I've been meaning to blog regularly, but it's not always easy during the week. During Christmas break, when I had loads of time, it was easy for me to be ambitious and want to blog twice or even three times a week. Obviously, that hasn't been happening. I believe consistency is the key to success, so I am going to try and create a new blog at least once a week no matter what. 

I'm fairly new to blogging, although I have thought about it many times, and I want to create content that's relevant to my photography. I have been searching for blog ideas, reading blogs with topics for a photography blog, but very few ideas are clicking with me right now. The general idea is to keep content personal, so that's what I'll do.

If you've even briefly glanced at my website, Facebook, or any social media you'll know that I have a dog. Her name is Ivy, and she's a border collie. She's my first dog as an adult, and holds a very special place in my heart (and Wesley's).

 The night we first met her!

The night we first met her!

 Growing up, we had a handful of dogs that I loved so very dearly. Bo, Winston, Chester, and the dog who found our barn and had 9 beautiful puppies whom we had to give away. I'm definitely a dog person. Cats are fine, but I'm allergic to them and so I try to keep my distance no matter how cute they are.

Luckily for me, Wesley is also a dog person. He's a cat person, too, if you get to know him well enough but respects my need for an allergen-free home. We always talked about getting a dog after we were married. It was so tempting to pick up a dog from the Animal Rescue League that we would visit regularly when we lived in the Des Moines area. But for bigger dogs, like we would want, apartment life is no life. 

When we moved back home, I was almost literally dying to have a dog. I made Wesley promise me that we would have a dog by Christmas of 2014. Thanksgiving of 2014, we got news that a family friend of my father-in-law had just had a litter of border collie puppies. They were giving them away, and we visited some weeks after they were born. Good news: we could get a dog. Bad news: we'd need to wait until after Christmas to pick her up. Patience may be a virtue, but it's not my favorite.

When we first went to look at the litter of puppies, I knew immediately that I had to have Ivy. She was all alone in the little kennel in the garage while her siblings were rough housing with one another. She was a little chunkier than the rest, and I felt instant sympathy for her -- clearly she was the most vulnerable and lonely of the bunch. 

 Our puppy supplies. She still wears the collar, but all other toys and treats have since been destroyed.

Our puppy supplies. She still wears the collar, but all other toys and treats have since been destroyed.

Not so fast. The owner cautioned us, "she's an ornery one," but the warning fell on deaf ears. I just knew she was the one, the precious little puppy we were destined to care for. 

The night when we got to take her home, my heart was nearly broken. She was sad and scared to leave her family. I held onto her on the drive to our new house and comforted her as well as I could. Poor, poor Ivy.

Plot twist.

We brought her home into our kitchen, which was ready with her crate and toys. Then we met the real Ivy. Any fears she had washed away and we saw her for who she really is. A fearless animal who dominates her prey and territory. Luckily, also pretty intelligent which made potty training not so bad. To be completely transparent, though, Wesley did most of the potty training. 

 Very clearly tearing something up. 

Very clearly tearing something up. 

As a wishful dog owner, I hoped that I would have a dog who would always be there to comfort me, always want to cuddle, and always match my mostly laid-back attitude. Ivy does not match all those qualities, but we love her all the same. Perhaps even more so!

She loves the outdoors, she loves to play, and I take comfort in that she follows me to nearly any room in the house on most days. She, like any dog, loves finding the spot by the window where the sun hits just right. She's my walking and yoga buddy. We take her to all the places that we can. 

We're also very lucky that Wesley's dad took Ivy's sister, Molly, from that same litter. They get to see each other frequently and treat each other differently from other dogs they interact with. I love it and Molly, her sister.

For some reason, dogs are just the best. They transcend everything that makes us weary about other people. We don't have to worry about politics, they don't judge us for our life choices, they don't care what size you are, they don't care about your weight. They just want you. I've always felt that if all of our world leaders with diametrically opposing views could meet in a room with a load of puppies, that a lot of conflict resolution could take place.

Okay, maybe not completely, but I'd like to think that dogs can bring the best in all of us.