Pupper Comfort

We adopted our dog Maki last November. Since then she has been a big part of our lives. She helped brings some vivaciousness to old elder dog, Lex- thus giving him almost another year with us. Maki has also helped with being an emotional support animal of sorts to all of us at one time or another.

Even though Maki is a strange character- oftentimes acting as if she is going through an Existential moment- she is still a dog needing love and attention. She enjoys curling up on the couch and trying to take the best seat.

I’m not always happy with this turn of events. I preferred having dogs at our feet. Not on the couches or beds. Maki is not an exception in my mind. But I have been outvoted since day one. So she gets a spot on the couch.

I swear she knows how I feel. Because as soon as she jumps on the couch- her face is in mine. And she has The Worst Dog Breath Ever! She must know this because that snout of hers goes right up to my nose.

Maybe if her breath didn’t smell so bad, I’d be more accepting of the fact she has earned a spot on the couch, not just our hearts.

A Year With Maki

My wife pointed out to us all that it has been one year since Maki entered into our lives. Over this past year, she has been through a lot of emotional times with us. From Christmas to birthdays, to moving homes to the Loss of Lex– our other dog… Maki has been here with us and for us in many ways.

Yesterday, our daughter shared these images on her Instagram. This was her caption: “A year ago today I met my best friend. The first photo here is the first one I ever took of her. She always knows when I’m feeling down when nobody else does, she’s funny, and she loves me. I love her so so much, happy adoptaversary” When I read that, I really understood the idea that pets can be great companions.

Maki has been wonderful for the mental well-being of our family members. She is always nosing in for a cuddle or rub. Maki is also the first pet that we have allowed to sleep in our kids’ rooms and permitted to jump on the couches. Taking her for a walk hasn’t been problematic either, as we all enjoy talking with her as we walk the neighborhood. Something about Maki is different than our other dogs, and it shows.

We all love her and are happy that she is sharing her love with us in her own derpy way. I can’t believe she’s been a member of our family for a year already.

Remembering The Family Dogs

Today is International Dog Day. Since I was a small child, I have always had a dog in my life. When I was born my parents had a wired haired fox terrier named Whiskey. When he had to get put down, I was maybe 3 years old. My father vowed to never get a dog again.

A couple years later, he brought home another terrier named Brandy. She lived with us for a couple of years until she bit my mother’s hand quite badly. Since my sister was a toddler at the time, the decision to give her up (the dog not my sister much to my chagrin).

Shortly after that we moved away from Edmonton, Alberta and into Langley BC. My parents adopted a cocker spaniel puppy named Charlie. He lived with us for about four years until a tumor took over. He was one of the most lovable doggies ever and enjoyed being cuddled.

Alvin the little white pooch mooch.
Chuppy the puppy.

We moved again to a new home where my mother and sister adopted a multipoo that I got to name Alvin. He was a bouncy little fella always happy yo see you. He lived for a very long time. So long in fact that my wife and I looked after him in his final year.

When I met my wife, she had a Rhodesian ridgeback that was a big ol’ softy. His name was Chuppy. Everyone who met him fell in love with his demeanor. He lived for 17 years. He was always known as Chuppy the Puppy. Bum rubbies was the best way to his heart.

Then came Lex Luthor. We adopted him about eight years ago at the age of about six. He brought some energy back into Chuppy which was the biggest reason for adopting a second dog. He was such a well trained big lug who always hung out with us everywhere in our home. We lost him at the start of this summer, so that sadness is still fresh.

Last fall we adopted Maki. She is turning five and much like Lex did for Chuppy- she brought some life back into Lex for a bit. Maki is probably one of the most loved of all. She has become an emotional support dog without intentionally doing so. She seems to know when people need love the most.

My wife and I have spoken about Maki being our last dog, but in reality we both know this to not be true. We are dog people and will always have a dog as a member of our family. They bring such joy to us all.

Carpet and Pets

Our home has very little in the way of carpets. Which is both good and bad.

It’s good because the wood floor is easy to keep clean especially with dog hair running rampant. We just need to sweep or vacuum regularly to remove the hairs and dirt. A light wash every so often and the floors look amazing. This type of flooring is so much better for my allergies.

For carpet- we have our media room and the main hallway upstairs. Over the weekend we finally bought a carpet cleaner… after living here for almost 14 years… I’ve borrowed carpet cleaners from friends and rented a Rug Doctor a few times in the past. But with Covid still around- it was time to just buy one for ourselves. Thank you Amazon and next day delivery!

Our hallway looks so much better and smells a ton better as well. The carpet cleaner really pulled out the pet smell from the floors. I don’t like carpet for the fact that it collects dust and allergens. But I like the softness under my feet. Maybe I can fall in love with carpet once more.

Which do you prefer hardwood, tile or carpet?

Family Decorating the Tree Time

Today was a late afternoon of decorating our third tree as a family. We had Rudolph playing in the background as we do every year. My wife has been doing a fantastic job over the years of keeping each of their ornaments separated. This made the decorating so much easier. Especially since this tree hosts our keepsake ornaments.

Trying to get a good picture during the decorating is always difficult. Someone is always on the move or deciding they don’t want their picture taken. Or the obvious- back is turned because they are putting an ornament on the tree. But I was able to snag a few candid shots before our obligatory “Family Photo” in front of the tree.

As our children continue to grow, even now as our eldest is an adult, I wonder how many more days I have like today with them. I also know that our family dog, Lex, is getting up there in dog years. Capturing these moments is heartwarming. Sharing them with the world is a necessary evil. I love seeing other people showing their family time, and I hope that my friends also enjoy seeing our smiles.

So take care this December. And take lots of photos of your loved ones- including pets- to remind yourself that 2020 isn’t all bad. At least that’s the advice I’m giving myself this year.

Giving The Gifts of Memories

Yesterday was filled with laughter, tears, and everything in between. My wife celebrated her 50th Birthday at home with her family. And it was the only way she knew she wanted to spend it.

Leading up to her milestone birthday wasn’t easy. Hitting fifty is a tough one. In fact, almost every decade milestone birthday is tough after age twenty. You get moments of regrets- like you haven’t accomplished everything you had hoped. But you also get moments of appreciation for what you have achieved in your life. The most uplifting is when you get moments of clarity when you realize this is exactly where you need and want to be.

My wife’s birthday started with breakfast in bed. The kids greeted her warmly and were excited for the next part.

Followed by a Fifty Clue scavenger hunt. This lead her all around the house. The last clue brought her to tears. It was hidden hidden behind a picture of her puppy- Chuppy. This was her best friend prior to me entering her life and creating a family.

Her final clue lead her to our theater room. Where we set up a pretend car- as a reminder to her fortieth birthday when we bought a Pathfinder. Hidden inside were “Brown Paper Packages tied up with string” as a clue to her forty fifth birthday when I made her a 45 record spacer from a “Sound of Music” LP (her favorite movie). Inside the unsuspecting boxes was an Oculus Quest 2 VR. This was my chance to bring the world to her since we are unable to travel and we really wanted to get away.

Finally we celebrated with a lunch that was filled with coffee and coffee cake (made by our oldest). For dinner we did go out for sushi at our favorite restaurant. That was short and sweet because we all wanted to watch one another play some VR.

All-in-all I’d say she had a birthday that was memorable.

Maki

We adopted our newest member of the family back in October: Foster the Feelings. We gave her a name change that suited our family and would give her a new beginning. She adapted to it really quickly.

Yesterday we finally got her a tag with her new name– Maki. When my son and I were choosing the font, he pointed out one style that reminded him of our favorite sushi restaurant. And since we often call her “Maki Roll” it fit quite nicely. Now when she escapes our yard (she’s done this at least three times already) people can call us and complain return her.

While we were at the pet store getting the name tag- we also picked up an ugly Christmas sweater for her. This is the first dog I have ever had in my life that we have bought clothes for. I hate to say it, but she looks super cute. Time to get some other outfits for her- like a rain jacket.

She has become a significant part of all our lives. I enjoy the fact that her entire rump shakes with excitement when you come home. Or that she knows when to cuddle up to a person who is having a bad day. Maki is practically a support dog for us. She is a great dog and we are lucky to have her join our family.

Lex Stays at Home

When we used to go to conventions or go on vacation out of the country, we can’t take our beloved dog with us. In the past we’ve had friends and family look after him. But we’ve also come to rely on a local kennel.

Birch Bark Kennels is the place we have been taking Lex (and our previous dog, Chuppy) for many years. The price is great, and our dog runs in excitedly. The staff are pretty darned good at their jobs as well. We get him back healthy and clean every time.

The kennel has been recognized in our community as well over the years. That makes me really happy to know that they care for animals in such a great manner. I’m always happy to leave our furry family member in their hands.

That being said, he is also really happy to see us again after our vacations. He could barely keep still in the car ride home and wanted to lick me constantly. The first thing he did when he entered our home was run to his bed. He landed in it so fast that it slid further under our piano.

I wish we could take him on some of these trips, but it would also take away from our travels. Spending sixteen hours in Disneyland each day was already tough on us. I couldn’t imagine how it would be for him in an unfamiliar room for that length of time.

I’m really happy to see him again that’s for sure. Absence does make the heart grow stronger.