When Mom and Dad first brought Sarge to my house (yes, MY house), he was just as much of a pain as every other dog they brought home. I don’t understand why every new dog has to come into my territory and try to tell me that it’s theirs now. It’s not. I am in charge and that is the way it will always be. Sarge tried to show me he wanted to stay by climbing on top of me. I’d have to bark and growl at him to tell him to stop, but he’d still do it! Sometimes, I think he’s just not very smart. Mom and Dad had to help tell him to leave me alone, and THEN he finally listened. He’s such a suck up! But since then, he’s slowly been growing on me. He’s pretty old, and way more slow than the other dogs that stayed here, so he doesn’t bother me as much. He does take my toys right out of my mouth sometimes, which REALLY annoys me, but then he gets in trouble by Mom and Dad (see, he’s not always a saint!). He also is kind of clumsy and knocks things over. Oh, and the WORST thing about him is his tail! I mean, it’s always wagging and he can’t tell how close he is to me so it hits me right in the face. Can you believe it? No respect.
The other day Mom and Dad left with him early in the morning and came back home without him. At first, I was pretty happy; I never get the house to myself! But then I saw that Mom and Dad were sad and worried so I knew something was different. When Sarge came back and he had that funny contraption on his head, I understood. Sarge didn’t feel well.
Although I can’t say I love sharing my toys with him, I do think he has been the least annoying sibling to share my house with. And, since he’s been here they haven’t brought home any other fosters. So, I figured I should be nice to him when he’s not feeling good so that they’ll see that I like him a little.
In the spirit of the how-lidays, or whatever it is that make Mom and Dad put up all the lights and put funny smelling boxes under the inside-the-house-tree, I have been trying to make Sarge feel better by snuggling with him. I have realized that he makes a pretty good pillow, and he seems to not mind when I get close to him. I DO appreciate that he doesn’t try to snuggle with me too much; I snuggle on my terms only.
It seems as though the old guy is staying around for a while, and although I will make sure he still knows I am in charge, I guess it’s ok with me.
In honor of Throw Back Thursday (and because I didn’t get a chance to finish my post about Sarge!) I wanted to share one of my very first posts, before most of you even knew M&M&NK existed. I hope it helps you understand our beginnings with Nola and why we started the blog (plus, there are cute puppy pictures of Muffin). Enjoy!
This is the face that started it all. We had been talking about getting a puppy for months. Then we found Nola, who at the time was called Camilla, and our journey began.
It was the day before Halloween. She was being transferred from a shelter in Alabama (like so many others), so we met the transport truck at a park and ride in New Hampshire. Of course we were the first in line, because as you’ll come to find out, I
am a little bit of a worrier and like to be prepared. As she was handed to me off the truck the barrage of kisses began, and they haven’t stopped since.
Nola was our first dog ever. My family had a dog when I was little, but sadly she was hit by a car before I was old enough to really remember her. I have always been an animal lover, but my brother was allergic, so we could never have pets in the house. Jim’s family never had pets. We really had no idea how to train and take care of a puppy, but as stated above, I am a worry wart like to be prepared so I did all sorts of research before Nola came.
There was a point a couple weeks in when we thought we were over our heads with her. We were DINKS (dual income no kids) so having our schedules revolve around something other than ourselves was a tough adjustment. But, we figured it all out. We took training classes, learned all the places to go on and off leash, made mistakes, called the vet hundreds of times, and asked for advice from everyone we knew with dogs. Through it all I took tons of pictures and told all my colleagues at work every little cute, aggravating, silly and naughty things that Nola did.
This blog is a way for me to chronicle the trials and tribulations of Nola and everything we will go through in the future without having to bore my co-workers anymore. (To be fair, I work with pretty much all women, and the majority of them have kids. Telling my stories about Nola is really the only way I can relate to all their
boring interesting stories about their children.) We have learned so much from her, not only about how to train puppies, but about how much we both love dogs and how much an animal can change your perspective on love. I consider blogs picture books for adults, so I promise to keep posts relatively short and focus on the photos I’ve taken of our adorable pup. I am excited to have a place to remember Nola’s puppy days (she is 18 months old now) and to write about all the new and exciting experiences we will have with her. I hope you all enjoy and fall in love with Nola as much as we did!
Last week I was on vacation from work, but had no real plans other than to spend some quality time with the pups. The Mr. was traveling for work, so it was just Nola, Sarge and I for three days. I wanted to use this time to do some things with Nola just the two of us. I have been very conscious of her behavior and feelings (yes, I think my dog has feelings, call me an anthropomorphizer if you must) since Sarge has been in the house, and I wanted to make sure she got some special time with just me.
After Sarge’s morning walk and breakfast Nola and I headed out for our adventures. The first day we went to a friend’s camp on Little Sebago Lake, about 20 minutes from our house. Since it was during the work week and early(ish) in the morning, we had the place to ourselves. It was the perfect spot, a private home with a big yard leading down to a sandy area with a dock to the lake. Nola does the best in this kind of environment, she doesn’t like going in the water when she can’t walk in gradually. And, she LOVES to run around with her toy after she retrieved it out of the water. That day was no different, she ran around, swam after her Kong Wubba, and just went all around crazy having fun.
We ended up going back a couple days later and since we had been there already, Nola was more familiar with the territory and she was less interested in sniffing around and more into swimming after her Wubba. I used this to my advantage and tried to get her to actually jump off the dock. I have tried the past two summers to entice her to jump in after a toy, but she just has no interest. Most of the time she’ll run to the end of the dock, see the toy, and then turn around and run into the water after it.
Or, she’ll just stand there and stare at the toy.
This time, I was able to get her to jump in from the end by throwing the toy and then jumping in myself. The water was only about chest deep, so I could just plop in and coax her to come too. Of course, using this method I was unable to get any actual photos of her jumping, but she did it, and I was so proud! I think if we had a place like this to go consistently she would eventually feel more comfortable jumping in without me.
Nola and I also went on a hike at Bradbury Mountain. It’s called a mountain, but really it’s just a large hill. I chose a trail that was about 2 miles long to go up to the summit. It was warm, but not humid, and the tress provided a lot of shade, so Nola wasn’t too hot. It was such a nice walk and we made it to the top pretty easily. Sometimes I forget how much I enjoy exploring new places and just hanging out with my dog.
She is such a good leash walker, she never pulled me even coming down. I had a long line just in case she wanted to go a bit further in front, but she stayed right by my side. We chose a shorter trail on the way down because it was getting closer to mid day and the sun was hot!
We practiced some recall, and also ‘up’ by getting onto a bench that was on the side of the trail. She was very attentive, but at this point was getting annoyed with all the posing for the camera I was making her do.
And of course, I spent some time with the Sarge man too. He is less interested in the active adventures and just likes to hang out. So, we sunbathed and napped on the deck.
Although this vacation was more of a stay-cation, I really enjoyed the quality time I got to spend with the pups. I was a little embarrassed when people at work asked what I did while I was off and I said “hung out with the dogs” and they replied “that’s it?”. But really, they are ‘it’ for me. They spend so much of their time alone, waiting for the Mr. and I to come home from work or wherever we happen to be, that I wanted to spend every moment I could with them for the week. They are my life and my loves and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
The Mr. has been wanting a hammock for a while now. I have had my eye on an L.L. Bean one, but when you add the stand and shipping costs, it had a price tag of over $400 and I just couldn’t pull the trigger. As luck would have it, a couple of weeks ago when the Mr. took his mom to Christmas Tree Shoppe (not his favorite place to go, but he’s a good son!), he found one with a stand for only $99! After we set it up and tried it out, Nola decided she would like to test it too.
Turns out, it has now become her favorite place to lay. It takes a little bit of work to keep the hammock still when she gets up, but once she settles in, she falls right asleep!
I think she also likes that it is high off the ground, which means Sarge can only get so close.
Of course, we only let her up on the hammock when we are around to supervise. We wouldn’t want her to get hurt jumping on or off!
I was never a big hammock person, but after sharing one with my favorite pup (shhh, don’t tell Sarge), I couldn’t imagine a better way to spend a summer afternoon.