They go together: Carter, Home Runs and Blue Jay’s Season Opener

Today marked the return of Major League Baseball!  The Toronto Blue Jays played their first game of the 2015 season against the NY Yankees in the Bronx, and BEAT them 6-1. Sweet victory!  A great start for the Jays.

Let's go Blue Jays!
Let’s go Blue Jays!

Now, I’m not saying we had any role in this win, but there are far too many coincidences that maybe, just maybe, we did have a hand, or um a paw, in this win!

If you’ve been reading  my blog, then you’ll know we named our pup Carter, after Joe Carter of the Jays. The Joe Carter that hit THE home-run that won the Jays the 1993 World Series. Joe Carter wore number 29.  In today’s game, a rookie, a young pup, named Devon Travis had his first hit in the Major Leagues, and it was… a home run!  Guess what Travis’ jersey number is? Yup. Number 29.

Joe Carter wore 29, this young pup Travis now wears 29… there was a home run today…. coincidence? Who knows, who cares!  The Jays won, by beating the Yankees no less, and we love it. Wahoo!

Yes Carter watched the game. Carter watching the Jays game.Ok only for a few seconds at a time. He’s a young pup, a rookie member of this family, and he’ll learn how to sit through 9 innings soon enough. His name is CARTER and lots of home runs are what we’re hoping for from the Jays and the two baseball players in this house! So far so good. Good boy Carter, good boy!

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One more sleep!

One more sleep! Tomorrow we pick up our pup. Am I ready? I don’t think so. But ready or not, the countdown calendar says tomorrow’s the day we bring home a puppy named Carter.

1 Day Left 'Till Puppy'
1 Day Left ‘Till Puppy’
Let's go Blue Jays!
Let’s go Blue Jays!

We were recently on vacation in Florida (and yes the weather was PERFECT every single day), and being the baseball-crazed family that we are, we went to the  Blue Jays spring training game last Friday in Dunedin, Florida.

As I chatted with perfect strangers sitting near by, the topic of our Carter came up.  And we chatted about the baseball meaning of his name of course. In no time, my iPhone was out and I was showing people Carter’s photo. Who did I become, and where did this pride come from, I thought?

Before I knew it, my phone was passed around, up and down the rows.  I also showed them Carter’s Blue Jays’ tag and collar.  Between cheering for the Jays, sipping cold beer, and not complaining about the heat, there were a lot of “aw so cute” and “aw so sweet” comments uttered.  The Jays beat the Orioles by the way. And my my younger son snagged Marcus Stroman’s autograph, so it was a fun afternoon for all.

Cold and tasty Landshark beer!
Cold and tasty Landshark beer!
My little ‘Stroman’, looking up to Marcus Stroman.

While in Florida we went out for St. Paddy’s day, and the bar we were at had many funny sayings on the walls.  This one caught my eye and I had to snap a photo of it.

Hum, what does this really mean?
Hum, what does this really mean?

“Sometimes you’re the dog. Sometimes you’re the hydrant.”

I know this is a saying you can apply to life, but it made me chuckle. I think over the next few weeks, with our 8-week old puppy, we will have to be patient and accept that sometimes (or many times) we will be Carter’s hydrant!

So am I ready? Nope. I still have shoes left out and about my house!

Really, how hard can this puppy thing be!?

 

 

 

It’s the Final Countdown! Getting Ready to bring Carter home

We are one week away! What? Already? Time to get ready to bring puppy Carter home.

But before we do, there’s some shopping to do. Our breeder Catharine emailed a ‘bringing home puppy’ shopping list.  As you’ll see, what was listed and what we ended up with doesn’t match up exactly. It’s a little hard not to go overboard. Just a little.

We went shopping as a family, and coming to an agreement on some items wasn’t easy.  The hardest decision for us was agreeing on a leash and collar.  But I think it paid off to shop around! Take a read, what do you think?

Catharine’s Puppy Shopping List vs Our Family’s Puppy Purchases

  1. Crate – one that you can adjust the size as the puppy grows.

What we did:

One BIG crate!
One BIG crate!

I emailed my dog friends asking if they had a crate they no longer used or wanted. Success! A friend personally delivered a wire-adjustable-BIG-crate! My younger son fits in the crate very comfortably.  I know because he’s gone in a few times, on his own, not because I put him in there!

My big issue with the big crate? Where do I put it in my house? I had to do what I avoided for a long time; tidy-up and purge the ‘dumping-room’ we all have in our homes. On-top of the crate is his big (and stylish) comfy bed-pillow.

2. An adjustable harnesses for rides in vehicles.

What we did:  We did not make this purchase yet. I’m certain, my boys will be holding Carter on the way home.

3. Stainless steel dishes (for food and water)

What we did: We bought 2 ceramic dishes from HomeSense.  They have a great pet section, and well priced too. That’s where we found his stylish big bed-pillow too.

4. Grooming supplies – a comb (brushes do not get right down to the skin), nail clippers (scissor style), scissors, dog shampoo.

What we did: We purchased all of the above.

5. Collar & Leash – a 4 foot (leather) leash was recommended and a nylon flat or rolled leather buckle collar (rolled leather will not break the fur). Sounds like a simple enough purchase, but take a look at this selection of collars and leashes at Pet Smart.  Overwhelming. And not one collar or leash we could agree on.

We did finally agree on a collar and a most appropriate dog tag for Carter, don’t you think?

Perfect collar and dog tag for Carter.
Perfect collar and dog tag for Carter.
  1. Toys! Fleecy toys, squeaky toys, stuffed toys. Again, you would think easy to choose a toy or two.  Nope. The selection is again vast and it’s easy to get carried away. Here are some fancy-schmancy toys that we did not purchase. We didn’t think these were appropriate for a Golden, but were very clever!

What we bought:  We ended up with a stuffed chicken, chewy bone, bouncy balls, tug-of-war rope, and a chewy toy that you can add treats or peanut butter to, and according to friends, keeps your pup busy and happy.

  1. Bitter Apple spray – Used as a deterrent, it can be sprayed on plants, shoes, anything you don’t want puppy to chew. It’s kinder to spray and let the pup discover “ooh that tastes rotten”, than to constantly nag them. And a spray bottle full of vinegar….to spray where little accidents happen.

What we bought: Yes to both sprays!

7.  We were advised to not buy treats as they will upset puppies little tummies. Instead use little pieces of brick cheese or save little bits of meat from your supper for rewards. But look at what’s out there for dogs? We found these fancy treats at one pet store.

What we did: We didn’t buy any puppy treats. I think we’ll try the cheese. But may have to buy some healthy treats if we need to help with training!

In the end, this is what our purchases look like.  The additional items we bought includes: a blanket (a baby blanket on clearance from HomeSense), a food mat, a cute basket to hold all his toys, a big comfy bed-pillow, poop bags and a blue bandana, because he’s going to be one cool and well dressed Golden!

One week to go!  This is really happening. How hard can this puppy thing  be!? Maybe I should start reading my ‘how to train your puppy’ book. This  may be the most important purchase we made!

What’s in a Name? Why baseball of course!

When it comes to puppy love and finding a name for your pup, it’s not about love at all. It’s a battle to get your favourite name to come out on top! Just like trying to decide on a breed, choosing a name for our pup via consensus was filled with many passionate debates. Four people with a veto over one another’s names didn’t help the process. But that’s ok.  Naming your dog is one big and important decision.


Harry Styles

My little niece, who is afraid of anything furry that moves, offered her favourite name. She said she will like our dog if we named him Harry, as in Harry Styles from the boy-band One Direction. Well, Harry is cute I must admit. And so is the name. However, my boys didn’t wait a nanosecond to shoot that name out of the water.

The one thing my family agreed on was that the dog’s name had to be baseball-related. Both my boys play competitive baseball, and we spend much of our summer at baseball diamonds and travelling to many tournaments.

At the breeder’s 3 week-old pups visit, we chatted with other families about names. One couple had a name locked up, and chose a hockey-themed name. Their boy puppy will be called Bauer. Great name.

Another family we met was in the same boat as us; close to finalizing a name. This family looked to their favourite movie characters for inspiration. They threw out names like Bilbo, Frodo and other characters; then tried more standard names like Max and Cooper and finally landed on Reilly. But I’m told, they are not sure if it will stick.

One name that was often suggested to us was ‘Homer,’ which would be awesome if it didn’t remind me of Homer Simpson. Doh!  (No I’m not including a photo of Homer Simpson.)

Just like trying to find the perfect baby name, with meaning or a great story behind it, there are many websites to get you started. A quick google search, and ka-pow, you’ll find a whole lot of help: Names for Boy DogsMost Popular Dog Names 2014

The list of names we went through included: Jackie and Robinson after the first black person to play in the major leagues; Robbie for Toronto Blue Jays’ Hall of Famer Roberto Alomar, and Joey for Canadian-born Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds.

Embed from Getty Images
Jackie Robinson
Embed from Getty Images
Roberto Alomar
Embed from Getty Images
Joey Votto

In the end we decided on Carter as the name for our puppy. Carter, as in the Toronto Blue Jays’ Joe Carter, who hit THE  home run in dramatic fashion during game six of 1993 World Series. It was the bottom of the 9th, runners on first and second, Toronto was losing 6-5, and on a 2-2 pitch, Carter sent the ball over the left-field wall. With that home run, the Jays won their second consecutive World Series.

Maybe our very own Carter will bring good luck to my boys this summer. There’s nothing like hitting a home run, and nothing better than watching your kid hit one out. This summer I’ll have someone helping me cheer on my boys from the stands.  Can’t wait.

For all my 20-something classmates, here’s Carter’s home run in case you missed it the first time.