Holy crap, what was that!

We all hear “things that go bump in the night” and usually I blame the unexplained on the dogs. They are both quite large, and when they are wandering their footfalls can sound like person walking down the hall.

Recently my husband has been traveling a lot for work. A few nights ago when he was out of town, Maisie, Winn and I were are abruptly awoken at 2:00 am with a terrible crash and a high pitched shriek. Maisie immediately started barking but stayed planted in the middle of the bed. Winn stood up and perked her ears. I jumped up and scrambled around looking for the phone.IMG_1736.jpegAs I was pre-dialing 911, Winn started ambling down the hallway to investigate.  I stood just outside my bedroom with my finger on the dial button and watched Winn go in and out of the laundry room, sniff the closed door of the empty guest room and look out the window facing the back yard. I called out to my son and got no response while Winn stood at the top of the stairs, sniffing for anything unusual. Eventually she turned back around and headed toward my bedroom. I figured it was safe to follow her since she was obviously giving me an “all clear”. I admit, I was not brave enough to venture downstairs to face whatever/whoever had made such a crash.IMG_1719.jpegFor the next 45 minutes, I stared at the ceiling clutching the phone to my chest and tried to come up with a reasonable explanation for what we heard. Maybe a raccoon fell out of a tree and yelped when he landed on the deck. The only problem with that theory is that the noise really seemed to come from the front of the house and not the back. Maybe my son came home, tripped, fell and then screeched like a girl. He didn’t answer when I called out his name, could he possibly be laying unconscious on the floor? Nah, Winn would have run to his rescue.

I finally fell asleep to the sound of the two snoring dogs snuggled up next to me. I figured I was safe enough with Brave Winn and Barky Maisie by my side.

The next morning when I woke up I had forgotten about the commotion from the night before. When I got to the bottom of stairs, I was momentarily confused by what I saw but then I couldn’t help but laugh.

Are you ready to see what I found?fullsizeoutput_2df5.jpeg

There it is, the terrorizing culprit. A cordless leaf blower.

I had been working in the front yard the day before and when I came inside I set the blower on top of the box by the door. My son must have bumped it when he came in for the night leaving it precariously perched on the box for a couple of hours until it teetered off. At that point, it crashed to the floor, landing briefly on the trigger, expelling a quick, noisy blast of air directed at the front door.

Winn was correct with her assessment, no danger here. Just a large object going bump in the night.



National Lobster Day!

I grew up in New England, and lobsters were present at our table multiple times a year.

My preference was always soft shell because I love to rip into them using my hands without relying on cracking tools. Soft shell (available late summer, early fall) are typically only available in Massachusetts and Maine, they don’t transport well because they don’t survive as long out of the water. I really miss the ease of soft shell but since hard shell is the industry standard, I’ll take a lobster any way I can get it. I close my eyes at the prices I pay in the Midwest because I love them on the table for family celebrations, Christmas Eve and just when I get a craving.2ciO9F2vTdqQKXdJd6kIlQ

So now, in honor of National Lobster Day, here are some fun pictures for your entertainment!

No Boys Allowed!

No running, no yelling, no throwing things, no horse-play!

If Maisie could talk, these are all things we would be hearing from her. We call her the fun police, and she is very vocal when she thinks things are getting out of hand.

Apparently a new phrase to add to her scoldings is “no boys allowed”.

Recently, Winn’s heat started. She tends to be more clingy and needy when she’s in heat so I try to give her the attention she craves. Maisie has also been pretty in tune with Winn’s special time and she dotes on her and snuggles up to her a little more than usual.

On Saturday, we were dog watching my mom’s dog. A few weeks ago she asked me if we would be available and I easily agreed. Chocolate is an 8 year old collie. He is very sweet and everyone gets along perfectly. Whenever he comes by, they all quickly look at each other and settle in like he’s always been around.

Since I haven’t had him around Winn before when she’s been in heat, I was planning on keeping them outside with me under close supervision and if necessary, I would separate them. Winn and Chocolate acted like nothing was out of the ordinary. Winn wasn’t flirty and Chocolate didn’t try any funny business. They were happy to be outside, played occasionally with each other and took turns napping in Winn’s favorite dirt hole.

Maisie decided to hang out downstairs with my son. When my son went out for the day, she continued to seclude herself from the rest of us. I assumed she was napping but when I went in to find her, she wouldn’t get up when I called her and if dogs can glare, that’s what she was doing.

Maisie was not acting like her normal, fun loving self. She did join Winn and Chocolate for dinner, but then she disappeared on her own again and wouldn’t come outside. I actually started getting concerned that maybe she was sick. I couldn’t get her to engage with me, she barely looked at me and wasn’t receptive to any affection.

When the time came for Chocolate to go home, Maisie was still nowhere nearby. Shortly after the door closed behind him, she came trotting out from wherever she was hiding.  Within moments, she was wagging her tail, punching Winn in the shoulder and playing chase around the house. That little stinker!

We’ve always said that Maisie is the most emotional and sensitive dog we’ve ever had. Apparently, I really let her down that day by letting Chocolate come over to play. I knew nothing was going to happen to Winn but it was obviously too much for Maisie and she was worried about Winn. She was really trying to send me a message: No boys allowed!fullsizeoutput_2d3d

Do you believe in coincidences?

We’ve all had those moments. Something reminds you of a friend you haven’t seen or talked to in a while and the next day they call you for no other purpose but to catch up.

I had one of those moments today and I can’t stop thinking about it.

Yesterday I was missing Annie. It’s been a little over a year since we said goodbye and I still have days in which the ache in my gut is ever present. I don’t know why some days I think of her more than others, but yesterday was one of those days.

I opened up my Annie photo file and impulsively posted a video of her on Instagram. She was happily running on the beach with several other dogs.

For most people watching that, they would see a typical dog having fun but for Annie it was so much more. She was so fearful of new places, new people and new situations. She was very nervous the first time we took her to the beach but it became one her favorite places. A safe place with safe people.

Most of the time, she would stay glued to my side. We would walk up and down the beach along the water’s edge while Maisie ran and played with the other dogs. Annie running with the pack was a big deal and I’m so happy to have that video.

I went to bed thinking about her and when I woke up this morning I had a Facebook message from the woman who fostered her for almost a year before we adopted her. She sent me a video of Annie rubbing up against her daughter, wagging her tail and loving the moment.

I figured she had seen my Instagram and was adding another video to my collection. When I asked, she said no, it had come up in her Facebook memories.


Very weird.

To that I can only think, I miss you Annie and I’m glad you are doing well.newfgirlsweb-13-1

Easy frozen dog treats for a hot day

Here it is, the end of July, and the whole country seems to be suffering from a heat wave.

The dogs are hot, I’m hot, everyone is hot. It’s time to start being creative on how to keep cool.

Winn loves the baby pool filled with water. She dunks for toys and carrots and instantly cools off but when it’s this hot, I don’t even like her outside for that. I keep Maisie and Winn inside with the air-conditioning, fans blowing to keep the air circulating and cooling pads in their crates to lie on when I have to leave the house.

Each summer, I have stocked the freezer with frozen treats made with fruit and yogurt. I used to fill ice cream cups and give them to the dogs in the house. They would hold them in their paws and lick them til they were gone. It was usually a no mess way to give them a special treat.

Maisie is very dainty with her ice cream, taking her time and savoring it slowly. Winn, not so much.

Winn is the first dog I’ve had that has tried to eat the ice cream and cup all at once. She always seems worried that Maisie is getting more than she is so she races through whatever I give her and stands eagerly waiting for more.

A tale of two dogs: one eats everything and the other is more reasonable.

This summer, after pulling a mangled cup out of the back of Winn’s mouth, I came to the conclusion that she can’t be trusted with anything that isn’t fully edible.

I found these cute silicone trays on Amazon and I’m able to pop out a treat for each without worrying that Winn will choke on the paper cup.

I filled these half way with some ground up watermelon and then froze them. Once frozen, I topped them off with some all natural, unsweetened yogurt and put them back in the freezer. Easy, peasy frozen treats ready to go!

Other combinations I’ve used in the past: yogurt, banana and peanut butter is always a favorite; plain yogurt mixed with fresh berries, pumpkin puree or just watermelon and nothing else.

Everyone loves a frozen treat on a hot day!

a shared life with our very large dogs

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