• life with dogs,  sophie

    Shhhh, don’t speak. You’ll ruin the moment.

    Poor Sophie wasn’t very happy to be let out of her crate when we got home from work only to be put back in 20 minutes later when we had to go back out. (Side note – if she stopped eating our furniture and shoes when we were out, she’d not have to be crated all the time!) Shawn was holding her up, ready to put her in her crate, I took the opportunity to kiss her snout because she was so cute. I also started to say, “Don’t worry, Sophie, we’ll be back soon.” but I only got to “we’ll” when she slowly moved her paw and placed it over my mouth, totally closing it. She did this so slowly and gently it was almost as though she was saying “No. Don’t say another word. You’ll just make it worse. Shhhhh, Mummy. Shhhhh. Just go. Go and don’t look back.” We just stood there for a minute laughing and she kept her paw on my mouth. If only we had a camera around and a photographer or something to have captured that. It was hilarious!

  • finnish lapphund,  sophie

    happy birthday #nosophie

    Oh, my dear, sweet, little Sophaclees, I wish I had a glamour shot of you to post on your second birthday, but alas, you are dreadfully difficult to photograph. I did snap this shot this afternoon when you didn’t realize I had the camera on you, but you STILL thwarted my attempt to capture your beauty by breaking out into a yawn as soon as the shutter clicked. Grrrrowwllll! Snarrrrl! *yawn* I can’t believe that almost a year has passed since we drove to the middle of nowhere, Michigan to adopt you from Linda. I can’t believe that you’re two years old now, even though I feel like you’re only just turning one. So tiny. So dainty looking (because you’re honestly not dainty in any way, Ms. Classless.) This month, the home-made calendar hanging on the kitchen wall is dedicated to you and the many, many photos we have of you sitting side-saddle. This seems to be the only way you’ll sit and it’s earned you one of your many monikers: SideSaddle Sophie. (Although, NoSophie seems to be the most used of all our nicknames for you… and the photo below proves why) Shoes and tables are the tastiest of treats! If only I had dog toys to entertain me while the humans were gone. Not ONE dog toy around, so of course I have to improvise. If only I had dog toys… For all the destruction you tend to inflict upon our personal items (who really needs a coffee table…

  • life with dogs,  the anomaly that is me

    conversations with my dog

    I am certain we are not the only humans who have created voices and personalities for the dogs that we live with. Way back at the end of the 1990s (remember that?) I had Kewpie and she had her very own voice (that mainly consisted of the word “PANT!” but boy could she use PANT! with varying inflections) and then we were blessed with our dear sweet Annabelly and she certainly had her own voice. For some reason it was a deep, somewhat grumpy voice even though she was possibly one of the daintiest dogs on the planet at the time. Jinx and Sophie have not escaped the gift of having us speak for them as well. Bully for them! Often Shawn and I will find ourselves having conversations with the dogs and then realize that it’s not actually, you know, the DOG we’re speaking to, but to each other. (Trust me that happens more than I care to admit and I’ll bet you’ve found yourself in similar situations, don’t lie.) Sometimes our fictional conversations will cause great amusement and fits of giggles. Sort of like this morning… Me (looking at the huge dust bunny-slash-clump of fur that appeared on the couch out of nowhere): Good lord, Sophie. Where did that come from? What the hell did you roll in? Sophie (Me-As-Sophie, rather) (in a teenage condescending tone): The deep, Mummy. It’s what you’re supposed to roll in. *Shawn and I giggle at my horrible joke* Me: Of course. Silly me. Sophie…

  • life with dogs

    when the internet brings you both happiness & sadness

    The handsome fellow above is Leonard. Leonard was a 80-pound (?) English Bulldog who just recently passed away. I don’t normally talk about other peoples’ dogs on here (unless we happen to find a random one in March), but I’m going to make an exception for Leonard and his human because over a very short time I fell in love with this dog and his human’s captions on Instagram. One of the reasons I loved IG so much was that one day I happened to come across a photo of a dog that made me laugh so much. I realized that the entire IG feed was of this dog with witty captions. I would laugh daily at Leonard and his zany, though rather laid-back actions. There was always a new photo in my IG feed and I started sharing these smiles with Shawn. Over Christmas, Leonard started getting a little ill. He was having seizures and he’d been visiting the vet (and pooping in the vet’s waiting room) a lot. Leaving comments, sending positive thoughts just didn’t seem like enough to me. I wanted to know more about Leonard and his family. I wanted to help. In January another woman on Instagram started collecting donations to help Leonard’s family with their medical bills. Of course we helped, it wasn’t even a second thought. By then, I’d already been sort of chatting with Leonard’s human through the comments on IG. With the donation she had my email and we’d emailed a…

  • life with dogs,  sophie

    I am Really Behind in Blog Posts… So Here’s a Video Instead

    It’s been super crazy lately with medical emergencies (not mine) that have thrown everything into a tizzy, so I am very behind in blogging. I have so many photos and things to post, but I just have not had the energy or time. For reasons that are explained in the above video, I am testing out a new camcorder that I got today. Hence the vlog rather than a real blog post. Sorry. Enjoy?

  • life with dogs

    someone get these kids a book about real dogs

    We hardly had any kids pass by the house on Halloween. I don’t know where the bazillion kids from the day time go, but they don’t come down my street for candy. I had to flag kids down. The one time the doorbell rang, it took us all by surprise. Both dogs were super excited that someone came to the door. Shawn went to open the door, I cut him off and he then corralled the dogs away from the door so I could give out *handfulls* of candy. The conversation was in French, which I will translate for those of you who don’t read it. Me: Sorry about that.. we had to hold back the dogs. (The door sort of closed over on them before I could get the candy out.) Kid #1 (excitedly): Are they chihuahuas?!? Kid #2: *big excited eyes* Me: Um.. no.. they are big… like Huskies. (ok, so Finnish Lapphunds aren’t as big as huskies, but I wasn’t about to try to explain “Finnish Lapphund” in French to two kids under the age of 10. And when we go walking around the neighbourhood we are often asked if our dogs are a Husky mix.) Kids: Oh,ok. *scamper off* My point is this though: ARE THEY CHIHUAHUAS?!? Seriously? Is that what today’s young person thinks of IMMEDIATELY when they hear the word DOG? CHIHUAHUA? Come on now. When did tiny, yappy dogs become the standard dog image? When I was a kid we’d picture Retrievers or…

  • adventures in kitchening,  food,  life with dogs

    adventures in lasagna (clean & gluten-free!)

    On the way home from picking up my med leave pay (which is finally approved – yay! Only a month after I have been on it. Ugh!) I thought to myself, Self, maybe since we parked the car at the grocery store, we could stop in there on the way home and pick up something to do for dinner! I agreed with myself (I generally do) and then started to think about WHAT I wanted to do. What about lasagna? Hmm. Could work. Let’s see if there are gluten-free lasagna noodles in the Hippy Section today. There were. Yay. At first I had scolded myself for not having brought the special edition of the Clean Eating magazine I just got this week – 101 Comfort Food recipes (YUM!). I was pretty sure it had some nifty pasta dishes in there. But I thought, maybe I could make my own tomato sauce without reference. I picked up almost 2 lbs of tomatoes, some fresh oregano and basil and low-fat ricotta & cottage cheese. I just spent a bunch of time chopping up all those tomatoes. I also looked up a recipe online once I got as far as cooking the garlic in the olive oil. I needed to make sure I was cooking the tomatoes properly. This is what I did (at the time of writing this post, the sauce is simmering, so I have no idea if it’ll work): 1/4 cup olive oil 1 bazillion cloves of garlic (because I…

  • jinx,  life with dogs

    taunted by squirrels

    My poor Jinx puppy is a Lappie of high standards. One of the things that offends him deeply is the existence of squirrels. Just this morning, I looked up and saw a huge, fluffy squirrel tail right outside our living room window. The squirrel had the nerve to be on our windowsill trying to hide food in the flower box for the winter. Of course I drew Jinx’s attention to said offensive act  and he ran from the backdoor (where he was keeping a vigilant watch for squirrels in the back yard) to the front window and nearly had an aneurysm. Seriously. He was foaming at the mouth in outrage! Little Sophie had no clue what was going on, but she happily bounded around, wagging her tail and trying to look out the window, too. If Jinx was excited about something she had to be excited, too! YAY! Something is HAPPENING! THIS IS SO MUCH FUN!!! (What’s going on?) I DON’T CARE! YAY!!! Once Jinx was back on all fours and looking at me with a mix of  “How rude!” and “I am so proud of the way I protected you!” on his face, I couldn’t help but give him a treat. After all, squirrels are terrifying and he did save my life. Sophie, of course, still had no idea what was going on, so she put two and two together (Let’s see… Jinx got all huffy and whiny and grumbly about something and Mummy gave him a cookies. I can do this!) so…

  • life with dogs

    so, that’s a yes then?

    “Who wants to come upstai—” *Jinx leaps off couch, runs halfway up the stairs, turns to look at  me while wagging his tail* “..rs and nap with Mummy?” It’s like he was waiting all day for me to ask that question when I got home.

  • jinx,  life with dogs,  sophie,  the anomaly that is me

    tomato plant obession

    Last year I had a cherry tomato plant. This year I have a, um, real tomato plant. I don’t know why, but I have this deep fascination with tomato plants and how they go from leaves, to flowers to fruit all so quickly. I had a thought, albeit too late in the season, that I should photograph one flower-to-tomato every day at the same time of day to chart the progress. A sort of time-lapse photography thing. Maybe next year I’ll do that. I was hoping to have my own little garden in the yard this year but that didn’t work out due to various whatnots, so as I wrote a week or so ago, I picked up my already budding plant at the farmer’s market. It had 3 tomatoes on it already, but only one ripened, the others took their time growing. I now have a second tomato about to finish its ripening phase and I can’t wait! You can sort of see the other tomatoes hiding among the leaves. I just love looking at the new green ball of fruit through the plant. I don’t know why, but it makes me happy and calm. There is something so peaceful about fruit through leaves. It’s like looking up at the sky through a tree. I have been thinking that I should have picked up one of those hanging baskets of cherry tomatoes in the end. Even if I didn’t really have a great place to put it. I love…

  • life with dogs,  the anomaly that is me

    sleepless, thankful it’s sunday

    What a night. I hate sleepless nights and I will admit that it’s mostly my fault. Still, I was very happy that it was Sunday today so I didn’t have to think about going into work. The first thing that happened was that Jinx threw up all over the rug as I was getting up to go to bed. It wasn’t just a little either. Ugh. So I stood outside with the flashlight (the night before we had skunks in the area, so there was no way I was adding skunk spray to the evening!) while Shawn cleaned up the carpet so I wouldn’t puke all over it too. 😉 Poor Jinx then proceeded to poop all over the yard and looked so sad. He came right over to me when he was done and just turned his bum to me. Now, having dogs with really long fur, we have to, on occasion, do a bum check to make sure everything is clean, etc. The dogs hate this and who wouldn’t really? How often do you like to bend over and show someone your butt when they ask? But this poor sick little pup came right over and turned around because he knew I would have to clean up for him. This isn’t something we generally have to do with Jinx. Mostly it was with Annie as she got older, but I am still wondering what the neighbours must think of us. We hosed Jinx off and I went up…

  • finnish lapphund,  life with dogs

    oh, look, more dog photos

    When will she write a real post? (Don’t know.) Hi! My name is Sophie and I am half otter and half goofball! My parents claim I am actually a Finnish Lapphund, but I don’t believe them! I feel a kindred spirit with these creatures called OTTERS and I like to squirm around on my belly and nose first and hold things in my paws like my other fellow otters do. I rarely use my feet to get anywhere. I like to slither nose first on my belly to get to you! My feet are used to kick Jinx in the head or to smack your computer screen or book if you’re not paying attention to me! Hi! It’s me, Jinx! I have an otter-slash-goofball I’d like to sell you. Cheap. Available immediately. Might need front paws removed to prevent black eyes. CALL ME!

  • life with dogs,  sophie

    sophie settles

    It is quite amazing how quickly this new little dog has settled into to our lives. She’s so exited to see us when we come downstairs in the morning and when we get home in the evening. Some of this might just be her delight at being let out of her crate, but mostly, there’s is love. She flings herself back and forth between Shawn and I constantly and includes Jinx by bounding all over him. She reminds us of those Loony Tunes dogs, the large bull dog and the little thing that jumps all over him. Or the bull dog with the kitten who sleeps on him all the time. She loves Shawn. She loves me. She loves Jinx. Jinx isn’t so sure what he thinks of Sophie yet. 😉 He’s still highly offended by everything she does. Even though he’s decided to claim selective memory and not remember how he did the exact same thing to Annie at the same age. After a desperate email to my friend Linda on how to curb Sophie’s singing through the night, we’ve had quiet nights after the second time she tried howling all night. She starts to fuss at 7:24 in the mornings though. We just ignore her at that point until the alarm goes off at either 7:30 or 8:00 (depending on when I need to get into the office). We did both alternate getting up around 7:30 on the weekends to let her out and then put her back…

  • life with dogs,  sophie

    sophie sings

    Loudly and all night. Sophie is crate trained but she’s decided that she feels like training us to ignore that part. The first night home she started howling at 4 am. This was not fun, but we chalked it up to the fact that she slept on a 12 hour car ride during the day. Yesterday morning it started at 3:45 and went on until we got up at 7:30. Tonight it started at 1:30 when Shawn came to bed. She’s been going at it every 10-15 minutes for about 2-5 minutes at a time. We are ignoring her because that’s what we’re supposed to do. It is very, VERY hard. Luckily for me I seem to still be sick from the weekend and have been up all night with nausea and vomiting. I have already spoken (emailed) my boss and said I wouldn’t be in today. Sophie has been silent for an hour now and even though I really have to pee, I’m terrified that if I get up and walk to the bathroom she’ll hear me and start yowling again. Ugh. I wish we could get her to stop! One option would be to move the crate into the bedroom (no space for it though) but don’t think that’s a smart move because what happens when we go out? She needs to be used to being in the crate without us around. I don’t want her howling all day when we are out, too! She has attached to…