels like lying down - I bet you could work on that with him some more. He knows "ball" and "food" and "bone" and "treat" like nobody's business.
I trained Reggie with small food treats. Nothing opens his ears like little pieces of hot dog.

Feeding schedule: twice a day, once about seven in the morning, and again at six in the evening. Regular store-bought stuff; the shelter has the brand.

He's up on his shots. Call the clinic on 9th Street and update his info with yours; they'll make sure to send you reminders for when he's due. Be forewarned: Reggie hates the vet. Good luck getting him in the car - I don't know how he knows when it's time to go to the vet, but he knows.

Finally, give him some time. I've never been married, so it's only been Reggie and me for his whole life. He's gone everywhere with me, so please include him on your daily car rides if you can. He sits well in the
backseat, and he doesn't bark or complain. He just loves to be around people, and me most especially.
Which means that this transition is going to be hard, with him going to live with someone new.

And that's why I need to share one more bit of info with you....

His name's not Reggie.

I don't know what made me do it, but when I dropped him off at the shelter I told them his name was Reggie. He's a smart dog, he'll get used to it and will respond to it, of that I have no doubt. But I just couldn't bear to give them his real name. For me to do seemed so final that handing him over to the shelter was as good as me admitting that I'd never see him again. And if I end up coming back, getting him, and tearing up this letter, it means everything's fine. But if someone else is reading it, well... well it means that his new owner should know his real name. It'll help you bond with him. Who knows, maybe you'll even notice a change in his demeanor if he's been giving you problems.

His real name is Tank. Because that is what I drive.

Again, if you're reading this and you're from the area, maybe my name has been on the news. I told the shelter that they couldn't make "Reggie" available for adoption until they received word from my company commander.

See, my parents are gone, I have no siblings, no one I could've left Tank with... and it was my only real request of the Army upon my deployment to Iraq, that they make one phone call the shelter... in the
event"... to tell them that Tank could be put up for adoption. Luckily, my colonel is a dog guy, too, and he knew where my platoon was headed. He said he'd do it personally. And if you're reading this, then he made good on his word.

Well, this letter is getting to downright depressing, even though, frankly I'm just writing it for my dog. I couldn't imagine if I was writing it for a wife and kids and family. but still, Tank has been my family for
the last six years, almost as long as the Army has been my family.

And now I hope and pray that you make him part of your family and that he will adjust and come to love you the same way he loved me. That unconditional love from a dog is what I took with me to Iraq as an
inspiration to do something selfless, to protect innocent people from those who would do terrible things... and to keep those terrible people from coming over here. If I had to give up Tank in order to do it, I am
glad to have done so. He was my example of service and of love. I hope I honored him by my service to my country and comrades.

All right, that's enough. I deploy this evening and have to drop this letter off at the shelter. I don't think I'll say another good-bye to Tank, though. I cried too much the first time. Maybe I'll peek in on him and see if he finally got that third tennis ball in his mouth.

Good luck with Tank. Give him a good home, and give him an extra kiss goodnight - every night - from me.

Thank you, Paul Mallory
____________ _________ _________ _______

I folded the letter and slipped it back in the envelope. Sure I had heard of Paul Mallory, everyone in town knew him, even new people like me. Local kid, killed in Iraq a few months ago and posthumously awarded the Silver Star when he gave his life to save three buddies. Flags had been at half-mast for days.
I leaned forward in my chair and rested my elbows on my knees, staring at the dog.

"Hey, Tank," I said quietly. The dog's head whipped up, his ears cocked and his eyes bright. "C'mere boy." He was instantly on his feet, his nails clicking on the hardwood floor. He sat in front of me, his head tilted, searching for the name he hadn't heard in months. "Tank," I whispered. His tail swished. I kept whispering his name, over and over, and each time, his ears lowered his eyes softened, and his posture relaxed as a wave of contentment just seemed to flood him. I stroked his ears, rubbed his shoulders, buried my face into his scruff and hugged him.

"It's me now, Tank, just you and me. Your old pal gave you to me." Tank reached up and licked my cheek. "So whatdaya say we play some ball? His ears perked again. "Yeah? Ball? You like that? Ball?" Tank tore from my hands and disappeared in the next room.

And when he came back, he had three tennis balls in his mouth.

-was that not adorable!?

Since this is a doggy-post, I must post a picture for each of my loves. duh;)

Princess Xoe

Prince Zeke

Baby Boy Capo

Baby Girl Sophie


Blogger award + more SOPHIE! :)

Last night Sophie did great! She slept by Michael most of the night.. she really likes him! She's been using her pee pad like a good little girl and eating and has warmed up to the rest of the crew :)

I was a little hesitant to keep her on her pee pad since my other dogs go outside on a leash, but since she was already trained I decided we would see how well she did with it and go from there. So I keep her pee pad and food + water in my bathroom. She's had 2 accidents, one when she was scoping out the house and one in the middle of the night. [Which was my fault because she kept jumping down going to her pee pad and I thought she just wanted to play so I kept picking her up.] Well, she showed us, and peed right on Michael's pillow. HA! Not funny, but semi-funny.

Anyways, Here are some pictures of Sophie Kate!

I will hopefully get some more (not cell phone) pictures soon. She's a little camera shy and boy does she love her daddy! *jealousy* ;)

On to the blogger award that RIA tagged me in! Ria is probably my best blogger friend! It seems like we BBM everyday! PLUS she is suuuuuuper in love with Jesus and so sweet! And suuuuuper stylish! haha :) So here we go!

The rules are you are to share 7 things about yourself. Then Pass it along… So… here I go!

1. True story: I haven't had a coke in EIGHT weeks. :D

2. I have a freckle on my neck in the shape of a heart.

3. I have 4 dogs and would have a hundred more if I could!

4. My birthday is the day before Thanksgiving this year.

5. My dream is to own a boutique clothing store w- a little bakery on the side.

6. I have the loudest laugh in the world.

7. I gag at the site of broccoli and squash. *gags*

NOW- YOU do it! I'm tagging every single one of you!

Ps. Could you keep a little prayer going for my family? It's pretty urgent. Thank you!


Call me crazy but...

I'm here to suprise you all, once more.

I did it, again. (for the 4th time to be exact)

We have officially adopted our fourth furbaby.
A 2 pound, 13 week old, yorkie-baby girl.

Meet Sophie Kate Tomlin ♥

Sophie has the sweetest personality! Her original name was "CoCo Chanel" But Michael wasn't to hip on that name, ha! We decided to name her a sweet name, since she is anything but rambunctious and outgoing. She's fairly shy, she isn't too fond of her sister and brothers yet, and she is a teensie little loveable baby.

We have a friend who was recently divorced and she had bought her two little girls two yorkies, and realized she couldn't handle all of it plus her job, the girls activities and school, her clinicals, and a daily life with the puppies and it wasn't fair to the puppies to have to be alone all the time.

Her sister is keeping the boy [Oscar] and I was going to find Sophie a home until Heather sent me a picture of her.. and I fell in love! My heart melted 10x more when I met her. SO SWEET.

What can I say? I'm a sucker for a furbaby. Obviously.
What young married couple, in their right mind, has 4 dogs? ME. Because we are cuhhhraaaaazy!

Wish us luck on our new adventures with miss Sophie! Hopefully I will have her added to my blog page sometime soon. And please pray she ends up loving her new brothers and sister! They just wanna sniff her but she isnt really into that! I dont blame her ha!



So I haven't been letting you follow with my weight loss as much as I was planning on because I really am busy ALL the time!

But, I haven't had a coke in about 7 weeks, I don't eat "fast food", I only drink water unless I have milk with my cereal (obviously), I eat very healthy, go to my trainer 3x a week, and do what she asks me to do outside of training too. (cardio)

and in 6 weeks.. I have lost...
16 pounds!

Can you believe it!? I'm still on my way to my goal, but it's getting closer everyday! We were wanting to see me lose 20lbs by Christmas, but the new goal is Thanksgiving! That's only 4 more pounds by the 25th and I KNOW I can do it. And it would be a great Birthday present! My 21st birthday is November 24th, the day before Thanksgiving this year!

Please pray I reach 20 by Thanksgiving! :)

Happy Friday!
*Tonight we are going to a "Gender party" to find out with my good friend and her hubs are having! I think it's a BOY! :)


Your beauty is from within..

I heard the most ignorant thing I have heard, ever, yesterday. I know some people and he said (speaking of his girlfriend) "I think (and she does too) the reason she doesn't have many friends is because she's so pretty, so people think she won't want to be friends with them" -So you think her being pretty is her disadvanatage?- "yes"


I would NEVER say that about myself, or even about anyone else! That was the most RUDE remark I have ever heard. His girlfriend is beautiful, she could be a model, seriously, but pretty faces don't make up for nasty personalities.

I can't stand when people portray that your outside image is what makes you, YOU. Is that going to get us to Heaven? I don't think so. What's INSIDE is. SO if you are the most gorgeous guy/girl on the planet, but your heart is in the wrong place, then you're not getting yourself anywhere.

The Bible says "Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, is to be praised." (Psalm 31:30) and "But let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious." (1 Peter 3:4)

I don't think the words get any clearer than that. And I think WE as women need to work together to show the world that it's not all about the outside.

I was walking in Wal-Mart looking through a magazine last week and they had 4 or 5 celebrities and their weight plastered across a 2-page spread and at 135 pounds they labeled Jessica Simpson as "TOO FAT!" That broke my heart, and lingered heavily on it for days. The average American woman is 145 pounds.

This is not what WE are about, WE are daughters of Christ and it is OUR responsibility to get the message across that he thinks we are ALL princesses, we are all beautiful in His image. HIS image, not a magazine's.

"She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her." (Proverbs 3:15)
"Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious." (1 Peter 3:3-4)


What A BOOtiful weekend! (lame? :)

Hiiiii bloggy friends! I hope you had a FAB weekend. Ours was rather packed, but fun!

Friday night- Michael and I had a lovely little date

Saturday- When we woke up Saturday morning we realized we had a funeral visitation to go to for one of our good friends' grandmothers. Sad :(
I was supposed to get my ring, and they told me they would call me by 12:30.. and 1:30 rolls around and no call. I was so upset. So I called them and they said it didn't come in, but we decided to go to the mall anyways and while we were in Kay's we stopped by to ask if they knew why it wasn't in. They were SO busy and had accidently over looked it--the ring was in! :) I was SOOOOO excited (to say the least) and here are three views of my precious ring (that do NOT do it justice!) But here it is! :)

top view

side view

diamonds everywhere!

Do you love it? ME TOO!

Saturday night- We went over to my parents house and handed out candy to the trick-or-treaters, yes, we live in the Bible belt there for we trick or treat on Saturday! :) Michael, Zeke, and I dressed up in our Alabama gear to go give candy!

Sunday- We got up and got ready and went to church, and after we went to Michael's mom's church to see her for a second since we weren't going to make it over yesterday. We were going to go out to eat with her, but I was not about to wait 1.5 hours to eat at Logan's! So, we had sandwiches. :)

We went to the mall, Target, kohls, wal-mart, everywhere--to look for a costume for Emma's Holloween party last night! I was MORE than excited when we found the Guido & Guidette kit! So of course, Snooki and Pauly D. it was!

Oh, and check this out!

Happy Monday!

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