Saturday, January 28, 2017

The Stalker

This little baby.  


Don't let the adorable little fuzzy body fool you. 

Or the darling little sleepy face. 

He is a killer.  
He has killed a rake.  
He killed a broom.  
He killed a frisbee.  
Now he is killing laundry!  

Born predator, I tell you  

Just kidding.  He isn't a killer.  He is more of a stalker. 

I introduced him to the kong.  
A kong filled with banana, carrots and chicken.  He was obsessed!  
Got at least a solid 45 minutes out of him working on that thing!  

In addition to being a stalker, he is a leaf eater, hole digger and a cat napper.  

He snoozes a lot. 

Look at this pose!  

He is very smart.  He has mastered "sit" "shake" "down" and now we are moving on to "roll over".  Roll over isn't practical, but it is fun!  

I have also been working with him on the leash.  
We walk around the house and a little bit down the cul-de-sac.  
He is doing pretty well.  

Here he is in action.


This morning was his first bath.  It was with medicated shampoo.  He was not impressed.  I was soaping him down and Chip was funneling him bits of chicken to make the bath something yummy and good.  He was taking the chicken but also whining and clawing to get out of the tub at the same time.  I was hoping the "where is the chicken" side of his brain would take over the "holy crap, why are you trying to drown me" side of his brain.  It didn't work.  Good news is we get to do it again on Wednesday!  Two days a week until further notice! 

Hope your weekend is better than great! 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Hot Mess

Hot mess. 

Checking himself out in the mirror.  
He was actually sitting on the top step and just gazing at himself, but by the time I grabbed the camera he was on the move.  

I introduced "down" yesterday and he has dang near already picked it up.  He really is smart - although the biting is still an issue.  It is waning, but this boy is mouthy.  One method we have read to curb the biting is to bark or yip loudly when they bite too hard and hurt you.  Chip barks more than a beagle.  Not sure if it is working, but we are all about being persistent that biting is a big, fat NO! 

I am going to try to video tape him "shaking" today.  So exciting, right? 
 Just a tickler to keep you coming back for more.  

In other news....
  • I made tostones for the first time yesterday along with a yummy, delicious, fresh, bright, spicy bowl of Mean Green Sauce.  EXCELLENT!  Plantains?  Who even knew what to do with them?  I could seriously eat gobs, gobs, and gobs of these!  And they are Whole30 compliant! Hooray!  Most definitely a great Super Bowl snack!   Try them! 

  • Chip has a cold.  Or allergies.  Or something that comes with a stuffy nose.  Didn't he just have a cold?  I swear he did.  
  • Today is going to be a busy one with work and some meetings this evening.  And puppy watching.  Lots and lots of puppy monitoring!  Let's hope today is a sleepy day...and I mean for the puppy - not for me!  
Have a great Hump Day!  

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Cooper Goes to the Vet

It is starting to feel like I am writing a blog for seven year old girls that love puppies...."The Adventures of Cooper". Well, except the part where I cuss like a sailor and that doesn't seem appropriate at all for seven year old girls.  I will just continue to assume that my four regular readers do want to hear about the latest on Cooper and/or are grown humans that can open and shut this window with the click of a button if they don't!   SIDE NOTE:  Bob and Lana, I do expect you to read about the antics of your grand dog and call me and tell me how precious he is...that is a given!

I took the little furball to his first official vet appointment yesterday morning.  He walked in there all proud in his little collar and leash.  I wish I would have taken his picture.  It was like the first day of school.  He doesn't know yet about the nail clipping, shots and temperature check in the butt when you visit this building.  He will learn.

He weighed in at 10 pounds, which means he put on about three pounds in the last six days.  The vet thinks he is a Catahoula mix and will be about 50+ pounds or so when full grown.  Still too early to tell for sure since we don't know what exactly he is mixed with.  She said by the time we go back in three weeks for his next round of shots, he will probably double in size.  So, he actually is growing in front of my eyes!

Not sure I would have picked a Catahoula breed as they are apparently hunting dogs that need a job.  I don't have a job for a dog, except lay at my feet and love me, so now we will have to come up with one.  I can tell you that he is smart as a whip.  Really.  He has mastered come and sit.  Yesterday he nailed shake every time I asked him to shake.  While I was cooking dinner, he actually sat right beside me and kept trying to shake to show me how smart he was.  He would raise one paw and then the other like, "Look mom, I can do both paws!"   It looked like he was waving to me.  We are going to try down next!  Keep exercising his mind and his body!  He can't go on walks, to parks or have any play dates for another six weeks or so until he gets through his next two rounds of booster shots.  Then we will start on leash training.  That should be fun.

The biting is getting better, thank goodness.  My poor hands can't take much more.   This morning, in fact, he cozied up in Chip's lap instead of trying to bite his feet, legs, arms, hands, face, ears, shirt, shorts.  It was picture worthy!  Good boy!

Unfortunately, he has a skin condition with a super long complicated name and starting this weekend I have to give him two baths a week with medicated shampoo.  The shampoo has to stay on him for at least 10 minutes.  The shampoo also discolors clothes and towels so it sounds like it will be a shit show.  How in the world am I going to keep a puppy calm, while wet and sudsy for ten minutes?  Pray for me.

Yesterday, while Cooper was outside raking leaves with me I was kind of overcome with memories of my boy Astro.  He was such a great dog.  I miss him.  I have high hopes that Cooper will be just as awesome and I hope Astro is happy we have another dog in the house to love.

I must sign off for now!  I am going to read with my little friends this morning! One of my favorite times of the week!

Hope your week is going great and their are no medicated baths in your near future!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Happy Monday

Hey all!  I hope your weekend was great.  Mine was pretty slow, but I enjoy pretty slow.  I need to hit work pretty hard this week to move some projects along.  Let me give you a cliff notes version of the weekend and a few puppy pictures for Cooper's Fan Club.
  • It was terrifically windy here on 40 mile an hour winds whipping around all day. It was odd.  
  • I watched a couple of new shows on Netflix that I thought were terrific...The Crown and House of Cards.  Highly recommend both. 
  • Today is Day 8 of my Whole30.  Feeling pretty good....but damn the dishes!  So many dishes when you cook every single meal.  
  • Ten For Him, the giving group I am in, met last night to kick off the 2017 season!  We heard two stories of people who have endured real hardship.  One woman had been taking care of her completely incapacitated husband, who suffered from a stroke nine years ago that left him unable to care for himself.  He couldn't even speak.  That same sweet woman then got cancer and within a year she was gone.  Her children have to deal with the loss of their mom and take up the care of their father.  So Hard.  Another story was a terrifying story about a woman who gave birth to a baby and then after delivery suffered a major medical event (aneurysm or heart attack) that damaged her heart so bad she required a heart transplant.  Talk about a horrible situation to have a sweet new baby and a heart that can't sustain you. The baby just turned a year old and the mom got a new heart!  Really puts life,  and the size of your problems and struggles into perspective. 
  • I deleted the Facebook app from my phone.  People are being so awful to each other over the election.  I am over it. 
  • After about three days, Cooper has finally picked up "Shake".  Woo Hoo!  I will give his little brain a little time to rest and practice and then we are adding in "Down". 
  • Cooper's first vet appointment is today at 10:30.  Hope he doesn't bite the vet. 
  • He killed a branch.  He also killed a frisbee, but I don't have a picture. 

  • He slept a TON on Saturday.  I mean a serious TON.  He probably 18 hours of the day.  He was exhausted. He must be growing. 

That's it for me.  Hope your Monday is kind.  Find someone to be extra nice to.  We could all use a little extra nice! 

Saturday, January 21, 2017

He Sleeps - Thank God

After looking through my puppy pictures yesterday, it occurred to me that most of the pictures are of this turbo puppy sleeping!  Awake pictures of Cooper are hard for a couple of reasons:

1)  He is a moving target - and I mean CONSTANT motion.
2)  He is biting me, making it hard to hold a camera and remove his mouth from my ankle, shoe, sock, arm, shirt and face.
3)  He is biting whatever I am holding, including the camera.
4)  He is biting something inappropriate, like the metal edge of the treadmill, the carpet, the spindle of the kitchen chair, the handle on the kitchen cabinet, my office chair.

Please enjoy the photo exhibit below. I call it "He Sleeps - Thank God"

I did get a few action shots on my cell phone yesterday, when Cooper hit some major milestones in his development. 

He killed a broom.  Apparently, he hates brooms as much as he hates rakes. I can already tell he is going to be a great protector. If a burglar ever sneaks into our house with a rake or a broom in their hand, they are totally going to get what is coming to them! 

I dropped a piece of celery on the floor and he did a snag and run.  Then he tried to eat it like a bone. So, good on you for trying vegetables, Cooper.  Proud of you.  He was not happy when I took it away from him! 

In other news...YES, there is a little bit of Non-Cooper news:
  • Chip had a scheduled meeting yesterday afternoon with his school guidance counselor to set his class schedule for the next three years of high school.  Seriously?  How about we slam this thing called life into reverse and just start over with preschool.  Can we?  Please?  Parents were invited to the meeting, so I met Chip in the counselor's office and she helped him lay out his next three years to make sure he covered all his mandatory requirements with enough credits to graduate.  It was very beneficial and informative and he was actually pretty jazzed about some of the classes he has in his future....Sports and Entertainment Marketing; Forensics.  Very cool. Side note:  It was 80 degrees here yesterday and I had on a short sleeve shirt.  The counselor sees my shredded hands and arms and says "New Kitten?"  I say "New Puppy."  She nods and says "Ah yes, I recognize the signs.  Mine is about a year old and yesterday he destroyed the couch."  I did not need to hear that.  
  • Harry is working hard at school, although his schedule is ridiculously easy.  Of course, he worked it out to have Friday off.  That is a given.  Then a couple of his classes are just one day a week and start at like four o'clock in the afternoon. The one day a week classes are several hours long, but still.  I think he only has one traditional Tues/Thursday class and maybe an online class.  It is hard to keep up.  He is taking his first class on the main Tempe campus this semester which requires a 20 minute drive for him.  He is also on the hunt for an internship this summer.  He has found several opportunities he is really interested in, so fingers crossed that one of those works out for him to get some real world experience. 
  • This Whole30 challenge would not be hard if you could just have pizza and alcohol.  And bread.  Bread would be nice.  And cheese.  I miss cheese.  And just a little something sweet. Other than that....piece of cake.  Today is Day 6.
  • I am also doing a Bible Verse memory challenge with my sister.  Just two verses a month. Since my brain is tired and I am a tiny bit sleep deprived I went with a pretty simple verse  this time..."Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7.   
Hope your weekend is awesome!

Friday, January 20, 2017

More Cooper....

I know, I know!  I said I wouldn't just post updates on this little guy, but I can't help it.  He's so cute!  This is like another "Buddy the Elf" daily series, but I just changed up the name to "Cooper the Pup!"  Hope you like cute pictures of puppies, because that is all I have for you today.  Well, I also have 100 tiny red scratches on my hand, arms, ankles and neck where this sweet guy is loving me to death with his razor sharp teeth and claws, but no pictures to share of those.  You are welcome!  Let's get on with the cute puppy! 

We had a photo session during our mid morning romp in the yard. 

He is a natural. 

Those ears. 


Then he crashed HARD.

Then we raked up some leaves in the afternoon.  Cooper was super helpful! 

He killed a rake today.  That tiny guy not only killed the rake, but he drug it about five feet too.  It was a good workout for him and way better than biting my shoes. 

Then he crashed HARD! 


Then we practiced his "come" and "sit" commands and introduced "shake".  Super smart!  

Then he was physically and mentally exhausted!  Crashed HARD!  
Do you see a pattern here? 
Play HARD - Sleep HARD!
Put him in his crate about 9:00 pm and he was raring to go at 4:15 am.  

It is as challenging as can be expected with a puppy, but he is improving and settling in very well.  I can almost see him growing right in front of my eyes.  

Enough about this rugrat!  In other news, I am on Day 5 of a Whole30 challenge and am starving!  Time for breakfast!  The best, easiest, most wonderful meal of the day! 

Have an awesome Friday!!!!  

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Cooper - Settles In

I promise I am not going to write about Cooper every day….but right now he is consuming 95% of my waking hours, so he is the subject of the day!

He had a great day yesterday.  We are still working hard on that biting and nipping situation, but it is getting better.  Only said "No" to him about 37,549 times.  He went outside a million times yesterday and explored all of his new yard.  Dashing here and there and everywhere.  Picking up leaves and acorns and ripping up dried grass and getting tangled in the dead plants in the flower bed.  He pooped at least eight times.  Not sure where it is coming from, but even this morning he has already gone four times.  Puppy poop machine.  Every time he goes outside he pees right away and is so proud of himself.  Wags his little tail while I tell him what  a good boy he is.

Here is a picture taken outside where you can really see his weird coat coloring!  Can you see the tiny little white spot on his back with about twenty white hairs?  Precious!

A little puppy bunny video!  He hops! 


He sleeps as hard as he plays.  When he is out, he is out like a light!  In fact, we were in the kitchen yesterday with him and he went missing.  We went on a Cooper search and found him in his bed in my office curled up.  He looked up when I walked in as if to say "I needed a break.  Just going to close my eyes for fifteen minutes."  I laughed and walked back to the kitchen and he stayed in his bed for at least a thirty minute siesta!  Perfect timing so I could cook dinner without him underfoot.  

I swear he has already mastered the "sit" command and will sit immediately when asked.  Seems he will do anything for a tiny shred of chicken.  I am going to video tape it today to show you how smart he is!  

Chip has a great peekaboo game he came up with to play with Cooper.  It is so cute and keeps him occupied!  Cooper puts his butt up in the air like he is going to pounce!  Then he does!  

That is all I have for the Cooper Diaries today.  I need to get to work while he is catching some zzzzzs!   

Hope your day is great!  

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Cooper - Welcome to the Family!!

This guy!  Wow, has he turned this house upside down in the twelve hours he has been a resident!  

We met Cooper on Monday morning, he was fixed on Tuesday and we picked him up Tuesday night at 5:00!  They brought him out to us all snuggled up in a blanket.  Said he might be groggy after his surgery and to take it easy with him.  They loaded us down with paperwork, two medications to give him this week and a firm pat on the back!  

Good Luck, they said!  

Look at Chip!  Could he be any happier?  

As soon as we walked out of the rescue center the bottom fell out and it started raining buckets and buckets and sheets and more buckets and a couple of fire hoses and then emptied a damn Olympic size pool on our heads.  It was dark, getting cold and we were soaked through by the time we got to the car.  Cooper didn't know what the heck was going on!  

As I began to try and find my way home from deep, deep south Austin in the dark, during rush hour, in a construction zone and through a hurricane with my fifty year old eyesight, Cooper began protesting his injustice at being removed against his will.  He whined, cried, barked, clawed, bit and scratched Chip.  Basically threw a puppy temper tantrum for about 40 minutes.  Me and Chip were both like "Holy crap!  If this is him groggy from surgery, we are screwed!"  

Then just as hard as he had protested, he fell asleep in Chip's arms and we both thanked God and prayed he would sleep until we got home in the monsoon!  Asleep, he was absolutely darling. 

We got home, took him outside in the rain and he peed like a champ!  Way to go, Cooper!  We gave him a little bit to eat and he inhaled it like a hoover vacuum.  The we showed him all his toys and his bed and his crate and was the happiest puppy ever.  He ran from one thing to the next and bit and snapped at our hands and feet in between biting and snapping at his toys.  

This young fella has some manners to learn.  

He thinks his name is "No". 

But seriously, he is just a baby. 

We put him in his crate after about an hour of intense playtime (not sure how you tell a puppy to take it easy after surgery, but Cooper did not!) so we could grab some dinner in the kitchen without him underfoot.  

He cried and whined and howled and hollered for about three minutes and then fell immediately to sleep.  It took every bit of restraint Chip had not to run in and rescue him from his mean crate!  After dinner we woke him up for some more play time and lots more "No, Cooper...don't bite." It has continued to be a monsoon with thunderstorms rolling through so it has been a bit challenging to get him outside to potty.  He did his business (both of them!) outside a couple of times and we rewarded him with lots of praise and a minuscule fragment of bacon.  

He has had a couple of accidents in the house, but already loves going to the back door to be let out.  Once this terrible weather passes I think it will get easier!  Fingers crossed! 

He is a huge fan of his bed. 

At 9:15 we tucked him in his crate and said good night.  He protested for about a minute and a half and then fell fast asleep.  Not a peep out of him all night.  

I got up early 4:15 a.m. and let him out, fed him and played with him.  He was much, much calmer than yesterday and at 8:00 a.m. he has already had four naps!

Stayed tuned for more on Cooper's puppy experience! 

P.S.  We don't know what he is.  They had him listed as a Lab/Retriever Mix, but pretty sure he has some boxer in him and maybe some wild hyena by the black spots on his back and his wild antics in the car!  We are calling him a Heinz 57 Pound Puppy.  He is now sleeping like an angel and it is storming like crazy outside.  That seems promising! 

Here's to early mornings, coffee, puppy breath and lots and lots of "What a good boy, Cooper!" in our  immediate future! 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Top Ten Tidbits

Welcome 2017.   Let's see if we can get back into some kind of routine with this blog!  The easiest way to do that is to jump in with a Top Ten Tidbits to give you a recap of the last month and then start fresh!  

Here we go…..

1.  Christmas on The Bad Farm was great.  We stayed ten days.  That is long.  I am not even sure I could stay in Hawaii for ten days.  Anyway, we filled the time with food, family and fun. The fun came in all shapes and sizes.  Turning the dining room into a winter wonderland with cutout snowflakes and cotton ball snow garland with two precious girls was a highlight of my vacation!  At nine and fourteen years old they were the perfect age to be wildly creative and it was the best! Coffee time in the morning with my girls.  Burning boxes with Chip…not something we get to do around here and it is really kind of fun.  Some one-on-one time with my brother, does not happen often enough. Ditto for some wonderful time with my sister.  In fact, The Nice One and I single handily helped Alabama beat Washington by distracting each other with recipe talk and taking down Christmas decor at Mom and Dad's house.  Just doing our part.  There was also puzzle building and Trouble playing.  Cooking schnitzel for a big ol' batch of Bama boys.  Hanging out with my folks - does my heart good!  

That was hardly a Tidbit.  More like a Tidlot.  Let's shorten things up for this speed round. 

2.  Harry is back at school.  Always a bit blue when that happens.  Doesn't help that it is a bit cold and dreary and all the Christmas fanfare is over.  I miss him.  We all miss him.  He completes us and we have to get used to him not being here.  

3.  The day Harry was set to depart for Phoenix, we took his truck in to be checked because the BRAKE light was on.  Turns out, his brake line was cut/damaged/not holding brake fluid.  Parts impossible to find in the area.  Would take a couple of days to track them down.  So Harry had to take my Suburban to Phoenix.  I miss my Suburban and plan to meet him halfway to switch cars this weekend.  File this under…."It is always something" and "Thank God we didn't let him drive with no brakes!"

4.  We are getting a puppy.  At least, I think we have found one.  They keep getting adopted out from under us!  There have been two others we found online at various rescue organizations that have been adopted before we even could get our application submitted. But I think this one might be the one.  We are going to meet him on Monday.  His name is going to be Cooper.  Stayed tuned for pictures. 

5.  Bama lost the College Football Championship game to Clemson.  Chip was so sad.  It is hard to take, especially when damn near the whole country is over your team and really want them to lose.  I get it.  They won 26 in a row.  It is annoying!  But, it was a great game and you know that all those players left it all on the field.  Dabo Swinney, the coach for Clemson, is a super neat guy and was an Alabama graduate and played football on the team when Alabama won a championship in the 90's.  Losing to one of your own makes it a little easier to take.  I could barely even watch the game.  It just ties me up in knots.  I honestly think about how hard those kids have worked (both teams) to make it to that moment.  I have never worked that hard for anything in my life.  And their mothers!  Can you imagine the knots they have watching their babies chase their dreams on such a big stage and under so much pressure.  What angst!  Or, is it just me???    

6.  This weather has been bizzaro!  It was 18 degrees last Thursday and this Thursday it is 80.  YIKES!  Can we just have some 60's for a minute?  The leaves have all fallen off the trees in the backyard.  I mean, every single leaf.  The backyard has drifts of leaves.  Time to get to raking! 

7.  Politics.  I just can't. 

8.  Kicking off the new year juicing regularly and cooking lots of good whole healthy foods. Made a beautiful crustless asparagus quiche, vegan bean salad, wild caught Salmon with basil.  Wild caught Salmon is the shizzzz!  Yum! 

9.  Chip injured his left arm lifting weights in athletics.  Strained/torn/ripped something in his tricep area.  A pain.  Really it has been a pain.  Today he said it felt a little better.  Hooray! 

10.  We saw a bald eagle on our drive to Alabama. It was very cool and we pulled over, turned around and went back just to make sure we weren't imagining it.  We weren't.  

That's it.  

Tomorrow we start fresh!  

Let's make this the year of sweet moments that bring a tear to your eye.  Those are my favorite kind!