Monday, January 31, 2011


I love them.  Like this baseball rope bone I found in my purse.  I wonder how that got in there...  It doesn't particularly mesh with my Vera purse style, but since it was obviously placed with love, I could not be more elated.

And here's to another linky party!  This is the "Swap Followings" over at Homemaker on a Dime .  Last week when I linked up, I found several awesome new blogs to follow.  Two of my faves are Happy House Happy Home and Directions Not Included.  Both are full of some great DIY home projects and crafts.  Head on over and check them out!

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My Audience

Doesn't everyone get ready for work in front of an audience?
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Sunday, January 30, 2011

And the verdict is in...

Ok I totally lied when I posted on Friday evening that I would update on Saturday with the results of Nugget's unofficial therapy dog trial run.  Turns out it was GORGEOUS here in the 704 this weekend and I was physically unable to keep my body inside for even a second!  Being that the past couple of months in Charlotte have been about 20 degrees below normal for this time of year, I simply could not pass up the opportunity to get ALL of us out of the house.  We went to the Park Road ball fields both Saturday and today with the boys.  Oscar fetched his frisbee and has almost mastered catching it in the air and Nugget fetched his beloved tennis balls.  It was nice to have some sleepy pups afterward (though as I type and get ready to begin studying for the night, Oscar is hopping around the house, barking and pulling down every towel he can find... I wish I had half his energy!).

I know, I've rambled long enough.  None of that is what you came here to read!  So without further adieu, I'm so very proud to announce that Nugget's unofficial therapy dog visit was a smashing success!  He was a huge hit with the residents of the nursing home and B received dozens of compliments on how well behaved and how handsome he is.  I do believe my eyes began to well with tears when B called to tell me how great the visit went.  I'm such a proud momma!  Nugget only had to be corrected once for a small bark he dared to let out, but I am sure he was just saying "Hello" to all his new friends.  (DUH!)  I neglected to foresee that tennis balls on walkers might pose a slight conflict of interest for the Nugg.  B reports that Nugget did spot some on the walker of a lady across the room and he carefully began to belly-crawl towards her.  So funny!

In my excitement, I rushed to email one of the Charlotte tester/observers from Therapy Dogs, Inc. to begin the process of his test and observations.  We've yet to get anything scheduled, but it looks like we'll be moving along pretty quickly.  I am so excited and I simply could not be more proud!

*Pardon the poor quality of the pics - B took them on his Blackberry*

Nugget absolutely LOVED the attention!

He's relaxing and plotting his next move toward those tennis balls across the room!

AND... we've joined a NEWBIE linky party from the crafty Debbie Doo's blog.  Link below.  Head on over and link up if you're a new blogger or currently have less than 100 followers.  And don't forget to follow Debbie Doos for some nifty craft ideas!  Enjoy!

Who goes there in my spot?

That would be a Nugg... He can't eat his breakfast fast enough!  Then he slithers up into my spot on the bed before I get back in it. Bad.
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Friday, January 28, 2011

I'm So Nervous! And So Excited!

Nugget is embarking (ha) on a therapy dog trial run this evening.  B's sister works at a nursing home in Chapel Hill that has graciously agreed to allow him to visit and interact with their residents without the formal therapy dog registration.  I've been mulling it over for awhile about taking him through the requisite tests and observations, but I wasn't quite sure he was ready for it.  Today's experience will give us a better idea of exactly where he is in terms of being ready.  B is going as his handler, which is probably for the best since Nugget has taken a sudden disinterest in listening to me!  I'm sure he's pissed about any number of things, including getting his ears cleaned, 2 trips to the vet in one week, the fact that no doodle on the bed also means no Nugget on the bed... the list could go on.  I do want to clear up any misconceptions and state that I'm less than 50% to blame in all of that combined!  I'm clearly NOT the one he should be mad at.

Though I've wanted Nugget to be a therapy dog since I got him at 12 weeks, I wasn't sure it was for us given his predictably boisterous behavior amongst strangers.  Over the holidays, I was talking with a fellow member of the Golden Retriever Rescue Club of Charlotte (GRRCC) who had recently registered her 2 year old female golden.  The process she explained seemed fairly straightforward and simple so I decided we'd give it a try in the new year.  I'd collected the necessary information, though I hadn't reached out to Therapy Dogs Inc.  The opportunity with the nursing home in Chapel Hill just presented itself yesterday, so that seemed like a logical first step before I waste anyone's time with testing and observing him if he's still not ready. 

I want this so badly for us.  Not only do I feel like Nugget needs an extracurricular activity that is strictly his where he gets to enjoy time outside the house without the doodle, I know he will relish in all the attention and love he'll receive during his therapy trips.  I remember how much my grandma loved Nugget.  He can definitely be obnoxious, but he has a mysterious way of knowing when he absolutely needs to be calm and gentle.  He loved visiting her and he would plop down right alongside her recliner while she stroked his head.  Very therapeutic for them both, if you ask me!  Nugget's therapy dog adventures would be a small way to honor her memory by allowing others to indulge in his love and affection, just they way my grandma did.  Lord knows I will be the proudest momma in the world when he receives his red heart tag that reads: "I'm a Therapy Dog" - whether that's sometime this year or during one of the next.  Praying that today goes well!  I will post an update and pics tomorrow when he returns :)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Definitely a Fail for B, a WIN for Me!

As a follow up to the previous 2 posts, I'll acknowledge the fact that I've been awarded 2 consecutive nights of uninterrupted sleep.  I know... I'm as shocked as you are.  But let's take off the rose-colored glasses for a moment and examine the facts surrounding this claim. 

Rewind to Tuesday night, where I initially posted that I believed the calming drops to be working.  Oh they did.  They worked well.  I went to bed probably an hour before B and the boys, so I was coasting along peacefully on the sleepytown super highway by the time they got there.  Just as we always do, B surrounded the bed with the baby gates so as to deter any creature with 4 legs and fur from plopping their happy @$$es on the bed.  Until Tuesday night, this worked very well. 

At some point during the night, Oscar managed to catapult himself over the gate and onto the bed.  (I'm still baffled by the fact that I didn't feel him when he landed).  I have doubt that even a 6 foot high fence would pose a challenge for him.  He actually does have springs for hind legs.  I woke up sometime around 3:30am, panicked by my sudden inability to move my legs.  It wasn't until I opened my eyes and sat up that I realized my temporary paralysis was not due to a mysterious illness that befell me in my sleep, rather a 60 lb doodle had taken up residence atop my legs.  And he could not be moved.  I have to give him credit; I didn't hear a thing from him all night and he obviously waited until we were both asleep to put his plan into action.  He may actually be a genius.  But we still fail at getting him out of the bed.

Last night, I actually have no idea what went on in my house.  Did the doodle get the calming drops?  Did he whine for hours on end?  Did he attempt his new catapulting manuever?  Did B threaten his life?  (That doesn't work anyway).  Did he stand in the middle of the room and do the Macarena?  I haven't a clue...   I was in a drug-induced coma from a phenergan injection I received at the doctor's office earlier that day to curb the nausea I was experiencing with a ferocious migraine.  The entire day is a blur, actually.  I can't say that the doodle actually behaved himself or went to sleep on the floor without battle.  I can say, however, that I slept pretty darn well.

So let's recap - If I get to bed long before B and the dogs and possibly use a sleep-inducing drug and always make sure my ear plugs are in, I will drastically reduce the occurance of sleepless nights.  Or perhaps the doodle should have the sleep-inducing drugs??

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


I'll try not to count my doodles before they nap, but 20 minutes after administration of the calming drops, this is what I found on my couch... Such a beautiful thing! Pray it lasts until 7am!!
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"Are you gonna blog about this...?"

That's what B asked last night as we were laying in bed having our conversation in whispers.  Why were we whispering?  Because the doodle, after being kicked out of bed for the 18th time, curled himself up on the floor quietly and fell fast asleep.  We were trying desperately to keep it that way... much like the mother of a baby with colic might actually slit your throat with her machete if you dare wake her finally sleeping child.  You may think the odds of any responsible mother actually owning a machete are pretty slim, but I assure you, she will quickly find one if you wake that sleeping pain in the a... child.

With a false sense of relief and thinking we were home free, B and I embarked naively on our respective trips to sleepytown.  Approximately 3 nanoseconds before I actually slid into REM sleep (see previous post), the whining began.  And it continued.  Without recess.  Well into the night.  And then into the morning.  The early morning.  Then the late early morning.  All of the begging, pleading and "Oscar, NO!"s in the world were cried in vain.  I even prayed he might lose his voice... but that backfired since I quickly lost my MIND instead!

Sometime between plotting my own death and trying to remember where I hid the rat poison (about 3am) I remembered a stash of (hot pink) ear plugs I had left over from school.  (Admittedly, I hate people... and all the noises they make, especially talking ... or breathing.  Ear plugs were the only way I escaped 4 years of undergrad and 1 year of law school without ending up on that Oxygen show, "Snapped".  Barely.)  So I ransacked the eventual office/currently a disaster of haphazardly placed boxes yet to make it to storage room until I found them.  In the dark.  In my underwear.  I was even nice enough to offer B a pair, despite the fact that I whole-heartedly blame him for the enumerable sleepless nights I've encountered since the kickoff of his "No Dogs in the Bed" campaign.  I doubt he cared that they were hot pink.

The ear plugs were barely a match for the high-pitched squeals emitted by a doodle in distress.  But they managed to drown out enough of the noise that I eventually fell into what was possibly the deepest, most amazing sleep I've ever experienced.  I didn't wake again until 6:45 which is when Oscar turned up the volume about 437 decibels (silly me, I thought we were already there) to inform us of his urgent need to potty and eat.  3 1/2 hours of uninterrupted sleep... I don't have a night in recent memory (i.e. - the last 2 1/2 yrs) where I've been afforded such luxury.  Tonite, we're throwing some calming drops in the mix and will be inserting ear plugs about 4 hours earlier than last night.  Xanax will likely also be invited to the sleepover.  (For me, not the dog... Er, wait!  That gives me an idea...).  I'll be ecstatic to achieve another 3 1/2 uninterrupted hours tonight. 

Ironically, when I opened my email this morning, this appropriate "Verse of the Day" was waiting in my inbox:
He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.
Proverbs 13:24
Way to validate B, God.  It's not bad enough the entire world of animal professionals is on his side, but YOU have to jump on his bandwagon, too?  I don't find this funny... not one bit!

Monday, January 24, 2011

From Manic to Snooze in .8 Seconds Flat...

... That is the approximate speed at which the doodle transforms from a raging lunatic to, well... a raging lunatic who is briefly asleep.

As I'm writing this, my ears are poisoned with the voice of Oprah streaming from the next room as B has predictably fallen asleep on the couch, leaving the TV to it's own devices.  We would never willfully watch Oprah and if I weren't so fudgin' lazy, I'd put myself and the TV out of misery.  But it is cold and I am bundled up in bed (where I've been hiding since the brutal Bears defeat approximately 6 hours ago)... so suffer we must.  I am struck, however, by her commercial which I've heard no less than 937 times in the last 10 minutes for the next episode where she attempts to arouse our curiosity about the doubtfully anticipated revelation of her "Family Secret".  Why should I burden what remains of my soul with the family secrets of a woman who never had a soul?  Further, I seem to have collected a plethora of my own secrets, one of which I'm about to spill publicly now...

After much thought and hours of not-so-scientific research, I've come to the absolute conclusion that Oscar is, indeed, an extraterrestrial.  His inability to cope with the stresses of life on earth, such as walking and breathing simultaneously, might have been the first clue.  Other situations that send him into a spastic spiral of doodle meltdown mess range anywhere from sighting a fallen stick during a potty walk, an altercation with a rock or not being immediately acknowledged by myself or B.  Without warning, any of these events may trigger an eruption of his bladder, resulting in a large puddle for which he shows no remorse or an inappropriate and poorly timed spurt of energy which leads him forcefully to the end of his leash, throwing him into a back-flip and me into a shriek of pain as my shoulder endures yet another near-dislocation experience.

Also, he's telepathic.  He is able to pinpoint the exact nano-second my brain falls into REM sleep.  Every time.  This is evidenced by his uncanny coinciding of the potty-cry with the aforementioned sleep event... er, should I say, non-event?

The most compelling evidence, however, stems from the lightening-fast speed at which he laps the apartment, bouncing off of walls and hurdling furniture, leaving nary a picture hanging nor a chair upright and the toy basket always empty.  Less than 1 second after completion of the lap of destruction he's laying peacefully on his side atop my plush pillowtop mattress, snoring and preparing to enjoy his own REM sleep.  He's not even out of breath.  There is nothing normal about that and, in fact, he's more like a gremlin where the list of things you should not feed him far exceeds the list of things you can, for fear he may turn into something (God forbid) worse!  Easily, I'd put him up against a room of 30 toddlers who just consumed copious amounts of high fructose corn syrup in the form of pixie sticks and Skittles - you know, the stuff that sky-rockets the blood sugar levels really fast!  Decidedly, a room full of sugar-high toddlers sounds like a vacation.

DISCLOSURE STATEMENT: My recent viewing of the movie, Megamind may have more to do with my conclusion than the confirmed results of any inane experiment which I never actually conducted.  Oops.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Hard Nugg Life

This is Nugg the Mad Scientist
(in Brian's safety glasses from work)

And after the day we had, I'm sure if he could flip me the bird, he would so do it!

He went to the vet for his annual well-check today.  (Here's this week's endorsement)  Dr. Jason White at Cotswold Animal Hospital is far and above the very best vet we've seen in Charlotte.  Beyond that, his staff is simply outstanding.  We so very much LOVE, love, love Heather (his tech)!  Heather remembers us and all about our preferences, our worries, our questions, etc.  She is always very thorough and is amazingly gentle and loving with both Oscar and Nugget.  I absolutely cannot say enough great things about her!

Dr. White has a true passion for animals.  I was referred to him by my dentist, Dr. Gist, whose office is right next door.  He actually owns the building that houses both offices.  (I also highly recommend Dr. Gist, but that's not for this blog).  Dr. White recently completed a very expensive remodel project on the vet office whereby he upgraded to all of the latest equipment and gadgets in order to ensure his furry patients are always receiving the best possible care.  This morning, he spent almost 90 minutes with us!  Turns out, Nugget has developed juvenile cataracts which will eventually require surgery to prevent him from going blind.  Ironically, I had mentioned to my mom a few months back that I thought Nugget's vision isn't what it used to be.  Unfortunately, Dr. White confirmed that suspicion this morning.  In addition to the cataracts, Nugget has a large amount of yeast build-up in both ears - further down in the canal than I could have seen on my own and probably due to allergies.  So we are now on a strict cleaning and medication regimen to hopefully be able to clear that up and avoid having to completely flush both ears under sedation.

Dr. White went above and beyond to make sure we understood everything, answer our questions, show us exactly how we need to clean the ears and even observe while we practiced!  Nugget was not at all a huge fan of the ear cleaning, so he tucked his tail and dove under a chair in the exam room.  We all got a good laugh, but he was quickly put at ease by Heather and Dr. White as they talked to and petted him.

Though it was an expensive morning, it was well worth every penny... and in fact, much cheaper than it would have been elsewhere.  I totally appreciate that they are very cost-conscious and always looking for ways to save us money.  I believe his prices to be very reasonable.

Nugget's surgery will undoubtedly be very expensive, but I would sooner go hungry than deny him any treatment that would affect his health.  So if you see me eating Ramen noodles for awhile, be a friend and toss me a Big Mac at the very least!

This is Nugg all tuckered out tonight, snuggling with a stuffed baby that has been with us since Easter and has miraculously yet to be maimed.

The doodle shows great compassion for his brother, Nugg.  Currently, Nugget's allergies are flared up and he has some redness and irritation in his right eye.  While it doesn't seem to bother him, Oscar is obviously concerned so he gives Nugget "kisses" on his eye.  Nugg doesn't seem to mind it at all.  It is absolutely the sweetest thing I've ever seen.  They always run to each other's rescue.  Since the doodle seems to forever be under foot, it's not uncommon for me to accidentally step on a paw, inducing a dramatic yelp.  Nugget immediately rushes to his side to make sure he's okay.  Similarly, if Nugget whimpers or cries in his sleep while dreaming (which he does with some regularity), Oscar always runs over to check on him.  Oscar hates that we gate him out of the kitchen while we clean Nugget's ears.  The expression of helplessness on his face is pitiful.  I love that they watch out for one another.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Oscar is apparently bored...

But I have to be honest - I'm not overly excited about bill-paying and cleaning out my files either. Looks like the doodle has spoken; this party is over!
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Doodle thinks towels look better on the floor

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Sleepy Kid

Oscar likes to snuggle on B's blanket.
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Nugg is Skeptical

About life in general.
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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Monday, January 17, 2011

Nugget's Girlfriend

Sorry, ladies... Nugget is a taken man.  This is his girlfriend, Chloe.  She's a beautiful pitt(?)-mix rescue who joined the Kuzmanoff family last year.  Her feline siblings are slowly adjusting to the change, but secretly they adore her :)  

Friday, January 14, 2011

Let me put it this way...

...having two large puppies is legit.  (Well Nugget is two, but in Golden years, he is still very much a puppy).

This morning and always 5 minutes BEFORE my alarm goes off, I was rudely awakened by the sound of Nugget dry-heaving, on the bed AND STANDING OVER MY FACE!  (WTF?  Seriously, wtf?!)  I freaked and quickly shoved him off the bed, at which point he literally flew (I'm not kidding... a cape actually rolled down his back from a secret hiding place inside his collar) to the corner of the room and puked not once, not twice, not three times, but four... yes, four times in front of my closet door.  Why does it always have to be in front of my closet?  Oscar frequently pees there and Nugget frequently vomits there thus making it absolutely necessary that I turn on every blaring light in the room before I even step out of bed, lest I put my foot down in something warm, wet and squishy.  SUPER annoying since I'm such a golden ray of sunshine at 7am,

So I'm on my hands and knees Nature's-Mircaling the hell out of vomit stains on my bedroom carpet when Oscar decides he cannot possibly control his bowels or bladder for another flippin' minute and therefore craps and pees on the floor in the hallway.  Are you kidding me?  While the vomit stains soaked in carpet cleaner, I trolled down the hall still in my underwear, into the awful stench to clean Oscar's mess.  And while Oscar's messes were stewing in carpet cleaner, I trolled into the living room still in my underwear to pick up the astronomical amount of stuffing from the inside of a stuffed toy that Oscar single-handedly annihilated in the .62 seconds I had my back turned.  While I was cleaning, Nugget hung his head in shame and Oscar pranced proudly about the house squeaking loudly the squeaker he retrieved from inside aforementioned toy.  He will never make a good surgeon.  His removal techniques are far too sloppy (some might say violent) and he's been known to leave victims patients lying open on the table unnecessarily.

These monsters completely negate any and all attempt I make to ensure B always comes home to a clean place.  All I can really do is cry laugh.  My life would be so dull without this chaos...

Thursday, January 13, 2011

WTF dog?

Yes, I was actually just thinking, "Shoot, why don't we have any tennis balls in the water bowl?"
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My Shadow

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That's what I'm going to rename Oscar: Shadow.  He is, in fact, always in my shadow, following me from room to room as I go about my business, overseeing my activities like laundry folding, makeup application, dishwasher emptying, showering, etc.  I can't even pee without him sitting in the bathroom watching me.  He is pretty sure that his job title is "Body Guard".  Occasionally, due to the lack of adequate square footage in our 2 bedroom apartment, I get annoyed.  And at first, I was constantly tripping over him.  But I've grown accustom  to saying, "Oscar, move!" everytime I turn around and that seems to work well for all parties involved.  I do have to give him props for his dedication to his self appointed position.  He "secures the perimeter" before we settle in to bed, and if ever there's a suspicious noise in the night, he immediately dashes out of the bedroom to investigate thoroughly before returning to my side.  Good dog, Shadow!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Wednesday Morning Surprise

At this point, I should know better than to step blindly out of bed and into anything but a pair of slippers or galoshes.  Not that I often remember anyway, but when I do go to put on my slippers, I'm usually missing one which is later found any number of places, including but not limited to the toy basket or under a throw rug.

This morning, I again learned my lesson the hard way about why I shouldn't walk through the house half awake and barefoot.  I was groggier than usual since last night's mysterious sneezing attack prompted me to haphazardly swallow two Benedryl.  Is it allergies?  The onset of a cold?  The Apocalypse? Only time will tell... but I do know that Benedryl sends me into a sleep so deep it can only be rivaled by the winter hibernation of a bear.  For all I know, a rave might have occurred in my living room during the night and all I heard was... well, nothing.

As I was rounding up the troops for their morning trip outside, in my Benedryl haze I stepped right into a very large puddle of pee that saturated my dining room carpet.  There is only one suspect: Oscar.  But there are many questions: When did this occur?  Why did this occur?  How did I not hear him get out of bed?... Er, scratch that, it must have happened sometime during the alleged overnight rave.

When I awoke after the alarm had been going off for 10 minutes, the doodle was cuddled closely by my side, no differently than I usually find him at the hour of 7:30am.  As I recall, he even yawned so as to indicate he, too, had just woken with the sound of the alarm.  Little trickster.  I know his secret.  And to think I was bragging on how great he'd been doing about not whining to go out in the middle of the night anymore...  Always two steps forward, one step back.  Looks like we'll be cutting off his water supply overnight again... sigh.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

And in case you've wondered who edits my blog...

Here is a pic of my helper doing what he does best.
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Cabin Fever, Anyone?

Yeah, we've got that.  Fortunately, I wasn't trapped inside by another full snow day... (or unfortunately, depending on how tired I am when you ask me).  Nevertheless, I was glad to have an excuse to get out of the house as I've left a total of two times since Thursday - for church and the gym, which hardly count as "outtings", but I digress.

The snow adventures yesterday successfully produced two tired pups.  We were outside playing on no less than six separate occasions.  This does not include the twenty-five additional times Oscar whined by the door to let me know he had to "potty"... which really was just a trick to get back outside into the snow, after which I'd have to pull ice balls out of his fur and dry him with a towel again because he was shivering.  We are never without ordeal in this house.

As predicted, we did end up with a decent layer of ice over all the snow last night.  Needless to say, the morning potty trip was quite entertaining.  Oscar and Nugget were slipping and sliding everywhere.  Oscar had never been on ice before, so he was initially a little confused.  And then he was curious.  And then his legs were out from under him for the ninth time.  And then he was startled by the crunching beneath him as he stepped onto the ice and snow covered grass.  I estimate an additional twenty minutes were added to our morning routine, thanks to the ice.  That's right - me in my pjs (which are not very warm when it's fifteen degrees outside) and two dogs who can't keep their footing, standing in the very, very cold and brisk wind, 6:30am.  Fortunately, no one was leaving for work this morning.

I expected the after-work potty trip to be less eventful, considering Oscar had two more potty trips since the ice experience this morning under his (hypothetical) belt.  No such luck.  Since they were cooped up for all of (Heaven forbid!) six hours today, they ran like rockets out the door.  Oscar was, again, surprised by the crunching under his paws and they both slid and fell through the ice everywhere.  Nugget began eating the ice, threw up three times, and then continued eating the ice as Oscar sought out fallen icicles.  I'm sure he thought he was in ice cube heaven (another of his favorite treats).  And again, I stood in pants that are not weather appropriate with the wind biting at my cheeks (both sets), begging the two to do their business so we could go inside.  But that's all part of the game, you see - The longer they take to go, the longer we "get" to stay out and play.  Ridiculous.

The final potty trip each night is usually just Oscar because based on past experience, Nugget just jacks around and gets into trouble (read: tormenting neighbors, digging in mud, etc) without ever actually pottying.  Well tonight he slithered out the door, in true Nugget fashion, as Oscar and I embarked on our final potty trip of the night.  Since everything is still frozen over, I figured he couldn't get into much, so I coaxed Oscar further down the walk to do his business and mitigate distraction.  This, again, took entirely too long as he chased fallen icicle after fallen icicle across the frozen snow before finally completing the task we set out to accomplish.  We turned around to go back inside and found Nugget laying in a hole in the ice which he had eaten out from around him.  Is he malnourished?  Parched?  I don't know, but in less than ten minutes time, he probably ate five pounds of snow and ice...  I guess dogs don't get brain freeze?

It's a foregone conclusion that I'm way over the snow and ice.  It absolutely cannot melt fast enough.  As I type, they are chasing one another through the family room, hallway, dining room and kitchen.  Chairs are being tipped and my 42" flat screen is shaking on its base.  There are smudgy paw prints on my formerly clean glass cabinet and I just heard a water bowl crash to floor along with a yelp and a splash.  Lord have mercy...  My apartment will not survive them being cooped up for one more day!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Wet Dog

... Leaning on my couch! We went through many towels today after each of our outside adventures. Now my place smells a lot like wet dog! But since they're my wet dogs, I wouldn't trade it for the world...
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Snow Day Nap

I think few would disagree that a snow day is not complete without a nap. So after our first morning snow adventure, we did just that! That Nugg is always up for a nap...
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Snowmaggedon 2011 - Charlotte, NC Edition

I told the boys last night before we went to bed that it was supposed to snow overnight.  Either they didn't believe me or they were already sleeping, because I didn't get the excitement I was hoping for; I got nothin'.  But Larry Sprinkle (yes, that's a real weatherman in Charlotte, NC) predicted a 100% chance of snow, so I was pretty confident we'd get something.

Fortunately, by the time 6:30am rolled around, snowmaggedon had begun and I awoke to a text from the boss announcing the office was closed.  I was super excited - like a fifth grader who had prayed for a snow day after neglecting to fully complete homework the night before.  So I bundled up and declared "potty time" to the beasts.  I couldn't wait for them to get outside and see the fresh white blanket!   I opened the door and you might have thought it was raining Milkbones - they were so excited!  They darted out the door and into the large drifts, jumping, rolling, diving, chasing one another.  It was the exact morning I had hoped for!

Oscar is prancing through the snow.  Snow might very well be his very most favorite thing in the entire world!

Nugg was digging for snowballs.

Oscar's snow beard reappears.

The both had ice balls hanging off their fur!

This kid is crazy!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Nothing better to do on a cold night...

...except cuddle! Oscar, I think, loves his brother a little more than his brother loves him. Nugg is more the independent type.
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Kitty Met His Demise

Oscar's favorite toy, as I've previously mentioned, is "Kitty". Originally this toy was Nugget's but as it's not covered in neon yellow fuzz and doesn't bounce, he didn't pay it much attention. Enter doodle who quickly took to the allegedly indestructible toy. He carries it everywhere. It goes in the crate with him, comes out with him, sometimes he sneaks it outside, it's usually in bed with him, he always travels with it... You get the idea.

I dreaded the day Kitty would get caught in one of the canine scuffles, and last week that's just what happened. Before I knew it, stuffing was everywhere and Kitty was flat. I thought Oscar would be sad. But that was not the case. He pretended the maming never occurred and continued loving on him just the same as always. It is so sweet! So this is a pic of Oscar snuggling on the couch with his now flat Kitty. Almost makes me tear up.
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Car Rides

We love 'em.
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Look at Mr. Grouchy Face

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Snuggle Nugg

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Nakee Doodle

I guess the doodle was cold since he slithered into my blankie in the couch with me.
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Nugget's Throne

... Or so he thinks.
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Doodle is sunbathing

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Friday, January 7, 2011

"The Art of Racing in the Rain"

This week, I'm going to plug a book because I've read so many great ones over the past year.  The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein is my most recent read.  I simply could not put this book down!  What attracted me to it in the bookstore was the picture of a golden retriever on the front (and the comments from other authors on the back), but the book isn't about a golden retriever at all.  Enzo (the dog) is actually a mix of some sort (if I remember correctly) and the story is told through his point of view, which is hilarious!  This dog is so loyal and insightful that from the first few pages, I felt like I knew him personally.  It is brilliantly written and from beginning to end evokes emotion after emotion from its readers.  I laughed out loud, I cried, I got angry, I was happy... and then I laughed and cried some more.  Enzo takes you through his life, and in turn, his owner's life during those years and all the trials that come along with.  You're never left hanging, however, as seemingly every chapter includes a little life lesson... from the dog, of course.  That's where I learn most of my life lessons, don't you?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

"The dogs were quiet today..."

... began the note from the dog walker this afternoon.  I was hoping it had more to do with the fact that we had a 30 minute play time over my lunch break... and less to do with, well, what actually happened.

The evening started off nice.  As per usual, they were excited to see me.  We hugged, danced, kissed, etc., etc.  I was able to enjoy my dinner in peace and catch the end of Ellen without interruption.  My plan was to then do a quick Valentine's Day card photo shoot, which actually went swimmingly.  But to bribe them into good and photo-worthy behavior, I had to bring out the chewies.  Then all hell broke loose.

Nugget just hoards his chewies, which infuriates Oscar.  He obviously doesn't see the point of saving the chewy until one is in the mood to enjoy it.  So he barks.  And he barks.  And he barks.  And barks. And barks, barks, barks, barks.  Soon, he pounces and then the battle begins.  Everyone is standing on two hind legs, mouths on throats, growling, squealing, barking, more growling, slamming to the ground, more growling.  Vicious, they are!  But when Nugget has had enough, Oscar takes to running laps.  He does this with the Wubba in tow, squeaking it loudly and incessantly at louder and shorter intervals.  He crashes into walls, knocks over barstools, skids across the tile on the 'magic carpet', tips the water bowl, jumps on and off the couch 12 times, jumps over Nugget (who is sleeping on the floor at this point), and finally comes to an abrupt halt next to me on the couch (seen below).  He's zonked in less than 2 minutes.

So that is what they were up to this afternoon... resting up for their second wind.  Just for me.


Dog 'Tudes **Updated**

 As  you'll see in Exhibit A, I stepped out of the shower this morning to find a freshly squeezed turd in the hallway.  Prime Suspect:  Oscar.  How do I know?  It smelled like Oscar!  He was kind enough to "help" clean up his mess... by eating the other turds.  How do I know?  Because one turd couldn't alone produce the awful aroma that overcame me.  I think I'll pass on Oscar smooches tonite.

In addition to Oscar's rebellion on outside defecation, Nugget decided he just flat out didn't want to go outside or potty at all this morning.  Fine.  Hold it until the dog walker comes at 3.  I didn't have time to mess with him this morning because I had planned to stop at Chick-Fil-A for my free spicy chicken sandwich (which sucked by the way) before work.  If he chooses to forego our morning potty walk, I'm fine with it because I know he'd sooner explode than ever go in the house.  Really though, what's with the 'tudes this morning?

In Exhibit B, we have a right hand.  My right hand.  It is bruised.  (Really, it is just hard to tell in this photo).  Inquiring minds may want to know how exactly I acquired this injury or any of the other 17 bruises about my body...  I will tell you.  It involves: Oscar, me, Golden who teaches bad habits, leash, Oscar's teeth, teeth missed leash, teeth met hand.  Nugget has an obnoxious habit of celebrating a good poop by taking his leash in his teeth and jumping around like a jack@$$ until we're both tangled 36 different ways.    B hates when Nugget does this!   It used to be cute. But I have to be honest, it's not as cute with 90lbs of dog on the other end.  Now Oscar, being the impressionable young lad that he is, often mimics Nugg's behaviors.  And while most of Nugg's antics aren't terribly annoying, the leash biting I can do without.  Of course Oscar thinks this is a cool thing to do and often tries (and fails) to do the same.  Poor doodle is still so uncoordinated with his long legs... he's lucky he can walk and breathe at the same time.  So Monday when I got home from work, Nugget, Oscar and I celebrated our reunion (as we do every evening at 5:15) with some jumping around, dancing, barking and hugs before heading outside for "business".  Oscar really has a difficult time containing his excitement and his awkwardness makes it that much funnier.  But he tries.  And on this particular day, in trying to emulate Nugget's annoying habit, Oscar missed the leach completely and chomped down on my hand.  Hard!  I squealed and immediately closed by eyes because I was sure it was gushing blood and that I was ultimately going to have to have it amputated.  Fortunately, when I finally gained the courage to look, I realized that while it might be broken, there was not, in fact, gushing of any sort.  (Thank God!)  After I stopped seeing stars, I acknowledged it probably wasn't that bad but dang did it hurt!  We are going to begin some serious doodle discipline, now that he finally understands (selectively) the meaning of the word, "No!".  Wish us luck!

**I had a nagging feeling of guilt that I didn't make Nugget go out to potty before I left for work.  Granted, he would have been able to hold it until the dog walker arrived, but I'm a sucker and have a hard time enforcing consequences for actions - or in this case, lack thereof.  So I went home over lunch and sure 'nough, he really had to pee!  He peed for like 2 straight minutes... and he kept balance on 3 legs the entire time.  Impressive.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Do we have to guess where Nugget spent his day?

As a rule of thumb, I generally don't make my bed with wrinkles and paw indentations on it...
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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Just Another Day in Paradise...

After 3 delightful weeks of being spoiled by B's help with the dogs and such, his vacation is over and he's back on the road for work.  It seems like they are extra rotten just after he leaves... and everything else falls apart, too!

3:15am - Osc whines signaling his desire to visit the outdoor commode.  Given we went to bed at 8pm, I'm not annoyed.  That's a long time for the little man to hold it.

6:00am - Osc whines again, signaling his desire to conclude his unfinished business from earlier.  My alarm was set for 6:15 anyway... though the moment I sit up I realize my four-day migraine has just entered its fifth day.  Super.

6:15am - Everyone gets noms and I lay back in bed after having reset the alarm for 7:30.

6:20am - Both dogs in bed, battling because someone's tail touched the other's face; or one of them breathed too loudly in the other's direction... who knows?!  Now I'm annoyed.

6:21am - I yell (does great things for the migraine!).  Everyone stops.  Oscar lays on my left; Nugg on my right.  All is peaceful in 1D once again.

8:15am - I am startled awake by the sound of my alarm and groggily stare at the clock until my eyes focus... 8:15?!?!  Oh crap.  I scramble through a shower and blindly dress before begging the doodle to enter his cage without protest.  He obliges.  (Thank you, Jesus!)

8:40am - I manage to only be 10 minutes late for work... Phew!

5:15pm - I walk through the door and am promptly greeted by a very excited Nugget.  This is, officially, the longest we've been separated for at least the last 3 days!  GASP!  We dance.  Kisses are disbursed equally by both parties.  Oscar barks to indicate it's his turn!

5:19pm - Oscar and I embrace as though we've been separated for, well, 8 hours.  We dance.  Kisses are disbursed equally by both parties.

5:24pm - I read the note left by the dog walker.  No surprises, we're always "cute!".

5:24:47pm - Scratch that.  I look down and SURPRISE!  Someone tracked mud in this afternoon.  Everywhere.  I guess I'm glad I didn't end up steam cleaning the carpets last week.  Sigh...

5:25pm - We head out the door for pre-dinner business.  Nugget slithers away and becomes overly friendly with a boxer who is exactly the opposite of friendly.  She growls.  Nugget cowers... and continues galloping along down the driveway like he's not going to get the beating of his life when I catch him.  (I kid, he gets a light spanking, though through that fur, I doubt he feels it.  His continued defiance affirms that suspicion).

5:35pm - Everyone is back inside.  Nugget hides because he knows he's in trouble.  I flip on the TV hoping catch the last 20 minutes of Ellen before I have to get ready to leave for dinner with a friend.

5:36pm - Something about me sitting down to relax for even 5 minutes triggers an uncontrollable urge amongst the two to begin the loudest of battles right in front of the TV.  Today, a bacon and cheddar filled bone is the source of contention.

5:39pm - I dig the other bacon and cheddar filled bone out of the toy basket.  Coincidentally, it is exactly the same as the bone over which the battle began.  No dice.  The battle continues over cheddar and bacon filled bone #1.  I give up.  They do not.

5:55pm - I successfully coax Oscar back into his crate so I can leave.  Upon putting the lid back on the toothpaste while brushing my teeth, I look up just in time to catch Nugget's blurred reflection in the mirror as he scurries out of the bedroom, unidentified object in mouth.

5:56pm - Cornered in the dining room, he forfeits his stolen treasure: a sock from my laundry pile.  It's really a wonder I have any matching pairs.

6:00pm - I'm finally out the door... and realize I have no idea where I'm going.

Fast forward to 8:30pm - Dinner was ... well the food was awful, but the company great.  Now I have a lot to do before bed.

8:32pm - Dogs out, pottying ensues.  Nugget again needs a stern request to get his tail back inside!

8:37pm - I hastily load some remaining dirty dishes into the dishwasher and set it to start before I go fold laundry in the bedroom.

8:45pm - I re-enter the kitchen en route to the laundry room, pile of dirty clothes in arms, and about bust my butt slipping on a very large puddle on the floor.  The only thing that saves Oscar from being the first suspect is that it's soapy.  How special; the dishwasher is sudsing out the bottom.

8:47pm - I'm scooping suds and water from the bottom of the dishwasher.  Meanwhile, doodle is lapping up the puddle on the floor.  Thanks, but no thanks for the help, Osc.

9:00pm - Dishwasher back in order, laundry back in process.  Cleaning continues.  Dog battle of bones begins again.

10:00pm - A few yelps, barks and sharp squeals later, it appears the boys are tuckered out.  I sit down on the couch to relax, doodle in my lap, Nugg on the floor at my feet.  I'm about ready to call it a night...

The perfect ending to this day will inevitably be the untimely explosive diarrhea experienced by Oscar around 3am.  (See 8:47pm event).

Monday, January 3, 2011

Doodle sleeps with one eye open...

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This House LOVES the Gentle Barn

Meet Stanley.  Stanley is just one among many adorable residents of the Gentle Barn.  If you haven't heard of them, please visit their website.  I guarantee the stories will knock your socks off!  I can only hope and pray that I am one day fortunate enough to impact the lives of even a fraction of the animals the Gentle Barn has!

We are sponsoring Stanley for just $10/month!  I don't drink Starbucks, but if I did, I would only have to give up 2, yes, only TWO trips per month.  I had resolved anyway to give up soft drinks, so Stanley gets to be the benefactor of that.  (Also, I told B this was a more than sufficient Valentine's Day gift for me).  I challenge all of my followers, readers, visitors, whatever to find something about which you are passionate and vow to make a difference somehow in 2011!

"To my mind the life of a lamb is no less precious than that of a human being. I should be unwilling to take the life of a lamb for the sake of the human body. I hold that, the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of man." - Mahatma Gandhi

Saturday, January 1, 2011

'Excuse me...'

' anyone available to play with me?'
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PawSafe sale at PETCO!

One of my New Year's Resolutions was to increase readership on my blog.  One plan of attack is to include at least one product plug weekly.  I know I love getting advice from fellow animal lovers about products that make them or their pets keep going back for more.  Coincidentally, I had to pick up more chow at Petco last night and was immediately reminded of one of my favorites.  
I cannot say enough good things about the PawSafe cleaning products.  I have been using them for quite awhile now.  I first saw them at Petco, which is where I usually buy it.  But I've also seen it at Harris Teeter.  Usually, each bottle runs anywhere from $4 to $6 (depending on sales, coupons, etc).  Petco has it on sale this week for 99 CENTS!!  Naturally, I stocked up!  It's rare that I purchase anything not on sale and/or without a coupon anyway, but pet safe cleaning products are something on which I refuse to skimp.  I was always hesitant to wash their bowls, toys, my floors, counters, etc with anything that had the potential to harm my furbabies in the event I didn't rinse well enough or missed wiping up some over-spray somewhere.  Also, B has a habit of leaving the toilet seat up and Nugget likes to visit the alternative water bowl.  So PetSafe brand cleaners are my products of choice because not only do they smell great and come in different colors so I can quickly grab the one I'm looking for, they also actually work.  And really, it has the Good Housekeeping seal of approval.  That's 2 paws up in Dog Speak... just sayin'!  (And I don't have kids, but it's also recommended for use on their stuff!)  


From our Hounds to Yours!