One of the biggest adjustments I have had to make moving to South Florida (or soflo as they say) has been the reptiles. They are EVERYWHERE. Tiny lizards, Iguanas the size of my left leg (though I haven’t seen a gator yet) and every size in between. These little creatures are always scurrying out of bushes and under your feet and if you were to ask my South Florida friends they will tell you I am NOT A FAN. On multiple occasions I have embarrassed myself by jumping, screaming, and even tripping over myself to escape them. I continue to hope that this quality is endearing to my new friends but I’m not quite sure that is the case.
Penelope however LOVES these little guys and is always on the lookout. Every time she goes outside she is always peering into the bushes and under cars trying to find one to chase. On the bright side being that our washer and dryer are in the garage “sigh” I am able to bring her with me to protect me. I would bring Luna but we all know she can’t go anywhere that isn’t “childproof” because she is a danger to herself. #labproblems
Penelope has become such an important member of our family and its so fun to see her personality develop. I have never doubted for a second that we were meant to find her because she fits our family so well. Its funny too because initially she was a very shy and reserved little girl and as time has gone by she has really come out of her shell and gotten comfortable with us and with Luna.
Another way she has fit in so well is by bonding so closely with Dean. Luna and I have had a very special bond from the day we got her being that we have never been apart and as much as Luna LOVES Dean she is for sure my dog. That is not something I realized until we got Penelope. Now I have some insight on what its like to be second favorite and as much as I thought that would be sad the fact that we both have a little one who adores us has been so fun. Don’t get me wrong I KNOW that Penelope loves me and Luna loves Dean so no hard feelings here! This doesn’t surprise me either because Penelope is very adventurous! She and Dean run after lizards anytime they see one and it is the goofiest thing I’ve ever seen. They both are much more wild than Luna and I who prefer to run away from lizards, frogs, loud noises, and Dean sneaking up on us multiple times a day.
Regardless she has transitioned extremely well and our family seems to have the perfect pup to human ratio that things really couldn’t be more fun in our home and we can’t wait to see all the fun we will get to have with them both in the years to come.
There is a new puppy addition to the Burton family. Of course some of you are thinking “Wow Kathleen and Dean cannot control themselves with dogs” which would be accurate thinking. We LOVE dogs, probably every dog we meet.
Call us crazy, call us obsessed, but the Burtons adopted a baby cow. Ok TECHNICALLY she’s a puppy but lets be honest, she looks like a little cow.
When we moved to southern florida what we soon discovered was that there were animal shelters and rescues all over the place. I couldn’t believe the number of dogs without homes and how full these places were. This was such a different experience for us because when we got Luna we didn’t have hardly any places to choose from because the only place near us that had adoptable pets was a cat rescue. (Just an FYI Dean and I are not cat people lol). So we went online and eventually found a local woman who’s Labs had a litter of puppies and there we met Luna!
Around Christmas time Kathleen brought up a serious problem with puppies. Sometimes people buy puppies as presents and either don’t realize how much work they are, or just decide that they are no longer interested in their dog like they thought they would be. A few months into “training” some families just give up and send these dogs to a shelter or rescue. That literally breaks our hearts. So we decided to go out to the local places around this time when puppies are usually turned in after the holidays to see some possibilities.
One day when Dean was on duty and I was coming home from running some errands I drove past a local rescue and decided that I would stop inside and so the doggie fever began. Throughout the next week we stopped at every humane society, rescue, or shelter we drove past to look and see if there were any pups who would fit into our family. There were dozens of possibilities and we met with some who we thought could become part of our family but none seemed to fit. It was also very important to us that we chose a dog that could definitely get along with Luna and that she felt comfortable having in her home.
You see as much as we wanted another dog, if we were going to go the route of rescuing instead of finding a breeder I wanted to know it would work before we committed to this new dog. For me once that paper was signed that dog would be ours for life and with a rescue you don’t always know their history so we wanted to be sure.
When we went to the humane society there was a liter of 8 puppies that were “Lab Mixes” that all looked like baby cows and we fell in love with them. We narrowed it down to two boys that we had played with and when we couldn’t make a decision we realized that our decision maker needed to be Luna. We brought her in to meet each dog individually and were surprised to realize that Luna hated them both. Her disdain was so obvious that we KNEW we couldn’t take one home. Dean suggested that maybe she wasn’t a fan of having a boy puppy in her space so we went back to the litter and in the back of the cage was a sleepy little girl with a face that looked just like Luna’s. We decided to give it a whirl and we are SO glad we did because from the moment we put them together their tails have not stopped.
This move was a bit tougher on the baby. I think between Deans training and visiting family we were not in our own home for so long that when we started our 3 day trip to Florida she was so stressed out that she made herself sick. It was really hard for Dean and I to see her like that so I couldn’t wait to get into a place for her to feel like we were finally home. It definitely has given us a small glimpse of what traveling with kids might be like one day! Overall I am so glad that we finally have settled in and I can tell Luna is feeling much more relaxed.
When we got Luna, the first few months she slept in her crate at night next to our bed so that if she started to cry for us I could reach down into her crate and she would sleep on my hand. Eventually when she was house trained we caved and decided we just couldn’t sleep without her. (if you haven’t realized by now luna runs our household)
Sleeping with Luna was always fun for us and most of the time provided a very funny source of entertainment in the mornings that Dean and I could laugh about. Several mornings we would both wake up before her and (while she slept upside down in between us) we would try not to laugh at her baby snores and take turns softly rubbing her belly.
This system was very fun and adorable until Luna reached 60 pounds and we realized that the three of us were sleeping in a FULL sized bed and that wasn’t going to fly for too much longer. We decided that when we moved we would use our bedroom furniture for the guest room and then buy our very first bedroom set! The decision to buy a king was not a difficult one for us. It was either a larger bed or Luna would need to sleep on the floor. The thought of that nearly made us weep. You see, once you wake up next to two little paws under your pillow that smell like Fritos (all dogs paws smell like Fritos just an fyi. I swear by it, go on and smell them.) you just can’t imagine waking up without them. I know for me its such a comfort having her in bed when Dean is away. Especially when a stranger breaks in to your house to come kill you and she perches herself on the edge of the bed until dawn growling like she will rip their arm off. In this particular instance it was actually the shower caddy in the bathroom falling into the tub with all the bottles of shampoo and conditioner rolling out but IT COULD HAVE BEEN A CRIMINAL. Needless to say she makes me feel very safe when Deans away lol.
The day our king set arrived and we made the bed it took Luna 2 hours to decide that from now until eternity this would be her new favorite place. In the midst of unpacking we realized we didn’t know where she had gone which in Luna terms means she has probably stolen something. We started our search and soon discovered our little baby
She is loving it so much and its so nice to see her feel so at home again. I love waking up next to her, and going to sleep hearing her snore. But mostly I love that all three of us get to be a snuggly family together in our new little oasis.
If you know anything about our lives it’s that we travel A LOT, and of course that means that Luna travels a lot too. We are SO lucky that she is so great in the car for any amount of time. She has gotten so accustomed to this constant travel that she has her own special car routine. Our very first trip from Boston to Maryland with the three of us Luna of course had to ride in the backseat and if you have ever owned a lab you must know that any time spent away from their people (even just a few inches away…) is devastating to them. Not only does she feel completely alone but she gets very jealous when you speak to each other and she is not in the middle of you, which has ultimately resulted in her wiggling the front half of her body on top of the center console leaving her back legs and butt just chillin on the back seat.
This has become such a common occurance that we have started to position our arms, hands and sometimes even legs to accommodate her resting positions.
As much as this is probably an inconvenience at times we are glad to do it because she has become the best travel companion. When she does spend time in the back seat to enjoy a little window action, you can always count on kisses behind your ears. Which is always welcome!
We are so glad that with all our moves to come we have such a great pup by our side!
Dean and I have found that not everyone on this planet is on the same page as us when it comes to their dog. This could be because we have a very strange obsession with the baby that turns us into weirdos who ask her how her day has been when we get home, but I choose to believe its because we just love her more than anyone has ever loved their own dog. Obviously.
One morning I came out of the shower confused as to why there weren’t any curious paws trying to hop into the tub with me when I walked into something a little bit shocking. My husband, the man who I count on to keep our home safe and to be my protector, was sitting with an upside down Luna in his lap INSIDE her crate. Let me just clarify that not only was Luna in her crate but DEAN was inside her crate. He clearly heard me enter the room as the look of “I’ve been discovered” was plastered onto his face. We were both speechless. I guess he just assumed I would take forever to get ready (rude, however accurate) so he would have more time to hide this secret. That was when I realized that not only was my husband the love of my life but he was also ACTUALLY perfect for me. We laughed SO hard. Then I told Dean that I was also guilty of crawling in there a time or two myself.
Thats when you know your with the right person, when they just get your dog on levels no one else could understand.
Im so lucky to have Dean as a best friend because life is so fun with him.
Disclaimer: If you do not own a dog you may not understand, in order to fully grasp this concept the Burtons highly recommend you change that and get a dog. Today.
Luna. That is our first childs name (and by child I mean our dog). But if you are a dog lover then you know what I mean. We needed a dog immediately after moving to Boston. This is because
1. Kathleen needed a friend while i was on duty and
2. Every home needs a wet nose and floppy ears to smooch
Kathleen and I had been talking about it for… basically as long as we had been together. We wanted a french bulldog at first. Kathleen did her research and started calling and emailing breeders. When nobody responded we decided to email a lab breeder for fun. She responded immediately and we knew we were meant to have a little black lab. We picked her up and drove her home, and while Kathleen was in the backseat holding this sleepy, warm, cuddly “nug” as she would call her, I knew she was the happiest wife on the planet.
Kathleen has poured a lot of time and heart into training Luna. Since I was on duty half of the time she took charge and trained Luna. I have to say I don’t think anyone could have done it better. For a 1 year old lab she is perfect. For some she is too much energy to handle but we love that about her. Luna has truly blessed our home and brings joy to us everyday.
Let us introduce you to our English Lab Luna, or “The Baby”.
K- When we got married and Dean decided to join the Coast Guard I told him I would follow him around the country on one condition, I would always need a dog. We moved to our first station and ten days later Dean took me to a farm 45 minutes into the middle of nowhere and there she was! In all her squirmy, floppy glory. I honestly don’t have a clue what I would do without her. She will steal a kitchen towel and make you chase her around the house 12 times in a row making you want to pull your hair out, but one look at her snoring upside down next to me in bed filling Deans spot when he’s gone reminds me how grateful I am for that sweet face every day!