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The Hard Stuff

Last night I stayed up late working on bows and gearing up for my craft show this weekend. Surprisingly I don’t feel stressed or under pressure for it even though I’m totally unprepared. It’s my first show and there are a lot of things I didn’t think about. I ordered a banner and business cards but they won’t arrive until the day of the show so I went to the store, picked out some cute picture frames and a poster board. I ordered some photos of the pups in bows to put in the frames and now I need to somehow legibly and neatly write my business name on the poster. What I know is that it’ll be a learning experience and no matter how many bows I sell, everything is already okay!

Kilo went to bed with her daddy but Jack, Sally and Kain hung out with me. By 1:30 am I was tired and ready for bed but knew I needed to do Kain’s physical therapy. I took him for a walk and then we did his exercises. He did well but I could tell he was sore so stayed up a little longer to put a heatpack on him. He doesn’t like the heatpack at first. I had to chase him around the room, like a toddler that doesn’t want to eat his veggies, until he got comfortable and let me put the pack on his incision, groin and back. He has a bit of muscle atrophy and a strained groin due to lack of use. The physical therapist said to massage him during this time to help loosen up the muscles and reduce pain.

So I’m sitting on the floor with Kain. Sally’s in the cozy cave. Jack is on the couch. I’m massaging Kain’s little leg and back and abdomen as he’s laying there mostly peacefully, squirming around every once in a while just to get a look at everyone in the room.

And I just started crying.

For no real reason other than I love him so much, it physically hurts. He has been through so much in his short life but he continues to show up with nothing but love. It hurts me to see him in pain. It hurts me to push him through the pain to make sure he does his exercises so he can get better. It hurts me to hear his little whimper. He is a dog that rarely shows pain so when he does, I know it’s pretty awful. It hurts me because he doesn’t understand I’m doing this to help him. And it hurts me because I can’t imagine what his life would look like had Jeffrey not found him and taken him in.

There was a time that Jeffrey and I considered rehoming Kain. He is a wild, strong willed little boy and is usually the one that gets the rest going. When we were first integrating the pack, we didn’t know how to handle it and got overwhelmed easily. We went to far as to contact a rescue and they put his information up for adoption. But when we started getting calls from people wanting to adopt him, we just couldn’t do it. And we decided that WE needed to be better. Dogs are a reflection of their owners just like kids are a reflection of their parents. When we are better, they are better.

It’s my job to do the hard stuff. As quickly as I would take Kain’s pain if he could be healthy, I know that’s not reality. So I continue to do the best I can to help him get there. As we snuggled into bed around 3:15 am, Kain silently told me that he understood and he forgave me. The beautiful thing about this boy, and every dog I’ve ever met, is they’ll continue to show that same forgiveness every day.

My Unsolicited Advice is to do the hard stuff. Do it today. And do it again tomorrow. Even when no one else is. Every time it’s necessary, do the hard stuff. The rewards are more than you can even imagine.


  • I feel exactly like Susan Marschall, above. But she says it far more eloquently than I possibly could. I also feel lucky to have found your site. It wouldn’t be a normal day for me if I didn’t check in on you and the boys. I won’t spen any time on FB except for checking to see how my favorite family is. I am so glad Lain is doing so much better and is pain free. That is because of YOU!! I LOVE how you treat your animals, and that is why you receive so much love from them in return. I love you ALL and hope for nothing but the best is to come for your family. Thank you Susan for saying how you feel with such clarity, and thank you Katelynn and Jefferey for being such wonderful, kind, and loving human beings. Linda

    Linda Harcourt
  • I am in awe of you and Jeffrey. You both have been through so much, and to be able to love your pack the way you do is an inspiration to me, and will be for the rest of my life. I have a rescue pitty named Bailey who I have gone through hell and high water with, and your blogs and posts help me when times get frustrating with my baby. I recently had back surgery and my son is taking care of Bailey until I’m stronger and I miss her every day. I look forward to reading from you guys and I really appreciate being able to know you and you’re pack. Please continue to keep up the good work and know that you and Jeffrey are guardian angels.

    With love,


    Deborah Nelson
  • You and your husband are beautiful people. Your children, if you will , are all beautiful, inside and out. The love and affection you show to them and they show to you is equal. You personally just don’t see it that way but know that others do. What you also gives to others by sharing your day to day life with this family of dogs , the effort that goes into it and the pleasant outcome is not lost on your audience. I feel truly blessed to have happened upon your site. Nothing and I mean nothing can have me laughing and crying at the same time. But your video’s they keep me coming back for more. Thank you ALL so much for that. I have a son and daughter in law who like you rescue dogs. Maybe not in the traditional sense. Its on happenstance. My daughter in law will see one on her way to work tied to a tree on the parkway, in a drainage ditch by work, my son will get a call out on his phone for a dog that is on his last day before being put down because no one wants a dog with seizures (flybite) and another that was on the property where she worked for a couple years she found out and she immediately brought that one home. Its always a full house , different personalities, different lives they came from. Some get along , some don’t and like people they are separated until they learn how to slowly tolerate but it takes a lot of work, a lot of patience and a lot of how you said knowing that keeping to it and again the next day the same thing over and they love you and thank you for it. I respect you immeasurably. I have seen first hand what you do through my son and daughter in laws life. A lot of money, a lot of time and a lot of love. Thank you again for making me laugh, making me cry, making me think, and most especially showing me that there are still good loving people in this world. God Bless you all. A HUGH Fan from Long Island , NY in the USA

    Susan Marschall

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