RIP Wesley

Christine and I moved to Fort Worth from Fort Lewis, Washington in 2000.

We wanted a dog (well, I wanted a dog… Christine’s always been a cat person).

We’d met a Bichon Frise on post in Washington, that was so happy and fun, that I just had to have one. That Bichon was about 3 feet tall, and rather large (we later learned he was a Bichon/Poodle mix).

So, we found a Bichon breeder in the area, out near Reliant airport, and drove out to pick out a dog. When we got there, we were faced with a choice of one of two females, or the male runt. We chose the runt. The puppy could fit in the palm of one hand… or at least that’s what I remember.

On the way home, we were trying to pick out a name, and were naming off lots of names together… when we saw a billboard for the Law School at Texas Wesleyan… and being a good Methodist, I said “How about Wesley?” And it stuck.

We brought Wesley home, and I promptly went on a business trip (the first of many MacWorld Conferences, on behalf of MacNN). Christine was left to deal with a puppy that had horrible seperation anxiety, and couldn’t keep any food down, while I was out in San Fancisco enjoying a trade show… and to top it all off, we were living in a tiny apartment with all of our belongings still in boxes, while our first house was being built. Needless to say, they got to bond pretty tightly while I was gone. And I’m pretty sure Christine considered taking the poor little guy back while I was out of town, at least once.

We finally got him nursed back to health, and semi-potty trained, and finally moved into out house on Belladonna. Wesley and Patton used to LOVE playing with each other in that house… and I do mean play with each other. They were the best playmates each other could have… and fast friends.

I also started calling Wesley “Waggers” because the dog was always soooo happy to see us… anytime we came through the door.

Wesley was a little dog, but he made up for that in spunk and effort. I remember going for a quick mile run with him once… and picking him up after the first quarter mile, because he just didn’t have it in him to run that far (yes, I actually ran after the Army, at few times – or at least attempted it)

Fast forward a few years, and we moved four times with Wesley, and he saw the birth of two boys (with Jack and with Grayson), and the growth of our family. He’s been an everpresent presence, and never shied away from our love… always returning it in multiples.

He knew all of our friends, and loved every single one of them. He greeted everyone at the door, and was always very excited to welcome them into our home.

He loved to give kisses to anyone that would let him…

He even put up with us putting bows and silly bandanas on him:

He loved it when we gave him a good old fashioned scratching:

Somedays his hair was better than others:

A couple of weeks ago, Christine and I noticed that one of Wesley’s eyes looked a little swollen, so we took him to the vet… then to a specialist. Turns out the poor guy had some kind of tumor growing behind his eye. So we brought him home, and gave him some medicine and some ointment for his eye, but it was apparent the little guy was in pain.

So, this morning, I made one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made, and left him with out vet at around 8:15 a.m. I gave him a big hug, and a kiss on the forehead, and told him I’d see him on the other side… and with that I left him in the care of a wonderful and caring veterinary team… I said good-bye to one of my best friends… “Wesley Waggers”.

Tonight Jack told me at dinner that he “just wanted to hold him one more time” and it nearly broke my heart to tell him that “we’ll just have to hold him in our dreams and our prayers and someday, we’ll get to hold him in Heaven.” Jack then proceeded to thank God for Wesley during his prayer for dinner… and to ask for another puppy.

I’ll see you on the Rainbow Bridge buddy.

“The measure of a society can be how well its people treat its animals.” – Mohandas Gandhi

And thank you to everyone that posted well wishes and condolences on Facebook today. Really appreciate it.


HAVE YOU HEARD? The aspiring young psychiatrists were attending their first class on emotional extremes. “Just to establish some parameters,” said the professor to the student from Baylor, “What is the opposite of joy?”

“Sadness,” said the student.

“And the opposite of depression?” he asked of the young lady from Rice.

“Elation,” said she.

“And you sir,” he said to the young man from A&M, “how about the opposite of woe?”

The amused Aggie replied, “Sir, I believe that would be giddy-up.”


Jack turned five last week.


And to think, I used to be able to hold him with one hand:

I just re-read the first post I made about his birthday,

It’s hard to explain how cool it is to have a five year-old in the house, but it’s pretty cool. Jack is becoming the “big boy” in the family, and he’s learned so much in the last 6 months… going from four to five, I’ve really seen him mature.

He’s now sharing with Grayson pretty much all the time, and when he’s not, he uses his words to tell Grayson and his mommy and I that he’s “playing by myself right now” which is so sweet. He’s also learning responsibility. Just last week he told me to take my own trash to the trash can after dinner, because “it’s your responsibility Daddy” and when he had a friend over for a playdate, he asked him to help him clean up “the toys you’re responsible for”.

Jack is an adorably sweet boy who gives hugs and kisses, and thanks God for his family, while also being pretty independent and resolute in his endeavors (just today he opened the back door at Nana and Papa’s all by himself (it’s a heavy sliding-glass door, and hard for me to open at times)).

He’s also rubbing off on his little brother. Yesterday, Grayson walked up to Jack and said “Hey Jack, do you want to be Jazz or Rachet?” When Jack chose Rachet, Grayson said “Ok, I’ll play for you and tell you if you win” which is a cute game for Jack when he plays it, but wasn’t cute to him when Grayson played it… though we got a kick out of it.

Jack is a sponge and just loves going to school and soaking up all the knowledge he can. Today he wrote his first item on his list for Santa… and he wrote all of the letters himself. He wants a “Lego Watch” with Luke Skywalker on it.

Jack is also a good Aggie fan, and great football game buddy. He’s been to pretty much every home game with me or Christine since he was born, and to a couple of games in Austin. And he loves seeing Bussy at the games.

I hope he continues to grow and develop in the manner he’s being doing so far, and that he grows to be a compassionate man who knows that love and communication are the keys to everything important. I think he will.

John Fischer Engler, Jr. Obituary Listing

My dad died on this day twenty-two years ago. I was 11 years old:

The text in the Houston Chronicle read:

John F. Engler, Jr. died age 39. November 22, 1987, in Denver. Services will be at Graveside, Forest Park Lawndale, December 5 and 2:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers send donations to John Engler Memorial Fund, c/o/ Margo Bergesen, P.O. Box 105, Round Mountain, Tx. 78663.

Sucks to lose a dad when you’re 11. Sucks to lose a dad period.

Phantom Menace + Return of the Jedi

This year, for Halloween, the boys wanted to dress up like characters from Star Wars.

Grayson wanted to be Darth Maul. Jack wanted to be Luke Skywalker.

So, I give you:

Darth Maul:

And Luke Skywalker:

Between the two of them, we’ve had some major lightsaber battles around here!

(more photos from Halloween here)

Lady Bird Trip – Butterflies

In mid-October, I took Jack and Grayson, and we picked up Maly and headed to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center to be part of their “Flight of the Monarchs” night. We had a lot of fun!

First, we met my Aunt Margo… my Dad’s sister, who I haven’t seen since I was in college 15 years ago.

Then we went into the main center and made caterpillars.

After that we walked up to the top of the observation tower, and I held each of the kids up high, so they could see the surrounding land all around us. They all thought that was pretty cool.

Then the kids were off. Off and running to be exact. I could barely keep up with them… running, running. Running. All over the place. Then we found some yard art.

An iron spider to be exact. And a friend. We played on that for a while, then right as it got dark, we headed back to the car… to home, and to bed.

Maly spent the night with us and the next morning, the kids all ran outside in their t-shirts and underwear, and played and got dirty… and looked for butterflys… Never saw any, but we looked.

What a great weekend!

(more photos here)

Bathtime, Books, and Chocolate Milk

Kids are so fun. And funny.

I took some photos of Jack and Grayson in the bath:

and then a few of Grayson in his elephant towel. He’s such a cheese:

Then I took a photo or two of Christine reading to Jack:

Then of Grayson drinking chocolate milk from his bear cup:


(all photos here)


This summer, Ella came down to visit, so we met them out at Debbie and Raymond’s lakehouse.

The kids had a blast… Jack and Grayson love handing out with their favorite cousin!

See all the photos here.

The scanner

This is what happens you leave the scanner attached to your iMac and have two boys under 5 at home with access to it:


The Cork Boat

Jack has to make a boat this week for school. On Friday, they get to bring the boats they made to class to try and float them together… They’re studying water right now, and the world of water around us.

So, Christine had an idea to make a boat out of wine bottle corks.

Jack and I built it tonight. And did we build a boat!

Jack had drawn the design of the boat out on a piece of paper, so building it was actually pretty easy. Just a little hot glue and some patience.

And here’s the end result… click to watch the movie:


We went for a “drive” the other day. Grayson fell down “kersplat”:

And eventually, we got both kids in the Jeep together:

Space Center Photos

We took a photo at the Houston Space Center last week (more on our trip later when I take the time to write it) and I loved the photo so much, I just had to throw it up here:

Find Us on Facebook or Twitter

If you’re checking for updates, and have been disappointed, I apologize. We’ve just been so busy, it’s been hard to keep up with posting new stuff.

While I’ll continue to post to in the future, I am inviting you to follow us on Facebook or Twitter, if you really want to know what we’re up to all the time:

John on Facebook
Christine on Facebook

And, even my little brother Evan is on Facebook.

I’m also on Twitter @johnengler.

See you around!