Tag Archives: Cute

Don’t Text While You Walk Your Dog

We live in a very dog-friendly neighborhood. I can’t go for a walk without seeing another dog. I love this! I like dogs and I like people who like dogs. However, it really peeves me off when I am walking Noke and then I see someone stumbling along head absolutely glued downwards to their phone. I start wondering to myself why they have a dog in the first place if they don’t want to actually spend real time with it. Sure, maybe it’s an emergency and they really have to contact that person then and there. But usually–let’s face it–it isn’t. I bet your walks aren’t more than an hour long, maybe not more than 30 minutes either. You can spare that time to really be with them.

As soon as I see someone on their phone walking their dog, I immediately take Noke to the other side of the street and avoid that person. They have no sense of what their dog is doing, feeling, or intending because they are in some Facebook post. I can’t trust the human to handle their dog correctly, and thus I don’t want Noke anywhere near them. It’s not just the right thing to do, but you can also benefit from just being with your dog:

Noke after a rainy walk

Noke after a rainy walk

Continue reading

Our Last Few Weeks in Pics

Sorry for the lack of posts lately…we’ve been moving! 

Moving

Moving

Continue reading

Happy 1st Birthday, Noke!

Our little puppy is now one year old. It’s hard to believe that she’s already a year old and how time flies by. At the same time, I feel like she’s been in our life forever.This morning I was looking at old posts about Noke from when she was a puppy like How to Survive Your First Week Having a Puppy and Puppies: Advocates for a Meditative Lifestyle. She was so darn stinkin’ cute! She still is, but now she’s grown into a sleek-looking coyote. I’ve definitely been reflective today about how far we’ve come together and how we’ve grown. I am thrilled that she is a year old!! 

happy bday noke

Raising a puppy is tough work, but I can say now that it is truly worth it. No matter what, Noke can cheer up my day, give me plenty of kisses and tell me that she loves me. She’s my constant companion and I love her to bits. It wasn’t always easy–getting her out of her nipping habit, dealing with sicknesses, and more, but in the end, like I said, it’s absolutely worth it. Dog is man’s best friend, truly. 

So today she gets to enjoy Santa Monica weather and I might even get her something from a local dog bakery just for fun. It’s her day, but more so a milestone of us being a team and getting through the terrible teens! Now it’s not like she’s going to be a perfect angel now that she’s hit a year old–far from that. However, it’s a big step into her first stages of adulthood. Thank you for being here with us for the journey of her growing up. And as always, stay hungry and fit!

photo 2 (31) photo 2 (32)

A night time walk...she is such a pleasure to walk! No pulling!

A night time walk…she is such a pleasure to walk! No pulling!

photo 5 (8) photo (36) IMG_6677 photo 4 (23)

cutie girl

cutie girl

photo 4 (26)

A trip to Estes Park!! (yes that is a fanny pack)

A trip to Estes Park!! (yes that is a fanny pack)

Great walks with the pup

Great walks with the pup

So cuuuuuuuute

So cuuuuuuuute

Noke is learning every day!

Noke is learning every day!

Cuteness

Cuteness

photo 2 (55)

Noke got to enjoy the sun as the whole family gardened

Noke got to enjoy the sun as the whole family gardened

Getting Noke used to the car more

Getting Noke used to the car more

Noke made a new friend and we spent the morning hiking!

Noke made a new friend and we spent the morning hiking!

Which resulted in her passing out (yay!)

Which resulted in her passing out (yay!)

Hi I'm cute

Hi I’m cute

Noke finally using her bed

Noke finally using her bed

Cute dogs

Cute dogs

Good runs with cute dogs

Good runs with cute dogs

Noke trying out for Sound of Music

Noke trying out for Sound of Music

and a hike!

and a hike!

Walks with Noke on the beach

Walks with Noke on the beach

Friday the 13th: Don’t Hate on Black Cats

In the Western world, black cats are for some reason considered to be bad omens. They are an omen of death and misfortune. They are also considered to be some serious bad luck. There’s all kind of folklore that puts down black cats And on days like Friday the 13th (today) and Halloween, superstitious behavior goes through the roof. We even get emails from the Humane Society reminding people to be aware of their black cats are on these days because people can be cruel and act on superstition. Which is absolutely beyond me, but still. I’m here to be the black cat’s champion!

Nymeria's "scary" face but really she looks like a Pokemon

Nymeria’s “scary” face but really she looks like a Pokemon

I mean, come on, have you ever seen pictures of Nymeria? She’s adorable. It’s all fun and games to avoid walking under ladders and such on Friday the 13th, but there’s no sense of being scared of or being mean to black cats. After all, in Japan (and in other places in the East), black cats are good luck. 

Nymeria as a baby

Continuing with this discrimination, at animal shelters, black cats will be severely underpriced compared to the rest of the cats there. Why? Because people are less likely to adopt a black cat. This seemed crazy to me! That kind of thought never even crossed my mind!  Nymeria was way cheaper than Misty because she was an ordinary black cat. Insane! 

Nymeria and Misty

So I’m here to put an end to that stupid superstition and petition for black cat’s rights! Alright, getting a little ahead of myself, but you know what I mean. Don’t shy away from certain cats because the color of their fur or their eyes. Everyone has different personalities and a black cat could be the one for you. In fact, Nymeria (our black cat) is our most precious of the babies. She has such a unique personality compared to most other cats. She’s cuddly, loving, needy, and mischievious. It’s really really difficult not to love her.

More baby pics

My rant is over. Enjoy your Friday the 13th and pick up a black cat! Hey, it may even give you some good luck. ūüėČ And as always…stay hungry and fit!

Noke’s Breeds: DNA Test Results Revealed

When we first adopted Noke, the Humane Society of Boulder Valley believed she was a German Shepherd-Akita mix and would possibly grow to be 70-80 lbs. We could see it at first. She had some Japanese Spitz features including a somewhat curled tail and that unique forehead but her paws were tiny! We thought she must be a Shepherd-Shiba Inu mix but we had no idea what she really was until we did a DNA test. So we did and here are the amazing and somewhat unexpected results!

photo 4 (26)

Cute is an understatement

None of Noke’s parents or grandparents were pure-breeds. She did however have great-grandparents that were and amazingly enough the purest traces in her DNA were Collie and Great Pyrenees. Her great-grandparents also showed large amounts of Basenji, Siberian Husky, and German Shepherd. These, however, were at a lower confidence and might have been mixed already at this point. (They can only track back to great-grandparents and have a harder time determining the calculations in mixed breeds.)

zzz

zzz

Before I mention, what other breeds were recognized by the genetic history as the most likely other pieces of her mixed breed heritage I will say that Noke is almost certainly most visually and personally a Basenji-German Shepherd mix. At this point, those seem to be by far the most dominate components of her look and attitude. We get asked regularly if she is a pure-bred German Shepherd and obviously the HSBV thought she was an Akita. Akitas and Basenjis do have quite a bit in common.

chart

So, by looking into that chart I posted you will see there are a lot of spaces that are taken up by a dog tag that says mixed breed. The three mixed breed dogs that were her great-grandparents could have contained the following breeds in order of most likely to least: White Swiss Shepherd, Chinese Shar-Pei, Affenpinscher, Glen of Imaal Terrier, and Clumber Spaniel. This makes sense. Noke obviously has a lot of Shepherd in her, whether German of White Swiss. We can also see some Shar-Pei in her although the other breeds seem very unlikely.

photo 2 (43)

Some of her breeds are not very large while one is relatively huge. The DNA test estimates that she will weigh 50-77 pounds as an adult. They classify her as a Basenji, Collie, German Shepherd, Siberian Husky, Great Pyrenees mix. It doesn’t quite roll off the tongue. We will keep you updated on her growth and development. I hope she grows to be the full 77 pounds or more because I love big dogs! Will she continue to look like a German Shepherd and act like a Basneji or will things change? We will let you know!

photo 1 (40)

And as a note, these DNA tests are inexpensive and humane. They are very simple and give an owner important knowledge as to how to train, treat, feed and raise their dogs. It is an awesome option so let us know if you are interested in getting a test for your dog. It is never too late to know! And as always…stay¬†hungry and fit!

Our Weekend in Pictures

Friday lunch at Oskar Blues...

Friday lunch at Oskar Blues…

Friday dinner at Oskar Blues....

Friday dinner at Oskar Blues….

Chris' plate

Chris’ plate

Lots of drinks!

Lots of drinks!

Huge brownie sundae

Huge brownie sundae

Morning walk

Morning walk

photo 2 (39)

Green Smoothie Breakfast

Green Smoothie Breakfast

Our favorite local donut shop (really healthy here)

Our favorite local donut shop (really healthy here)

Video games with Nymeria of course

Video games with Nymeria of course

Sunday morning banana pancakes

Sunday morning banana pancakes

Frisbee golf! beautiful day

Frisbee golf! beautiful day

happy for warm weather

happy for warm weather

cutie girl

cutie girl

Puppies: Advocates for a Meditative Lifestyle

They might not know it, but puppies are definitely advocates for a¬†meditative¬†and¬†mindful¬†lifestyle! I’m being reminded of this more and more as we raise Noke. I never would’ve thought of it at first, but she’s slowly having an effect on me! Don’t believe me? Read on to see how puppies are such strong advocates of a mindful lifestyle:

photo 1 (17)

1. They help you to be more understanding.¬†To raise a good puppy, you need to be able to get in its head and understand¬†why it does the things it does. It isn’t ripping up your shoes because it wants to be evil. You have to step off your pedestal and kneel down to their level of understanding. They’re just a baby and they need all the love and understanding you can give.

2. Their main emotion is love.¬†Wouldn’t it be nice if humans were like this? Dogs and puppies love love love. We are their entire life. That positive energy is contagious. It opens up your mind and your life. Let it in!

3. They get you up and at ’em.¬†Instead of pressing snooze five times and then racing to get ready for work, you are up early with the puppy. I’ve enjoyed many a golden sunset since having Noke and I enjoy that peace walking around a quiet neighborhood. Although I already was a proponent of morning walks, I wouldn’t always make it. But now, I am out with the sunrise every morning, enjoying the quiet side of life.

4. They discourage technology.¬†I’m not sure of any puppy who encourages you to use your cell phone. Their cute faces and insatiable desire for attention discourages your constant use of electronics. When you were spending an hour on the computer, you are now playing ball with your pup or teaching her how to lie down. And especially during walks, I find it important to keep your phone in your pocket (even if you’re tracking the walk), and to be alert. This just allows you to disconnect and breathe.

5. They encourage you to be with nature.¬†This connects to #4. Even if you live in an urban environment, that walk can really help with a mindful lifestyle. Instead of plugged into a million things at once, you are simply walking in your environment and taking it all in. It’s a wonderful way to reflect and just¬†be with your surroundings. It’s a beautiful feeling.

6. They lead you to reflect upon yourself.¬†Do you curse yourself the moment after you’ve lost your temper with your puppy? And those sad puppy eyes don’t help either. Their eyes, drawn with a curiosity and wonder, can really help open up your reflection. Maybe you realize you didn’t have that steller patience you thought you did. Or perhaps you don’t have that strict hold on your temper. It could even lead to reflections about what you really want in life. These puppies are powerful, I’m telling you! And they don’t even try.

photo 4 (22)

Do you believe me now?! Getting a puppy is a great introduction to a mindful and meditative lifestyle if you haven’t already begun that path. Although Noke is a handful, she makes me appreciative each day. Get a puppy to stay¬†hungry and fit!

BONUS KITTY PIC

photo (39)

How to Keep Your Puppy Busy for Hours

Every day, we learn more and more about how to raise a puppy. We’ve had Noke (noh-kay) for a little over a¬†week now, but it’s felt like longer. She has good and bad moments, as all young things do. What I find the most useful are things that will occupy her. Say I’m cooking, working from home, or doing a home workout, it is very¬†very helpful if she’s focusing on something else…that’s not chewing our shoes. The cats love to stir her up, which is pretty stupid on them, in my opinion, so she’s on alert a lot of the time. One of the people at the Humane Society suggested this trick and I’m thrilled by it!

It’s very simple. It’s the old Kong trick with a twist. Let’s go step-by-step, it’s so easy.

1. Fill up the Kong toy. We use a large Kong toy and we fill it up with high-quality little duck kibble bites. Fill it up close to the top.

Someone's excited

Someone’s excited

photo 2 (36)

2. Fill the top with peanut butter.¬†And don’t get that hydrogenated oil crap, use decent peanut butter for your dog’s health! We used Justin’s PB which is popular here in Boulder. We put the whole packet in, to give her plenty to dive into, completely covering and blocking the kibble.

photo 4 (21)

3. Freeze.¬†Not because you’re under arrest, but because this is the magic to this trick! So yeah, without freezing it, you can keep your pup occupied, but imagine the peanut butter frozen! This prevents the pup from just scooping out the peanut butter–they really have to work at it or let it soften! I’m excited to do this as a regular thing, especially while we are gone at work. We freeze it overnight usually.

See? Simple as 1-2-3. Try it out with your puppy or dog and let us know how it goes! Sometimes it’s nice to have some time to yourself if your dog is driving you bonkers. And as always…stay hungry and fit!

BONUS PUPPY PIC

Just being cute n stuff

Just being cute n stuff

How to Survive the First Week of Having a Puppy

What a week it has been! If you didn’t know, we got a¬†puppy last Friday. I feel like we’ve already had her for months. Our little Noke (noh-kay), a 3 month German Shepherd/Akita girl. We have officially survived the first week of having a puppy (where’s the wine)! I am personally¬†exhausted¬†by¬†9pm every night. It’s a lot of work. When Chris isn’t at home, I feel like a single mother with her (kind of joking…kind of). She’s a lot of work! But at the end of the day, it’s worth it.

IMG_6696

A few behaviors have developed with her, more nipping, more decisive walking, and better potty habits. She has been super friendly and playful with other dogs and other people which makes me feel happy. She pretty much understands the command, “Go potty.” We are slowly starting to introduce her to the cats and vice versa, and it’s going okay. It’s been a wild journey so far, and here’s what I’ve learned:

1. Be patient.¬†Be patient, be patient, be patient. Do not lose your temper. She’s only a baby, after all. This is the biggest lesson for me and the toughest. Puppies will nip and they will nip hard because that’s what they do with their litter mates. It hurts us and we think that’s what they’re trying to do but they’re not. They just want to play. Or when they refuse to budge on walks. Take a¬†deep breath.¬†Remember, she’s just a baby and it’s your job to nurture her into how she should be behaving.

My arm a few days ago after a rough afternoon

My arm a few days ago after a rough afternoon

2. Learn the potty word fast.¬†You don’t want to be standing outside with your fingers slowly turning to frostbite. Find a potty word (pee, papers, potty, etc.) and use it when he or she is on grass. When they do their business, give them lots of treats and say good potty. Trust me on this one!

3. Understand their mind.¬†This connects back to #1–try to understand what they’re thinking. Although you may not be scared of the dark, your little pup could be terrified! Add strong wind and cars and she will be freaking out. Don’t yell at her if she’s jolting all over the place. Calmly take her where you know she is comfortable. After all, she is just a¬†baby.

IMG_6670

4. Use treats…lots of them.¬†At this point in their life, you don’t need to be worrying about your little one getting fat. Especially not when you’re giving them plenty of play and exercise. I always have at least 5-10 treats in my pocket when we go for walks. Whenever she goes potty, she gets lots of praise and lots of treats. If she’s behaving nicely like chewing her bone or calmly relaxing, she gets treats. Sitting…treats. You get the picture.

5. Encourage more than you discourage.¬†At their infantile stage (under 16 weeks), they aren’t going to understand “No” or strong discouragement. Instead, use lots of encouragement, like the previous point. Give tons of praise when she or he does things correctly. Don’t get upset if they mess up, simply redirect them to something else. If you raise your puppy in a positive environment, it will be a happy positive dog.

IMG_6672

6. Take them out often.¬†My rule is every two hours, when we can. Puppies can’t completely control their bladder muscles so when it’s coming, it’s¬†coming.¬†What goes in must come out. If she goes in your home, don’t scream at her. It’s your fault for not taking her out sooner. Take them out often as a precaution to fight against potty accidents.

IMG_6677

7. Don’t yell.¬†This again connects to point one and it’s tough. But don’t yell. It doesn’t help the situation. You yelling translates to barking for your little one. This will escalate the situation into the puppy becoming more excited or simply scared of you. You don’t want that. Stay calm. Redirect.

IMG_6721

8. See #1. BE PATIENT.¬†If you take one thing away from this post, make it this one. Just be patient, remain calm, take a break and just breathe. It’s really tough taking care of a baby dog, they need constant attention and TLC. And you’re their sole provider for that. Try to put all that love in your heart for each and every interaction.

She was great during our frisbee golf!

She was great during our frisbee golf!

So if you’re preparing for a new puppy, you can do it! It takes lots of work, but if you can put the effort in, it will be worth it. My heart melts multiple times a day over our little Spirit Princess. I know that she will turn into a wonderful dog if we keep consistent positive training. BUT YAY WE SURVIVED!! Get a puppy to stay¬†hungry and fit!