The alpha and the hungry August 30, 2014Posted by mareserinitatis in older son, pets.
Tags: alpha, animal behavior, dogs, Gigadog, teradog
The older son mentioned at dinner that dogs equate food with love. This was, of course, a response to Gigadog trying to stick her nose on the table to horn in on our Friday night pizza.
I said that actually, he wasn’t that far off. The alpha dog of a pack is actually supposed to determine what it is that the pack hunts for and, in a sense, is responsible for providing the pack with food. Therefore, it sort of makes sense that food and love are equivalent in dogs.
After a brief pause, I said that Teradog was a prime example of a good alpha given he really knows how to look forlorn so that the human will provide the pack with food. In that sense, he’s a very highly successful alpha dog.
And you thought puppy dog eyes were all about being cute…
Kohlrabi Catcher July 11, 2014Posted by mareserinitatis in food/cooking, pets.
Tags: cooking, Gigadog, kohlrabi, pictures, teradog, video
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I got this very weird vegetable from our CSA:
I wasn’t sure what it was at first, but it’s apparently kohlrabi. I’d heard of it but never eaten it. After asking on Facebook and searching the Internet, I now have a million ways to prepare it but opted for throwing it in some tikka masala sauce for a first go round.
Whenever I cook, Teradog and Gigadog hang around the kitchen. Or maybe it’s more appropriate to say they consume the entirety of the kitchen floor space. They know the command “out,” something I came up with after many near-death kitchen catastrophes. However, I still like to provide them with samples of my cooking as much as possible because they’re a quite appreciative audience. Through their sampling, I discovered that Teradog likes pretty much all vegetables except romaine lettuce. Since I was dicing the kohlrabi, I decided to see if he’d like some, as well. (Just so you know, throwing food and videotaping simultaneously isn’t all that easy.)
Gigadog also liked the kohlrabi, but if you try to play ‘catch’ with her, it bounces off her nose and she looks annoyed at having to wander over to its landing spot. I guess some food isn’t worth it.
My dog blows (her coat) June 22, 2014Posted by mareserinitatis in pets, photography.
Tags: dogs, Gigadog, newf, newfoundlands, pets, pictures, teradog
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Newfoundland dogs have this funny habit of losing their undercoats a couple times a year, something people refer to as “blowing coat.” I suspect this is because fur ends up everywhere: it’s not unlike blowing insulation into your attic. Teradog doesn’t do it so much, but Gigadog definitely does. She seems to do this twice a year: once in summer and once in winter. (I don’t understand why she loses undercoat in January, but I suspect it’s because she’s inside an awful lot.) Anyway, to get an idea of what this looks like, I’ve included a picture. This is one of about a dozen groomings she’s had in the past 3-4 days.
As you may be able to tell, she’s pretty relaxed. She seems to enjoy being brushed (I think this losing of the undercoat makes her itch). Teradog, on the other hand, hates being groomed. I suspect it’s because he wasn’t groomed much before we got him. He also has a much more cottony coat which is prone to clumping and tangling, and he’s had problems with skin infections in the past. Because we simply can’t get him to cooperate with regular grooming, he gets a shave in the beginning of every summer. I do keep trying to get him acclimatized to regular brushing, but we’ve not had much luck. It’s too bad, though, because I really enjoy brushing the pups. Either way, I think it looks funny because even though he’s about 40 pounds heavier than Gigadog, she looks bigger with a full coat.
Macrocat bows (or sits) to peer pressure June 9, 2014Posted by mareserinitatis in pets, photography.
Tags: Gigadog, macrocat, pictures, teradog
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I’m sure that my name in dog language can be translated as “giver of tasty treats.” While Mike is “provider of kibble,” the dogs know that when I’m in the kitchen, something tasty is likely to magically appear on the floor. (While this is usually voluntary, there have been a lot of occasions where it was not.)
The down side of this is that any time I have food in my hands, they flank me until I stop moving, and then they show off their awesome sitting and laying down skills. Gigadog is particularly bad when I have bananas. We think she’s really a gorilla in a dog suit: she can hear a banana peeling through closed doors.
This morning, I had a banana and they immediately implemented their “immobilize and beg” routine. However, Macrocat saw them sitting and decided he would help. You see, he’s realized the dogs do this when there is food nearby, and sometimes that food might be tuna. Unfortunately, he wasn’t impressed with his piece of banana as he just attempted to bury it with imaginary hardwood flooring-derived sand, but the dogs were happy to take care of it for him.
Wordless Wednesday: Newfie Nose April 30, 2014Posted by mareserinitatis in pets, photography.
Tags: dogs, Gigadog, newf, newfoundlands, pictures, wordless wednesday
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Guest post by Gigadog: “Help me, please!” December 1, 2013Posted by mareserinitatis in personal, pets.
Tags: arthritis foundation, cold, costume, donations, Gigadog, newfoundlands
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Mom took a picture of dad and me while he was scratching my neck:
Dad was just placating me. You know why? Mom is making me wear this ARFul costume next weekend. Mom says that I’ll love it because we’re going for a long walk. Yeah…a long walk, where people won’t see beautiful me, they’ll see beautiful me all covered up and looking like an elf.
Also, it’s supposed to be -5ºF that morning. That’s cold, even for a fluffy pup like me. I have no idea what mom is going to do without a beautiful fur coat like mine.
She says it’s for a good cause, though. Something about ARFritis. If you can please donate, it might almost make it worth it to go out in public, especially in the cold, and both mom and I would be very happy. (Although, let’s face it. I’m a dog, so I’m pretty much happy all the time.) It certainly would make it worthwhile to look so silly and undignified.
She loves me more… November 22, 2013Posted by mareserinitatis in older son, pets.
Tags: Gigadog, older son, parenting, pets, teenagers
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Tonight, the older son jumped over Gigadog. I asked him to please step over her carefully. If he jumps over her, he could slip and miss her, and he’d fall on her. Having someone fall on her would likely freak her out, and she would bite him. This would leave me in a dilemma: I have an injured dog and an injured child. Who do I bring for medical care first?
I told the older son that I would likely bring Gigadog because she loves me more. He looked stunned.
“It’s not that I love her more, but she loves me more. She sits and pants and wags her tail when I get home. You do none of those things,” I told him.
“It’s not that I don’t love you, it’s that I just express it differently,” he responded.
“I don’t recognize the way you express it. It would be much better if you panted.”
I’m not sure *anyone* recognizes the way teenagers express affection toward their parents. Dogs are so much easier to read.
Happy Halloween! October 31, 2013Posted by mareserinitatis in pets.
Tags: bison, Gigadog, halloween, holiday, pictures
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I hope everyone had a happy Halloween! Sadly, we know that Gigadog didn’t. That look she was giving me was, “If these were real bison horns, I would be using them to gore you about now.”
I still think she makes a lovely bison. And true to form, she was exceptionally stubborn when she had the horns on…which wasn’t for long.
Wordless Wednesday: In honor of national dog day August 28, 2013Posted by mareserinitatis in family, pets, photography.
Tags: dogs, Gigadog, Mike, newfoundlands, pictures, teradog, wordless wednesday
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Nothing to do July 20, 2013Posted by mareserinitatis in family, Fargo, pets, societal commentary, younger son.
Tags: dogs, Gigadog, hiking, hobbies, running
I’m always amazed at people who tell me that they could never live in North Dakota. Usually their reasoning is that there’s, “Nothing to do.”
I have to admit that I’m flabbergasted by this statement. The last time I remember being bored was in grade school. I do realize that being a parent changes things and keeps you busy, as does home ownership. I also run or bike three times per week, usually get together for lunch or coffee with friends once to twice per week, write a blog (*ahem*), and, for the summer, am trying to help the younger son with his garden. This all goes along with that job thing.
Beyond that, however, I have still managed to keep myself plenty busy. While I am currently on hiatus from most of my hobbies because of that dissertation thing, there are several things I would have liked to have done this past week if time would have been available:
- electronics hobby group, so I could finally learn to use my Arduino
- dog training classes, so that Gigadog can compete in obedience trials (heaven knows she needs it) and compete as a show dog
- there was a hike to go raspberry hunting this morning
- the street fair was this week
During the winter, there are dance classes and cross-country skiing (or snowshoeing, if that’s your thing). I enjoy going to NDSU basketball games. There’s the theater and the symphony.
I would like to know is what ‘nothing to do’ would even look like. The closest thing I can think of is getting some extra sleep.