Our Growing Family

by Maggie Griffin

Less than a year ago, it was a happy threesome--me, B, and Eleanor. We are now a family of 6.

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It's all happening so fast...I'm just waiting on TLC to call us. We deserve a show.

Today, we introduce our two newest members and brag about our beloved pups!

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Byron, due to his work at the Waco Wetlands, and his befriending of his coworker who studies turtles and has a vast knowledge of water animals, has been into aquatic species lately. Last weekend, while we were at Petsmart picking up food for the pups, Byron took a turn towards the fish and aquariums...and we left 2 hours later, after I denied his request for an aquarium. 

But. Marriage is compromise. And now we have a 20 gallon aquatic environment for our newest, yet-to-be-named turtle children. Last Wednesday, Byron sent me a picture of 2 turtles at work. "Do you want these?" (Oh, dear.) He asked the Wetlands supervisor about the turtles, and she was more than willing to let us take them under our care. They had been with her since this past summer after a local girl felt she could no longer care for them (read: could no longer take the smell.) My sweet St. Francis of a husband, always the champion for the cause of unloved animals, has taken it upon himself to rescue these little babes. Let's get one thing straight, I don't hate the turtles...but Byron will be their primary caretaker and lover. 

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Our turtles, being the aquatic beings they are, spend most of their time swimming around or walking on the bottom or climbing/hiding on the log/tree trunk we have for them. When we are not looking, they like to climb on their platform and bask in the light/warmth of the heat lamp. They enjoy eating floating sticks and freeze-dried bugs! Due to their size, B thinks they were malnourished so we are spoiling them with the protein filled bugs! We don't take them out too often (it's been three days...), but they are wiggly and fast when we do. They should grow to be about 8-9", but I wish they would stay this tiny forever. My favorite thing to do is sneak up on them when they are (fake)sun bathing...they scurry so fast and sometimes dive into the water with a funny "plop!" The turtles are fun to watch and they have added yet another source of entertainment to our lives and home. 

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The turtles are male and female, we think. And if they have babies I will lovingly put my hands around B's neck and shake him for one second. We'll deal with that later. Maybe. Hoping we've got same sex turtles. Can you fix turtles? 

As far as names, I have suggested: Dick and Jane (cute!), Tiny and Teeny (adorable!), Lucy and Ricky (classic!), and Michelle and Barack (duh.). All names have been rejected by Byron. So...we are currently taking name suggestions...anybody? 

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Bixby is still so dumb and so goofy. When he yawns, his limbs often get in the way and he ends up munching on them a little bit. He is still shocked by his tail and loves to chase it. He is hilarious. His kisses are long and intimate. He loves caressing Eleanor's ear with his tongue...and she loves it, too. Weirdos. He is a jumper...so if you come over, you've been warned. He is impatient with us when he needs to go to the bathroom. He has a current obsession with the bathtub...if we forget to put the curtain over it, he will jump in and lick up any water in there. One recent morning, I found some muddy paw prints in the bathtub between when I took my shower and when I was doing some finishing touches before leaving. He is crazy. 

Bixby is the craziest, silliest, goofiest puppy. He is so big. And his tail is so powerful. And he is so sweet....I can't imagine what our little family would be without him. Byron has been taking Bixby out on bike rides around our block. Bix trots along and looks like a miniature horse from behind. He often accompanies us to the Farmer's Market and makes friends with dogs and people and children a like. He is obsessed with babies. If he hears one on TV, he begins to watch. I've never seen a pup so enamored with young babes. Bixby is the best dog. And he looks like an OG (original gangster. I just learned that a few weeks ago, so I am slowly working it into my vocabulary. Thoughts?) when he puts on a cap. This fashion is much more suited to his former name, Reggie. I think Bixby should start wearing bow ties daily, but I haven't told Byron.

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FYI: Bixby is part pointer, and you should all follow the Insta account--ifitwags--for adorable pointer pictures.

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Onto sweet Eleanor. As most of you know, she is and always will be Byron's leading lady. He has had her for 4 years now! She is probably 6 or 7ish. She has gray hairs popping up and she loves a good nap. She is groaning more and she can be a grumpy lady. Bixby is keeping her young! I wake up every morning to find that Eleanor has nestled herself between Byron and I. She is a cover hog. (Obviously, I am so jealous of Eleanor because Byron loves her more.) Eleanor is the sweetest animal in the world. She understands human emotion and responds accordingly. The only thing she doesn't do is stop whining on command. When I am in the house with her and Byron leaves for a bike ride, she does not stop whining until his return. The love he gives is reciprocated. Eleanor is a terrific spooner, and she is always little spoon.   

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All of our animals are rescue/shelter animals...we love rescue stories! (This week on Sevenly, you can buy AMAZING t-shirts that support 4 Paws for Ability.)

Do you have a rescue that you absolutely adore? Tell us about it!  

Introducing Bixby Griffin : An Adoption Story ; Part 1

by Maggie Griffin

There are two things I have always wanted: 

1. A puppy to call my own. Year after year, I remember praying on Christmas Eve that a little bundle of fluffy fur, wrapped in a Christmas bow would clumsily jump on my bed and wake me up Christmas morn with puppy breath and a wet tongue. Year after year, I was greeted with a full stocking and presents from Mom & Dad, (and of course Santa), but never a puppy. Sure, we had a dog...but I wanted a puppy of my own. 

2. To adopt.  ... a human. I have always been inspired by adoption stories, and am excited to, in the VERY far future, have our own story and welcome a child into the Griffin family. But for now, my love of adoption is limited to rescuing animals.  

On Monday, I mixed these two wants as my adolescent dreams of a puppy came into fruition through the adoption of Bixby Griffin.  

And so, without further ado...The Adoption Story of BIXBY GRIFFIN. Part 1. 

Byron and I had decided that we wanted to be a multi-dog family long before we exchanged vows. We are dog lovers. We obsessively share pictures and stories of rescue dogs to one another. We plan names for future dogs  like most do for their future children. We are passionate about offering our love and home to tail-waggers. 

We had made a deal that upon Byron being employed, we would begin the search for the perfect dog. But, as luck would have it, a stray dog changed our planned course of events. (Spoiler alert: said stray is not the dog we adopted; but, he was rescued, too!)  

This is Ralph, who inspired our search, which led us to  Bixby, the world's most perfect rescue pup.

Two Wednesdays ago, I arrived to work to find a sweet scruffy puppy outside the employee entrance. Immediately, tears welled up. Not because of the dog's condition, but because, as stated above, I have an irrational love of puppies and often cry upon seeing them. Other coworkers went inside, but I stayed and bent down to play with this little ball of fur and send videos to Byron. 

As if it was an emergency, we began to rapidly text about the possibility of adopting him and giving him a good home. Had people been watching us, I'm sure they would have found our frantic thumb action, tapping the keyboards of our phones, to be humorous. During this frenzy, a co-worker came to my office to ask if I would be wanting to take the dog myself or if they should call the humane society. I couldn't take a puppy home then, so I said "make the call," with a heaviness in my voice and a lump in my throat.  We decided to arrange a visit to the humane society shelter later that day, only to find out Ralph,--the name I had already bestowed upon him--wouldn't be available to be seen for 3 days.

3 days?!? We wanted a puppy now!

We also were told that this little stray had some corgi in him. (Byron hates this part of the story.) Upon learning this, B said "CORGI?! He's going to have short legs...so, I don't think I'm interested anymore."  Yeah...he said that. 

We decided that this little cutie would go quick, because he (unfortunately, for us) would be small. We also decided, in our irrational and swept up state, that we were obviously ready to begin our search for the perfect addition to our family.  

We checked out the dogs at the humane society and didn't fall in love. Then, we went to Fuzzy Friends Rescue. We had looked over the catalog of adoptable pets and were on the search for some of our favorites when we arrived. One of our hand-selected pups, Stryker, had the same problem as Ralph--he was going to be too small. Pass.

So, we made one circle around the cages, commenting on the puppies, wondering which ones would sell in person as much as in the pictures, and at the very end of round 1, I spotted him. "Reggie" as he was called in his former life, was shy and sweet and he would drag his body along the cage like a cat--it was love.  We decided to take him to a "Getting Acquainted Yard." All he did was sniff. He didn't play with us too much, his curiosity getting the best of him this visit; and he would run, frightened by the little dogs next to the yard. Byron wasn't feeling it, but I knew he was the one.

During this visit, we also played with Nick, a spunky dog who played with us and zigzagged through obstacles and bit my scarf. Pass. Yes, puppies are playful, but this one was too playful for me. 

We walked back to Reggie, and I knew. Byron returned later that day to play with him again. He texted me, "Bixby (we had already named him as well, and he totally fit the name) put his paws on me and gave me a huge hug and kiss. I'm sold."  

 Byron filled out the adoption application. Bixby would be ours. 

The next time we returned to see him, Byron's phone rang as we were walking to the "Getting Acquainted Yard." I gave him disapproving eyes and told him to ignore it--it was puppy time. He answered, and it was the Fuzzy Friends office telling us we were approved to be Bixby's adoptive parents. Hooray! 

This was all before our Palm Desert Trip. We fit in one more visit with Bixby, and took off, anticipating our return just like the Christmas mornings I had dreamed about as a kid. Adoption day did not disappoint. We arrived as soon as they opened, ready to pick up our Bixby and become a two-dog family. Bixby is ours now, and we love him. 


Come back to the blog for Part 2: Adjusting to our new life with Bixby!


Babysitting in the Desert

by Maggie Griffin

When offered a five day trip to sunny Palm Desert in the middle of October on the condition of babysitting the world's most adorable three-year-old...you go!  

Last Wednesday Byron's mother, sister & brother-in-law & niece left for an annual mortgage/lender's conference.

...Last Wednesday, Byron and I jetted off with them to relax in the land of palm trees and sun! 

Though we were there to babysit during the conference, we were able to do so much more--it was terrific! On day 1, we played hookie upon landing and took off with my best friend Kaytlyn, who was SO SWEET to drive to pick us up and drive us out to the desert. Leaving my vegetarian ways behind, I embraced CALI and we darted to In-N-Out for a burger & shake! I cannot go on about how wonderful it was to spend time with this lady! Six months ago, she was holding up my wedding dress so I could pee, adjusting my train, and handing me Byron's ring. We haven't seen each other since! Golly, I love this girl. She dropped us off in the desert, stayed to play for the day, and trekked back to nanny the next morning. She is a keeper. 

The next two days, we resumed our babysitting roles. Babysitting is enjoyable. Babysitting in California is AMAZING.  

Thursday & Friday went like this: 

  • snuggle with Charlotte & take her on a walk to the resort lobby, home to a full-service Starbucks and live birds! Look HOW sweet! 
  • Lunch...either reserve spots for the conference crew or go out for a bit.
  • Charlotte naps; we relax (my favorite relaxation times were the ones by the pool!)
  • Hang out a bit on our own, pick up dinner for C, and chill while she sleeps!

How perfect!  

Favorite activities included: babysitting (duh!), shopping on El Paseo (the Rodeo Drive of Palm Desert), reading in bed & by the pool, and more shopping! The sweet pups below are from Cold Nose, Warm Heart! Byron and I dropped by this store to pick up goods from our new pup (blog on Bixby coming soon!). Byron was reading "Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know" and looked just like a puppy himself one evening. I was reading "The Obamas" & "Jesusland" by the pool. It wasn't awful. 

This was by far the best babysitting gig ever. Thank you Charlotte for being adorable. Thank you Lindsay & Ryan for trusting us with your little one and inviting us. Thank you BeeGee for all the fun! 

I love traveling the world with Byron...we have already had so many adventures this year, and I can't wait for years packed full of more! 

A birthday in BIG D (and a fourth of July update!)

by Maggie Griffin

Da Birfday Gurll

Da Birfday Gurll

Don't wish us Happy Birthday just yet!  Byron is a March baby, and I've got 2 months to go before the big 23. DO wish my sister Alix a very happy birthday. Alix is the bomb. She was with me when I was first super giddy about Byron and has loved him ever since. And Byron has loved her right back. 

We were unable to make it to her birthday dinner during the week, but we thought we would give her the greatest present of all...presence! 

But this all happened after  the fourth of July! 

This is our fourth of July update: Byron's friend Brad from College Station came up with his German Shepherd pup, George, also known as Eleanor's boyfriend. We went out to lunch together, then I left the boys alone to go to my friend Antonia's pool and soak up the gorgeous weather! I returned to the boys and we began a game of Scrabble, watched some Psych, went for dinner (though the boys snacked A LOT) and walked to the Waco Downtown fireworks spot! The fireworks malfunctioned, but it was still a lovely evening, and we LOVE when Brad comes to town! 

After the fourth we made our way up to Dallas to see our favorite birthday girl!  

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FRIDAY NIGHT: Eleanor had fun playing with her "cousin" Paxie. Paxie is a super small dog, which makes for hilarious playtime. Alix left us for a bit, but not before making us delicious guacamole and summer beer, the latter of which we did not get to enjoy due to a completely random explosion of her pitcher. After the summer beer tragedy, and upon her return, Alix told me a restaurant down the street had it--obvious deciding factor--and that ended our thirty minute "where should we go for dinner?" discussion.  Above: my summer beer, Byron's burger, Byron's ridiculous nervous habit of tearing things because Alix shouted across our table to an old college friend--what a weirdo! Friday night continued with night swimming and puppy cuddling. Right: Eleanor and Paxie (you can follow @eleanorthedog on instagram) spooning!


AMAZING Abe & George busts that now have a place in our home! 

AMAZING Abe & George busts that now have a place in our home! 

SATURDAY: We woke up and went to pick up my momma out in ole Wyyylie, Texas (not before Starbucks though!) And then we hit up the antique stores on Riverfront in Dallas. Reason #174 that I love Byron: he loves antiques. He loves them so much that he gets lost in the store. Literally. So hard to find him! Byron and I stumbled upon the busts above and fell in love. I am so excited to have them! My dad met up with us after an early morning fishing trip, and after poking around a few more places, we headed off to Off-Site Kitchen. Their slogan should be "Stupid good burgers even vegetarians eat!" Just look at them! Alix and I are both vegetarians who are really pescatarians who are really "well, if it's ethically raised..." vegetarians who are really just people who eat meat very rarely. Anywho, delicious. Alix and her roommate have only been going to Dallas restaurants that made the top 100 list in D magazine. Such a good idea. Off-site kitchen was obviously on the list. 

We then took my parents back to Alix's place so that they could watch Paxie and Eleanor play for a bit. We also watched Alix use her juicer (birthday gift from mom and dad) for the first time--very exciting!  

CONTINUATION of Saturday: Alix, Byron, and I goofed off and relaxed after my parents left. Then when the dreaded dinner destination discussion began again, I made an executive decision for Fireside Pies, a pizza joint I had yet to visit. (Y'all know I love pizza!) We had a great time! I just love being around these two! We then went across the street to a small deli/market to grab some ice cream and soon after that we retired for the evening.




The next morning, we departed, sad, but so pleasantly filled (tummies and hearts) after our great weekend. We love you, Alix! Happy Birthday! 

Here's to a great year for Alix, another great year of independence and American pride, and full tummies and hearts!