Category Archives: pet ownership

All About Remus

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I love my doofy dog and this blog originally started out all about him. I realized that I haven’t posted anything about my cute widdle fuzzy wumpus in a while, SO without further ado, here’s a post about Remus.

Remus doing yoga 🙂

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He’s SUPER easily amused. Place his bone under a blanket, he’s good for thirty minutes. I love how his ears flop on top of his head.

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Remus thinks he’s sneaky. He’s usually not allowed all the way into our room (Brian has allergies) but we let him lay down in the entry way. When Brian’s back is turned at his computer, Remus will belly crawl a few inches forward at a time to get further into the room “laying down” if Brian turns around. No matter how many times Brian catches him and sends him back into the hallway, Remus persists. I just laugh.

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He’s so snuggly! ….until I shave him for the warmer weather, then he just looks pathetic, haha.

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Before and After

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Remus is such a good dog, I am so glad we have him. He may be a little large, but he’s a goof and sweet and pretty laid back (in comparison with most smaller dogs, although he does have his exuberant fits of energy-especially when his Frenchbull dog cousin Winston is around to play with). He’s biggest “annoyance factor” or whatever you want to call it, is that he loves people. He wants so badly to be a lap dog, he’ll follow you around, shove his nose in your face, leeeaaaannnnnn against your legs while you’re standing, headbutt under your elbow while you’re walking down the hall carrying a drink (he really is that tall) and basically be a pest. But he’s a cute pest 🙂

My favorite thing that he does recently, and I just can’t manage to ever get a picture of it, is he’ll come up to me wanting attention when I’m standing in the kitchen or when I walk in the front door and he’ll lay his head on my belly looking straight up at me. It’s hard to resist that overlarge nose and those funny looking ears while his crooked tail is windmilling away and thwacking the walls.

So there you have it. A post about Remus.

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All About Running…

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So I’m hoping to race the equivalent miles of a marathon while pregnant. I’ve never run a marathon, I’m not really interested in ever running a marathon unless there is a trail marathon somewhere I could run. I have run Ultras before (33.5 miles or greater) and would love to do those again. BUT while preggo, I’m keeping my races to 5ks. So, I need 9 5ks to hit 27.9 miles, a little over the 26.2 marathon mark but oh well.

I ran Deep Hollow 5 k around 8 weeks pregnant. (Morning sickness and other runners body oder do NOT mix well)

I ran the Turkey Trot this Thanksgiving. (My older sister’s 1st 5k, kudos to her!)

I’m running the Bedford Christmas 5k this Saturday.

Then I have the 5k Jingle Bell Run, the 1st Night VA 5 k, the Bethany Hall 5k, and the Cupid Dash (in TEXAS! I get to visit my younger sister and her hubby, yay!) I just need two more 5 ks and I’ll have reached my goal 🙂

I went for a run today to keep my body (aka, Potato) used to running. I took Remus with me because Brian was off doing ROTC stuff, and we hit the trails at Liberty Mountain. Now, I have yet to see a sign that requires dogs to stay on leashes. I have no issue with dogs running free as long as they’re trained and don’t chase other people. I have no issue with taking Remus off the physical leash while running because he is trained aaaand…because I have the electrical zapper in case he misbehaves. It’s pretty much an electronic leash. I respect other people who may not like dogs, however, and when I run with Remus I require him to stay close so I can grab his collar and hold him off the trail for other runners/bikers.

I digress. The trail we ran on was single track, so I ran with Remus in front of me on the leash for the first tenth or so, and then gave up and took him off the leash because I kept running into him. He stayed a doggie length in front of me, happily trotting and sniffing and occasionally tripping. His antics made me laugh (which, if you’ve ever run before, you know makes it even harder to breathe) and we even succesfully crossed a creek! For those who are not aware, Remus is terrified of water. However, there was a little cut through trail that led across the creek to a dirt road. Remus heard a noise on the opposite bank, his ears perked up, then he glanced down at the creek, then back up at the noise, down at the creek, noise, creek, noise, creek. Finally, after a serious stare down at the creek, he takes a few tentative steps right up the edge, and then tries to dash across. He managed to get his front end across without mishap, but a back paw sliped on a stone and his tail took a splashing as he flailed it for balance before finally hauling his rear up the bank. Once I stopped laughing, I made it across the creek (managing to keep my own feet dry) and me and my soggy bottomed dog made it to the road and the mile back to the parking lot without further mishap.

Here’s hoping the Potato lets me reach my running goal! If I don’t gain enough weight it’s couch potato time (ha! ha!).

Cleaning Hazards

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Yesterday Brian and I rearranged the furniture in our bedroom to make room for the crib. We had to transfer a small wooden bookshelf downstairs so I was searching the house for dusting spray. I finally found a can of Pledge sitting on the bookshelves in the hallway. I had the rag already in hand, I sprayed the rag, put the cleaner back where I found it, and dusted down the bookshelves.

Here’s the catch: the hallway has wooden floors.

Apparently enough Pledge had landed on the hardwood to super slippery polish that one section of hallway.

Brian was plugging in the vacuum cleaner at the end of the hall to vacuum our room, and Remus was facing away from him, standing in the hallway, sniffing the bookshelves where the Pledge was sitting. I was in the kitchen at the other end of the hall. Brian, who wants Remus to move, flicks the cord so it taps Remus’s rump. Remus startles, scrambles, and slip and slides down the hall like he’s on rollerskates until he catches traction on a rug and just barely keeps himself from literally nosediving. He turns around and looks at Brian in complete bewilderment while Brian and I struggle to stop laughing.

Poor Remus, no wonder he’s scared of his own shadow, the floors themselves betray him!

Remus vs Deer vs Puddle

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It’s a crisp, cool afternoon, leaves crunch underfoot and smoke lingers in the air from burn piles. Remus is ambling about in front of me, sniffing the ground, nibbling a few bushes, and shying away from particularly large and menacing leaves. His nails click happily on the pavement, tongue lolling out the side as we near the end of our walking route before turning around and heading home.

I see them first, at the bottom of the hill. Two large does out in the open field of someone’s backyard. They spot us, flick an ear, but don’t look overly concerned. My shaggy doofus is blissfully unaware as he continues his trot-walk. The deer take a few slow steps and Remus freezes, head up, ears pricked forward, balancing on three legs mid stride. He sees them. “Not yet, Remus.” I caution, continuing my walk as if ignorant of the deer that have set his nose quivering. Remus continues his trot, me holding him back from his gallop, the deer take a few more steps towards the woods, Remus quickens his pace, and then….BOLTS!

He flies down the hill! Ears streaming, tail low, letting gravity aid his gallop towards the annoyed, but otherwise safe, deer.

Quick note> Although Remus does leave the path occasionally to run after things, he tries to stay on the pavement or path as long as possible before veering into the woods. It means he’s never really gotten close to catching any deer because they are deep into the trees before he finally musters up the courage to leave the road.<

Remus has closed some considerable distance but then, at the last minute, THWARTED! By none other then a large and scary puddle at the bottom of the hill. Remus slams on the doggie brakes so fast to avoid the puddle his back end actually skids out. The deer flash their white tails and dissappear with a few bounds into the treeline.

I’m laughing in between shouting encouragement at my goofy dog. Other dogs would’ve gone straight through the puddle, or perhaps around it. But Remus is terrified of water (no going through) and “around” would’ve meant getting off the road.

He came back up the hill with a doggy grin on his face after a few seconds of stare down with the puddle to make sure it wouldn’t actively attack. All in all, it was a successful walk, Remus is a pretty aimiable loser.

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**I have seen him jump in puddles before, but only if it’s from a hole he’s personally dug. Then, I suppose, the water is “safe”.

Hugs

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My niece, known to the blogging world as “Little E”, is 18 months old and a handful. Now, I know everybody likes to post about how amazingly adorably cute their little one is, and I confess, this post is somewhat along those lines, but this is my blog and I want to record this story for my own sake.

We went walking along trails today, Rebecca (Mommy), Me (Sarah or Rara, or Ryry), Grandpa (Gampa) and Remus (Remush, she likes the “sh” sound on words that end with “s”. Like a way cuter female toddler version of Sean Connery). Little E doesn’t have much use for the stroller, she walks and runs and climbs over everything. She was doing checks every so often “Gampa? Sarah? Mommy?” and scolding Remus when he got too far ahead, “No, Remush! Stop it! No! Stop it!”and then toddling back to grab one of our legs and say “Push!” or look back and say, “Come on! Run!” Little E is all about the declarative sentence.

As we were walking back, Little E ended up behind Remus and I on the trail and she suddenly goes, “Hug! Remush! HUG!” very adamantly, running up between us. Now, remember, Remus is not exactly a tiny dog, and even though Little E is pushing three feet, Remus is still taller than her head at his shoulder. This doesn’t daunt Little E in the slightest, she may put up an arm in defense when he huffs in her face but she also giggles. Undeterred by the lolling tongue hanging out of a mouth longer than her arm and full of pointy teeth and bad breath, Little E tucks herself firmly beneath Remus’s head against his chest, reaches out both arms, and gives him a hearty toddler squeeze. She then turns and trots off, mission accomplished, like hugging giant dogs was all in a days work. I don’t know if I’d have the courage to hug a dog that much bigger than me, but to Little E, “Remush” is entirely huggable fair game.

She is fearless, me niece 🙂

Remus Tries to be Cool

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So those familiar with the large, awkward wolfhound that is my constant shadow are well aware that if canines had highschool stereotypes Remus would be the awkward dork trying really hard to fit in and get people to like him (and failing, repeatedly).

He’s too clumsy to be a jock (he trips over his own feet), plus he can’t catch things in his mouth (they usually end up hitting him in the head after he snaps his jaws wildly in the air), and he’s yet to figure out how to get a flat frisbee off of the ground.

He’s not a nerd, he’s not smart enough. If you wave the end of his tail in front of his face he will try to eat it until he falls over off balance, he knows a few basic commands but he has yet to realize he’s big enough to knock over a broom propped in an entryway to bar his entrance, or that he’s tall enough to step over an object a foot high.

He’s too shy to be the popular kid. Hiding behind my legs in consternation when exposed to new places, and alternately growling and whining when people he doesn’t know approach. And yet he hates being left alone and will follow someone he doesn’t know well around if someone he knows better isn’t available to shadow.

But he tries, so hard does he try, my poor uncool dog. Once he’s mustered his courage up enough to play with some canine companions (his cousins Winston and Coco usually) he goes overboard. He’s ok for a bit, and then his enthusiasm gets the better of him and he ends up knocking one of his pals head over tail with a paw the size of a coffee mug-they subsequently hide under chairs. He tried being cool at the dog park and lifted a leg to impress a lady-and fell over. He sees the other dogs blithly jump up on the couch and snuggle up to owners, so he tries to park his 130lb rear on the nearest lap and gets shoved off.

I am constantly finding Remus in predicaments that underline his un-coolness. He managed to hog tie himself to the porch while wearing the cone of shame. He’s tried to stop from full gallop too fast and gone head over heels (on more than one occasion). He leaned against my mother-in-law while she was scratching his head so far that he knocked her over. While playing with Thor in Lillington he shoulder checked a mailbox and fell over. He was keeping me company one day while cleaning and started licking the window I was washing.

Today, he provided another example of why he will never be a sporty dog. Coco plays fetch with tennis balls, she loves it, and will play fetch for hours. Unlike Remus, she can catch the ball mid air. Also unlike Remus, there is no danger of her accidentally swallowing the tennis ball. Well, whatever another dog is doing Remus wants to do, too, so once he realizes I’m playing fetch with Coco, he goes stampeding after the ball. Coco is smarter than he is, and realizes size wise she could get squished, so she steps aside when Remus gets involved. Remus, on the other hand, can’t hold on to the tennis ball to save his neck. He picks it up and keeps bouncing it all over in his mouth “chewing” on it, and accidentally dropping it, and then retrieving it splay legged on the hardwood, then dropping it, then retrieving it….yes, Remus plays fetch with himself because he can’t hold on to a tennis ball long enough to bring it back to me. Except for today. Today, Remus-excitedly munching on the tennis ball-punctured it with his front left canine tooth…and there it was stuck.

Brian and I, admittedly, laughed at Remus trying to get the tennis ball off of his front tooth for a bit before actually assisting him. It was like the time he got into a bag of christmas candy and had green and gold tin foil stuck in his molars. Shaking his head, pawing at it with his front leg, pushing it with his tongue…I think I may need a service dog for my mentally challenged dog.

Poor doofus. He tries so hard. If he weren’t so large I’m pretty sure other dogs would try to give him a fur wedgie.

A Remus Story

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“Can I go outside please? Please please please please please?”

 

“There are bugs out there! I see bugs! I love chasing bugs! I almost caught one once! Almost! Theres another bug!”

“No Remus, you’ll just bark at the neighbor’s flood lights and wake everyone up.”

 

“Life is hard.”

Wolfhound Chaperone

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I’ll try to keep this from spilling into the TMI category, but it’s too funny not to share. Brian and I spend the majority of our time at home in the kitchen or living room. Remus’s domain is the kitchen, but we let him think he is fooling us when he sneaks out to sleep behind the couch everyonce in awhile. Well, Brian is an affectionate person and will kiss me on the neck or shoulder when I’m cooking, doing the dishes or standing around looking dazed because I’ve forgotten what I was planning to do (happens more frequently then the dishes). Remus has decided this behavior is unacceptable.

Recently, every time Brian has started being affectionate, Remus will start make weird groaning/moaning noises and then jump into his play stance (butt up, chest down, feet splayed) and bark. If I start laughing, his head will raise and his ears will perk up and he’ll look at me like, “Are you done?” And then Brian, who takes the Remus interruption as a challenge, just makes things worse and Remus goes back to weird noises and barking. I’m pretty sure it is the doggy equivalant to “Get a ROOM!” and it is hilarious. I laugh helplessly everytime it happens, Remus is just so adamant! And the groaning noises are really weird, REALLY weird.

The joys of pet ownership 🙂

Bathtime Bravery

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Remus hates bath time. Hates it. The first time I put him in the tub and started pouring water via a cup over him off he got so scared he crapped himself. Literally. I had to take my partially soaked pup out, clean the tub, and try again. Double the trauma! I was steadfast in my determination to have a clean dog, though, and took steps to make it as easy and painless as possible. I tried feeding him treats (he refused to eat treats until the fourth or fifth bath, thats how much he hated/was scared of bathtime) I got an extendable shower hose to spray him instead of using a container to pour water. I talked to him, I petted him, I tried to wash him as quick as possible…with varying levels of success.

It’s not just baths, my dog is the antithesis of a labrador. He doesn’t just dislike water, he is terrified of it. Rivers, creeks, hose water, sprinklers…the only form of water he doesn’t mind is puddles, and those only if it is already raining and the water puddles are so muddy I don’t think he recognizes it as water. That said, my scardy dog faces bathtime bravely.

I don’t have to trick him into the bathroom. I turn the water on, get the nozzle spraying, walk out to the kitchen, and walk him to the bathroom. I don’t even need to put a leash on him. He always pauses before he gets into the tub and looks back at me with the saddest expression like “Do I really have to?” but then when I pat the side he dutifully climbs in. There is no fighting, no dragging, no cajoling or tricking. He knows it’s coming, and he climbs in anyway. He gets treats during the bath, but he eats them like it is his job, like they bring him no enjoyment whatsoever. He doesn’t whimper or whine, he has only attempted to escape once (although if he thinks I’m taking too long he does start to get as close to the outside edge as possible and lean against me to give me a hint) and he even knows not to shake the water off until he’s allowed out of the tub. His tail is tucked so far under his body I have to peel it off to wash his belly. And yet he doesn’t fuss, he doesn’t wiggle, he is a miserable-but cooperative- martyr.

And then after, when I scrub his face with the towel (his absolute favorite part) he is SO HAPPY! It is like he’s thinking “THIS IS THE BEST THING IN THE WORLD! I AM OUT OF THE TUB!” And it never fails, no matter how many times I bathe him, it is right after he gets out (still soggy) that he is just hyper and bouncy and goofy and the happiest he can be. Reminds me that sometimes trials are worth it, if only because of how exciting it is to get to the other side. I just hope I can face my daily, weekly, monthly trials as bravely as Remus faces bathtime. 🙂

Remus Woes

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Very different from my “It’s OK Thursday” link up, instead of the “it’s OK” from Remus, I’m going to list a few of his current woes.

“OH woe, ever since I chewed on that puzzle they keep me locked in the kitchen when I’m inside.”
                
“Oh WOE, I’m locked in more than ever because they redid the yard after all the landscaping I had done. Ungrateful.”
                      
“Oh woe, when I am outside they put me on that chain because I chew through everything else.”
                          
“OH WOE! That chain is SCARY! I am going to just stand here and not move and whimper howl.”
                     
“ohhh wooeee, she’s using that buzzy thing and all my hair is falling off!”
             
“OH woe. This buzzing takes forever and I just can’t…quite…eat that bug. WOE!”

He’ll really be woeing in a bit because he still needs to be trimmed, bathed, and round two of shaving. (Yeah, his adult coat means first shave is pretty much bushwacking. Round two will tidy him up considerably). Poor, poor fuzzy.