Cute Dog Pictures Post

February, the month of loooove! One thing I’m not loving is winter. I am accepting it because I cannot change it, but I am not loving it. Warm up already!!

I think everyone gets a little Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) this time of year, this year more than most. Even the long-time Minnesotans agree it’s been a long, cold one… and it’s only half over! “Remember we got snow in May last year,” they say, shaking their heads when I try to brightly suggest that it may be coming to an end.

So no, I don’t love winter… not this year. But what I do love are my dogs and my husband, and to celebrate that – and because I haven’t tried anything really new or daring for the past few weeks – I have a few fun doggy pictures!

First of all here is Duke looking ADORABLE with his disgusting chicken (or, as we say, “Duke con pollo“):

Duke brought that chicken with him from his foster family and it’s still intact, having outlived many other stuffed animals. Duke’s favorite place in the house, as you can tell, is the bed.

Here is Earl con elefante:

Photo: Come on, Earl, have a little dignity!

Earl’s favorite place in the house is with the humans, wherever they happen to be – the kitchen, the laundry room, the bathroom. Sometimes getting out of the shower is a challenge. He absolutely loves that little pink elephant, even though he could swallow it whole.

These boys definitely love each other. Here is an example:

Please note that the crate door is open. We have 2000 square feet in this house, two perfectly good crates, and a bed, and they still decided to curl up together!

Well, that’s all for now, folks! “Like” this if you think my dogs are adorable!

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Pesto Fiesta!

Last week we had a small group of buddies over to celebrate a friend’s birthday. The Hs, PRs and Ks joined us but the other Hs were still out of town 😦 We made use of our Costco membership for the occasion, using tortellini, pesto, tomato sauce and Parmesan bought at rock bottom unit prices (still adds up at the check-out!)

Now that we have a house we can have dogs over without fear of our landlords or fellow residents complaining. The dogs were all very excited to get into the pack although a couple were still trying to figure out dominance issues.

Here is a picture of our wonderful friends:

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And here are the dogs (minus one- the Ks did not bring their doggy)

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For dessert I made a scrumptious Texas sheet cake. I thought about food blogging the process but was too busy licking the spoons to take any pictures. But here is our friend blowing out the candles!

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There’s nothing better than food, friends and festivities!

“Dogernity” Leave

The past week and a half have been like our “dog-ernity” leave as we have adjusted to doubling the size of our household and Duke and Earl have adjusted to a new home. Thankfully there have been no sleepless nights, 2 am feedings, scares, injuries or surgeries (knock on wood!) Just lots of wonderful doggy time with our precious canines.

Last weekend Chris and I worked opposite shifts, so while the dogs got to experience the benefits of having people around nearly 24 hours a day, we scarcely saw each other all weekend. One of those times was our “date” at the hospital cafeteria (which was really fun but not really a date). Just like old times, Chris is looking mischievous while drawing some chemical on a napkin.

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Today the doggies met their first friend beyond the the neighborhood, a Samoyed that belongs to one of my Bible study friends. But they’ve been on lots of walks, at least one or two a day, and played with many of the neighbors kids and dogs, and of course galloped around the yard with each other. Earl loves to attack Duke and send fur flying (nothing else though – they’re padded better than football players). Here’s an action shot – as usual, Earl is tearing ahead, and Duke is trotting along behind.

Doesn’t he look poodly with all those curls?!

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Speaking of fur flying, I feel like all this fluff has to be useful for something. I could vacuum every day and still not get it all up. Surely we could use it to stuff quilts or something?!

I love having dogs.

1) They make me exercise. I don’t think I have ever walked this much, this regularly.

2) Duke and Earl are always happy to see us and give us lots of unconditional love and doggy kisses.

3) We now know that we are competent human beings that can take care of and keep something else alive.

4) Finally, when other people are showing me pictures of their pets/kids/nieces/nephews… I have pictures to show them!!

5) They help us meet our neighbors. Instant conversation point! “Duke, Earl, leave it. Don’t eat the toy poodle. Oh, her name is Pepsi, and you’re Elaine? Earl, stop! By the way, I’m Ariel. Duke! Stop sniffing! Sit! Sit! Good boy.”

All right, well maybe “meet” is a strong word.

Pets are a big investment of time, money, and energy, but they are totally worth it. You can’t calculate the return on this investment because it’s companionship, and you can’t put a price on that. Yay for doggies!

Dog Days of Summer

Minnesota has taken a turn for the miserably hot. The last week has been toasty for us – 80’s, 90’s, humid, full sun, the kind of day you stay inside to stay cool. The Romans associated this sultry time of year with Sirius, the dog star, leading to the term “dog days of summer.” But for us these have been dog days in another way.

We have been thinking about getting dogs since before we got married. Chris is a natural with dogs, and I like… certain dogs. When we were growing up, we had the sweetest fluffiest collie named Buck. Of course, he got old and died and I was very sad. We also had a short-haired collie named Mariah who liked to jump the fence and run away. A lot. I think she gave me “doggie abandonment issues” and made me nervous to entrust my heart to another canine.

But everyone loves my parents’ golden retriever, Shadrack. He’s sweet, affectionate, and gentle… only barks when he falls in an empty swimming pool and can’t get out (so he’s not the smartest)… and he’s pretty!

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Chris knew some wonderful golden retrievers when he was growing up as well, Declan, Delaney and many others.

So when we found out we could get a house we began to look at dogs on the Minnesota rescue, Retrieve a Golden of Minnesota or RAGOM. They don’t just have goldens; in fact, we had our hearts fixed on one that was basically a black lab when, lo and behold, his foster family adopted him.

As soon as we moved in, we started the process, which involved a very thorough application and a home visit. We passed and then went on vacation for a week. On our way back Chris saw the posting for two golden retrievers that the foster wanted to adopt together. Of course, we couldn’t meet them right away. We had our friends’ dogs for a week… and then went to Black River Falls… and the foster family was out of town…

Finally last week we went to meet the doggies and see if they would be a good fit. And this is what happened:

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We brought home Duke and Earl on Saturday and are really enjoying them. They make us get up early, take us on lots of walks, and give us lots of doggie love. They are two big, fluffy, beautiful golden retrievers, sweet and eager to please. Duke looks like he’s part poodle because he’s ultra curly and has a pom-pom end on his tail; he’s more chill and submissive and will go lie in his crate when he gets tired. Earl looks like a teddy bear or an Ewok, follows us everywhere, pants a lot, and is the last to lie down and first to get up. I think he’s also a little smarter. They are both really fun to have around and give my cleaning a lot more purpose. I like to see progress in my cleaning and there is always progress to be made when you are chasing down gobs of fluffy golden retriever hair.

Earl has already eaten a few things that we consider inedible, but – sigh – dogs will be dogs!