Friday, November 25, 2016

Arcadia Beach-- a place my dad would have loved

It is coming again. 

December 10th. 
His death day. 
My dad's death day. 

Usually, anniversaries do not hold much importance for me, but this is different. 

This day marks the before and after of my life. 

December 9, 2012 my family was complete. 
We were in crisis, but we were whole. 
December 10, 2012 we were not, and life has never been the same again. 

Not for me. 
Not for my mom. 
Not for my brother. 

Today, I felt our baby move for the first time.

Today, I took Bubu on a walk.
I imagined my dad meeting him. 
My dad adored dogs.
Every single one. 

These are the things I will never get to share with him. 
These are the things he will never get to experience. 

Over the last four years, I have come to terms with his death.
But not a day goes by that I don't wish things had turned out different.

And some days, there is nothing I can do but feel sad. 

If I was home, I would go somewhere beautiful to feel connected to him.

To the mountains.
To the forest.
To the beach. 

So instead I look at some beautiful photos of home because I see my dad's soul in them. 

Friday, November 11, 2016

one month with Bubu

 Everyone, meet Bubu.

He is our adorable dog that I am head-over-heels in love with. Bubu is almost two years old, and he is half black lab and half Formosan mountain dog.

We have now had Bubu for a little over one month.

It has been an interesting month.

While we both had dogs growing up, we still were totally unprepared for getting a dog of our own. But I kinda think that is just how dog rescues go.

Bubu is a living creature with his own quirks and desires and needs and issues.

When we first got him, he walked around with his tail in between his legs for a whole week. He was clearly terrified of us. In the mornings, sometimes it was like he forgot who we were and he would growl at us.

All of that is over and done with now.

Bubu is head-over-heels in love with me, and he basically likes Sean well enough. They are still working on the foundation of their manly relationship.

Our first month together went something like this:

When we first got Bubu, he did not poo for nearly three days, and then when he started, he never, I repeat, never went potty while out on a walk. He would only use the dog training pads we bought and put in our apartment.

It has been a long journey, but he finally started peeing outside. We are still waiting patiently for the miracle of a #2 to happen while on a walk.

What a weirdo.

When we first got Bubu, it was clear he had never been given a toy in his life. He had no idea how to play with the ones we bought him, and even more, he was actually afraid of them.


Well, I got home today to find that he ripped off the legs of the most recent toy we bought him. Suffice it to say, he definitely figured out how to play with his toys!

Further, when we first got Bubu, it was obvious he had been taken on very few walks in his life. His foster mom lived in rural Taiwan and had a fenced in backyard. That's how Bubu experienced the outdoors. When he took him out, he was afraid of his collar and leash and of everything outside.

Now, he loves going on walks! His tail wags and he just loves to play in grassy areas covered with fallen leaves. Just about every time I take him out, people laugh out loud while watching him play. It's the cutest thing in the world.

When we first got Bubu, he would bark and growl at anyone who came in the door, sometimes even us.

Now, he lays on the couch and could generally careless if someone comes over. He is still super shy, but I am okay with that. When I come home, though, he bounces happily all over the house because he is just so excited to see me. That is one of the best things in the world.

Bubu still needs a lot of work, but we have found a trainer who speaks English who will come to our place over the weekends and help us get the basics down.

Bubu has been such a joy in my life over the past month, and I am so excited he will be a part of it for a long time to come!

Saturday, November 5, 2016

an Oregon coast road trip: Nehalem Bay

This summer, we drove 5 hours from Bremerton, Washington to Manzanita, Oregon. There, we met Sean's family for a weekend of camping at Nehalem Bay State Park. This is a family tradition for us. Since I was 17 years old, I've been camping here with Sean's family. We always enjoy the unpredictable Pacific Northwest weather, strolls along the perfectly sandy beach, s'mores over the camp fire, and a lot of fun and games.

This summer, our weather was rather dreary. It rained a lot, so much so our tent began to flood in the middle of the night. It was also windy and cold. That did not stop us from having a good time though. We went on many walks, skim boarded, hung out in the cute little town of Manzanita, and drove to Seaside, Oregon to watch a movie when the weather got really bad.

Luckily, on our second to last day, the weather cleared and Sean took me to a bunch of beaches I had never been to before. We also tried to find the Lewis & Clark trail we walked 5 years ago, but our Smartphoneless selves could not find it.

In the end, it was a perfect way to spend time with Sean's family-- including the dogs-- before heading back to Taiwan.

And we cannot wait to go camping this summer with baby! Although, we will definitely look into renting one of the yurts at the state park. If only Bubu could come with us too.