Today, it’s a nice toasty -9° in Omaha. That’s the actual temperature, I didn’t have the guts to look at the “real feel” temperature. I’m not made for this. It took everything in me to get out of the covers to feed the dogs. And I clearly LOVE to feed my dogs, everyone comments on their “full-figures” 🤣
So, now feels like the perfect time to tell the story of the day I made my dad the most mad that he has ever been at me. Okay, it was a series of events, but truly, he was openly hostile there for a while. We are still dealing with the aftermath every now and again, and each time, it’s like ripping off a bandaid.. that’s attached to a bushy eyebrow, and it hurts. June 2012 was a rough month for the family. I think my dad still has PTSD. He still locks his jaw when I bring it up. 😅
One time, I brought home two puppies.
Okay, first off, it’s not as bad as it sounds. I was 19. I had just gotten a new house (that my parents so graciously furnished and helped purchase). I had a job. I had planned on my adorable baby black lab puppy, Lucy, for an entire year. Seriously.. planning for Lucy may have been what got me through the dorm “experience”, besides Courtney of course 😘. Everyone, including my parents, knew about and approved of the future-Lucy.
So, when the time came, I was searching for the perfect breeder. And there were NO litters. Anywhere. For months, I couldn’t find a black lab puppy.
So, I got a rabbit. A “mini-Dutch,” the type that isn’t supposed to get bigger than a couple of pounds. S(he) wore a dresses and I brought her(him) everywhere with me. Her name was Remy and she was a good girl… until she wasn’t.
Fun fact about rabbits, they don’t grow their testicles right away. HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT ASHLEY (you’re probably thinking)?! So glad you asked. I was brushing Remy, had her/him flipped on her/his back.. and I found a tumor.
Immediately, I panic. I know this is probably shocking because I’m naturally such a calm person. 🙄
I take her straight to the vet to get this tumor examined/taken care of. The vet laughed and laughed and laughed at me, for weeks. I’m probably still the running joke in that vet clinic. I didn’t notice that Remy had matching tumors. Remy grew TESTICLES on me. Remy ➡️ Remington, no more dresses. 🐰 oh, and Remington was NOT mini. He was 12 pounds of love. 🙈
After that trauma, it probably would have been appropriate for me to just cool it on the animal hunt, but if you know me at all, you know that was not going to happen. A friend convinced me that I should go look at the shelter “just for fun.”
And I’m not kidding.. the first kennel we see.. TWO black lab puppies. Immediately, I adopted them. 0 thought AT ALL. Against all my mother’s advice, I absolutely did NOT sleep on the decision. I had my credit card out, ready to be swiped, before my brain even caught up to my heart.
To be honest, we need to take a moment to thank the LORD that the littermate brother was in a separate kennel down the hall, and they weren’t all three together, otherwise.. I swear I would have walked out with all three. Self control and puppies are incongruent concepts for me.
… so I send a picture of the girls to my parents and said Congrats Grandpawrents! I’m not sure my dad has ever dialed my number so quickly in his life. There was a lot of “NO NO NO, blah blah -new house, you don’t have time for two dogs. Blah blah DO YOU NOT REMEMBER THE TWO PUPPIES WE HAD WHEN YOU WERE A CHILD?!”
But it was a done deal. I had already named them. Lucy and Harley were coming home.
And my GOD were they naughty. My dad was 100% right. Apparently, I did NOT remember the puppies we had as children, because the level of destruction that these puppies brought to my new house.. and new furniture… was offensive. I should have known when they puked 3 times each in my new jeep on the short drive from the shelter to my house. No exaggeration, the shelter was 3 blocks from my house. They EACH puked 3 times.. in three blocks. That was just a preview of what was to come.
Toys were shredded, blankets were annihilated, walls were pooped on. Window screens were chewed out, and there were teeth marks on all the trim in the house. Brand new furniture was worn in, carpets destroyed, outdoor furniture demolished. My jeep permanently smelled like dog vomit.
They grew, quickly. All my plans to train them when they were little and manageable, were quickly tossed to the side. Come to find out, my little labbies were actually rotties. Lucy was 40 pounds at 4 months, Harley was 53 pounds. I was 90 pounds. They literally outweighed me from the beginning.
It was never more clear that I bit off more than I could chew, than the day I took them both on a walk, to “work on leash skills”. First, Harley wouldn’t stop doing somersaults and tangling her leash with Lucy’s. Lucy laid down in the middle of a crosswalk. Overall, the experience was going horribly. BUT THEN, a skateboarder came by, made a loud noise scaring them, and they ran for the hills. I was so caught off guard, so disoriented, so confused (and possibly concussed), that I couldn’t let go of the leashes. My dumbass held onto these damn leashes as these dogs drug me down the street, through a bush, over sidewalks.
How long did this last? Surely, I let go, right? Sure didn’t. Cars had to pull over. A man jumped on my dogs to get them to stop. 4 blocks. We went four blocks before we ran into our superhero… literally. There is no road rash like the type of road rash that comes from 4 blocks of cement, bushes, sidewalks and curbs. My arms were outstretched, from holding the leashes, so the insides of my arms were destroyed, my knees and thighs were bleeding, even my poor chin was bloodied.
It was an experience. At that moment, I knew my dad was right. But don’t worry, it took many, many more years (and vet bills) before I ever gave my dad the satisfaction of my agreement… two littermate puppies might not have been my BEST decision. But don’t worry, it only got worse, a couple days later.
I was all about my zoo. I had the fish and my horse too. I loved it. I loved the chaos and having all my items be destroyed (apparently). So, when my boyfriend at the time told me I couldn’t have another rabbit, I was bent and determined to prove him wrong.
19 year old Ashley with her “own house” wasn’t one to be told no. So, I promptly went out and bought ANOTHER bunny. A spite bunny – named Apollo.
In a matter of two weeks, I had moved from the dorms, adopted a rabbit, dealt with the shock of finding out my rabbit was male, adopted two puppies (very against my parents wishes) and bought a spite bunny, just to prove I could.
June 2012 was a busy one. My dad didn’t speak to me, besides one word sentences, for the entire summer.
100% worth it. 😉. Despite the mess, the chaos, the money, the destruction, I wouldn’t have changed my girls for the world. ❤️ he did eventually come around, I will admit. He loved Harley until she passed away and he still calls Lucy his special girl. I know, deep down, he’s glad they were mine.
… deep, deep down. Never did get approval for the bunnies though. 🙈
June 2012 was my favorite (sans the silent treatment from my dad). I loved my home and all the paws I shared it with. ❤️ those were some sunny daze, friends.
Sunny daze ahead, sweet friends. Stay warm, buy the puppie(s). ❤️