Author Archives: TaMara
Bixby is 8 months old today and he’s been here for six months. He’s about 110 lbs, stands about 31.5″ at his shoulders and when he puts his paws on my shoulders, he can put his head on top of my head. I’m 5′ 6″. He’s become a charming young pup. He has his commands down pat, he walks well on his leash – stops at corners and waits for my command to cross the street – heels well, sits for bicycles, runners and most walkers.
We are still working on NOT dragging me when he wants to meet someone or another dog. He’s good about 50% of the time, the remainder I’m wrestling him to the ground. He’ll get, I have no doubt. It’s all about making new friends, not aggression. But he has definite ideas, he’s very smart and not sure he is all that impressed with my intelligence. ;-)
He is maturing so quickly, his “puppy moments” take me by surprise. You know, those moments when he can’t help himself, he has to misbehave or run around in fast and furious circles with abandon. So he still has to be crated when I’m not around to circumvent puppy bad behavior.
He’s doing the cutest thing these days, which makes me feel both proud and a little guilty. He crates himself when he does something bad. It started with my stuffed flamingo – he has one of his own, but he can’t help himself, he has to steal mine (and it’s up pretty high, so he has to make an effort). He steals it, must feel guilty, brings it to me and then puts himself in his crate. He’s also been crating himself when I use “that” voice – a sharp, deep, Bixby! – when I catch him doing something he shouldn’t. I always have to try not to laugh.
He’s standing a park bench here. If you remember, when he was little, I’d stand him on park benches (aawww, this was his first week) and picnic tables so I could get a good photo. Now, whenever he sees a park bench or picnic table, he has to climb it, then looks at me like, “hey, where’s the camera?” Today I remembered to bring the camera.
There are a lot of sculptures around town. I have to convince him they are not real people.
Somewhere in the last month, Bixby and I have clicked. Don’t get me wrong, I was in love the moment I met him, but there have been times over the last 6 months when I wondered what the heck I was doing with a puppy. Adult dogs are so much easier, and all four of my other Danes and my Greyhound came to me pretty much full grown. I didn’t really know what to expect with a puppy and it has been a ton of work. But there came a moment last month when it all clicked, we get each other’s body language, there’s an understanding, a sense of connection – it’s still a lot of work, but it’s different. I can see the dog he is going to be and it’s pretty amazing. I’m seriously thinking of certifying him as a therapy dog for a kid’s reading program or nursing home residents. He just has a sense about people. He has an ease around wheelchairs, canes and kids.
This is what it looks like when the cats fight at my house. Emma, being a Calico, makes an ear-piercing sound when cornered (usually by Jake). This morning it totally freaked Bixby out. I had to peel him off me. Life with a Great Dane – world’s biggest scaredy-pup.
That’s the latest update on raising a Great Dane. Adorable, exhausting, well worth it. – TaMara
Did a little cleaning and cooking today. Recipe is here.
Should have a Bixby update today or tomorrow.
I am still fighting this cold, I’m chasing after a 105 lb willful puppy, I’m buried by mortgage paperwork, and suddenly it’s time for the Super Bowl and the recipe exchange. So I had no choice but to pull out a classic recipe exchange, my favorite snacks, tortilla pinwheels. From 2012:
It’s that time again. Super Bowl Sunday, when you sit down to stuff your face with favorite snack foods, drink beer and watch the Super Bowl Commercials. I think there is some football in there somewhere.
You can’t go wrong with nachos – easy and easy to pile high with your favorites ingredients.
Here’s rather healthy (?) version: Black Bean and Corn Nachos, recipe here.
And I think Chili is always a crowd-pleaser, so a variety can be found here.
And for the animal lovers, Bixby puts down his tug ball long enough to update on his life to date.
I’ll never turn down nachos, or pizza for that matter, but when I was thinking about favorite party foods, tortilla pinwheels came up pretty quickly. So many things you can do with them. Four variations follow.
Now it’s your turn, what are you planning on making this Sunday and more importantly what beer are you serving? Who has the best recipe for hot wings, a football must have food?
Tonight’s featured recipes, a variety of flavors, but don’t let that limit you:
Basic Tortilla Pinwheels
- 1 (8 ounce) package whipped cream cheese
- 10 (10 inch) flour tortillas
- 1/2 cup green onions, chopped
- 1/4 cup black olives, chopped (optional)
- 3/4 cup chopped ham slices
You spread the ingredients on the tortillas, roll them up and slice them into 1 inch pinwheels. Couldn’t get much easier.
So how do we add some dazzle? Flavored tortillas and a variety of fillings.
Here are some ideas I had:
Jalapeño & Cilantro Tortillas and Black Bean Tortillas
- Cream Cheese
- Pickled jalapenos
- Sliced green chilies
- Black olives
- Shredded cheddar cheese
Roasted Red Pepper Tortillas and Sun-dried Tomato & Basil Tortillas
- Cream cheese mixed with crushed roasted garlic
- Grated parmesan
Plain Tortillas and Whole Wheat Tortillas
- Cream cheese
- All-fruit style strawberry preserves
- Crushed red pepper flakes
The list is endless, limited only by your creativity.
That’s it for this week. Next week I’ll try and put something together for Valentine’s Day. – TaMara
Wanna play tug?
I know it’s been a while since I’ve written, but it takes a lot of energy to grow. And there is so much to learn. Like this week, I learned how to unscrew my food “dish” and get the food out faster. My person doesn’t seem as excited about this as I am.
She’s been muttering about having to find some other way to feed me. I don’t know why, this is working for me. (TaMara’s note: Little beast. Now instead of taking 15 minutes to eat, he gobbles it all down. I’m heading to the farm store today to see if I can find something, probably horse related)
My office mate.
My days are pretty routine: get up, jump on my person and wake her up, carry the cat litter to the trash, wait for the cats to eat so I can have my breakfast, good game of tug, nap, bug my person while she works, lunch, nice long walk, nap some more, then it’s time for dinner. By 8 pm, I’m pretty much done.
My only complaint these days is that all I ever hear is, “Bixby, you’re too big…” usually followed by something I used to be able to do. Sit in laps, take naps with my person on the couch, sit with company on the couch, jump around and tackle my person, run full out when I’m on my leash. Even last week, I found a new friend, a puppy like me, and we were playing and having a great time, then her person said, “I think he’s too big for her” and she left with her. I was a little sad, but then my person threw a stick for me to chase and the world was sunny again.
We did have some excitement last week. Men did the weirdest thing, they climbed up on TOP of the house. People are not suppose to be on top of a house. I was freaked at first, but then my person took me in the bathroom while she showered and I totally forgot about the men on the roof. Because, did you know that water comes out of the wall?? I climbed in the tub with my person (she yelled, but I just ignored her) and put my head under the water. It was the funnest thing ever.
How do you turn this thing on?
And then after that, my person said, “well you’re all wet, might as well give you a bath.” Which was even more fun. Then we went outside and all the roofers came down and petted me, so I was fine with them being on the roof. Them being new friends and all. (TaMara’s note: nicest guys and so grateful they took time to meet Bixby, because after that he was completely fine with the whole process, except he was afraid to go outside when the compressor was running, so potty breaks were a challenge)
TaMara’s Note: Above is the face he makes when I take away his tug ball and say “wait” while I snap a photo. He is NOT amused.
Missy would prefer he not get so close
That’s pretty much my life to date. It’s pretty ok, even Emma seems to like me more, but I still can’t win over Missy. I try every morning, though. I don’t give up easily. See you next time. – Bixby
I have been fighting a cold this week and all I want is orange juice and homemade soup. So, of course, that’s the theme for tonight’s recipe exchange. Soups. And there are plenty on the blog, because both JeffreyW and I love soup. Just search on soups and you’ll come up with almost 300 entries.
Here are few selections:
Cream of Chicken Soup, click here.
From Joshua D (Yutsano), Cauliflower Beer Cheese Soup, click here.
From JeffreyW, three soups:
Vegetable Beef Soup, picture above and recipe here
Moroccan Spicy Lamb Soup, recipe here
Parmesan Potato Soup, with Bacon, click here
What’s cookin’ in your kitchen this weekend? What must have recipe gets you through cold season?
Tonight’s featured recipe takes very little effort, so you can have quick and easy homemade soup for a weeknight dinner or when feeling under the weather.
- 2 cups water
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 8 oz sliced carrots
- 14 oz can diced tomatoes (or equivalent fresh)
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- ½ onion, chopped
- 1 tsp oregano, crushed
- 1 tsp basil, crushed
- 1 tsp crushed garlic
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 cup fresh baby spinach, rough chopped
- 20 oz pkg frozen tortellini
- 4 oz grated Parmesan
Add all ingredients to saucepan, except spinach, tortellini & Parmesan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat & let simmer for 15 minutes. Add tortellini and bring to boil again, reduce heat, let simmer 10 minutes, add spinach and let simmer additional 5 minutes, until tortellini is tender. Serve with Parmesan garnish.
That’s it for this week. I’ll try and have a Bixby update later…he’s been sleeping a lot the last two days, so I’m thinking, growth spurt. – TaMara
My office mate. This is my view while I work most days.
It doesn’t seem possible, but Bixby is 7 months old this past week. He’s 101 lbs, 31″ at his shoulders and 40″ from snout to butt. And he’s a big snuggler. He seems to be going through a crisis of size. He gets very upset when he no longer fits places he fit before – on the couch napping with me – there is just not room for two, but he tries and often ends up sleeping ON me. He wants to sit in my lap, even though no matter how he moves and adjusts, he just doesn’t fit. He usually sighs and ends up just putting his head in my lap. But you know what big puppies are great at? Hugs. He’s at the size that when I’m sitting, he can come up and put his head on my shoulder and hug me. Tail wagging the entire time.
This is his toy box. He’s sure his bone is at the bottom.
Size is also playing a role in some difficult walks. He has been throwing his weight around and just dares me to try and stop him. This means he ends up walking at ‘heel’ a lot, walking at the full length of the leash is only for puppies who don’t misbehave.
Hard to believe my puppy is so big. He’s handsome, isn’t he?
Though he is not a food motivated dog, apples being the exception, treats are helping with issues on walks. Dried apples, dried beef liver and small dog bones keep him from jumping on strangers or trying to play with every dog we meet. But once he hits his limit for being well behaved, about twenty minutes on a walk, treats have little effect.
For seven months old, though, he has amazing memory and control. And I find I have to remind myself he is ONLY seven months old when the puppy takes hold and he can’t behave. But at 101 lbs, I have little patience for behaviors that can be dangerous – pulling on ice, jumping up when he meets people, and throwing his weight around when he decides he wants to be in control. Changing those are my focus these days.
How do you slow down a rambunctious 7 month old when you want to get some photos? You tie his lead to a fence. I snapped a few nice ones. Click here to view the album.
That’s it for this edition. It’s 10 am and 60 degrees right now, so I’m off to play some tug with the puppy. He still lets me win. – TaMara
How do you slow down a rambunctious 7 month old puppy when you want to get some photos? You tie his lead to a fence in a field of tall grass. It took him a few minutes of bouncing around and then he settled enough for me to get a few good shots. Luckily I have a burst function – I found a few out of the 75 I snapped. Hover on any photo for captions or click on any photo below to start the slideshow.