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Misfit Manor Diary…Sophia’s big adventure

Misfit Manor, Sophia Rose, Nancy Halverson
ROAD TRIP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Last week we had to take Sophia Rose to see a surgeon in Louisville (about an hour from the Manor). It was supposed to rain so Bret decided he wanted to drive us there….and thank goodness he did. About half way there an alert went of in the car and the tire gauge on the dash showed we were losing pressure in one of our tires rapidly…on the freeway.

My husband is not a “panicker”…unlike me…he safely got us off the highway and to a gas station air pump before the tire was a total loss…re-inflated it and got us safely to a tire center. We were however now going to be hours late for our appointment with Sophia’s surgeon.

Misfit Manor, Sophia Rose, Nancy Halverson
Sophia and I sitting in the Tire Center…she flirted with everyone

Bret was focused the whole time on getting the car fixed…I was completely annoyed and frustrated that we were going to miss her appointment…and Miss Sophia…well she had a blast all day. She flirted with the men in the tire station…she got to play outside…she looked spectacular in her pink fluffy coat and pearls…Bret took for a pupperccino…the entire day was nothing but an adventure to her. I guess deciding what kind of day it was going to be is all a manner of perspective…

Misfit Manor, Sophia Rose, PUpperccino, Nancy Halverson
Bret took Sophia for a pupperccino

We ended up making it the surgeon’s office…they squeezed us in even though we were 3 hours late. And even though the day seemed frustrating as it unfolded this is the truth of how the day turned out:

  • Sophia’s surgeon was so pleased with how her personal department has developed and our ability to keep her free of infection that we are postponing her surgery another 3 months!
  • We made it there and back safely!
  • This first tire center we drove to didn’t have a tire for us…but they quickly put our spare on for us…for free!
  • The second tire center had a tire for us and had room in their schedule to work on it right away…I’m guessing Sophia’s cuteness had something to do with that!
  • Sophia had a blast and we enjoyed having a day alone with her!
  • Sophia is healthy enough to eat a pupperccino…just a few months ago we would never have considered letting her have one!
ears….

Perspective is everything…what started out feeling like a “sh*t show” really was a great day and everyone we encountered all day was helpful. Best of all Sophia continues to grow and get healthier each day!

The surgeon gave us an estimate of $3500.00 for Sophia’s surgery. We have already raised $1200 for it. Sophia has a GoFundMe to try to raise more. The goal of Sophia’s surgery will be to create separation between her vagina and her anus…she currently does not have the back side of the vulva and no where near enough separation. As you can imagine this makes her vulnerable to infection. The surgeon is confident he can improve this situation quite a bit for her. Other than this specific situation (and not having a tail) Sophia is completely healthy little girl.

As soon as we returned home from the day’s adventure Miss Sophia went right back to playing with Buster…I think he missed her! We are so grateful that Buster is so good with all the littles here.

Buster loves his little Sophia!

We are getting ready for Winter Solstice and Christmas at the Manor. It is definitely one of the best times of the year!

Don’t forget to keep in touch with us…you can follow our Misfit Manor Pinterest Page for tons of dog lover and pawty content….our Misfit Manor Facebook Page for shop deals and updates and sign up to follow our blog via email. All of our ornaments are on sale at our Shop for the next 10 days so don’t miss out!

Signing off with a grateful heart!

Nancy & The Misfits

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Misfit Manor Diary…fall blessings

Misfit Manor
Allie and I getting goofy at the bonfire

Fall is definitely one of my favorite times of the year. I love the process of getting ready to” rest and nest” for the winter at the Manor. Getting ready for fall here is definitely focused around working in our gardens. We have 58 rose bushes on the Manor and we trimmed every one of them back in the last few days. The veggie and spice gardens had to be cut down and turned over. I bring in any plants I want to overwinter. This year I am overwintering my geraniums, coleus and several tropicals…our home offices will look like jungles for the winter. I put in several hundred bulbs this fall and Bret planted a bunch of garlic. I cannot wait to see the results of all of it in spring! This year we ordered a lot of new seed varieties to start more plants inside over the winter. The goal is to not have to buy anything from a nursery next year when we bring the gardens back to life in Spring. Not because I am cheap (which I am) but there is something about learning to work together with nature that feeds our souls. Eating the fruit of all the tomato and peppers I grew from seed this year was amazing!

Misfit Manor
my favorite hedge on the Manor
Misfit Manor

Fall is always so beautiful here. Our sleepy little town is full of so many huge, beautiful old trees…the colors are amazing. We have several hedges of burning bush on the property…I never get tired of seeing them change their color.

Fall is also our favorite time to hang out in the yard at night with the dogs. Bonfires are fun for all of us. The Misfits love running around the yard at night and they know they are going to get some sort of yummy roasted snack from the fire.

Misfit Manor
Buster could lounge outside all day in this beautiful fall weather.

There is something about fall that makes it easier for me to slow down…probably the shorter day light hours. It feels easier to call it quits for the day when it gets dark so early. I used to hate the shorter days that come with winter…now I love them and look forward to resting a lot more. There were so many years when the changing of the seasons did not mean anything to me and certainly didn’t impact how I carried on with my daily life. The busy-ness of corporate life just seemed to motor me on through the daily grind…season after season…year after year…I wonder now how I did that for so long…and what sort of toll did it take on my body, mind and spirit? Manor life is different though; I think and do things differently…it’s a much slower life and it definitely bends and shapes around the cycle of the seasons. Fall and Winter are so much more about “resting and nesting” now. I look forward to hunkering down with more time to rest, read, write, create and of course snuggle with the Misfits.

Misfit Manor
Trudy is magical

My sweet Trudy could teach us all something about resting. This tiny, magical little dog does not have a care in the world despite being blind and deaf. She is so incredibly peaceful and intuitive. She lives every minute solely in the present and relaxed. I like to think that her stable and spoiled life here has something to do with it…but it is more likely her magical spirit…she is truly a blessing.

Wishing everyone a blessed start to the holiday season!

Nancy & The Misfits

Don’t forget about our Misfit Manor shop! We have great gift ideas for dog moms/dads and super fun Pawty supplies! We have started a GoFundMe for Sophia’s upcoming surgery (more on that later).

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Misfit Manor Diary…humbled

Misfit Manor

Everyone needs a roof over their head…including us. Misfit Manor is a super cool collection of buildings…that are also pretty old. Our roof on the main house was especially old…and it has been leaking in different spots over the years. We have been patching it as we go but we have known for a while that we were going to have to replace it. Honestly…who wants to spend money on a roof? It may be necessary but it isn’t fun…at least I kept telling my husband that every time he brought up that we need to replace the roof.

This past winter during an ice storm the roof started a leak in my bedroom…drip, drip, drip. My husband was right…we had to get this done.

Misfit Manor

Every time something like this comes up…a huge vet bill or a frighteningly large expense for the property I have to work really hard at remaining calm and handing it over. For some reason the universe always has Bret and my backs…everything always works out…we just have to be patient. In this case it was a letter and check from my Great Aunt Yvonne’s estate lawyer. My incredible Aunt left us enough money to re-roof the entire property…reading the letter literally took my breath for a moment. All I could do when I read it was sit in silence and stare at it. I called my husband and said “you are not going to believe this…but we just got a roof in the mail”. I have to wonder…is my Aunt Yvonne watching….does she know what an amazing thing she has done for us? Can she feel my grateful heart right now? It is incredibly humbling when someone does something so generous and unexpected…there really are not appropriate words for it…humble is the best I can do.

Bret and I plan to age out at the Manor with our Misfits. We do not like the word “retire” or the traditional view of what it has meant in American culture. We have our own view of what “retiring” means and long ago decided we needed to be intentional about striking a balance between work and play at every age. To us “ageing out” means continuing to do all the things we love until we drop and we want to do it here. We love our work and we love our dogs and our gardens…we love this ridiculous old home we call Misfit Manor and we don’t plan to leave it just because we are getting older. With our inheritance we were able to buy the Lifetime Shingles for the buildings and we had all the flat roofs (there are 4 of them) completely torn off and rebuilt. We will never have to do this again in our lifetime and it feels really good. Thank you Aunt Yvonne.

Aunt Yvonne…classy, smart and independent!

I only met my Aunt Yvonne twice in my life. Once when I was really little and I don’t remember much of the visit with her. Then again when I was in my late 30’s I went to visit her in Fall River, MA. By that time she lived in an apartment/Assisted Living building. She insisted that we have a meal in the dining room of her building. She walked us around to every table in the dining room to introduce her family to all of her friends there. Clearly getting a visit was meaningful to her and I was humbled to be called her family. I was always told that I looked a lot like her and acted like her. She was a pistol…very witty, very smart and driven and she lived life on her own terms long before women were “allowed” to live life on their own terms. She had no reason to leave anything to me in her will…but she did. The only way I can say thank you now is to say it out loud and hope she can hear it. I hope she can feel my grateful heart. I am not sure if my Aunt liked dogs but she gave my dogs a roof over their heads…literally. I don’t know if she would understand the life I live with my Misfits…but I am certain she would be thrilled that I am doing life my own way.

Signing off with a grateful and humble heart,

Nancy & The Misfits

P.S. Don’t forget to visit our Misfit Manor Shop for holiday gifting items for pet lovers! If you want to help support the Misfits they have an Amazon Wish List and a GoFundMe.

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Misfit Manor Diary…uninvited guests, Sophia and inflation…

We have a mole…a very determined mole…destroying our yard. I am always amazed when creatures like this think it is a good idea to camp out in our back yard. Seriously…does it consider the pack of dogs who want to kill it when it chooses our yard? The mole is literally making tunnels and hills all over. And the Misfits are determined to get him. Between the mole tunnels and the dogs digging more holes to get him…our entire back yard looks like swiss cheese!

Honestly, Bret and I go back and forth between laughing over the situation…our yard is trashed and looks completely ridiculous…and being frustrated…how are we going to fix this?

Maddie digs holes so deep her head fits entirely down in them. Even sweet Sophia, now weighing in at 4 lbs 15 oz. has joined in on the digging…who knew such a tiny dog could dig so fast!

Misfit Manor

Buster dug and de-grassed an entire corner in a manner of minutes. This mole is smart and fast though…he always gets away. We are going to have look in to some humane ways to encourage him to move on.

The yard drama aside, Manor life never seems to slow down. There has been a bit of construction/renovation work going on, we have a new Misfit (more on that later) and the needs of the Misfits and my businesses keep me busy around the clock.

Misfit Manor

Miss Sophia is growing like a weed…though still a tiny little thing. The best news is that her challenges with pooping have all but disappeared…she poops like a rock star now….a great relief because the vet suspected some of her issues were internal nerve/colon issues. Clearly her colon issues have resolved themselves as she has grown. We are also managing to keep her infection free despite having no separation between her anus and her vagina…this is no small feet…the medical management of keeping her infection free requires constant hygiene care. I take her urine in every couple weeks to test for white blood cells to make sure we are staying ahead of any percolating infections. Tomorrow we head to Louisville for another consultation with her surgeon. We are trying to put off surgery as long as we can (hopefully until she is full grown). The surgery will create separation between her vagina and anus. Sophia is such an incredible blessing to our lives. She has become Trudy’s wrestling and snuggling buddy. None of the other Misfits will play with Trudy (Trudy is a little crazy and she freaks the other dogs out). But Sophia loves Trudy’s brand of crazy and its a beautiful thing to see Trudy wrestle and play like a normal dog.

Like everyone else…we are certainly noticing the impact of inflation and product shortages here at the Manor. Items I purchase to run my shop have been out of stock for months…not even available for back order. I have had to be creative and flexible to figure out different ways to do things for now. I also keep really close tabs on our vet bills, pet food costs, meds & supplements, etc. And they are going up fast. We have also started seeing supply issues…particularly for certain kinds of food and piddle pads. We order a lot of our items through Chewy…this month’s piddle pad order was half what we normally get…out of stocks. When you have a bunch of senior dogs…piddle pads are not luxury…they are a necessity. Since Covid lockdowns in 2020 we have stayed stocked up on just about everything we use here so we are very grateful to be ahead of out of stocks for now. I am fortunate that I do very little driving so rising gas prices are not a big hit for us but like everyone else it is unsettling to see prices for food and every day items go up so fast.

Misfit Manor Shop, Dog Mom Ornament

Don’t forget about us this holiday season if you are shopping for dog loving friends and family. Our Misfit Manor Shop has ornaments and wall decor that make perfect gifts for dog lovers. You can also support the Misfits with a gift from their Amazon Wish List and their GoFundMe for vet bills.

Signing off on this beautiful fall evening in Kentucky,

Nancy & The Misfits

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Misfit Manor Diary…life on her own terms

Misfit Manor, Nancy Halverson

Little Miss Madison has definitely changed since she arrived here but she also definitely lives life here on her own terms. We don’t know anything about her life before coming to the Manor…honestly I don’t want to know. We can guess because she is not socialized to animals or humans that she was breeder and most likely spent her life alone in a cage. Some dogs bounce back from a life like that…some don’t. In Madison’s case she will probably never be normal. But Madison has definitely changed…she eats great without getting sick (she was chronically stomach sick for the first few weeks). Our go to tool when we get a dog with major digestive issues is probiotics. They make take a bit of time to work but creating a healthy gut flora for the dogs makes everything better for them…not just their stomachs (their skin especially improves) and its been a game changer for Madison.

Madison eats like a little piggy now. And she can enjoy things like treats and chews without getting sick. She still does not drink from a water bowl. I even tried using a water bottle (like you would put in a hampster cage) to see if she would drink from that…no go. To get enough fluid in her every day I make her meals in to soup and serve it on a plate with a deep enough edge. It’s unconventional but it works.

Definitely one of the most exciting changes has been her improved mobility and lack of pain/discomfort. Madison clearly was uncomfortable (back and hips) and she moved sooo slow…turtles move faster than she did. But in just a few months she moves at a pretty good clip now and instead of having to ride in the stroller for her whole walk she trots around on her own. Park time is her favorite time! We used a typical basket of tools to get Madison feeling better…supplements, laser therapy and vibration therapy.

Hands down Madison’s favorite things to do are nap and watch me work. She has beds in my office and my studio…she is either sound asleep or staring at me.

She still does not really like physical touch. She will snuggle with me in bed or on my recliner and loves to get her back and belly scratched but she is not a dog that will initiate any human attention. When she snuggles with me she does this goofy thing where she rubs her head really fast on my stomach and then her whole body relaxes on me and she let’s out a sigh…it is so cute…I have no clue what it means but it is so sweet and melts me every time.

Every body has things they do in life that genuinely make them happy…not things that make you laugh…or entertain you…or even make you feel safe and secure…but moments that remind you that life is simple and full of love…it does not have to be grand, fancy or noticed by anyone to be fulfilling and amazing. For me…it is simple things like watching Madison sleep peacefully in a warm bed at my feet that genuinely make me happy. I don’t know if Madison remembers the hellish life she must have lived before…I hope she doesn’t…but she is incredibly content now to just be who she is and enjoy the life we can give her.

Every night at bedtime we have a whole routine to get everyone ready for bed…it takes a good 30 minutes for me to get everyone pottied, medicated, lasered…and finally in their designated sleeping position. Everyone has a spot…my own bed is surrounded by co-sleepers so we all can sleep together…I crawl in last. That last look at them before I fall asleep is the best moment of each day. I was put here to take care of these precious souls and I wouldn’t change it for anything.

On the journey,

Nancy & The Misfits

P.S. Don’t forget our Misfit Manor Shop if you are planning a Pawty or looking for great gifting ideas for the holidays. If you want to support the Misfits we have both a GoFundMe and an Amazon Wish List.

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Misfit Manor…grief is the thief of joy

Nancy Halverson, misfit manor, rescue dog,

The loss of Rosie is something that I have not been able to write about for months. We had to say our final good bye to Rosie on June 8th. The wound of losing her feels as raw today as it did that day. Every time we lose a Misfit my heart is broken but this time is different. This time I feel a level of grief I have never experienced before. My grief is intense and relentless.

She was only 4 years old…she deserved so much more time…she deserved so much more than the broken little body she was given. Her neurologist said she was a genetic tragedy…no explanation and no fix for her broken little body. Everything abut her life was so unfair.

When we first brought Rosie home the biggest challenge was getting her to eat. She did not want to eat. Bret and I both felt that it was the first time we took in a dog that simply didn’t have a desire to live anymore. We had done a session with a pet psychic with her which revealed a lot about how she felt physically but also that she didn’t believe anyone wanted her. She did not believe that Bret and I were going to keep her. We worked so hard to change her mind and win her over. Eventually we did win her over…and for 3 years I was rarely away from her and when I was it only for a few hours to run errands.

Taking care of Rosie has been one of the best experiences of my life…she was so sweet and beautiful and was up for just about anything as long as we were together. In hindsight it was so much work to care for her…she needed me 24/7…the last few weeks I was up most nights several times a night with her…but it never felt like work or a bother. I loved every minute of caring for her and I feel completely lost without her even after all of this time.

I will never forget her huge brown eyes…the noise she made when she tried to bark (so precious)…the way she would slap my cell phone out of my hand (she hated competing with the phone for my attention)…how crazy she went for a pupperccino. Despite all of her physical challenges she was happy and my constant companion…always smiling at me…always staring at me!

Her death is the thief that has stolen my joy. I don’t even know where to start trying to figure out how to heal from this anymore. I look at the rest of my Misfits and almost feel guilty for not being the same person with the same heart anymore. I go through the motions each day taking care of them but I’m doing it with a broken heart…the joy is gone for now.

I hope that Rosie found Betty and Millie on the other side. I hope somehow she can see me and that she knows how badly I miss her. I cannot wait for the day I see her and all the rest of my Misfits who have passed again.

Hug your babies…every single day matters.

Nancy & The Misfits

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Misfit Manor Diary…Sophia’s first pawty!

Misfit Manor, Nancy Halverson

If there is one thing we never pass up on opportunity to do around here it’s pawty! Sophia Rose turned 3 months old last week. There was no way we weren’t going to celebrate.

Unfortunately because of her health issues there was no cake or treats at her pawty…just a few licks from a pupperccino…but she still had fun and this little girl clearly loves being the center of attention.

Misfit Manor, Nancy Halverson

We intend to celebrate every mile stone with this little girl…no matter how small. While she looks like a perfectly healthy little girl she has some pretty serious health concerns. Things have definitely improved more and more and she grows but it is feeling inevitable that she is going to face surgery on her personal department once she is full grown.

But Bret and I reluctantly admitted that the first few weeks we had her we were both uncertain she would make it this far. Gratitude doesn’t cover it when we think about how much she has improved.

Misfit  Manor, Nancy Halverson

Sophia will see a specialist in Louisville on the 20th for the first time. All paws crossed that we will get some encouraging news. I have very mixed emotions about such a small dog going through major surgery. In the meantime, we are enjoying every minute of showing her how awesome Manor life is. She gets more rambunctious and bigger every day! This picture on the left shows how leggy she is getting…it appears she is getting more of the Chihuahua traits than the Shitzu.

Misfit manor, Nancy Halverson
Sophia & Madison

Our sweet Madison continues to settle in to Manor life…albeit very slowly. She has started letting Sophia Rose snuggle with her…definitely a nice step. She also is laying on beds regularly now…when she first arrived she only laid down on the floor…she just did not get that the beds were for her. She continues to eat really good and I have her on a natural supplement for anxiety that seems to be working. She is definitely less stressed when I pick her up.

Misfit Manor, Nancy Halverson
Snoopy

Summer is definitely winding in Kentucky. While I will be sad to shut our pool down the fall season is definitely one of my favorite times of year. I enjoy putting my gardens to bed for the winter, bonfires, apple cider and taking a lot of long cool walks with the dogs. Snoopy takes advantage of every minute he can get outside…he literally never tires out!

Blessings from our pack to yours!

Nancy & The Misfits

Don’t forget to check out our Pawty Store if you are planning a party for your dog! We have hats, favors, banners…everything you need to plan a pawfect day.

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Misfit Manor Diary….welcome Madison!

Misfit Manor, Nancy Halverson

Say hello to our newest Misfit…Madison! Madison arrived about a week ago. I know nothing about her past. What I do know is that she is very old, completely deaf, does not see well and definitely has some arthritis issues. She is gentle and sweet and very, very quiet.

Madison seems to be what I would call “a-social”. She is not anti-social per se, nor is she aggressive in anyway. She has not however been socialized to people or other animals. She just doesn’t know what to do with any of us. She does not want to be touched by any of us and while she wants to be in the general vicinity of the rest of us….not too close. She definitely has found a use for me…back scratches….she loves back scratches…other than that though…no touching.

Misfit Manor, Nancy Halverson

Madison loves to be outside and I have been taking her to the park with Foxy and Spike every morning. She is a really slow walker so she mostly rides in the stroller.

The only time her tail seems to wag is when she is outside. Madison also does not make any noise…not a peep. She has not barked once since arriving.

If I had to take a guess at what her life was before coming here I would guess that she was solely a breeder and most likely lived her life in a cage/crate with little interaction with any humans or animals.

Despite the fact that she is old I am holding out hope that she will eventually come to appreciate human touch and take advantage of the all of the perks of living here. If not, that is ok. We love her just as she is. I am so glad she landed here for whatever time she has left. Every one of these dogs that lands here is a blessing to my life and I cherish every day I get to take care of them.

Peace, love and rescue,

Nancy & The Misfits

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Misfit Manor Diary…the gardens of Misfit Manor

Misfit Manor, Nancy Halverson

If 2021 has been anything…it has been a fabulous year for gardening in Kentucky. Everything from the roses to the tomatoes have had a spectacular year here.

Not only has the weather been incredible for growing but the typical pests we see here in our gardens have been non existent this year.

Because of the Misfits I don’t leave the Manor very often. I run out for quick errands and occasionally to meet a friend for a quick lunch or dinner. The gardens are a big part of how I decompress, entertain myself and get a little variety from being a non-stop dog mom.

Misfit Manor, Nancy Halverson

Gardening is not something I had time for in the past. Only since I retired to Kentucky 7 years ago have I had the time to start appreciating playing the in the dirt. I have learned a lot and made a lot of gardening mistakes but it does get better every year as I learn more and more. I consider myself an “accidental green thumb”.

Roses have been my biggest learning curve. Not knowing any better I put in a ton of roses when I first moved here. I had no clue to how to do pest control, prune, prepare for winter, etc. But I am slowly figuring it out. My roses have become my babies and I am obsessed with taking pictures of them.

Misfit Manor, Nancy Halverson

I have also become obsessed with using accent pieces and lights in the garden. I have a new mindset when I am out thrifting and flea marketing…”everything has potential as a planter”! I have made planters this year from an old bicycle, an old peddle cart, bird cages, metal baskets and more. The types of lighting you can get for outdoor gardening now are incredible. I am using solar, battery powered, electric strands, torches…I have lights every where so the Misfits and I can enjoy the night in our gardens! There is nothing more wonderful than relaxing out in the yard with a big glass of tea while the fire flies light up the landscape!

Misfit Manor, Nancy Halverson

I am also learning a lot of tricks/tips for making gardening more affordable. This past winter I overwintered my geraniums. I didn’t even know you could do that but here I am this year with monster geraniums. This geranium pictured on the left is a single plant that I overwintered from the previous year. I am not sure I will be able to find the space to overwinter this one again unless I cut it way back.

I also did my first growing from seed indoors this past winter and learned to propagate from cuttings and did a lot of splitting of perennials this year as well. This was my first experience with gladiolas and dahlias too…dahlias have become my favorite flower!

For the last 7 years it has been difficult to convince me to leave the Manor because of the dogs…now I don’t want to leave the gardens either! I am already looking forward to new plans for the gardens for next spring. Fall bulbs will go in soon…I have a lot of annual bulbs and tubers I need to dig up and a box of seeds I will be starting inside this year.

I saw an Audrey Hepburn quote recently; “to plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow”. I never would have thought much of that quote in the past but now I love it. It is not just to believe in tomorrow….it is to look forward tomorrow and see it’s possibilities. The best part of each day is my early morning walk around my gardens with a cup of coffee to see what surprises and beautiful things nature has in store for the day.

I am fortunate that I get to live a life where I can be consumed with the things that make my soul sing; dogs and gardening. I wouldn’t trade either of these for all of the money in the world.

From our pack to yours…wishing you end of summer blessings.

Nancy & The Misfits

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Misfit Manor Diary…a teeny tiny blessing…welcome Sophia Rose

misfit manor, nancy halverson

About a month a go I received a phone call about an 8 week old puppy (Chihuahua and Shitzu mix) that had some health issues and needed a place to go. Puppies are not the typical addition to the Manor family but it is something that we have talked about ever since Petunia passed away last February. Though we had passed on several other inquiries on puppies when I received the call about this little girl my inner bell knew right away that she was meant to be here.

Misfit manor, nancy Halverson

A few days later Bret and I went to pick her up. Bret laughed when he saw her; “that’s not a dog… it’s a hampster”! She was so small…barely over 1 lb. We named her Sophia Rose in honor of our beloved Rosie.

Sophia Rose has some serious health issues. Some of her very important parts are not developed properly. The least of her issues is that she does not have a tail…just a nub. The more serious is that her vagina and anus are too close together and both are not fully developed. Her vagina is misplaced. She does not have a full vulva so when she poops bacteria and debris go right in to her vagina.

Misfit Manor, Sophia Rose

When we first brought her home she was having chronic diarrhea and the task of keeping her clean and infection free seemed overwhelming. Once we got her on a course of antibiotics though the situation improved a lot. Unfortunately, as her stool normalized in firmness, we quickly realized that she doesn’t have strong enough sphincter muscles to get her poops out alone. Honestly, there is nothing worse than a constipated puppy. She cries from the pain of trying to poop. The first week or so of figuring this out was heart breaking.

I have touched more poo in the last month than any normal person ever should in trying to help this poor girl take care of business. Over the last month we have found a system to keep things working as best as we can for her. She is on a stool softener (a lot of it), she eats liquified food and I use warm water and warm towels to help her get her first poo out in the morning. For the most part, with the exception of her first poo in the morning, things are going much more smoothly now. Our vet suspects there are issues with her colon not functioning properly that cause her stool to harden over night…making that first little piece of poo so very difficult for her.

Misfit Manor, Nancy Halverson

Other than the issues I described she is a happy, rambunctious and very loving puppy. She will see a specialist on the 20th of this month in Louisville. Our vets do not believe she will have a quality life unless she has reconstructive surgery on her vulva and anus. I am still hopeful that as she grows the entire situation will improve a lot and perhaps surgery won’t be necessary. We will do whatever the experts recommend though. Regardless, she will require extra care and hygiene management her whole life. She is worth every moment of care though. She has brought so much joy to this house already.

Misfit Manor, Nancy Halverson

The other Misfits have welcomed Sophia Rose warmly. She is incredibly rambunctious and they are incredibly tolerant…especially Buster. She brings a renewed energy to the house and has lifted all of our spirits.

Each time we bring a new Misfit home I am reminded how blessed I am to be able to live this life. Sophia Rose deserves the best and I am so blessed to be in a position to take care of her. When I took her in to the vet for first appointment the vet chuckled when he walked in the room and saw her…chuckling at me not her…I am not sure he quite gets me and my passion for working with dogs with challenges…”where do you find these dogs” he said…I responded…”I don’t…they find me.”

Wishing you peace and happiness from Misfit Manor,

Nancy & The Misfits

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Misfit Manor Diary…Our Sweet New Ride!

Misfit Manor, Jeeping, Jeep Life, Jeep Dog
Spike loves jeeping!

So there have been a few really nice things about turning 50 this year. The first is that I have cemented my position in the “I’m too old to get worked up about anything club”. One of the blessings of getting older is I just don’t get worked up about other people’s opinions and expectations anymore. I am content to just do me…and let the universe work everything else out. The second great thing about turning 50 is that my husband bought me and the Misfits this sweet new Jeep!

Misfit Manor, jeep life, jeep dog, Nancy Halverson, dog mom life

I have been wanting a vehicle that I could take the dogs out in (that is more fun than my boring Honda) for a long time. The Jeep was a pawfect fit for us.

We had a sun rider top installed so it has a super easy flip down that I can handle by myself. I set up the inside with big comfy and safe car seats for the Misfits and added extra harnesses that attach to the Jeep seats themselves so each dog is harnessed in to both the car set and to the actual Jeep seat.

Misfit Manor, Nancy Halverson, dog mom life, jeeping, jeep life, jeep dog

The dogs and I are having so much fun going for sunny weather rides. We stop for Dairy Queen plain cheeseburgers and pupperccinos at Starbucks. We cruise to the park for play time. We run errands that we really don’t need to run just so we can cruise in the Jeep. I have never had this much fun with a car and the dogs are having a blast.

I ordered doggles for all of them. I will admit that it is hard to get some of them to keep them on. They look so darn cute and I don’t worry so much about them sticking their heads out the window to enjoy the wind when they wear their doggles.

I was made to live the life I have here with the Misfits. It is not always easy…but it is worth every ounce of effort, time and resource I put in to it. This has been one of the best summers we have ever had. The jeep is definitely part of it and this is the first time in my life that I have had a car that wasn’t practical or sensible but rather just for fun for me and the Misfits! I feel so spoiled.

Here is a photo gallery of some of the Jeep memories that we made this summer. I hope you are enjoying your summer too. Don’t forget about us if you are planning a party for your dog! Visit our Misfit Manor Shop for all of your pawty planning needs!

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Misfit Manor Diary…Dog Pool Summer Fun!

dog pool at Misfit Manor

Summer time is definitely our favorite time of year and the dog pool is our favorite part of Kentucky summers. There is so much to do here and being outside with the Misfits is the top of our list every day!

dog pool  at Misfit Manor

Early in the season Bret put up a sturdier pool than we had last year and it’s been a great blessing this hot summer. The pool is small but it’s a nice respite for us after we have been out working in the gardens in the sun.

We found some great infant pool floaties that work great for the dogs. They love floating around with us in the afternoons. No matter how busy my day is I try to take at least 30 minutes in the afternoon to pour a big glass of tea, turn on some music and relax in the pool with my girls.

Dog Pool at Misfit Manor

A couple years ago we purchased a dog bone shaped pool for the dogs and had a deck built around it. Unfortunately it was really hard to keep clean without a pump and filter so we didn’t get to use it as often as we wanted. It was way to heavy to lift for emptying and cleaning!

This year we created a pump system that runs through a fire hydrant.

Dog Pool at Misfit Manor

It was actually really easy to set up (says the person who stood there and watched her husband do it).

I ordered a really small pool pump from Intex and used some extra pool tubing and clamps we had from a previous pool. Bret ran the tubing under the deck and up the fire hydrant. We had to drill the fire hydrant (and fasten it down to the deck). We also had to drill a hole in the actual dog pool to run the water intake…a little scary to drill the hole in the pool but we managed to get the size exactly right for the intake valve.

dog pool at Misfit Manor

So far it has been really easy to keep it clean without using chlorine. I have a small portable pool vacuum that I use to keep the bottom clean and I change the pool filter every week.

The dogs love it and it provides a summer long solution for them to cool off after walks and play.

So many memories have been made in the yard this year with the Misfits. We are so blessed to live this life with such special pets. Don’t forget to check out our Misfit Manor Shop if you are planning a summer pawty!

Pawty On!

Nancy & The Misfits

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Misfit Manor Diary…things that never get old!

There are some things we experience in life that while they may completely capture us for a while and are wonderful they are passing and don’t hold our attention for terribly long. And there are some things in this life that never get old…they never stop being full of wonder. For me, spring is one of those things that will never get old. It will always awaken a sense of awe and appreciation.

Spring in Kentucky is nothing short of magical; not just in its beauty but in its screaming reminder that all life is a cycle. Life renews in different forms and out of the darkest part of the year comes the most amazing beauty. Here it is not just the beauty of the landscape…but the sight of the foals in the all the pastures on our gorgeous rolling country side that take your breath away. I can’t stop smiling when I drive around and see the foals and their mommas.

I am fortunate that I have the ability to spend so much time outside (walking dogs) and the freedom in my schedule to do a lot of gardening on the manor. This year we have done major expansions of the gardens and getting them installed and planted has consumed every seemingly spare moment of my time. Spring in Kentucky this year has been unusually cold…and despite worrying ceaselessly about my plants…the cold seems to be beneficial for spring blooms as this has been one of the most beautiful springs since I moved here…everything…from flowering trees and the tulips to the roses has been spectacular this year.