Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas '09

It's been a while since my last post, but I promise I have a good reason. You see, I was spending a wonderful week with my family. Then, BJ and I tackled a 14 hour road trip in one day with an 80 lb. dog and a puppy (we rock!). After that, I got sick with flu-like symptoms for a few day, but now I'm all better. Of course, in the midst of that, we've been trying to house train a puppy who is scared of cold weather in Kentucky.

With a new puppy in tow, it didn't take long for Christmas '09 to become the Christmas of our dogs. Here is a photographic journey through our time in Texas.

My parents have very high ceilings in their house, so we always get really, really big trees.

A lot of the week revolved around Zoe (big surprise, right?). For example, in this pictures she is being held by my Aunt Paulette. We have spent this week at home trying to teach Zoe that puppies who are going to grow into 130 lb. dogs can't lay on people in chairs. She prefers the rules at Grandma's house.

My family opens presents on Christmas Eve night.

I got a necklace from Anthopologie that I've been wanting for a very long time. I got it with a puppy in my lap.

Gus doesn't really care for the chaos of Christmas Eve night.

In fact, overall, it was a pretty rough week for Gus. Although I'm conviced he is going to love Zoe, I'm having a hard time convincing him of that fact. I remember this happening when we got him. It took a while for Sienna to warm up to him. Unfortunately, I'm not very differentiated from my dogs, so by Christmas Day, I'd decided I'd make Gus like his new little sister. So I made them cuddle. For about an hour.

He looks like he's reach new depths of emotional depression.

Fortunately, there were a lot of people sitting around who like to pet Gus. So he went and hid in between the guys while they looked at cars on the computer. Daddy petted him for a very long time.

Unlike Gus, Zoe was pretty much happy the whole week. Why? Because she's a puppy, so life's pretty good.

By our last day in Texas, Gus was learning to just hide from Zoe. You know the saying, "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all"? I think he decided it was best he kept his distance. In this picture, he is taking refuge behind Bro's feet under the breakfast table.

Other than Gus, the rest of us had a wonderful week. He's going to be okay, though. The Monday after we got back, he herded Zoe to the back door from the very back of the yard. He seemed to have a good time, but she was pretty much freaked out by it. Oh well, we are all learning as we go.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Meet Zoe

Well, BJ won. He found the biggest puppy. And he got her.

Her name is Zoe, and she is a pure-bred, blue-merle Great Dane. As you can see from this next picture, she's a big girl. And she is just going to get bigger.

And guess what?

We are totally in love. I'm pretty sure she is one of the three best puppies ever. Of course, that is just my humble opinion.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Getting Pretty for Christmas

I just dropped Gus off for his first ever professional grooming appointment. We wanted to get him groomed before the onslaught of burrs awaiting us in Texas.

A grooming appointment at this particular groomer consists of several things. First, he will get his hair cut with strict instructions to leave the hair over his eyes so that he isn't completely traumatized. Next, he gets a bath in which he will soak in a medicated oatmeal shampoo for ten minutes to help with the dry skin he gets every winter. After that, his toenails will be clipped and his ears cleaned. For the rest of the afternoon, he will get to play with the other dogs and go for a walk.

When I was telling my brother about Gus's spa day, he said, "That's going to be the worst day of his life, isn't it?"

Yeah, probably.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The search is on

We don't like having only one dog in the house. We are a two-dog kind of family. So the search is on. We are looking for the next puppy. Since I won't be workin for two weeks due to the holidays, we are hoping to get a puppy in Texas as it will give us more time to train. Also, all of our dogs have been Texans so far, so why not keep up that little tradition?

My dad, who happens to be a Classifieds-junky (meaning he reads them everyday whether or not he is looking for anything), has been busy looking for us a puppy. He is also good at networking. He has got friends and friends of friends asking about puppies.

My brother, who happens to have an opinion on everything, has decided we need either a basset hound or a catahoula leopard dog. He is in a search for one of these dogs. I don't think you could pick two more different breeds.

Mom is staying out of all of this. As far out as she can possibly be.

BJ is just set on getting the biggest dog he can find.

As for me, well, you know I'm going to love any puppy that is plopped in my lap. In fact, while I've been looking at puppies on-line, me heart has broken at least a thousand times due to the overwhelming cuteness that causes me to fall immediately in love. Puppies are so cute it seriously hurts me a little bit.

Of course, whatever puppy we get will in all reality be Gus's puppy. He needs another dog more than me or BJ. He's lonely, and he has whined more in the past week than I have ever heard him whine in the previous almost 3 years we have had him. Hopefully, in about a week or so, I will be posting a picture of our new puppy. I have no idea what it we be, but I have a funny feeling we will all love it.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

I haven't lost a pet since I was a kid, so I wasn't sure what to expect. So far, it's just hard. Life feels uncomfortable right now. When we go home, everything is off kilter.

Gus seems lost. He keeps doing that thing he does to let us know he needs out, but when we let him out he just sits on the patio and stares off into the distance. In fact, we've had to go outside and walk around with him the past few days just to get him to do his 'business'. He's restless because he has no one to play with. We would play with him, but we don't know how. He isn't the kind of dog you play fetch with. He's the kind of dog who wrestles with another dogs. He's never been without another dog.

Everywhere I go in our house, I am reminded of her. She's left her mark everywhere, and I can't bring myself to clean it up yet. Her kennel is still out with her pillow. Her hair is still everywhere (Labs shed more than just about any dog). She snuck a tennis ball into the house Saturday morning that I almost tripped over. And, of course, every picture I have hanging in our house of me and BJ has Sienna somewhere in it, usually intentionally but sometimes just because she wandered into it.

Tony is even lost. He did something he never does yesterday: he cuddled with Gus. He always cuddled with Sienna, but never with Gus. I guess he figured if he can't have his favorite dog, he'd settle for the big-black-panting-dumb one. I'm pretty sure that's what he calls Gus.

And BJ...well, BJ just misses his dog, and there isn't a thing we can do about that. I think we are all going to have a few weeks of feeling out of sorts ahead of us, because, despite her whining and horrendous gas and bad breath and all those other weird dog things, we all really loved her.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

A Sad Day

This morning, Sienna passed away. She had been in a lot of pain due to sever hip displacia, so we decided that the most loving option we had was to have her put down.

All I'm going to say is that she left us with a lot of happy memories (many of which sprinkle this blog), and our home is feeling not quite right this morning. We miss her very much.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Ta Da

We have the tree. And it is really magnificent. Or at least it is as magnificent as a small, 5 foot tree can be.

We decided to take a picture in front of the tree. Unfortunately, we are taller than the tree, and I set the camera too low, so you can't see the tree and it looks like a star is coming out of BJ's head.

For our second try, we set the camera higher. I decided this should be a romantic shot. Instead, the camera timer took longer than we were expecting and we ended up in this rather uncomfortable pose for several more seconds than was convenient or romantic.

In the third shot, the star is growing out of my head. At this point, I decided to leave well enough alone.

As is tradition in the Pierce family, I wrapped the first present as soon as the tree was completed.

Guess who it is to?

I just love buying that guy presents.