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!