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Yin Yang

Yin Yang Maui JD

When I saw Maui and JD sleeping together it reminded me of the symbol for Yin Yang and of course how they are very much opposites.  Yin Yang loosely defined means how seemingly opposite or contrary forces are interconnected and interdependent in the natural world.  And so are JD and Maui.

He’s old
She’s young

He’s mellow and confident
She’s a little nervous and cautious

He’s first off the bed in the morning
She’s the last one to get up

He’s independent and a little aloof
She’s in your lap, or leaning against you

He paws his bowl relentlessly for his meal
She quietly waits

He’s indifferent to her
She begs him to play

Despite their differences –they are together – the Yin and Yang.
They sleep together, eat together, run and get their leashes together.

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Meet Maui

October is Adopt a Shelter Dog month.

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I’m a BIG advocate of rescue organizations but there are MANY compelling reasons to save a furry friend from the shelter.  And one big important one.

The benefits of going through a responsible organization are:

  • A good indication of the dogs personality as the dog has already been fostered.
  • The dog will have been spayed/neutered.
  • You can “test out” the new animal with current animal members of your family (some shelters allow this, be sure to ask)
  • It actually might cost less
    Even with a $500 adoption fee.  Getting a dog from the shelter might entail some medical costs you’re not aware of.

Knowing all this – we still chose to adopt a dog from the shelter.   Why?  Most responsible rescue organizations do a great job finding good homes for their animals.  Shelter dogs don’t have as many advocates.  Take a walk into a shelter. You’ll see hundreds of good dogs needing a home.  Hundreds will not find one.  I wanted to even out the odds – even if only by one dog.

It was time.  After fostering 8 week old puppies over the summer, I knew I was ready for the lifestyle change that occurs when you welcome a new member into the family.  JD, our current dog, is getting older and Thing 1 will be leaving for college in a year.  There’s no better friend for a 13 year old girl than a dog.

Thing 2 and I stopped by the Van Nuys Animal Shelter to inquire if they had any dogs that would meet our requirements.  (female and young)   We wanted a puppy but she didn’t have to be brand new.    We wanted to ensure JD would retain his status as top dog.   With an unknown personality, another male dog might grow and challenge his place in the pack.  That was a situation I didn’t want JD or our family to encounter.

A volunteer showed us Maui.  She was excited to get out of her concrete cage and play.  The volunteer  told us that Maui was pretty mellow for her age (6 months).   After she bounced around a bit, she snuggled right up to Thing 2.  That move sealed the deal.  Maui came home with us.

It’s a wonderful thing to see a shelter dog transition from a shy, uncertain and scared dog into a full fledged member of the pack.  The first time you leave and come home, they aren’t that excited to see you.  They don’t know they’ve hit the dog lottery.

Eventually, you become their everything.  They learn the daily rituals.  They figure out the meaning of car keys jingling, the lid on the dog treat jar, and the cupboard opening where the leashes are kept.

There have been casualties.  I lost a favorite pair of shoes, a dog bed or two was ravished, old bras were mangled and there was that unfortunate bout with the antibiotics.

Plus, there have been expenses.  Her initial checkup and medicine for the nasty case of kennel cough that almost always comes with a shelter dog.  Her spay was free but the pain medicine was not.

But we feel pretty lucky to have Maui.  She picked up the potty training quickly.  We never had to show her how to use the doggy door (she followed JD right through and that was the extent of it).  JD also showed her his neat little trick to open the screen door.   A flick of the nose and they’re in and I have to get up and close it again.  Thanks JD.   With a quiet growl, she lets me know when there’s something in the yard.  That possum walks a little more wary these days.  When Thing 2 was home sick with strep throat, Maui slept right by her to keep her company.

There’s no better friend than a dog, especially a dog from a shelter.

What I Did Last Summer

Now that the kids are back in school, I’ll update the badly neglected blog with the requisite back to school assignment “What I Did Last Summer”

1)       Went to Maui.
Hate on me all you want, but I had a free place to stay and a free car to drive (that probably didn’t quell any hatred).

Here’s what we did…

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Sun Rising Over Haleakala July 4th 2013

Nakalele Blow Hole

Nakalele Blow Hole

Got sprayed by a blow hole (standing safely FAR from the hole)

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Warning Sign at Nakalele Blow Hole

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Honolua Bay

Snorkeled with turtles, seals,  and beautiful fish

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Seven Sacred Pools in Hana

Drove the back way into Hana and fulfilled a life time dream to swim in the Seven Sacred Pools….

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Nothing Sacred About these Pools

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Walked through a Bamboo Forest

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Enjoyed the food and festivities at First Friday

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Jumped off a cliff to a cheering crowd of 8 year olds who put me to shame
That’s Thing 2 who also put me to shame.
So did Thing 1 and Dr. Malibu.

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Walked through a Lava tube

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Tiki Torches at Sunset

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Sunset at the Four Season in Maui

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Sunset on the Lanai

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Handstands in the sands

Enjoyed 8 nights of Sunsets

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Snuck into a Luau

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Gave my kids the experience of a life time!

2)      Grew tomatoes.
Buckets of tomatoes.  Cherry, Roma, I picked bowls and bowls of tomatoes.  I made pasta sauce, after sauce, after sauce, and salsa, and salad after salad and tomato soup.  They are still producing.
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3)      Went to Alaska
Dr. Malibu had never been.  He’s such a fan of Hawaii.   I knew he would love Alaska.

In four short days we went to:  Anchorage, Gridwood, Whittier, Seward, Wasilla and Palmer.

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Alyeska – I spent a lot of my childhood here

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Ferry in Whittier

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Fireweed at Hatchers Pass

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Dr. Malibu Catches a Silver!

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Alaska Railroad

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He’s ready to go back.  So am I.

4)      Fostered puppies
While they all found good homes, I bonded.  The broken bond needed to be mended.

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Four Pit Brindle Puppies

Thing 2 and I went to the Van Nuys Shelter and found this girl.  She was 6 months old and ready for a real home.  We call her Maui.

 photo MauiStool_zps6258e248.jpgI think that’s enough.A