Rosebud

November 15, 2016

Those who know me, know that my dog Blue Moonbeam and I are attached at the hip. He's been my best friend and constant companion for nearly three years and having him in my life brings me an absurd amount of joy. So much joy that about six months ago I started thinking about adding another fur baby to our lives. I had reservations: would I love another pup as much as I love Blue? would Blue like having a sibling and having to share me? would I be as good as training a puppy the second time around?

Seeing the happiness and excitement Blue gets from being with other dogs (especially Sally's two labs - his cousins - Camp and Dolly) is what ultimately made me decide that I wanted to get another pup. After waiting several months (somewhat patiently) we brought baby Rosebud home this past weekend and I'm already having a hard time remembering what life was like without her.

 

Like Blue, Rosebud (“Rosie” for short) is a white labrador retriever. Though I got Blue at the same age  there are already such noticeable differences between the two…she is sooo tiny. A bitty, fluffy muffin. Blue was quite the chunk and had huge paws – Rosebud is noticeably smaller. But maybe that’s because I’m seeing her next to her big brother who’s 85 lbs (haha). Blue had a darker mouth (especially noticeable in this first blog post with him) and Rosebud has these super sleepy eyes that look like they are being weighted down by her thick white eyelashes.

The little lady is a quick learner – knows where to find her water bowl, doing great at night in her kennel, already walking up and down the short steps outside our place, and picking up on potty training like a pro – and I think having a big brother to show her the ropes is helping so much. Watching the two of them play makes my heart explode. They run laps around the couch, wrestle with toys (Blue has been excellent at sharing), and take turns being the chased and the chaser.

Blue doesn’t seem to have any issue “sharing” me. He has been SO sweet – letting Rosebud use him as a jungle gym and personal chew toy – and his tolerance and patience with her has made me such a proud mama. He’s still deciding if he likes having her cuddle him while he naps…but I know he’s happy that his spot in bed with me hasn’t changed.

A lot of people told me not to get a second dog. Hearing things like: “that’s so much baggage to have as a single girl and is going to turn guys away,” “you’ll be so annoyed when you have kids someday and you have one dog, let alone two,” and “why would you want to go back and have to deal with potty training and waking up at night?” Unsolicited advice can be hard to take…especially when I’m in such a different life spot than most all the people offering it. Though I know the comments are meant to help and not hurt, I’ve really been trying to live each day in the present. “Future thinking” (worrying about the fact that I’m single, those unborn children, and where I might be a month from now, year from now, etc.) can be the thief of joy – at least for me – and making decisions based on the “now” is what has kept me most happy. Going with my gut and getting Rosebud has made me feel like I have my own little family. Having these two fur babies to take care of and receive love from has made my heart really full. I can’t wait to see how the three of us get closer in the coming days!

Wish me luck and send good vibes. Remembering the patience required in the early days with a young puppy is humbling and I’m trying to savor this time since I know Rosebud will only be teeny tiny for so long and she and Blue will go from newfound-friend-bliss to sibling familiarly in the blink of an eye!

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Toast Talk

October 27, 2014

"We know that when dogs and humans make eye contact, that actually releases what's known as the love hormone, oxytocin, in both the dog and the human. It turns out oxytocin, the same hormone that helps new mothers bond with their babies, is released in both dogs and humans when they play, touch or look into one another's eyes. What we know now is that when dogs are actually looking at you, they're essentially hugging you with their eyes." - Brain Hare, 60 Minutes: The Smartest Dog in the World

Blue Moonbeam turned one just two days after I turned 27 and we will celebrate our year anniversary of being together in December. I don't really remember what my life was like before Blue was in it. This past year, and past month especially, haven't been the easiest or the best and having him as a constant companion has meant everything. I obviously don't have human children or know what it feels like to have that bond - but it's sort of impossible not to think of Blue as my baby. I seriously feel an insane rush of love when I look at him and it's this the crazy "love you so much it hurts" type of thing. Rather than thinking of myself as a dependent and obsessed dog lady, I prefer to say that our bond is super special.

 

In the past year Blue has grown from a chubby, tiny puppy into 70 pounds of pure sweetness. Like watching a child grow, it’s hard to fully see the changes taking place and I worry I’ll forget all the little things he does or milestones or whatever. Since this blog is sort of like a journal, scrapbook, catch-all of life at the current moment I thought I’d record a few Blue Moonbeam tid-bits so I can always have them stored to look back on. Selfishly, this post is definitely more for me than for all of you – but Baby Blue is my heart and I can’t help it.

Blue:

– you used to be so teeny tiny that you could fit on my lap when I drove in the car. When you got too big I put you in the backseat so you would have room and not distract me. But about a month ago, you told me the back seat was too far away from me and insisted on always being in the passenger seat. I know it’s not the safest way to drive with you but it makes me ridiculously happy how close you like to be to me and I’m so glad you’re amazing on road trips.

– you have always been a cuddle bug and lap dog at heart. When you were a baby you would cry until I sat on the floor with you so you could play with a toy in my lap and you’d fall asleep on top of my feet while I worked at my desk. I only lasted about two months with kennel training you at night before you made your way into my bed where you now sleep every night. Sometimes you curl around the top of my head, but mostly (now that you’re a big boy) you lay on my legs or right up next to me. I’m so glad I taught you the importance of spooning at an early age! It’s like having a breathing teddy bear.

– you don’t really love it when I’m on my laptop because you want to be in my lap.

– you love to eat and you learned what “food” was very quickly. Up until very recently, when it was time for “food” you would follow me to where it’s kept and do a dance where you would spin around really quickly and do little hops until I set your bowl down. I won’t lie, I am very sad you’ve outgrown the dancing and I’m devising a plan for bringing it back.

– you adore other dogs and people so much that you make a crying sound (maybe it’s talking?) when you see them. Your best fur friends are all named Annie and you love getting to spend time with your cousins Camp and Dolly. Sometimes your friends get tired and don’t want to play and you go up and lick their faces so they know you love them. It’s adorable.

– you like to get my attention by pulling the tea towels that hang on the oven handle off and carrying them to where I am.

– you always bark when there is a knock at the door and even bark when you hear something that sounds like a knock (mom tapping her make-up brushes or clinking a spoon while cooking). You bark and get confused if you hear a doorbell on TV (how do you even know that sound?!) and sometimes you even bark at the dogs you see on screen. You really like the UPS man, Eddie, and when visitors like Molly Frances come and hang out on the couch.

– you love your Auntie (Sally) almost as much as you love me. She talks to you in the most amazing dog voice and it’s like you two have conversations. Now that she lives in San Francisco, we talk to her on FaceTime and you tilt your head back and fourth when she talks to you. I know you miss her so much.

– you really like your toys and get so excited whenever you get a new one. I keep them all in a big bin and love watching you pull them out and play with them one at a time. By the end of the day the floor is covered with all your favorite things and I love it. You used to have a sweet little cow toy we called your “baby” but I lost it on a trip from Dallas to Houston and still feel badly about it…sometimes (actually, a lot of the time) you eat parts of your toys and you really go crazy about pulling the stuffing out of the soft ones.

– you like to lay under my hanging clothes in the closet and watch me get ready.

– you eat scrambled eggs and pepperoni off my pizza but what you really live for is peanut butter. I always give it to you with your monthly medicine and you lay on the floor, licking your bowl for about 30 minutes after it’s all gone. For your first birthday you got a special puppy truffle treat that was peanut butter and you went nuts for it.

– you get so happy to see me when I get home…I take you out of your kennel and get lots of licks to the face and then you circle around me, getting as close as possible, trying to give hugs. Your tail wags like crazy. It makes me so happy because anytime I leave you I miss you so much and am thinking about you the whole time that I’m gone.

– you don’t wear a collar because I prefer you to have a naked neck – it’s easier for me to burry my face into your soft fur. When we go outside we put you in a “no-pull” harness because you are so strong you can practically pull me over without it. Recently, I got your a new ombre leash and I think it’s pretty fitting since you have ombre ears.

– you can do no wrong in my eyes. Even when you are naughty, I chalk it up to you being a puppy. But really – you are such a good, sweet boy. You might not always “sit” or “stay” or “no bark” but you give me so much love and even give extra when I’m down and really need it.

– you are perfect and I feel so lucky every single day that you are mine.

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Portrait with the Pup

April 30, 2014

Blue Moonbeam and I are very attached to one another. This morning I went to get breakfast tacos with Sally at our favorite place up the street, Rusty Taco, and decided to leave Blue out of his kennel for the first time while being gone. It was a little test since I knew I’d only be gone for 15 minutes (Sally and I inhale breakfast tacos). Blue was barking a bit when we left but I figured he would love the freedom and either hop on the couch or play with his toys on his dog bed. Wrong…he was waiting…

Blue Moonbeam and I are very attached to one another. This morning I went to get breakfast tacos with Sally at our favorite place up the street, Rusty Taco, and decided to leave Blue out of his kennel for the first time while being gone. It was a little test since I knew I’d only be gone for 15 minutes (Sally and I inhale breakfast tacos). Blue was barking a bit when we left but I figured he would love the freedom and either hop on the couch or play with his toys on his dog bed. Wrong…he was waiting by the door when I got back and was making his piglet snorting noises and crying with happiness when I sat on the floor to hold him. Sweetest boy ever. I get major separation anxiety when I’m not with him and he’s like a breathing teddy bear that cuddles which makes it extra hard to leave him.

A local PR firm in Dallas, Droese PR, held a press day a few weeks ago to showcase their amazing portfolio of clients and bring us up to speed on the happenings for the season. They represent an amazing photographer who was on site and offering to take photos of any PR day visitors…Josh Welch is a serious talent and I was more than a little excited to meet him. After flipping through some of the portrait prints he brought with him I spotted a beautiful image of a girl and her dog and asked Josh he would snap a few shots of me and Blue. Luckily, Josh is as easy-going and cool as he is creative and welcomed the idea of doing a mother/son doggie portrait. I brought Blue back to the studio and we ended up with the shots above. I’m pretty in love with them. Capturing this moment in time with my boy is way more special than playing dress up. Thanks again, Josh and Droese!

Images by Josh Welch c/o Droese PR

(BCBG Max Azria Caralyn Slit Back Top // Old Navy ‘Diva’ Jeans // Golden Goose Sneakers (from Canary!) // BaubleBar Pearl Stud Wrap Bracelet // BaubleBar Ring)

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Blue Moonbeam…

March 28, 2014

The last post I wrote about Blue was a little over two months ago, when he was 13 weeks old. I look at those pictures and can’t believe how tiny he was or how fast he is growing! Now just days past being five months, he is less chubby and more gangly but as sweet as ever. He’s developed such a great personality and I couldn’t be more obsessed with him. So, a little update… Sally and I affectionately refer to Blue as “the baby” or “bubble” and we marvel at his ombre ears and cuddly neck fur. He loves…

The last post I wrote about Blue was a little over two months ago, when he was 13 weeks old. I look at those pictures and can’t believe how tiny he was or how fast he is growing! Now just days past being five months, he is less chubby and more gangly but as sweet as ever. He’s developed such a great personality and I couldn’t be more obsessed with him. So, a little update…

Sally and I affectionately refer to Blue as “the baby” or “bubble” and we marvel at his ombre ears and cuddly neck fur. He loves his Auntie (what we call Sally) almost as much as me (the mommy) and when he’s not busy getting into his toys he prefers to be snuggled up next to one of us. Several times throughout the day he looks up at me and makes a few little cries to let me know he just wants me to sit on the floor so he can play with a toy in my lap. For anyone who’s read The Art of Racing in the Rain, will nod in agreement that “actions” are all that dogs have and you really feel like your pup is communicating with you at times. And for any dog owners who haven’t read the novel, I highly recommend it even though it will break your heart more than Marley and Me. Along the lines of communicating, Blue’s learned to wait by the door when he needs to go outside to potty and although I broke the habit of having him sleep in his crate when I got home from London (I couldn’t help it, I missed him too much not to let him sleep in my bed!) he wakes me up by patting me with one of his paws and then gives lots of kisses once I let him know I’m awake.

Blue loves to eat his food. It’s honestly his favorite thing and he’d eat all day if I let him. As soon as Sally or I ask, “should we get your food?” he’s up and running to the pantry and starts doing 360 spins and jumps while we get it ready for him. Then he chows at an impressive rate and goes back continually to check his bowl and see if he left any behind. Blue has a very loud, big boy bark. We think he picked this up while being at doggie daycare while I was in London and he uses it say hi whenever he sees other dogs or people. He means well and really only wants to go up and be friendly with either dog or human but his bark is so loud that I always have to explain that he doesn’t want to attack, just play. Silly puppy. He also doesn’t know how strong he is. At around 35 pounds, he can practically pull me over when he sees a dog or person he wants to go up to and I’m investigating getting a different leash so he will learn that he can’t enter into a full sprint when on the leash.

Can you tell that I could talk forever about this puppy? I could go on and on about all the cute things (and naughty things – i.e.: eating underwear) he does but this post is already long enough an any non-dog people are probably rolling their eyes (sorry!). I seriously don’t know what will happen to me when I have children someday because I am so attached and obsessed with Blue. There’s this book Sally and I read when we were little called Love You Forever about this mama who always rocked her little boy from the time he was a baby till he was a grown man (creepy, but tender?) saying, “I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living my baby you’ll be.” I feel like I’ll be like that—holding my baby in my lap even when he is 80 pounds (or more).

Images taken by MBM for A Piece of Toast

(Biscuit Katie Dot Duvet // Biscuit Paul Euro Shams // Jonathan Adler Pillow)

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Blue Moonbeam Loves…

January 21, 2014

Blue Moonbeam is 13 weeks old tomorrow and he is growing way too fast. Sally and I live on the third floor of our apartment building and since he is still too little (or too scared) to go up and down the concrete steps, I have been getting a killer cardio workout for the past six weeks carrying him up and down those stairs 12+ times a day to go potty. My legs have never looked better and I know I’ll miss all our cuddle time climbing the stairs together once he is big enough to independently walk the steps…

Blue Moonbeam is 13 weeks old tomorrow and he is growing way too fast. Sally and I live on the third floor of our apartment building and since he is still too little (or too scared) to go up and down the concrete steps, I have been getting a killer cardio workout for the past six weeks carrying him up and down those stairs 12+ times a day to go potty. My legs have never looked better and I know I’ll miss all our cuddle time climbing the stairs together once he is big enough to independently walk the steps himself and I just get to follow along. I’m already such a sentimental freak with this little fur baby.

Aside from all the snuggles I get throughout the day, my favorite thing is watching Blue play with his toys and seeing what he takes a liking to. Mungo & Maud was sweet enough to send him a personalized puppy package upon his arrival and although he has a way to go before he can fit into the pretty leather collar, he’s been loving the cozy blanket and soft toys and I’ve put the doggie bowlpuppy shampoo and mishap spray to use. Sal and I call the little cow toy his “baby” because he carries it around in his mouth and sleeps with it—basically the most precious thing ever. He also loves the puffy sheep because we can roll in to him and the crochet bone gets a lot of attention since the knit is similar to a lot of his mom’s sweaters he likes to chew on…

As great as he is, Blue’s a puppy and definitely acts like one. We’ve mastered crate training, house training (accidents are few and far between), and sitting but his tiny barking is like nails on a chalkboard (to me), he chews everything (me and my clothes included), and leash training has been really difficult (he prefers to walk himself by biting onto the leash). Lucky for me, PetSmart offered a puppy training class and I jumped on it! I already use the PetSmart down the street to get all my food, treats and toys and Blue sees the in-house Banfield Pet Hospital for his vet check-ups and shots so it was only natural to go through their puppy training program. Our first class was on Saturday and Blue was such a great student…we’re already mastering the art of not barking and learning new things like holding eye contact and using using sounds to correct versus saying “no.” Since January is National Training Month it seems very fitting that Blue start learning his manners this month. Highly suggest checking out the classes if you’re looking for instructor based training!

So that’s what Blue Moonbeam has been up to as of lately. Lot’s of playing, sleeping, cuddling and a bit of training to balance out how spoiled he is!

Images taken by MBM for A Piece of Toast

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