Have a Lip Smacking Valentine’s Day!

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Happy Valentine’s Day — whether that means chocolate, candy hearts, champagne or a bah humbug attitude toward this “Hallmark holiday,” as my ex dismissed it.

For me, the best part of the day is that it is the birthday of my two kitties, Jackson and Lizzie, now (unbelievably!!!) three years old. We’ll celebrate with fresh shrimp for their dinner tonight.

As my Valentine’s Day gift to you, I give you adorable kitten pics of my two fur babies:

IMG_0132IMG_0133You’re welcome!

Dev: Weeks Two and Three

It’s been three weeks since Mr. D and I picked up Dev in Wisconsin and I think he brought the Midwestern winter weather with him as it has been awfully cold and windy here, making those early morning and late night potty walks a real production.  Luckily, he hasn’t yet had an accident waiting for me to get on my hat, gloves, Uggs, down jacket and scarf!

A number of milestones have been marked, but thankfully the furniture has not been.  One morning playing fetch with the tennis ball I noticed blood on it and found a baby tooth on the kitchen floor. The tooth fairy obligingly got him a bone to chew on as a reward.

He made friends with his new vet after sniffing out the exam room photo 5and didn’t make so much as a whimper as he got two more inoculations and had every part of his little body examined. Next he was taken back to the vet techs to be made a fuss over and to get his nails trimmed. Naturally, everyone was won over by his friendly, sweet personality. Dev and Addie are the only Aussies in the practice and they, like Sydney used to, give the breed a good name by being so well behaved.

Unfortunately, we had to visit the vet again just a few days later, this time for Addie to get some help. It turns out that like the rest of us “senior citizens” shphoto 1e failed to recognize her limits while rough housing and playing with Dev. She awoke the next morning stiff as a board and clearly in pain. Rimadyl, muscle relaxants and lots of cuddles on the couch have worked their magic and she is fine now, but clearly aware that being twelve is not the same as being five months old. Dev is sad and a bit puzzled at having lost his playmate, at least for another week or so.

Last Sunday we went to our first puppy class. It was soooo exciting to meet three other puppies ranging in size from five pounds (a Jack Russell / chihuaha mix) to a fifteen pound labradoodle to a thirty pound yellow lab. But the best part for Dev was that one of the families had a toddler who he fell in love with, and she with him! He was so sweet and gentle with her that everyone melted, even the trainer.

He hasn’t been able to work the same magic on the cats … yet. Jackson is as big as Dev (but not for long!). He has Dev crawling on his tummy in submission, tail wagging, begging for some attention. So far Jackson hasn’t decided to play keep away with the offered toy, but he is obsessed with Dev, to the point of watching him out the window when he is outside. Lizzie, on the other hand, is still exiling herself to our bedroom most of the time.

Dev is  good about being crated when both he and Addie are sequestered, but he hasn’t yet learned to have a quiet time out by himself when I need him to, as I prepare dinner for example. We’re working on not sounding like torture is taking place when he is confined when I am at home. (He obviously feels it is time to call in the Humane Society). Dev does sleep quietly in his crate overnight in our bedroom, thankfully.

The pup and Addie and Mr. D and I love to walk by the river, and Dev’s first glimpse of the Great Falls of the Potomac clearly mesmerized him, as it always does me. There is nothing that makes me happier than the awe-inspiring beauty of the natural world, especially when enjoyed with a loyal canine companion. I look forward to many happy trails ahead!

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Dev: Week One

We are one week in with our new best friend, Dev, the Australian Terrier.

IMG_1167The transition has gone much more smoothly than I had dared to hope. Mr. D and I flew to Milwaukee to meet Dev and his Temora Australian Terrier family of at least three generations of pooches and their human mom Julie. All of the dogs were super excited to see us, and little Dev seemed to know that this was his big moment. (he’s the one with the green collar).

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The flight home went more smoothly than we feared, with a breeze through security and a half-full flight, enabling us to spread out over three seats. Dev had to stay in his bag on the floor, but we did let him sneak his head out for a peek around.

By the time we arrived back at the house we were all a bit overtired, over-stimulated and hungry. Addie took things in stride, greeting Dev calmly if not particularly enthusiastically. Both cats hightailed it under our bed.

It only took Dev one day to figure out that the inside of the house was not a pet relief area, and after one week I can reliably say that he is mostly housebroken, assuming that he is given the appropriate chance to be a good boy. Unfortunately this involves me getting up at 5am each morning. At least I get to see this:

The kitties are slowly realizing that he does not have a prey drive (at least toward them). They seem to view him as an endlessly fascinating object of observation. He is not yet in the friend zone, but the distance is diminishing.

As for Mr. D and me, smitten might be too mild a characterization. Dev barely ever leaves my side, and when he does I follow him to make sure that potty mistakes or untoward inter-species encounters are not sabotaging the progress we have made.

All house projects are on hold, and I am so brain dead from getting up every morning at 5am that my writing is also on hold. I will give it one more week, and then I will feel secure enough to just let what happens happen.

It’s a new year, and a new love, and a new challenge. May 2015 continue to be as rich and full as it feels right now!