Tuesday, November 26, 2013


After adopting Harlow my friend Debby sent a few stuffed animals for her to love (or in her case, destroy). All were form Pixar's Monster's Inc, because Debby works at Pixar. One was of a goat pig hybrid of some sort which was in the movie.

In the mornings when I leave Harlow, I often like to leave a few things on top of her crate. She likes to yank them through the rungs of the crate and it gives her something to do. Rarely can she not get the item to join her in the crate by the end of the day.

Apparently goatpigthing's head was too big.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Am I Blue?

Today was an exciting day! It was freezing here in Boston, but that wasn't the exciting part. The exciting part was that Harlow and I took a little field trip to Watertown where we met Peter and Kristin for the first time. They are the owners/parents of Harlow's brother Blue!

Both of the puppies, I learned after adopting Harlow, were abandoned at the bottom of some woman's driveway. That some woman brought the two puppies to a local who fosters stray dogs. That foster woman connected with Survivor Tails Animal Rescue based here in Medford, and that's how the two puppies ended-up up in the north so close to each other.

It was fascinating. I have no idea if siblings know each other at all after being away for a long time, or even a short one for that matter, but they sure seemed to know each other!

We walked them to a nearby park where we chatted as our teeth chattered and the two of them ran and wrestled and tumbled like crazy, oblivious to the frigid temps.

Peter said that he was quite sure that they have Bluetick Coonhound in them. I didn't really see it, until I heard it; Blue let out a howl that was SO HOUND, I knew Peter must be right. And it would explain the size of the two dogs too. Believe it or not, Blue is actually even bigger than Harlow!

It is possible that they have two different dads, but I think they just look too similar for that to be the case.

Harlow's on the right

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Flying Dog

Last night Kristyn was hanging out and Harlow was not sitting still. She was a Snotty McBratty for sure last night. 'Kept barking to go out. I'd take her out and she'd get a stick and lie down with it as if it was a mild evening and outside was just the place to be, rather than reality where it was extremely cold out and I had company.

Kristyn took her out at one point and when they came back in, she'd clearly tried to run the ants out of the dog's pants. I heard Harlow before I saw her. I was sitting at the far end of the couch, and she came bounding back in from outside in great excitement, ran straight at me, launched herself into the air from about two yards away and landed, all 40+ pounds of her, right on top of me. All legs and heavy hair.
It was uncomfortable but very funny.

Twerking and Tweaking

Last night I was shooting a talk about stress management at the school. The student presenter was  talking about making a list of goals to help you focus and keep organized.

"If after a week or so you find that you're having trouble accomplishing the things on your list, just twerk it a little bit and keep trying"

Oh, honey, twerking is most definitely NOT the same as tweaking, which I'm pretty sure is what you meant.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Crate Tray

Since the *eh hem* incidences keep coming, I guess the blog entries will too.

Harlow and I slept in a bit which was very nice and the morning was typical, the weather outside mild.
I left around 10 for a photo shoot which was followed by a massage appointment (one I was in serious need of because of my recent workload at BU).

I returned around 3PM to find this...

She had somehow managed to rip apart the very hard plastic tray in the bottom of her crate. I didn't yell. I was almost impressed. Relieved that she hadn't somehow hurt herself. I wondered if this was anxiety related or just boredom?  Neither were very good options but since I was quite confident a Gremlin hadn't into my home and done this, it was at least one or the other.  And a clear sign that whatever inspired her to do this, it will likely happen again.  I plan on getting a replacement tray and spraying it's edges with bitter apple to deter any future redesign attempts.

I had hoped to puppy-proof the kitchen so she could be a bit more free when I left the house. 'Guess that's not happening for a while. I can't fathom what she'd do to my new cabinets!

I didn't punish her but I did grumble as I cleaned up her mess. Making it clear by not paying much attention to her that I wasn't happy about what she'd just done.

The afternoon passed and we were outside for a lot of it, cleaning leaves...

Harlow supervised. 

In the evening, we had fun playing the Ring the bell not because I have to pee or poop but because I wanna go outsiiiiiiiide! game.

I hate that game. 

I even caught her *pretending* to pee during one of the rounds and then running over to me proudly for a treat! I couldn't believe it.

Except I've met this creature, and I can totally believe it.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Harlow is 43 Pounds!

When I look at the photo from a few entries ago I can hardly believe that's my dog, that little thing! When I picked Harlow up in mid September she was already quite a bit bigger than she was in that photo from her online adoption ad, but still. She weighed about 30 pounds when I got her two months ago and now she's 43 pounds!

We have had our challenges but it's been great really. She still doesn't like her crate, but now that I take her by the collar (rather than trying to sweet talk her) and bring her to her crate, she's much more tolerant of getting in. I often put in toys that hold treats. When I arrive home at the end of the day, she is happy to get out, but also happy to grab that treat filled toy and devour it's contents. Apparently they taste better when someone is around to observe your treat finding prowess.

Dad comes to visit her often. I think they both enjoy it, and a dog walker come in the late morning every day to take her out. While it's not a service I want to keep forever and always, I do clearly see how Harlow has been socialized well by being taken out regularly, exposed to others dogs and even my walker's kid...

when I saw this one on my walker's FB page, I shared it, adding "Well, I don't know who this adorable child is but I'm sure glad my dog isn't eating him!"

She has become more comfortable with her yard. Very comfortable, actually. A few weekends ago she squeezed through the space between the gate and the carport and headed out for a little walk on her own. I saw this happen and knew if I chased her she'd fun. So, I casually walked behind her. She crossed the street, slowing down one car. I waved sheepishly.

A neighbor I had not yet met was leaving her home as Harlow crossed the street. "Well, thanks! I don't mind if I do invite myself into your home!" and Harlow ran right in!  Fortunately it was a closed in foyer, but I apologized profusely and fortunately the neighbor, who I now know is named Linda love puppies. Good thing.

She has endured a few baths and does very well with them. She will even start to shake while still int he tub and stop as though she consciously realizes that the suds will fly off her and in the end she will be less clean from the soap removal.

We've been recently having some frustration with house breaking. So quickly I forget that just because she seems to get the hang of it doesn't mean you stop giving her treats and making a big deal when she does the right thing. One day started off very rough when she pooped in the hall when I was in the shower and then got rid of the evidence. Later that evening, she refused to poop outside. I tried taking hr out over and over with no luck. We went out for one last try very late and still no luck even though I gave her plenty of time.

We went upstairs to my office. I sat at my desk and turned to find her pooping in the corner. I have never yelled at her like I did that night.

So, now it's back to lots of super-juicy treats and praise when she does it right and we seem to be getting back on track.

Harlow's allowed on the couch every once in a while, but only
when she's on someone's lap. Surprisingly (I'm probably jinxing it) she doesn't to get on it anymore.  Above is a video of her being weird with my friend Kristyn, who comes by regularly for TV and commentary fun.

for a little size comparison, this photo was taken in early October.