Dog in a car

This past weekend we were on the road (again). And (again) we left Cliff at my parents place (thanks mom and dad I think that’s the last weekend for awhile!!).

Just so you know, cliff is a bit of a terror – in case I hadn’t already made that obvious to you… For example, I now have in my possession one iPhone video-worthy of america’s funniest home videos – of C-dog pushing my 5 year old nephew into a creek. (I’m gonna find a way to upload it because you really just have to see it to believe it). At any rate the point of telling you all of this is to let you know that whilst cliff may not have bedside manners when playing with children, he is an excellent traveller. I guess it’s not too strange for a dog to love the car, but I take my moments of pride where I can get them!
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On the way back home we had some extra passengers and extra cargo (about 12 Rubbermaid containers full of baby supplies) which we were transporting from one family member to another. We all managed to squeeze in to a borrowed dodge caravan that basically rides like a space craft.
Long car rides, road trips with friends and dogs will always hold a special place in my heart ❤

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Great Dane + Lab puppy = love

We’re off for another road trip this weekend! Mike turned 30 this year – which means so do all of his closest friends for the most part. This weekend is 30th birthday number 4 of the year – we’re headed to Toronto for a Raptors game (aren’t they like not even in the running for the playoffs? I dunno I don’t do basketball…) and many yummy foods.

When we were away over Easter, Cliff boy got to meet my family’s great dane, Patrick. He’s the most lovely big dog you’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting (no really) and Cliff just couldn’t get enough of running under his legs and hanging off his jowls. Poor Patrick had to run and hide.

My sister told me that on one of the nights, Cliff was barking his face off in the crate in my parents kitchen downstairs, and Patrick who was asleep upstairs in my sister’s room, heard the commotion, got up from his bed, went downstairs and sprung Cliff free from his cage!! The both returned to the bedroom together. Too funny. Jail break buddies.

Because you can’t bring brat puppies to Basketball games, Cliff is spending another few nights tormenting – I mean, visiting my family.

Thank-you family! We owe you BIG TIME, LONG TIME>

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What happened to the past three months?

seriously. where does time go? i feel like i woke up today and suddenly it was april. the last thing i remember it was NY’s and we were ushering in 2013. now it’s almost time to usher in the summer.

yesterday i finished year one of the master of journalism program! such a milestone.  year one done. finito. c’est fini!

i was leafing through some of the pictures i managed to take when life was busy – and in my head we haven’t done a whole lot of anything since the start of the year, but in reality… man we’ve crammed a lot in: New puppy. birthday celebration. trips home. job searches. classes… i don’t know why i was so misled. I think when you’re busy, you just put your head down and soldier through.

at any rate. on to the next steps. this is the first time in a long time i don’t have plans outlined for the summer (read: a form of employment at the ready). i’m not going to lie: this whole “lack of control” is driving me alittlebitbatty. (deeeeep breath.) maybe this is a really good exercise in letting go – and seeing where life takes you.

So a bit of a recap the moments i thought i missed over the past few months:

JANUARY

NY's EVE

NY’s EVE

New family member

New family member

mike's 30th birthday celebrations

mike’s 30th birthday celebrations

FEBRUARY

group

outdoor hockey game

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endured another snow storm

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a warm cup or two

dressed a dog up

dressed a dog up like Rihanna

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winter trail runs

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embracing the snow

MARCH

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trying to get spring to hurry up

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the TV studio at school where I spent the month of March

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sneaking a lunch date in

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watching Mike in a comedy tour

Proud to be team bride

Road trip across the province for Wedding festivities on Easter weekend!

And now? Bring on the APRIL showers 🙂

Noise etc.

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Out for a walk along the river

Yesterday at this time Mike was sitting upstairs, mad at me, the cat AND the dog because there’s so much noise in the house lately.(To be fair to me and Lo mein it was mostly because of the dog.) He started barking at about 5:45 and was a holy terror most of the morning – running around with shoes/biting at things/barking at the cat. Usual cartoonish dog stuff.

This afternoon it’s all quiet on the Western Front. I got a text showing me a conked out dog, laying on the office ottoman while Mike typed away at his desk (So I think they made up.)

I had wanted to get a dog for a long time. It was something that I basically begged Mike for – I’d say I worked on him for probably about two years. I always had dogs growing up – but not the kind that were in the house. We lived in the country and they had a dog house and a kennel run and slept inside at night. Mike never had any pets growing up and he was always skeptical about getting one- Like having to walk it, having to feed it, pay for vet bills (ok I was skeptical about this too) and why would you want an animal living in the house with you?

So I guess you could say I finally wore him down and he said, “ok, let’s get a dog.”

(side note: now it’s impossible to tell who he loves more: me or Cliff.)

One of the reasons that I wanted a dog (aside from the fact that animals are awesome and most of the time I like them better then people), was so that we didn’t get to stuck in a “rut.”

I feel like I’m young still. I’m still figuring out what I want to do with my life/what type of work I see myself doing in a few years. Mike is in a similar boat – he’s working and trying to figure out what sort of route he has to take to pursue doing stand-up comedy full time.

And were not unlike so many other late-twenty somethings (well that’s just me… Mike’s THIRTY now 😉 ) and we have this crazy back-wards luxury of “taking time” to see what we want to do. My mom at my age now had 2 kids. My sister is 34 and she already has a teenager who’s just about in University.

I’m STILL in University.

When you settle down and have a family right away, you learn to adjust. You don’t spend 2 hours at breakfast on the weekend, or make a gourmet meal on a weeknight. Part of me feels guilty that that’s how I’m living my life still – how I want to, and not on someone elses’ schedule.

So we are accountable to few things in life at this point – which is why I wanted to get a dog. Honestly it made me uncomfortable to think: “You could just get so used to this lifestyle that you’ll never want to change it.”

So mission accomplished – if I wanted a dog so that we would be able to change up our routine, and avoid becoming overly selfish or stuck in “our ways” – I did it.

We now get up at 5:50 most mornings. We’re both tired. The dog barks and disrupts the silence of the saturday morning because he really needs to go and run some energy out. When we’re out for the evening we “have to get home for the dog.” And it’s not like we were surprised about this. We knew going into it that it was a “big responsibility.”

And I’d say that we take turns being mad about it – about the loss of freedom.

And it’s crazy because even as I’m typing this I’m thinking… “It’s just a DOG. How is it that our lives have changed THAT much. And why do other people with dogs not seem to make that big of a deal about it? Why do people with MULTIPLE children, not get angry about excess noise in the house?”

So anyway… we’re learning to deal with noise. Which is probably a good thing because there are those other times when my life is busy and loud and I think to myself that silence is over-rated.

Snow + puppy

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The thing about getting a puppy in the winter time is you spend most of the first few months trying to find  creative ways to tire him out… at least that’s been our experience with cliff. so much puppy energy plus winter days = not fun nights.

i was under the impression that labs like cold weather since they were bred for the icy cold waters of Newfoundland?

but i gotta say, i think we got a softie – if there’s any sort of a wind chill, you literally have to coax him down the side walk with peanut butter (no this has actually happened. we’ve officially crossed that line into crazy dog owner territory).

in his defence, there have been some days this winter, when i think it’s been even too cold for a lab. Cliff is totally like “nah. I’m not going out there.”

Last weekend however, we took him up to the cottage. it was the perfect winter day; sunny, bright, mild enough that you don’t freeze and you can bare it longer then 10 minutes.

lo and behold we found out someone really likes the snow.

Growing Pains

I don’t know if it’s been the full moon (which was gigantic by the way – did you see it?) or the cold weather keeping everyone indoors but we’ve definitely been having some bottled up bad energy in this new puppy household.

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The nearly 12 week old puppy we’ve got on our hands? He’s a biter.

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I can deal with the sleepless nights, or the potty mistakes (of which we’ve had few!) but the true test of my patience has been from the biting (and snarling and snapping and nipping).

And I know what you’re thinking. It’s just a puppy. But let me tell you… this is not your average puppy nip.

We’ve tried just about every tactic out there – whimpering so he knows it hurts, diversion, positive reinforcement, leaving the room, time outs… and STILL he bites…. and not just little puppy bites. Like today he took a good little chunk out my hand and I’m having problems moving my thumb.

It’s reached a new level & I’m basically at my wits end. At this point I’ve googled “puppy biting” about 20 times…

The catch is it’s winter and he needs exercise… but when I try to play with him he just ends up biting me.. So I’m at a loss of what to do.

Mike’s convinced that it’s just growing pains and we’ll get through it… but today it seemed like once he knew it hurt (I was yelping! Oh the things I’ve tried I’m telling you)…. and he just clamped down harder.

After tonight’s thumb biting episode I took a 15 minute breather and after I returned into the I kitchen to see if we could make up (I never like to go to bed angry). And as soon as I sat down, the poor guy came over and flopped into my lap and instantly fell asleep…. Like a sad, sorry, frustrated and confused little puppy. He’s got no clue why he’s doing the things he does.

Well, as my good friend Anne of Green Gables always says:

“Tomorrow is always fresh with no mistakes in it… yet.”

🙂