Happy Birthday, Giuseppe!

(This was supposed to be posted yesterday, but I got sleepy before I finished.  So just pretend that all the “todays” actually say “yesterday”).

Today is a very special day at Casa de Lavender:

Today is Giuseppe’s First Birthday!

I can’t believe that this tiny furball has developed into our little affectionate, playful, intelligent, mischievous puppy. 

Giuseppe at 1 week old

{Giuseppe at 3 weeks.  Look at that tongue}

We brought him home when he was 9 weeks old.  Like any household change up, the first month was extremely trying.  There were sleepless nights and a lot of pee on the carpet.  But once we got him trained, and once we earned his trust, everything went very smoothly.  And I’ve only lost 1 pair of shoes to his chewing needs.

This being a momentous occasion and all, we obviously want to throw him a birthday party….but we wonder if that would be too silly?  I mean, we want to, but is it really too much to host a first birthday party for a puppy, even if he is the most amazing puppy on the planet and deserves parties in his honor everyday? Are people rolling their eyes at us for even considering this?

We’re still debating. 

He’ll get special treatment today regardless. We are excited to celebrate this very special day with him….even if he doesn’t really understand why, or that we are even celebrating. I know he’ll at least appreciate all of the extra treats and the nice chicken breast he’s getting for dinner!  He may even get to sleep on the bed with us tonight.

We didn’t even get mad when he dug his birthday hole right where Aaron had just landscaped.  Well, we did, but then we took pictures because Mustache Giuseppe is pretty funny.

{What? Is there something on my face?}

In other news, this April I am participating in two different blog challenges. 

The first is the FUN Challenge with Amanda from Run to the Finish.  Basically, all I have to do is make an effort to do something fun everyday for April.  Sounds easy, right? Especially considering her last challenge was to eat vegan for the month of March.

WRONG! I’m already having a hard time squeezing fun in.  Monday sucked in general.   I had a work emergency that didn’t surface until 4:50 p.m, and I brought Aaron along to chauffer me around town while I handled it (have I mentioned how much I love my husband?).  At 7:30 when we got home in the pouring rain, we were both angry (not at each other, at the situation…at least I hope!). I wanted nothing to do with fun.  In fact I wanted a drink in the most unfun way possible.  But I decided to go out and swirl around in the rain anyway to fulfill my fun quota for the day and it actually helped my disposition.  We’ll see how the rest of the month goes!

The second is the April Challenge with Jon from 2 Fat Nerds Running.  A couple of months ago I invited myself to take part in their monthly challenges (there is a good chance that I’m the only person not in the family/friends participating, but as long as they don’t kick me out, I’m having fun with their challenges!). 

This month we are divided into two teams, and we are competing against each other both for most miles run and most hours logged running (with some other little twists).  I have two half-marathons coming up in the next 4.5 weeks, so my mileage will be higher until well into May.  Hopefully I will be able to help my teammates with my contribution!

So between challenges, all over the place weather, and a birthday puppy, April has gotten off to an interesting start!

Giuseppe in Training

Giuseppe is 10 months old, so we figure now is a good time to start him on a training program. A running training program.

{Did someone say RUN!?}

We want to make sure that he stays healthy and gets adequate cardio.  Plus, the little bugger has SO MUCH energy now that he’s a big boy.  We have to exercise him for an hour just to get him to sleep through the night. I figure the more he runs, the less time we’ll have to spend trying to tire him out.

And…we want to raise a competitive runner dog who can support us with his talent.

We have our sights set on our local November race, the Doggie Dash and Dawdle.  As suggested by the name, this race is for dogs and their people.  It’s a 5-k, and apparently people choose to run it without dogs (probably much better odds of placing).  But we are planning to run it with Giuseppe and include him in our racing lifestyle.

Westies aren’t necessarily a running breed, but they can be made into runners with some work.

Lots of work. And patience.

Currently, I would describe his running/walking style as distracted.

He likes to sniff everything, especially if another dog has marked it. He really likes to sniff cat poo which GROSSES ME OUT so much.  He likes to look at birds (and contemplate how he can eat them).  He wants to play with every person, dog, cat, child we pass by. He likes to run for a bit, and then he doesn’t.  And when he’s done, he’s done.  The only way we can get him moving again is to pick him up.

We have a long way to go.

But he is a fast sprinter. 

Eventually, our goal is to get him to the point where he is physically able to run 3 miles with us without having to stop every few seconds.

{Good work-out, Coach!}

7th Month Anniversary of Giuseppe Coming Home From the Farm

I realized that today marks the 7 month anniversary of us driving out to the middle of nowhere and coming home with a Giuseppe! I cannot believe how fast our time with him has flown by!

Last week was Giuseppe’s 9 month birthday, which makes him just about equivalent to a 5 year old child.  He is afraid of the dark, and it comforts him to sleep next to us, yet he still stubbornly declares his “big boy” status by wanting to do everything his way and by himself.  It doesn’t do us any good to spell out T-R-E-A-T because he’s big enough to know exactly what that means. And bathtime? Forget about it.  He’d much rather be digging around in the dirt.

He enjoys the luxury of being treated like an only child and by child I mean human child. It hasn’t occured to any of us that he isn’t a little human.  Sometimes I wonder if real moms hate me because I always realate their real baby stories with things Giuseppe has done. “How funny that your baby falls asleep in his food! Giuseppe does the exact same thing! Wanna see a picture? I have one right here!”

As puppy parents, I think we’ve managed to raise a socialized, curious, intelligent, independent, affectionate puppy. 

Westies are a wonderful breed. Like most Westies, Giuseppe is very smart and he enjoys being challenged and learning new things.  He has a TON of energy and he needs to get lots of exercise, otherwise he gets restless.  He digs (Westies are vermin hunters).  He isn’t very destructive (I thankfully haven’t sacrificed any shoes or furniture to his chewing needs) and he is too small to jump up on the counter and commandeer our dinner, so we have little to complain about.   

We couldn’t be happier with our decision to adopt a Westie into our home. I can’t imagine life without this little furry white bundle of energy even when he needs to get let out at 2 a.m.). Aaron is already wanting to get a second one, but I keep reminding him of the early days of fresh pee on the carpet every half hour.  Plus I don’t know if he could handle not having all of our attention.

(Thanks to photographer Aaron (and our new camera) for these amazing puppy pictures)! And of course, thank you Giuseppe for being so gosh darn adorable and amazing!

And Then it Snowed

Sometimes (but not very often), it snows and sticks in Albuquerque.  This weekend it actually snowed twice which is a Christmas miracle! While I’ve made no attempt to hide my discontent over cold weather, I am amazed how even just small amounts of snow can make an ugly, dirty world look magical.

For a few days, the weatherman had been warning us about massive amounts of snowfall…I would say we got less than a quarter inch at our house and it melted before 10 on both mornings, but on our Saturday and Sunday runs we were able to run through a sparkly, frosty wonderland.  And all reports point to another snowstorm tonight into tomorrow.

We’ve also spent hours taking pictures of it.

What?

I was outside in my robe and flip flops on Friday night experimenting with the camera.  Saturday morning we tried to get Giuseppe to pose cutely.  He was more interested in snow digging.  We repeated the whole thing last night and this morning.  These are some of the 100 pictures we took.  (Really, we are pretty snow deprived).   My favorite are the long exposure pictures like the one above taken at about 10 p.m.

 

My Puppy’s Favorite Halloween Costumes

Please?

Everywhere are reminders that Halloween (and Christmas!) are fast approaching.  As Giuseppe’s first Halloween, I couldn’t bear the thought of depriving him of dressing up.  What kind of cruel dog mom would I be?

Giuseppe is determined to win the best costume contest, and he’s begged me to help him achieve this goal.  I can’t say no to his cute little face.  So I’ve put together a group of possibilities. I think Giuseppe would be a superstar in anyone of these get-ups.

hgtv.com

enhancedbuzz.com

enhancedbuzz.com

enhancedbuzz.com

coudfront.net

Not Really Ready for Fall

I’m not sure when the world decided it was ready for fall, but all of the sudden, reminders of its impending arrival are everywhere.  Pinterest is filled with fall decoration/outfits inspiration, Spirit the Halloween Superstore is getting ready to open down the street, kids are back in classes or heading back to college, and suddenly the shelves are full of Oktoberfest beer. 

This makes me sad.

Didn’t we just start summer?  It feels like I looked forward to sunshine and warmness for months and it is almost already over again. 

This weekend I attempted to ignore the end of summer as much as possible.  It definitely helped that we got invited to hang out at a swimming pool on Saturday.

We gave Giuseppe a bath (which he was NOT happy about) in order to make him presentable.

We packed our beach towels and sunscreen (which unfortunately Lobster Aaron didn’t take advantage of until it was too late).

We got our mojito kit together.

We slowly introduced Giuseppe to the pool.

We cautiously tested the waters, and turns out, Giuseppe can swim! I don’t think he really enjoys being a water baby though (in the pool or the bathtub), but I think he could probably survive in an emergency situation if needed.

Ok, so I don’t know what the heck the big deal is about “planking,” but Aaron decided to get in on the craze…even though I think we’re too late because apparently planking is passe and “flagging” is the new cool thing to do.  Who comes up with this stuff? And what the heck is flagging?

So, after Aaron planked the slide, someone came up with the brilliant idea to have 3 men plank on it while someone else slid down under them (only 2 men fit).  Yeah…I don’t know.  But, everything went as planned,  friend Robin made it down safely, and I got some great pictures of the process!  Notice how I didn’t volunteer to be the one to go down the slide.

I will say that Sunday’s 7.06  mile run wasn’t the easiest after pool party food/mojitos/sunburn (another reminder why eating healthy makes running easier).  But splashing in the pool was a fun way to spend an end-of-summer weekend. 

Luckily, even if the world is anticipating the arrival of Starbucks pumpkin lattes, Albuquerque will hopefully still have warm temperatures into early October.  So with that happy thought, I will face the week and I shall glare at any reminder that summer is coming to an end.

Giuseppe the Movie, Part 2

Happy Friday!

Aaron has found a new hobby in creating little Giuseppe videos.  And I don’t think Giuseppe minds being the center of attention!  As you may remember, Part 1 was created a couple of weeks ago.

So, without further delay: Giuseppe, The Life of a Puppy The Sequel.  Starring Giuseppe. Directed by Aaron.  Soundtrack provided by Elvis.  Filmed on location in my living room.

Giuseppe’s Movie Premire

This evening I came home from work to find Aaron completely engrossed with something on the computer.  This hardly ever happens.  Aside from looking at bicycle websites, Aaron spends no time on the computer.   So, if that wasn’t weird enough, I couldn’t be more surprised with what he was actually doing.

I’m not sure what brought this all on, but Aaron decided to unleash his inner Spielberg yesterday afternoon and create a short film documenting Giuseppe’s day.  Turns out, Aaron isn’t completely untalented when it comes to casting, scripting, shooting, directing, and editing videos.

So, here it is folks: the premiere of Giuseppe: The Life of a Puppy, Part 1.  Filmed on location at my mom’s house, the streets of Albuquerque, and my backyard (don’t judge the dirt…it doesn’t rain here).  Soundtrack courtesy of Kid Cudi and David Guetta (Memories).  Edited using Microsoft Movie Maker.  Directed by Aaron.  Starring Giuseppe.

I May Be Biased, But Pretty Sure I Have the CUTEST Puppy on the Planet

If I haven’t made it abundantly clear, I am completely in love with my puppy.

He is the sweetest, most loving, most well-behaved puppy and I truly believe that no child I ever have, no matter how cute they are, will ever get the same amount of attention that he gets.  He loves people and acts like he has never been more excited in his life than he is to see you (“you” encompassing me, Aaron, my mom, my coworkers,  the nice random person walking the same way we are, ANYONE).

Today was the first day in a few weeks that I’ve had Giuseppe with me all day, because he’s been spending time with my mom and sisters and his best friend in the whole world Romeo.  But whenever I get withdrawals during the day, I look at this collection of pictures, and I pretty much melt.  I don’t know how it is possible, but Retro Camera makes him so much cuter!

Squirrel!

 

Giuseppe…The Only Thing Interesting About My Week.

 

After a crazy two weeks, I am enjoying a very unproductive day off complete with a few hours of 1999 era Sex and the City episodes and quality Giuseppe time.  While I’ve been spending too many hours at the office, Giuseppe has been hanging out at my parents’ house, bonding with Romeo and stealing his toys.  But today he is all mine.

Giuseppe and Romeo

 

I am happy to report that we have almost completely house trained him (although we did have a random accident this morning…he must have known I was going to brag about him today), and he rolls over on command.  He actually doesn’t even need a command.  He sees a treat, and he automatically rolls over.   He’s also starting to develop a quirky personality, and he LOVES attention.  I never knew not having the time to throw his stuffed bunny around for him at 7:30 am would cause such guilt.

I also realized that I haven’t uploaded pictures of him in a few weeks (goodness…I’m starting to sound like a crazy mommy).  And since I haven’t done anything exciting except work this past week (well, that, and organize a very successful job fair), I can always default on puppy pictures!     

Giuseppe in the drawer

Treats?