Tag Archives: dogs


It’s not all sadness around here. Only a couple of days after Jake died I realized that I did not want time to grieve. I needed a new dog. I firmly believe in rescuing dogs. I wanted one that was no longer a young puppy, but still young enough to easily train and have a long life with us.

I figured I needed to start looking now, because finding all this in a rescue dog that’s also good with cats and kids would take time. Right?


Wrong! I found Foxy through the rescue No Greater Love. They foster their dogs in homes in Alabama and transport them up once the pup has been chosen by a family.

It felt like a bit of a risk welcoming a dog I’d never met into my home. But the people at the rescue agency were wonderful about communication, answering questions, and helping me feel sure that Foxy was just the right dog for us.


I wanted to rename her Mae (after the astronaut Mae Jemison) but Windsor really liked Foxy, so we’re compromising with the name Foxy-mae. She’s somewhere between 6 months and a year old. And no one knows her back story. She’s very shy, but already starting to warm up to us. We have small victories every day, like her walking in and outside on her leash on her own.

And she’s already mastered the selfie. Good girl Foxy-mae!


I’ve been putting off this post for two weeks. SO much denial.

Dear Jake,

The world is a colder place without your big goofy smile and happy heart in it.


You were always an excited wiggly boy. They said you’d calm down when you were older, maybe 6? Boy were they wrong.

I loved your energy and happiness. I didn’t always love your stealing food off people’s plates. But that was just part of who you were.

And you were so good with the babies.

So, soo good.


We all miss you, and always will.


Dear Reggie:

old boy

You were “three or four” when we adopted you, and you’d never been inside a house before. We had just bought our first house and were so excited to welcome you to our family. You went on ALL the hikes and walks. 30-45 minutes twice a day. It was wonderful.

sleepy boy

We’ve moved a couple of times. Been through some epic winters and gorgeous summers. Sure you ate the butter off the counter more times than I could count. But you were always a Good Boy.

snow dogs

Your brother Jake loved you. Moxie-cat would have loved you too if you’d just sit still for her. But when the babies joined our family you were so, SO gentle with them.

good boy

And so patient.

patient boy

It’s been a long time, you lived with us for 12 years. Your muzzle went white, you clearly couldn’t hear anymore (which was really just as well when the thunderstorms rolled through.) It was so sad to say goodbye this weekend. Not a day goes by that I don’t miss you.

16 years

Moxy hat

Apparently all my writing skills are going into the book right now. I didn’t realize this until I sat down just now to write a blog post – and nothing came.

So I’ll leave you with a quick note. If you checked in about test-knitting: THANK YOU! I believe I’m all set for the moment. I believe I have gotten back in touch with everyone. And if you’re just now thinking test-knitting sounds like fun drop me a note. I’ll have more patterns needing testing in a few months (ha, assuming I get through the writing of them and the editing of these alive)

And secondly, look! Jake is wearing Moxy-cat as a hat.
moxy hat
Yeah, they love each other.

(See? Pets as blog content. Works every time.)

do it for the doggies

You know I don’t come to you often with causes asking for money. But this one is important to me. My friend Jenn’s dog needs help.

Jen (as in Jen of Old Post Farm) fosters dogs. Not just one or two though; sometimes she has 10 or more dogs at her place, all waiting for their forever homes.

And she fosters puppies. Not cute, 8 week old puppies that need to be socialized; but pregnant pit bulls and their litters of 8 puppies that all have diarrhea and need to be bottle fed.

Jen has a big heart (and a big, puppy-proof garage). Last year she fostered FIFTY-THREE (that’s 53) dogs all the way to their forever homes. Jen has put her own time and money into caring for other people’s dogs, more specifically dogs that are between people.

But Jack is her own dog, her first dog. He has a blastomycosis infection. Blastomycosis is hard to treat, the outcome isn’t always guaranteed, and it will cost several thousand dollars to treat. Her foster organization helps with the vet bills* for the fosters, but no one is helping her with Jack’s vet bill – except us.

So if you can spare $5 please click through and donate a little to the Save Jack cause. If you can donate more that’s great. Don’t think of it as just helping Jack, think of it as also helping Jen so she can keep helping more and more other dogs find their forever homes too.

Jens Jack

*but just the vet bills. All those fosters? Jen feeds and cleans and buys snacks for them out of her own pocket. 53 dogs eat a lot of food.

Slice of life

I went off to a work conference the first three days of this week, and I’m really low energy by now.

It was hard to leave, I’d just planted my garden on Sunday, and Reggie got into a major tussle with a porcupine that afternoon. Without exaggeration I can say we lost count of the quills we pulled from his face. I’m guessing somewhere between 30 and 50? Including quills from the roof of his mouth, his gum line, under his tongue, and all up the right side of his face almost to his eye. I kinda wonder what the porcupine looked like? Was it bald after this incident?? Reggie was down-right stoic during the process. He let us pull quills from inside his mouth without snapping, snarling, and I swear once he’d calmed down from the initial incident he was careful about holding his head still so we could try and grab those little suckers with the pliers.

Neil is a competent, caring, careful guy. He’s totally able to keep an eye on Reggie, water my seedlings, and take care of the house while I’m gone. I still really really hated leaving him with all that to watch over!

But I did knit a sock and a half while I was gone! Sadly for you, I have no pictures (yet) It’s Plymouth Happy Feet yarn in a lovely orangey-brown. I worked ribbed cuffs with little faux cables every 4th row. They’re easy enough I can knit under the table, but pretty enough I can focus on the plane.

But sadly I didn’t finish the pair, so now they’re in the unfinished sock pile. That pile is up to 4 pairs! My wrought iron socks, some stripy socks for a design*, and those sad wallflower socks – the ones from my LAST conference knitting where I ran out of both colors of yarn just before the toe of the second sock…

And we’re Fenway bound**! We going to see a baseball game this weekend with my parents. I’m very excited, and have been planning my car and baseball knitting. Sadly no socks are included…

*probably out this fall at this point

**This time of year I’m always crazy busy. I loose track of entire weeks in May.


In march we used our tax return money to install that invisible fencing for our dogs.

behind the back lawn

We’ve finally had it long enough, and gotten used to it enough, that I’m confident in saying I LOVE it. I had hoped all along I’d love it, but you know, I needed to make sure it worked first. If you’re not into dogs or dog fencing, feel free to go away, come back tomorrow when I’m going to tell you about chocolate pumpkin bread.

And it did work, right from the start! In fact, both dogs picked it up almost instantly.

Reggie is a smart and independent dog. The kind of dog who does exactly what you want him to do 95% of the time because he knows it’s the right thing to do. But every once in awhile (or whenever you leave the butter on the counter) he does the wrong thing. And that look on his face the moment he looked back when you call before taking off into the woods – you can see in his eyes that he knows he’s misbehaving.

Jake is the opposite of that. He’s the loving, loyal, but slightly dim-witted dog. The one who would NEVER do anything you don’t want him to do. He just honestly forgot that butter on the counter is not for dogs.

So we knew we were going two very different learning styles on our hands. Reggie got shocked once, and again when we were testing the fence with food on the other side – and then never again. Jake didn’t get it at ALL until several days of food testing where he got bit regularly. Then Reggie wouldn’t even go near the white flags. Jake would head right up to them, but figured out the warning beep before the shock was actually that – a warning (it’s all about consistency with him, he’s not bright, so he needs the practice)

Then, at just 2 weeks, we broke the system. I’m ready to admit it was Entirely the fault of Stupid Humans. We were told to keep up the training for 3 weeks minimum, but after 2 weeks we couldn’t do anything to get the dogs to go near the fence* So we figured they were all trained up! And we’d read that once trained you could walk the dogs over the fence as long as you had a Fence Crossing Ritual. Something like putting down a mat over the fence, taking the collar off, and putting the leash on, then leading them over.

Yup, all that worked, but it was too soon. Instead of learning they had a fence and a ritual to cross it, they just thought the fence didn’t exist at the bottom of the driveway. We know this because they made several brave escapes through that weak point afterwards (ignoring the beeps, flags, and all)

So then we had to restart the training from scratch. And we focused it on that corner where the driveway goes. And we put little white flags into the driveway itself, so they rattled on the undersides of our cars.

And now the dogs are good again. We’ve had loose neighbor dogs, horses, people waving and talking to us from the road – and all the while my dogs stay carefully inside their fence. For their daily walks, we now have to load them into the car and drive somewhere**. It’s a bit of a pain, but since we often drive to the top of our little hill:

just a walk through the neighborhood

I really can’t complain too much.

*and you NEVER actively call them to/over the fence, or you’ll break their trust in you and loose all that hard won off leash recall action

**Sometimes we drive to the end of the driveway, park there, and do our normal walk. The key is they cross the fence IN THE CAR.

70lb lap dog

Jake is really just a lap dog at heart

jake the 70lb lap dog.jpg

Too bad he’s bigger than my entire lap!


Sometimes it’s hard to get out of bed in the morning because I’m sleepy and warm and just don’t wanna.

snuggly critters

Other times it’s just plain hard to get out of bed with all the snuggly critters in the way!

snapshots from home

With all the traveling we did in November I have to say I’m really looking forward to a quiet, cozy December. One with lots of knitting in it!

I think our animals have been feeling neglected with their people so far from home.

upsidedown critters

I mean, don’t they look soooooooo pitiful? Clearly we need to spend more time with them…
(you’ll have to excuse Neil, he’s not feeling well. He’d be mortified to learn I’m putting this picture of him on the interweb)