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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Early Days – Lessons Learned & the Unexpected

Having a puppy brings about a new reality. An obvious statement, I know.

Not only are daily routines adjusted, but it also changes you and your family. Some changes you expect, and some changes you could not have imagined, especially if you’re doing this puppy-thing for the first time like we are. You also learn some lessons, big and small, really quickly too.

Here’s our top 3 early lessons – lessons about your puppy and lessons about life-stuff…

1. Yes, it can happen to you too

We’ve had Carter for 11 days, and every so often, I stop and look at the fur-ball and I’m surprised that there is a dog in our house and that he’s ours!  When you say no to a dog for such a long time, and you think we are never getting a dog, that big life-lesson shows up to nip you in the butt: Never Say Never. It can happen to you too.

2. Puppies can’t tell time

Your puppy doesn’t understand, “Just a minute, I’m just hitting send and…” Ya, too late he’s pee’d on your floor. When it’s time for puppy to ‘go’, YOU go. As in, go now… asap… get that puppy out the door already!

3. Puppies can’t multi-task

Similar to the lesson above, when puppy wakes up in the morning he cannot: walk out of his crate, AND hold-on to pee, AND make it all way out the door on his own. He will make a pit-stop inside the house. Who knew? We didn’t. Now we know, you pick up your puppy and carry him outside. That works way better.

In addition to these lessons, there’s also the unexpected. In the blink of an eye, you become one of ‘them’, those people you may have made fun of or just didn’t get. I’m talking about becoming a dog-owner.  Our top 3 unexpected changes…

1. My new never-leave-home-without-it accessory

Are you ready for this? My new accessory is the poopy bag. I guess there’s a theme in this post that I didn’t plan, but housebreaking your pup is pretty much top-of-mind at this stage of pup’s life and yours. Yes, the poop-and-scoop bags are now in every pocket of every coat, in my car, and in my bag.  Did not see this coming.

2. It’s like baby, baby, baby oooh

I squeak and talk in a high-pitch voice to Carter. And call him all kinds of cutesy names. My boys laugh at me, but I catch them doing it sometimes too. I honestly didn’t expect I would talk to my pup the same way I talked to my boys when they were babies.

3. It’s a groovy kind of love

I knew we would love our pup. We loved him before he even came home! But did I expect my boys to be so involved and caring and concerned about him to the level they have shown? Nope. My boys are learning what it takes to care for and be responsible for another living creature that is dependent on you. It’s so different then when they had pet fish!

Just like I’m a new puppy-parent, so are my boys. They are learning early on, how hard and great it is to be a parent. How wonderfully unexpected!

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The First Few Days! At Home with Carter

Our puppy adventures officially begin! Carter came home on International Happy Day, last Friday. Who knew that day even existed, but it was indeed appropriate. If I can brag a little, my puppy is pretty cute.  Introducing Carter…

Carter aka Mr. Yellow
Carter aka Mr. Yellow.

Yes, our puppy was known as Mr. Yellow when he was born, and our favourite from the first visit.

Carter’s been home with us for a few days now, and so far, so good and so far, so tiring! Puppies are work. Duh. I knew that. Well sort of.

Puppies are a lot like babies, only unlike babies, they move. And they explore. As soon as you lose sight of him, puppy gets into ‘trouble’. Carter’s been pretty great at doing his ‘business’ outside, and the few accidents he’s had, it’s because we were not quick enough to get him out. Live and learn for all of us.

My boys are totally in love and have been super helpful. Hoping this is a trend that sticks! The boys took charge and took care of Carter this past weekend, and that included introducing him to TV watching. (It didn’t last long, but made for a cute photo.)

Just chilling.
Just chilling…for 30 seconds or so.

We also had visitors, some bearing gifts, all weekend long. It was déjà-vu all over again, with all the well-wishes, gifts and visits, just like we experienced when our boys were born.

What we know thus far about Carter is:

  • He’s a champion eater! He’s a little ‘hoover’ and eats in record time. He is also always looking for more, and comes running into the kitchen when he hears the fridge opening.
  • He’s a great sleeper (unlike my boys as babies!). We are lucky this puppy is sleeping through the night. Like growing babies, puppies need lots of sleep. Right now Carter is napping at my feet as I try and get this post written!
  • He loves to snuggle and loves company. He always naps near us or in the same room where one of us is in.

Many photos have been taken over the past few days. See below for, ahem, a few photos. (Honest, I did hold back!)

Shhh, I'm not done writing!
Shhh, I’m not done writing!
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Ahhh it’s a dog’s life!
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I know, I’m adorable.

 

Yup, our puppy adventures have finally begun! Now that my boys are back to school after March Break, wish ME luck! That question I keep asking, HOW HARD CAN THIS PUPPY THING BE? I’m not complaining. Yet. He’s still napping!

 

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.

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Jackie Robinson
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Roberto Alomar
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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.

Puppy Open-House! A meet and greet with 3-week old Pups

Almost every morning when my younger son leaves for school, he will say to me, if Catharine (our breeder) emails and sends more photos, text me right away. He’s not supposed to have access to his phone during school hours, but he sometimes manages to sneak a text and ask if I received any new puppy pics.

We eagerly awaited for the pups to turn 3 weeks old!  Because that’s when we could finally go back to Braefield to meet and hold the pups for the first time.

WARNING … CUTE PUPPY PHOTOS AHEAD

When we arrived, another family and two couples were already in the doggie-bedroom. All it took was one look around, and I knew everyone was in love with the pups. The pups were beyond adorable. They were barely awake and hardly did anything, but they were so darn sweet and cuddly.

Mr. Yellow and Miss Purple. (Photo courtesy of Braefield.)
Mr. Yellow and Miss Purple. (Photo courtesy of Braefield.)
3-week old pup. (Photo courtesy of Braefield Goldens.)
3-week old pup. (Photo courtesy of Braefield Goldens.)

We were encouraged to grab and hold a puppy, and to share and pass them around.

A few sweet family moments…

At first, my older son was nervous to hold a pup as it was quite squirmy and he quickly handed the pup to me. He eventually got comfortable and held a pup the whole time we were there. He fell in love with Mr. Black.

Mr. Black chewing on my son's finger.
Mr. Black chewing on my son’s finger.

I took hold of a pup and immediately began to rock back and forth. The instinctive “rocking-mom stance” came back to me. It was like holding a newborn.

My husband’s pup started to whimper and mama Flora came marching over to find out why her pup was upset. That was pretty amazing. Flora began to vigorously clean (lick) the pup and the pup settled. Mom knows best!

Mama Flora taking care of her pup.
Mama Flora taking care of her pup.

My youngest took to the pups like he’s done this every single day of his life. He fell in love with Mr. Yellow and at one point had two pups in his lap. Adorable!

M loving the 2 puppies on his lap. But we're only taking one. Photo courtesy of Braefield.
M loving TWO puppies. But we’re only taking one. Photo courtesy of Braefield.

It was great to meet and chat with the other families that will also take a pup home. I already planted the seed for a puppy play-date over the summer with one family, who doesn’t live very far from us, and a  young couple, who does live far from us but said they’d come too!

Our visit was full of aww-moments, but we quickly realized we had a lot to do before our pup comes home.  Catharine asked if we had vets picked out. We don’t, so I need to get that figured out.  Then her husband Grant asked if we had names yet. Ahhh, the great name-debate!  Stay tuned for that story.

We reluctantly left after our two-hour visit with a to-do list, and already thinking about our next visit in 3 weeks time.

The pups will be completely different by then. They’ll be bigger and more active.  My younger son made a count-down calendar. And his daily reminder to me for an immediate text should new puppy photos land in my in-box, continues.

My Top 10 List of Reactions to “You’re Getting a Dog?”

When you share news with friends and family, you will always get some sort of feedback. Whether you ask for it or not. When we told our family and friends we were getting a dog, we got some pretty funny responses from both dog and non-dog owners. So I’m taking a page from David Letterman, and present my Top 10 List!  Drum-roll in your head: optional.

You’re getting a dog? Top 10 Reactions from dog and non-dog owners…

(and my thoughts in brackets!)

10. Kiss your freedom goodbye!  (Oh great, thanks!)

9.  Are you ready to poop and scoop?  (Isn’t that what my kids are for? I’m in denial you may say.)

8.  Big dog = big poop.  (What’s with all the poop? I bet I’ll find out.)

7.  Dogs are so much fun.  (Duh!)

6.  Dogs bring so much love into your home.  (Ok fine, but they also bring mud and sticks too.)

5.  Dogs are a great stress release.   (Not really feeling any stress release yet.)

4.  You won’t regret it.  (I will hold you to that.)

3.  What? Why? Do you have too much time on your hands?  (Thanks Dad!)

2. You’ll wonder why you waited so long. (Ya, probably, maybe, we’ll see.)

And the number one, best reaction was from my six year-old niece who’s afraid of any thing that’s furry and moves…

  1. I’m never going to Auntie D’s house again! (Yikes. Going to have to work on you Missy M!)

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Can you guess which comment came from a dog owner and which came from a non-dog owner?  Some of the answers may surprise you.

Answers:

Dog-owners: 10, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 2

Non-dog owners: 9, 3, 1

Only time will tell if any of the above comments will prove to be true. I’m happy that most of the comments were positive. Until then, I will continue to focus on what comes next, like picking out a name for the puppy.  Let’s just say, this is also causing a grand discussion around here.

And one more awww-cute puppy photo!  Just because.

Pups at 2 weeks old.
Aww, Miss (Piggy) Pink. She was the biggest pup born.