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I really, really love our pets.  I must because I am a nut case about making sure I do all I can, all the time.

In all our 35+ years of marriage Steve and I have rescued our beloved pets.  Yep.  Snowy, our “first” baby was found in the garage of the apartment complex we lived in (it was “no pets“).  We didn’t know it at that moment, but our snow white kitten was almost dead from starvation, being separated from her mom and living in a garage.

We had her 13 years.  In that 13 years we went through:  3 living room carpets, 2 sofas and 3 chairs.  No, it wasn’t from scratching.  Poor dear had a severe thyroid problem and it kept her from understanding litter box etiquette during her “bad level” days.  But she was cuddling, adored Sarah and loved all of us.  Besides, we were her parents-no matter what.

Our first Lucky came to us with “puppy paw disease“, which we found out by age 8 months was hip dysplasia (part German Shepherd).  We almost lost her both through that surgery and being spayed.  She seemed to be prone to post surgical infections.  Otherwise, we loved that girl for 13-1/2 years.  

Next came Sunshine #1.  We rescued her at age 1 and she was the “dog we wished we could clone“.  Only thing that ever happened during our bless 14-1/2 years together was that she seemed to love eating peaches off of our peach tree-pits and all.  Let’s just say it was a $400 stomachache!

Both our first two dogs had dementia later in life, lost their sight and hearing and then their ability to know exactly where their bathroom was-but they were ours and we loved them even after they had to leave us.

Pepper came to us with slightly deformed front paws, but it’s never bothered him or us.  We did pay a fortune to have 6 teeth pulled, but he’s worth it.  Even now at 13-1/2 he’s just our little love bug.

Enter Lucky and Sunshine.  We had never had small dogs-so we had no idea that they were stubborn creatures who take forever to house train.  Both were rescued at about one year of age.

I stood outside cheering Lucky on for a year and cleaned up messes galore-frustrating, but I kept up a “potty” dance that probably had many neighbors wondering about my sanity.  Unless they also had tiny pups.

Then Steve rolled up 2 of 3 throw rugs in the house and thoroughly disinfected the areas beneath.  I went outside with Lucky and was in the middle of yet another performance of “yeah for the potty” when I swear to you all-she looked at me with a look that said, “Wait a darn minute here-you want me to go potty out here, right?  Well why on earth didn’t you say so???”

Never had another accident UNTIL Sunshine came home with us on August 23!

We have now removed the dining room throw rug.  My wonderful friend Sue H (she is a professional cat rescue person and has dog rescues) gave me a long list of things I needed to change and things to do.

Steve said he was just getting rid of the carpet and removed the padding he had glued down (damn-I was hoping this was my ticket to getting rid of that awful bamboo!), followed by another round of disinfecting the area.  We have “food bowls” and toys spread throughout the areas and I have upped both my voice and my “potty” dance performances.

We also  bought a Thunder shirt (anxiety issues from that storm and continuing rain days) and give loads of training treats for any kind of “business” done outdoors.

After 2 whole days of success we were thrilled.  Then last night we took the girls out for their final job of the day.  Lucky went.  Sunshine didn’t.  We kept encouraging her in our squeally voices for about 10 minutes.   

Steve said, “Let’s just go in and I’ll take her out before I go to bed in an hour.”

Fine by me, it was 42 degrees out there and I was characteristically stiff as a board in every joint.

Took off Lucky’s fleece jacket, took off Sunshine’s Thunder shirt, brushed my teeth, I used the indoor facilities and then, I SMELLED SOMETHING ALL TOO FAMILIAR!

I walk into the bedroom and there it was:  Lake Sunshine with a side of manure.

Sigh.  I was proud of myself-I did exactly what Sue said: didn’t get mad, didn’t yell, just calmly went about cleaning up the mess and ignoring the fact that she was shaking like a leaf with tears in her eyes.

How can I yell at a baby who so clearly was embarrassed and scared about her accident?

Any of you who can’t relate to our love for her and her need for that unconditional love have no idea how deep any parents love really runs.

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