Our Week with Wally

April 8th, 2013

Last week was an adventure in the Sibley household.  It started out to be a challenging week as I was just feeling better after two full weeks of being down with a nasty virus and nowhere near 100% yet,  and the Rocket Scientist woke up Monday morning with a seeminlgy different, but equally wicked nasty virus.  It was Release Week at TE which is always particularly busy for me in combination with my job in the church office.

Then Tuesday morning, as I headed out the door to work while hubby was sick in bed, as I got to my car in the driveway I thought I saw a dog’s tail under our 5th wheel trailer.  I walked around and around the trailer until I finally saw this dirty white dog hiding under there.  Oh my!  If you know me at all, you know I try to resscue every stray dog I ever see.  You know this is how we ended up with both Tessa and then Roger.

This is not the first stray dog I’ve found in my front yard as we live on a fairly major street.  I went in the house to get some food and water, knowing that there would be a good chance he would be gone by the time I got back which is what usually happens.  Only he wasn’t.  He was right there under the trailer looking so pitiful. I put the bowls down, spoke softly and stepped back.  He did come out tentativley and the wolf down the food and gulp down some water.  Now what?

I picked up the dishes and told him to follow me, that I would get him some more.  I spoke sweetly and coaxingly and he did…he followed me into the backyard.  I got him some more food and a towel to lay on.  I went in and told the Rocket Scientist that we had a stray dog in our backyard, so not to let our dogs out and that I would figure something out when I came home for lunch.  I’d have a plan.  And I left for work.

I came home for lunch…still no plan.  The pup was a sweetie pie, but very lethargic and oh so filthy dirty.  I changed my clothes – into some old jeans and t-shirt – and ran him down to the vet on the corner to check for a chip (he had no collar)…but no chip.  Brought him home and decided he really had to have a bath immediately.  Curt helped me.  He’s much bigger than our dogs at 20 pounds and stands so tall!  Here he is after the bath – still quite dirty.

We were guessing he was a cockapoo or something similar.  His curly coat had been very badly/unevenly cut off with scissors/shears and his skin had been nicked in a couple of places.  His ears and tail were matted.  And…well…let’s just say, he was a mess!

We brought him in to stay in our laundry room with a blanket and plenty of food and water.  We introduced him to Tessa and Roger.  Suffice it to say, they were less than thrilled.  We put signs up at Petco and some groomers and some vet offices.  I was planning to do a lot more when I got off work at 1:00 on Thursday.  We also registered him on some on-line lost dog websites. We spent as much time with him as we could.  He was a love sponge!  He wanted to cuddle like crazy!  And by the second day, he started to be very playful as well.  Yep, Tessa and Roger were NOT thrilled.

At some point, we began calling him Wally.  We had to call him something.  Wally is a name that goes back many years among Curt’s buddies and I think that Curt just called him that and it immediately stuck.  He learned his name in a couple of days.

On Wednesday I called around to find a groomer I could take him to and I got him a Thursday afternoon appointment at Your Elegant Pet in Lakewood.  I had not been there before, but they had excellent Yelp reviews and had an open appointment time.  Oh my goodness! Christy, the groomer, did such a wonderful job on him.  He was like a comepletely different dog!





Is he a cutie or what?  By this time we decided that he had NOT been well-cared-for and there wasn’t much point in putting a huge effort forth to find his owners.  Rather, we felt that we should find him a new forever family ASAP.

At this point, I want to say that I felt very strongly that the Lord brought Wally to us for a reason.  I didn’t find him somewhere on the street and coax him into my car.  He was in our front yard, under our RV.  {And in fact, Curt had seen him on Monday afternoon when he came home from work sick in the middle of the day.  He though he saw a dog when he pulled into the driveway, but couldn’t find him when he got out of his truck and looked.  We now realize Wally was hiding behind our old motorhome at that point.}  I knew with all my heart that the Lord had a family waiting for Wally. I prayed that the Lord would guide us to them and that He would please do it quickly.  While Curt and I never once considered keeping Wally, I knew that the longer we had him the harder it would be to let him go.  Also, did I mention that Tessa and Roger were NOT thrilled with this situation?  There was tension in the house.  So, as blessed and privileged as I felt to be caring for Wally, I knew finding his family sooner rather than later would be for the best.

I’m really not sure why the Lord brings stray dogs to us, but it is a blessing. {One of our friends at church yesterday was joking that we must have a secret mark on our house like the old underground railroad houses had, but in this case only the dogs know about it!} It was so wonderful to see this guy transform.  It breaks my heart to think of what he might have gone through, but just look at him now!  He’s going to bring so much joy to someone!

On Friday morning, I sent an e-mail blast to practically everyone I know and I posted on Facebook as well.  I included photos and gave all the details I could.  I asked people to forward Wally’s info to everyone they could think of.  I knew, without doubt, that there was a family waiting for him.  I said a prayer as I hit the send key.  Less than 10 minutes later, I got a response from my Mom that said “you have a taker”.  She followed that up by forwarding me the response she had gotten from a co-worker that said “YES! When can we go get him?”  Happy Dance!  Praise God for answered prayer!  Amazing answered prayer!

I called Debi, Wally’s new Mom. immediately and set up a time for her to come on Saturday to get Wally.  Just a few minutes after we hung up, my Mom e-mailed again to say that they had already set up a vet appointment for shots on Sunday.  Yep – this was Wally’s family for sure!

I asked my Mom – is this the same lady that wanted Roger?  Yes, it is.  Oh my!  You may recall that we found Roger on a Saturday.  I think on Monday or Tuesday we began trying to find a home for him.  Debi wanted him, but couldn’t come until the following Saturday.  We had a time set up.  On Friday night, we decided we couldn’t part with Roger, that he must stay with us, and I called Debi and canceled the appointment.  We felt so bad, but she was very understanding.  And now, a year and a half later, she was coming to get her pup from us.  WOW!

I made a grooming appointment for Roger and Tessa, so they wouldn’t be here when Wally met his new family.  Debi came and brought her daughter Arianna.  As soon as they came in the front door, Wally went right to them.  They stayed for a little while and Wally was happy as could be.

They are dog-people.  They thought Wally was the perfect size!  They were so happy!  My heart swelled with joy!

I got a text from Debi yesterday that the vet agreed that Wally is probably a cockapoo and that she estimated his age to be between 1 and 1-1/2 which is kind of what I had been guessing.  They are enjoying him so much!

So, yes our week was an adventure.  It was a challenge in many ways.  It was a joy.  It was stressful, but  I had the constant sense that the Lord had a purpose in it (as He always does) even if I wasn’t sure what the purpose was.  Saturday afternoon our little family was exhausted and all crashed out…but oh so content and happy.

I know this was a long post.  If you got through the whole thing, thanks for sticking with it and going on the adventure with me.  And now it’s Monday and a there’s a whole new week ahead!

Ocean Mesa Trip

March 18th, 2012

Happy Sunday! I held my monthly stamp class yesterday and I still need to photograph those cards so I can share them with you.  In the meantime, I thought I’d pop in to share just a little bit about what we did last weekend.  We took a 3 night trip in the 5th wheel trailer up to a beautiful RV park called Ocen Mesa.  It’s just about 20 minutes north of Santa Barbara.  This was Roger’s first road trip and he did great!  Tessa already loves the trailer and we were hoping he would follow suit.

Despite taking 2 cameras and a video camera with us, the few photos we got were snapped with our phones.

On the road:

Tessa and Roger each have their own carseat and they love them.  Tessa’s seat attaches to the console between us and Roger’s hooks into the middle of the backseat.  They are each latched into the seats with a strap that hooks to their harnesses.  If you have a small dog, I highly recommend getting a carseat for their safety.  If the airbag were to go off with your pup in your lap, they wouldn’t survive.  Plus it’s not safe for the driver to have a dog running around loose in the car.  OK, getting off my soapbox now.  LOL!  The Rocket Scientist thought I was crazy when I first proposed getting a car seat for Tessa.  He thought she would hate it, but he has since admitted that they are great!  Both dogs will run straight to the car and hop in their seats waiting to be hooked in!

Here’s the trailer all set up:

We are so thankful to my parents for this incredibly generous gift.  It’s so awesome to be able to drive less than 3 hours (we have lots of options in that range) and totally veg out for a few days.  Those of you who know me, know that I am not a “camper”.  I have never been tent camping and never intend to try it.  In fact, I even told Curt that on our 2nd date in case it was a deal-breaker for him.  LOL!  But this is home away from home!  The internet is often sketchy at these RV parks, but sometimes that’s not a bad thing.  😉

The dogs got on board with the program pretty quickly:

Then, of course, Curt had to join them:

We’re fans of the tv show Fringe, but we started watching toward the end of the 2nd season.  We wanted to go back and catch up so we bought the first season on dvd (it was pretty cheap on ebay) and we bought a $25 dvd player for the trailer (needed that anyway.)  So this trip we watched a bunch of episodes of Fringe in the evenings.  Have I mentioned that I’m NOT an ourdoor girl…at all?  *snort*

Ocean Mesa has an awesome huge dog run where the pups can be off leash.

Pretty awesome view, huh?  Would have been perfect if we had that view from our trailer, but we enjoyed bringing the dogs over here to frolick.  Here they come…can you see them?

Just before we left to come home on Sunday, we took them for a romp to expend some energy before the long car ride.  While the dog run had been perfectly dry the day before, everything was totally wet and muddy on Sunday.  When we got back to the trailer we realized a simple paw-wiping with a towel was not going to do the trick.  Fortunately the shower in the trailer includes a small tub and sprayer, so we just threw them in there and washed them up before we headed out.  I so wish I had gotten a photo of them in the tub.

On our next trip maybe I’ll try to get some more “people pictures” too.  LOL!

Thanks for stopping by.  I hope you’re having a great weekend.  I’m off to church soon with a very full day ahead.  And tomorrow is the BIG DAY when I officially start my new job as Office Manager at Bethel Grace Baptist Church!  Say a prayer for me if you think of me tomorrow.  Thanks!

WOW! What a Weekend!!!

November 21st, 2011

Happy Monday!  We had quite the eventful weekend here!  If you read my last post, then you are aware that we had an appointment for someone to come meet Roger on Saturday and most likely take him home.  Friday was Curt’s day off and I swear all we did all day was discuss Roger and what we should do.  In the afternoon we ran some errands that included buying some toys and food to go with Roger.  Each purchase we made seemed to stab at our hearts.  And we recognized that each day Tessa seemed to get along a bit better with Roger and maybe it would indeed be ok.  We questioned if perhaps God really meant Roger for us, in the way that I am absolutley certain that He intended Tessa for us.  Finally aorund 7:30 pm, Curt uttered the fateful words “I think we should keep him.”  I called and cancelled the appointment.

So…please welcome Roger Dog Sibley!!

You might notice his tag.  🙂  On Saturday, we bought him a new collar and a tag with his name and our phone numbers on it.  We also bought him a bed.  We took him to the vet for a check up and to get his shots started.  The vet believes he is between 1 and 1 1/2 years old and gave him a clean bill of health.  He seems quite happy to be staying.  And Tessa seems pretty ok with it too…except when Roger wants my attention when she is in my lap…LOL!

So…ok everyone…now you can say “I told you so!”  Gosh that was an agonizing and emotionally exhausting week!

That was Friday and Saturday…now on to Sunday!  I was registered to take a Configurations Class at the Inspiration Emporium Warehouse in Anaheim on Sunday afternoon.  Although I was excited about the class, truth be told, I didn’t really want to go when it came right down to it.  I had to rush to get there from church, it was pouring down rain, and I was tired and just wanted to chill with the pups.  But, boy oh boy am I ever glad I went.  IT WAS A BLAST and I am beyond thrilled with the outcome of my project.  Here are several photos –

Michelle Fowler was an incredible instructor and I look forward to taking more classes from her in the future.  It had been so long since I had taken a class, I almost didn’t know how to act.  LOL!  Here are some close ups –


Yes, that’s a little Tim Holtz birdcage with a sprig of holly inside and a vintage Monopoly piece!  Here I am with the teacher, Chelle.

And here I am with friends Rachel Stzonyk (fellow TE Sketch Crew Member) and, of course, owner of Inspiration Emporium the sweet Joy Kennedy.

I think the class was scheduled for 3 hours, but we were there for 5 hours.  It was the fastest 5 hours EVER!  Can’t remember when I have had so much fun crafting. And of course the photos just don’t do it justice.  I would highly recommend everyone get a Configurations box, some Tissue Tape and 12 x 12 papers and try one of these!

Thanks for stopping by and sharing in my eventful weekend!  We have a short week ahead with tons to do, and then hopfully some fun and relaxation over the holiday weekend.  I hope you’re having a great Monday!

Stamp Class and Pup Update

November 18th, 2011

Happy Friday!  Last night I taught my monthly stamp class and we had a blast as always!  I know I always say this, but I am blessed with just THE BEST group of stampers.  We had a newbie last night and I hope she had as much fun as the rest of us! It’s always great to introduce someone to stamping!  We created three projects last night and I’ll be sharing one of them with you today.

This card utilizes the current Taylored Expressions Sketch Challenge – TESC150 along with the TE stamp set Thankful.  There were actually 3 different versions of this card each using a different Fall-colored patterned paper collection.  The paper on my sample is from SU.

The pumpkin image was stamped onto Confetti White cardtsock with Timber Brown Staz-on ink and watercolored with an aquapainter and ink from SU pads and markers that had been smeared onto a cd to create a pallette.  Colors used to paint are Peach Parfait, Cajun Craze, Old Olive, and Close to Cocoa.  SU punches were used to layer the sentiment.  The Martha Stewart picket fence border punch created interest under the image and the Mini Leaves Taylored Die set created leaves for the perfect finishing touch in the corner!

I won’t be teaching another class until January and it felt so weird when everyone left last night.

Roger/Tessa UPDATE:

Roger did great with the ladies at class last night.  I had been really concerned how he would react to a house full of people.  Everyone loved him.  We have someone coming to meet him tomorrow.  She is a co-worker of my Mom’s and I’ve never met her.  I have to admit that we are having a hard time at this point with the idea of letting him go and it’s much harder when we don’t know the people personally.  We had so hoped a friend would take him so we’d still be able to see him occasionally.

Tessa and Roger in the backyard yesterday.  Caught these shots as I was photographing cards.

Roger.  It’s funny –  he looks more tan in photos, but in person he has quite a bit of black fur that makes him look more gray overall.

Tessa – my sweet girl!

So yes, Tessa is tolerating Roger somewhat better.  And yes, we continue to feel very torn about keeping Roger vs finding a home for him.  Practically EVERYONE has said we should keep him, which just makes the whole thing that much more difficult.  To be honest, I’m pretty emotionally drained from this whole thing and just don’t have the energy to even try to explain everything I’m feeling and all the factors we are taking into consideration.  Roger really is a great dog.  He’s loving, playful and obedient. All that being said, Tessa has to come first.  As things stand now, it’s likely he’ll be on his way to his new home tomorrow afternoon.  Either way, I forsee an emotional weekend ahead! 

I’ll be back soon to share my other two class projects.  Thanks so much for stopping by today.  I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Nope, that’s not Tessa!

November 15th, 2011

What a weekend! (photos below)  I had planned to spend a good deal of Saturday creating samples for my stamp class this week.  We realized we were out of bird food so a trip to Fran’s was in order.  Curt could see that I was in the zone (stamping zone) and offered to go to the store by himself, and although I really didn’t want to stop what I was doing, I truly just wanted to spend the time with him so I said I would take a break.  We went to the bird store and stopped for an early dinner.  It looked like rain.  On the way home I suggested we take a different route so we could drive by the condo complex I lived in when we met.  I have no idea why I did this, you can’t see much from the street (it’s gated) and I wasn’t all that interested as we drove by.  It would be dark soon…dark and raining.

This route took us by the park where we like to take Tessa to walk.  As we drove by, I looked at the park and saw a small dog sitting on the steps…all by himself…with no one around…and it was starting to rain.  Curt whipped the car around and parked.  I tried to get the scruffy little guy to come to me, but he was frightened.  At one point he jumped into a cardboard box and we saw there was a fleece blanket inside.  We tried to call Animal Control, but they were closed.  We couldn’t just leave him there.  Curt stayed at the park in the rain while I drove the 5 minutes home to get a leash and some food.  Driving back I pictured us chasing this pup all over the sizeable park.  I prayed that we would be able to catch him.

When I arrived at the park Curt had the pup in his arms, holding him inside his jacket.  We stopped at the 24 hour vet to check for a chip – nope.  Had him weighed (just over 11 pounds) And we brought him home.

He looks a lot like Tessa, huh?  This whole thing has an eerie similarity to how we got Tessa.  Roger was quite dirty (oh yeah, within the first hour home we had named him Roger after a good friend who Curt had to cancel plans with that night) and we decided a bath was in order.  After his bath he cuddled up next to Curt on the couch.

We have found him to be very playful – he loves all of Tessa’s toys and I’ve given him a couple of his own.  He loves to go for a walk.  He’s well-mannered (except today he decided he needed to protect his territory when anyone would come to our backdoor) – he doesn’t beg or jump up while we’re eating.  He’s housebroken with no incident over night, although he did piddle in the house today.  We think he’s just having a little trouble with the new environment.  He’s loving.  Overall, he’s a great dog.

So, I know what you’re thinking and what you’re going to say.  Everyone for the past two days has been telling us we should keep him.  And believe me, we’ve thought about it.  But we just can’t.  Why?  Well the main reason is that Tessa is not at all happy to have him here and it breaks our hearts to see her unhappy.  We have been blessed with the most wonderful and joyous relationship with Tessa and we just can’t stand the thought of jeopardizing that.  Roger wants to play with Tessa, but he is twice her size and rather bouncy and she is intimidated by him.  When she tries to meet/greet Curt at the door, Roger bounds over her and blocks her.  He’s not doing it on purpose, he’s just excited.  But she is crestfallen not to get to her daddy.  Could that change and could they become friends?  Maybe, maybe not. 

I had to trap all 3 of us in the laundry room to get this photo of the two of them together.  Roger is a good boy and I know he’s going to bring a great deal of happiness to someone.  So we are looking for a wonderful person/family for him.  If you are in SoCal and interested, please contact me ASAP.  Also I’d love it if you would forward this information to anyone you think might be interested or even post a link to this post on your Facebook wall.

We did put “found dog” posters up tonight, although we really think he was most likely abandoned.  You never know though.  I find it hard to believe in our current world of technology that is it so difficult to get lost pets back to their owners!  I mean seriously – we’re taping posters to light poles?!?  We did register him on one website.  We checked out another one, but it had a $25 fee.  Really?


Roger has been neutered, but of course he’ll need shots.  We have no idea how old he is, but I’m sure a vet could give you a good guess.  We just put a dose of Frontline on him so that’s taken care of 30 days.  He could really benefit from a professional grooming.  He’s adorable and he’s a sweetheart.  Would you like Roger to live with you and be your companion and friend? Look at that face!!!!!

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for reading about Roger!

It’s Halloween

October 31st, 2011

Happy Halloween!  I have to admit, I am totally NOT into Halloween.  That being said, there are two things I enjoy about it: first is making cards with fun Halloween stamps and second, and by far the most, is dressing Tessa up in Halloween costumes.  This year she’s a SHARK! (click photos to view them larger.)

Isn’t she FIERCE??!!  LOL!  Our friends, David and Audrey,  go all out on their haunted house deocrations, so I’ll take Tessa treak-or-treating over to their house tonight.

I didn’t get a new card made to share as I’ve been prepping for the Taylored Expressions Release this week (I’ll be joining in on the sneal peeks tomorrow.)  But here’s my favorite card from last year. You can get all the details in the original post.

Thanks for stopping by!  I hope you have a fun evening!

October Release At a Glance

  • We have sneak peeks to share Monday through Wednesday.  All of the new products will be available for purchase on Thursday, October 6th at 8 am PST. You’ll find it all in the Fresh out of the Oven Department at the Taylored Expressions Store.
  • Join us as a fan on Facebook for an early peek at the stamp sets, as well as a SPECIAL Facebook GIVEAWAY, on Wednesday night beginning at approximately 6 pm PST.
  • Mystery Baker’s Dozen Blog Giveaway: Each day, one lucky blog commenter will be chosen by random draw to win a $10 TE Gift Certificate.  Winners will be chosen from a different Baker’s Dozen blog each day and will be announced on Taylor’s blog on Release Day!  Be sure to hop around to see all the sneak peeks and leave comments on each and every blog for more chances to win. Limit one comment per blog per day, please.  Comments close Wednesday 10/5 at 7pm PST for the drawings.

Welcome to Day 2 of the TE Sneak Peeks!  We have 2 fabulous sets to show you today – Totally Tags and Peaceful Poinsettias.  My sample showcases Peaceful Poinsettias illustrated by Nancy McKinney for the Whimsical Wishes collection.  It’s a full size (5.75″ x 8.5″) set with 16 images and it has so many options for creating gorgeous poinsettias!  You can stamp outlines and color with Copics, you can stamp solid images with ink, and you can die cut and layer to your heart’s content with the coordinating Poinsettia Taylored Die set!  I had so much fun playing with this set and I know you’re going to be amazed when you see what the Baker’s Dozen came up with!

My project is a $2.49 picture frame I picked up at Michael’s. I wanted to frame the photo of Tessa that we used on our Christmas cards last year.  Look at my sweet baby wearing her Christmas coat!  (Click on the photos to see them larger.)

I used papers and ribbon from the Holiday Wonder Project Pantry (also available Thursday.)  The papers were adhered with Mod Podge and then covered with Shimmer Mod Podge which has a pretty gold shimmery finish.  The dimensional poinsettias are the star of the show though!

Here’s what I did to achieve this look:

  • Stamped the solid layer images onto ivory cardstock with Cherry Cobbler, More Mustard, and Lucky Limeade ink
  • Die cut all my pieces with the Poinsettia Taylored Dies
  • Used a Krylon Gold Leafing Pen to go around all the edges – love the rich elegant look of this!
  • Placed each piece on a piercing mat (a mouse pad would also work) and used an embossing stylus to emboss into all the veins on all individual layers and leaves
  • Used my knuckle to impress deeply into the center of each flower layer
  • Lined up the layers on the piercing mat and used my piercer to punch a hole for a rhinestone brad
  • Attached all layers together with the rhinestone brad

Once I got going, all of those steps went pretty quickly.  I’m excited to have a new Christmas decor piece and I’m anxious to play with this stamp set even more!  Let’s see what the Baker’s Dozen has cooked up!

Thanks for stopping by!  Even more peeks are on the way tomorrow!