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And a puppeh!

Bixby Diaries: Chillin’ an Relaxin’

Chillin' and relaxin'

I looked up from desk today to see the Beast chillin’. That’s fine little one, you just relax while I put in a few more hours to pay for your dog food.

Chillin' and relaxin' 2f

Just a quick update. Bixby hurt his leg last week. I’m assuming from jumping off the couch or bed. How a 140 lb dog can get so much air boggles my mind. But he can leap twice his height from a standing position. I’ve cut down on walks until it feels better. He put more weight on it today, so probably by the end of this week we’ll back to our regular routine.

I special ordered him a 32-inch collar because nothing else fits well. Also a new harness and leash. The leash has a padded handle which came highly recommended for big dogs.

Chillin' and relaxin' 3

He turns 11-months old this weekend. I have his “surgery” schedule for the first week of June. I would have waited longer, but he’s not handling the testosterone well – nothing aggressive – but he is an alpha dog already and add those hormones and it does create some issues. For his bones and muscles a little longer would have been better, but for his emotional success, now is the time. I probably don’t have to tell you that after what happened to Missy, I’m more than a little anxious about this. It will be a long day.

Yesterday, he was literally in the dog house (his crate) after dragging me across the yard to see the Great Dane next door. He knows dragging is a no-no. I was working at my desk and every once in a while I’d hear this big SIGH and then he’d blow air out his big jowls – his version of pouting. I love this dog. Can’t believe he’ll be a year old soon.

Paw print


Bixby Diaries: Growing Up Fast

B & K the Race is on

Just a quick update this week. Bixby is 127 lbs now and doing great. We still struggle with a couple of things, mostly pulling on the leash to get to dogs and people. He wants to meet and love everyone. We continue to work on it and he’s very proud when he remembers not to pull. It’s adorable.

Bixby and Kodiak April 2015a

After a very rough week we needed a play date to blow off some steam. We headed up to LFern’s property where the dogs could run to their heart’s content. The surprise for LFern, Kodiak and me was how big Bixby had gotten since our last visit a few months ago. But Kodiak still ruled the yard and Bixby was happy to follow his lead.

Here’s their first meeting, not long after Bixby came to live with me:

Bixby and Kodiak Sept 2014

He was such a wee little thing. Not so much now:

Bixby and Kodiak 2a

I’m so pleased with how far we have come. It took me a while to understand what I was doing that created situations where he would get totally crazy (and run away). He was overstimulated. And instead of trying to wear him out with lots of activities, only to have it backfire, I started to restrict his input – no more tag, tug or walks on a long lead. We switched to three short walks a day, instead of one long walk, used the crate as a quiet place where he could calm down when visitors arrived, and I often had to use my ‘stern’ voice.

A lot of it seemed counter-intuitive, but it works and without breaking his beautiful spirit. The more I am able to communicate to him what I’m looking for, the happier he gets. The sweeter he gets. It just took me a while of watching him to see where I was going in the wrong direction. He is always doing the best he can. I believe that over time we’ll be able to continue tag, tug and letting him take the lead on walks again.

Bixby March 2015 Sleepy

This is how he spends his afternoons by my desk when I’m working. Terrific office mate. He’ll be nine 10 months (denial or typo, you decide) soon, maybe I can get him to write an update then. – TaMara

Missy Miss 9 12


DSC_9518 (1600x1060)Don’t ever ask me what my favorite meat is when I’m eating a nice juicy cheeseburger but at most any other time I’ll answer that with a “hmm… chicken, I guess”.  These are chicken enchiladas with jack cheese in a tomatillo sauce.  Yummy!DSC_9519 (1600x1060)I made some beans to go with them, and added a daub each of guacamole and sour cream.  I like the chips for the crunch they add.DSC_9508 (1600x1060)I ordered in a bucket of duck fat after a search turned up a source that wasn’t asking an arm and a leg for it.  I have the tub broken down into smaller containers and most of it is frozen save for about a half pound in the fridge.  I read all kinds of good things about it and am really looking forward to some turkey leg confit.  I did use a spoonful of it when I browned these thighs and really got a nice color on them.  I braised the thighs in stock and squeezed in the juice of a lemon and added capers at the finish to make a nice lemon sauce.  It was good on the steamed broccoli, too.DSC_9506 (1600x1060)The rice is a box mix that works well for me – Zatarain’s is a good brand.  I really like their wild rice mix.DSC01248 (1600x1060)… and a puppeh!  I love the expression on his little puppy face.  Mrs J says he is a chihuahua terrier mix and was adopted today.  Yay!

Bixby Update: Growing Up Fast

Bixby 11 20 14 final

Bixby is busy doing Bixby things, important things, like rolling on the floor chewing on his favorite stuffed dog and chasing playing with cats, so I thought I’d give you a quick update. First I went looking for photos for the week and realized I didn’t have any. You’d be surprised (or maybe not) how difficult it is to get photos of a very rambunctious puppy. Especially when I have the camera, he always wants to ‘see’ what I’m doing and the best I can get is a photo of his left nostril.

No one wants to see that.

So I convinced him to sit up on the couch and be still for all of 5 seconds (treats may have been involved), so I could get this shot. That’s right, you’re looking at a photo taken just moments ago. And I’m fairly certain that he’s grown about  a 1/4 inch since I snapped it.

At five months, he’s just so very smart and so very easy to train. We are working on more complex problems right now, like not being in the kitchen while I’m cooking, asking to be on the couch, understanding that while I’m working, I cannot also be petting, playing or otherwise entertaining him. He’s a quick a study. He also has a stubborn streak and will give me a look and then do exactly what I just said he couldn’t do. Because, well because he’s Bixby.

Some video from two weeks and 10 lbs ago:

The video isn’t much, but I’ve been trying to get video of him flying off the deck (stairs, who needs stairs?) like super-dog. I was not completely successful, but I’ll keep trying. And the play stance of him, butt up, tail wagging is one of my favorites, it really reflects his whole view on life right now. Happy, fun, tail wagging. He reminds me everyday to stop taking it all so seriously.

I’m trying Bixby, I’m trying.

Paw print


Grilled Chicken Burrito

DSC_5834 [1600x1200]Chicken, plus some chopped peppers, onions, and cheese.  The bowl for the tomatillo salsa is Mrs J’s innovation.  Here’s a puppy for ya:IMG_1842 [1600x1200]I don’t have much info on him.  A ten week old male that came in all snarly and snapping at everyone and has turned into a real cuddle bug.