Jazzie's best friend Sophie came and spent the night last weekend. Jazzie and Sophie have known each other for almost 11 years; ever since they were paired up at Ohio Valley Voices. We try to get them together a few times a year and when they do, it is like they've never been apart.
Among the things they did to entertain themselves that weekend:
My first thought when I saw this: "What a mess and what a complete waste of construction paper." My second thought: "Just get over it and enjoy their fun and laughter". My third thought: "They better clean up every last piece of paper!"
Matt and I had no idea how Jazzie would react to us bringing Ruby home. She had been pretty vocal about not wanting another dog and we thought that Jazzie would either fall in love at the first sight of an irresistible puppy, or be angry and upset. Unfortunately, it was the latter.
Like I did with Tahlia, I set up our camera to capture her reaction. When she walked in, she took a look at Ruby and her first words were: "What is THAT"?.... Who's puppy are we watching?" When I told her that it was our puppy, she burst into tears, said NO, ran upstairs and locked herself into her room... A disappointing reaction, but not totally unexpected.
For the next several hours, she refused to come out of her room, she refused to look at Ruby and she was not even interested in knowing her name. At one point she mentioned how it all didn't matter, because it wasn't her dog anyway...
I decided to tell her the story about the hawk and how it was a sign from Lily. I also told her that Ruby would never take Lily's place, but that she could heal our broken hearts... After dinner we had some friends and neighbors come over to meet Ruby and Jazzie decided to come downstairs as well. She sat for a long time just looking at Ruby. She asked me to tell the story about the hawk again and as she inched her way closer and closer to Ruby, I could see her heart opening up. She started to smile, she started to talk to Ruby and she petted her.
And that was that. I still see Jazzie holding back a bit, trying to protect her heart. But Ruby is winning it over quickly.
Jazzie has asked me not to share the video of her reaction, so I am going to respect that. It's the fact that she has accepted Ruby and is happy to have her in our life that matters anyway.
So I didn't think I would be ready for another dog as quickly as it turned out I was. I honestly thought that we would wait at least a year. Lily's death left us all with a lot of sadness in our hearts and I just wasn't sure when I would be ready to love another dog. Tahlia was ready not even a week after Lily died. Jazzie was a different story. She took Lily's death the hardest of us all and she vowed to never love another dog, because she didn't ever want to go through the pain of losing one again. Every time Tahlia as much as mentioned getting another dog, it would send Jazzie into a panic and into anger. "No, we are NEVER getting another dog" was always her standard reply...
About a month after Lily died, I found myself searching websites for available dogs. I checked our local Boxer Rescue and several other sites. I surprised myself, since I felt that my heart was opening up to finding our next dog. So I kept looking. I don't even know how, but through many searches, I ended up at Ohio State Boxers. This particular breeder had several boxer puppies available and while looking at the pictures on her website, one of them caught my eye. I contacted the breeder and within a few days, Matt and I made the almost two hour drive north to visit the puppies. Just to get a feel for them. Just to meet them. Not necessarily to purchase one, I told myself. But deep down in my heart I knew that we would be picking our next boxer that day.
On the way up, Matt and I discussed possible names if we did end up picking out a new pup. He mentioned that the name "Red' was coming through very strongly for him for whatever reason. We had never even met the puppies, but he definitely felt that name resonate with him. I thought it was a weird name for a dog, especially a female one :-). We continued driving and I started to question if I was indeed really ready for another dog. Were we rushing into it? Would Lily be okay with us having another dog? How would Jazzie react? As all these questions were running through my mind, I closed my eyes and asked Lily to send me a sign. I needed a sign from her that this was the right thing to do and that she approved. Throughout our marriage, Matt and I have always taken the sight of a red-tailed hawk as a sign from the universe. There have been many examples where the red-tailed hawk has given us signs. It may seem weird to some of you, but to us it is very real. We consider it our spirit animal. There have been too many instances where we have asked for a sign and a red-tailed hawk has shown up. Too many for it to be just a coincidence. With that said, I specifically asked Lily to send me a red-tailed hawk.
During the entire drive, I never saw a hawk :-(
When Matt and I arrived, we were greeted by the breeder and she had all her available female puppies waiting for us. I think there were 8 of them. I immediately picked up the one that had spoken to me in the picture on the website. I held her, put her down and picked up the others one by one. The one that spoke to me most was actually not the one that I had seen in the picture. That felt weird. I had been so sure that she was the one, but I wasn't feeling it. Matt asked me which one I felt was "the one" and when I pointed to Ruby, he let out a sigh of relief since he was feeling the same way. We had both picked the same puppy, without speaking any words. The breeder told me that the puppy that we picked out is actually known as a "red boxer", because of her coloring. Matt looked at me and said: "See! I told you the name Red had come through to me".... I still wasn't on board with the name Red, but I did take it as some sort of sign that this was meant to be our puppy. We put down our deposit and left. I was a bit confused, since I felt pretty strongly that we made the right decision, but I had not seen a hawk; I had not gotten my sign from Lily. But as we were driving down the breeder's long driveway and were ready to turn onto the main road, Matt stopped the car. Right in front of us, on the fence and at our eye level, sat a red-tailed hawk staring at us. I burst into tears; there was the sign I had asked for and I was at peace.
As we were driving home, we continued discussing a name. Since Red had come through to Matt and I did take it as some sort of sign, we decided we needed to pick a name that had something to do with red. A ruby is red. A ruby also happens to be the July birthstone. Both Tahlia and Jazzie were born in July. Lily came to us and died with us in July.
It was pretty obvious that this puppy's name simply had to be Ruby <3
I have a lot more to tell about our newest addition. How we came up with her name, that we got a sign from Lily and how the girls reacted to Ruby. After Matt and I found her, we didn't tell them; we kept it a secret for a month. They just came home from school on Wednesday and there was the puppy :-)
I turned 44 yesterday and what better way to celebrate then by running a half marathon?
Another 13.1 miles in the bag!
When I got ready for the race yesterday morning, there was a note from Tahlia. So sweet!
The night before we went out for my typical pre-marathon dinner: pizza and ice cream :-)
Card from the girls, which meant more than any other present...
I love how Jazzie added the "(if you can)" after she wrote about me helping them with their homework. It is a fact that I struggle to help them with math, which is completely Matt's department! Jazzie is taking highschool credit math classes, so as someone who has struggled with math all her life, I am pretty much useless there. Even Tahlia's fifth grade math is a struggle at times (hello common core!), but luckily I have Jazzie to help me explain it :-)
Later in the afternoon, Cera and John came over with the kids and had dinner with us, so I got to hug and cuddle my grandbabies on my birthday as well.
And just as I had put the girls to bed, my wonderful neighbor, running partner and friend, rang the doorbell and spoiled me with a bottle of wine and my VERY favorite dessert.
Can you believe it is October already? My favorite month!!! The leaves are starting to change in our neck of the woods and I am desperate for our typical fall activities like apple picking, going to the pumpkin farm, etc.
This past Saturday we went to a local farm to see their sunflower field which was in full bloom and since there were hayrides and a corn maze as well, we will officially call this our first fall event of the season. It was a bit warm still for my liking, but it was fun nonetheless.
Now that the weather is changing and the temperatures are definitely cooler in the mornings, Tahlia and I did some fall clothes shopping this past weekend. This girl loves to shop and she is always so excited to have a special mommy-daughter date at the mall. I admit that I enjoy it as much as she does :-)
After Lily died and was cremated, I was thinking about what I wanted to do with her ashes. In the end, we ordered a beautiful urn...
(front of the urn)
(back of the urn)
Isn't it beautiful? I love it so much. I ordered it from Hong Ceramics and I highly recommend them. Gerald and Kelly were wonderful to work with and I am so happy that we not only have a wonderful way to keep Lily's ashes, we also have a beautiful work of art to display.
When Matt was transferring the ashes to the urn, Jazzie got emotional. These were the first tears from her over Lily in a while. She is definitely doing much better and is actually able to look at Lily's picture and smile instead of cry.
I have been working on putting together a memory book with pictures of Lily and while working on that and checking dates, I realized that Lily died on the exact same date that we brough her home: July 27....