Lucky Seven Family

Tag Archives: Dogs


Shredder was one of the first things we did as a blended family… OUR dog — all seven of us.  His name represents all the kids’ input — Cocoa Shredder.  Cocoa from the “little” girls, representing his chocolate color, and Shredder, a surfing/snowboarding reference from the “big” kids.  He shares both homes; spending time in Massachusetts and Vermont.  He has vacationed with us at the Outer Banks (#OBX) multiple times, although he’s terrified of the water!  On our most recent trip to OBX, we did family photos and I am SO glad we included Shredder!

We learned this past week that our sweet boy has a sarcoma.  He’s been having urinary accidents and I took him in for a complete workup.  Although he’s had little “lumps and bumps” on his body forever (representing fatty deposits that are normal); the veterinarian found a new and more concerning lump on his lower abdomen/groin.  He’s also lost about 6 pounds in 6 months – having recognized he seemed more skinny recently, I think there was some denial on my part that it meant something daunting could be facing OUR Shredder.

With our (fantastic!) veterinarian and her staff, together as #LuckySevenFamily we’ll figure out our next steps and the best path forward for OUR Shredder.  Since coming to live with us after what we think was a pretty tough life, he’s been spoiled in many ways! And as we work through his later days, we’ll continue to give him everything he needs and wants.


Tuesday Tips: Pets

Connections between modern, blended families can be difficult to maintain; step-siblings living together only part-time leads to potential for disconnect.  How can their parents make sure that there are consistent connections for the children?

For LuckySevenFamily, one of our consistent connections is our dog, Shredder.  Shredder is an adopted chocolate lab (or at least almost chocolate lab!).  We got Shredder about 18 months into our relationship.  The first bonding moment for all of the kids regarding Shredder was naming him.  His “real” name is “Cocoa Shredder” because the kids couldn’t decide between a “chocolate” name and something more “cool”.  So we agreed to both!

Shredder spends part of his time in Vermont and part in Massachusetts.  If I’m traveling for work he typically stays in Vermont.  If Russell has to be away, Shredder is in Massachusetts.  When Shredder is in VT, my kids ask when he will be coming to our MA home and vice versa with Russell’s kids!  When we are all together on the weekend, Shredder gets attention from all 5 kids!

Let me be clear that I don’t suggest a dog or any pet for all families – please, please be considerate of whether your family really has the time to devote to an animal – this is not a decision to take without significant consideration!  However, if you can devote the love and attention that an animal requires, this is one way to add a bond between your blended family.