Posted in Friday Favorites, Homer

Friday Favorites: Happy Birthday, Homer

For this edition of Friday Favorites, I’m celebrating Homer turning O N E!

As always, I’m linking up with Andrea, Narci, and Erika, so make sure to check out their posts too!

I’ve previously posted about getting Homer being a highlight of our summer! Also, I wrote a post about Homer at his six month milestone.

Two of my favorite things are birthdays and Homer, so here’s a little Happy Birthday tribute to Homer.

It’s my birthday!

Of course, we don’t know Homer’s actual birthday because we adopted him from Tails of Hope OH. He was listed as possibly being 12 weeks old, but after the first vet visit, he thought Homer was closer to 10 weeks old. So, based off that, his birthday would be around mid-March. Dogs in our family get a vanilla ice cream from Dairy Queen on their birthday, so we will get Homer one this weekend! Then, in the future, we may just celebrate his “gotcha” date of June 8.

10 weeks vs 1 year

Homer: month by month

My friend Natalie got a Golden Retriever pup a few months before we got Homer. She had the idea of monthly pics based off of the @goldenpeanutpupper account on Instagram. I loved the idea (and remember: I treat Homer like the third child I never had!), so I took monthly pics as well. Homer will pose instantly for a treat, so the monthly pics weren’t too hard to take. It was so fun to watch him grow this year!!

Months 3-7 (month 6-7 amazes me how much taller he got!)
months 8-12

Homer’s DNA Results

I wrote a post about Homer’s DNA results here, so check that out if you’d like. We were looking for a lab mix, and that’s what we got! Even the first time our vet saw him, he mentioned he thought Homer had some Husky in him…and he does. His break down is:

  • 25% American Staffordshire Terrier
  • 25% Great Pyrenees
  • 25% Labrador Retriever
  • 12.5% Chow Chow
  • 12.5% Husky

Hobbies:

Since we got Homer, I’ve joked about his “hobbies.” They include, but are not limited to:

chasing his tail, trying to catch lightning bugs, chewing shoe laces, licking dirty dishes in the dishwasher, unlocking his kennel while he’s inside of it, stealing food off of the counter, licking lotion off my legs, running full speed onto the couch, licking the shower door, chewing (and destroying!) the remote control, licking icing off of a cookie cake, chewing up stuffed animals, getting into the outside garbage and littering the backyard, playing in the mud, dragging the toilet paper down the hall, destroying Trav’s wallet (x2!), tearing up school work, running around in the snow, dumping his water bowl over and bringing the empty bowl to us, taking receipts out of jacket pockets and tearing them up, destroying baseball hats, eating a tub of Parmesan cheese, and giving us KISSES (I had to end on a positive note!) #homerisahandful #buthecute

Homer by the Numbers…

  • years old: 1(ish)
  • Pounds weighed: 55
  • # months in our family: 9
  • # of nicknames: 4 (probably more!): Homster, Biscuit, Pooks, Sweets
  • # of dead birds he’s brought into the house: 3
  • # of breeds in his genetic makeup: 5
  • # of scarves he wears to be stylish: 7
  • # of things that have been #Homered: too many to count
  • # of hearts who love him: 4 #wehearthomer

Fave Pics of Homer

Our Dogs are Our Family

My love for pups runs deep. The greatest gift my parents gave my brother and me was showing us what a dog can add to a family. Growing up, we had a German Shepherd named Maggie and then a couple years after she passed away, we got a Doberman named Jake. They were such an important part of our home and taught us about unconditional love, responsibility, and unwavering loyalty.

While we currently heart Homer, we’ve loved two other pups in our family as well. After our one year anniversary, I tricked Travis into thinking that the standard one year anniversary gift was a dog! We didn’t have kids yet, but we knew Boxers were great with kids. We got Shiloh in August of 2006. In the spring of 2008, I convinced Travis that Shiloh needed a friend…We stuck with the Boxer breed, and we got Scout!

Shiloh and Scout meant the world to us…when both of them passed (Scout in April 2018 and Shiloh in March of 2019), I thought about all the times they were there for us. Their unconditional love helped us through some tough times, and, in general, they brought such joy to our lives.

I’m not sure what they would think of Homer. Scout would probably enjoy playing with him, and Shiloh would probably have had zero tolerance for him ๐Ÿ˜‰ (She was known for her rested B face!)

We miss them fiercely, but Homer has helped our hearts heal.

“A dog is the only thing on Earth that loves you more that he loves himself.”

Josh Billings

#truth

Top left: Scout; Top right: Shiloh

Happy birthday, Homer! There’s a vanilla ice cream pup cup headed your way this weekend!

Thanks for reading today’s Friday Favorites post. We sure do love Homer, and he certainly is a favorite of ours…especially when he’s behaving…or sleeping (He’s so cute when he’s sleeping!)

Have a great weekend! See you back here on Monday for a favorite recipe of mine!

Posted in Homer

Homerโ€™s DNA Results and Family Tree

It’s been a good experience adopting Homer, but my type A personality has always wondered what breed(s) he is. My brother mentioned that there are DNA tests for dogs (I had no idea this was a thing). The past few months, I’ve had a few friends say they’ve done DNA tests of the dogs they’ve adopted and how interesting the results were. Most of them had mentioned Wisdom Panel as the brand they used. One of my Christmas presents was money from my dad to buy the DNA kit, so I did. The kit I bought was $50 on sale on Amazon (price is usually $80). I probably wouldn’t have rushed to purchase one, but using Christmas money made the expense a bit more justifiable. ๐Ÿ™‚

Getting Homer’s DNA was easy, and the kit provided very detailed instructions. There were two swabs, and I used each one for 30 seconds rubbing between his gum and cheek. Then, the swabs had to air out for five minutes before putting them back in their packets. I had to get online and activate the kit. Wisdom Panel did ask how old Homer is and his weight. I sent the kit off on a Monday, received an email they had received it on Friday and about eight days later received his results via email.

We were all so excited to see the results. Based on an idea a friend had given me, I had everyone write down their top three breeds they thought Homer would be. When we adopted him, the people at Tails of Hope said he (and his brothers) was a lab mix of some sort. Our vet, from the beginning, thought he may have some Husky in him.

The picture from Tails of Hope when Homer was up for adoption. I used the Pet Finder app to search for lab mix puppies within a 100 mile radius of Lexington.

Our Guesses:

Hayden: Lab, Husky, and Wolf!

Hadley: Golden Retriever, Yellow Lab, and Husky

Travis: Lab, Husky, Heeler

Me: Lab, Golden Retriever, Shepherd

The Results:

  • 25% American Staffordshire Terrier (I hadn’t even heard of this type of dog!…and I always thought all terriers were small in size!)
  • 25% Great Pyrenees (Once I clicked on the pic of this dog type, I could totally see it in Homer…and it must be where he gets his long legs…as this breed was the tallest of Homer’s mix)
  • 25% Labrador Retriever (Thank goodness he has a bit of what we were looking for in a dog! :))
  • 12.5% Chow Chow (This one still surprises me!)
  • 12.5% Siberian Husky (I guess our vet was right!)

Online, you can click on the link for each dog and it provides pics, traits, physical features, and even history about the breed.

  • American Staffordshire Terrier – Hard-working, loyal, stoic, intelligent, usually good with children, enjoy sports. Bred to guard people and property.
  • Great Pyrenees – Intelligent, watchful, generally calm (maybe Homer is easing in to this trait? haha), can be standoffish.
  • Labrador Retriever – Gentle, trusting, happy-go-lucky, good family dogs, enjoy retrieving (we know Homer knows how to do this!) and swimming.
  • Chow Chow – Loyal family dog, reserved, wary with strangers, independent spirit, bred to guard people and property.
  • Husky – Intelligent, hard-working, active, social, friendly, do well with children, energetic, stubborn, long history of helping humans, engage in digging and chasing wildlife (after reading about digging and chasing wildlife, I think Homer should have a higher percentage of Husky in him! haha) Also, cute story–Hadley was reading about each dog and the history/traits…for Husky, it said they are used to herd reindeer. Hadley said, “How hard can it be to herd reindeer?” I looked at her like, “Huh,” and she said, “There are only eight reindeer. I guess nine if you count Rudolph!” So sweet.

Family Tree

The family tree showed both parents, grandparents 1-4, and great grandparents 1-8.

Parent 1: Terrier, Lab; Grandparent 1: Terrier; Grandparent 2: Lab; Great Grandparents 1 and 2: Terriers; Great Grandparents 3 and 4: Labs
Parent 2: Pyrenees, Chow Chow, Husky; Grandparent 3: Pyrenees; Grandparent 4: Chow Chow and Husky; Great Grandparents 5 & 6: Pyrenees; Great Grandparent 7: Chow Chow; Great Grandparent 8: Husky

I’d say Homer is a sweet mix of all of these breeds. He’s loyal, intelligent, energetic, happy, independent, stubborn, watchful, active, and social. He’s a handful, but we love him. It’s been a long time since we’ve had a puppy, so I think I’ve forgotten what that takes, but he’s worth it (most days!) Sometimes, I feel like we are still getting to know each other. I’d say I feel that I was always the most attached to Shiloh and Scout. Now, I joke that there are four of us and I’m probably fourth in line to love Homer. (haha)…probably because, at times, he’s like having ten toddlers, and he’s one more thing for me (us!) to take care of.

That being said, it was my idea to get him….it’s just in me to know the love, loyalty and joy a dog brings to a family…and I know the time and will come when he quits destroying things (that time is going to come, right?), stops putting his paws on the counter, and will eventually leave dead birds outside (right?!).

He’s a good one though…and it’s been great for my kids to have a dog at their age to help and play with while also learning about the responsibilities it takes to own a dog.

Special shout out to Travis who walks him daily (the kids help sometimes too as an after school chore) and takes care of him when he’s driving me crazy.

I think the DNA kit does help give us a better understanding of our sweet, handful of a pup as we continue to get to know each other.

And, while he does drive me bonkers sometimes, I think it’s sweet that he wants to be where we are and as close as possible to us at all times. Also, he loves a routine…like every night, he hops in Hadley’s bed for a few minutes…before she kicks him out after he smothers her with his love. If she shuts the door on him before he can at least hang with her a few minutes, he whimpers and slides his paw under her door. It’s one more thing to add to our bedtime routine, but it’s Homer, so we let him have his moment.

Our sweet, playful, handful of a boy is 10(ish) months old.

Last thing, if you are a dog lover, you’d love this Dogs magazine from Life. Travis knows me so well, and it was in my stocking. It has the sweetest pictures and stories and had me tearing up from time to time.

“Dogs have given us there absolute all. We are the center of their universe. We are the focus of their love and faith and trust. They serve us in return for scraps. It is without a doubt the best deal man has ever made.”

–Roger Caras, A Celebration of Dogs

This is most certainly the truth. We heart Homer. (AKA: Biscuit, Pooks, Homster, Homer, stop! Homer, drop it! Homer, kennel! Homer, be a good boy!) #wehearthomer #homerisahandful

Have a great weekend.

Jen

Instagram: @showmeandsweettea

Facebook Page: Show Me and Sweet Tea

Posted in Homer

Homer – 6 months old

We added Homer to our family on June 8th after I found him on the Petfinder app. Homer and his two brothers (the three dogs were “named” Glorious, Notorious, and Victorious for adoption purposes) were found on the side of the road malnourished and had worms. Tails of Hope nursed them to health and thought they were about 12 weeks old. At his first check up, our vet thought he was more like 10 weeks old, so we’ve gone with that time frame. So, at this point, he must be about six months old. It has been a long time since we’d had a puppy and last time we did, I didn’t have two kids. So, Homer is a sweet addition to our home, but he is a bundle of energy. We had a fun summer with him, so the timing was just perfect to get him when we did.

Milestones/Phases

Amazingly, getting him house broken wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be! That actually didn’t take too long. We have one of those strings of bells by the back door, and he does jingle them when he wants to go outside. During the early puppy phase, he thought they were a toy and would shake them with all of his might. Luckily, he didn’t have any problems being in his kennel and sleeping through the night (as I think he was so used to doing so at the rescue)

While he still steals your shoe, or will find a stuffed animal under the bed, he thankfully has quit drinking out of the toilet, chewing on random things (like my coffee table), and getting into the trash can. Unfortunately, he continues to put both paws on the kitchen counter quite often, so we have to stay on top of him and push all food to the center of the island if we don’t want to him to get it.

“Hobbies”

I feel like with each passing month, he’s doing something else that’s funny or a way to get our attention. Some of the funny things he’s done include: biting and chasing his tail, trying to catch lightning bugs throughout the summer, chewing his way through multiple pairs of flip flops, standing on the open dishwasher door, licking the dishes in the dishwasher, UNLOCKING his kennel while he’s inside, stealing food off of the counter, licking the lotion off my legs, chewing on an orange marker and getting it on his paws (& my couch! ๐Ÿ˜ณ), running full speed at you when he jumps on the couch…and this morning took a Poptart right out of the cabinet and tried to devour it before we could get it from him! #neveradullmoment

He also barks at almost any food that he sees. I guess he thinks he has a right to any and all food that anyone has.

Real talk: there are moments in the day that he drives me crazy…but it’s mostly because his energy is high right around the time I’m begging my own kids to go to bed! Also, if Hayden didn’t bounce a ball all throughout the house multiple times a day, maybe Homer would have the chance to be a little bit more chill. ๐Ÿ™‚

Nicknames

Homer has accumulated many nicknames. He definitely knows his name, so I don’t think we are confusing him with our many terms of endearment. The kids tend to call him Homie (and then Homer when he’s doing something he shouldn’t be!), but Hayden also calls him Sweet Cheeks. haha. I tend to call him Homes, Sweets, and Pooks (Pookie). I guess we all just love him so much that we call him whatever affectionate name we like at the time.

Love his heart

He is so sweet (especially when he’s tired ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) I love the mornings with him as I get up before the others, and he sits by me on the couch (at this point, I’ve given up telling him to get off the couch #choosingmybattles ) and I will hand you a lint roller if you sit on our couch. ๐Ÿ˜‰

In the morning, he also follows me into each kid’s room when I wake them up. He usually sits on Hadley’s rug on her floor until she gets up. At night, Hadley shuts her door, so he doesn’t go in there but he usually ends up on Hayden’s rug for a bit until Hayden goes to sleep. It’s very sweet. Although, he hops all over them and can be a handful, I know he’s a sweet tempered dog who loves the kids.

He’s been a perfect addition to our family as our hearts (especially mine, I think) needed help healing after losing Shiloh and Scout within a year of each other. When I think of everything Shiloh and Scout helped me (and our family) through with their unconditional love and sweet support, it’s good for my soul to know Homer can be there for us too during the ups and downs of life. After Scout died, my dad said what a good dog he was and “He was great with the kids. Pets never let you down. Something that can’t be said about humans.” That seems to be ringing true with Homer as well.

This is our first rescue experience, and I’ve had a few friends who’ve adopted dogs say that rescue dogs know the owner saved them. Therefore, there’s a special bond and love because they know their lives could have been very difficult if someone didn’t rescue them. I hope that’s true. I feel like he wants to be around us all the time (Shiloh was so sweet but good on her own–didn’t really need much attention and Scout was as loyal as they come). I see a mix of both Shiloh and Scout in Homer, and I hope he knows what he means to us. He certainly has our heart (and sometimes my sanity!).

6/8/19 – the day we picked him up from Tails of Hope Rescue. I’m sure he wondered where the heck we were taking him.
Such a good boy on the first day home…even posed for a picture.
He’s a very photogenic pup, and my phone is always nearby ๐Ÿ˜‰
Go Chiefs!

โ€œA dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than you love yourself.โ€ โ€“ Josh Billings

#WeHeartHomer

I hope you are having a great week!

Jen

Instagram: @showmeandsweettea

Facebook Page: Show Me and Sweet Tea

Posted in Funny, Homer

Funny Friday

Born to be a rebel!

So, having Homer in the house is basically like living with a toddler. (Newsflash Homer: I raised two toddlers at once!) Heโ€™s always on the move, begs for treats, & is constantly doing things he shouldnโ€™t be doing like licking the dishes in the dishwasher, putting his paws on the counter (as evidenced above), chewing on my coffee table, and, well, even bringing a dead bird into the house!

One morning last week, Hayden called me into the living room saying Homer had something in his mouth. As soon as he dropped it, I knew what it was. A bird…even though it looked like a chewed up hash brown. Travis was already at work, I was near tears, and Hadley, for once in her life, was speechless. Hayden bravely got the dust pan and retrieved the bird. As soon as he got a good look at it, he continued to yell, โ€œIt has a beak. IT HAS A BEAK!โ€ while running with the dust pan outside to the garbage can. I hugged him (after he washed his hands) and told him he that he was my hero! ๐Ÿ˜‚

Later, after I texted my dad, brother and Travis, all said something to the effect of, โ€œWell, I guess he is part retriever!โ€ While thatโ€™s a cute response, Iโ€™m not sure they were completely understanding the trauma I had experienced that morning. ๐Ÿ˜‚

Later that evening, I was telling Hayden about what they said and what retrievers are bred to do, so I guess it made sense that Homer was acting on his instincts.

The next day, Hayden was lying on the living room floor which is fair game for Homer thinking he wanted to play with him. While Homer licked him and nipped at him a bit while playing, Hayden was laughing and said, โ€œHomer! Quit retrieving me!โ€ I busted out laughing. ๐Ÿ˜‚

Needless to say the kids AND Homer keep us on our toes…and like when my kids were in the toddler phase, I always held on tight until nap time. They are always the cutest when they are sleep ๐Ÿ˜‰

I hope you have a great weekend.

Jen

Instagram: @showmeandsweettea

Facebook Page: Show Me & Sweet Tea