Thursday, May 30, 2013


At the school where I teach, I attend chapel five days per week.  Four of those days it is a brief service where we sing hymns, recite prayers, and listen to a Bible reading followed by a sermon.  On the one other day, we have a full service complete with Communion.  This may sound like an awful lot of worship, but it is actually a really nice reflection time for both the students and teachers halfway through the day.

Recently our priest showed a YouTube video entitled If You Give a Little Love, You Can Get a Little Love of Your Own.  I found this short video to be quite moving as it demonstrates how a simple, kind action that you unwittingly make can really affect  others around you who you might not have known were watching.

 Quite honestly, after viewing this video, I did incorporate one small change at school.  You see, we have a faculty lounge where there are three coffee urns, which I think is a nice perk!  I tend to frequent this coffee bar, late morning and once again late afternoon to put a little more pep in my step.  If I am pumping the coffee urn, and it runs out, of course, I automatically make another pot.  Comparatively, if I dash in to grab a cup of coffee, and the urn is standing their empty, I moan and groan about the audacity of some people.  Who?  I really don't know nor do I care.  I just silently berate them in my head.  Now, due to this video, in an effort to be more selfless, I am making more coffee regardless if I was the one who caused it to run out.  This is my own personal contribution that could possibly be causing other people to do good too!  I like to think it is.

Subsequently, where does the Milt Dog factor into all this?  Well, this Saturday, June 1st, will be an exact year since we brought our puppy dog into our home.  It is a very special day for all three of us.  Milton has really changed our lives for the better, and after hauling him to daycare, vet visits, and countless walks, I really do feel a lot more selfless.  That brings me to this photo.

My family

When my mom visited, she "delighted" in watching Milton swim.  Whether or not she thought a dog swimming was truly amazing, I am uncertain, but I know that she was delighted because Jeff and I are wild over Milt, and she joins in that excitement for us.  Her sweet disposition affects us and makes us happy too.  Kindness begets kindness -- I just think it is a good lesson for us all to remember and one that Milton teaches me everyday!  

Monday, May 27, 2013

Puppy Photo of the Week

Happy Memorial Day, everyone!  This has been a very eventful three-day weekend for the Milt dog, Jeff, and me. That's because Grand-Nan and Aunt Heather are here!  My mom flew in this past Wednesday evening (very late night due to engine difficulty and flight delay), and it has been lovely visiting with her.  The first two days both Jeff and I were at work, so she was at home with Milton.  She claimed that he "ignored" her, but I kind of doubt that.  Milton is always excited for somebody to toss him the ball.

We took Grand-Nan to the dog park, of course, and we went on numerous walks both around our neighborhood and the Katy Trail.  Friday night, Mom and I created cards and a lovely wreath with Jeff's cousin, Lily (  The arrival of Heather brought pedicures (Jeff went too!), dinner at Five Sixty by Wolfgang Puck (the immense glittering ball in the Dallas skyline), The Great Gatsby, and yet another trip to the dog park.  Now that our boy can swim, we just need to tell the world!  Milt loves all the attention.

Camping out in the guest room

I think we might just have to make these Memorial Day visits an annual event!  Now that we have a fully working barbecue, thanks to Pop, we are in business for all the summer holidays.  I hope all of you had an equally splendid holiday!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Backyard Woes

Our backyard is both a blessing and a cursed.  We are blessed to have a 100+ year old pecan tree lovingly looking down on our house. 

More than one person has mentioned that it has a "Boo Radley" hole like the one in To Kill a Mockingbird

This pecan tree is massive, and it gracefully drapes not only over our yard but both of our neighbors' yards as well.

Humongous limbs

Our tree looks beautiful, and it is, but that darn tree tends to shed an awful, awful lot.  Also, the shade that it creates turns our backyard into a veritable mud pit berefit of grass.  Hence, the curse.

Always lots of clean-up.

All of the debris that our tree drops just gets picked right back up again by the Milt dog's fur and tail.

He looks very unconcerned by his Momma's dilemma.

I cannot even begin to tell you how many of these little tassels I have found littered throughout our house.  It is a never ending battle.  Our pecan tree drops leaves in the fall and tassels in the spring.  I now sweep the deck once per day...  Before we bought a house, I recall watching House Hunters, and one perspective buyer was adamant that she wanted absolutely no trees in her yard because she did not want to devote any time to raking; then I found this woman to be ridiculous and lazy.  Now, I am beginning to see her perspective.  Of course, I would rather have trees than no trees at all, but I wish the droppage would let us just a little bit...

Monday, May 20, 2013

Puppy Photo of the Week

In an effort to improve our backyard, I have been frequenting Home Depot's Garden Center.  I thought Milt looked pretty darn cute sharing the backseat with this big, 'ole fern. 

Precious cargo

He actually ate a lot of the leaves on the way home.  See how he was eyeing it!  I guess Milt just wanted to take advantage of sitting unsupervised in the back -- mischievous puppy.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Happy Belated Mother's Day!

Mother's Day 2013 was the very first time that I felt like I could truly share in this holiday!  Did I recently pop out a kid, unbeknownst to anyone?  No.  I am a dog mom, and I am proud of my baby boy.  Sure, my boy might be incredibly furry with a big tail, but I have mothered the heck out of that guy for the past year, and I am rather pleased with myself.  Jeff thinks it is ludicrous that I cover Milt's ears when Jeff refers to him as a "dog," but he truly is my real live boy.

Jeff and I both have gone through potty training, emergency doctor visits, and 3A.M. wake-up cries.  We buy Milton food, toys, and toothpaste.  Our social life and fitness level have suffered as I rush out of school each day either to beat the traffic to grab Milt from daycare or to run home to free him after a long day cooped up.  Life is certainly different now that I am a dog mom.  Personally, I think I deserve to celebrate this holiday too.  If being a "mom" is in any way measured by the amount of love that is given to someone you care for, then I know an awful lot of dog "owners" who fully deserve the title of mom as well.

My baby boy loves his momma.

Milt bought me a sweet gift.

He even signed the card!

Whether you are a mother to a child or a dog, I hope you enjoyed your holiday and sincerely felt loved and appreciated.  By the way, Happy Mother's Day once again, Mom and Momeaux!  Jeff, Milt, and I are lucky to have such greats moms in our lives.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Puppy Photo of the Week

Sometimes Milt Dog likes to go incognito in the backyard.  Odd, I know.

Where is he...?

Sometimes I wish I could crawl behind a bush and hide too...  It's just not as socially acceptable.

Happy Monday, everyone!  School's out for summer in three weeks.  As much as I like my students, they are just as ready for summer as I am! 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Same Old, Same Old

Nothing too new and exciting is going on over here.  It is just a lot of the same:


It's all good though.  A lot of the same is not too bad at all!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Puppy Photo of the Week

For the past week, Milton has been waking up Jeff and me around three or four in the morning to use the potty.  We don't know if his tummy has just been upset recently or if we are giving him food and water too late in the evening.  Milt tends to greatly fluctuate with the consistency of his number twos.  Regardless, these bathroom runs are becoming an unpleasant routine for all three of us.  It is actually not too terrible though because we no longer have to walk out the door and down a few flights of apartment stairs; now we can just unlock one of the French doors in our bedroom and let the dear boy out. 

On one of these recent early morning jaunts, Milton returned and decided he did not want to go back to his own bed.  Instead, he pawed, clawed, and circled up on one of our decorative pillows on the floor.

Big dog, little pillow

It was a bit small for him overall but still comfy, I'm sure.  We are now mixing a packet of FortiFlora (probiotic) daily with Milton's food.  Hopefully that will do the trick in curing his tummy woes.  We like our goldendoodle healthy as can be!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Proud Momma and Daddy

On Tuesday, Milt and I visited the dog park together, like usual.  With the hot summer weather blowing in, rather than walking to the grassy part of the park, Milt has been tugging and yanking to run to the swimming portion.  It really is rather nice that the park is located right on a lake.

To clarify, Milton absolutely loves water.  He is happiest when wet, which turns into muddy.  The only thing is he does not like to swim!  Milt prefers to wade about and keep all four paws firmly on the ground.  I have always blamed myself that he is not a natural born swimmer because when we drove up to my family's home in New York last summer, I think I was too forceful in my attempts to get him to swim.  In hindsight, I should have gradually walked our goldendoodle, who should instinctively like the water due to his mix, slowly into the lake.  Instead, I jumped in at the end of the dock, Milton was handed down to me, and I gently placed him in the water.  This was terrifying to him, no matter how soothing and calming we tried to act.  Hence, Milt has always preferred to stay wet in the shallows.

Despite the heat, this Tuesday was an odd day at the dog park because it seemed rather deserted.  Sometimes, if it is very hot, people and their dogs prefer to stay home, so the water entry only had one or two dogs over there, and they left soon after we arrived.  Milton was left with no playmates, but me!  I continued throwing Milt a tennis ball in the shallows, his preference, and I accidentally tossed it a bit too far.  I thought, drat, that ball is lost; Milt will never go past his head to retrieve it, but he did.  Next, I threw it a little bit further, and once again Milton swam out to get it.  Then I tried chunking the the ball really far, and Milt paddled and kicked all the way to grab that ball and back.  I cannot even describe how proud I was of our boy!

I can now say without hesitation that Milton the Goldendoodle is officially a water dog!  After his first few initial swims out, he just kept on going.  He is all up to speed now with all of his other water doggie friends.  Although, compared to the other dogs that were swimming (mainly Labs), Milt certainly lumbers around a bit more, which I attribute to all that fur weighting him down.  I think with time his stroke will even out more though. 

As for Momma and Daddy?  We are proud as peaches of our boy.  I have been grinning for the past two days and continuously watching the many, many snippets of video that I took.  It is so nice to have another swimmer in the family.  Summer just got a whole lot more interesting...!