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My forearms look like someone burned rubber on the highway except instead of tire marks, they’re teeth marks, and I have a newfound respect for mothers… especially of twins. I now understand when mothers say they haven’t gotten out of their PJs or brushed their teeth, all day, and the only meal they’ve eaten is a cold slice of pizza on the run.

If you or anyone you know is lonely or depressed, I suggest a puppy instead of antidepressants. If you get two puppies, just don’t expect to get anything done!

This week Lulu’s moved from getting stuck under my dresser to getting stuck between the back of the toilet and the wall in the powder room. They’re growing so fast I fear I’m a week away from calling 911 to help me get her out.

My dear friend Joan called the other day, and the first thing out of her mouth was, “Two puppies? What were you thinking?”

“The good news is the house is full of life and love again,” I told her. “The bad news is Annie and Lulu were in the ER three times last week for things they shouldn’t have eaten like a piece of rubber glove; part of a Famous Amos foil cookie wrapper someone threw over my wall and a chew bone—downed in one gulp— that was supposed to provide ‘hours of fun.’ X-rays and three induced vomits were $1,600.” It’s almost impossible to keep an eye on two high-energy puppies at the same time. If that wasn’t bad enough, somehow Annie ripped one of her right rear claws off which required cauterizing, bandaging and another Elizabethan collar to keep her from chewing on her foot.

I see a part-time job—maybe puppy modeling—in Annie and Lulu’s future because their allowance doesn’t begin to cover their expenses.

Other than I love them to pieces, there’s MORE GREAT NEWS: We’ve gotten rid of both of their internal parasites! Thank you, God! I’m so grateful! We’re also making progress on housebreaking although Lulu sometimes gets so excited she pees part of the way out the door. The last two nights I didn’t set my alarm for 2:30am to take them outside. Their bladders are able to hold it, so I’m sleeping straight through night for the first time in almost a month! Thank you, again, God! This week a dog trainer came to the house to give them me behavioral lessons so they won’t chew on EVERYTHING; they’ll gain some independence from one another–they’re still pretty much joined at the hip–and they’ll learn to walk on a leash. We’re making progress!

Lulu (Little Devil Woman) and Annie

Annie and Lulu are mixed breeds, from the same litter. Everyone agrees they’re part Lab, but their foster family thought Annie’s wrinkled forehead looks like she has some hound in her. If they mean hound, as in Bloodhound, I agree.

Annie and Lulu can sniff out an acorn at 20 paces, even if the acorns are old and dried and buried under a thick thatch of crabgrass. Their noses are infallible. I’ve gone so far as to rake parts of my yards with a hair comb, but every time we go outside I’m still digging acorns out of their mouths… something else they’re not supposed to swallow. If only there were truffles under there, they could pay for their vet bills!

PS: I love and appreciate each and every one of you for your emails, comments, good wishes and prayers that we would be able to get rid of Annie and Lulu’s killer parasite. A number of people, who are smarter than I am, weren’t sure I could do it, but they didn’t know I had all of you on our side. Thank you, sweet friends! xoxox

Love, Brenda


  • Esther Zimmer April 29, 2017 at 4:02 am

    What wonderful news! Well, apart from the chewing, induced vomiting and vet’s bill, that is. Brenda, I’m so happy for all of you and I can feel your love for the girls, even as I read about foot injuries and being stuck in strange places. Thanks for the update and sending you much love. Essie xx

    • 1010ParkPlace.com April 29, 2017 at 7:54 pm

      Sending you love as well, Essie! The girls are a challenge!! Brenda

  • Jan Duda April 29, 2017 at 5:49 am

    Dear Brenda — How delightful your naughty pups are well and happy! No matter what they might inadvertently destroy, eat, whatever those busy little rascals do, it is always with the best of intentions! I purchased a beautiful white room size Greek Flokati rug and not long after that, my adorable little Daisy came to live and love with me. However, she was always so excited when I came home from work, all she could do was to pee and as you must guess, it was always on that beautiful rug. After a rather log time, Daisy finally was able to follow me outside as soon as I arrived at home. By then the rug was history, even after having it cleaned by a company who specialized in that type of rug. Daisy also chewed only one each of three pairs of favorite shoes; and that is when I learned without a doubt that no thing could ever be worth what my adorable little fluffy white & curly Daisy gave me for many years, the most wonderful and purist love I’ve ever known. Long live You, Annie, and Lucy to share your special love! Sincerely, Jan Duda P.S. Brenda, on one of your former blogs you added a photo of your favorite room designed by the amazing Suzanne Kasler. Can you tell me where I would be able to find that former blog of yours?

    • Susanna Moyer April 29, 2017 at 7:11 pm

      Dear Brenda,
      I am so happy for you with your new family! I’m so thankful for my yorkie Oscar who makes me laugh and gives me love every day!
      All my love,

      • 1010ParkPlace April 29, 2017 at 8:00 pm

        Hi Susanna, How was your trip to Europe? Hope to be coming your way in the next month. I’ll let you know. Love, Brenda

    • 1010ParkPlace April 29, 2017 at 7:59 pm

      HI Jan, We sacrifice a lot in the name of love, but then what is more important?… At least we’re not talking about a Monet, so we don’t have to answer that. As far as the photograph of the room, I think you might be referring to Tara Shaw. Is this the one you were thinking of? https://1010parkplace.com/my-biggest-fear/ Brenda

  • Michele April 29, 2017 at 8:32 am

    Wow…they sound like a handful!!

    • 1010ParkPlace April 29, 2017 at 8:01 pm

      They are, Michele! I’m exhausted! Thanks for your note! Brenda

  • [email protected] April 29, 2017 at 10:14 am

    Enjoy the new additions to your family Brenda!

    • 1010ParkPlace April 29, 2017 at 8:02 pm

      Thank you, Nancy! I appreciate that!

  • Barbara April 29, 2017 at 11:24 am

    We’ve always had two dogs but never two puppies at the same time! What a handful…of fun and joy and vet bills! Buddy just had his first illness that we still aren’t sure what it was. But, he’s back to his old silly self and that’s all that matters. The vet bills are far more expensive than our doctor bills, that’s for sure!
    Enjoy the love and laughter!

    • 1010ParkPlace April 29, 2017 at 8:06 pm

      I’ve been overworked, depressed, had houseguests, but nothing remotely compares to putting me behind schedule like two young puppies! Oh, my stars! There is lots of love and laughter, or I’m not sure I’d survive this! xoxox, Brenda

  • Claudia Schmidt April 29, 2017 at 11:50 am

    OMG, 2 lab puppies! You sure are brave! The first 2 years of having a puppy were almost exactly reminiscent of having a baby, but once Tucker (our Pembroke Welsh Corgi) turned 2, he stopped teething and chewing on everything and life got a bit back to normal. Have fun, they will keep you young!

    • 1010ParkPlace April 29, 2017 at 8:07 pm

      OMG is right, Claudia! Two years? God help me! xoxo, Brenda

  • Kona April 29, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    Oh we should have a puppy play date and use the opportunity to compare scar tissue. I am sure you will beat me with two, but my little darling is a leaping biter and can snag an unwary finger four feet in the air. As a matter of fact, have you noticed your puppies can fly short distances? The little things do not seem to have a grasp on gravity. I bought puppy insurance and boy am I glad. Best wishes to a wonderful puppy mommy.

    • 1010ParkPlace April 29, 2017 at 8:11 pm

      Puppy insurance? I think I’m the one who needs extra insurance. I bend down to clean up the floor and Lulu’s jumped up on my back, while Annie is tugging on my hair. A puppy play date… Can we serve vodka and have Uber drive us to and fro?

      • Kona April 29, 2017 at 10:53 pm

        I am in for both vodka and Uber!

        • Brenda Coffee April 30, 2017 at 3:21 pm

          We’re on, girlfriend!!

  • Paula Kiger April 29, 2017 at 7:19 pm

    Oh these puppies — and you — are all so fortunate to have each other. But gracious they are putting you through your paces!!! Glad the parasites are history.

    • 1010ParkPlace.com April 29, 2017 at 8:13 pm

      I’m happy to have them, but Paula… They don’t have an “off” button!

  • Cinda April 30, 2017 at 4:54 am

    Love this. Real life! The love you share is only going to grow and grow– bonding too. I have 2 and these are litter-mates as well. Different personalities-and both just precious. The early puppy stage was so difficult with the house training and lack of sleep. We too had the Giardiasis …. ugh. My little green machine helped me thru this. I did need the second round of medication as our first fecal post med showed up positive-again. I then used for 4 nites running 2 sheets ( old) to cover the area they seemed to use to relieve themselves in our bedroom. I keep these just for them….. future ailments, one never knows. I walk these 2 daily 3-4 times and watch them like hawks near the geese area as these “treats” the geese leave are one way that yucky parasite enters their bodies. I as well have encouraged my neighbors who are dog owners to please pick up after their dogs (rural area we live in and owners here are not as vigilant at collecting this- ugh), as the Vet says parasite activity can be found in old poop— my dogs sniff it- not consume but still grossssss! Also I wanted to educate them about this vial parasite and the need to stop it not see it cycle thru mine or others. I enjoy your blog! Those 2 are so lucky to have you!

    • Brenda Coffee April 30, 2017 at 3:20 pm

      You’re a love, Cinda! Thanks for letting me know you’ve been through this as well. It’s trying, isn’t it? I love these little girls beyond reason, but now I realize I wasn’t thinking beyond, “Oh, I’ll have dogs in the house again! Dogs who weren’t abused; ones I can fill with love and positive training from Day One.” I never thought about the “terrible two’s”… that this stage may last for two years! If you read my blog then you know I never miss posting on Saturdays. If I miss a Saturday, please call 911 because I may have slipped in a puddle of pee or gotten myself stuck behind the toilet while trying to pull out Lulu! Brenda

  • Tara Dillard April 30, 2017 at 11:10 am

    Loving the LOVE !! Happy for you, and your babies.

    Thankful for Cinda’s comment.

    When my 22 year old cat was 21 I told myself I didn’t want money to be an issue for his end of life care. Made that personal Life Choice. As it arrived, money was not an issue. Happy to write each check.

    At the front end, I see you, happy writing each check.

    More, have long adored fabulous trinities. You 3 are the love boat.

    Garden & Be Well, XOT

    • Brenda Coffee April 30, 2017 at 3:31 pm

      Hi Tara, Whether it’s end of life care or preventing a new puppy from having a life-threatening intestinal blockage, there isn’t a choice if we’re loving, humane people, which we both are. It also means I’m buying the Home Depot outdoor wall lanterns instead of the more striking pair at the lighting store. If this keeps up, I’ll also be the one painting the outside of my house! I have a thing for “trinities” as well. At least you compared us to the Love Boat and not the Titanic! xoxox, Brenda

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