Monday, June 23, 2008

Mom's Best Friend

The post I'm about to create will probably have some of you saying, "oh, brother!", but those of you with any kind of pet will understand completely. I am dedicating this part of my blog to my faithful companion, Savannah. Some of you met her in one of my earlier posts. She's the big, black lump of fur playing with Austin or waiting for scraps from his highchair. I've already told the story of how she came to be a part of our family so I won't go into that here. This time I'd like to discuss her lovable personality and some of my favorite memories of her. No, she didn't die. I'm just finding myself especially grateful for her and the fun she contributes to our family.

Anyone that has met Savannah knows that she has a personality all her own. From day 1 we could tell that God was going to show us His sense of humor in the form of our new dog. Her first nickname quickly became, Houdini. "Why?" you ask. Well, maybe it was the fact that she climbed the walls of her makeshift cage one day only to lay right beside it because apparently she hadn't mastered the talent of climbing back INTO her temporary house. Or it could be that she immediately discovered the best way out of the backyard and sat howling by Luke's truck at the end of the driveway until our neighbors took pity on her and babysat until we came home from church. Either way, she has caused us to get creative and constantly try to stay one step ahead of our four-legged friend.

After "Houdini" wore off, Luke was more than happy to come up with other alternate names for Savannah. Don't worry, none of them were of the four letter nature. Despite her best efforts of peeing on the carpet and chewing up his treasured possessions, nothing could pull any of those words from my sweet husband! Thank goodness! Instead, Luke thought her new name should be Shadow since she was very intent in following us around, which included bumping her nose up against the back of your leg to let you know she was still there. But my absolute favorite was when he called her Nutso. No other word could describe our Savannah so completely. She is definitely one crazy dog. So I guess you could say that our dog has a super long name...Savannah Houdini Shadow Nutso Keiffer. And yes, I did just combine all her names as if she was a human.

It's true when they say dogs are the first step to having children. I am now convinced that each dog has it's own personality. Savannah's happens to be onery, playful, and shy with a little high maintenance in the mix. On our first attempt to take her on a walk she absolutely refused to walk on anyone's driveway. In fact, the only reason we got 3 houses down from ours was because we bribed her with dog treats. Sadly, we were forced to carry her back home. Next to her house, her bed is where she spends a great deal of time and not by choice at first. Luke would command her to get on her bed and she would respond by testing every last ounce of patience he had. She would wait until he was coming over to MAKE her get on her bed before she would run and leap onto her bed as if to say, "BASE!!" Once his back was turned she would quietly but quickly stretch her entire body off of her bed until only one paw was touching.

She is still very much the same these days. The only difference is that she's mellowed quite a bit. She's still onery although not as often and while she's gotten more comfortable around new people she still likes the introduction stage to be on her own terms. Luke has yet another nickname for her and it just happens to be princess. By far the most complimentary one he's come up with so far. This is a result of the attitude she's had lately about eating her food outside. Since it's been unbearably hot, she prefers to eat in the comfort of the air conditioning. Of course, I'm the one that indulges her while Luke only gives her tough love. And speaking of Luke, the two of them have ventured out on a number of walks together lately. She's starts out strong but quickly fades to dragging behind Luke until he's pulling her rather than it being the other way around. I love that she will now "put herself to bed" which entails going into our bedroom all by herself and laying on her bed. What a difference from when she was a puppy!

As silly as it sounds sometimes my prayer is "Thank you Jesus for a dog that makes life a little more fun and forces us to work on our patience." Now don't misunderstand. I defnitely love Luke and Austin more than Savannah, but she has been a great companion before Austin while Luke was at class at night and gone for a week working the big "Ice Storm of '07!" Whether or Luke likes it or not, she's an official part of the Keiffer family.

Time Flies...

... when you're having fun! This last month has been a crazy one. I'm sure you can tell by the lack of posting and updating on my part. We've celebrated birthdays, weddings, and most importantly fathers! So I wanted to take a little time to celebrate a new father who just happens to be my husband. :) I can't tell you how thankful I am for Luke and the joy and happiness he brings to my life. Our first 3 years of marriage were wonderful. We made so many great memories and learned so many valuable lessons as a married couple. And then God sent Austin. I guess you could say that the fun REALLY began on July 17, 2007. From the very first moments of Austin's life, I was amazed at what an awesome father Luke already was. If I was going to be honest (and we all know I can't lie) I would have to admit that he was even more comfortable with Austin than I was at first. Since then I have watched the 2 of them bond and grow closer together as a father and son. And what a BLESSING it has been!

I love that he is always encouraging me to take a break at the end of the day. No matter how long his day has been he is quick to make sure I get some down time.

I love watching him play with Austin. He gets down on the floor and lets Austin crawl all over him...and I mean ALL OVER him! :) Of course, our son LOVES this and can't get enough of "playtime with Dad"

I love that he makes his family a priority. One of the things I have loved and continue to love best about Luke is how important family is. Not only does he make Austin and I top priority but he is also sensitive to the needs of his own family as well as his in-laws.

I could go on but I'll stop here since I'm a mom and my time is no longer limitless. I've posted a few of my favorite pictures of Luke and Austin. Of course, these are just a few but priceless nonetheless. I pray that all of you had a wonderful day celebrating the fathers in your lives and that you were blessed by your Heavenly Father as well!