Archives for posts with tag: Pets

The first phase of spring arrived in Minneapolis last week. Not the kind of spring most of the country would recognize. We won’t see tulips and patio beers and open window Saturdays for months. This part of spring is kind of gross.

Our layers of snow and ice have begun to melt. Lakes of brown slush form at each intersection and in potholes big enough to separate a tire from your car. Mountains of snow relinquish the odd objects they’ve swallowed throughout the winter: hubcaps, bits of trash, tree branches, a single shoe.

With this melt, our sweet poodle could finally get a long overdue haircut. The first in three months. We waited so long (too long) because we couldn’t bear to remove those curls. We couldn’t bear to see her tiny body shiver before we’ve walked even halfway around the block. She needed those curls to keep her warm through this hellish winter.

I give you the poodle, before and after:


Our fluffy lion turns into a delicate deer.


Two nights ago, I shoveled the driveway in a hoodie. The dog bounded through the snow like a giddy-Minnesotan-antelope. The wife grilled pork chops. We were full of hope. The combination of our deep snow pack, the warm air, and the poodle’s need for a haircut led to this situation:


Worth it.

This morning, we woke to more than ten inches of fresh snow. Heavy snow. Snow that knocked out power to thousands of Minneapolis homes. Our hearts broke. The weather man’s advice for the coming weeks?

“Abandon all hope.” Seriously, he said that:


I blame this weather, this lack of hope, for my inability to write. The bleakness of each day has sucked away my focus, my ability to string words together. Yes, that’s it. I’ll blame the weather. If you’ve noticed that this blog is suffering, blame the weather.

I do.

Daily Prompt.

The wife and I talk about babies.

Sometimes, as I try to fall asleep, my mind will spin before letting me drift off. Lately these thoughts bounce towards parenthood. Are we ready? Am I ready? How will a baby change our life? Will the dog like the baby? Will the baby like the dog? Is the school district we’re in any good?

The list is endless. Maybe the questions shouldn’t be answered.

One thing has become clear, as we talk and let our minds drift with the poodle tucked between us, that even though we treat our dog like a child, she is not. We can leave her alone for hours on end. She generally does not wake us in the middle of the night – except to alert us of monsters breaking into the house. She is our responsibility but she doesn’t (entirely) control our lives.

Then again, I’d argue that she has taught us at least one important thing; she has taught us how to talk to each other about another being whom we both love. We talk about her diet and her poops and her mood. We must agree on how to discipline her. We have to have these conversations and occasional disagreements like adults. This can be hard when we have divergent opinions and we’re both right. Eventually we figure it out.

If we’re ready or not, I think the dog will be happy for us to dress up a baby instead of her:


Little does she know, we’ll never stop:


She’s so cute when she’s mad!

Yesterday I only left the house to shovel. The poodle helped. She lunged after each scoop of snow, chasing them into the yard where she sunk above her neck before racing back to catch the next scoop mid-air. When she was thoroughly snow covered I sent her inside. She watched in style as I finished the front walk:


The sky was blue in Minneapolis – that winter kind of blue, sharper than seems normal – but the wind howled and drifted snow steadily over my morning’s work. We curled up to nap and read, the poodle pressing every possible inch of her body against my wife’s leg, absorbing her warmth. The wind rattled our windows and crept through crevices. For a moment I could imagine that our house stood alone on the prairie, nothing to protect us. Only for a moment.

We were warm.

A friend of mine recently rose to a mid-level of internet stardom. Perhaps you’ve seen him:


It’s been exciting to watch. He has more than 250,000 notes on tumblr, +100,000 views on buzzfeed, he has been interviews by morning programs and radio shows, even the Rachel Ray Show contacted him.

This modern fifteen minutes of fame isn’t as new a phenomenon as it feels. On the surface this all feels very modern. Fast paced, digital mumbo-jumbo. These pictures, this joke has crossed international boundaries. Everyone, it seems, is talking about it. Yet isn’t that how popular culture has always worked. From freak shows to psychics to America’s Funniest Home Videos. We’ve always loved flare-up curiosities.

Maybe what’s new about it is how accessible it is. The internet can choose anyone. One funny video. One catchy meme and you’re in. At least for a week or two.

Atta boy, Chris.

The sweet Swedish forecaster here in Minneapolis said we wouldn’t break zero today. Even our optimistic, south-facing thermometer agreed. Worry not, dear reader, we planned ahead.

The plan today was to simply not leave the house. Errands all completed yesterday. Weekly meals planned. Walk and driveway shoveled. Car washed. Books and puzzles at the ready. Like a couple of good Midwesterners we were ready for a snow day. Even the poodle doesn’t seem to mind:


This kind of shut in day is my best argument for winter. My best argument for a Midwestern life.

We have no guilt about staying in. This is a rational hermitage. Our only logical choice, really. This is for our safety. Frostbite can occur within a matter of minutes in these conditions (don’t google pictures of that malady, just trust me on this one.)

A life in a milder climate doesn’t allow for such extremism. A day like this would feel like a waste in kinder weather. You should mend that fence or walk the dog a little farther or simply get your lazy ass off the couch. Not me. I’m just gonna sit here.

When it’s 22 degrees next week maybe I’ll wear shorts.

The wife watched a video on her phone while we waited for the potatoes to finish baking. A little dog yelped from within the phone. Our poodle jumped into action – to save us from the invaders, of course.

We still can’t convince her that her worry is for naught:


After watching our first attempt at bookshelves steadily pull themselves from the drywall over the course of a week, I was a little weary to try again. I’m not a handy person, I’m not very technically minded, but I was good and sick of fishing the poodle’s tennis ball from the stacks of books piled on the floor. This weekend we found the studs and I think it turned out alright:


For now at least.

We’ll see if our work (or this little house) can hold our love of books. The poodle is skeptical.


While I was away for the weekend, the dishwasher decided that instead of draining the water like normal it would just go ahead and put all of that nasty water onto the kitchen floor – and some in the basement for good measure. Luckily, my sweet, quick thinking girl and her super poodle were there to mop up the mess. And call a plumber. And momentarily question why owning a home seemed like a good idea.

The plumber showed up yesterday to put our fears at ease. It wasn’t such a big deal and the poodle loved him, as you can see:

She doesn’t usually care for strangers. Maybe this guy had a good vibe. Maybe the smells of what he pulled from the depths of our drains entranced her. Or, maybe she knew the work he did would make us a little friendlier in the days to come.

We are homeowners. It happened. It’s happening. I can’t quite tell if it’s really done yet. I still almost drive to the apartment every day after work.

But it’s good.

We have a garage now. The street is quiet. The windows are far less drafty than the apartment and the poodle has adapted well. She loves the yard and slips on the hardwood floors and doesn’t bark too much at noises she can’t quite identify.

I hope she’s happy.

The girlfriend took this picture of the poodle in our emptying apartment that makes me wonder:


But, like I said, things are good.

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