Three Kids and a Dog

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Austen Can Dance!

Usually, I try to post about happenings with Austen and Adler together, but there are some occasions when I will post about just one of them. Today is one of those occasions.

Last week, Tom and I noticed that Austen has rythym. Now keep in mind that Tom and I aren't the best dancers in the world, but so far it looks like Austen has acquired a rythym all on his own.

Lucky for you just upgraded their system so we are able to now post video. So you too can check out our cutie pie dancing to the music.


Saturday, October 27, 2007

Adler and Austen's Favorite Toy

For years now, Adler's favorite toy has been a pink ball that my mom bought at Toys R Us for my neices. Adler happened to be visiting my mom's one day and claimed it for her own. It's been at our house ever since.

Well, Austen started really crawling last week and decided now that he was mobile he could go after Adler's toys. Except he's not interested in all of Adler's toys. Just the pink ball - her favorite toy! So Austen will take off down the hallway after the ball and Adler will come from behind as Austen is about to reach it and scoop it up in her mouth, preventing him from reaching it and sticking it in his own mouth.

I'm sure Adler's thinking it's not really fair that we don't let her play with Austen's toys, but Austen can go after her pink ball whenever he wants. But for now, I think Adler should be happy that we are at least keeping Austen away from her food!
Note: Blogger just added the ability to upload video to your blog. We have some good footage that I will try to figure out how to share for the next post.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Austen and Adler Become Pals

It's starting to happen. Austen is starting to recognize Adler like he recognizes his mom and dad. When we come home, he is so excited to see Adler and likewise when Adler surprises him when she gets to come with me to pick up Austen from daycare. The gleeful shrieks and the pumping of the arms and legs are just a few clues that let us know that Austen clearly enjoys his puppy and knows it's part of his world. These are moments that are enough to make your heart melt.

Of course there are some pitfalls too to having a dog and a baby. Austen has just started to crawl (well, his version of crawl where one leg is in crawl mode and the other helps to push him as he makes his way across the room), and thinks that Adler's waterbowl and food are fair game. Now, we've been successful at keeping Adler away from Austen's toys (actually there's only one toy now that Adler's interested in but we'll cover that in a future post), but what to do when your dog backs away from her bowl and looks at you puzzled as Austen plunges his hands into Adler's water and tries to pick up the bite-size morsels of her food?!

I guess it's good, that Adler isn't an agressive dog - especially around her food, which we all know she loves - but I'm thinking we're going to have to do something about the dog bowl. And something too about Adler thinking now that Austen is mobile, she can play with him. For example, yesterday Adler was playing with her toys and Austen was squealing with delight at Adler running around. Well, Adler takes her toy and nudges Austen with it signaling that she wants to play. Too bad Austen wasn't ready for the nudge or maybe Adler's 80 pounds compared to Austen's 21 was no match. Austen got pushed straight back and fell. Now, I'm sure it hurt, but I know it won't be the last time that Austen falls or that Adler accidentally makes him fall. I guess with dogs and kids, you're in for a few bumps and bruises. Good thing Adler gave him a few extra kisses and it looked like Austen forgave her as he was back to laughing at her in no time.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Adler's New Master

Turns out that Adler's new master is my neice, Mia. Last weekend we went to our favorite place in Michigan for a few days to celebrate my dad's 60th bday. We got lucky and it was in the 80s so we got to swim in the pool and hit the beach.

Well, apparently Mia and Adler bonded during this weekend. By the second day when Mia was jumping in the pool, Adler (who is afraid of water) was standing on the steps reaching her paw out to Mia and making whining noises. Now I didn't think anything of this until Mia was jumping from the side of the pool and Adler was running in front of her trying to prevent her from jumping (never mind that she was causing more of a hazard by tripping Mia on her way into the pool!) Adler kept this up until Mia got out of the pool. Poor dog, she probably was a nervous wreck trying to save Mia but being scared to actually jump in herself. Meanwhile my brother's dog was swimming like a fish in the pool. But despite both of these events, Adler wouldn't put more than her four paws in the water.

What was really interesting though was that when we got home, I gave Austen a bath. Austen was making quite a ruckus in the tub as he loves the water and kicking his feet, and Adler, who was afraid to come anywhere near the bathroom when Austen was being bathed for fear that she would be bathed too, came running in to see what was going on. She stayed for a long time too which was really unusual. I think she thought he needed to be saved from the water too.
It's nice to see Adler being protective with kids. Although no matter what happens, I don't think she is ever going in the water.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

A Story About How Much Our Pets Mean To Us

My aunt forwarded this "story" to me. Her son, my17-year-old cousin, is trying to convince her and my uncle to get a dog. Of course, I have joined in the lobbying of my aunt and uncle, but I wanted to pass on this particularly poignant story of how much our pets can mean to us.

A man and his dog were walking along a road. The man was enjoying the scenery, when it suddenly occurred to him that he was dead. He remembered dying, and that the dog walking beside him had been dead for years. He wondered where the road was leading them.
After a while, they came to a high, white stone wall along one side of the road. It looked like fine marble. At the top of a long hill, it was broken by a tall arch that glowed in the sunlight. When he was standing before it he saw a magnificent gate in the arch that looked like mother-of-pearl, and the street that led to the gate looked like pure gold. He and the dog walked toward the gate, and as he got closer, he saw a man at a desk to one side.

When he was close enough, he called out, "Excuse me, where are we?"

"This is Heaven, sir," the man answered.

"Wow! Would you happen to have some water?" the man asked.

"Of course, sir. Come right in, and I'll have some ice water brought right up." The man gestured, and the gate began to open.

"Can my friend," gesturing toward his dog, "come in, too?" the traveler asked.

"I'm sorry, sir, but we don't accept pets."

The man thought a moment and then turned back toward the road and continued the way he had been going with his dog. After another long walk, and at the top of another long hill, he came to a dirt road leading through a farm gate that looked as if it had never been closed. There was no fence. As he approached the gate, he saw a man inside, leaning against a tree and reading a book.

"Excuse me!" he called to the man. "Do you have any water?"
"Yeah, sure, there's a pump over there, come on in."

"How about my friend here?" the traveler gestured to the dog.

"There should be a bowl by the pump."

They went through the gate, and sure enough, there was an old-fashioned hand pump with a bowl beside it. The traveler filled the water bowl and took a long drinkhimself, then he gave some to the dog. When they were full, he and the dog walked back toward the man who was standing by the tree.

"What do you call this place?" the traveler asked.

"This is Heaven," he answered.

"Well, that's confusing," the traveler said. "The man down the road said that was Heaven, too."

"Oh, you mean the place with the gold street and pearly gates? Nope. That's hell."

"Doesn't it make you mad for them to use your name like that?"

"No, we're just happy that they screen out the folks who would leave their best friends behind."

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Coming Home

I'm back from my week-long work meeting. It went fairly quickly despite being under the weather most of the time I was there. In fact, I had newfound respect for babies' ears when landing. If you've ever flown with a cold, you know what I mean.

Anyway, it was easier to be away when I wasn't feeling so great and had a lot of meetings. Time where I could just focus on me but I did think of Adler and Austen often. We stayed at Hotel Salomar in San Diego and they are a pet-friendly hotel. Upon my arrival, I just happen to get one of their keycards with a Berner on it! Talk about destiny - I checked with our other 40 or so staff members who were also staying there and I don't think anyone else had a Berner on their keycard. So that was my first reminder of home and one that I looked at a few times a day when I went back to my room.

The second reminder were all the babies! It seems wherever I went, there were babies everywhere. Babies being strolled around San Diego, in the convention hall, during sessions and yes, across the hotel hall from me...her name was Beatrice and she was 10 months old. She was rather chipper like Austen even when her "nappy" needed a change as her mother shared with me (they were from London). Last night I was eager to catch the red eye home, especially after I spied a 5-month old with the same bib as Austen during our big presidential reception! Anyhow, I survived and so did Adler and Austen. Tom took great care of them and the house wasn't in shambles when I arrived. But when I did walk in the door at 5am this morning, there was Adler to greet me (for 10 minutes straight) and then I went in to check on Austen. I had good intentions of admiring him sleeping and getting some rest myself but I couldn't resist. Yes, I woke him up and even in his groggy state, I think he was happy to see me. The best is that after I played with him for about 30 minutes, he went back to sleep just like that. My kid is great and so is my dog. It's nice to go away and be reminded of that every once in awhile.