It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Dogs and Toddlers, Toddlers and Dogs

I have long said that there are marked similarities between toddlers and dogs.

(And thus is it terribly ironic that the woman who can take 5 toddlers pretty much anywhere with no fear of public embarrassment can’t get her damned dog to stop trolling the kitchen counters. I know who to blame for the poor behaviour, of course. And it’s not the dog. On the upside, her recall in the dog park is about 95%!!)

But this? This! Replace “puppy” with “toddler”. Same thing. Exactly. You know it is!


(Thank you, Carol, for the link!)

January 15, 2014 Posted by | the cuteness!, the dog | , | 1 Comment

Three, two, one… PUPPY EXPLOSION!!!

Remember how pathetic Daisy looked after her Big Procedure? How limp and floppy, how droopy and sad? Well, it’s been a week now.

A week of wearing The Cone.

A week of short, on-leash walks.


She is no longer limp, floppy, droopy or sad. She has not been that way since, oh, 50 hours after surgery.

It’s only been a week since she had a hysterectomy. And if she were HUMAN, she might just be considering creeping carefully from room to room in the house. But she’s not human! She’s a PUPPY! And so, as far as she’s concerned, she is FINE, just FINE — and has been, since about 50 hours after surgery.

She has NO IDEA why we make her wear that damned cone, of course, but even worse… why won’t we let her run? and play? and frolic with the other dogs? Why, why, why?

I am not totally cruel. Each day’s walk gets a little longer, of course. But she is getting maybe a third of her customary level of RUNNING and BOUNDING and BOUNCING and LEAPING and PLAY-PLAY-PLAY-PLAYING!!!!

She is, to put it mildly, a little antsy.

She’s begun having these moments of total frenzy in the house. Not aggression, just frenzy.


And she bounds, in great sproings, from one end of the house to the other. This takes her about four and a half sproings. The half, because she hits the wall, either in the kitchen (north end) or the front hall (south).


And she springs onto and off the couch, madly. Books, magazines, socks, iPods go flying. If someone is sitting on the couch, no problem, she will just SPRING ON YOU!!! And a cone-armed puppy comes flying into your face and then off again, in a flurry of fur, tail, and claws.

If you’ve ever interacted with a puppy with a cone, you’ll know why “armed” is the word of choice. She has only the vaguest of notions of the edges of that thing, so when she leaps at you (head-first, of course), you get the edge of the cone, a thin, semi-rigid plastic edge, driven into your face, your arm, your leg. Ouch.


And poor, quiet, gentle Indie finds herself the victim of a flurry of cone-armed chewing. Her neck, her legs, her entire body bears the assault of a mad tail-wagging, desperate for OUTLET puppy. Indie usually rolls onto her side while Daisy pounces all over her head, and moans. Mournfully. “Won’t someone please rescue me from this idiot? Pleeeeeeease?”


And she races, races, races from one end of the house to the next, catching walls, doorframes, books, furniture, people with that cone. Things fall down. Things get knocked over. Things rattle on the walls. People duck and run. (And she only weighs 8 kg. One can only imagine the destruction caused by a large exercise-starved puppy. Eesh.)

The stitches come out Saturday. I’ll be there Bright and Early.

Three more days…

September 7, 2011 Posted by | the dog | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Travails of a Puppy

My baby is growing up! Daisy will be six months old on Sunday, and so, to celebrate this momentous event, we

gave her an extra-juicy bone
took her to an exciting new dog park
bought her a new collar and leash

took her to the vet to have her reproductive organs yoinked.

Poor Daisy!

Now, if my surgical experience is anything to go by — which, I hasten to clarify, is NOT the same one Daisy has just endured — the actual surgery was a non-event. You go to sleep, you wake up. You wake up not even knowing you’d been asleep. Odd how that, when you sleep, you’re aware in a general way of the passage of time, but when you’re knocked out, you are not. Not at all. Weird.

But then you wake up. Which is when it gets yukky. And for Daisy, I am very, very sure that the worst part of the yukky is The Cone.

She does NOT approve of the cone. The vet calls it an “Elizabethan collar” or “E-collar” for short. Amongst dog owners in our neighbourhood, it’s known as the “Cone of Shame”, the shamelessly anthropomorphic myth being that “all the other dogs will laugh at her”.

I’m sure there’s no shame in her heart, but there sure is weariness and misery. Here she is yesterday, still all drugged up, in pain, and absolutely bewildered. “WHY are we DOING this to her? WHEN will it STOP???” (That is Indie’s crate she’s in, since she can’t get into her own. The door’s too small, you see, to admit The Cone.)

Look at her! Isn’t that pathetic? Don’t you just feel so sorry for the wee mite?

All she wanted to do was creep away someplace quiet and be miserable, but all her usual hidey-holes were banned by virtue of That Damned Collar. In the corner behind the chair? Nope. Her crate? Nope. Under the couch? No way it would fit. And yet at a certain point yesterday afternoon, she vanished.

It took a minute of rather anxious searching before I found her. She had managed, somehow, to squeeze herself under the end table beside the couch. I’ve no idea how. And awwww, more with the pathos.

My poor baybeee! That doesn’t look comfortable AT ALL. I managed to coax her out, then lifted her onto the couch. There. She at least looks comfortable now. (Depressed, but comfortable.) It might be my imagination, but it seems to me there’s a little less pain showing in her big brown eyes…

Here she receives comfort from Emma.

That orange thing against Emma’s face? It’s an ice pack. Yes, Emma does indeed have an ice-pack held against her jaw. That is because yesterday was not only The Day Daisy Lost Her Lady-bits, but also The Day Emma Lost Her Wisdom Teeth.

Whee!! do I know how to plan FUN EVENTS for my HOLIDAY!!!, or what?!?!

Now, lest you all be shocked and horrified that I am giving the DOG more post-op love and attention than my DAUGHTER, let me remind you that Emma is eighteen now. While, yes, I had lots of opportunity to take “awww, lookit my poor baaaybeeee” photos, I think I could safely put myself on Emma’s “People I NEVER want to speak to EVER AGAIN” list were I to have PUBLISHED any of the pictures.

So yes. I love my daughter. I love my daughter SO MUCH that, not only did I not post pictures of her in her swollen, blotchy, drugged-up state, I DIDN’T EVEN TAKE ANY.

That, my friends, is mother love.

But if I had taken pictures of Emma yesterday, she’d have looked much like this:


September 1, 2011 Posted by | health and safety, my kids, the dog | , , , , | 5 Comments

Quick! Get the Camera!

This is NOT ALLOWED! Not, not, not! Baaaaaaaad puppy!

However, as I learned years ago from my very wise aunt, it’s often best to capture the misbehaviour before you put a stop to it. (You can click to enlarge the smaller picture.)

Because, really, the picture-perfect puppy (or child!!!) is very sweet, and will make you smile… but it’s THESE pictures that will make you laugh.

August 17, 2011 Posted by | the cuteness!, the dog | , , , , , | 6 Comments

An unintentional social experiment

“Oh, look at all the babies!”
Are they all yours?”
“Wow! That must keep you busy!”
“Oh, good god.”
“YOU are one brave woman!”
“Are they all yours?”

Just another outing with my mega-stroller filled with tots. I’ve talked about that before, of course. We simply never slip under the radar, much as I might like that some days. Recently, however, there’s been a change in peoples’ responses to us. It’s not because of those hats, though they certainly garner their fair share of attention. It’s not because I have two newbies, and thus the average age is younger than usual.

“Oh, look at all the babies! Isn’t that cu– OH! Oh, looook. Isn’t that adorable?”
“Wow! That must keep you — oh, my lord. That’s beyond cute!”
“YOU are one brav — Awwwwww… sooooo sweet. ”

And what’s the difference? It’s still a stroller filled with small children. They’re just as cute as they’ve ever been.

They still wear cute hats. They still stare solemnly, or beam beguilingly, depending on their personalities.

Nope, it’s not the kids.


the puuuupppyyyyy

I think I have sufficient data that I can safely declare that, for the bulk of the population, ONE puppy outweighs the cute factor of FOUR babies/toddlers. Any day.

“Look at the cute babi — OH, my word! Look at the puupppyyyy!

July 21, 2011 Posted by | our adoring public, outings, the dog | 8 Comments

A senior moment?

Until about 7:15 this morning, it was Saturday.

I got up (having ‘slept in’ until 5:38!!), pulled on a pair of jeans under my nightshirt, and took the puppy out for her first pee of the day. No need to get fully dressed, as I would on a weekday, because who’s going to be outside at 5:39 on a Saturday morning?

Oddly enough, my neighbours to the west were out, just getting into their car. And dressed rather nicely for a Saturday morning. Maybe they had a wedding to attend, or something?

I come back in. My husband wanders through the living room, a little early for a Saturday, but Saturday is one of his running days, so maybe he’s just going to get an early start on what promises to be a beautiful day.

I putz about on Farmville for… a while… while I sip my first cup of tea of the day. (For such a low-key game, it sure can eat up a lot of minutes. I make no apologies. As vices go, it’s pretty mild.)

I go outside with the puppy again.

I wander into the kitchen and scratched a line through yesterday’s dinner menu, and checked tonight’s entree. (Yes, it has the days of the week written on it…) Took the ground turkey out of the freezer.

And still, it was Saturday. Saturday at 7:12. My first child arrives at 7:45.

And I’m still in my jammies.

Here’s where good karma comes in. I go upstairs to the attic to where my Wonderful Husband is watching sports highlights, a morning ritual for him. I go upstairs to the attic, intending, it being a Saturday and us having NOTHING on the agenda (which is how we prefer our weekends), to jump his yummy bones.

(TMI? Mary has a happy marriage.) 🙂

Before I make my agenda clear, he says something about having a shower. “Before you take your run?” I say, somewhat surprised. See, my plan was to get him all sweaty before he took his run, knowing he’d be taking a shower after that. Aren’t I just so efficient??

“I’m not taking a run this morning.”

Now that’s just weird. My sweetie is a creature of habit. Run days are Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. I am thrown into further confusion when he asks whether I’ve taken the dogs for their morning walk. Well, no. He always takes Indie with him when he runs. I walk the puppy later.

“But I’m not running today. It’s Friday.”



I’m dressed, properly dressed, in less than three minutes. I’m drinking my second cup of tea in less than seven.

And I greet the first parent — fully clothed, face washed, teeth brushed — twenty-three minutes after that. Because it’s Friday, and I’m working.

Thank heavens for naughty intentions.

June 3, 2011 Posted by | quirks and quirkiness, sex, the dog | 8 Comments

Naptime just got cuter

(Yes, I saw him playing with that teeny Clifford the Big Red Dog. But he must be able to play in his sleep because whenever I moved around to the front of the cot, his eyes were squinched tight, tight, super-tight shut! Amazing child.)

May 26, 2011 Posted by | the cuteness!, the dog, Tyler | , , | 3 Comments

Another twist, maybe?

Rory is very good at puzzles.

Shape-sorter? Never had to be explained. He took one look at that thing and started pushing the pieces through the right holes. Nesting toy? Getting the pieces in the right order took a little consideration, but after a day or two he had that nailed, too, a feat his age-mates have yet to come close to achieving. He’s good at putting the toys away, too, once he understands what’s being asked. I don’t have to tell him which bin the soft toys, blocks, books, go in. It’s a puzzle, isn’t it, matching like to like?

Good with puzzles, our Rory.

The puppy had a long walk with her big sister this morning. I walked 2.5 km; Indie probably ran for double that. Daisy alternated between periods of running madly off in all directions to the fullest extent of her leash, and periods of exhaustion caused by all the madly off in all direction-ing, during which she must be carried. All told, she probably galloped a good 2 km.

She had three pees and a poop during that time. Outside! Yaaaaay, what a goooood, goooood, puppy! Here, have a yummy treat, you smart, smart, smart puppy. Goooooood girl!!!!

Home, breakfast, dishes, clear table for daycare activities. Take puppy out for a pee. Gooooood puppy! You did a pee on mommy’s violets! Goooooood girl! Here, have a treat for being such a smart, smart puppy!

And then the crate, because I can’t watch the puppy during arrival time. Too much activity, too many distractions, and adults, they are far less easy-going than small children about being abruptly interrup — NO! Bad puppy! No pee! — ted to whisk a suspiciously-positioned puppy out to pee.

The sky is looming grey and sullen, but we go out anyway. It’s not actively raining, they all have rain gear, and the stroller had a rain shield. Daisy comes with us. Another 2-km outing for the puppy, two kilometers of racing madly ahead, and stopping dead in her tracks by a new sound (they’re all new), a new smell (they’re all new), a new thing to look at (they’re all new). It takes 45 minutes to go 2 km.

And she pees three times and poops once! Outside! Yaaaaay, what a goooood, goooood, puppy! Here, have a yummy treat, you smart, smart, smart puppy. Goooooood girl!!!!

The rain begins to spatter as we enter the house. The front hall is a welter of boots, babies, and coats. And in the midst of all that… Daisy pees on Tyler’s coat. Tyler, who is the only child not wearing a lovely, 100% waterproof raincoat, but rather a puffy ski jacket. On the inside of Tyler’s puffy ski jacket.


Into the crate with the puppy, and lesson learned for Mary. This is one of those can’t-attend-to-puppy times. Thus, she should have been crated before we started peeling off the coats and boots. Even though she did just pee three times in 45 minutes. Now I know.

The next few minutes, putting coats on hooks, children in high chairs and snack on table is also one of those periods I can’t monitor Daisy closely enough, so she will have to stay there for a bit. Despite her piteous whimpers. (Another puddle on my floor and I’ll be whimpering. Better you than me, dog.) Coats on hooks, I head to the kitchen to chop up the fruit. Fruit on platter, I return to the dining room… and trip over the puppy.


Emily, at five-and-a-half, is the most coordinated, but unlikely to break a rule. Tyler, three-and-a-half seems the most likely suspect. “No, I didn’t.” Emily corroborates. “He was colouring at the table with me.”

I consider the others. No idea. Pop Daisy back in the crate as I put food on the table and get the baby into her high chair, while keeping a discreet eye on the puppy crate. And it happens. Rory squats down in front of it, grabs the latch, and slides. Daisy bounds free, delighted.

I should have guessed. For Puzzle Boy, a simple sliding latch is a no-brainer… and yet so very irresistible. I get it — but I can’t tolerate it.

The solution is pleasingly low-tech. Let Puzzle Boy work THAT out!

‘Course, he is very good at puzzles… At the very least, it should take him long enough to be noticed…

May 25, 2011 Posted by | Developmental stuff, Mischief, Rory, socializing, the dog | , , , | 2 Comments

Germs? Pah!

Rory likes to feed the dogs. He’ll feed them until he has no food left in his bowl. Then he cries. “Hey! Someone took all my food! Where did my food go? I’M HUNGRY AND I HAVE NO FOOD!!!”

Originally, I decided to let natural consequences play out. Of course, I warned him of the consequences first. But then I just stood back and let nature take its course. If he feeds the dogs and then has no food, well, he’ll be hungry, won’t he? And hunger will be the negative consequence of his poor decision that will teach him NOT to feed his lunch to the dogs, right?

Um, not so far. I would expect a lessons like this to take three to five days, max. Food-related lessons don’t take long! Certainly not for a kid who loves his food as much as Rory. But this one? Well, Rory LOOOOOVES feeding the dogs. Loves it. It brings him great, great pleasure. Pleasure that far, far outweighs any niggling concerns re: feeding his own self.

So these days the dogs are crated during lunch. It’s just simpler that way. I don’t want the dogs learning to beg at the table any more than I want Rory going hungry every day.

Today, however, I forgot. I was sitting across the table from Rory. The table hid Indie, who was sitting hopefully (and very politely) beside his tray. I didn’t see her, that is, until Rory held a piece of pasta over the side of his tray. Suddenly there was a nose there. The nose did not snatch the food out of Rory’s hand, but only licked, gently and thoroughly cleaning all traces of sauce off the pasta.

I rose quickly from my chair. “Indie! House!” Indie, radiating ‘oh, I’m a bad doggie’, slunk to her crate. I approach Rory, intending to dispense with the squeaky-clean pasta. “And Rory, you monkey. Do not feed the dog!” I’m rounding the corner of the table, my hand moving to take the pasta from him, and


into the mouth it goes. I stop dead. “Oh, Rory. YUK.”

He looks at me.

And swallows.

I’ve seen this sort of thing before. I know it’s not life-threatening. It probably doesn’t need to skeeve me out the way it does. But… if you own a dog, you know the sorts of places that tongue gets, and…


Just, eewww…

February 1, 2011 Posted by | eeewww, food, health and safety, Rory, the dog | , , , | 4 Comments

First Words

“No, I think it’s more ‘Oreo-eo-eo’.”
“Or maybe ‘Oh-yo-yo-yo-yo’?”

“Yeah, that’s it. ‘Oh-yo-yo’.”


Rory, man of few words, has learned to say “Romeo”.

Sort of.

January 27, 2011 Posted by | Rory, the dog, the things they say! | | 1 Comment