Archive for the ‘From the Puppy-Mommy’ category

Giving thanks for our pets and all that they give us

November 20, 2012

We open today’s post with this snapshot of a rare moment of canine & feline harmony:

Twenty minutes prior to this moment they had been fighting like, well, cats and dogs.  But at the end of the day, Cookie and S’More are fellow pet comrades-in-paws in our home.   They, along with our bird and our fish, contribute enormously not just to the culture of our home life, but also our family’s admiration, empathy, and respect for all animal life on planet Earth.  Living with these four beautiful animals has given us the chance to laugh at their antics, such as when Cookie licks S’More with affection and gusto, and S’More, completely disgusted, takes off.  We’ve marveled at their intelligence and ability, like when Swallablu bird calls for Cookie by name, greets you with a “Hello!” upon first sight in the morning, and sings the most beautiful, melodic songs, like the little Diva she truly is.  We’ve observed their definite likes and dislikes, such as Chip the Fish’s penchant to hide behind plants during the day, and Cookie’s sheer bliss when she gets a tummy-rub or is treated to some peanut butter.  All these small moments not only entertain us, they enrich us.  We know without a doubt that our pets each have unique personalities and souls.  They have likes and dislikes and experience both happiness and sorrow.  When the bird sits on my shoulder as I wash the dishes, when the cat jumps up on the desk and curls up next to me as I work, when the fish observes me from inside the fish tank reading to my children at night, and Cookie lays at my feet as I sit reading the morning paper, the word COMPANION comes to mind.   Finned, furry and feathered, our pets are true friends, unfailingly loving and loyal to us in good times and in bad.   They neither judge nor hold a grudge.  They just LOVE.  And for that simple truth, I give thanks for my beloved pets.



The Puppy and the Pumpkin

October 12, 2012

On an early morning walk this week, Cookie found something growing amid all the leaves

..a pumpkin!  Growing undisturbed in a thicket, amazingly overlooked by our local wildlife.  It was one of our best walk-discoveries ever.  Cookie is truly enjoying her first fall.  She loves to sniff and roll around in the piles of leaves that have accumulated around town.  She seeks out the small branches and sticks that fall from the trees and trots around with them in her mouth.  The squirrels are extra busy right now, and Cookie watches with interest when they scamper by.  We see Deer very often as we walk, and she is always calm and doesn’t bark at them, giving me a chance to enjoy being in their presence.  The cooler air has definitely energized Cookie, putting a spring in her step and livening up our early morning outings.  Warm & Fuzzies, Diana  


Cookie Meets a Pet Psychic

October 10, 2012

You don’t need to be psychic to know that your pets are sensitive beings with thoughts and feelings all of their own.  But have you ever wondered just what exactly those thoughts and feelings were?  

Cookie with Sharon Warner, Pet Psychic

We had an opportunity to find out  while recently attending the Animal Awareness Day Fair in the town of Branford, CT (which by the way is a great New England town – and a really nice place to visit – and definitely dog-friendly.)   It was a lovely event celebrating the pets in our lives, and there were many folks there milling about with their dogs.   Amidst the vendors and participants offering pet goods, information about adoptions and animal rights, and treats for pets and their humans, we met Sharon Warner, an “Animal Communicator and People Psychic.” Our entire family, along with Cookie, had a very enlightening talk with Sharon, during which it should be noted Cookie was unusually calm, and did not bark or pull away from us once, despite the many distractions around her from the fair.  We were happy to hear through Sharon that Cookie is very happy in her life with us, and not surprised to hear that she wants more opportunities to RUN. She enjoys her meals and particularly loves visiting the upstairs of the house and our different bedrooms (which, due to her household manners still lacking, and her habit of stealing things from our rooms, is a treat for her.) We asked her through Sharon why she is always making off with various household items (food, pens, decorations, paper towels, etc.) and the answer was that there are just too many opportunities for mischief for her to resist all of them.  Too true!   Sharon told us that Cookie is very sad when we leave the house and it is quiet and she is by herself.  And we have been noticing lately that separations from us have been harder for Cookie and do cause her distress.  After discussing Cookie with Sharon, we enjoyed getting feedback from her about our other beloved pets, those currently with us and those who have departed this life.  I particularly enjoyed hearing that our late beloved cat Molly, who moved several times with us during her life, has also moved with us to Katonah, and still loves to sleep on my pillow.   All in all, meeting Sharon was certainly a Big Adventure for Cookie and our family.  And I am now an even greater admirer of the wonders of our sweet Cookie’s soul and spirit.  If you want to learn more about Sharon, visit her website:

I must also mention how pleased we were to meet Stella and Sterling during the Fair – an Aussie and Mini-Aussie duo – who were just the cutest.  Sterling had a “marble-eye” – something I’d never seen – that was a swirl of brown and blue iris – very cool!  Warm & Fuzzies, Diana

Reunited, and it feels so good!

August 17, 2012

Miss your dog when you go on vacation?  We sure did!

That old famous Peaches & Herb ditty became our family anthem when we got home from vacation:  “…We both are so excited ‘cuz we’re reunited, hey-hey!!

First of all, we would not have been able to go away without “Team Cookie” so a huge THANK YOU to our dear friends Leonora & Marty for petsitting; our amazing dog walker (and so much more) Rebecca, and the awesome folks at Wipe Your Paws doggy day care.  You took amazing care of our puppy (and her pet siblings) while we were away and we are grateful.  

Even though we knew Cookie was in great hands, it was hard not to think of her constantly.  To roll out of bed and not have to dash off for an immediate walk was weird.  So was having Cookie’s panting and whinnies and barks being removed soundtrack of my day.  To pass other folks walking with their dogs and not to have ours with us made me downright wistful.  Like sand slipping through our fingertips, many moments were passing full of sights, sounds, smells and tastes that I knew our puppy would have enjoyed.  One morning, walking with Sophia on the beach, I shared a memory with her: a day when she was a baby and I left her for the day to fly to a rare, out of town meeting for work.  It was a beautiful sunny day, and as I looked outside from the conference room where I was situated, I had the thought of how strange it was to be there inside, and not outside pushing Sophia around in her stroller, which was something I always did, each and every day.  Those feelings then were being mirrored now in this moment: it was strange not to have to take care of Cookie’s needs personally right then.

One of the best things about our vacation for me was that I learned how deep my feelings run for Cookie.  Rather than relishing my freedom from required walks and scooping poop and checking for ticks and all the other new daily responsibilities we now have for our puppy, I simply missed her.   Given that she has been a part of our family for only a few months, I can only imagine how I will feel during upcoming separations in the future as our  years together pass.

We all need breaks to relax and renew.  And dog-friendly vacation spots are not the most common.  So I know of course there will be more of these vacations from Cookie, along with the rest of our other cares, in the future.  But I also know that our reunions will always be very sweet, and that I will  appreciate even more with each one just how much Cookie adds to our lives everyday.  Warmly, Diana

P.S. – if you are enjoying these posts, don’t be shy, take a moment and click the button and Follow us officially!   Cookie thanks you!!!


Lounge Hound!

August 7, 2012

The couch is a no-no….but outside furniture is okay.  Raising a puppy means figuring out your rules as you go along. 

We have three couches in our house currently.  Two are well-worn and have survived the messy infancy and toddler-hoods of both our kids. So while Cookie wouldn’t do much damage to those, it was our desire to NOT have her jump on our nice new light-beige (!!!) couch that we’re quite fond of that cemented our belief Cookie should stay down on the ground when in the house.  We also want her to have good manners when visiting other people’s homes as well.  Don’t feel too sorry for Cookie though – she has two very plush doggie-beds and many doggie mats around the house to relax on.

Other rules we’ve had to figure out: To feed table scraps or not?  (We really avoid giving her our food, but are pretty liberal with the doggie-treats and peanut butter.  We’ll make an exception at times like Thanksgiving.) Is it okay to let Cookie bring her plush toys to play with outside?  (I let her win that one and then occasionally throw them all in the washer and start them over again back in the house.) How about chewing old shoes and socks we really don’t wear anymore? She so enjoys that!  (Same thoughts as the couch-logic, no, because impossible for her to discern which shoes and socks are okay to wreck and which ones are not.) 

My take on my 7-month old puppy is that she does have a pretty good idea at this stage in the game what the right behaviors for her are in most situations, and that she knows from our reaction when she’s made a mistake.  But like a very young child, it’s often hard for her to exercise the self-control to be good.  So it’s up to us to continue to show her the way, with lots of love and consistency in our messages to her.  

How about you, fellow dog lover?  What are your rules for your pup, and the ones you are willing to bend?   Would love to hear from you!

Warmly, 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

Morning Mahem!

June 14, 2012

When Cookie wakes up in the morning, the action starts…

Playing “hockey” with tupperware is a great way to start the day!

After some peaceful minutes of good morning pets & cuddles, and a rapid breakfast, our puppy is ready to play and for our undivided attention.  We, on the other hand, are still groggily waking up and need to tend to the morning business of putting breakfast on the table, making coffee, packing lunches, getting dressed, and dealing with all the forgotten details of the night before that now need immediate attention: “Can you sign this?” or “You need to read this!” or “Where is my (fill in the blank)?”  Throughout it all, Cookie barks, nudges, and nips for our attention.  She watches and waits for that moment when we are not looking and leaps for the breakfast table, sometimes making off gleefully with a muffin.  If S’More Cat pops into the kitchen from the cat door leading to the basement stairs, Cookie chases her up onto the couches and barks, causing S’More to mew loudly as if to say, “Save me!!!”  Observing all this from her perch on top of her cage, the bird may decide to chime in, “barking” back at Cookie or imitating Cookie’s squeaky toys loudly.  If she gets really excited she’ll fly a bit and land somewhere that requires an immediate rescue from the puppy (merely curious, but potentially harmful) or the cat (curious and definitely harmful) or both. Meanwhile, I scramble to get lunches ready Cookie gazes imploringly and whines as I spread peanut butter on sandwiches.    Yesterday morning, I went to the front door to bring in our milk delivery, and Cookie spied two dachshunds going for a walk, and bolted out the front door like a shot.  I ran out to the street and called Cookie to come back, to no avail – she was having a blast running circles around the confused dogs, herding them and acting like she had not “heard” me.  So out into the street I went, in a wacky pajama combination no less, to get her.  I ended up just grabbing her in a mad lunge.  As I carried her to our back yard and the “pen of shame” as my daughter Sophia calls it – a de-facto doggie playpen we have in our yard, a safe place to hold her for a few minutes – she licked my face with joy, and I tried very hard not to smile, and to remind myself that Rome, and obedient dogs, were not built in a day.  In fact, my husband and I were expressly warned by one breeder we spoke to when we were seeking a puppy that mornings would be very challenging with an Aussie – and they were certainly right.  People-centered and empathetic creatures that they are, they long for your attention and affection especially in the morning, after being separated from you during the long night.  But then, just when it feels like the chaos will never end, it becomes time to walk our kids to school, and everything changes: Cookie is on her leash and walking happily amongst us all.  The crossing guard calls to her her warmly, the kids pet her and give her love as they walk by, there are fellow dog friends to greet, people smile as they pass by in their cars.  And in those moments, all that early-AM craziness melts away, and I just love this little dog walking by my side.  After we drop off the kids, we walk for awhile, and then close our outing by going up a hill that leads to our house.  By the time we are back home, Cookie is ready for a nap, and I’m just getting started with another full, and furry, day.  Warm & Fuzzy’s, Diana  

Laparoscopic Spay

June 6, 2012

Yesterday was a long one for our Cookie-pup, as she underwent her Spay surgery. 

The three months since the above picture of Cookie at 8 weeks old was taken have flown by…and it was hard to believe it was time for Cookie, now 5 months old, to have this important procedure.  While I have no ambitions to become a dog breeder, it was nonetheless a bit sad for me to bring Cookie to the vet yesterday morning.  She is such a beautiful, healthy, strong puppy with the sweetest personality, and really smart to boot…so, knowing that there will never be any little-Cookies in the future felt genuinely like the world was losing something potentially beautiful.  But, for Cookie’s good health, our peace of mind, and our commitment to be responsible pet owners, there was no question that this was the right thing to do.  And so yesterday, Cookie underwent a Laparoscopic Spay.  Using a camera called a Laparoscope, her vet, Dr. Allison Glassman of Roosevelt Veterinary in Brewster, NY was able to perform the surgery with just two very small incisions instead of the traditional long one.  What did the less invasive surgery mean for Cookie?  I dropped her off at 8:30 AM, and picked her up at 3:00 PM and took her home for starters, instead of her needing an overnight stay.  Although she was groggy, she was not in pain, and able to walk up and down a few steps.  What was so sweet was that even in her post-anethesia fog, she was still very aware of us and trying to follow us around, ever our companion.  By early evening she was really perking up, and this morning, save her shaved tummy, was back to her old self: greeting us joyfully, gobbling food, chasing the cat (sigh) and running and playing.  Quite amazing.  Today I am so grateful for the wonderful job Dr. Glassman and everyone at Roosevelt did in caring for Cookie, and for Cookie’s good health, and that we our puppy is back home.  Now as long as Cookie remains healthy, no more vet visits for a year for us.   If you want to learn more about Laparoscopic spays and surgery for your pet, visit or talk to your vet.  Also, check with your vet about the appropriate age to spay or neuter your puppy, as the appropriate age can vary by breed. Warm & Fuzzys, Diana

A Puppy’s First Parade

May 30, 2012

This Memorial Day Cookie experienced her first-ever Parade here in Katonah….

Brian & Cookie follow the Parade

This Memorial Day here in Katonah it was hot and sunny…perfect parade weather.  We walked Cookie down the hill to join our neighbors at what turned out to be a very special and very moving gathering of our local veterans, active military members and their supporters, including our local clergy, volunteer firefighters, volunteer ambulance corps, marching band, along with our local Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Cub Scouts.  Cookie was excited to see so many fellow dogs and people everywhere, and was quite busy greeting people and looking around.  Whenever we go into town we often get asked, “What kind of a dog is that?!” and today was no different – Cookie made a lot of new friends.  When the memorial ceremony started, Cookie did pretty well keeping quiet, short of a few playful barks, as if to say, “Why is everyone being so quiet all of the sudden?  And where did the music go?”  But the real test was when the military members performed a 21-Gun Salute…Oh boy, one scared puppy!  In fact, so scared she didn’t make a sound…just tried to head for the hills, so to speak, as we held her and soothed her.  Later, after the memorial ceremony was complete, and Cookie had calmed down, we all followed as the parade made it’s way down Bedford Avenue to the Fire House where our Firefighters passed out ice cream to the kids.  When we returned home…..

Wake me up for lunch!

 …it was time for a well-earned nap.  Coming up next week, it’ll be another parade for Cookie: the much-beloved Fireman’s Parade & Carnival here in Katonah.  Hope that you enjoyed your holiday weekend!  Warm & Fuzzys, Diana