Sunday, January 17, 2010

One Year Later

It’s been quite some time since I last visited the Blogosphere and I missed you all. I have to admit that for the past six months, I have been suffering from an acute bout of lazyitis. I was first diagnosed with this condition, which makes me not really want to expend any energy, about twenty-five years ago. Couple that with my chronic “UMI Syndrome” (Unable to Maintain Interest), and I have been utterly unable to motivate myself to post something new for a long time. There have been many times when I meant and wanted to post something new, to reconnect with you all, but my condition has just completely precluded me from doing so. As of now, there are no known cures for Lazyitis and UMI Syndrome, so, I must apologize in advance to my followers for my extended absence.

A few months ago I went back to work, this time at a company on Wall Street. It’s an interesting place to work and I could fill a bunch of posts writing about my job. But you guys don’t really want to hear about that, do you?

Instead, let’s revisit Lenny, our Bichon. This Sunday marks Lenny’s first full year with us. As you may recall, we adopted Lenny from Plain and Fancy Animal Rescue in Pennsylvania. Lenny had been rescued from an abusive puppy mill who kept him caged for the first 5 years of his life.

first time we meet Lenny. We fell in love and took him home with us

When we first got Lenny, he was a very frightened dog, especially scared of men. Because all he had known was life in a cage, he didn’t know how to do anything that one associates with being a dog. He didn’t know how to walk on a leash, he didn’t know how to go up and down stairs, and he didn’t even know the difference between being inside and being outside. Any little sudden movement and this fragile boy would jump and run off to find a hiding spot.

The first 3-6 months with him were very hard. We had to train him how to be a dog. Walking, house-training, taking treats. There were many times when my patience was tested. I would walk with him for an hour without him doing any business at all. All the more frustrating, when my husband (who he was frightened of) would walk him, he’d do everything within 15 minutes.

After a few months, he finally started to get comfortable in his new life. He learned that he loved treats, he loved to be next to me, and most importantly, he learned the power of begging for food. And when treats weren’t available, he developed an appetite for my shoes – especially sandals.

He also learned that he had toys to play with. But his favorite toy is nothing more than the inner cardboard roll from a roll of paper towels. He takes treats down the middle and LOVES to tear them apart. No matter how many toys we get him, he always returns to his Amish roots with the cardboard roll.

Finally, after many years of neglect, Lenny has finally learned to live the life of leisure that a dog is meant to have. Here are some highlights from Lenny’s first year with us:

first smile

first grooming

my first ever ticket (every time I walk Lenny he tucked his tail under is belly. On March 12, his tail was finally up for the first time. So, I took off his leash for 5 sec, took a picture and as soon as I as got up to put the leash back, officer Perez was right behind me writing me a $100 ticket. He didn't even listen to my explanation. Oh well, another donation to the city of NY)

first vacation to Ithaca (Lake Cayuga)

vacation to Lake Keuka

first swim

first boat ride

first xmas

first airplane ride (not only that he was in business class, he also sat on my lap the whole time)


Lenny is definitely a different dog than he was when he came to us a year ago. Of course, he still barks at my husband, but truth be told, some of the time, my husband deserves it! I hope that Lenny lives a long, healthy life with us for years and years to come. For those who are hesitant to adopt a dog, I hope Lenny proves to you that any dog can be rehabilitated. All dogs deserve to live and be happy. Just give them a chance, lots of love and definitely have a lot of patience. The rewards are incalculable.


  1. Adopting is the option of people who are not selfish! You guys did an admirable thing! I agree with you, that any dog can be rehabilitated. All dogs deserve to live and be happy. Lenny really bloomed under your care. One would think, you had him since birth. You and Matt did a good job with him. How sweet that you were able to document most of his firsts! He's so cute! :)

    I too, suffer from bouts of lazytitis once in a while! Hahaha! Good to hear from you!

    Happy one-year adoption to Lenny and to you guys! :)

  2. I am so touched with your article about Lenny. He deserves it and even if he cannot read this, I know he can feel how much you love him. So glad to hear every time you have story about him and every time I see his pictures. He is very lucky to have you and yes, even dogs deserve second chances. You are very loving and passionate Joanie and the kind of care and love you give to Lenny proved it. May he live a long life and continue to grace your home with love
    and joy. You deserve it. You are a blessing in his life.

    I will always own a bichon as long as I live, I think they are the best dog !

    Lovely and moving post Joanie !

  3. Thank you Chay and Tes. Reading your comments makes me tear up a bit. Thank you for the thoughtful words.

  4. this is very inspiring Joanie. My eyes get teary with the inspiration from this post. How inspiring it is to have made a change in dog's life. You deserve all the happiness you are reaping now from having Lenny. May you have many more years together, and you made me laugh too when you said Matt deserves Lenny's barking sometimes :)

  5. Welcome back! Glad to see Lenny is fitting in great. Love the photos.

    Thanks so much for telling me about your "illness" I think i have those same things. Plus throw in a case of DRCS (Don't really care syndrome. LOL.

  6. We missed you. I agree with Tes on adopting a pet/ new family member. Lazitis is hard to shake sometimes I can tell you from experience. Lenny is very blessed to have you and Matt to love and take care of him. I don't know if you remember,but I rescued a chiuaua from my daughters school. Best thing I ever did.

  7. very inspiring, girl! Lenny is such a cutie...adorable! Lenny is so lucky to have you and matt as family and vice-versa!

    ha!ha!ha! had me in stitches with the UMI syndrome and lazylitis...

    ops.....i love the new header! a lovely photograph of you and lenny, enjoying the sunset!

  8. Thanks Bethai. I really meant it when I said Matt deserve Lenny's barking at him because he just bother (taunt) him sometimes :-)

    Amy-thanks. Glad I'm not the only one suffering this illness. I'm trying to recover

    Wendie, yes I remember reading about your chihuahua. I'm glad that someone like can give this little animal a chance to live happy

    Eng- thanks and welcome back. We miss you!

  9. hello Joanie! i am reminded of that cute photo of Lenny with flowers from Matt...that so touched my heart...i wish you many many years with Lenny...

  10. cute lenny:)

    just hop in here and find your site interesting. followed you here! have a nice day! hope to see you around! godbless!

  11. That's a wonderful thing you and your husband did adopting Lenny. He deserves to be treated well, especially after what he went through. Our border collie was still a puppy when we got him, but he must have been mistreated at some point--I never take take my belt off in front of him because he puts his ears down and tries to run away.

    I'm glad I found your blog--I like your writing! I think people WOULD want to read stories about your new office. =)

    Take care!

  12. glad to have you back :) i hope it wasn't a one time perfomance!

    and lenny look "almost" as good as my percy ;) BICHONS RULE!! haha


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