Today was Miss Gracie's first day with us. She has been adjusting well, but is very nervous about her new surroundings. She has a doghouse outside, but she prefers to sleep on the mat by the back door. She stays on the back patio, pacing back and forth...just waiting to see if we'll come to the door. She has a sweet disposition, and she is already learning to trust us.

We introduced her to Tucker (our Rat Terrier) and Sinatra (our giant cat). The introductions didn't go so well. I was reading up on how to introduce a new dog to a resident dog. The recommendation was to leash the new dog, but let the resident dog have free reign. That method didn't go too well. Tucker attacked...and took hold of her tail and drew a little blood. Poor Gracie.... She didn't know what to do, and she wanted to get at him, but was more panicked than aggresive. Tucker was just plain aggresive. One of her equals about 6 of Tucker....so you'd think he would be scared. Not Tucker.

With the second introduction: a word to the wise....(since I don't seem to be amongst them)...don't introduce a cat to a big dog when he's never even seen one in his lifetime. It will not end well, and someone will get hurt - and it will likely be you. Because I love my cat, I held onto him as he was hissing and fighting to run away - claws out, ready to grab whatever they could. I avoided all of his claws but one, which ended up gouging into my finger. It hurt...really hurt....and I was concerned that stitches might be needed. However, after applying pressure and rinsing with quite a bit of cold water - a layer of band-aids are nursing my wound. Note to self: never do that again.

I'm not sure if Tucker and Gracie will ever be friends. Tucker seems too intimidated by her and immediately goes into protection mode. He is submissive to us around her, but she has to be leashed and he has to be a good distance from her to even begin to remain calm. He'll get used to her...someday. Until then, we're keeping them separated and will gradually ease them into sharing the same backyard. Poor Tucker....he's so used to it being his yard...his place to play, potty, and run. Now, a big, strange dog is there. His paradise is no more. Poor guy.

I didn't write about the special visitor we had last night. I thought I'd save it for a more general post. One of my high school Engish teachers (I've mentioned her before), Mrs. Boykin, has been in contact with me throughout everthing. I've so appreciated it. She had such an impact on me, and I feel so blessed to still have her in my life. Being a teacher myself, I see students come and go, and very few stay in touch. Over the years, I've done all I could to keep in touch with Mrs. Boykin. She is such a compassionate person, and her example is one I've always modeled my life after. She came for a visit yesterday, and I soooo enjoyed it. I'm looking forward to more visits :) I find it funny that when she calls she uses her first name, but I can't bring myself to call her anything but Mrs. Boykin. It's a habit of mine.... respect....go figure.

We received a care package from Texas today. A friend of mine delivered it. I didn't ask her the details about how it came to us and from whom. It was very touching, though. It was a care box specifically directed to our siutation - from a ministry titled Empty Arms Ministry. I could tell that the box was put together with so much thought and care. I have been awestruck by all of the people who have heard our story and have shared comments and prayers with us. It's been amazing. Just today, I saw a message from Australia! People are praying for us in S. Africa, India, Korea, Australia, CA, TX, VA....it's humbling. Thank you all. And as I've said in previous posts, I read every single comment...sometimes several times....and I find them so comforting. Thank you for leaving them. They truly brighten my day, and I look forward to them every day.

We are leaving for the mountains in the morning. I have no idea about he internet situation at the house we will be staying in, but I'm hoping there will be access somewhere. My blog is my outlet, and as nervous as I already feel about a new dog and travelling....I can foresee a meltdown which will require blogging for relief.

Thank you for your continued prayers and remembering us as you go about your day. You are all so special and are being used to help us heal.

And a big thank you to my sister, Megan, who will be watching Gracie for us while we're gone. Thanks Megan! You're the best. Tucker is being shipped up to Rocky Mount with my parents so Megan doesn't have to worry about him.....whew....that would be insane.

Have a good weekend.


  1. I came across your blog one day a few weeks back and since then have been back everyday. I can't imagine all that you are going through right now, everytime I read your posts my heart truly aches for you. I know that there is not much that I can do, but I just wanted you to know that I think about you and your precious Ayden a ton and am praying for you.
    With love,
    Lindsey K. from Florida

  2. give them time to get to know each other. i thought that the cats and pepper would never get along, and now they have a great deal of tolerance for one another. once tucker feels like his spot as "alpha" dog is still there, he may just be dominant and she's submissive and that's the way it's going to be. good luck, though, and enjoy yourself this weekend!

  3. Oh, I hope your pups become friends soon. I don't know what to say except that I am praying for you. I hope you have as much fun as you are capable of having on your trip. Thinking of your sweet family and your precious Ayden.

  4. Have a good time...Andy and I went on a cruise after Caden died...just to get away. Talk about meltdown....I had one on the deck of the ship...I was a mess. People would walk by and stare. Andy just sat next to me and patted my back. I know they were thinking terrible thoughts about my husband...likle what did he do to her? we laugh about that now, but at the time I was broken.
    Prayers and peace to you and Jeremy on your trip. May God grant you peaceful sleep and laughter.

  5. Sorry the meeting between the dogs and cat didn't go well, it takes a while for animals to get to know each other. They will be the best of friends in no time!

    Happy to hear your teacher came over, she sounds so very special.

    I will be thinking about the two of you on this trip, and I will pray for a comforting time!


  6. You and Jeremy continue to remain in my thoughts and prayers on a daily basis. There is rarely an hour that goes by where you don't pass through my mind. Though I don't know you personally, I ache for you and for your loss. Ayden is such a sweet baby boy. He has definitely touched my life...though I wish more than anything he could have touched my life in a different way. I understand why those words can't bring comfort because it just isn't fair and just doesn't make sense. However, like you always say, one day you will know why and you will see Ayden and hold him again. That will be a wonderful day!! In the meantime, I pray for comfort, peace, and joy for you and Jeremy.

    Also, I am not sure if this will work for you with Gracie and Tucker, but it may be worth a try. When our great dane, Buddy, is introduced to any new dog, we always do it in the backyard. There seems to be a better introduction in the larger area for some reason. It isn't that he is a mean dog, but he is so large and things can get kind of crazy when he gets excited. Like I said, I don't know if it will work in your situation, but it may be worth a shot?? Good Luck and enjoy your new bestfriend :)

  7. Yep - Cats can be pretty feisty, I have encountered the same situation. No matter how you hold them you are bound to get a claw somewhere in your flesh. They basically just FREAK out for a better lack of words. Our cats ruled the roost with our dog.
    Hopefully after time passes the dogs will become friends, maybe Tucker wants it to be known that HE is the alpha of the pack. Hopefully they can someday run and play together. Have fun in the Mountains!

  8. Have you ever watched the Dog Whisperer? I know... it's crazy but some of his techniques actually DO work. Consider taking both dogs on a long walk away from your house together. Start out on different sides of the street (you and your hubby of course, one dog a piece) and MAKE them walk forward. Keep them moving forward and try to keep them from watching, barking at, or trying to get to each other. Walk for a LONG time and eventually (as they get super tired) you should be able to come together and walk together. This should ease some of the tension. It will tire them out so they don't have the energy to fight each other and they will be on neutral ground (not at your house or in your yard that they know- or at least one of them claims as 'theirs'). Best of luck. Don't give up. It'll work itself out. Still praying for you and your family. Have fun on your trip!

  9. I'm from Australia too, I've been reading for a few weeks but don't usually comment because this blog makes us sign in. I was the one who asked Sage's family (Liz and Crystal) to get in touch with you, they are the most amazingly caring family who have been through the same experience, I knew they would reach out to you and I see they have. I think of Ayden often, just this morning I was wondering WHY such a sweet baby...another blog I follow just lost their SECOND daughter to cancer (both had brain tumors, can you believe that?) I don't blame you for getting angry now and then, I do and they weren't my children. My heart goes out to you.