Category — Dog
Look at me, 2 posts in a row!! That counts as a blogging streak.
So we got a puppy for Christmas. He’s pretty damn cute, although potty training has been painful thus far. He’s another French Bulldog, and happens to share a bio dad with Henny. We debated his name: Louis XIII, Napolean, Pepe, Pierre, etc, but we settled on a German name instead (we are in Milwaukee, afterall). Fritz. It kinda fits with Hendrick. And he kinda looks like a Fritz.
When Emilie and Cris were here, Cris (aka the Dog Whisperer) was giving us pointers on training. He reminded us we should choose a simple phrase we get the puppy used to hearing when he is peeing outside. Eventually, he begins to associate hearing that phrase with the urge to pee. The phrase could be something like “hurry up,” or “go potty.” But of course Travis couldn’t waste that kind of power on a benign command phrase. Nope. He decided ours would be “VIVA LA BLUE!” Apparently that’s the French national soccer team’s chant. I fought it, and then he threatened to make it “LET THEM EAT CAKE!” That’s a nerdy European history reference, in case you didn’t recall Marie Antoinette’s famous line. Since he’s home with the dog 70% more than I am, he knew he’d won this battle. So, somehow, I find myself outside with the peeing dog, hunching forward and whisper-shouting “Viva La Blue! Viva La Blue,” in attempt to avoid the neighbors hearing and realizing we’re even weirder than they already think!
Anyway, here are a few cute Christmas-time(ish) videos. This one is from a Christmas festival – kids are jumping on Santa’s big chair:
The next video is of Shane talking about Star Wars and Darth Vader, his favorite topic in the whole galaxy. We watched the entire original trilogy this week and, shockingly, the kids LOVED every second. I thought for sure they were too young, but Travis has been talking to them about this story for at least 3 years, so I guess they were mentally prepped. They each got a little something different out of the story – Shane is ALL ABOUT Darth Vader and the “light savers”, Finley loves Princess Leia, and Jack is interested in the concept of good versus evil.
Griffie kissing the new puppy:
Proof of Finley’s Christmas morning joy:
January 12, 2012 4 Comments
Our Frenchie can be a royal PITA, but he often provides much needed comic relief around here. The dog is a clown. My mom was out here visiting us this past weekend and really wanted to take Henny home with her. Even though being dogless for a few weeks might’ve made life easier for us right now, we couldn’t part with him. Our kids would have been devastated, for one. And Travis and I have grown pretty fond of him, for two;) Here is just a little taste of the comic relief he provides:
Our kids are rather amusing as well. They’re so darn cute but I swear, the ages and stages we’re going through right now are really really hard to be going through all at once – there is RARELY silence around here. The volume escalates so quickly and Fin’s temper usually means there’s 1 kid screaming through the house, running for his life, with a hot-head lunatic chasing closely behind him with her mouth wide open in case she catches him. Not so peaceful. Lots of quick tempers (ours included), and typical 2-4 year old behavior. Drama drama drama. I can’t even IMAGINE throwing a newborn into this mix.
But they’re also at ages that are just so hysterical and cute to watch. They sit and chat about stuff during mealtime. They’ll ask each other questions and have little conversations, they’ll trade food, hold hands spontaneously, and sometimes help each other and share just because they like one another. That’s my favorite thing to see.
July 13, 2010 5 Comments
They’re growing like weeds…except Fin of course, who weighed 20.7lbs at her pediatrician appointment last week! Shane, as expected, was a string bean. All 3 kids are doing great right now.
I’m going to do a separate update for each kid since it’s been awhile and this one is for Jack, who will turn 4 in just 2 months. Side note: the hairdo is not our doing. Jack does NOT want his hair cut, and it feels like we’d be violating him if we held him down to trim or shave it! So, he’s rockin’ the mullet. What can I do? A small slice of self-expression never scarred anyone for life, right (unless it was a permanent tattoo or something…don’t do it Jena! ;).
If you remember awhile back I mentioned Jack was going through a little funk; he seemed to withdraw a little after all the Match Day excitement. We never really explained anything about Match to the kids; it didn’t cross my mind that they’d understand anything we could tell them. I just sensed was from all the stress and chaos, but then, about 2 weeks after Match, he was watching a PBS show. There was an ad on tv for a live Disney show of some sort. Towards the end of the ad, the voice listed the cities the show would be coming to, and amongst them was Milwaukee. Jack immediately looked to me and yelled “hey mom, that’s where you’re moving!” Everything suddenly clicked and my heart completely sank. I said “Jack, you are moving there WITH me. We’re all moving there, as a family. I’d never move someplace without you, Shane, Fin, and daddy.” His face lit up when I told him that, and he said “I’m coming too?!!” He jumped up and down, and I squeezed him so tight. All that time, my poor little guy thought all that excitement was over me planning to move away from my babies. I have felt so awful about that.
Lately, Jack has been doing really well. We’ve been spending some good time together, snuggling, cooking, writing stories, making pictures to go with our stories, watching movies together with popcorn at night…phew. He let me hold him like a baby and sing lullabies to him in his bed last night. It was adorable, and it made me SO happy.
Jack continues to amaze us on a daily basis. The kid is SO smart, and the aspect of his intelligence that is the most stunning is that it is SO different from any form I’ve ever met before. His mind is so abstract and creative, yet he can also think in very concrete terms. He’ll learn something in one context and instantly begin trying to apply it to others. As an example, I was telling him something as I put him to bed last night. He had an alternative explanation, and he’d recently heard the word “hypothesis,” I think it was on Sid the Science Kid or something. PERFECT application, he said “no, wait mom, I have a hypothesis,” and then he went on to share it. If he hears something ONCE, he’s got it. It might be days before he pulls it out again, but when he does, it’ll be at exactly the right moment. He still talks like Dora, as people have told me, with his cute little pauses between words, a result of completely deliberate speech, but his vocabulary is incredible.
Jack is obsessed with post-it notes, and he’s constantly asking “hey mom, how do you spell computer/phone/chair/etc” so he can write the word on the post-it and label the object. He writes all his letters entirely himself now, and they are actually very legible with the occasional backwards j or a thrown in for cute measure. His other obsession is recycling. We recycle, but I wouldn’t say being green is something Travis and I are die-hard about. It’s not that we don’t think we should be, it’s just that sometimes when you’re overwhelmed with life as it is, you need to pick your battles. But Jack is CONSTANTLY reminding us not to waste water, or picking up trash at the park. My knee-jerk reaction is always the same: “eww, Jack NO! Don’t touch that; it’s garbage.” He’ll then say “yes, it’s garbage and we must to throw it away / recycle it.” [Note: that’s verbatum. Jack frequently uses the word “must,” and speaks in a strangely formal way. Don’t know where he gets that since it’s not how Travis or I talk, but it’s adorable.] I largely credit Wall-E for his environmental consciousness. Does anyone else have kids who love that movie despite the fact that there is virtually NO speech and it’s slow as heck? It doesn’t even hold my attention, but it’s 1 of my kids’ favorite movies.
Another recent interest of Jack’s is rock’n’roll. He requests it every time we get in the car. Specifically, he asks for “Poy-el Jam,” as he pronounces his favorite band’s name. It’s hilarious.
Jack has also really taken to Henny. He’ll come down from nap, walk straight to Henny, tell him “I missed you so much Hen,” and he’ll give him a little flat handed pat pat on the head. Watching Jack pet a dog is one of the most awkward interactions in the world. And if Henny reacts and licks him, or approaches him, or tries to get closer, Jack flips and starts yelling “Henny NO!” It’s hysterical. He really does love Henny, but he has this weird thing where he just does not want to really touch or be touched by a dog. Speaking of Hen, this is how he likes to sleep sometimes…like the dead:
I’m just so glad Jack is in a great place right now. He talks about starting school all the time, which won’t happen until the fall. We’re starting him in a 3yo program so he’ll be among the oldest in his class, which is what we want for him. He’s a fantastic big brother to Shane and Fin, and he’s really interested in being a “helper” to us too. I know we all think our kids are gifted in some way or another, and every kid truly is gifted at something, but I just can’t say enough how amazing a gift this boy is to our family. He’s so unique in such an awesome way.
April 22, 2010 12 Comments
Emilie already blogged about our weekend adventure, and I had to crack up when I read the part that likened it to a Griswald family vacation; it TOTALLY was! We pulled a “yeah, it might be 40 degrees with 40 mph winds, but we’re going to the Dunes, and you’re gonna love it, dammit!” It was an awesome weekend.
I can’t possible top Emilie’s recap, so I’ll just post some highlights. We drove a few hours to Alamosa, where we stayed in the trashiest, dirt cheap, pet-friendly hotel with an indoor waterpark…and our kids LOVED it. It was pretty perfect, especially since Henny got to come.
My kids on Chris’ back. He’s a baby whisperer.
All the kids, including Fin and Nova, went down this huge waterslide more than once:
We woke up on Saturday planning to spend the day hiking Great Sand Dunes National Park. Last time we were there, it was the end of May (Mother’s Day weekend). It was hot outside and Medano Creek was flowing and of ideal wading depth. Turns out, that’s not so much the case the first weekend of April. Who knew! But that morning in Alamosa, Travis took Hen outside, came back upstairs and announced to all of us that it was plenty warm and I should just wear capris instead of pants because I’d be hot. Big mistake…unless you like sand pelting your bare legs at 40mph (I’m not sure if I’m exaggerating, but that’s what it felt like). We pushed through and hiked to the 1st big dune. The kids were all whining and grumping that they were cold…or had sand in their eyes…or couldn’t feel their fingers or some bs like that;) Seriously, it was torturous, but we were determined to LOVE IT, dammit! It was pretty freaking comical, actually. And in retrospect, when I’m no longer being blasted by a sandstorm with a kid in 1 arm, another in a backpack, and a puppy under my armpit, it’s totally hilarious. I think Henny’s face here sums it all up the best:
Shane’s pained expression here is quite telling also:
Jack, Shane, and Juneau hiding from the wind and sand in Travis’ lap:
At the base of the dunes after sliding down on sleds:
Poor Henny made the mistake of sliding down a dune, only to have to work his way back up! Can you imagine how hard that would be if you had a droopy gut AND legs that were only 5” long?! Hahaha! He’s a trooper of a dog.
Chris, Travis, and Emilie, each with a kid in a backpack, trekking through the sand:
Hen-dog assessing the situation (check out his beautiful Frenchie bat ears that now stand up!):
T-bone assessing the situation:
These are the tallest dunes in North America, and we learned, firsthand, exactly how they formed – by relentless wind blowing sand across the San Luis Valley, sand that doesn’t stop blowing until it reaches the base of the San Luis mountains. It truly is an incredible natural landscape.
So after the Dunes, we headed to the MOST RANDOM, STRANGEST place in all of Colorado (or possibly the world): Colorado Gators Reptile Park. Littered with tires, wood, and swamp trash, there are ponds with alligators at a family run reptile farm. We fed some alligators and Finley held one (and proceeded to kiss it). The employee was so surprised by her fearlessness, he awarded her a Certificate of Bravery, which made her cry for some unknown reason. Seriously though, the gators mouth opened as a threat, and Fin was still trying to plant a kiss on it…until I told her it was going to bite her cute little face off! That hardly scared her though.
The gang feeding gators over a fence:
Travis’ face was so frozen he didn’t sense that his nose was dripping…so I caught it on camera to show him;) I’m just awesome like that.
We spent Easter Sunday at a gorgeous park with the breathtaking 14er, Mt. Blanca, in the background. Chris & Travis dropped me and Em off so we could hide the eggs (and freeze to death for our vacation choice…I was kinda worried they weren’t coming back;) while they drove around with the kids. Jack, Juneau, Shane, Fin, and Nova had a BLAST collecting eggs, but Finley got it in her paranoid little noggin that everyone was just out to steal hers. She only trusted me and screamed whenever anyone came close; she wouldn’t even let Travis get within 5 feet of her! It was HYSTERICAL. Paranoia is an awful condition…sometimes I worry about this child!
The kids looked so cute in their Easter outfits, but it was so cold we had to bundle them. By the time we were done with the layers, they sort of looked homeless. Here they are, lined up and ready for the egg hunt:
Toddlers are a strange breed of human being. Here’s Shane shooting bubbles into Finley’s mouth:
Nova looking adorable:
Finley, keeping a suspicious, watchful eye around her while bending down to pick up an egg:
We took our time coming home on Sunday afternoon. We stopped to eat along the way and Jack made the grossest concoction ever, but he proudly ate it. It was ice cream topped with, not nuts, not oreos, not sprinkles, but PEAS…and then olives and mushrooms. I told you the boy loves his veggies. I had to put a finger over my closed mouth to prevent my own ice cream from coming back up as I watched him gulp a mouth full.
Travis and I stopped at a few parks along the way home too. It was the most gorgeous day and the kids, Henny, Travis and I loved enjoying it outside.
Hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend!
April 6, 2010 8 Comments
I mentioned a few weeks ago that Jack has been sharing with us his very vivid dreams on a very regular basis, but I forgot (or neglected out of superstition) to write about the one he had right before Match Day. He woke up from a nap, came downstairs, and told me and Travis “I had a dream that we moved to a new house!!” We both went pale-faced and bombarded him with questions like “where was it, what did it look like, was it cold there, were there lots of buildings or lots of trees,” etc. He was all “uh, I don’t know, can I have some cheese now?” and I was like “ahhh, tell us more, oh prophetic child!” But it didn’t work and we had to wait until we opened the envelope to find out his dream had taken place in Wisconsin, and thankfully NOT New York. I swear, the thought of us living in a cardboard box in the Bronx has haunted me for months. Seeing kids playing in the street and watching a woman walk her dog on the side of the highway, next to my cab (which was in bumper-to-bumper traffic). Phew, dodged that bullet. I should have known Match would bring a good outcome since we saw these guys the day before (ladybug nest by our house):
Anyway, Jack has also been very into story telling lately. He makes up the MOST ELABORATE stories in the world and he likes me to transcribe them as he tells them, because he wants to make his own book (I kid you not)! I’m so bummed because my papers that had all his stories on them got tossed. Good thing he tells stories regularly. I’ll write some down in a post one night; they are the highlights of my day.
On another note, Jackie is doing much better the past few days. I don’t know why, but he’d been in his own world lately. I honestly think some of it was about the dog. He doesn’t really like Henny, and is bothered when I hold the puppy. I make sure not to when Jack is up and I can engage him in an activity instead, but I just never imagined he’d have jealousy issues with a dog. Shane and Finley ADORE this puppy, but I know Jack is a very different kid. I keep thinking “any day now and he’ll just decide to love the dog,” but I’m not sure it’s going to go like that. He does get upset when Henny cries, like the other day when we were all playing in the playroom and I left Hen upstairs. We could hear him rolling his “jollyball” on the wood floor, and I was so comforted that the puppy was playing by himself while I was with the kids downstairs. Then we came up to get ready for nap…only to find Henny had crapped on the wood floor and rolled his jollyball right through it, and all around the house. I crated Henny while I vacuumed, swept, & mopped, and he cried like a baby. Finley, of course, was so bothered she snuck over and unlatched his crate. He still had poop on him from playing with his jollyball, so this only made matters MUCH MUCH worse. I gasped, she screamed, Henny cried when I re-crated him, and Jack was also distraught over Henny. I took that as a positive sign. Anyway, what I meant to say was that he’s coming around to having a puppy a lot slower than I’d imagined he would.
On another note, all 3 kids had their 1st dental experience today and it was FANTASTIC. Jack and Fin had a blast; they loved every second of their cleanings. Travis took Jack early, and I lagged behind so we could make Shane’s speech session. I got there in time to see Jack glowing in the chair, and then it was Fin’s turn. She loved the spotlight:
The funny part was that the dentist used an “alphabet counting system” to see how many teeth Jack had. When he told Jack the tooth alphabet doesn’t go all the way to “Z”, Jack said, “oh, it stops at “Y”? The dentist stopped cold, looked up, and said “wow, that’s the smartest, most thoughtful answer a child has ever given me.” Then the dentist said “but you only have ONE tongue,” and Jack corrected him and said, “no, A tongue!” What a crazy little sense of humor. I swear, the kid baffles us.
The highlight of the dentist was the treasure tower afterwards, when they got to insert a coin and get one of those cheap toys in a plastic bubble. As far as loving the dentist experience…Shane, not so much…but he was still a trooper. Unfortunately for my little sweet-toothed-monster, he has the beginnings of a cavity, so we’ll have to be extra diligent with him. He also has identical spots on his front teeth that I worried were decay, and the dentist did too initially, but after thorough examination, the dentist decided they were likely events that took place during his birth mom’s pregnancy while those teeth were forming. It’s like a kick to the gut every time that happens. I just wish I knew what it was – was she sick with a virus, was she on a medication….I’ll probably never know. It’s nothing to worry about for Shane’s teeth, just a little reminder that the earliest phase of his life is totally unknown to me, his mother. And that makes me ache in a way I can’t describe.
Ok, this has nothing to do with that, but Henny still has a full sister / littermate available. His breeder is awesome, honest, and has a fantastic line of dogs. Frenchies are a breed you might want to research ahead of time though if you don’t know anything about them. If you’re interested in Henny’s sister, who is a beautiful tri pied Frenchie, or his 10 month old half brother who is GORGEOUS, please let me know. I’d love for her to be somebody’s “girl Henny!” We’re heading out to the desert tomorrow, and I’m PSYCHED! Have a great weekend!
I need to take some new pictures since Henny’s ears are fully UP 100% of the time now. Yeah Hen! I have a feelings I’ll be taking LOTS of pictures this weekend.
April 1, 2010 4 Comments
I know it’s getting annoying, and I promise to start blogging about something of substance soon, like maybe healthcare. But for now, I’m just so in love with my puppy, he’s all I can really talk about. Well, him and my kids of course;) The only downside to Henny is that I’m so in love with him that our relationship *might* be interfering with my marriage. Travis put his foot down when he found me carrying Hen around in the Hotsling I’d worn all our kids in as babies. He drew a line. All I have to say is, “don’t push me Travis.” If I have to choose, this *could* get ugly! Just kidding, and I have no idea what’s up with my usage of *. Check out the seriousness of this kiss:
I’m so proud of my little Hen-dog; his floppy ear is starting to stand up on its own! It spent a few minutes upright yesterday, and longer today. Slowly but surely…the little ear that could. He’s growing up so fast, and pretty soon he’s going to be a REAL Frenchie! How hysterical is this breed of dog?! I am obsessed. You know the saying, “once you go French…you never go English?” er, something like that. That’s not fair at all, as few dogs are as cool as an English bulldog. I’m just loving that my Frenchie is going to be a quarter the size, but still 100% the personality.
As much as Travis hates that I worship the dog, I catch him doting too. Travis could talk this puppy into a coma. It’s crazy how Henny can relax to the sound of our voices or our touch. Henny is not dead, but actually asleep in both the following photos:
This is Henny after he got colored on. He’s such a good sport, but I wonder if he’ll be quite as inclined to play with kids while they’re drawing with chalk in the future?
Doesn’t he just look like the picture of speed? Hahaha! This is the most inefficiently designed dog in the world. And I LOVE him for it.
Possibly my all-time favorite picture of Hendrick:
Please don’t be inspired by the photo below to call PETA. I promise Henny’s airway was intact and he breathed through the chokehold.
I don’t want to jinx anything, but it’s been awhile since we’ve had any illness around here (knock knock). We don’t get sick often (knock knock), and I think it’s been since fall maybe since anyone has had a fever, and no one has had a fever for more than a day since long before that. We are very lucky in that department, and God knows we have frequent & significant germ exposures…you should see our house! But anyway, Shanie had a fever 2 days ago and it sucked. Thankfully, it only lasted a day for him, a night for Jack, and not at all for Fin (knock knock). But it caused Shane to nap for 5 hours yesterday!! He was completely back to himself today, but he & Jack have both complained of mouth sores, and Jack has had tummy aches, which he blames exclusively on Fin’s birthday cake. Here’s what that nasty virus did to Shane:
I love how Hendrick “pinks up” even more with exercise; you get him runnin’ and he REALLY looks like a little piglet! At the rate his ears are growing, “the day pigs can fly” might be just around the corner;)
Jack has been going through a tough phase lately. I’ll explain more in a future post, but I’m hoping he pulls out of it soon. I miss my happy boy. He has also NOT been into posing for the camera lately. This is pretty much as close to a smile as I’ve captured from him in awhile:
Look how happy Henny makes my littlest boy:
Oh to be kids:
And then there were 2:
Travis and I have been swamped with work lately. All my pigmented skin textbook chapters are due this week, and I’m nowhere near completing them. Also, remember that invention of mine from a couple years ago that I’ve talked about a few times but still have never shown you? Well, it’s coming along and we’re hoping to launch it very soon, so that’s been consuming chunks of my time as well…but in a fun way. I totally believe in the product, feel strongly about how we’re establishing our company with its roots in charitable contributions, and am totally psyched to actually start marketing and selling it soon. I can’t wait to share more and hope to have my blogosphere friends, as well as real life friends & family, help us promote on a grassroots level.
Travis has been crazy busy with school, his 2 jobs, his ophtho research (which has led to several publications), and now a really neat new consulting company he & our really close friend, Kaakpema, are getting off the ground. We’re also trying to figure out if we’ll be able to swing some time up in Wisconsin before I start my intern year so that Travis can work with the ophtho department up there, and also to get to know the city we’ll be moving to a bit before we actually make the move next year. As if our plates weren’t totally full, we’re also trying to sort out things like childcare, schools, etc. for the kids once I start in June and Travis begins his 4th year medical school rotations. Lots of moving parts here!
Anyway, looks like we have an exciting adventure coming up this weekend. We’re going someplace very very cool with some really good friends who happen to have 2 little girls that our kids adore. I’ll keep it a surprise for now, but the thought of where we’re headed makes me giddy. A clue: it’s a very unique natural landscape and environment right here in Colorado. We’ve been before, but not with all 3 kids. I can take a picture of water, desert, and snowcapped mountains all in one shot.
March 29, 2010 12 Comments
I love Henny! To answer Nicki’s question about potty training a bulldog (English or French), so far this is the easiest freakin puppy in the world, potty training included. Our English was also super easy to housebreak. Bulldogs, in general, are HUGELY motivated by food so you can train them to do virtually anything (unless it requires a lot of exertion, in which case they’ll weigh the effort vs reward;), and it makes potty training a bully especially simple. Henny’s potty cues are super obvious – he frantically sniffs, circles, and runs to me or Trav so we can scoop him up and let him out. He only had 1 accident today, and it was my fault for losing track of time and ignoring his cues. Didn’t help that we had a blizzard last night and neither Henny nor Trav & I enjoyed being outside until it warmed up this afternoon; but he is almost potty trained on day 2 (knock knock), which is pretty crazy. I guess Hen could always pull a Fin on us - start out as the world’s easiest, most laidback creature, then turn villain around 6 months old. But so far he’s just a really well-behaved, sweet, snuggly little guy and we absolutely adore him.
Shanie loves “Henry!” We have a neighbor whose name is Henry, plus Heny is also a train from Thomas, so I think even if Shane knows we’re calling him Henny, he’d still rather the puppy be named Henry. I have a feeling this dog will answer to a lot of names. Shane is just such a sweetheart, so it’s no surprise he’s so good with his puppy too. He is excited, but gentle, playful, but careful. It’s so cute to watch them interact. Seeing how happy our two Littles are with this dog reminds us why we thought this was a good idea;) At one point today, Fin was in timeout for hitting and Hen went over to comfort her. He laid in her lap and timeout all the sudden became a huge reward! All becomes right in the world when a kid has a dog to cry to;)
Finley gets so excited she almost has a heart attack every time she sees “Honey!” The toes say it all here, since her enthusiasm can’t be contained and usually leads to uncontrollable muscle contractions throughout her entire 20lb body:
The joy of kissing a dog:
This poor puppy gets absolutely no relief. We are crate training, and the kids understand that’s the puppy’s space that is off-limits to them…I wonder when Henny will wise up and start living his whole life in there just to escape his other reality. Finley is a friggin riot with the dog. She’s always trying to get him to follow her, which he does naively, and then she’ll wait until he *considers* doing something naughty (this could be as minor as sniffing a shoe), and she’ll POUNCE on him with “HONEY NO! No no, Honey! I. SAID. NO!” The dog will stop, look up at her like the looney bin she is, and then she’ll turn all angelic and say in the softest, most gently voice ever “good dog Honey, that’s a good boy.” All I can say is at least we gave her a dog to bully and boss instead of a younger sibling. Oh, and Sophie~Bug’s Mom from the previous post’s comments hit the nail on the head – when the youngest kid turns 2, sometimes the baby bug is in full swing. I decided the appropriate way to deal with a totally inappropriate baby craving was to get a puppy! It’ll work because it has to! Seriously though, I love our baby dog.
I don’t really have quite so many pictures of Jack with Hendrick because, well, Jackie only plays with him every now and then. Jack’s a funny kid, a tough nut to crack. First, he didn’t think Henny should be allowed in the house. Overruled. Then, he didn’t think Henny should be allowed upstairs. Overruled. At least Henny isn’t allowed on furniture or in the playroom (downstairs) I guess. Jack isn’t interested in kissing the puppy, hugging on him, holding him, or really much else that involves contact with the Hen either. He had fun with Henny for a little bit today when they played a game where Jack would throw a blanket on him to make him look like a ghost, and Henny would run until the blanket fell off. I’m sure Jack will grow to love his puppy eventually, right?!
On another note, our baby girl turns 2 tomorrow! She’s in 7th heaven with this dog, but I’m betting Fin will have an extra special glow about her on her birthday. She basks in the spotlight like that. I feel bad because we haven’t planned ANYTHING for her yet. I think we’ll just do a low-key family thing tomorrow and maybe have a little birthday party with some close friends & neighbors when my parents come out to visit in early April. We’ll see. Finley has been telling people “I’m almost gonna be two” for months now. Sometimes she’ll even tell them “my bert-day is March twenty-five.” I only told her that one time, but man was she listening. She knows there are generally presents involved with :bert-days,” so there was no way she was going to forget her own special holiday!
Here’s Fin playing “this little piggie” with Henny’s puppy toes. Poor dog pretty much slept through the whole thing!
March 24, 2010 12 Comments
So, remember when I said we need a dog like we need a hole in the head? Well, meet Hendrick. We’re calling him “Henny.”
He’s like an English bulldog, only the wussy version, since he’s French;) He’ll be ~20lbs, no butt wiping necessary (unlike lots of English bullies), but still a HUGE, quirky personality packed into a tough, meaty little body. Frenchies have bat ears, and Henny did too until yesterday, when his sister kicked his butt and left 1 floppy. We know his ears had already “come in” because we have pictures of him before it flopped. He’s fine, it’ll probably just take the cartilage some time to strengthen. In the meantime, he looks a little drunk! Fittingly, his name, Hendrick, comes from Travis’ favorite drink (Hendrick’s Gin and tonic, with cucumber). Special thanks to our friends Kaakpema & Sara who introduced us to that favorite beverage!
We are SO smitten with our 8.5lb puppy. He’s 11 weeks old, and he flew in from Oklahoma this morning. The kids adore him, and as expected, Finley is especially obsessed with him. She thinks his name is “Honey,” which is so cute to hear her call a dog. Shane calls him “Henry,” which also cracks me up! If “Honey”/”Henry”/”Henny” survives puppyhood, and can stand to be bossed around NON-stop by an almost 2 year old, this is going to be a beautiful friendship!
The cutest is Travis though; I knew I’d love Henny, but it is SO sweet how quickly Travis has taken to him…and vice versa:
I don’t know EXACTLY what inspired us, but we have been saying for a few months now that we miss having a dog so much. Every time Finley & Shane come in contact with one (and go ape over it), we feel like we’re depriving our kids of something! WTF is wrong with us? We don’t know either. But we decided to sit tight until we knew where I matched, and as soon as we did, I was all over the Frenchies. When we were discussing breeds we’d consider if we ever got a dog again, we temporarily flirted with the idea of an active/athletic dog. I grew up with boxers, and we both love that breed. But then it dawned on us – we aren’t looking for a running partner, or an animal to bring on our family hikes (we have enough to manage in that setting as is). We just wanted a sweet companion with big-personality, like an English bulldog, but that is just too much dog with 3 toddlers. We have always been admirers of Frenchies, and the thought of a manageable sized dog (versus a 60lb English bulldog) was so appealing. I don’t know why we like the short, fat, lazy, short-nosed variety of dog, but we just really do. A Frenchie is like a big dog, in a little dog’s body. Oh, and they don’t bark or yap either!
When I saw Henny’s picture, I can’t describe it, but I just knew he was our dog. Plus, the temporary name his breeder gave him was “White Lightnin”! Tell me he wasn’t meant for our family! Funny part is, Jack is not really a dog person (yet), so it’s taking him some time to warm up to Henny. Jack didn’t think Lightnin’ was an appropriate name for our dog, since that’s the name of a racecar. I guess it seemed blasphemous to him! A few hours into Jack’s play, he announced, “I like this dog.” So I think he’s coming around.
Before we pulled the trigger, Travis read all about quarantine laws and things like that, since we’ve talked a lot about doing fellowships overseas after residency, etc. It is very nice that Hendrick will probably be small enough to travel in a carry-on bag. We know we’re nuts, but hey, lots of people match into derm and buy themselves a fancy car (even though they’ll be broke residents for awhile). As I told Travis, I have no interest in a fancy car, but I really wanted a dog for our family! We’re up for this challenge, and hopefully Henny will be potty trained and integrated into our family before I start residency at the end of June.
We’re doing things differently, now that we’re not in a place to have our dog rule the roost, like Winston used to. We had a lot of guilt when we were thinking about getting a dog after having to place Winston with another couple; Winston had been so dominant all his life, and we’d allow him to totally own us. We lived for that dog. Then when kids came into the picture, everything just went very very sour. I still feel awful about that, but our kids are at an age now where they can enjoy having a dog, and we are at a point where we really miss having one. It just feels right, and so far, it seems we got the perfect dog for us!
Strangely, Henny has been SO NATURAL with us and our kids. He’s a puppy that likes to be touching someone’s skin AT ALL TIMES, with no regard for personal space (kind of like our kids). If you’re sitting on the floor at our house, you’re GOING to have a puppy on your lap in a matter of seconds. Plus, this dog can play wild, then settle down almost instantly when we need him to. I’m sure there’ll be nipping, but so far no sign of it. Honestly, I think we found the perfect puppy for our family’s needs.
March 23, 2010 30 Comments