Posted in Family

Puppy Love

Happy Thursday!

Well, this post came about due to a recent (sad) Facebook memory of saying goodbye to our boxers Shiloh and Scout in 2018 and 2019. I still miss them, and it got me thinking about the dogs I’ve had in my life. 

We are dog people. Well, I always have been one, and Travis has grown to be one. I grew up with dogs, and Travis didn’t. After we’d been married a year, we brought home our first Boxer, Shiloh. 

Today, I’m sharing the dogs who have been a part of my family through the years. 

My first dog was Maggie. My parents got Maggie before I was born. She was a German Shepherd, and I believe my uncle got her for my parents either as a wedding gift or as an anniversary gift. I don’t have a ton of memories of her, but I do remember her and we have a few photos. She was a good dog, but she passed away when I was in the second grade.  

Between Maggie and our next dog, I got a cat. I begged and begged for a cat, and finally got one. I named her Foggy because she was gray with white paws. She was an indoor cat and lived for many years. Crazy enough…after leaving for college, when I would come home, I would have itchy eyes and sneeze. Through the years, when I’ve been around other cats, I have the same reaction. A few years ago I actually had allergy testing done because of my seasonal allergies, and I am also allergic to cats…horses and dogs too. Obviously, the dog allergy is mild whereas the others I had a more severe reaction. Anyway, she passed away after I graduated from college. 

I remember in school during my 4th grade year, we had to make a book that told a Christmas story. I wrote about a little girl who wanted a dog and woke up Christmas morning with a puppy from Santa. Well, let’s just say fiction didn’t turn into reality. 😆

That being said, the spring of that same year, my brother and I came home from school and were surprised by a Doberman puppy. My dad named him Jake. My dad was a policeman and at the time he was working nights. I think he wanted to make sure we felt protected at night when he was gone. Jake was a great dog and was very well trained. We only had him for eight years as he got sick quickly and died right after I graduated high school. My dad loved him so much that he has a tattoo of Jake on this arm! The loss of Jake was a difficult one for our family. 

After Travis and I had been married a year, I told him I wanted to get a dog. That summer after our anniversary, we started talking about it. On a plane ride home from vacation, we saw a Boxer puppy on the plane. The man said how great they were with kids, and that pup was so cute that I thought it might be the best type of dog for us. And…I was planning ahead for when we had kids. Later that summer of 2006, we looked in the newspaper (yes, newspaper) and drove out into the country to look at a litter of Boxer puppies. There were three left, and Travis picked Shiloh. I had my eye on the runt of the litter, but Travis played with Shiloh and thought she was the best one. Of course, I agree now. 😉 We chose the name Shiloh after a bar (#keepingitclassy) in Columbia, Missouri where Travis and I first started talking. She was the sweetest pup and a good addition to our family.  

After having Shiloh for a year and a half, I thought she needed a friend. Travis didn’t agree, but of course I got my way. We looked in the paper again, drove out to the country to look at Scout. He was the only pup left and I could tell we were “saving” him from his situation. It didn’t seem like the best circumstances. We named him Scout because of my love of To Kill a Mockingbird.  

Kind of like when people say their first child is perfect and the second is more of a handful…that was Scout. As soon as we got him home and to the vet, we realized he had mange and he had some digestive issues too. After a few months, all of that passed. Shiloh tolerated him at first, but they did become two besties.  

Where I joked Shiloh was known for her RBF (rested b$%^& face), Scout was happy go lucky. He was loyal and would follow you anywhere. His underbite was too cute, and was a goofball. One time, he got his head stuck in the fence!

Top left: Shiloh, top right: Scout

Travis doesn’t usually like this photo of him, but I joke that Shiloh and I look young and fresh, so that’s all that matters!

Once we had the kids, both pups tolerated them so well. The kids loved on them, followed them around, laid on them, and they were so good with them. 

Scout passed away suddenly in 2018. He was only ten and had never had any real health issues. While he had slowed down a bit, we didn’t realize he had cancer until it was too late. It was a very sad time and our kids first time dealing with a loss. Thankfully, we still had Shiloh.  

Through the years, she had cancer twice, once in her leg and once in her jaw. She had to have part of her jaw removed which made her tongue hang out. She did recover from those health issues, but for the last year of her life, she had neurotological problems in her back legs. She held on for about a year after Scout died. Honestly, I held on too long. It was a difficult decision to make. Finally, in the spring of 2019, I realized it was time. While it was sad to make that decision, I was grateful to be able to buy her one more ice cream from Dairy Queen and be with her as we told her goodbye. 

I remember being so sad, and Travis said when the time was right we’d get another dog. I told him I wasn’t sure if I could do that, and he said, “We are dog people.” I reminded him that I “made” him a dog person, and he agreed. ❤️

I missed having a four-legged friend, and to be honest, I was used to having a dog bark when the door bell rang, and feeling at least a sense of protection. Plus, we felt like we were missing a part of our family. I had a few friends tell me about the Petfinder app, so a couple months after Shiloh passed, I started looking for a puppy. Travis was on board with getting a dog, but he wasn’t sure about a puppy. At the time, the kids were in the 3rd grade. I wanted them to have that memory of getting a puppy just like I did when I was their age.

On my Petfinder search, I filtered it for a lab mix. I just couldn’t bring myself to get another Boxer knowing they are prone to cancer. There were a couple of dogs I kept my eye on and showed Travis. They typically were adopted quickly. Then, I found Homer. He was at a rescue near Cincinnati called Tails of Hope. He was one of three who were found on the side of the road. His adoption name was Glorious and his brothers were Notorious and Victorious. In his adoption photo, his little leg is shaved where he needed fluids and medicine.

We were approved for his adoption, and we surprised the kids that morning. In the car, we went back and forth on what to name him. Hayden eventually suggested Homer (due to his love of baseball…not Homer Simpson), and we all agreed. Obviously, I like an “H” name To this day, if Homer gets in “trouble,” the kids say, “Homer Glorious White!”

I joke that I didn’t read the “fine print” on Homer as he definitely sheds more than I prefer. After having two Boxers who never shed, I’ve given up wearing dark clothing while near Homer.

My brother told me that there are DNA tests for dogs, and we did one for Homer. He’s 25% lab, so there’s that! When we first took him to the vet as a puppy, the vet thought he had Husky in him, and he does. I’d never heard of Great Pyrenees, but I can definitely see that in Homer for sure.

He’s been a great addition to our family, and we all love him very much. He’s spoiled rotten. He’s our first rescue and his demeanor is different than Shiloh and Scout’s. I do feel like he knows that we rescued him. He’s a people pup and wants to be near one of us at all times.  

The kids occasionally mention wanting a puppy, and I remind them that we have Homer.

These past couple of years have been the first time I’ve realized what people mean when they say they are too busy to have a pet. Thankfully, Homer is at a great age where he doesn’t need a kennel or let out often. We can finally trust him. We’ll see. I have thought about getting Homer a friend in the next couple of years because I’ve realized Homer’s age along with the timing of an empty nest might make me sad. I’m not sure if we’d get a puppy again. We are home more than I think, but it’s not the best time right now. 

Dogs (pets) love us unconditionally, are there for us when we need it, teach responsibility, and really are a part of the family…at least in our family that’s how it is anyway.  

I didn’t intend for this post to be so long, but now I have all my favorite fur family in one post.

What about you…are you a dog person or a cat person? 

22 thoughts on “Puppy Love

  1. Love this! I can relate to the pain of losing Shiloh in the way you did. We hung on to Archie for too long, also. And, the worst part was that we made the dreaded “appointment” a week away and then I just spent that whole week crying and taking videos and photos.
    We spent about 8 months with no dog and our kids were in 5th grade when we got Ernie. I had a dog most of my life as did Tom. I want to get another dog for Ernie – a rescue that is a bit older but Tom is scared of not being able to train from puppy stage because Tom is the dog whisperer. He is why we have such good dogs.
    Homer is a sweetheart and I know it breaks your heart to not be home more at this stage in life. I bet Homer is ready for summer!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I remember when we lost scout & thinking “when did I become the parent?” Just being sad for both me and the kids and realizing that’s how my parents felt. Like Tom, that’s why I preferred a puppy at this stage anyway…but clearly we left homer do whatever he wants 😆I could definitely see adopting a two year old dog or so …but I do want an age gap between homer and dog…it was too hard losing Shiloh and scout too close together.


  2. I am a cat person (though I’m really not much of a pet person in general).. but I had a few bad experiences with dogs and their barking scares me. I’m fine with certain dogs once I get to know them but I’m never 100% comfortable around them and have never wanted one of my own. My family keeps trying to tell me I’m going to have to get a dog once they all head off to college because I’ll need someone/something to hike with but I’m pretty sure that is not going to happen!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So interesting that you lived with a cat for awhile but ended up being allergic! I wonder if being around an animal makes your immune system less vulnerable to reacting…? We were cat people growing up, but Nathan is allergic to cats. I guess he’s turned me into a dog person like you did with Travis. ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My sister in law had a cat and they eventually gave her to a friend. For months, when I would go in their house, I’d still sneeze. It is crazy. I also didn’t have seasonal allergies until I moved to Kentucky so I know you can get allergies later but it is weird that I had a cat and was fine and then I’ll have that issue.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Your post had me teary-eyed this morning— missing S&S❤️ I know you are, too. Love you, friend— these pups tug at our hearts but are so worth every second.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is such a sweet post. I love dogs and I wish my husband and middle son were open to getting one of our own! We have fostered and now we are pet sitting, which helps my need to have a dog around at least for now!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve thought about fostering but am afraid I will end up keeping them all 😆 I do think fostering would be so rewarding and maybe “scratch that itch” of wanting another dog


  6. We are a no pet family. I had a cat growing up and my husband had a dog. My kids would love if we got a dog but I don’t feel keen to have to look after it and even a cat, which I would prefer, means lots of fur and a litter box, which I also don’t want to deal with. I may cave as the kids get a bit older.
    The underbite on Scout is so cute!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As I was writing this, I was thinking I don’t know many no pet families but I totally understand.
      you all are very busy. The only time I wish it was easier is when we go places and have to find someone to watch homer or take him to a kennel.


  7. Awww…I love this walk down canine memory lane. I am also a “dog” person, and Michael is too. We have always had one or two dogs. The only time we have been without was when we waited about a month for them to arrive overseas. It was so quiet, and I realized I will always need a dog! Homer reminds me a lot of our old dog (the BEST dog) Celie, who we thought was a lab/husky mix. It’s so interesting that in other parts of the country it can be hard to find a dog/puppy or that they are adopted quickly. Our shelters are absolutely overflowing in Texas, and I’ve heard there is a program that matches them with people up north and ships the dog to them. We have so many puppies and dogs available here from all breeds and mixes!


    1. I hadn’t thought about moving to a different country and what that would entail for a pup. I follow a few shelters around here and they do seem to always have quite a few pups. A local meteorologist here fosters and always shows the dogs he’s fostering. Right now he has three puppies that are so cute. I feel like I would have lots of foster fails 😆


  8. I am definitely a dog person! I didn’t grow up having one, but as soon as I was on my own, I got a dog. We most recently had a beagle rescue (Buford). We had him for 12 years and estimated he was around 14 years old. My kids are now grown (24 & 29), so he was our baby! Unfortunately, in January we had to make the awful decision as well. It was absolutely heart-breaking but we knew it was the right decision. We haven’t gotten another one at this time, not quite ready, but feel like by this summer, we will make the jump again. Funny thing, when I was young, we had a cat as well, but now I am majorly allergic and my eyes will almost close shut!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s so crazy how allergies can develop later. Thankfully, my kids have never really asked for a cat but I just know I couldn’t do it with my allergy. I agree about summer. For us, it would be the natural time to do so as well. Homer seems enough for us right now 😆


  9. This post about the dogs the author has had throughout their life is a lovely tribute to their furry friends. It’s clear that dogs have played an important role in their life and that they have cherished memories with each one. It’s never easy to say goodbye to a beloved pet, but it’s heartwarming to see that the author still remembers them fondly. Thank you for sharing your memories and love for dogs with us.

    Liked by 1 person

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