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January 17, 2007

Death by Cuteness!

So unless you haven't spoken to me in months AND haven't read through my last few postings, you're very much aware of the new member of our little family. We now have a 10-week-old Miniature Dachshund puppy that we named Lulu. She's red with white paws and a white spot on her chest and about 10 inches long and about 8 inches tall... but don't let that fool you. She's 5 pounds of PURE mischief.

So I'll spare you the gory details of how I convinced my oh-so-loving husband that we needed a puppy. It involved much abject begging and "I'll take care of it"s on my part - 10-year-old style. Apparently it worked.

Cut to:

Last week (Tuesday morning), when I had a message in my voicemail from the dog breeder I've been dealing with. She called to tell me that she had gotten a puppy for me in a trade with another breeder. And the puppy was ready to go home immediately. I assured the nice lady that I had to go to work on Tuesday and wouldn't be able to make the two hour drive until the weekend, but I also assured her I'd be there with bells on Saturday afternoon.

And then:

Can I just say - PANIC! It was like going into labor early! And the baby's room wasn't painted! And we hadn't picked a name! And we didn't have diapers! Eeeeeeeek!

So we took up residence at PetSmart for the duration of the week and proceeded to purchase everything a growing puppy needs - bed, crate, toys, food, collar, leash, shampoo, water bowl, kitchen sink... you get the picture.

Come Saturday, we hit the ground running. Sort of. We got up on time, but then we were moving a little slow. And then we needed some lunch before we could leave, and we knew it was going to be a long drive (about 2 hours each way) and the printer died a few months ago, so we had trouble figuring out how to get there without being able to print out the nice map Google Maps provided us.

The drive there was reasonably uneventful. We had a moment of clarity, where we realized that it's only people who are complete strangers, or people who've been together a long time who can ride for a full two hours without the radio on. But since we were leaving the valley, we knew the radio wasn't going to work on the other side of the hills.

The breeder was nice. She had, like, a zillion chihuahuas! I've never seen such! Chihuahuas everywhere! And my little puppy was living with a tennsy little chihuahua named Peaches. They were just about the same size, though I'm reasonably sure Peaches was significantly older than Lulu. Being at a place like that was very interesting. I don't have a lot of experience dealing with dog breeders, so I don't know how normal these people were. Let's just say it was all around very interesting.

So.

After we paid the nice lady way too much money, and signed a paper promising to only play with our new puppy for 2 20-minute sessions each day (yeah, right!) and feed the dog "super premium" (whatever that means) dog foods, we climbed back in the car to head home, literally 30 minutes after we pulled up. And that's when the adventure really began.

Lulu proved to be a positively exemplary car dog, riding quietly in Schondy's lap allllll the way home. We stopped at a rest stop maybe 20 miles down the road to let her out to potty, and she gave us some very false hope for our future when she pottied perfectly and immediately. She was just buttering us up so we wouldn't kill her later. She greeted the two enormous Alaskan Huskies quite friendly-like, and even chased them a little after they walked away. They probably thought she looked like a tasty treat.

Once we climbed back in the car, she was the picture of well-behaved, even while we were panicking, trying to find a gas station in the middle of a California Citrus grove. (When we finally refilled, my 13-gallon gas tank took 12.85 gallons) And she was nice and quiet when we took the turn onto Mission Blvd., only to discover that we were heading the wrong way and it sent us about 20 miles out of our way. And she was reasonably well-behaved when we made it back to the house 8 hours after we left it, and the cats demanded to know a. where we'd been all day, and b. WHAT IS THIS THING YOU'VE BROUGHT WITH YOU!?

So we're working on the whole housebreaking thing and the sleeping through the night thing now. She's learning to sleep in her crate and learning to go potty outside, though this crazy cold snap we're having right now is making housetraining a bit of a chore - she keeps telling us it's cold out there! We got her a little coat to wear outside, and that helped a lot. It was a bit too big for her, but I've done some creative re-jiggering and now it keeps her nice and toasty. She _might_ even be willing to say she likes it.

Her favorite toy is one of the Loofa Dogs from PetSmart. It's longer than she is, but it's loads of fun to play tug with. And would you believe - she LOVES carrots. They're also really good for a teething puppy's itchy gums, so it's a win-win situation.

Deliah thinks it's great fun to hide behind things, swat Lulu on the head as she trots by, and then take off running when Lulu chases. Lulu thinks it's great to have someone to chase, even if she occasionally gets flipped on her back and kicked in the head by a 15-pound cat. Miles just thinks they're both ridiculous.

And by now, you're wondering about the title of the post, where I promised death by cuteness. So here's some pictures of the little devil.

Modeling her nice warm coat

With "LoofaDog"

Schondy, with lap full of fuzz and paws

And just so you're not too tired of pictures of puppies...

January 11, 2007

I'm a terrible sister.

It has been brought to my attention that I have neglected to post or otherwise distribute pictures of the house now that we're all moved in, and that I have not yet posted any pictures of the new and improved backyard. I would like to point out that it still took me 2 days to get around to doing this, even after my egregious error was pointed out. :)

So consider this one a photo entry. I'm not even going to bother trying to put text in here.

The Living Room
The Office
The Office Bookshelves
The Sewing & Guest Room
The Master Bedroom
The Living Room with our
new rug (the cats LOVE it)

If you check out the entry from June 20, 2006 here to see how the backyard looked pre-landscaping. It was sad. I'm glad it doesn't look like that anymore. So here's what it looks like now.
The Patio
The Side of the house,
now with Pergola!
The Patio after Schondy's
fabulous lights were installed

There. Sorry it took me so long. I have tons of pictures of the yard as it was being done and I have lots more pictures of the house, but this entry is already going to take foreer to load, so I don't want to make it any worse. Cheers!

January 9, 2007

A good day to be me.

So if you read my previous entry, you know we're getting a puppy. And you know how I said it was going to take a few months before she was ready to come home. Well, this morning, as I was running out the door on the way to work, I thought to check my Voicemail and there was a message. I knew I had tried to call Mom and Dad last night and they didn't answer, so I figured it was them, calling me back.

WRONG!!

It was the Dachshund breeder. Apparently she did a trade with another breeder who wants the Ground Hound bloodlines and...... we have a puppy!!!! We're going to pick her up on Saturday!!!! We have a lot of work to do....

Hee.

She's 8 weeks old, ready to go home, and when I called the breeder back, they were at the vet, getting her shots. She's red with white toes and a white star on her chest. I'm supposed to get a picture today and I'll post.

**UPDATE** 01/11/07 - I have pictures!
Heeeeere she is! We're going Saturday to pick her up. We've still got a lot of work to do.