Archive for July 2012

Play Sets Are For Pets Too

July 31, 2012

S’More cat and Cookie found themselves together at the top of the play tower the other day. Here’s the story:

S’More cat was taking a nap on the top balcony of the play tower – a spot that used to serve as a refuge from Cookie.  About six weeks ago though, Cookie figured out how to climb the platforms of the play gym to reach the top – much to S’More’s great dismay.  So on this fateful day, while S’More napped, Cookie climbed up, and settled in next to her.  

And then, because this was just too precious not to document, I rushed out with my iphone and started cooing and snapping these pictures.  Which woke up the cat.  Which broke the spell of “thou shalt not disturb the cat whilst she sleeps” that Cookie had been temporarily under.  Unfortunately we haven’t yet found the right spell to prevent Cookie from disturbing S’More during waking hours too (although they do have their moments of peace.)  Cookie began to paw her, so S’More skittered downstairs…

And then, “poof” – the magic was over, and they went back to living separate lives.  Until two days later when they decided to have a sleepover!

Thanks to my dear friend Leonora for capturing this sweet moment!  So in conclusion, the puppy/kitty report seems to be, Pets-in-Arms when they’re sleepy or sleeping, but not so much when they’re awake.  I’m a believer they’ll get there though.  Warm & fuzzys, Diana  



The Summertime Blues

July 26, 2012

Cookie REALLY doesn’t like to get wet.  So her raincoat is  not as frivolous as one might think.

On Cookie’s very first vet visit at eight weeks old, when I was very much the anxious, first-time-dog mama without a clue, and it was still chilly outside, I earnestly asked her doctor if I should buy her any coats/sweaters/outerwear.  Our vet, a very practical lady, looked me straight in the eye and replied, “She’s a doggy.  She’ll be just fine.”  And so, I ceased to look at all the cute little doggy clothes, and instead focused my motherly love and dog dollars on more practical items…like bones!  But soon I discovered that our Cookie doesn’t care at all for getting wet.   While many dogs adore swimming in the pond and frolicking in the stream of water from a hose on a hot day, our puppy can barely tolerate walking on wet grass after a rain storm.  Never mind actual rain falling upon her.  We have tried to tempt her into a kiddie pool on blazing hot afternoons by putting her favorite toys in the middle for her to retrieve, and she just looks at us like we’re nuts.  One day, when I was watering our garden with Cookie nearby, I impulsively gave her a little spray, to which I received the one and only snappy bark I have ever received from her, period.  So when nature calls and it is raining outside, it wasn’t easy.  We would have to coax her outside  with multiple snacks, after which she would relieve herself, and then hurry back into the mudroom, crying to go back in the house.  The problem is, all her puppy energy didn’t disappear amid the rain – it would just stay pent up in her – making her our own puppy force of nature in the house.  Not good!  So one day, just for kicks, I bought this yellow doggie raincoat, with a hood and metalic reflector stripe down the back.  In addition to looking quite cute on her, it actually is waterproof, and guess what?  Cookie will let us take her for a walk, even in the pouring rain, when it is on.   And so folks, I’m here to say, raincoats, and other coats period, are not silly for dogs.  They’re rather sane!  Warm and Fuzzys, Diana

Cookie goes to Camp

July 23, 2012

Cookie has been having lots of fun in the sun!

For the past two weekends Brian and I have been driving the kids and Cookie up and back out of state for the commute-to-camp that so many of us make this time of year.  These were Cookie’s second and third long distance trips, and we were so proud of how well she did, both during the long car rides up and back, and how she has adapted to being in a new environments with us.  Aside from the one mis-step of mistaking our hosts’ (my wonderful Mother and Father in-Law) carpet as the great outdoors (often dogs will do this to mark their scent in an unfamiliar place) she has been a gracious guest. I was happy to learn about a local dog run, where Cookie has played her heart out with some new friends from the area. When dropping Sophia off at her sleepaway camp, it was interesting to watch Cookie track Sophia as she meandered through the crowd of campers, catching up with old friends. There were a few moments when she couldn’t see Sophia and became concerned, whinnying and looking around anxiously. At times like this, she really feels like a member of our family, and I appreciate the love she constantly gives us all so much.  During camp drop-offs Cookie enjoyed sniffing around the trails and the woods, chasing chipmunks and dragon flies, and meeting and greeting fellow camp families.  Back at home, Cookie has started occasionally attending her own sort of camp – doggy daycare!  There she can play and socialize with lots of other dogs, get regular walks, and have fun when I am busy for a long stretch. Cookie is definitely a happy camper when she arrives and when I pick her up, as am I!  Warm & Fuzzys, Diana

Angels With Dirty Faces

July 8, 2012

When you get an Aussie pup, expect some collateral damages to your possessions, prized or otherwise.

 Case in point, the above picture of Cookie.  Note the dirty nose from the recent burying of a bone (she digs first with her paws, then uses her snout to cover up the prized bone with dirt.  It is very reminiscent of those wild boars that search for truffles in France.) The first damages to expect are the dirty ones: the muddy feet that cover the floor; the mud that puppy shakes off onto you and your clean clothes; and the streaks of dirt left on the couch from when the puppy lunges onto it, exhausted from playing. It’s the price of love, so roll up your sleeves and clean it up.  We now have “dog towels” and a “dog hamper” close to our appropriately named mud room where Cookie enters and exits the house.  

After you’ve cleaned up the dirt, be prepared to sit down and sew, because Aussies, and all puppies really, are nippers.  And therefore, inadvertent clothing tear-ers.  We personally have a huge blue IKEA shopping bag full of torn cloths from all four of us that I am supposedly going to mend one day soon.  Or not.  I’m a little busy cleaning up all that mud.

Other things that have had collateral damage from the “Cookie Monster” in our house include the screen door in the picture above (screen totally pushed in by dog), the necks of bottles of wine on the wine rack that seemed to make good bone substitutes; many of the kids’ balls, the outdoor sprinkler in the yard, pots of flowers on the back deck that made great spots to hide a bone; tempting looking dolls and toys, and many rolls of toilet paper.  All three of our couches have sustained little “nicks” of some kind from Cookie.  Meanwhile, outside, the lawn in the back yard has certainly seen better days and is pocketed now by holes from Cookie’s digging. 

Let us also not forget that there can be a loss of people-food in the house when there is a dog about.  A peach pie, bowls of cereal, muffins, cheese, and glasses of milk have all fallen by the pup-side when we made the mistake of turning our back on a table laden with food.  Just today, Sophia lost a very nice hunk of crusty Italian bread when she made the mistake of lowering her hand from the table.  Cookie is not really a begger but she is definitely an opportunist.  And who can really blame her?

Despite it all, we forgive our little Aussie Angel with her Dirty Face.  Every day she is learning what it means to be a great dog.  And with a face like this, who can stay mad for long?  Warm & Fuzzys, Diana

Stars & Stripes Forever! Happy 4th of July from Cookie

July 4, 2012

Fun with Friends and Relatives

July 2, 2012

Cookie here…I want you to meet two very special dogs in my life. First, this is my B.L.F. (best Lab friend) Maggie!

Dogs on ice…very nice for us in the summertime

Maggie is my neighbor and the best dog friend a puppy could have.  She’s always happy to see me and to play.   From the moment I met her she took me under her wing, I mean paw, as you can see…

Maggie and me when I was just a baby

Like all Labrador Retrievers Maggie is patient, kind, friendly, and even tempered and seems to understand when we play that I’m just a puppy.  So she’s never too rough, just a lot of fun.  That’s why Labs like Maggie are such great family pets.  By playing with me so nicely, Maggie is also teaching me how to be a great dog like her when I grow up.  

Yesterday, I met a “cousin” of mine for the first time, Annie!  

My “cousin” Annie and I

Annie is a Labradoodle – a breed that is a mixture of a Poodle and Labrador Retriever (like Maggie!)   Annie is a large, active dog, and as her people say, as strong as a horse!  But like Maggie, she is very friendly and was lots of fun to play with…we really tired ourselves out!  I can’t wait to see “Cousin” Annie, and her two dog “sisters” Mabel and Suzie, again soon.  Woofs, Cookie