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Archive for January, 2010

Her Stage Name

is Sally Brown.  It seems to work for her.  Right now all three puppies are outside, as one led the other led the other straight out the doggy door this evening.  This follows a lengthy game of football fetch.  Progress toward puppy self-sufficiency is wonderful! 

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Life with 3.

You’re probably wondering what life could possibly be like with three labs?  Is it exponentially more difficult than life with two labs?  I don’t know about life, but here is a recap of the first 24 hours.

Gracie came home around 3:30pm when we returned from my soccer game/Greg’s work.  I went inside first and took the puppies to the bedroom with a handful of jerky treats.  (Lucy was, at this point, already won over.)  Greg brought the new puppy in, and I let the dogs downstairs.  They thought they were greeting only Greg at first but, of course, quickly realized there was something WAY more interesting going around.

Sniffing ensued. 

When sniffing got overly curious, I called them all with jerky treats, and they all sat at my feet waiting for treats and forgetting about the other dogs momentarily.  (Really — Costco jerky treats work wonders.)  This process went back and forth for a while until sniffing turned into playing, at which point it was time to head outside.  The back deck became a sniff/wrestle-fest, with jerky treats serving as the bell between round whenever things got a little too rowdy.

We had a doggy door lesson.  Greg stood outside, I stood inside, and it went something like this:

Linus goes outside.  Gracie tries to follow, but is a step behind and gets hit on the head with the door and backs into the gym confused.  Lucy goes outside.  Gracie tries to follow, but is a step behind and gets hit on the head with the door and backs into the gym confused.  I open the doggy door slightly so Gracie can see outside, and she makes it through.  Repeat from the outside.  Repeat from the inside.  Etc.

While we ate dinner, Gracie discovered the toy snake and started a massive game of tug-of-war.  It would have gone on all night if the others dogs had been up for it.  Two year old energy is not six year old energy as it turns out.  Luckily, each time Lucy laid down to rest, Gracie chewed on her nose until she got up to play again.  Linus was more than happy to oblige and played for most of the evening.  Only when we pulled out bones did they finally settle down.  Lucy chomped through her bone and Gracie’s bone, while Linus enjoyed a large bone to himself. Having abandoned her own, Gracie hopped around the room pestering the dogs and exploring more corners.

Gracie is crate-trained, meaning she spends the day in a crate, the night in a crate, and only gets let out to go potty and occasionally play.  It’s a big adjustment to get her used to having her own schedule and get to a point where she shouldn’t be in the crate anymore.  (But don’t think she loves the crate.  While most crated dogs feel safe and retreat to their crates willingly, this dog needs to be pushed and bribed to get in, and then proceeds to whimper until she is certain you are not coming back.  Save your breath Gracie — we’re on to you.)

Gracie spent the first night in the crate, perfectly quiet until we got up in the morning.  Every time I heard a sound, I was certain it was her, but it was Lucy or Greg or the rainstorm…  The alarm went off around 5:15, and Lucy and Linus have never bounded out of bed so quickly to see whether the new puppy was still hanging around.  All three ran outside (Gracie got out the doggie door on her own), did their business, then came inside for breakfast.  Gracie tried to engage L & L in some early morning romping, but Linus clung to a bone on the bed, and Lucy buried her head under a pillow and went back to sleep.

After one more trip outside, we crated Gracie upstairs for the day, then blocked the upper level from L & L just in case.  All was in order when we got home, and Gracie bounded out of her crate to go outside.  Playtime began immediately and has continued nonstop for the past 3 hours.  L & L have never played this much.  Ever.  Here are some things we have done today:

Today we have chewed bones…

We have played fetch…

We unstuffed some toys and wrestled with Linus…

Then we played ‘whose mouth is bigger’ with Lucy and wrestled with her too…

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Kisses, paws, and wags:

all things that are better when multiplied by 2… or even 3.

Vital stats of paws 9-12:

Name – Gracie (this might be temporary, suggestions accepted)
DOB – December 7, 2007 (she just turned 2)
Size – inexplicably small, a full purebred lab weighing in at only 45 pounds
Spunk level – high
Given up because – military family deployment/relocation
Hours playing without stopping – 6 and counting

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Happenings in the Home

Doggies sleeping cheek to cheek (sometimes Linus gives Lucy a little more room)

Squash and pumpkin puree lined up on wonton wrappers for the assembly of homemade ravioli

Finished ravioli with toasted pumpkin seeds on top

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I am off work today, which is glorious (sorry hon).  Kristin and Liz left this morning after a weekend of delicious food (lobsters!), un-exciting football, inexpensive shopping (how can you not have my size in a single pair of shoes?), and relaxing.  So now the doggies are napping after a weekend of playtime, Greg is at work, and I am taking care of all those pesky things that never get done during the week.  But before I start a day-off dinner (homemade ravioli with a fall vegetable puree and toasted pumpkin seeds!), I thought I would post a few pics.

Greg is anxious to show off the beautiful bookcase he made for me.  The wood is reclaimed from an old (like 150 years old) Maryland tobacco barn that has since come down.  It is wormy American chestnut, and it is beautiful.  We picked it up at a wood/lumber store in Annapolis (Exotic Lumbers) that I was desperate to check out.  Weekend hours are limited and include only the first and last Saturday of the month, so we jumped at the opportunity to go right after New Years, and my bookshelf is beautiful, functional, eco-friendly, and exactly what I had in mind.  So excited to have a piece of Maryland’s historic barns right in our bedroom!

You’re probably thinking you haven’t seen puppy pics in a while.  They are still adorable.

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some new things

We’ve had some fun additions to the house since the holidays — a new margarita maker and a clock, as well as a very special bookshelf.  Here are some pics from the first two, including the margarita machine (thanks Liz!) and an amazing Connecticut grandfather clock that is very beautiful and not waking me up anymore. 🙂  Bookshelf to come next!

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R A V E N S

Sometimes it just takes the right shirt to show someone the way…

Let’s go Ravens!

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