Dog Show

The lady that we normally ask to board the Mac Attack is gearing up for her first baby so was unavailable. I decided I would just keep life easy and board Mac at a fancy pants place near our house. We took Bear and Travis there a hundred years ago, but that was back when it was just a nicer place than the vet’s office. I learned while booking his “reservation” that things have changed a bit…

“Thank you for calling, how can I help you?”

“Hi, yes, I just need to board our dog for a few days?”

“Of course. I show we have a reservation available for your fur baby that weekend.”

“Huh. Fur baby. Interesting. Ok, what is the daily rate?”

“Well that depends on the room. What size room were you looking for?”

“Ummm, what are my options?”

“Well based on his size, I would not go smaller than a medium room. We also have a large room that is about two feet larger in each direction. And then we have a suite that has a bed in it and interior lighting. Then a junior suite that has a full size bed along with some other comforts of home. And lastly we have the large suite that has 24 hour access to a private yard along with the bed, bedding and other comforts of the smaller suites.”


“Are you still there??”

“Wow. Yes. Here. Ok. Well I think I’m probably looking at the medium room. Unless there’s a dorm option. Then he would prefer that.”

Dorm option?”

“Yes. Like if he could share a really tiny room with a dog he didn’t know but they would become fast friends because they’re sharing a small space. I think we’re in that category, he’s a social guy. But if that’s not an option, then I think we’ll go with medium.”

“Excellent. Then you’ll need to bring his food and feeding instructions. And you’re welcome to bring water as well.”

“Wait, you don’t give him water?”

“No, no. We do. But if you would prefer to bring water from home – so that he’s more comfortable – you’re welcome to.”

“Interesting. My preschooler isn’t even allowed to bring a water bottle to school….well, since Mac is just as happy to drink out of the toilet – any toilet – as a bowl, we’ll stick with whatever you have.”

“Great. Is there anything else I can book for you?”

“Yes, I’d like to have him groomed the day we pick him up.”

“Oh of course. We’ll be able to book that along with the social engagements you would like when you drop him off.”

“Super. We’ll talk then. I’ll make sure that I fully understand Mac’s expectations prior to then.”

“That’s usually the best plan. See you soon!”

“Gurl. As long as they’re cool with this? I’m down.”



The Mac Attack

We all know I was not such a big fan of getting a dog. I love dogs, don’t get me wrong. But a 4 year old, a 1 year old AND a puppy?? It was a recipe made for a nice little rehab in Tucson.

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Flash forward almost two years and I’ll give you one guess who this dog loves the best (I mean, besides Auggie). That’s right, yours truly. And secretly…I really love him too. I even kicked a kid out of the jogger for him.


And I’ve learned a lot about Labs. Like the fact that they have iron stomachs and can eat anything. Literally anything. I’ve picked up more poop with remnants of things that should never go into a dog, let alone come out of a dog. I’ve discovered that he’s eaten liquid ant bait, twice. And not so much as a vet visit. BUT. And there’s a big but…Labs have horrible skin. I realized the first summer we had him, he itched all the time. Like ALL THE DAMN TIME. It was loud. It was annoying and it made for extra dog hair everywhere.

After consulting friends, the Wag ‘N Wash and the internet, I found a great blog that recommended a brand of treat/vitamins called Cloud Star. They have a blend that is great for skin, especially Lab skin. After changing his food to totally grain free, adding coconut oil to his meals and trying to get him to drink water with nothing really working on the problem, I was skeptical to try the treats. But much to my surprise, they really worked! His fur was shiny, the scratching and itching was way down and the shedding seemed better too. Mac seems to be happy about it too.


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You know, just having a lazy Saturday, watching the Masters


Do you have any good dog skin tricks to try? Let me know – there can always be less hair around here!

This Guy

As everyone within ear shot knew, I was not too thrilled about this guy  becoming our newest pet. It was nothing personal, I just didn’t need another being to look after, care for and clean up after. Oh and the hair. The hair! I did not need the hair.

But….as we close in on Mac’s first birthday, I have to admit, he’s pretty great. I got the pick of the litter and I chose him because I could hang him upside down over my head and he laid loosely in my hands and stared at me. I thought if he can handle that calmly, then he might make it at our house. And thankfully, his nature is as  mellow today as it was then.

Now, don’t get me wrong. There has been some serious work that went into this guy – but to have your 5 year old be able to walk the 60lbs nine month old lab around the block? Totally worth all the effort. And we have the amazing DaCoda to thank for it! Call her at Paws and Effect Training 480-577-6043. She’s worth her weight in gold! Or dog treats. Either way she’s awesome.


He totally walks better for her than anyone else


I can’t believe how little they both were! Best buddies in the making

Then…and now

and then there’s this…

photo 2 (53) Labra-bunny. Oddly, I think he really liked 1 (48) Everyone knows labs make the best pillowsphoto 3 (42)

 We’ve still got work to do on his need to stealing the kids toys and sneaking them outside to eat. And to stop eating my tomato plant. And not eat anything he finds on a walk….but his positives outweigh his negatives so I guess he stays. And I might even like him…but just a little .

mac bed

Seemed Like a Good Idea

A walk in shower seemed like such a good idea…until this guy.

mac shower

“Oh heeeey! I didn’t know you were showering. That’s cool. I love water. Like really love water. In any form. Like the water on the glass. Or by the drain. Or on your leg. Do you want me to lick that off for you? Cause I’d be happy to. With or without your permission is fine with me. I also love soap so if you have any of that, I can take it off your hands for you. Just say the word. I’ll be right here”.

Oh Heeeyyy Halloween

Listen, better late than never….

I don’t want to brag…but we ROCKED Trunk or Treat this year! Thanks to the D family for their refrigerator box, their awesome painting skills and creativity, we made two super cool haunted houses. Bonus? They are stored safely away for next year!

The princesses and a cheerleaderIMG_5758IMG_5760

The black lights really put it over the top!IMG_5764 IMG_5763Where’s the fire ma’am?


We also Fall Fesitivaled and had actual Halloween – I was all too happy to pack up the decorations on November first. But having a holiday hangover is the sign that you did a good job, right??

Auggie’s look of confusion is priceless.IMG_5776 IMG_5779

Someone did not appreciate their butterfly costume

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B and I thought we were sooo cleaver making a crying baby pumpkin for Augg

IMG_5785The beauty of cardboard haunted houses – they’re portable!


Meet Mac

Meet The Mac Attack


Yes this furry little face finally came home late one night last week. He immediately met the dog trainer which put him on a tight schedule of crate time, play time and potty time. Which is why I’m delayed in getting some pictures. Much like having a new baby, there has been a lot of timers, documenting and adjusting. But after a week, I think we’re finally settling into a routine and are well on our way to having a really well behaved dog! And good thing because he’s gained 3lbs in a week. I think he’s going to live up to the size of those feet…

Baylor, is of course, over the moon. And Auggie has warmed up fast. Thankfully I think we picked well because Mac will let them do about anything to him – including a ride in the swing. He just seems to take it as it comes and is always happy to play.

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Uh Oh…

As of Monday, the Wands have a new member of the family.  Name, details and more ridiculously cute pictures to come.

My sanity is SO overrated.


Fur Face

I think I can finally write this without tears streaming down my face…ok, without a lot of tears streaming down my face.

Two weeks ago we unexpectedly had to say good bye to Bear. Honestly it had been coming and we knew that, but no one was willing to make the decision so he made it for us. He had what we think was a stroke and the vet told us it was probably one of more to come and that he wouldn’t make it through the night.

It was so sudden and unexpected – Peter and I couldn’t look at each other without crying. Bear started out as my mom, sister and my dog 13 years ago. When PW and I got married and moved to DC, both Bear and Travis came with us and that was 7 years ago so Bear was as much his as mine. And in a lot of respects, he was Peter’s because Bear chose Peter – litereally. He should have been named Judus because as soon as we were marrried, it was like all the love, feeding and caring for him that I had done didn’t mater, now he had a man to hang out with.

After several long cries, the gallows humor started. Growing up in my house my mom taught us that it’s good to cry, but sometimes you need to laugh instead of cry because there just aren’t any tears left. Peter and I laughed through tears saying that Bear was probably in purgatory watching films of all the terrible things he had done throughout his life; stealing tissues out of the trash and shreading them, peeing on the rug repeatedly despite the open dog door, tearing into bags of trash and slinking away just as his brother Travis discovered the treasure and thus making it look like he did it, wagging his tail on approach to another dog and then trying to bite their ear off, stealing baby toys, willing Baylor to drop him food, snarling through baths, learning how to open the gate to our back yard and taking himself for a walk…the list goes on. We always said he was such a smart dog, he just chose to use his brain for evil rather than good.

But despite his flaws, he was a faithful friend who was always quick with an ear kiss, a crazy welcome,  a paw to shake (but only if you had a treat) a black nose to kiss and big brown eyes that let you know that there was a lot more going on in his furry head than he was willing to let you know.

Sweet Baylor crushed me that night by asking me through sobs where Bear’s bed in heaven was. She was incredibly upset about where he would sleep since his bed was still in our room. I let her know that he had a big, fluffy bed next to Travis and Mamie. She asked if his room was close to Jesus’s and when I said yes, she calmed down and drifted off to sleep.

I still catch myself saying good bye when we leave, throwing an ice cube on the floor for him, and calling for him when I drop a carrot on the floor. I miss him when the house is quiet and he would sit in the office with me and work. I miss the clip of his nails on the tile and the jingle of his collar. How he shnuffled and stretched each morning and “combed” his hair by rubbing his face repeatedly on the bed skirt. 

B and Bear didn’t agree on much – except treats, tents and tea parties

Always the perfect tea party guest

Cotton-y fur and snow never mixed…

Add “drinking from the ice bucket” to the list of things he’s watching in purgatory

Four Legged Trouble Maker

Ah the Bear. 35 pounds of furry cuteness with just a hint of trouble (these days). But that wasn’t always the case. Bear was the “smart” one of the Bear and Travis doggie duo. Bear would start the tearing open of the trash bags, but slink away just in time for me to find Travis with a mouth full of shrimp tails and an expression that said ” isn’t this awesome?!?” which made it heartbreaking to inform him that no, no that wasn’t awesome.

But since Travis went to the big dog bed in the sky last year, the Bearmeister has slowed down a little. His competition for food and attention is gone and now all he has to do is keep that kid from pulling on him and convince her to feed him snacks (which he does very well). However, his need to be bad runs deep, just not as deep as the arthritis so his naughtyness has gone a little soft. Now his version involves drinking out of Baylor’s water table. Which really isn’t a problem. As long as he’s hydrated and it doesn’t involve the toilet, I’m good. But he needs that air of mystery – it starts with him slowly making his way to the dog door, constantly looking over his shoulder. He will then proceed to make his way across the yard stopping to pee, examine a toy on the ground and then to the water table. Next he will look over his shoulder, walk to the back door to peek in and then round aboutly make his way back to the table where he proceeds to dunk his entire face, nose included, into the water and drink deeply. He leaves a trail of water dropplets as evidence as he makes his way back inside. And once there, he’s happy as a clam. All wags and smiles – happy he’s gotten away with it yet again.

“just miiiinnding my own business…..”

“Girl really. I’m glad you think I’m cute and all but I’m trying to sleep.”