Success!

My dog Cooper, Michael and I worked really hard last night. There were some curse words used. There was a jar of peanut butter involved. But of our dedication and perseverance led to a beautiful moment: we successfully clipped Cooper’s nails! (much applause, whooping, hat throwing, ok come on now it’s getting a little rowdy HEY QUIET DOWN!)

Ever since the embarrassing, humbling and frustrating attempt a few weeks ago, there have been some half hearted tries but absolutely no reward. Cooper kept pulling his paws away at the last moment, and so we almost gave up. The clippers were still wonderful tools for coaxing the pup off of the couch or off of his living-room bed, but that had seen nary a nail in almost six weeks.

trying to get Cooper off of his pillow for bed-time

trying to get Cooper off of his pillow for bed-time

Yesterday though, I was chatting with my buddy. She loves animals and has a sweet little rescue dog named Gracie, who is small enough that my friend uses regular human nail clippers to cut little Gracie Mae’s nails, and she had some ideas for us to use with le Coop. Her mom has a bigger dog, a lab named Tucker, and the two of them work together as a team to clip Tucker’s nails. One of them holds a treat that is smothered in peanut butter, and coos to Tucker to distract him while the other person quickly and deftly clips all of his nails. She told me that Michael and I needed to try this, or a similar technique or else Cooper would be the gnarliest pup on the block OR we would have to start spending money to get it done professionally. Girl, please. I am not above spending a little bit of extra money for the good cheese, but $10 for something that Michael and I had been doing ourselves for the first year of Cooper’s life? No way.

I laugh at the idea of going to a groomer!

I laugh at the idea of going to a groomer!

So we planned our strategy. Armed with a mostly empty jar of Adams PB (with enough good stuff left inside to make it enticing) and sharp clippers, we set to the task. Let me tell you, friends, it was not easy. Every time Coop would pull his paw away we would pull the peanut butter away, and so on until finally we hit the sweet spot. My dog Cooper was tired of struggling, and Michael and I figured out that a combination of peanut butter jar, full body petting and continual reassurances of “that’s a good boy, Cooper; you’re just fine,” was ideal for the optimal nail cutting environment.

We got EVERY SINGLE NAIL (except one) with no biting, wrestling, crying or pouting! Huge success for our team! After the clipping was finished, we celebrated with a family jog so that the pavement could file down the freshly cut, rough edges of the pup’s nails. I sincerely hope that the next time nail trimming comes along, we can remember how peaceful this experience was, and continue on the path of clipped nails.

post clipping dog pile - we still love each other

post clipping dog pile – we still love each other

Workout Wednesday: Ski to Sea

alternate title: Sit on the Couch and Read My Kindle Wednesday

I haven’t blogged for a few weeks, which has worked out pretty well for Workout Wendesday because after the North Olympic Discovery half marathon I haven’t done a whole lot as far as working out goes. Running two times a week, just enough so that I can eat ice cream on the weekends and not crumble into a pile of shame, has been my modus operandi. Today’s Workout Wednesday is my much overdue race recap of Ski to Sea, and to be completely honest, I have been simultaneously excited about and dreading this post for two reasons. First, the atmosphere of Ski to Sea is difficult to convey in real life, let alone through words on a screen, and second, I knew it would be crazy long and self indulgent and probably difficult to read. So I apologize in advance!

HEYYO!!

HEYYO!!

This is Team Ocho Pinko. The Ocho Pinkos have been together in for (I think) five years, I’ve only been a part for the last four, and as you can tell by our matching hoodies, it’s a pretty tight knit group. I got drafted on as the runner in 2010, partly because I missed Bellingham enough that I was willing to sacrifice my quads, and partly because sane (read: older) people like to keep the cartilage in their knees springy. I feel like this needs a bit more of a detailed explanation… Continue reading

The time I called Poison Control

Why did I call poison control? Not because I dropped a whole container of mixed greens on the ground (I cleaned it up before My Dog Cooper ate too much, and let’s be honest a little roughage is probably good for the boy). Not because the moles have returned to our yard (why do I think this has something to do with us training Coop not to dig in the yard anymore). Definitely not because Coop has discovered how much he likes greek yogurt (and I have discovered that having a dog lick the inside of my single serve container clean is exponentially more entertaining than rinsing it in the sink).

No, I called poison control because Michael went out of town. He was visiting his Dad in Arizona and the first full day that he was gone I left Coop home alone in the morning, trusting that he would relax until I got home at lunch to check on him. This is not a new routine; we’ve been doing this for a few weeks now, and it usually seems to work just fine. There are times when he chews the remote control, but for the most part he has been a sweet little puppy angel. But I think that somehow he knew that Michael wasn’t going to be home for a few days and it stressed him out. Michael was also a little stressed out…

he's in the jailhouse now

he’s in the jailhouse now

just kidding! He was not stressed, maybe a little embarrassed though. I got a text around 10pm on a Thursday saying “I just got arrested in a cowboy town set in 1881”. Now, I love my husband, but I had to think to myself, “oh no… did he get a D & D in a tourist town?” nahh, he was just fake incarcerated. But this story is about Cooper!

Like I said, he may have been a little stressed that Michael was out of town. And what does a stressed Special Agent do when he’s home alone? He chews. This is no surprise to anyone who has ever had a dog. Usually the Coop doesn’t chew on things that are hazardous to his health (knock on all of the wood, everywhere), but that fateful Tuesday he chose to chew on a bottle of weight loss supplements. And the lid popped off. And I walked in the door to see this

omg seriously

This is my incredible illustration of Cooper, chillin’ on his bed, surrounded by pills. I’m no Natalie Dee, but that’s a pretty accurate rendering! I was too freaked out to think, “you know what? I should whip my camera out and take a picture of this for the blog!” so that’s what you get. My mind was more in the “oh crap, ohh crap. OH CRAP!” mode. I checked the bottle, and of course even though it was a natural supplement there was caffeine (a doggie killer) and theobromide (the stuff in chocolate that kills doggies). I immediately called the vet, who immediately told me to make my Special Agent vomit by feeding him hydrogen peroxide, and to call poison control. Cooper was outside in the yard, doing his dog thing while I was on the phone and frantically scrambling around trying to count the number of pills on the floor and compare it to the number of pills that may have been in the bottle. Luckily there were only 15 pills missing (which were probably ingested by Michael, not Coop) and as I relayed the info to poison control, the buddy is barfing everywhere in the yard. While on hold waiting for the poison control vet to tell me that my dog is on the verge of death, I rub Cooper behind the ears and on his belly thinking to myself that the only thing that Michael asked me to do while he was gone was to NOT kill the dog. FAIL. The vet from poison control finally explained to me that the amount of caffeine and theobromide that Cooper may have ingested could cause some mild heart palpitations, and perhaps some high blood pressure issues, but since there was no knowing how much he actually ingested she advised me to simply keep an eye on my pet for the next 6 hours. If I saw pacing, excessive panting or licking, excitability, an inability to relax or if I just felt funny then I was welcome to take Cooper to the vet and have them pump his stomach and feed him activated charcoal.

Instead, this is what happened.

yawn.

yawn.

And then this happened.

snore.

snore.

Absolutely zero extra energy. No pacing, panting or restlessness, in fact, I saw the opposite of that. Thank goodness! I believe the proper thing to say here is, “All’s well that ends well.”

Back by semi-popular demand…

Hello again! I’ve missed you! How have you been, and what is new in your life?

I (obviously) haven’t been blogging for the past few weeks, but I promise I have two semi-valid excuses. Reason 1) The extra time that I was using to blog just disappeared into thin air, partially because Michael was wrapped up in finals essays and homework on our home computer (a busted up laptop). Reason 2) I didn’t really think that people were enjoying (read: even reading) the blog, so I didn’t think it would be a big deal when I stopped, and it wasn’t to 99.9% of the population. But that 0.1% has begged me for more stories about My Dog Cooper (read: casually mentioned that they read the blog once).

To make a long story short, I’m back and I have a ton of new pictures and new anecdotes about My Dog Cooper. This Workout Wednesday, I’ll give race updates about Ski to Sea (we didn’t get last place!) and North Olympic Discovery Half Marathon (I almost threw up Gu!). But today, I’ll just ease us all back in to what is comfortable, and try to help you fully grasp why Michael and I can’t have nice things.

This. This is why we can't have nice things.

This. This is why we can’t have nice things.

Continue reading