Friday, July 16, 2010

Chihuahuas and Desserts!!

I LOVE pups!! For about 9 years me & Aaron have had the pleasure of sharing nearly every minute of our lives with our amazing big black chihuahua Carlos. He's been the absolute best companion ever and he just seems like he was born to be the perfect pet for work-at-home-artists. It's hard to explain, but he seems to "get it".

He sleeps in our bed, watches movies and TV with us, sits between us when we eat dinner, goes for rides with us, he's privy to every single conversation...but...when it's time for us to be busy busy busy, he gets it...he gives us our space. We'll often get into a kind of frenzy...painting tons of stuff, gluing tons of stuff, cutting, sanding, jumping from one project to another, moving things around...generally, we turn the place upside down and look like lunatics...daily! And as soon as we start to get into frenzy mode, Carlos will distance himself from us. He finds a comfy spot, curls into a ball, lets out one last relaxing sigh, and he won't even look at us until frenzy mode has come to an end. Really...he's a dream come true for the work-at-home-artist.

In fact, I think he feels like he's part of the business. I've told the story before about Carlos loving "shipping time". When we pack up multiple boxes to be shipped out in the mail, the apartment becomes a disaster area. Tissue paper, boxes, tape, bubble wrap, packing peanuts...we seem to have 6 foot tall piles of it everywhere...and we'll be packing so many things at once that we'll run out of space and next thing you know, we're packing boxes on the dining table, the coffee table, out in the hall by the front door...we'll be balancing stacks of boxes on the arms of the couch, etc. etc... Well, all the time Carlos will end up buried underneath a big billowing cloud of tissue paper, or under a big pile-up of empty boxes. And he LOVES it! He's a freak! Totally loves to be buried under packing materials. He'll get lost under there and he won't move a muscle! It is the funniest thing.

Ok, so even though Carlos is more than enough dog for us, I have always wanted more than one pup. Chihuahuas are famous for being pack dogs and they like their packs to consist of other chihuahuas. They are such weird, quirky, all-too-human creatures, that they really can only relate to their own breed. I mean, they CAN and often do get along with other kinds of pups...but chihuahuas are best with chihuahuas.

When you love pups and put that info out into the world, you will find other pup lovers. And personally, I've discovered that more than a few friends of mine are big into rescuing dogs. The world is full of puppy mills, cruel people, neglectful people, and people who have no regard for the precious lives of pups. I'm sure none of this is news to you guys and I'm not the preaching I won't get into all's much too depressing. But I've talked with so many awesome friends of mine who have these gigantic hearts...and they open up their homes to pups in need, either by adopting multiple pups themselves, or helping to place troubled pups in loving homes, or...being foster parents for rescued pups (the foster parent thing is so so amazing AND essential. Dogs will be rescued from a puppy mill or some horrible situation, or maybe a dog owner just says "I need to give my dog away"...well the foster parent opens up their home and cares for the needy pup in every way until a forever home is found for it.)

So, after spending every free moment on youtube watching chihuahuas do crazy stuff...and scouring chihuahua rescue sights online...and then making Aar take me to our local SPCA to go meet some pups in became quite clear that we'd soon have a new chihuahua living in our home. We met one chihuahua at the SPCA but I don't think we were ready for her. She was just rescued from a puppy mill...she was used for popping out litter after litter. If you do even a little research you'll see how horrific the lives are of puppy mill "moms". Me and Aar are so busy and kinda nuts ourselves... we are not in the right place in our lives to take home a dog with lots of needs.

I then discovered the dog listings on Craigslist. Tons of pups are being given away every day. I pored over listing after listing...and then made a listing of my own: "Artist Couple looking to give a forever home to your chihuahua...etc...etc..." I had the listing out there in the world for a little while before showing it to Aar. You see, he wasn't really on board for any of this. I mean, he absolutely loves dogs just as much as I do...but he is Mr. Caution...Mr. Think Things Over...Mr. Lets Wait and See. All of these things translate to us never ever having a second dog. So I had to take action, with or without him! Haha! So then I showed Aaron my listing and I got lots of eyerolls and "nope...not gonna happen."

But I was getting a pup.

Then, I felt like I was getting a bit obsessed...I was checking Craigslist all throughout the day. (if you aren't familiar with Craiglist...this is the nature of it...people are posting all day and night. You may look one moment and there are no pups...and then two minutes later somebody puts up a listing for a dozen magical stuntdog/ famous dog calendar model chihuahuas! You have to stay on top of it.) I had my mind set on finding a dog and I was putting my heart into it too much without really knowing what the outcome would be. For a girl as nervous, nutty, and emotional as me, this was not a good thing. Question marks scare me and I was giving myself way too many question marks.

So then I made up my mind one night that I would stop my persistent pup pursuit...and I would let things happen in a more natural course. I resigned myself to checking Craigslist just once per night, right before bed. So that night I went home, opened up was about 3am...and there was a listing put up just about an hour and a half prior. And upon seeing the pic, learning the familiar & sorta nearby location of the pup, and reading all about his temperment and the story of why he needed a new home...I could only think that this was serendipity! I said to Aar..."just look at this guy! He was just listed a little while ago...we are probably the first people seeing him...he sounds perfect!...we NEED this little guy!"

The photo up at the top of this post is the photo from that Craigslist listing! I mean...can you blame me?!

After some brief communications with Jack's current caretaker...(his owner became ill and could no longer take care of Jack. So the owner's daughter in law took on the task of finding Jack a new home. She tried among her close friends and acquaintances for weeks and then gave Craigslist a try.)...I sent her a link to this blog, my facebook...sent her pics of us and carlos. And by this point Aaron was 100% with me. I was sleeping with a printout of the above photo under my pillow and Aar would wake to me holding it in front of his eyes, me saying "c'mon, just look at this guy." Aaron didn't need any more convincing. Plus, he saw how much I needed this. These were Aar's words: "Well, you are an adult...this is your home and your life...this is what will make you happy...who am I to take that from you?" And then, the next thing you know...Aaron is asking me "So, did she email you back yet? When are we gonna meet Jack? I can't wait!"

Within a week we set up to go meet Jack. He was down south Jersey in the same town as Aaron's Grandmother. It was 4th of July weekend so the traffic going down to the southern Jersey Shore was sure to be thick.

Ok, so long story less long...

Me, Aaron, and my sister Missy took the drive down...(traffic was actually light!) We met Jack's interim Mom...her name is Jenn...we met Jenn's adorable 10 year old son Michael...and needless to say, we met Jack! Jenn & Michael are very close with Jack and this was not some easy, flippant thing for them. (She would take Jack in but already has too many pets & it just wouldn't work for her at all.) Jenn asked if we could bring Carlos down so she could see the pups meet each other. Of course Carlos was a sweety...he loves other pups! Little Michael was so sweet and a couple times he had to look down or away to hide his tears. I told him that we'd email constantly and send pics and bring Jack back for visits.

We spent a little time getting acquainted...(Jack was being a tough guy towards Carlos!...but this is to be expected...I talked to my friend Jackie about it and she assured me that it wouldn't last...Jack was most likely scared out of his wits and just protecting himself from this strange giant black chihuahua invading his space...and Jackie was right...soon enough, back at home a couple days later Carlos became the tough guy!) ...and then we drove back home with our new son!

It's now like a week and a half later and the reality still has not fully set in. Jack has been an absolute dream! Me and Aar are constantly looking at him and then at each other and saying "can you believe he's really ours?!" Check out the pics below. The boy is so unbelievably cute! Carlos is 9 and Jack is 3. We can already see Jack's youth rubbing off on Carlos ( that aspect was a big motivation for us...we knew a younger new guy would make Carlos feel younger. ) Carlos is like 13 pounds and Jack is 6 pounds...he's standard chihuahua size but Carlos makes him seem like a tiny little teacup! This little guy is getting more kisses than he can even handle, and we did a lot of research on the subject of bringing a second dog into the home, so we're making sure that Carlos get's even more kisses than Jack, and that Carlos gets them first. Every once in a while there is a little scuffle over the food bowl or a boney...but overall, Carlos is a sweetheart and the boys get along amazingly. The time has been so brief but we can tell that Jack really knows that this is his home and that we are his mommy and daddy! I mean, just look at the pics!

Jack passes out on the couch while we work. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention it...Jack also "gets it" as far as us being work-at-home-artists. The second we get busy looking, Jack hops up on the couch and passes out...just as the above photo depicts.

Typical chihuahua...Jack loves to lay in the morning sun. They all seem to do this...they find a little spot of sun, nestle in, and get all squinchy eyed. Jack likes to lounge around for a while in the morning.

Movie time on the couch. Another typical chihuahua thing: Blankets! They love 'em. Day by day, Carlos and Jack have been laying closer and closer together. Tonight Jack & Carlos were laying on the floor next to my chair as I typed this blog post...Jack was resting his chin on Carlos' back!

Alright, that's it for now on Jack. We could not be happier with our decision to get a second pup. If any of you have any further questions concerning pup adoption, or want to offer any advice/tips please leave a comment. As you can see here...I never ever get tired of talking pups!!
( a great place to visit is

Ok, now for some Summer stuff! An ice box cake is just a classic...and this is the perfect time of year for it! I found a recipe for this delicious little number on a fantastic blog named The Decorated Cookie. The recipe is simple and has not changed in a million years...because if it ain't broke...

Check out the link and explore The Decorated Cookie further.

This is maybe a bit embarrassing, but I feel like this blog post nearly defines me...well, ya know, defines me on most days of the week...crack open my brain and this is what you'll see: Chihuahuas & Desserts!! hahaha! Sad but true. Above are some super duper delectable ice cream sandwiches that I spied on a great blog named Such Pretty Things. Jessica, the gal behind Such Pretty Things, is all about gilding the lily. Anything she touches will undoubtedly become a "Pretty Thing". These ice cream sandwiches are a perfect example. Those are simply sugar cookies...and that's just Vanilla ice cream! But look at what some food coloring and nonpareils can do! A tray of these at your summertime birthday party would be an absolute hit! Or maybe just make 'em on a random Tuesday! By all means, go check out all the eye candy on Such Pretty Things...these are just the tip of the ice cream sandwich! And be sure to tell Jessica that Jenny sentcha! ;)

****Okeedoekee...lastly, a Vintage Vacation Swap update. Your packages should by now be shipped...or they are in transit as we speak...or you have made special arrangements with your swap partner. The schedule is a general guide, but it's all about what you and your partner choose to do...whatever works mutually. I'll be back soon to show some pics of fantastic stuff that arrived upon my doorstep. I really love the theme of this swap and the creative ways in which people have adhered to it. I can't wait to see what everyone gave and got!
Thanks so much again for reading! See you soon...xoxo, Jenny