Thursday, November 4, 2010


These are the girls in the litter.  I like the one looking at the camera. :)
We are getting a schoodle!  In case you are not schooled in the now popular idea of breeding almost any dog breed with a poodle, a schoodle is a mix of a schnauzer and a poodle.  Both breeds do not shed, which makes it neat-nick friendly.  And when I say neat-nick you all know we are NOT talking about me! :)

Yep, I know some of you may be in shock that we are actually getting a puppy, but after months of visiting our local animal shelters and one failed attempt at adoption, we decided to go the puppy route.  This has been a new experience for me, since the only way I have ever experienced getting a dog has been through a shelter.  I have never gotten a pet from a breeder.
The four boys
 I am approaching our impending puppyhood as I do with almost everything.  I trot myself over to our library and check out every book I can find on the subject.  I checked out a few books for me, one for Josh and several children's books for the kids.  Then I hauled the load back to my house and we started our "Puppy Seminars".  The seminars were led my yours truly.  A seminar included watching a training video, eating popcorn and discussing how to use positive reinforcement with a puppy.  This almost meant speaking quite clearly to Kai that a puppy is not a toy and he/she can easily break if you are not gentle.  Hopefully this idea has hit home since Kai is quick to tell those that inquire about the puppy the following, "Puppies are little and you can NOT throw them down or they will break a leg!"  Yes, Kai that is correct.
This is the book we chose to order from Amazon and use as our home resource. This book says we'll have a smart puppy, so that's sure to occur if we follow all the rules right?  And look, it also says it will be "Fun, Effect and Easy!"  :)

One on-going game we've also played is "What should we name our name puppy?"  We are not sure if we will end up with a boy or a girl puppy.  So far we have "Cooper" if it is a boy, and "Eloise" or "Tilly" if it is a girl.  Our only real guideline in the selection process is that it have a laid back personality.  Part of the reason we are getting a puppy, and specifically a schoodle, is they are supposed to make great therapy dogs.  My hope is to train this dog to be a therapy dog and then take it to work with me once I graduate.  I know of a domestic violence shelter that uses a Maltese therapy dog. The women and children find petting and talking to the dog soothing, especially during intake interviews.  My hope is that our new puppy will not only be our newest family pet, but also a working companion for me.

We'll see.  Next weekend we head down to the breeder to make the final selection regarding the one we want to take home.  The breeder knows what we are looking for.  She is watching the pups for the one with the personality she thinks we are looking for.  We are waiting until 8 weeks to take the puppy home, which means we can pick it out on the 13th, but won't bring it home until the 19th.  (the breeder lets the puppies go home at 7 weeks, but the book suggests 8 weeks is the optimal time to take a puppy home, so of course I have to follow that guideline!)

I feel like I am puppy-pregnant; we are that excited over this new arrival.  I've never had a puppy before, in my entire life. I guess this feeling is why little kids across the world beg their parents for a puppy.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


My birthday is this week.  Every year I before my birthday I feel a little blue, not because I am getting older.  Getting older doesn’t bother me as far as the aging process aging goes.  I’ve acquired some lines around my eyes, and my knees don't work the way I'd like them to but I can live with those ailments.  While some wrinkles are appearing on my face, I have the added bonus of adult acne to keep me young.  I swear I am the only woman approaching 35 who still has to buy the same face wash she did when she was 16.  So I may not look young, but in many ways I am still purchasing young.

Aside from some misplaced acne, what bothers me about aging is simply the swift passage of time.  Each year I look back and I think, “Am I doing enough with my life?  Am I on the right path?  Are those big dreams I held so dear now out of reach?  Are they even still on my radar?”  My aspirations over the years haven’t changed much, but my commitment to them has spiked and plummeted more times than I care to admit.  Maybe the ups and downs are a necessary adjustment, or maybe they prove a lack of follow through.  On a good day, I refer to the various fluctuations as a sign of flexibility.  On a bad day I scoff and call myself a wimp.  On my birthday I hope to just call it even.   I’d like to look at myself and say, “Okay, so you are now 35.  You’ve done many of the things you set out to do.  Have a good day today.  Enjoy the family and friends you have.  Drink something stronger than a Diet Coke, eat a piece of cake and meet me in the morning ready to work.”