Category Archives: life with fur

First Real Winter Snow + My Model of the Moment

I feel like this winter got a lot colder a lot faster than years past. We hada little bit of snow last week, but it wasn’t too impressive, and it was pretty cold outside. So, we passed on making a big deal about it with the boys, and decided to wait for something better.

Well, this morning we got it!
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Marco is suddenly becoming much more difficult to get in a picture. Luckily, Ty is now sitting up, and always full of smiles. He’s officially my newest model. I think he’s doing quite well.
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It wouldn’t be a complete set of snow photos without Frankie. She was made for the stuff.

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Marco and Dad built a very tall snowman.

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Filed under baby, baby P, family, life with fur, outside we go

The “Teeters” Playlist

A few months ago, I got a new car. A new car, with a USB hookup. Excited to try out the accessory, I plugged in my old, neglected iPod Mini, and started scrolling through the playlists. That’s when I came across “Teeters.” I, of course, stopped for a moment, gave a deep sigh, and thought about my amazing dog. The one we lost so suddenly earlier this year. Then, I tried to remember why I had a playlist named after him. Naming the playlist after Tito didn’t surprise me – it’s no secret that I’m borderline crazy for my pets. But there had to be a reason I coined this vast mix of music – from Don’t Stop Believing to Dixieland Delight – after our old buddy. Then it hit me.

Tito was originally Lucas’ dog. He adopted him as a puppy from the Columbia Humane Society (sure to be a “real” German Shepherd), and eventually made his way back to St. Louis with him. Tito was three when Lucas and I started dating. And, in all honesty, before I feel in love with my husband, I fell in love with his dog. Those loyal brown eyes and big, always-alert ears were all it took. This dog and I had a connection. So, when I was moving into a new house, and Lucas asked me if I’d consider having Tito live with me rather than go into an apartment with him, I didn’t hesitate.

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Which brings me back to the playlist.

It was a party playlist.

Rather than throw the old, cliché housewarming party when I moved in, we had a “Sweet Baby Teeters Welcoming Party.” The perfect way to celebrate my new house with my new roommate. I don’t really remember anything significant from that soiree. Lucas and I had a lot of parties in that house. But, I love the fact that I’ll always have the playlist in his honor. And that I fatefully came across it just weeks after we lost him. If there was any dog who deserved a celebratory welcoming, it was Tito.

Tito was so smart, genuine, and possessed a level of empathy I’ve never seen in any other dog. He loved camping and swimming, and even outswam a pair of labs on an 11 mile float trip back in the day. He loved coming to work with me, and was so loyal he never needed the baby gate (though, I will admit, he had quite a tough-guy attitude around other dogs, so it did go up from time to time). He even joined me out at a meeting at Purina Farms one time, where he got to live it up as “performance” dog, catching a Frisbee out in the ring and attempting to “dive” off the dock for a beloved tennis ball. I beamed like a proud parent that day, knowing my little man had had the time of his life. He had a bizarre love of vegetables. I couldn’t cut up a green pepper without him showing up, begging for a slice. And peas? Forget about it. He was in heaven. One pea, and he’d run to the carpet and begin performing his back-side, wiggle, rub the floor, snort with excitement victory dance. And THEN eat the single green vegetable. He loved tennis balls. Loved them to the point that I still can’t bring myself to throw away the piles of them in both our home and at my office. He was one of Marco’s first words, “Tee-To. Tee-To.” So fun to say that Marco continued to call Frankie by his name after he was gone. He definitely wasn’t an easy guy to forget.

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Tito swimming in the diving dog pool out at Purina Farms

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Tito happily playing in the snow, just a few weeks before we found out he was sick.

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Out at Lake Michigan, again, with his ball.

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Leading the way, like the alpha dog he was.

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Tito being a good sport as he began to accept the fact that Frankie wasn’t going anywhere.

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Handsome man.

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Happy guy.

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Tito realizing Marco wasn’t going anywhere, either.

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Tito passed away this past March. He was only 9. It all happened really quickly. Within 2 weeks of finding out he had a tumor on his spleen, he was gone. It’s a unique illness, in that he’d have an episode, become sick and weak, then rebound and bounce back to the old, lively dog we all knew and loved. He had probably 3 of these episodes until one was powerful enough to take him. All I kept saying was I wanted one last day of nice weather for Tito to go out and enjoy before he died. Considering the cold, wet, unending winter we were having, that was a lot to ask. But, sure enough, we had a Sunday of beautiful, spring-like weather. Tito, Frankie and Marco ran around outside, throwing the ball and enjoying the day. Tito enjoyed bowls of peas and some wet dog food. Then, we all went to bed, and when we woke up in the morning, I went downstairs to find Frankie alone, waiting to go outside. Tito had passed away in our family room while we were sleeping. It wasn’t easy, but I took comfort in knowing it happened over night, we didn’t have to go through the additional pain of putting him down, and he got that one last day to be the amazing, energetic, passionate dog he had always been.

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Tito’s favorite place. On the river, with his people.

We miss you, buddy. Always will. Thanks for being incredible.

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2 dogs, 2 cats, 2 kids (well, 1+1 on the way). And 1 guide to spot-free rugs.

Marco’s nursery was inspired by a Momeni rug I found on Zulily, then quickly became obsessed with.

But, within days of putting it in his nursery, Frankie had already broken it in. Living in this zoo that we like to call home, I find our rugs being broken in about every 3-6 months. Including this morning, when I walked downstairs to find a fresh pet stain on our new living room rug.

I instantly went looking for this chart from the Momeni website. It has come in handy on multiple occasions, and provides tips for every type of stain. I decided to add it to the blog (and pinterest) to always have easy access to the link.

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Filed under baby P, decorating, life with fur

Deja Vu or Just Good Practice?

There was a point in time — when Frankie had reached a certain age — that I frequently called Lucas in the midst of a puppy-is-insane-I-must-leave-for-work-but-the-beast-won’t-stop meltdown. Terrorizing the cats, squeezing under the bed then crying because she couldn’t get out, angering a once-content Tito, running through the hall with the end of the toilet paper roll in her mouth (tail in full-wag the entire time)…the dog never stopped.

I think it’s safe to say, Marco has reached that age.

Yet, no tears have been shed this time around. It could be that I’m tougher.

Or, maybe Frankie just did a fine job of breaking me in.

Either way, those will always be two of my favorite faces, ever.

Side note, please excuse the bathroom. The 1970’s purple disco fairytale we bought with the house has yet to be redone…

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Filed under baby, frankie therapy, life with fur, the great indoors

Fat Kitty Love

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Love At First Shot

I’ve been bouncing around the idea of getting a “real” camera lately. And, after talking to a few camera-saavy people, I  knew it would be either a Nikon or a Canon. I was a little scared of the big price tags they came with, but still couldn’t quite shake the urge to have one of my own. Especially with the little one on the way.

So, when I woke up bright and early this morning and headed to Target to pick up some necessities, I decided I’d swing by the camera aisle to decide if I should go team Nikon or team Canon. Then I saw the Canon price tag…the clearance Canon price tag. Which was followed by the sleepy high school boy behind the counter telling me it was the last one…meaning I’d get 30% off of it since it was the display.  At first “display” frightened me. But the sleepy (but incredibly nice) boy reassured me that most people don’t come to Target to mess around with the DSLR cameras, so really it probably is in pretty good shape. Plus I had 90 days to return it.

And the deal was sealed. Except when I got home I realized I didn’t have a battery charger, and it had the wrong battery (hence the display model). So, to make a long day short, I went back to Target, once again talked to the incredibly nice (no longer too sleepy) boy in red, and was given a great deal on a new battery plus another 10% off the camera for having missing parts. When it was all said and done, I had a my very own SLR camera — with lens — for hundreds of dollars less than I would have paid anywhere online. Wow. The financial gods were on my side today (probably karma for them being NOT on my side earlier this week with some iphone troubles).

So, when I got home, again, and had no idea what I was doing, I took my first shot:



Yep, one press of a button and that was it, I was addicted.


Here’s Tito doing his “deer in headlights” pose.


And Frankie doing her “howling hippopotamus” impression


And Tito getting his turn-left mug shot. “Yeah, I stole her bone. Wat-chu gonna do ’bout it, bub?”


Whoever said black dogs don’t photograph well?

And, finally, a little play-by-play of Frankie and Rilo bonding on the couch…



Definitely a productive day in the world of beginner’s photography. I’m thinking about signing up for a class to actually learn all the fun features on the new camera. For now, I think I’ll keep testing things out with my zoo full of models.

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Filed under happiness, life with fur, shop with me, the great indoors, this 'n that

I’m Still Here!

Hello. It’s been a while. I’m sorry for going awol on all my friends out in the blogosphere. If you’re wondering what I’ve been up to during my little leave of absence, here’s a little recap (and, hold tight, I’ve saved the best for last).

1. A Rocky Mountain High
Lucas and I headed out for our annual ski trip about a month ago, out to the Winter Park area. This year, he did the skiing. I did the relaxing in the condo where it was nice and warm. Not my ideal way to spend a “ski” trip, but it was still nice to get away.


2. A Trip to New York to Witness the Nation’s Top Dogs (though if you ask me, I already live with them)

This is the second year in a row my job has sent me up to the Big Apple to experience Westminster. And it is exactly that, an experience. Those 17-hour work days were a little rough on me this year. But for some odd reason, it’s an event I never want to pass up.

3. The House, The House, The House
If my little point ‘n shoot hadn’t died on me about 2 weeks ago, I swear I would have posted something sooner. But, it did. And I’ve been lacking the energy to do anything about it, so any pictures I had of my recent updates are trapped on that little memory card for the time being. Since I’ve last posted, much more has been accomplished. Like finally landing on a color for the kitchen, adding shelves to the kitchen, getting the gigantic tree in the backyard taken down (just before St. Louis got hit with more tornado-strength winds), the downstairs bathroom has been de-wallpapered and repainted, and much, much more. I swear I’ll get pictures up soon. In the meantime, here’s a shot to hold you over — our bathroom “before.” It was pond themed, complete with lily pad wallpaper.

4. Saying Good-Bye To Our Calico Cat
When I was 10 years old, I sat down on Christmas morning, next to our big green tree and my parents handed me a box. The box had a square in the top. And soon the square was filled a teenie-tiny little calico kitten. I named her Kali (with a “K” like my first Cabbage Patch Kid). She was probably only 6 weeks old. And too young to be away from her mom. And despite an infection in her eye (which one vet told us he would like to remove, glad we didn’t listen) and a pretty bad respiratory sickness, she was the sweetest, most grateful, most caring cat you could ever imagine. And she went on to be that way for the next 21 years of her life. My parents buried her in our backyard. There really wasn’t any other option.

5. Us + One (aka, my biggest excuse for abandoning all recent duties as a loyal blogger)
We are officially making room for one more in our house.  I’m almost 12 weeks pregnant now. And this little guy/girl has sure does take some energy! So, while I love to blog, the couch seems to have been way more appealing these past couple of months. But, we’re super excited. I had an ultrasound at week 10, and the little pal was kicking like a rockstar. According to the websites, it is now somewhere between a lime and a plum in size. Lucas thought it was weird when I held up a lime to my stomach this week to show him. How else would you know? Anyway, I’m thinking about starting up a separate “baby” blog to kind of track the progress. That way, those interested can check, and those not so into babies quite yet…don’t have to. Oh, and did you like my foreshadowing from above? This is why I didn’t ski on our “ski” trip.

And in case you’re wondering (because everyone is), the answer is “yes.” We will find out the sex. We’re both planners like that. :)

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Filed under cottage, life with fur, the great indoors, this 'n that