Oh Coop…

This will be short on pictures, and probably short on words as well. My dog Cooper is at the vet right now, after having surgery yesterday, Sometimes (read: most of the time) the Coop makes poor choices regarding what he puts in his mouth, and it caught up with him this time. He ate “a seven to eight inch piece of heavy duty fabric” according to Dr. Schaeffer, and my poor puppy had to get his tummy cut open to get it out. Dr. Schaeffer is THE BEST and Cooper loves her so much. Probably because she was the one who made his tummy feel better last time he ate something that he couldn’t pass (AHEM CORN COB AHEM


Last time he was at the vet, they kept him overnight the day after surgery and Dr. Schaeffer called with some updates. “Cooper seems to be doing really well, he’s hungry and very happy to see people, but I just have a question for you. Is he a vocal dog? We can’t tell if he’s in pain or if he is just whiny” How do you tell a vet, “oh don’t give him any more meds, he’s just THE WHINIEST DOG ALIVE”? What a silly boy 🙂

Cooper is fine now, and I’ll be picking him up in an hour. I can’t wait to see my pup again!

If you live in the Bothell/Kirkland/Mill Creek area (or honestly, anywhere in Washington) and need a great Veterinary office please check out Bothell Pet Hospital. They are absolutely knowledgeable, gentle and reasonably priced.


The difference a year can make

This weekend was absolutely gorgeous! The weather was in the 80s-90s every day! Summer is Michael’s favorite time of year; he loves to be outside in the heat. I, on the other hand, usually prefer autumn, but when the sun is out and the heat is on I hop on the summer bandwagon.We took full advantage of the high temperatures and made our way down to the river, where we set up chairs and cooled our feet in the flowing mountain runoff.

please take not of that strange child behind Michael...

please take note of that strange child behind Michael… Cooper did not body check him!

Last year, we went to the river as often as we could, but it was always a little stressful. Cooper wasn’t quite a year old yet, and he still was full of willful puppy defiance. It was embarrassing (and dangerous, and disrespectful to other river rats) when he would run off and bark at a family and not come back to the group when he was called. This being our first trip back to the river since last summer, I was a little wary of how well my dog Cooper would behave. Continue reading


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

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.



And then this happened.



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.”

He’s Just a Baby

I call my dog Cooper a baby a lot. Like, multiple times daily. I sing a little song to him sometimes telling everyone what a little baby he is. Sometimes the lyrics go, “Little baby Cooper, he is just a baby! He is just a baby (repeat 40x)”, other times they are variations on how he is just a baby and we love him and he’s a little baby. Barf, right? It’s disgusting, but he likes it and it relaxes him. This works especially well if Michael or I has been gone and we walk in the door – instead of building his excitement by roughhousing or hollering “hello puppy!” (which we also do, sometimes)

welcome home, Mom!

welcome home, Mom!

But because the Coop is about 90 lbs and taller than me if he’s laid out with his legs stretched behind him sometimes I do forget that he’s still young. He’s not quite two yet, which means that in doggie years he’s still an adolescent. He’s old enough that he’s beginning to mellow out, and not act like he’s on crack cocaine all the time, but still young enough to be afraid of owls when they hoot in the greenbelt by our home. Old enough that he can be left home alone without chewing on the couch, but young enough that sometimes I see new spots of ticking on his back. Old enough that he’s finished growing (we hope!) but he still has accidents… Continue reading

Doggie Pedicures

My dog Cooper never used to have a problem getting his nails clipped. We made sure when he was just a little baby puppy to always handle his feet when we were snuggling with him and he loved it. We probably clipped his nails once a week, or maybe once every two weeks, just because he was so comfortable with it. This was when Cooper was an indoor dog. We didn’t have a yard in our first place, and there were very strict rules about keeping pets leashed in our apartment complex. It didn’t help that my honey baby Cooper can sometime look terrifying when he’s happy. (It’s the American Bulldog in him – when he smiles he shows ALL of his teeth.)

He's a ferocious dog! Look at those sleepy fangs!

He’s a ferocious dog! Look at those sleepy fangs!

Continue reading