Four years ago today, James and I braved a Texas storm to drive an hour and a half to Austin to meet our little furry bundle of joy.  We had been married for only a few months when we decided to adopt a little poodle.  Actually, I decided to adopt a little poodle, and spent an entire month convincing James that I absolutely needed a puppy.  While reluctant at first, James gave in when he saw the personality of a cute little gray poodle shining through a photo online.  I would spend hours browsing the adoptable dogs in our area on  When this little gray poodle became available, we called immediately!  Unfortunately, the lady told me that we didn’t actually want him, because he needed a lot of work, and couldn’t be around children.  She encouraged us to submit our adoption application, and then to meet two other small poodles, who didn’t need nearly as much attention and training.  I was disappointed, but still wanted to meet these other dogs, so we bought a kennel and drove to Austin, just to “meet” them, of course.  After about 20 minutes of driving, we realized we had a made a terrible decision braving this storm.  We couldn’t see anything and we were literally being blown all over the road.  We pulled over (with everyone else) and prayed that a tornado didn’t interfere with our hopes of getting a puppy.  At least that’s what I was praying for!  I think James was praying for safety! 🙂

After about 45 minutes, conditions were finally good enough to drive again, and we inched our way to Austin.  The adoption agency was also late due to the storm, and we arrived before them.  We wandered around Petsmart for a few minutes before a tiny gray puffball came barreling through the door.  I fell in love the moment I saw him!  There was no way I was going home without that little dog! The lady apologized for being late, and then explained to us that the dogs we were supposed to be meeting were stuck in the storm, so she brought Rudy instead (the dog we had originally called about!).  I was very pleased! We played with him for a few minutes, and she explained to us the adoption agencies policy about a two week trial period.  During a short ten minute period, this little dog had run away three times, bit the lady who brought him, and growled at a little white poodle.  It made me love him that much more.  He was spunky and had such an awesome personality.  I was sure he was the one.

We had been approved for an adoption (well….for a two week trial), but there were a few things they needed to talk to us about.  Divorce and Death.  Who got the dog if we got divorced? ME!! (No discussion was needed there…. 🙂 ) And then we discussed the importance of having our dog in our will so that our dog didn’t end up in a kill shelter one day.  After those two important discussions, we were allowed to take Rudy home.  Rudy (formerly named Rusty) became little Ambler Johnston Gouger, also known as AJ!

Our life hasn’t been the same since AJ came into it.  He has been the perfect little dog for us, and he has learned to love to travel.  The traveling began after his two week trial when we took him to see my grandparents in Corpus Christi, TX.  Then a few months later we took him on a road trip to Nebraska.  A few weeks after that, we moved him to Virginia.  A year later, he was moving to California, and two years after that, he boarded a plane to Japan.  He is quite the little traveler, and we love him!  For those of you living in Texas, check out Austin’s Little Paws Maltese Rescue.