Category: Dog Mom

Friday’s Five

img_0998— getting used to making myself an office anywhere I go–


— finding a Chicken of the Woods on my daily walk through the forest with Freddy —


— a weekend drive up North to enjoy peak foliage season–


— being selected to be in 2 different movies filming in Boston — actors sure do work long days! 14+ hours, I was drained!–


–and enjoying some poutine pizza (from CheeseBoard SO GOOD!) in Windsor,Vermont at Oktoberfest with Harpoon Brewery

Happy Friday everyone! I am just (more…)

What’s in my running fanny pack

I am not a great runner, but I find myself signing up to run 5K road races all the time — I get sucked in for the cause of the race, and then hate myself when the running part happens telling myself I am never signing up to run again. I figured since I was on the cross-country team in high-school, and that running is as simple as putting one foot in front of the other, I can do it with ease. Wrong.

My neck and shoulders always hurt when I run – I end up just rotating my head from side to side to get the kink out and continue running. I lose my breath so quickly and don’t get it because I eat healthy and exercise on the reg!  Now that I have a very energetic dog and a very active fiancé that take me on trail runs (we have a reservation about 4 minutes from our house, it would be a shame not to utilize all the trails),  I decided I would actually learn how to run. 

Back story: When I was in Poland last month, my uncle (who is a renowned surgeon) came over to me and put his hand on my back telling me to stand up straight. Uh, I thought I was standing up straight? I have tried to be more observant of my posture and constantly find myself adjusting and cracking my back.  

Check back next week for a post about what to be looking for when evaluating your posture.

So to learn how to run properly,  I first focused on 2 things that instantaneously changed how I felt when running: posture & breathing.

Proper Running Posture Tips:

  • Hold your head high, centered between your shoulders, and your back straight. I focus on keeping my chest out and tightening my abs (or sucking in your stomach). This will give your back that straight line.
  • Focus your gaze in front of you. This can be hard when you are running on rocky trails, and want to see where you are stepping. Glance down every so often so you do not run into a rock tree stump (it happens a lot!) but generally speaking focus your gaze about 30 yards in front of you.  Looking down when running could lead to that strain on your neck muscles and spine.
  • Keep your shoulders relaxed and parallel to the ground.  Your shoulders should hang loosely with a slight forward roll for optimal relaxation. Several times during my run, I have noticed my shoulders rising toward my ears or tensing up, so I just drop my arms and loosely shake them out. 


Snowed in Boston… we (and our pets) have had enough!

unnamed (1)Freddy is starting to go stir crazy – o.k … I lied. Freddy has gone stir crazy! I mean who hasn’t in Boston?  My seasonal depression has reached its limit and I don’t think I’m alone! The airlines have reported more than a usual amount of travelers heading out of Boston than in recent years… can’t say we’re surprised. We need some Vitamin D STAT!IMG_2828I used to go on long walks every day with Fred and head to the dog park a few times a week. Now, the dog park is nowhere to be found and the long walks have turned into us letting Fred out in the somewhat shoveled out path in the backyard for 5 minutes tops – Boston has estimated about 7 feet of snow in the past 4 weekends with temperature/wind chills getting down to -25 degrees some nights! So, unfortunately for our pups, shoveling and plowing out the dog parks is not on the Mayor’s priority list and neither is their owner’s desire to walk in the freezing temperatures— wait— walk? where exactly? or HOW? People are skiing around town!

Freddy’s trainers the other night told us that many dog owners have been asking for Help, explaining that their dogs are starting to get aggressive….

So what can we do inside the house to keep these pups entertained? 

  • Hide and Seek
    This is by far my new favorite game to play with Freddy. Have your dog sit and wait while you go find a hiding spot. Call them once when you’re hidden and praise them enthusiastically when they find you. Freddy runs up and down the hall peering in every room and then repeats until I call his name a few times. It’s really cute. He gets SO excited when he finally finds me.
  • Find The Treats
    Grab some smelly treats and have your dog stay while you go hide them around the house. Start with some easy hiding spots and work your way up once your dog is accustomed to using his nose. When we started working on this game I would let Freddy watch me hide some of them and then he would use his nose to find his way to the others. I do this when I leave the house in the morning, so he can have an activity to do while I’m away. I love seeing if he finds all the treats…. and he usually does!

    You call to a dog and a dog will break its neck to get to you. Dogs just want to please. Call to a cat and its attitude is, “What’s in it for me?” – Lewis Grizzard

  • Teach Your Dog The Names of Their Toys
     I didn’t realize this, but dogs have the ability to learn hundreds of words. Freddy’s favorite toy is Mr.Elephant. I started calling his little stuffed elephant “Mr.Elephant” while we were playing with the toy. Once he could pick it out, I started to play with a different toy, calling it “Nemo”. He has so many toys so I’m excited to teach him the names of all of them to keep him busy.
  • The “Go Find It” Game
    I always ask Freddy to go find Mr.Elephant and bring him to me. I love doing this while I’m cooking and he’s bothering me to play.  We have a small toy container that Fred goes to pick out the toy! I try to keep this fun for him by rewarding him with a treat or quick game of tug when he brings me the correct toy. This game is a good mental workout for them.
  • Basic Obedience Training
    Freddy knows (almost) all the basic obedience commands. Does your dog? One thing I need to make sure we have is a reliable recall and stay. Living in the city, it doesn’t leave much room for dogs to be off leash and run where they please (which is why I’m super excited to take him to Vermont this Spring!), so its super important to make sure Freddy comes to me when I call him. Even well-trained dogs need a refresher course now and then to keep them sharp and this is perfect weather to practice just that! All dogs should have a basic sit, down, stay, drop it, and come here. We are still working on Drop it with Fred — that is one strong jaw!!
  • Tug of War
    Tug of war is extremely tiring, both mentally and physically. The good news is you don’t need a ton of room to play so it can be done indoors.. It’s a simple way to exercise your dog as long as you follow a few basic rules. Caution: This game should probably be played on the ground! I was playing tug of war with Fred on the bed, which is pretty high – and the doodle decided to let me win? – I can never win at this game so I clearly was not expecting this and flew off (dramatically) the bed, slamming into the door – which slammed into the wall and finally landing on the hard wooden floor. My bruises look like I was beaten…. and I was… by my dog! at tug of war!
  • Teach Them To Say Please by Sitting
    I have tried to teach Fred that sitting politely is the key to gaining our attention– this requires you to completely IGNORE any other actions — as in barking, crying, nudging your hand– Don’t be afraid to teach your dog how to act – without guidance they develop bad manners. Our dogs look to us for cues all the time, they like to know what’s expected of them. Reward polite behaviors handsomely, with consistency your dog will get into the habit of asking for things in a polite manner.
  • Make a Dog Play Date
    I had to babysit one weekend and what little kids don’t love a puppy? Well, they asked me to bring Freddy with me! and he got to play with the family’s 3 year old Cockapoo. A dog playing with another dog is the BEST workout they can get— Fred slept the rest of the day after that! and so did his friend, Rocco!
  • IMG_2747*Ideas adapted from*

 ‘Money can buy you a fine dog, but only love can make him wag his tail.’ – Kinky Friedman

Weekly Recap

Where have I been? Well, let’s see, between starting a new job, being pounded with over 2 feet of snow and then slammed again with another foot ….and taking care of a sick puppy — I’ve been a little busy. 


Freddy is my first pet. If he was a human child, I think I could help if there was a fever, throw up etc. I speak from experience -been up all night with plenty of babies and young kids to know I can handle it (babysitting since I was 12)…but an animal- now that is something I was NOT even slightly prepared for- how could I have been?

It all started my first week of work, Nico was traveling and I was stuck one day, so decided to give doggy day care a try. After getting some good feedback and everyone telling me to stop worrying and “just do it” I had Fred get picked up by a dog service and taken to “day care”.

All seemed fine and well the next day, until I went home for lunch & he threw up…hmmm..was I suspicious? (more than I already was to begin with)… you bet ya!

I just HAVE to share this screen shot of the convo I had with my parents that day when I told them Fred threw up…

Hilarious? Yes? Did it freak me out? mhmm

It only started to worry me (MORE) when he threw up again, hardly touched his food and he had diarrhea that night.

At first, I was convinced that he was just anxious that Nico was gone for a few days – (he threw up the first time we got him when Nico traveled), but now I was starting to think it was something else…so I switched him to a bland diet of boiled hamburger meat (extra lean) and white rice for 3 days (Vet recommended- I called them)

Nothing happened the next day as far as Fred’s bowel movements, so that was good and he was loving the meat and rice diet. Nico came home that night and all seemed well again. Saturday, we went to tour that day care facility and Freddy needed to get “evaluated” for 30 min so we were asked to leave. This was to see how he played with the other dogs that were there.

I didn’t like that.

Nico said I was being crazy.

Anyways, next stop was the groomers. Freddy’s first groom!! 2.5 hours later and we didn’t recognize our dog:

IMG_2346They let us know that he would be shaking his head a lot because they plucked hair out of there…and he shook…a lot.

The next morning, I noticed what looked like dried up blood in his ears – and his diarrhea was back.

We were slammed with a snow storm so we were outside a bit and Freddy was LOVING the snow.. loving it….

Processed with VSCOcam with m5 preset Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

 That night, bad bowel movements returned and no water or food was touched all day. Nico took him to the vet in the AM.

He was given 2 types of medicines- one for the diarrhea and one for being nauseous and he was injected with electrolyte fluid because he was borderline dehydrated. That was ALL the information I got.


I called the vet and asked how his ears looked to her..silence..she FORGOT to look. Not ok.

I took him back after work and we got an ear swap done, came back with a yeast infection- which they treated and he still has the ointment in his ears (stays for 2 weeks)


I asked a million questions to conclude that he must have caught some type of “puppy virus/flu” – things that young kids get from school especially during the colder months. Oh fabulous. $330 later….

He was not in the mood for puppy crazies the rest of the day/night and the following day. It was pretty bad! He just lay there like a helpless, motionless body. My heart broke. Cue the dramatic music…

I left work early the next day after talking to my boss and used a syringe to force water down.  Every 15 min, as Freddy lay on his bed. Finally he stood up, I forced down more water/his pills and I made him boiled chicken and rice- which he LOVED.IMG_2432

He was coming back around by that night and his puppy crazies are finally returning. I am back to not knowing where the matching pair of my shoes have gone…but that’s okay with me.


I was VERY BUSY (not even mentioning all the training and new information I’m being flooded with at work)

A Prius is NOT a good car for the snow.

Goldendoodles have sensitive stomachs and are prone to get ear infections, so, I just ordered this product:093824-808529348_1_640

Highly recommend if you have a floppy ear dog where moisture can build up. I’ll take a video to show you how to use it on your pup.Use it after a bath or anytime your pet could of got a lot of moisture in their ears.

Even if your pet is all up to date on vaccinations, viruses exist for dogs(and cats) – especially puppies as their immune systems aren’t built up yet – same as for children.

I got pet insurance.

Force water (I got the electrolyte infused water from Target) using a syringe if your pet is not drinking for more than 48 hours – better yet- get him injected for electrolyte fluids at the vet.

Always go with your instincts – of course- you can’t shelter a pet or your children forever… I was sheltered by my mom a lot – which was great and I’m healthy and all – but to some extent, children, as well as animals (see Puppy Socialization post) need to get out there in the world, even if you just want to protect them forever, their immune systems will build up and get stronger after being exposed to the world.

Hopefully Freddy’s immune system will boost up and be stronger and he can be back to being our healthy, happy little dood.