My Sweet Girl Who Can Act

This weekend, our little lady Grace hurt herself playing in the back yard. We are not sure what happened. One second we were grilling burgers listening to the dogs run around, and then the next second Grace comes limping over like her world just ended.


We think that while she was running around with Crosby, she fell in one of the holes (that she dug) and tweaked something. She didn’t wince when we tried touching her leg, and it obviously doesn’t look broken. She also would stand on it; she just hobbled when she walked.

Since it happened Saturday night, we decided to hold off until Monday to call the vet and see how she got through the rest of the weekend.

Tom carried her practically around the whole apartment Saturday night and all day Sunday. We carefully put her in bed with us and wrapped her all snuggly in blankets and warded off a concerned Crosby so she could rest easily.

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Monday I called the vet to find out you could only schedule appointments 2 weeks out, even for emergencies. What!?!?

How do you all define emergency? That’s another topic for another day.

We ended up deciding to watch her for another couple days and then decide to go to a different vet if it gets worse. Since she wasn’t wincing when we touched it, we honestly weren’t sure what more the vet could do besides charge us money.

As I was panicking on how we would help our baby girl, I started noticing something peculiar about her.

This girl has game.


As I let her out to go wobble to a potty spot, she starts playing with Crosby with no inhibitions.

She is racing around again like the Grace we all know and love.

I watched for a few minutes, then scolded the two of them for playing so rough while Gracie was hurt and ushered them back inside.

And low and behold, the limp was back on.

She would look at Tom and I with crying eyes anytime we went up the stairs. Obviously saying, “Oh dear parents, I am dying. Please carry me.”


Then as soon as her or Crosby got an itch to play, the limp was off. She was back to being an instigator.

Then back to poor me, my leg needs to be amputated.

Yesterday when I came home, I was greeted with “boundy turn into a U shape” Grace like nothing ever happened. Then 5 minutes later…”Mom, hold me. The pain is too much.”

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We have tried to keep her from being too active, but her little doggy instincts obviously want to be normal again. I keep giving her lectures about not taking too much on and the importance of rest. Then I pull her close for a hug and a kiss because I just wanted my baby girl to feel better.

At least that is until last night when I caught her in her lie, and she knew it.

Tom and I were both sitting on the couch, and I saw Grace put all her weight on her “bad” leg to scratch herself with the other. I looked at her squarely in the eyes and said, “Oh so your leg hurts does it?”

Y’all, you should have seen the look she gave me.

She just froze mid scratch, and she knew she had been compromised.

I caught our dog lying to us!

Tom and I were laughing so hard because our dog dooped us.

To be honest, we are still watching her leg and not walking her like normal to keep undo stress away from the leg/shoulder she seems to be favoring. We aren’t horrible parents, and we really do want her to feel better. But seriously, I think she has been faking the “severity” of her injury to get more attention.

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We have been giving her extra love and cuddles, but we are no longer carrying her up the stairs.

If you can wrestle with Crobbers, you can walk the stairs girlie.

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Have you been dooped by your pet? Any advice on how to keep a dog still? Do your dogs have you trained?

I Wink at My Dogs

I have a very weird relationship with my dogs. I think it is normal, but others find it weird.

I snuggle with them every chance I can get.

I kiss them on the mouth.

I talk to them like they are humans, even if no humans are in the room.

I want to leave social functions early because I don’t want to leave them home alone too long.

I buy them collars like it is an addiction.

I would let them lay on top of me even if I am suffocating just so they will be comfortable.

I wink at them when they wink at me. (Seriously, they wink at me.)

I just love them so much. They are the best things that have happened to Tom and I.

We took in a stray yesterday who we found at our fence. He was shivering and his paws were all bloody. We ended up bringing him in the house because with Clarksville being shut down basically due to this ice situation, we didn’t want to leave him out for who knows how long until we either found an owner or the shelter was able to pick him up. We kept him segregated from our dogs who were being territorial from about 9am until 4pm when the local shelter was able to pick him up. Tom and I took turns cuddling with him and giving him much needed attention. We spread “flyers” through Facebook, and Tom drove around the neighborhood and tried to follow the pups tracks back to his home. This poor sweet puppy just wanted a warm place to stay. If our dogs wouldn’t have been so jealous about “Carl,” we would have kept him longer. Grace and Crosby were not happy with us AT ALL though. So we sent Carl off with people who could see if he had a microchip and find his home. I almost cried though when they took him in the truck.

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He was so sweet. I wish we could have kept him. I am glad we were able to help him at least be warm and happy for the day.

It makes me think about the lives that Grace and Crosby had before us. I am so glad that we are able to offer them a warm house, food, and most of all love.

They really do complete our lives. And they do things that surprise us every day.

When I was hugging the porcelain throne on Friday, Crosby laid with me the whole night. Grace came and checked in on me off and on. They are already taking this baby guard duty seriously.

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This was early in the night, but Crosby stayed for every minute of this night right beside me.

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This is where I was struggling, and Crosby was not happy about people disturbing his guarding. He takes his job seriously. There was one point in the night I had to puke over him because he was insistent on not leaving his post.

While some people think it is weird that we treat our dogs like humans and real children, I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. If they are going to take care of me completely, why wouldn’t we do the same?

I just love them, and I hope that all dogs get to experience that at some point in their lives.

Dear Grace and Crosby

Oh my lovely doggy babies,

It has been awhile since you have been on the blog, but you two have been ruling my Instagram. I know you both get tired of me snapping photos of you, but you are just too darn cute.

You both have been so good lately. Dad and I are so proud that we can leave you out of the kennels now while we are out and about. Let’s be honest though, you haven’t been perfect angels have you? Grace, you like to dig through Mom’s lady trash and strewn it about the upper floor. Let’s talk about how gross this is girl. And Crosby, you like to get on the counters and pull down dishes that may or may not have remnants of the last meal we ate. That’s how we have lost a shaker cup and a few Tupperware items. But we have more days that you don’t do any of this than the days we do, so there is a plus. And Mom and Dad have gotten smarter about where we put things and what doors need to be shut when we leave. It is usually our lazy fault when we forget that you usually decide to get into stuff.

You sure do seem happy when we get home though!

I am sorry we haven’t gone on many walks lately. There have been so many things prohibiting it. The freezing temps, my constant sickness, and Dad’s training, haven’t really been nice to us schedule wise have they? Hopefully here soon, I will start feeling better, and we can take advantage of the warmer temps. Unfortunately, it looks like it will be just us for awhile since Dad has a lot of training to do. We will try to get out as a family every weekend, especially to take advantage of the weather. We know you both love your time outside!

I know that you all miss Dad when he is gone. You all whimper and pounce up at any loud truck that goes through the cul-de-sac hoping it is Dad coming home. And the way you all love on him when he is here shows me how much you cherish your time with him. Crosby, you do a great job ensuring that he is clean too with your constant licking.

Things are going to continue to change around here, and I know you two will be troopers and make the best of it. Grace, you have been through a deployment before. I know it was hard on you. I watched you lay on Dad’s clothes so many times hoping he would come home soon. Crosby, you have no idea what is in store for you, but you a pretty laid back, so I am sure you will do fine. On the plus side, you have each other now, and I know that helps during the day for you two to comfort each other. Although this time around will be different for all of us for so many reasons. So with the deployment and all the other changes that are going to occur in the upcoming months, I know you two will be just fine! And I know you will be a huge comfort and rock for Mom!

Speaking of you two together. You all just crack us up. You really have embraced each other as companions. You groom each other, you play together, and you take turns eating. I am usually rolling with laughter when you two groom each other. It is a cross between the sweetest and grossest thing I have witnessed. I often feel that I should leave you two along for your privacy. As far as sharing toys, Crosby, you tend to steal them from Grace quite often. However, I think Grace likes the chase and lets you do it sometimes because she never seems to put up a fight when you come in to grab the toy. When you cuddle together on the couch or chair upstairs it just melts my heart. I just love that you two are getting along so well.

We have figured out a pretty good sleeping routine. You both sleep in the middle of us. Grace you take the spot up by our heads and are sure to snuggle in real close to one of us. Crosby, you sprawl out at the foot of the bed like you own the place or something.

Crosby, you don’t seem to like the neighborhood kids. You bark at them every day when they are coming home from school. I know you are being a good guard dog, but I think we can handle a few 3rd graders.

Grace, you still sometimes will get jealous when Dad and I are giving Crosby some love and not you. We love you just a much, and please know that we haven’t forgotten about you!

You both make our days, and there is so much love for the two of you! We couldn’t be happier that you came home to us.



PS. We are not always nice parents, and sometimes we like to tease you. Our latest tricks are to enitce the whimpers out of you two. Crosby, we have learned that you do not like Maroon 5 since you bark every time Dad sings their songs. Your whimper gets me every time because it sounds like you are going hoarse and trying to force out a grunt or cough. And Grace you just don’t like being teased and want us to pay all of our attention to you, so you cry if you don’t get your way. Plus I think that it annoys you that Dad can imitate your whimper to a tee.

See example.

My babies are Three!

I cannot believe our darling dogs are 3 today!


I know it is crazy!

Ok so we aren’t exactly sure when Crosby’s birthday is, so we just made it the same as Grace’s since they are so close in age.

So Happy Birthday to Grace and Crosby!

Here is a run down of where they are at 3 years old:

Their past before us

  • Grace-Her owners before us surrendered her to the shelter because she would run away a lot. We have never had this problem. Even if she gets off leash on walks she never goes far and will come quickly back if you call her name. She also had some scars on her face when we adopted her, so we think there was more to the run away story.
  • Crosby-He ran the streets before animal control caught him and surrendered him to the local shelter here in town. We assume he had a pretty rough life because he has gashes/scars that tell a tale that we will never know all over his throat and near his eyes. He was also at the shelter for almost 2 months before we took him in, which is a really long time in shelter life times.

Adoption Stories

  • Grace-We adopted her from a shelter in Marshalltown, IA. We actually went there to see another dog, who had already been adopted out by the time we made the hour drive there. I saw Grace and just knew. She was so sweet and shy. And just the right size for the apartment we were living in at the time. She was 10 months old when we got her.
  • Crosby-You can read more here. Tom and I were just saying the other day it is hard to believe we have only had him for a few months.

This was our first professional shoot with them!


  • As I stated Friday, I have a love for old Hollywood. Luckily, my husband goes along with it.
  • Grace after Grace Kelly. Her original name was Izzy. She has always known her name Grace though.
  • Crosby after Bing Crosby. His original name was Kramer. He just recently has started recognizing his name.


  • G-Boxer (of the brindle persuasion)
  • C-Boxer (but we assume he also has something else because of his block head that resembles a St. Bernard)


  • G-63 (which is almost twice the weight when we got her 2 years ago)
  • C-76

Look at me!


  • G-sit, shake, and down. She will not do the down if there are other dogs present or too many people to make it a show. She will do the sit and shake for anyone (and any audience size) as long a treat is involved. Tom also had her trained at one point to bark/growl at the sound of the door opening. She will also sit in front of you while you go to the bathroom to protect you.
  • C-sit and shake. He gets really anxious though and is not patient for treats. He will also shake when he thinks he is in trouble. Trying to warm our hearts-smart dog.


  • G-doesn’t always make it through the night. I never had this problem until we moved here, so I am not sure what the deal is with her pooping in the kitchen if Tom and I don’t wake up at 5 on the dot for her. And it is really random when it happens. She’ll go weeks without doing it. Then, PLOP, there it is. A mystery.
  • C-he is like a rock once he is down. He is good about making it through the night and is usually a diva about people waking him up. He also snores like a train.


  • G-Iams Proactive Health. We went through quite a few brands at first, but this was the only one that consistently didn’t give her the runs, and wouldn’t break the bank for me.
  • C-always Iams Proactive Health.
  • They both will eat anything in the form of table scraps, which has made them ridiculous beggars. It doesn’t help that Tom gives them part of his meal whenever he eats. (Ok I do sometimes too.)

They are on their best behaviors when food is involved.

House trained

  • G-It has been a long road for this gal! I think we are finally there, except for the occasionally dumps in the am.
  • C-mostly successful. We have lost a pillow and a couple remotes are not as aesthetically pleasing. Oh and that couch
  • We have gotten into a pretty good routine of what works for them and what doesn’t in order to leave them out in the house by themselves. Tom and I also have had to make some adjustments on what we can leave out and how clean our clutter needs to be. It is so great not to have to worry about them in the kennels.

Bad Habits

  • G-she still has separation anxiety, but it is much more manageable now that Crosby is around. This is one big reason why we have never kenneled her though because we don’t want her to revert back to where she was two years ago. She also eats poop, then vomits it up, then she may eat it again. It’s a vicious cycle that I wish she would stop doing. Grace also likes digging into my lady trash…
  • C-he is a nervous chewer, which is why the top of our TV remote is missing. He also is a huge jumper, which we are working on.

We only have single shots of Grace because as we were taking these cuties, Crosby was digging his face in the peanut butter jar….whoops.


  • G-she is the best cuddler! I just love laying in bed/on the couch with her. She will nuzzle up to you just so perfectly. It is amazing how a larger dog like her can make herself so small. She will also sit perfectly still so you can hug her. We also don’t have to worry about her in the car because she is a great traveler!
  • C-he loves to kiss you. While I am not the biggest fan of the wetness, it is super adorable to watch him do it to Grace and Tom. He will dance with me and is just so jolly. He is pretty low key and also a great traveling dog!

As Siblings

  • They actually do really well together. They play and then clean each other. You will often find them snuggled up together in the most adorable ways. I think Tom gets annoyed when I point out their cuteness at least a couple times every night.
  • Grace does get really jealous of Crosby at times, and will often grumble at him (or us) if she feels he is getting more attention.
  • Crosby gets annoyed with Grace sometimes when she is too energetic, and he will put her in her place.
  • We have only had one brawl between the two of them. Of course it was when we had people over for Thanksgiving. We think it was the combination of the food, lots of people, and another dog that caused the trauma for the two.

They do really love each other.


  • G-loves anything she can rip (ropes and socks). She also loves balls, kongs, and bones. She is good at going after toys, but not so good at picking them up and bringing them back.
  • C-we have eliminated all toys except nylabones. He is a power chewer. He has even ripped through a Kong, which are supposed to last longer than 2 months. He would chew up a toy into large chunks, and then Grace would come after the chunks and choke on them. So we decided that the best avenue was just to stick with Nylabones.

Year 3 Accomplishments

  • G-not that she knew it, but she was my rock during Tom’s deployment. I am not sure I would have gotten through as well without her. Grace also ran a race with me last year-Jingle Jog 5k. I dressed her up in a Christmas sweater and everything. We also successfully moved her to KY from IA.
  • C-he got adopted, so I am not sure there is anything better than that!

This was a contender for the card.

Around other Humans

  • G-She is super shy if she doesn’t know you. This was super helpful when I lived in the residence hall with her because she didn’t go nuts on the strangers who were around us all the time. However, if she knows you, she is crazy! She turns in a U shape and just bounds around until you love on her. She is so patient and gentle with kids. She has let my nieces pull and tug on her every which way, and she just stands there and takes it.
  • C-He is not shy at all. He will come up to you for a kiss almost immediately! So get your kissers ready for him! He is good with kids, except he also attacks them with kisses!

Around other Animals

  • G-Loves to play with any dog she meets. She also thinks she likes cats, and she will try to find them in Grandpa and Grandma’s house. They are all her BFFs to her and is never shy. She has also killed a baby bird. Probably the most horrifying moment of my puppy mom life to see the wings of a bird hanging out of Grace’s mouth as she pranced back to me.
  • C-He does not like other dogs at first. He is super protective and is very skeptical of them at first. So we have to slowly introduce other dogs to him and then he is fine. He has also got a hold of a possum and pranced around the yard with it a bit before Tom made him let the thing go and shooed it out of the yard.

Funny things they do

  • G-she whimpers so pathetically. It’s kind of like a whine/gurgle/dolphin speaking. When we have food in front of her, she salivates so much that there is a puddle underneath her within minutes. She was also so terrified of the backyard until we got Crosby. She would not go off the porch unless we stood next to her. A lot of it had to do with the birds attacking her just like in the Hitchcock movie. They must have talked with the Iowa birds…
  • C-gets the hiccups on a regular basis. He tries really hard to howl, but he never quite gets there. He will lay anywhere like a statue. I have to check to make sure he didn’t die in the middle of the kitchen and is still breathing.
  • They both love toilet water, which I find disgusting and Tom will purposely leave it up so they can have at it.

Since we are traveling, I wasn’t able to make treats for them like I did for Grace last year. But I do want to share an awesome site! I was contacted by DogVacay, and all these thoughts are my own.

They shared several recipes with me that I think look delicious for people, let alone for my pups.

I mean look at this Puppy Meatloaf.

I also want to try the Doggy Candy Canes, Pupkin Pie, and the Dog Nog. I think G & C would love them all! Yum!

If you have a dog, you should really check out DogVacay. They had so many great articles for dog owners. I spent a good chunk of my morning looking at various parts of their site. I also am considering looking into the dog sitter options they have since we don’t want to go the kennel route. Here are dog boarding options in my area.¬†It seems like a pretty sweet deal. I am looking forward to learning more about this company!

All the pictures of Grace and Crosby are ones that I took for our family Christmas card. We ended up sending a version of the one below.

Christmas card

Happy Holidays from the Whiteners clan! And Happy Birthday to my pups!

For Doggy Shame

So have you seen Dogshamming?

I have been waiting for the opportunity to put my own dogs on the site.

And my opportunity arose this last weekend, AND I FORGOT TO MAKE A SHAMMING PICTURE!

Ok in reality, I was so embarrassed at what my dogs did, I just tried cleaning up the evidence as soon as possible that dog shamming was the last thing on my mind.

I know you all are waitingdrooling to see what they did, but let me preface the picture with the back story.

Grace has severe separation anxiety. It was one big reason we decided to get another dog. She could have a companion and not worry so much about abandonment.

We have never been able to leave her out of the kennel, because she literally makes her self sick and makes a mess of herself and the house. It is so bad that she even does this IN her kennel sometimes.

Then enter Crosby.

Crosby on a few occasions has escaped out of his kennel, and he was a perfect angel. The couple times he has gotten out by himself, nothing happened.

So we made the plunge to try both of them out of the kennel.

Cue Stephanie panic attacks on a daily basis.

Much to my chagrin, they have done fairly well. For the past month, we have successfully left them out every day.

We have had only two messes.

1. Grace made a boom boom when we tried to push the time limit we usually set for ourselves to get home. But plus side, she did not eat it and proceed to vomit poop, and then poop vomit. (Too much?) We are about progress people.

2. They ripped apart a pizza box that we had left on top of our microwave.

So we were pretty proud parents, and we would brag about our little success muffins whenever we could!

That is until this weekend, when they ate my sister-in-law’s couch.


all three cushions

What this picture doesn’t show is all the pee that Crosby sprayed all over pretty much the entire perimeter of the room, and the poop that inevitably came from Grace.

So we have learned that if it is not our house, they cannot be out of the kennels.

I am just now able to laugh at it. So embarrassing…

Oh,you think that is all that I have.

Nope, you are so naive.

Since we have gotten Crosby, I have lost count of how many collars he has chewed through…of Grace’s. He doesn’t like her wearing anything apparently.

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Is it bad that I seriously almost cried when I learned that he chewed through this one? We had just put it on her last week, and it was my favorite collar I have ever bought her. Now he wins; she is naked unless we are in public.

For the most part, our life is not this dramatic.

We have a lot of “always positive” moments, instead of “bad turned eventually funny” moments.

Like this weekend when we introduced them to a trampoline.

Needless to say, we will not be an internet sensation anytime soon. Grace is the biggest scaredy cat. This is exactly how she acted with water, and this is fairly accurate on how Crosby was with water-not a care in the world.

Something they are really good at is road trips, so that is a plus!

We may puke in our kennels, but not in the car!

Grace in car

Grace likes to climb up in the front seat with me like she is a lap dog. Then she will look back at Crosby in an obnoxious way like she is snubbing him. She is also afraid of the air vents, which is a fun game to play. Doesn’t her collar look nice?

This is Crosby’s contribution to keep everyone awake and alert in the car.

So there is the doggy shame for us. I know this won’t be the last thing they do, so hopefully next time I can have some forethought and document it properly.