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My Two Dogs

In a lot of ways, having a crawling baby is like having a dog. Violet chews on things she shouldn’t, gets into the trash and spends most of her time looking out the window at absolutely nothing. Often I find her and our real dog, Lumpy, side by side contemplating the same things. What is happening in the backyard? Nothing? Are you sure? Let’s stare some more just in case the wind makes a swing move!

Yesterday Violet was hanging out happily with Lumpy when I realized she was chewing on a rawhide.

The camera was right next to me, so I took a picture before I went to take it away. Before I could even get up from taking this picture, Lumpy took the rawhide right out of her mouth!

This was especially funny because Lumpy only cares about rawhide if another dog is eating it. We give it to him periodically and he will half-heartedly chew on the same piece for days. He doesn’t chow it down like some other dogs UNLESS another dog is in the vicinity. Then he doesn’t want to share. When the baby threatened his rawhide, he had to get to protect his property by eating it right up! He’ll play this rawhide game with any dog that’s around, why not the dog-like crawling baby?

After the dog took the rawhide from her, Violet repeatedly tried to get it back. Lumpy would let her take it right out of his paws or mouth and I would swoop in to take it back. I threw the bone behind the baby gate several times to end this insane cycle, but Lumpy somehow kept sneaking to the other side of the house and bringing the rawhide back to where he and the baby had been sitting.

I not only have two dogs/crawling babies. I have two dogs/crawling babies who are plotting against me together!

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Do Your Job, Dog

Dear Lumpy,
I don’t understand you. If I leave food on the counter or the table, you eat it. You wait until we’re not looking and eat sausage, cookies, brownies and cereals right off of surfaces that SHOULD be too high up for you to reach. It’s gotten so bad that we’ve had to lock you away when we leave the house, otherwise you will eat something off the counter or out of the garbage.

And yet, if I spill a bowl of popcorn, something I know for a fact you love so much that you will sit there begging for it the entire time I eat it, you won’t eat a bite of it off the floor. I will be left with a mess that will sit there for hours until I give up and realize you aren’t going to eat it.

What point is there of having a dog if he’s not going to clean up your major food spills? You love people food and sneak it constantly unless I actually WANT you to eat it.

WHY, LUMPY, WHY?

If a bowl of cereal or a bunch of popcorn falls the floor, EAT IT. This is how you earn your doggie keep.

Love,
Your adoptive mom

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The Most Exciting Thing in the Backyard

We have a fantastic backyard for kids. It’s big and grassy and fenced. It has a swingset with TWO clubhouse areas, three swings and a slide. We have a sandbox, patio set and toddler playhouse. We have an endless supply of bubbles, baseball supplies, soccer balls and footballs. Consider all of this before I tell you what Lily finds to be the MOST exciting activity to do in our backyard. It probably has something to do with the swingset, right? The bubbles?

Nope.

Lily gets hysterically excited whenever her dad starts to pick up dog poop. Dog poop is so exciting that she runs all over the yard with him on a hunt for it. Whenever she find some, she shouts for him and jumps up and down while he comes over with his baggie to clean it up. Whenever he finds something, she screams with joy and comes to watch him pick it up. After the poop has been scooped (or, you know, grabbed with a hand wrapped with a plastic bag), she takes the baggie and throws it gleefully into the pile.

Picking up dog poop is seriously the most fun backyard activity when you are 4 1/2. Yeah, we don’t get it either. Rose also finds the joy of this confusing and spends most of the poop hunt in her swingset tower yelling about how someone needs to save her in her castle.


Lily gave me that thumbs up all by herself to portray what she thought about picking up dog poop: Funnest outdoor activity EVER.

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Elephant Birthday

Last year, my dog (yes, my dog) got this elephant toy for his birthday. Somehow, this stuffed animal dog toy is still intact. There was a day that this toy would be shredded within 5 minutes, but I think the presence of children’s stuffed animals has left poor Lumpy dog confused about what he is allowed to destroy. I’m not sure if he’s ever actually had this toy in his mouth.

Lumpy isn’t the only member of this household who is confused over ownership of this toy. Rose thinks it’s hers. Actually, she will refer to it as “Lumpy’s toy”, but she’ll carry it all over the place. She refers to this elephant as “Elephant birthday”. She constantly talks about how it’s the elephant’s birthday and says happy birthday to the elephant.

She also thinks it is this dog toy sheep’s birthday, possibly because the sheep is the same color as the elephant. I HAVE seen this one in Lumpy’s mouth, but possibly not since Rose started toting it around like it was hers. What a polite and giving dog!

The sheep often goes around the house celebrating its birthday with the elephant.

So, I should have known this was coming. For Lumpy’s birthday this year, we got him a squeaky cupcake that I also don’t believe he’s actually put in his mouth. He seems to restrict himself to OBVIOUS dog toys such as ropes and tennis balls.

As soon as we got the dog cupcake toy, Rose decided it was the elephant’s birthday cake.

She runs around with the cupcake and the elephant saying “It’s the elephant’s birthday! Here his birthday cake? Happy birthday, elephant!” and then she sings to him and feeds him cake.

This post probably explains why my dog doesn’t get 1/3 of the new toys he got before we had kids. In our defense, most of Lumpy’s life before we had kids I worked outside the home. Now I’m home with him most of the day so he theoretically gets more attention… or at least more companionship. Surely that makes up for the toys?

Probably not.

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Puppy Love

I promised bird breeding this week, but I’m more inspired by another story.

Eight years ago this coming Monday, Lumpy was born. Since my mother owns Lumpy’s mother, my mom and sister’s dogs Dusty and Snwoball were also born that day. Lumpy’s best friend in the world is his brother, Snowball. Snowball usually lives in Milwaukee these days, but when the two boys get back together it’s a joyous reunion with much tackling and snuggling.

They seriously spent 90% of the last couple days curled up around each other on top of either my sister or me.

Back when my sister was in college and I was in graduate school, we lived 2 blocks away from each other. The dogs spent a lot of time together, as did my sister and I. Our dogs knew the way to each other’s houses. My sister used to dognap my dog and take both boys to the dog park. I finished graduate school one semester before my sister graduated from college and moved out of town.

Snowball did not get the message that we had moved away. He missed his brother and didn’t understand why they weren’t coming to visit us anymore. One day my sister was taking Snowball for a walk and he pulled himself out of his collar and ran away all the way to my old apartment building! He missed his brother so much that if my sister wasn’t going to take him to see her, he was going to take himself.

We weren’t there, so he was disappointed, but this is the classic tale we always retell each other about our dogs’ love for each other. Her dog loved my dog so much that he ran away from home to try to visit him.

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