We live in a very wooded area. We live in a neighborhood, but it is not your typical neighborhood. It is more of a community. It is HUGE! It is over two thousand acres with over 400 acres of protected wetlands on Historic Aquia Creek. We have a marina, walking trails, horse stables, riding trails for the horses, a golf course, a restaurant/country club, a dog park, many regular parks, baseball fields, tennis courts, two or three pools, our own police department, and our own fire department/EMS unit. We have bridge access to Government Island. There are over 45 miles of roads in our neighborhood. Each house looks different. It is not a cookie cutter neighborhood by any means. Wildlife abounds. There are deer, bald eagles, blue heron, osprey, and even bear have been spotted in the past. I'd say it's a pretty cool place to live. The best part is that it's safe. All of that is protected by one gated entry. We love where we live.
One thing that we love the most is how unique it is. Although we have an HOA with restrictions, they are not your typical restrictions of a neighborhood. Our lot is very wooded. It is hard to grow grass. Therefore, we have ivy in the front and other ground cover. The back has been difficult because we don't want ivy due to snakes, but we don't want plain dirt either. Before today, we had a lot of leaves and brush. That was all cleared out. Tomorrow, they are putting down mulch. The dog park in our neighborhood has a lot of mulch and it is great for the dogs to run on. I plan on planting a lot of shade loving plants, such as hostas throughout the back. It is going to be like a park. There is a park near our house that is all wooded and good for camping. That is what I am envisioning.
The cleared out backyard looks like this:
The dogs are already loving the cleared out space. They have been running and playing. I went out and played ball with Tanker today and he really enjoyed it. Topher, Bella, and Shiloh ran around and played like puppies. I can't wait for it to be finished. It is going to be a doggy playground.
|Little Bit, my cat who thinks she is one of the dogs, patiently waits for everyone to come back in.|
All of that playing in the dirt makes doggies dirty. Puppies got a bath when they came in.
|Patiently waiting for our baths.|
|We will lay down and wait.|
|Topher is the "mommy" and he licks them dry.|
|He cleans their ears.|
|Bella waits in line to be licked dry by Topher.|
The landscapers are cleaning up our front too. They even fixed the pot hole in our driveway for only $30! Remember me saying last week that God always provides? These guys have been awesome to us. They are doing a great job!
Other news in our lives: The only thing we have left to volunteer on our own at Snowden in Fredericksburg (psychiatric units) is our TB skin test. I already test positive and have gone through the appropriate treatment, so I should only have to answer questions to reassure them that I am not symptomatic. Wes needs the actual test done. Once that is done and we have faxed it to the volunteer coordinator along with our dogs' licenses, we will be scheduled to volunteer on a weekly basis. We think we are going to schedule it for every Sunday morning.
We have to schedule an interview to meet with the volunteer coordinator at Mary Washington Hospital. It is in their hands at this point. I have contacted them more than once and am waiting for them to send me forms to fill out. We then have to go to hospital orientation, which is eight hours on a Monday. Wes may have to take leave for that so we can get it done. I feel like we are never going to get to volunteer there.
We will be meeting with the Director of Veterans Moving Forward next week. We have already met her, but we have to go over specifics before we volunteer with them. They are the organization that provides service dogs to wounded service members free of charge. They also have volunteer therapy dogs who go into the military hospitals to help wounded veterans. We are very excited about this. I hope that Walter Reed finishes their transition to Ft. Belvoir soon because it is a shorter commute for us and we want to be able to volunteer with them frequently. Once Bella and Shiloh are grown, fully trained, and certified as therapy dogs, we hope to raise a puppy for Veterans Moving Forward to be trained to be a service dog. We love training dogs. Wes is in the military. What better way to give back to our military family than to raise and train a service dog for a wounded veteran? We are excited about this opportunity.
Somebody is interested in adopting Neo. We are very happy. He is a great cat, but he cannot stay here. He does not get along with the other animals. A lady contacted me and told me that Neo looked like her cat who had passed away several months ago. Neo sounded like exactly what she and her family were looking for. He would be the only animal in the house. We took Neo in after a lady we had met was going to get rid of him. We didn't want him to end up in the pound, so we took him. It's unfortunate he didn't work out here, but I'm excited we were able to give him a place until he found his permanent home.
That's all for now. Wes is working and I am camping out with the Zoo Crew. The windows are open and it has been cool all day. Life cannot get better than this. I always knew I'd grow up to be a zoo keeper. I'm sure Wes always envisioned marrying one.