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Y’all know I have a dog. A big dog. A hairy dog.

There is always dog hair in the corner’s of my rooms, stuck around table legs, in the carpet, on the sofa and under the tv cabinet.

Yuck!

I am not a fan of vacuuming, and really, I’d have to constantly vacuum to keep the hair at bay. I just don’t have the motivation for that.

But, when my mom was here, she bought Glacier a “present,” a shedding blade*.

I know, it sounds like I’m going to shave my dog, but really, I’m not! It’s a little shoe-horn looking**, loop shaped metal tool that has small teeth on one side and is flat on the other. You take the side of the blade that has teeth and brush your dog with it, removing dead and shedding hairs. Check out what I removed from Glacier in one 5 minute de-shedding session:

I should have put something next to it for scale, but that is more than a fist-sized ball of hair. And I didn’t manage to collect everything that came off. It really grosses me out actually, but hey, all of that could be on my floors right now, and isn’t.

The best part? Glacier is really into being brushed we when use this. Our old brush, not so much. Now, she’ll lay down, roll over, and do just about anything you ask, as long as you keep brushing her.

My goal is for her to be brushed everyday. I’m hoping this, and increased vacuuming, will significantly decrease the amount of hairballs I find blowing across the floors. And that, will be a good thing.

* This is not the shedding blade I have, but it’s the closest thing I could find.
** I described this to Hubby as looking like a shoe horn, but didn’t actually know what one looked like when I did. See what a shoe horn looks like, and tell me what you think. I mean, it kinda sorta looks like the shedding blade. A little?

Last night, I decided to play around with my still new to me camera, using Glacier as my model. She’s not the best model, mostly because she doesn’t like to sit still for me, but eventually, she resigned herself to the torture. Of these photos I took, these were my favorites:

I have fabulous co-workers.

Many of them are the kind who will put aside their work to help you make a deadline.

The kind of people who will sit and listen to you talk about what’s going on in your personal life, care and offer advice. And it’s usually good advice!

The kind of people you can work with all day, have dinner with, and still have things to talk about.

Lots of the ladies I work with are animal lovers, and take turns watching each others dogs.

While Hubby and I were visiting family, one of the ladies stopped by our house a couple of times a day to check on, play with, and feed our dog. When I got back in the office on Monday, she told me she decided to buy a bed for Glacier to put in her area in the basement (we have blankets for her, but no bed). She went to PetSmart and bought a bone-shaped bed, similar to the one her dog has.

She was so excited Friday night when she left the bed with Glacier, and certain Glacier would love her new bed.

She came back Saturday morning to stuffing all over the basement, and Glacier standing there, wagging her tail. She said she almost looked proud of her work! My co-worker just laughed and told Glacier that if she didn’t like the bed that was too bad, but she wasn’t getting another one.

How many co-workers, friends, would buy your dog a bed and then laugh when they ripped it to shreds the very next day?

I know I might be a little biased, but seriously, could Hubby get any cuter? He wanted to make sure our wonder-pup had special Christmas and felt loved, even though we weren’t with her. And, even though, let’s be honest, they probably only gave the kennel owner, not us, props.

…about owning a large dog is that you don’t have to bend down to pet them.

The not so nice thing about owning a large dog is the large poops to pick up.

We’re back from the vet and Glacier is fine! She squealed when the vet touched her hip area, and she determined that Glacier probably bruised one of her muscles. She might have fallen down the stairs when we let her out, or when she was chasing her soccer ball, she might have skidded hard into the frozen ground. They gave her some pain medication, and she seems to be doing MUCH better!

After work yesterday, Hubby and I suited up and went to play in our snow with Glacier. We played hard for about an hour, especially Glacier who bounded around and pawed vigorously at her frozen soccer ball.

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When we came in, she laid at our feet (not too unusual, though she is normally on her bed) and whined (pretty unusual). We thought she was just worn out from her play time.

This morning, Hubby went to let her out of her room (basement) and she was laying in her crate. Normally, she is standing at the gate waiting to be let out, and RUNS up the stairs and clamors to be let out. This morning, she wouldn’t get up. I called the emergancy vet, who first thought I left her outside all night (in 13 degree weather!? I love my dog way more than that!) and when he understood, told me they were closing and I should call I regular vet. During my phone call with the regular vet’s office, Hubby helped her up and she came up the stairs. She seems fine now — has eaten, gone outside, etc., but this behavior is very unlike her. We went ahead and made an appointment for this afternoon, and I’ll be staying home with her, just in case, until then.

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The receptionist suggested she has a soft tissue injury, and I’m hoping that’s all it is. After all, we were play soccer with her, and one of us could have accidentally kicked one of her legs. :o(  She’s a few days past due for her rabies shot and well as her bordetella, so I hope its nothing related to my epic failure to get her an appointment before February ended. She’s been very healthy in the year we’ve had her, so I didn’t feel the need to take her to the vet since she had just had an exam when we brought her home. I’ll kick myself if I could have prevented this.

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A really companionable and indispensable dog is an accident of nature. You can’t get it by breeding for it, and you can’t buy it with money. It just happens along.

The Care and Training of a Dog, E.B. White

While living in our apartment, I wanted a pet. I worked part-time at the time, and spent a good portion of my day alone. In a new town I really didn’t have any friends to speak of, and wanted someone to keep me company. A cat, whose owner lived below us, followed people around like a dog, and I became quite fond of him. Frequently, as I was bringing home groceries, he would dart into the apartment and we would spend some quality time together. I decided a cat would be perfect for the apartment. Off I went to the SPCA where I found a cat I liked who seemed to like me. Sadly, she did NOT like Hubby, and Hubby did not like her.

In February, we bought our house. It has a nice, large, fenced in backyard. We couldn’t NOT have a dog with a backyard like that. At the time, we were also looking at a seriously possibility of Hubby having to move to DC for 6 months for work. Neither of us liked the idea of me being alone in the house during the week, so we decided to take the doggy plunge.

Our SPCA website has a feature where you take a short quiz, and it matches you with a few dogs that might fit your personality and lifestyle. Hubby was matched with Glacier and was instantly smitten. We went to the SPCA to meet her, and I was charmed as well.

I liked Glacier, she seemed to like me, but she LOVED Hubby. When we took her outside to play, she instantly starting bringing a ball to Hubby to throw for her, no matter who had orginally thrown it. If she worshiped the ground Hubby walked on, I was happy. He’s not an animal person, so any animal that likes him is perfect in my book.

We learned that Glacier had been at the SPCA for about 4 months. When she first arrived, she was pregnant, and had puppies soon after her arrival. Her puppies were all adopted, but no one wanted her, perphas, a volunteer speculated, “because she was too old.” She had just turned three years old.

Well, if I hadn’t been sold at seeing her Hubby adoration, I was sold when I heard that. I just broke my heart! So, we prepared for “puppy parenthood,” and got a crate, set up a kennel area in the basement, got water bowls, and bought puppy pads for the inevitable, and unevniable, housebreaking experience.

When we got her home, we were suprised to find she was housetrained! Wonder-Puppy has never had an accident but once since we brought her home! She also knew basic comands, like sit, off, down and no. She’s proved to be smart and companionable. She wants to be with us and love on us. She knows not to come in our bedroom, and least not when Hubby is around.

We often look at each other and wonder what we did to get the world’s best dog, and how its possible that no one wanted her for months. She amazed me yesterday on our walk with her sheer brilliance. If I see or hear a car coming, I direct her to the side of the road and tell her to sit. Once the car passes, I say, “go,” and she resumes her walk. Yesterday, I car came, and before I could tell her to sit, she plopped down beside me! She’s too smart.

Glacier is the kind of dog who will sit by the door and wait for you to come home, and in my book, there is no better kind of dog than that. She’s a keeper, and I’ve been telling her to work on living forever because I can’t imagine living without her now.

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Just a 20-something girl living on the East Coast, trying to figure out life. I'm a wife and mom to two. I'm trying to rediscover my love for long walks, yoga and pilates. But not hiking. I still don't like hills. I was raised at the beach, but I don't like the beach. I like to look at it, but I don't like to swim in it, I'd prefer a pool, thanks. I'm just trying to become the best person I can be -- the woman God wants me to be. That's easier said than done!

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Contact me at longbrakeliving@gmail.com - I'd love to hear from you!

Hubby is my all-time favorite guy. A perfect mix of serious, sarcastic, laid-back, handy and nerdy, he is the perfect complement to me. I love his strong work-ethic and the way he always loves and supports me through everything. Some of Hubby's favorite things include: hiking, Virginia Tech football, woodworking, and his family. When I married him in July 2007, I had no idea what an amazing journey we were headed on, and how I could come to love him so much more each day.

Our oldest, Colton, is three years old. He is equal parts sassy and hysterical. He loves all things train, car, bus, truck, and machine related. He has a penchant for made-up words and loves to be the clown of his pre-school class. Our younger son, Nathan, was born this May. He is pure joy and full of smiles! He is such a blessing and a perfect fit for our family.